Continuing Tales

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 27 of 30

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The Ties that Bind

Usagi felt soft hands brush her face. She opened her eyes.

Shai was standing over her, or at least, she though it was him - the pure light surrounding them created a halo in his pale hair.

He offered her his hand.

"Where am I?"

"In the Netherworld."

"It was dark before," came a small voice.

Usagi turned to see Hotaru beside her.

She looked in alarm back to Shai, but he smiled.

"It's alright. We're no longer in any danger. We've just been waiting for you two to wake up."

"Who's we?"

"Come with me."

Usagi took Shai's hand and gave her other to Hotaru. Together the three guardians walked through the never-ending brightness - like walking through the inside of a cloud.

"How did we get here?"

"They brought you here," Shai explained, nodding to the three figures in the distance.

As they approached, Usagi recognized the Phantom Queen's original figure; she shrank back a bit. The tall, red-haired goddess turned around to greet her and Usagi saw with relief that her eyes were not red but a warm golden color. She smiled.

"Welcome, guardians. We've been waiting to thank you."

The dark-eyed goddess of Death knelt before Hotaru and gently touched her shirt, being careful not to brush her skin.

"You did very well," she said, smiling, "Very well."

Hotaru nodded, not varying her serious expression, but inside she was glowing with pleasure at the goddess' affirmation.

Usagi caught her breath as the third goddess walked toward her. The Moon goddess was tall and lithe, with pooling white hair and silver eyes that seemed to change even as she stared at them.

"I have always wanted to meet you," Usagi said, only realizing the truth as she said it.

The Moon goddess smiled.

"I'm so glad. I've been watching over you for such a long time. And your mother, of course."

"You knew my mom? I mean - Queen Serenity?"

"She was my servant, and served me faithfully until the end. And I have never regretted leaving that heavy duty to those of your bloodline. My bloodline, I should say."

"You are my -" Usagi stopped. She wasn't sure it if would be polite to calculate a goddess' age, or if she even could.

"I'm your ancestor, yes. The blood of the gods flows in your veins. Just like Hotaru's, and Shai's."

"And Setsuna?"

Death shook her head.

"Setsuna is a goddess," Death answered, "A demi-goddess. She's the direct daughter of Chronos."

Usagi's eyes bulged wide.

"But, wait - where's Chaos?"

The three goddesses grew somber, and the goddess of Fate's cheeks reddened. To their consternation, she knelt in front of them.

"I have come to ask forgiveness from you," she said, "It was my weakness that allowed this monster child to overcome my powers and those of my sisters."

"It's ok, really," Usagi said, feeling more than uncomfortable, "Could have happened to anyone."

Fate looked up at her sisters, and the Moon goddess chuckled.

"She is certainly of your bloodline, sister," Fate said, admiringly, "Full of mercy and grace."

Usagi turned beet red.

"We have contained Chaos within a prison of her own mind," Death said, directing their attention toward a seated figure. Upon closer inspection, they found the shadow woman that was Chaos chained to a chair of light, her face completely blank.

"With our combined powers we are strong enough to keep her here," Death explained, "But we have not yet decided to do so."

"We were hoping you," the Moon goddess said, turning to the three guardians, "Might help us decide."

Hotaru and Usagi gulped.

"US?" they asked in unison.

Shai shifted back and forth on his feet uneasily.

Death cleared her throat:

"We are immortal and, excepting this rare circumstance, cannot be affected by Chaos. But you are of the mortal world where she most desires to be - your changeableness attracts her like a moth to a flame - but you will have to live with the threat of her. Would you wish us to keep her from you so that she can never touch the mortal world again?"

Hotaru much preferred this approach, but Shai and Usagi were more hesitant.

"If there is no more Chaos," Shai spoke up, "Wouldn't that affect the outcome of fate?"

Fate nodded in approval.

"Yes, my guardian, you've seen rightly. It's true that without Chaos, the threads of fate are easier to weave and form a more uniform and pleasing pattern. However, without her influence, many good things as well as many terrible things could never have a chance to occur."

"Like," Shai said, "The Shitennou being reborn, for instance."

Usagi blinked at him.

"WHAT do you mean?"

"Well, I worked it out," he explained, "You see, Fate weaves one path for each thread, one life for each soul before it returns to the Cauldron and becomes something new, but due to Chaos' continued influence, some souls - threads - get woven again, making the pattern erratic, but beautiful at the same time."

"But I thought my crystal brought them back?"

Shai blinked. The goddesses laughed together.

"No, daughter," the Moon goddess said, "The crystal is powerful - as powerful as your own heart - but to go against fate, time, and death would be something unheard of - it could only happen if all of us heard your prayer and could answer it. Most unlikely."

"This is not something of my doing," Fate continued, "the Shitennou were meant to die in the time of the Silver Millennium, as were you all. But because Chaos was able to influence events, she changed the pattern. Your mother's last wish was a part of that change - it enabled all of you to be reborn again. But the poor woman Chaos used as her pawn could only enslave the essences of the brave Shitennou. Those men died a true death on Earth, and were not resurrected with those of you who died on the Moon."

