Sailor Moon: Snippets - Fourteen

(Sailor Moon timeline very late – after SuperS… ?)

(but I haven’t been paying much attention to the new attacks, so I’m using the old names)


Mamoru jerked up his head and looked around the room. The other students were studiously bent over their entrance exams, writing, crewing on pencils, staring at the chalkboards… Damn. It wasn’t really a struggle, but Mamoru allowed himself one instant of regret, for he’d really wanted to get into a college locally to stay near Usagi. Usako. The timing really sucked. He flipped his notebook shut, got up and made his way to the front of the room without being too obvious about his hurry. Horrified gasps and other sounds of amazement came from behind him, and he felt the weight of the eyes upon him. He bowed to the instructor supervising the exam, who looked at him with steady regard, non-judgmental. Mamoru’s regret grew deeper, seeing the quality of instruction he would have had, then he put it to one side. "My apologies for this intrusion into the other students’ concentration, Sensei. I must leave." The teacher looked at him a moment longer, perhaps seeing that Mamoru knew well the consequences, then he nodded, consenting to Mamoru’s departure. Mamoru left the exam room and looked for the nearest free spot. He ended up resorting to the most obvious one – the restroom. Once there, he allowed his sight to widen and deepen, checking how much the delay might have cost.

The battle was well underway. His fists clenched. It was their enemy of a few months back, Defyd. A bolt of lightning discharged from an upraised hand, scattering the Sailor Senshi in its way, breaking the Earth below. Mamoru’s eyebrows raised – somewhere, Defyd had gotten new powers. A choice was no choice, and besides, had already been made. He pulled a rose from his garden and changed to Tuxedo Mask, translocating to the scene of the battle.

There were no convenient trees, but he needed camouflage if he was to stay unseen until needed. A fountain provided a dubious one, and he frowned at it for a moment before shrugging and settling gently upon the rolling water of the top of the spout. As much of him that was needed to anchor into the dimension faded his essence in to blend with the water. The rest of him remained in the dimension of energy and power signatures, sorting, watching, being very aware of the future strings. In the glimpse he’d gotten of the battle from the school, he’d been right, Defyd had gotten new power. Tuxedo Mask frowned, not sure of it. It is not of the Darkness. He is, but it is not. Another bolt singed one of Sailor Moon’s hairtails, but Tuxedo Mask remained calm, having known that Sailor Moon’s string was still strong at that instant. It may not be Dark, but in this world, it is still dangerous. A thought started to come to him, but just then, Sailor Jupiter’s string gave a sudden jerk and coiled within itself. He switched visions to see Sailor Jupiter standing strong in the face of another bolt coming towards her. She was preparing a Thunder Crash of her own. But it wouldn’t work. In the fractions of a millisecond that it had taken him to notice that, he evaluated his options and searched for weaknesses. No weaknesses inherent, and I’m too late for other options – it must be deflected. He reached out for a rose as his energies concentrated within him and he prepared to deflect and absorb a portion of the energies as his own would hit it. He felt a rose within his hand and one small part of himself was briefly surprised that it was not one of his normal ones, but most of himself had no time for such considerations as he pulled himself and his energies into the material world, slashing the energy down in a green bolt to absorb and deflect the lightning that was a bare second away from crisping Sailor Jupiter.

Even though he’d released his own energy well before it encountered Defyd’s, he staggered with the backlash and felt his feet dip into the water below him before he regained enough stability to balance on the water spout. As a consequence, he was unprepared when all eyes turned to him, seeking the focus of the interruption. Most of the distraction was caused by his shifting dimensions so abruptly. Even those who could not see in the energy world could feel the ripple caused by his shift and it was like a small vortex popping out, drawing the attention and focus of those nearby. It was useful. But right now, all eyes were on him, and he needed something to keep them there while he found his anchor in this dimension and the Senshi caught their breath. Senshi Earth! Help! He hadn’t been watching long enough to know what was going on.

The deepest part of him stirred and pulled out, speaking through him, "A nourishing light, when pulled from its source, can be used for Evil purposes."

Tuxedo Mask noticed all the blank expressions of the Senshi as they stared at him. Personally, he agreed: It didn’t make much sense. Try again, Earth.

"A flower, nourished in one soil, will grow blue, but if transplanted will change to pink. The difference may seem slight on the surface, but can be deadly."

