A flashy yellow convertible slowed and paused in front of the Tsukino residence.
Inside the car, Haruka and Michiru looked at each other.
"Are we going to tell her about my dream?" Michiru asked.
Haruka looked toward the house and frowned. "I don't think we should. She seems happy that the war is over...we needn't shake her up."
"Besides," she continued, "if something should happen, we can protect her. Telling her will only upset her without reason."
Michiru nodded. Is he really after Usagi? she thought. I guess, even if he's not, we can't take the risk of leaving our Princess unprotected. She looked into Haruka's eyes. I'll protect both of them. I know I can.
Finally, she said, "We'll keep a close eye on her."
Haruka nodded silently as they drove away.
From her second-floor bedroom window, Usagi looked down on the couple in the car. She sadly leaned against the window, her hair pressing up against the glass. "Haruka-san, Michiru-san..." she said softly.
"What's going on?"
~***~"So we feel that the Princess may be in danger. And we must protect her," Michiru finished.
"So Haruka-san and Michiru-san are acting strangely, Usagi-chan?" Makoto asked.
Ami frowned. "I wonder if they've sensed a new enemy and they're not telling us," she said.
Minako clasped her hands together and leaned over the table to Ami. "But, Ami-chan! They wouldn't do that to us anymore! We're all friends again!"
"Minako-chan, you knocked my drink over," Makoto grumbled.
"Minako-chan, just because they're our friends doesn't mean that they wouldn't hide something from us," Ami said. "It's their way."
"Well, even so..." Minako mumbled, "wouldn't Rei-chan have sensed evil if something was coming?"
Rei cleared her throat from the back of the booth. They all turned to her.
"Well, I haven't sensed anything, that's true, Minako-chan," Rei said quietly. "But my senses and theirs are different. They might feel something that I don't."
She frowned. "So if there is a new enemy, I can't tell."
Makoto spoke up. "And, if they think a new enemy is approaching, they wouldn't tell us. Like Ami-chan said, that's their way. They would choose not to involve us. They're very stubborn..."
"That's ENOUGH!" Usagi yelled, slamming her fist down on the table.
The other four looked back at her, shocked.
"What's wrong, Usagi-chan?" Ami asked, putting her hand on Usagi's shoulder.
Tears dripped down from Usagi's eyes. "I won't accept that! Haruka-san and Michiru-san wouldn't keep things from us!"
"Usagi..." Rei started.
She rested her chin on the table, and lifted her eyes up to Rei's. "I don't want another war to start, Rei-chan...I want all this to be not true."
Ami smiled a little and squeezed Usagi's shoulder. "Well, let's hope it's not... Setsuna-san! Hotaru-chan!"
"It's nice to see you, Setsuna-san, Hotaru-chan," Usagi said, composing herself. "What are you doing here?"
Setsuna and Hotaru looked at each other.
"Oh, nothing in particular," Hotaru said. "It's nice to see you too, Usagi-san."
"May we join you, girls?" Setsuna asked.
"Please do," Rei said.
They all sat quietly for a few minutes. Usagi broke the silence. "Setsuna-san, Haruka-san and Michiru-san have been acting strangely lately...do you know why?"
Setsuna looked down at the table, averting her eyes from Usagi's. "No, I have no idea."
Makoto raised her eyebrows. "You don't sound so sure, Setsuna-san..." She broke off in mid-sentence and leapt out of the booth, her eyes fixed on the window.
"What's wrong, Mako-chan?" Ami asked.
"What the hell is THAT?!" Makoto cried, pointing outside.
They all stared as a thick blue-gray cloud surrounded the viewing floor of Tokyo Tower.
~***~Haruka momentarily turned her attention away from the road to glance at Michiru over the top of her sunglasses. "Don't look so concerned. Hotaru and Setsuna should be able to keep an eye on her for now," she said.
This should get her attention, the misty figure thought. She is a so-called Sailor
Soldier, after all.
The people inside the tower screamed as the mist absorbed their bodies.
"Please, stop!" one man cried. "Why are you doing this?"
The figure turned to him. "I have nothing against you. You're merely pawns, I'm afraid."
"NO!" the man screamed as he disappeared.
"Well, this is getting quite boring," the man said, yawning. "I hope she gets here soon."
"Stop right there!" a voice said from the elevator.
It doesn't sound like her, he thought. "Who are you?"
"How dare you harm the people who came to get a view of our city! I won't forgive you!"
"That doesn't exactly answer my question," he mumbled.
"I am a pretty sailor-suited soldier who fights for love and justice!" Sailor Moon said as she emerged from the fog. "I am Sailor Moon!"
