Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ The Power Of Love ( Chapter 20 )

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


Chapter twenty. *Finally* finished moving. Oh that took sooo long; my arms and back hurt *sniff*. But now I can quit my horrible job and leech off my girlfriend! (I'm living in her house) Yay! I can be a parasite now and be even lazier! ^_^

Anyway, I'm glad everyone liked the previous chapter. Be happy that I gave Rei a break; initially I wasn't going to do the Rei/Usagi thing and just let Rei somehow survive. Yes, I can be a meanie.

And finally, a new year of university starts soon for me. Which most likely means a drastic drop in chapter output. Maybe. Depends on how hard my classes are. And how much effort I put into them; I've been known to fall asleep in lectures, and I'm not kidding. ^_^

Oh, and attacks: I hope I got them right.


- Kirika


Chapter 20 - The Power Of Love

Laodameia started to get an uneasy sinking feeling in her stomach as she strained her eyes, trying to see into the mist that surrounded her suite. The mental connections she had to her youma were being cut at an alarming rate, the trauma of each creatures' death feeding back to the pink-haired woman's mind. Desperately she reached out with her mental power, attempting to infect the thoughts of the Sailor Senshi and their male ally and in turn dominate them to her will. The demon cursed under her breath. It was no good; their focus was too strong. One Sailor Senshi had a barrier of pure hatred in her mind, berserker fury interlaced with an image of a woman with aquamarine hair. Another had a wall of duty and worry, mixed with an image of a girl with green eyes and a ponytail. The pathetic caped man, who was Laodameia's former prisoner, had revenge on his mind and also an image of the blonde girl with the odd hairstyle the demon had seen before in the raven-haired senshi's thoughts. That particular Sailor Senshi's mind was filled with ecstatic joy for some reason. It totally confounded Laodameia. Hadn't the girl nearly killed her friend only minutes before? The pink clad woman thought that of all the enemies' minds *that* senshi's would be the most vulnerable. But instead she was met with an impenetrable firewall of determination weaved and strengthened with euphoria and an image of the same blonde girl in the masked man's thoughts. The blonde girl in question had a similar mind set, a barrier of determination, but with two images: one of the raven-haired Sailor Senshi and the other of the caped man.

Laodameia swallowed somewhat nervously and contemplated a strategic withdrawal. She most definitely didn't want to have to fight. The demon blanched at the vulgar thought. Her little brother was supposed to do all the fighting for her, or the youma were to in his stead.

"I can't see anything in this blasted fog!" Laodameia complained, waving her fan at the vapours in irritation.

The demon couldn't see a thing. If it weren't for the sounds of the battle she could have believed that she was alone in the room.

"It might be wise to, er… leave discreetly, and give a report to Lord Makareus in person, my Lady," Aiaia suggest close by, a slight tremor in her tone.

Laodameia squinted her eyes in the direction of her assistant's voice, trying to make her out. She thought she could see a large dark blue, almost black, metal shoulder pad in the fog.

"Preposterous!" stated Laodameia, pretending to be unconcerned. "Even if they do manage to destroy all the youma, they will still have *me* to deal with…"

Aiaia remained quiet for a moment before Laodameia heard her voice again. "Yes, my Lady…" she murmured. Not the ringing optimism the demon was hoping for, but what did the youma know anyway?

Besides, how hard could it be to fight? Laodameia had seen Khairephon and youma fight all the time; it looked easy. And she was no pushover. Yes, it would be a simple matter to kill the Sailor Senshi and their friend. The pink clad woman nodded confidently, attempting to reassure herself.

Laodameia the seductress was startled out of her musings by a blood-curdling howl from the mists that slowly choked off into a rather disturbing gurgle. The demon's last thoughts before she dropped her human masquerade were that perhaps it wasn't entirely too late to run.


