Sailor Moon Snippets Three

 

Sailor Venus leaped up and aimed a kick at Sailor Jupiter, who stood in her path until the last possible moment, then twisted aside, slashing a chop down at Venus as she did so. Venus cheated just the least little bit since there was no way of avoiding the chop and focused a band of energy out to buffer the blow.

"Ow!" Jupiter shook her hand. "What was that?"

Venus sat up and rubbed her side. "I didnít want to take the full force of your arm."

"I wasnít using the full force!"

"If you werenít, how come Iím going to have a bruise in the morning? After I buffered it!"

Jupiter looked sheepish. "Sorry."

Venus grinned at her, "Hey, thatís what practice is for!"

They both laughed and prepared to square off again. A cry of pain distracted them and they both looked around. Sailor Moon was face down on the ground, slowly struggling her way up. Mercury was kneeling beside her, and Mars was standing over them both.

"Oh dear." Venus sighed.

Jupiter rolled her eyes, "Not again." She looked hopefully at Venus, "Can we pretend we didnít notice that?"

"I donít think so." Venus headed their way, and Jupiter followed her.

"Sailor Moon, you dunderhead, you were suppose to block that!"

There were scrapes down the side of Sailor Moonís face and she was holding her arm gingerly, "I tried! Youíre too powerful for me."

"Itís not power, itís application of force! A five-year old could have blocked that."

Mercury gently broke in, "Sailor Moon, when blocking, hold your arm at an angle like this," she demonstrated, "rather than this. The other way deflects the force. What you did was absorb it."

Sailor Moon just looked at her tiredly, then suddenly, red ribbons whipped around her body and she was sitting in her street clothes, Sailor Moon no longer. "Thatís enough for one night. Iím going to soak in a long, hot bath." She slowly got to her feet, wincing as other bruises made themselves felt.

"Usagi!" Three voices of protest arose, and Luna came walking up, "You canít just stop in the middle! Youíll never learn discipline that way."

"Yeah!" Rei added, "Weíre in training! That means we work until weíre done!!"

Venus and Jupiter traded glances, then both changed back to their ordinary clothes also. None of the group had even noticed them coming up.

Usagi said in a small voice, "Iím tired of fighting."

"What?"

She shouted it, "I donít want to fight!!"

That did it, Rei blew up. "Usagi, you coward! We are the Sailor Senshi! That means we fight! For Love and Justice! To protect the world! To protect your friends!! There is evil out there, or hadnít you noticed?! Do you think Naru can defend herself against it? Andrew? We are the only ones who can do it, and that means weíll have to fight!"

"I donít want to fight!" Usagi turned away, "Rei, I might hurt you."

Rei snorted, "Usagi, there is no possible way that you could hurt me!"

"Umm..." Ami started to speak, but Luna cut her off.

"Usagi, Reiís correct. You are the Sailor Senshi of the Moon. We need to train so you can fight."

"I need to train. I need to fight!" Usagi glared at them, "And I notice that itís never anyone else. Oh no, everyone else likes to fight! You donít need any encouragement to hurt people. Donít you understand yet, I DONíT WANT TO FIGHT!" Usagi collapsed to the ground and started to cry. "I hurt people. I destroy people. I donít want that."

The others stood silently, stunned by the outburst. Minako hurried forward and put her arm around Usagiís shoulders. "There, there."

She tilted Usagiís face to see her, and wiped her eyes with her handkerchief, "Usagi. Itís okay. I think you misunderstand."

"I donít misunderstand anything! I donít want to fight." Usagi sniffed.

"No, thatís not what I meant." Minako sighed, "Usagi, you donít hurt anybody. You canít hurt anybody -- itís not in your nature."

"Which is why I donít want to fight!"

"Oh, Usagi-chan. Think about it for a moment -- what are your powers?"

"My... powers?"

At least she wasnít crying anymore. Minako kept the handkerchief ready, "Your attacks. What do you do, as Sailor Moon, when confronted by evil?"

"Run."

Rei snorted her agreement at the comment, but kept it quiet.

Minako laughed, "No you donít. Remember, I watched you for a long time before I finally joined the Sailor Senshi." She grinned at Usagi, "You dodge very well! But thatís the most important part when confronting evil. Donít be touched by it."

Usagi started giving it some serious thought, "My Moon Tiara. My Moon Wand."

