Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Neptune: Year One ❯ XVI ( Chapter 20 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
-Neptune: Year One-
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is the property of Naoko Takeushi, Toei and Kodansha.
The gallery closed its doors for the night, art critics and admirers raving about the young new artist in their midst. Michiru posed for several photographs alongside her works before pulling out her violin at the end of the exhibit in answer to a request by a French connoisseur to display her musical talents as well. She seemed bright and cheerful to everyone but Takaiyo, who'd been her roommate long enough to see that behind her smiles there was something wrong.
As they now got back to their dorm room and could at last talk candidly, Takaiyo came over to her with a look of concern. "Michiru-chan, are you okay?"
Michiru sat down gingerly on her bed and looked up at the redhead. "Okay? Why, what do you mean?" she asked demurely.
"I mean that before you left the art gallery for a bit you seemed fine. A bit distant maybe, but other than that you were fine. Then, after you came back, you seemed stiff, as if you'd hurt yourself."
Michiru chuckled. "Takaiyo, you're imagining things. Do you really think I could've played the violin like I did back at the gallery if I was 'stiff?'"
Takaiyo narrowed her eyes a bit. She turned around and walked over to her dresser. Next to a small second place statuette she and the other members of the Saint Agatha Academy Girl's Cricket Team had won at the inter school junior finals was her lucky cricket ball. She picked it up. "Hey, Michiru-chan," she said as she turned around and lightly tossed the ball to her roommate, "Catch."
Michiru was taken off guard. She reached out with both hands and caught it, but the action of doing so caused her face to contort in pain as she put strain on her injured back and arm. Takaiyo came over and knelt down in front of her, "Michiru-chan," she said in a soft voice as she put her hands over the artist's, "What happened when you left the gallery?"
Michiru lowered her eyes. "I... I slipped and fell," she said as she got up from the bed. "Now, please, let it go," she said as she passed the cricket ball back over to her roommate. She ignored Takaiyo's worried eyes as she walked out of the room and headed for the stairway to the roof of the building. The sun had set, and as the stars started to show themselves she reflected on the events of the day. Zultan and the Death Busters had crossed the line this time, when they decided to change innocent children into daemons. The change of tactic meant that no one was safe, that the enemy was willing to stop at nothing to attain their goals of bringing the silence.
Then, there was Haruka Tenoh. Michiru brought her hand up to her forehead and allowed a groan as she remembered all she'd confessed to the other girl. She practically came out and said she was in love with her, even giving her the chance to back away from her calling because of her feelings for her. Somehow, after stalking the girl for months, attraction had turned to lust, and lust had turned to love, and it frightened her because deep down she knew it made her vulnerable.
According to Pluto, fate and destiny had brought her and Haruka back together in this lifetime. Somehow, in spite of the danger they'd face and despite her feelings for the racer possibly being an Achilles heel, the thought that they were destined to be together somehow gave her strength to carry on.
She turned away from the night sky and headed back down to her room. Sleep would not come easily to her, but she wanted to at least try to be well rested for tomorrow when she and Haruka saw one another again. She started to think of what would be best to wear for tomorrow, but quickly set such thoughts aside. This wasn't a date, she reminded herself. They were Senshi, chosen to find the Messiah and the talismans before the Silence and the end of the world could come. She had to stay focused.
She re-entered her room. After once more assuring Takaiyo that she was fine, she changed into her nightgown and slipped into bed.
She turned away from the night sky, the stars disappearing behing the heavy orange drapes of her bedroom. How was she supposed to get to sleep tonight? She had no way of knowing if Michiru was alright or not, or if she went to the hospital after all.
"You don't rely on anyone else. And you are always honest with your feelings."
Haruka changed into her pajamas and pulled back the covers on her bed.
"I know more about you than you do."
The scene kept replaying in her head, over and over. She turned off the light and headed to her bed.
"When I finally saw you and realized you were the one... I was so happy."
