Continuing Tales

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 10 of 30

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The Ties that Bind

"Love is a flame
Neither timid nor tame
Take these stars from my crown
Let the years fall down
Lay me out in firelight
Let my skin feel the night
Fasten me to your side
Say it'll be soon..."

- Jupiter (Jewell)

There was a crash of lightning - so bright it dazzled her - she could feel the electricity in every part of her body. A thick cord settled on her wrist of a bright and vibrant green.

She held up her arm to examine it - and suddenly the world around her fell away. She plummeted through space, while stars whizzed past her, her whole life and more went past her, and she landed in a field by moonlight.

She looked around her, and felt the cord tugging. She followed it to the end of the field - her heart beating faster and faster. The sky was clouding over, her mind was swirling - the years fell away as it began to rain - as if the rain washed away the shadows of death and life and she could see everything - her entire journey.

And the woman in shimmering white, whom she'd taken to be the moon, smiled down at her and said:

"Wake up, Jupiter."

She frowned - wasn't she already awake? She couldn't remember ever being this thoroughly confused before.

"Wake up."

The voice was lower. She knew that voice. It was a voice she heard in her dreams when she dreamed about home. A voice that called to her - sometimes it was full of happiness, sometimes it was melancholy - always it was full of longing.

"Wake up, please."

It was upset. He was upset. She struggled to force herself awake. She had to reassure him - they hadn't seen each other in so long. There was so much she wanted to tell him.

Wait - him who?

Her eyes snapped open.

Everyone took a deep breath of relief.

"Mako, honey, you scared us to death."

"Don't ever do that again, Mako-chan."

"Are you feeling alright?"

Minako and Rei were beside her, and there was someone in the background - but the only person that seemed to register in Makoto's eyes was him.

His deep blue eyes stared down at her with concern and worry, and now with relief. She couldn't believe he was really there.

"It's you," she breathed.

Nolan blinked, confused.

He straightened, abruptly, and turned to look at Mina in utter bewilderment.

"What did she say?"

Mina seemed nervous. Jade became immediately suspicious. Not that he wasn't already very much so, since they'd emerged from the fire room only a minute ago with the inert Makoto, claiming that the heat had caused her to faint.

"Right," he muttered, "I'll believe that when I believe that Nole can talk to stars."

"She said...she said..ah - she's got a concussion!"

Mina nodded enthusiastically while Rei did her best to support this assumption.

Nolan knew it sounded ridiculous, even in his own ears, which were currently very red. But was it crazy that Makoto's words had cause his heart to skip a beat? As had the warm look on her beautiful face when she saw him. He'd secretly always wanted someone to look at him that way.

"She's obviously just confused from hitting her head -hahaha - let's go!," Mina declared, nodding frantically at Rei to help her lift Makoto into the other room.

"Allow me, please."

Nolan bent and slipped his arms gently under her shoulders and knees, lifting her with only a little difficulty since she was lying on the ground.

As he straightened with her, she leaned her head against his neck. His breath caught in his throat as she took a deep breath in.

"I missed the way you smell," she murmured against his neck, nearly casuing his body to freeze solid, "Rain, cloves and sweet grass..."

"Uarghm." Nolan had no idea what kind of sound came out of his mouth - he was about to lose his mind if she didn't stop nuzzling into his shoulder.

Clenching his teeth he hoisted her higher and carried her swiftly into Rei's bedroom, where he deposited her on Rei's bed. She seemed reluctant to let him go...It took Mina's firm hand on his arm to get him to step away so that they could take care of her.

"You'll feel better if you go back to sleep, Mako-chan," Minako suggested.

Rei wasn't sure what to do, and seemed preoccupied with her own thoughts.

"A little help?"

Rei heard Mina's growl, but all she did was throw Mina a towel. Turning to the two men standing awkwardly in the doorway, she assumed a commanding pose.

"I think it's time you went home," she said, "We've all had a little too much excitement for one night."

Makoto was growing sleepy, as if the effort to hold onto his face was too much for her eyes or mind to handle. Obediently, like a small child, she drifted back into a half-dreaming state - to Mina's intense relief.

"Yeah, we'll be going, if you don't need anything else."

Jade literally had to drag Nolan away - the man seemed incapable of moving or forming a coherent sentence. He was too caught up in staring at Makoto.

