A couple of days went by from the last time Usagi last saw Tuxedo Kamen, or Mamoru, but for her it seemed like years. She had fallen into a deep depression, barely reacting to anything.
School began again, like it always did. She still went to school, but she was miserably indifferent about it. She looked so dispirited that Haruna forwent giving Usagi her usual harangue about being late. She watched concernedly as Usagi hobbled to her seat and sat down, despondently putting her head down on her arms and staring out at nothing.
Near her desk, a bunch of girls were talking excitedly over some poster. "Take a look at this, Usagi-chan!" Naru exclaimed, holding up the poster to her. "A new hair salon opened up. As part of their grand opening celebration, they're gonna do haircuts for free! Isn't that wonderful? Let's go try it out!"
Naru paused, staring down at Usagi. She hadn't moved an inch since she sat down at her desk. It almost seemed as though she wasn't paying any attention to what she was saying.
"What's wrong?" Naru asked, frowning. "You look depressed."
She still didn't move or answer. She remained that way until class was over.
Makoto leaned against one of the pillars on the side of the shrine, near a small pond, listening to Luna tell the others about Usagi's decline into depression. She glanced over at her brother, who was wearing a dark expression, as Usagi's plight reminded him all too much of a bitter memory that had, up until recently, began to slowly fade into something less painful.
Usagi's condition reminded her, all too clearly, of how he looked after that day five years ago. Hopefully, this wouldn't cause her to change drastically in personality as he did... but, then again, there was the hope that Tuxedo Kamen was still alive.
Makoto glanced over at Luna, who had begun speaking again. "Yes, she has been taking Tuxedo Kamen's disappearance very hard," Luna continued. "She hasn't been getting very much sleep. And, when she does sleep, she has nightmares."
"Poor girl," Ami said quietly from her seat upon one of the large rocks. Minako was sitting on the other rock with Artemis in her lap. Rei was busy feeding the fish as she knelt by the pond.
"Any news on Tuxedo Kamen?" Makoto asked.
"Still missing," Luna replied. "Usagi's so worried about Tuxedo Kamen that she can hardly function. She's beginning to lose herself."
"And just when we really need her to be aware of her duties as the Princess," Artemis commented dryly.
"But, there's nothing we can do," Rei retorted, looking at him over her shoulder. "The man she loves has been taken away from her. She's heartbroken. Is that so hard to understand?" she asked, turning back to the pond. "I know how she feels."
Makoto glanced over at her. "Strange to see you take her side," she remarked.
She bowed her head a little further. A stray memory surfaced to her mind.... Mars continued to stare at Sailor Moon, tears streaming down her cheeks as well. "And you think you're not strong? You have the power, you just don't believe. That is why you're a wimp. Mamoru-san risked his life to save a wimp."
"Sorry," she replied quietly. Makoto blinked in surprise at that response.
"I know this is hard on her," Artemis continued, "but she's got no time to be lost."
"That's right," Luna agreed. "Her purpose is to defeat the Dark Kingdom. In order to do so, she must mature into a proper princess and master using the Silver Crystal. We have to find a way to cheer her up," she stated, looking around at the others.
"At times like these," Ryoku said quietly, speaking up for the first time during their meeting, "some people prefer to be alone." Everyone turned to regard him, who still hadn't moved from the position he had settled in at the beginning of the meeting. He had been adamant about them leaving her alone for a while. They agreed with him, since he assured them that he knew that she wouldn't want to be disturbed.
He sighed and shook his head, but he still didn't look up at the others. "Still, I suppose that we don't have that luxury. Besides, it just doesn't seem natural for Usagi-chan to be in that kind of condition. She's the last person I'd ever expect to just lose all optimism and hope."
"You're right," Minako added. "Usagi-chan's not someone who'd want to stay miserable for long. She needs someone to cheer her up. I think I might know just the thing."
Usagi came home after school, went straight to her room, and sat in front of her mirror. She took out her star locket and opened it, listening to it play, then put her head down on her arms again and stared sadly into the mirror. Tears began to stream down her cheeks as she listened to the locket play its music.
She could almost imagine Mamoru's face in the mirror. "You don't look good crying, Meatball-head," she could imagine hearing him say.
"Mamoru...," she whimpered quietly. "Where are you? I never thought that I'd miss hearing you call me 'Meatball-head'." She glanced over to an open magazine on her bed. It was turned to that same ad that Naru showed her earlier. "There's that ad for the new hair salon that opened up. If I cut them off, then I won't have to hear anyone call me that anymore...."
"Usagi-chan," someone called from behind her. She looked up over her shoulder and saw Minako behind her.
"Minako-chan," she said in a more normal tone.
"Sorry," Minako said as she came in. "I knocked, but you didn't answer," she added, grinning cheerily as she glanced down at the ad on her bed. "Tell me.... Do you want to change your hairstyle, to refresh yourself?"
"All right," Usagi replied, nodding.
Minako's smile widened. She knelt down behind her and started to undo both of the buns on her head, letting the hair tumble down to the floor. She then picked up a hairbrush from Usagi's dresser and started to gently brush Usagi's hair. Usagi closed her eyes in contentment as the soft stroking of the hairbrush relaxed her.
"What do you think?" Minako asked while she worked. "Short for a mature spirit? A light wave for something extra? How about simply straight? Girls can change so much just by changing their hairstyle, don't you think? They can become someone totally different; a whole new person."
Usagi nodded silently and glanced down at the hair salon ad again.
Kunzite stared balefully down at Mamoru, who was still in the brainwashing device. The process was nearly complete and soon he would join their side. However, he didn't look forward to it. In fact, he despised him for being the root of what had caused Zoisite's demise. He would only put up with his presence because Beryl had plans for him.
"Kunzite," Beryl said as she entered. He glanced up to where she was standing at the other side of the room, and bowed.
"Yes, Queen Beryl?"
"We must get the Silver Crystal out of Sailor Moon's hands at any cost," Beryl told him. "Have you not discovered the true identity of Sailor Moon?"
"I still require more time," Kunzite replied, bowing again.
"Do not delay," Beryl advised. "You must discover the true identity of Sailor Moon and retrieve the Silver Crystal."
"Do not be concerned. I have an operation currently underway." Kunzite raised his right hand, displaying a long strand of blonde hair. "This is a strand of Sailor Moon's hair that I found during a battle. I'll analyze it and find the girl who matches. Surely, we shall find out who Sailor Moon is."
"Good. Carry on."
The hair salon, Tokoyama Kariko, which was named after its owner and founder, was very busy. Several girls were lined up at sinks for shampoo and rinse, in chairs for haircuts and trims, at the hair steamers, and in the waiting area. Despite the capacity, the flow of customers moved swiftly for a hair salon.
When Minako and Usagi entered the salon, they were greeted by none other than Kariko herself, whom they recognized from her picture in the ads they had seen before.
"Hello. Welcome to Tokoyama Kariko. What can I do for you?"
Minako pushed Usagi forward. "Can you take a look at her hair? Perhaps suggest a new style for her?"
"Sure," Kariko replied, taking a look at Usagi's hair. "Oh, what pretty hair! Please, come this way." She led Usagi over to one of the unoccupied sinks and sat her down in it. She then placed a warm cloth over Usagi's face and filled the sink with warm water.
"What do you think about short and red?" she asked as she began to shampoo Usagi's hair.
"Me? A redhead?" Usagi exclaimed, her voice muffled through the cloth.
Minako watched Usagi with a small, pleased grin on her face. This's just the thing she needs right now - something to take her mind off Mamoru. I hope this makes you feel better, Usagi-chan.
One of the hairstylists who were tending to the girls at the hair steamers readied another girl under one of the steamers. "Please wait there," she requested, then left to go take care of something else.
Kariko turned to look at the girl under the steamer as the machine began to analyze the girl's hair. A light at the top flashed a bright blue. So, this girl is not Sailor Moon, either....
Another hairstylist approached Minako, who was sitting in the waiting area reading one of the magazines. "Thank you for waiting," she told her. "We're ready for you now."
"Oh, that's okay," Minako replied, holding her hand up in polite refusal. "I'm just waiting for my friend."
"I see," she answered, undaunted. "Well, why not try out our special hair steamer. This machine will treat damaged hair with a special steam."
Minako nodded her assent. Why not? she thought to herself. After all, it's free. She got up from her chair and followed the hairstylist to one of the unoccupied steamers and sat down. She reached up and untied the hairbow, letting her long blonde hair fall freely around her shoulders. The hairstylist then wrapped her hair in a small towel and lowered the steamer over her head.
"Please wait there," she said and left. Kariko turned toward Minako and watched as the machine analyzed her hair. A light at the top flashed a bright red. Her eyes widened in surprised, then narrowed in anticipation.
At last, Sailor Moon!
"OW!" Usagi yelped, as Kariko's hands started massaging Usagi's scalp a little too hard. "Hey, do you have to rub so hard?"
At last, we discovered the true identity of Sailor Moon....
"That's better. Can you go over a bit to the right?"
Kariko left Usagi and strode over to where Minako was sitting.
"Kariko-san, are you done with the shampoo?" Usagi asked, still seated at the sink.
"We have finally found you, Sailor Moon," Kariko growled quietly as she roughly grabbed Minako's shoulder. Usagi heard Minako's shout of pain and surprise and quickly sat up to see what was going on.
The other hairstylists stood in a circle in the center of the room and each raised an unmarked aerosol spray can. They started spraying a somniferous vapor around the room, which slowly began to blanket the interior of the salon. All of the customers promptly fell asleep, except for Minako, who was fighting the effects of the spray, and Usagi, who had quickly dropped to the floor and crawled around a wall, out of the effected area.
"No!" Kariko shouted, shaking Minako savagely. "You will not go to sleep! Now, hand over the Silver Crystal!"
"What are you talking about?" Minako asked tiredly.
She angrily shook her again. "There's no use in playing ignorant!" she snapped fiercely, and began slamming her repeatedly back against her chair. "We've analyzed your hair. It matches Sailor Moon's perfectly!"
"Hair?" Minako murmured weakly, after she ceased slamming her against the chair. I see.... I must've gotten some of Usagi's hair on me earlier as I was brushing it....
"So, you're not going to cooperate with us," Kariko stated, slamming Minako back against the chair one last time and releasing her. Minako slumped back into the chair, weak from the effects of the vapor. She then began to walk backwards toward the center of the circle of hairstylists. "We have another plan."
