Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Parallels ( Chapter 47 )

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


Chapter forty-seven. I did hint that Hotaru was going to tag along with Mamoru and show up with Setsuna's words in chapter forty-four, and also with Makoto only seeing Setsuna when she looked in her room in chapter forty-five.

It seems like the majority of people are in Hotaru's favour rather than Rei's… interesting.

I'm typing this chapter on my shiny new laptop in bed, which, may I say, is a lot better than sitting at a desktop PC late at night in the freezing computer room. I *finally* got a notebook! It is so cool! *ahem* Sorry, I'm just very pleased with this thingy. ^_^


- Kirika


Chapter 47 - Parallels

"Look out!" Sailor Mars cried out sharply, before pushing Sailor Moon aside and desperately springing to her feet, leaping backwards as the blade of Sailor Saturn's Silence Glaive scraped the section of cement roof where she had knelt, sending a spray of sparks into the ash filled air.

Mars sucked in her stomach as the Senshi of Death horizontally slashed at her, narrowly avoiding a disembowelling blow. Almost instantly afterwards, the Fire Senshi threw her head back as Saturn fluidly followed up the strike with a swing to the face, bringing the bottom of her Glaive up in an attempt to pulverise the miko's cranium. Sailor Mars then darted quickly backwards, willing her exhausted body to move and put more space between herself and the apparently insane Senshi of Death.

"Hotaru! What are you doing?!" Sailor Mars heard Sailor Venus exclaim in astonishment and horror as Sailor Saturn continued her onslaught, lunging at the frantically retreating Inner Senshi, mercilessly trying to skewer her on the sharp point of her Glaive.

Sailor Saturn ignored the Senshi of Love's shocked shriek, seemingly wholly focused on the task of slaying Sailor Mars, the pale girl's countenance a picture of cold and efficient purpose. She once again attacked the Fire Senshi, hacking at her target with her Silence Glaive in a downwards-vertical stroke, forcing Sailor Mars to dive to one side, the miko's fast manoeuvre creating a puff of grey and black ash in her wake. Mars tucked in her shoulder, performing a roll across a mixture of blood and ash that covered the ground as a shining razor sharp instrument only barely missed severing her spinal cord, the miko acutely aware of a breath of wind just behind the nape of her neck as the Outer Senshi's unique weapon passed by.

However, as soon as Sailor Mars righted herself, she was greeted by the butt of Sailor Saturn's Glaive smashing into her jaw, snapping her head forcefully to the upper right. A split second later, she gasped in pain as her left thigh was torn ruthlessly open, creating a spray of crimson to splatter onto the rooftop, joining the internal fluids of the many brutally maimed and burnt bodies densely piled up around the area. Mars staggered backwards, tripping over a charred and slowly rotting youma corpse just as the Senshi of Death performed a devastating uppercut with her Silence Glaive --the blade leading-- shredding the dark purple bow that adorned the front of the fleeing Sailor's fuku and unravelling the knot that held the material together as the raven-haired girl fell, the lucky stumble saving her from being gutted. Sailor Mars landed heavily on her back and quickly raised her head to get a glimpse of her relentless assailant's position, only to have the end of a solid metal pole rammed against her forehead, knocking her skull back to crack against the hard cement roof, making the tortured girl's eyes scrunch shut in torment. Half-dazed and in terrible agony, the Senshi of Fire blindly rolled her body to the right as she heard a sound of something fast swooping through the air. There was a loud clang as what was no doubt Sailor Saturn's Silence Glaive collided with the ground, bringing up a shower of cement pebbles that bounced off Mars' back.

Sailor Mars opened her pain-wracked eyes and weakly clambered to her feet, knowing that the embodiment of Death had her lethal scythe sailing towards her vulnerable blindside. People were screaming out all around her; the survivors of the Juuban High School massacre in terror, all most likely speculating what new nightmare now awaited them in the form of their 'saviours'; and Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon, both emphatically crying out to Sailor Saturn to cease her assault on the battered Sailor Mars. Tuxedo Kamen's voice was noticeably absent, even in the cacophony surrounding the miko.

