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 Sailor Venus' One-Shots

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Chmia
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PostSubject: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:49 am

Well, I'm really only writing one-shots for the writing contest, but I thought I'd compile them all into one thread.

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:52 am

Transformation

Nobody could wipe the beaming smile of pride off the lips of Neo-Queen Serenity. Today was the day her daughter became the lady she had always dreamed of becoming! The birthday festivities would be held later after the official proclamation and naming ceremony. Of course, the queen was also celebrating her birthday, but she had lived through so many birthdays already and she did not want to diminish her baby girl’s special day.

Neo-Queen Serenity frowned. She would have to stop thinking of her daughter as her ‘baby’ girl; she was a woman. But, it was so hard. It seemed like just yesterday that she had held Small Lady as a newborn baby girl in her arms.

She felt as if she had just been through hell and back, but all such thoughts left Neo-Queen Serenity’s mind when Sailor Mercury placed a small bundle wrapped in a pink blanket in her majesty’s arms.

“Chibi-Usa,” the new mother sighed happily. Exhaustion was eaten away when her daughter gurgled and moved closer. The smile on Neo-Queen Serenity’s face broadened and a tear leaked out of her eye. King Endymion wiped the tear away with a loving finger, and then gently straightened his daughter’s pink hair.

“I’ve missed you,” he said softly, smiling at his daughter.

Neo-Queen Serenity knew their relationship was unique. Long before this day, they had met their daughter. They had already forged precious memories that would never be forgotten. Now, they would forge more precious memories together. She looked forward to seeing her daughter transform into a lady.


Neo-Queen Serenity smiled fondly at the memory and squeezed King Endmyion’s arm just a little tighter. “Remember when she was just a baby?” She whispered, motioning toward her full-grown daughter. King Endmyion smiled and nodded. “I can’t believe she grew up so quickly.” The mother sighed.

“She quickly outgrew that little pink blanket and latched onto Luna-P, instead.” King Endmyion said with a chuckle and a smile. “She has led a difficult life, but she matured beautifully as a guardian of love and justice.” King Endmyion nodded.

“Mama!” A joyous voice cried!

Neo-Queen Serenity could not hold back the tears as her precious daughter ran across the garden. Heedless of the heels she wore, she ran toward her daughter and gratefully collapsed with Chibi-Usa in her arms. King Endmyion was not far behind. Oh, to be reunited!

“Mama, Papa, I’m so sorry!” Her daughter cried, sobbing in her mother’s arms as she clung tightly to both of her parents. “I never knew what would happen. Please, don’t hate at me.”

“Do not fret,” King Endmyion said, lifting up Chibi-Usa’s chin, so he could wipe the tears away. “We could never hate you.”

“You saved us all, Chibi-Usa.” Neo-Queen Serenity said. “We are so proud of you!”

A thought and a smile came to Chibi-Usa’s face. She gently pushed away from her parents and stood up. “You’ll be even more proud of me in just a minute. I did something amazing.”

Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endmyion smiled knowingly at each other.

Chibi-Usa touched the brooch on the front of her bodice. “Moon Prism Power, Make Up!” She was engulfed in a shower of pink and light colors. The young child, who was relentlessly teased about her heritage and apparent lack of potential, laid all doubt to rest with those few words. By the end of it all, Sailor Chibi-Moon stood proudly with a huge smile on her face.

“In the name of the moon, I will punish you!” She said loudly, clumsily motioning through Sailor Moon’s famous catchphrase and accompaniment hand movements. No one could take this moment, this proud feeling away from her or her parents.

“Oh, Small Lady!” Neo-Queen Serenity cried happily. Feelings of pride and joy overflowed and she caught her daughter in another strong hug. “What shall I call you, my young warrior?”

“Sailor Chibi-Moon,” the young warrior of love and justice said without hesitation.

“Sailor Chibi-Moon,” King Endmyion repeated, liking the way the title sounded. “Sailor Chibi-Moon,” he repeated again,” you have taken yet another step toward becoming a lady.”


And Sailor Chibi-Moon had continued to grow and mature as a guardian of love and justice. As she grew older, she began to take her position as a future leader more seriously. Neo-Queen Serenity knew that Small Lady had admired her mother’s role as the guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon, and that she aspired to be as great as her one day. Perhaps it was because she was her mother, but Neo-Queen Serenity always thought that Sailor Chibi-Moon had long ago surpassed Sailor Moon’s abilities as a senshi and a leader.

“Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!” Eternal Sailor Chibi-Moon cried with strength and power. The enemy screamed as it exploded into a cloud of fine dust, and then vanished with the wind. Eternal Sailor-Chibi Moon relaxed and turned to her four guardians with a smile on her face. “We did it!” She cried triumphantly, thrusting her fist into the air. The four sisters of the Amazon Quartet also cried joyously and rushed forward to hug their leader after their first victorious battle as a group. They had saved the day together.

Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endmyion watched the happy celebration on a large screen connected to a computer system from afar in the Crystal Palace. Neo-Queen Serenity squealed unbecomingly and threw herself into her husband’s arms. “They did it! Did you see it?” She asked eagerly, suppressing another happy squeal. “Did you see it?” She asked again before King Endmyion could respond.

“I do not think that she would agree, but she has already surpassed my leadership skills as Sailor Moon. They work together well, don’t you think so?”

Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endmyion signaled for their daughter to approach the podium and receive her full title as Usagi Lady Serenity, Sailor Moon, and the official heir to the throne of Crystal Tokyo.

“You have truly transformed into a lady. What dream shall you accomplish next?”

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:53 am

The Dividing Line Between Love and Obsession

As most marriages are between high-status families of this day and age, our marriage was arranged. We, inexperienced children, could not be trusted to know what would be the best and most advantageous arrangement. Love was never an explicit requirement, just a by-product, if we were lucky. I heard about him long before I actually saw his face. This gave my imagination ample time to flourish.

When my beauty began to blossom, a court painter was sent to record my loveliness as a memento for my suitor and proof of my worthiness to my future in-laws, the king and queen of the Golden Kingdom. Oh, I was so nervous and worried. Could a painting ever capture what they wished to see? Nay, could I ever hope to achieve or embody their desires for their son’s future wife? There was little I could do, but I took some comfort in the knowledge that soon his painting would also be sent to my parents and me.

That day came and went. The painting was placed in an advantageous place within the manor. Everyone, including me, needed to realize the importance of my future husband. His painting served as a constant reminder to my future. His eyes seemed to find a way into my soul and my heart. Sometimes, I imagined I could feel his face against my cheek and his lips against mine. Oh, how little I knew of the consequences of love…

As I grew older, our eventual meeting could no longer be stalled. The day was held in prominence and I, oh, I dreaded and anticipated every hour as it loomed closer. All of my hopes, all of my dreams, everything would be decided by our meeting. Nothing would seem like a fantasy, it would all seem too real.

Then, it happened. We met for the first time. I am not entirely certain what I expected from that first meeting, but I knew exactly what would happen. Every action had been pre-planned by our parents. When he took my hand in his for the first time and placed the ring upon my finger, I looked desperately in his eyes for something unexpected. Both he and I found it, that something that could not be planned by our parents.

Although the planned day seemed far away, every day was spent in preparation for our union. Of course, there were the arrangements for the event, but there were also political and economically arrangements to be considered. Our union would also unify two lands, two cultures. We spent little time in each other’s company, but what little we did receive was enough.

I learned things about him that a painting could have never taught me. Paintings do not speak, paintings do not touch, and paintings do not feel. Love, where once duty only lay, was beginning to blossom. Understanding and appreciation began to thrive.

Then, something changed. At first, I thought perhaps the change was caused by a sense of duty or some other feeling I could not comprehend. No, it was not that. That feeling we had both shared changed him or… at least I thought we both shared.

Love for another woman.

Surely, our arranged union could not be allowed to end so soon before the very day we would become man and wife! But… She had more power than I could have ever dreamed of. The moon, no, all of the planets and the stars were at her side. Anything she wanted would be hers. Time was also on her side. My Endmyion, please, don’t leave me for her.

As the days passed, I could not tell if our union was closer or further away then ever before. Of course, the physical calendar progressed.

One night as I watched my love torn away from me by the moon, a voice came to me. The voice did not promise great power, but rather a chance to leave things, as they should be, as they were meant to be. If I accepted Metalia’s strength and wisdom, fate would not be changed by the power of the moon. I was hesitant at first, because surely the princess of the moon could not intervene in a union planned since birth? She was still only a child, blissfully ignorant.

The power of that voice grabbed a hold of my doubt, as if it were a chain around my neck. Before I could even consider my own desires, I had laid waste to several kingdoms and destroyed all that I had once held dear. As a power much stronger than my own washed over me, as I bathed in a purifying, silver light, I wondered what had become of me? How could a maiden’s hopes, dreams, and desires become so corrupted? In the end, fate had been changed and my love never came to be realized.

Was… Was it ever love? Did I ever truly hold Endymion’s heart or had my desires blinded me? Perhaps, my dividing line between love and obsession had never been clear.

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:53 am

A Change of Season


An unusual feeling grew deep in Ami’s stomach. It had been growing for several days. Each day it felt heavier and heavier. Soon, that feeling would burst or disappear. There was another option, which Ami feared. The feeling might just continuing growing until she could not carry the burden of its weight anymore. Tomorrow, she would know for sure. Tomorrow, her life as a normal woman would end and all her dreams along with it. Tomorrow, Usagi and Mamoru would ascend the throne and change the world as Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion. Life would never be the same.

She knew what she needed to do. Sailor Mercury’s life had already been planed. Fate had already cast her dice. For at least a thousand years, Sailor Mercury would serve by her Queen’s and King’s side and continue to lay down her life in order to protect the purity and innocence of the world. This life left little room for personal dreams. Would she ever know the smile on a mother’s face when Dr. Mizuno, the doctor, successfully treated her ailing child? Would she ever know that feeling of self-confidence when she became a world-renowned expert in her medical field? Would she ever know that tender feeling only given to her by the one she truly loved?

Ami clutched herself tightly as she shuddered, holding back tears of regret. No, her duty called her elsewhere. She had known this for years, even since a black cat presented her with a blue henshin pen. Her life had never been the same. Had it change for the better or…

With a disgruntled sigh, she grabbed the keys and rushed out the door. For a moment, she considered not locking the front door. Everything would be different tomorrow, anyway. The front door was locked. Ami did not stop walking until she neared the outer limits of the city. In the dark of night, few cared to bother a woman that knew how to walk within the shadows. She stopped at a lake, bathed by the comforting glow of the moon.

