A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Elsa Bibat
A story set in "A Dance Set to the Music of Time" sequence
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC. This is used without permission.
This disclaimer also applies to several intellectual properties referred to in the text. Please be guided accordingly.
It wasn't exactly the most romantic of places. The top floor of an ordinary Japanese school was normally empty, save for the air-conditioning units. There were bars and railings to stop any student from falling off, if they somehow managed to end up here. But being a lonely spot, it was a particularly favored place for couples who wanted to be alone. Like the two who were there now.
They were quite a well-matched pair, roughly equal in height. The young girl was blonde and had her hair cut short; but her beauty could still be seen, though there was a bit of a boyish slant to it. One who didn't know any better might have mistaken her for a handsome teenaged boy. With the yellow dress she was wearing that mistake would probably never be made. It hugged her in all the right places, while still being modest, the hemline reaching down to her knees and the long sleeves covered her arms up to the wrist. A small gold cross was dangling from her neck.
Contrasted with his companion, the boy's clothing was rather bland. Simple black slacks, a white shirt, jacket and a pair of leather shoes completed the ensemble. He was also reasonably handsome, though there was something that looked a bit effeminate in those handsome features, the styled black hair, and those dark blue eyes of his.
They were a well-matched pair all right, but as if the roles were reversed. The young girl's strength and confidence were clear in her posture and the way she leaned on the railing, a great contrast with her companion, who exuded a somewhat submissive pose. To be harsh, he looked like a wimp. One could also see the way he looked at his partner as they both leaned against the railing and watched the sunset, that there were things about him that a person wouldn't guess at first sight.
He watched the red-gold light of the setting sun play in his companion's hair and the way it made the small golden crucifix on her necklace glow as if on fire. The young girl noticed this and looked at him with a crooked smile.
"A hundred yen for your thoughts."
"I would think that my thoughts would cost a bit more, 'Ruka," the teenaged boy said with a smile.
The girl chuckled at this and stopped leaning on the railing, straightening up. "Well, you were either doing that loving look thing of yours again, or you were ogling my breasts, 'Roshi."
The teenager blushed a bit at what she said. "I wasn't ogling your breasts, Haruka. It isn't my fault if that necklace of yours draws a lot of attention," he said, a bit defensively. "Besides, I was thinking more in the lines of what did I do to get such a beautiful girlfriend like you." The boy's head was bowed so he didn't see Haruka flinch at the mention of ‘girlfriend’. She recovered quickly and gave her companion a wide grin. "Well, Hiroshi, for starters, you helped me pass my math."
Both of them laughed at that. "Well, it wasn't all me," Hiroshi said modestly.
"Oh, come on! If it weren't for you, I'd be probably be failing in it right now. All your tutoring really paid off," Haruka said, putting a hand on his shoulder and giving a reassuring squeeze.
"Another reason I'm here right now is because you're a really sweet guy."
If it were any more possible, Hiroshi would be probably as red as a tomato. "Well, you're a woman, aren't you, 'Ruka? Mom taught me to always treat ladies like that."
Haruka snorted at his statement. "I don't see any of the other guys here doing the same things for their girlfriends. That bouquet of flowers for my birthday? That wasn't exactly cheap, was it?" She remembered how her parents had rejoiced when they had seen the flowers from Hiroshi. They had literally danced in the middle of the room.
"Come clean with me here, 'Roshi. How much did it cost?"
"Well, I know a few friends at the florists and I got a discount…"
"Three-fourths of my allowance."
"I noticed you ate pretty sparingly for a week after that. Another thing, that nice dinner you cooked by yourself for one of our dates? That picnic we once had? The way you always pay when we eat out?" Not that I mind not paying, Haruka thought to herself, but I need to break this to him gently. "Heck, you even do my homework when you think I won't be able to it! Some of the boys around here have their girlfriends doing that!"
"Are you angry because I do those things, 'Ruka? I can stop if you want me—"
"No, no, no… I just… you're really not making this any easier, you know," Haruka said as she looked at Hiroshi's face, throwing her hands up and looking away. Like kicking a puppy or beating up a senior citizen, this was making her feel really bad.
