Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Neptune: Year One ❯ XII ( Chapter 15 )

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

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned by Naoko Takeushi, Toei and Kodansha.



It was a rainy Saturday in late March of 1992. Two figures faced off in a park, surrounded by trees and a small brook with a small stone bridge nearby to bear witness. The girl got a message to come here, and brought an umbrella with her. On non-rainy days the park could be quite beautiful, and perhaps her boyfriend wished to take advantage of the setting for some romantic purpose. When she got to their rendezvous point however, she could see in his eyes what was coming even before he said it.

"A huge girl like you just isn't my type."

The speaker, a high school senior, immediately regretted his choice of words when he noticed the effect they had on his girlfriend Makoto. The girl let her umbrella drop, cold rain droplets fell on her and mixed with the tears that were running down her cheeks. He couldn't bear the look of pain and devastation in her eyes any longer, and so he turned and left, leaving the brunette with the ponytail standing there in the rain as she felt her whole world crumbling.

He walked out the west gate, turned right, and passed Michiru as she was walking in the opposite direction. She wore a tan rain coat and held a black umbrella above her head as she made her way down the sidewalk, checking her watch as she proceeded past a post office box. Coming to the end of the block, which met at a four way intersection, she turned left to face the westward flow of traffic. Her teeth were starting to chatter a bit in the cold wet weather as she checked her watch again. Right on time, just like clockwork, she heard the motor in the distance. Even in the crowded streets of Tokyo traffic, the sound of Haruka Tenoh's new motorcycle was distinct.

She looked up from her watch. Haruka wore her red motorcycle gear today. Michiru mused over whether she might've worn that one today because the red gear was warmer or perhaps more water resistant. She watched silently but intently as the other girl rode up to the intersection, waited for the green light, then sped off down the road away from her. Ten-thirty, just like clockwork.

She turned once Haruka was out of sight. Over the last three months she'd watched a great deal of Haruka Tenoh. She now knew that the girl loved salads, especially the caesar salad she ordered at a restaurant near the garage she frequented. She knew that she craved speed, whether it came from running, driving or motorcycle riding. And she'd also observed that for all her flirting she didn't seem to have anyone in her life, at least not long-term. She observed all this and more over the past few months, from a distance.

That was all about to change.

In a few days, weather permitting, the first inter-school track meet of the season would happen. Boys and girls from at least five schools would be participating in the events, and she'd already secured herself a ticket for the event. Elsa Gray would be there too, participating both the hurdles and the thousand meter. Michiru planned to ask Elsa to introduce her to Haruka.

"Shouldn't you be practicing your violin, Michiru-chan?"

Michiru looked behind her, startled a bit to see Pluto walking up behind her. The Guardian of the Time Gate was in disguise, but her aura gave her away to the young violinist. She was dressed fashionably in a dark blue jacket over a skirt and blouse that showed off her curves and long legs. She held a matching blue umbrella, and once she caught up with Michiru the two began to walk together. "I understand a painting of yours is going to be on exhibit."

"Hai, it's to be shown during a charity event aboard a private yacht. I made a painting of my nightmares. I've seen the end of the world so many times in my sleep I decided I needed to capture it on canvas, to make it tangible. Do you know," she said, turning to Pluto with a half-smile, "I've done paintings of flowers, landscapes, nuns and fellow students. It took a painting of death and destruction though for me to get noticed by others." She looked ahead once more as she added, "I'm also going to be playing my violin on the night of the showing."

"Yes, I know. I have the program," Pluto said, pulling the flier for the event out of her jacket pocket. "That's why I asked if you shouldn't be practicing your violin right now?"

"You're right of course," Michiru answered. "I just wanted to see her again though, to be in her presence once more."

"Have you decided upon a course of action?" Pluto asked as they neared the bus depot.

"Hai. I plan to approach her after the track meets in three days."

"Would you like my help?"

"No. Thank you, but I want... I need to do this myself."

Pluto smiled. "I understand."

"Michiru-chan, what are you doing out this way?"

