Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Death Is A Release ( Chapter 24 )

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


Chapter twenty-four. Hmm. I can't think of anything to mention. Oh, except fighting in high heels is hard. I have no idea how Mars does it. Maybe she stays on the balls of her feet or something. ^_^


- Kirika


Chapter 24 - Death Is A Release

Lightning cracked in the tumultuous skies above Sailor Mars, illuminating her as she stared at the youma who had taken away her princess, cutting the angel's life thread before her time. Sailor Mars felt the torment of losing her reason for living, but the pain was distant, closed off in a separate part of her mind and soul. She wouldn't have to experience the torture for long in any case. Sailor Moon, Usagi… she would be avenged. It was all Mars had left to do, to fight and kill her true love's murderer. That was the only goal in the Fire Senshi's existence now. The youma would die; Sailor Mars had no doubt she would. The senshi would hold on to her last dying breath until the deed was done, if need be. And after the execution was carried out… if Sailor Mars was still alive… the miko prayed that Sailor Moon would wait for her in Death's halls.

The storm continued to bring a torrent of rain down from the heavens, drenching the wooden roof of the apartment building frame, creating puddles everywhere. The raindrops made a pinging sound as they bounced off the youma's midnight blue armour. An arcane rune on the youma's formfitting metal suit glowed briefly, and the ice covering part of the creature's face and neck peeled off, revealing no injury beneath.

The powerful winds blew the two figures' wet hair about fiercely, a mane of black and ropes of white, as they stared into each other's eyes. Sailor Mars' tears had ceased, only rainwater trickling down her cheeks now. Tears were for the weak. And Mars couldn't afford to be weak now. She had been weak all her life; instead of cherishing the time spent with Usagi, she had pined away uselessly for what could never be. Instead of accepting that her friend was with the person she loved, Mars had despised the man with all her heart and ran away from her princess, devastating the girl. All the time wasted… there had been so much more the Fire Senshi had wanted to say to her true love, so much more… but then there would have never been enough words to express her love for the blonde girl. And now Usagi was gone. Ami's words from several nights ago came back to Sailor Mars, but reversed… at least Sailor Moon had died knowing how Mars felt about her. It was a small condolence, but the miko had that much.

Sailor Mars couldn't hear anything from her fellow Sailor Senshi below due to the storm, but frankly, she didn't care. The Senshi of Fire and the armoured youma continued to look at each other, as if waiting for some sign to attack and end it all. No more words were said between them. Neither felt pity for one another, there was no sympathy despite both knowing the torture the other was experiencing. Each figure was staring at the murderer who had taken away their meaning for living, and no quarter would be given. There was a rumble of thunder from above, followed by a loud lightning strike. As if this was the signal the pair had been waiting for, each combatant attacked.


Sailor Mars propelled a ball of rippling flames at the youma's face, the rain doing little to quench the fire. The youma howled into the amplifier attached to her armour, sending a soundwave to meet the fireball, raindrops being pushed back in an arc before the sonic pulse. The wave smashed into the fiery projectile, tearing it apart into multiple, smaller balls and sending them flying back at Sailor Mars. The senshi dived to her right and rolled through a puddle, ending up on her feet as the small flames soared by where she had been standing.


Mars drew her blazing bow, raindrops turning into wisps of steam where they struck the weapon. The senshi launched an arrow of flame at the armoured youma. The creature shrieked at the bolt, making the flames streak out behind the arrow in a long tail, but the attack's flight path was too fast and too stable. The youma quickly shielded her head with her metal plated arms as the arrow exploded on her suit, the scorching flames licking around her. The runes on her armour glowed briefly, and the fire was abruptly snuffed out. Realising her Sailor Senshi powers were effectively useless, Sailor Mars pulled out a soggy ofuda from her equally soggy fuku.

"Rin, pyou, tou, sha, kai, jin, retsu, sai, zen. Akuryou taisan!"

