A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
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Chapter 5: Protect Chibi-Usa! The Sign of Saturn!
Dark Serenity laughed lightly as she preened herself in front of the mirror in her room. 'Not a single strand of blonde!' she thought happily while running her fingers through her now completely ebon hair.
She was very glad that it had been so easy to deal with Usagi, and the irony of using her love against her was just delicious. On the other hand, she was a little disappointed in herself for remaining with Mamoru even after Usagi had been dealt with. Her original plan had been to remain until Usagi was dealt with then get the hell out of there, but she had wound up enjoying herself a bit too much.
She scowled at the memory. She had done it with him several times… and liked it! The very idea was intolerable to her. 'It must have been because I was too in character as Princess Serenity… Yes, that's it…' She did her best to rationalise her behaviour.
She looked at herself in the mirror and was suddenly filled with terrible self-loathing "I gave my body to him… just to achieve an end… I'm nothing more than a whore!" She slammed her fist into the mirror, causing a spider web of cracks to spread all over its surface. Her knuckles were torn open by the jagged glass, but she didn't notice.
Her face crumpled up and tears began to slide down her cheeks. "I'm a slut… I'm dirty…" she sobbed into her bloody hands. Abruptly she looked into the mirror again. "What's happened to me?!" she angrily demanded of her shattered reflection.
The reflection held no answer.
Mamoru slowly woke up after his exertions of the previous night. He quickly noticed that he was alone in his bed. 'It wasn't a dream… was it?' he wondered as he slowly processed his memories of last night. Her scent still hung in his room, and the indentation of another body was next to Mamoru in the bed.
"Definitely not a dream," he murmured to himself as he sat up in bed. He checked his clock and saw that it was just after one in the afternoon. He had missed all his classes for today. 'Not surprising, she kept me up all night…' he smiled slightly at the memory; she had certainly lived up to her name as "Rabbit". But the question remained: where was she?
"Usako?" he called out, wondering if she had went to the bathroom, then he remembered the way she was acting last night "Serenity…?" he said, sounding slightly less sure of himself.
With a growing sense of unease, Mamoru pulled on a pair of boxers and made a quick search of his apartment.
She was gone.
"I don't believe it…" Mamoru shook his head in denial. All his life, ever since the accident which took his parents, the one constant had been the Princess of his dreams. Then he had become Tuxedo Kamen, and had started to fall for the brave heroine Sailor Moon. At the same time in his real life he had began to have feelings for Tsukino Usagi; in spite of their frequent arguments, something was beneath the surface.
Just when his life was seemingly hopelessly complicated, those three women had resolved themselves into the one delightful package that was his Usako.
He loved her so much it hurt sometimes, but always he respected that their relationship would have to wait to cross certain boundaries. He was all too aware of the difference in their ages.
But last night she had come to him. He could never resist his Usako. Only now did he realise that he should have made the effort to do so. "She didn't seem in her right mind last night… she was confused about her identity… and mine." He remembered how she called him "Endy-kun". "I should have tried to help her, instead I screwed her! Kuso!" He punched a fist into his palm in frustration.
Then another dilemma presented itself "What will I tell the girls?" he asked himself uncertainly. 'I can just picture the scene…' he thought 'Hi Rei! Guess what, Usagi came by my place last night. No, I didn't find out anything about what's happened to her, I just had sex with her, and then she disappeared while I slept!' That would be a quick way to get himself burned in a very literal sense.
Queen Serenity had never before felt as helpless as she did now. She had ruled over the most advanced civilisation in the solar system, she had wielded the power of the Ginzuishou; arguably the most powerful magical artifact in all of creation, and she had been protected by the fabled Sailor Senshi, whose combined strength was without equal.
But now she was just a lonely ghost listening to her daughter cry.
It didn't matter that the Queen was in the chapel, while her daughter was in her private bathroom. Dark Serenity's sobs of grief and shame would be heard by her mother no matter where she was in the palace.
She had been in the bathroom for four hours now, alternating between periods of frantic scrubbing of her skin, and periods when she just broke down and wept.
Queen Serenity wanted nothing more than to go and comfort her daughter, but she was painfully aware that her presence would not be welcomed. Not any more. Every time she had tried to talk with her, she had been rebuked — almost fatally the first time, when Dark Serenity attempted to exorcise her mother with the Ginzuishou.
Queen Serenity had a pretty good idea of what was causing her daughter such distress, and in a way she was glad that she still had the capacity to feel pain. While the Queen had never really approved of Endymion, he had certainly proven himself at the final battle of the Silver Millennium. And when Mamoru and Usagi fell in love, it proved their love beyond all shadow of a doubt as far as Queen Serenity was concerned. But the Princess had used that love in the most vile fashion to retain her hold over Usagi's body.
