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 [Advanced] Jar of Hearts

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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
Join date : 2013-07-25
Age : 32
Location : Canada


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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime27th February 2015, 2:30 am

[Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 5cOMxWi

Michiru listened to Haruka talk, noting the passion behind the words that she remembered as being painfully familiar. Haruka sounded the exact same way all those years ago when she talked about running or racing. That was what she figured Haruka would be; someone who picked sports as a career. Instead, she’d gone the noble route. She was still running, she was still racing… but now it was after someone. After bad people.

People generally did not become police unless they’d always had that protective instinct, some altruistic nature, or had someone taken from them in the past because of a crime. She wondered if Haruka really did just decide to become a detective because she wanted to save the world. She just never saw that side in Haruka before.

“I thought you’d be like… a world racer by now,” she admitted. “That seems more your speed, pun intended. This job has a lot of rules, red tape… all things that have always limited you.”

At Haruka’s question, Michiru looked down at herself. She hadn’t even thought about how her injured shoulder might prevent her from playing music. A stab of nostalgia hit her right in her heart, and for a moment her fingers twitched longingly for an invisible violin.

But the truth was she hadn’t thought about music in a long time. Now, evidently, all she could think about when she got arm injury was how she could not shoot straight.

“This is a stupid reason, but… music has always been my parents’ dream. It’s not that I don’t love it, too, I did. I really did. But growing up, they’ve dictated so many things in my life, and I was… tired of it, I guess. I wanted to reclaim my life, wanted it to feel like my own again. Try to stop being the good, obedient girl for once. Try to stop being the perfect daughter.”

She looked up at Haruka sheepishly. “Maybe being around you was rubbing off on me.”

She thought about their last encounter and avoided Haruka's eyes. “To be honest… what you said when we split up hit a sore spot. I wanted to prove to everyone that I wasn’t just… a doll. My parents’ puppet. I wanted to be sure there was more of me than just this perfect music prodigy figure that everyone sees. I wanted to show that I can think for myself, too, and make decisions, and go through with it. That I had more… depth than what I appear to be.”

She was baring her soul for Haruka, admitting things that she had never told anyone before, but it felt right to tell Haruka of all people. She did not want to be seen that way anymore. She wanted Haruka, better than anyone, to know just how deeply she could feel too. Once she started talking, she couldn’t stop, as if the words had been waiting for this moment all along.

Going into law was kind of a rebellion, it was true. But in the end, she found it worth it. “It feels good to help people,” she concluded. “Protecting others… protecting the world… I can’t explain it, but it feels right in here.” She held one hand to her chest, then dropped it when she realized how cheesy that probably sounded. She blushed slightly and turned away.

___________________________

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Lyssarie
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Lyssarie

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Title : Alyssa ~ Frappucino Enthusiast and Feels Expert
Posts : 6422
Join date : 2013-12-07
Age : 20
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime27th February 2015, 7:02 am

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Haruka laughed and shrugged. "I learned that it's better to run after someone than to run away. You taught me that."

The detective was silent as she watched Michiru silently contemplate her question. When Michiru began to explain, Haruka listened intently. Everything Michiru said made perfect sense. Haruka had met Michiru's parents on a few occasions, and they were quite the...control freaks. During high school, Haruka had always been jealous of that. She was raised in a wealthy environment, but her parents never gave her much thought or attention. They let her run free, doing as she pleased as long as she didn't get arrested. They were never involved in her education, her sports, or her relationships. In fact, Haruka hadn't heard from them in a little over a year. Hearing Michiru reflect on her parents made Haruka wonder how hers were doing.

"I'm sorry. About what I said. You didn't deserve that, and I guess I was just...mad. You were the best thing to ever happen to me, Michiru. You tried to understand me, and that's more than anyone else has ever done. And the funny thing is, I think you succeeded. You understand me - most of me, I mean. When you told me that I was too impulsive, too thoughtless, it drove me crazy because I thought you understood. Tell me, Michiru, was I wrong?"

Without even thinking, Haruka had taken Michiru's hand in hers. "We're just a mess, aren't we?"

The light blush on Michiru's cheeks caused a small smile to appear on Haruka's face. She was still the same Michiru.

___________________________

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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
Join date : 2013-07-25
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime27th February 2015, 7:22 am

[Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 5cOMxWi

Had she really taught Haruka that? Michiru couldn’t help but smile at the little games they used to play. Haruka and her liberal flirtations had always frustrated her, and she’d tried her best to give her something worth chasing for.

She didn’t, however, expect Haruka to say that Michiru was the best thing to happen to her. That honestly surprised her.

