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 6: Come Back to Us, Usagi! Wish on the Mirai Ginzuishou!
Dark Serenity looked upon the Sailor Senshi, who surrounded a pale red-haired woman, who seemed not in the least bit intimidated. An injured-looking magical construct stood off to the side. Chibi-Usa lay comatose by her feet. She had not yet noticed Tuxedo Kamen or the Outer Senshi.
She didn't especially want to be there; she was still on a low ebb, and had just woken up from a very disturbing nightmare, which was possibly an obtuse premonition. But she had detected an energy release which was just like the Ginzuishou. In fact it was identical, and there was no way she could ignore that.
Besides, she would have to confront the Senshi sooner or later. At least this way she could work off some of the stress she was accumulating.
Everyone was looking at Dark Serenity in shock. Kaolinite was the first to find her voice. "My, this place is getting crowded. And who might you be?" She sneered at the newest arrival.
Dark Serenity grimaced. The Sailor Senshi could wait; teaching some respect to this human would serve to warm her up. "Have some manners when addressing your betters, Terran." She placed heavy emphasis on that word. "I am Dark Serenity."
Sailor Mars managed to get out of the stupor she was in at this unexpected development. "Usagi!" she yelled, trying to get her friend's attention.
Dark Serenity didn't even take her eyes off Kaolinite as she fired a weak energy blast at Sailor Mars. It didn't do any real damage, but it gave her a shock. "I've warned you about using that name." She made a 'tutting' noise. "Don't worry; I'll get to you in a minute. First, though…" She formed a sphere of kinetic energy in her right hand. "I have to deal with this disrespectful human." She flung the sphere at Kaolinite as she finished speaking.
The Sailor Senshi had now decided that being around Kaolinite was a bad idea, and scattered away from her. Kaolinite merely smirked as she erected an energy barrier around herself. If she could stop the best that Cyprine and Ptliol had to offer, she had little to fear from this.
Surprisingly, she was right. The barrier strained against the energy ball, but managed to hold.
Dark Serenity raised an eyebrow. "So you do have some power," she said admiringly. "Let's see how you deal with this!" She readied another sphere in her right hand, while firing a beam of silvery light from her left straight at Kaolinite.
The Deathbuster gasped as her barrier was effortlessly disintegrated. She revised her opinion of the threat posed by this newcomer as Dark Serenity threw the second energy ball straight at her.
Just in the nick of time, Kaolinite teleported out of the way. With nothing to stop it, the energy ball tore through several sections of Tokyo Tower, ripping apart reinforced steel girders as it went. The huge structure groaned as its weight distribution shifted drastically.
Kaolinite teleported to just behind Dark Serenity and was about to deliver a vicious chop to the back of her neck, but she spun round and caught her wrist, and despite being the smaller of the two women, she was easily stronger. Kaolinite started to panic at just how outclassed she was.
"You did well," Dark Serenity told her as she brought her free hand up for the final strike. "But you're only human." Her hand began to glow with energy.
Kaolinite's eyes widened in fear. "Daimon!" she yelled at the injured creature — not for it to come to her aid, but to complete its mission even at the cost of her life. "Get the talisman and take it to the professor!"
Dark Serenity abruptly dropped Kaolinite. "Talisman?!" She whirled around to look at the daimon, which was picking up Chibi-Usa's pure heart crystal.
Off on the sidelines, still unnoticed by anyone else, Sailor Uranus groaned. "Don't tell me she's after the talisman as well?"
"Don't worry," Sailor Neptune reassured her. "We'll just let them fight it out and take it from the winner."
The heart crystal flew out of the daimon's hand and was caught by Dark Serenity. "This isn't a talisman," she said dismissively.
"What?!" Kaolinite exclaimed. "But why is it so bright?"
