Continuing Tales

Destiny's Child

A Crossovers Story
by Fire

Part 12 of 26

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Destiny's Child

Little Hotaru walked along, struggling under the weight of a pack of school books, her only friend a wooden staff, and it didn't really contribute much to conversations. It was not really a struggle, it was more the weight of the words which surrounded her which were hardest to bear. Japan is a society which encourages uniformity. People should fit into society, not bend society to fit them. If you can fit, then it is the duty of your peers to help you fit. And no-one can be crueller than small children.

Ranma had always liked making friends, and was fairly adapt at talking to kids that looked like her age. When a new boy had turned up at school today, she wandered over to try and meet him at lunch. Perhaps if he had not seen her heal anyone, they could become friends before he decided she was 'strange'.

She had barely taken three steps from the tree where she usually ate lunch - alone - when everyone noticed. In no time flat, everyone was talking to the new boy about her, pointing, laughing and telling lies. Before she had crossed the playground, the new boy was taunting her too.

Now that school was over, she could rally against the injustice of it all. All right, at four hundred she was just a little bit older than any of the kids, but they did not know that. Quite simply there was no- one in her age group to talk to, and even grown-ups seemed so young some times. The only person who came close to that was Ryoga, the demon. He was a baby by their standards, a mere three hundred or so, but demons specialised in anger and fighting, not conversation. Hotaru had found that out when she bumped into Ryoga yesterday. He was still mad at her, and they destroyed another city block before Ryoga got lost in the dust.

All she wanted was to be normal and accepted by everyone. There were lots of nice people in Japan, she had met so many herself. The problem was getting people to see past the facade which was presented, and to know the real person inside. She could tell that the only person she had met so far that seemed smart and caring enough, did not really care. It must have happened two or three times now: he would be having a conversation with Rei-san, and for no reason she would suddenly cut him off and the chase him away.

Dropping to the grass in a park, Ranma stared into the waters of a pond. In four hundred years he had made his share of enemies for things he had done, or things people thought he had done. In the past, it had always been a directed hate like Ryoga's. People hated him for a reason. He had even been in enough cities to know the indifference which crowding bred.

It was this general animosity that he hated. No-one liked him, and it was beginning to get to him. Takuhi was nice, be he was just a pet. Her face twitched slightly as she held back tears. She missed Ucchan and Kikyo. She missed Cologne and Brush. She missed Akane. She always missed Akane.

Ranma could not understand Rei-san. When he had first met Akane, she had been more than happy to tell Ranma when he did something wrong, usually with that awful mallet of hers. Sometimes Rei-san was like that, sometimes she would yell and scream and show her temper. Other times, just the three, she would go all cold and distant. She would not tolerate him around, and ushered him out as quickly as possible.


Ranma was so engrossed in her thoughts she never even noticed when the hat blew past her. She just kept staring at nothing. When she heard a young girl's voice cry out, she finally looked around. Little girl: pink hair, sun-dress, quite cute, sixteen meters away, fallen, probably no broken bones, maybe minor scratches. Adults: tall, male, early twenties, forty-seven meters away, short, female, blonde... her again! Hat: matches sun-dress, blowing away in wind.

Hotaru sighed. What the hell, she'll end up hating me too, but she might be friends for a while. Getting to her feet, Hotaru took off after the escaping hat. After the first few steps she remembered that she was supposed to be weak and feeble, so she slowed down and started to breath heavily. After a few minutes of running she caught the hat and sat down on the grass, waving to the girl.

Eventually the little pink haired girl came up to her and smiled. Silently, Hotaru smiled and handed her the hat, keeping up the heavy breathing for effect.

"Thank you!" The little girl plopped down beside her. "My name's Chibi- Usa!"

Hotaru bowed her head. "I'm Tomoe Hotaru. It's nice to meet you."

"What are you doing out here by yourself?"

Hotaru looked down at the ground again. Well, this is going to be a short friendship. "I... I don't have any friends, so I was just..."

"Oh, that's so sad! Are you new here?"

"No, people don't like me because I'm different."

"I don't mind if your different. Almost everyone I know is really different. I'll be your friend."

As she spoke, she seemed to almost bounce with energy. The big rabbit ears she had her hair done up in seemed to almost wave when she moved her head, and Hotaru could almost believe her. She seemed to nice, so naive, so innocent, almost the way that you would expect a princess in a fairy-tale to act.

Pointing to the scratch on her knee that Chibi-Usa had received running for her hat, Hotaru drew her attention. "Yeah? How many people do you know that could do this?"

Hotaru concentrated and her small hands covered Chibi-Usa's knee for a short while. Even as they watched, the scratch healed, and the skin repaired as though it had never been damaged. Even as she healed the girl, Hotaru cursed herself for a fool. Here was someone willing to listen, and she was doing her best to scare her away. All right, maybe not her best, but her best could involve levelling a large portion of the city. A touch excessive for indulging self pity.

She could not believe her ears when the little girl beside her cheered and clapped her hands. "That is so wonderful! I wish I could do that!"

Hotaru blushed. "No you don't. Too many people think your strange, and..."

Chibi-Usa interrupted. She knew it was rude, but it was better to stop Hotaru-chan from getting all sad again. Changing the topic, the two talked and talked. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

They sat and talked for most of the afternoon, Mamoru and Usagi keeping their distance to allow their daughter to have a decent friend. While Chibi-Usa was their daughter, she had not been born yet. Sent back in time by her mother (Usagi) she was here to learn the proper way to be Sailor Moon, as she would some day inherit the powers and duties that went with the title. While they were (or will be) her parents, at this point they were also her friends.

