Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Fresh Starts ( Chapter 4 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Absence - By Kirika


Hello... I think I need a new greeting. ^_^

This is the fourth chapter in my Rei/Usagi fic. Any characters made up from here on out, I own. (I actually own characters, yay). Thank you to all who reviewed. Your comments encourage me to believe that I actually have some writing skill after all.

As for the person who asked if they could host this fic on their website; sure you can! I'm flattered you would even want to, just email me if I have to do anything.



- Kirika


Chapter 4 - Fresh Starts

Rei was awakened, once again, by the repetitive honking of loud horns from inconsiderate work-bound people in grid locked traffic... just as she had been every other morning since her arrival in this bustling metropolis. The drowsy girl let out a small croak and cracked open an eyelid that felt like it had been secretly glued shut sometime during the night, then tried to see what time her alarm clock sitting on the bedside table displayed. Shortly after, another croak escaped her throat and her eye crept closed once more. It was *always* at the exact same time every morning! Stupid cars; it was too damn early for this crap! An irritated Rei tugged her pillow over her head in an attempt to muffle the nerve grating sounds that streamed unimpeded through an evidently very thin pane of glass in her apartment's only window.

This was Yokohama, the second largest city in all of Japan with a population of over three million. She had chosen the harbour city for a number of reasons. One was certainly for its size; a person could easily get lost here... which was exactly what Rei had wanted. Another was that she had also heard its Chinatown district was a sight to see. The most persuasive factor, though, had been because the bullet train journey from Yokohama to the capitol took only a half-hour. She would be within easy reach of Usagi in case her princess needed her urgently.

Once in Yokohama, it had taken Rei nearly all day to find an apartment, if you could even call it that. It was more like a slightly large walk-in closet... it didn't even have a kitchen or a bathroom. It did have wardrobe space and a sparse amount of furniture, though. There was a single bed, a bedside table, a desk with a mirror and a chair, and finally another small table at the end of the bed with an electric fan sitting on top that worked only on the 'Low' setting. All of the furniture that was jammed into the tiny rental left very little room to walk; it was enough to make a person claustrophobic. The rent was cheap, however, which was good; Rei didn't have much money. Actually, she had probably been lucky to even find an apartment at such short notice in a city as large as Yokohama. Okay, so she was living in a shoebox... but it was home now.

Rei's cash supplies that she had taken from the Hikawa Jinja had already been severely depleted by the cost of the train journey and the preliminary fees on the apartment. But her good fortune held up when she found a job as a waitress at an Anna Miller's restaurant. It would provide a badly needed steady income and the pay was relatively decent. It was somewhat degrading at times when otaku just came in to ogle her and the other waitresses however. But they did tend to tip well, and ultimately, it *was* an Anna Miller's. In addition to tips, Rei had convinced the manager of the restaurant to pay her in cash instead of cheques... after all, she had had no identification to backup her new name if she had opened a bank account.…

It had been about a week since the miko's departure from her own funeral back in Tokyo and her arrival here. The first week in Yokohama had tested the Fire Senshi's will power to its extremes. Everyday Rei had woken up feeling like she had made a horrible mistake and that she should go immediately straight back to Tokyo... and back to Usagi, her princess. Then she would remember the pain that awaited her back there. The pain of rejection; the pain of seeing the one you love in the arms of another. That thought alone was enough to keep the raven-haired girl in Yokohama.

Rei squirmed in her bed and pulled the pillow even tighter around her head, doing her best to block out all of the noise. She didn't want to get up just yet. It was the *only* day since starting that she had gotten an afternoon shift. She was usually stuck with the crack-of-dawn breakfast one, and now it seemed she couldn't even sleep in to enjoy it! The Fire Senshi kicked at the bed sheets in frustration and whined into the puffy mass of pillow over her face. Just as she had begun to feel the lull of sleep about to claim her once more, there was a loud pounding on her door that rattled it on its hinges.

"Hey, Megumi," yelled a male voice, "you're gonna be late for work!"

That was her new name, her new identity: Megumi Tsukino. Rei had cursed herself for indulging in such frivolous fantasy by choosing a surname that contained so much significance. She had left Tokyo to forget about Usagi, not to mope around holding on to a false hope. But in the end, she couldn't help but use the name; Rei's heart just wouldn't let go of her love so easily.

