Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: Eternal

Act 3: A day in the park; Interlude 1

Serena stretched lazily as the sun shone through the bedroom window. It was Sunday, so there was no school today. She’d slept in for the first time in a long while, glad for the day off. It had been a little more than a week since she and her friends had arrived in Tokyo. It had been a large adjustment to both the language and the culture but it was by far not the hardest thing they had ever done.

She smiled and rolled over so that the sun shone on her face. A day off

She sobered instantly, sitting up straight on her futon with her legs crossed. For her and her friends, there was no such thing as a day off. They hated it but they had no choice. Not if they ever wanted to see their homes and their families again.

There were no sounds coming from the futons on the other side of the room which was what she expected. Looking across the room she saw that they were both empty. Wolf and Jen must have gone jogging. In the other room, Skye and Starr were most likely still asleep.

Time to get up, start breakfast, Serena said to herself, climbing out of bed, avoiding hitting her head on the ceiling. I should make lunch while I’m at it, too. Jen said something last night about meeting in Juuban Park for lunch. Maybe Brett would like to come. Walking into the kitchen she picked up the phone, dialing the number of the place he was staying at. As the phone rang, Serena’s mouth twisted into a wry smile.

Brett was staying with the Three Lights as that’s what the school board figured would be the best place for him. It just wouldn’t do to have him living with a group of girls who were of absolutely no relation to him, now would it? No matter that he’d never think of trying something with any of them. Now wouldn’t Jen and Wolf just love that! 

An unfamiliar voice answered the phone. “Hello?”

“Uh, good morning. Is Brett there?”

“I’ll go get him.” There was the sound of the phone on the other end being placed on a hard surface and footsteps walking away, then footsteps approaching again. Someone picked up the receiver.

A familiar voice came over the phone line. “Speak to me.”

“Good morning, Brett. Did you sleep well?”

“Hey, Serena. What’s on your mind? It must be important if you’re calling me so early in the morning.”

“Last night, Jen mentioned something about wanting to do a picnic lunch at Juuban Park. Do you want to come?”

“Sure! Just one tiny problem, though. Taiki’s supposed to help me with my Japanese this afternoon. Do you mind if he tags along?”

“I guess that would be alright, but I don’t know what Jen has in mind. If it has something to do with… you know, or if this is just a picnic.”

“One never quite knows what goes through that mind of hers and you know her better than any of us.” Brett sighed. “I’ll see if he wants to come. I’ll warn him about Jen before hand, though, just to be on the safe side.”

“Add Wolf to that list while you’re at it. She says she keeps getting weird vibes from those three, but isn’t saying anything specific. We don’t know if she can’t or won’t. It’s not like it really matters in any case.”

“Will do. So, what time am I supposed to meet you guys there?”

“About lunch time.”

“Ok, see you there. Bye.”

“Bye.” Hanging up the phone, Serena walked into the kitchen to make breakfast.

Taiki walked into the room as Brett hung up the phone. “Who was that?”

“Just Serena. The girls are meeting at Juuban Park for lunch, and wanted to know if I wanted to come. Serena said it’s ok if you want to come. We can work on my Japanese while we enjoy the fresh air and Serena’s food.”

“Seiya and Yaten were planning on going to the park, too. I think Seiya said something about playing football with Haruka and Yaten’s working on some art project or another for school. Do any of you friends do that kind of thing?”

“Tyler and Jen. One of the twins, too, but I forget which one. I think its Starr. Skye’s more of the physical type, but she doesn’t do football. That’s a bit too much for her. Wolf, on the other hand, is dangerous to play with; she takes ‘full contact’ to a different level.” He rubbed his head wincing. “Believe me; I made that mistake one too many times. Jen tends to draw a lot, but she plays sports on occasion.”

“Tyler?” Taiki blinked, confused.

“Wolf. Wolf’s her nickname, as well as her last name.”

“Oh. She’s so little; how could she possibly be dangerous?”

“She’s incredibly strong, and fast. She’s practically unbeatable in a race.”

“Thanks for the warning. I guess I’ll come. The fresh air will be good for me after being in school all week. Should I bring anything for it?”

