Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor moon. It belongs to Naoko Takeuchi/Toei Animation.
5. Master and apprentice
Outer's mansion, living room
Setsuna was sitting in the living room, staring into nothingness and thinking hard. That kiss was.. something. It had provoked emotions which Setsuna had tried to dug six feet under these past years. It looked like her spade had broken because she couldn't put them back under ground. All she could think was the feeling of Yui's soft lips on hers and her own reaction; how she had deepened the kiss though she should have broken it. She had never before lost her self control like that. It looked like she was falling for that girl and hard. Now she just have to think ways to banish that kinds of thoughts and submit to her lonely destiny. 'That will be hard once you've tasted the heaven..' Setsuna thought depressed.
She also thought about yesterday and how it had changed her life, as it seemed now, perminately. Even if Yui would stay only couple of years, she would become her boss after that and that was pretty interesting fact. She would have to put up this facade for the rest of her life (which was VERY long). The thought was absolutely paralysing. Not to mention that they have to pretend to be lovers for years. It would be even harder to control her mind when SHE was so close. 'Oh, what on Earth I have gotten myself into?' she thought banging her head on a decoration pillow. Then she heard the front door opening and ceased her self destructive activity.
''Hello! We are home!'' Hotaru shouted still feeling a bit seasick.
''Hi! I'm in the living room.'' Setsuna shouted back and tried to pull herself together.
Hotaru appeared in the doorway with Yui who was carrying two packs.
''Did you have good time? And more importantly, did the Inners behave themselves?'' Setsuna asked Hotaru.
''Yes and yes. I'm gonna go and do my homework now.'' Hotaru replied happily and went to her room, leaving Yui and Setsuna alone.
''So did you enjoy your shopping trip?''
''Yes, it was fun! Thanks for encouraging me to go. And the girls are really nice once you get to know them.'', Yui said smiling and then blushed when she remembered something, ''Even though they forced me to buy this to you. I'm so sorry, I didn't know what to do 'cause they think we're a couple.'' she said and gave Setsuna a small packet.
Very cautiously Setsuna opened the packet and found black strings with small printed text saying 'Yui's property' in red letters. Setsuna's jaw dropped and she was certain she would die then and there. Yui looked like she wanted the earth to swallow her and leave no trace. The gift looked like the handiwork of a certain love senshi. 'Oh, I'm gonna get her for this..' Setsuna thought shaken.
''I wouldn't even give that to you if I didn't know that they will ask you about it the next time they see you. Sorry, I will pay for those and everything when I get a job.'' Yui rambled beet red.
''Umm..oh..don't worry about it. This was my treat. Um, thank you for the gift.'' Setsuna said holding her blush with all her will power.
Just right on the cue Haruka appeared at the living room doorway and Setsuna didn't react fast enough to hide her 'present'. It took Haruka few moments to realise what was happening, but when she realized that Yui had given Setsuna strings as a present her eyes lit and she prepared to say something really smart and proper.
''Oh, no no no Haruka! You won't! Michiru help!! Haruka is at it again!'' Setsuna shouted and hoped that the senshi of sea was in the house.
Terrified expression spread all over Haruka's face and she said in disbelief:''I can't believe you Setsuna! I didn't even say anything! That was so cruel and unfair!''
''Yeah, that was my point!'' Setsuna said irritated.
''HA-RU-KA-TE-NOH!!!'' Michiru shouted from the upstairs.
''Oh, no! Here we go again...'' Haruka whimpered and looked for a place to hide and decided to go to carage and hid under the car, maybe Michiru wouldn't look there. As if.
Setsuna sighed relieved as Haruka disappeared from the doorway.
''They have pretty rough relationship, don't they?'' Yui asked in awe as they saw Michiru looking for Haruka with rolling pin in her hands.
''Well, they're really passionate. But Haruka doesn't mean anything bad with those things she says and Michiru doesn't hit Haruka as hard it may seem, merely pokes. It is like a game for them which they both enjoy. Michiru said to me once that it keeps their relationship fresh and exciting.''
''Oh! I'm so glad to hear that. Even though that kind of thing wouldn't be my cup of tea. At all.'' Yui said smiling.
''Yes, I know what you mean.'' Setsuna said with a little smile as she hid her 'present' to prevent further embarassments and confrontations.
''So do you feel up to your first lesson about you know what?'' Setsuna asked thinking the sooner they started the more she could teach.
''Oh, sure! That would be cool!'' Yui beamed.
''Um..glad to see your excited. We better go to my room to be sure.''
When she rouse to her feet she saw smirking Michiru and Haruka at the doorway, oddest expressions on their faces and they were obviously holding back laughter. 'Oh no! How long they've been listening, or do I even need to ask?' she thought depressed.