Sailor Mars howled in absolute anguish as the Senshi of Death's murderous weapon raked down her back, ripping open cloth and flesh alike as if it was paper, the power of the attack enough to knock the miko forwards and down to her knees, scratching off several layers of skin from the joints on the gravel rooftop. Sailor Mars turned her abused form limply over onto her back, looking up at Sailor Saturn through blurry eyes, tears of suffering collecting in the orbs.

"I won't let you endanger Chibi-Usa!" the Outer Senshi screamed vehemently, shaking her Silence Glaive furiously at the prone and bleeding girl, her frosty expression breaking for an instant. So that was it. Didn't Sailor Saturn know that Sailor Mars would be victorious against Destiny? Didn't she know that Time would find a way to preserve Chibi-Usa's existence?

"Stop it Hotaru!!" Sailor Moon shouted, quickly stepping in front of her defenceless lover and the enraged Senshi of Death, spreading out her arms wide as if to somehow shield her bodyguard. "That's enough! Leave her alone!!"

Sailor Saturn merely stared at the blonde for a moment, and then glared at her accusingly. "How could you?!" she cried, her visage an image of pain and shattered trust. "How could you do this to her?! HOW CAN YOU RISK CHIBI-USA'S LIFE LIKE THIS?!"

From her current angle, Sailor Mars couldn't see Sailor Moon's face, but she could imagine what it was like. Damn Saturn and her judgemental attitude; she threatened to ruin everything Mars had strived so hard to achieve. The Senshi of Fire gritted her teeth and began to climb to her feet, the raven-haired girl's wounded body aching all the while. Sailor Saturn, seeing movement from her prey out of the corner of one eye, roughly shoved Sailor Moon aside as her features turned to ice once more, the Senshi of Death bringing down her Glaive in a diagonal slice to silence Sailor Mars for all eternity, ensuring her best friend's existence in the future.

Sailor Mars desperately tried to evade the attack, willing her burning and liquid-like muscles to work faster but knowing her body was at its breaking point, and far too slow. She watched helplessly with gradually widening, alarmed, eyes as the Senshi of Death's curved blade came down at her through the ash filled air, the whole event seeming in slow motion. Sailor Mars had to hand it to Fate; sending Sailor Saturn out for her blood was a play she had never thought of, except perhaps only deep in her subconsciousness, the Fire Senshi remembering the instinct to lie to the pale young girl that had came over her outside the Tsukino residence. But, to the miko's pure horror, suddenly there was someone intercepting Death's strike, the protecting figure deflecting the silencing scythe with her own body in a valiant display of self-sacrifice. Sailor Moon howled in heart-wrenching agony as Sailor Saturn's Glaive tore into her right shoulder and travelled on to her upper arm, leaving a deep and gushing gash in its razor sharp path. The courageous blonde girl then collapsed to the ground, her life's blood spilling out all over the place in front of her stunned lover as she frantically clutched her appalling wound with her left hand, red fluid pumping out steadily between her fingers.

Sailor Mars could hear another tortured cry almost mirroring her princess's, but it was as if the sound was coming from far away in the distance, almost entirely muted. The Senshi of Fire's disbelieving gaze was fixed intensely on her true love as the angel writhed in anguish at the miko's feet, the top of the injured girl's once white fuku now nearly totally stained with crimson. Sailor Mars raised her head from the nightmarish sight to look at the origin of her princess's suffering, watching Sailor Saturn as the young girl alternated between staring dumbfounded at the struck down Sailor Moon and at her blood coated Silence Glaive. She tore off the remains of the bow on her Sailor Senshi fuku and wrapped the shredded material around her bloody and bruised fists, binding them tightly.

"I…" the Senshi of Rebirth choked out, shaking her head feebly in protest of the scene before her. She then looked at the object that had caused her such grief, and her features hardened. "This happened because of you!!" Saturn screamed at Mars, stabbing at the girl with a pointed finger. "You made me hurt Chibi-Usa's mama! IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!"

