Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Omens ( Chapter 31 )

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


Chapter thirty-one. So we're back to Rei hating Mamoru again. I can't be bothered repeating myself, so go see what I wrote at the start of chapter 21 and also what NMS put in his/her review; that reviewer hit the nail right on the head; thank you for you're input! At least *some* people actually realise I'm trying to inject as much realism into this fic as possible (as much as you can in a story about magical girls and all that). What do you want… a fairy tale with clear-cut conflicts and flawless characters? Shall I simply paint Mamoru as a total bastard and Rei as a complete saint? That would make Usagi's choice simple enough, right? I think I mentioned Tomoyo back in chapter 21's notes too, which saves me bitching about how Rei and her are nothing alike, two completely different characters. Damn, too late. Rei is hot-tempered evil creature killing machine for god's sake; I somehow can't see Tomoyo beating the living crap out of anything and losing her temper with Sakura. Plus, that cold dark defensive mechanism which Rei gained in Yokohama still hasn't left her completely yet, and also helps to keep the jealous impulses suitably fuelled. Have a little faith when I say there is a reason for everything, and I'll leave no loose ends with any situation or character at the end.


- Kirika


Chapter 31 - Omens

Makareus checked his wristwatch again as he waited impatiently for his wrinkled older brother to arrive at the dock warehouse near Tokyo Bay, the designated meeting place. The demon and several of his followers were all standing around the black painted human-constructed 'cars', constantly on alert for any signs of the inferior beings or a possible ambush from the Sailor Senshi. It was time for Makareus to initiate his truly fantastic plan. If the old buzzard, Thrinakie, ever showed up that was. The senile fossil better not have forgotten about the meeting…

Makareus let out a slow breath, attempting to control his rising annoyance. Normally he would complain to Iason about how much Thrinakie grated his nerves, but tonight the demon had left the youma back at headquarters to watch over things. Instead, Makareus had a few of the deceased Khairephon's 'bruiser' type youma as bodyguards as well as several assassins from the Silent Blades hidden in the shadows. If Thrinakie smelt a rat in his sibling's plan, the resulting conflict would not be pretty. Though Makareus was confident he would be triumphant if it even came to that.

There was a muffled scream from the left of the demon, where one youma was holding the captured child in an iron grip. Makareus would be glad to finally get rid of the pink-haired thing. Every time her gag was removed so that she could eat, all she did was shout insults and/or yell at the top of her whiney voice, resulting in all nearby listeners to suffer from chronic migraines. Perhaps the child had some sort of special debilitating power behind her screams. But it soon wouldn't matter anymore; the 'Sailor Senshi' would be Thrinakie's problem shortly.

Makareus heard electrical crackles and looked in the direction of the sounds. As he watched, several bluish vertically aligned oval shapes were drawn in the air, seeming to be made out of lightning. The ovals finished forming, before there was a flash of light inside each one, illuminating the interior of the dark warehouse for a brief instant. Then the oval shapes were gone, and in their place were figures dressed in robes and cloaks, numbering about seven in total. The middle figure of the small group stepped forward, using a gnarled wooden staff it held as a walking stick.

"Why did you… request a meeting… outside the usual times?" Thrinakie croaked, coming to a halt a few feet from Makareus and leaning heavily on his staff.

Makareus straightened and put on a pleased facial expression. "I have been successful in capturing a Sailor Senshi," he declared. The demon somehow held back the cringe at referring to the child as a Sailor Senshi.

"Indeed…" Thrinakie murmured with no inflection. "When did you… acquire… one of our foes?"

"Just recently, approximately three hours ago," the master of deception replied without hesitation. Lying came naturally to him. "I thought perhaps you would like her," Makareus continued, a half-smile coming to his face, "I'm sure you would like a chance to analyse a live specimen of the enemy."

The old goat shifted slightly to his left and eyed the squirming pink package behind his brother. He raised a bushy grey eyebrow sceptically.