Four others appeared behind her. "And we are the soldiers that protect this planet!"
"Soldier of love and intelligence, Sailor Mercury! Stick your head in some cold water and think about what you've done!"
"Soldier of love and passion, Sailor Mars! In the name of Mars, I'll chastise you with red-hot flames!"
"Soldier of love and nature, Sailor Jupiter! I won't forgive someone who uses the elements against good people!"
"Soldier of love and beauty, Sailor Venus! You won't forget my fair face once you've been against me!"
The mist around his body finally parted enough show his figure. His cerulean hair waved with the swirling of the mist and his sea-green eyes glared sharply at the five Sailor Soldiers.
The man smirked. "Quite impressive little speeches, Sailor Soldiers. "But I, Misuto, won't let you stand in my way. Prepare yourselves!"
"Misuto?" Sailor Moon said. "A new enemy?"
"I don't know, but he won't be around long enough to tell us!" Jupiter said.
"Jupiter!" The sign of Jupiter appeared in her outstretched hand and shot out green lightning bolts. The green energy turned to leaves that shot from her tiara. "...Oak EVOLUTION!" she cried.
The wall of mist that surrounded Misuto grew thicker and blocked her attack.
"He's strong, you guys," Jupiter said.
"My turn!" Mars shouted. "That fog can't hold up against my flame!"
"Mars!" Mars' sign appeared in her hand and burst into flames. Then a fiery bow and arrow came into her arms. She poised herself and aimed for Misuto. "...Flame SNIPER!"
The arrow of fire dissipated with a loud hiss.
"No way!" she gasped.
Misuto laughed evilly. "Pathetic! Do you Sailor Soldiers actually think you can defeat ME?" He then raised his arm above his head and closed his hand into a fist. "Grab them!"
The mist formed itself into five monstrous claws and grabbed each of the Sailor Soldiers, throwing them to the opposite wall.
"Really, this is so boring. Where is she?"
"Leave them alone now, outsider!" a deep female voice said behind him.
He turned around to see two more Sailor Soldiers facing him, with a staff and a glaive pointed squarely at his neck.
"Our mission is to protect this planet and this solar system from invaders like you!" the smaller once said, glaring at the man with her violet eyes. Her Silence Glaive glinted in the light from the window.
"I am the soldier of ruin and birth, Sailor Saturn! Leave now, intruder!" she said.
The other soldier brushed back her emerald hair and narrowed her ruby eyes. "And I am the soldier of time and revolution, Sailor Pluto! If you mean to disturb the peace of this planet..."
Saturn joined in--"then we'll be against you!"
"Oh dear, two more Sailor Soldiers. How uninteresting."
"Don't underestimate us," Pluto said. Her Garnet Orb began to glow. A large purple ball of energy grew out of the jewel. "Dead Scream," Pluto said quietly, and threw it at Misuto using her time staff.
Misuto laughed and raised his hand against her attack. With a deft flick of his wrist, he threw it back at Pluto. Stunned by her own energy, she was slammed back against the wall with the others.
"Pluto!" they all cried out.
Saturn ran over to them. "Are you girls all right?"
They all nodded, albeit wincing at the same time. Saturn nodded back, stood, and turned back to Misuto.
"Whatever it is that you want, you won't get past me," she said softly.
"Please," he said haughtily. "What can you do, little girl?"
"I can protect my Princess. That's all," she replied.
"Your Princess, eh? We'll see how good you are." The mist around Misuto began to gather itself into a sharp point. With a shout he unleashed it at Saturn and the others behind her.
Saturn dug the heels of her boots into the floor as she resisted Misuto's attack, using the black power of her Silence Glaive. Once it had stopped, she straightened up and glared at him.
"I told you I will protect her," she yelled. "You're wasting your time."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Misuto asked. "Protect who?"
"And we will protect her as well!" two other voices said.
Misuto turned to see cherry blossom petals float past his face. Two shadowy figures emerged.
"Invited by a new era, I am the soldier of wind, Sailor Uranus!" the taller one said. "You cannot stand against my power!"
"Also invited by a new era, I am the soldier of embrace, Sailor Neptune!" the other said. "I will use my power of the sea to destroy you!"
"It's...you..." Misuto whispered, as his eyes momentarily glistened with happiness and his face reddened.
Then he laughed. "It is you! The time has finally come, Princess! My day of destiny has finally arrived!"
Uranus stepped forward. "We will protect our Princess from the likes of you," she said. "At all costs!"
Neptune remained where she was and bit her lip in apprehension.