“I think… I think I understood you better than you probably cared to admit to yourself. I think that’s what pushed you away from me. Because being around me forced you to be honest and you were scared of that.” She always knew that Haruka could be better if she just applied herself. If she stopped chasing trivial things like other girls or running without a direction. She supposed Haruka did take that advice after all—that was how she’d ended up here. Michiru never thought she would, thought she had understood Haruka wrong all this time after they got fed up with each other, but she hadn’t.

Haruka was always born for a purpose. She was always meant to save the world.

The contact surprised her, but she squeezed back Haruka’s hand. “We kind of make great heroes and lousy ones at the same time. But for what it’s worth, I'm glad we’re in it together.”

___________________________

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Lyssarie

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Title : Alyssa ~ Frappucino Enthusiast and Feels Expert
Posts : 6422
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Age : 20
Location : United States


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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime27th February 2015, 9:46 pm

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Haruka had spent the following week aiding Michiru in any way she could, whether it was carrying her things, opening doors, bringing food to her hotel room, and anything else she could think of. Every time Haruka looked at Michiru, she was reminded of Michiru's words at the hospital:

"I'm glad we're in it together."


What did she even mean by that? Did she mean what Haruka hoped she meant, or was she just saying that she was glad they were a team? They did make a good team, but...Haruka couldn't help but hope that maybe, just maybe, Michiru might still harbor the same feelings that Haruka had.

Late Thursday night, Haruka arrived to her penthouse apartment, tired from a long day of research and analyzing. There had been no new leads or developments regarding the Heart Snatcher case, and so there hadn't been much action during the week. No matter how much hardcore profiling Michiru did, it just wasn't enough to locate their killer.

With a sigh, Haruka tossed her car keys on the table and shrugged off her jacket, draping it over the couch. The apartment was quiet, echoing with Haruka's loneliness and solitude. With a sigh, Haruka went straight to her bedroom and plopped onto her bed, closing her eyes and falling asleep in a manner of seconds. 

Those seconds turned into minutes, and minutes into hours. The clock struck two in the morning, and the front door to Haruka's penthouse started to click as a cloaked figure picked the lock. Silently, the intruder entered the apartment. The darkness of the area caused said intruder to trip over the leg of a chair, falling to the floor with a yelp.

Haruka's eyes snapped open and she jumped out of bed, grabbing the gun that she kept hidden in her bedside table. Slowly, Haruka crept out of her room and into the living room, where she kept her arms outstretched as the gun was clenched tightly in her hands. Her eyes struggled to see through the darkness, but as she took another step in the living room, she just barely made out a shadow moving behind her. 

Before Haruka could turn around, she felt a sharp pain in her neck, and immediately she lost all feeling in her body. Powerless, Haruka crumpled to the floor as her gun clattered to the other side of the room. Her eyes began to shut, but the last thing she saw before slipping into unconsciousness was the bright red high heel of her captor.

Haruka could still hear her maniacal laughter even after falling into a deep sleep.

___________________________

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Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Neptune

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Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
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Age : 32
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime27th February 2015, 10:26 pm

[Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 5cOMxWi

Michiru woke up the morning after a full week of forced rest feeling better than the previous days. Her arm was slowly losing its stiffness, and in a few days, she could probably use it as normal again. She got dressed quickly and went straight to the office, still restless with the idea that they hadn’t successfully caught the serial killer yet. So far, there had been no new victims, but with Mimete behind bars, the killer was likely going to have to change her patterns. No more targeting the fan club, especially because it was now disbanded, and all of its members were being watched. No more money handouts for whatever it was she needed to buy.

Michiru had to admit she was surprised at the discovery that the killer was a woman. Women serial killers existed, but definitely rarer. And one who killed other women for their hearts was definitely very unusual. It made her feel like this person was an anomaly, like there was something she was missing in her profile. And until she figured out what that was, she wouldn’t be able to find the person behind the mask.

Michiru had talked to Ami and various other members of the TMPD about the case, but the only person she hadn’t seen much was Eudial, the forensics expert. She knew the woman didn’t seem to like conversation, but today she needed all the help she could get. When she entered Eudial’s office, however, it was empty. Frowning, Michiru was about to leave again when something caught her eye.

A gleaming knife. A unique surgical knife with a strange letter etched on it. Michiru had not forgotten it ever since she’d seen it embedded in her shoulder.

Her heart plummeted to her stomach. Was it just a coincidence?

She stared around the room as if expecting clues to pop up. Eudial certainly fit the serial killer profile; she was a loner and did not talk much with the others. Didn’t seem to have any familial relations or friends at all as far as Michiru had observed.