"Making what easier, 'Ruka?" Hiroshi was starting become really nervous about how this conversation was turning out. All he wanted was some quiet time with Haruka. Well, Haruka was the one who wanted to meet here, so maybe it wasn't all that bad.
He reached for Haruka's shoulders to reassure her when she whirled around. The look on her face was terrifying. Not that she looked angry; Haruka had always had a short temper and being around her a lot had inured him a bit to some of her moods. No, she looked… she looked… sorry for something. That was a bad sign. Haruka was never sorry for anything she did. And was she trying to keep herself from crying or was that the sun in her eyes?
"'Roshi, I want you to forget about me."
"Are you deaf? Hiroshi, I said I want you to forget about me. Forget Haruka Ten'ou. Is that easy enough for your thick head to understand!"
"Just forget about me, okay?! My family's moving again. I can't help it. We probably won't be seeing each other again."
Hiroshi was starting to panic. No, this wasn't happening! NONONO!
“But we can still write to each other, can't we? I mean, I can visit you wherever you'll be going! My family is rich; if you're going abroad, I can still visit you! I can still call! Right? Right, 'Ruka?"
Hiroshi saw Haruka's expression tighten when he said "'Ruka". No, please, no, this is a nightmare, a bad dream, I'm gonna wake up any second now…
"Please, don't call me that anymore, Hiroshi." Hiroshi felt the ice in her tone and the way she emphasized his name. He also felt a tear making its way down his right cheek.
"I SAID DON'T CALL ME THAT ANYMORE! Forget about me, Hiroshi! Just… just… forget me, okay?" She whirled around, starting to walk away with purposeful strides toward the maintenance door.
Hiroshi's vision was starting to get blurry and he felt his knees trembling. He felt a coldness, a feeling of numbness spread through his body.
"It's someone else, isn't it?" Haruka heard him say halfway before she reached door. She almost stumbled in mid-stride when she heard it. It was barely audible, just above a whisper, but the silence that had followed her shouting at him carried a lot.
Haruka turned around to see Hiroshi crying.
He was always crying at something, always so soft. She'd seen him cry so many times at the movies that it was sometimes a trial to go out with him and watch a romance or a tearjerker. She almost smiled at the thought. He was the one that insisted they go to movies like that, not her. The first few times, she thought that he would try to make a move on her considering the common denominator that all the films had: romance, tons of mushy romance. But after seeing him cry so many times at the theater without once trying anything, she finally realized that he really liked those films and wanted her along so that he could share them with her. Though she usually slept through half of the movies that they went to, he wouldn't mind. She would always be awakened by Hiroshi's sniffling as he brushed a few tears from his eyes. They were honest tears, tinged by both joy and sadness.
The only other times she'd seen him cry was when he failed. Failed at anything he set out to do or he felt that he didn't reach up to someone's expectations. He'd try to control himself when he was in public or at school. Showing your emotions publicly was a big no-no, but Haruka remembered the times he cried on her shoulder every time he failed.
Those tears of his were flowing again, but this time they were because of her. Filled with sadness, despair and anger. She knew that anger wasn't aimed at her. She knew him better than that. The anger was at himself. Anger because he thought he had failed somehow. Failed in pleasing her, fallen short of her expectations.
"It's… someone… else… isn't… it?" he said between sobs. "I'm… sorry… Haruka… I was so stupid… I'm such a failure… I know you deserve better, but—"
The resounding clap of her open hand as it impacted with Hiroshi's cheek echoed across the rooftop.
"DON'T YOU EVER THINK THAT! DON'T YOU EVER THINK THAT IT WAS YOUR FAULT! IF THERE'S ANYONE TO BLAME HERE IT IS ME! DO YOU HEAR ME! IT'S MY FAULT! ME! ME, HIROSHI!!" Haruka screeched at him. Hiroshi looked at her, confused. Haruka was trembling with emotion as she tried to calm herself down. He felt his cheek and winced as he felt it sting.
