Disclaimer: Sailor Moon and Co. are not ours. You get the point by now, I'm sure. Any characters that are not easily identifiable as belonging to the afore-mentioned "Sailor Moon and Co." belong to us, and us alone. Touch them not, or face the wrath of the Moon Mages! Grrr...grrr... Do you feel threatened? No? All right, gotta work on that. ;)
Warning: There is some violent content in this part - we tried for levity, but because of deaths which occur, certain parts of this Part had to be serious. We're sorry - there's only so much you can do to lighten up Death - and believe us, we tried. Just ask Lauren about her litany.
And now for the Part you've all been waiting for... Drum roll, please...
by Renee-chan and L.M. Griffin
It all began ages and ages ago...
Darien entered the scout training area warily. He wasn't sure he wanted to face the four girls, the Princess, and those two wacky Moon Mages who wanted to put him in a tutu. A voice came from behind him, "Ah, Prince Darien! I see you've chosen to join us for today's training exercises!"
Darien turned and looked around, then down. He saw the small white form of Artemis, Guardian Cat and Advisor to the Queen. Darien said sarcastically, "It depends. Are they going to try to make me a crossdresser again today? Are they going to make me put on Princess Serenity's gown and prance around the Courtyard singing, 'A Bicycle Built for Two'?"
"Actually, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea!" said a young female's voice. Darien spun around, and saw the Princess standing there with her with her whole court. She started to reach for the zipper on the back of her dress. Darien's eyes grew wide, and his jaw dropped open.
"SERENA!! Take your hand away from that zipper this INSTANT!!" bellowed Luna, the other Guardian cat. She ran from the training room and in front of the Princess. She glared up at her charge. Serena sighed, "Cool it Luna! I was just kidding!!"
Darien shook his head, and headed past the girls. He turned back and grinned roguishly at the Princess. "Damn shame..." he said, as he entered the training room.
All the Princesses and the two Moon Mages looked at each other in confusion. "Are you saying you want to wear the dress?" said Princess Rei with a skeptical look.
Darien turned, leaned on the doorway, and smirked. "Noooooo. but I would've liked to see the Princess out of it!" He turned from the now brightly blushing Princesses and Mages, and walked into the training room. He found himself facing a medium sized terrier/retriever mixed dog. Rusty, Royal High Councilor to the Moon Mages and her Majesty, looked at the young Prince and grinned. He lifted his paw and said, "Gimme some fur Kid, that was great!!" Darien burst out laughing and gave Rusty a low five. Artemis cracked up in feline laughter.
Luna turned and glared at the white cat, "ARTEMIS!!" She then snorted in disgust at the three troublemakers, "MEN!!!" She then stalked past the three of them proudly, her tail high in the air like a banner.
The Princesses and the Mages attempted, unsuccessfully, to do the same. Serena looked back, Darien winked, and Serena permitted a small smile to find it's way to her lips - just for him.
Years later, the Scouts' numbers had increased. The Outer Scouts - Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto - had finally come back to court. There had been serious border troubles past the outer planets. The Outers had tried, unsuccessfully, to fend off the attack from outside the solar system. They came to court to inform Queen Serenity that the threat was even greater than they had first suspected. This Queen Beryl meant business - with a capital B.
The Inner Scouts had been thrilled when their older friends arrived at court - Quiet Hotaru, Gentle Michiru, Brash Haruka, and Setsuna, Setsuna who required no description. She was the Guardian of the Gate of Time, and that was enough. Despite their happiness, the Inner Scouts soon came to the conclusion that their friends' arrival was not for happy reasons. They came to court because they no longer had home planets to return to - Queen Beryl had destroyed them. Along with this disturbing news, there were the unexplainable deaths of three of the five moon mages - Amethyst, Ruby, and Amber. Sapphire and Emerald (more commonly known as Lauren and Renee, respectively), were the only two mages to escape the sudden illness that had struck the other three. It wasn't all that surprising, given that Lauren and Renee spent more time at court with Serena and the Scouts than at the Mages' compound with the other Mages. Still, the sudden absence of a full complement of Mages was disquieting, not to mention inconvenient. Rusty couldn't help but think that this was a sign of something even more horrendous to come.
The two remaining Moon Mages decided that now would be a good time to provide the Scouts with stronger powers. They went back to the Mages' Tower to make two new sets. They were immured in the Tower for weeks before they completed their task. They set the powers to integrate into the Scouts' pens the moment they would have need of them. Lauren and Renee stretched, "I'd say that was a good couple of weeks work, wouldn't you Lauren?" Renee said.
Lauren said, "Most definitely. And, hey! We're even done in time to go to that huge ball the Queen is holding at the Palace!"
