The scouts all gathered together, and the ones who did not know were surprised at seeing the quartet there, and in senshi uniforms. After a brief explanation, they were warmly welcomed into the team. As they were about to break up, a limousine pulled up with an American Flag on one side of the front bumper, and red flag with one star in the middle on the other. Out of it stepped Commodore Ravalli, who was all happy and excited. Gunny Ceres immediately rendered a salute, and the others picked up on the hint and saluted themselves. “I tell you right now, you all have outdone yourselves! Once again, we, and Japan, owe you much, if not the world. However, the reason why I am here is to not only congratulate you, but to tell you that all of you are receiving citations that will require most of you to come to Washington D.C.”
“Does that include us?” bounced Sailor Pallas all happy.
“Um, no, I don’t think so,” said Tuxedo Mask, “I think it was only us who jumped in on the Philippine campaign.”
“Wah! No fair!” sobbed Sailor Pallas, “PallaPalla never gets to go anywhere!”
“Knock it off, will you!” said Sailor Vesta, “That happened before we joined!”
Moon looked over at mask and asked, “Was I that bad at one time?”
“At one time?” teased Mars, to which Moon started to mope a bit as she hid behind Mask and went, “Why do you have to be so mean?”
This got a big laugh from everyone as they asked the details of the trip.
There would be one change, as Minako took her old Sailor V uniform, and instead of packing it away, put it on a hangar, and put it under plastic. She wanted to be able to look at it from time to time to inspire her, and to help her remember what it took for her to be what she was. However, she wanted it handy, because, if the need for her other persona ever came again, she wanted to be able to be Sailor V again, and be a scourge to crime. It was a part of her as much as Sailor Venus, and she never, ever wanted to forget that again!
The trip was slated during the Christmas break so that it would not interfere with school, but before then, another piece of good news arrived. Minako, Makoto, and Tom all thought that the recording career that they had was gone with the destruction of Baron Records and Lin-Lin. However, about a week after their last battle a nice car pulled up to Juban High just as the students were letting out. As it happened the three in question were all coming out together, and out of that car jumped Jin. When they were not sure how to react, he reassured them that it was okay, and then told them that, one week before it all came down; he discovered what was going on, took the tracks, and split. He then found a legal and popular music download site that was looking for artists—new or established—to record for them. This had become a popular trend in the recording world, in that it allowed far more creative control of the groups, and more returns for the artists. It cut out the middle man and greedy producers from the picture, and such things were very popular amongst those that bought the music. He told them about this trio that he had recorded, and he wanted the site to listen and see if they would be useful. The ones that ran the site could not believe what they heard, and they wanted to know who they were. Jin then said, “It was then I realized that you had not named the trio yet. I had to think quickly, and I told them that you were the KAR Juban Trio.”
They looked at each other funny, wondering if such a name would sell. Tom then asked how he came up with such a name, and he said, “I just used the first English letter from each of your last names, and added where you came from, and there is was. Yet, don’t worry about it not selling, because it is unique, and if anyone asks just say it is short for the Kino, Aino, and Reichmann Juban Trio. Now that will get there attention.”
They all hopped in the car and met the agent that would get them in, and they agreed to the new contracts. These contracts were much simpler, because they involved far less people, and it allowed them far more of the royalties. With that they signed, and they were on their way. It was only a matter of weeks, and their songs were climbing the charts.