She had a really terrible sinking feeling. Going back into the bullpen, she looked for Haruka, and did not find her.

The feeling got worse.

Michiru pulled out her phone and sped-dialed her. It went into voicemail. Frustrated, she was about to try Haruka’s home when she noticed that she had a voicemail.

Michiru played it immediately.

“Hello my dear, lovely Miss Kaioh,” Eudial’s silky voice filled her ear, and instantly Michiru felt cold. “Or should I say Neptune?”

Neptune? Why was that name familiar? And not just from Roman mythology…

“Listen, I’ve got your girlfriend here. And we have a date today. I think you’d want to join us, right? No, not like that. But we’ll have fun anyway. You remember where to go, right? The Marine Cathedral? Ohhohoho, this is going to be just like the good old days. I do miss ripping your heart out of your chests… too bad it seems unnecessary this time because apparently the talismans are… guess what? Out of your body all this time! Instead of gouging out people’s hearts, I could have just been a burglar and be done with it. Oh well. No use crying over spilled milk. Anyway, yes, bring yours. Talisman, that is. That tacky green mirror. I’ve already got your girlfriend’s sword. That sounds a bit naughty. But yes, you will come rescue your beloved Uranus or else I’ll rip her heart out and it will never be yours ever again! Ahahahah—”

In the middle of her evil laugh, the message cut off, and Michiru stared in confusion. What was this woman raving about? Talismans? Uranus?

Oh, there was another voicemail. She played that one too.

“Ahem. Stupid messaging system. As I was saying! Come to the cathedral before noon or your lover’s life is forfeit. Bring the talisman. And come alone. Or I will kill her before you even get here. That’s all.”

Click.

Michiru shakily fell to her chair, clutching the phone. Was it for real? Had The Heart Snatcher—who turned out to be someone working in this very office under their noses all this time—taken Haruka?

Michiru already knew it was true. And she already knew she couldn’t tell anyone. The cathedral… she knew it instinctively even though she’d never been there before. It was surrounded by sea and Eudial could easily see anyone approaching it from all directions. The moment a police team landed there, she’d lose Haruka.

And she could not have that.

What did this woman want, anyway? A talisman, she’d said. A mirror? Michiru was having the strangest déjà vu. Something about all of this felt achingly familiar. Suddenly, she knew the mirror Eudial was talking about. There was an antique mirror given to her by her mother that had been a family heirloom for generations. Was it truly a talisman? Her mother once said it brought good luck and protection to the family but… And what did it have to do with people’s hearts?

Michiru did not understand all of it, but she knew one thing for sure. She had to go save Haruka. So she drove straight home, picked up the damned mirror, and for once in her life used her family’s wealth to help her.

Because how else was she going to get to the stupid island without a helicopter?

___________________________

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Lotus Crystal

Lyssarie

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Title : Alyssa ~ Frappucino Enthusiast and Feels Expert
Posts : 6422
Join date : 2013-12-07
Age : 20
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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime27th February 2015, 10:54 pm

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There was screaming. So much screaming.

Haruka stirred, slowly opening her eyes and adjusting to the dim light of the room she was in. Her head was pounding, and the screaming going on around her wasn't helping.

It took a moment for Haruka to realize that her wrists were pinned against the wall, and she was hanging a few feet off of the ground. There were chains attached to the shackles around her wrists, and the chains sailed upwards to the ceiling of what looked to be...a cathedral?

Haruka groaned, trying her best to pull at the chains. Her muscles felt weak from whatever it was that had knocked her out, and she couldn't quite focus with that ridiculous screaming.

Looking around the room, Haruka realized that it wasn't screaming she had heard, but rather the sound of a very loud, very booming, organ piano.

Haruka hung there with her head low, taking in slow breaths to try and regain her focus. She needed to get free and get revenge on whoever was audacious enough to capture her.

The organ stopped playing, and the sound of heels against the floor grew closer and closer. Moments later, a woman with bright red hair and matching eyes appeared, twirling a sword in her hand.

Haruka's eyes widened in shock. "Eudial?!" she said, her voice cracking. The woman before her laughed, causing Haruka's head to pound even more than it already was.

"That's right, you pathetic little soldier. It's about time I got you. I've been waiting for your heart for a long time now. It's only a matter of moments until your pretty little toy gets here, and I'll finally have you both in my grasp. Tell me, how are you feeling? Does your head hurt?" Eudial said, tracing her finger along the edge of the sword.

