Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Crystal Tokyo, California ❯ Chapter 7
Haruka ran downstairs quickly, tucking her shirt into her pants, then making sure her gunbelt was buckled securely around her waist. "How many are there?" she quickly asked the group waiting by the stairs. Michiru, she noted, was right behind her, waiting for the answer.
"I saw five," Hotaru volunteered the information.
"Probably Sapphire and the sisters," Setsuna said with a frown. Haruka looked at her quizzically, and she explained, "From what I've heard, Diamond himself doesn't like endangering himself, so it's either Sapphire or Emerald."
Emerald held her breath for a moment, but the conversation quickly moved on.
Haruka checked her guns, then carefully pulled on her vest, the tin star shining in the light. "I'm going out to meet him," Haruka resolved, "and volunteers?"
Makoto's uninjured arm shot up, and Haruka shook her head with a smile, "You've got a more important job to do." She looked confused, so Haruka explained, "You've got to take care of our town doctor," she nodded to Ami, "and I've got another job for you, too."
"What's that?" Makoto wondered.
"Keep Setsuna here," Haruka said firmly.
"What?" Setsuna barked.
"If the town loses it's Sheriff, it's in trouble," Haruka said intensely, "but if it loses it's Mayor, it could be dead." She met Setsuna's gaze, until she finally nodded her agreement.
"I'll go," Hotaru said calmly. She pulled a gun from a thigh holster, and checked it over with cool competency.
Usagi looked torn, then she ran over to hug Hotaru to her. "Be careful, love," she urged her, not keeping her voice down at all as she held the older woman close.
"I'm in," Rei said, and Minako nodded, a determined gleam in her eye.
A young woman pushed her head inside, "They're at the edge of town!"
"Let's go," Haruka nodded to her little band.
Michiru stopped her before she could leave, a few tears glimmering in her eyes. "Good luck," she whispered to her softly, then she kissed her lingeringly. "Please, come back to me," she then ordered Haruka softly.
Emerald fondled the knife she had hidden carefully as she watched them walk outside. She excused herself, then slipped out the back of the Palace, behind the buildings to a clear view of the coming fight. 'One toss of a blade,' she thought, 'and it'll be all over.'
Sapphire saw them gathered in front of the Palace as he and the four sisters rode down the main street of the little town. The place seemed deserted, with everyone hiding indoors until the fighting was over. "Nice to meet you at last," the handsome blue hared man said to Haruka with a respectful nod of his head.
"The pleasure's all mine, I'm sure," Haruka smiled wryly. A small gesture, and Rei, Minako and Hotaru fanned out slightly behind her. "I suppose you and your friends aren't here to surrender?" she asked casually.
Sapphire smiled back, "Sorry, no. I'm here to call you out, sheriff." With that, he dismounted, quickly followed by Catsy, Avery, Prisma and Birdy.
"And your friends?" Haruka asked, looking over the four sisters coolly.
"Insurance that we'll get our fight," Sapphire shrugged.
Rei tugged on Haruka's arm, "You're not going to have a gunfight with him, are you? Why don't we just try to arrest them?"
"Are you that sure where all the stray bullets will go?' Haruka asked Rei quietly.
"Good point," Rei sighed.
"All right, I'll fight you," Haruka agreed loudly, "but on one condition."
"And what's that?" Sapphire asked her cautiously. Tenoh was known to be a fair fighter, but you could never be too careful.
"You're four friends peacefully surrender if you lose," Haruka said evenly.
Catsy loudly squawked at that and Sapphire had to smile slightly. "A moment," he asked Haruka, then turned to address the four ladies. "It's a good deal," he said to them quietly after he had led them a little ways from Haruka and the others.
"We'll fight with you to the end," Birdy said tearfully.
"Fight by his side, dummy," Avery corrected her.
Birdy looked at her blankly, then shrugged, "Whatever."
"If I lose this fight, you've all better off in jail," Sapphire sighed. "Diamond will be enraged, literally, and he'll take it out on you. Besides," and with that he smiled bravely, "I just might win."
First Catsy reluctantly nodded, then Birdy. Avery sighed, then nodded, and finally Prisma met Sapphire's eyes. "You're sure?" she asked him softly. He nodded, and she sighed, "Yes."