When Jade finally got him outside, he hauled off and hit Nolan hard on the back. The other man grunted and seemed to come out of his stupor.

"What happened back there!"

"One minute you were fine, then the next minute you're grabbing Kino-san up like a sack of potatoes, and then you start acting like a zombie. Hello!"

Jade waved a hand in front of Nolan's face, and went so far as to snap a few times.

"Earth to Nolan."


Nolan brushed Jade's hand away as if it had been a bothersome fly.

He started walking at a brisk pace, and Jade had to trot to keep up with him.

"I'm telling you, something is definitely not right. I think they had a plan from the beginning - I just don't see how Kino-san, I mean Makoto, fainting had anything to do with it...what did that accomplish? Or did they plan it? Maybe it really was an accident - but then why was she babbling like that?"

Nolan stopped abruptly and Jade nearly ran into him.

"I think I need to be alone for a moment," he informed the younger man, "Go home before me, and I'll catch up with you."

Jade moved around until he could see Nolan's face - shadowed as it was in the dark of night.

"Are you alright?"

"I think so."

Nolan looked up at the sky.

"Do you want to see what I promised you?" he asked suddenly, getting an idea.

"Uh - sure, but if you don't -"

Nolan raised a hand for silence and Jade cut off to watch him gazing up into the inky black sky. Nolan stared for almost fifteen minutes, and Jade didn't say a word. He could tell from the strain in his friend's posture that whatever he was doing was requiring his full attention.

Nolan's eyes searched the patterns the stars made. He searched for specific knowledge. Instead of asking them who the strange maiden was in his dreams - he simply asked them who Makoto was, with her wild green eyes. And they answered him. The minute he understood it - he gasped and staggered - Jade moved to catch him - but Nolan didn't fall. Instead, he looked up at Jade with an incredulous expression.

"What is it?"

Jade actually whispered.

Nolan seemed too affected to answer.

"Something else I'm not going to like, obviously."

Ami was not enjoying her study date. At least, that was what she was telling herself. Definitely not at all.

She had not enjoyed Zoe's endless stream of chatter about anything and everything that happened to pass through his mind, nor did she enjoy the jokes he made or the intelligent way he had of explaining his ideas - which were both outlandish and ridiculous.

She didn't enjoy the way his smile dimpled (it was definitely neither cute nor mischievous), or the manner in which his eyes sparkled when he talked about things he loved. Nor did she, at any point, enjoy the fact that he found ways to touch her without quite seeming forward in doing it.

She also was totally unconvinced that they shared anything in common, besides a few small, paltry things that any two people who happened to be intelligent, well-read, and sensitive might be expected to share an interest in.

No, she was not enjoying herself one tiny bit!

"So that's why I decided to use the - oh, but look how late it is, Ami."

He stopped and looked at his watch, and Ami felt absurdly disappointed. Except that she didn't!

"Guess we should head back."

He threw her a little smile and she felt a flutter as she held his hand to rise from the floor of the roof.

"It's too bad, I was having such a good time - what about you?"

"Yes, of course." Lies! All lies!

He led the way back down to the dorms, and Ami tried hard not to stare at his well trimmed figure. She did not find it attractive in the least, of course.

"Well, this is you."

She stopped and found, to her great surprise, that she was outside her dorm room. She blinked.

"Goodnight, Ami. Thanks for studying with me."

She nodded, slipping to the door as fast as possible without getting too close to him.

"See you tomorrow, Ami-chan."

Ami nearly fell over.

"What did you just call me?" she squeaked.

He frowned.

"I heard that's what friends call each other - is that wrong?"

"N-no, not technically, but -"

"Oh, good. Well, goodnight, Ami-chan."

Ami blushed even more. Did he have to say it in such a meltingly sweet yet decidedly naughty way?


She shut the door with perhaps more force than she meant. But honestly, the man was too much!

On the other side of the door, Zoe chuckled to himself and looked down at his notes. They weren't drafting notes, as he'd told Ami, but notes about Ami and the other Senshi. He used his own short hand, so no one could decipher them except himself.

"Oh, you are smooth, Zoe Johnson."

He smiled to himself as he entered his own dorm and scrounged around through pyramids of beer cans for his bed. He dropped into it fully dressed, only bothering to kick his shoes off, before he let his head drop back onto his pillow and closed his eyes.