Sailor Mars stood beside Sailor Moon, panting as the fog began to clear and reveal the hotel room that had become a battleground, with the brainwashed human prisoners of war relatively safe frozen in chunks of ice at the back of the room, courtesy of Sailor Mercury. The gradually deteriorating bodies of youma were spread around the once finely decorated suite. There were shattered youma ice statues here and there, the destroyed parts of the sculptures dripping cold water onto the once rich carpeted floor. Other youma were riddled with red roses, creating bizarre and macabre bouquets. Even more were horrifically scorched, their skin and flesh melted like wax, showing blackened bones beneath. Some of those fallen youma also sported missing limbs, as if severed by a buzz saw blade. And finally there were dust piles everywhere, some of the brownish substance still floating in the air, slowly falling to the ground. All of the youma in Laodameia's suite that had challenged the Sailor Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen had met with Death.

Mars looked over at her three other companions, checking to see if everyone was all right. They were all still standing at least. Tuxedo Kamen and the two senshi besides Sailor Moon and herself all had minor flesh wounds, merely cuts and scrapes. Sailor Uranus also appeared to have a rather nasty gash in her side, however. But she didn't seem to be bothered by it, or even aware of her injury. Sailor Mars could relate to that feeling. Sailor Mercury gave Sailor Mars a small smile when she saw that the miko was looking at her, no doubt relieved that the raven-haired girl was still standing. The Fire Senshi then glanced at Sailor Moon next to her. She was panting heavily like Mars, holding her Spiral Heart Moon Rod tightly in one hand. But the blonde girl didn't have a scratch on her. And for that matter, Sailor Mars had suffered no new wounds either.

Mercury's mist finally dissipated completely, and Mars turned her attention to where the cushion throne had been, expecting to see a woman draped in pink silk. Her eyes widened as she looked upon the creature that was crushing the pile of cushions with its weight, bursting some at the seams and sending an eruption of feathers flying. The beast was huge, not as big as Khairephon had been in his true form, but still very large indeed. If the hotel suite didn't have a high ceiling, the demon would have had to stoop. The creature that Sailor Mars assumed was Laodameia was partially humanoid. The lower half of her body was that of a dark pink thick-scaled snake, but ended in multiple long tails, each one with a serrated spear tip made out of hard bone at the bottom. The top half of Laodameia looked like a woman's, except that her skin was covered in lighter, thinner scales of pale pink. The demon's head was largely unchanged, still with long wavy dark pink hair flowing down her back. Her face was slightly more reptilian however, with eyes similar to what Khairephon's had been like- demonic except pink rather than yellow.

Sailor Mars heard an audible gulp of trepidation from Sailor Moon as she looked upon Laodameia's true self. Oddly, Mars felt no fear. Sure, the demon was imposing and could probably kill her with a single impalement from one of her tails, but the Fire Senshi just knew that she would prevail and survive. She had made a promise after all. And with her princess by her side, what could possibly stop Sailor Mars?

"Don't worry odango atama," Mars whispered out of the corner of her mouth to Sailor Moon, "this thing is nothing compared to the creature I fought in Yokohama."

Sailor Moon nodded nervously, still gazing at the beast with wide eyes. Sailor Mars reached over sideways with her right hand and grasped the blonde's free one tightly, giving a reassuring squeeze, while her eyes remained guardedly on Laodameia. Sailor Moon glanced down to their clasped hands and then at Mars' face, blinking. The Fire Senshi turned her head to face her princess and then gave her a wink and a smirk, causing the girl to blush.

"I've got your back… and you have mine," Sailor Mars whispered firmly.

Sailor Moon nodded again and smiled a little. She glanced over Mars' shoulder and then let go of the miko's hand quickly. The raven-haired girl frowned slightly before realisation dawned on her. Mamoru. Of course.

"You two are next…" Sailor Uranus sneered threateningly at their surviving foes, interrupting Sailor Mars' thoughts.

