Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Only A Girl ( Chapter 19 )

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


Chapter nineteen. Couldn't update yesterday; I was moving out of my apartment in the city and into the suburbs. I didn't think I had so much stuff. So I might not be able to update tomorrow. But on the bright side, the house I'm moving to has cable. ^_^

Prepare for even more angst.


- Kirika


Chapter 19 - Only A Girl

Laodameia laughed uproariously on her cushion throne, her eyes beginning to tear. Her plan had gone so well and it was just the first part. While the chortling woman mourned the loss of her pet, there would be all the other Sailor Senshi to choose from, to live the remainder of their lives in glorious service to her. The senshi who survived, anyway. Besides, there was another pretty blonde in the group if Laodameia was not mistaken. Pets could be easily replaced.

The demon laughed a little harder, mentally feeling through the mind of the broken Sailor Senshi. The torment being experienced by the human was deliciously exquisite. It had been a simple task to twist the girl's intentions, her dedication, to give her a little extra mental 'push'. Laodameia's first attempt to make the girl murder that useless man had failed however, much to her surprise. She had stoked the black fires of hate inside the Sailor Senshi to a level no mortal should have been able to resist. But the demon had underestimated the depth of the devotion the girl felt for that other human, the one with the strange hairstyle. The senshi's inner fire of love had smothered Laodameia's hateful suggestions somehow, the red flames consuming the black, erasing them from her heart and mind. At another time, Laodameia would have been curious about this emotion, love… and its power. She had always believed that love was no match for hate. Certainly, where she had come from love between two creatures more often than not led the beings to their swift destructions. Love, romantic love, was undeniably a rarity there. Indeed, there was no shortage of other kinds of love; love of pleasure, love of pain, love of power. Laodameia was no stranger to those particular types of love.

Laodameia's laughter ebbed as she gazed down from her perch at her youma assistant, Aiaia. The youma quickly looked away from her mistress, blushing, embarrassed to have been caught staring. The silk clad woman knew how Aiaia felt about her -she could read minds after all- but disregarded the brunette's feelings and merely took advantage of them. Aiaia was the only youma among Laodameia's followers that the pink-haired demon didn't need to mentally dominate into fanatically worshiping her. Perhaps there was something more to be said about the emotion called love. Laodameia would have to explore it further after the Sailor Senshi were dealt with.

Laodameia's chuckling began to increase again as she thought about what she was going to do now with another senshi's mind. Human minds were so easily manipulated.


Sailor Mars broke Sailor Moon's accusing gaze and lowered her head, her raven locks hiding her eyes, tears still trickling down her face and collecting at the bottom of her chin. All she had wanted to do was protect her princess, the only way that she could express her love, and what had happened? It was protecting Sailor Moon that caused Mars to lose her true love completely. How ironic. The miko looked at her trembling hands, the hands that had taken a human life. Her friend's life. She felt hysterical laughter start to bubble up inside of her. It was like the whole universe was playing a huge cosmic joke on Sailor Mars, her entire existence a thing for the gods, or whatever higher power, to amuse themselves with. Gods, she was only human, just a girl. How could anyone take what she had been through? Even a Sailor Senshi had her limits. Did the gods really hate her that much? Sailor Mars wrapped her arms tightly around herself, as if to keep the laughter and despair at bay.

Mars was aware of Sailor Mercury trying to breath life back into Sailor Venus' lungs, then pressing down on the girl's chest rhythmically, attempting to restart her dead heart. Sailor Mars just knew that her friend was dead. The Senshi of Fire had probably broken Venus' neck. Even if Mercury did revive her, she would probably have spinal injuries and be paralysed from the neck down for life. Mars could hold in the laughter no longer, and she laughed hysterically, giggling like a mad woman. It was so funny if you thought about it. Here Sailor Mars was, dedicated bodyguard to her princess and love of her life, and she had murdered Sailor Moon's friend in the girl's name, right in front of her very eyes. The broken senshi laughed and laughed, the sound mixing with the laughter coming from the other side of the double doors, joining it in its mad cacophony of mirth.