The image was beautiful, but strangely possessed by symbolic irony. The moon and the water, Ami mused. Although she would have never done it on any other night, Ami tossed her clothes to the side and dove into the public lake. The water caressed her skin and provided comfort that she sorely needed. She wasn’t entirely sure how long she swam that night. Nothing else mattered except for the feel of the water and the clearing of her mind. She did not stop until she felt a familiar presence. She opened her eyes and saw a smiling face, tender blue eyes, and the source of her conflicted feelings.

“Ami,” Usagi said softly. Her words told Ami that the soon-to-be queen understood the pain of a conflicted soldier. She understood the fear, the apprehension, and the unfamiliar pain of anger at destiny. The soldier of the moon turned to look away. “I… I won’t force you to go through with this.”

Ami paused for a moment. She bit her lip, sighed, and then rose from the water. If there ever was a time, then this was it. “I know,” she responded, shivering slightly from the cool air.

When Usagi turned back to look at Ami, the blue-haired woman could see the tears in her friend’s eyes. “Please, understand. I never wanted to do this to any of you!” She said, choking a sob. She rose her hands to her mouth, as if to hold back her tears. “You all have such beautiful dreams and I feel as if I am taking them all away.”

She did understand. Of course, Usagi understood. The bond that all of the girls shared was unique and beautiful. It allowed for something deeper to transcend. That feeling in Ami shattered as she hugged the trembling woman.

“I know this is our destiny and for the betterment of the world, but… you all are my closest friends and I never want to hurt you.” Usagi looked up into Ami’s eyes. “I would never force you. You will always have your free will.”

Ami realized that fate had already cast Usagi’s die, too. Everyone, all of the sailor senshi, would be giving up something dear in order to protect the world. But, they would all be gaining something even stronger, love and friendship that would support them no matter what happened. “I can feel everyone’s pain and conflicted feelings.” Usagi continued. “I just want everyone to be happy.”

Ami touched Usagi’s hand and held it firmly, trying to give her the strength her friend needed. “Usagi, you are our happiness. Your love and caring will mend that pain. That pain would grow stronger without you.” Ami said, taking Usagi’s other hand. “We will face this new world together. Just like always, right?” Usagi smiled and nodded, wiping the tears from her eyes.

They would always have each other for love, comfort, and protection. As the winds cooled and the season began to change, five girls would face the challenges ahead together. Although some things would change, others would stay the same.

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:53 am

Sailor Venus versus Mr. Stinky-Cat


Sure, Minako had faced these sorts of odds before, back when she had first become Sailor V, the guardian of love and justice. It never seemed impossible when the thought came into her mind, but then she would remember what had happened before. This should never be so difficult! He could be reasoned with, right? With a derisive snort, the blonde shook her head.

Grabbing the towel off the table with one hand, Minako slunk low to the ground and moved quietly toward her target. Little did he know, her training as a sailor senshi had primed her as the perfect adversary. She could move swiftly and quietly, pouncing upon her prey before he knew what had happened. Today, this would be used to her advantage. Her mission would be successful! Today, Artemis would have a bath and Minako would have a clean, sweet-smelling cat as her guardian and ever-faithful sidekick.

Lounging on the windowsill, Artemis lazily based in the sun’s warm and comforting rays. The sun lulled him into a light sleep and a beautiful dream about Luna and catnip. Of course, she didn’t like the stuff, but that did not matter in his dreams. His tail twitched and he mumbled something low in his throat. A smile quirked on his lips and he batted the air with one paw. “Nah, Luna.”

Minako crouched underneath the windowsill with her towel ready. Slowly, she stood up and stretched the towel out to cover the cat. At just the wrong moment, Artemis’ right eye stretched open. The teenager froze with her eyes wide. Oh, no! Both of them stared at each other for a moment, then Artemis yowled and toppled off the windowsill. Minako cursed and dove for him with the towel, but he slipped through her fingers. “Artemis!” She yelled, stomping her foot against the ground as her cat tore out of the living room.

The cat’s eyes were wide and he scrambled across the house as if his life were endangered by the infuriated seventeen year old with a towel in the living room. He had to hide! But, Minako knew all of the good spots! Oh, he was doomed. Minako just didn’t understand that he could clean himself just fine, thankyouverymuch. The water felt so oppressive and the smell of the shampoo followed him for days. Bath time was a form of torture and Minako should be ashamed of herself!

He turned around the corner and dove into a cabinet. “Oh, Artemis,” Minako said, in a singsong voice. The male cat cowered further into the corner and tried to make himself as small as possible. The cabinet door flung open and Artemis narrowly missed being caught by the towel-wielding teenager. He dashed down the hallway, but found his path blocked by a well-placed dresser. Cursing, he skidded to a stop and turned to the right. Again, he was blocked by another well-placed obstacle.

“Dammit, she’s getting smarter,” he mumbled, now regretting any tactical training he had imparted onto Minako. On the bright side, she hadn’t transformed in order to use her powers of love and justice on him. Oh, no! He shouldn’t have thought of that. Surely, she would know and he would have to avoid bath time with Sailor Venus and her Love Me-Chain right on his heels.

Before he knew it, Artemis had only one option: the bathroom door. Minako cackled over-dramatically. “You only have one option, Mr. Stinky-Cat!”

Artemis slunk down low to the ground with his head hung even lower. A tear leaked out of his eye as he walked toward his watery grave. “Seriously, you think that having a talking cat would make this easier.” Minako said, ushering Artemis into the bathroom with the towel and closing the door. The bath had already been prepared with water and soap. All it need was an angry cat.

Artemis stared at the tub and felt determination bubbled up inside of his heart. The fight was not over! He would fight on. Minako paled slightly as she saw the determined gleam in Artemis’ eye. Relying solely on her speed, she lunged for the cat and threw him into the tub. Artemis yowled loudly and flailed with his claws and paws. Latching onto the shower curtain, he wheezed as he clung for dear life. Minako’s face was red. “Not the shower curtain, Artemis!”

The cat laughed proudly. “You’ll never hold me ba--!” His words were cut off short as he felt the pole holding the shower curtain inch downwards under the weight of a full-grown cat. “Oh, no,” he whispered, mortified. The grin on Minako’s face couldn’t have been wider. She grabbed the shower curtain rod and pushed it downward. With a startled scream, the cat fell into the tub, shower curtain and all. He flailed in the water underneath the shower curtain.

Minako seized her opportunity and wrapped the cat in the shower curtain and firmly held him in place by squeezing the rod between the walls. “You’re mine, Artemis!” She said, proudly. Then, with a bottle of shampoo in one hand, she set to work.

Less then ten minutes later, the job was done. Minako posed with one foot on the tub and her hands on her waist. “Once again, Sailor Venus has vanquished Mr. Stinky Cat!”

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:54 am

Memories of the Past


Artemis had kept to himself for most of the day and given the events of yesterday, it was not a surprise. He had seen Luna again for the first time in nearly a thousand years. His emotions were turbulent and conflicted. It had not appeared as if she had remembered much about him, although she had recognized him. He did feel more than a little hurt and betrayed. Their relationship, although strained, had finally begun to develop before the disaster.

He still remembered the first day that he had seen her. She had been called from Mau to serve as the future advisor to Princess Serenity, who would be due in a few months. He had received his own duties several years earlier and already his experience as the advisor to the future captain of the guard, the princess of Venus, and the heir to the position of Sailor Venus, had begun to grow and mature.

The meeting between the advisors-in-training was not scheduled to take place for several hours, so Artemis took it upon himself to lounge in the gardens. The sun was delightful and the company was all too eager to please. Several ladies of the court gathered around the white-haired man and showered him with affection and attention. Although he had been off-put by such attention when he first traveled to the realm of the Silver Millennium, Artemis quickly changed his tune. The culture of Venus was especially flamboyant and overtly affectionate. The culture of the Moon was more reserved, but none the less pleasant.

With a hearty laugh, Artemis waved his hand in the air, “please, ladies, I am all too eager to attend to your desires, but,” he drawled out his voice. The faces of the ladies fell as they anticipated his words. Artemis continued, “I fear that I must depart in order to prepare for a diplomatic event.” The ladies of the court loudly voiced their displeasure, but eventually departed in groups. The Mauian received several promises of later meetings and encouragement to visit at a later date. He smiled and waved as they departed, but sighed loudly once he thought he was alone.

He was not alone, however. One lady of the court had stayed behind to spend a few private moments with the advisor-in-training. She forwardly touched his shoulder, which alerted him to her presence. He whirled around only to be confronted by several forward advances and a wit of tongue. Although he often flirted with the eligible bachelorettes, he had yet to be placed in such a precarious situation as this. Artemis fought down a growing urge to panic and dismissed the woman’s advice, albeit rather nervously and with a rather lack of the smooth manner he had possessed earlier. She did not take ‘no’ for an answer.

Artemis’ mind began to break down as he felt her lips press against his own. His hands hung limply at his side and his eyes widened in panic. A loud gasp broke the moment. Someone had stumbled upon the intimate moment. The lady of the court hurriedly dismissed herself and left Artemis to perform a decent imitation of a blushing fish. The intruder seemed just as surprised and immobilized as Artemis. At the same time they both blurted out an excuse, then paused as if neither knew what to do next. Artemis stepped forward, which apparently took the black-haired woman off-guard. With nothing to say but a small squeak of embarrassment and surprise, the woman in the yellow and black dress quickly turned and left.

Although another thought or action may have been more appropriate, Artemis could not help but dwell on how beautiful the black-haired woman in the yellow and black dress had been. He had never seen her before.

Later that afternoon, Artemis waited in the appropriate meeting hall for the arranged introduction between himself and the future advisor to Princess Serenity. He had since recovered from the disaster in the gardens, although he was very nervous about seeing either woman again. At the head of the table sat Queen Serenity, who was in the more advanced stages of her pregnancy. A knock came at the door and the attendant introduced Lady Luna, the future advisor to Princess Serenity. The look on the Mauians’ face was nothing less than priceless.

Queen Serenity quirked a smile at the beginnings of this introduction. Obviously, she was not privy to all of the information concerning a prior relationship between these two. She motioned for Artemis to rise and properly introduce himself to the woman who he would no doubt be working very closely with for many years to come. After a jerky start, Artemis bowed and took Luna’s hand. He paused for a moment before he placed a chaste kiss on the front of her hand. Luna blushed brightly and wondered if she could reclaim a sense of decorum.

Queen Serenity instructed the two to sit at opposite sides of the table on either side of their queen. Artemis wondered if he could possibly look at Luna and keep a straight, calm face or if all hope had been lost. He was still very young and not entirely certain as to how to approach the situation. As soon as Queen Serenity began the meeting, Luna recovered her decorum and propriety. Artemis silently marveled at her behavior and her beauty. She often interjected questions and words that held wisdom and intelligence unusual for her young age. He felt as if he lacked something important.