Dark Serenity frowned, almost regretfully. "The brightness is a barometer of purity…" She looked down at Chibi-Usa, and saw that she was unnaturally pallid. 'It must be hers…' she surmised. "She has a very pure heart…" Dark Serenity spoke almost enviously. 'I'm anything but pure…' she thought sadly while dropping the crystal so it could be reabsorbed.
"Then what about that energy she released?" Kaolinite was insistent; she had been so sure that it was a talisman.
Dark Serenity looked thoughtfully down at Chibi-Usa. "What about that energy indeed…?" The pieces were all starting to come together in her head, and it certainly fit with what they had learned in the 30th century.
But there were other things to deal with first. She turned to Kaolinite and stretched out her right arm. A blast of pink-and-black energy lashed out and surrounded her. Dark Serenity grinned evilly as she levitated the Deathbuster into the air. "I was going to kill you anyway for your lack of respect. The fact that you attacked someone of royal blood doesn't really change your punishment — and I've never been one for elaborate torture, I'm afraid."
And then without another word, she simply let Kaolinite drop. The energy field prevented her from teleporting or levitating as she plummeted several hundred feet down to the unforgiving ground. She screamed out for the professor before her life ended.
"I think we should leave," Neptune whispered to Uranus.
"I think you're right," Uranus agreed. If there was no talisman here, there certainly wasn't any reason to stick around and risk angering Dark Serenity. The pair skillfully leapt from girder to girder down to the lower levels.
Meanwhile, the daimon was cowering in a corner, hoping desperately that no one would notice it.
"Well, it looks like it's just us now." Dark Serenity turned to the Sailor Senshi. "It's a pity Endymion isn't here to make this little gathering complete."
Tuxedo Kamen finally came out of the funk he was in and leapt down to the platform everyone else was on. "I'm right here."
Dark Serenity visibly blanched. Taunting was one thing, but she truly did not want him around. The mixture of revulsion, hatred and… something else she didn't want to admit to… that he stirred in her was not something she needed right now. She did her best to hide these feelings and adopted her usual haughty demeanor, while hoping no one noticed her initial reaction.
"So you are." She sneered at him, while inside her stomach was turning over.
"Usagi, what's happened to you?" Sailor Venus pleaded with her to explain just what had caused this horrible change in their gentle friend.
Dark Serenity did her best not to sigh. "Are you people slow or something?!" She spoke with an exasperated tone. "I've explained several times that I am not Tsukino Usagi. Can't you get it through your thick heads?!" She suddenly smiled as a deliciously evil thought occurred to her. "Usagi was still in my head until recently. But Endymion here helped kill her." 'That should sow some discord,' she thought happily.
"Nani?!" Jupiter exclaimed at this bombshell.
"What do you mean?" Mars spoke with a dangerously low voice. While the question was aimed at Dark Serenity, her glare was pointed straight at Tuxedo Kamen.
Tuxedo Kamen took a few steps toward Dark Serenity. "What does that mean, Usako?" He was genuinely confused.
Dark Serenity felt herself becoming more and more spiteful. It helped distract her from other emotions. "Usako? That's not what you called me the other night…" She paused, a wicked grin splitting her features "… Endy-kun."
Tuxedo Kamen looked like he had been hit with a ten-tonne weight. The Senshi looked confused as they tried to figure out what was going on. "Wh-what do you mean?" He cursed himself as soon as the words were out his mouth. He knew what she meant.
She suspected he knew, but she wanted it spelt out clearly for the Sailor Senshi's benefit. "What I mean," she began, enunciating each word carefully, "is that Usagi felt everything that night. And she knew you were doing it with me, not her." She clasped her hands above her bosom and tried to look grief-stricken. "The shock killed her." She shook her head mournfully, as if lamenting the loss of a dear friend.
"D-doing it?" Mercury said in a small voice, shock plastered all over her features.
Mars and Jupiter both glared at him hatefully. If looks could kill, Tokyo's favourite masked superhero would most certainly have been reduced to a pile of ash.
Venus only looked at him mournfully. She could sympathise with the poor guy, but she was still disappointed as hell.