Sailor Jupiter swivelled her head away from watching her lover try to save Venus and glared at Mars. "What the hell? You think this is funny?!" she screamed, grabbing the front of the murderer's fuku in two fists, shaking her wildly. "You've killed Minako! What's the matter with you?! Why did you attack her? She is our friend, YOU
PSYCHOPATH!!" she yelled in Mars' face as she shook her back and forth, causing the Fire Senshi's head to roll about like a rag doll's.

Sailor Mars continued to laugh, her hysterical tears streaming down her face. Didn't Jupiter see how funny this all was? Wasn't she enjoying the eternal joke that was her life?

"You should've never come back!!" Sailor Jupiter continued to scream, spittle landing on Mars' face.

Sailor Mars giggled. Jupiter was right; she should have never come back. But it was fate, wasn't it? Fate, destiny, had called her back to her princess's side. The gods weren't happy with her suffering back in Yokohama. No, Rei Hino could suffer more. This was far more amusing.

Sailor Mars felt something hard hit her in the side of the face, knocking her to the floor. She looked up through her raven bangs at Jupiter standing over her, the brunette's fists clenched hard by her sides.

"You murderer," the tall senshi said coldly, "you're not a Sailor Senshi."

Sailor Mars' insane giggling ceased, her face crumbling out of its maniacal rictus. "Don't Sailor Senshi feel pain? Don't Sailor Senshi have a right to dream? Don't I? I'm only a girl…" she said through her tears.

Sailor Jupiter merely continued to look down at Mars. She didn't understand. Everything had worked out for her. Jupiter had Mercury. She had her dream. Sailor Mars heard her own dream still weeping to the right of her. Mars' dream would forever remain that: a dream. The broken girl sat up, huddling herself into a ball, wrapping her arms around her legs. She stretched the burns on her back uncomfortably but was only distantly aware of the pain. Her hands still shook nervously as her tears dropped onto her knees.

"I'm only a girl… I'm only a girl…" Sailor Mars mumbled over and over again to herself, staring blankly at nothing.

Sailor Jupiter looked down at the shuddering girl in disgust. She brought up her fist to deliver another blow. Sailor Uranus suddenly grabbed the brunette's raised arm in an iron grip.

"This isn't the way," Uranus said emphatically, glancing worriedly at Sailor Mars' dispirited form.

Sailor Jupiter looked back at the Outer Senshi incredulously. "Like hell it isn't! That murdering scum!" she cried, gesturing furiously at Mars with her free hand.

Sailor Mars blocked out the argument and just sat, sobbing and mumbling. There was no fight left in her. She couldn't go on anymore. The raven-haired girl was conscious of the calling inside of her, wavering in intensity drastically.

Sailor Mars heard coughing to her right and Sailor Moon gasping. The Senshi of Fire moved her head slightly, daring to look. Sailor Venus was on her side, coughing repeatedly while her eyes watered profusely. Venus was alive. The information registered in Sailor Mars' mind, and she felt the relief, but it was still as if she was looking on from outside her body, that it didn't really matter if her friend was alive or not. The broken girl stared at Sailor Venus' back, numbly taking in the charred flesh and burnt fuku. She closed her eyes tightly and dispelled the horrible sight, squeezing out more tears.

"It must have been Laodameia," Mars heard Tuxedo Kamen remark, "she must have done something… she has some form of psychic ability…" He talked rather haltingly, no doubt not believing what had just happened.

Sailor Mars still heard Jupiter struggle and curse. Sailor Uranus must have been holding her back from delivering her own kind of justice to Mars.

"Everyone should focus on something, something important," Tuxedo Kamen went on, "it helps to block out the whispers… the suggestions… you may believe you're thinking certain things, but it's not your own thoughts…"

Sailor Jupiter ceased struggling against Sailor Uranus and fell quiet. Sailor Mars opened her eyes a crack and looked up at the Inner Senshi. Jupiter was staring at Mercury and appeared to be concentrating intensely. She relaxed in Sailor Uranus' grip and opened her fists, letting the anger leave her body.