Sailor Mars turned her gaze to a smaller, human-sized figure that was standing near to Laodameia. It was heavily armoured in close interlocking midnight blue metal plates, which formed a suit in snug a feminine shape. Brightly coloured runes decorated the armour, most of which were pink. It hurt Mars' eyes to look at the unholy symbols for too long. A round extra armour plate that shared a partial resemblance to an amplifier hung from the youma's collar. The only part of the creature's body that wasn't covered in metal was her head; the youma had a human female head but with pale blue skin and long, white hair tied in many thick braids which dangled down her back.

"All of you *disgusting* humans will die here tonight," the youma growled, her face scrunched into an expression of hate and barely controlled rage.

"Indeed," continued Laodameia in a raspy voice, two forked tongues flicking out of her mouth, "it appears I'll have to dispose of you all. You are not *that* attractive anyway…"

"Look who's talking," quipped Sailor Mars, reacting to the jibe.

The youma turned her hateful glare to the sarcastic senshi. "Lady Laodameia is the most beautiful creature in the multiverse," she stated through clenched teeth.

"Not once we're done with her," replied Sailor Uranus.

"Do you think that even if you do win that the threat to your world will end? My brothers will lay waste to this planet!" Laodameia shrieked, her voice gaining a demonic timber.

Sailor Mars smiled grimly, her eyes dark, causing Sailor Moon to glance at her warily. "You only have two brothers now…" the Senshi of Fire remarked, her evil smile widening.

Laodameia blinked at Mars in confusion for a second. "Makareus is…" she began unsurely, before a smug smile began to form on her face.

"No. Khairephon is dead and with him nearly his entire youma army," Mars grinned malevolently, "slain by a ghost from the past… namely me."

Laodameia stopped smiling and simply stared at Sailor Mars. The armoured youma turned her head to the demon, looking concerned.

"You lie… Khairephon would never lose to the likes of YOU!" Laodameia screamed, her cry shaking the ceiling of the suite and making the chandeliers swing.

Sailor Mars shrugged. "Death can't seem to hold me in its grasp… but it had no problem taking *and* keeping your brother and his followers," she said with a sinister chuckle.

Laodameia screeched and attacked Sailor Mars, her long tails striking at where the girl stood. The Fire Senshi back flipped out of the spear-tipped tails' paths, aware of Sailor Moon diving to the right, as the demon's natural weapons impaled the floor in front of her. Sailor Mars flipped over twice using her hands before righting herself. Laodameia's tails retracted, ripping a hole in the floor, some bone spear tips with wooden floorboards stuck through them.


Sailor Uranus launched an orange energy ball at the enraged demon, the sphere crackling along the floor at a tremendous speed. Laodameia simply looked at the attack and made no effort to avoid it. The energy ball smashed into a glassy barrier that suddenly appeared just in front of the reptilian demon with the force of an earthquake, but otherwise did nothing. The snake-woman lashed out with several tails at Uranus' direction in response, causing the Outer Senshi to dive and roll under a circular, varnished, wooden table. The tails punched into the floor where the blonde had stood but then followed her dive, banging into the table and throwing it out of the way. Sailor Uranus cursed and threw herself to one side as the spears shredded the floor asunder.


Meanwhile, Sailor Mercury fired a geyser of water at the armoured youma, hitting her dead centre in the chest. The youma staggered backwards a few steps, her armour only partially being encased in ice. The white-haired creature adjusted her amplifier for a split second and then screamed loudly through the device. A soundwave rocketed out of the amp and across the room, blowing furniture out of the way and shattering windows in its wake. Sailor Mercury cried out as she was hurled violently backwards into a wall, breaking partially through the plaster. The runes on the youma's armour glowed briefly, and the ice from Mercury's attack cracked and fell off.


Sailor Mars fired an arrow of fire at Laodameia, only to have the glass-like wall manifest itself and block her attack. The miko swiftly ducked as a spear-tail stabbed at her. Mars reached up and grabbed the appendage firmly, attempting to hold it in its current position.

"Sailor Moon!" Mars desperately called.

Sailor Moon darted between more of the demon's spear-tails and looked in Mars' direction, knowing what her bodyguard wanted.