"Hiroshi," Haruka started in a calmer tone, though she was still breathing hard. Hiroshi thought she looked like some sort of angel with the red-gold light of the sunset. The golden cross on her necklace seemed to be on fire, the light setting it off. "You're one of the nicest guys I've known. Shit, you're the only nice guy I've ever known! Everyone else was a jerk. You're also one of the few friends I've ever had." In a weaker voice, Haruka added, "You're the only friend I have left."
Hiroshi's eyes widened at this. He wiped away a few of his tears and reached out to Haruka. "Haruka—"
"It's not your fault, Hiroshi. It's me. I… I… can't keep on lying to you. I can't keep on doing this," Haruka said with a wide sweep her hand.
"Hiroshi, I don't love you. At least in the way that you deserve to be."
The words hit him like a hammer-blow. She didn't love him.
She didn't love him.
This was a bad dream. He was going to wake up any moment now. Get up and cook breakfast, and make two bento, one for him, another for Haruka. Then he'd go over to her house and they'd walk to school together.
This wasn't happening. He was going to invite her to the prom. He was going to invite her. The tux was all rented out. The reservations for dinner at Chez Maison, the finest restaurant in town, were already set. He'd already picked out a nice gift for her, a beautiful gold necklace with a nice amber centerpiece. She loved amber and her favorite color was gold. It was perfect.
This just wasn't happening. He was going to wake up anytime now…
"Hiroshi, I got transferred here because there was a scandal at my old school. I kissed someone. Well, it was slightly more than that, but Hiroshi…"
She kissed someone? In the entire time they were dating their lips haven't even met. Always she'd kiss him on the cheek whenever she felt she needed to. He wouldn't even imagine initiating a kiss by himself. His mother had taught him that a man shouldn't touch a woman unless he had permission and, whatever else he had done, Hiroshi always followed what his mother taught him.
"Hiroshi, are you even listening to me?"
"Why go out with me? Why even pretend you liked me? Was it because I was so pitiful? Because I was a loser? I loved you! I loved you a lot!" The tears were coming back and his vision started to blur again.
"I… I'm really sorry, Hiroshi. I went out with you because… well… it would get my parents off my back. I shouldn't have done it, but…"
"Off your back! What do you mean? I was just a way to squirrel out of trouble for you?!"
"Hiroshi, you know my parents. They're Christians. They're not as fanatical as some of the nuts you see around, but they are still a bit strict. But did you notice how they reacted when I first brought you over for dinner? They were practically on their knees thanking God for a miracle!"
"And what does that have to do with it?!"
Haruka could see something in Hiroshi's eyes that she thought she would never see. Anger. Anger at her. Oh, hell.
"Hiroshi, the person I kissed back at my old school…"
"The person wasn't a guy."
"She was a girl. I like girls, Hiroshi. I like them the way you like me."
The look on Hiroshi's face said it all.
"I started dating with you, because… because… that way my parents would at least ease off. That way, they'd be proud of me again, like they used to be. They always liked to tell of how proud they were that they had such a great daughter. I was a great pianist. Intelligent. A great athlete. That was before everything, before I kissed her…"
Haruka looked at Hiroshi's face and she felt even more bad. This was her friend. The last friend she had left, and she was hurting him. "You know, she was my best friend back then. We did everything together. She… she… was so nice… so helpful… so beautiful. I realized that I never had interest in any of the guys… I liked being around the girls. Looking at the way they moved, the way they talked. When I finally realized everything; that I was falling in love with my best friend… I decided that I had better tell her. I mean… she was my best friend. She would understand, right?"
Haruka gulped and looked away from Hiroshi's face. Those eyes of his, so full of hurt, were unbearable.
"Well, she didn't understand. And I shouldn't have probably ended the explanation with a kiss, but I think she didn't understand the moment I said 'I love you'." She chuckled slightly, trying to lighten the atmosphere.
"What… what did your parents…"
"They were pissed off. They said it was lucky that the thing was dealt with just between the two families or there would have been a scandal. Pop's money covered it up more. And… and they were ashamed of me. Me. Their only daughter. Like I was some sort of freak."