As his roommate snored softly, Zoe relaxed and looked at the poster of Sailor Mercury on his wall. It was really only a newspaper clipping, but he was keeping it until he could get a poster.

She was a smart little thing, he'd give her that. And definitely cute - perhaps the cutest girl he'd ever come across. She also had the quirkiest, and therefore most interesting personality he'd encountered. There was something about her deceptive fragility that made one want to protect her, but at the same time she was so obviously capable of taking care of herself that it was impossible not to become lost in admiration of her.

He sighed. If it weren't for this whole Shitennou-Senshi business, he might have flirted with her in earnest. Just a little. Without Kunzite or her crazy blond leader finding out. She was too adorable not to consider it at least. And what she might look like in a swim-suit...that would be well worth a frost-bit apendage...considering it wasn't an imporant appendage, of course.

He slipped into dreams of Ami, and then into dreams of the past - dreams that were so real they refused to leave his mind and settled in as true and complete memories of his past life. Memories that were waiting to greet him, fully restored to the last detail, when he awoke.

It hit Konnor like a ten-foot wave - literally knocking his feet out from under him. He'd just stepped into the shower to dowse himself before work, and after his very early morning jog with Minako - when it happened.

It had been a particularly enjoyable experience. For him, at least. He'd met her on the Meji University campus and they'd decided to run six miles, but had ended up running ten in less time than they'd allotted to run the six. This stemmed mostly from Minako's grim determination to out do him in everything, including running herself to death. Well, of course, he had to show that he could keep up with her. And he did - and he greatly enjoyed it.

She had bubbled with laughter at his stoic rejoinders to every attempt to unseat him. When she complimented him on his physique, he pretended to ignore it - when she slyly intimated things she had no business to know about - he humored her and gave as good as she did - causing her to blush once or twice. When she had an air-headed moment he laughed off his annoyance - since in the end she always amused him more than she annoyed him. He had the feeling that the same could be true of his own, admitted, lack of sociability with regards to her. All in all, they sparred quite well together.

Things had been going surprisingly well, despite their current state of distrust of one another, and then - it had happened.

One moment he was the protector of Endymion, who had a healthy respect and admiration for his semi-enemy and opponent - the next he discovered, to his complete amazement, that that simply wasn't all there was to the Silver Millennium's time.

When his memories came whooshing back to him like an avalanche, poor Konnor slipped and nearly killed himself on the floor of his marble shower. Fortunately he caught himself before his head connected with the slippery, hard floor. But when he had pulled himself up and could lean, dizzily, against the wall with the warm water pouring down on him - he took more than just a moment to get his bearings again.

The cats peered together over the still gently sleeping form of Makoto. Behind them Rei, Minako, Ami and Usagi waited with apprehension. Mina, freshly showered from her morning run, stood in jeans and heavy sweater, but her hair - to Artemis' extreme displeasure - was still wet. Didn't she know that, Senshi or no, she wasn't impervious to colds?

Still on break in preparation for the New Year's holidays, the girls were in various states of slacked off array, even Ami was wearing jeans and a sweater today. Rei was the only one who stubbornly primped in her priestess' robes.

But no matter their outer garments, they all wore matching expressions of worry on their faces.

"How long has she been asleep?"

"I think since last night," Rei answered, "When we moved her from the floor to the bed she woke up for a minute or two."

"You're sure she doesn't have a concussion?"

Minako shook her head at Ami's sharp question.

"We caught her before her head hit the floor."

"Did she say anything?"

Mina and Rei shared a glance.

"She said "It's you," " Mina repeated, blushing a little.

Luna frowned in puzzlement.

"Why would she say that?"

"She was talking to Nolan."

Every eye turned toward Mina who grew a little redder.

"I think it might have been because of something that happened before see...uh..."

"Nolan and Makoto are tied by the Red Thread."

Rei, with arms crossed, delivered this sentence with something akin to a proclamation or prophecy.

"WHAT!" the cats screeched in unison.

"No way!" Usagi yelled, but the half smile on her face seemed to indicate that she hadn't chosen to see this new development as necessarily negative.

Ami was pale, and said nothing - being too shocked to think of anything to say.

"Nolan and Mako-chan are destined for each other?"

Usagi pounced on Rei, who growled at her.

"That's what it means, doesn't it! Doesn't it!"

"Yes. No. Maybe - I don't KNOW!"

The priestess tried to shake her off with no success.

"That's what it means!"