''Don't worry guys, Hotaru left to see a friend and we are going out to dinner, so you got the whole house to yourselves so you don't necessarily need to use your room.'' Haruka said helpfully and even Michiru was smirking.
'This is just great and I have to put this up for god knows how long..' Setsuna thought and said ''Thanks guys, you're as helpful as ever. Now let's go Yui.''
''Wow they're really eager.'' Michiru commented as she and Haruka watched Setsuna dragging Yui to upstairs.
''Yeah, and their bed talk sounds really weird.'' Haruka added.
Once they were in their room, door locked and double checked Setsuna sighed in relief as Yui put down her shopping.
''Did they think that we were going to have-'' Yui asked.
''Yes.'' Setsuna said quickly before Yui could finish her sentence.
''Oh, hehehehee. They're funny.'' Yui said laughing a bit.
It was the first time since she had met Yui that Setsuna saw her laughing and she liked the sound of it.
''I'm glad they don't bother you.''
''Oh, not at all. I'm liking them more and more all the time.'' Yui admitted.
''Nice to hear. Now down to business.'' Setsuna said and transformed into Sailor pluto.
''Wow that is so cool! Can I do that do?'' Yui asked eagerly.
''I'm afraid you don't have a transformation, you just are the Time.'' Setsuna answered.
''Oh, how boring.'' Yui pouted.
''But you have really... cool... mark on your forehead and a staff which you use to channel your powers with.'' Setsuna tried to console.
''Really? Where's my staff?'' Yui said her eyes brightening.
''You have to summon it.''
''You are its owner and master and you must bend it to your will. Order it to come forth.'' Setsuna tried to explain.
''Um..ok..'' Yui said sounding everything else but sure.
''Its okay. Just try it.'' Setsuna encouraged and Yui nodded.
''Okay here we go: Hey, you crappy old time stick! Come here right now or I will kick the crap out of your sorry little ass!!'' Setsuna nearly fell off a cliff when hearing that, luckily there were no cliffs.
''How it went?'' Yui asked excitedly.
''Um..well..you have to be a bit more polite, even though you are its master it still have a mind of its own. It actually has a name. And that name is....''
*Drums* *Audience its holding breath* *fanfares*
''The Time Staff.'' Setsuna pronounced dramatically and Yui fell over comically.
''Oh, okay. How original.'' Yui said scratching the back of her head.
Yui tried to concentrate, she tried to feel the same power she had felt when she had escaped the creature yesterday. The wheel of zodiac appeared on her forehead once again. Setsuna smiled satisfied.
''Oh, The Time Staff, I the future Khronos, god of time, command thee, come forward.'' Yui said in commanding and firm tone and stretched out her hand.
A four feet (A/N: about 1,2 m) long staff appeared in Yui's hand. It looked liked it was made of wood but it was as hard as stone. It had a round stone on the other end and when you watched closely you could see it looked like a human eye with green iris, on the other side was dial, showing the True Time. There was a golden ring going round the stone and many little hourglasses were attached to the ring.
''YEEAH! O-OH, I DID IT! HOW COOL!!!'' Yui screamed happily waving the staff around and almost knocking Setsuna's lights off.
Setsuna prayed that the others had left already and didn't hear Yui's burst of emotions, god knows what they'd think she and Yui were doing by the sound of that.
''Congratulations, this was the first step on your long path to divinity.'' Setsuna said to Yui gracefully.
''Ehe, thanks. Now how I use this?'' she asked impatiently.
''We can try it now. Remember the place where I found you yesterday?'' Yui nodded for answer.
''It is the Gates of time, which guardian I am among other things. We can try to get there. There we can practise in peace, no one will bother us and if will, well, I have to blow them up anyway. Lets go.''
''O-okay.'' Yui replied thinking about yesterday and how near death she had been.
Setsuna raised her staff and prepaired to leave.
''H-hey wait, how can I get there?'' Yui asked worriedly
Setsuna turned to look at Yui.
''You're the time itself. All living things, including myself, can be seen in time, if you want them to be seen. So basicly, you just have to want to see me and come after me. Its simplier to you to move in time than it is for me, because the time is you and you are the time.''
Yui didn't quite understand at all what Setsuna was saying but she followed her anyway, just stopping to look herself on the mirror with the staff and the cool shining mark on her forehead. She stepped after Setsuna thinking all the time how she didn't want to lose the sight of her. She actually could feel the time, though she knew it sounded stupid but she felt it alright. It was all around her, it was in her, it was her, and she was everywhere. She moved in it, she moved with it, and it somehow opened before her, allowing her to do what she wanted in it. It felt like the time whispered her all the time, communicating in subconscious level and she answered to it without even knowing it. It really was her element, they became one. And then she was there, at the Gates of time. Setsuna was standing amongst the mist, waiting for her.
