Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Casualty/Allies ( Chapter 7 )

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


Seventh chapter. Initially I wasn't going to write about what the other Sailor Senshi were doing until later, but once someone suggested it the more it appealed to me to do it now.



- Kirika


Chapter 7 - Casualty/Allies

Minako Aino yawned and stretched her arms, letting out a small moan as the muscles ached. She then knuckled her back, trying to work out the uncomfortable kinks. Hospital seats certainly didn't do much for a person's comfort. The Senshi of Love sighed and looked at the clock on the wall nearby. It was just going off two in the morning. Great... and on a school night too. It seemed that every night these days was a late one. She hoped her parents were both sound asleep and, with any luck, hadn't bothered to check up on her by peeking into her bedroom at home. If Minako's parents caught her out at this hour, they would probably think she was partying or something. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Minako slouched back in her plastic chair. She wished she was partying and not waiting to hear if one of her friends was going to see tomorrow or not. The blonde looked up and watched Haruka pace past her for what had to be the fiftieth time that night, the woman's expression a grim rictus. She couldn't imagine what was going through her friend's mind. She didn't know what it was like to have the one you loved most hanging onto life by just a thread and could do nothing to help her... except simply pray. But it was the waiting; that's what really got to you. Your mind would come up with dozens of different scenarios, each one worse than the last... but sometimes... sometimes even they couldn't compare to reality.

Minako remembered what it had been like waiting for Rei to be dug out of the collapsed clothing store, only slightly more than a week ago. After hearing what Rei had done from a distraught Usagi, Minako had clung to the hope that the miko had somehow made it out all right... or she at least had miraculously survived the cave in and would be found alive. They had been through so much together, faced so many dangers... it had never occurred to the Senshi of Love that one of the Sailors could die... and for good. Even when Rei couldn't be found, Minako had still believed that the Fire Senshi was alive and well; that she had, by some means, escaped the building on her own. But that belief had dimmed with every passing day....

Minako looked over to where Usagi and Mamoru were sitting next to one another. The couple appeared so worn out. Usagi hadn't been the same after Rei's death. It seemed her carefree spirit had died with the Fire Senshi. She was just so... serious... as if a bleakness and filled her heart and soul. Minako couldn't even remember if she had seen the girl smile once since the incident. She supposed that Usagi blamed herself for the loss of Rei, despite all of her friends' earnest words to the contrary, and that was the reason for her new behaviour. It would be so like Usagi.

While the Moon Princess had always cared about the wellbeing of her fellow Sailors, she had now become extremely protective of them... overprotective. She didn't even call for help when she encountered a youma anymore, preferring to face it, or them, alone. There had been too many times that Mamoru had had to save the girl from a fight against impossible odds. Usagi just wouldn't let the Sailor Senshi, or anyone, protect her any longer. Nothing seemed to get through to her, not even Mamoru, regardless of his efforts.

The youma... they had made the night theirs. There was hardly ever a night when there wasn't youma activity to deal with. Minako had lost count of the number of skirmishes she had been in. No matter how many youma the Sailor Senshi destroyed, their numbers remained strong; they simply just kept coming. It wasn't fair. How could there be so many in Tokyo? Where were they all coming from? The youma didn't always travel alone, either, they appeared in groups... sometimes just as a pair, sometimes up to five. Those battles were always the most brutal. Minako constantly had some sort of injury on her body now. She got the impression that her parents even thought she was getting bullied at school with all of the bruises and half-healed cuts seen on her... The Senshi of Love smiled bitterly. If it were only that.

Minako's tired blue gaze moved on to Ami and Makoto. Ami was asleep, her head resting on the taller girl's lap. Makoto idly stroked her fingers through the geniuses' short blue hair, her rhythmic caresses seeming to help keep the girl in her state of peaceful slumber. At least those two were still keeping it together, which was a good thing considering the state Usagi and Mamoru were in.

After what had happened to Michiru, Minako wasn't sure what Haruka was going to be like. If the Senshi of the Sea didn't recover... Minako put her elbows on her knees and rested her head in her hands, closing her eyes tightly. How had things gotten so bad? Ever since Rei... ever since then, everything had slowly fallen apart. If Michiru were to... to die... No. No way the Sailor Senshi would be able to handle another loss like that. Morale was already shot to pieces; a second senshi, a second *friend* dying would just be too much. Minako took deep shuddering breaths as she fought to keep the tears back. She knew if she were to start crying, she wouldn't be able to stop.

"Ms. Ten'ou?"