Once the meeting was dismissed, Artemis cautiously approached Luna. With a shy smile, he asked if perhaps she would meet him for lunch in order to discuss their future together as diplomatic partners. The suave manner he had been cultivating for months seemed to disappear around Luna, but maybe she would not mind? His smile broadened as she hesitantly accepted his offer and prefaced that she would prefer to meet in a public setting. Hope springs eternal for young love, as Artemis found he was beginning to understand all too well.

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:55 am

The Princess of the Moon

Usagi had an old junior high yearbook opened to the class pictures lying in front of her. Luna sat next to her and also looked at each picture individually in hopes of seeing a familiar face. “Oh!” Usagi squealed. “I know you told me not to tell you anymore stories, but you have to hear about him!” She pointed to a guy in the second row of the sophomore class as Luna sighed in exasperation. “This will truly take all day, Usagi, if you tell me the gossip concerning each student in your school.” Luna scolded, which only earned a pout from Usagi.

Three of the four senshi: Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, and Sailor Jupiter attended Juuban Junior High, so Usagi wondered if perhaps the princess attended the same school, too. Sailor Mars attended a separate school and Usagi had promised Luna she would ask Rei to give them a copy of her school’s yearbook for Luna to look over. Ideally, the black cat would have meet each girl at Juuban Junior High or the T.A. Private School in person, but that would have garnered suspicion.

“I swear, it is really good gossip!” Usagi whined, but Luna ignored her. Pouting, the blonde resumed looking over the yearbook. Every now and then, she would giggle quietly to herself, but refrained from telling Luna any more gossip. When she crossed the photograph of her dear friend, Osaka Naru, she paused for a second and smiled fondly.

Naru and Usagi had been best friends for a very long time, but recently there had been a widening rift between them. Usagi felt guilty, because Naru truly did not know that Usagi had become the defender of love and justice, Sailor Moon, the unofficial leader of the sailor senshi. Lately, it had been difficult to see Naru as often as she used to. Now, Usagi was often absent from fighting youma or exhausted from fighting youma. Also, she spent a lot of time with Ami, Rei, and Makoto, a friendship formed by a common bond that she was unable to share with Naru. “Wouldn’t it be great if Naru were a senshi? It is so hard keeping my identity secret from her, especially when I am used to telling her everything.”

“You cannot reveal your identity, Usagi.” Luna scolded, again.

“I know, I know,” Usagi sighed, not wanting to start her guardian on another rant. A couple of times, the heroine had asked Luna who she would be able to tell about her identity as Sailor Moon, but the answer was always the same, no one.

“But seriously, it would make sense. She is attacked by youma all the time and her mother owns a jewelry shop. The Ginzishou is supposed to be a legendary crystal, right? If Naru is the princess, than it makes sense that we never found the Ginzishou, because she has it! The enemy attacks her all the time, because they know she is the moon princess and that she has the legendary crystal!”

She began to babble excitedly as the facts seemed to perfectly line themselves into a neat row in her mind. It seemed so plausible! Usagi wanted so badly to tell Naru her secrets and she was fascinated by the possibility of finally finding the moon princess. Luna rolled her eyes and was about to dismiss Usagi’s idea as pure fantasy, but something about the theory seemed plausible. “She is attacked with increasing and unusual frequency...” Luna started. The blonde girl looked expectantly at Luna as she eagerly waited for an answer.

Sighing, Luna said, “I’ll look into it.”



Despite her failing grades, Usagi had somehow convinced her parents to allow Naru to spend the night at their house. Perhaps it was because Naru promised to make Usagi study or perhaps it was because Usagi’s pleading and whining was growing intolerable. The two girls rushed up to Usagi’s room to spend the night gossiping, giving each other makeovers, watching movies, and ranting about how insufferable Mamoru Chiba was lately. And yes, studying was quickly forgotten amongst all the other possible activities.

However, Usagi and Luna did not forget their plans to determine whether or not Naru was indeed the princess of the moon. Originally, Luna would have gone to school with Usagi, but the black cat had insisted she had better things to do than hide in her charge’s backpack for an entire school day. Besides, Usagi would have endlessly pestered her for answers to whatever class assignment or test she had that day and Luna would not help her fool her teacher’s into thinking Usagi was actually making an attempt to improve herself.

Luna would have access to Naru the entire night. The black cat could either wait for both of the girls to go asleep or she could make a subtle attempt during the night while Naru was preoccupied. She would have waited for both girls to go asleep, but Usagi insisted on hinting every hour or less for Luna to do something. In order to prevent Usagi from revealing their intentions, Luna curled up in Naru’s lap for “some attention” while the girls watched a movie.

A few minutes later, Usagi’s watch-communicator began to buzz. She paled slightly and laughed at herself out-loud for having the “alarm” go off at such a late hour. Quickly making up an excuse, she left for the bathroom to “brush her teeth and get ready for bed.” Luna jumped from Naru’s lap and quickly padded after the blonde teenage girl to see what the other senshi needed.

Thankfully, Usagi did not close the door on Luna’s tail, although the fuzzy appendage just barely avoided a painful encounter. Luna leapt onto the bathroom counter while Usagi answered her communicator. After a few moments of brief conversation, Usagi bit her lip and looked slightly distressed. “Another youma appeared and Sailor Mercury needs my help.”
Luna sighed; this would put a crimp in their plans. “Where are the other girls? You need to stay!” Luna insisted.

Usagi wrenched the brooch from the front of her outfit and shook her head, “I have to help and you can do this on your own.” Luna shook her head furiously, “No, I cannot. Naru needs an explanation and I should not be the only one to give it to her.”

Usagi’s mouth dropped open and she covered her mouth with her hand to stifle an excited squeal. “You mean?” She asked with her eyes alight with excitement. Barely able to contain her excitement, the young girl began to hop excitedly from foot to foot. “Yes, I felt an incredible presence while we were in your room. I have felt something similar before and I cannot believe I never took notice.” Luna said, feeling slightly sheepish.

Fingers clenched tightly round the brooch as a low-pitched noise of regret escaped from Usagi’s throat. “Please, wait until I get back. I’ll just tell Naru that I left something at Makoto’s apartment and that she needs to cover for me until I get back. I won’t take long, I promise.”

Finally, they had found her, the princess of the moon!



It was not until nearly midnight when Usagi crawled through the bathroom window. The battle against the youma had not been particularly difficult, but she had been very distracted. Finally, they had found her, the princess of the moon! Not only that, but it was her best friend, Naru. After the battle, she had waited all of three seconds to tell the other senshi of the glorious revelation. Of course, the other three had been ecstatic, because the long search was finally over. However, none of them really had a relationship with Naru, outside of associating with her because she was Usagi’s friend. The others were more happy that they had found the moon princess, rather than who specifically the moon princess was.

Usagi carefully closed the bathroom door and crept over to her bed, but she tripped over Naru’s sleeping form. The brunette muffled a shriek as the blonde klutz fell on top of her. Luna was smacked in the rear with a foot and she, in turn, yowled in pain. Feline instinct told her to arch her back, hiss, and swat at the intruder. Usagi yelled in pain and clutched her bleeding hand. “Luna!” She hissed.

“Usagi,” Naru questioned, “Where have you been?”

Clutching her injured hand as she held back sniffles, Usagi whimpered and babbled a cover story to Naru. Sighing in exasperation, Naru ignored her friend’s excuses and dragged her by Usagi’s non-injured hand to the bathroom to bandage the wound. Luna, looking terribly sheepish, followed the two girls silently. The cat knew that she had overreacted, but the girl was awfully clumsy and Luna could only withstand so many accidental injuries a week.

As Naru grabbed the first-aid kit, she shoved a handful of tissues at the blubbering girl and told her, “Wipe your tears while I get some Neosporin and a band-aid.” Usagi blushed and said, “Thank you, Naru.”

Luna looked expectantly at Usagi for a few moments until the teenager remembered what she had been meaning to tell Naru all night. “Naru, I need to tell you something important, but it may sound really, really weird,” she looked up into her friend’s eyes as if looking for a confirmation of trust. “I need you to trust me and believe in what I am about to say, because it is important that you do.”

Naru smiled genuinely, “You have always been able to trust me with anything, Usagi.” She tore open a packet with a cleaning pad and then said, “This will sting a little.” The wound was wiped and Usagi’s eyes threatened to bubble over with tears as she whimpered and bit her bottom lip. After a few moments, the injured teenager regained her composure. Taking in a deep breath, she began to speak.

“Long, long ago, there was a kingdom on the moon and the princess of the moon was protected by her guardians called the senshi. Naru, you are that princess.”

Naru’s mouth dropped open slightly as she gently pressed the band-aid over Usagi’s wound. Her fingers lingered longer than necessary, and then she looked up at her best friend with a questioning look. “What did you say?” She whispered in disbelief. For a moment, Usagi looked crestfallen when it appeared that Naru did not believe her, even if Usagi had not first believed it when Luna told her a few months ago.

“It might be easier if you showed her, Usagi,” Luna said. The cat’s tail twitched leisurely as the brunette’s eyes opened wider and Naru stammered, “o-oh my...”

“Moon Prism Power, Make-Up,” Usagi said, her voice hushed as not to wake her parents. A dazzling silver light engulfed the room as the spectacular transformation took place in front of Naru’s disbelieving eyes. Standing before her was the beautiful suited soldier that fought for love and justice, Sailor Moon. “You are Sailor Moon?” Naru breathed. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, the brunette crossed the bathroom and gently reached out to touch the fabric of Sailor Moon’s uniform. It was real! Her best friend was a senshi!