Both Michiru and Pluto turned to see Sister Claire coming up behind them carrying an umbrella and two shopping bags filled with groceries and plant fertilizer. She'd been out shopping with the salary the school provided for her, and was on her way to the bus depot to head back to her greenhouse.

"Konichiwa, Claire-sama," Michiru said, "We, ah... We were just out out to walk through the park to find interesting landscapes for me to paint, when this rain seemed to come out of nowhere."

"Yes, that may be, but look at you. You're chilled right to the bone." Sister Claire then turned her attention to Michiru's companion. "Konichiwa, my name is Sister Claire, and you are?"

Pluto and Michiru looked from the nun to each other and then back to the nun again.

"Who, this?" Michiru asked as her mind quickly formulated a response, "Why, this is my older cousin, Meioh-san."

Pluto arched an eyebrow at that. The Japanese word for the planet Pluto was Meiosei. In one fell swoop Michiru gave her a name and made a play on words at the same time.

"It's nice to meet you, Meioh-san," Sister Claire said as she bowed politely to Pluto. "I'm sorry though, I didn't catch your first name."

Michiru looked nervous, "Her first name..."

"Setsuna," Pluto answered quickly, "My name's Setsuna Meioh."

Now it was Michiru's turn to look surprised. "Setsuna" was the Japanese term for momentary, which could be seen as a way of integrating her nature as temporal guardian into her name. It could also be seen as a play on "setsunai" though, the Japanese word for painful. Given her solitary nature as the Guardian of the Gates of Time, Michiru half suspected that Pluto meant both meanings in the name.

"Setsuna?" Sister Claire asked as the bus came up to its appointed stop, "That's a rather pretty name, isn't it? Are you coming with your cousin on the bus?"

"No," Pluto answered, "I was just here to see her to the depot. Michiru-chan," she said as she turned back to her fellow Senshi, "Why don't you help Sister Claire with her bags, and we'll talk again later." She then leaned in and whispered, "And good luck."

Pluto turned away as Michiru and Sister Claire got on the bus. She walked into the now abandoned park just as the rain began to pick up steam, changed into her Senshi form and disappeared into the Time Gate once more.


She took another long swig straight from the bottle, welcoming the buzz and intoxication that went along with it like an old familiar friend. The phone next to the computer monitor rang. She frowned, knowing who it was. Taking another gulp, she answered it. "Whuzzup, professor-sama?"

"Zultan," the voice asked on the other end, "Are you drinking?"

"O- only a l-l-little," she slurred, "Helps me t' think."

"Yes, well I hope you're busy thinking of how to fix your debacles as of late. Have you killed Sailor Neptune yet?"

"No," she admitted, "N-not yet. But I 'ave a p-plan."

"Really?" the Professor asked skeptically, "And what might that be?"

Zultan smiled as she reached over and lit a cigarette. "Give me two po-o-ods and I'll tell ya..."


Elsa Gray looked up past the grandstands. It was a bit nippy after the last two days of rain, but today there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Looking at her competition, she saw a familiar face. So Haruka had decided to keep the boy's haircut, it would seem. Thinking back, she didn't know if she'd ever spoken to her before. She'd run on the outside of the pack last time, so chances were that the blonde probably didn't even notice her last time. That gave her a chance at a possible psych-out. With a smirk, she decided to walk over.


Haruka stood in the streets and watched as the skies turned blood. The darkness once more began to swallow everything into itself, just as it always did during all her nightmares lately. She couldn't run away, it moved too quickly for that. All she could do was watch in horror at the devastation.

"The silence is approaching."

Haruka turned. The girl in the funny sailor outfit was there too, floating in the air above her. Her eyes were closed, and her hands were clasped together in a prayer like fashion. Around her, a sea-green aura seemed to shine.

"We must find the Messiah quickly. The ones who can do that are you, and I." She opened her eyes and looked down at Haruka, her pleading gaze cutting into the blonde as everything began to go blurry...


Haruka came to with a start. She pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes as she tried to calm down. "That again," she whispered. The vision was a familiar one by now. This was, however, the first time she could remember ever having had it while awake. That fact alone left her a bit shaken.