The Senshi were cumulatively scratching their heads, even Sailor Mercury, but Defyd seemed to finally know what he was talking about, for his face turned purple with rage.

"Transplant this, you annoyance!" And a spike of ice energy blasted out towards Tuxedo Mask, the energy inherent in it ten times that of the lightning bolt he’d earlier hurled.

Tuxedo Mask spared a moment to figure out if there was anything vulnerable behind him, then jumped lightly up and over, avoiding the spike with ease.

The Sailor Senshi recovered their attention and focused on the battle, though not without a curious glance or two in his direction. Mars flame wrapped around Defyd while his attention was still on Tuxedo Mask. He screamed briefly, then the flames shattered around him, drifting down to the ground in ashy embers. He glared at Mars, then spun around and directed an ice spike with deadly accuracy at Sailor Moon, who was too startled by the abrupt switch of attention to react quickly enough.

Damn. Tuxedo Mask flicked himself briefly into the other dimension long enough to determine times, distances, and strength of threads, before physically launching himself at Sailor Moon. He crashed into her, knocking her out of the way, the edges of the spike catching him and burning the corners of his cape and blasting his tophat off. But a hell of a lot better then being hit straight on, he thought with amusement. For him, coming out of a close shave alive and not even badly wounded was a step up. The others within himself heard the thought and for a moment, all of them joined in a genuinely merry laugh.

Sailor Moon looked at him with wonder in her eyes, and even as they lay collapsed on the ground, he grinned and winked at her, "The fight is not even close to being over yet, Sailor Moon."

Her head raised, her mouth twitched up to match his own, and a light of pride and determination sparked within her. He felt his own pride and love of her surge out in response, and they merged energies for one long joyful moment in which the whole world was right and nothing could touch them or their love for each other and the world. Then Sailor Moon stood up and put her hand to her tiara. In the time taken for them to recover, the other Senshi were trying their attacks in combination. Sailor Jupiter’s Thunder and Mercury’s Bubbles obscured the sight of Defyd, and Venus had been readying her Chain, but hesitated and waited for Sailor Moon’s tiara to join hers to it. The augmented tiara smashed into the figure of their enemy and knocked him back several feet, leaving a furrow in the ground that some portion of Tuxedo Mask winced at. There were a few seconds of silence where the Senshi caught their breaths and cautiously wondered if the battle was over. Their caution was well founded as Defyd got to his feet and glared at them with eyes that shone with intense light of hatred.

The Sailor Senshi spread out again to join the battle for another round. Tuxedo Mask faded into the background, puzzled. Where is he getting his energy? He is not of a Power, or we would have known it from the beginning. I don’t sense another presence, so he has not made a Deal. But his energy is beyond reason for this world. This world… Tuxedo Mask felt that idea that he’d had earlier start to form. He looked for Sailor Mercury and waited for a moment when no attention was near her, then he phased to her side.

"Sailor Mercury."

She started and glanced wildly around before seeing him. Her eyes flicked to where he had been, then back to him, calmer. "Tuxedo Mask?"

"Can you scan for abnormal energy readings? He’s getting his energy from elsewhere, but I can’t spot it."

She appeared briefly uncertain at his request, looking back to the battle. Tuxedo Mask shrugged, "I’m not really all that useful in a direct fight – it’s not my best Power. There is something strange and you are the best to track it down."

Sailor Mercury nodded, "Battles are not won by offensive Powers alone." They shared a grin related to their respective Powers, then she activated her computer and VR goggles.

"Check the power signature on his next attack, then see if you can trace it." Part of the problem with Defyd’s new energy was that Tuxedo Mask could only see it when it was there. Being of the Earth, normally he could recognize all of the elemental powers and the draw of life energies. The Dark was inherent in its Evil power. But this was different. Not only didn’t he recognize it, but he couldn’t figure out what it could be of.

"Oh, my. There."

Tuxedo Mask jumped slightly and looked down at the girl beside him. Lost in his thoughts, he’d been scanning the battle, watching the threads, and had nearly forgotten about Mercury. She was pointing high up in the air, above Defyd. Tuxedo Mask looked where she pointed, but didn’t see anything at first. Annoyed, he shook his head and transferred most of himself to another dimension. "Good Lord. The idiot."

"Tuxedo Mask?"