Taking a step back, Naru could barely contain a budding smile of pride and amazement. “I think you need to explain some things to me, Sailor Moon.”

~~~~~

Luna walked closer to Naru until she was standing a few inches away from the kneeling schoolgirl. Everyone was quiet while the cat closed her eyes in concentration for a few moments. The tension in the air grew heavy while the seconds sluggishly passed. Naru flinched under the onslaught of eager, expectant eyes, but she could not move and break Luna’s concentration, so instead she closed her eyes tightly. Luna’s strain was quickly growing apparent and the other senshi were beginning to doubt they would ever receive all of the answers they so desperately wanted to hear. Than, Luna faltered and collapsed into Naru’s lap, which caused the girl to open her eyes with a startled noise.

Usagi rushed forward to aide her feline companion, but stopped short when Luna shakily rose to her feet, than sat down for fear of toppling over again. “Are you okay, Luna?” Usagi quickly asked, reaching forward to stroke the cat on the head. Although she grimaced, Luna nodded in response, “Yes, I just need a minute.”

“And, do you have a henshin wand for Naru?” Makoto asked eagerly, after enduring a few seconds of silence. It was apparent to all that Luna had not produced a henshin wand or brooch like she had for the other senshi, which made Naru feel as if she had done something wrong or if she was... faulty. “I mean, normally you just flip or something,” Makoto continued. Luna shook her head sadly, “There was nothing, but perhaps it makes sense.”

Usagi quickly picked up Luna, who did not protest. “The moon princess was never expected to fight alongside the senshi that protected her. She was to be groomed at an early age to succeed the queen politically, socially, and in terms of power.”

Naru sighed. There was another problem. Even if the others, Luna included, insisted that she was the moon princess, she did not remember anything about the Silver Millennium. The senshi had dreams and vague memories, many of which had been told to her, but nothing seemed familiar. Makoto had described what she remembered about the plants and the food. Ami remembered quite a few of the fantastical inventions that Mercury had produced. Rei had sung Naru a song that had been a lullaby on Mars and even Usagi had a few memories about the nightly parties and the music. Of course, no one really had that many memories of the Silver Millennium, but everyone else seemed to remember something! Naru remembered nothing.

Instead of telling them outright that she did not remember a single thing about the Silver Millennium, she simply nodded and provided her own vague opinions whenever someone told her about a recent memory. Once, she had asked Ami why she was so slow to remember, but the blue-haired genius only had a theory. Perhaps, the senshi transformations were speeding up the recovery process, but since Naru did not have a transformation or access to the Ginzuisho, it would take her a lot longer to recover her memories. Even her own recovery process, Ami had remarked, was incredibly slow and unpredictable. Most of her own memories were insubstantial and told her next to nothing about who she was during the Silver Millennium.

“But why doesn’t she have the Ginzuisho?” Rei asked Luna. “If she is supposed to be the heir of the Ginzuisho, than it makes sense that she would have it.” When Naru had first been asked about the legendary crystal, she had frantically searched through her room and her mother’s jewelry shop in search for it, but her searches had never turned up anything. She had even subtly asked if she was ever to inherit any jewelry or other expensive items or even if her relatives had something of the sort, but that had been a dead-end, too. However, Naru’s aunt had given her all sorts of gaudy jewelry after she had asked to see her aunt’s jewelry collection. She would probably sell it later or use the jewelry during Halloween.

“In truth, I am not certain. If she does not remember being the moon princess, than she does not remember the training, either. Perhaps, she does not have the knowledge needed to draw on the Ginzuisho’s power.” Luna said. “The moon princess would have been trained for her eventual control over the Ginzuisho, not to fight, and, therefore, it is logical that I am unable to provide her with a henshin wand.” She looked at Ami, Makoto, Rei, and Usagi in turn. “It is your duty to protect her.”

Naru blushed furiously as she stood up. “Really, you all shouldn’t fuss over me. Even if I am this moon princess, I just want to be your friend. I really do not want any of this to change how we feel about each other.”

Usagi smiled warmly and hugged her friend fiercely. “We will always be your friends, Naru! Nothing could ever change that, right guys?” She asked, looking to the others for confirmation. Poor Luna, squished in between the two girls, could only respond with a few ragged breaths. “Usagi, you’re hutting Luna!” Rei scolded. The other girls laughed as Usagi blushed bright pink and quickly smothered her cat with apologies.



At times like this, Naru desperately wished that she were a sailor senshi instead of a princess or even that she had gained control over the Ginzuisho, but she was still powerless. Tears coursed down her cheeks as she tightly hugged her legs to her chest and watched the sailor senshi trapped inside of an electrical field that rapidly decreased in size. Why wouldn’t the power come to her when she needed it!

She watched in horror as the electrical field continued to decrease in size. Sailor Mercury shrieked in pain as the electricity swept over her foot and continued upward toward her leg. Sailor Jupiter tried frantically to exert control over the electricity, her element, but Zoisite had firm control over his magic. Naru bit her lip in order to keep herself from crying out, but she was beginning to grow hysterical. Sailor Mars, although confined, tried to put herself in front of Sailor Moon, who tried to push herself away from the electrical field. She could not push herself any further from the electric field. Sailor Moon shrieked loudly in pain as the electricity reached her legs and singed her boots.

The shrieks grew louder and Naru frantically covered her ears with her hands as sobs racked her body. The cries of pain from her friends were pulsing in her ears and she wanted so badly to save them, but she was powerless, even though she was supposed to be the heir to the most powerful kingdom that ever existed, but she was powerless! Powerless!

“Sailor Moon!” She screamed loudly, scratching her throat raw as she screamed her best friend’s alternate identity over and over. Unable to stand it any longer, she bolted out from behind the discarded wrecking equipment, she rushed forward to Zoisite. “No, Naru!” Sailor Mars cried. Her cries did nothing to stop Naru or even slow down the defenseless, human girl. The moon princess flung herself at Zoisite screeching the names of the senshi and incomprehensible words about love and justice in the name of the Moon Kingdom. Catching Zoisite by surprise, she landed one solid punch before he knocked her to the side. “Useless brat!” He hissed, as Naru slumped to the ground unconscious. Luna, having hidden with Naru during the battle, dashed out from the behind the discarded wrecking equipment to tend to the fallen moon princess. “Princess!” The senshi cried.

Naru had distracted Zoisite and broken his concentration long enough for an opening to present itself.

“Crescent Beam!” Shouted a beautiful and strong voice. A thin stream of golden light pierced the electrical force field and, with his concentration shattered, it easily gave away and dissipated into the light breeze. The sailor senshi slumped to the ground, Sailor Moon calling Naru’s name while Sailor Jupiter cursed Zoisite for hurting their princess. “Oh my god,” Sailor Mars whispered, stumbling to her feet and pointing to the silhouette standing atop a building overlooking the wreckage site.

“My name is Sailor Venus and in the name of the Silver Millennium, I shall punish you for your evil deeds!”

“It is Sailor V!” Sailor Jupiter gasped, steadying Sailor Mercury to her feet. “Oh my god, it is Sailor V.”

The lithe figure leapt down from the building while shouting, “Sailor V Kick!” Zoisite barely had time to curse the newcomer for ruining his plans before he was struck. Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter, having the least severe injuries, leapt to the aide of their idol. “Supreme Thunder!” “Fire Soul!” The newcomer quickly leapt out of the way from Sailor Mar’s and Sailor Jupiter’s combined attacks. The fight continued while Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury supported each other while limping to Naru’s side.

Luna was limited in her ability to help, but she told Sailor Mercury, “She is unconscious and her temple is mildly bleeding. I am worried about the possibility of a concussion.” The senshi of water pulled out the Mercury Computer to run an analysis while she physically checked Naru. Tears ran down Sailor Moon’s checks while she gathered Naru in her arms. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered. She shouldn’t have let Naru come to the construction site with them. Naru had insisted on confronting the fake Sailor Moon herself. Naru’s powers over the Ginzuisho had yet to surface and she felt terrible about being so useless, yet placing the senshi in danger merely by being the princess of the moon. She had insisted on coming, probably to reassure herself that was useful and not a burden to everyone else.

Groaning, Naru regained consciousness just as Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mars knelt by her side. The young princess only cursed, but Sailor Moon had never been so excited and grateful to hear her friend curse. “That hurts,” Naru moaned, trying to prop herself up, but she was restrained by Sailor Moon’s hugs of joy. “I’m so glad you are alright!” She wailed, earning a wince from Naru. “Please, not so loud,” Naru moaned.

“Hold still, Naru. You should not move until we get you to a hospital.” Sailor Mercury cautioned, urging Sailor Moon to ease up with a gentle hand. “Zoisite is gone,” Sailor Mars said, looking haggard and worn. “Thanks to Sailor V!” Sailor Jupiter quipped.

The senshi clad in an orange and white uniform stepped cautiously toward the group with the grace and dignity of a noble-born woman. From behind her, a white cat jumped forward and spoke in a reprimanding manner. “That is no way to speak to the heir of the Silver Millennium, Sailor Venus, the princess of the moon, Princess Serenity!” In a burst of orange light, her outfit changed subtly. The tiara with an orange gem that once rested on her forehead was replaced with the marking of a crescent moon and a silver crown atop her head while pearls and silver ribbon interlaced through her long, golden hair.

Luna gasped in shock and whirled to face the white tomcat. “Artemis?” Memories flooded her conscious of the white cat that bore the same crescent-shaped marking on his forehead and who had the same ability of speech. So many memories...

Sailor Mercury covered her mouth with a gloved hand as her eyes widened and she momentarily lowered the Mercury Computer. “That can’t be,” she whispered. Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter quickly placed themselves in front of Naru and Sailor Moon. “You’re lying!” Sailor Jupiter hissed, “We have already found the princess of the moon,” motioning behind her to the brunette lying on the ground.

Naru quickly began slipping back into unconsciousness, but she was able to see the surprised expressions on the face of Sailor Venus and the white cat. It grew increasing hard to follow what was going on around her, because she wanted to close her eyes so badly and fall asleep for just a little while. The sounds of Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter arguing with the newcomer and the cat were growing faint. The last thing she heard was Sailor Moon pleading for everyone to stop arguing and Sailor Mercury saying not to worry, they were going to take her to a hospital.



Just after twilight turned into nightfall, a group of girls were walking home from an impromptu celebration at the Crown Center Arcade. Usagi had cheerfully announced they should all celebrate Naru’s recovery and the arrival of another senshi, Sailor Venus!

The betrayal still stung the other girls and tension still hung in the air and, truthfully, the gathering was very awkward. Makoto and Rei clandestinely gave Minako the cold shoulder, who tried her best to have fun, but really she felt as if she had already betrayed the trust of the people whom were supposed to be her friends. Luna, having remembered a few unpleasant memories centering on Artemis, wanted nothing to do with the white tomcat. Ami had withdrawn into her shell while Usagi tried desperately to cheer everyone’s spirits and dispel the tension.

Naru could not help but wonder if Minako truly was the princess of the moon, despite what she and Artemis had explained to the senshi. The brunette still did not feel as if the title applied to her and she still felt weak, even after being discharged from the hospital.

While Naru was admitted into the hospital, Aino Minako and Artemis explained to the other girls that the planet Venus was the twin of the moon and, therefore, she was supposed to be the “stand-in” or “fake” princess of the moon to fool and ward off enemies. Unfortunately, Makoto and Rei took this the wrong way and immediately accused Minako of wanting to fool them, as well. Ami had her own suspicions and doubts, but she dared not say them. Usagi was not quite sure what do believe when her idol, Sailor V, told her all of this. Betrayal was definitely one of the feelings, but something else felt wrong.

Upon awakening, Naru was given the explanation, much to her disappointment. Her title of “the heir to the Silver Millennium and the Ginzishou, the princess of the moon, Princess Serenity” never felt quite right. It would have been a relief to “pass on” the title to someone else, even if Aino Minako was not the princess. However, she was a bit confused about how Minako could be her “twin” or stand-in. The two of them looked nothing alike and, in fact, Naru thought that Minako looked a lot more like Usagi. At least both of them had the same hair color.

On the walk home, Naru was placed in the middle of the group of girls, for her protection, and she could not help but notice that Minako and Artemis hung to the back of the group, as if reluctant to associate with the other girls. Unfortunately, someone had mentioned Mamoru, which had started Usagi on a rant against all persons wearing a pea-green colored jacket. Rei scolded Usagi, which started another argument.

The fighting ended when Makoto cried out in pain as the entire lights in the city abruptly blacked out, sending the city into darkness. The crackling of a nearby downed electrical pole made Ami suspect it was the source of the blackout in this particular neighborhood. “Makoto, are you alright?” Usagi asked, struggling to keep the tall brunette from collapsing to the ground. “Makoto!” Naru cried, quickly supporting Makoto’s other side. “I’m fine,” Makoto said, dismissing the two girls as she grimaced when another wave of pain shot through her. “She was reacting to the blackout,” Ami said, providing the only explanation.

“The Dark Kingdom has set up a trap. Look!” Minako pointed to the Tokyo Tower, the only building that remained lit. “We have to transform and protect the princess,” she insisted, pulling out her henshin wand. Naru bit her lip as the other girls, even Makoto, pulled out their henshin wands. She didn’t want them to get hurt, again! All of the instances in which one of her friends had gotten hurt while trying to protect her were beginning to run together in her mind. It was not fair! The Dark Kingdom was not after any of them; they were after her, the moon princess, and her legendary crystal, the Ginzuisho. Why should they all be put in danger constantly just for her?

“I won’t let you!” Naru cried, turning to face the sailor senshi, her protectors. “The Dark Kingdom is after me, not any of you. You cannot hide me from sight until this all gets better! If I never go to them, than everyone in this city and my friends are going to continue to suffer.” Before anyone could stop her, Naru turned on her heels and ran toward the Tokyo Tower. “Wait, Naru!” Sailor Moon cried. “Princess Serenity!” The other senshi cried, turning to run after her. “I have to stop her,” Sailor Moon whispered, leaping up to the rooftops to chase after her friend.

Just as the senshi were running to catch up with the two, Sailor Venus shouted, “Look out!” From the sky, a dozen youma dropped and pounded into the ground with the cement cracking beneath them from the strain. “Crap,” Sailor Venus muttered, shouting strategic commands to the other senshi as the battle begin. “Please, Sailor Moon, stop her,” Sailor Venus whispered.

A dark figure in a cape followed after Sailor Moon.