Sailor Moon threw her energy charged tiara at Laodameia's exposed tail, the frisbee slicing into the limb and then returning to her. However, the creature's scales were too thick to penetrate, the attack only flaking some of the dark pink plates off. Sailor Mars let go of the tail, no longer able to hold it steady. She leapt to her right as the tail in question slashed at her in retaliation. While Sailor Moon's attack may have not succeeded to its full potential, it had however provided some valuable information-Sailor Mars had noted that Laodameia's tails didn't have the strange force field that protected the rest of her body.

Tuxedo Kamen threw a rose with a shout at the blue skinned youma, the flower flying straight and true at the creature's face. The youma turned and casually swatted the projectile out of the air with a metal arm, deflecting the red rose into a wall. She let out another scream through her amplifier, the soundwave punching into Tuxedo Kamen with the power of a freight train, knocking off his hat. The masked man was pushed back along the floor and closer to the now broken windows, as he desperately tried to grab on to something and stop his wild slide. The armoured youma kept screaming a constant cry, never wavering in pitch or intensity.


An intense beam of white light crashed into the youma's back courtesy of Uranus while she still nimbly dodged Laodameia's strikes. But the symbols on the creature's armour glowed brightly once again, neutralising the attack. Nevertheless, the beam was enough to disrupt her scream and give Tuxedo Kamen a chance to recover. The prince threw another rose at the youma, this time aiming at the amplifier. The white-haired creature smirked and gave a short, sharp cry into her amp, redirecting the flower back at Tuxedo Kamen with a small sonic blast. The masked man raised his eyebrows in surprise and quickly spun his cane, repelling his own rose attack.


Sailor Moon used her Moon Rod while Sailor Mars ran interference, drawing Laodameia's spear-tipped tails towards herself. The demon appeared to concentrate hard as a large red heart was launched directly at her, her glass shield straining against it. Sailor Mars ceased running and diving as the tails ceased trying to skewer her.


Sailor Mars took a chance and fired a bolt of flame at Laodameia's side. The arrow met no resistance and exploded on her waist, flaming pink scales flying all over the place. The demon gasped in pain but kept concentrating. Finally the giant red heart disintegrated, Laodameia's psychic shield prevailing. She turned a hateful glare at Mars, and the girl watched in horror as all the broken glass in the hotel room started to rise, the sharp points aimed directly at her. There was no way Sailor Mars could evade them all. She was going to be torn to shreds!

Sailor Mars heard her princess scream out as the glass spun towards her, certain to eviscerate the miko.


Sailor Mercury desperately filled the suite with her freezing bubbles as she leaned against the crumbling wall, her bones aching. The bubbles surrounded the glass- turned-blades in the room with soft, smooth ice. Sailor Mars covered her face with her arms as the ice balls pummelled her, shattering, but only causing bruises and minor cuts instead of slicing her to ribbons like the spinning glass would have done.

Sailor Uranus and Tuxedo Kamen bounded around the room, agilely avoiding the youma's soundwaves as the pair tried to find a weakness in her tough armour. Neither could get a clear shot at the creature's face; she was always too quick to block. The youma roared a sonic scream at Sailor Uranus, forcing the blonde woman to cartwheel out of the way quickly. The soundwave pounded into the already weakened wall and blew a section apart, sending debris down to the street below and opening the suite to the night air.

Sailor Mars acted on reflexes alone, dodging multiple stab attempts from Laodameia's tail-spears. She grunted as a floating chair hit her in the back of the head, dazing her. A spear bone tip tore across arm, causing the girl to flinch away but take another laceration along the neck from a second tail, barely missing the artery. Mars ducked as another tail thrust at her, only to have another gash appear across her thigh. There were too many; but all she could do was keep moving. Sailor Mars' brow creased deeply, focusing on dodging only the most dangerous strikes, letting her body endure the ones that would cause merely superficial wounds.