"Right. Those are your focuses. But what do you do?"

"I..." Usagi had to really think about that one. The others, who had never thought about it before, gathered around, interested.

"Where is Minako going with this?" Mako muttered to Ami, who shrugged.

"I guess I want real hard for the badness to be gone." Usagi shrugged, "Thatís the best way I can describe it."

"Good!" Minako settled back on her heels and beamed at Usagi. "What you do, is focus the light and purity that is within you, out at the darkness of the... badness. The darkness canít stand up to your light, and crumbles to ashes."

"Not always."

"No," Minako agreed readily, "Sometimes the dark is strong. Thatís why you fight with us -- so we can weaken the darkness for your light."

"But those are people!"

Minako sighed. That one was harder. "Usagi-chan. Just because they think and feel, doesnít mean theyíre good. Sometimes, a person who had light in them will be corrupted by the dark. Then, yes, there is some light left buried deep within the dark. But what happens then, is that your light will burn out the dark and spark what light is left in them. It will be small, and exposed, but the dark will be gone, and the person will return to live in the light. But sometimes, when the dark creeps in, the light is overwhelmed... and dies. The evil has won in that person. And then, when your light cleanses the dark, there is simply no light left to rekindle." Her face was grim, "That is why we fight the dark. To preserve the light."

Usagi nodded slowly. The way Minako put it... It felt, right. How come no one ever explained it like this before? She thought about the battles. She thought about the evil. She thought about what Rei had said about her friends. Her chin rose, and her eyes sparkled, "Youíre right! Iíll train! Iíll fight with you!"

Minako smiled, but the eyes were sad. "Not right now, you wonít!" She turned Usagiís face with her hand, "Those scrapes need to be cleaned up." Both of them stood up, and they headed to the back of the shrine, where Minako hailed Chad.

"Chad -- could you take Usagi back and get those scrapes cleaned up? Put some anti-biotic on them." She winked at Chad, "Good practice for you!"

Usagi glanced at her, questioning, and Minako grinned, "Iíll be along in a minute. Take care of her, Chad!"

Usagi went without any other protests, and Minako walked back to the others, her face grim and her hands on her hips.

"All right now," she glared around at them impartially, but keep her voice down, "I have had quite enough of this all! I donít know what you are trying to do, but youíre not helping Usagi -- youíre just tearing her down!"

"But sheís getting a backbone!" Luna protested, "Months ago, she wouldnít even have talked back to us, she would have just sat there and cried."

Minako shook her head. Artemis rose to his feet, "Captain, what have we done wrong?"

"Captain?" The others traded glances.

Minako brushed that aside, "Itís a joke. Artemis is... was the Captain of the Guards in the Silver Millennium. I called him that when he found me until he started retaliating." She stared at the white cat. "Artemis... Even you?"

Artemis sighed. "Maybe we should sit down. I think this will take a while."

"You bet it will," Minako agreed grimly. She remained standing.

"Have any of you," she looked around the semi-circle of people, humans and cats, "even once, thought about why Sailor Moon doesnít like to fight?"

"Sheís kind and gentle?" Mako ventured.

Minako shook her head, "Ami is kind and gentle!" They all looked to her, and Ami blushed.

"Sheís a wimp." Rei muttered under her breath.

"Do you want to repeat that?"

Rei shook her head and wouldnít meet Minakoís eyes.

"Artemis?"

He shook his head, "Iím sorry, Minako -- I havenít the foggiest notion where youíre going with this."

Minako sighed and sat down. "It has to do with who and what she is. Think about her name for a minute."

"Bunny rabbit?"

Minako laughed, "Well, Usagi Tsuiko -- rabbit on the moon. But no, I meant the name that her great-grandmother had, her grandmother, her mother, herself. The name that was her, is her, and will be her again."

"Serenity?"

Finally. Minako nodded. "Ami, thatís an English word -- what does it mean?"

"Serenity?" Ami blinked, and thought about it, "Well, Ďthe state of being sereneí... ĎMarked by utter calm and unruffled quietudeí."

"Simpler than that."

"Tranquillity. Calm. Peace."

Thatís what I was looking for. "Peace?"

"Peace..." Ami fell silent, thinking.

Minako looked around the circle and settled on Mako. "What do you feel when youíre with Usagi?"