~~~~~

The Tokyo Tower was far away from the neighborhood they had been walking in and Naru was beginning to tire. Stopping to catch her breath, she desperately wished for a glass of water or a water fountain, but quickly chased those thoughts from her mind when she heard the screams. Shivering, she closed her eyes tightly and whimpered quietly before she shook her head fiercely and continued running. “Please let me make it in time!” She thought.

Minutes later and after another stop to catch her breath; Naru reached the bottom of the Tokyo Tower. She gazed up at the tower with terrified awe. Tonight might be the end and this might be her grave. Another shiver ran down her spine, she took a deep breath, and tried to stand tall and dignified as she pushed open the entrance.

She had been to the Tokyo Tower before on school field trips and the like, but never before had she see the tower so deserted and ... lifeless. Despite how brilliantly the Tokyo Tower was lit on the outside, the lights were dim inside of the tower, which set a very spooky mood. Naru approached the elevator and her finger hesitated over the button. For one, she did not know if it even worked. Also, the idea of being stuck in an elevator with a youma or a General poised to attack frightened her more than being trapped in the stairwell. Her finger pressed the elevator button and she turned and ran toward the nearest stairwell. Maybe the enemy would think she was coming up the elevator, which would buy her some time to think of a strategy, because so far she had none.

After this was all over, if she survived, Naru swore to herself that she would take P.E. class more seriously and she would begin martial arts training with Makoto. She had to stop several times to catch her breath, her sides hurt, and her right leg was beginning to cramp. Like hell she would be in shape to fight one of the Generals or a youma, but she sure as hell was going to do something. Finally, she reached the top of the Tokyo Tower. Slumped against the wall, Naru tried to catch her breath and slow her heartbeat, because she could not look as weak as she felt against the Dark Kingdom. Her head hurt so badly...

Pushing the door open, Naru did her best to imitate the dignity and refinement of the princess she was supposed to be, despite how quickly her heart was racing. “Kunzite!” She called loudly, praying that her voice would not break. “My name is Princess Serenity, heir of the Silver Millennium and the Ginzuisho. As the princess of the moon, I order you to reveal yourself!” God, she was so terrified, but thank the lord there was no hitch in her voice. Standing tall in the center of the room, Naru challenged the last general to reveal himself and confront her.

Closing her eyes, she suppressed a shiver as the haunting laugh echoed throughout the room. “Where are your senshi, little princess? Did they abandon you all alone when the Dark Kingdom revealed a hint of its true power?” Kunzite, hidden in the darkness, taunted her and the friendship she shared with the senshi. “Never!” She countered. “You are the coward, Kunzite. Reveal yourself!”

From the shadows stepped a laughing man dressed in a grey uniform with long, white hair. “At least I have the power and strength to back-up my words and actions. What do you have, little princess?” Nothing, she had no power or strength. Taking a step forward, Naru said, “I have the strength and power of friendship. Love gives me my strength.” She took another step forward, “With that strength, I will defeat you.”

“Oh? I doubt that.” Kunzite chuckled, holding up a sparkling, white ball of energy in his outstretched hand. Naru’s eyes widened in terror as the energy grew in size.

“Moon Tiara Action!”

A gleaming, golden tiara hit Kunzite’s outstretched hand and the energy harmlessly hit one of the surrounding walls. “Sailor Moon!” Naru cried joyously, clasping her hands in front of her. “I am Sailor Moon, the defender of love and justice, and in the name of the moon, I will punish you!” Sailor Moon leapt down from the railing she had been perched on and landed between Naru and Kunzite. “Please, princess, let me help,” she whispered to Naru, pleading with her eyes.

Silently hating herself for agreeing, Naru nodded and ran for cover. “Leave the princess along, Kunzite. You will fight me, instead!” Leaping upwards, Sailor Moon shouted “Moon Tiara Action!”

From her hiding place, Naru watched Sailor Moon and Kunzite battle with amazement. Having been a long admirer of the senshi, it was always amazing to watch them, but this was different. During a lot of the battles, Sailor Moon would hold back until the other senshi had subdued the villain and then she would unleash her cleansing attack. This time, she was the sole fighter.

Naru did not know how long the fight dragged on until Kunzite gained the advantage. Sailor Moon never noticed that he had been gradually backing her into a corner with his attacks. By the time she realized it, the senshi of the moon had nowhere to run or hide. The color in Naru’s face drained as she realized that Kunzite was readying the same attack he had tried to hit the brunette with earlier. “Sailor Moon!” She cried, a few seconds too late. The attack narrowly missed Sailor Moon and it quickly became apparent that it had been a diversion. “Oh no,” Naru gasped, seeing a projectile missile form in the wall behind Sailor Moon.

“Ha, you missed!” Sailor Moon laughed. “Watch out!” Naru yelled, trying to warn her friend about the real attack, but the brunette could not run fast enough to save Sailor Moon. The heroine’s face paled as she turned around to look behind her, but the air forced itself out of her lungs, leaving her unable to scream, when she was pushed forcefully to the ground and out of the way.

As blood pooled on the ground, a high-pitched wail escaped Naru’s throat and she collapsed on her knees to the ground. “Oh my god,” she wailed, hands covering her mouth.

Eyes wide, Sailor Moon’s mouth dropped open in a wordless scream of horror before she cautiously crawled to his side. Cradling his head in her lap, Sailor Moon whispered words of comfort to her masked hero as she lovingly stroked his hair. “Please,” she whispered, “talk to me, open your eyes. Don’t give up! Open your eyes!” Her voice escalated until she was screaming, horrified that Tuxedo Kamen was not moving. Her mouth dropped open again to scream, but her eyes widened as memories flood into her mind.

It had all happened before! On the moon, lovers torn apart by the greed of two warring kingdoms. Secret rendezvous to the Earth to spend even just one moment with the man that had captured her heart. Tuxedo Kamen was Chiba Mamoru, who had been the Prince Endymion, prince of the Earth, in a life she had never before remembered.

“Serenity,” he whispered, reaching vainly to touch Sailor Moon’s cheek. She grasped his hand in her own and prayed. His body went limp. “No,” she whispered. “No!” She screamed, over and over again while her throat became raw from the screaming. A dim white light surrounded the couple and with each scream it intensified until Naru and Kunzite were unable to look without shielding their eyes. Sailor Moon’s tiara burst apart, unable to handle the strain, and a crescent moon marking appeared on her forehead. Near by, the four senshi stopped in front of the Tokyo Tower to gaze up at the bright, healing light.

“Princess Serenity!” The familiar light warmed their hearts and souls as precious memories of a life they had never before remembered entered their minds. “It’s coming back to me... I remember, we are...” Sailor Mars said, holding a hand to her temple. “The four guardian scouts who protect Princess Serenity,” Sailor Jupiter said, now confident in her mission. “We were reborn to protect the Princess and revive the Moon Kingdom, “Sailor Mercury spoke.
Sailor Venus gazed up toward the tower, “Our real princess is not Naru! Our real princess is...”

Further away in the control center underneath the Crown Arcade, a broad smile overtook Luna’s and Artemis’ faces. “Our princess,” Artemis whispered.

“I was wrong all along,” Luna whispered, amazed and joyous. “All along, I felt the presence in Usagi, not Naru.”

The light dimmed, but it was still shining brightly. Naru gasped when she saw Sailor Moon... no, Princess Serenity, with her head tilted backwards to reveal a shimmering, golden crescent moon on her forehead. The soft, silver and white gown she wore shimmered with the residual magic that surrounded her and Tuxedo Mask. The sight was so beautiful, that Naru could not stop the tears that flowed down her cheeks as a warm feeling filled her heart. Confidence filled her heart and soul, as she now knew who she was. “I am not Princess Serenity. I am Naru.”

Princess Serenity’s tear hovered in mid-air, than another burst of white light filled the night sky. The healing light washed over Naru, Kunzite, the senshi, and all the citizens of Tokyo. Spirits were lifted, sicknesses cured, wounds mended, the three deceased generals were revived knowing their true mission, and a small sliver of the light entered Tuxedo Mask’s body.
Naru did not care how intense the light was, she simply closed her eyes and smiled.

“In the end, I’m only a normal girl with very extraordinary friends.”