Haruka glared, wanting so desperately to get down from the wall and clock Eudial right in the face. So she was the notorious Heart Snatcher, the one that had ruthlessly torn the hearts from innocent young girls stabbed Michiru in the shoulder. Haruka clenched her fists and yelled, "What the hell do you want, Eudial? Do you realize how insane you are? Did you forget your meds today? And why the hell are you messing with my sword? I'd appreciate not having your grimy fingers all over it," Haruka growled. That sword was important to her - it was one of the few things she had ever truly been given by her father, and it was a symbol of their family's legacy of bravery and success.

Eudial laughed again, causing Haruka to resist the urge to groan. "Silly girl - this is a Talisman, don't you know that? With this, I can get world-domination! Now, you won't be able to get in my way. Why? Because after your precious partner gets here, I'll take both of your hearts as my final trophies. Isn't that just fantastic? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some dramatic entrances to practice."

The red-headed serial killer left the room, and the sounds of the organ began to screech through the cathedral once more. Haruka looked up at the ceiling, and for the first time in years, she prayed.

'Please. Don't let Michiru come.'

___________________________

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Sailor Neptune
Outer Senshi Admin
RP Graphics & Canon Admin

Sailor Neptune

Outer Senshi Admin  RP Graphics & Canon Admin

Title : Drinker of Roleplayers' Tears ~ The Internationaliest™
Posts : 9577
Join date : 2013-07-25
Age : 32
Location : Canada


[Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 12:09 am

[Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 5cOMxWi

On the way to the island, portions of memories began to return to Michiru. Memories of what, she assumed, was her past life.

It was disconcerting, to say the least.

She remembered being something… else. Something more. A soldier. Someone who fought for justice, but with powers beyond what she had now. And facing this same enemy. Being in this very situation. Only she remembered Haruka being by her side then.

The empty seat beside her felt so lonely.

Michiru understood now what the fuss was all about. What ‘talisman’ really meant. The mirror, the sword… they were so much more than good luck charms and antique heirlooms. They had the power to destroy the world. She briefly thought of Setsuna, wondered if she knew. The once guardian of time used to be so knowledgeable. Did she know all this time who she was? Who Haruka and Michiru were? Was Setsuna even reincarnated, or was she still the same old enigmatic Setsuna?

Michiru suddenly wished she’d talked to the captain before she left.

But at least this time Setsuna was in no danger of dying. The woman did not have a good track record with helicopters.

Michiru was flying the vehicle on her own, not wanting to endanger anyone else, let alone a clueless civilian. She had no idea how she was supposed to beat Eudial. In this life, she had no powers. But did that mean Eudial didn’t either? She’d brought a gun, of course, but would that be enough?

She landed on the island and stepped outside, glanced briefly at the sun. Had Haruka remembered by now? Michiru was the one who awakened first before. But now she understood why they both felt the call to protect the world. Because deep down, that was what they were.

She wished she had remembered sooner. Maybe then none of this would have happened. Maybe then Haruka would not be in this situation.

She walked confidently into the cathedral, wincing at the loud sound of the organ blaring from inside. Eudial had not gotten rid of her penchant for the dramatics, it seemed.

The organ stopped when Michiru entered. The woman sitting behind the instrument turned around slowly, a glimmer of a smile on her face.

“Welcome!” she said brightly, as if greeting an old friend. “Ohh, this is such a lovely reunion, is it not? Did you bring it?”

Michiru eyed the sword she now recognized easily lying on top of the organ. So Eudial already had the first of the three. And she was called here to bring the second.

“I did.” She pulled the mirror out carefully from her purse. Her eyes traveled the length of the great room and found Haruka chained to the wall. Her heart constricted with pain and worry.

“Well. It’s simple, really. Give me the mirror, and I’ll let her go.” Eudial nodded at Haruka, following Michiru’s gaze. “And you both can go ride off into the sunset or whatever it is you do.”

“Why all the killings then?” Michiru asked, partly stalling, partly curious. “Why take all those hearts?”

“Oh, haha! That was so silly, wasn’t it?” Eudial crossed one leg over the other and leaned forward as if she was getting ready to tell a juicy gossip. “See, in the beginning, I didn’t remember. I just had this… urge to claw people’s hearts out. It’s such a visceral thing, you know? Like an animalistic urge. I didn’t understand it myself either. I didn’t even have a creepy childhood or anything. But now it all becomes clear, doesn’t it?” She stood up, walking casually toward Michiru. “It’s my past life trying to reassert itself. Urging me to find the right heart crystals. The talismans. And now I finally remember who possess them.” She glanced disdainfully at the mirror. “Not hearts at all, after all. At least not in this life. Pity, I would have liked to collect both of your hearts.”

