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A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Ebiris

Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.

Feedback is always appreciated. Email me at danielmcdonagh@hotmail.com

Chapter 12: Deal with the Devil! Deadly Moon Attack!

"Almost there…" Dark Serenity told herself as she pushed against the seal which had her confined in the recesses of Usagi's mind. It had been a week since her last serious attempt at breaching it, having decided it was more efficient and less risky to adopt a low-key approach. Usagi's fainting nearly gave her away, so she now focused all her efforts while Usagi slept.

Usagi's physical health was gradually deteriorating as a result, since she gained no rest from sleeping, but it was far less obvious than the near-death experience that had followed the last attempt. Her friends were mostly attributing Usagi's sluggishness to stress, the only one who suspected anything was Luna, who found it odd that her charge didn't seem to suffer any nightmares after such a traumatic experience.

In fact, Usagi didn't dream at all, as her subconscious spent every night struggling against Dark Serenity.

Even now, Usagi was beginning to stir as morning approached; normally this was cause for Dark Serenity to withdraw until night. But today she was very close. Close enough to take the risk of continuing.

"I've got it!" she exclaimed triumphantly, as the seal shattered before her.

Usagi sat up in bed and yawned loudly. She took a bleary-eyed look at her alarm clock and saw it was half past seven. She never slept in any more, though she certainly wished that it would happen, given how tired she always felt.

"I've got it!" she suddenly exclaimed, before blinking in surprise. "Got what?" she asked herself aloud, confused at the sudden outburst issuing from her own lips.

"What?!" she asked in surprise. Had she been looking in a mirror, Usagi would have seen that she was scowling angrily as she said it. As it was, she felt her face contort seemingly of its own volition.

"Why am I talking to myself?" Usagi asked as an icy feeling descended on the pit of her stomach. Something was terribly wrong.

Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What are you still doing here?"

"What do you mean? I live here. What's happening?" Usagi was beyond confused now. It was disconcerting talking to oneself, when you didn't know what you were going to say.

"Oh shit…" Usagi shook her head wearily as realisation set in — for one part of her at least. The other part of her commanded her hands to fly to her face in alarm. "What did I say?" She was horrified at hearing the curse issuing from her own mouth.

At the foot of the bed, Luna began to awaken. "Morning, Usagi-chan…" The cat stretched out lazily and yawned.

"Luna! What's—" Usagi started to ask her pet what was going on in the vain hope the moon cat would have some idea.

She was abruptly cut off by herself. "Luna! Get out of here! I need some time alone!" she barked angrily.

Luna was surprised, and a little hurt by the outburst. But she decided not to press matters. "Okay, Usagi-chan… I'll go…" she said in a somewhat sorrowful voice as she leapt out the window.

"Why did I tell Luna to leave?" Usagi was starting to become very scared with what was happening to her. She then watched in shock as her right hand came up and began banging against her forehead in time with a stream of colourful curses, causing her to blush deeply at what she heard.

"What's happening?" Usagi demanded as she interrupted the expletives, which showed no sign of slowing down.

A pained sigh issued from her lips. "We're stuck sharing this body is what's happening… How could this happen?!" Her head slumped in her hands tiredly. "I don't believe this…"

"Sharing? Who are you?" Usagi asked as she stared into her hands.

Usagi groaned. "Who else? Dark Serenity."

She suddenly leapt off her bed in alarm. "What?! I thought you were gone!" She tried focusing in on herself to fight Dark Serenity like she had at Tokyo Tower, but found nothing she could fight against.

Usagi chuckled grimly. "Finding out you can't get rid of me this time? I already figured that out, since I can't seem to get rid of you either." She groaned again. This was not what she had planned on happening.

"What does this mean?" Usagi asked fearfully.

"It means we're stuck together, is what… The gods must have one twisted sense of humour to allow this travesty." Usagi fell forward onto her bed, face down. Dark Serenity was not in the highest of spirits.

Usagi, meanwhile, took stock of her situation. She was now sharing her body with the evil monster which had ruined her life and nearly killed her friends.

Clearly there was only one solution. And she had to act fast.