As soon as she stepped into the center of the circle, it began to revolve around her. Soon, the red- and blue-garbed hairstylists began to blur into one giant ring of alternating red and blue around white-clothed Kariko. The red, white, and blue cylindrical blur soon disappeared, leaving a giant monster in its place. The huge red creature's four blond braids stuck out in an X-pattern behind her head. Her right arm had what resembled a barber pole on her forearm.
"No way...," Minako uttered apprehensively.
Usagi watched all this from behind the corner of the wall. "Kariko-san must've been turned into a youma by the Dark Kingdom!" she exclaimed. "Hang in there, Minako-chan. I'll rescue you! Moon prism power, make up!" Within moments, she had transformed into Sailor Moon.
"Hold it!" Sailor Moon commanded. The creature paused in her tracks and turned to regard whoever had interrupted her. Her eyes widened in surprise when she saw Sailor Moon standing behind her, arms folded sternly in front of her. "She's not Sailor Moon."
"Impossible!" she exclaimed in confusion.
"You claim to do haircuts for free and play over the girls who are short on money! Sailor Moon will not forgive a stingy youma like you! On behalf of the Moon, I'll punish you!"
"Nice of you to come out into the open like this, Sailor Moon. Now, I can take care of you and get the Silver Crystal!" Her right hand sank into her forearm, below the barber pole. She then affixed a hair dryer attachment to it and pointed it at Sailor Moon. "I, the youma Mitsuarmy, will melt you away!"
Sailor Moon dived to one side as a blast of searing hot air melted the counter she had been standing beside.
"Sailor Moon...," Minako murmured faintly and succumbed to the effects of the spray.
"Always dry wet hair!" Mitsuarmy shouted, pointing her dryer toward Sailor Moon. She sent another blast of burning air at her, incinerating the three potted plants and the counter top Sailor Moon was hiding behind. She took one look at the damage and gave a small yelp of apprehension.
Mitsuarmy exchanged her dryer attachment for a large razor blade. She then leaped into the air, while sharpening the blade on a length of course material. "I'll shave away unwanted hair!" she declared as she brought the blade down over Sailor Moon. The blade went through the middle of the counter and even through a bit of the floor, while Sailor Moon leaped out of the way.
As she rolled toward one of the couches in the waiting area, she stopped just in time to avoid getting hit by a pair of scissors, which had embedded themselves into the side of the couch in front of her. She dived to the ground and started to roll again as Mitsuarmy fired a barrage of scissors, imbedding them into the ground in a straight line behind her.
Sailor Moon continued to roll until she crashed into a cart full of makeup, causing the contents of the cart to scatter everywhere, but mostly on her. Mitsuarmy strode over to where she could get another clear shot at her, just as Sailor Moon threw a small jar of powder at her. The jar shattered, creating a cloud of powder around her face.
"Mitsuarmy," Sailor Moon said as she brought out her Crescent Moon Wand, "I'll turn you back into Tokoyama Kariko again! Moon healing.... Ah!" she exclaimed, as something struck the Crescent Moon Wand out of her hand. She cradled her hand for a moment, then reached out and picked up the wand. When she turned to see what had struck her hand, she froze for a moment in shock.
"That's...," she whispered to herself. She slowly turned around, half-afraid that her mind was only playing tricks on her and half-hopeful that it really was who she thought it was.
In front of her, a figure dressed in black with a top hat was seated in one of the chairs with his back turned to her. "Is he...?" she wondered aloud. The figure turned in his chair. "Tuxedo Kamen-sama!" she exclaimed in immense relief. "I'm so glad you're safe."
Unnoticed by Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Kamen's usual red rose suddenly turned black. "I am not the man you speak of," he remarked coldly, and got up from the chair. Sailor Moon's expression turned from relief to confusion as she stared at Tuxedo Kamen in disbelief. "I'm a commander of the Dark Kingdom, Endymion."
"No... no way," she uttered in disbelief.
"Sailor Moon, hand over the Silver Crystal," he demanded, lifting up his cane and extending it.
"No way...," Sailor Moon lamented, tears beginning to form in her eyes. "How could he...?"
Behind her, Mitsuarmy was busy trying to start some kind of motor. After several pulls on the starter cord, the motor sputtered to life. "Finally," she muttered irritably as a plume of smoke rose from the motor. She whirled around, displaying a huge motorized razor on her right arm. "I have the engine going." She leaped at Sailor Moon, lunging with the huge razor. Sailor Moon quickly leaped back from the attack, still holding onto the Crescent Moon Wand.
"Mitsuarmy, take the Silver Crystal!" Tuxedo Kamen ordered, pointing his cane directly at Sailor Moon.
"No!" Sailor Moon gasped. "This can't be happening!"
"I'll trim your hair!" Mitsuarmy shouted and rushed toward her.
"No way!" Sailor Moon shrieked and dashed out of the salon. Mitsuarmy dashed after her, breaking through the door and most of the wall around it. Tuxedo Kamen calmly followed after them.
Minako came to just as he passed by her. She weakly lifted her head and watched as he walked out the considerably enlarged doorway.
"Tuxedo Kamen is on the enemy's side?" she murmured in astonishment. "I'd better call the others." She brought out her transformation pen and held it out in front of her.
"Venus power, make up!"
Mitsuarmy lunged again with her oversized razor, just missing Sailor Moon, and struck a telephone pole. The pole toppled over, snapping the phone wires, and crashed into the ground.
"Stand still and let me shave you bald!" she shouted and took another swipe at her, this time hitting a lamppost.
"Are you kidding?" Sailor Moon retorted. "My head'll come off if you use that thing!"
"What is taking so long, Mitsuarmy?" Tuxedo Kamen demanded. "Take the Silver Crystal now!"
"No...," Sailor Moon whispered sadly to herself.
Mitsuarmy leaped at Sailor Moon again, striking the concrete as Sailor Moon dodged the attack again and tumbled to the ground. She turned around in time to watch her advance toward her with the large razor pointed straight at her.
"Say goodbye, Sailor Moon," she sneered.
"Hold it right there!" five voices ordered in unison.
Everyone turned to regard the new arrivals: the other Sailor Scouts and the two guardian cats. "Everyone...," Sailor Moon said in relief.
The three attacks combined and struck the huge razor on Mitsuarmy's right hand and blew it up, causing her to stagger from the blow.
"Shabon spray!" Mercury shouted, raising a thick mist to obscure vision.
"Hurry, Sailor Moon!" Venus shouted.
"Moon healing escalation!" she shouted, rotating the wand in a large circle in front of her, ending above her head. As she held the wand above her head, a white glow emanated from the wand and covered the monster, returning her and the other hairstylists to their normal form. They then collapsed in a heap onto the ground. Tuxedo Kamen growled furiously, seeing that Mitsuarmy was now gone.
"Tuxedo Kamen-sama!" Mars called out, taking a few steps toward him. "I'm so glad to see you safe...."
"Sailor Mars," Venus said in a stern voice. "He's not the Tuxedo Kamen you knew. He's a commander of the Dark Kingdom," she declared, pointing an accusing finger at him. "Endymion. That youma was taking orders from him." Each of the other four Scouts and the two cats stared at Tuxedo Kamen in disbelief, Mars with tears in her eyes. Sailor Moon just stared down into the crystal on her wand.
"He can't be," Mars said in astonishment. "That's not true, is it? Please, Tuxedo Kamen-sama," she pleaded, "tell me it's not true."
"It is," Tuxedo Kamen replied. "A rose has its thorns, and even a red rose can turn black."
"How could you...," Mars whispered sadly.
"You... traitor...," Knight uttered incredulously, tightly clenching both fists at his sides.
"Are you seriously going to fight against us?" Mercury asked.
"It if against my belief to defeat women, but I will if it is to get the Silver Crystal," Tuxedo Kamen stated. "So, who's first?"
"Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, I'm so sorry," Knight said quietly and stepped between the other Scouts and Tuxedo Kamen. "Even during the race for the Rainbow Crystals, I never truly believed that it would come to this." He sighed regretfully and stood in a defensive fighting stance. "I'm first. Come, Endymion. I am ready."
Tuxedo Kamen stepped forward to fight Sailor Knight, but paused as he heard Queen Beryl contact him telepathically.
Endymion, leave them for now.
That is the order of Queen Metallia.
His glare swept over all of the Scouts for a brief moment. "Sailor Scouts, the day to meet your fate has been postponed for now," he told them as he turned to leave. "I will return and I will have that Silver Crystal. Beware of that. Farewell." All of the Scouts and cats stared after him as he walked away. A black portal opened up a short distance in front of him, which he calmly strode through, and disappeared.
Endymion, now in his Earth Prince uniform, entered the chamber where Queen Metallia resided and knelt in front of dark structure which housed her.
"Why have you called me back?" Mamoru inquired.
The dark form bubbled to life. "BECAUSE I CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE YOU, ENDYMION."
Endymion nodded and bowed again. "As you wish, Great Master."
Beryl grinned as she sat in her throne, gazing over her crystal. "It appears Endymion has totally become the Dark Kingdom's warrior," she commented.
"The brainwashing has been quite effective," Kunzite replied, bowing.
"We must have Endymion working very hard as a warrior of the Dark Kingdom now."
"As you wish, my Queen."
Each of the six Scouts stood outside of the hair salon, observing the hairstylists at work. Neither they, nor the customers, seemed to recall anything of what happened earlier. Usagi nodded to herself, turned, and started to walk away.
"Everything seems back to normal here," she said, then stopped. "They all had nothing to do with our fight. I don't want them to become victims of our battle."
"Looks like Usagi-chan's finally starting to accept her destiny as the Princess," Artemis remarked as he sat in Minako's arms.
"Most of all, I'm glad Tuxedo Kamen-sama's okay!" Usagi declared cheerily. Everyone sweatdropped in exasperation as she laughed happily.
"You were saying, Artemis?" Luna commented as she sat in Ami's arms.
"Well, I'm sure she's trying, Luna," Artemis continued. "I meant that she was moving forward."
"I definitely prefer her this way," Ryoku replied quietly, his expression showing a little concern as he watched Usagi. "At least, opposed to her being in a deep depression. That is no way for anyone to be." The two cats, Ami and Minako all gave him a questioning look, but he ignored it.
"Rei-chan," Makoto said, putting a concerned hand on her shoulder. Rei had been watching Usagi with a concerned expression as well, but turned to Makoto when she felt her hand on her shoulder. "Rei-chan, you can't keep worrying, either," Makoto told her.