"No… No, it's not true…" Tuxedo Kamen ignored the Sailor Senshi as he tried to deny the horrible truth.
"Oh, it's true all right." Dark Serenity took a few steps towards him so they were face to face. "You should have heard her. She begged you to stop. Begged!" She twisted the knife further. "Right before her mind died… leaving only me!" She paused a moment, a teasing smile on her features. "Not that you minded."
While Tuxedo Kamen was frozen shock, Sailor Mars felt fury rush through her. A low growl came from her lips before she rushed him. "You bastard!" She screamed as she knocked him to the ground. "How could you?!" She shook him wildly by the shoulders while pinning him.
It took a moment for the other Senshi to react, before all three ran over to pull Mars off of him. "Leave it, Mars. He's not worth it," Jupiter said, though her expression indicated she would gladly pummel him.
Dark Serenity brought up a hand to cover her chuckle. This was terribly amusing, and helped distract her from her recent problems quite a bit.
After Mars was upright again, she decided to forget about Tuxedo Kamen and focused on Dark Serenity. "Please, Usagi, I know you're still in there! Can't you fight her?" she pleaded desperately.
"She can't hear you," Dark Serenity informed her coldly.
"Please, Usagi, I know you're still in there! Can't you fight her?"
Usagi sat up and blinked. She was in a sunny glade with her friends, mostly enjoying a companionable silence, and that statement was decidedly out of place. "Fight who, Rei-chan?" She looked over at her friend.
"Huh?" Rei looked confused as she tilted her head to look at her friend. "What are you talking about, Usagi-chan?"
Usagi looked equally confused. "Didn't you just ask me to fight someone?"
Rei sat up. "I never said anything, Usagi-chan. Besides, why would I ask you to fight? It's our job to protect you, remember?" She indicated the other girls who were all lazing around.
Usagi considered this. "Yes, you're right." She shrugged amiably. "It must have been my imagination."
"No!" Mars shook her head. "I refuse to believe that! Usagi can't be dead, she just can't!"
"Believe what you will." Dark Serenity shrugged before her hand shot out and gripped Mars' neck. "This is reality." She easily lifted the Senshi of Fire off the ground and started to strangle her.
Even as she felt the life being chocked out of her, Sailor Mars refused to put up a struggle. She would rather die than hurt Usagi.
"What?" Dark Serenity's voice was filled with disbelief. "You won't even fight me?" She disdainfully tossed Mars to the ground. "What use is a Senshi who won't fight?"
"We can't fight you. We believe in Usagi, that she's still alive," Venus said softly.
Tuxedo Kamen wisely decided not to say anything, since he would probably just make the situation worse.
"Bah!" Dark Serenity snorted in disgust. "You're pathetic. I had at least hoped for a good fight." She shook her head in disbelief. "To think that I once had to be 'protected' by the likes of you."
Usagi suddenly sat bolt upright, startling those around her. "Something's wrong!" she exclaimed.
"What do you mean, Usagi-chan?" Ami asked patiently.
Usagi looked around, a slightly wild look in her eyes. "I have a terrible feeling…"
"Don't worry about it," Minako tried to placate her. "If anything bad happens, you have us to look out for you, ne?"
Usagi refused to let this calm her down. She could feel it in the pit of her stomach; something important was about to happen, and she should be doing something about it. "I have to get out of here!" she said breathlessly.
"No," Makoto said firmly. "It's not safe for you out there. We won't be able to protect you, Usagi-chan."
"You'll only get hurt again, Usagi-chan. We don't want that to happen." Rei looked at her with pleading eyes.
Usagi faltered. She remembered that something horrible happened to her before she came here; she couldn't remember what, but she knew it was painful. "Perhaps… perhaps you're right…" she said at length, sitting back down.
"That's right, Usagi-chan. If you stay here, you'll be safe, so don't worry about it," Minako said.