Usagi stood up, an expression of icy calm on her features. She tried to keep her thoughts buried, she had no idea if Dark Serenity would be aware of her thoughts at all, but it was best not to take chances.

"What are you doing?" she asked herself. Dark Serenity was puzzled at Usagi's behaviour.

With lightning speed, Usagi grabbed a pair of scissors from her desk and slashed at her left wrist.

"What the hell is wrong with you?!" she suddenly exclaimed as her right arm locked and the left arm moved away from the right. Usagi struggled vainly, but Dark Serenity was putting everything she had into keeping Usagi from killing herself. It was a stalemate, but that was as good as a victory to Dark Serenity. "Look, I don't like this situation any more than you do, but surely it beats dying?!" she asked herself desperately.

"I won't let you hurt the ones I love!" Usagi gasped out as she did her best to stab herself. Tears were starting to flow down her cheek. She would miss everyone, but this was the only way she could think of to protect them.

"You don't want to do this, Usagi!" she said in a panicked voice. "If you die, who will protect everyone?" Dark Serenity tried to think of any reason to dissuade Usagi from committing suicide.

"I'll die to protect them from you, you bitch!" Usagi snarled hatefully. Dark Serenity had destroyed her life. Destroyed her love. Dying to take her out didn't seem so bad. The anger gave her strength and the sharp edge of the scissors inched closer to the flesh of her left wrist.

'I never realised she could feel such hate! I could almost get to like her — if she'd stop trying to kill us!' Dark Serenity thought admiringly, yet still she focused her attention on keeping the right and left arms separated.

"Usagi, I…" Chibi-Usa walked in the bedroom unannounced, and trailed off as soon as she saw her future mother holding a pair of scissors over her wrist, her face contorted in fury.

"Chibi-Usa!" Usagi exclaimed in shock, all thoughts of suicide gone as she struggled to come up with some sort of explanation. Dark Serenity took advantage of the lapse and hurled the scissors away, embedding them several inches in the wall above her bed.

Chibi-Usa looked at the scissors and then back at Usagi, her mouth hanging open. She worked her jaw a few times before words would come out. "What are you doing?" she asked in a small voice.

"I… uh…" Usagi tried her best to come up with something to reassure the child, but was drawing a blank. After a few seconds she decided to fall back on her most effective tactic — play dumb. "Nothing! I wasn't doing anything!" Usagi giggled nervously and scratched the back of her head. Dark Serenity, for her part, was being completely passive, fervently hoping Usagi wouldn't give her away, until she realised Usagi was practically frozen. She would have to take over.

"I was just trimming a loose thread, nothing to worry about." She gave the child what she hoped was a reassuring smile and pointed vaguely at her pyjama sleeve.

"Oh…" Chibi-Usa accepted the explanation, mainly because she really wanted to accept it. "I just came to see if you were up; it's almost time for school."

Usagi was still frozen, so Dark Serenity was stuck doing the talking. "Well, as you can see, I'm awake. I'll be downstairs in a bit," she said, hoping Chibi-Usa would just leave.

Chibi-Usa started to the door, then turned around again. "Say, where's Luna?" she asked.

Usagi made a strangled sounding noise. "Luna just went out for a bit. As cats do. Off you go, now," she made shooing motions towards Chibi-Usa as she spoke with a desperately pleading tone.

"Okay. Don't take too long." Chibi-Usa shrugged and left, closing the door behind her.

Usagi sat down on her bed and started breathing heavily. "That was close…" she muttered.

Meanwhile, Usagi was at last able to pull herself together. "I can't do it… I can't leave her all alone. She won't even be born if I kill myself…" She put her head in her hands and started sobbing. "Oh kami… What has become of me?"

"Well, I'm glad you've got rid of those fool ideas about suicide," she said as she started wiping the tears away. "But we are in something of a bind now, aren't we?"

Usagi was rather miffed at her crying jag being interrupted, and did her best to get back into it, while Dark Serenity tried to pull herself together. "Stop moping, dammit! I don't like this either, but you aren't helping." What followed was a brief struggle similar to the one over the scissors, but nowhere near as intense. Usagi quickly gave up anyway.