Rei smiled faintly and nodded. "You're right," she agreed and turned back to watch Usagi.
"I bet he's being used by the bad guys!" Usagi continued, clenching a fist angrily. "I'll get him back! You'll see! I'll break whatever hold they have on him and I'll bring him back!"
It was supposed to be a sunny afternoon... according to the weatherman, at least. Supposedly, weathermen are experts on stuff like this, so Makoto left the apartment without her umbrella.
Hours later, true to the nature of all weathermen, it rained.
"Stupid weatherman!" she growled running while holding her bookbag over her head. "Ten percent chance of rain, he says. Some ten percent this is!" She continued on her way, not watching where she was going while muttering angrily and suggesting that the aforementioned weatherman should stick his forecast somewhere that was bound to hurt, when she ran into someone and crashed onto the wet ground. "Hey! Why don't you watch where you're going!" she yelled furiously.
"I'm sorry," the person apologized.
"Sorry isn't good enough!" she growled. She paused as she recognized the guy's voice. Is that voice... Motoki-san...? She looked up. It was Motoki.
"Mako-chan, are you okay?" he asked as he grabbed her hand and helped her up. "I'm really sorry. I was busy thinking about something. By the way, don't you have an umbrella?"
His voice sounds like my long-lost senpai..., Makoto thought dreamily to herself. I wish time could stop right now....
"Maybe we should get going?"
Makoto suddenly snapped out of her trance and nodded. "Sure."
They walked down the street, Makoto staying close under Motoki's umbrella. Staying dry was one thing, but to actually have an excuse to stay close to him....
"I hear you're an excellent cook," he said suddenly.
"Just a bit," she said with a grin.
"Sounds great," he replied. "Can you cook me something?"
"Sure, anytime!" she answered eagerly. "And I'll clean up your room."
Motoki blinked. He wasn't really expecting to be taken seriously, but.... "That'd be great," he said with a small, appreciative grin.
She quickly reached into her bookbag, pulled out a pencil and a pad of paper, and handed it over to him. "Here. Can you write down your address, phone number and favorite food?"
He took the pad and pencil and wrote down the requested information. "There. You're an interesting girl," he said with some amusement.
"That's what everybody tells me," she replied, looking over at the pad as he wrote. "Hmm... your favorite food is Hayashi Rice."
Slowly, the rain began to lessen until it completely stopped. The clouds parted quickly allowing the sun to shine over them. "The rain stopped," he said, folding his umbrella. "I guess we can be on our way."
"Why did it have to stop raining already?" she grumbled disappointedly. He looked at her in confusion and she laughed nervously in chagrin.
"Mako-chan, I have to drop by my school for a bit," he mentioned.
"I see. Then, I'll drop by your place later to make Hayashi Rice. See you later!" she said cheerily as she ran off.
"Wait!" Motoki called, but she had already left. "I have a date tonight...."
"My, you have a pretty friend," a female voice said from behind. She was frowning lightly with her arms folded in front of her. "So, is she the new girlfriend Mamoru-kun was telling me about?"
Motoki grinned as he turned around. "Don't tease me like that, Reika."
"I'm just kidding," Reika replied, smiling as well.
He glanced over her outfit and frowned in disappointment. She was wearing a lab coat over her lavender dress, which could only mean one thing. "Judging from your outfit, no date tonight, right?"
"I'm sorry. It'll probably take until night to finish."
"It's all right. So, have you decided on what you're going to do?"
She sighed and shook her head. "I still can't make up my mind."
He frowned in concern as he nodded. "I see. It is a once-in-a-lifetime decision, so take your time."
"You're such a kind man," she replied, looking away as a tear slowly ran down her cheek. With her facing away from him like that, he couldn't see it. "But...."
"Hi there, you two!" Mamoru called out, walking up to the couple with Ryoku silently walking with him.
"Mamoru-kun!" Reika exclaimed in surprise. "You've got to stop sneaking up on us like that! By the way, who's that with you?" she asked, glancing at Ryoku.
"That's Kino Ryoku," Motoki replied. "He's a friend of ours. Ryoku, this is my girlfriend, Nishimura Reika."
Ryoku was surprised to find out that Motoki had a girlfriend, but it didn't show on his face. Well, I never did ask if he had a girlfriend. Usagi-chan and Mako-chan are really going to be shocked over hearing this! I'd better let them know about Reika-san. "Hello," he greeted pleasantly.
"Nice to meet you, Ryoku-san," she replied, smiling. She glanced at her watch and gasped slightly. "Oh, look at the time! I've got to go. Mamoru-kun, would you and Ryoku-san mind keeping him company for a while? Bye Motoki, I'll call you later!" she shouted over her shoulder as she ran off.
Both Ryoku and Mamoru turned to Motoki, who was still staring off after Reika with a crestfallen expression on his face. They shared a look, nodded, and dragged Motoki along with them.
Zoisite thrust her crystal spinning out in front of her. The crystal spun in place for a second, then stopped with one point sticking straight into the air. "Dark Crystal," she shouted, "I command you, show me the fifth of the Rainbow Crystal carriers!" Several small streaks of light shot up from the bottom end of the dark crystal and gathered at the top into a glowing sphere of light. The bright sphere of light then exploded into a swirling black funnel, upon which the image of a red-haired woman appeared, wearing a lab coat over her lavender dress.
She looked over to Kunzite, who was standing beside her. "This woman is the next target. The top biology research student at Azabu Technical Institute."
Kunzite glanced at the image from the Dark Crystal. "Hmm... she is rather attractive," he remarked.
Zoisite glared at him with a hurt expression on her face. "How could you?" she exclaimed dejectedly. "She's only an ugly youma! And you call her attractive?"
"Zoisite, jealousy does not suit beautiful you," he replied.
"I'm not listening!" she answered coolly, closing her eyes and turning away.
Undaunted, he made a rose appear in his hand and offered it to her. "Even this rose cannot surpass your beauty," he said softly, as she took the rose from him and smiled. She rested her head on his chest as he gently stroked the back of her head.
"Kunzite-sama, I will get the next Rainbow Crystal for you."
"So, what's wrong?" Ryoku asked, staring at a slightly disappointed Motoki sitting across from him. He and Mamoru had dragged him for a short distance until he got the message and started to follow them. Mamoru had suggested they go to a cafe and order some drinks. Idly, Ryoku had noticed that it was the same place he and Rei went to when she told him that she had won tickets to that cruise they went on a couple of months ago. He ordered a soda while the two older guys both ordered some coffee.
"Reika might be leaving soon," Motoki replied despondently. "To Africa." He absently drank a little of his coffee. "It's a research project on the possible origins of life on Earth."
"I see," Mamoru replied. "So, what's going to happen?"
"I don't know. She's still trying to decide."
"I mean, what're you going to do?"
"I just don't know. I want her to stay close to me, but I can't tie down her future."
"That's typical you," Mamoru replied wryly, folding his arms across his chest.
"Haven't either of you ever been in love with someone?" Motoki asked.
"Not really," Mamoru replied flatly. Ryoku remained silent as he began to study the table in front of him.
"How about you, Ryoku?" he asked.
"Once," Ryoku replied quietly.
"Really?" Mamoru inquired.
"Yes, but I really don't want to talk about it."
Mamoru and Motoki both glanced at him as he continued to stare down at the table.
"Oh, yeah," Motoki said suddenly. "Do either of you like Hayashi Rice?"
"Not really," Mamoru replied while Ryoku blinked at the abrupt change in subject and silently nodded.
"I see," Motoki replied. "Ryoku, your sister said she'd come over and cook me some. Why don't you two join me?"
"Mako-chan?" Mamoru asked, frowning in thought. "Oh, Usagi's friend."
"You've met my sister, Mamoru-san?"
"Not really. I've just seen her around Usagi; that's all." He paused as he gave Motoki a significant look. "Do you know how Usagi feels about you?"
"Well...," he began with a casual shrug, "she is cute."
"Cute?" Mamoru remarked, staring at him as he sweatdropped in chagrin. "We were talking about Reika-san and look at you...."
"Do you think I'd get serious about junior high students?" he asked, then smirked at him. "What about you and Usagi-chan's friend, Rei-chan?"
"It's not like I'm that interested in her. She's the one with the huge crush on me."
"Rei-chan tells me you've been going to karate classes together," Motoki mentioned. Mamoru paused for a moment in mortification. Ryoku noticed his hesitation and decided to answer the question for him.
"You're right about that," he said with a half-grin of amusement as Mamoru gave him a silencing glare. He ignored it and continued. "In fact, Rei-chan has already kicked his butt three times in a row and is gonna go for a fourth the next time they go." Both Motoki and Ryoku laughed at Mamoru's expense as he softly growled to himself in vexation.
"Cute," he muttered dryly. "Very cute."
"Sorry, Mamoru-san, but it is true," Ryoku replied.
"Anyway, that's not the point," Motoki continued, "Usagi-chan and her friend are like my younger sisters."
Both Mamoru and Ryoku shared another look. From the chagrined look on Mamoru's face, Ryoku knew he was thinking the same thing. Wait until he finds out that both Mako-chan and Usagi-chan have huge crushes on him!
Ryoku, though, was definitely not looking forward to breaking the news to Makoto tonight. Usagi could wait until tomorrow at school.
Later that day, Makoto cheerily ran over to the address Motoki had given her earlier. The apartments that he lived in weren't that much different from the ones that she and her brother lived in, the major difference being that theirs was a three-story complex, whereas his was just two stories tall. She glanced down at the notepad. Yes, this was the right address. She grinned to herself as she strode over to the door and knocked.
"Yes? Who is it?" Motoki's voice called from behind the door.
"Good morning!" she responded loudly. "This's Kino Makoto!"
"Hold on." The sound of a door unlocking was heard, then the door opened with Motoki standing in the doorway. "Hi, Mako-chan. What brings you here?"
"Excuse me," she replied as she quickly walked into the apartment, nearly knocking him aside.
"My place is a mess right now," he said apologetically.
"Don't worry," she replied, not having seen the room yet, since she was looking at him. "I know that some guys don't clean up a lot...," she faltered as she observed the extreme disarray that was his living room. Clothes strewn chaotically all over the place, dishes piled in the sink, dust everywhere.... To say that the room was a mess was quite an understatement. "...or at all," she concluded.
A determined expression set on her face as she took out a bandanna from her bag and tied it across her forehead. "Okay! Let's do it!"
