Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Neptune: Year One ❯ Interlude III ( Chapter 14 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Neptune: Year One

Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or any of the characters in the Sailor Moon franchise. They are all the property of Naoko Takeushi.


-Interlude III-

It was a cold morning in early February, the sky was cloudy and a northeasterly breeze swept through Tokyo, carrying with it the ocean chill. Haruka yawned as she put on her heavy sweat shirt over a white tee-shirt and slipped on her sweatpants over her thermal leggings. She put on a yellow knit hat, tied on her running sneakers, and left out the front door of her student dorm. After a series of warm-up stretches, she set out.

The sky was just beginning to turn a pinkish hue, the sun not yet visible over the trees and buildings surrounding the high school campus as she jogged around the track behind the school. She'd had another dream again, the one about the end of the world. This time though, she saw the girl clearly. She wore a sort of sailor inspired costume, had long wavy aquamarine hair, wore a tiara, and had piercing deep blue eyes. She whispered of fate, past lives and other things that made sense at the time but now that she was awake were either half-forgotten or simply left her baffled.

Haruka left the track and began to run cross country through the manicured grass lawn of the school and out towards the public park that lay adjacent. She realized that she was running away again, but she wasn't quite sure yet from what. She'd been accepted into Mugan, and would begin there next year. Her parents had formally cut her off after she'd come out to them, but her late aunt's inheritance would be enough to at least see her through to high school graduation. But her dreams...

Her dreams frightened her. They hinted at a destiny, at something monumental that was coming and that she was to be a part of. Her and the girl from her dreams. Haruka already had a dream though. She wanted to be a formula one racer. It was all she'd ever dreamed of since she was a young girl sitting up on the big couch in the living room next to her father watching motor sports up on TV. She wasn't about to give her hopes and dreams up, not for some silly recurring dream that probably meant nothing.

But then, if it meant nothing, why was she so pensive about the whole thing?

She jogged through the park and out into a residential district, her breath rising up in white whiffs in the cool of the February morning. Already the snow was melting in places, and as she ran she thought of the season's first track meets at the end of next month. As she began to run down the sidewalk past the houses that lined the street, she noted something unusual. Up until now, the only sounds she'd been aware of were of her feet striking the ground and her steady breathing. But now, a third sound had joined in.

The sound of wind rustling.

She looked around. The trees were motionless, and the flag draped up in front of one of the local grammar schools hung limply from the pole. Yet still, as she continued on past the two story house across the street, she couldn't shake the sound of the wind billowing.


The small girl opened her eyes slowly. The sun was just beginning to rise up over the horizon. She loved to watch the sunrise, the way the colors danced and splashed across the park and houses. She sat up too quickly however, and went into a coughing fit. The frail girl reached over to her nightstand for her inhaler, taking two quick puffs before she was able to catch her breath.

She didn't used to be this way. She used to be a spunky and sprightly little girl, always full of laughter and mischief. Her earliest memories were of her mother cooking apple pies in the Fall, the intoxicating scent sending the girl into ecstasy in anticipation. She could remember sneaking a taste, and how her mother chided her for it, only to then console her as the overly sensitive girl began to cry.

She had faint memories of her father from that early time. Sitting at the breakfast table drinking coffee and reading his paper, or kissing her goodnight along with her mother. Mostly though she could remember he was always leaving, whether it was to go to his laboratory in the basement or to his job as a professor at the college he worked at.

She was happy then. She was healthy and loved then too.

Then, when she was five, the incident happened. An explosion in her father's lab took away her health and her mother's life, as well as all the happy times she'd once known.

Slowly, cautiously, she got out of her bed, the mattress and much of the rest of her room covered with stuffed toy animals. She put on her dark purple bathrobe, slipped on a pair of slippers, and brought her inhaler with her just in case. She wanted to see the sunrise up close, to remember that not everything was dark and somber. She walked to the window and looked out, resting the palm of her hand on the glass.

The corners of her lips slowly curved upward as she saw the way the sun cast gold and magenta highlights on the large tree just outside her window. As she looked out further, she could see a jogger running along the sidewalk. From the long distance she had no way of knowing if it was a boy or girl, but whoever it was, they were obviously quite fit to be able to keep up with the pace they were running at. The girl was fixated on the jogger, imagining what it must be like to be so healthy and energetic. She didn't hear the door to her bedroom open or the soft footsteps coming up behind her as she continued to look out. It wasn't until she saw the reflection in the window that she was alerted to the other's presence.

"You'd like to be out there too, wouldn't you?" Kaolinite asked with a sneer, "To run and enjoy the outdoors yourself."

The girl looked away from the window, her violet eyes focusing up at the redheaded woman leering down at her.

"You can't though, can you? You're a sickly and frail asthmatic, Hotaru-chan, and you'll never be anything more than that. Dreams are for those with the ability to make their wishes true, not for someone like you. So get dressed for school, and leave such fantasies behind."

As Kaolinite left, little Hotaru hung her head and sighed. Turning back to the window, she saw that the jogger was gone. Did even the jogger not want to have anything to do with her? The thought made her feel even sadder as she left the window to get dressed for another day of school.

As she began to dress though, a thought occurred to her. What if the jogger wasn't just going to jog by her window today, what if they were going to do so tomorrow too? And maybe the next day? Who knows, maybe the person would jog by her window from now on. The thought somehow lifted her spirits a bit as she slipped her skirt on. If the jogger went by every morning, wouldn't it give her something wonderful to look forward to every morning?

Hotaru finished dressing and left her bedroom, the thought of her new early morning friend giving her a reason to smile as she descended the stairs to grab breakfast before school.


Haruka retraced her steps through the park onto the school's grounds. Seeing her dorm once more, she let loose and sprinted the last leg of it. She wanted to forget about dreams, about school, about everything. She wanted to become the wind. To be just like the wind, wrestling free from the domination of gravity and plunging forth into the vast reaches of the sky.

Reaching the building, she finally stopped as she gasped for air, her lungs burning and her legs feeling like lead. After stretching once more, she went in to take a shower before her classes began.

-End Third Interlude-