But at the end of the day, she was still her daughter, for the Queen now had some understanding of what exactly had happened. Somehow the memories of Usagi's past life as the Princess of the Moon had resolved themselves into a separate identity which had been corrupted towards thoughts of vengeance towards Earth, and a desire for the Holy Grail.
The Queen had no idea how Dark Serenity had such an understanding of the ancient relic, or where she got the idea that she was the Messiah from. There were still some questions which needed answering.
"So, Rei, did you find out anything from your fire readings?" Minako asked in-between munching on a cookie.
Rei sighed "No… not even that sword helped me." She was thoroughly tired and just wished this meeting would end so she could get some sleep. On the other hand, she would probably have that same dream of the Silence if she did. She had spent all the previous night doing fire readings both to locate Usagi and discern the meaning behind those dreams. She still hadn't told anyone about them.
"Oh…" Minako looked crestfallen, but not surprised. The look on Rei's face when she came in told her the answer without having to ask. "Okay, then. Luna and Artemis, have you found out anything about those two new Senshi?"
Artemis drew himself up and took a deep breath "Well—" He was abruptly cut off by a swing from Luna's paw.
"I'll tell them!" The black cat said to a now cowed Artemis. Everyone else perked up, Luna would have just let Artemis talk if it was bad news, but she obviously wanted credit for good news "We…" She said 'we' as if she really meant 'I' "…have learned that Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune did exist during the Silver Millennium. They almost never came to the Moon however, so it's not surprising that no one remembers them."
"Why were they never on the Moon?" Ami asked.
"Because—" Artemis began eagerly, but was again cut off by Luna.
"They did not guard the royal family as you did. Instead they were tasked with defending the Kingdom from invaders outside the solar system." Luna then put on a grave expression "For them to awaken as Sailor Senshi in this time means that the Earth has already been invaded."
"So these new monsters are space aliens?!" Makoto sputtered incredulously.
"Er… I suppose you could put it that way…" Luna's tone indicated she would prefer not to put it that way.
"So does this mean we can just forget about the new monsters and let them deal with it?" Rei asked. "That way we can just concentrate on finding Usagi."
Everyone looked at each other. What Rei had suggested did make a lot of sense. Evidently it fell to Minako to make the decision as de facto leader.
"No," she said firmly. "We have the power to stop this enemy, and we should use it. I'm not about to leave the safety of the Earth to those two. All they care about is getting the talismans, whatever they are. They refused to even consider fighting alongside me."
"But what about Usagi?!" Rei vainly protested.
"We'll still do everything in our power to get her back," Minako reassured her. "But how do you think she'd react if she knew we were doing nothing while people are being attacked?"
"She's right," Makoto agreed. "Usagi would do everything in her power to protect others, and we should do the same even if she's not here."
"Fine…" Rei agreed wearily. Besides, she knew they were right; she was just so very tired…
"Oh, by the way, did you two find out anything about these talismans?" Ami asked the cats, though she charitably aimed the question at Artemis, who was looking a bit neglected.
"No, we don't know anything…" Artemis muttered. Luna made no effort to interrupt.
That night, Dark Serenity finally went to bed after spending all day trying to cleanse herself, as if removing all trace of physical dirt would remove the stain she felt in her soul. She was too tired to feel depressed by now, and gratefully slumped into the embrace of sleep.
As she slept, she dreamt…
She found herself on a barren, featureless plain. She looked around in all directions, but could see nothing all the way up to the horizon. The ground was dull black, while the sky was blood red.
She suddenly became aware of a presence behind her, where none was before. She spun round to confront it, and was face to face with Tsukino Usagi!
Usagi was dressed in her school uniform, and stared ahead with vacant eyes, her expression neutral. She spoke in a toneless voice. "Who am I?"
Dark Serenity sneered. She might be suffering from self-hatred, but she hated Usagi more than she could hate herself. "You are dead!" She spat at the pathetic figure that was the reborn Princess of the Moon.
At her pronouncement, Usagi turned to dust and was blown away on an ethereal breeze.
Dark Serenity then felt someone was behind her, so she turned round to look on the new arrival.
Princess Serenity, dressed in the same gown she wore that fateful night when the Dark Kingdom attacked, looked on Dark Serenity completely expressionless. "Who am I?"
Dark Serenity appraised this figure. At length she said, "You are me… after a fashion…" She was after all aware of the differences between what she now is and what she once was.