"Come on, let's get ready for school," she said as she began to change out of her pyjamas.

"I thought you wanted to take over the world?" Usagi asked, but made no attempt to stop getting dressed.

"I could say the same to you — Neo Queen Serenity. But for now, we may as well live your life until I can figure something out." Dark Serenity avoided mentioning that she wanted to avoid letting anyone else know what had happened until her position was more secure… Although she suspected they would be stuck with neither gaining the upper hand for quite some time, there was no telling how outside interference might affect things.

"I still have no idea how I become queen of the world…" Usagi said. She was doing nothing right now, but Dark Serenity was taking care of getting dressed by herself.

She snorted. "How should I know? Probably the ingrates on this mudball just realised they're better off being ruled by their superiors." She had gotten dressed now and looked in the mirror. She looked exactly as Tsukino Usagi should; no black hair or crescent moon marking in evidence.

"Why do you hate Earth so much?" Usagi asked, slightly sadly.

"You recovered some of the memories of being Princess Serenity, right? I think the last of those memories answers that question nicely."

"But that was a thousand years ago! People on earth are different now. Besides, they were being influenced by Beryl and Metallia," Usagi protested.

"The only difference is that there's no Moon Kingdom to focus their hatred against. People weren't forced or brainwashed to do what they did. Beryl just stirred up a few prejudices, and basic human nature did the rest." Usagi's vision clouded up with tears at the memory of what happened to the Silver Millennium, but the tears belonged to Dark Serenity. "You only have to look around to see how foul and corrupt this world truly is. As harsh as my rule would be, it would be a blasted improvement for at least two-thirds of the population. As for the third who find things a lot worse than before, don't you ever wonder that they might deserve it?"

Usagi was stunned speechless at the passion and sincerity in her voice. Dark Serenity really believed in what she spoke of. "I had no idea…" she said at last.

She snorted in reply to that. "And that's the saddest thing of all… Princess." She laced the title with sarcasm.

Usagi could find no words in reply, but Dark Serenity had already decided to move onto other matters. "We can't talk to each other like this. Even if it's literally true in our case, I don't want people thinking we're schizophrenic." Had she understood what the word meant, Usagi probably would have laughed at the irony in that statement.

Dark Serenity focused her surface thoughts towards Usagi. 'Can you hear me?' she asked.

Usagi started. "What was that?" She looked around in bewilderment, before sighing at Dark Serenity's behest.

'Just think towards me in your head.'

'Like this?' Usagi replied hesitantly.

'Yes. That's how we'll talk to each other. Now come on, lets get ready to face the day.'

Usagi stood up and left her bedroom. 'You know, I still hate you,' she said firmly to Dark Serenity. That was an especially strong statement in Usagi's case, since she had never hated anyone before, not even Beryl, really. But Dark Serenity had hurt her more than anyone ever had before and hopefully ever would again.

She chuckled darkly in response to this. 'Then perhaps there is hope for you after all.'

Usagi stared at her math notebook in disbelief. The lesson was only ten minutes old, but she had already completed all the work set. Or rather, Dark Serenity had. 'I guess having you around does have some compensation…' she thought.

'It wasn't exactly difficult,' was the reply. 'You should be ashamed of yourself for knowing so little.'

'Great. Even my split personality thinks I'm stupid…' Usagi said disconsolately.

'Well, it does show how useful I am to have around. My knowledge hardly stops with simple math formulae,' Dark Serenity pointed out. Her main goal for the day was basically to make herself seem useful to Usagi. With luck, she would eventually be able to turn the girl to her way of thinking; but it would be hard if Usagi constantly opposed her.

'So what else do you know?' Usagi asked.

'I'm hardly going to give away everything to you right away,' Dark Serenity responded haughtily. 'I'll provide information when I think it's relevant. Don't worry, it's not like I'm going anywhere.'

'That's exactly what does worry me.' Usagi was wondering how in hell she would ever be able to rid herself of Dark Serenity.

