Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Destiny's Hold ( Chapter 17 )

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


Chapter seventeen. To address balticbard's question about Minako's thoughts; I will always pair Rei up with Usagi, or no one at all. That being said, take Minako's thoughts how you wish… hehe…^_^

Also, what high school does Rei go to? T*A Private Girls' School right?


- Kirika


Chapter 17 - Destiny's Hold

Makareus leaned on a guardrail on the special observation deck, taking in the sprawling metropolis that was Tokyo through large, slightly curved windows. Humans… they were all going about their pitiful lives down in the streets and buildings below, oblivious to the peril that would soon befall them. What a waste of their last days of freedom. The grey suited man carefully straightened his similarly coloured tie with a black-gloved hand as several tourists about him snapped photographs of the 'grand' view. Makareus had seen far better sights in his long lifetime.

Makareus had recently gotten word from his youma infiltrators in the north that Khairephon's entire force had been destroyed, and not to mention the berserker himself. Makareus' youma companies, the only youma to have apparently survived, had pulled out from the human city of Yokohama shortly after his brother's fall, rejoining the main group in Tokyo. The youma had reported that a lone human female had killed the others of their kind. Makareus found that very hard to believe. His little brother was incredibly annoying, but his fighting skill was second to none. Except for perhaps Makareus himself. To think that Khairephon had met his match *and* been slain in the process was unimaginable. Was it possible that it was just some sort of ploy? But to what end? And who would dare try to match wits with Makareus, a master of deception and artifice? Makareus brow creased in deep contemplation, the demon no stranger to the politics within his youma ranks.

The immaculately dressed creature snapped out of his thoughts as his right-hand youma, Iason, approached the guardrail. The subordinate was disguised as a human dressed similarly to his master, in a dark blue business suit and light blue tie, his long black hair tied back in a neat ponytail.

"Reports from Laodameia, my Lord," Iason said, ignoring formal titles for Makareus' sibling. The youma knew how much the demon despised his family.

Makareus merely nodded, continuing to watch the thriving city below him.

"She states that one Sailor Senshi and their male ally have perished," Iason went on in a low, but casual, voice, masking the conversation from idle human listeners.

Makareus turned his head towards his inferior. "It is about time. The amount of youma resources the harlot has consumed should have been enough to kill them thrice over," he growled.

Iason gave a barely noticeable flinch at the mention of his kind being referred to as 'resources'. "Yes, my Lord…" he murmured.

"But still," Makareus continued, ignoring Iason, "the engagement has gone on long enough. She had her chance and as I thought she has failed. It is time I took a hand in events." Thrinakie had been a fool to entrust their sister to take care of the Sailor Senshi. The old goat… one would think someone so interested in obtaining knowledge would be wiser. "Iason… these 'Sailor Senshi'… I have heard that they are young, for humans. This is true, yes?" Makareus inquired in a thoughtful voice.

The youma nodded. "Yes, my Lord. Some are."

Makareus smiled coldly. "The senshi are concentrated in this ward. They must use the education facilities in the area; it is compulsory for young humans. You will plant agents in every centre of learning in Minato-ku, and into other nearby wards if resources allow. I will strike the Sailor Senshi from the shadows, where and when they least suspect…"

"Yes, my Lord," Iason replied predictably.

The grey suited man stepped away from the guardrail and looked around the highest observation deck of Tokyo Tower, absently taking in all the people.

"The time is close to open the largest interdimensional portal," Makareus declared, still gazing around the deck, "I do not want the Sailors breathing down my neck when the time comes."

Iason nodded. "Yes, my Lord," he answered, but his master had already walked away.


Rei sighed in frustration, having failed to gain insight from the Fire once again. She had been sitting in front of the great Fire for almost two hours now, trying to divine where Minako and Mamoru were being held but with no results. The miko wiped the beads of sweat off her brow and stood up, stretching her aching limbs. Rei was once more dressed in her priestess attire, the traditional Chihaya and Hibakama, the white and red parts of her clothes respectively.

The Fire Senshi didn't know what was wrong; her focus was strong, or so she thought. Rei sighed again, this time in realisation. Her concentration was clear and unwavering to aid her princess, but to help Mamoru… that was where her mind clashed. The only way Rei was going to be able to successfully get a vision was to let go of her hate for the man, the thief of her only love. But she didn't think that would happen anytime soon. The mere thought of Mamoru made her seethe. But there was also Minako to think about, and Rei didn't want her friend to suffer in the hands of youma. The miko cursed loudly and rubbed the back of her neck, fuming. Why were things always complicated for her? The calling inside of her was still there, never having left. It was even easier to feel now however, always pulling her in some direction or another. But she had gotten used to it, and now barely acknowledged its existence.