Sailor Mars ran as fast as she could forward, skirting the edge of the wooden platform as the youma screamed a constant soundwave after her. Mars knew she had to get a clear shot at her adversary or the ward would simply be torn apart. The senshi swerved to the left while turning to face the youma, sliding on the slippery wooden roof. She hurled the ofuda at the youma's leg, the paper landing with a wet splat on the metal, somehow surviving the impact and not simply falling apart. The youma froze for a moment, and Mars sensed victory. But then several symbols on the creature's armoured suit flared a hot white, forcing Mars to avert her gaze. When the senshi turned her eyes back to her foe, the ofuda was falling to the floor in a charred sprinkle of ash.

The youma shrieked into her amplifier and Sailor Mars was too slow to evade the sonic wave this time. The blast pounded into the girl like a tonne of bricks, throwing her to the floor and pushing her through the many puddles along the roof towards the edge. Sailor Mars desperately grabbed for anything to prevent her fall to certain death. But there was nothing to grab. Mars sailed over the edge head first, and calling on all her skill, twisted her body around and gripped the wooden edge with both hands, stopping her fall to oblivion as several bricks and planks flew over her head, propelled by the pulse of sound. The miko didn't look down.

Sailor Mars heard heavy footsteps clomp over to where she was hanging. Mars swiftly swung her body back and forth to gain momentum, and then abruptly flipped backwards and curled into a ball, before lashing out with a foot into the approaching youma's blue face. The creature was taken by surprise and was struck in the forehead, her head snapping back. Sailor Mars landed on the roof and spun on one foot, delivering a strong side kick to her opponent's amplifier, breaking the left bolt holding it to the armour suit. The amplifier swung on a single remaining bolt, away from the youma's mouth. Mars moved like the lightning in the storm above, and punched at the swinging amp's edge, warping the round disc and shattering the right bolt with the force of the impact. Metal shards fell to the floor along with the amplifier, the youma's primary attack gone. Now Sailor Mars and the creature were on even terms.

The white-haired youma staggered backwards from the combination assault, and glanced down at her broken amplifier before looking back at Mars. The youma's face remained expressionless as she fluidly moved into a combat stance. Sailor Mars shook her left hand, blood seeping through her glove from her split knuckles. Pain was simply a reminder that she was still alive, Mars remembered, her old philosophies from Yokohama coming back to her.

The youma moved suddenly, displaying great agility despite the metal armour she wore. The creature kicked out at Sailor Mars' midsection, causing the senshi to dart to one side and strike out with her right fist at her adversary's exposed head. The armour-plated warrior reacted fast, and grabbed Sailor Mars' arm, throwing the girl along the wooden roof on her stomach. Sailor Mars quickly wiped the rainwater that had splattered on her face away and leapt to her feet, in time to meet the youma's shoulder charge. The creature crashed into her like a battering ram, flinging Sailor Mars several feet into the air. The senshi landed with a gasp of pain near a pile of red painted steel girders. She glanced to her right, and saw red mix with the rainwater running along the wooden roof. Mars looked down at her side, and saw that her fuku was covered in blood. The youma's rush must have split open her stab wound.

Sailor Mars staggered to her feet as the youma advanced, the creature abruptly punching at the girl's face. The senshi blocked desperately, feeling the pain of the blow colliding on her forearm agonisingly as she did so. The youma followed by kneeing her in her injured side, making Mars grunt and grimace in agony. Sailor Mars retaliated by delivering a punch of her own at the youma's head. The creature quickly blocked with an arm, causing Mars to smash her fist into the metal. An excruciating pain shot up the senshi's right arm, and Mars hoped her wrist hadn't been broken. She needed to be able to fight.

The youma grabbed a handful of Sailor Mars' fuku and bashed her forehead in the miko's face. Mars staggered backwards out of the creature's grip, dazed, blood from her nose joining with the rain rolling down her face. The armoured warrior slapped both her metal palms over the reeling senshi's ears, making the girl's eardrums pop painfully. The creature then smoothly followed with a sharp elbow in her opponent's stomach and then a backhand slap to her face. Sailor Mars continued to be forced backwards, slightly doubled over from the hit to her stomach, while her head felt full of cotton. The youma let out a bloodcurdling cry and uppercut Mars in the face with a metal gauntlet, the finishing strike throwing the senshi into the air to fall on top of the steel girder pile. Sailor Mars cringed in agony as she landed on her back, the single topmost girder under her making the landing incredibly painful.