Sailor Moon used her Moon Rod again, attempting to distract Laodameia and help Sailor Mars. The clear mental wall appeared again as the pink snake concentrated, holding back the red heart that would surely cripple her with will alone.


Sailor Mercury, her sharp mind taking the initiative, played her harp and fired ribbons of water towards Laodameia's tails, each water stream hitting one of the appendages and freezing it solid, the demon too busy concentrating on shielding Sailor Moon's powerful attack to defend.

Laodameia screamed in pain as the blood circulation was cut off in each one of her struck tails, causing her to lose her concentration and drop her psychic shield. She crashed through the red heart, her scaly hide doing little to protect her body from the powerful attack. Laodameia collapsed to the floor, her arms clutched around her torso tightly as she writhed in agony.

Sailor Mars panted hard, hands on her knees, exhausted from all her wild ducking and darting. But there was no rest for the wicked. She stood up and took a deep breath.


Multiple fire rings shot out of Mars' hands, each one crashing into Laodameia's scale-covered form. The demon howled in torment as she was burned, the less protected top half of her body taking the most punishment.

The armoured youma broke off her attack on Sailor Uranus and Tuxedo Kamen, and turned to her Lady.

"No… NOOOOO!!" the youma screamed through her amplifier, the soundwave blasting into Sailor Moon, Mars, and Mercury, propelling them across the room and away from Laodameia.

The youma ran to her Lady's side, tears rolling down her blue face. She knelt down and gently took a pink scale-covered hand in her own metal-covered one.

"My Lady… I have failed you…" the sobbing youma said, one hand stroking the demon's dark pink locks.

Laodameia strained her head upwards with some difficultly and looked at her distraught youma. She opened her mouth to speak but only a croak came out.

"It's alright… you will be avenged, you and your brother… I *swear* it…" the youma whispered, teardrops dripping onto her heavily armoured legs. She leaned forward and planted a tender kiss on her Lady's forehead.

Laodameia gazed into her youma's eyes, and a strange expression came over her face. As Sailor Mars watched on from where the sound blast had deposited her and her friends, she saw what resembled a flicker of understanding appear in the demon's pink eyes. The youma seemed to notice it too and gasped, more tears trickling down her cheeks, obviously knowing more than Mars about what it meant.

Laodameia let out a deep melancholy sigh and slumped her head down on the carpet, closing her eyes a final time, her muscles relaxing. Her body turned a sickly green colour, just like Khairephon's had before, and started to rot at an accelerated level. The seductress was dead.

The four Sailor Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen continued to watch the youma as the hand of Laodameia she held crumbled to dust in her grip. The armoured creature abruptly stood up and whirled around to face Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Mercury, the speed of her motion leaving teardrops in the air behind her and cracking her braids like a series of whips.

"Murderers! You will PAY!!" she howled, the shockwave of her grief-filled cry smashing apart everything in its path as it shrieked towards the trio.

Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon dived to the left as Sailor Mercury dived to the right, the sonic shriek blowing a hole in the wall behind them, revealing the receiving room Sailor Venus had earlier confronted them in.

Tuxedo Kamen threw a rose at the youma's back, the flower merely ricocheting off the metal. The attack got the youma's attention however and she turned to face him, screaming all the while, causing already wrecked furniture to fly around and the walls to shudder. Tuxedo Kamen ran as fast as he could as the soundwave chased after him, but he was too slow, the blast crashing into him, knocking him out the huge gap in the wall and into a ten-storey drop. Sailor Uranus hurriedly leapt over the yelling youma and rode the remainder of the soundwave towards the falling prince. She reached out desperately, grabbing Tuxedo Kamen's fluttering cape before the man got blown further out into the empty air. With her free hand, the Outer Senshi latched on to the edge of the suite's half-ruined wall, holding on for dear life. If Uranus let go, she and Tuxedo Kamen would be carried totally outside of the hotel building, and to a certain death on the streets below.