"You're right… there's something… like voices in the back of your mind," Jupiter whispered with new understanding.

"She needs a hospital," interrupted Sailor Mercury, having just finished restraining the still brainwashed Venus' hands with a torn strip of cloth from a nearby curtain. "Her burns…"

Sailor Mars shut her eyes firmly again, trying to block out all sensation. She wished for oblivion.

"I'll take her," suggested Jupiter, "I can carry her."

There was a shuffling sound and then a whimper from Sailor Venus, followed by slightly lumbering steps, which then stopped abruptly. Mars heard Mercury and Jupiter whisper something to each other, and then the steps continued. And then there was silence. Even the laughter through the second pair of doors had ceased. The Fire Senshi was sure everyone was now looking at her. She huddled into an even tighter ball.

"Rei…" Sailor Mercury said softly close to the raven-haired girl's ear, "it wasn't your fault… you saw how Makoto acted, you weren't yourself…"

How wrong she was. Sailor Mars had been herself all right. Now Mars knew what she was really like; she had tasted the darkness inside of herself. Had she really believed that she was worthy of her princess's love? Gods, how stupid she had been. She was nowhere near worthy. Sailor Mars was not even worthy to protect Sailor Moon. Mars wouldn't be surprised if she ended up killing her princess somehow. Her princess. No, Sailor Moon was never hers. Sailor Moon was *the* princess. Sailor Mars had no right to think of the girl as her own. The Fire Senshi came out of her bleakly insightful thoughts and realised that Sailor Mercury was still talking.

"…Please, Rei, please snap out of this…"

"I should have never come back here…" Sailor Mars whispered to herself.

"That's not true," said Tuxedo Kamen, "you're a Sailor Senshi and our friend. If you hadn't been here, who would have saved Sailor Moon?"

Sailor Mars felt more tears spill out of her eyes. "You would have… Gods, you're so much better than me…" she sobbed.

"Please, Rei… the Moon Princess still needs you, don't you, Usagi?" Mercury said tenderly.

Sailor Mars could just imagine her, no, *the* princess nodding emphatically, thinking she could see it. The princess was always cute that way.

"I do…" Sailor Moon said after a moment, her voice shaky.

Sailor Mars smiled sadly. She could hear the lie. It was over. Mars would tell the others about the 'moment' Setsuna had warned her about and then they could protect the princess. She wiped her red, bloodshot, eyes and stood up, Sailor Mercury holding onto her arm, supporting her. It reminded Sailor Mars of how Sailor Moon used to hold onto her arm. But that was over now. There was a fight coming up, one last battle. She just had to do it one final time. Sailor Mars hoped that there was no afterlife, that after death there was only oblivion. That was her version of Heaven; she simply wanted to forget. Hell was here and now.

"Look after her," Mars whispered to Mercury so only she could hear, "there will be a time soon when her life is in danger… promise me you'll look after her."

"You can do it yourself," Sailor Mercury whispered back, looking at Mars compassionately before glancing at something behind the miko.

"Just promise," Sailor Mars said, her bloodshot eyes boring into Mercury's blue ones.

Sailor Mercury stared into Mars' lavender eyes, tears beginning to form in her own. "I promise…" she choked out softly.

Sailor Mars smiled, the smile never reaching her eyes. She nodded to Mercury.

"Please, Rei…" Sailor Mercury started once again, the teardrops finally escaping her brimming eyes to travel down her cheeks.

"Come on. Laodameia's through here, right? Let's go get her," Mars said with clearly false bravado, ignoring the Senshi of Water.

Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Uranus looked at Sailor Mars strangely, aware that something was wrong. Sailor Mercury was crying softly, her misty eyes imploring the raven-haired girl. Mars didn't look at Sailor Moon.