"I assure you; it *is* a senshi," Makareus said, seeing his brother's dubious expression, "and I offer her to you, dear brother." He made a 'be my guest' motion with his arms. Makareus silently prayed to every dark power that was listening that the arch mage would take the little terror off his hands.

The robed man raised both his eyebrows, causing deep lines in his forehead to appear, as the human child stomped furiously on her youma captor's toes. Makareus smiled thinly at Thrinakie before chuckling good-naturedly… although there was a faint strain in his laugh.

"She can be a handful," Makareus smirked. Inwardly, he wanted to throttle the pink menace.

Thrinakie straightened and looked at his brother in the eyes. "I shall… take… it," he wheezed, apparently intrigued by the child, "I am sure… whatever powers… it possesses… will not be affected… by my methods… of study…" He paused for a brief instant, his eyes flicking to the wiggling young human over Makareus' shoulder. "And energetic subjects… are often calmed… by the amputation… of their limbs…"

The prisoner didn't seem to like that, and started struggling and screaming with renewed vigour, her eyes bulging out in obvious fear. The youma restraining the human tightened his grip.

"Perhaps… the tongue… as well…" the arch mage added as he heard the child's muted howls.

Makareus couldn't prevent the malicious grin from spreading over his face. It was a shame he wouldn't be able to torture the human himself, but this was good enough.

"As you wish," he said, "whatever aids in your… examination."

Thrinakie turned away from his younger brother and shuffled back to his followers. One robed youma made some strange motions with its hands, and a sphere of shimmering silver flew out of its fingertips. The ball hit the pink entity on the side of the head and a metallic fluid splattered all over her hair. The youma holding the child let go as the human collapsed to the ground, apparently out cold.

The senile buzzard and his followers then muttered several phrases, causing the electrical oval shapes to reappear and form around themselves and the Sailor Senshi prisoner. Once the ovals were complete, there was once again a bright flash of white light in each one. In the next moment, all of the robed figures and the human child were gone. Makareus allowed himself a faint, cold smile as Thrinakie departed. His 'dear brother's' time was near its end.

The demon waited for a while, making sure that Thrinakie and his fellow mages were truly gone, and not merely invisible or something along those lines. Eventually, Makareus called out into the murky shadows of the warehouse, calling to the darkness.


The suited man blinked and then a black-clad figure suddenly appeared in front of him, shadowed by several other similarly dressed youma. Lazarus the Night Haunter was one of the chiefs of the Silent Blades, the only one on this dimensional plane. The grandmaster assassin was built like a human from this world. He dressed like the other members of his order, expect for a few differences. A pale blue strip of cloth dangled from his waist and instead of wearing a black hooded cloak, Lazarus' cloak was without a hood, revealing pale blue hair that hung in long bangs over his forehead. The flesh that could be seen through the assassin's dark garb was white, almost translucent, as if a sun's rays had never touched it. But the main difference was his face. The Night Haunter wore a jet-black mask covering his entire facial features. The mask was carved into a tragic visage; the dark eye-slits drooped downwards miserably along with the long hooked nose and the tormented grimace that was its mouth. The mask was a picture of true suffering. No one knew what was behind the ebony mask, not even Makareus, and the demon had known the assassin for many years ever since the youma had slaughtered his way into the Silent Blades high council. Makareus' dead sister, Laodameia, used to say that behind Lazarus' mask was perfect beauty, second to her own of course, and to look upon the assassin's face was to be enraptured for all time. Khairephon used to think quite the opposite, that the grandmaster assassin's features were terribly disfigured, and to see them was to be driven insane with horror. And Makareus thought… well, he didn't actually care what Lazarus' really looked like. The youma was an efficient and ruthless killer, blessed with a ludicrous amount of luck, as if the gods themselves favoured him, and that was all that really mattered.