The Senshi of Death let out a tormented howl and brought her Glaive down at Sailor Mars in an overhead swing, while a mix of the miko's and her lover's blood trailed in the air behind the blade, the incensed Saturn wishing to split the standing raven-haired girl in twain. However, just before the weapon could cave in the Inner Senshi's skull, something stopped it firmly in its tracks. Sailor Mars glowered at Sailor Saturn hatefully as she held the Outer Senshi's Silence Glaive in one strong, only minutely wavering hand, preventing the pole weapon's deadly blow from proceeding any further. Without warning, the Fire Senshi rammed her fist forwards, slamming the shaft of Saturn's own weapon hard into the girl's face. Sailor Mars was tired of being on the defensive, endeavouring to only avoid the deranged Outer Senshi's attacks rather than counter them with some of her own, not wanting to cause the young girl any harm. Because of the Senshi of Fire's inaction, her true love was now lying on the ground, bleeding, having taken a hit meant for her. The thought infuriated her, flowing new, blazing energy that felt like lava into her veins, and travelling on to refresh her sapped muscles.

Saturn reeled backwards as a small rivulet of red trickled out of her nose. The girl took a moment to shake her head and clear her addled mind, and then met Mars' fiery, challenging, lavender stare with one of her own, frosty, violet ones. Their eyes were parallels to one another and yet… somehow similar. Sailor Mars was aware of the irony of it all; one Inner Senshi fighting for the princess of the present, and one Outer Senshi fighting for the princess of the future. Fire against Death, free will against Fate. And of course, neither girl would ever give up on either of their princess's.

Sailor Saturn abruptly rushed at Sailor Mars, swiping at neck height with her Silence Glaive, attempting to decapitate her adversary in one fell blow. The Senshi of Fire ducked swiftly and delivered a crushing punch into the Senshi of Death's exposed stomach, the burning in the miko's tight muscles not from exhaustion any longer. She heard Saturn expel a sharp breath of air from above her, and then the Outer Senshi chopped at her as she nimbly strafed to the side, the girl's lethal weapon slicing off a few tips of her long raven locks as the strands trailed behind. Sailor Saturn promptly whirled around as Sailor Mars moved, adding another cut on her nemeses' torn up body, this one on her forearm. Sailor Mars barely felt it. The Inner Senshi stopped moving all of a sudden and lashed out brutally behind her with one leg at an unsuspecting Saturn. However, despite being taken by surprise, the pale girl, in a lightening quick manoeuvre, blocked the attack with the shaft of her Glaive, but was pushed slightly backwards by the power of the hit. Mars growled low in her throat and spun around to face her enemy. For such a frail looking thing, Sailor Saturn could certainly wield her weapon with substantial strength and dexterity.

Both combatants paused for a second, glaring at one another. Sailor Saturn twirled her Glaive in a lazy circle in her hands, wafting flakes of ash around to follow the ends of the spinning weapon. Sailor Mars merely stood watching the spectacle while she tightened the purple, and now bloodstained, makeshift bandages around her fists, not at all impressed. Without warning, the pair of senshi then bolted towards one another, both completely oblivious to the world around them, their minds entirely focused on the duel.

Sailor Saturn jabbed the butt of her Glaive into Sailor Mars' midsection, jerking her opponent back briefly, and then fluidly brought the pole up to crack excruciatingly against the raven-haired girl's jaw. The Fire Senshi blocked with her forearm as Saturn followed up her move with a slash to the side, the rigid metal of the Silence Glaive jarring her bones. She countered the attack with a daring punch to the face, mashing her fist ruthlessly against the younger girl's features. Sailor Saturn reacted quickly, hooking the curved edge of her Glaive's blade around one of Sailor Mars' legs and pulling on it, causing her assailant to stumble and also leaving a jagged scar of ragged flesh. The pale girl took advantage of the opening, and suddenly exploded into a whirlwind of destruction, swinging her Silence Glaive in a blurring display of skill, raining remorseless blow after remorseless blow against the miko. Sailor Mars moved like quicksilver, her lithe body dodging each strike, or using her forearms to deflect them, praying that her bones would hold up under the Senshi of Death's onslaught. But nevertheless, some blows broke through Mars' defences, slicing open her fuku and body even more as Saturn forced her into slow but steady retreat.