Michiru stood her ground. “And Mimete?”

“Oh, that was just revenge, pure and simple. She killed me, you know. Before. Cut my brakes. Cut my brakes. I’m a freaking super villain with magical powers and she killed me in a car accident. Do you have any idea how insulting that is? Do you know how much that makes me rage?!”

Michiru took an involuntary step back.

“So yeah. That was personal. But don’t worry about that.” Eudial twirled Haruka’s sword. “Just hand me the mirror and it’ll all be over.”

“You mean give you the power to destroy the world?”

Eudial smiled. “Oh, please. I know you two. You care about each other too much. Above everything else.” She pivoted and walked toward Haruka now, holding Haruka’s own sword against her neck. “I saw the way she dropped everything when I threw that knife at you. She didn’t care about the world then.” Eudial pressed the sword harder against the skin. “Don’t tell me you care about the world now,” she said, her words purely menacing now, all traces of playfulness gone.

“It’s your choice, soldier,” she finished mockingly. “The world… or your precious lover’s life?”

___________________________

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Lyssarie

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Title : Alyssa ~ Frappucino Enthusiast and Feels Expert
Posts : 6422
Join date : 2013-12-07
Age : 20
Location : United States


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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 9:58 am

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Haruka knew Michiru was there before she even appeared. Because suddenly, it all felt familiar. Like this had happened before.

Only this time, Haruka was the one chained to the wall.

She remembered, only foggily, how she had been a soldier whose heart was bound to Michiru's. She could mentally picture the day Michiru freed herself from her binds and tried to reach Haruka, only to get herself killed in the process.

When Michiru, appeared, Haruka's head snapped up, and she wondered if Michiru would make that decision again. Would she risk her life for Haruka's? Would she honestly be that stupid?! Eudial was planning world domination. Haruka's life was not worth more than that.

Haruka cursed, her eyes following Michiru's every move. Before Haruka could say anything, her own sword was being pressed against her throat. She leaned back, pressing her head against the wall behind her. The blade was sharp - Haruka knew because she sharpened it every Sunday morning. It was already beginning to cut into her skin, drawing a thin line of blood that trickled down Haruka's neck.

"Michiru...don't give it to her," Haruka hissed through clenched teeth. Eudial pressed down harder, but Haruka continued to talk: "You have to carry out our mission."

Eudial began to tap her foot impatiently. "I don't have all day, you know."

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 10:14 am

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It was truly ironic that Michiru had posed this question to Haruka just a week earlier and now she was the one facing it. Was Haruka going to stand between her and the killer? Between her and the job she knew she had to do?

Michiru thought she knew what the right answer was. She thought she knew what had to be done, what sacrifices needed to be made in order to save the world. Especially now that she fully understood who she used to be and it wasn’t only a few lives that hung in the balance. This wasn’t just about letting a serial killer go. This was about letting a crazy woman have the power over the entire world.

It was no question what the choice should be.

And yet.

She couldn’t stand the sight of Haruka hurting right in front of her. Couldn’t stand to see even that thin trickle of blood dripping down from her neck. With one quick move Michiru brought her gun up and aimed it at Eudial’s head, but the red-haired woman just laughed.

“Oh, that’s hilarious! You really think you can shoot me? With your injured arm? Before I slash her neck open? You’re willing to take that risk?”

Michiru’s arm trembled and she knew Eudial could see it. She still couldn’t shoot right. And if she missed, she’d lose Haruka. Or even if she didn’t, if she wasn’t fast enough…

“You should know that it won’t end well if you shoot me right here,” Eudial warned, and from the tone of her voice, Michiru knew she wasn’t bluffing.

“Hand. Me. The. Mirror. Right now.”

It was the last demand.

Michiru knew she should try to shoot. Should not have even brought the mirror here.

But when Haruka spoke, she almost laughed. Haruka had started talking about the mission. She must have remembered. Just a week ago, Haruka had been adamant about not sacrificing anyone. And yet now she was all in to sacrifice herself. How convenient for her to change her mind when it was her life that hung in the balance. How selfish of her.

And yet Michiru knew that both times Haruka had been completely true to herself.

So now they were on opposite sides of where they were before. Were they ever going to come together in this life?

Michiru struggled for a moment, then closed her eyes, resigned.

She threw the mirror toward Eudial. Eudial caught it deftly, the movement forcing her to release the sword from Haruka’s neck.

“I’m not just going to let you die,” she repeated Haruka’s own words back at her. “We’re partners, Haruka. I’m not leaving you behind.”