Rei pulled her head out from under the pillow, her eyes popping open and her features twisting into an annoyed scowl. "Damn it, Tsubasa, you idiot! I told you I didn't have to go in this morning! Now shut up and let me sleep!" she yelled out, before shoving her head back under the pillow. Tsubasa Yamada was Rei's aggravating neighbour from across the hall and the Fire Senshi had been the constant target of his abuse as soon as she had moved into the apartment building. It was as if it was his mission in life to antagonise the miko... and to remind her of how she used to interact with Usagi.

Rei heard Tsubasa chuckling as his footsteps receded from her door and breathed a sigh of relief. Hopefully she could fall asleep again now. She loved to sleep; it was an escape for her... an escape from the harshness of reality. For a few hours she could be in blissful oblivion, and during those first couple of seconds after waking, any memories she might of had of her problems would seem far from her mind... almost as if they had never troubled her to begin with. Rei didn't know whether to be thankful or disappointed that she rarely dreamed about her love.

Rei squirmed restlessly in her bed. Tsubasa, that moron. Because of him she was now finding it difficult to get back to sleep. The Senshi of Fire found blaming Tsubasa for just about anything quite easy and readily indulged in the activity on a frequent basis.

With a groan, Rei pulled her head out from under her pillow once again and opened her bleary eyes. Her gaze fell upon the one picture on the bedside table she had brought with her from her bedroom in the Hikawa Jinja. It was of her and Usagi when they were younger during the days when Tuxedo Kamen was just a mysterious stranger who showed up at the right time to turn the tide in a battle. Rei missed those days... everything seemed so much simpler back then. Admittedly, that was probably because back then she had only thought of Usagi as an exasperating, but good, friend and not the love of her immortal life that she did now.

Rei didn't know exactly when her feelings for Usagi changed from mere friendship. It was like one day she had looked at the blonde girl and not only saw her best friend, Sailor Moon and the Moon Princess... but something more. She saw something greater than all of those things put together; Usagi was the... reason. *She* was the reason why Rei fought as a Sailor Senshi. The miko didn't do it because it was the right thing to do, or because the planet was in danger... Rei did it for *her*. Usagi deserved to live in a world that was free from evil. In the times that Sailor Moon wasn't needed, Usagi Tsukino should be able to live a normal, peaceful life free from worry about being accosted by some random hell-beast from beyond the stars while walking to school. It was Sailor Mar's duty to fight to protect her princess... and Rei's desire to protect the innocence and compassion that made the angel so beautiful in body and spirit.

Rei sighed. She shouldn't be thinking like this. All it did was make her severely depressed. She should put that picture away and just get on with her life. That thought occurred to her every time she gazed longingly at the photo, but as always, she could never bring herself to remove it. And everyday the cycle was the same.

Rei had tried to take her mind off Usagi by going out and exploring the city. She had found a free gym where she could practice her martial arts as often as spare time would allow. She wanted to keep her skills sharp and her mind and body primed for battle, just to stay on the safe side. Rei was thankful that Sailor Senshi healed fast so she could train. She had gotten full use of the left wrist back after a few days... though her ribs were still a little tender to touch. However, despite the efforts to occupy herself, Usagi never strayed far from the miko's thoughts.

Rei rolled out of bed and stretched the kinks out of her muscles while releasing a wide yawn. She had several hours before she had to go to work. There had to be something out there in Yokohama to divert her mind until then; she certainly wasn't going to get back to sleep now.


It was late when the pair approached, the light of the full moon overhead threatening to reveal their ghost-like movements. The car factory in one of Yokohama's industrial district's was just ahead; they could both see the solitary security guard patrolling indolently back and forth in the distance. The two wraiths moved closer to the oblivious guard, his back now turned to them as he prepared to repeat his watch route. Closer still they moved, until they were right behind him. At that moment the blue uniformed guard seemed to sense something near and paused in his stroll, before slowly turning around....

"Yah!" the guard cried out, raising his hands in defence before him. "Oh... it's you two," he then said with obvious relief, lowering his arms. "You could have called out to me!"

The man and woman in front of the guard both released a joint, but quiet, longsuffering sigh.

"Well, it's about time you got here," complained the guard, shaking his head in annoyance at his two companions. "I could lose my job for this you know!"

"You idiot," stated the man coldly. "This is the reason you gained this employment in the first place."

"Yes, well..." the guard trailed off sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head.

"Let's just get on with it!" growled the woman with impatience, glaring at the security guard. "If we fail here, all of our lives are forfeit."