Sailor Mars felt the chain link fence that surrounded Juuban High School's rooftop against her back as she blocked yet another powerful attack from Sailor Saturn, redirecting the hit to the left. Her arms were like lead weights, feeling sluggish to move under the Senshi of Death's constant cruel barrage. The Senshi of Fire had been pinned, defeated by a fellow Sailor of all opponents. Mars had idly considered sometimes who would win in a match up between herself and another senshi, but had never really taken such thoughts seriously; they were supposed to be her friends after all. But Saturn… the dark-haired girl surely was the most formidable, even without employing her world-ending abilities. Fate… that conniving force. It had certainly outdone itself with picking Sailor Saturn to use as its tool. Sailor Mars and the Senshi of Death fought with almost equal passion… Saturn must have cared a lot for Chibi-Usa to fight like this, more than the miko had realised.

Sailor Mars suddenly scowled in fierce determination, feeling the inferno of defiance build inside her as she recalled the sight of her only love being maliciously struck down, accident or not. Defeated? Sailor Mars? The Fire Senshi felt like laughing at such a ridiculous thought, wondering where such a pessimistic notion had came from. She was defeated *only* when she was dead. Fire against Death… how very amusing. Didn't Fate know Death couldn't touch her? Fire against Death… Death never stood a chance.

Sailor Mars moved in a flash, crouching under Sailor Saturn's latest strike against her, and then pounded both her fists into the Outer Senshi's mid drift, knocking the girl back a number of steps. The princess's bodyguard then sprung out of her crouch and into the air, before grappling onto the chain link fence behind her and kicking with all her might off it, directly at her nemesis. Sailor Mars delivered a punishing flying kick to the side of Sailor Saturn's head, the impact enough to nearly bring the Senshi of Death to her knees. The Fire Senshi landed and swiftly followed up her aerial manoeuvre with a spinning heel kick, crushing her foot against the other side of Saturn's dark-haired head. The young girl cried out a strangled scream as she was struck ruthlessly in succession, the unforgiving shots to the head dazing her. Sailor Mars didn't let up however, and thrust her right fist into Sailor Saturn's face, closely followed by her left, easily bypassing the Outer Senshi's now meagre defences and forcing the wobbling girl backwards into a retreat.

Sailor Saturn brought up her Silence Glaive and wildly swung out at Sailor Mars, frantically trying to disrupt her frenzy. But it was all for naught. The Senshi of Fire nimbly evaded the flailing bladed instrument and went on with her attack, orchestrating a devastating combination on Saturn's small body, beating the girl into submission and disarming her with sharp precision strikes to her wrists, causing the Silence Glaive fly out of her grasp and slide along the grey and black ash layered ground. Sailor Mars roared out triumphantly and preformed a crippling uppercut, sending a spray of crimson skyward as Sailor Saturn's head snapped back, a satisfying crunching noise filling the air as the Senshi of Death fell limply onto her backside.

Sailor Mars glared down ferociously at her princess's assailant with clenched teeth, and then clasped her hands together with the index fingers pointing straight at her vulnerable enemy.


"NO, REI!!"

The words to activate Mars' finishing fireball were cut off by a loud and panicked shout in a familiar voice from her far left. Suddenly, images of a burnt and nearly strangled to death Sailor Venus flashed in her mind, freeing the miko from her enraged state and bringing the girl back to reality. She let her hands fall and dangle by her sides weakly, the impassioned fires inside her cooling to barely glowing embers as her abused body made its discomfort known. It had been so close. Sailor Mars looked down at the worn out Sailor Saturn as the young girl swayed where she sat. She had been about to incinerate her friend without a second thought, even pleased that she was burning the enemy who had hurt her princess. Gods, Mars had thought she had conquered the vicious side of herself already.

Sailor Mars heard a scraping sound of metal on gravel and raised her head, only to see Sailor Saturn had retrieved her Glaive and was preparing to once again swing it at her. Hadn't she had enough yet? Sailor Mars was exhausted! But before the Senshi of Death could follow through with her attack, an ebony cane suddenly stabbed down in the pole weapon's path, preventing its deadly journey towards Mars.

"That's enough!" Tuxedo Kamen said sharply, glaring sternly at Sailor Saturn from behind his mask. The prince then shot an even sterner look at Sailor Mars. The Fire Senshi stared dauntlessly back. "Both of you." The girl then noticed that the man's once white gloves were covered in blood.

