Continuing Tales

Destiny's Child

A Crossovers Story
by Fire

Part 7 of 26

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Destiny's Child

Tsukino Usagi lay on her bed and buried her face in her pillow. Tears welled up in her eyes as she thought about the horrible things one of her best friends had said to her today. It wasn't fair! How could Ami- chan say such things? She knew that they would make her cry!

Rolling onto her back, Usagi looked up at the ceiling and moaned. All she wanted was what any girl would want: grow up, eat lots of ice- cream, marry the best looking boy in the world - Oh, Mamo-chan! - become a princess, rule from the most beautiful city in the world and raise a cute, little, pink haired daughter. What was wrong with wanting just that?

It was not really all that much to ask for... was it? Besides, they had all fought so hard for it. They had defeated Queen Beryl, freed Ail and Ann from the Doom Tree, and protected the future from the Black Moon Family, what else could you ask? Even when she had met herself in the future, she seemed to be happy!

Usagi heard a scratching on her door and opened it, picking up the cute, black cat. "Oh, Luna! Ami said the most horrible thing today!"

So saying, she tightly squeezed the poor cat as she cried her eyes out, tears spraying everywhere. In some ways, Luna was glad she was behind held so tightly, otherwise she would have been soaked in the teary downpour. She had seen a crying Usagi come running into the house, trip over her, then run into her bedroom. While this was not entirely unusual behaviour, things seemed worse than usual today. Even given how emotional she was normally.

Eventually Usagi calmed down and stopped crying, and dived back onto the bed again. Just when she was thinking about having a nice, soothing nap, she felt something twitch and move under her breasts. Leaping off the bed, she brought one hand to her locket and screamed "Pervert!"

Moments before transforming into Sailor Moon and pounding the sneak who had been lying under her, she realised it was actually a rather squashed looking Luna. Picking up the cat, she patted its head as it recovered from her over-enthusiastic hug and her dive onto the bed.

Once she was revived, Luna worked at dragging the full story from her young charge. If there was some sort of rift opening between the Sailor Senshi, then it would be her job to mend it. The Senshi were a team, and needed to fight and work as one. After almost an hour of listening to the girl complain, Luna put her foot down and demanded some hard facts: just what did Ami say that was so bad?

"She said that demonic attacks were on the rise, and we might have another big fight on our hands again! I don't wanna have to fight all the time! Why did she say those horrible things? WAH!"

* * *

At Ami's house, the rest of the Senshi were admiring how well their dauntless leader had taken the news. The girl was an enigma, within a conundrum, within a mystery, within a dizzy blonde. After meeting demons, aliens, refugees from the future, and sources of ancient evil all angling to conquer the world, you would think Usagi would be able to handle a little bit of bad news.

Rei had just finished giving another mocking review of Usagi's leadership when Venus spoke up in her defence. "Come on, Rei. You know she's still a bit tense. Remember what happened the last few times we started seeing demons? Not only did we have to fight, but she watched us all get killed, AND she managed to loose Mamoru twice. I think she's handling it pretty well given all that."

Grumbling the brunette sat on the end of a couch. "I suppose so. But Meatball Head better pull herself together by this week's meeting. I'm sick of hearing her whine."

None of the others spoke up at that. Sure, they wanted to defend their leader, but she was just a touch on the emotional side. They might love her and be willing to lay down their lives for her, but that did not necessarily mean that they enjoyed being in her presence when she was crying about some little thing.

After a while Makoto retreated to the kitchen to prepare some food for them; Ami's mother was at the hospital, working late. While she was in the kitchen, and Rei and Minako were discussing the boys at school, Ami stared blankly at her homework. 'Am I the only one who noticed?' She wondered. 'Usagi knows how much she would get picked on if she was here... is that why she ran off? Is she really smarter than we give her credit for?'

After finishing dinner, Ami activated her computer and brought up a display of demon sightings. There was a definite increase recently, and the Senshi tried to work out some sort of pattern. After an hour's study, nothing had become clearer. Then, while everyone was sitting back, tossing ideas around, the computer's alarm began to warble.

The computer had been set to monitor news and radio for any sort of alarming activity, and it had succeeded. Even as they watched, the computer began to display messages being sent to the police and other emergency services. An eight foot tall creature had risen out of a sewer, and was systematically destroying a set of shops.

Even as the girls transformed and ran from the room, Rei was trying to contact Usagi. Blast that girl! She was supposed to be their leader, and that meant she was supposed to be available to lead them. Mars was willing to admit that she had shone through when the chips were down, but it was all those other times which she fell down (literally!) which upset her. This was another perfect example. They had busted their buns running across the city to defeat this evil before it could seriously hurt anyone, and where was Sailor Moon?

It was a small set of shops in a residential section of town. Houses nearby, and small shops with cheap signs and insufficient parking. For a monster the size of this one, it should have been no problem to destroy the entire block in another half an hour. Only one thing stood between it and victory: a group of four cute little girls in short skirts.

The Senshi formed up in a loose phalanx, with Venus and Mars taking the lead. They were all old hands at this job, and knew the drill. Venus was inhaling a big breath to call the challenge when a bright arc of light swooped down and crossed the path in front of the demon. Every eye within range turned to look at the proud girl standing on the roof opposite the demon.

Standing tall, the breeze blew her long hair behind her in two long, graceful arcs. Hands on hips, the warrior maiden posed melodramatically waiting for everyone's attention to focus on her. From the red gems in her hair to the tips of her blue boots, the girl radiated the presence and power of a saviour, and the bearing of a future Queen.

"I am the pretty soldier, Sailor Moon! Shops are there for all to share, in the name of the Moon I shall punish you!"