"But -"

Death interrupted Usagi's protest:

"In death, the Shitennou's souls separated from their guardian essences and should have remained in the Cauldron to be reborn as completely new lives. Instead, they somehow managed to return to the thread at exactly the right time to be reborn in order to meet you again. It was not the result of your mother's wish, nor was it mine or my sisters' doings. The only explanation for it is the disruptive influence of Chaos."

"Is that the only explanation?" Hotaru asked.

They all turned to look down at her in some surprise.

"Because," she continued, in her serious little way, "It seems to me that maybe Zoe just decided he wanted to come back."

"I don't think I understand," Fate began.

"No, wait," Usagi nodded, "I think I get it. Sure maybe Chaos had something to do with it - mixing everything up and making things tend to go crazy when she's around - so maybe that made it easier - but the Shitennou I know are pretty determined guys. Maybe they made it happen on their own."

Shai stared at her.

"You actually think that a soul could defy the laws of the universe?"

Usagi grinned.

"I don't see why not."

"There is some truth to what you say," Fate commented.

Shai gave a squeak of surprise that his goddess ignored.

"For instance," she mused, "the red thread that I tied to all of you, it still remains unbroken. In fact, I can tell by looking at it that it has never broken between the Shitennou and the Senshi. Which, considering their deaths, should not have been the case at all. When a soul returns into the ocean of the Cauldron, all its former ties are cut free."

"So the Shitennou's souls somehow kept those ties?" the Moon goddess asked, "They were not cut loose?"

"It's almost as if they wouldn't become untied," Fate answered, "As if they knew that they needed to meet again."

"Despite the impossibility of such a thing ever happening?" Death added.


"Most curious."

Usagi's head hurt at this point.

"Well, sometimes things are just meant to be because you mean them to," she concluded.

The others blinked at her, but the Moon goddess smiled.

"Indeed, they are. Have you come to your decision yet?"

"I think so," Usagi nodded. The other two turned toward her in anticipation.

Looking at Chaos, Usagi said:

"She's done a lot of horrible things and caused a lot of pain and suffering for all of us. And not just us. All the people of Earth and the Moon Kingdom, all the people who lived under the Silver Alliance, all of them died or were hurt forever because of her. And she'll never stop wanting to control us or hurt us. For that, she should be caged up. But..."

She took a deep breath.

"But if it weren't for her, then the Shitennou might never have been able to come back. It was her fault we all died the first time, but there's no guarantee that things would have turned out that way if she hadn't been causing problems between the Earth and the Moon. If there had been peace between Earth and the Moon, I might never have been curious enough to visit. I might never have met Endymion. The Senshi would never have met the Shitennou. And if it weren't for Chaos, I wouldn't be friends with Naru-chan. I wouldn't have mom and dad and Shingo, as annoying as he is. And..."

She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed.

"I guess what I'm saying is that without her, the opportunities for really wonderful, spontaneous things are gone. It's almost like a world without Chaos could be a world without the potential for love."

"And...she must be...well, lonely. Don't you think?"

The Moon goddess stretched out her hand and placed it on Usagi's head, giving her a gentle pat.

"You truly are the greatest of my daughters."

Usagi smiled.

"If this is your decision then?"

The three nodded.

"So be it," Death said.

"We will return you to your home now."

Fate waved her hand and a door opened. In the doorway was Bes, leaning against the frame and chewing a piece of chocolate pocky.

"I love Japan," he said.


Hotaru ran half way to him, then stopped, embarrassed, and tried to continue on the rest of the way with a calm, mature pace, but Bes frowned and appeared in front of her, scooping her up.

"What kind of a goodbye is that?" he demanded.


"Yeah," his tone softened as he looked up into her small face, "Sorry, kiddo."

"You mean, goodbye forever?"

"If it was," he asked, seriously, "Would you miss me, firefly?"

Hotaru's little face grew paler and her mouth thinned to a firm line. She nodded.

"Well, then I guess not forever!"


She smacked him on the shoulder as he giggled at her.

"You're impossible!"

"What kind of relationship is this?" Usagi whispered to Shai.

"Stupid husband, responsible wife," Shai whispered back.

They both shook their heads.

Usagi turned to Shai and offered him her hand.

"I don't suppose we'll see you again?"

Shai shrugged.

"I'm not sure," he admitted, "I can't really leave the gate - and now that everything's back to normal..."

Usagi nodded.

"But," he continued, "You never know with Chaos around...oh, and, if you wouldn't mind princess, will you please give my regards to the -"

He whispered in her ear. Usagi smiled.

"Of course I'll tell her."

Shai blushed.

"Don't bother her or anything, just if she's not busy, perhaps, although I know she is busy - she's a guardian after all, and - but I just thought -"

Usagi laughed and patted him on the shoulder.

"Don't worry. I'm sure she could use the company."

With that she turned to Hotaru and took her by the hand, leading her toward the door.

"O.K., Hota-chan, let's go home."

They stepped through the doorway into light.

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 27 of 30

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