The guard nodded in agreement and walked over to a large sliding door that led to the factory's interior. He then unlocked it with one of the keys fastened, along with countless others, to a chain on his belt... all the while whistling a happy tune. The woman narrowed her eyes at his antics.

"You've been acting far too... human... recently," the woman sneered in a suspicious tone.

The security guard stopped his whistling and turned to her. "Force of habit. I've had this job for awhile now and have had to act human to blend in, you know," he explained as he slid the factory door open. The guard then frowned suddenly at woman. "Wait a minute, what are you implying by that?!" he yelled accusingly.

"Enough!" interrupted the man in a voice that brooked no argument. He spared a glance up at the bright full moon high in the night's sky. "The time draws near...."

The other two nodded and then quickly entered the factory, before moving to the nearest clear spot on the floor inside.

"You brought all the stuff?" the guard asked of his two companions.

"Of course, I have the... 'stuff.'" answered the man rather distastefully as he started pulling various objects out from a bag hanging on his shoulder. "We don't want a foul-up here like that last debacle." He then passed a piece of chalk to the woman.

"Mmm, Pfhaeroid was always headstrong... he was one of Khairephon's, after all," said the woman, taking the chalk from the man's hand. She then gingerly dropped to her knees and proceeded to draw an intricate pattern on the grey concrete floor.

"The fool thought himself to be invincible. He was warned that this plane and this planet had defenders... these Sailor Senshi. He should have waited for us," spat the man in disgust while he placed candles at various points on the floor around the edges of the woman's slowly growing pattern.

"Still... I heard he did kill one of them," commented the guard, leaning lazily against a forklift as he watched the others work. "One less enemy to worry about I suppose."

The others made wordless sounds of agreement, then refocused on their tasks. After a short while, the woman finished the design she was sketching on the floor and her partner completed his candle arrangement and the lighting of them.

"Get into position," ordered the man.

The three arranged themselves into a triangular formation around the circular pattern on the floor and next began to chant in a guttural tongue no human could ever understand or even utter. As they chanted, the candles slowly began to rise several feet off of the floor and into the air. The trio continued to chant, undisturbed by this phenomenon. The air seemed to grow thick and hazy above the pattern, the lines drawn inside beginning to shimmer. Still they chanted, and the lines slowly moved outwards, joining the circular boundary. Without warning, the floor inside the circular design just simply wasn't there anymore; instead there was darkness, darker than the blackest night. The black disc coalesced into a straight line inside the pattern, then shot vertically upwards, expanding and forming a dark half-oval gateway in the air.

The three ceased their chanting and watched the gateway expectantly. Abruptly a figure burst through the shadowy opening and landed in a crouch, its head snapping quickly about at all angles, taking in its surroundings. It appeared to be a male human in his early twenties with dark red hair spiked upwards. He was dressed like some common street thug in leather, with various chains and metal studs in places. Standing upright, he smirked arrogantly and looked back at the gate as another figure came through more carefully. This time, a dainty foot clad in a pink, silk slipper was seen first. It was followed by a young, classically beautiful, pale woman clothed in several shades of similarly coloured layered silk, her long dark pink hair flowing over her shoulders in waves. Looking at her surroundings, she wrinkled her nose cutely before moving forward, away from the gateway and outside of the earlier scrawled pattern. Two figures came through next. One was a man in his thirties with close-cropped brown hair, immaculately attired in a grey suit. The other figure was a grey-bearded elderly man with a slightly hunched over back dressed in robes. He appeared to put a lot of his bodyweight on the gnarled wooden staff he carried in one hand.

"At last," breathed the suited man, adjusting his tie with a black, gloved hand, "we have arrived."

"I don't know..." said the pink-haired woman, placing a contemplative finger on her chin as she surveyed her new environment. "I had expected something a little less... drab."

"Gaa! You say that about every place we go!" grumbled the thug, gritting his teeth in irritation.

"This world is ripe..." the old man wheezed in a hoarse voice ravaged by age, ignoring his siblings. "It has few defences... and they are weak. It is prime for the taking."

The conversation was rudely cut short by screams from a multitude of youma trying to squeeze through the still open interdimensional gate. A myriad of flailing arms and inhuman howling heads were able to be seen erupting from the pitch black oval shape. Some roared bloodthirsty battle cries as they jostled for position to pass through the passageway, while others resorted to violence to gain entry into the new plane by beating their fellow youma out of the way. Some did both.

"No, you fools! I said to wait on the other side; it is too early!" yelled the grey suited man angrily at the sight of the swarm of youma, furiously gesturing to them with one hand to retreat.