She always was the biggest hypocrite and liar of all.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 11:03 am

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Haruka could see the turmoil in Michiru's eyes. She could see that inner struggle, the tremble in Michiru's arm. They couldn't lose now - they couldn't let Eudial win.

But Michiru relented.

She gave Eudial the mirror.

The blade was drawn away from Haruka's throat and she exhaled, not realizing she had been holding her breath until that moment. Michiru's words reached Haruka's ears, and the detective suddenly felt like an idiot. Of course Michiru would use her own words against her.

And even though Haruka was panicking on the inside and wanted to scream and kick at Eudial, she felt warm. She felt...relieved. Michiru did still have feelings for her. Maybe she didn't say that directly, but Haruka knew. She knew deep down that they were bound by fate. As ridiculous as that sounded, it gave Haruka hope. They had come out of this alive once. They could do it again.

Suddenly feeling over-confident, Haruka decided to keep her cool. She wasn't going to yell at Michiru about how stupid she was, wasn't going to snap at Eudial.

Eudial turned back to Haruka, an evil smile on her face. "That wasn't so bad, now was it?" Eudial asked, winking. Haruka kept her face placid, void of any emotion, until finally she sent a wad of spit in Eudial's direction. It landed perfectly on her cheek, causing the red-headed woman to retaliate in disgust.

"Did you just...spit on me?! What is wrong with you?! No one makes a fool out of me! "

After wiping the spit from her face, Eudial clapped her hands together. At the sound, a hole in the floor began to open up, and a gun began to rise out of the ground. A quiet beeping sound could be heard, and Haruka knew instantly what it was.

It was the gun she had used to kill herself with so long ago, in that past life that was long forgotten.

"As you can see," Eudial said, waltzing over to the gun and tracing her finger along its barrel. "I have been able to reconstruct that beautiful weapon I used to steal your heart in our last life," Eudial said to Michiru. "And then, of course, Miss Drama Queen over there went and shot herself with it. How silly! Anyway, it's missing a little bit of magic, unfortunately. So instead of stealing a heart crystal, it will basically rip a giant hole in your chest and turn your heart into pink mist. Fantastic, isn't it? You have one minute, Neptune. One minute until this thing goes off and your lover is gone forever. What, did you really think I would let you both get away so easily?" Eudial laughed again, her annoying voice echoing all throughout the cathedral. "Silly girls - don't you remember? Who helped you out of here last time? Who came and saved your sorry butts when you both were knocking on Death's door?"

Haruka's body went rigid.

"Tsukino Usagi. My first victim."

The sinister Heart Snatcher began to run, her heels clicking against the floor as she went further and further away. Haruka's eyes were wide, and finally she was beginning to show signs of panic. Her eyes met Michiru's, and Haruka wished with all of her heart that this was all just a dream. There was no way out of this. Michiru had to go, she had to try and track down Eudial. That hope Haruka had just felt instantly diminished at the realization that Fate was repeating itself, only this time - Usagi wasn't there to save them. There was no Messiah, there was no escape. It was over.

"Get out of here, Michiru!" she shouted, her voice pleading and desperate. "Go stop her! You can't keep putting me in front of everything else, I..." Haruka paused, breathing heavily. "I'm sorry. With all of my heart, Michiru, I'm sorry. You can't save me this time. Go, and save the world while you still can."

Haruka made her best attempt at smiling, a single tear falling from her eye. "Besides, we'll meet again, right?"

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 11:29 am

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She’d just given away her talisman.

That should make her feel terrible, but the feeling never came. Michiru’s only concern was Haruka. Had always been Haruka.

She expected Haruka to yell at her, but surprisingly, she didn’t. But then, of course, Haruka couldn’t let it go. Oh no, she had to literally spit on Eudial’s face. Which brought another terrifying item from their life before into the room. Michiru looked at it in disbelief, every word that Eudial was saying sending more chills into her body.

“You liar,” she seethed, even though she knew it was her who had been foolish enough to think that there was any way she and Haruka were both getting out of here alive. This was someone who hated them with a passion, someone who had once almost grasped victory in her hands only to be thwarted at the last minute. This was someone angry, and she should have known better not to trust her to keep up her end of the bargain.

And then Eudial’s last words left the coldest chill of all.

Usagi? Dead?

No. She couldn’t. She was supposed to save the world. Who was going to save it now that Michiru had doomed it?

She was still shaking long after Eudial left. Trying to come to terms with their situation, where it was impossible to pretend that she had it together anymore. Impossible to pretend she was still calm and that everything was under control.