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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Chmia
Lotus Crystal

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Lotus Crystal

Title : Leg Lamp Power, Make Up!
Posts : 8262
Join date : 2011-10-01
Age : 29
Location : San Antonio, Texas


PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    20th November 2012, 5:56 am

Photo of the Past - Ranma 1/2 (Incomplete)


A pile of shoji pieces fell from Soun’s dresser and clattered to the floor in a rainfall of wood. “Oh no, oh no!” The young girl gasped, three fingers perched on the prize in her father’s closet. The top rung of the closet had been high up for her, so she had stood on her tiptoes and had accidentally bumped into her father’s dresser. Akane fell back onto her heels and froze in place out of sheer fright. Naturally, she assumed, a spur of the moment decision, that if Soun did happen to walk into his room to investigate the noise he would not see his youngest daughter if she never moved a muscle.

After a few seconds of perfect silence, the brunette sighed in relief and bent over to retrieve the shoji pieces. Once the room was in order, she reached again for the photo album. It was successfully retrieved this time with no accidents. Akane stared at the musty, brown photo album in her hands with uncertainty. She did feel guilty about coming into her father’s room without asking him and for taking his things, but she really, really wanted to find a certain picture.

She couldn’t open it here, not while being in the room served as a constant reminder of her guilty actions. Clutching the photo album to her chest, the twelve-year old silently crept out of Soun’s bedroom. Slowly easing the door closed, she peered down the hallway. It was clear. Akane ran down the hallway as fast as she could, flung open her bedroom door, and slammed it shut. The wooden duck plate bearing her name clattered against the door. Now safely inside her room, she placed the photo album on her bed and sat down beside it.

Akane had been so young when it happened. She could remember emotions and an action and place here and there from her childhood, but she couldn’t remember her mother. Kasumi and Nabiki had been older, so they had spent more time with their mother and therefore could remember more. Kasumi had tried to describe what their mother looked like, but Akane couldn’t wrap her mind around the words. Even if Nabiki suddenly began to talk about their mother more often, she was certain that Nabiki’s words wouldn’t be anymore helpful. All three of them knew not to bring up the subject around Soun. His emotions were fragile enough as it was and neither of them wanted to see their father in pain.

Sure, he cried often enough for the silliest reasons, but the pain from his wife’s death was real. His eyes would glaze over, no doubt as a memory passed through his mind, and he would often excuse himself from his daughters’ company. Akane had heard those sobs, quite different from the others. The sobs were quieter and were accompanied by low mumblings and gasps of breath while Soun fought for composure.

He had to have a picture of her. He just had to! There were none in the house, so the only place they could be was in his bedroom in the photo album. The youngest Tendou opened the front cover and carefully looked at each photo so as not to miss any pictures of the woman she longed to remember. She sat on her bed for nearly ten minutes coaxing each photo to jog her memory in some way. Then, Akane found a picture, not of her mother, but of Kasumi and their father in the dojo hall.

Flashback

It had only been two months after their mother’s death, but the girls were trying to regain some order in their lives. Kasumi and Nabiki were attending school and engaging in a few after-school activities. Akane was staying at home where she was tutored by her older sisters, when she had the strength and patience to pay attention.

The eldest could never stay more than an hour or two after school before she would have to rush home to prepare dinner. Nabiki and Akane were too young to cook and her father had not started to leave his room, yet. It was so hard cooking all of the meals. She had no idea what she was doing and only had a used cookbook from a garage sale to guide her. When she went to the store, Kasumi would take the cookbook with her and would ask one of the employees to help her find ingredients for the recipes. There were so many ingredients that she did not know. Once she got home, she had to start right away with the meal. Sometimes the whole meal would come out wrong, so there had to be enough time to fix her mistakes.

Nabiki had joined an afternoon activity or two, but often she would simply spend time in the school’s library. The afternoon activities only lasted for so long, because the school assumed a parent would pick up the children by five o’clock. That wasn’t the case anymore.

It was easy to throw oneself into a book, especially the business books, because it would take so long to understand the principles. There was a hidden pleasure that she was only able to read at the public library, gambling books. Nabiki no longer received an allowance, because money was no longer being made through the dojo. She tried to use gambling to make her own money. Elementary school children only had so much money and Nabiki only knew so much about gambling and business. At six o’clock, Kasumi would arrive at the school’s library to pick her sister up.

Akane was the only one who had not gone back to school yet. The youngest had fallen ill a week after their mother’s death and had yet to recover. Her health would fluctuate between ill and almost better every week or so. Kasumi was beginning to become very worried about her little sister and her diminishing will to get better. Her once rambunctious, trouble-making sister hardly ever got out of bed and she refused to complete her homework. She was falling far behind.

One day, it became too much. Akane needed to get out of her bedroom. Sound refused to come down from his bedroom for dinner. Once Akane heard of this, she refused to come down as well. Kasumi and Nabiki ate their dinner silently in front of the television while two untouched dinner plates rested on the dinning room table. The plates were cleared and the leftovers were brought to Soun’s and Akane’s room to, hopefully, be eaten.

The door to Akane’s room was slowly opened and her caregiver placed the plate on the bedside table. “Akane, I brought dinner,” Kasumi whispered, placing a hand on her sister’s shoulder to rouse her. “I even brought enough for D-Chan.” Resting in her baby sister’s arms was a tattered, blue stuffed duck. A hacking cough was her reply as the youngest pulled herself upright. “Thanks.” Akane mumbled, after she had recovered from her coughing.

Akane spooned D-Chan her dinner and once he was “finished”, then she would eat her food. “Akane… Well.” Kasumi started to speak, but faltered when her sister looked in her direction. She looked so pale, weak, and burdened by grief. It hurt Kasumi to see half of her family so distraught by their mother’s death and refusing to recover from the pain. It was a constant reminder of what had happened and sometimes Kasumi feared that her family would never recover. “Would you like to come to the dojo with me? You wanted to learn martial arts so badly before … a few months ago.”

The cleared plate was cleaned by an eager, blue stuffed duck. He would need a thorough washing later. Once the child’s toy had cleaned the plate, the plate was held out in the air for Kasumi to grab while Akane looked passively at D-Chan. “I guess…” Came the tiniest reply.

~~~~~

A half an hour later, Akane stood in the middle of the dojo clad in Kasumi’s old blue training gi. She looked exhausted; despite the many hours she spent in bed, but still found the strength to look in aw at the weapons and scrolls fastened against the walls. Kasumi stepped in a few minutes later looking a little discouraged. Even to teach the youngest in the family martial arts, Soun still would not leave his bedroom no matter how politely Kasumi pleaded. Either it meant breaking her promise to Akane or it meant that she would have to teach her little sister herself.

Kasumi was frightened by the concept. She could mess up so easily and hurt her little sister. Soun had only taught Kasumi for a few years and he had only done so because as the eldest, Kasumi should be the one to inherit the dojo. Even with her mother’s and father’s encouragement, she had never been interested. Her dolls and doctor’s kit had been so more entertaining. With luck, she would be able to teach the most elementary basics to Akane. Kasumi knew her hope would be dashed, but deep down she hoped that if Akane liked martial arts enough that Soun would come out of his bedroom to teach her.

Maybe, just maybe once Kasumi could teach her no more, little Akane would be so eager to learn that Soun could become their father again. He could take them to the park and she wouldn’t have to take care of the family anymore and she could go play with her friends and Akane would get better and it would be just like it was before her mother died. Only … it would be without her. She wanted to cry, but Akane was looking at her so eagerly.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Akane. Please tell me when to stop.” Kasumi said. Akane nodded and clumsily tried to imitate the starting position she had seen her sister use a few months before. Her memory was hazy and she was still sick, so the position resembled something similar to a drunken monkey. Raising her hand to her mouth, Kasumi stifled a giggle. Her baby sister noticed and immediately looked crestfallen and self-conscious.

This is just what she had been afraid of! Kasumi gathered Akane in her arms and tried to stifle her baby sister’s oncoming tears. “Oh, Akane. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you upset. Please, stop crying.” It took a little bit, but she eventually did stop and clung to her older sister. Kasumi resolved to be more careful about how she reacted to her sister’s attempts. Akane was still sick after all. Speaking of which, how was she supposed to teach Akane how to take a hit or fall if she was still so ill?

“Father first taught me how to fall, but I think we should do that later. Maybe once you are feeling better.” Kasumi smiled sweetly and placed a hand on Akane’s shoulder. Maybe she could teach her how to throw a punch. That was simply enough and shouldn’t hurt. She had to think for a minute or two on how Soun had first taught her.

Her pupil lost her concentration and began to shift back and forth. Akane wasn’t sure if this was as exciting as it had first looked.

“Akane, could you copy this?”

Akane’s attention was brought back to Kasumi and the beginner’s martial arts world. Her sister was in a peculiar stance that did not at all resemble what Akane had tried earlier. She scrutinized the position for a few moments, and then began to copy her sister’s position one limb at a time. After a minute or two, she looked up hopefully with a child’s eagerness to please. “Like this?” This time, Kasumi did not laugh.

“Wow, that’s really close.” Kasumi said, quite pleased. “Let me fix it a little bit.” She reached over and adjusted Akane’s hands and pushed gently against her sister’s back. Kasumi was feeling better about her skills as a teacher already. Akane giggled when her sister touched her and almost lost control of her position by trying to push her sister’s hands away.

“That tickles!” She protested. Her teacher laughed and instead of trying to further fix Akane’s position, she began to tickle Akane’s sides. She was rewarded by squeals of delight and a cheerful gleam in her younger sister’s eyes. Squirming out of Kasumi’s grip, Akane ran away from her sister. Kasumi, caught up in childish delight, took off after her sister. It was only a few moments later and a couple feet away before the tickle victim began to cough. “Kasumi,” she whined, “my stomach hurts.”

Oh no! She should have known this would happen; she had been fearful of hurting her sister from the beginning. Kasumi rushed forward to hold her sister just as Akane began to bawl. The eldest sister looked ready to cry herself as she comforted her sister and gently rubbed her back. “Shh, it’s okay, Akane. I’m sorry.” Akane threw her arms around her sister’s neck and tried to climb into Kasumi’s arms to be carried, just like when she was a toddler. Kasumi struggled to lift her sister and was able to carry her to the door of the dojo.

~~~~~

After her first lesson, Akane had spent a day recovering from stomach pains and exhaustion. Kasumi was startled by her sister’s more vibrant appearance when dinner was brought up to the little girl’s room. She was sitting up in her bed, while D-chan gracefully flipped through the air and pummeled Akane’s pillows with kicks and punches. The stuffed duck’s owner was playing the role of an announcer at the world-renowned ‘Plushy Martial Arts Tournament.’ Without a doubt, Akane’s room would be hosting the tournament for several weeks.