But it was too late. The gate abruptly snapped shut into a horizontal line, and then promptly disappeared. The floating candles tumbled back onto the pattern in disarray, along with the remains of any unfortunate youma that had been partially through the passageway when it closed. The grisly display of gore let behind slowly began to rot and disintegrate away, leaving not a trace of flesh, blood, or bone.

"It doesn't matter," said the pink-haired woman without concern, having positioned herself circumspectly beyond the splattered blood to avoid any drops from landing on her slippers. "Better the stupid ones are weeded out now."

"Yeah, but I don't think we can send *you* back," the thug said acidly with an evil sneer.

The pink-haired woman crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. "I thought you were supposed to be the brain dead barbarian of the group, Khairephon?" she quickly retorted dryly.

The suited man rubbed his temples as his brother and sister began hurling insults at each other. He hated working with his siblings. Khairephon and Laodameia were always at each other's throats, and he constantly had to defer to the old buzzard, Thrinakie. Why the senile old bastard wouldn't just die already was beyond Makareus. The way the fossil even talked really grated on his nerves. But then, his rasping would get on even the most patient of being's nerves. Makareus was brought out of his aggravated thoughts by a pathetic whimpering sound.

"Erm... my masters... and erm, mistress... I welcome you to Earth," said what appeared to be a human male dressed as a type of security guard--if his uniform was anything to go by--who had been prodded discreetly forward by another male and a female.

Makareus looked carefully at the guard and easily saw past his human façade. He was a youma, and one of Thrinakie's, apparently. His older brother's ranks were always full of snivelling wimps.

"Ah, yes... you have done well... in summoning us here, Kolkhis," Thrinakie croaked to his servant. "I see I... was wise to choose you... for this quest."

Kolkhis swelled with pride at his master's words, his chest puffing out. No doubt because the old fart had remembered the lowly creature's name.

"Yeah, yeah," said Khairephon boorishly, breaking off his insult match with Laodameia. "Where's Pfhaeroid? This was supposed to be a whole, you know, joint thing."

"I regret to inform you that your follower was killed by the defenders of this world," reported the second male, Makareus' right-hand youma, Iason, "the Sailor Senshi... however, he did manage to kill one of them."

"Killed, huh?" said Khairephon, clearly unconcerned. "I knew he'd meet his match one day... at least he took one of those 'senshi' with 'im, right?" Makareus' younger brother then smiled at the thought of such a great fight. Pfhaeroid had been no easy opponent.

"Yes, the Sailor Senshi. They seem to be active around the human city known as Tokyo. It is a ways south of here," said Aiaia, the female, and Laodameia's rather devoted follower. However, all of Makareus' pink-garbed sister's youma were especially loyal and dedicated to their leader... unnaturally so.

"Enough talk," barked Makareus, tiring of his siblings and their youma's presences already. "We should get this operation underway."

"Your brother is right..." croaked Thrinakie, forcing out the words. "We... are wasting time... Khairephon, you will stay here... in this human city... and use this gate... and others you find... to establish a youma support group... while your brother and sister... and I... go to this... Tokyo... and use the... larger dimensional tears... to deal with these... Sailor Senshi…."

"Oh, come on!" shouted Khairephon indignantly, his eyes becoming as intense as his fiery hair. "Support?! Me?! I'm to be support?! No way! Not when there are actually worthy adversaries where you're all going!"

"Silence. You will do as Thrinakie says," commanded Makareus grimly. He had had enough of his little brother's moaning. Plus separating Khairephon from his sister would save Makareus from experiencing migraines every five minutes.

Khairephon lowered his head and folded his arms huffily, muttering curses under his breath.

"Good... now let's be... off," said Thrinakie, nodding to himself in agreement before shuffling off towards the exit of the building, closely followed by everyone else, bar Khairephon.

"It won't be the same with out you, Khairey-dear," chuckled Laodameia, not able to resist a parting shot at her obviously infuriated brother.

Khairephon just scowled.


To be continued.…

Author's ramblings:

Fourth chapter is done. That was basically a scene setter and character introducing chapter. I hope I did all right with all the new bad guys... and was consistent with the name spellings. You probably won't hear from the majority of them again until... well, I don't want to give away too much.

I'll keep trying my best to churn out chapters like crazy. ^_^

otaku = fanboy. Like an anime fanboy.
Anna Miller's = A chain of restaurants in Japan. They are fairly well known for their cute waitresses.