The team of five marched through the double doors to Laodameia's suite. The youma leader was waiting for them on a large pile of cushions of varying colours, with human attendants sitting nearby her holding trays stocked with a range of finger foods and wine. There were youma positioned all around the luxurious room, all of the creatures in their true hideous forms. There had to be at least fifteen of the enemy, if not more, differing in shape and size. The youma probably had all pulled back to their commander, Sailor Mars thought idly. Regardless, it would be a glorious end for her.

"I'm back for you, you bitch!" yelled Tuxedo Kamen at the woman sitting on top of the mound of cushions.

Laodameia was very beautiful, Mars noted absently. And she definitely had a fetish for pink as well. Of course, Laodameia could never compare to Sailor Moon's splendour. Sailor Moon would always be the most gorgeous being to ever exist in Sailor Mars' eyes.

Laodameia ignored Tuxedo Kamen's outburst and turned her head to Sailor Mars. "It was a shame what happened to your friend, so tragic…" she said mockingly in her melodious voice, "but do not worry, when you are mine I will let you forget. I can make all your memories go away…" The demon's mouth curved slowly upwards into a seductive smile.

"Sailor Venus is still alive! Just like Neptune is…" Sailor Uranus snarled, glaring pure hate at the pink-haired woman.

Sailor Mars heard whispers in her mind, telling her to give in, to let all her pain end. Mars knew it was Laodameia in her head. It was a tempting proposition, but in truth the demon's power was useless on the miko. Sailor Mars had something to focus on in her mind, and had her own way of making her memories disappear.

Laodameia chuckled all of sudden, no doubt reading Mars' thoughts, and turned her attention to Sailor Uranus. "Still alive? Too bad… I suppose after I deal with all of you, I should send someone to go about checking hospitals close by…" She grinned evilly.

"DIE!" roared Tuxedo Kamen, his patience at an end, hurling a rose at Laodameia with lightning speed.

One of Laodameia's human attendants suddenly threw his body in front of the projectile, the sharp-stemmed flower piercing his left shoulder. Tuxedo Kamen gasped in horror, his arm still outstretched in a throwing motion. The attendant hit the floor hard, his blood staining the carpet from his wound. The man rolled onto his back, looking up at Laodameia with glassy eyes, as if seeking her approval. The demon smirked and summarily ignored him.

"And here I thought she was the one with homicidal tendencies," purred the demon, gesturing indolently towards Sailor Mars with an elegant hand.

Sailor Uranus' temper boiled over, vengeance for Michiru undoubtedly on her mind. "Kill them all!" she screamed, her fierce shout spurring everyone into action.

"Protect the Lady!" a feminine voice ordered fervently from the horde of youma as they snarled and charged towards the Sailor Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen.

"Mercury, do your best to defend the prisoners from harm, freeze them if you have too," said Tuxedo Kamen quite calmly as he drew his shortened cane from inside his jacket, but with his eyes behind his white mask remaining fixed on the stampeding enemy bearing down on him and his friends.

Sailor Mercury hesitated for a split second, sparing an anxious glance at Sailor Mars, but then quickly recovered in the face of a mass of rushing youma. "Right! SHABON SPRAY!"

Sailor Mars saw the youma slow their advance as a pale mist filled the room, taking down visibility to near zero. She heard the other senshi and Tuxedo Kamen shout out war cries and attack phrases, and also the screams and howls of youma. Mars ignored her companions, making no effort to join them and fight by their sides in greater safety. Her mission was to kill as many of the enemy as possible before she went down… one last act for the princess.

Sailor Mars ducked as a scythe made entirely out of bone cut through the mist in front of her, attempting to decapitate her. She rolled backwards and onto her feet as a large skeleton creature twice her size appeared in front of her, lumbering out of Mercury's fog. It resembled an oversized human skeleton, the bones the colour of decay, except that it was hunched over and its forearms where longer than usual, with its hands replaced by scythes of bone- Mars was sure that they were just as effective as their metal counterparts. A red unholy light glowed from the skull's empty eye sockets. It reminded the miko of the type of close combat youma Khairephon used to have working for him back in Yokohama.