Sailor Mars shot an arrow at the youma's back, the bolt colliding with the monster's armour and detonating. More runes glowed on the metal plates, snuffing out the flames as if smothered by a blanket. The youma ceased her scream and glared at Mars with red, hateful eyes.


Sailor Moon held up her Spiral Heart Moon Rod, glittering streams of heart shaped energy flying out of it and towards the youma. The streams coalesced into a single large red heart and the armoured youma crashed through it. The creature howled in excruciating agony as all the symbols on her armour flared up brightly, the light so intense that it forced Mars to look away. The blue-skinned youma dropped to one knee, some of the runes crumbling off her midnight blue metal suit. She gritted her teeth then laboured to her feet, ready to attack once more.


Razor sharp green leaves collided with the youma like machine gun fire, ricocheting off the creature's suit and all over the hotel room, forcing fiercely her back. The white-haired youma stumbled backwards through the giant hole in the wall and fell past the climbing Sailor Uranus and Tuxedo Kamen, plummeting ten storeys to the busy streets below, screaming all the while and causing the windows on lower floors to blow apart as she sailed by.

"Do I have timing or what?" Sailor Jupiter grinned.

"You certainly have something," Sailor Mercury answered, walking rather unsteadily towards the tall senshi.

"You're hurt!" Jupiter exclaimed with worry at the sight of her girlfriend's battered form and wobbly gait.

"I'll be fine," Mercury said, hugging her love.

"Damn it, Mars! I wanted to kill that snake thing!" cried a frustrated Sailor Uranus, having just scrambled back into the suite with Tuxedo Kamen.

Sailor Mars shrugged her shoulders indifferently. "Dead is dead," she said absently, causing Sailor Moon to turn a concerned gaze to her.

"We should leave here, Laodameia had some sort of hold on the residents of this hotel making them believe that there was nothing going on up here. Now that she's dead…" Tuxedo Kamen trailed off, his worries implied.

"That means Minako should be back to normal! It was hard to explain why she was tied up to the doctors. I had to make up some story that she was loony, but she's going to be okay," Sailor Jupiter said.

"And it also means that Laodameia's prisoners must be free of her control now too," added Mercury from her girlfriend's side. "Mars? Could you thaw them out?"

Sailor Mars nodded to the Senshi of Water and turned towards the several ice blocks that contained human beings. By some miracle they had all escaped severe damage during the battle.


Sailor Mars set some broken wooden chairs alight near the prisoners, which would hopefully slowly but steadily melt their protective ice encasements.

"I only froze them lightly; their hearts and blood circulations should recover normally but it would be best to call an ambulance just to be on the safe side," Sailor Mercury suggested.

Tuxedo Kamen groaned and staggered forward, his wounds from his earlier battle plus the confrontation with Laodameia finally catching up with him. Sailor Moon quickly ran over to the prince and caught him in her arms.

"Mamoru! You're badly hurt, we should get you to a hospital," Sailor Moon said, concern in her voice and eyes.

"Maybe you're right, Usa-ko," the masked man replied, slinging an arm around his soul mate. He gave her a quick look over. "It looks like you made it out just fine," he commented, noting Sailor Moon's uninjured form.

Sailor Moon blushed and glanced back at Sailor Mars. "I… got lucky," she said quietly, and rather guiltily.

Tuxedo Kamen nodded absently. "Let's go to the hospital."

"I'm with you there," Uranus said, holding a hand to her large gash in her side and wincing. "I'm bleeding everywhere… didn't even notice…" she finished in a whisper, looking down at her blood-covered fuku.

Sailor Mars watched as Sailor Moon supported Tuxedo Kamen as he walked. The miko looked down at her own bleeding injuries marring her fuku red. They were only flesh wounds, but they appeared pretty nasty. Why hadn't her princess come running to her aid? Sailor Mars' face fell as she figured it out. Sailor Moon had only said those things to her before to keep her from killing herself. Mars had initiated the kiss after all; the blonde had probably just gone along with it but was freaking out on the inside. In the back of her mind the Fire Senshi knew she was being unreasonable, that Tuxedo Kamen needed help and Sailor Moon wouldn't be Sailor Moon without offering aid. But after the emotional roller coaster the whole day and night had turned into, Mars was in a very fragile frame of mind.