Mars lay on top of the red girders while rain pelted her bruised and battered body. She spat out a mouthful of saliva traced with blood. A small voice in the back of her mind told her to just give up and lie there, to let it *finally* end. Sailor Mars considered doing what the voice said. For about a millisecond. Pain was for the weak; it was merely a reminder you were alive. And the Senshi of Fire wouldn't allow herself to die yet, not while Sailor Moon's killer still lived.

Sailor Mars used her arms to flip to her feet on top of the girders, her body screaming in protest all the while. The youma looked up at Mars, her eyes cold and dead in their sockets. The armoured creature was already a corpse inside- the rest of her would soon follow. Sailor Mars leapt into a mid-air cartwheel, turning her body completely upside down and grabbed the youma's neck with both hands. She abruptly twisted her body around, hearing a sickening snap, paused in a handstand on top of her adversary for a second, then dropped behind the creature, landing in a crouch with her back turned. Mars stood up slowly and turned around, observing the youma's head bent at an odd angle.

"Fire Soul," she whispered with finality.

The fireball exploded on the back of the youma's skull, igniting the creature's twisted head in a blazing inferno, the rain sizzling off the bonfire. The youma stumbled one step forward before tripping over a steel girder, toppling over the edge of the wooden roof and into merciful Death's embrace.

Sailor Mars simply stood there for a moment, blood flowing from her open wounds. She had won. But it was a hollow victory, nothing to be proud of. Usagi was still gone. Killing her murderer didn't bring Mars' princess back. Sailor Mars now knew how Sailor Moon felt when she herself had supposedly 'died'. She staggered zombie-like to the edge of the roof Sailor Moon had fallen from, just stopping at the absolute edge. Mars gazed down into the darkness below, her tears falling from her lavender eyes with the raindrops from the black clouds above. She had killed the youma; Sailor Mars didn't have to be strong anymore. She felt a gut-retching pain inside the heart she had thought long dead. Mars clutched a hand to her chest over her heart as she sobbed. This hadn't been Sailor Moon's destiny; it hadn't been her fate. Sailor Moon was meant to rule the future Crystal Tokyo with Mamoru, living for all eternity. Why had Fate led Mars' love to this point?! Sailor Mars crying increased even more when she realised why. The Fire Senshi had interfered with destiny. She had declared her love for the girl and that is why she died. If the miko hadn't been so damn weak the youma wouldn't have targeted Sailor Moon. She would still be alive right now. *All* the blame was on Sailor Mars. She deserved to burn in Hell for what she had done.

Sailor Mars' body still cried out in torment as she stood there, gazing down at Death. Sailor Moon couldn't have survived the seven-storey fall. Even if someone at the bottom had caught her, the shock of the sudden stop would have been enough to kill the girl, and break or dislocate the arms of the catcher. There was no salvation for Mars, no amount of repents to make up for what she had done, and had failed to do.
Regardless, her mind and body wouldn't have to suffer for much longer. Mars raised her arms out to the sides and lifted her head, looking out to the dark horizon. She barely controlled her sobbing, taking deep shuddering breaths. The tears continued to pour from her eyes, merging with the blood and rain. Sailor Mars stepped one foot out into the empty air.

"Death is a release… I'm s-sorry I can't keep my pr-promise, my princess… I h- hope you catch me on the other s-side," Mars whispered, speaking towards the heavens.

Gently, a pair of arms encircled Sailor Mars' waist, drawing her carefully back from the edge of the roof. Mars let out a faint gasp as the arms forced her to turn around to face an angel from Heaven.

"A-Am I dead…? Have I al-already jumped…?" Sailor Mars sobbed, dropping her arms limply to her sides.