Rei decided to give up for the night. It was late and she was tired after Usagi had dragged her all over the city. Not that Rei hadn't enjoyed herself, of course. But the raven-haired girl also had school tomorrow, with the gods only knew how many make-up tests to take. With Rei's apparent resurrection, her Grandpa had informed the T*A Private Girls' School that she was indeed alive and well and 'eager' to return to school. Rei was not looking forward to it; school was a distraction from protecting her princess. The Fire Senshi would have preferred to stay by Usagi's side all day and all night every single day of the week to make sure she was safe; Setsuna's 'moment' may occur at anytime. But then, Rei would have gladly stayed with the blonde forever even if she weren't in danger.

Rei turned away from the large, constantly burning flames and spotted Yuuichirou's head dart back from the open doorway to the Fire room. The idiot had been spying on her ever since she had returned to the Hikawa Jinja. It was starting to grate on Rei's nerves. She heard Yuuichirou's gradually quietening footsteps as he ran away quickly in his version of stealth. Rei put the man's antics out of her mind and left the Fire room, heading to the bathroom for a long soak in the tub. The miko had to think of a way to locate Minako and Mamoru. A way that would actually work, that didn't involve having fuzzy feelings for the prince. Rei refused to let Usagi down. But time was running out… she could sense it.


Sailor Venus watched Tuxedo Kamen wrench hard on his chains, trying to force his manacled hands behind his back under his legs and in front of him. Venus thought he should just pack it in; the chain connecting the shackles to the wall was too tightly bolted for that to work. The two of them were in a small storeroom, not more than three metres by three metres in length. The only things inside besides the Senshi of Love and the Prince of Earth were lots of fluffy towels. Sailor Venus sighed blissfully as she looked at a nice big pink one. It was the same shade of the gown *she* wore, the blonde reminisced.

Venus returned her gaze back to Tuxedo Kamen. He was now on his feet, his arms stretched behind his back due to the chain connecting his manacles to the wall. The prince's feet were close together, the shackles on his ankles making him have to hop to get to the mistress's appointments. Sailor Venus smiled. She didn't have chains on her ankles anymore, only her wrists; she had been favoured.

"I don't know why you're doing this… why do you want to leave?" Sailor Venus asked the caped man, genuinely confused.

Tuxedo Kamen merely gave the blonde a worried look then closed his eyes, appearing to concentrate. Venus looked on curiously. Suddenly he jumped up, flipping over in a low somersault, causing his arms to be pulled back over his head. Tuxedo Kamen smirked confidently and turned around, his chained wrists no longer behind his back but now in front of him. He moved one hand inside his black jacket and produced a lovely red rose. Sailor Venus' first impression was that the flower was to be a gift for the mistress in the next appointment. Instead, Tuxedo Kamen jammed the stem into the keyhole on one of his manacles, attempting to pick the lock. After several minutes, there was a click and he pulled off one cuff and started to work on the next one. Sailor Venus shook her head at the sight. She couldn't understand why he was trying to leave. Maybe Tuxedo Kamen was just a plain and simple idiot. Or perhaps didn't like women. But then there was Usagi, the Moon Princess. But of course she was merely a single discarded petal of the lowliest of flowers compared to the magnificent orchard that was Laodameia. The Senshi of Love's blue eyes glazed over, visualising the breathtaking beauty.

Sailor Venus was brought out of her pleasant musings as Tuxedo Kamen's second cuff clicked open, his wrist manacles falling against the wall with a clink, hanging by the connecting chain. He then spread his feet as far as they could go, pulling the chain joining them at the ankles taut. Tuxedo Kamen raised one arm high, and then brought it down fast and hard, throwing the rose at the chain links. The flower's sharp green stem snapped the chain easily and lodged itself firmly in the floor, freeing his legs. Tuxedo Kamen smiled in triumph then turned his attention towards Sailor Venus, where she had been observing his actions from her kneeling position on the floor.

"What will you do if I release your arms?" he asked without emotion, the smile leaving his face.

"I would go to her, of course," Venus answered. What a stupid question that had been.

"You mean the princess? Usagi?"

"No, I mean *her*, our mistress… Laodameia," Venus said, frowning. It was without question that she would go to the stunning goddess.

Tuxedo Kamen looked at Sailor Venus, his eyes full of pity. Venus' brow creased further, perplexed. The prince knelt down next to the blonde and put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"I'll come back for you, Minako, do you hear me? Don't think I won't come back with Usagi and all of your friends. We won't leave you like this, we'll find a way to free your mind," he swore.