Time vortex, the Gates of time
''Good job! Your starting to get a hang of it.'' Setsuna praised her.
''Yeah! It was great! As if I became one with time.'' Yui explained happily.
Setsuna nodded smiling.
''Now I want to find my family, how I do that?'' Yui asked suddenly dead serious.
''What?'' Setsuna blurted out.
''You heard me, I want to find my family with these powers. Its awful to know there is people who loved you and raised but not being able to remember who they were, or who your friends were. I want to find them.''
''Yui, I'm really sorry but that isn't possible. Once that kind of thing is done, it can not be undone. All the strings you and your family had, have been broken and can not be fixed anymore. Not even by you. I'm sorry.'' Setsuna said sadly.
''Oh..okay.. But don't be sorry. Its not your fault.'' Yui said disappointed.
''What kind of family you have? You know beside the senshi?'' Yui asked after a moment of silence..
''You know that I'm old, right?'', Yui nodded, ''I'm really really old, and centuries and centuries ago I had to watch as my family and friends were slain in a war which made no sense. I was unable to do anyhing to help them because of my duty. Because of my job. Because of my destiny. At the time, it tore me apart.'' Setsuna confessed sounding sad and Yui regretted asking.
''I'm sorry, I didn't know.''
''Don't worry about it. Past is past and now I have a chance to new life like the rest of us.'' Setsuna said smiling a bit.
Yui nodded understandingly and decided to change the subject: ''Um..Setsuna...what exactly are my powers? I mean what I can do?''
''Well, you're the time. You are everywhere, you are everything. Everything and everyone that moves in time are under your control. You can't create life and you can't destroy life but you oversee and control everything and everyone's journey through time. You keep the wheel of time turning one might say. And you keep sure no one tries to abuse the flow of time and I'm actually your soldier in that apartment. You can interfear in the flow of time but as a god of time you'll know that is forbidden. Basicly, you're duty is making sure the flow of time never stops. It includes much more and we're going to go to that later on, your education is going to take long time.'' she said ending her monologue.
''So basicly I could do anything I liked, but I can't because it's forbidden and unmoral and might throw all existence into disorder?''
''Something like that.''
''Damn, this must be the most boring job in the world.'' she muttered.
''Well, but it has its benefits, you know the palace and all. Would you like to see my place? We can have a cup of tea while I tell you more.'' Setsuna proposed.
''Sure!'' Yui said, her eyes brightening.
Setsuna led Yui into the mist and after some walking Yui saw a house, or a manor more likely. She watched fascinated as its emerged amongst the mist, bit by bit. When they reached the entrance of the manor, Setsuna opened the door and let Yui in.
''Welcome to my humble house'' she said and winked.
''Thanks. Um, how..I mean who made this? And how? You?'' Yui asked in awe as she looked around in the western style decorated hallway.''
''No, I didn't do this. Actually Khronos made it for me when I became Sailor Pluto and the new guardian. I have no idea how he did it. I guess he makes new one to suit different guardians. You have to ask it from himself if you meet him someday.'' Setsuna explained.
''Well, it surely looks nice. Do you like it?'' Yui asked curiously.
''Actually I do. I'm a amazed that kind of bum, as he is, managed to create something like this.''
Yui was shocked by Setsuna's choice of words and she asked: ''What do you mean 'bum'?''
''Er...forget, just a joke. Now let's make some tea.'' Setsuna said trying to avoid the subject, it wasn't necessarily to Yui to know what kind of lazy old begger he's predecessor was. She certainly shouldn't follow his example.
While drinking tea, curiosity once again took Yui over, ''So what exactly are your skills? What can you do?''
''Besides my offensive sailor attacks (which I can also use protecting time and this place), I can travel through time as you know, I can read people's timelines and I can stop one person's flow through time or I can stop everything, you know stop the time itself.''
''What?! You can stop the time?! You can stop me?'' Yui asked in awe.
''Uh..yes. But it is a taboo and I'm not supposed to do that.''
''Well have you broken it?'' Yui asked curiously.
''Eh..yes, once.'' Setsuna admitted.
''I had to save my friends lives, Michiru and Haruka's, they weren't supposed to die then. I thought that the faith of mankind was bound to their survival, and in a way it was. Boy was Khronos then angry with me, if there's one thing he doesn't like, then it is being stopped. He actually destroyed my earthly body for punishment. But he soon forgave me and I was needed back on Earth so I got a permission to get another one.'' Setsuna said smiling to the once horrible, now just funny, memory.