Haruka stopped and took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. Part of her still wanted to run away, to give the wand back and turn her back on it all. The part that wanted to watch over and protect Michiru however was growing, as was the part that wanted to see the violinist smile at her again, and to hold her in her arms once more. Not like last time though, when she was injured and Haruka was fearful for the girl's life, but she longed to hold her under different circumstances. Say, in a romantic setting, by candlelight...
Haruka knew where this was going. She was going to have enough trouble getting to sleep tonight without thinking of Michiru Kaioh's beautiful deep blue eyes, or her long luxuriantly wavy sea green hair that reminded one of the waves of the ocean, or those beautiful full lips. Haruka could feel herself growing excited, a low throaty moan escaping her lips as her hands slowly traveled south, her body seeking release. She had two choices; give in, or get up and take a cold shower.
She gave in.
Several minutes later, still shaking and with sweat beading on her forehead, Haruka finally drifted off to sleep. The smile however didn't leave her lips until much later.
Zultan inhaled deeply on her cigarette as she pulled out a leather bag from the inside of her tan jacket. She opened it to reveal the finger and hand bones of a left handed man. Taking the bones out, she tossed them into the air, watching intently as they landed on the floor with a clatter. She read the bones, and smiled with glee. She'd hoped to simply demoralize Sailor Neptune, perhaps even force the brat into killing an innocent. But according to the bones the Senshi was seriously injured.
Zultan began to cackle. The result was better than she'd expected. It meant that she would be able to operate for a short time unobstructed. She tossed her cigarette aside and began to make preparations for the next day.
Michiru stood in front of the administration building in a light blue skirt and cream colored shirt, with a knit white sweater over the shirt. She also wore a pair of black low-heeled pumps and the pearl necklace from the yacht party. A cool wind blew past her, forcing her to put her hands in her sweater's pockets as her wavy sea green hair blew wildly across her face.
Suddenly, the wind turned warmer. Michiru smiled unconsciously as she heard the sound of Haruka's engine before seeing the car. She swept the hair out of her face as she looked to her right, her eyes meeting those of the blonde behind the wheel as the convertible came to a stop. To her surprise, Haruka got out of the car, walked around and held the door open for her. She blushed a bit as she thanked her and got in.
"So," Haruka said as she got back behind the wheel, "Where do you want to go to talk?"
Michiru hadn't thought that far ahead. "I'm not sure," she confessed, "Wherever you'd like."
Haruka smiled and turned on the engine. She turned the radio on as well as they drove away.
...And that was the classic tune "Get Wild" by TM Network. And now for the news. Last night around midnight, a large gem was stolen from the Tokyo natural history museum. A man and woman who were out on a date at the time caught a glimpse of the thief, a young man in his late teens to early twenties described as wearing a black Dracula cape, a Zorro mask around his eyes, and a tuxedo and top hat. Baffled police have nicknamed the unusual criminal Tuxedo Kam...
Michiru ignored the rest of the news as she leaned back in the passenger seat, the wind causing her hair to trail and billow behind her like a flag in a wind tunnel. Looking over to her left, her eyes widened as she realized they were driving on the road right next to the beach, just as she said she'd always wanted to go with Haruka. A group of four seagulls flew over the ocean, and in the distance she could make out a sailboat or two. She looked over to Haruka, the driver's short blonde hair flying in the wind. She didn't turn away from the road to meet Michiru's gaze, but the slightest hint of a smile showed itself on her lips as she hit the accelerator.
They continued on along the beach for a while, the westerly wind carrying the scent of the ocean and causing Michiru to feel nostalgic, but for what she wasn't sure. Suddenly the car turned and headed down a side street. "Where are we going?" she asked.
Haruka smiled wider. "You'll see..."
"An arcade?" Michiru asked as she followed her companion.
"It's called 'The Crown.'" Haruka explained. "And we're not here to play at the arcade. Come on, there's a restaurant and ice cream parlor in the back."
Haruka led the way, with Michiru following. The violinist stopped abruptly when she saw something strange out of the corner of her left eye. It was a Sailor V video game. She watched as two girls stood in front of the game, a brunette and a blonde with her hair up in ponytails. The blonde was playing while the other girl, whom Michiru took to be her friend, looked on.