"Watch my back," he said, quietly over his shoulder, then Sapphire walked towards Haruka. "How do you want to do this?" he asked her softly.
"I start from one end of the street, you from the other. We walk towards each other, and fire at will," Haruka said simply. She was calm, not a quaver showing in her voice.
"Understood," Sapphire kept it short, so that his own nervousness wouldn't show. He passed Prisma and the sisters, "Spread out in case anyone tries anything."
"Got it," Avery nodded, and the four moved out.
Haruka walked up the street, and tried not to feel an itch right between her shoulder blades. "Keep an eye on the girls," Haruka said to Hotaru softly. She, Rei and Minako spread out carefully.
Prisma crouched by a building, watching Haruka walk. 'I could kill her, save Sapphire the trouble,' she thought, when she felt something prick at the back of her neck.
"Give me your gun," the very familiar voice ordered. Prisma turned a bit, and saw Emerald standing right behind her.
"Emerald, what are you doing?" Prisma demanded.
"This is going to be a fair fight," Emerald said softly, adding, "and around here, they just call me Emi." Prisma handed the gun over reluctantly, and at a soft sound they looked up to see what was happening.
Sapphire brushed his hair back, looking down the street at Haruka. 'Too far for a good shot, so I guess I start walking,' he thought, and with a jingle of his spurs he began to pace towards her.
Haruka walked smoothly, her hands resting loosely at her side. 'Will I hesitate again?' she wondered, squinting a bit to keep the blowing dust from her eyes.
Sapphire walked carefully, flexing his fingers. 'Not a gentleman's game,' he smiled slightly, 'this will be decided by who hits first.'
Haruka saw his hands move, and kept herself from going for her guns. 'The closer the better, really,' she thought grimly.
"How near are they going to get?" Rei whispered softly.
Catsy heard it, somehow. "Hopefully, not much more. I don't think my nerves are going to take any more,' she sighed.
Haruka didn't know what, exactly, clued her in. But she scrambled for her gun, even as he drew, then there was a couch, and her side exploded in pain.
'I beat her to the draw,' Sapphire thought happily, then his heart dropped. 'I missed,' he realized, as Haruka straightened up, her own gun rising.
It was all one motion, arm raised, aimed, then Haruka smoothly pulled the trigger. Sapphire jerked, then like a rag doll he collapsed bonelessly to the ground. She kept her gun leveled at him for any sign of movement, but he lay there still.
"Sapphire!" Prisma cried, running to his side. Emerald let her go, knowing how the woman had cared for the boy. The other sisters ran towards him, gathering around the young man.
Haruka swayed, and would have fallen but for the support of her friends. She noticed Ami at her side, "Aren't you supposed to be inside?"
"If my friends didn't keep getting themselves shot, I'd be inside," Ami complained even as she tore open the bottom of Haruka's shirt. "Straight through the side," she sighed in relief, then began to bandage the wound.
"Rei, Minako, Hotaru," Haruka ordered as she nodded to the four grieving girls, "go see if they're going to give up, or if we'll have another fight on our hands." She noticed Emerald and smiled, "Thanks for disarming the one girl."
Prisma, with the other's help, hoisted up Sapphire's body. Before Hotaru could ask, "We gave our word, and we'll stand by it."
With some help, Haruka got the jail cells unlocked, and the girls locked up. "We'll deal with Sapphire," Rei volunteered before sending Haruka into the Palace to rest.
"I need... to confess something," Emerald said softly, the ladies of palace gathered in the dance hall not long after.
"I know," Setsuna smiled.
"You know?" Emerald echoed, more than a bit surprised.
"You're real name's not Emi, it's Emerald," Setsuna smiled with a great deal of satisfaction. Strangely, about the only ones who looked startled were Haruka and Emerald.
"You knew, and you didn't tell me?" Haruka demanded.
"And why didn't you do anything about it?" Emerald asked faintly.
"You didn't do anything, other than signal Diamond that one time," Setsuna shrugged. At Haruka's odd look she added, "I've always considered Crystal Tokyo to be about second chances. Emerald deserves one as much as anyone."
"Well, you did disarm Prisma," Haruka conceded. Her eyes widened, "Do you think you could lead us to Diamond's camp?"
"Not tonight!" Michiru quickly interjected. She had stuck to Haruka's side like glue since the others had brought her in, and showed no signs of stopping. "You need time to recover before you risk riding," she said softly.