"No, Rei… I'll always catch you if you fall," Sailor Moon whispered, her blue eyes filling with unshed tears.

Sailor Mars threw her arms around her princess's neck and squeezed her tightly, the blonde responding by hugging the raven-haired girl just as close around her waist. Mars wept hard on her true love's shoulder, tears of relief and guilt and joy all rolled together adding to Sailor Moon's rain soaked fuku. Mars heard her only love sigh her name repeatedly as the miko blubbered on her shoulder. After a long while, Sailor Mars lifted her head from Sailor Moon's shoulder and looked at the divine beauty.

Mars' face crumbled and her sobbing increased as Sailor Moon's words from before sank in. "B-But I didn't… I didn't catch you… I-I failed…"

Sailor Moon reached one hand up and stroked her bodyguard's smooth, slightly bloodstained cheek with her fingertips. "It wasn't your fault," she said tenderly, looking deep into Mars' bloodshot and red eyes. The rain was beginning to ebb around them.

"B-But it was, if I n-never said h-how I felt… if I had ignored my f-feelings…" Mars explained through sobs.

Sailor Moon placed an elegant finger on Mars' lips, silencing her senshi. "I wouldn't want you to ignore your feelings, Rei. I never realised you felt so strongly about me…how much I meant to you…" she murmured, sliding her other hand up and down Mars' back comfortingly.

Sailor Mars removed one arm from around her princess's neck and grasped Sailor Moon's silencing hand in a delicate grip, moving it away from her mouth. "I thought you knew how I felt about you," she said, her heaving breaths starting to get under control.

Sailor Moon smiled faintly at the Fire Senshi. "I knew. I just never knew how much, I… it doesn't matter," she said softly, turning her hand in Mars' and interlocking their fingers together, "all that matters is that we're still both here, right now…"

The rain petered out around them, the lightning gone and the thunder silent. "And I… I can't fight it anymore, I-I can't resist," continued Sailor Moon, holding Sailor Mars' hand tightly, a slight pink blush gracing her cheeks and her eyes becoming partially lidded.

Mars blinked at her princess, the remaining tears trickling out of her own eyes and combining with the rest on her face. "M-My princess," she started, and then blushed as she realised her private name for her true love had come out unbidden.

Sailor Moon reached up with her free hand and ran her fingers through Sailor Mars' wet hair gently, until her hand was behind her bodyguard's head. Sailor Moon leaned forward with her lips slightly parted, and eased the raven-haired girl's head towards her. The Senshi of Fire's lavender eyes were wide open as her princess's lips met her own with little hesitation, the blonde's eyelids closing. As Sailor Mars felt Sailor Moon's velvety soft, moist tongue seeking access, she quickly recovered and parted her lips, her own eyes fluttering closed. Mars couldn't wrap her mind around what was happening… maybe she really had died but had ascended to Heaven rather than descended to Hell. Her heart rose from its dust state and reformed, like the mythical firebird, the phoenix, rising from the ashes. Mars pressed her arm around her princess's shoulders firmly, holding her close, praying that what was occurring was true, and that finally, *finally*, her dream had become reality. Another disappointment, another rejection would kill her. But Sailor Moon had initiated the kiss this time, not Mars, and the Fire Senshi had seen the emotion in her true love's bright blue eyes, could feel the passion in her kiss. It was real. Sailor Mars felt her tears starting again as she kissed her princess deeply, the calling sensation inside of her soaring to new heights, new intensities.

The rain had stopped completely and the turbulent clouds had parted, revealing the full moon in a clear night sky. The pale moonlight bathed the two girls in their loving embrace, and also beyond them, as if lighting a path to new possibilities. The storm had ended.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

There. I beat back Evil Kirika with a stick and decided to give Rei a break. Prepare for Rei/Usagi mushiness from here on out (somewhat). Though don't expect it to be an end to all of Rei's angst-filled problems. (As if I'd end -all- the angst). ^_^

Explanations for Sailor Moon's survival and the other senshi will be in the next chapter obviously.