It wasn’t until Haruka yelled at her that Michiru’s head snapped up. One minute. That was what Eudial had said. She ignored Haruka’s apology and her plea to go save the world. Instead, she ran toward the gun, studying its mechanisms. It was bolted to the floor in some way and refused to budge even an inch. She eyed the chains on Haruka’s arms and legs and knew they were not going to give in easily either.

The gun’s mechanism was technological. It was not magical. Which meant Ami could probably disarm it. Michiru called her desperately, but no one answered. Meanwhile she stared at the jumble of cables and buttons around it, not having the slightest clue what it all meant. The panel on the side counted down the minute. She had thirty seconds left.

She imagined a hole in the middle of Haruka’s torso and had to force herself to breathe.

In a fit of desperation, she ran toward Haruka, not knowing what she was going to do. Shield her with her own body? What guarantee did she have that the gun wouldn’t just rip through both of them?

“I love you,” she blurted out, cradling Haruka’s face in her hands. “And I don’t want to meet you another time, damn it. I want you here, right now, forever.”

The beeps continued to count down. Michiru’s brain raced. She had been counting down along with it, and knew she had fifteen seconds.

She turned around, facing the contraption. Eyed it as if she could will it out of her way.

Ten seconds.

Michiru brought out her gun and took a deep breath. Five… four… three… two…

A series of loud shots echoed in the room.

Then silence.

She had six bullets in her chamber. Three had lodged themselves on the mouth of the contraption, jamming it. The other three crashed through its mechanisms, breaking the entire circuit.

She didn’t know if it would have worked. Like a bomb, she could have just made it explode instead.

But it didn’t.

She sagged against Haruka, her knees weak from relief.

Then she turned around and kissed her as if it was their last moments on earth.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 12:35 pm

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Haruka knew before Michiru took her first step that the stubborn woman was not going to go after Eudial.

As Michiru ran to the gun, Haruka started thrashing, desperately trying to rip her hands free. "Michiru, stop! Get out of here! It's no use - go! God damn it, get out of here!"

The beeping seemed to get louder as Michiru ran to Haruka, suddenly saying the words Haruka never thought she would hear Michiru say.

"I love you."

Haruka's eyes were full of tears as Michiru took her face in her hands. "Damn it, Michiru," she whispered. The beeping was at its loudest, and Haruka knew there was only a little bit of time left. Michiru turned, and for the most horror-filled seconds of Haruka's life, she thought Michiru was actually going to take the bullet for her.

But then Michiru pulled out her gun and shot, one, two, six times.

And it was over.

The beeping had stopped. The gun hadn't gone off. And they were both alive.

Michiru saved her life.

Before Haruka could say anything, Michiru's soft, warm lips were pressed against hers. Without even taking an extra moment to be surprised, Haruka kissed back, wanting to badly to be free of the chains so she could wrap her arms around Michiru's body. Never had the feeling of Michiru's lips on hers been so sweet, so full of love, and Haruka cherished every second.

Michiru pulled back briefly to reload her gun and shoot the chains that held Haruka prisoner. Haruka's feet hit the ground and she ignored the fact that they were both asleep, placing both hands on either side of Michiru's face and pulling her in for another kiss. Haruka simply couldn't get enough. She had thought that Michiru was going to die right in front of her. For the second time that month, Haruka thought she would lose the one person she was living for. And that terrified her.

Haruka pulled away, her hands still on either side of Michiru's face. "You're so stupid, Michiru! Why the hell would you do something like that! You're so stupid! You could have been killed! So stupid!"

The wheel of emotions spinning in Haruka's heart had her all over the place. She wanted to hold Michiru close and kiss her like there would be no tomorrow. She wanted to yell and scream about how Michiru could have died, and how the killer was getting away. But she couldn't do any of that. She could only stare into Michiru's beautiful blue eyes - the ones she thought she would never see again.

"I love you too, Michiru."

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 12:45 pm

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Since the chains had required somewhat more precise shooting, Michiru was glad she hadn’t opted for that when she was running out of time. Her shoulder now felt sore after all the tension and flexing and the kickback from the gun, but she didn’t care. Everything was fine.

Well, okay, not everything. The world was definitely, most likely not fine.

But Haruka was. And she had discovered that for her, that was the only important thing.

She laughed as Haruka started yelling at her, blinking back her own tears. “Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done the same thing. Don’t tell me you would have left me there with my chest open while you go save the world or I swear to god I will leave you right now.”

When Haruka said she loved her, Michiru smiled and pulled her close. It felt so good to be able to embrace Haruka’s whole, healthy body, knowing that if she had abandoned her, she would have regretted it for the rest of her life. Knew that no amount of world saving was going to ever fix her.