Mars jumped backwards, sucking in her stomach as a scythe slashed by, nearly disembowelling her.


A fireball burst from Sailor Mars' fingers and collided with the youma's skull, scorching the bone black but otherwise doing absolutely no damage. She rolled to the right as the youma's other scythe-hand stabbed downwards where she had stood, punching a hole through the carpeted floor. Sailor Mars rolled forwards on one shoulder towards the youma and ended up in a crouch, smoothly following the move by lashing out with her fist into the monster's ribcage. There was a crack as her fist made contact, creating a hairline fracture on a lower rib. The youma reacted by kneeing Mars solidly in the face, knocking her onto her back. She hastily rolled out of the way as the creature's scythe ripped open the carpet where she had lain. How pathetic Sailor Mars was. The first youma she had engaged in a fight and it was the one that would kill her. She could hardly even scratch it. Mars was a total failure. She couldn't even sell her own life dearly.

Sailor Mars climbed feebly to her feet as the youma raised both its scythes above its head, ready to deliver a double impalement to the girl. Mars simply stood there, looking up at the Reaper. It wasn't how she wanted to go out; she would have rather died with hundreds of fallen enemies littering the battlefield around her, fighting against impossible odds. Or better yet, taking a mortal blow for Sailor Moon, giving her life so that the one she loved could live on in her stead. But instead it was like this, an ignoble death after nearly murdering one of her friends, the princess fearing and loathing her. At least Sailor Mars would face Death on her feet. A single tear fell from one of her dull lavender eyes as the twin bone scythes sliced downwards. Mars didn't look away.

Suddenly something rammed into Sailor Mars from the right, pushing her out of the way of the Reaper's strike, the two blades tearing through the floor, causing carpet fibres to fly into the air. Sailor Mars sat up on her elbows and looked with blurry tear filled eyes at her saviour as the unknown figure got to their feet, facing the skeleton youma. The figure raised one arm above their head, holding a slender object high, the mist that swirled about their body blending with the light from the ceiling's chandeliers, making the figure appear like a guardian angel. Sailor Mars had never seen anything so majestic in all her life.


The youma roared an unearthly, echoing cry as it crashed through a huge red heart, its bones disintegrating into dust, the minute particles coming to rest in a dark grey, disarrayed pile on the floor. Sailor Moon turned to face Mars, and then knelt down quickly in front of the awe-struck raven-haired girl, putting down the Spiral Heart Moon Rod as she did so. The princess roughly grabbed the broken senshi's shoulders with both hands. Sailor Mars could see tears running down her cheeks.

"What are you doing?!" Sailor Moon half-sobbed and half-shouted, "I can't lose you again, not after I just got you back! I can't, Rei, I can't!! Not again!!"

Sailor Mars looked into Sailor Moon's eyes, the eyes that had looked at her as if she were a monster only minutes before. There was fear still there, but not fear of Mars. It was fear of what had nearly happened, fear of losing her best friend one final, decisive time.

"I can't…" Sailor Mars whispered, her own tears spilling out of her eyes and down her cheeks. "I can't go on anymore… I'm sorry I failed you. I tried so hard to be a good bodyguard for you, but…"

"Oh, Rei… it's all right, it wasn't your fault about Minako," Sailor Moon said soothingly.

"No, it's not just that… I can't go on in this life anymore, it just hurts too much. I know I'm letting you down, and I'm sorry… I'm not as strong as I thought I was… to spend an eternity like this, I can't do it…" Mars went on, lowering her head desolately.

"Rei, don't say that! What's wrong? You can tell me anything," Sailor Moon pleaded desperately, squeezing the Fire Senshi's shoulders in support.