Sailor Venus raised an eyebrow. Had Tuxedo Kamen finally cracked? Maybe she should just agree with him, isn't that what you were supposed to do with people in his condition?

"Uhh… sure, Tuxedo Kamen… Mamoru…" Venus replied tentatively, looking at him warily.

Tuxedo Kamen nodded, his expression grave. He then proceeded to stand up and whip out another rose. Venus saw him take several deep breaths, as if mentally preparing himself for something. Tuxedo Kamen then abruptly threw the red rose at the door lock, smashing the mechanism apart. He roared out a wordless cry and kicked the door open, while pulling out his black cane from nowhere and extending it to about a metre in length. Sailor Venus watched as an unknown man appeared in the doorway and took a crushing blow to the face from Tuxedo Kamen, the black cane pulverising his nose. The man staggered backwards and was swiftly pierced in the chest with another rose. He fell to the floor, his human façade fading away as he clutched at the imbedded flower. More people appeared, coming out of doors along a hallway. Tuxedo Kamen charged forward, throwing more roses at anything that moved and bludgeoning anybody that came near him with his cane.

Sailor Venus watched Tuxedo Kamen fight his way down the hall as more and more people appeared. Some weren't even people. Venus sighed. It was a shame it never worked out between Tuxedo Kamen and the mistress. Maybe it was better it ended this way. Sailor Venus heard the prince cry out again as he made his last desperate stand. She absently heard glass breaking mixed with monstrous roars, her sight of Tuxedo Kamen lost due to the overwhelming number of youma swarming behind him. Sailor Venus shrugged her shoulders, dismissing the man from her mind and returned her gaze to the nice pink fluffy towel.


Artemis leapt reflexively out of the way as an object fell out of the dark night's sky and imbedded itself in the grass beside him, only just missing him. The white cat had been out in the city every day and night since Minako and Mamoru were captured, constantly searching for anything that could even remotely lead him to his charge. Minako's parents had been going out of their minds with worry and had called the police to report her missing. With Rei turning up alive, the miko would probably have more luck locating Mamoru and Minako through a Fire reading, but Artemis couldn't just sit in the Senshi of Love's room doing nothing.

As Artemis looked at the rose sticking in the ground, its petals falling, he realised that fortune had shined on him tonight. He turned his eyes skywards, trying to see where the sign from Heaven had come from. Artemis heard tinkling sounds as many glittering objects hit the pavement across from him, bouncing around as they struck the ground. Glass…

Artemis scanned the top floors of the building across from him and spotted a broken window. It didn't take a genius to sum up what had happened. The white feline glanced at the rose one last time and then ran off as fast as he could to Makoto's apartment.


Rei yawned as she stood out on the veranda at Makoto's apartment, bathed in moonlight and looking at Tokyo's nightline. Her long hair and coat caught in the wind, fluttering about. The raven-haired girl could hear the other Sailor Senshi and the two cats argue about how to approach the situation. Artemis had come bearing news of Minako and Mamoru's whereabouts: some flashy hotel whose name escaped Rei at the moment. As a result, all the active senshi had been called to Makoto's apartment, including Rei.

The Fire Senshi could hear Makoto vehemently cry that they should charge in there, and fight their way to their friends, destroying everything that dared oppose them. Haruka had sided with the brunette, fiercely saying that time was short and they had to strike now or Minako and Mamoru could be killed- the window of the hotel being broken by one of the prince's roses had been a sign the pair needed help immediately. However, Ami was suggesting that they should approach the situation carefully and take a more stealthy tactic; the youma might harm the prisoners if they heard them coming, or lure the would-be rescuers into a trap. Luna and Artemis had also agreed with Ami, neither wanting to endanger the Prince of Earth and the leader of the Moon Princess's bodyguard. Usagi merely sat pensively on the couch, her head turning back and forth between the arguing groups, looking like she didn't know which idea was the safest for the captured duo.

Rei heard footsteps as someone joined her on the balcony. She surmised it was Ami; her voice was now missing from the two quarrelling groups. The blue-haired girl stood beside Rei and turned her head to look at the girl.

"You haven't suggested how we should go about rescuing Minako and Mamoru yet," Ami said.

Rei merely shrugged her shoulders. She had other thoughts on her mind, namely how she would take seeing Mamoru with her princess in his arms. The Fire Senshi had no doubt that she would succeed in rescuing the Senshi of Love and the prince. She simply wouldn't fail Usagi ever again. Rei heard Ami release a small sigh, the blue-haired girl turning her gaze out towards the city's myriad of lights.