Renee answered, "All right! Let's go!"
They quickly changed into their formal robes and headed for the main doors. Once outside they took a quick look to make sure that all was clear and started walking to the Palace. Lauren took a deep breath and sighed, "Ah... I love this walk - it's so beautiful. The trees, the mountains, Beryl's Army of Youma, that gorgeous lake..."
Renee interrupted, "Whoa, Lauren - what'd you say?"
Lauren repeated herself slowly - as if she were talking to a small child, "The trees, the mountains, Beryl's Army of - ooooohhh shit."
Lauren took a step backwards, "We've got to get to the Palace and warn the Queen!"
Renee looked at her skeptically, "How? There's a whole freaking army between us and the Palace! What do we do? Walk up to them and say, 'Excuse us, but we have to get to the Palace to warn the Queen that you're here'? Oh yeah, that'll go over real well."
Lauren gave her a jaunty smile, "We're Mages! They're Youma. We blast 'em, of course!"
Renee smiled back, "Oh yeah..."
They readied their powers and started blasting youma left and right. By the time they reached the other side they were exhausted - but exhilarated. There was only a quarter of a mile left to the Palace. Lauren started dancing while she was running, "Oh yeah! We did it! They didn't stand a chance! Haha - OOF!" She ran full force into someone else that she hadn't even seen.
She moaned, "Ow..."
Renee had gone white and was plucking at Lauren's robe sleeve. She whispered urgently, "Lauren! Get up! Getupgetupgetupgetup!!!!"
Lauren growled, "What? What could possibly be so important? What is - Oh shit."
Renee grimaced, "You keep saying that. Now will you just shut up and Get Up!"
Lauren jumped to her feet and gave a nervous little giggle. She then threw her arms up into a defensive posture, ready and waiting to blast the four smiling faces in front of her.
Malachite smiled, "Leaving so soon, girls?"
Lauren shifted her feet nervously and said, "Uh, nice running into you Malachite. Haha. Heehee. Well, uh, we really have to be going now. We're due at the Palace Ball and, well, we've got the pretzels, so, uh, we really have to go now."
Zoisite laughed that vexing laugh of hers and said, "Imagine that. A party that we weren't invited to," she snuggled up to Malachite and said, "Now, we are going to do something about that, right honeybunch?"
Lauren and Renee looked and each other and mouthed, "Honeybunch?" They made gagging noises and Renee said, "Anyone feel like they're being smothered in syrup?" The Generals tossed sarcastic looks their way in response.
Nephlyte said, "You two really think you're going somewhere, don't you?"
Renee glared at him in sudden hatred, "You know, you're really not funny."
Lauren elbowed her, "Renee, don't piss off the bad guys," Renee nodded and Lauren added in an undertone, "Let's go back the way we came - we can Mage Transport from the Tower." Renee nodded and Lauren turned and started to walk - Renee (who was still facing the Generals) said, "Well, it's been wonderful. We really should do this again-"
Lauren cut her off, "Ummm, Renee, maybe this isn't such a good idea..."
Renee said, "Why not?"
"You don't want to know."
"Yes I do!"
"No, you really don't."
Renee said, "What?" as she turned around - to face the rest of the Youma that they hadn't blasted, "Oh shit."
Lauren agreed, "My thoughts exactly."
Renee queried, "OK, now what?"
Lauren brain worked furiously and her eyes landed on Jadeite. *He's a blond - they're more sensitive, that's why I like 'em - and they're so much cuter - OK, quit that line of thought, Lauren!* She studied Jadeite a moment longer, *Oh what the hell, it works for Rusty.* She turned to Jadeite and made puppy dog eyes at him, "Oh Jedy... you'll let us go, right? You don't really want to hurt us and maim us and do bad things to us and..."
Renee interjected, "Lauren, you're babbling."
Lauren growled, "Just go with the flow, all right!"
Renee nodded, "Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure."
Jadeite was grinning at them, "You are cute, dear, but you know what they say - Business before Pleasure."
Lauren turned to Renee and said, "Renee, if and when we get back, remind me to take those cute lessons that Rusty's been promising..."
The Four Generals closed the circle around them and Lauren cursed under her breath. Malachite raised an eyebrow, "Is that anatomically possible?"
Lauren growled, "It is if you give me a rather large stick."
Zoisite bristled, "Watch it Robe Girl."
Renee looked at Lauren and said, "What is it with Giggle Girl and the stupid nicknames?"
Lauren laughed, then said, "All right. Generals on one side, Youma on the other side, we can't go down, I suggest we go up." Then she happened to look up, "Never mind!" she yelped. She put her head in her hands and said, "Shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit..." Renee said, "What?" Lauren interrupted her litany long enough to say, "Just don't look up."