Soon, it was time for Christmas break, and they were off to Washington D.C. for a special ceremony. While on the flight, they were shocked to hear that they were going to the White House and meet the President himself. They all went as the scouts and Tuxedo Mask, and they were nervous. They could not understand why the President would want to do the awarding, but the commodore knew well why, and did not tell them to keep it all a secret. Once they landed, they had the chance to freshen up, and they were ushered into a room filled with the press, secret service agents, and a few congressmen and senators. The President was introduced, and everyone stood in respect. Once they were asked to sit, he made his speech. He spoke of times in American History where people who had absolutely no stake in the history of the nation stepped up and made a defense of that nation with their lives, asking nothing in return. He spoke of the integrity, bravery, and honor that people like that possessed, and that such things should never be forgotten and always rewarded. He then spoke of the Sailor Scouts. He had come to learn of their history, how they formed, and how that they were youths that just felt a duty to their fellow man to put their lives on the line on a constant basis. He then spoke of the one evening that that sense of duty expanded beyond the borders of their own nation, and they came to the aid of The United States, not once, but twice. He then told of their adventures in the Philippines and in Australia to fight for the well-being of those places, and that they had shown that they cared about the safety and freedom of all people. He said then that such things should not go unrewarded. The story was then put forth how, in the Philippine campaign, that they had been recruited by need into the United States Navy, and that they were now essentially American Citizens as well. Because of this, they were now able to receive the awards they had for them.
Before that happened, they were all briefed on what to do when receiving the awards, how to salute properly, and other needful things. Now, once the President finished speaking, they all lined up across the front of the lectern and began to receive the awards. The first thing that happened was that they all received Bronze Stars for their service for defending the base in Japan from terrorist attack. Then, everyone, except for three of them, received the Silver Star for their role in the Philippine campaign, and then came the big surprise. He came up with two Teutonic looking crosses with rounded ends and leaves in the corners, with an image of a barque etched into the middle of them, hanging off a blue ribbon with a white stripe in the middle of them. He stepped up to Saturn, and a navy officer read, “For extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force and going beyond the call of duty, the Navy awards Lieutenant Sailor Saturn with the Navy Cross. On October 12th of this year, with total and complete disregard for her own personal safety and in the heat of combat during the Philippine campaign, Sailor Saturn thrust herself before the leader of the enemy force to prevent his escape. Her actions helped insure a complete victory for her team, and complete defeat of the enemy to the extent that they can never rise again. This reflects great credit upon herself, the Sailor Scouts, and the United States Navy.”
The award was pinned onto her, and she took the certificate in the special holder, shook the President’s hand, and saluted as he moved along.
He then came up to Sailor Moon, and again, the officer read, “For extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force and going beyond the call of duty, the Navy awards to Admiral and Princess Serenity, known to her teammates as Sailor Moon, the Navy Cross. On October 12th of this year, with total and complete disregard for her own personal safety, Sailor Moon, though in a position of command, led a direct assault against overwhelming forces, and by her face-to-face actions against that foe, aided in liberating the city of Manila before it could be completely destroyed. Later that evening, she aided Sailor Saturn in defeating in a direct bodily attack of the enemy’s leader, and prevented him from doing further harm to her teammates. Her actions reflect great credit upon herself, the Sailor Scouts, and the United States Navy.”
They went through the same rigmarole, but she did fumble it a bit, much to the amusement of the witnesses.
Finally, a pillow was brought up with a medal that was very different than the others, and this one was designed to be slung around the neck. The medal itself was a five pointed star with the point downward, with a ring of stars in the middle, and the image of Lady Liberty striking a blow against a cowering foe as he tried to get away. That hung from an anchor that hung from a sky blue square with a cluster of 13 stars. From that came the ribbons that would hang the medal around his neck, also sky blue and star spangled. He stood before Ceres, and then one of the senators took over the reading. He said, “For Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, the Congress of the United States awards to Gunnery Sergeant Ceres the Medal of Honor. On October 12th of this year, with total and complete disregard for his own personal safety, while aiding in leading a spearhead on an enemy encampment, Ceres and his teammates, with swiftness and expertise, secured the defenses of the enemy, and allowed for the ease of the final assault on the enemy encampment. From there, he charged into the fray to do direct conflict with the enemy, and took a serious wound while protecting Sailor Saturn. Despite the wound, he continued in direct conflict with the enemy leader, and then took a rapier thrust directly in order to slay said foe, and protect Sailor Moon who dove in to protect his life from loss at that moment. By only what can be described as a miracle, he survived his nearly mortal wounds. His actions brought about the final defeat of this enemy. His actions reflect great credit to himself, The Sailor Scouts, and the United States Navy.”
