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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"Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!" Sailor Moon used her attack to turn the monster back into the ice cream van driver.
The other Senshi all breathed a sigh of relief. "Is it just me, or do our enemies have the dumbest ideas about where to get heart crystals and dream mirrors and star seeds?" Jupiter asked in exasperation.
"It gives Usagi a chance to say some dumb speech about ice cream being nice, and not forgiving them for ruining it or some other nonsense," Mars pointed out.
"Maybe, but Lead Crow got away again," Uranus said harshly.
Everyone's attention was grabbed as another Senshi appeared five metres in the air and fell to the ground rather painfully. No one noticed the small white cat which also fell, and landed gracefully on its feet. The new arrival picked herself up and dusted herself off. She looked around at the seven Senshi, who were looking back with expressions ranging from shock to hostility.
Sailor Uranus acted first before anyone else could do anything. "World Shaking!!" She sent her attack at the new arrival.
But Sailor Centauri saw it coming and leapt backwards out of harm's way. "Too much to hope for a warm welcome," she bit out.
"Wait! Why are you attacking her?" Sailor Moon asked.
"The outer Senshi protect the solar system from enemies from outside," Uranus said coldly.
"That means her!" Neptune finished.
"You don't know that!" Sailor Moon said, then to the white-haired Senshi who was eyeing them all warily, "Who are you?"
Centauri brightened a little. She went through some poses and said dramatically, "For love and honour, I am the sailor-suited beautiful fighter, Sailor Centauri!"
"Sounds like someone we know," Mars whispered snidely to Venus.
"Well, I'm the sailor-suited beautiful fighter for love and justice, Sailor Moon!" Sailor Moon went through her poses.
"Invited by a new age, I am the magnificent Sailor Uranus!"
"Also invited by a new age, I am the elegant Sailor Neptune!"
The other Senshi shrugged their shoulders and decided to do their fancy introductions.
"For fire and passion, I am Sailor Mars!"
"For love and beauty, I am Sailor Venus!"
"For… uh… fog and studying, I am Sailor Mercury!"
"For… erm… trees and cooking, I am Sailor Jupiter!"
Everyone looked at Jupiter and Mercury, who just hung their heads in shame.
"Now, what are you doing in our solar system?" Neptune demanded.
Centauri put a hand behind her head and laughed nervously. "Funny story…"
Neptune had had enough, and launched her Deep Submerge at Sailor Centauri. Sailor Centauri was able to avoid this attack as well. "Okay, I've had a really bad day—" she hesitated, wondering if it could be counted as a day since she went through time, then decided to put the matter aside for a later time. "—and now I'm gonna kick some ass!"
Picking the loudmouthed Sailor Uranus as her first target, Sailor Centauri fired off her basic attack. "Centauri Star Shot!" The glowing white sphere knocked Uranus back, but she was stopped from falling over by Sailor Neptune, who staggered as she caught her fellow Senshi.
"Who else wants a piece of me?" Centauri asked nastily. She looked at the Senshi surrounding her, and saw they were all looking pretty PO'd and were preparing their own attacks. "Uh oh…" She backed off a little.
"Centauri, use your Siren Song attack, it will distract them and we can escape!" Hermes said urgently.
"Right. Siren song. Got it!" She gave the cat a thumbs up. "Centauri Siren Song!" She began to sing a haunting melody which affected the Senshi less than other enemies she'd fought, but still allowed her and Hermes to escape from the dazed and confused Senshi.
"That was close—" She began telling Hermes, but he interrupted her.
"Centauri, look out!!" he yelled.
"Huh?" She quickly spotted the threat and ducked under the wicked blade which occupied the same space her neck would have if she'd continued. Going into a quick somersault, she got up and faced the new threat. A young girl who didn't look any older than twelve was holding a glaive, which she quickly spun above her head and pointed at Centauri. She was wearing a Sailor Senshi outfit, but it was slightly different in design to the ones worn by the Senshi that Centauri had just escaped from.