"So we moved. And we ended up here. Then I met you." Haruka returned her gaze to Hiroshi. "You probably think I'm a freak, too, now that you know everything. You probably want to hit me right now. So go ahead. Hit me." She thought of the anger that she had seen in his eyes, but mostly she thought of his tears and the hurt she'd caused him. She saw Hiroshi come close and she closed her eyes and readied herself for the hit.
He felt his arms go around her and hold her tight. What surprised her was that she felt him, crying against her shoulder. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He raised his head from her shoulder, so that their eyes could meet.
“I love you, Haruka. No matter what."
Haruka was struck dumb when she heard this and Hiroshi continued.
"I remember the time I first saw you. You were beautiful. And I got to talk to you and you weren't afraid. You weren't turned off. You were actually nice to me. No one's been nice to me for a very long time. Then when I asked you if I could take you out, you said yes, where the other girls would have just laughed me off. You actually went out with someone as ugly as me—"
"Hiroshi, you're not ugly. You're as handsome as they come."
"No, I am ugly. Compared to you… I'm nothing. You're not a freak, Haruka. Heck, I'd love you even if you were, no matter what you looked like, no matter what you've done. You… you changed me. I used to be… I used to be a worthless piece of nothing. You made me what I am, trying to be something for you has made me something. And I love you for that."
Haruka sighed. "And that's another reason why I should stop seeing you."
"Why? There's nothing wrong with that… with loving you."
"You love me too much. You're so devoted to me that you often overlook the fact that I sometimes treat you like dirt. No… don't tell me you would do anything for me. I don't deserve it—"
"But, you do—"
"No, I don't and you know that, deep inside. I can't love you the way you love me. You deserve someone better."
"Please. Let go."
Haruka smiled weakly and looked into his eyes. They were so beautiful, just like Nanami's. Maybe that's another reason why I like him. He's got Nanami's eyes. "You know… in all the time that we've been dating… we haven't even properly kissed yet."
"I said we haven't even kissed properly. Like this."
With that, Haruka gave Hiroshi his first real kiss.
Hiroshi felt her warm lips against his. He could see that she'd closed her eyes. He heard her heart beating faster against his chest, in perfect tune with his own. He smelled the wonderful scent of hair. He felt these things and thousands more as Haruka pressed against him further and let her tongue enter his mouth.
Hiroshi's eyes widened in surprise and then closed in acceptance. The moment seemed to last for eternity.
And as suddenly as it began, it ended. She drew her lips away from his and leaned her forehead against his.
"Please, Hiroshi. Let go. I'd just be lying to myself if we kept on. Then I'd be a lot more unhappy and I know you don't want that. I know I can just go away, but you're my friend. I've lost enough of them in my time. I don't want to lose another. I want to go, but if you won't let go, I won't be able to," Haruka said.
"You know… I always thought that we'd end up in something I saw from the movies. Happily ever after. Maybe a blonde kid or two," Hiroshi said with closed eyes. He could still smell her hair and he loved the soft feel of it against his forehead.
"This isn't the movies, 'Roshi. This is real life. Please." A thousand scenes played across his mind. All his plans. All his dreams. All of them with Haruka in them. Kids. A nice house. A well-paying job. Grandkids. A long happy life. With Haruka.
Then he made his choice.
He let her go.
She moved slowly back out of the embrace and turned around to walk away. As she reached the maintenance door, she looked at him with a weak smile.
"'Roshi, remember what I asked you to do?"
"Yes, 'Ruka. I'll try to forget. But only on one condition."
"What is it?"
"Remember me. Always remember that there's someone out there that loves you… and understands. Never forget that I'm here and if you need me, just call."
"I thought you said you'd forget about me."
"I said I'd try."
They shared one final smile as Haruka opened the door and she left Hiroshi standing alone, on the roof, with the sun setting in the horizon and the light leaving the world.
Author's notes: You know, this story actually had me starting on how these two met and their dating history?
Anyway, C&C and even flames are appreciated !
Next on the list is Eudial. Wait another year for that one. ^_^
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