When you are brought up as a princess, and you are also the inheritor of a position responsible for the safety of the entire human race, it's difficult to make friends. When you are repeatedly sent into the distant past, and separated from your family (sort of) it can be a hard time. Although she had friends at school, Chibi-Usa normally found it difficult to become really attached to anyone. Someday, all these people would be dead, and since she came from a time when they were, she had a hard time seeing other kids as life long friends.

Chibi-Usa looked at her new friend and sighed. Although she was really quiet, and did not like to talk about herself, Chibi-Usa could see she was a nice person at heart. Looking off to one side, she could see her parents approaching. 'Hmm, I suppose I can't expect her to tell me everything, I'm hiding a few little details..."

Seeing where the pink bunny ears were pointing, Hotaru noticed the couple approaching arm in arm. 'Damn, it's that girl again. Who is she? Why do I think I've seen her before?' When Chibi-Usa waved and she saw the couple's eyes light up, she nudged her friend. "Who are they? Is she really a Queen?"

Hotaru started. 'Is she really a Queen?' Where did that come from? She doesn't look like a queen. As a matter of fact, she looks more like a school girl.

Chibi-Usa was surprised as well. Looking at her hands, she wondered how she could answer something like that without lying. She had no idea if Hotaru was serious, but you can't just lie to people for no reason. "No... Not at the moment, she's not."

As the pink haired girl dashed off to be picked up and carried by Mamoru, Hotaru was trying to fight strange feelings in her head. Memories dashed across her mind: of fun times with Akane, of meeting royalty, and of a girl with short black hair, who showed her how to love and how to be a real man, and of a kind and caring Queen.

Each step that brought Usagi closer made the memories dash across faster. When she was finally two meters away, she stopped and looked at the now standing Hotaru. When she smiled and held out her hand, it was the last cue she needed. Suddenly all the flashbacks ceased and she called out the one thing that was at the top of her mind.

"The Queen is dead! Long live the Queen!"

Everyone stopped stunned as Hotaru dropped to one knee and bowed her head. "Your Majesty."

When they recovered from the shock, the trio looked down at the kneeling girl. Usagi turned to her daughter and creased her brow. All Small Lady could do was shrug her shoulders and smile cutely, as though saying: 'Don't look at me, Mum. She wasn't crazy until you got here.'

Getting no help from that front, she leaned down and touched the little girl on the back. "Are... Are you OK? You can get up now."

Hotaru stood and shook her head. What just happened? Why did she do that? She looked at Usagi and offered a shy smile while trying to check her out. 'Nothing special about her really, she seems to have a little magic, but that's it. She's no warrior or sorceress, and she definitely hasn't had any spiritual training... I don't get it. Two minutes ago I felt this incredible need to speak to her, and now it's gone. I just don't understand.'

When the girl started waving a hand in front of her face, Hotaru realised she was beginning to zone out. Smiling again she took the girl's hand, grabbed her staff and led them off, immediately changing the subject. Mamoru and Chibi-Usa looked at each other and shrugged. They had met a lot of strange people recently, and if the worst the girl did was claim Usagi was royalty, they had nothing to worry about.

Begging off joining them for dinner, Hotaru eventually went home after a bit more of a walk in the park. As much as she hated her 'father's' medicine, she was willing to get home every day to take it if it meant that she would one day be cured of her curse.

That night, she dreamed again.

The lightning flashed, and the thunder roared... and the people calling out his name. Or what was now his name. But he walked the halls in silence, for the only person who mattered was with him, and she walked by his side.

Taking his hand she calmed the rage and confusion that burned in him. 'How does she do that?' He wondered. Just the lightest touch of her hand and he knew all was right in the world. Outside the storm raged, and buffeted against the walls of the building. Inside, it was just as chaotic, people everywhere, watching them. Always watching.

His wife pushed open the great doors and walked inside. In those very instant that her hand left his, he felt the confusion return. The anger, the hatred, the pain and suffering. He was snarling at a guest when she took his hand and led him to the great table.

The mood swings were getting worse, and he knew it. One minute he could be calm and pleasant, the next he would be deadly. It almost seemed as if his soul needed the pain and anger, and when he was with his wife, all those moments of happiness would rebound when she left. Ignoring the guests in the room, he took his wife in his arms and whispered he loved her.

She held him too, and told him she loved him too. Around them, he could her warriors muttering. "Not fitting." "Improper." "He's wrong for her." "Think where it will lead." Any other day he would have leaped at them, as futile as it may have been. He was a fighter, but there was no way he could beat their magic, his talents lay elsewhere.

Lifting his face from where it rested in the sweet black hair, he looked at the lady sitting at the table smiling at them. Most people would have called her beautiful, stunning, definitely regal. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and his eyes could behold the beauty of only one person. Everyone else were merely shadows, cardboard cut-outs on the stage of the world. Then again, she was the only one he knew of that approved of their marriage, so perhaps she was beautiful in her own way.

The lady spoke. "Everyone, could you leave us. I need to speak with him alone."

No-one liked that idea, but they complied. His wife tried to, but he held onto her hand like a drowning man. 'No, don't leave me. I can't stand being without you.' But gently, insistently, she loosened his grip. Giving him one of her gentle smiles, she kissed his cheek and slipped from the room.

By the time she left the room, tears were running down his face, the confusion, the anger and the pain were back. Looking at the woman standing there - golden hair and white robes, a gleaming crystal tipped sceptre - he knew she was his only hope.

"Please... Your Majesty."

Destiny's Child

A Crossovers Story
by Fire

Part 12 of 26

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