"That's a nice weapon, girl," an increasingly pissed off Centauri growled.
"And I know just how to use it," the girl said coolly as she moved closer to Centauri.
"Really?" Centauri snarled as she withdrew a small tube from her pocket dimension. She activated it and it extended to its full length of almost one and a half metres. A glowing axe head appeared on its end. She assumed a combat stance opposite her opponent. Neither seemed in a favourable position to attack.
The girl seemed impressed. "Now, who are you?" Centauri asked, curious in spite of herself about the numerous Senshi of the Earth… and their apparent hostility, so unlike Sailor Pluto. Still, they didn't seem to be in league with Galaxia…
"I am Sailor Saturn. The Soldier of destruction and rebirth." She shifted her glaive into a slightly better position. Centauri shifted accordingly. "And you are?"
"As I told your friends, I am Sailor Centauri," she said, becoming aware that others had arrived, but not daring to take her eyes off Sailor Saturn.
The two attacks headed right for Centauri, swirling around each other as they homed in on their target.
Caught between Saturn's glaive and the two energy attacks she had avoided earlier, Centauri didn't know which way to turn. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. A voice — Sailor Moon's, probably — cried out, "Wait!"
Sailor Saturn smiled at Centauri, a warm gentle smile which immediately put her at ease. The noise of the attacks bearing down on her grew louder. Saturn turned toward Neptune and Uranus and said, "Silence Wall!" The two attacks were blocked harmlessly just in front of Sailor Saturn.
At the same time, both the Outer Senshi and Sailor Centauri asked, "Why?"
Saturn looked between them, and at the relieved Sailor Moon, and said, "I don't sense any true evil in her. And Sailor Moon told you to wait." Realising that she might not have to fight all these people, Centauri deactivated her Astral Axe and returned it to her pocket dimension. "I don't want to fight you," she told them.
"No, you just want our Star Seeds, don't you?" Uranus said, her voice even harsher than usual. Sailor Moon's naive idealism she could take; it was expected, even. But Saturn?!
"Star Seeds…" Centauri remembered that Galaxia had wanted those. They must think I'm working for Galaxia. "You mean Galaxia's here too?"
Before anyone could answer, Sailor Pluto arrived. "Sailor Pluto!" Centauri cried in relief at seeing one familiar face, even though she didn't really know the mysterious Senshi of Time. She ran towards Pluto, but Uranus and Neptune blocked her way.
"Not so fast!" Neptune said sternly.
"No, its al—" Pluto began, but it didn't matter since Centauri leapt over the two Outer Senshi and ran to Pluto, stopping just short of hugging her.
"I'm so glad to see at least one person I know here!" she said happily.
The remaining Senshi, surprised enough that Pluto seemed to know this Sailor Centauri, were even more surprised when a small white cat with a star on its forehead said, "Hey, what about me?!"
"Oh… er… I meant a human person!" Centauri backtracked.
"She has a talking cat! She must be good!" Mercury exclaimed.
"I've never met a talking cat I didn't like," Venus said, noticing the cat looked a lot like Artemis.
"But we still don't know why she's here," Jupiter pointed out.
"I don't intend to stay for long," Centauri explained. "I've come back through time so I can stop Galaxia. She defeated me before, but I'm sure I can find some way to stop her and save Centauri."
Pluto grabbed Centauri's arm, drawing her closer. "We need to talk."
"Sure," Centauri said, mildly surprised at Pluto.
"Not here. Come on, we're going to my place."
"Okay…" Centauri allowed herself to be dragged off by Pluto. Hermes ran after them while the other Senshi just looked at each other as they tried to figure out what had just happened.
When no one was around, Pluto transformed back into Setsuna. "We're less conspicuous this way," she told Centauri.
Centauri decided she was right, and transformed into Noriko. Then they went to Setsuna's apartment. She offered Noriko some tea, but the younger girl declined. "You said we needed to talk?"