Princess Serenity shifted her appearance, becoming a mirror of Dark Serenity, right down to the cold expression on her face. "Who are YOU?" Where her voice was once toneless, now she spoke in the harsh manner Dark Serenity used.
"Me…?" Dark Serenity considered this for a moment. Then she announced confidently, "I am the Messiah."
The clone opposite her began to disintegrate into thousands of tiny butterflies, which almost seemed to be made out of insubstantial light. The butterflies all flew into a point in the distance where a bright four-pointed crystal floated. It had not been there before.
Suddenly Dark Serenity jerked in searing agony. She looked down to see a wicked double blade sticking out of her stomach. Her crimson blood poured in a torrent over the blades and onto the ground. There was even more pain as the blade was ripped back out of her.
Dark Serenity fell to the ground face first, her blood forming a puddle all around her. She was roughly kicked onto her back so she could look up at her killer.
"I am the Messiah!" The figure, wreathed in shadows, spoke with a cold feminine voice. While her murderer's features were hard to make out, the instrument of her death was as clear as day.
She held the Silence Glaive.
"Hotaru-chan sure has a big house…" Chibi-Usa said to herself as she stood outside the Tomoe residence. She rang the doorbell and waited patiently for over a minute before it finally opened.
"Yes?" Kaolinite peered down at the young girl, wondering what she could possibly want.
"Um…" Chibi-Usa began hesitantly. For some reason this woman made her terribly nervous "I'm here to see Hotaru-chan," she blurted out the rest all at once.
'Why on Earth would she want to see Hotaru?' Kaolinite wondered to herself 'Hotaru doesn't have any friends…' She decided it best to just get rid of this little kid. "I'm sorry, but Hotaru is resting at the moment." She made to close the door when another voice came from behind her in the hallway.
"Who is at the door, Kaori-san?"
Kaolinite fought to keep a grimace from her face. "A girl is here to see you. I told her you were resting."
"Well, I'm not!" Hotaru announced hotly. "Is that you, Chibi-Usa-chan?" She came over to the doorway.
"Hello, Hotaru-chan!" Chibi-Usa said brightly when she saw her new friend.
Hotaru smiled. For some reason Chibi-Usa just made all her problems seem to go away when she was around. "Please come in, Chibi-Usa-chan." Hotaru invited her in, then glared a little at Kaolinite. "We'll go up to my room."
"Hai!" Chibi-Usa nodded, and followed Hotaru up the stairs.
Kaolinite watched them go. 'I can't believe someone was able to befriend the little freak,' she thought harshly, then another thought struck her 'She must have a pure heart… perhaps it has a talisman?'
"Trust me, Hotaru-chan, you'll love this!" Chibi-Usa enthused as she dragged Hotaru into the lift to the observation deck of Tokyo Tower. After seeing how Hotaru loved lamps, she just knew Hotaru would love seeing Tokyo lit up from the Tower.
"Er… it's starting to get dark, Chibi-Usa-chan…" Hotaru said hesitantly. She wasn't used to just going off and doing stuff like this on the spur of the moment.
Chibi-Usa giggled. "That's the point, silly! Just wait till you see all the lights, you'll love it!"
Hotaru couldn't help but smile at her friend's carefree attitude. She wished she could be more like Chibi-Usa.
Chibi-Usa, on the other hand, found that by being around Hotaru, her own worries could be forgotten for a while, and she didn't even feel guilty about it since she knew how desperately Hotaru needed a friend.
The pair stepped onto the observation deck, which was completely empty of anyone else; a fact that Chibi-Usa registered as slightly odd, but she chose not to think about it.
Hotaru drew back a breath sharply. "Wow, you were right, Chibi-Usa-chan… you can see for miles!" She ran over to the railing. "So many little lights… the city looks so different from up here!"
Chibi-Usa smiled. This was just the reaction she was looking for. "Hey, why don't you look through the binoculars?" She pointed to the mounted binoculars.
"Okay." Hotaru went over and peered through them. "Hey, I can see my house from here!"
"Really?" Chibi-Usa walked over.
"Yes, look for yourself." Hotaru stepped away and made room for Chibi-Usa.
However, just as Chibi-Usa approached the binoculars, the daimon egg Kaolinite had placed there scant minutes beforehand reacted to her pure heart, and the binoculars morphed into a vaguely female monster.
"Magnifying!!" The daimon announced its presence in the usual manner for such creatures.
Chibi-Usa backed away fearfully from the creature, which was single-mindedly advancing on her. Hotaru, on seeing her friend in danger, charged recklessly at the daimon. "Get away from her!" she yelled as she tried to tackle it.