"Wha...! No fair! He just killed me! Naru-chan, do you have any more change on you?"
Michiru was puzzled. Why would a fellow Senshi such as Sailor V promote her existence by allow a video game of herself to be produced. For her part, she'd done all in her power to operate in secret as Sailor Neptune. Then again, Pluto did say her mission was different than Sailor V's.
"Okay, stop crying. Here, here's some change."
Michiru turned away and hurried to catch up to Haruka. She saw the racer waiting patiently for her by the entrance to the restaurant. The two went in and found a secluded table near the back. The redheaded waiter who took their order looked somewhat familiar to the violinist, though she couldn't quite place his face. After he left, and making sure no one was around to eavesdrop on them, the two began to talk.
"Okay," Haruka began, "Where should we begin?"
Michiru looked thoughtful. "What would you like to know?"
"I'm not sure. Tell me about your parents."
Michiru was surprised. "Well, it has nothing to do with our mission, but... My mother's name is Aoki. I seldom see her though, not since her third marriage at least. My Father's name is Fujioka, but I last saw him when I was six, right around the time of the divorce. Yours?"
Haruka let out a bit of a sigh. "My mom's name is Masae and my dad's name is Kaname. I last saw them a few months ago, when they disinherited me."
"Disinherited you?" Michiru asked, "Why?"
"Because I cut my hair and stopped pretending to be someone I'm not," Haruka answered. An uncomfortable silence settled in as the blonde looked down at her hands, avoiding Michiru's sympathetic gaze. Finally, she looked back up. "So, care to explain why my friend's brother turned into a monster?"
Michiru sat back in her chair. "There's a group known as the Death Busters," she began, "Who are trying to bring about the end of the world through something called the Great Silence. What it is, or how they plan to accomplish it, I don't know. I know that there are talismans we have to find, and a messiah as well, but not much more. Unfortunately it's like I'm only getting bits and pieces of the big picture, and it feels like trying to piece together an elaborate jigsaw puzzle at times."
Haruka narrowed her eyes as she studied the other girl closely. "There's something you're not telling me."
Michiru nodded her head reluctantly. "You're right, there is. The talismans are hidden within innocent people with pure hearts. In order for us to obtain the talismans the... The owners of the talismans must die."
"Here you are," the waiter interrupted as he brought the two orders over. As he left, Haruka lowered her voice. "Then what you're talking about is..."
"I know," Michiru interrupted, "And I hate it to, but consider the alternative. Every living thing on Earth will be destroyed if we don't. And you've seen yourself that they'll stop at nothing. I wish there was another way too, but..." at that moment, the violinist accidentally knocked over a glass of water the waiter had placed in front of her. It splashed against her, soaking her shirt.
"Here," Haruka said as she shuffled her chair over and reached over with a napkin, "Let me get that." She bent over and began to wipe the water off Michiru's chest. Looking up, she saw her deep blue eyes staring intently at her. She felt warmth welling up within her, and from the blush on the other girl's cheeks she could tell Michiru felt it too. She swallowed hard, trying to ignore the scent of roses. "We... Can't be doing this, can we?"
Michiru took a deep breath and nodded as she leaned towards Haruka, watching the blonde's teal eyes looking back at her longingly. "You're right. We have a mission."
"We can't complicate things," Haruka whispered huskily as she came closer still to the other girl.
"We have to stay focussed," Michiru muttered as her lips brushed against Haruka's, "We..." she was cut off as Haruka's lips pressed against hers, the racer's hands reaching up to frame both sides of her face and entwine her fingers into the artist's aquamarine hair. She reached up as well, cradling the back of the blonde's head as she opened her mouth slightly. Haruka took the cue and deepened the kiss, both girls loosing themselves in the heat of the moment.
She hid the professor's box beneath a wooden crate, her own features hidden behind clown makeup and a multi-colored wig. As a large crowd of both adults and children gathered around her on the sidewalk, she stepped up onto the crate.
"Free balloons," Zultan called out, holding out a large bundle of red balloons, each sporting a black five pointed star. "Come get your free balloons!"
-To Be Continued-