Minako quickly wiped her brimming eyes and looked up to see that Dr. Mizuno had emerged from the operating theatre, still dressed in her surgery gown.

Haruka had immediately ceased her pacing at the sound of her name and whirled around to look at the doctor, half in hope, half in fear.

"We've managed to stabilize her," said Dr. Mizuno, causing Haruka to let go of the breath she had been holding. "There was extensive internal bleeding... but we were successful in stopping it."

"Is she going to be okay?" asked Haruka worriedly.

"In time I believe she will make a full recovery," Dr. Mizuno said confidently.

Haruka lowered her head and closed her eyes. "Good... that's... good," she said quietly, barely above a whisper. After taking a moment to calm her nerves, she opened her eyes and raised her head to the doctor again. "May I see her now?" she then asked in a louder, stronger voice.

"She's in recovery at the moment, but you can wait in her room if you wish," Dr. Mizuno answered with an understanding smile, gesturing to a hallway to her left with a hand. Haruka nodded in acceptance and then turned back to her friends.

"It's alright Haruka; you should see her alone," Makoto said sympathetically.

Haruka nodded again and gave a strained smile. "You guys should go home and get some sleep... you all look like you need it," she said, before glancing at the snoozing Ami. "Well, almost all...."

Minako watched as Haruka and Ami's mother walked away down the hall, before disappearing down an intersecting corridor. So Michiru was going to be fine... eventually. The Senshi of Love exhaled heavily, the relief she was feeling almost a tangible thing. It certainly was a weight off of her shoulders. Minako rubbed her red, weary eyes. She had better take Haruka's advice; she felt exhausted.

"We'll make them pay for what they've done," growled Makoto, catching Minako's attention. "We'll find the source of these things and cut it off. Whoever's controlling the youma will find out what happens when you hurt one of our friends!"

Minako smiled a little. Makoto was always trying to keep their spirits up. The problem was, with their current technology, they couldn't find any source... and each youma they had managed to question, seemed utterly and completely loyal to their so-called 'mistress'. It wouldn't give up any information. Haruka had suggested capturing one of the creatures and torturing it until it talked... but it hadn't quite come to that yet. Thankfully. However, Minako wasn't too sure if she and the other senshi could avoid preforming such... unpleasant... measures if things continued as they were now. Their sensibilities were secondary to the safety of the city and to the Earth.

Ami stirred on Makoto's lap, the brunette's rousing declaration no doubt disturbing her nap. She blinked in confusion for second before realising where she was exactly and sat up. Haruka was missing. "Oh! Is Michiru alright?" Ami instantly inquired, looking anxiously between her friends' fatigued faces and trying to gauge their expressions for any signs of grief.

Makoto smiled at the blue-haired girl, dispelling her fears. "She's going to be fine," the taller girl assured her friend.

"I knew my mother wouldn't let her down," Ami sighed in relief.

Minako let out a sigh of her own. Things were bad. With Sailor Neptune out of commission for the foreseeable future, they were down to five Sailor Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen. She really didn't want to have to call Hotaru or Chibi-Usa into battle. While they could fight--Hotaru especially--seeing them get injured... no. Six would be enough to continue to patrol the night and beat back the multitude of prowling youma. It had to be.


Sailor Mars travelled quickly through the shadows of the night like a ghost. She was fully aware that something... no... someone was following her and that the person was no expert in the art of stealth. It was probably just one of the surviving thugs... but for what reason he would be tailing her, she had no idea. Mars smirked. Perhaps he wanted the Fire Senshi to join their gang. But enough was enough. Sailor Mars swiftly took a detour into a nearby alleyway, flitting into the darkness and effectively vanishing from sight... and then waited.


Sanjuro stopped chasing after the mysterious woman and leaned against a wall to catch his breath. Man, did she ever move fast. Sanjuro wasn't cut out for this kind of strenuous activity. He held onto the camera around his neck tightly while he rested, as if it were more precious than gold to him. But in a sense, it was. The photos he had taken back at the warehouse had to be worth a fortune. The reporter grinned gleefully. The pictures inside his camera would make the front page of the Daily for sure!

At the moment, though, Sanjuro really wanted to know what was behind the mask of the black swathed hero, so he had decided to follow her as discreetly as he could. Plus, there was also the added bonus that if some homicidal maniac or ugly mutant killing machine were to attack him, she would be close enough to save his ass. Maybe she even had some cool secret hideout or something! With lots of gadgets! Sanjuro just *had* to get photos of all that! Ryoji was going to be spitting nails out of jealousy! The reporter gave a low chuckle, his mind conjuring up all sorts of images that would ultimately make him a rich man.