"Usagi!" Mars gasped, remembering who had called out to her to cease her assault. She turned to where her princess had fallen and saw that Sailor Moon was still lying on the ground, but with her head resting on Tuxedo Kamen's rolled up cape. The Fire Senshi couldn't see Sailor Venus anywhere, or for that matter, any of the students and teachers from Juuban High School. She wondered how such a large group of people had managed to slip away without her being aware of it.

"B-But she betrayed them!" Sailor Saturn protested to Tuxedo Kamen, while pointing accusingly at Sailor Mars with her free hand. "She betrayed Chibi-Usa and Setsuna-mama!!" The Outer Senshi's eyes began welling up with unshed tears, not at all appearing like the incarnation of Death she had previous been. "She betrayed you too! *You're* supposed to be Chibi-Usa's papa, not her! She *can't* be!" Saturn wailed, and then burst into shuddering sobs, the tears now streaming down her black and blue cheeks as she wept her heart out.

"I know… I know," Tuxedo Kamen said in an as comforting tone as he could after all that had happened, kneeling down next to the distraught young girl, his eyes narrowing behind his white mask as he saw that her nose was broken. "But Chibi-Usa's mother needs you now. She's very badly hurt and needs your help. I know you're hurt too, but can you heal her?" he asked compassionately, placing a gentle hand on the Outer Senshi's back.

Sailor Saturn nodded feebly and then sniffed, before whimpering and wincing in pain. "My face hurts," she said in a small voice, before dragging her wounded body upright with careful help from Tuxedo Kamen. Despite having been mostly on the receiving end of the Senshi of Death and Rebirth's own attacks, Sailor Mars felt incredibly guilty.

Sailor Mars jogged ahead of Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Saturn as best and as fast as she could to Sailor Moon's side, collapsing to her knees as they buckled beside her injured love. She quickly but gently took one of her princess's hands in her own as she gazed worriedly down at the girl.

"It's not as bad as it looks," Sailor Moon assured her concerned lover with an only moderately noticeably grimace on her bloodless face as the raven-haired girl's frantic lavender eyes travelled over her wounded form, taking in the disturbing large red patch around her right shoulder.

"You shouldn't have done that…" Mars said softly, giving her princess's hand a light squeeze.

"I guess you must be a bad influence on me," the wounded blonde said with a faint smile but in a slightly pained voice, gripping onto her bodyguard's hand tightly. "Maybe next time you'll think twice about throwing yourself into danger, or else I just might follow your example." The girl then paused for a moment, her expression turning apprehensive, before continuing. "Rei, I--" Sailor Moon abruptly ceased talking as Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Saturn approached, the prince supporting the Outer Senshi with one arm placed gingerly around her small waist.

The masked prince looked at Sailor Moon's and Sailor Mars' clasped hands without expression while Sailor Saturn laid her own pair against the long gruesome gash along the blonde girl's right shoulder and upper arm, pouring the last vestiges of her energy into healing the injury that had been caused by her own hands in the first place. As Sailor Mars watched, the large Glaive wound slowly closed, the tattered flesh, muscle and skin re-knitting until there wasn't even a hint of a scar left, only dark red dried blood crusted about the area.

"There," Saturn sighed tiredly, easing herself carefully backwards to sit on the ground. She fidgeted for a moment, and then looked timidly at Sailor Moon, some stray tears still rolling down her cut and bruised visage from her bloodshot violet eyes. "I'm sorry, Usagi," she said, deeply apologetic, appearing like she was about to burst into tears again. "I really didn't mean to harm you, please believe me."

"I know you didn't, Hotaru," Sailor Moon replied as she sat up carefully, flexing her right arm carefully, testing her newly healed limb. She then frowned sharply at Sailor Saturn, her features a mask of firm disapproval. "But you intended to hurt Rei."

"But… Chibi-Usa… a-and Setsuna-mama…" Saturn argued softly, her lower lip quivering as she shot Mars a sour look.

Sailor Moon exhaled deeply, as if the weight of the entire celestial body that was her namesake were actually on her slender shoulders. "Whatever your reasons, that's no excuse to attack your friends. And that goes for you too, Rei."