Haruka looked to Ami for aide, but she shook her head. "If you try riding, you'll tear open those nice new stitches I gave you," she said fiercely.
"I just hate the idea of Diamond getting away," Haruka sighed softly.
Diamond sighed, trying to pack away the camp as quickly as possible. He had to get away before the town organized to go after him. 'And before Beryl realizes I failed,' he thought grimly. Escaping her had to be his priority, now.
The mule glared at him, then quite deliberately stomped on his foot. "Oww!" Diamond whimpered softly.
He saw a figure coming up the path, and tensed, going for his gun. Then a feeling of relief washed over him. "Emerald!" he called out joyfully. The green hared woman waved back, then hurried up the path towards him.
"Sapphire and the girls have failed," Emerald reported grimly.
"I'm just glad I've still got you," Diamond admitted, pulling her in a rough hug.
Emerald stepped away, and he blinked in surprise realizing she had grabbed both of his guns. "All clear!" she yelled, and flung the guns away.
Rei, Minako, and Hotaru ran around the trail bend and pointed their guns at him, even as Rei cried, "Move and I'll quite happily shoot you!"
"You betrayed me!" Diamond exclaimed, looking in shock at Emerald.
"Well, I learned that from the best," and Emerald smiled at him evilly.
Diamond blinked in surprise as he was lead to a nearby stagecoach. The door popped open, and he gaped at who sat inside.
Haruka smiled cheerfully, "They said I was too hurt to ride a horse, so I talked them into this stagecoach." Much more seriously, "I'm afraid you're under arrest."
Setsuna smiled at him grimly, "It's been a long time, Diamond. I'm looking forward to visiting you in jail."
Haruka sat back after he was led away, her face remarkably pale. "Let's get back to town," the young woman said tiredly.
"Are you all right?" Setsuna asked her softly.
"Nothing a couple of days of rest won't cure," Haruka reassured her. "I saw Usagi and Hotaru talking with you earlier, did they...?"
"They finally told be they were involved," Setsuna chuckled, adding "About time!" She looked over at Haruka, "What about you and Michiru?"
"I'd make her a honest woman if I could," Haruka admitted.
"You can," Setsuna smiled. At Haruka's astonished look, "It's in the town charter. I can perform marriages for any couple who request it."
It took a few months, all told. The proposal wasn't a surprise to anyone involved, but the wedding itself took some time to organize. Everyone wanted to be involved, and Setsuna and the other organizers tried their best to fit them in.
Setsuna looked good in the suit, but then again, she looked good in almost anything. At least, that was what Emerald was beginning to think.
Haruka stood at the bar of the Palace, her own black suit form fitting and elegant. Instead of her usual tin star she wore a gold one, and her hair was carefully groomed.
Michiru walked up the aisle in white, a luminous smile on her face. She and Haruka exchanged a lingering look, before taking up a attentive stance before the mayor.
"We are here," Setsuna smiled, "to see two people who love each other be wed. If anyone objects, speak now or forever hold your peace." Silence for long moments. "Do you, Michiru, take Haruka as your wedded partner?" Setsuna asked her.
In a voice than rang through the room, Michiru answered, "I do!"
"And do you, Haruka, take Michiru as your wedded partner?" Setsuna asked her in turn.
Haruka smiled, an expression of honest happiness that she never really expected to have, and said "I do!"
The rings were silently handed to each of them, then they were exchanged. "I now pronounce you married. You may kiss the brides," Setsuna smiled.
Haruka gently cradled Michiru in her arms and kissed her thoroughly as the Palace erupted in cheers all around them.
Well, at least it's the end for now.
This was my first real western, and after writing it I've developed a great deal more respect for those who write in this genre. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I did enjoy it. The whole idea of grafting the Sailor Moon cast onto a western tale was odd enough that I could get away with a lot, thank goodness.
The idea itself came from talking with another author of Sailor Moon fics. She had featured an English style duel with pistols, and I mentioned that she could maybe write a western. She bounced the idea back at me, and I decided to write it.
One idea that I had that I wasn't able to work in was the idea of Haruka intentionally passing as a man. I may write a prelude of some kind based around that, more in the tradition of a spaghetti western. Haruka goes in to town as a gun for hire, and chaos results.