“If you want to, anything made with chocolate will do. Jen and Wolf have impossible sweet teeth.”

Taiki chuckled. “Sounds like Usagi and Minako. I’ll see what I can do.”

Jen and Wolf sat down on a park bench, both out of breath. They’d been running around the park for hours. “I told you this wasn’t such a good idea,” Jen gasped between breaths.

“It’s not my fault that you can’t keep up,” Wolf said, pouting. She scanned the park, waiting for Jen to get her wind back. “Hey. Jen. Look over there. It’s those weird guys from school.”

Jen looked up in the direction Wolf indicated and groaned. “Oh lovely. This morning couldn’t really get much worse. Wait. One’s missing. The tall one with brown hair. What’s his name?”

“Taiki, I think. Isn’t Brett living with them?”

“Yeah. I feel for the poor guy. Maybe we should go over and say hello?”

Jen looked down at Wolf, one eyebrow raised quizzically. “Why would we want to do that?”

“For one, it’s polite. We’re pretending to be Canadian aren’t we? I read that Canadians are a very polite group of people. I know it’s not in your nature to be polite to people but we need to keep up appearances.”

“You have a point, but why do I get the feeling that you have more to say?”

Wolf pointed. “They’ve spotted us.”

Jen looked up to see Seiya waving frantically at them. She covered her face with one hand. “Just great.”

“You did say it can’t get any worse,” Wolf said with a grin. “You should have learned by now not to say things like they.” She whistled and walked slowly towards the two boys, ignoring Jen’s glare.

“Uh, Seiya? What are you thinking by calling them over here? I don’t want to talk to them.”

“I’m just trying to be friendly,” Seiya said simply as Wolf walked up with Jen not far behind her. “Besides, Jen looks like she could use a rest.”

“Talking to you is never restful,” Yaten muttered.

Seiya either ignored him or simply didn’t hear him. “Good morning,” he said pleasantly.

“Morning,” Wolf said. “What are you guys doing here? Aren’t you famous idols or something?”

“We are,” Seiya confirmed.

“So…why aren’t you at a mall opening or a photo shoot or a recording session or whatever it is you people do to be so famous?”

“We have the day off.”

“You’re Tyler, aren’t you?” Yaten asked.

She rolled her eyes. “I’ll only say this once. Call me Wolf. Pretty much everyone else does, ok?”

Yaten shrugged, not at all fazed by her attitude. “Fine, Wolf. It makes no difference to me.”

“Do you have a nickname, Jen?” Seiya asked, turning to the other girl, who shook her head and stood with her arms folded over her chest.

“Nope,” she said simply. She looked like she didn’t really wanting to talk to him or Yaten.

“Oh well. It wouldn’t have made a difference. Well, as they say, ‘a rose by any other name’ and all that.”

Jen raised an eyebrow. Yaten and Wolf rolled their eyes. “Someone reads far too much poetry,” Wolf commented.

Seiya blushed. “Not really. Taiki’s the one who’s interested in poetry. I’ve just lived with him long enough to have absorbed some of it.”

Jen shook her head. “If you children will excuse me, I’m heading home to shower. I’m sweaty, I smell bad, and Serena should have breakfast ready by now.” She turned and walked away.

Hours later—after Wolf and Jen had both gone back to their small apartment to shower and change their clothes—the girls were all gathered in Juuban Park. They sat in the shade of an enormous cherry tree that yet in bloom, but it was still a good source of shade and made for great scenery. They were sitting on a tattered plaid blanket. They were clustered at the center of the blanket around several square lunch box sections filled with food. The twins, dressed identically in white shorts and navy blue t-shirts with their names written on the front, were busily taking pieces of sushi out of one section with their chopsticks while Serena drank tea beside them. They each sniffed experimentally at the sushi before popping it into their mouths and chewing slowly.

“Did you have to bring a blanket this big?” Wolf asked. “I’m sure there were others to choose from; you could fit the entirety of our class at school on it and still have enough elbow room.”

“It was either this one or the one you use on your bed at night,” Serena told her.

“This one is fine,” Wolf said reluctantly.

“I thought you might see it my way.”

