Chapter Fourteen: Back To Life
posted December 19, 2002
by Sailor Lily



Setsuna sat comfortably in the chair closest to the windows facing the gardens, and with the table that help the pictures of her dead past before her. She had her knees drawn up to her chest, her arms encircling her legs, and her right cheek resting on her knees as she looked absent-mindedly at the outside. A knock came to her door and swept her back to the present, and to this emptiness around.

“Setsuna, are you in?” -asked the sweet, girlish voice at the other side of the door. “Its Serenity, may I come in?”

Setsuna breathed in thinking of how all those girls were so afraid of her because they didn’t yet understand how she was alive, and she supposed she would feel the same way if she learned someone she had thought dead suddenly popped out alive and well. < Well, no use trying to delay the inevitable, I can’t stay away from them for long.>

“Setsuna?”- came the whisper from the voice at the other side of the door.

“Please, come in.” -she finally answered setting her feet down, and sitting up straight..

Serenity entered the room and closed the door quietly behind. Serenity’s demeanor had changed extraordinarily since the last time she remembered seeing her. She had grown significantly, her hair had lengthened, lightened to a sunshine blonde color, her cheeks had pinked, her body was blooming and she was considerably more quiet than Setsuna remembered.

“I’m was sent to get you for dinner, and Mother has some announcements to make to all.”

“Do you know what kind of announcements? Or what their about?”-asked Setsuna politely making conversation.

“Well, I know their about the ceremonies welcoming the Golden Millennium, and...” -she hesitated blushing for a moment before continuing. “...and who I have chosen as my future husband.”

“That’s wonderful Serenity, and congratulations.”-answered Setsuna sincerely and hoping her quiet manner wasn’t in any way rude.

“Thank you.” -Serenity said as she looked down at her hands twisting them nervously before asking. “ Setsuna, how do you know if it is love you feel for someone else? How do you know its real?”

The question took Setsuna by surprise, and then thought of Endymion holding her, and how nothing else mattered at that moment. The way he looked into her eyes and the entire civilization seemed to not be there anymore; it was just the two of them.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked you that...” -said Serenity ashamed of doing what her Mother had asked all of them not to do.

“What do you mean? Why do you feel you did something wrong by asking me such a legitimate question.”

“To tell the truth,... Mother warned us about making you upset by speaking to you of things that would remind you of Endymion.”

“Serenity, listen to me carefully; I love Endymion and nothing will ever change that. I miss him every time I wake up and he’s not here. It was like that before but now I know that I’ll never see him again, even if I go searching for him in his room. He’s not there but he is still in here.” -she answered with her open palm over where she knew her heart was broken into a million pieces. “All I have left of him are memories, and talking to other people about him only makes me feel closer to him. It makes me feel as if he’s not that far away, and I can reach him if I want to. The fact that he’s not physically here, doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s always in my heart, and people would never be able to talk to me at all because he’s always existent in me.”

“Then, why didn’t you think of him when you tried to kill yourself?”-asked Serenity bluntly trying to make sense of something that didn’t quite make any sense. “Did you know that we found you, and Endymion’s body... in the back garden? You were dead... no doubt about it. Michiru fell by your body crying, and tried to wake you... but you didn’t. How is it you’re here after doing something like that?”

Setsuna was shocked and hurt to know more terrible details of her ‘death.’ She really didn’t know how to answer knowing how it had hurt the girls to witness that, and her answer wasn’t even something conclusive. She knew what she had felt, what had happened after feeling that but didn’t know what had caused all this misery. “I’m really sorry that you had to witness something that horrible, and the only explanation for it doesn’t make sense...even to me!”

She got up from the chair, walked to the bed in sadness and utter frustration because nothing she could say to them could minimize the scar left by it all. She wanted to cry so bad for the damage done to them, to her and to Endymion but there was no way to describe something that drove her mad because there was no words in the entire universe that would make them understand.

“Serenity, please look at me straight in the eyes and I’ll tell you what I know.”-pleaded Setsuna and Serenity came to sit across from her on the bed full of curiosity for she had always wanted to know what had happened. “I know that all of you explained it as a suicide, but that’s not true because I couldn’t put myself in danger since Endymion would have sacrificed himself to keep me from doing something that crazy; and most of all... he made me promise him when we were at Earth that... I would always fight to live... no matter what. It has been torture being without him but on the love for him I swore no matter how hurt, lost or desperate... I wouldn’t attempt to take my own life. That’s love Serenity, that’s how you know its real, if you are willing to put yourself trough the worst things because of a promise made to the one you love.”