"Happy," was Makoís instant response. She thought about it, and said more slowly, "Peaceful."

Nods from the rest told Minako she wouldnít have to keep at that one much longer. "Exactly. Usagi is a walking sanctuary. She give us all peace when weíre near her."

"Oh..." They all looked to Ami, who had tears standing in her eyes. "If sheís peace, she canít fight. Peace, by its very definition, is the exclusion of fighting."

Hey! I donít have to explain everything!

"That makes sense... but I donít understand then how she can."

Artemis finally spoke up, "Itís as Minako was telling Usagi -- she doesnít so much fight, as she pushes her light on the darkness and destroys it."

Minako winced, "Donít put it like that in Usagiís hearing if you can help it."

"Okay, Usagi is Serenity. But sheís not Serenity all the time -- mostly sheís Sailor Moon, whoís one of us. One of the Sailor Senshi."

Minako suddenly was exasperated again. "Donít any of you use your memories at all?"

There was nothing but puzzled looks from the others. Minako stood up and began to pace. "Rachel... Marietta... Angel... What has happened to your memories? You canít tell me you donít have them -- why donít you ever use them?"

Rei gazed at her puzzled, while the other two looked away.

"Mako?"

The tough fighter swallowed, "I want to be normal."

Rei blinked, "Thatís what Usagi always says!"

"Well, sheís not the only one." Mako hung her head in shame, "When I remember... Itís just too different. I was an adult. I had lovers, friends... I was thinking about having a child. When I remember,... I canít enjoy being a teenager! Falling in love with every cute guy I see seems stupid and silly. Cooking is something to just pass the time. School is boring. I look at my friends and see them as kids. Itís easier not to remember."

"Ami?"

The quiet scholar looked up and met her eyes, "Remembering is cheating."

"Huh?"

"When I remember the past, I also remember physics, dynamics, quantum line-crosses -- things that havenít even been discovered yet! I need to know things for myself -- and that means learning them. When I remember, I havenít actually learned it. The only way I can not cheat, is to not remember. When I need to, when weíre fighting, then I do."

"Rei?"

"I have no idea what youíre talking about." Rei hesitated, "That name... Rachel. It feels, familiar."

All of them stared at her, including the cats.

"Uhh..."

"Oh!"

"What?"

"Itís the fire shrine!"

"What?"

Luna sat back down again, her tail wrapping around her feet. "I think itís because of Reiís attachment to the fire shrine. Even before we met her, she communicated with the fire spirits and was being trained by them. She has a natural affinity for it, being Sailor Mars, but itís a power that exists solely in this time and this existence. For her to communicate with spirits, she canít be one herself until she is fully trained."

The others nodded, including Rei herself. It made sense. They sat for a moment in silence.

"What were you getting at, Trinity?"

Minako blinked. Even after encouraging them to use their memories, hearing her old name took her by surprise. "Ahh..."

"There was no Sailor Moon."

"What?"

Mako repeated her statement, her eyes focused on the trees beyond. "There were just us, the Inner Senshi, and Serenity -- both parts of herself. Sailor Moon didnít exist."

"Of course." Ami also looked out. "Since Serenity was lost in time, she needed to be found. But Usagi needed to know she was herself..." She paused, "This gets strange when weíre talking about ourselves."

Rei grinned, "Even without memory, I think I can put the rest of that together. Usagi needed to learn to defeat evil, without alerting the Negaverse that the Princess was here, and the Silver Crystal had yet to materialize. So the Moon Goddess incarnated herself yet again as Sailor Moon. But Sailor Moon is new, while we are old." She watched her crows fly in the tree-tops. "Is Usagi, then, primarily Serenity?"

Minako shrugged. "Thatís what I think. Itís the part of her she knows the best." Minako hugged Artemis. "But Sailor Moon will fight with us when itís a real fight." She gathered in the eyes of the other Senshi, "But donít expect her to enjoy it, and try to understand her reluctance when itís not a real fight."

They sat in silence. Leaves fell off the trees and they watched them fall.

"But we still need to practice." Rei was more questioning than defiant.

"Oh, yes." Minako smiled, "You can still badger her about that. Just donít..." she searched for a word and found one, "tear her down. Only knock her about as much as sheíll grow by."

"Good. You mean I donít have to be nice to her?"

They all laughed. Then they got up, and headed back to the shrine, together.