Sailor Mars blinked at her princess. "But *I* was the one who was attacked! It was self-defence!" she exclaimed indignantly. She had almost been killed for the gods' sakes.

Sailor Moon gave her love a level look. "True. But we both know you had other motivations to fight as well," she said in a matter-of-fact tone.

The Fire Senshi lowered her head, escaping her princess's stern blue gaze. "You can't blame me for that…" she muttered under her breath, glancing furtively at Sailor Moon out of the corner of one eye.

Sailor Moon's look softened marginally at her senshi's remark, and the miko felt the girl squeeze her hand again.

"We should detransform and join Minako and the other survivors downstairs," Tuxedo Kamen harshly cut in, forestalling any further conversation between Sailor Moon and her personal bodyguard. "Hotaru and I saw more police vehicles and ambulances heading this way when we arrived. I think I can hear their sirens down below. It would be best if we blend in with the other students and teachers and take advantage of the paramedics' services." The prince gave the three Sailor Senshi a quick look over. "All of you look like you need it," he added in a monotone.

"Mamo--" Sailor Moon began tentatively, all the previous confidence that had been shown when dressing down Mars and Saturn now vanishing from her.

"Not now," Tuxedo Kamen said in almost a snarl, cutting off the princess's small, nervous voice. "Later."

Sailor Moon nodded anxiously, seeming on the verge of tears herself, threatening to join the quietly sniffling Sailor Saturn in her weeping. Sailor Mars eyed Tuxedo Kamen coldly as he reached a hand down to the princess, inviting the blonde to take it and be helped to her feet. But before Sailor Moon could even entertain the notion, her senshi swiftly stood up --despite her body being in a depleted and tormented condition-- bringing her true love up with her, still holding the girl's hand securely. The prince narrowed his eyes at Sailor Mars and moved his proffered helping hand to Sailor Saturn, giving aid to the utterly exhausted and badly injured Outer Senshi instead, who readily excepted after looking bitterly at Sailor Moon's and the miko's clasped hands. Sailor Moon quickly extracted her hand from Sailor Mars', much to the raven-haired girl's surprise and disappointment. The Senshi of Fire wasn't really concerned however; she had expected her true love to be somewhat edgy, especially now that the prince knew about the blonde's close relationship with her best friend.

Sailor Mars detransformed as her comrades did the same and then gave one last look around Juuban High School's roof, taking in the abundant amount of bodies, all mostly human ones now that the youma cadavers had decayed away to nothing, apparently having a detrimental reaction to air in death like all the other types the miko had encountered before. So many innocent people dead… Rei was dreading the journey back down to the ground floor of the building, not wishing to relive the memories of seeing the results of so many people sadistically slaughtered. She spared a glance at Hotaru, but the young girl avoided her eyes. Fine. The miko hadn't meant to hurt the Outer Senshi so terribly, but Hotaru *had* initiated the duel-- Rei had a right to defend herself. She ignored the stray thought that said she had a right to punish all who harmed her divine angel as well.

But in the end, all of today's nightmarish events didn't truly matter. As promised, Usagi had informed Mamoru about Rei, and even if it weren't exactly the way the blonde or the miko had intended, the outcome would be the same. After Usagi had received medical attention, the girl was sure to have a long awaited conversation with her soon to be ex-boyfriend. Rei wondered whether the blonde would want her comforting presence when she talked to Mamoru or not. She had to admit; she did have a perverse desire to see the man's face when Usagi told him it was over between them, and that she wished to pursue a future with the Fire Senshi instead. So far Mamoru's reaction had been fairly impassive, but the miko could tell he was holding everything in… perhaps it would be better if Rei stayed by Usagi's after all; who knew how the prince would take the princess's rejection.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

I guess I might get some flames from Saturn fans for having her more or less lose the fight, but oh well. I figured I motivated Mars enough to whale on her anyway, and painted Saturn as a not too shabby fighter.

Not much happened in this chapter in retrospect. Fight scene chapters are like that I suppose. Don't worry; next chapter will have more stuff. I could've added more to this one instead, but I figured most people would prefer I update now rather than in two days time. ^_^