Mina couldn't help smiling a little with Usagi, but she also caught the cats' expressions and sobered instantly.

"This is very serious indeed."

Luna's tone alerted the girls to the gravity of the situation, and even Usagi stopped bouncing around.

"I think that Artemis and I need to speak together alone," she said, delicately arching her tail in suggestion.

Ami was the first to leave the room, and Rei followed, towing Usagi with her. Mina was the last to leave and couldn't help giving Artemis a suspicious glance.

"You aren't hiding anything from us...are you?"

Artemis did his best to look ingenuous.

"Of course not."

Mina stared hard at him for a moment, but then looked at Makoto and left.

The minute the screen slid shut, Luna and Artemis huddled together so fast they bumped heads.

"What are we going to do!" Luna hissed.

"Don't look at me!"

"How did this happen? How could it happen?"

"I don't know, I'm just as shocked as you are!"

They both looked at Makoto who gave a little groan.

"Neph...that tickles..." she murmured, happily.

Luna nearly fainted.

"Oh, crap," Artemis muttered, "Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap..."

"Pull yourself together," Luna panted, "We have to do something fast."

"But they'll all start remembering everything at this rate, how can we stop them from doing that?"

They sat in thought.

"If the men really are back - the Shitennou of the past - which certainly seems to be the case, as we saw yesterday -"

"When we spied on them -"

"It doesn't count as spying, you ridiculous Tom-cat!"


"As I was saying, if they really are then it's a sure bet that their memories will be returning soon as well. And if history repeats itself -"

"It won't!" Artemis growled low in his throat and lashed his tail meaningfully.

Luna spared him a pitying glance.

"I know, but what if it does? They say they aren't the same men who led the charge against the Moon - but I remember and they -"

"They look an awful damn lot like the basta-"


They stole another covert look at Makoto, but she slumbered on.

"There's a one in a million chance that they are telling the truth," Artemis spat, "Just the simple fact that they were reincarnated goes to prove that they must have been present on the Moon."

Luna pondered that for a moment.

"Does it though?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, if they were there, and reincarnated from the moon invasion, it would certainly account for their being the first of the Senshi's enemies in this life. But then, that begs the question: why are they here once more, and not evil? Apparently?"

"You can't be reincarnated twice?"

Luna nodded.

"But what Usagi did with the crystal to defeat Beryl - that brought everyone back didn't it?"

"Yes, but at that time Mamoru swears that he had the stones - how can they be in two places at once? These men have civilian lives as far as I can tell - it seems like an impossibility."

They both shared a bewildered glance.

"Well, there probably isn't much we can do about them," Artemis admitted at last, "But at least we can watch over these kids."

Luna nodded.

"Then, I suppose there's only one thing to be done...for their own protection..."

They looked at Makoto and then at each other, uneasily.

"Luna, we have to..."

"I know."

Luna crept gently up onto Makoto's rising and falling chest and concentrated on the girl's forehead. Suddenly the crescent moon on Luna's forehead began to glow. In a few moments a light shone on Makoto's face, and then it was over.

"Well, that solves that, I hope. No more pesky Silver Millennium memories."

She jumped down to the floor to join her mate.

"How will we convince the others to let us seal their memories?"

"I've no idea," Luna sighed, tiredly, "But we'll think of something. At least, as long as nothing triggers them again, we should have some advantage against this."

"I hope so."

The cats padded into the room where the girls waited for them.

Makoto's eyes fluttered open - suddenly no longer troubled by dreams. Yet as she sat up slowly, she had the odd sensation that there was something she'd forgotten - something terribly important.

"So, let me make sure I understand you," Rei said to the cats.

"You want us to let you search our memories?"

Luna gave an embarrassed cough.


Rei's eyes narrowed.


"Because we want to see if we can figure out what this string thing is -"

"Well, you can't do it now," Usagi argued, looking at her watch, "Because I have a date with Mamo-chan."

"And I have to meet Mom for lunch."

"And I have to go to my volunteer thing."

The cats looked at Rei.

"No can do."

"Is there something you have to do as well?" Artemis asked, politely.

"No," Rei answered, "I just don't want you poking around in my mind."

The cats were offended. But they realized that their plan would have to wait - there was no way to convince the Senshi that searching their memories was more important than daily duties - not without rousing suspicion.

"Very well, then," Luna nodded, "We'll be going. Let us know when Mako-chan wakes up."