"Seventeen," Usagi said lazily.

"Er, yes. Quite correct, Tsukino-kun," said Sato-sensei, disappointed at failing to catch the girl napping.

'Huh? What was that about?' Usagi asked mentally.

'The teacher asked us a question. I'm surprised you haven't been hit by a bus or something, given how little attention you pay the world around you,' Dark Serenity replied sharply.

'Well, I've been distracted! It's not easy having an evil split personality suddenly foist itself upon you!' Usagi snapped back angrily.

'Don't get so worked up. You're making our eye twitch,' Dark Serenity said while rubbing at the eye.

'It's not OUR eye! It's mine!' Usagi replied hotly.

'Look, we both seem to have equal control over this body, so stop whining and accept it. Things will go a lot easier for both of us if we can work together.' Dark Serenity's tone was the same one might use when dealing with a small child.

Usagi just grumbled unintelligibly in response.

While Usagi was struggling through her Japanese history class, Dark Serenity had more important things to concern herself with. What did she care about the Meiji restoration? All of the history of this mudball paled in comparison to the Silver Millennium.

She was currently looking through the mental programming in Usagi's head that allowed her to access her powers as Sailor Moon. As the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, Usagi held a massive amount of magical power, but she had no clue how to cast even the simplest light spell. What she did have however, were a series of offensive and healing spells which were hardwired into her consciousness and could be released with a simple command trigger and use of an artefact like the cutie moon rod.

It really was a masterpiece of mental engineering; the routines were adaptive and could rewrite themselves to create more powerful spells on the fly if Usagi were placed in sufficient danger. Currently, Usagi was only using forty percent of her full power when she became Sailor Moon, and with the Ginzuishou her power could be increased several hundred times over. Dark Serenity assumed the scaling of her powers was designed to allow the girl to gradually become used to channelling greater magical energy over time.

Dark Serenity herself was finding that she couldn't cast any spells while sharing her body with Usagi. She assumed that both of them would need to act in concert to access her magical power. Unfortunately it would take months to teach Usagi even a basic non-offensive spell. On the other hand, it was an afternoon's work to rewrite Usagi's mental programming to give her attacks a little more oomph.

The next time those Deathbusters attacked, they'd be in for a little surprise…

"Does Usagi seem to be acting strangely to you?" Ami asked her friends in their booth at the Crown.

"I dunno…" Makoto shrugged. "She looked all distracted today at school, but she also seemed to be paying more attention than she usually does. And she avoided falling asleep in class."

"Well, she has been through a lot lately. Given some of what's happened to her, I'm surprised she hasn't just shut herself away from the world. Instead, she's been going out of her way to act normal and put up a strong front. I'm pretty proud of her," Minako put in.

Ami wore a concerned expression. "I'm not sure if that's healthy, though. All the stress must be building with no outlet. I'm worried."

Minako sighed heavily. "I guess you're right. She's forcing herself, mostly for Chibi-Usa, I suppose, but also for us…"

"She shouldn't need to put up a front around us, dammit! We're her friends!" Makoto said fiercely.

Minako's expression became sad. "True, but she's our leader, and we've never really taken her seriously despite all the amazing things she's done. Then this 'Dark Serenity' shows up and we can't not take her seriously." She idly played with the straw in her drink as her shoulders slumped. "Much as we love the girl, we don't really give her the respect she deserves. She thinks she has to be strong to show us that she's worthy of our respect."

Ami and Makoto both fell silent as they digested what Minako said. It was depressing, but it made sense. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Ami spoke up "How… how can we show her that it's all right to open up to us? Usagi has always been so open, and it just doesn't seem right to have her act this way."

"I don't know…" Minako said. "We've all been a lot more supportive towards her lately, especially Rei and Chibi-Usa, but I think Usagi has to get past this on her own. It didn't help that she was totally ineffective at the last fight. Her confidence must be shattered…"

Makoto had by now grown weary of this depressing topic, which wasn't getting them anywhere. "Speaking of the last fight, have you seen Haruka since your date?" she needled good-naturedly.