"Do what?" he asked in surprised confusion.
"Clean up, of course," she replied matter-of-factly. "You honestly don't expect me to cook in a mess like this, do you?"
"Um... I guess not."
"Here we go!"
Makoto quickly went to work helping Motoki clean up the place. He started cleaning the dishes as she gathered up some of the clothes lying about the floor and set them over in a pile in the corner, which he would wash later. When that was done, she began to dust, then clean the windows, while he returned most of his books and other objects to his room. She was in the middle of mopping the floor he had just swept, when she noticed a picture of him standing next to an unfamiliar red-haired woman.
"Who is she?" she asked, picking up the picture.
"That's Reika," he said fondly.
"She's not your sister, is she?"
Uh-oh, she thought suddenly. If she's not his sister, then that must mean.... "She's your girlfriend?" she asked frantically.
"Well...," he began sheepishly, "...yeah."
Reality was like running face-first into a brick wall at 100 mph.... repeatedly. I think I'm gonna be sick....
Ryoku was considering how to break the unfortunate news to his sister when the door to their apartment opened and she walked forlornly through the door. Her expression was so bleak and depressed that he decided not to tell her about Motoki's girlfriend... at least, not right away. No sense compounding her misery by giving her what could be even worse news.
He walked over to Makoto and put his arm around her shoulders as closed the door behind her. "What happened, Mako-chan?" he asked with deep concern. "You seem so miserable."
"It's Motoki-san," she sighed. "I just found out that he has a girlfriend."
So much for having to worry about that. "I know. I just found out today, as well. I met her while I was talking with Mamoru-san and Motoki-san this afternoon."
"So you've seen her, too?"
"Yes. I can't help but feel sorry for Usagi-chan. She had a crush on him, too. I'm going to hate breaking this to her tomorrow. I don't think she'll take it well."
"I know what you mean," she replied glumly.
Makoto was still despondent when she went to school the next day. She was sitting beneath one of the many trees on the school grounds, sighing softly to herself. Luna sat quietly on the grass to her right, while her brother stood on her left. He was leaning against the tree behind her, with his arms folded across his chest. His expression was neutral, as usual, and he looked as though he was making sure no one bothered his sister's brooding.
"It's strange to see Mako-chan so troubled," Usagi said as she walked up to Makoto on her right. "What's wrong? You look down. Another broken heart?"
Makoto gave Usagi a furious scowl. "It's a bit annoying when you say stuff like that," she snapped irritably.
Usagi jumped back a bit at the severity of that scowl. "Uh-oh. I was just kidding," she said contritely. "What happened? I'll help you out."
"I doubt you could," Ryoku remarked, not turning his head. He hadn't moved from his position, leaning against the tree.
"Why don't you worry about your own problems?" Luna added before Ryoku could say anything more.
"Just tell me," she said sympathetically, turning to Makoto. "Who was it this time?"
"Motoki-san," Makoto replied curtly.
Apparently, reality had the same crushing effect on Usagi, because she immediately broke down into tears. At that point, Luna decided to walk over to Ryoku and leap into his arms, then climb onto his shoulder. She didn't exactly want to be next to Usagi when she was wailing at her usual level of loudness.
"How come you're so surprised?" Makoto added.
"Why shouldn't I be? I saw him first.... I liked him, too!" Usagi whined.
"Is that so?" Ryoku said sardonically, still not turning his head.
"This's too much!" Usagi continued, bawling incessantly.
"But I thought you said you liked Tuxedo Kamen," Makoto pointed out.
"I like both of them!" Usagi cried miserably. Ryoku and Luna promptly facefaulted.
"Make up your mind!" Makoto shouted irritably.
"Why don't you two cut it out?" Luna chided in annoyance from Ryoku's shoulder. "He has the right to choose, you know."
"I don't think they're listening, Luna," Ryoku sighed in vexation.
"Wait!" Usagi said as she stopped her crying.
"If Motoki-oniisan didn't choose Mako-chan, that means he's got someone else in mind."
"Brilliant deduction," Ryoku muttered dryly.
"And it must be... me!"
Ryoku and Luna performed their second facefault for the day.
"Nope," Makoto corrected flatly. "Her name's Reika-san."
"No way!" Usagi gasped. "I'm out, too?"
"Cheer up!" Makoto said encouragingly. "Who cares if he has a steady? I say we go for broke! Keep on trying, because you'll get nowhere just by crying!"
"That's right!" she said with renewed confidence as they both got to their feet.
"If we don't go for it, then there'll be no future for the Sailor Scouts!" they shouted simultaneously.
Luna and Ryoku sweatdropped. "Why do I get the feeling that those two don't have a future either way?" Luna asked dryly.
Ryoku sighed and shook his head sadly. "Just hope that this will pass swiftly, Luna. That's all we can do right now."
"And if it doesn't?"
"That is a trail of thought too perilous to pursue, Luna. I would rather not think about it."
Ryoku and Luna, who was still riding on his shoulders, followed Usagi and Makoto to the arcade after school. When the two girls asked why they were coming, he replied that he was curious as to how they intended to steal Motoki away from his girlfriend. Truthfully, he just wanted to watch both girls make fools of themselves, but he wasn't about to tell them that. He definitely wasn't going to tell them about Reika's possible trip to Africa, since it wasn't decided yet. No sense giving them aid in a futile endeavor.
"Here we go," Usagi said seriously.
"No grudges regardless of who wins, right?" Makoto said just as seriously.
"Right," Usagi answered, nodding. "Let's go in order of height!" she suggested suddenly.
Facefault number three.
"What is this? P.E.?" Makoto muttered as she sweatdropped while Ryoku and Luna recovered.
"Hey, Meatball-head!" Mamoru called as he walked up behind the group.
"Oh, great," Usagi growled. "Just what I don't need."
"Both of you?" he said, more to himself than to anyone else. Ryoku silently nodded as the girls blinked in surprise. "Why don't you two just forget about him, for both your sakes?"
"It's none of your business!" Usagi snapped irately.
"You cynic!" Makoto added just as testily.
"I hate to break this to you," Mamoru added undauntedly, "but Motoki thinks of you two as younger sisters and nothing more."
"Younger sister?" Makoto repeated in quiet disbelief.
"No way," Usagi added in similar disbelief.
"Don't believe me?" Mamoru asked. "Just ask Ryoku." Both girls whirled to face Ryoku, each with a questioning expression on their faces. Before they could ask, he nodded confirmation of Mamoru's statement. "Believe me now, Meatball-head?"
"Why should I believe anything a jerk like you has to say!" Usagi retorted furiously. "And remember, my name is Usagi. Not Meatball-head!" She turned and stomped toward the arcade's entrance.
"Sure, I know your name," Mamoru called after her. "Meatball-head!" Usagi stopped in mid-step, growled furiously and continued into the arcade.
"Don't you know that Motoki's already got a girlfriend?" he asked Makoto. He shot a glance over to Ryoku, who was leaning boredly against the wall with Luna perched on his right shoulder. Ryoku gave him an I'm-staying-out-of-this look and folded his arms stubbornly.
"You mean, Reika-san?" Makoto answered.
Mamoru looked at Ryoku again, who just shrugged, and sighed. "I just don't get what's going through the minds of junior high students these days," he muttered tiredly. "Even if she does choose to go overseas, I still doubt that either of you would have a chance...."
He was interrupted when Makoto suddenly grabbed him and started shaking him violently. "Overseas?" she demanded forcefully. "What do you mean? Tell me more!"
"I shouldn't have told her...," he muttered weakly as Makoto's fierce shaking caused him to collapse onto the ground.
"Are you okay?" she anxiously asked Mamoru's prostrate form.
"I think you killed him, Mako-chan," Ryoku teased from behind. Luna stifled a laugh and meowed her agreement.
"Some help you two are," Makoto muttered as she tried to revive Mamoru.
That night, Makoto waited by the gates of Azabu Technical Institute and stared up into the clear sky. The pale moonlight softly illuminated the school grounds where there were no lampposts. She sighed softly as the waiting was beginning to become boring.
"I came to urge Reika-san into going overseas, but...," she began, then dropped her gaze from the sky. "...how am I going to tell her?"
The sound of approaching voices caught her attention. There were two voices, one male and one female. She looked around the corner of the wall she was leaning against and peered through the gates. "It's her," she said, catching sight of Reika as she was walking towards the gate. She opened the gate, walked through it, and closed it again, all without noticing Makoto. "Excuse me," Makoto said, trying to catch her attention.
"Who is it?" she asked as she turned towards Makoto. "Didn't I see you with Motoki yesterday?"
"You did?" she asked as she followed Reika.
She grinned slightly. "I'm not upset, if that's what you're wondering," she mentioned. "So, what is it? Did you want to ask me about something?"
"Actually, I did," Makoto said as they walked into Shiba Park and sat on one of the benches. "Have you decided to study overseas?" she asked bluntly.
"You got the news quickly. Did Motoki tell you?" Reika asked obliquely.
"Please answer my question," Makoto requested.
Reika's expression fell slightly as she gazed down at the ground in front of her. "I still don't know yet," she replied after a long pause. "I'm still trying to decide. On one hand, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but... I don't want to part with Motoki, either. If only he'd stop me...."
"What are you talking about?" Makoto exclaimed, standing up from the bench. "Who do you think you are? You wouldn't go overseas if Motoki-san stops you? Then, why don't you just forget about the whole idea? You only have one way. Study or love. You won't get both!"
Reika nodded in surprised agreement, while Makoto suddenly realized what she had just said. Oops... I wasn't supposed to push her to go....
The following afternoon, Makoto went to go cook Motoki's favorite dish for him since last time she didn't have the proper ingredients to make the dish. Usagi insisted on tagging along and Ryoku came because he wanted to pick up a few pointers from his master chef sister, or so he claimed. She wasn't too sure about that, but she let him come along anyway. She also made him carry the bag of ingredients, too.
It was a large, heavy bag.
"That's his place over there," Makoto said, pointing to Motoki's apartment.
"You know your way? At last, I'll be in Motoki-oniisan's home," Usagi said excitedly. Ryoku and Luna rolled their eyes in exasperation and sweatdropped.
"Knock it off, Usagi," Luna muttered as the girls headed over to Motoki's apartment door and knocked. Ryoku noticed that Luna wasn't following.
"You're not coming with us?" he asked.