"You know what your mission is," Makareus said to the masked assassin, "I will contact the Sailor Senshi in under an hour. Make sure you infiltrate Thrinakie's mansion at the same time they do, and leave no traces of your presence. If the senshi all die before the fossil falls I don't want to have the theft pinned on me. But with any luck, the two opposing forces will wipe each other out."

Lazarus said nothing, and merely stood, the weeping mask appearing to stare hauntingly at the demon.

"Here," Makareus went on, pulling out an ornately decorated cube and handing it to the youma. "The mage probably has the mansion folded in a dimensional pocket, use this to navigate through it. The symbols should guide you to any sources of great magic. Hopefully the portal spell components are the most powerful objects there. I want those components, assassin, do not fail." The suited man finished sternly and coldly, his tone implying what would become of Lazarus if he did indeed fail.

The black-clad youma tilted his head slightly to the side and secreted the cube away in a sash around his body. "Yes…" he whispered, a voice from the grave.

Any other being would be intimidated or even frightened by the Lazarus, but not Makareus. The demon was silent death incarnate, after all. The master of deception ignored the lack of a respectful designation from the youma and simply nodded to him. The Night Haunter nodded back slowly before abruptly darting back into the shadows, the rest of the Silent Blades following him.

"I think tonight… will be a long one," Makareus whispered to himself, gazing out at the full moon through a warehouse window.


Rei sighed contentedly as she sat back against the bed's headboard with Usagi held close, both girls dressed in their pyjamas, or in the miko's case, a vest and boxers. The blonde was sitting in between the Fire Senshi's legs, leaning back against the raven-haired girl's body. Rei tightened her arms around her true love, enjoying the slight brush her forearms made with the girl's breasts. She bent down and planted a kiss on the top of the silky blonde head, eliciting a hum of appreciation from her princess and causing Usagi to snuggle deeper into her bodyguard's embrace. Usagi was resting her arms on Rei's bare legs, occasionally stroking the satin-smooth skin with her fingertips.

Rei saw Luna rolling her eyes as she groomed herself. The feline had been alternating between giving disapproving glares and attempting to ignore the pair's antics for the past two days. Rei and Usagi had plenty of free time at night -when they weren't on Makoto guard duty- since the youma activity seemed to have dropped off completely. The Fire Senshi hoped it was a sign that the youma were going to make demands about Chibi-Usa's release.

"Rei… do you think she's okay?" Usagi asked again for the thousandth time. Rei didn't need to ask who 'she' was.

The miko answered as she always did, not losing her patience with the blonde asking the same question over and over again. "Sure… any day now the youma will contact us," she murmured soothingly, kissing her only love's head again.

Usagi nodded, trying her best to believe her bodyguard. Rei withheld a sigh, not wanting to give the wrong impression to the girl in her arms. It had been two days since Chibi-Usa's abduction, and still there was no word from the youma. Usagi had told her parents that the young girl was staying over at Hotaru's for a while, to buy some time. But Rei was starting to worry for Chibi-Usa's safety. She would never tell her princess that, of course. She just had to hope and pray that Usagi's future daughter was still alive somewhere, waiting for rescue.

Rei had spent nearly the entire day with her princess, Usagi having skipped school to keep her bodyguard company while watching Makoto. The miko had disapproved of Usagi not attending school, but it had been a token gesture; the raven-haired girl in actually fact had been delighted with her presence. Usagi had started to hang on to Rei's arm again when they walked together, just like she had done when the Fire Senshi first returned to Tokyo. It was hard for Rei to keep a goofy grin off her face whenever Usagi did that; it made her feel like the two of them were a real couple. But perhaps they were somewhat, despite Usagi having not told Mamoru about her new relationship with her best friend yet. The blonde had spent some time with her boyfriend also, and Rei didn't know what they did together. Frankly, she didn't want to know. Thankfully, Usagi hardly ever mentioned the prince around her.