Minako pouted cutely. "No. And he was acting all weird after I had to run off to do my superhero thing… You'd think being a beautiful soldier of love and justice would help my dating prospects, not hinder them!"

"Amen to that, sister," Makoto raised her drink in a mock toast.

Rei was having a bad day.

It hadn't started that way, oh no. Today had started on a perfectly innocuous note, with our raven-haired priestess waking up and heading to school and getting through all her classes with a minimum of fuss. Then she had started on her way home, feeling if not happy, then at least content.

Then she ran into that pervert Mamoru. How she had ever liked the sick bastard was beyond her; she would just have to write it off as the naiveté of youth. Now that he had shown his true colours, however, she had no intention of letting him near her princess ever again… Destined love be damned.

She, of course, made her position quite clear on seeing him, exploding in a manner quite unbefitting a Shinto shrine maiden, yet all too familiar to anyone who knew her. Of course, the dirty child molester just assumed that everything could just go back to normal, now that Dark Serenity was history and he could get right back into Usagi's good graces.

Not on Hino Rei's watch!

After concluding her tirade against the male gender in general and Chiba Mamoru in particular, Rei had made her way home, brimming with righteous anger and feeling a not guilty pleasure at trashing Mamoru's reputation in the middle of a crowded street.

Then her day got worse.

She was walking up the stairs leading to her shrine's torii when she felt an impact on her back, followed by an indescribably painful sensation that was like heartburn pumped up to fatal levels. As she saw the brightly shining crystal emerge from her chest, she barely had the presence of mind to press the emergency button on her communicator before darkness claimed her.

"Shimatta!" Usagi cursed as her communicator blipped its emergency call from Rei and indicated her position. She had been heading to Chibi-Usa's school, but was only a few minutes from Hikawa Shrine if she hurried.

'Well, aren't you going to rescue her?' a sardonic voice in her head asked.

'I thought you wanted Rei-tachi dead?' Usagi retorted.

'I can't stop you from going, but if you want to stay here and argue with me, that's fine too,' Dark Serenity said, sounding slightly amused.

"Arrogant bitch," Usagi grumbled as she darted into an alley to transform before roof-hopping to the shrine. She took out her compact and prepared to henshin when Dark Serenity interrupted her again.

'Say 'Moon Eclipse Power, Make Up',' Dark Serenity said as she focused on her half of the transformation.

'Why?' Usagi asked suspiciously.

'I've improved your henshin. This transformation will make you stronger and tougher, as well as allowing you to use the improved attacks I've made up.'

'I don't trust you. This could be a trick,' Usagi responded.

'Don't be paranoid; it makes you sound like Luna!' Dark Serenity said, a hint of irritation creeping into her mental voice.

In spite of herself, Usagi giggled before clamping down on her mirth. 'I have good reason to be paranoid, I think.'

'Fine. See if I care. But you can't transform without my help, whichever henshin you use. I just wanted to give us a fighting chance against those Daimons. But we are much safer here arguing rather than rushing off into danger to save your friend.' Dark Serenity sniffed haughtily.

"Moon Crystal Power… Make UP!" Usagi cried, before slumping at the lack of effect. "Damn you…" she whispered. "Fine, I'll do it your way. Moon Eclipse Power… Make UP!!" She practically bit the phrase out.

This time, with Dark Serenity joining in, the transformation took effect. The feeling was familiar to Usagi, but much more intense than normal as her body was flushed with power she was unused to handling. But underneath, there was a hint of something… if not evil, then… dark. She wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but it was certainly disquieting.

Then she noticed the breeze.

"What the hell am I wearing?!" she exclaimed in dismay.

'What? You think I'd be caught dead in one of those demeaning seifuku?' Dark Serenity asked dryly.

"But this is perverted!" Usagi retorted, her shock making her forget to keep her voice internal.

'But we look so good in black,' Dark Serenity said with a smirk.

Eudial swore as she was bowled over by a World Shaking, courtesy of Sailor Uranus. "That IS IT!!!" she screamed. "You DIE, NOW!!!" She raced back to her car under the cover of her Daimon, and grabbed a flamethrower. "Witches Eudial Special Attack!" she cried out dramatically, as she aimed at the two Senshi that were trying to steal the pure heart she was trying to steal herself. "Fire Buster!!"