"I'm a cat. I don't really need cooking lessons," Luna explained.
"I see. Well, see you later, then," Ryoku replied and went to join the girls.
The door opened and Motoki stepped into the doorway. "Hi, everyone! Please come in."
The apartment was still clean from the cleaning it had two days ago. Evidently, Motoki must've kept the apartment from falling back into the mess that was there before.
"Nice place you've got here, Motoki-san," Ryoku remarked appreciatively.
"Wow, it's so clean," Usagi said, surprised. "The rooms of good-looking men are good-looking as well, aren't they?" Makoto choked slightly in chagrin after hearing what she said.
Usagi spotted an almost empty coffee mug sitting on the table in the living room. "Unfinished coffee," she said, picking up the mug. "I smell Motoki-oniisan," she said as she smelled the coffee.
"Usagi, what are you doing?" Makoto asked pointedly.
"Oh, I forgot about that," Motoki mentioned as he came up behind them.
Usagi put down the mug and blushed slightly, bowing her head so no one would be able to see. "I hope you don't mind me coming," she said sheepishly.
"I came to watch Mako-chan cook," Ryoku called from the kitchen as he set the bag of ingredients down on the counter. "They also made me carry everything here for them. Anyway, I'm ready to go if you all are."
Usagi glanced over at Motoki, then down to the floor again. "No," she said almost to herself. "I'm not mentally prepared yet."
"Wow, that's impressive," Motoki replied. "You need mental preparation to cook, too?" From the expressions on Usagi and Makoto's faces, they didn't exactly expect that reaction to Usagi's usual complaints. Ryoku, on the other hand, simply dumped the contents of the bag he'd been carrying onto the table and arranged them for later use.
"Let's just get started," Makoto said dryly and went to go join her brother in the kitchen.
"All right," Usagi said, joining the others in the kitchen and still elated over getting that unexpected comment from Motoki. "Just tell me what to do."
"Okay, here's a knife. Start peeling some carrots," she ordered, handing her a knife.
"But, I'm not good at peeling," Usagi replied, staring at the knife in her hand.
"I'll just have Motoki-san handle it, then," Ryoku said, grabbing the carrots and carrying them off.
"Okay, then," Makoto said, slightly annoyed at Usagi's refusal to peel carrots. "Slice up some onions."
"I don't wanna be in tears," Usagi complained.
"I'll do it, then," Ryoku replied, walking back into the kitchen and grabbing the onions.
By now, Makoto was really getting annoyed with Usagi, clenching a fist in annoyance and snapping the carrot she was holding in half. "I think it's dead now, Mako-chan," Ryoku muttered aside to his sister as he began chopping the onions.
"Then, start cooking rice!" she growled to Usagi, ignoring her brother's remark.
"But, I don't know how to wash rice!" Usagi exclaimed.
"Don't look at me. I'm already busy," Ryoku said, still chopping onions.
"You useless thing...," Makoto grumbled.
"Well, you can always eat what everyone else makes," Ryoku remarked. "However, it would be kind of embarrassing for your future husband if he had to cook for his wife." He was saved from a scathing reply from Usagi when the phone suddenly rang.
Motoki left his carrots and went to go answer the phone. "Hello? Reika!" he exclaimed. Both Usagi and Makoto abandoned the food and started eavesdropping, leaving Ryoku to continue preparing the food and grumbling quietly to himself about nosy friends and sisters.
"Motoki, I've made up my mind," Reika told him sadly.
"I've come to a decision, Motoki," she informed him. "I... I need to see you. Right now."
"Okay, I'll be right there," he said, hanging up the phone. Usagi and Makoto quickly rushed back into the kitchen. Ryoku gave both girls a quick disapproving glance and went back to work.
"Usagi-chan, Mako-chan, Ryoku, sorry but...," Motoki began.
"Sure, see you later!" Usagi replied, cutting him off.
"You heard me?" he asked, slightly embarrassed.
"...you dummy," Makoto muttered aside to Usagi.
"What're you waiting for?" Ryoku asked, having figured out what was going on from the anxious expression on Motoki's face and the disappointed looks on the girls' faces. "Go."
"I'll be out for a bit!" he told them and rushed out the door.
Makoto sighed while Usagi suddenly yelped in pain.
"I cut my finger!"
While the meal they prepared slowly simmered, the girls sat around the living room table. Ryoku was keeping watch over the pot, in case it started to boil over, while the girls waited for Motoki to return. He didn't mind watching the pot; it was almost done anyway and it was better than listening to those two sigh constantly.
Outside, the sun had all but set. Usagi was half-asleep, while Makoto was extremely bored. Ryoku had set the pot aside to cool and was now sitting with the girls.
"He's late," Makoto muttered quietly.
Luna walked up to the window and peered inside. "Oh, there they are," she said to herself. "I wonder what happened to Motoki-san. It's not like him to just run off."
Suddenly, a faint beeping sounded from within Usagi's purse. "The Crescent Moon Wand is reacting! There must be a Rainbow Crystal nearby! Usagi!" Luna leaped up to a nearby window... and discovered that it was closed by smacking into the glass.
"What?" Usagi mumbled sleepily. "What's happening?"
"Rainbow Crystal...," Luna exclaimed as she landed face-first onto the ground after crashing into the window. "Everyone, transform!"
Makoto noticed the beeping sound coming from Usagi's purse. "Motoki-san's late and now I'm ticked off!" she stated, standing up.
"That's right! And he's making us wait! Damn Motoki-oniisan!" Usagi grumbled loudly, also standing up.
"...Usagi-chan," Luna muttered in exasperation.
"I'm just kidding."
"Enough of that," Ryoku told them, also standing up. "We've got work to do."
"Right. Moon prism power, make up!"
"Jupiter power, make up!"
"Knight swords power!"
The three transformed Scouts ran out of the apartment and headed straight for the location of the fifth Rainbow Crystal.
Motoki stood protectively between Reika and their attacker. The blonde woman was at that moment surrounding them and herself with a tall ring of fire, preventing their escape. He stared harshly at the blonde woman, who was now laughing mockingly at his attempts to protect Reika.
"How heroic," the woman mocked. Motoki snarled furiously as he rushed at the woman. She leaped into the air and hovered over the fire behind her, then quickly crossed her arms over her chest and then flung them apart, causing a huge energy blast to fly straight at him. The attack struck hard, sending him flying backwards to land at Reika's feet, out cold. "Have a nice nap," the woman said, landing back on the ground and striding over to Reika.
Reika kneeled down worriedly and touched his cheek with her trembling hand. She was scared. Scared, and infuriated. How dare this woman attack her and the one she loved! "You monster!" she spat furiously, whirling to face the blonde threat approaching her. She hovered protectively over Motoki's motionless form as if to ward off any further attacks from their assailant.
"And you are a hideous monster as well," Zoisite stated as she approached her. "One of the Seven Shadows, Rikoukeida."
"Seven Shadows?" Reika repeated in disbelief.
"Yes," Zoisite replied, holding up the Dark Crystal in front of Reika. "Now I'll retrieve the Rainbow Crystal and show you exactly what I mean." The Dark Crystal began to glow, emitting pulses of energy at her. The pulses of energy began to envelope her and penetrate through her. Suddenly, she felt a surge of power as the energy from the Dark Crystal found the Rainbow Crystal within her. She began to scream as the power of the Blue Rainbow Crystal began to overload her senses. Suddenly, a screen of smoke rose around her. From out of the smoke, the Blue Rainbow Crystal flew straight towards Zoisite's hand. She smiled darkly as she caught the crystal. The smoke cleared, revealing a green-skinned woman with short flame-colored hair. She wore a monocle over her right eye, and what seemed to be a black one-piece swimsuit and red knee-high boots.
"Reika-san!" Sailor Moon exclaimed as the three Scouts and Luna appeared on the scene.
"She changed into a...," Sailor Jupiter continued.
"...into a Shadow Warrior," Sailor Knight finished.
"Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Knight, be careful!" Luna warned.
"I'm the Sailor Warrior fighting for love and justice, Sailor Moon!" Sailor Moon stated. "I'm different from the usual me!"
"Ten thousand volt power of a broken heart!" Jupiter shouted.
"Looking for boyfriends!" they finished together.
Luna stared at them in complete exasperation. "You too, Mako-chan?" she muttered in a suffering tone.
Knight had an utterly mortified look on his face. "Why me?" he implored skyward as if patience would materialize from thin air.
"On behalf of the Moon, I'll punish you!" Sailor Moon shouted, finishing her speech.
"So, you have no boyfriends?" Rikoukeida asked derisively.
"It's all your fault!" Sailor Moon retorted.
"Forget boyfriends for now!" Knight exclaimed in frustration.
"I will have the Rainbow Crystal!" Zoisite said, laughing as the Shadow Warrior tossed an exploding canister at Sailor Moon, which would have hit her if Knight hadn't pulled her out of the way. As she was watching the scene below her, something struck her hand from behind, forcing her to drop the crystal. "What?" she growled as she turned around to see who had attacked her. A figure dressed in a black tuxedo, top hat and cape stood atop the building behind her, his cane retracting back to its normal length. "Tuxedo Kamen!"
Tuxedo Kamen leaped off the building and landed onto the ground just as Zoisite settled to the ground herself. "So, you dare to interfere with me again?" she sneered.
"You will not have the Rainbow Crystal," he declared.
Sailor Moon was staring dreamy-eyed at Tuxedo Kamen, which didn't go unnoticed by the other two Scouts. "Hey, what about Motoki-san?" Jupiter asked.
"Right now, I'm Tuxedo Kamen-sama all the way!" Sailor Moon replied.
Facefault number four.
"It must be nice to be able to change your loyalties, just like that," Knight remarked sarcastically as he recovered.
Before Sailor Moon could ask Knight what he meant by that remark, Rikoukeida began to bombard the Scouts with several blue-colored canisters. The canisters exploded upon contact with the ground, releasing several small, slimy blobs that slowly began to climb up their legs.
"What are these disgusting things?" Sailor Moon shrieked as she leaped up and down, trying to dislodge the disgusting creatures.
"Those cells will draw the energy out of you through osmosis, leaving your bodies in a desiccative state," she explained. Sailor Moon's expression turned blank from confusion.
"She needs to brush up on her biology," Luna commented dryly.
"She meant that these things'll suck out all of our energy until we turn into raisins," Knight told Sailor Moon, simplifying it for her benefit.