"Um… yes." Setsuna became a little uneasy. "Noriko, you think you've traveled into the past. You haven't. I don't know how far, but you have gone into what from your perspective would be the future." She let the consequences of those words sink into Noriko.
"The future…" she said numbly "Then it's… too late. Galaxia has destroyed Centauri…"
Setsuna and Hermes tried to comfort her, but she pushed them away, sobbing wildly. "They're all dead!" she screamed "Dead! Everyone! And I did nothing! I wasn't even there!! Some protector I was. I let them all die!"
She got up and ran outside, tears streaming down her face. Setsuna got up to follow her, but Hermes stopped her. "She needs to be alone right now. She'll be back when she's come to terms with it. I'd half expected this anyway."
But Setsuna noticed tears forming in the cat's eyes.
Noriko ran through the streets, crying freely. Eventually she ran out of energy and just slumped to the ground against a lamppost. "All gone…" she kept repeating. She held her knees against her chest and rocked back and forth. "All gone." She just stopped talking and buried her head between her knees as her body convulsed with sobbing.
She became aware of someone near her and looked up through tear strained eyes. A cute little girl with red hair and heart-shaped odango was looking at her with a mixture of child-like curiosity and compassion. "Chibi-chibi," she said in a cute voice as she offered a candy to Noriko.
"T-thank you," Noriko said shakily as she accepted the candy. She managed a smile for the little girl.
"Chibi-chibi!" the child repeated happily, as she skipped off.
Haruka was still upset about this whole Sailor Centauri business, so Michiru had told her to take a walk and blow off some steam. And it was working; she was starting to feel better. Then she noticed the attractive girl with long white hair sitting on the ground, crying. Much better, she corrected herself as she went over.
"What's wrong? A cute girl like you can't have too many problems," she said, slipping into her routine. Pity Michiru's not here, she thought. Even she'd be impressed with this one.
The girl looked at Haruka for a moment and Haruka felt as if she was being probed down to her soul. "You have no idea," the girl finally said. Her voice carried an edge of bitterness.
Hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew, here, Haruka thought. "Boyfriend trouble?" she asked hopefully.
Noriko let out a short laugh that chilled Haruka with its emptiness. "I've never had a boyfriend in my life. Now I doubt I ever will."
"Some people would see that as a problem," Haruka was starting to regret her decision to hit on this girl. Something about her made Haruka deeply unsettled.
"If that was my only problem, I'd be ecstatic," Noriko was starting to get annoyed at this boy. At least she thought it was a boy.
"What other problems do you have?" Haruka asked.
"You couldn't understand. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd rather be alone right now." Noriko got up and started to shakily walk away.
"It can't be that bad—" Haruka put her hand on Noriko's shoulder. She was shocked when Noriko grabbed it and threw her over her shoulder. She was holding Haruka's arm as she lay prone on the ground. She twisted it causing Haruka to wince in pain.
"Never touch me without my permission. Not any time, but especially not today!" Noriko said menacingly. She gave Haruka's arm another twist, then let go and stalked off.
Haruka rubbed her sore arm and looked at the girl with a new appreciation. "Wait, what's your name?" she called after her.
"Ka'Tenmei Noriko," she said curtly without turning.
"I'm Ten'ou Haruka. Maybe we'll meet again."
Noriko didn't respond.
"Must be her time of the month," Haruka muttered as she decided to go see Michiru.
"It's getting late," Hermes observed as he saw the darkening twilight out the window.
"Maybe she got lost; she is in a totally new place," Setsuna said.
"I think I should go look for her. Maybe she's in danger, or maybe she…" Hermes found himself unable to complete the sentence as he considered the possibility that Noriko might have taken her life.
"I think she's probably just lost," Setsuna reassured him. "We should go look for her, though. I'll phone the others and ask them to look for her too."