Dark Serenity walked over to the edge of the observation deck and looked out over Tokyo. "Even if you envision a beautiful future, you can't escape the truth." She turned to face the other five. "This world is foul and corrupt!"
"No! We believe in this world that Usagi tried to protect!" Mars said as she picked herself up, still gasping for breath.
"You believe? In what?" Dark Serenity started to glow with power. "In love? In friendship? In trust?"
Chibi-Usa had recently regained consciousness and overheard the exchange. "We believe in them!" she yelled as she stood up. "We believe, and you should too! I know you're still Usagi!"
"We believe, and you should too! I know you're still Usagi!"
"Chibi-Usa-chan!" Usagi exclaimed as she heard the familiar voice.
"Who?" Ami looked puzzled.
"My daughter, Chibi-Usa!" Usagi looked at her friends for any sign of recognition, but none was forthcoming.
"You don't have a daughter, Usagi-chan!" Minako giggled.
"Yeah, you're only fourteen," Makoto pointed out.
Usagi was shocked at their responses. "Don't you remember her? She… she…" Usagi faltered as memories of the life she left behind caught up with her. Painful memories. "Mamo-chan!" she wailed. "How could you?!" She huddled in a little ball and started rocking back and forth.
Rei was by her side and put a comforting arm round her "There, there, Usagi-chan…" she soothed. "You don't have to think about those upsetting things when we're around."
Usagi stood up. Even though her eyes were tearstained, fierce determination shone in them. "I have to go now."
"No!" Rei shouted. "If you leave, who will protect you?!" There was desperation in her voice.
"If I stay, who will protect her?" Usagi asked as the dream world she had built up began to fracture around her.
Dark Serenity could feel Usagi's presence beginning to reform in her mind. "NO!!" she screamed, clutching her temples. "I killed you! You're dead!!" She took a few staggered steps towards the others. "Get out of my head!!"
"Mama!" Chibi-Usa's voice was etched with concern as she started to run towards Dark Serenity.
"Get away!" She flung a ball of kinetic energy at the child, who was pulled out of the way at the last second by Tuxedo Kamen. The ball of energy tore through several more support struts, which gave off shrieks as metal raked against metal. Everyone suddenly stumbled as the observation deck tilted at a small angle. The daimon, still trying to hide in the corner, was crushed by several tonnes of falling steel.
"The whole place is gonna come down!" Jupiter yelled above the groaning, as the tower strained to support its huge weight on massively reduced support.
"Get out of my—" Dark Serenity stopped talking and abruptly screamed. Her hair was starting to turn blonde again. She was breathing heavily and looked at her hands in wonderment "I'm back!" Her voice was tinged with disbelief and had none of the harsh inflections she normally used.
"Usagi?" Venus asked hesitantly, taking a few tentative steps towards her.
Her demeanor abruptly changed again "NO! This is my body and I won't let you have it!!" She fell to the ground, sweat dripping from her face as the body strained to keep up with the battle being fought by the two identities inside it.
"You can do it, Usagi!" Mars encouraged her. "Fight her!!"
"Gah!!" She let out a final scream and slowly picked herself up. "It's me." She spoke with Usagi's usual gentle voice.
Everyone let out exclamations of joy, and were on the verge of rushing her when she put up a cautionary hand. "Gomen ne, minna." Her voice was loaded with regret. "I'm not strong enough to hold her for long." Even now she was breathing heavily with the strain of holding the struggling Dark Serenity in check.
"What can we do to help?" Venus asked hopefully.
A tear slid down Usagi's cheek. "Kill me," she said simply.
"What?!" everyone exclaimed.
Usagi started to cry freely now. "I'm sorry. I'm weak. I'm not strong enough to win this fight." She drew herself up shakily. "You can't kill her; she's too strong. But I won't defend myself. It's the only way to protect everyone from her."
"No!" Mars ran over and took Usagi by the shoulders. "There has to be another way! We can't kill you! You have to fight her!"