Sanjuro pushed off the wall and continued to move as quietly as he could. He had noticed the woman turn into a side alley before he had stopped for a breather. Sanjuro jogged over to the alley and pressed himself against the wall by the entrance. He then leaned out to take a peek inside... and was suddenly grabbed by two strong hands, which pulled him into the darkness.

"Yaaah!" cried out Sanjuro in fright, who was sure he was about to get sliced and diced by one of those creatures he had seen earlier at the warehouse.

Sanjuro was pushed roughly down onto a pile of soggy newspapers. He looked up apprehensively at the shadowy figure standing over him, expecting to see some horrible monster. But instead... uh oh... he had been caught.

"Who the hell are you and why are you following me?!" the masked woman demanded sternly, glaring down at the reporter.

"I, uh... what I mean is... um..." Sanjuro found it difficult to pry his eyes away from her outfit. It was even better close up. It conformed to every delicious curve of the woman's body, emphasising her figure delightfully. He felt a nosebleed coming on.

The woman looked down at herself and realised what Sanjuro was gawking at. She scowled and quickly pulled her coat tighter around her body. Sanjuro heard her mutter something about "men" and "hentai".

"I am about five seconds away from torching you," the black-clad figure declared angrily.

Sanjuro shook his head to clear his ecchi thoughts. "I-I'm Sanjuro Watanabe, from the Yokohama Daily," he then blurted out.

The woman raised an elegant raven eyebrow. "A reporter...?" She seemed to contemplate this for a second, and then stabbed a pointed finger at Sanjuro, causing the man to flinch. "You're the one who wrote that story about me!"

"What? No! That was in the Telegraph, I'm from the Daily!" Sanjuro hastily explained.

The woman tilted her head to one side, as if considering Sanjuro's words. She then seemed to notice the camera hanging around his neck. She frowned and held out her hand. "Give me your camera," she ordered plainly.

At first Sanjuro thought the woman was mugging him, then realised she actually wanted the film inside. She wanted his award-winning pictures! "Umm... why? There's nothing on here except photos of buildings and drug dealers, you know, uninteresting things like that," Sanjuro lied as nonchalantly as he could. The woman merely looked at him, her hand still extended. "Oh, come on!" whined the spiky-haired man. "Do you know what I went through to get these?!" Sanjuro thought about just bolting. But then he remembered that she could probably outrun him or simply chuck a fireball and barbecue his helpless fleeing butt. He sighed in defeat and gave her the camera.

"Thanks," she said.

Sanjuro could just imagine the evil and victorious grin behind her red scarf. He winced as the woman wrenched the film out of the camera before slipping it inside of her coat. She then handed back his camera... for which the reporter was somewhat thankful. At least she hadn't smashed it to pieces or anything.

"Don't follow me again," the woman commanded coldly.

As she began to walk away and out of the alley, Sanjuro madly wracked his brain for a way to save his story. "Wait! Here, take my card!" he called desperately after the mysterious woman.

The masked woman stopped in her tracks and turned back to him. "Why would I want your card?"

"Well, you know, if you ever wanted to do an exclusive inter--" Sanjuro's words abruptly cut off as she began walking again. "What I mean is, I'm one of the top investigative reporters in this city!" the man exaggerated. The woman looked back over her shoulder, Sanjuro finally believing himself successful in capturing her attention.

"So...?" she questioned.

"So maybe I can investigate stuff for you, dig up intelligence and all that..." said Sanjuro, "superheroes always have an intelligence guy."

She looked at him impassively for a second. "I'm not a superhero," she stated levelly.

"Yeah, maybe... but still, I'm really good at what I do!" boasted Sanjuro, hoping the woman would buy into his lies.

She frowned as though deep in thought. After a short time, she seemed to come to a decision. "Fine. Give me a card," she conceded.

Sanjuro grinned broadly and trotted up to her and handed out one of his cards. "You want me to put my home number on that?" he asked.

"I think I'll somehow manage without it," the masked woman replied sarcastically as she pocketed the business card and started to walk away once again.

"Hey, wait! What's your name? What do you call yourself?" Sanjuro inquired.

The woman stopped walking and turned her head slightly back in his direction, her long raven locks hiding most of her masked features. "I don't have a name," she said softly, "...not any more."