"Are you sure that's a good idea after what happened earlier?" Hermes questioned her.
"She could have attacked them after doing that Siren Song thing, but she didn't. She also could have killed Saturn while she was putting up her Silence Wall, and she didn't. I'm sure that wasn't lost on everyone else."
As it happened, she was only able to get Ami, Rei and Makoto to help. Usagi was at the game center, Minako was doing 'idol stuff' with the Three Lights, and Haruka and Michiru either weren't in or weren't answering their phone. She didn't want to bother Hotaru since she was still pretty young to be going out alone at night.
Makoto noticed the girl with long white hair standing forlornly in the park. She was just staring up at the stars with a vacant expression. Guessing that this was the girl she was supposed to be looking for, she walked over. The girl didn't seem to notice her, so she cleared her throat and spoke. "Excuse me, are you Ka'Tenmei Noriko?"
The girl looked at her cautiously. "Yes…" she said quietly. "Who are you, and how do you know me?"
"I'm Kino Makoto. Setsuna and Hermes are out looking for you. She asked me and my friends to help. Although we actually met earlier today…" She checked that no one else was around. "…Sailor Centauri."
She started a little at that, then looked Makoto straight in the eye. "Not anymore," she said, her voice carried a touch of regret.
"What do you mean?" Makoto asked.
"I'm guessing that you're Sailor Jupiter," Noriko said, then looked at Mako for confirmation. Mako nodded so she continued. "What would you be if there was no Jupiter?"
Mako didn't quite understand. "What exactly do you mean?"
"If Jupiter were destroyed, what would you fight for?" Noriko clarified.
Makoto didn't hesitate. "I would fight for the Princess, Sailor Moon!"
"And what if your princess was dead?" Noriko asked.
"I would fight for the other planets in the solar system," Makoto said.
Noriko gave a sigh of frustration. "If you had nothing left. Nothing. No planet, no princess, no solar system. What then?"
I wish Usagi was here, Mako thought, she'd be able to deal with this. "I don't know," she said at last.
Noriko gave a sardonic smile. "Then you understand my position." She resumed looking at the stars while Mako stood next to her uneasily.
Just to break the silence which was starting to get to her, Mako asked what she was looking for, even though she knew the answer.
"Alpha Centauri. Which one of those dots of light is my home…? Well, what's left of it… Is it even visible from this planet?"
Mako didn't know. Ami would, but she was off looking for Noriko somewhere else. So she just said nothing.
After a few minutes, Noriko turned back to Makoto. "I'm sorry for fighting with you earlier," she said.
"That's all right. Haruka's the only one who really got upset about it." Mako laughed a little.
"Haruka… Ten'ou Haruka?" Noriko asked, a little worry in her voice.
"Yes. How do you know her?" Mako replied.
Noriko became a little nervous. "I thought she was a boy. She acted like she was coming on to me."
Mako laughed a bit more. "Yes, she does that a lot."
"But I beat her up!"
Mako was shocked. "You beat up Haruka? Wow! I'm impressed."
"She must be Sailor Uranus… Oh no, she won't be happy with me." Noriko became more worried.
"Probably not," Mako agreed. "How did you beat her up? I got in a fight with her once, and she kicked my ass."
"She didn't put up much of a fight. She grabbed my shoulder, so I threw her over it and twisted her arm a bit, then let her go. She didn't seem too mad, but she didn't know who I was!"
"Don't worry," Mako tried to reassure her. "Setsuna vouched for you, so Haruka will back down."
Suddenly Noriko remembered why Mako had come up to her in the first place. "Setsuna and Hermes are looking for me, you said. We'd better go and tell them I'm all right. I can imagine Hermes will be crawling out of his fur with worry by now."
"Right. Let's go." Mako was just glad that Noriko seemed to have forgotten her depression for now.
"You can sleep here tonight," Setsuna said, indicating the futon she had put in the living room. "We'll see about arranging something else tomorrow."