"The absolute, complete, idiot." Tuxedo Mask shook his head at the utter stupidity he saw before him. He’d always thought that Defyd was an imbecile; this proved it.

"Tuxedo Mask!"

He turned to Sailor Mercury, keeping his attention mostly above, "Actually, to be completely fair, it’s more that he’s a stupid, ignorant, meddler that doesn’t know enough to know how thoroughly a fool he is."

Sailor Mercury had such an expression of complete exasperation on her face that he was reminded that she didn’t know what they were looking at. He waved a hand at the air, "The numbskull has opened a Door, and left the damn Door open." He shook his head again, "He’s drawing unlimited amounts of Energy through it – but he left the damn Door open!"

Sailor Mercury tapped on her computer, redefining the variables around what she was seeing through the goggles, "Is that like the Rip to the Negaverse?"

"Sortof." Tuxedo Mask was concentrating more on figuring out his next plan of action, but he tried to explain in his abstracted state. "This isn’t to the Negaverse. The nitwit opened a side Door to a Universe different than our own. Because of the differences, their Power is incompatible with ours to the ‘nth degree, and is therefore destructive rather than harmonious." He frowned at the Door.

Mercury tried her understanding, "And our Energy is leaking through the open Door into their Universe and hurting them."

"True." Tuxedo Mask hadn’t thought that far. "But a Door is much easier to close than a Rip." He shrugged, "Actually, I could close the Door from here, but that won’t solve the problem." He’d never really stopped watching the battle, but he spared a moment to concentrate more fully on it. It was still more-or-less at a standstill, but the Senshi were looking weary and hassled, while Defyd was shining with brighter light than ever. "Left alone, the idiot will eventually self-destruct. But we, and the innocents of the world, don’t have time to wait for that."

"Why can’t you close the Door?"

"Once the Door closes, it’ll revert back to wherever he originally opened it, and if he manages to get away, he can just open it again. Even if he doesn’t get away, if anybody else – on our end or theirs – finds it, they can open it. Better to seal it now."


Tuxedo Mask finally looked with more than just part of his attention to her. "But it has to be sealed from the other side. I have to go through it to do that."

Sailor Mercury went pale and her eyes flicked to Sailor Moon.

"Uh, no… It’s not permanent." Tuxedo Mask hurriedly tried to undo the mistake, "I’m of Earth – I can always find my way back here. Eventually. But the logistics of it are a bit of a problem." He glanced back at the battle. "I better go soon."

"I’ll go with you."

Tuxedo Mask looked at Sailor Mercury in surprise. She colored, but stood firm, "I want to learn what to do. And if you’re going to be in another Universe, you’ll need somebody to watch your back."

Thinking about it, Tuxedo Mask decided she was probably right. And even if not so, it wouldn’t hurt anything for her to come along. She had the best chance of the Sailor Senshi of being able to find her way back if they got separated, but he’d make sure that didn’t happen. He materialized more firmly and held out a hand to her, "Step on my foot."

"What?" In spite of her question, Mercury grabbed his hand and stepped closer to him.

He looked up, "I have to fly us up there – if you brace yourself on my foot, it’ll make it easier."

"Oh." Mercury stood gingerly on his foot, but eventually settled all her weight on it. Tuxedo Mask surpressed a smile – she was so slight a weight, he almost didn’t feel her, but she wouldn’t appreciated being told so. Slowly, so not to startle her, and because it was difficult to do with a passenger, he concentrated his energies and directed them in a mass towards the Earth. Equal and opposite pressures reacted and they floated off the ground. He used part of his power to obscure them, aware that he was using Energy at a horrible rate, but not seeing an alternative if they were to make it. ‘Sides, if we make it to the Door, I won’t need much more.

When they got to the edge of the Door, Tuxedo Mask stopped their movement.

"Tuxedo Mask-sama?"

He grinned inwardly at the honorific – it’d been a long time since any of the Senshi had accorded it to him, their own powers and confidence having grown so much. But he figured that being thirty feet off the ground without a parachute probably was eroding some of Mercury’s confidence. Even though her delight in the view and experience was also obvious. He replied to her implied question, "I need to leave a message before we go through." Closing his eyes, he visualized his rose garden, seeking the right one for Usagi. He grinned, and made his choice. He pulled it into the world, sought his Love, and after waiting for the appropriate moment, threw the rose at her feet. Before any of the ones on the ground could react, he took himself and Mercury through the Door and slammed it shut behind them.