Rei's princess had let her bodyguard sleep with her again last night, on the condition that the Fire Senshi keep her hands away from certain… areas, of the odango atama's figure. Rei wasn't sure if she had abided by Usagi's wishes or not during her slumber, but if she didn't, the blonde had never said anything.

Usagi closed her eyes and let out a deep breath, relaxing her body against Rei's. "How did things end up like this, Rei?" she asked in a sigh.

"They caught us by surprise, that's all. We'll get Chibi-Usa back and make them pay," the Senshi of Fire swore.

"That's not what I'm talking about," Usagi said. "How did we end up like this?"

Rei blinked for a second. "Oh. Well, I seem to recall someone kissing someone else…" she smirked, her tone a little playful.

"Yeah…" Usagi murmured in response, her own tone thoughtful. "…How long have you felt his way? How long have you had these… feelings, for me? That's why you went to Yokohama, wasn't it?"

Rei was quiet for a moment as she thought back to the day she had fled Tokyo, and to the first time she had realised she loved her princess more deeply than a mere best friend ever could. The raven-haired girl swallowed hard. Those had been hard days. She thought she should gloss her experiences in Yokohama over, but Usagi deserved to know.

"I've felt this way… a long, long time now," Rei said, her voice slightly strained. "I guess eventually, it got too much to hold in. After that fight with the youma, you remember, when the building collapsed with me inside?"

"How could I forget…?" Usagi whispered, giving a shiver.

"It just seemed like a way out," Rei continued, staring off into space, recollecting. "I couldn't go on every single day pretending to only care for you as a friend. And seeing you with… with *him* didn't help either. So I… left. I chose 'death'." Rei gave a humourless chuckle. "But death is easy, *living* is what's hard. And I still lived. The days in Yokohama were not the most… enjoyable in my life. I met some good people, but I ended up treating them badly because of my pain. But at that time, I just didn't care. I sought to truly die for real. I pushed myself into some impossible fights, but I somehow survived. I hoped that there would be one fight that would be too much for me, but it never came. My body simply suffered more and more, like the pain in my heart wanted to manifest itself on me physically. Besides, I knew you were still alive and well somewhere back in Tokyo, and I had a duty to take care of the youma in Yokohama for you, and that meant staying alive. What's that saying? …'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.'" Rei stopped talking, lost in tormented memories. She was distantly aware that Luna had stopped grooming herself and was looking at her.

Usagi remained silent in her bodyguard's embrace. The entire bedroom was quiet after Rei's tale, the tick-tick of the blonde's alarm clock the only sound. In the back of Rei's mind, the girl absently noted the sound of time ticking away, her formless adversary, Fate, pulling it, moulding time against her.

"Rei… I've caused you so much pain," Usagi finally said, her voice cracking at the end, bringing the miko out of her reverie.

The Fire Senshi shook her head lightly. "It's not your fault. You didn't ask me to feel this way about you," she replied easily. "Don't blame yourself. I don't."

Usagi didn't say anything for a moment. "Why did you… why did you come back?" she then whispered, her voice thick.

Rei looked at the pink carnation in a vase filled with water, sitting on Usagi's dressing table. "For you," she said quietly and simply. "You needed me."

"You were right," Usagi replied after a short pause, just as quietly, "I did need you. I still do. I'll always need you, no matter what happens."

"Don't worry, I'll always be with you, by your side," Rei said comfortingly, resting her chin gently on top of her princess's head. "…In one form or another," she added in a whisper.

Talking then ceased between the two girls, each lost in their own thoughts. After a long time, Usagi spoke once more.

"Rei… do you ever think… about the future?" she asked tentatively.

The Fire Senshi smiled faintly. "All the time…" she replied

"Really?" Usagi said, twisting in her bodyguard's grasp to look up at the girl. Rei saw that the blonde's eyes were misty with unshed tears. "What do you think the future holds?"

Many possibilities flowed through Rei's mind. The fight of a lifetime. A faceless foe. A 'moment' to prevent, a princess to defend. Pain and death. The end. And… hope, no matter how small it was.