As Sanjuro was about to suggest a suitably heroic one, his instincts told him to leave it alone. He watched her walk away, a slight wind blowing her long hair and coat about. Sanjuro absently wondered how long it would take to put more film in his camera and take a shot of her like that. While he was thinking, he glanced around the street he stood in. Wait a minute... just where the hell was he?

"Hey, wait!" Sanjuro called out once more to the departing woman.

"Geez, what is it now?!" she answered irritably, whirling back around to the reporter.

Sanjuro ran up to the mysterious woman and then dropped his gaze to the ground, shuffling his feet. "Would you walk me out of this neighbourhood?" he asked sheepishly.

She blinked at him, and with a sigh, motioned with her head for him to follow her.


Sailor Mars internally groaned as she walked with Sanjuro who kept shooting her happy looks. Why did she always attract the idiots? But with any luck, this guy might come in handy. Having someone who could gain access to special information on buildings, people, and organizations could be useful in finding out the youma's headquarters or entry point into this world. The sooner Mars destroyed Khairephon, the youma's apparent leader, the better. Hopefully by doing that, it would stop the youma influx... or at the very least, disorient them enough so she could take care of every single one of them easily.

Sailor Mars flicked her lavender eyes towards Sanjuro. He sort of reminded her of Yuuichirou back in Tokyo. The miko wondered if the accolade was still at the Hikawa Jinja. She hoped so; her Grandpa would need his help maintaining and running the shrine with her gone.

After a half-hour or so of walking, the pair finally reached the end of the Hikodo gangland and entered a safer, but still somewhat seedy, district.

"Now get lost," said Sailor Mars, "and if I see anything about what happened back there in the Yokohama Daily...." The Senshi of Fire trailed off, her threat implied.

Sanjuro opened his mouth to say something, but then clamped it shut. Instead, he simply nodded.

"Good. And remember; don't follow me," Sailor Mars reminded the reporter before she ran off to search for a sufficient place to detransform. Sanjuro was left far behind and standing alone in the street.


It was nearly three in the morning by the time Rei arrived back at her apartment building. She plodded up the stairs to her apartment, and after gathering her toiletries, the miko went to the bathroom to take a shower and clean and bandage her wounded arm. When Rei was finished in the bathroom, an anxious Tsubasa was waiting for her outside in the hall.

"Megumi! Where have you been? I thought you got attacked or something!" he cried, obviously concerned.

Rei pulled the towel she was wearing a little higher over her chest. "You waited up for me?" she questioned curiously.

"Well, I..." Tsubasa blushed and looked away from the raven-haired girl. He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. Rei's neighbour had certainly been acting weird lately.

Tsubasa looked back to Rei and his eyes widened as he noticed her bandaged arm. "You're hurt! You weren't really attacked, were you?!"

Rei looked down at her arm as she frantically searched for an excuse. "Uh... no, umm... a dog. A dog bit me." The Fire Senshi mentally slapped her forehead for coming up with such a lame explanation.

"A dog? You should get a rabies shot," Tsubasa advised.

"Uhh, already got one!" Rei said cheerily. "Look, it's late, I'll talk to you in the morning... 'night!" She then quickly scurried into her apartment, then closed and locked the door behind her to prevent any further questions from the rather stunned man in the hallway. Tsubasa was really beginning to pry into her life more and more these past couple of days.

Rei unwrapped the towel from around her body, and then changed into a vest and boxers. She tossed Sanjuro's film and business card onto her desk top, switched off the light, then clambered into bed. All the while, her mind was thinking about other, more serious, matters. How was the Fire Senshi supposed to find out where the youma were truly all coming from? She couldn't really use Sanjuro until she had some lead to go on. She needed to get one of the creatures alive and willing to talk... which meant going back on yet another hunt through gang territory. Rei let out a weary sigh... there had to be another way...

Rei yawned widely. She should get some sleep and let her body rest for the upcoming battles ahead... she just knew there would be more. Rei reached over and picked up the picture of her and Usagi. She ran her fingers gently down the glass in a form of caress. The miko wondered how her princess was doing, if she was all right. She wondered if Usagi still missed her. Rei believed that her 'death' would become a distant memory, and in time, her love would forget her. 'Time heals all wounds', as was said. Rei placed a light kiss on the image of Usagi, then replaced the framed photograph on the bedside table.

'Time heals all wounds'... no, not all wounds... not wounds of... the heart. Rei drifted off to sleep, this time dreaming of the girl she loved and had left behind.


To be continued....

Author's ramblings:

Yes, so I caved and put in other senshi. I might do periodic updates now and then about what's happening in Tokyo.

ecchi = indecent, vulgar, etc. etc.