A great light blossomed in the air above them. Defyd collapsed to the ground, screaming. All the Senshi but Sailor Moon automatically squinted up to the sky, but whatever was there was no longer. They turned back to Defyd, who was getting to his feet, his face ashen grey. He turned to run, and Jupiter took five long steps and grabbed him. He put up no resistance, and Jupiter turned to Sailor Moon to see what she wanted to do. Sailor Moon was kneeling on the ground, picking up something. When she stood up, they could all see it was a striped yellow-red rose. She looked at them, "He’s gone."

Mars looked around, "Where’s Mercury?"

"They’re both gone." Sailor Moon watched Defyd steadily.

Defyd turned his head to her and looked at her. With deliberate actions, he pursed his lips and spit at her. The goblet landed far short, but tears started to trickle down Sailor Moon’s cheeks. Venus went to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, "Tuxedo Mask and Mercury will be okay, don’t cry."

The tears rolled down faster, though she made no sound to accompany them.

"Sailor Moon, she’s right. Mercury and Tuxedo Mask can take care of themselves." Mars also came near. Jupiter, constrained by holding Defyd, contained her feelings with a nod. Luna approached and placed a paw on her knee.

Sailor Moon held out the rose, "I know that. Tuxedo Mask told me so."

Venus and Mars looked at each other over Sailor Moon’s head. "Then, why are you crying?"

Sailor Moon kept her gaze on Defyd and made no reply except for the sound of her tears as they hit the ground.

"My God, Sailor Moon. You aren’t crying for him???" Mars recoiled, and even Venus took an involuntary step back. Jupiter tightened her grip on Defyd, but her eyes turned to the spot on the ground where once a child had played.

Sailor Moon stood up and took out her Crescent Wand. The others stared, for they had not seen it for a very long time. Luna spoke for the first time in the battle, "I thought you’d lost that."

"I found it again." Sailor Moon didn’t explain, but slowly got to her feet, her face sorrowful. She started to raise the Wand, but then lowered it and turned her torso slightly to one side, her gaze on the ground, shoulders heaving as silent sobs tore their way through her slight body.

"Sailor Moon…" Luna’s concern showed in her voice.

Sailor Mars approached her again, and put an arm around her. "What’s wrong?"

Sailor Moon’s voice shook, "The Light will die." She turned her head into Mars’ strong comfort. "He chose his Darkness. I must free the Light, but there is not enough of it left. It will die. And it will be by my hand."

"Sailor Moon. It will be free by your hand." Venus felt her own eyes start to catch with the feelings, but held the tears fiercely back, staying strong for her friend.

The blonde warrior for peace nodded, her face still against Mars’ chest, and she turned slowly around. She held out the rose she still held to Mars, who accepted it into safe keeping with solemnity. Sailor Moon once again raised her Crescent Wand, holding it above her head with both hands. This time, her determination didn’t falter. "Moon Crescent Healing."

The lid on her locket floated open, and the light from her crystal joined the light from her wand, and bathed her body in luminescence. The Light spread out and focused around Defyd. His body jerked compulsively, and he cried out in anguish, but he continued to watch Sailor Moon and his face twisted in anger. Through his pain, he managed some words, "I refuse your Healing!" And his body burned up in the Light, leaving ashes behind. Some bare wisps of Light floated out and joined with the rest, indistinguishable in the whole.

The Light grew brighter and spread out, catching the Senshi and the Cats in its luminescense, but continuing to expand until it reached the sky.

Sailor Jupiter had let go of Defyd when Sailor Moon’s Light reached him, but she didn’t move very far, just in case. When the Light expanded out, it flooded her being with brightness. For a moment, she saw Usagi as she’d first seen her, facing the menacing bullies. Then Jupiter’s vision flip-flopped and she saw herself through Usagi’s view. A tall, beautiful girl stood there to defend her, placing herself between Usagi and the bullies. Her inner strength and confidence rang out in her voice, and the threat disappeared before her vividity. She looked up at this person and found her heart responding to the girl with more than gratitude: My Protector -- oh, she’s wonderful! The vision ended, leaving Makoto standing there blinking in surprise. She looked at Sailor Moon, wondering, does she really see me that way? I never knew. Her shoulders straightened with new inner pride and she smiled.

Standing directly next to Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars was the second to have the Light wash over her