Usagi looked down shamefully. "I can't, Rei-chan," she said bitterly. "She's so much stronger than I am." Suddenly she shuddered out of Mars' grasp. "Hurry! I can't do this much longer!" she insisted.
"No!" Chibi-Usa yelled shrilly as she ran over to Usagi. "You can't die, mama! Everyone needs you!" She started to cry. "I need you!"
Usagi looked down at her future daughter, eyes filled with regret. "I wish I could have held you as a baby… musume."
"Then don't die! I know you can win this!" Chibi-Usa's voice was filled with conviction.
Usagi doubled over and let out a strangled scream. When she managed to compose herself, she spoke. "I can't… It's taking all I have to hold her like this, and I can't last long." She stood up once more. "Please hurry," she begged her friends.
"NO! I won't let you die, mama!!" Chibi-Usa began to glow as she shouted, giving her pause. "What is this light?" she asked, voice tinged with wonderment as it began to gather between her outstretched hands. Suddenly a crystal, emanating tremendous power, winked into existence before her.
"The Ginzuishou!" Mercury breathed.
'It must have been absorbed into my body…' Chibi-Usa realized. 'All of this is my fault… if I hadn't taken it, the Black Moon wouldn't have attacked and hurt mama… and if I hadn't dragged Usagi into this, she would have been safe… It's my fault and it's up to me to make things right!' She held the Ginzuishou of the future out towards Usagi. "Onegai, Ginzuishou… Help Usagi!"
While Dark Serenity was preventing Usagi from using her own Ginzuishou, the one from the future was completely outside of her control. Its purifying light washed over Usagi, affirming her control over her own body and giving her the power to defeat Dark Serenity in her mind.
"You did it!" Usagi, now wearing the same clothes she had worn before transforming into Sailor Moon and traveling into the future, looked down proudly at Chibi-Usa.
"We did it," Chibi-Usa said happily.
Usagi suddenly swayed on her feet. "Oooh, I'm sleepy…" She murmured before falling towards the floor, being caught by Tuxedo Kamen just in time.
"She needs to rest. I'll take her to my place to make sure she's okay," he said, gently cradling the unconscious blonde in his arms.
"Like hell you are!" Mars growled as she advanced on him. "She'll stay at the shrine tonight, so we can be sure she really is herself. Then she's going home with her family."
The two glared at each other in a tense standoff for a minute before Mercury decided to intervene. "Ano… Mamoru-san, perhaps it would be best if she were to awake in more ah… neutral surroundings," she said diplomatically.
Tuxedo Kamen saw that all four Senshi were in agreement, while Chibi-Usa just looked confused — she had been unconscious at Dark Serenity's revelations about what he did. With a sigh, he gently lowered his love into Sailor Mars' arms. He didn't want a confrontation. "I'll be round to see her tomorrow morning."
"Can I stay at the shrine too, Rei-chan?" Chibi-Usa asked eagerly while tugging on Mars' skirt to get her attention.
"Sure thing, Chibi-Usa." She smiled warmly at the child.
Suddenly there was a loud screeching of metal as the tower began to shift again. "I really think we should get out of here now," Jupiter pointed out, receiving no argument from the others.
The phone rang.
And kept ringing.
Eudial was absorbed in designing an upgrade to her Fire Buster, but she became irritated and looked around the office. Mimette was reading some teen idol magazine, Viluy was playing a computer game, Cyprine and Ptliol were sleeping, and Tellu was nowhere in sight.
With an exasperated sigh, she got up and answered the phone. "Hai, Eudial desu." She listened to the voice on the other end of the line for a moment. "I see… So Kaolinite is dead," she said, loud enough that everyone in the office could hear her. She listened for another minute before putting the phone back down.
"What was that all about?" Mimette asked. Eudial was pleased to note that she had everyone's attention now; even the twins had woken up.
"Kaolinite was killed. The professor wants our proposals by tomorrow to see who will take her position."
To be continued.
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