"Oh," she replied, now understanding what that complex statement meant. "...but I don't wanna be a raisin!" she whined, fully understanding what that complex statement meant.
"My guardian planet, Jupiter," Jupiter intoned, preparing her attack. "Bring forth the storm! Call upon the clouds! Let thunder come down upon me! Supreme thunder!" The lightning bolts struck the energy-draining cells, destroying them. Rikoukeida, on the other hand, summoned a flask to appear between her hands, which she used to catch Jupiter's attack.
"What?" Knight uttered in shock.
"She caught my attack!" Jupiter exclaimed, also surprised.
The Shadow Warrior pointed the opening of the flask at the Scouts and slapped the bottom. Lightning bolts shot out from the flask, headed straight for them.
"Look out!" both Knight and Jupiter shouted, each grabbing one side of Sailor Moon and pulling her out of the way of the attack.
"So, you escaped," Rikoukeida said indifferently. "I still have plenty of thunder left."
"Sailor Jupiter, do something!" Sailor Moon pleaded. "Can't you turn that lightning bolt off or something?" Jupiter only shook her head.
"I will send you three to hell together," the Shadow Warrior declared, readying another attack.
"Shabon spray!" Sailor Mercury shouted, raising a thick fog to obscure vision.
"Mercury!" Knight exclaimed in relief.
"And Mars!" Jupiter added, echoing his relief.
"Glad we made it on time," Mercury said, as she and Mars appeared from out of the mist.
"Do you know how hard it was looking for you three?" Mars asked pointedly.
"Tell us later," Knight replied as prepared his attack, hoping to shatter that flask and rid the Shadow Warrior of that weapon. "Earth thrust!"
The two attacks struck the flask simultaneously, completely destroying the flask. As the fog began to dissipate, Rikoukeida found herself surrounded by the five Sailor Scouts.
"Use lab equipment with care," Mercury told her.
"Use limited resources wisely," Jupiter added.
"Now, get moving," Mars urged imperiously.
"Don't get bossy!" Sailor Moon retorted irritably.
"Then, don't just stand there like an idiot!"
"Who's an idiot?!?"
"Would you two just knock it off?!?" Knight bellowed in frustration.
"Sailor Moon, hurry!" Luna scolded.
Sailor Moon nodded and brought out the Crescent Moon Wand. "Moon healing escalation!" she shouted, rotating the wand in a large circle in front of her, ending above her head. As she held the wand above her head, a white glow emanated from the wand and covered the Shadow Warrior, returning her to her normal form. She then collapsed onto the ground.
Meanwhile, Tuxedo Kamen and Zoisite had been busy dueling over the Blue Rainbow Crystal, which was still lying on the ground where Zoisite had dropped it. Tuxedo Kamen thrust and blocked with his cane while Zoisite tried to blast him with several energy bolts, each missing by a slight margin.
"It appears that the battle is over," Tuxedo Kamen announced as he dodged another shot from Zoisite and thrust again with his cane.
She took a cautious look over to where the Scouts were gathered, and saw that he was right. "You win. You can have the Rainbow Crystal," she resigned, stepping back from the crystal. He gazed warily at the blonde General for a moment, then bent to pick up the crystal. Suddenly, a flurry of flower petals flew straight for him, forcing him to bring up his cape protectively against the attack.
"Tuxedo Kamen, you fool," Zoisite taunted, after grabbing the crystal and opening a portal behind her. "I will have the Rainbow Crystals!"
"Hold it, Zoisite!" Knight ordered to the fleeing General as he rushed after her. "I won't let you have that crystal!" He reached behind his back, brought out one of his swords and quickly flung it at the retreating General's hand. The sword struck the Rainbow Crystal, knocking it out of her hand just as the portal closed on her. He dashed over to the crystal and grabbed both it and his sword before Tuxedo Kamen could recover from Zoisite's attack.
Tuxedo Kamen stared at Knight's retreating form, as he ran off with the Blue Rainbow Crystal. At least Zoisite didn't get the crystal, he thought as he turned and departed.
Motoki slowly got to his feet, his head aching from Zoisite's last blow. "Motoki!" he heard Reika call. He turned to see her running anxiously towards him. "Reika!" he responded, relieved to see her all right. She rushed into his arms, all of her fears and worries melting away in his embrace.
"Hey!" Knight called out to the other Scouts as they were beginning to leave. "Look at what I've got!" he exclaimed, proudly holding up the Blue Rainbow Crystal.
"That's wonderful, Knight!" Mercury exclaimed delightedly.
"Now, we have two Rainbow Crystals!" Jupiter added.
"There are only two more crystals to find," Luna pointed out. "Not to mention that we have to retrieve the other three from Zoisite and Tuxedo Kamen."
"Oh, don't be so gloomy," Sailor Moon admonished. "We at least have two."
"Don't worry. We'll get the others," Mars added. The other Scouts each nodded their agreement.
A few days later, Motoki and Reika were despondently holding hands at the airport, near the gate for her flight. She had finally decided that she would take the opportunity to study in Africa, which he supported wholeheartedly, if a little sadly.
The last call for boarding sounded over the PA system. Though it was time for them to part, they were loath to leave each other's side.
"Reika, I won't say goodbye," he promised ardently.
"I'll write you."
"I'll be waiting."
"I'd better go."
"Have a safe trip."
Reika gazed into Motoki's eyes, as her eyes grew teary. "You're in my heart," she said lovingly.
"As you're in mine," he replied just as lovingly. He followed her all the way to the gate and watched as she boarded.
"Oh, that's the most romantic thing I've ever seen!" Usagi exclaimed, dabbing a handkerchief to her eyes. She, Makoto, and Ryoku all accompanied Motoki and Reika to the airport, and were now watching the tableau between the parting couple.
"Indeed," Ryoku remarked as he stood with his arms folded, watching the couple with a sympathetic expression on his face. It definitely was worth it to come to the airport with them, even if he and his sister did hate the place.
"Mako-chan, let's give up on Motoki-oniisan," Usagi suggested.
"Reika-san might find a good man in Africa," Makoto said with a sly grin.
Usagi regarded her with surprise. "No way!"
"So, you're dropping out?" she inquired as she started after Motoki.
"No, I did not!" Usagi shouted, chasing after her.
"Didn't you give up?"
"No, I didn't!"
"I'll have Motoki-san!"
Facefault number five.
"I'll just pretend I don't know them," he muttered wryly as he recovered and headed in the opposite direction.
Queen Beryl was really mad at Jaedite this time. Not only had he failed again, but thanks to Sailor Moon and the three other Sailor Scouts, he had also lost Titus. Things just couldn't get any worse, but then again things usually did. And, as of late, they always seemed to happen to him.
She had left him waiting for her, as she went to decide his fate. He knew it wasn't going to be good, especially since she was furious when she left. When she returned, she was icy calm. That was a very bad sign.
"Jadeite, we are pleased with the energy you have collected from the people of Earth," she began, "but you also have made several mistakes." Jadeite growled to himself and clenched a fist in anger. "Furthermore, you have not yet been able to eliminate the four Sailor Scouts: Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars and Sailor Knight. This disturbs me, Jadeite," she said in an ominous tone.
"But, Queen Beryl...," he began, but Beryl cut him off.
"I will hear no excuses!" she roared fiercely. "Kill the Sailor Scouts!" She grinned wickedly in the pale lighting. "If you fail this time... the punishment is eternal sleep."
In the background, astonished murmuring could be heard easily. Jadeite was merely speechless with worry over his fate. Now, things couldn't get any worse.
"The punishment of eternal sleep condemns you to the most profound darkness... forever. You will be sealed away into the edge of darkness... never to return. Remember that."
It was time for him to take drastic measures.
Rei was just getting dressed after taking a nice long soak in the bathtub. She slipped on her usual red and white robes and headed for her room. Ever since that so-called cruise that she, Ami and Ryoku went on, she had been mulling over the same thing: why Ryoku had apparently given up on dating.
She had come to several different conclusions, but only a few seemed to fit. For one, she knew he was interested in girls, not boys. She had flirted with him a couple times and had even made him blush a few times; though he tried to hide it. Besides, he didn't seem to be the type that would go for that sort of thing.
The one reason she thought was the most likely, was that his last girlfriend must've really broken his heart. That would explain his constant depression and reluctance to date again. She wanted to ask him about what happened, but she knew that he didn't want to talk about it.
From out of nowhere, an ominous, wicked laughter interrupted her musings. She turned to look out her window....
Ami had just finished another chapter in her biology textbook. She yawned and stretched out her arms. She had been sitting on her bed for a long time, so decided to get up and move her legs for a bit before moving on to the next chapter.
She went over to her window and opened it. A gentle breeze flew into her room stirring her short blue hair. She closed her eyes and tilted her head, letting the wind blow across her face. It felt good. Things like this were little reminders to her that there actually was more to life than studying. Then again, she thought with some amusement, with friends like mine, who needs to be reminded?
From out of nowhere, an ominous, wicked laughter interrupted her musings. She looked up into the sky....
Ryoku was up on the roof again, but this time his swords were back in his room. He was sitting on the edge of the roof while letting his feet dangle over the edge. He had brought his guitar up with him and he was now softly strumming a few insignificant chords. He wasn't really trying to play anything; he was just listing to the sound it made.
He was growing very tired of the repeated misunderstandings that seemed to be prevalent in his life as of late. First, there was the incident that landed him at Crossroads in the first place. No big deal; he had all but forgotten it already. Then, there were the rumors that had greeted him upon his arrival at the junior high. Hospitalized, indeed! That couldn't be further from the truth.
Now, there was this misunderstanding he had with Rei. He thought he told her that he was no longer interested in dating. I guess that to her that meant that you're free to flirt, as long as you don't go farther than that. He sighed. Oh well, I never did say that I didn't want to be flirted with, either. So, he endured it. She had even managed to make him blush! Before, only Keiko could've done that....
From out of nowhere, an ominous, wicked laughter interrupted his musings. He looked up from his guitar into the sky....
Usagi was staring up at the stars with Luna. "I love looking up at the constellations. Oh, look, Cygnus," she said, pointing to one constellation after another. "Sagittarius. Libra. Motoki-oniisan." She pointed over to another. "And there, Tuxedo Kamen." She giggled. "What a two-timer I am! I'm in love with two guys at the same time. I'm a very sinful girl."
Luna merely groaned tiredly and yawned. "This is making me sleepy, Usagi-chan. Don't you have anything better to do with your time?" she asked.