After some time, she pulled back and helped Haruka to her feet. “We need to warn Setsuna,” she said, walking slowly to the cathedral’s doors. “Eudial will be going after her talisman next. She won’t be pleased that we lost ours.”

She sighed. Far ahead she could see the empty beach of the island and cursed. “That psycho took my helicopter. Of course. Well, guess we have to call the captain anyway.” She turned back to look at Haruka.

“Are you alright?” she asked, gently now, wanting to be reassured despite the fact that she could already see the answer for herself.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 1:16 pm

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Haruka felt shaky as she began to walk beside Michiru, interlacing their fingers. There was no way Haruka was going to let go of Michiru - not after she had almost lost her for the second time. She needed to touch her, to make sure she was still alive and that all of this was real.

When they arrived outside, Haruka pulled her cell phone from her pocket. The screen was cracked, definitely Eudial's doing, but it was still operable. Setsuna answered the phone on the first ring.

"Haruka?! Where are you? And where's Agent Kaioh?!"

"I was kidnapped by the Heart Snatcher and brought to the Marine Cathedral. Michiru found us and saved my worthless life. But the killer got away. It was Eudial, Captain. She was right under our noses all this time."

"What?! I should have known! All this time..." Setsuna paused. "Did you get her?"

"No. She got away. Captain, do you know anything about the Talismans?" Haruka glanced at Michiru.

There was a long silence over the phone. "The...Talismans...?"

"That necklace you wear around your neck. Ring any bells?"

More silence.

"Captain?"

"Uranus."

Haruka glanced at Michiru, giving her a small nod to show her that Setsuna was beginning to remember.

"She got your Talismans, didn't she?" Setsuna asked, her voice filled with dread.

"Yeah, she did. But they're completely useless until she gets yours. You can't let that happen."

"Of course. I'll send a helicopter to retrieve the two of you immediately. We can talk more when you return."

"Captain, I quit."

Again, there was a long pause. Haruka refused to look over at Michiru this time, afraid to see the look in her lover's eyes.

"That's...understandable. I will see you soon. Goodbye, Haruka."

There was a click, and the call ended. Haruka shoved her phone in her pocket and finally looked back at Michiru. In one swift motion, Haruka stepped forward and pulled Michiru into a warm embrace. Haruka gazed at the setting sun as her lips pressed against Michiru's forehead. "I'm alright. But how are you? What's going to happen to the world, now that Eudial has our Talismans? And Usagi...she..." Haruka paused, a lump growing in her throat. "Usagi's gone."

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 1:28 pm

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Michiru listened to Haruka’s side of the conversation with Setsuna, part of her longing to speak to the other woman as well but knew it was not the time. Setsuna was going to have her hands full for a while. She was relieved to see that Setsuna wouldn’t be clueless about the threat that would soon find her for sure. Michiru believed she could take care of herself. Unlike them, Setsuna had no one that could be used against her. She was stronger than both Haruka and Michiru.

She was, however, surprised when she heard Haruka quit. She stared at her partner, knowing that was what Haruka would always be no matter what their job was. Right then she knew what she had to do, too. Neither of them was fit for the job after all. Not if they couldn’t put saving the world above each other.

They had managed to have both last time, but that was in a world where Usagi still existed. She was the miracle worker, the one who could defy expectations and have it all. Michiru would be a fool if she pretended she could try to be like Usagi was. Idealism was never really her thing.

Setsuna seemed to be taking it well, at least. When Haruka finished with her call and pulled her toward her again, Michiru grinned. It seemed like neither of them was going to have enough of each other for a while. It felt terrible to be so happy when the world had a huge threat looming above it, but she could not deny her feelings.

Michiru listened to her questions, not knowing the answers to them. Maybe they weren’t meant to be the heroes this time. Maybe the story was going to end up differently.

“I’m okay, now that you’re here. And I don’t know what we’re going to do about it, Haruka. All I know is that…” She looked into Haruka’s eyes and felt that surge of love again, so overpowering that it literally negated everything else.

“All I know is you’re here with me, and that’s all that matters.” She glanced at the setting sun, the colors red and yellow mixing into one.

“Let the world burn,” she whispered, closed her eyes, and kissed Haruka once more.

The colors of flame danced around them, bringing the day to a close.

___________________________

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PostSubject: Re: [Advanced] Jar of Hearts   [Advanced] Jar of Hearts - Page 2 I_icon_minitime28th February 2015, 1:31 pm

THE END
This storyline is done. So done.

___________________________

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[Advanced] Jar of Hearts

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