Serenity saw the pain, the loss, the frustration of not knowing what had happened or what was to happen next, and she knew that what Setsuna said was true for she was an open book full of emotions. “Then what happened? What do you remember?”

“I went to the roof of the palace because I wanted to look at things differently, just as my... father once had taught me. Then, Endymion went up there to keep me company, I guess Haruka told him were I was, and when we were... kissing,... something, some force pushed us off. Before I knew it, there was nothing solid beneath us, and we were... falling.”- she answered as she closed her eyes feeling that horrible sensation of falling again. “I wasn’t there to jump off, I couldn’t and wouldn’t do that. I swear to you Serenity, It wasn’t suicide and I swear on anything you want, but please believe me. I couldn’t lie about something that terrible specially after knowing the pain it caused all of you.”

Serenity felt the desperation that the green-haired girl was feeling to be understood and believed. She gathered the broken, shaking girl in her arms as she said, “ I believe you. You have no reason to lie to me about something that was obviously painful, devastating and in which you suffered a greater loss than I will ever know. Setsuna, why don’t you tell my Mother?”

“No, I can’t bring myself to talk to her about it, because I have no idea of what it was that made it all happen, and I don’t want to sound crazy without having any proof. The Queen might think that she should have left me dead because I came back to life crazy... and I can’t believe that I would blame her for thinking so.” -she paused sighting in resignation. “Some times, I question my own sanity... specially in the couple of hours I’ve been back.”

“You’ not crazy! What makes you think that?”-she said matter of fact. “But what did you mean my Mother brought you back to life?”

“I really don’t know how she did it but you yourself said that I was dead without a doubt, and Nebula told me the Queen brought me back. See, that sounds pretty crazy doesn’t it?” -she said with a small grin. “Okay, lets put this question of my sanity on test once and for all. Serenity, think of something,... anything that you want me to know, but really try to focus on it, and I’ll tell you what it is you’re thinking.”

“Setsuna, that’s ridiculous, you can’t possibly,... I mean, nobody could do what you suggest you can do.”

“Well, that’s what makes it a great test to see if I’m crazy; come Serenity, just try to humor me okay. That way you will know if you can believe all that I’ve said to you.”

“But I do believe you...”-she answered defensively before being interrupted.

“Serenity, concentrate and focus.”

“Okay, fine... we can try this.” -Serenity answered peacefully since she figured it could do no harm. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and slowly let it out.

Setsuna sat across from her with her eyes open looking at the girl’s calm expression as she awaited for what could happen. She wasn’t sure what exactly was supposed to happen but she trusted she would be able to recognize it once it was there. She heard a voice in her head and recognized it as Rei’s... who was wondering where Serenity had gone off to. Setsuna closed her eyes, and blocked all the interference from outside her bedroom. She opened her eyes once again, and focused her mind intensely on Serenity.

She suddenly heard a different voice come into her head that was wondering whether in fact Setsuna had lost her mind. This voice was obviously Serenity’s but it was coming in too low because the other girl wasn’t entirely focused, and couldn’t concentrate easily. Then, Setsuna was suddenly hit with images of what was really causing the difficulty on Serenity’s concentration.

[Vision]

A golden hair woman-child (for Serenity looked quite young) was walking happily next to a very handsome, stately red head man in the gardens. He reached for her small, delicate hand, and she blushed sweetly with an innocent smile. He proceeded to turn her toward him, he held her close against himself and bent down to kiss her passionately. She melted sweetly into his kiss as he pressed her small body harder against him with his hard, firm hand.

Setsuna almost lost track of what Serenity was thinking because she saw a tear slide down Serenity’s cheek, but still was able to capture from the girl the overwhelming sense of passion that was quickly turning into shame, and regret. Setsuna concentrated on holding the images in place, and was shocked by what she saw next.

The red hair man moved quickly from kissing her mouth to her neck, and took the liberty of over the dress Serenity was wearing placing his hand on her breast as she tried to push him away. She was panicking very quickly when she realized what his intentions were, and he started to take her to the moist grass beneath him. He told her she shouldn’t scream or everyone in the palace would realize how at fault she was for what happened by being alone with him in the first place, and of course no other man would want her at all but him.

Setsuna couldn’t bear to see this violation any longer, so she stopped the flow of images by reaching and covering Serenity’s hand with her own. “Serenity, stop. Don’t torture yourself like that,... none of it was your fault and I hope you realize that.”

Serenity opened her eyes wide in amazement and shock at something so personal being perceived by someone else. She whispered shaking, “I don’t know what your talking about. I... I don’t know...”