Obviously, she did not, since she continued to stare out into the starry night. "It's so hard to be in love. But, what if Motoki-oniisan was Tuxedo Kamen...?"
From out of nowhere, an ominous, wicked laughter interrupted her musings. As she looked up into the sky, she saw lightning flash and clouds swirl around unnaturally. "Huh? What is that?" she asked.
As if answering her question, the clouds converged and formed into an image of Jadeite. Luna arched her back and hissed at him.
"Now hear this, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars and Sailor Knight!" he challenged. "Come to the F runway of Haneda Airport tomorrow night at one o'clock. If you do not come...." He shot a fireball into the city, igniting it instantly.
Usagi and Luna gasped in shock. "Stop it, you monster!" Luna shouted angrily.
He merely snapped his fingers and the flames vanished. "That was only an illusion, but if you do not come, I will burn all of Tokyo." As suddenly as his image appeared, it disappeared, displaying the serene starlit sky.
"This calls for an emergency meeting," Luna said worriedly. "Come on, Usagi-chan. We need to go to Rei's shrine. Now."
Rei was outside, waiting for the others when they arrived. She noticed the varying degrees of worry on the others' faces, from Ryoku's calm demeanor to Usagi's obvious apprehension. At least she wasn't crying like a baby this time.
"Good, we're all here," Luna said. "Now, we've all seen Jadeite's challenge to us a few minutes ago...."
"Yes," Ryoku said flatly, "either we show up, or he incinerates the whole city."
"Do you really think he'll do it?" Usagi asked apprehensively.
"I'm sure he'd turn Tokyo into an inferno, just as he said," Luna told them.
"Let's go," Rei suggested. "We can't just ignore his challenge."
"But that means we're walking right into his trap!" Ami interjected.
"Actually," Ryoku said thoughtfully, "you both have a point. If we don't answer, Jadeite roasts Tokyo. But, Jadeite wouldn't have challenged us unless he was sure of winning. That means a trap."
Luna nodded and turned to Usagi. "What do you think, Usagi-chan?" she asked.
The other three turned to Usagi, who up until now was lost in thought. "We fight him, right?" Rei asked.
"Think carefully," Ami said.
"Well, Usagi-chan?" Ryoku asked.
Usagi laughed nervously. "Me?" she asked, pointing to herself. "I'm scared I don't wanna go!"
"Okay, so it's settled," Luna said. "We all meet Jadeite tomorrow night."
"Hey!" Usagi interrupted. Everyone else ignored her.
"Right," Ryoku said and left.
"I don't like this, but we don't have any choice," Ami said. "We must meet Jadeite or the city will suffer." She turned and left.
"Come on, Usagi-chan," Luna said. "We'd better be getting home, too."
Usagi noticed that she and Luna were all alone. Rei had already gone back inside and Ryoku and Ami left. "All right. Coming, Luna."
The next day, an announcement on the news stated that due to Jadeite's late-night message to the Scouts, the police were going to station teams of officers all over the airport. The news of the impending battle was currently being discussed throughout the school, especially in Usagi's class.
Usagi was standing next to the window with Luna, while the other students were discussing the nature of the strange message last night. They were even suggesting that they sneak over to the airport to watch the fight.
"We can't have all those people there!" Luna said, concerned. "They could get hurt!"
"Maybe we shouldn't go there, either," Usagi said.
Just then, Usagi's teacher, Sakurada Haruna, entered the room. "What are you all planning?" she demanded, after overhearing a little bit of the many conversations going on in the room. "Junior high students shouldn't be out that late at night!"
"That's right!" Usagi added. "Don't go!" Everyone suddenly turned to Usagi, looking at her curiously, as if to say, 'Who are you, and what have you done with the real Usagi?'
"How come?" Naru said, surprised at what her best friend had just said.
"Because, it's too dangerous!"
"How come it's dangerous?"
"Do you know something, Usagi-san?" Umino asked.
"No, of course not!" Usagi said indignantly. "Why should I know anything? Anyway, if you all have so much free time, you should stay home and study!"
Everyone's jaws dropped at the same time, even Haruna's. "Tsukino-san... I wonder what made you talk so normal," she said worriedly as she walked over to her. "You don't have a fever, do you?" She put her hand to her forehead, checking her temperature. "Is there something bothering you? Maybe I can be of some help to you."
I can't believe this! Usagi thought as she started to grow angry. They're all acting as if just had a nervous breakdown or something! "Come on!" she shouted indignantly. "What's wrong with me talking normal?!?" Suddenly, tears started to form on her face as she grew more and more upset. "You can't do that!!!" she wailed as she started crying.
"I guess she's back to normal," Haruna muttered.
At the Crown Video Arcade, Usagi was telling Motoki about what happened when she tried to be serious in class. She expected him to understand. What she got was totally unexpected.
"Isn't she cruel?" she said petulantly, while he was still laughing.
Motoki finally managed to get his laughter under control. "Maybe, but I can't help agreeing with your teacher." Usagi awarded him with a hurt, indignant look. "You don't look attractive talking normally," he continued. "I prefer a girl with character."
Usagi's expression brightened at the news. "Really?"
She smiled and exited the arcade. As soon as she was outside, she leaped into the air. "Yahoo! Motoki-oniisan said such a nice thing to me!" she sang to herself happily.
As she skipped in time to her singing, she kicked off her right shoe. It sailed through the air and landed on a certain someone's head. "Ow!" Mamoru exclaimed, picking up the shoe that hit him.
"I'm sorry," she said. Oh, great! Of all the people my shoe had to land on....
"Not your shoes again. Were you aiming for me?" he asked irritably.
"You watch were you're going!" she retorted angrily.
"What a snob. Why can't you be more serious, like a normal girl?" he asked tiredly.
"No I can't," she said happily. "There's a guy who told me that he prefers a girl that's not normal."
"That's dumb," he said contemptuously. "He's gotta be stupid."
"He's way better than you!" she snapped.
"Like gathers alike," he said mockingly. "Garbage in a trash can. A Meatball-head deserves somebody just as stupid as her."
Usagi grew really upset with that remark as tears started to form in her eyes. "How could you? I don't care what you say about me, but... to talk like that... about... him...?" she moaned as she began to cry.
Mamoru began to grow embarrassed and nervous as he noticed all the people beginning to stare. "H-hey...."
"You can't do that!"
"Sorry about that. I gotta rush. Here's your shoe back." He tossed the shoe over to Usagi, who had already dropped to her knees, wailing heavily. "Later," he said and ran off. She just picked up the shoe and kept on crying.
Night had fallen hours ago and midnight was just minutes past. Haneda Airport was devoid of passengers waiting for a late night departure or waiting to greet an arrival. Instead, it was crawling with alert, uniformed policemen, watching and waiting for any sign of the oncoming battle between the Sailor Scouts and the one whose face appeared in the sky yesterday night.
Above the policemen, on the airport roof, Jadeite walked over to the edge of the roof and looked down at the foolish humans who thought they could come between him and his only means for redemption.
"We have no need for you," he said impatiently. "Sleep for now." He raised his arms, causing a dark fog to appear. All the policemen promptly fall asleep, some falling on their sides as if tipped over like cows. Jadeite walked through the inside of the airport, examining his handiwork and laughing to himself.
"Now come, Sailor Scouts," he said ominously.
The four Scouts and Luna were, at this moment, running up the stairs of the nearest subway that would take them to the airport.
"Run, Usagi-chan!" Rei shouted back irritably. "I can't believe that your name means 'rabbit'. It that some sort of joke?"
"Shut up!" Usagi muttered.
"We've got no time to be fighting amongst ourselves," Ami said patiently as she tried to stifle their bickering. They all suddenly stopped as they realized that it was too quiet. Nothing was running.
"So, they're not running anymore?" Usagi asked.
"Can we afford a taxi?" Rei asked.
"I think I can," Ryoku said. "Except most of my money is back at home." The whole discussion became moot as the only subway car left at the station opened up by itself.
"What's going on?" Luna exclaimed in surprise.
After their initial surprise was over, Rei was the first to speak. "An invitation from the enemy, huh? Fine with me," she said, and moved to enter.
"Wait!" Ryoku said, holding a sword across the doorway, keeping Rei from entering. "Let me go first." She eyed him curiously for a moment, then nodded, stepping aside.
He pulled out his second sword, from seemingly out of nowhere, and cautiously stepped inside, both swords at the ready. Although there wasn't anybody inside, he moved slowly, watching for any sign of an ambush. He slowly turned completely around eyeing every corner warily. After confirming that the car was safe, so to speak, he waved the girls inside.
"Even though there's no one here, I'm still getting a bad feeling about this," he said, making his swords vanish behind his back. "It's like we're walking into...."
He was cut off as the door suddenly slammed shut and the train began to move. "The door... it's locked!" Ami exclaimed as she tried to open it.
"...a trap," he finished quietly.
"Looks like you two were right," Luna said worriedly. "We're being led straight into a trap."
"All we can do now is wait and enjoy the ride," Ryoku muttered. He was wondering about the irony of this situation. Here he was, willingly heading for an airport - a place either he or his sister would avoid unless absolutely necessary, though each had different ideas about what necessary meant as applied to flying, even though he wasn't there for flying anyway - ready to fight someone who was waiting to ambush them. His opinion of airports was steadily declining each passing minute.
After arriving at Haneda Airport, they ran into the main building. They needed to go through the main building in order to get to the main runway. As they ran up another set of stairs, Ryoku pointed to a wall, indicating that they stop and peek around it. As they looked around the wall, they saw several policemen watching the area.
"So many officers," Usagi commented.
"Everything looks okay so far," Rei added.
"Well," Ryoku said, glancing at his watch, "it's almost one. Jadeite won't wait for very long."
"Still, something's weird about all this," Ami said.
Just as she spoke, some policemen were slowly sneaking up on the group from behind. Their eyes began to glow red as they reached their hands out to grab them.
Rei suddenly sensed the policemen just as Ryoku heard them slide their clubs out of their holsters. As one, they both turned around and shouted, "Look out!"
Usagi and Ami turned around quickly and spotted the policemen. They shouted as a couple of them lunged at the two girls. Rei kicked one in the head, knocking him to the floor as Ryoku pulled out a sword and cut the club in half, spun and elbowed the other in the gut, causing him to double over.
"Why are police officers after us?" Usagi yelled as Ami, Rei, Luna and Ryoku began to run.