"This is fine," Noriko assured her. "Thank you for your kindness." She smiled at Setsuna. "I'll just have to start a new life on this planet, I suppose."
"It will be hard at first, but this is a wonderful place. I'm sure you'll adapt," Setsuna told her. "Well, good night. We'll talk more tomorrow." Setsuna went into her bedroom.
Noriko got undressed and laid down on the futon as she pulled a blanket over herself.
Hermes jumped up and curled up on her stomach. She patted her cat, and whispered "good night" to him as she drifted off to sleep.
Noriko was standing in a strange blasted landscape. Ruins were all around, and the architecture of some of it reminded her of home. She looked into the distance and saw the enormous Cybele Palace, except it too was in ruins. Many of the spires she remembered were gone, and the great central dome was split wide open. The sky was a cold grey, although no clouds were visible.
She heard footsteps approaching and turned. It was her best friend, Meimi.
"Noriko! I thought you were dead!" Meimi said. She herself looked half-dead; her skin was an unhealthy grey, like the sky.
"Meimi, what happened?" Noriko asked.
"Galaxia happened," another voice said. Noriko turned and saw the newcomer. It was her mother!
"Mom!" Noriko exclaimed.
Her mother laughed coldly. "At least what's left of me." She pointed to the stump where her left arm should be. She, too, was the same grey colour, and her vibrant blue hair was now more like an elderly person's rinsed blue.
"Galaxia did this," Meimi said. "We couldn't stop her."
"She was too powerful."
Noriko looked and saw the princess and many others emerging from the ruins.
"We called for Sailor Centauri, but she didn't come," the princess continued.
"She abandoned us," Meimi said.
"That's not true!" Noriko protested.
"Why are you defending her, Noriko?" Meimi asked.
"Because she's Sailor Centauri! You did this! You let us die!" Noriko's mother pointed an accusing finger from her remaining arm at Noriko.
A rumble of displeasure rippled through the assembled crowd.
"N-No…" Noriko tried to back away, but she had nowhere to go.
"Get her!" The princess cried as they all dove on Noriko, tearing at her clothes and then her bare skin.
They were like a pack of animals, clawing at her, ripping her flesh, tearing her eyes out so she couldn't even see them.
"Nooo! Mother! I'm sorry! Please!" Noriko cried hysterically.
"Nooo! Mother! I'm sorry! Please!"
Hermes and Setsuna started at the slumbering Noriko's outburst, and Setsuna went over and shook her awake. "Noriko, wake up!"
"No! Ah…! What?!" Noriko leapt out of the futon and looked around in a panic. Then, seeing Hermes and Setsuna she relaxed a little. "Just a dream…" she sighed.
"Uh… Noriko…" Hermes pointed a paw at her while studiously looking away. She noticed that Setsuna was covering her eyes.
"What…" then she looked down and her brain registered the fact that she was nude. "Ahhh!" She snatched the blanket and wrapped it around her.
"You can get dressed in the bathroom." Setsuna pointed to a door behind Hermes.
"Thanks…" Noriko grabbed her clothes and hurried into the bathroom, emerging fully clothed less than two minutes later.
"Rice cake?" Setsuna held up a plate with some rice cakes on it.
"Yes, please." Noriko took one and started to eat it. "Did I say anything in my sleep?" she asked them nervously.
Hermes and Setsuna exchanged glances then simultaneously said, "No."
"Good," Noriko said, slightly dubious.
After a few minutes of strained silence, Hermes decided to tell Noriko about what was happening later. "Noriko… Haruka, Michiru and Hotaru are coming over soon."
"So, who are they?" Noriko asked, taking another bite of rice cake.
"Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn, respectively," Hermes said.
"What?!" Noriko started choking on a piece of rice cake, but after a brief struggle, forced it down. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"They need to be sure that you're not a threat to our solar system. They take their duty very seriously," Setsuna informed Noriko.