Since saying that automatically made Renee want to look up, she did. Once she had, she desperately wished she hadn't. Her face a ghastly white she turned to Lauren, "Why didn't you tell me Beryl was up there?" Lauren again interrupted her litany, "I did tell you not to look up."
"Fat lot of good that did," Renee responded.
Beryl gave them a snake's grin and looked down at the Mages, "Well, well, well. What do we have here? Two little mages who've lost their sheep..."
Renee looked up and commented, "Great. We're about to be knocked off by the reject from Mage School. Tell me Beryl, did you even pass your entry level exams?" She then produced a sneer worthy of Beryl herself.
Beryl's fury mounted, "Destroy them. I don't care how - just get rid of them!"
Lauren interrupted her litany for the final time as she turned to Renee, "Mage Transport, now?? Please??"
Renee nodded and they joined hands.
Malachite tipped his pointer finger back and forth twice, "Tick tock. Tick tock. Time's up little magelets. Now you die. Get 'em!"
Lauren muttered, "Oh I hate him..."
She and Renee yelled, "Moon Mage Transport!" and began the spell.
Unfortunately, the Generals and Youma got off several blasts before they fully dematerialized.
Darien, Luna, Artemis, and Rusty were out in the Palace gardens by the fountain, discussing the sudden attack on Earth. The cats' and dog's keener ears picked out the hum of magic before Darien saw the physical results and thus managed to get out of the way. Lauren fell face-first into the fountain and Renee fell face-first on top of Darien. Both looked much the worse for wear.
Lauren gasped, "It figures. Even now, I land in the water. It's not fair."
Renee gasped back, "Not my fault. I'll try to let you land on Darien next time, if it really means that much to you."
It was then that Darien and the animals realized exactly how badly the two Mages were hurt. Lauren had several crystal shards piercing her body and Renee's robes were so full of blood-soaked holes that it couldn't be a good thing. Rusty grabbed the back of Lauren's robe and pulled her out of the fountain.
Lauren grabbed Rusty and said, "Rusty...Queen...must warn...Beryl...Army...coming..."
Luna screamed, "What!"
Renee moaned, "Not so loud Luna..."
Artemis asked, "What happened to you guys? You look like you had a run in with all of Beryl's Youma at once!"
Lauren managed a wry smile, "Not to mention all Four Generals. Bastards. Wait 'til I find that stick..." her voice faded slightly.
Luna gasped, "Oh no! We're not ready! Artemis! Go get the Scouts - warn the Queen! Go!"
Artemis nodded and ran off.
Lauren whispered, "Darien...a favor?"
Darien leaned closer, "Anything. Just name it. Revenge? Anything - I swear it will be done."
Lauren whispered, "If you see Malachite, tell 'im...I saw his roots - and they weren't white..." She smiled and closed her eyes for the last time.
Renee, seeing Lauren close her eyes, said weakly, "Darien? About that revenge thing?"
He said, "Yes?"
Renee said, "Remember - you throw the roses - that's what they're for..."
Darien, thinking her dead, shed a tear and said, "I will avenge you, my friends." Then he heard a weak little whisper.
Renee managed one last comment, "Oh...and if you ever do get Serena out of that dress...make sure you come and tell me..."
The Scouts and Artemis rushed into the Garden to find Darien closing Renee's eyes. He whispered, shaken, "You're too late. They're dead."
Serena screamed, "NNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"
When the news of the last mages' deaths spread through the Palace, the courtiers were in a panic. Queen Serenity wasn't much help in calming them down. She was still in shocked grief over losing the two spritely girls that had been like daughters to her. The Scouts swore revenge as they ran out to the battlefield. Prince Darien also swore to the Princess that he would avenge her 'sisters'. She wished she could go with her friends, but knew that her mother needed her more. She gave Darien a kiss goodbye and gave him her locket - Renee and Lauren's last birthday present to her. He knew how much she cherished it, and given the circumstances he was extremely touched that she wanted him to have it. He left her still standing on the balcony.
The battle was short and bloody. Once the 7 Shadows got involved, the Lunars never had a chance. Darien and Serena died in each other's arms, and the Scouts got their wish - they died trying to kick Beryl's ass. When the battle was over, a much shaken Rusty crawled out of the rubble of the Palace - only to be surrounded by the Four Generals. He saw red. It was not the adorable terrier mix that faced these four, but a snarling, angry, and grieving descendant of the Great Moon Wolves. And he intended to show these murdering bastards that this Dog hadn't lost his Teeth in the process of Evolution.