As this was being read, the President was putting the medal around his neck, and when the reading was done, the room erupted into applause for the whole squad as they turned around to acknowledge the crowd and to face the photographers. However, when that was done, they were ushered out, that they did not have to face the press. The reason for this was that they felt that all the press needed to know was that they were a special force for the Navy, and that was all they needed to know! The President, however, met with them, and told them that they should be prepared for any special missions from this day forward that dealt with the kind of foe that they normally faced, because he knew well that only the scouts could cope with this foe. After a luncheon with the President, they all went home. However, Ceres did not seem too thrilled. When he was asked why, he said, “Well, I was told that this would be on my record, but with a piece of paper clipped to conceal it from all those that did not have the right to see it, and those were only me, and those set under a ‘need to know’ basis. That means that I can wear the ribbon on my uniform, and everyone will have to salute me. That’s not going to be fun having to deal with the drill instructors in OCS with that already on my record.”
“Then don’t wear it there, and don’t say anything,” said Sailor Moon, “If they don’t need to know, then why should they?”
“They may call you a ditz, but you really don’t show it to me!” said Ceres.
Sailor Moon smiled at this, and cuddled close to Tuxedo Mask, happy to know she had such great friends.
We now advance about two years into the future. By that point, Chibiusa had returned to the future, and because they would he her guards, the Amazoness Quartet went with them. When they arrived, Chibiusa resumed her flight training, proudly wearing her Bronze and Silver Star on her uniform as the quartet joined her in that same training. They would be her four wingmen. The KAR Juban Trio wound up a smash hit, and they spent their free time in the studio when they were not at the skate park or surfing, but they wanted to wait until they were out of school before they toured. In fact, touring would have to wait until certain obligations were tended to with Tom, and then when his leave allowed him to. They had three hit albums and many hit singles, and they were a group in demand. The love between Tom and Makoto began to blossom further, and there was a talk of marriage somewhere in the next year after Tom finished his school. Speaking of school in general, everyone graduated on time. Although she only had a B- average, Usagi did graduate in the bottom of the top quarter of her class, which was better than she was expected to do by many. She then was to attend college, but she was going to wed Mamoru the December after her graduation, and then start in the spring semester. Ami had already graduated by the time she was finished with school at the end of this tale, and because of her extra studies, she passed all the exams that would get her a college degree and allow her to start medical school. By the time Usagi was close to being wed, she would be into her third year of med school. Rei turned to her position as a Shinto priestess, and spent most of her time trying to perfect her psychic abilities in between shopping with her friends or helping to plan a wedding. We now see the inner scouts with Mamoru sitting in their favorite café, but so different.
Usagi was looking at a bridal magazine and talking it over with Mamoru, and she could not help but look around. Despite their fame, Minako and Makoto dressed rather conservatively, although Makoto had outgrown the tomboy side of her image, and really did look feminine in the way she had always desired. Rei, when not shopping or going out on a social call, always seemed to be wearing the uniform of the priestess. She had gone full time, and she just felt more comfortable in those than anything else—outside of her “other” uniform. Ami dressed as she always had, although it sometimes involved wearing the white doctor’s smock when she was doing time in the college clinic as part of her curriculum. They all seemed at ease, and it seemed so odd to see them like this, although, at that moment, she began to see them in their junior high uniforms, and as they looked when they first met. She then blinked and shook her head, and they were back as they were. Minako could not help but notice this, and she said, “Are you okay, Usa-chan?”
“Funny,” she said, “For a minute there, it looked like we were all back in middle school again.”
“Please!” exclaimed Rei, “I am so glad we don’t have to wear those school uniforms anymore. I didn’t realize how strangling they were until I graduated. It is so much better this way.”
