Notes:This is a sequel to "Inside Reflections". You don't have to haveread it to understand this but it would help. You can find it at myweb page http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Flats/1874. This istold in first person. This story has veered away from the Mangaand has gone in a new direction. I have decided to make a seriescalled "Discoveries". This story and "Inside Reflections" arethe first installments in it. Please send your comments email@example.com.Special Thanks goes to my mother. Without her editorial help mystories would not have come together. Thanks Mom!Disclaimers- Serenity, the Senshi and all other names, places andthings associated with Sailor Moon is copyrighted by Naoko Takeuchi,Kodansha, Toei Animation and a lot of other people. The story belongsto me, Connie Somerville Kotkin, though.Now to the story. Discoveries - Afterthoughts "Nothing last forever. The future is not set in stone." After all the fights and struggle I finally have what I have longedfor. Peace. Everyone is alive and well and we can finally live our livesthe way we want. I should be happy and content. I'm not. Everyone hasgone back to leading ordinary lives except for me. It is impossible forme to go back to being the person I was before. No longer am I TsukinoUsagi, I am now more than that, I am Serenity, Princess of the SilverMillennium and heir to the throne, the Eternal Senshi, and my future isalready set for me. Soon I am to marry Endymion, cleanse the Earth, create CrystalTokyo, rule Earth, and have a daughter. It is all laid out for me and allI have to do now is wait around for it all to happen. But what if I don't want to do it? Did anyone ask me what I wanted?No, my mother sent me here and from then on my path was set and therewould be no turning back. I never had a say on what I want do do with mylife. It is very frustrating, not being able to decide what I want to do with my life. When I spoke to Rei, Minako, Mako, and Ami about these longings theycould not understand. They said it was my destiny and that there was nothingI could do to change it. I could tell that they wanted to help but they did notreally understand. They have accepted their destiny as I have not. They have more freedom than I do because of that. Yes, they must protect me but I amthe one who is set in a mold and who bears the burden of power. They can beand do whatever they want. They don't know what the future holds for them, only that they will protect me. I envy them that. Recently I have been spending more time with Setsuna, Hotaru, Michiru,and Haruka. I feel more comfortable with them than I do with the others. I havegotten very close to all of them especially, Hotaru and Setsuna. All three of us have duties we never asked for, our futures set. That has made us very close.They know what has happened to me and understand what I am going throughwhile the others, Mamoru included, don't. With them, I can be myself and talkabout problems. It is very hard to tell your royal guard and the man you aredestined to marry that you don't want to follow the course set out for you. ButSetsuna and the others understand. Also, things have not been going well with my relationship with Mamoru.It is not because of him, he treats me better than he ever has, but because ofme. I don't know why, but I don't feel the way I used to towards him. I stilllove him, but something has changed. Nothing can ever be the same again,because I have changed inside.----------------------------------------- The wind blows through my hair as I sit on the hill that looks downtowardsthe sea. We have all decided to go for a little trip to the sea for a week.We justgot here an hour ago and now I sit here enjoying the wind and the cool crispocean breezes. Down below Haruka, Rei, Mamoru, and Minako are having awater fight. Mako and Hotaru are laying out in the sun, Ami is reading andMichiru is painting the sea. Luna and Artemis are running around buggingeveryone like they always do. They are all having a good time together. I needed to get away so I came up here to sit. I have been doing that often,going off by my self to think. I like being alone, by myself I can pretend thatmy life is my own to do with as I wish. My thoughts are interrupted when some one sits beside me, Setsuna. Weare alike in many ways. We both like the solitude and we both have duties thatdictate our lives. "Do you ever wish you could just be free and do what you want with yourlife without the shackles of duty and destiny?" I ask her. "Of course I do." she replies. "That was my greatest wish when I wasat my post in both the future and past. Now, when I have been given part ofwhat I wanted, being able to fight with you and being able to live a normallifeI have realized that I could go back and do my duty." "What do you mean? How could you go back after having that freedom?"I question her. She looks out across the sea. "I could go back now because it is myduty.But also I know that if I want to I can let it all go and chose my ownpath. It ismy duty and destiny yes, but only if I make it that," she says. There is a long silence as I think about what she has said. Herwords havea big impact on me. After a while she speaks again. "Guarding time is my duty and alwayswill be, but that does not mean that I can not make my own destiny and livefree from it. It is my life to do with as I please. Just like yours belongs toyou." I turn and look at her. "Do you love Endymion?" I ask. She looks back at me. We stare into each other's eyes and I knowthe secretshe has kept inside. "I never have loved him." she responds. "I loved theidea ofhaving someone like him in my life and I loved him as my King the same way Iloved you. But wanting a relationship with him that was something I neverwanted.I love some one else and always will," she looks away, tears in her eyes asthereare in mine. I know who she is talking about and we both know that nothing willcome of it. "I'm sorry Setsuna," I say as I hug her. We stay that way for along momentuntil we are both composed. "What of you Serenity, do you love Endymion?" "A part of me does and always will. To that part he will always bethe onlyone for me." I respond "But there is another part of me that is not contentwithhim and my destiny. I long to make my own choices and plot my own course. ButI know that can never be and so I am content with what is to come." I turn awayand look at the sky. "I want to be free." Setsuna stands in front of me. "Princess," she says "the future isnot set.Crystal Tokyo is one of many different possible futures and now, because ofyourfight with Khaos and your acceptance of yourself as Serenity and Usagi, it hasall changed. Only you can decide what your future will be. You can do whateveryou want with your life." I stand up, excitement shinning in my eyes. The future is not set.I remembermy mother telling me that on the moon. I carry it inside of me. "The future is not clear to me now but I do know that no matterwhat youdo it will all turn out well in the end. Crystal Tokyo or something like itcan comeat anytime whenever you want it to. So go out and live the life you wantto, without fear of what is to come. You will be making up your future as you go." I feel as if a burden has been lifted off me. I am no longer boundby what isto come. I can live my life as I chose. I am free. "I am not the only one who is free," I look down to the beach were theother's are. Hotaru glances up at me and smiles. "We are all free Setsuna." Westand watching the sun set. The pinks and lavender fill the sky. Hotarujoins usand together we watch as the moon rises in the sky. It shines down on me and Ifeel like my mother is there watching me. I remember what she told me beforethe Silver Millennium was destroyed, "Nothing last forever daughter. Thefuture is not set in stone. You are the heir and one day will have theresponsibilitiesof protecting what you hold dear. When you become Queen your life will notbelongsolely to you. But until that time dear, live your life to the fullest." "I will mother, I promise," I think. As night settles upon us I turn to Hotaru and Setsuna. "Come on. We have our lives to start living." They smile at me and weall laugh as we run down to join the others. Suddenly the future looks bright.