In a flash of glory, and with a cheer from the crowd, Sailor Moon sailed from the building, preparing to defend the rights of love and life for all people in her city. The demon faced her and charged. Voicing their battle cry, the other girls entered the fray.

The battle was joined.

* * *

Life was hard, probably the hardest it had been for over a hundred years. If you've ever tried to conceal something from a group of inquisitive ten, eleven or twelve year olds, you'll realise just how hard it can be.

Ranma had Mistress 9's promise that someday he would be freed from his Jusenkyo curse, and he believed her. No-one had ever offered him that level of assurance before, and she had shown him just how much effort she was willing to put in. Every day he could feel the subtle touch of her spirit working on the magic which bound him. When things were at their hardest, when he felt the pressures were too great, he would concentrate; feeling the subtle workings on his body.

Mistress 9 was a spirit, and nothing more than that: a projection of herself from elsewhere. Even with the infusions which her 'father' was producing, the process of curing Ranma of his alter ego - Tomoe Hotaru - was a slow and difficult one. Hence the illusion which he wove.

Someone as powerful as Tendo Ranma would stand out like a search light to those evil people who would try and prevent Mistress 9's work. Meek, mild and feeble Tomoe Hotaru, on the other hand, would stand out like a piece of coal at midnight. The real Hotaru had died in a lab explosion shortly before Ranma arrived, and before her death she had tended to be a weak and sickly girl. Almost any exertion would make her collapse, and if you tried to have her run even a short race...

That was where Ranma had put his (or her) foot down. Mistress 9 had said it would take years of work. There was no way she would give up all exercise for that period of time. Now, little Hotaru had taken up exercising at midnight. A short hour's sprint to the west was a nice little park, just right for some Martial Arts practice. Three hours there, then back, and it was enough time for a short nap before school.

Things had been going well for Hotaru at school, from the scholastic point of view, and even better for staying anonymous. Two weeks after Hotaru had started at the new school, one of her ten year old class mates had tripped and scraped her knee. All of her determination to remain inconspicuous could not survive in the face of the screaming and crying of the little boy. Before she could stop herself, Hotaru was there, applying her 'healing hands'. When the crowd gathered in, she feigned exhaustion after her effort. It did not help greatly.

The other children were amazed and then scared. Anything strange or different was bad. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. A girl that could heal minor wounds just by touching was definitely a nail in need of hammering. Two years had passed since that first incident so long ago. Despite her efforts, the cries of injured children was too great to ignore, and Hotaru quickly became a pariah.

"Don't go near that Tomoe girl. She's _strange_"

* * *

Kaiou Michiru gently pulled on the bow of her violin, drawing beautiful music from the wooden instrument. Something so simple and plain as wood could produce such beautiful music, and could be so lovely. Michiru sighed as she started the next phrase in the music. Notes flowed out, filling the large room with their beauty.

She enjoyed the violin, there was really nothing like the thrill which she got when she played in front of a large audience. Her audience today was just herself, and still the beauty of the music filled her. She drew strength from it, and used it to stabilise her thoughts. Her best friend was coming over for dinner tonight, and she was going to play this piece for her, so she wanted it to be perfect.

Michiru could never understand how she and Haruka had become such good friends, the seemed so different. Michiru was quite, artistic, a musician and a painter. Haruka was outgoing, lively, a racing driver. She breathed a small giggle as she ended the piece, some might even call her a tomboy, the rest though she actually was a boy.

Setting the violin down, she placed it carefully in it's case and walked to the kitchen. Her family could have easily afforded the servants to cook dinner, but somehow, it seemed wrong. Besides, Haruka liked her cooking so much more than when they went out. Placing the ingredients around the kitchen in preparation, she thought about all her other friends at school, and what they were doing. 'What _were_ they doing?' She wondered again. It seemed to have been such a long time since she had talked to anyone else aside from Haruka.

Tilting her head to one side, she tried to think about the last time she had been out with a group of people which did not include her best friend, and realised she could not. Sliding some food into the oven, she also realised it did not matter.

Just as she was lighting the candles on the table, she heard the revving of a powerful engine: the sure sign of Tenou Haruka arriving. In no time, Haruka was in the house, filling it with her life and vitality. Smiling at her friend, she chased the tall blonde upstairs for a bath. As the other girl washed off the sweat and oil from a night at the track, Michiru pulled the food from the oven, and served it up.

Her timing was down to a Tee: no sooner was the food on the table than she felt herself held in a tight hug. "Long time no see!"

Getting an affectionate but platonic kiss on the cheek, Michiru ushered the girl to a seat. "Long time indeed! I seem to remember watching a certain blonde riding off after final period today."

Taking a big, appreciative sniff of the food, Haruka looked at the other person who meant more to her that she wanted to think about. "Lets just say it seemed like a long time."

They completed their meal in friendly conversation, mainly talking about the racing circuit. Being with one of the premier racing car drivers of the country had given Michiru a firm appreciation of the sport. It was only after they had finished the meal and rested for a while that they went back to the music room.

This time, the music was different. It was the same piece, it was the same artist, it was the same instrument, but somehow there was more life. In the high parts, the piece soared with hope and love. In the low parts, the perfect notes brought a tear to the eye, and moved player and listener alike.

When she was finished, Michiru rested the violin in her lap. She lifted her eyes to see her friend staring at her. "Did... Did you like it?"

Haruka took her in her arms again. "Oh, that was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard! Tell me your going to be playing it at your big recital in a couple of weeks!"

When Michiru nodded, the other girl released her, but continued to hold one hand while they talked. The next few weeks promised to be very exciting for both of them.

Destiny's Child

A Crossovers Story
by Fire

Part 7 of 26

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