''This all is so weird and confusing.'' Yui said smiling confused.
''Yeah, I know. However I needed to talk to you about something. You know I said I can read people's timelines, meaning I can see all the possible futures that can happen to that certain person and predict what might happen to that person in the future. Are you following me?'' Yui nodded for answer and Setsuna continued: ''It is not simple nor easy and seldomly it is clear or unambiguous because all the choices we make creates new paths we could take and new choices appear all the time, at least it helps me to see possible threaths. Sometimes I consider it as a burden but I don't have to do it if I don't want to and I use it only to make sure nothing is threating the peace of Earth or my friends.''
Yui nodded thinking why Setsuna was telling this to her, not that she didn't consider it fascinating.
''You see, the thing is that I can not see yours nor Khronos' timelines, he had prevented it because he doesn't like the idea I could guard him like that. It actually just makes my job of protecting him harder and I have to trust my instincts to be sure he's not in any danger. But I think you have the right to know about this and decide for yourself whether or not you want to be invisible in the timeline. If you let me see you, it's easier for me to protect you but you don't have to if you're not comfortable with it. You see, in order to make you visible I have to look into your soul and-''
''Do it.'' Yui said straightforwardly.
''Excuse me?'' Setsuna asked shocked.
''Do it. I don't want to experience that what happened to me ever again.'' Yui explained.
''Doesn't it bother you that I can see into your soul? Yui, it means I will see everything, your emotions, fears and so on.''
''I trust you. You wouldn't hurt me, would you?''
''Of course not.'' Setsuna answered instantly.
''That's settled then. Now what we have to do?'' Yui asked eagerly.
''Well I haven't actually done this before but I know what I'm supposed to do. Don't be afraid no matter what I do, just relax and open your mind.'' Setsuna explained.
Yui nodded and closed her eyes trying to calm down, while Setsuna was concentrating on her garnet orb staff asking it to reveal her Yui's timeline. Yui gasped in surprised as she felt Setsuna's hand on her chest. She opened her eyes to see Setsuna's hand disappearing inside of her chest and touching her heart, both of their symbols burned in bright light same as the spot where Setsuna's hand disappeared inside her. To describe the feeling odd would be an understatement. Yui fought back a scream of horror as she felt herself somehow revealed as Setsuna hold her life force in her hand. Against her will she grapped Setsuna's arms as if fearing for her life. Setsuna looked her soothingly but Yui just tightened her grip. Then she felt it. Or saw it. Setsuna's soul. She knew that Setsuna was supposed to see hers, not other way round but she couldn't stop it. It all flooded into her mind. Setsuna's past, all the uncountable years of absolute loneliness flowed through her mind like a tidal wave, Setsuna's emotions, Setsuna's fears, Setsuna's thoughts, everything. It was too much and Yui passed out.
Setsuna managed to see into Yui's soul and open Yui's timeline for her to see. Then Yui passed out. She had no idea if that was supposed to happen. She pulled out of her hand from Yui's chest and took Yui into her arms and carried her on the sofa. She laid her gently on it and took a seat beside. Setsuna sighed in relief, it had taken more from her than she had expected, and it was emotionally consuming. All the emotions Yui kept to herself, all her weaknesses, all the fears she had about her situation and about herself about everything, and the fact she didn't remember her past, which bothered her much more than she let on. It felt really odd to know that kinds of things about someone, things they wouldn't want anyone to know. Well, Setsuna had suggested this so it was her job to deal with it and not burden Yui about it. She must feel even more horrible knowing that someone knows all her deeepst thoughts.
Yui stirred a bit and opened her eyes slowly. At times like this she actually looked a bit like princess Kakyuu.
''Uuh..what happened?'' Yui said and rose to sit.
''I managed to reveal your timeline and you passed out. How are you feeling?'' Setsuna said
''Okay. Glad it worked.'' Yui said hesitantly.
''So what's going to happen next in my life?'' Yui asked eyes brightening.
''I can not tell. It's also part of my job not to reveal things about future.'' Setsuna said smiling mysteriously.
''You know this work is really boring.'' Yui whined.
Setsuna smiled and helped Yui up.
''Yeah, I know, but in the end, it's worth it. If it wasn't I wouldn't have sacrificed so much for it.'' Setsuna said smiling understandingly.
Yui smiled back to her and they left Setsuna's manor to return back to outer's mansion.
A/N: I figured out Setsuna must have a place to stay if she had to guard the Gates of time. I think she wouldn't have been sleeping in the mist, on a cold floor etc. so this was my version and interpretation about that.
In the next chapter Khronos is going to be back on the track.