"So what will it take to convince them that I'm just an emotionally disturbed girl who came here by accident and should, by all rights, be dead?" Noriko stated flatly.
"Noriko!" Hermes sounded shocked. "You're Sailor Centauri!"
"No, Hermes!" Noriko snapped at him, then more softly. "I'm not. I stopped being Sailor Centauri the moment Galaxia killed everyone on Centauri."
"You don't know that. Maybe some survived," Hermes tried to console her.
"I know. And I can never again become Sailor Centauri. She died with her people. I have to let it go," Noriko said, her voice shaking slightly.
"Noriko, as long as you have hope, Centauri will live on." Setsuna put her arm around Noriko. "I know how you feel. When Queen Metallia destroyed the Silver Millennium and killed the Senshi, I could do nothing. I stayed at the time gate and watched them all die. But now, a thousand years later, the Senshi have risen again and there is hope."
"That hope is dead if Galaxia is here now," Noriko told Setsuna. "My strongest attacks had no effect on her. She's invincible."
"We believe in our princess. There is always hope," Setsuna said simply.
"I wish I could believe you," Noriko said sadly.
Just then, there was a knock at the door. "It's us," Michiru's voice carried into the apartment.
"Come in; it's open," Setsuna shouted.
Michiru came into the room, quickly followed by Haruka. Hotaru entered last.
Hotaru sat down next to Hermes and patted him. He purred as he rubbed against her. Michiru sat with Setsuna, and Haruka leaned against the wall, looking at Noriko distrustfully. Noriko smiled nervously at Haruka.
"So, uh… you think I'm trying to invade your solar system then?" Noriko said lightheartedly to try and break the tension.
"Are you?" Haruka asked coldly.
"No. I came here by accident, and if I had a choice I wouldn't be here. But I am, so deal with it," Noriko shot back.
"I believe you," Hotaru said. Hermes had curled up in her lap.
"I'm not sure yet. I suppose that if you are invading, you're going about it in a funny way," Michiru said.
"I know how she came here, and she has done nothing hostile toward any of us," Setsuna said firmly.
"Yeah, right." Haruka still wasn't convinced.
"Self-defence!" Noriko stood up and glared at Haruka. Haruka balled her fists and took a step towards Noriko.
"Calm down, both of you," Michiru said soothingly.
Noriko stared at Haruka a moment longer, then broke her stare and sat down again. Haruka relaxed a little.
"I guess I'll go along with the majority. I hope you're right about her, though," Haruka said in resignation.
"Good. I'm glad it's settled. Now Noriko, we are under attack by Galaxia; can you help us at all?" Setsuna asked.
"If you want me to fight, I can't—"
"Can't or won't?" Haruka interrupted.
"I don't have to answer that!" Noriko said indignantly, then turned to Setsuna. "But I will tell you what happened to my world. It might help, I don't know."
"Anything is better than nothing," Hotaru said.
So Noriko told them all that had happened. Copper Eagle taking the princess' star seed, Centauri killing Copper Eagle, Galaxia's offer to make her an animamate, and Galaxia almost killing her before she escaped with Hermes.
"You know everything that happened after that," Noriko concluded.
"Well, two of Galaxia's animamates that came here are now dead, but there's still two more and Galaxia herself," Hotaru stated.
"You've convinced us that you're not a threat, Noriko." Michiru smiled, then through gritted teeth, "Right, Haruka?"
"All right, all right, I believe you," Haruka said. "Well, now that's dealt with, we may as well go." She started towards the door.
"Wait, there's still one thing," Setsuna stopped her. "Noriko needs a place to stay. My apartment is too small."
Michiru was about to say something, but a glare from Haruka caught her.
"You can stay with papa and me; we have a big house and it gets pretty empty. If you want…" Hotaru offered.
"Are you sure that's okay?" Noriko asked.
"I'm sure professor Tomoe would be happy to help," Setsuna said.
To be continued.
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