“I wonder how Tom is doing?” asked Usagi.
“Well, you know he’s coming back here soon,” said Makoto, “He’s getting stationed here for as long as he cares for it, and I can’t wait. It should be soon. He sent me a letter.”
Everyone leaned in as she began to read: “Dear Mako-chan…I cannot wait until we are together again, and not just you and me, but the trio, as well as the whole team. I tell you, training was interesting. Normally, OCS is quite a rough experience for people, but for me, not so much. After having faced the things that we have over the years I’ve been a part of the scouts, this was a cakewalk! Fighting crime, terrorists, and the occasional alien that has delusions of grandeur make this seem like nothing. When I arrived in Newport, those drill instructors were all over us. Even though there was also navy there, they used the Marine Corps drills for the job. However, I had all I could do to keep from laughing, considering that they could not look nearly as intimidating as what I have faced before this! They were more annoying than anything else. However, they sure changed their tune the day I got my butter bar pinned on me! Suddenly it was “yes sir, no sir, and three bags full sir!” What was even more fun was when I was wearing my dress blues for graduation and wore my full medals on my chest. When the saw that “little blue one” around my neck, the freaked! They screamed, at first, “You can’t wear those!”
I then said, “Ah, excuse me, sergeant, but talk with the commandant: he’ll show you my file, and I do think you shall change your tune.”
All he could do is say, “Yes, sir,” considering that he was not about to question someone that was now his superior. Anyway, I should be back in time for the wedding, and I hope that the trio will be allowed to be the band for the reception.”
She stopped, and Usagi said, all anxious, “Is there more?”
She hesitated, smiled a touch, looked at her from the corner of her eyes, and said, “Um…the rest is personal—not for public viewing.”
“Aw, no fair!” pouted Usagi, to which Makoto laughed, patted her head, and said, “That’s our Usagi, don’t you ever change!”
Meanwhile, a mild stir came up with the entrance of a familiar face that now looked do different in the outfit that he now wore. As they looked at the menus out of habit that they had to have memorized by that point, they didn’t see the approach of this person, who then put his hand next to Makoto’s, and then laid a red ribbon across the two wrists as he sung, “If the army and the navy, were to look on heaven’s scenes; they would find those streets are guarded by United States Marines!”
Makoto was on her feet swiftly as she spun around and gave him a great big kiss with a tight embrace. Just as fast, the others were up and hugging the two of them—Makoto and Tom—happy to see their old friend and teammate. “You look so handsome in that uniform!” screamed Usagi.
“I think so too!” said Makoto, with romantic overtones. However, it was about to become more interesting, as Tom said, “Now that I have settled in, and we have our singing career, as well as me having my commission, I think I can now safely do this.”
He got on one knee and opened a jewel box as he asked, “Makoto Kino, will you marry me?”
She screamed a happy scream, and said yes by smothering his face with kisses. Usagi then said, “It can be a dual marriage, then!”
“Well, there is the matter of paperwork, licenses,” said Tom, “Although it would not be so bad because she is technically a U.S. citizen as well as one of Japan…” and he stopped to see the pouty look on Usagi’s face, and he said, “Fine—we’ll work it out; it will be a dual wedding!”
Everyone applauded, and Minako said, “Do you think we’ll be together forever?”
Usagi smiled and said, “I cannot see why not!”
As the house brought over free drinks and sweets to celebrate, Usagi began to think, “My name is Usagi Tsukino, age 18, and soon to be wife and college student…and a bit of a crybaby—that’s all. Yet, that’s really not all. I am the pretty soldier in the sailor suit, guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon, and that’s alright. At one time, I ran from it, but now, it is so much me, I don’t know where one stops, and one starts. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, for when I am Usagi, I don’t feel so strong. But when I am Sailor Moon, I can do anything. If this is how it is supposed to be, then the future looks good to me. For all those that would seek to stop this, then, in the name of the moon, you shall be punished, for I am Sailor Moon, and that’s alright!”