"It would be better if you told her how you feel," Ami said quietly.

Rei snapped her head sharply to Ami, one single thought racing through her mind: how did she know?! The miko opened her mouth to deny everything, but was cut off by her friend.

"Don't say you don't love her. Minako told me after your… funeral. She had been getting strange feelings from you for a quite while; you know how talented she is when it comes to figuring out matters of the heart." Ami smiled sadly, no doubt thinking about their imprisoned comrade.

Rei turned her dull lavender eyes back to the city, a blush creeping up her face. "She shouldn't have told you, she had no right," she growled under her breath.

"It wasn't her fault. She was very upset after your funeral, at the wake," Ami said in Minako's defence, before sighing heavily. "I really should thank you for 'dying', it gave me the push I needed."

Rei returned a now questioning gaze to her companion. A small blush reddened Ami's cheeks.

"Minako… at the wake, she approached me and told me that I should tell… tell Makoto how I felt, before it was too late… like it was too late for you and Usagi," Ami explained softly, her blush deepening. She obviously wasn't used to talking so openly about her relationship with Makoto yet.

Rei blinked at Ami for a few seconds in mild astonishment. Ami and Makoto? She thought back to the night she had returned to Tokyo, seeing the pair so close to each other, the looks shared between the two girls. Rei smiled ruefully; she should have seen it a mile away.

"I didn't know," the Fire Senshi said honestly. "I'm glad it worked out all right for you and her."

Ami gave a smile of her own. "Well, it didn't exactly go as smooth as you might think; Luna still disapproves… but in the end, yes, everything worked out all right." She then grinned broadly and glanced back in the apartment at the still arguing Makoto, her blue eyes softening at the sight of her lover.

Rei sighed wistfully. "You have more courage than I do," she whispered, causing Ami's blush to return, "but then my situation is different… you know that."

"But who can say what could happen?" Ami said emphatically. "You never know… don't merely wait; it took your 'death' to make me realise that we can still die, still lose our loved ones… our time is not infinite. Even if Usagi doesn't feel the same way, wouldn't it be better if she knew? If I were to die tonight, at least I would die knowing I took the chance with my feelings, and that Makoto knew I loved her at the end… the future is not written, our destiny is not certain; anything could happen."

Rei smiled bitterly and shook her head, Ami's last statements echoing in her mind, nearly mirroring Setsuna's. "No… this destiny *is* certain, this future *has* already been written… this secret I take to the grave," she said without inflection. "If *I* were to die tonight, I would die knowing I gave my life for the one I love so that she might live… and that's enough," she finished in a fervent whisper.

Ami looked at Rei strangely. "You are… different… since you came back from Yokohama," she commented thoughtfully, and a little cautiously.

The Fire Senshi smiled, but Ami thought it looked sinister in the pale moonlight. "I've gained a new understanding on things," she simply stated.

Rei looked back over her shoulder at Usagi, who was still sitting on the couch. The blonde raised her head and met Rei's gaze. The miko couldn't help but smile at her love, a sincere one curling her lips. Rei took a deep breath and released it slowly. She would play the cards life had dealt her, she would stand by the choice she had made, no, had been forced to make. Rei would rescue her friend and save the prince for the princess, and smile and laugh appropriately when the two lovers reunited. It was her lot in life… the bonds of Fate, Destiny, whatever you wanted to call it held the Senshi of Fire tightly, but she wouldn't struggle. Rei would do what she was meant to do, what her destiny called for. She would protect her princess until her last breath left her body. And if, by some impossibility, Usagi died, then they would die the same death.

Rei marched into Makoto's apartment purposefully, the resolute action and the girl's grim expression enough to stop all the arguments in mid breath. Ami walked in warily behind her.

"This is how we do it," Rei announced in a no-nonsense voice as she eyed her friends one by one with an intense amethyst gaze, as if daring someone to interrupt, "we go in there, we find the youma, and we kill them all and save our friends. It's that simple… besides, I have a promise to keep." She smiled at Usagi, but it never reached her eyes.

The Sailor Senshi and the feline duo all merely stared at Rei for a second, before Makoto grinned and nodded in agreement, shaking a clenched fist eagerly. Haruka voiced her ready concurrence as well, followed by a clearly reluctant Ami, Artemis, and Luna. Usagi merely looked at Rei with a peculiar expression on her face. The Fire Senshi couldn't quite identify it, but she found it somewhat… disturbing.

"Come on, let's go kick some youma butt!" called Makoto enthusiastically, as the Sailor Senshi left her apartment.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

Huh. Not much to say really… except I hope there aren't too many errors in this chapter; I was lazy to check it.