Kasumi’s giggles were barely muffled by her enthusiastic applauding of D-chan’s victory over Akane’s pillow. Setting the plate of food on Akane’s nightstand, she asked, “Are you feeling better, Akane?” Her little sister scooted over to the side of her bed as Kasumi sat down next to her. After Kasumi was situated, she reached over for the dinner plate. This time, there was an extra spoon for D-chan, because Akane did not want to get duck germs all over her spoon.

“Uh-huh, I’m a lot better. Could we go to the dojo?” Akane asked eagerly. The plate of food had already been forgotten about by her young, excited mind. She was already getting up to crawl out of the bed when Kasumi pushed the plate in front of her. “Please?”

Her older sister frowned and shook her head at Akane’s eagerness to abandon dinner. “You need to eat first, because you are still sick. I do not think you could get better in one day after having been in bed for two months.” Akane pouted and flopped back onto the bed with her arms crossed over her chest. The food on the plate bounced and the rice bowl was knocked over onto the tray. The stuffed, toy duck fell forward onto the spilled rice, which caused both of the girls to laugh. Both girls stopped laughing when Akane began to cough.

Akane picked up D-chan, cleaned his beak, and picked up her own spoon. “Maybe I’ll eat a little. D-chan is hungry and I have to feed him.” Of course, he was a finicky eater, so his mother ate all of his food. Akane spoon-fed the stuffed toy and babbled incessantly about her future plans. She had decided to become a martial arts teacher, like her father, and D-chan was her first student.

In fact, she had already drawn up two flyers with her crayons. It was rather crude and the writing was of all sorts of different sizes of illegibility, but it brought pride into Akane’s smile. Her smile faded a little when Kasumi said that she needed to learn a lot more before she could become a teacher.

Kasumi regretted what she had said, so she reassured her sister, “Maybe you could make flyers for father’s students.” That brightened Akane’s day even more than her dreams to be a martial arts teacher. She held out the two flyers in front of her for further study and she smiled brightly.

“Let’s show father, now.” Akane chirped, crawling off the bed. Kasumi was caught up in her sister’s excitement and eagerly agreed to take her sister to Soun’s room. Soun had not received too many visitors to his room in the past month. Kasumi and Nabiki had tried to go to him for comfort, but the atmosphere and their father’s intense mourning scared them. Akane had been confined to her room, so she had not seen much of her father in weeks.

Kasumi and Akane left the bedroom to show their father the flyers. The dinner plate was left on Akane’s bed and the door was never closed. The childish excitement had captured their thoughts. Perhaps, Akane would be praised for her clever flyers and Kasumi would be praised for teaching her baby sister martial arts.

Nabiki’s bedroom door was open as she rested on the ground with a notebook in front of her. To the side of the notebook was a math book from two grades above her. She was not in the class, but her teacher had let her borrow the textbook in hopes that his student would be challenged. Lately, she had been prone to talking during class. It wasn’t about gossip or fantasies; she was manipulating the other kids with rudimentary betting and challenging. Every time her teacher caught her doing this, she was forced to do an extra page of homework.

When her two sisters rushed by her room, she peeked outside of the door. She was surprised to see Akane out of bed and running. Nabiki had become used to the quiet, because the youngest wasn’t creating chaos, and had not expected for her sister to ever recover. “Kasumi, Akane, what are you doing?” She called, waving her arms in the air as she ran a few steps after her sisters. Akane proudly waved one of her flyers, which Nabiki grabbed impatiently.

Akane began to point at objects in her drawing while she explained the meaning behind the flyer. “Kasumi’s been teaching me martial arts and now I’m teaching D-chan. I’m going to be a teacher, but Kasumi said to wait. Daddy can use these for his students.”
Nabiki was not listening very intently, because she was rather absorbed by her sister’s drawing skills or lack thereof.

She looked up from the drawing and took the second drawing from Akane. “It looks weird. What’s that?” Nabiki pointed to a blob in the corner of the drawing. It sort of looked like an elephant with a short trunk that was rearing on its legs.

Akane smiled and said proudly, “D-Chan’s fighting, just like Kasumi taught me!”

~~~~~

Soun had been asleep when the trio of girls arrived. Upon seeing her father asleep, Nabiki quickly lost any interest in the results of Akane’s pictures and promptly returned to her room to finish her homework. Akane had been very disappointed when Kasumi told her to let father sleep and that he would have to see her pictures later. The youngest sibling almost threw a fit, but was consoled by Kasumi’s excellent choice of words.

Taking the two flyers from Akane’s hands, she placed them directly upon Soun’s bedside table. “Let’s leave it here. That way, the first things he’ll see when he wakes up are your flyers for the dojo.” Smiling, she grabbed Akane by the hand and pulled her towards the door before anymore complaining could arise.

Downstairs, the doorbell had rung a couple of times. Nabiki ran down the stairs and scurried to the window in order to see who was outside. Peering through the window, she could see a respectably dressed man, who quickly took notice of her. Trying to smile friendly, he motioned toward the door in hopes that the young girl would oblige.

Nabiki sighed and mulled over the idea of opening the door. She had been taught by her mother to avoid talking to strangers, but if forced, she must be polite and courteous. There were all sorts of rules and exceptions that had confused her. Obviously, it would be stupid to be polite to a dangerous stranger. Normally, she never had to worry, because either her mother or father would handle any approaching strangers instead of forcing their young daughters to handle such situations. The doorbell rang; again, the man had obviously given up on Nabiki’s aid. She looked behind her at the stairs, a little hopeful that Soun would come down to answer it. No one.

Once she opened the door, the businessman did not look very happy with her. She shrank under his glare for a moment, but curiosity over ran this emotion when the man inquired about her father. Nabiki replied with a negative. “He’s home, but he won’t come down from his room.” The man sighed, but quickly began negotiating with Nabiki. He had very urgent information and needed to talk to her father immediately. It was very important, did she understand? Oh yes, she understood perfectly, but if Soun didn’t come out of his room for his daughters, then why would he for this stranger?

The businessman couldn’t very well barge into the house. Asking for the mistress of the house did him no good. “Mother’s dead, so I don’t think she can talk to you.” A pained look crossed her face and she looked down at her feet, shrugging off the stranger’s apologies. Coming to the end of his patience, he shoved an envelope underneath Nabiki’s nose. “I don’t want it. I’m not allowed to take things from strangers.” She explained. The man was obviously becoming frustrated.

He explained again how important the letter was and quickly added that he wasn’t a stranger to Soun. Nabiki regarded it carefully, then carefully stated, “one hundred yen.” He looked confused for a moment, but she held out her hand and repeated her statement. It was a small sum for a businessman, although bribery was quite against company policy. Nabiki gladly took the envelope and the one hundred yen note on top. There were certain exceptions to the stranger rule. Besides, she wanted one of those really neat cash registers she had seen in a toy store window.

Eyeing the money happily, she slipped it into her pocket. The envelope didn’t feel important. It crinkled in her hands, as if importance would be signaled to her through crispness and the thickness of the envelope. She didn’t like the stranger, so any importance was instantly dismissed and the envelope was opened. Most of it, she couldn’t read or didn’t understand. There were a lot of big words, but the numbers made sense. Puzzled, she read over it again to the best of her ability. There were a couple of pages, so Nabiki quickly lost interest. However, one thing had stood out clearly. Daddy was supposed to give someone a lot of money. A “mortgage” was due and it involved lots of money.

The next day at school, she took the pieces of paper to her teacher and asked her what a mortgage was. This was not the first thing the teacher was interested in. Morning classes would soon begin, so the teacher had little time to explain. The only information Nabiki received was a scolding and how she had been wrong to read the mail that belonged to someone else, especially her father. The information was private and the teacher expected Nabiki to promptly apologize and give the envelope to her father upon her return home.

Ashamed, Nabiki took the envelope back. At the end of the day, after the classroom had been cleaned, she went to the library. If her teacher wouldn’t explain the letter to her, then Nabiki would have to find out herself. The children’s dictionary didn’t have the word, so she was forced to get the adult dictionary. Even the definition had words she didn’t understand! It took awhile, but she eventually understood the most basic meaning of the envelope. Daddy owed a lot of money to someone because of the house. It didn’t really make a lot of sense to her, because that had to mean that the house was not entirely theirs. That made no sense! She had lived in that house since she was born. Kasumi had lived in the house since she was born, too, so that meant they must have had the house for a long, long time.

On her walk home with Kasumi, she had time to think it over. Her father never left his bedroom and the dojo had been closed for a while. Nabiki was not sure where the money came from, but she did know that you had to earn money. Mother had given her a yen coin every time Nabiki had prepared the table for dinner with Kasumi. Father couldn’t be earning money by sleeping. After Nabiki asked, Kasumi said that father gave her a little bit of money to order groceries over the telephone. After hearing this, Nabiki was resolved to earn the money to pay those people herself. Father would be proud!

~~~~~


Even before she began her homework, Nabiki ran to her room to fetch her piggybank. After counting the coins several time, she looked at the papers from the envelope again. The smile left her face when she realized she still didn’t have enough. Filled with a little bit of hope, she dug around in her lunchbox for the money she had received from a classmate. It was his fault! He had been the one stupid enough to bet against Haruna eating a beetle. Adding that to the pile, she counted again. Still not enough.

Kasumi barely had any time to ask her two sisters if they wanted a snack before Nabiki was out of the door. Akane eagerly agreed to a snack, then promptly asked about another lesson. The eldest and the youngest sister sat down to eat as the middle sister flitted about the immediate neighborhood. The Tendou family had a good reputation even before Mrs. Tendou’s death. When one of the daughters came to each neighbor’s door, they could hardly turn away a recently motherless child and her request. “Please, I was wondering if you had anything for me to do?”

Even for a little girl, Nabiki ran a hard bargain. The neighbors told her to weed the garden, walk and play with the dog, and other sorts of small jobs for cash. At school, she continued to extort petty sums out of her classmates. The teachers, already closely watching such behavior from Nabiki, discouraged her when they could. Several times, she had tried to sell small baked goods and lemonade that Kasumi had helped her make, but Akane, overly excited at being allowed to help, quickly ruined the cookies and spoiled the lemonade and other attempt at food.

After a week of this work, Nabiki emptied her piggybank again and recounted her efforts. Still not enough and if she did the math, she was really, really far off. Frustrated, Nabiki threw the paper across the room. “Stupid, I hate you!” She yelled accusingly at the paper. Screeching, she hit her hand against the money and coins flew. Startled, she scrambled after the coins and placed them into her piggybank. Leaving it on the floor, she hurried to Soun’s room with the papers.

Nearing tears, she shoved the paper into her startled father’s hands and tried to explain what had happened. Another envelope, the second notice for the delayed mortgage, was on his bedside table. Soun did his best to convince his daughter that the mortgage was nothing, but he really did appreciate her trying to help out, but that it wasn’t necessary. “So we have the money?” Nabiki asked. Soun faltered in his answer.
“Open the dojo. Akane already made flyers.”