Sailor Mars looked up and gave a strained smile. "No… not everything…"

Mars gazed into Sailor Moon's eyes like she had done many times before in her life. It was strange that you could feel such love for another person, so much so that it was like your feelings would consume you and everyone around you… but the person you loved didn't even notice.

Sailor Moon looked back into Mars' lavender eyes with her own blue orbs. "Even Sailor Senshi can dream, Rei. I know I do," Sailor Moon whispered, answering the dispirited miko's earlier question.

Sailor Mars couldn't tear her eyes away from Sailor Moon's. She continued to stare, her heart beating faster and faster in her ears, drowning out the sounds of battle around the fog filled room. It was as if Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon were the only two people in a mist-covered world. Mars couldn't even make out the floor anymore.

"You don't have to protect me all the time. You don't have to get promises from other people to do it, either. Let me protect you for once…" continued Sailor Moon, shocking Sailor Mars with words that she shouldn't have heard, "You were right what you said before; you are only a girl. But so am I… and besides, you're not *only* a girl, you're a girl I… you're a girl I…" Sailor Moon trailed off, seeming unable to get the words out.

Sailor Mars gazed deeply into Sailor Moon's red crying eyes, the princess's hands still on both of her shoulders. The calling inside of the Fire Senshi had made itself known again, becoming more apparent than ever. It was like time was slowing, as if everything in the world was stopping to watch, every higher power in the universe looking on with baited breath.

Sailor Mars leaned forward and closed her eyes, taking one last chance to save her soul. The Senshi of Fire's lips met the princess's, and after a moment's hesitation the blonde's parted, granting Mars access to redemption as the tears on their cheeks mixed. The angel's kiss seemed to breathe new life into Sailor Mars' tortured heart. Mars kissed *her* princess with all the passion that had built up in her heart for so very long, tasting her true love for the first time. Sailor Moon wrapped her arms around Sailor Mars' neck, while the miko wrapped her own around her princess's waist. They explored each other's mouths as Mars' heart slowly healed, the undying red flame of love for her princess flaring up and sealing the wounds. Sailor Mars pulled Sailor Moon on to her lap, the girl's legs spread on either side of hers. She held her only love tightly, revelling in the warmth of Sailor Moon's body and her heart beating close to her own. Finally, after what seemed like a never ending moment, time restarted and their lips parted. Both senshi opened their moist eyes and gazed into the other's, blue meeting amethyst.

"Don't die," Sailor Moon said softly, her arms still around Mars' neck.

"I promise," replied Sailor Mars, just as quietly.

At that moment the sounds of battle made themselves known again, reminding the two Sailor Senshi where they were. Sailor Mars slipped her hands under Sailor Moon and stood up, lifting her love with her, the blonde grabbing her Moon Rod as she rose. Sailor Mars held Sailor Moon in the air for a second, her princess with her arms and legs locked around the miko's body, just before the blonde girl set her feet down on the floor.

Sailor Mars grinned broadly, the wide smile nearly splitting her face. Sailor Moon mirrored her smile, although it was somewhat more subdued. No more words were said. There would be plenty of time later for talk. The two Sailors left each other's embrace, and then turned as a youma approached out of the mist. They spared a glance at one other and then ran to meet the creature.

Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon fought side by side, watching each other's backs, bringing righteous destruction to all the youma that confronted them. Sailor Mars fought like she did before on that moonlit night back in Yokohama, when she was surrounded by youma and facing certain death. Sailor Mars would fight until her last breath was gone, until her body was dust, until time itself ended. She fought for the Moon, and she fought to live, to not die and keep her promise to her love. Rei Hino, Sailor Mars, the Moon Princess's bodyguard fought because she loved her; Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon, her true and only love. And death couldn't touch either of them.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

I debated whether to continue on from there and do the fight stuff with Laodameia but I felt it would disrupt the mood. I hope I made the right choice. Oh, and I hope I got Sailor Moon's attack right.

And if you think it's going to be all happy happy for Rei from here on out, think again. ^_^