In an amazingly graceful movement, he leaped, biting Jadeite on the arm. Jadeite fell, screaming and clutching his arm. Rusty jumped off Jadeite and reached for Nephlyte's shoulder tearing into skin and muscle. Knocking him over, Rusty snarled at Zoisite and went for her weakest spot - her face. His claws caused some seriously bloody cosmetic damage. Finally, he made his last leap and landed on top of Malachite. He growled at the General sprawled beneath him and answered the unspoken question of "Why?" in Malachite's eyes, "For Renee. And for Lauren. You Bastard." His claws gouged through Malachite's uniform, leaving long bloody tracks. He reached for the General's throat as Zoisite started to scream. A firm blast of power knocked him off Malachite into the wall. Beryl sneered down at him, "Not quite, puppy."
He managed a growl. Then he heard a voice, a sweet, wonderful, cooling voice. It soothed the anguish in his soul with the promise of revenge. Queen Serenity said simply, "I don't think so." She pointed the Crescent Moon Wand at Beryl and said, "Moon...Cosmic...Power!"
As Beryl, the Generals, and the Negaverse army were sucked into the Crystal with the Shadows, Rusty could have sworn he saw Lauren and Renee laughing at them. Lauren growled, "The stick would have been less painful, Bleach Boy. Next time, don't take your chances." Rusty concluded that he had hit his head too hard when connecting with the wall. He limped over to Queen Serenity and the Cats. Serenity laid a hand on his head and said, "Good Job, Rusty. You showed them." He licked her hand and sat down at her feet.
The Cats looked at Serenity who was silently crying. Luna said, "Your Majesty?"
Serenity shook her head and said, "No Luna. Not anymore," she waved her hand at the Chaos that was all that was left of the Silver Millennium, "I have no kingdom left. The next Queen Serenity will have to forge a new kingdom." The next part was whispered, "Oh Serena, I'm so sorry."
The cats stared at her, uncomprehending. She explained, "The children of the Moon were trapped in the Crystal along with the Negaverse. If I send them to the future, I send this evil along with them. But it's their only chance." She looked to the Guardian Animals and said, "I will send you three with them. They will need you."
Rusty walked over to Luna, "You will not remember the circumstances of this in the future, but this is for Princess Serenity." He dropped a small locket at Luna's feet, "The future will have no need of a Princess Serenity, but the Scouts might find a Sailor Moon to be useful."
Luna gasped. "How...?"
Rusty, his strength slowly fading, said, "Lauren and Renee made it in secret. They were going to give it to the Princess on her 18th birthday, just in case she ever needed it. I have a feeling that she will, now. Please make sure she gets it." With that last, he collapsed.
Luna said, "I swear it will be done."
Artemis muttered, "Pretty damned noble - for a dog."
Luna nodded, then stared at the space above Artemis' head. He whipped his head around and found himself face to face with Lauren and Renee's - ghosts? Lauren smiled, "Ghosts. Shades. Spectres. Call it what you will. We're it." Renee smiled at Serenity, the woman who had been a second mother to them, "We managed to pull a last bit of power together to be here with you. Hope you don't mind?"
Serenity laughed in joy, "Of course not, you imps!"
Renee then looked at her gravely, "Send them to the future. It's the right choice. With our help - they'll beat Beryl. Don't you worry."
Serenity considered this for a moment, then nodded. Lauren said, "We can ride the soul-wave to Earth with them. Don't worry about us." Serenity smiled as Lauren began to dance and chant, "Surfin' on the Soul-Wave! Oh yeah!" Serenity laughed and said, "It's time. Get ready." Lauren snickered, "Got your boogie-board, Renee?" Renee smiled tolerantly at Lauren's antics.
They were off. Halfway to Earth, Rusty caught up with them. They felt a jolt shortly after. Renee said, "Lauren did you feel-" Lauren cut her off, "Yeah, I did."
The jolt had the feel of Beryl's power, they felt themselves slip sideways in an unusual way - not quite sideways. Then they felt a greater power lift them and they individually identified it as the Guardian of the Gate of Time, Setsuna. Sailor Pluto whispered, "I'm sorry my friends. This is the only way I can help you now. You'll find each other again."
Lauren whispered, "Why am I suddenly worried?"
One thousand years later, two babies were born, on a different Earth than Serena's. On May 4th, 1978, Renee Michelle was born to Mr. and Mrs. Markowicz, from Rockville Centre, New York. Two months later, on July 22nd, 1978, Lauren Michelle was born to Dr. and Mrs. Griffin, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When Renee was 10 years old, her parents bought her a puppy - a four month old terrier/retriever mix - which she knew, from the first time she held him in her arms, should be named Rusty.
Eight years later, a chance encounter in a Chorus Class, at the University of Delaware, brought the Moon Mages back together again. And thus, our story begins.