"I don't know," Rei said instead, her eyes glazed over as her thoughts streamed through the possibilities. She snapped out of her thoughts and looked down at Usagi, smiling while she gazed into her blue eyes. "But forget about the future, my princess," she whispered, "the present is all that matters right now."

Usagi stared deeply into Rei's lavender eyes as the girl smiled down at her. She turned over so that her body was front-on to her bodyguard's, and then leaned forward, kissing the girl firmly on the lips. Rei readily returned the passionate kiss, wrapping her arms around Usagi's neck while she entwined her legs with the blonde's own slender ones.

Rei committed every touch and feeling to memory, trying to never forget any of the precious moments she spent with her love. She had to savour each one; she didn't know where this thread of time was going to lead to, and if she would still be with her princess at the end. The enemy was a powerful one, and she wasn't thinking about the youma. While the senshi was determined to succeed, she had to admit the chances of victory were small at best. How does one fight destiny? Defy it by living your life the way you choose to? Is that all she could do? But no matter what, Rei would give the battle no less than everything she had, heart and soul.

Rei slipped her hands down to Usagi's waist as the kiss continued, and then slid them under the blonde's pyjama top. The miko stroked her hands delicately over her princesses' bare skin, feeling the play of muscles beneath her fingers as the girl writhed above her. Usagi moaned and grabbed her bodyguard's right thigh, pulling the leg up to wrap around her waist. Rei heard Luna mutter something from far away, but ignored the distraction.

Usagi's mouth left her bodyguard's and the girl brought up a hand to Rei's face, touching her cheek softly. Rei opened her eyes and met her princess's intense look. Usagi's fingertips moved down the raven- haired girl's cheek to her soft lips and traced them lightly, feeling the moisture from their deep kiss.

"You're so beautiful, Rei…" Usagi whispered, not breaking their gaze and continuing to caress her bodyguard's lips. The blonde began to move her other hand up and down Rei's thigh in sensual strokes.

Rei could say nothing, mesmerised by the divine angel hovering above her.

"Rei…" Usagi went on, "I…"

"This is Sailor Mercury to all active Sailors! I have possible information on Chibi-Usa's whereabouts!" Mercury's voice crackled over Usagi's wrist communicator on her bedside table.

Usagi blinked a couple of times, looking disorientated, and then let go of Rei and grabbed the communicator. Rei slumped back against the bed's headboard, letting out the breath she had been holding. Talk about bad timing.

"This is Sailor Moon," Usagi said into the communicator, somewhat breathlessly, "Mercury; you said you know where Chibi-Usa is?!"

"Yes! We should get all active Sailor Senshi together immediately!" Sailor Mercury's voice replied over the device.

Well, it had been good while it lasted. Rei mentally prepared herself for more Sailor Senshi business, which usually consisted of a lot of fighting. But the Fire Senshi was ready for battle; she had promised her princess Chibi-Usa would be rescued safely, and like all her promises to her love, she would keep it. Another promise then suddenly dawned on the miko.

"Usagi, call Sailor Saturn as well. I told her she could come along to help Chibi-Usa," Rei told her only love.

"Hotaru?" Usagi questioned. "Are you sure?"

"I made a promise to her," Rei stated.

The Senshi of Fire didn't like bringing the young girl into battle, but she had promised Hotaru that she would have a chance to help her best friend. The dark-haired girl was the Senshi of Death and Rebirth after all, and had no small skill in combat either.

Rei looked out the window as Usagi spoke on her communicator, alternating between briefing Luna in on the details and talking to Sailor Mercury. The Fire Senshi watched the full moon in the night sky, its pale light illuminating the streets outside the Tsukino house. Without warning, a dark cloud passed over the moon, blocking out the round shape and snuffing out the moonlight. A bad omen.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

Should be lots of action next chapter. This chapter was basically a scene setter.