The flyers his youngest daughter had drawn a few days ago were not in sight. Soun had looked at them and had cried when he had seen them. Even now, he felt a burden of guilt weighing itself deeply in the pit of his stomach. His wife had been able to do so many things. A smile was always on the girls’ faces as confidence, instilled by their mother, grew beautifully. Meals were never late and everyone had a bellyful of nutritious and tasty food. All of his daughters crowded around his wife for help with her schoolwork and playful activities were never absent. How could he ever fill the void that had been created by her death? He was not a mother and he had not the skills to be one. Even now, Soun was unable to will himself to exit his room.

He hated himself for it! Soun was unable to provide for his daughters as a father. Troubled by such thoughts, he lapsed into further depression. His wife, the love of his life, had been taken from him and his daughters far to early. Such thoughts did not raise his spirits, either. Even as a husband he had failed. If only, if only he had taken his wife to a doctor sooner. If only, if only he had taken her complaints of hurt more seriously. If only, if only he had not let her die.

Nabiki waited for an answer, but began to grow furious when none came. Her lip jutted outward and her hands balled into little fists. “Do something!” She pleaded. Shrieking shrilly, she turned and stormed out of the room. The slamming of the door caused Soun to wince as he lapsed further into the depression he, himself, had created. His daughter was furious with him for good reason. The family was in trouble and he was unable and, perhaps, unwilling to bring themselves to safety. Nabiki lost confidence in her father.

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    25th November 2012, 9:33 am

The Mouse

Usagi reached across her bed to open her window, then paused to stretch. Not long ago, she had discovered that she was the pretty sailor suited guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon. Her life had been turned upside down in the matter of one day. Now she was expected to regularly risk her life for the sake of the Earth and the unknown princess of the moon. It was similar to all of her childhood fantasies, but far too real to comfort her. Then again, at the same time, buried underneath the fear and apprehension, was a feeling of familiarity.

Usagi leaned over to rest her arms on the windowsill and gaze at the neighborhood when she felt her arm touch something soft, warm, and squishy. She paused for a moment, closed her eyes, and did her best not to scream. She pushed away from the windowsill abruptly, promptly lost her footing, and fell of the bed in a heap. “Owie,” she squealed, rubbing her head. Then, she remembered what she had touched. With another squeal, she jerked her hand off her head and checked to see if she had left anything on her head.

It was clean, but her hand smelled kind of weird. With a wrinkle of her nose, she crawled forward on her hands and knees to the window. Cautiously, she pulled herself upright and peered over the windowsill. Oh my god, there it was! Usagi’s eyes widened as she saw the dead body of a small mouse.

Another high pitched squeal built up in her throat, but at the same time she felt rather sick to her stomach and dared not open her mouth. She dashed toward her bathroom, stumbling over her feet the entire way. The door loudly slammed closed and the sound of rushing water could be heard.

From behind the corner of Usagi’s desk, a small black cat hung her head with misery and disappointment. Luna forlornly leapt to the windowsill and nudged the dead mouse with her paw. She placed it back into the same position as it had been left about thirty minutes ago. With a dejected sigh, Luna sat on her haunches.

She had wanted to give Usagi a small gift, a thank-you for giving the small, black cat a home. Last night, Luna had curled up under the desk in the corner of Usagi’s bedroom. She had not yet felt comfortable sleeping closer to Usagi.

Something was there, however, because Usagi had reached under the desk and brought Luna to her bed. Usagi had held Luna in her arms and the two had cuddled the entire night. Luna had been very touched and she had wanted to express her gratitude, but a cat only had so many options. Granted, she was a magical cat and perhaps it would have been better to produce a magical item, but her access to magical items was limited and regulated. So, Luna had gone to retrieve the gift that all cats bring to their owners, a mouse that she had caught and killed herself.

But, she had not expected Usagi to react that way when she saw Luna’s gift. Maybe Usagi did not want to have a cat, especially a cat that was symbolic and representative of so many changes? Luna’s tail drooped low and her ears flattened against her head. Then, the door to the bathroom opened.

Luna jerked upright and froze, one paw on the mouse.

“Ew, Luna, don’t you dare eat that thing!” Usagi scolded, reaching forward for her cat.

Luna shrunk away from Usagi’s touch. Her ears were still flattened against her head. “I would do no such thing.”

Usagi seemed surprised when Luna shrank away from her touch. She looked confused for a moment, but then things began to click into place. “Did you… Luna, did you bring me that mouse?”

Luna looked away, but nodded.

Usagi reached forward again, but not for Luna this time. She looked visibly queasy, but she grabbed the mouse. “I love it, Luna,” she said, clearly bothered by holding the dead creature, but she managed to smile anyway. “Thank you,” she said, reaching to touch Luna’s head.

Luna’s ears and tail perked up as she allowed Usagi to scratch her cat behind the ears. “I won’t do it again,” Luna promised. Usagi smiled awkwardly and shook her head. “It is okay Luna. It is the thought that counts, right?”

She put the mouse on the windowsill and picked her cat up. “How about we get you some breakfast?” Usagi said, not feeling very hungry herself just yet. Usagi held her cat close and gave Luna a small kiss on the forehead.

“I like ice-cream, too. Do you think you can catch an ice-cream cart next time?”

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    31st March 2013, 11:02 am

This is a collection of Sailor Moon drabbles related to the theme of "First Love." My goal is to cover as many different types of love through the use of a myriad of Sailor Moon characters.

First Love
Usagi and Mamoru
"I thought I was your only love?" Mamoru laughed, teasing the young blonde on his arm.

Usagi stopped for a moment, then shook her head. "Well, yeah, but you weren't my first love."

"Do you are least love me more than ice-cream?"

Usagi munched on the remains of her ice-cream cone and swallowed. With a smile she kissed Mamoru on the lips. Afterwards, he could still taste the vanilla.

"Always," she promised.

Artemis, Luna, and Diana
The miracle of life had taken place hours before, but the feeling of pride and love had not diminished. There nestled near his wife's heart was a sleeping bundle of gray fur. Mother and daughter slept after a hard day's work. His wife stirred and opened her eyes with a yawn.

"You're still here, Artemis?" She asked, nudging her kitten closer with a gentle push of her nose. "You should rest," Luna lightly scolded.

"I can't think of any place I'd rather be," he said, lying down next to his wife and daughter. "Besides, you did all the hard work, not me," he chuckled.

Makoto
Did it have to hurt so much?

A tear splashed on the ground as Makoto willed herself to stand, but she lacked the strength and courage. The rejection was fresh, but she knew the pain would still be there after time had passed.
She had felt heartbreak before, but that feeling had never been associated with him. Makoto had only felt joy when she was near him.

Now a different emotion had taken joy's place. All she could feel was sadness and pain. Someone or something else would have to fill that pain in her heart, the pain that started the day her parents died and only grew bigger when he said he didn't love her.

Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion
She was not aware of his presence, especially because his breath had caught in his throat when he had seen a glimpse of her smile. He dared not move, lest she run away in fright.

The Prince stopped himself from rushing to her aid when she yelped at the pain of a thorn. Her blood lingered on the rose and he might have thought her blood gave the rose its beauty, but worry overwhelmed him.

Her smile was gone.

He emerged from the trees and restored the smile to its rightful place on her lips as two lovers met for the first time.

Minako
Oh sure, she thought she had loved before. But, could what she had felt as a child truly be called 'love' if the object of her desires changed every time a new star was born?

How ironic, the sailor soldier of love never truly knew the meaning of love for many, many years. She had believed Ace when he had fated her to live a life of romantic tragedy. But, he hadn't known what love was, either.

Usagi had shown her a special kind of love, as had the other girls. This love, Minako thought. This is what I always fought to protect, what I always searched for.

Chibiusa and Neo-Queen Serenity
"What's love, mama?" A curious child asked, not aware that she had experienced and been the object of such an emotion since before she was born.

A gentle smile told the child that she had just asked a very important question.
"My darling, love is a special gift we give each other. Each gift is unique, but no less special."

The curious child twisted a strand of pink hair between her fingers. "How do I give it?"

The mother smiled. "Unconditionally," she said. "And with a little help from those around you." She kissed her daughter on the forehead. "Here's my love to you."

The curious child giggled delightedly.

Perle
He had visited her dreams every night since he first met her. Her dreams were wonderful and filled with hope, happiness, and youth. Her dreams made him feel special, even if they did not play as often as they used to.

One night, Perle visited Chibiusa, but was surprised to see another had taken his place. The Other was older and… strange. He hadn't noticed the previous nights, but Chibiusa was older, too. Perle held a bag of cookies in his hand, but the Other held Chibiusa's hand in his own.

The cookies didn't taste as sweet as they used to, Perle noticed with sadness.

A Rose for A Smile
Although the hospital was full of mixed emotions: pain, sadness, happiness, relief, grief… Usagi stopped when she heard the pained crying of a young boy. Curiosity got the best of her. She quietly peeked around the corner of the door.

The young boy did not hear her sit down next to him or if he did, he didn't show it. Usagi looked at the flowers in her hand and decided she could spare one if he would smile. He did smile and Usagi thought she wouldn't mind seeing more of his smiles.

"If I gave you a rose every day, would you smile each time?"

When they grew older, she would smile each time he gave her a rose.

Naru and Umino
"Would you go on a date with me?"

He really wanted to ask those words. He had practiced a lot, but couldn't quite make the words come out when he saw her face.

The teenage boy would prepare extensively each day he deemed worthy enough. His preparations wouldn't land him on the front cover of any fashion magazine, but he did earnestly try.

He came really close yesterday. A few of the words left his lips, but he never got the chance to finish before she was whisked away by a friend. She probably didn't even notice he was asking her a question.

A bouquet of flowers in his hands, his heart almost leapt out of his chest when she turned the corner. "Naru," he whispered.

"Wait!" He cried, stumbling over his own feet in order to catch up with his fair maiden. She turned around, her hair catching the sunlight. He was momentarily dazzled and lost his footing, stumbling headfirst into Naru. With a feminine shriek, Naru fell to the ground with Umino in a heap at her feet.

The flowers nearly hit her in the nose when he presented them to her. "Please?" He begged as he spoke the words he had practiced so carefully. Even if she had said no, Umino would have been content just to see her smile and accept his gift.

Just imagine how he reacted when she said "yes".

___________________________

 

 Graphics by Athena, Neo Queen Serenity, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Mercury, Gemma, and Lust
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Venus' One-Shots    15th April 2013, 12:45 pm

Oh my goodness! I recognize you from fanfiction.net!
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Sailor Venus' One-Shots

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