"This way! Hurry!" Rei shouted behind her.
"I can't stand this!" Usagi grumbled, ranting as the policemen began to give chase. "I've lost faith in the Japanese government! Hey! Wait up!"
The chase quickly led onto the main runway. The Scouts and Luna managed to keep ahead of the policemen for a while, but they were quickly growing tired.
Finally deciding that they had enough, they all stopped and turned to face the policemen. "Strange.... This doesn't make sense," Ami said, frowning. "Mercury power, make up!" She quickly transformed into Sailor Mercury.
"Fine, then. Me, too!" Rei shouted. "Mars power, make up!" She quickly transformed into Sailor Mars.
"All right, my turn!" Ryoku shouted. "Knight swords power!" He quickly transformed into Sailor Knight.
"I'm the last?" Usagi stammered nervously. "Moon prism power, make up!" She quickly transformed into Sailor Moon.
The four transformed Sailor Scouts faced the group of policemen. Mercury pressed an earring and activated her visor. She studied the readout and learned an interesting fact about their attackers. "What? They aren't humans! They're just clay dolls!"
"Then, there's no need to hesitate," Mars said. "Fire soul!" A huge fireball flew straight for the disguised clay dolls and burnt them completely, leaving nothing but ashes. "Got them," Mars said, as Mercury deactivated her visor.
"They were clay dolls after all," Luna said.
"Sailor Mars, you're awesome!" Sailor Moon exclaimed.
"It's nothing," Mars said smugly.
"I think Jadeite just sent them to flush us out." Knight said as his eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"You don't mean...?" Mercury said worriedly.
"Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars and Sailor Knight, now I know your true identities!" Jadeite said smugly from the roof of the airport.
"Yes, he now knows our identities," Knight said quietly. "He watched us transform from there."
"Yikes! He did?" Sailor Moon asked fearfully.
"Flowers only have a short life full of hardship," Jadeite said derisively. "So, you will die tonight."
"There's a saying that pretty women don't live long," Sailor Moon said apprehensively. "So, I'm going to die early."
"What makes you think you're a pretty woman?" Mars asked, annoyed.
"At least, better than you."
"I can't believe this conversation is actually taking place," Knight muttered, as he and Mercury were silently suffering though yet another Usagi/Rei argument. "And, now of all times!"
"Oh, well," Mercury said tiredly. "I guess we've gotta go break them up again."
"Very funny. Monkeys look better than you!"
"We've got no time to quarrel!" Mercury shouted as she and Knight stepped between the two feuding Scouts.
"Remember what's happening here! You two can argue later for all we care, but for now, stay focused!" Knight added.
"Sorry," Sailor Moon said apologetically.
"We've got a mission to finish. We can't die," Mars said.
"Prepare to meet your fate!" Jadeite said, bringing his hands together. Dark lightning flew out of his hands and struck a nearby plane. The plane started turning towards the Scouts. They all stared at the plane for a moment in surprise.
"We'll get run over!" Sailor Moon shouted, frightened.
"Run!" Luna shouted. As they all fled from the oncoming plane, a second plane started heading straight for them.
"Here comes another one!" Sailor Moon yelled. "Do something!"
"All right. I'll use a Fire Soul," Mars suggested.
"No!" Luna exclaimed. "Don't you know how much a jet aircraft costs? It'll take more than your entire life to pay for it!"
"That much?" Mars asked, blinking.
"Well, that's out," Knight said. "Any other ideas?"
"There's only one thing I can think of," Mercury stated.
"And that is?" Sailor Moon and Mars asked.
Everybody yelled in panic and ran from the two planes. "Getting run over by a car is fine, but I don't wanna get flattened by an airplane!" Sailor Moon muttered. "It's too embarrassing!"
Up ahead, the end of the runway was growing very close. "We're running out of runway!" Sailor Moon yelled as they all stopped.
What a disaster! Luna thought to herself.
As the planes steadily closed the gap between themselves and the Scouts, Jadeite laughed. "Now, you are finished!" he said, watching in anticipation. Suddenly, a rose flew past his face and embedding itself into the roof. In his surprise, he lost control of the planes, which promptly stopped.
"The airplanes stopped?" all the Scouts said in unison.
"Is it enjoyable, picking on girls?" Tuxedo Kamen asked condescendingly.
"We meet again, Tuxedo Kamen," he said, turning to face him. "You will die as well."
"You are a villain who plays tricks on innocent people with your magic," Tuxedo Kamen said. "You will pay for it." A sudden breeze picked up, blowing his cape open.
Knight noticed that the other three Scouts had gone all dreamy-eyed on him. He was still a little upset that both Jadeite and Tuxedo Kamen had referred to the Scouts collectively as girls, though he definitely was not a girl. Although Tuxedo Kamen meant nothing by it, he was sure that Jadeite's remark was an extra insult on his part. He would definitely have to pay him back for that.
Jadeite raised his hands and shot the same dark lightning as before. Tuxedo Kamen leaped into the air, dodging the attack. As he was leaping upward, Jadeite leaped up after him and intercepted him midair. They began to grapple and soon they fell down into the water.
"Tuxedo Kamen-sama!" Sailor Moon shouted worriedly. The four Scouts and Luna rushed to the edge of the runway and peered into the water. Suddenly, a rose floated to the surface. Jadeite rose out of the water afterwards, laughing wickedly. "What happened to him?" she asked concernedly.
"Where's Tuxedo Kamen-sama?" Mars demanded angrily.
Jadeite continued his evil laughter. "Your only hope, Tuxedo Kamen, is dead. Cry and scream. Can you not do anything without a man to help you? What silly girls."
"What did you say?!?" Knight yelled angrily. "Insinuating that I'm a girl is bad enough, but that's going too far!"
"Only a fossil geezer would think that men are better than women now," Mars added sternly.
"The idea of looking down on women is a remnant from the feudal society!" Mercury added.
"We're all equal!" Sailor Moon finished.
"Fools," Jadeite said mockingly. "Taste my power!" He raised his arms again, calling one of the planes that had chased down the Scouts before.
"Not again!" Sailor Moon whined.
"Come on! This way!" Mars shouted as everyone started running away from the plane.
"Don't be distracted by the jets!" Luna shouted. "Our enemy is the one who's moving them!"
Everyone came to a stop. "Hold on! Luna's right!" Mercury said.
"We have to work together!" Knight added.
"It's Jadeite we must defeat!" Sailor Moon stated.
"You got it!" Mars said and pointed to Sailor Moon. "Now, you be the decoy and run."
"Huh?" Sailor Moon said confused. "Hey, why me?"
"Shabon spray!" Mercury shouted, raising a thick mist. As planned, the jet began following Sailor Moon, much to her dismay.
"You can't do that!" Sailor Moon shouted indignantly. "Why is it always me running for my life?" The plane was growing closer. "I can't keep this up forever," she muttered.
Jadeite leaped to the ground and looked around for the Scouts. "Where are the other three?"
Meanwhile, Knight was sneaking up behind Jadeite. When he was close enough, he leaped behind Jadeite and grabbed his arms, pulling them behind his back and pinning them so that he couldn't move. "Gotcha, Jadeite," he said. Now it was up to Mars.
Evil spirit, begone! she thought as she slapped an ofuda on Jadeite's back after Knight leaped away. Now that the ward was on his back, the plane turned toward him.
"What? What's happening?" he shouted after noticing that the planes were now chasing him. He immediately began to run. "Why? Why are they after me?" He came to a stop in front of the four Sailor Scouts.
"Don't you underestimate girls, Jadeite," Sailor Moon said. "Crying isn't the only thing we do."
"Why?" Jadeite demanded. "Why can't I concentrate?"
"Because your mind is evil," Mars told him.
"You are the fool for falling into your own trap," Mercury added.
"You have failed again, Jadeite," Knight said, his arms folded. "And it's not half of what you deserve for calling me a girl!"
"You'll pay for all those deeds you have committed," Sailor Moon said. "On behalf on the Moon, I'll punish you!" She removed her tiara from her forehead. "Moon tiara action!" she shouted, throwing her tiara. It flew at Jadeite, just missing him, but knocking him down nonetheless.
As the plane came within a few feet from crushing Jadeite, he began to scream in fright. The four Scouts turned away, knowing that they had seen the last of him and went back to look for Tuxedo Kamen. What they didn't see was that he had vanished before the plane had totally run him over.
Jadeite reappeared in front of Beryl, wounded but still standing. He knew what he was in for, but he was determined to try to convince her that she should give him just one more chance.
"Queen Beryl, I have important information for you!" he said quickly.
"You fool! How dare you come back here in failure!" Beryl shouted.
"But, Queen Beryl, I have discovered the identities of the Sailor Scouts!"
"Do not disgrace yourself with excuses!" she roared angrily. "Now sleep eternally!" Her eyes began to glow and a sphere of energy struck him from her staff. He screamed as he was encased in crystal.
"Dispose of the body," Beryl said as the crystal containing Jadeite vanished. "You will be in charge of the operation, Nephrite."
Within the darkness, a man stepped forward and bowed. "Jadeite was useless. Let me handle the matter," Nephrite said.
Back at the airport, the three female Scouts were watching the water and waiting. Suddenly, Sailor Knight came up to the surface of the water. Coming onto the asphalt of the runway, he stopped and wiped the water from his face. He looked at each of the girls' worried faces and slowly shook his head. "No sign of him," he said quietly.
"Tuxedo Kamen-sama...," Sailor Moon said sadly.
"It's no use just standing here," Luna said quietly. "We'll just have to give up."
"I don't wanna...," she whispered.
"I thank you for your concern," Tuxedo Kamen said from behind the Scouts. All four Scouts turned around to see him standing there unhurt.
"You were alive?" Sailor Moon said relieved.
"I'm not so easy to get rid of," Tuxedo Kamen said.
"So I see," Knight said.
"Why do you always come to our aid?" Sailor Mercury asked.
"I can tell," Sailor Moon said dreamily. "You love me, don't you?" Mars, Mercury and Knight all groaned in exasperation.
"Who are you?" Mars asked. Knight nodded seriously as he gave him a scrutinizing look.
"I cannot reveal my identity yet," he told her. "Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Knight, value your friendship! Farewell!"
As Tuxedo Kamen leaped away into the twilight, the three girls stared at his departing form in awe. For Sailor Knight, he saw a kindred spirit who had assisted him in his battle once again... maybe, even a friend. For now, he would not pursue his identity....