"You guys go ahead," Sailor Mars said without emotion. "I'll stay here and… watch the fire…" She turned away from the entrance to the hotel room and her friends and watched the flickering flames from the burning furniture thaw Sailor Mercury's ice blocks with sad eyes.

There was silence behind Sailor Mars for a moment, and then she heard the footsteps of the others leaving. The raven-haired girl bowed her head and stared down at the floor, keeping the tears back with sheer force of will. It had felt so real, the moment Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon had shared, like it had actually meant something to her princess. Gods, Mars was a fool.

The girl was startled out of her reverie when a hand was gently placed on her shoulder. Sailor Mars turned around and was met by Sailor Moon. The blonde smiled at the miko.

"You shouldn't be by yourself," she said softly.

"Afraid I'd hurt myself or something?" Sailor Mars said, a little harshly.

"Nope. You're bleeding like crazy and you're not the type to go to a hospital unless your arms are about to fall off," Sailor Moon said in a matter-of-fact tone, "and anyway, how are you supposed to reach that burn on your back by yourself?" She raised her elegant blonde eyebrows expectantly.

Sailor Mars stared at Sailor Moon for a second. She then snorted, a slight smirk coming to her features. Abruptly the girl's face crumbled and she returned her gaze to the ruined carpeted floor.

"I'm sorry… I just thought that maybe… you had changed your mind or something and you didn't m-mean…" Mars trailed off, the tears breaking through her will and dripping out of her eyes and onto the carpet.

"Oh, Rei…" Sailor Moon whispered, pulling the crying girl into a close embrace.

"I meant every word I said, Rei… you're very important to me," Sailor Moon continued, before sighing. "We should really talk about… about what happened…"

Sailor Mars just nodded, her head resting on her princess's shoulder, her face near the blonde's neck. Sailor Moon caressed Mars' raven locks soothingly yet somewhat nervously. The Senshi of Fire closed her eyes and enjoyed her true love's tender touch while breathing in her sweet scent.

"What a night…" sighed Sailor Moon. "We should get you back to the Hikawa Jinja; people are going to find us if we stay here."

"W-Will you come with me…?" Sailor Mars asked in a small voice.

"Of course! Who else is going to patch you up? You shouldn't have played 'tag' with those tentacle thingies," Sailor Moon said in mock irritation.

"Well someone had to get them off your back, you slow poke. If it wasn't for me, you'd be a kebab by now," Mars retorted, her usual sarcasm returning.

"Oh and who saved who from those tentacle things that last time? Hmm?" Sailor Moon said expectantly.

"Mercury," Mars smirked.

"What? No! It was me! If I hadn't stepped in Mercury couldn't have done anything, and *you'd* have been the kebab!" Sailor Moon cried indignantly.

Sailor Mars smiled into her princess's neck. "Thank you for saving me," she whispered softly. She wasn't referring to the time during the fight with Laodameia.

Sailor Moon hugged Sailor Mars a little tighter. "You're welcome," she whispered back, understanding implicitly.

Sailor Mars lifted her head from her princess's shoulder and looked into her blue eyes. Sailor Moon gazed back, slightly uneasily, a blush beginning to form. The miko moved her head forward, attempting to kiss her love and saviour. Sailor Moon quickly let go of Mars and stepped back, out of her reach.

"We should get out of here," she babbled, "police and ambulance people are going to be coming soon and they shouldn't catch us here and you need bandages and stuff… uh… so let's go." Sailor Moon turned around and began to walk briskly out of the late Laodameia's suite.

Sailor Mars watched her go, dumbfounded and somewhat hurt. She shook her head slightly and jogged to catch up.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

Well, that chapter was long. I couldn't remember if Mercury's rhapsody attack froze things or not.