"I hear you're very fast."

Haruka turned to the speaker, a runner with dusky skin and reddish brown hair.

"But I won't lose," Elsa said with a grin, trying to get into the other runner's head. She expected some sort of wisecrack remark or comeback. Instead, Haruka just stared at her hard for a second or two, like she was trying to bring herself into focus.

"On your marks," the voice announced. Haruka, Elsa and the five other runners quickly squatted down into position, awaiting the start of the race. "Ready!" Elsa quickly glanced over to Haruka. The girl resembled a lioness ready to pounce. At the sound of the gun, all seven girls in the race rushed forward. Haruka took the decisive lead early, running like a demon down the track. The sound of the wind rustling echoed in her ears even as she tried to run away from her dreams and visions down the track.

Haruka crossed the finish line, only dimly aware of the other runners finishing the race behind her or the cheering of the crowd. She went back to her gym bag she set below the bleachers near where the students from her school were sitting. It was still relatively chilly as she put on a pair of purple sweatpants and a sweatshirt for warmth.

"Tenoh Haruka-san."

Haruka turned to see the dark-skinned runner from earlier coming up to her, the girl smiling in a show of good sportsmanship.

"I had heard rumors about you," Elsa said as she kept up the pretext of not having raced Haruka before. "You really are amazing. I have someone I want to introduce you to. Come on over, Michiru."

Haruka turned from Elsa and saw a breathtaking vision coming towards her. The girl's wavy shoulder length aquamarine hair framed her face and slender swan-like neck perfectly. And what a face it did frame, with deep dark blue eyes that sparkled as she returned the blonde's gaze, a nose worthy of a Michaelangelo sculpture, and full rounded lips that were formed into a shy half-smile. She came closer, clutching a sketchbook close to her chest.

As she gazed upon the girl, Haruka could've sworn she heard faint music coming from somewhere in the distance, along with the faint scent of roses.

"This is Kaioh Michiru-san. She's really intelligent, and she's said to be a prodigious painter. She says she's interested in you."

"You aren't sweating at all," Michiru said as she came over to stand next to Elsa and across from Haruka, "Perhaps you were holding back quite a bit?"

Haruka smirked at that. "What do you mean?"

Michiru smiled as she leaned forward ever so slightly. "Can't you hear the sound of wind rustling?"

Haruka's jaw dropped, the scent of flowers and sound of music forgotten in a flash as a sinking feeling took hold of her. It was her, the girl from her visions, the one who spoke of grails and Messias and past lives and Senshi.

As they continued to stare at one another, Haruka realized that all this time it was her, Michiru, whom she'd been running away from these past few months. She swallowed hard as she quickly worked to regain her composure.

"You're weird," she finally said as she bent down and picked up her gym bag, "So, what do you want with me?" she asked, turning her back to Michiru as she gazed at her over her shoulder.

Michiru should've expected the response, especially since she'd fought against her own destiny for so long. Still, coming from the girl before her, the rejection hurt nonetheless. "Would you be a model for one of my drawings?" she asked, looking down at her sketchbook then quickly bringing her eyes back up to Haruka.

Haruka looked away from Michiru. "I'll pass," she said dismissively as she started to walk away, "I don't like stuff like that."

Michiru watched silently as Haruka headed for the locker room, a small sigh escaping her as the blonde disappeared behind the door.

"Michiru-chan," Elsa asked as she placed a hand on her classmate's shoulder, "Are you okay?"

"Hai," she muttered half-heartedly, "I'll be fine."

Elsa shook her head. "Hey, don't let a jerk like that get to you. Come on, Takaiyo is working one of the concession stands with her sempai Chieko. Let's go check up on them, and maybe the four of us can do something together."

Michiru slowly nodded her head. "Hai," she said as she followed Elsa. Looking back over her shoulder at the locker room doors though, she narrowed her eyes determinedly. This wasn't over yet, she told herself. Not by a long shot.

-To Be Continued-