Sailor Moon got up and addressed him. "Who are you? What is your business with me?"
Misuto turned around, confused. "You? I have no business with you, Sailor Moon. She is the one I want!" he yelled, pointing directly at Neptune.
The other eight gasped.
Saturn stammered, "Neptune...but...you said Princess..."
Misuto glanced at her sharply. "Really, Sailor Saturn, do you think Sailor Moon over there is the only Princess in the universe? I have no interest in such a girl. I want the Princess of Neptune. NOW."
Uranus could stay silent no longer. "What do you want with her? I won't allow it!"
Misuto turned to her. "And YOU. I should kill you right now for the pain you've caused me, Sailor Uranus."
Neptune finally spoke. "Pain she's caused you? What are you talking about? Who are you?"
He smiled. "Since you asked me, lovely Princess, I'm obliged to explain. Before I take you."
He looked away. "I am no outsider, Sailor Soldiers. I am from this solar system. Like you, I am a survivor of the Silver Millennium.
"I am Misuto, the last prince of Triton, Neptune's moon. The people of Triton were the guardians of Neptune's royal family. As a prince, I was Princess Neptune's personal bodyguard. As anyone could have, I grew to love her. Her beauty was unmatched throughout the galaxy. And because I was royalty, the Queen of Neptune agreed to let me have the Princess as my bride."
"Bride?" Uranus said. "Michiru? Is this true?"
Neptune looked up at her. "I don't know, Haruka...maybe..."
"Of course it's true," Misuto snapped. "You just don't remember yet.
"But she never became mine. Before the wedding, it was revealed that the Princess was in love with HER," he said, nodding his head at Uranus. "She was a very strong-willed woman, so no one would say anything about it. And I was told by others that the two princesses were destined to be together. In the stars. Hmph.
"So I was shut out. Just like that.
"The Queen was afraid I would cause trouble in my anger, so I was exiled from Neptune. Which was a good thing, considering that the whole solar system fell in the attack against the Moon Kingdom. I missed all the fighting. And for a thousand years, I have remained in hiding in space, waiting for my bride to be reborn. Now is that time."
Neptune shook her head. "Incredible...my past life..."
Misuto snapped himself out of storytelling mode and turned to the Sailor Soldiers. "Well, now you all know the story. So if you'll excuse us, the Princess and I must be leaving." He walked toward Neptune.
Uranus stepped in front of him. "Do you think I'll let that happen? I won't allow you to take Michiru. Ever."
"So you want to play it that way, Sailor Uranus? Keep in mind that I already hate you. I have no reason to let you live in the first place. So just step aside and consider yourself spared."
"Haruka," Neptune whispered, "don't be foolish for my sake."
"I won't let him have you," Uranus said, as she raised her fist to the sky. Power from the heavens came into her hand and formed a golden sphere. She flung it toward the ground beneath Misuto. "World SHAKING!"
The mist swirled around him again, and he disappeared right before the yellow flash and the quake of the ground. He reappeared near the ceiling, above Uranus and Neptune.
"Fine, Sailor Uranus. I warned you. You're dead now."
"Haruka-san! Michiru-san!" Sailor Moon cried. "RUN!"
Misuto commanded the mist with a wave of his hand to form into a thick wall. "Consume her, my servant. Choke the life from her body."
The wall of mist flew with frightening speed to Uranus and wrapped around her entire body.
Neptune screamed. "HARUKA!" She dug through the mist, looking for her hand or face.
Gradually, Uranus' eyes appeared through the fog. They were glittering with tears. Her gloved hand tore free from her prison and grabbed Neptune's.
"Don't give in...Michiru..." she whispered, gasping for air. "You must remain here... and protect Odango in the future...she needs you..."
"Haruka...Haruka, please...I need you..."
"I'll be waiting for you...to meet me...if that is our destiny..."
"No, don't say that, Haruka..."
"I love you...Michiru..."
Her body went limp as the mist tightened around her.
Neptune dropped to her knees, still holding Uranus' hand. Her tears spattered against the floor.
"NO! NO NO NO! I WON'T ACCEPT THIS!"
Still crying, she kissed Uranus' hand and let it go. She stood up and scowled at Misuto. "You took Haruka! GET READY TO DIE!" She lunged for him, but he blasted her back against the wall.
Misuto laughed. "So emotional, aren't we? Tell you what. Since I'm such a generous man, I'll give you two days to say your goodbyes to these pathetic Sailor Soldiers. Then I'm taking you away. I wouldn't want you to have any ill feeling of me once you're mine. See you soon, Princess."
And he disappeared, taking Sailor Uranus' body with him.