She blasted both Outer Senshi with a huge gout of flame, while the Daimon joined in by firing deadly Lego bricks. The Lego was melted by the flames and rendered useless, but it was the thought that counted.

The scorched Sailor Neptune finally made it over to Rei's unconscious form, and quickly examined the heart crystal. "It's not a talisman," she announced.

"Then there's no reason to stay," Uranus replied as she picked herself up and prepared to depart, leaving Rei to her fate.

Eclipse Sailor Moon had just arrived at the battle and heard the Outer Senshi's cold assessment of the situation. 'How can they be so heartless?' she thought, appalled at their cavalier dismissal of her best friend.

'It's just the way they are, Usagi,' Dark Serenity told her. 'Let me do the speech, will you?'

With that, Dark Serenity took nominal control of their body as Sailor Moon leapt into the fray and focused her attention on the outer Senshi. "Hold it, you two! As the last member of the ruling line of Serenity, I order you to submit yourselves before me!"

Sailors Uranus and Neptune stared.

"Well? Present yourselves. I can't have rogue Senshi running around interfering with my plans," Sailor Moon insisted.

A trickle of blood emerged from Sailor Uranus' nose.

'Ew! They're checking us out! I knew this outfit was perverted!' Usagi exclaimed.

Sailor Uranus was in heaven as she took in the vision of hot nubile beauty before her. Sailor Moon had ditched her seifuku in favour of a far more enticing ensemble.

She wore a sort of black leather strapless leotard which most definitely "lifted and separated" her attributes, thigh-high leather boots and elbow-length gloves. Then there were the two metallic silver belts draped over her hips forming an X. Add to that the golden epaulets on her shoulders, which held up a billowing black cape with silver trim — despite the lack of any breeze. Completing the outfit was the standard Senshi tiara with crescent moon inlaid, and two gold ornaments in her odango.

While Haruka was lost in her ecchi thoughts, however, her partner was able to retain her faculties, mainly out of irritation that Haruka could not. "I doubt that our princess would wear something so trashy," she sniffed, though in truth she was feeling rather jealous of Sailor Moon's outfit.

Sailor Moon saw red, even as Usagi was mentally agreeing with Neptune's assessment. "Trashy?! How dare you!!" She focused on one of the new attacks she had created for Usagi. "Moon Nightmare Illusion!!" She gestured towards her target along with the words… to no effect.

'Hey, Usagi! You have to join in with the attack, or it won't work!' Dark Serenity mentally shouted.

'I'm not going to attack them! They're Senshi. Besides, she was right about this outfit!' Usagi replied hotly.

'Hey, we look good, and don't you deny it! Better to look sexy than stupid, and I have no intention of wearing a Sailor suit!'

By this point in their argument, Sailor Neptune had managed to drag Uranus off, while Eudial had collected her wits and ordered her daimon to attack the twitching heroine.

"Look out!" Sailor Moon cried as she leapt out of the way of a lego brick barrage.

"Who are you yelling at?" Eudial wondered at the schizophrenic heroine's behaviour.

'Great! They got away!' Dark Serenity groused as she noted the lack of Outer Senshi in the area. 'How about the Daimon? Is it all right if we attack it, your majesty?'

Usagi finally found something to agree with, and the pair focused their magic energy in concert. "Moon Nightmare Illusion!" Eclipse Sailor Moon fired a blast of black and pink energy at the Daimon, which promptly killed it.

Seeing her servant so easily dispatched, Eudial decided that discretion is the better part of valour and escaped.

Meanwhile, Sailor Moon went over to Rei and restored her heart crystal. She smiled as she saw the colour swiftly return to her friend's cheeks.

"Sailor Moon…?!" A shocked voice came from the foot of the stairs to the shrine.

Sailor Moon turned to see the other Senshi looking at her with expressions of extreme shock on their features.


To be continued.

Chapter 13
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