"Go away, pest!" The daimon gave her a vicious backhand, which sent Hotaru sprawling.
Kaolinite, who was secretly observing from above the deck, groaned. "I'm going to have to get her out of here…" she muttered angrily; but before she could react, Chibi-Usa responded to her friend being hurt.
"YOU LEAVE HOTARU ALONE!!!" she screamed, running straight at the daimon. As she did so, the future Ginzuishou in her body reacted to her anger and fear, and Chibi-Usa started to glow.
"What?!" Kaolinite looked at this new development in shock, having already forgotten Hotaru.
The energy in Chibi-Usa reached a peak; her body was now glowing blinding white, and the crescent moon on her forehead was blazing. With an almighty scream, the energy discharged in an uncontrolled explosion, blasting the daimon into a far wall, while Kaolinite, even as high up as she was, was buffeted around by the blast.
"If that's not a talisman holder, I don't know what is!" Kaolinite congratulated herself on finding one of the talismans.
Meanwhile, the daimon picked itself up and noticed it was missing a limb. "My arm!" it screamed, pointing at the stump of its left shoulder. "My arm's gone! I'll get you for that!" It charged at the now-unconscious Chibi-Usa, who was completely spent after releasing so much energy.
It had barely gotten three steps when it stopped, surrounded in a violet glow. "What's happening?! My body… won't move!"
Hotaru was standing again, her breath coming raggedly. She, too, was surrounded in a violet glow, her expression twisted into one of hatred and fury. Her hair was being blown around her on an intangible breeze, and the sigil of Saturn shone on her forehead.
"Shimatta!" Kaolinite cursed. There was no way she was going to go near Hotaru when she was in that state. "I'll have to wait for her to get tired… it shouldn't take long…"
Meanwhile, two others were observing, and were both in a state of shock over what was happening. "Did you see that?! That little girl must have a talisman to release that kind of energy!" Sailor Uranus whispered to her partner.
Sailor Neptune wasn't even listening, she was transfixed by the other young girl.
"Neptune?" Uranus prodded her.
Neptune came out of her reverie "Look!" she hissed at Uranus while pointing at Hotaru. "Tell me I'm seeing things."
Uranus took one look and visibly paled. "The sign of Saturn… If she awakens, it's the end of the world!"
"What do we do?" Neptune looked pleadingly at her partner, hoping she would have some sort of plan.
Uranus swallowed nervously. "I don't know…"
The violet glow surrounding Hotaru began to flicker, then petered out, causing the girl to collapse into unconsciousness.
"Now's my chance!" Kaolinite flew down and picked up Hotaru. "Daimon, take her pure heart; I'll be back in a minute." She teleported away.
The daimon remained standing still, shivering all over. "That's easy for her to say," it griped as it tried to get control of itself back. Being held by an aura of death — even a weak one — was not in any way pleasant.
"Shimatta!" Uranus swore as Hotaru disappeared. "What now?"
Neptune tried to compose herself. "We let them take her pure heart, and if it's a talisman, we take it."
"What do you mean 'if'? We both saw that. She has to be a talisman holder…" Realisation settled into Uranus at that. "She's going to die…" she said softly.
Neptune gave Uranus a hard look. "It has to be," she said simply.
Kaolinite teleported back, sans Hotaru. "What are you doing?" She glared at the daimon, which still hadn't moved. "Take her pure heart!"
"Okay, okay…." The daimon muttered, moving stiffly towards the unconscious pink-haired child. The black star on its chest shot out a beam at Chibi-Usa, and her intensely bright heart crystal came into the daimon's hand. "Is this it?" The daimon turned to Kaolinite.
Kaolinite walked over to properly inspect it, when suddenly there was a flash of red and the daimon dropped the heart crystal, waving its hand in pain. A rose was embedded in it.
"Stealing the heart of an innocent child! Tuxedo Kamen will not let this evil go unpunished!" The caped man announced from one of the girders where he was standing. Directly above Uranus and Neptune actually. He had sensed Chibi-Usa's moonbeam and came as fast as he could.
Kaolinite was about to order the daimon to attack this interloper when four new figures leapt down and surrounded her.
"We won't let you take her pure heart!" Sailor Jupiter pointed accusingly at Kaolinite.
"Great, now things are complicated," Uranus muttered.
A bright flash of silvery light appeared besides Chibi-Usa, and Dark Serenity appeared. "I thought I could sense the Ginzuishou. What's going on here?!" she demanded.
"No, now things are complicated," Neptune sighed.
To be continued.
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