"I will."

The priestess made her goodbyes with her guests and waited until the doors were closed before she could finally slump against the door frame. The emotions that had been threatening to overwhelm her for the past twenty-four hours broke free. She shook herself and then hugged herself hard - willing the fear she felt to subside into tranquility.

When she felt in control of herself, she dared to creep into Makoto's room.


Makoto put a hand to her head.

"I feel like I've been hit with a train."

Rei chuckled.

"It's alright - you just fainted."

"I did?"

Makoto seemed utterly shocked. Rei frowned.

"You don't remember?"

"The last thing I remember was going into the closet - you were going to tell us something important..."

Rei stared at her for a moment.


"It's nothing."

"It doesn't feel like nothing."

"You just got too hot by the flames," Rei explained slowly, "And it really wasn't that important - what I told everyone..."


Makoto smiled, a little woozily. She glanced at her watch and bolted off the bed.

"Jove's eyes!" she swore, "I'm late for my part time job!"

She scrambled to the screen and fumbled with it.

"Did you just say 'Jove's eyes'?"

"What!" Mako shoved the screen aside and Rei followed her, staring at her back.


"You've never said that before..."

"Haven't I?"

Makoto wasn't really paying attention, being too busy hopping on one foot and trying to put her shoe on the other -which was the wrong foot.

"No, you haven't - when did you -"

"I'm going to be so gross! I hope no cute guys come into the shop - please, Aphrodite! At least not that friend of yours - Nathan -"

"Nolan. And you did it again!"

"Thanks, Rei," Makoto gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.

"You're the best - bye!"

Rei watched Mako leap into the yard of the shrine and pelt down the stairs, faster than she'd ever run chasing a youma.

For a long while Rei remained there at the door, staring and thinking. She looked down, for a moment, at her pinky finger and involuntarily blanched.

"It can't be you -" she whispered to herself, her teeth clenched, "It was just a trick of the light."

"You're gone."

Nolan woke that morning feeling as he'd felt the morning of his twenty-first birthday when Jade had convinced him to go bar hopping. In other words - like crap at the bottom of the crap barrel.

His head was splitting and his temples throbbed. He groaned and rolled over to sit up on his bed.

He yelled when he caught sight of Jade sitting across from him, staring at him.

"What the hell - don't sneak up on me like that!"

He took a few deep breaths.

"You nearly gave me a heart attack."

To his surprise Jade merely continued to stare at him - his gaze probing and somber.

"Well, do you remember?" he asked at last.

Nolan blinked at him.


"Do you?" Jade watched him, impatiently.

"Remember what?"

Suddenly green eyes flashed into his mind - as did all the other significant things that had come to him early that morning while he slumbered. He gave a shuddering breath and nearly fell off the bed.

"I thought so."

Nolan pushed himself up and felt Jade's hand under his arm, helping him.

"When did you -"

"Last night," Jade explained, "Woke up with a headache and a heartache to go with it...just like you, no doubt."

"Jupiter," Nolan murmured, "I have to find her."

"I know, but we've got to tell Endym- I mean Mamoru first. And Kun- Konner."

Nolan's brows snapped together.

"I haven't seen her for a thousand years," he growled, "I think some things can wait."

Eagerly he pushed the other man's arm off of him.

"Things like our prince? He doesn't even remember the past. Neither does she."

That halted him in his tracks with a painful grip on his heart. She didn't remember him? His sweet little goddess...his little tall goddess...his little, very adorable, very beautiful, very very leggy goddess -


"Exactly." Jade walked past him, sparing Nolan a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.

"I have a feeling we need to regroup and organize a plan of attack before we attempt this particular campaign."

Nolan shook himself and followed Jade out of his bedroom.

"Knowing the Senshi," Nolan noted, unhappily, "It's going to be an uphill battle."


"Especially where my firebird is concerned," the blond man muttered to himself. He hadn't said the nickname in a thousand years. He had to admit, in spite of the torture he knew he was about to subject himself to for the second time - there was something delicious about applying it to the dark haired, amethyst eyed priestess who hated his guts. At least he no longer had to tell himself that his attraction towards her was merely physical. The past made his present burgeoning feelings clear -

He smiled slowly, feeling the old excitement mix with the new and agonizing impatience to see her.

"I hope you're ready, Rei."

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 10 of 30

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