As it was their day off, Serena had chosen to wear a dress instead of her school uniform. It was knee length and made of denim. The top part looked like overalls. Beneath it she wore a bright yellow short sleeved t-shirt.

Wolf lounged on her side with a book, nibbling on a rolled up piece of ham having turned up her nose at the sushi the twins seemed to have discovered a liking for. Her hair was tidier than normal given that she had sunglasses perched on the top of her head and they were keeping the longer sections out of her face. She was wearing baggy black jeans with a black spaghetti strap tank top and light running shoes on her feet. She looked up from her book as Taiki and Brett joined them.

Jen sat as far away from everyone as was possible without leaving the blanket, poking at her karaage with a chopstick, looking very unhappy. Despite the warm weather, she was wearing a pair of white jeans, chucky black boots, a red t-shirt with a black dragon on it, and a thick zip up hooded sweatshirt over top. The sweatshirt was partly open.

Wolf watched her for a bit and went back to her book for a while before looking up again. “Pass the chips, Skye,” Wolf said, taking a paper plate from the pile nearby.

“You have to eat something else besides chips and ham. Here,” Serena said, passing a tray. “Have some celery.”

Wolf wrinkled her nose. “No celery, thanks,” she said, grabbing another piece of ham. “Japanese food just doesn’t sit well in my stomach.”

“Taiki, didn’t you and Brett bring a chocolate cake?” Starr asked innocently, slathering jam on piece of bread.

Wolf’s eyes lit up. “Chocolate? Did somebody say the magic word?”

“You weren’t kidding about that sweet tooth," Taiki said, laughing.

“So much for a surprise,” Brett mumbled. “Thanks Starr.”

“No problem!” the younger twin said, oblivious to his grouchy tone.

Brett shook his head. “Wolf, you can’t have any unless you eat some real food.”

“Yaten and Seiya said that they’ll bring some hotdogs and hamburgers with them,” Taiki told them. Wolf looked like she was going to be sick. “What? What did I say?”

“Do you have any idea what’s in those things? No thank you! I’d rather eat celery. Serena, did you bring any peanut butter?” she asked hopefully, sighing with relief when Serena sighed and produced a butter knife and a small jar of peanut butter from the bag the lunch boxes had been in and handed them to her.

“What’s the peanut butter for?” Taiki asked, curiously.

“Only one of Wolf’s most disgusting habits,” Brett said, disgusted. “Peanut butter on celery sticks.”

They watched as Wolf happily slathered peanut butter onto the celery and took a bite. After she swallowed the first bite she said, “Y’know, Serena, smooth peanut butter would’ve been better, but it beats eating plain celery!”

Seiya and Yaten showed up as Wolf was slathering peanut butter on yet another celery stick. Seiya, spotting Jen, grinned. “Yo!” he said cheerfully and sat down beside her. Jen rolled her eyes and popped the piece of battered and fried chicken into her mouth, using her fingers instead of her chopsticks, chewing half heartedly.

Wolf narrowed her eyes. “What the hell are you two doing here?” she growled.

“Cool it Wolf,” Brett warned. “I invited them. Besides, you knew they were coming. We were just talking about it.”

“Wolf, if you’re going to fight, please try no to get any blood on the blanket, alright?” Serena said, picking up her book and beginning to read. “The old one is completely unusable now because of that.”

Yaten wrinkled his nose. “I’m not even going to ask what you’re eating, Wolf. It looks gross.”

“Appearances can be deceiving, and often are,” Brett said, receiving glares from the girls. “What?”

“I’m not even going to bother, Bretty-boy,” Jen said sweetly.

“What are you talking about? Bother with what?” Brett looked confused.

“So, anyone for chocolate cake?” Starr said, innocently changing the subject.