Setsuna said quietly, “I saw what the man with the red hair was doing, and its not your fault.”

Serenity busted out into tears as she covered her face, and Setsuna enfolded her trying to comfort her. “I didn’t see all that happened; I really couldn’t bear the thought that such a foul man could hurt you, and that is why I couldn’t let you continue transmitting those images to me. Whatever happened you know its not your fault, right?”

Serenity blurted out between sobs, “I really... didn’t... didn’t know... what was... happening but once I... I got over my confusion... I hit him in... well, his male organ and he fell to the side. I ran, and ran until I... made it to my room. I was... so scared he would try to go in there!”-she finished as she held on tighter to Setsuna’s neck.

“So, I assume that nobody knows about this, even your Mother.” Serenity shook her head “no” as she continued to sobbing softly, and Setsuna caressed the soft hair that fell down the girl’s back, as she thought with sadness of how lucky she had been with Endymion. She couldn’t get the image of that horrible man out of her head and she thought that there was something scary, and familiar about him.

“Serenity, who was that man, and how long ago did this happen?” “It happened six months after my Mother agreed for suitors to come meet with us, and so I suppose it was shortly before my 15th birthday. He was one of my suitors from the Royal family of the Aedrean galaxy, and I was about to... choose him as... my husband.” -she answered sitting up with a look of disgust at the thought that prospect offered. “He’s Prince Bedros, rumored to be a bastard son of the High King but no one knows for sure how much truth there is in that. He’s also the brother to the man that I will marry, Prince Andrei and they will be here for the celebrations of the Golden Millennium.”

“That’s the reason why that was so strong in your mind; you haven’t told Prince Andrei of what his brother attempted, and your afraid Prince Bedros has told him something. You’re afraid of what that man could do when he comes and you have to see him again, right?”

“Yes.”-answered Serenity gently and then teased Setsuna while wiping her face with the sleeve of her blue gown. “Well, I guess your not crazy after all. Setsuna, do you mind keeping that secret with me? I have to say that I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my chest because you know what happened, and you saw it so you know I didn’t make it up.”

“I don’t think you should worry about anyone daring to question something like that, but I’ll respect your wishes by keeping it between us, and I will advise you to tell Prince Andrei. If he loves you, he will believe you, and besides a secret like that is no way to start a marriage; don’t you think?.”

“Thank you, I will keep it in mind but I’m scared. The reason why I didn’t tell the others was because they might slip and say something they are not supposed to at the wrong time. Besides, the purpose of my marriage to someone from the Aedrean galaxy was to bring our people together, not to start a war between the two, and it would be devastating for us since we posses no army.”

“I never understood why we don’t have an army, and how did we defend our Solar system from invasion or wars in the past. I remember that when I was little my parents were talking about wars in other galaxies, and about how lucky we were that nobody wanted to tests Queen Serenity.”

“I have no idea of what goes on with my Mother as Queen, and when I asked her why my groom must be from the Aedreans she said that we could use them on our side because they have the most advanced army near us. I really have to wonder how many secrets are around us and we have no idea about.”

“Trust me, I know what you mean but I can’t explain it and I don’t really like to think about it. First, no army to protect us? What are all those books in the library of people that don’t exist? Why were we trained in physical combat when we have no wars here?” -Setsuna paused then thought of the two secrets that bothered her most. “How did the Queen bring me back to life? And most of all, what was the Imperium Silver Crystal that they talked about when the Outer planets were destroyed?”

“I don’t know the answers to any of those things, but I thought that Crystal was just a myth, and the one who told me that was Luna.”

“I really don’t understand any of it but it seems that the older we get the more things I discover are not as I thought they were. Dinners are possibly the only thing that seems to de what it is.”

“Oh my! I was supposed to come get you for dinner, and Mother will be furious we made them wait so long!”-exclaimed Serenity as she jumped up and pulled Setsuna to go with her but stopped at the door to look at the other girl. “Thank you for listening, and I’m really overjoyed to know that we didn’t loose you forever.”

**********


Queen Serenity was a little annoyed by the tardiness of Serenity and Setsuna. The girls apologized profusely and took their respective seats at the huge dining table. The Queen stood from her chair at the head of the table to get they attention for the announcements she had to make to all.

“To start off, I would like to announce that Serenity has chosen Prince Andrei as her future husband, and they will be married before her coronation as Queen.”

Princess Serenity blushed slightly as the others present turned to smile fondly upon her and congratulate her on her good choice. Then, the Queen proceeded with the other announcements she felt she had to make to all.