SirenMoon sat alone at a table, a mug of hot, spicy laihalya in her hands. It was untouched, filled nearly to the brim with the amber coloured liquid. Her red-gold hair hung loose and some of it spilled over her shoulders onto the table. She had been too preoccupied this morning to do anything with her hair. An evil barrier that no one could penetrate surrounded the royal palace. The senshi and the royal family were all trapped inside along with members of the nobility who’d been unfortunate enough to be at the palace at the time of the attack. All silently prayed for the enemy’s defeat, while Diamond, chief General of the Dorensha Jelushadaar watched from inside the palace to make sure no one tried to break the barrier. His job was an easy one as the barrier was impenetrable. None knew where he was hiding, but they watched their backs all the same, never knowing when he was going to walk around the next corner and catch you doing something that he might construe as being against the wishes of his Queen. The barrier made sure none could escape, so his job was an easy one. The true Queen was confined to her wing of the palace. She rarely left her rooms anymore.

Forcing herself to, she took a sip of the cooling beverage in her hands. At least the Guardians got out before the barrier went up. We are all eternally grateful to Starinfinity for that. Though, if they’d stayed, they wouldn’t be trapped inside the palace. They’d probably have been dead long before now and An’ei would have their Talismans and powers.  SirenMoon smiled grimly. Well, at least we have one Guardian here. As badly injured as she is, Starlove is still the Air Guardian.

Starlove had almost been killed in the initial attack by An’ei Souku’s forces. She had already been weakened by taking the brunt of Obsidian’s and Quartzite’s poisonous attacks, allowing the other three Guardians to get out of range of the red and blue clouds in order to better use their attacks. Doing so had left Starlove severely weakened.  She’d had no chance to recover her strength before the next wave of attacks. If it hadn’t been for Starlight, she would’ve been killed and a new set of Guardians would’ve had to be chosen and that would have been very bad indeed. They didn’t have the luxury of the time it would take to train a new set and it would be bad for morale to have this set broken up given how new they were to their calling.

“Good evening, Yosayna. How are you doing?” a sad, tired voice said as footsteps approached her table.

She turned at the sound of her name. “Things could be much better. I was just looking in on the Princess.”

Nakerr Firekeeper slid into a chair opposite her long-time friend and sister by marriage, a concerned look on her face. She flipped her long black hair out of her face, exposing her golden, cat-like eyes. “How is she?”

Yosayna Brightmoon, once better known as SirenMoon, shook her head. “Not well. Her injuries aren’t getting any better, and the spell Diamond put over her isn’t helping. Starsinger would know how to help her.”

“So would Starlight, but neither of them is here.” She shook her head. “Stars, to be their age again, fighting for our freedom… I just hope they all come back in one piece.”

“Starfire won’t let anything happen to them. And don’t worry about Sunarrow. With the twins to look after, he’ll be too busy to get into any trouble. Cheer up, SunStar. You aren’t helping my mood.”

“Sorry. I can’t help it”

“It’s alright, I understand. So. How’s life back in the uniform?”

Nakerr shook her head. “Harder than I thought. I must be getting old. Before Starfire took over, it wasn’t at all like this. Of course, it was so long ago that I held the position of Fire Guardian that I don’t clearly remember what it was like. We were so young back then! So young and so very foolish.”

Yosayna nodded in agreement, taking another sip. “All I remember is Yanehr and not much else.”

Nakerr snorted. “That’s not much of a surprise. I remember that all too clearly. How’s he doing, anyway?”

“He’s drilling the Water senshi in mock fights.” Hoshiyo shook her head. “Poor, poor Yanehr. How’s yours?”

“Kamneri? Sleeping. The nightmares are over, finally. He remembers what happened now that his fever’s broken.” Nakerr closed her eyes and shook her head. “He was absolutely mortified when he heard about the princess’s condition.”

“It wasn’t his fault. He needs to know that.”

Nakerr sighed and shook her head. “I’ve told him that but it will take a long time I fear before he truly believes it. I hope that the Guardians succeed in their mission. The princess won’t recover unless they do and Kamneri will keep blaming himself until she’s made a full and complete recovery. I estimate that she only has at best a few weeks, maybe less, before she succumbs completely to Diamond’s power and be completely under his control.”

With that grim news, Yosayna hurriedly finished her drink, and then stood. “Well, ‘Guardian’ SunStar, I’ll need to get back to my Senshi now. Take care of yourself.”

“Good luck to you, ‘Guardian’ SirenMoon.”

As the two friends parted they both prayed silently that the true Guardians would return quickly.