“The Aedrean Royal family, and the nobles from that galaxy will arrive in three days.” -continued the Queen solemnly. “They will be our guest for the Golden Millennium celebrations, and since Beryl is from that galaxy, she will make sure that everything is perfect, and to their liking.”

Beryl bowed her head politely to show she understood what her upcoming tasks and duties would be for such a special event. Next, the Queen looked to Setsuna.

“Setsuna, you will be going to stay with a noble family at the other end of the Moon Kingdom, and they will prepare you for your part in the ceremonies.”

Setsuna was confused for she had no idea she would play any part in the ceremonies at all. She asked politely, “Your Highness, may I ask something?”

Queen Serenity nodded knowing the girl would have many questions about what was to take place in such short time, and she regretted not having called her back sooner but she had wanted to grieve in peace.

“What is my part in these ceremonies? Why me? And, why are they so important?”

“Every new millennium the eldest girl of the Royal court is chosen as the Princes of the new age that is to come, and her duty is to lead us into it.” -said the Queen with a kind smile to the green-haired girl. “You have been a vital part because you are the good omen that will say farewell to the Silver Millennium, precede the Grand Ball that same night, and welcome the Golden Millennium.”

Artemis then added when he knew the Queen was done speaking, “The noble family were you will stay for the next few days are one of the oldest and purest bloodlines in this Kingdom. They have always prepared the chosen girl by teaching her the sacred, and magical things for the ceremony. They are very kind people that are extremely excited about preparing you as Princes of the Golden Millennium, and they want to meet you soon.”

Setsuna was very apprehensive and frightened but her fathers voice spoke softly to her. < I know you will be the best at anything you set your mind to. Setsuna, I just want you to be happy, more than anything else in this galaxy, but people have to make sacrifices. You as a princess will have to make more sacrifices than a normal person, and always for the good of other people.>

Luna looked at the sad, silent face of the girl at the other end of the table, and tried to comfort her as best she could. “Don’t you worry, you will not be going all alone to meet them, and I will be there with you the whole time. I will help prepare you from the moment we leave this palace, and Nebula will meet us there to bring you back for the ceremonies.”

Setsuna smiled politely, and nodded still lost in her thoughts. < Why choose the eldest girl? Is it because we are more broken and damaged than the rest to perform the ceremonies? Or is it because we have already learned to sacrifice ourselves without uttering a word? Nebula was my mother best friend and so she is the closest thing to a mother that I have left... I will be glad to have her near me for this. It seems strange that the Queen referred to me as a good omen, since that is the last thing I would think myself and specially since Endymion’s death. I want secrets to be revealed, I want to go, learn and maybe after all is done I may feel alive and whole for a little while... once again.

********************


“Queen Metallia, everything is prepared for your triumphant arrival to the Moon Kingdom, and nobody suspects anything that is coming to them.” -Beryl informed the orange-yellow growing in her dark room as she paced excitedly. “Queen Serenity informed the Royal Court that Princess Serenity has chosen Prince Andrei, and Setsuna will leave tomorrow where she cannot sense all that will be happening here.”

“Excellent! Your son is preparing the last of the troops at Earth with the aid of four Earth generals that will be disguised to be able to accompany us to the Moon Kingdom. But there is still one loose stand in our plan, and we must be careful.” -commented the bright light turning red. “There is still no trace of Prince Endymion at Earth, and he might know more than we think. When we arrive at the Moon Kingdom I will put your son in charge of Setsuna for we don’t know how trained or powerful she might return.”

“Is my son well?” -asked Beryl coolly. “Has he talked to Prince Andrei about Princess Serenity?”

“He is strong, and ready to do away with the Moon Kingdom as he did with the Outer planets. He has not talked to Andrei about Serenity because he will rather have that card against her in the future in case it will be needed, and I must say he is quite stubborn in his plans.” -the voice laughed making the light shine a bright orange. “He is most definitely your son in that sense. He has also asked me for Setsuna, just as you asked me for Endymion, and of course I couldn’t refuse his.”

“He wants Setsuna?” -Beryl asked shocked to learned this piece of news. “That boy must be mad! But I do not care as long as I have Endymion and she is far from him.”

“Oh, come Beryl, even you must admit that the girl is beautiful and very powerful without her even knowing it. She will make him a good Queen once we have the crystal.” -the voice paused and turned a pale yellow. “Speaking of the crystal, have you found it?”

“No, but before a council meeting this morning I heard Queen Serenity say that it will be needed for the ceremony welcoming the Golden Millennium, and that will be our chance to take it.”

“Perfect! Beryl, you have done a marvelous job and I won’t soon forget this.”


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