Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: Eternal
Act 05: Neilara. Shailara. Dralden. The Dancer, the Dreamer, and the Arrow that points their way

“How do you feel today, Mako-chan?” Usagi asked as they walked into the courtyard of Juuban High School with Minako and Ami. It had been two days since Makoto was attacked by Obsidian and Quartzite. She’d only done a half day of school the day before, going home around lunch time from extreme dizziness. As it was, she was having trouble with her coordination. They were helping her get home.

“Better than I was yesterday,” Makoto said, rubbing her throat. “That really hurt! Having that thing pulled out of my throat and falling onto the pavement.”

“I’ll bet,” Usagi sympathized.

“Do we even know what those things are?” Makoto asked. “Or even why Obsidian thought I was Starfire?”

Ami shook her head. “All we know is that they’re some kind of talisman, but the only key to that is the phrase they use to make them appear. My computer isn’t turning up anything on them or what their significance may be, though they’re clearly connected to these new senshi.”

Minako frowned. “On an unrelated note, has anyone seen Jen? She was perfectly fine on Monday. I haven’t seen her at all in the last two days.”

“Seiya said something about going to see her after school,” Yaten admitted. “He went with Brett.”

“Didn’t he promise to not do that?” Taiki asked, exasperated.

“Well, if they’re going to be fighting on Saturday, it would be best for her to be in top form. If she’s really sick, then the fight will have to be postponed,” Usagi explained. “He’s just being polite.”

“I think there’s more to it than that,” Taiki muttered as they headed for Makoto’s apartment.

“Come on in. No one’s here except for Jen. Serena’s at band practice, Skye went to dance lessons, Starr is at literature club. Wolf went jogging again. She doesn’t like being around people who are sick or injured.”

Seiya walked in, took his shoes off and put down his school bag inside the front entry way. “This is a nice little place. How did you get a key?”

“Serena gave me Jen’s key and told me to come in and look after her until everyone gets home, seeing as I’m the only one without a club activity to go to after school. It’s ok. She’s probably sleeping again. Serena says she spends most of her time sleeping lately.”

“This sounds serious.”

They walked into the bedroom. The shades were down, so Brett turned on a lamp. In the bottom of one of the bunk beds was Jen, asleep as Brett had predicted. Her long red-black hair had come loose of its elastic and was spread out on the pillow, spilling over her covers. Some of it clung to her sweaty face. The lamplight emphasized the red highlights in her hair. Her lips were parted slightly and she moaned softly in her sleep.

Seiya whistled softly, kneeling beside the bed. “And I thought she was beautiful when she was awake! She looks like an angel.”

“You’d never know she was such a terror when she was awake,” Brett agreed.

“What happened to her anyway? It must have been bad to make her miss two days of school.”

“I’m not quite sure. I’m told that it had something to do with glass windows, pavement, and local bullies. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but from what Serena told me, if it weren’t for the fact that Jen doesn’t bruise easily, you wouldn’t be finding her so attractive right now.” Brett looked down at the sleeping girl. “She hasn’t been at school because she can’t stay awake for very long. She’s lost a lot of blood, which she can’t stand the sight of, especially her own. She’s been throwing up and, on top of that, she’s had a very mild fever.”

“So she won’t be going anywhere for a while.”

“She should be at school either tomorrow or the next day, all depending on how she’s feeling.” Brett leaned over and gently nudged Jen’s shoulder. “Time to get up, sleepy head. C’mon Jen. Wake up. Jen? Jen!” Frantically, Brett shook her, but she wouldn’t wake up.

Seiya put to fingers on her neck, searching. “She’s alive. I can still feel a pulse, but it’s so faint, barely there.”

Jen’s eyelids fluttered, and then opened. She looked past Seiya to Brett. “Brett? How long have you been here?” Then she saw Seiya and her black eyes narrowed. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see how you were doing. I was worried. Sensei sent your homework with us. Oh, and I brought you something. Hang on, I’ll go get it. Be right back!”

Once he was out of hearing range, Brett turned to her. “Were you in one of those trances again? I couldn’t wake you up and Seiya said he could just barely feel your pulse.”

She nodded. “I think I can actually get out of bed tomorrow.”

Seiya returned, holding something behind his back. “Your homework is on the table.”

Jen rolled her eyes. “Oh goody.”

He handed her a box of chocolates and a single, perfect red rose. Jen’s eyes widened. “How do you know what I like?”

“Brett told me. They didn’t have the kind I wanted to get you, so I…”

“Seiya,” she said, cutting him off. “These are my favorite kind. Thank you. This is the nicest thing anyone’s done for me since…” She trailed off, her eyes misting over. Quickly rubbing her eyes, she got out of bed and walked into the kitchen. “Unfortunately, I can’t eat them for a while.”

Brett and Seiya followed her. She took a crystal vase from a cabinet, half filled it with water, put the rose in it and placed the vase on the kitchen table beside her homework.

“J, why don’t you take a shower?” Brett suggested “You look steady enough to. Seiya and I will be out here if you need anything.”

Jen made a face. “Thanks. A shower sounds good after two days of being in the same clothes and sweating like a horse.” She said heading for the bathroom.

“Just don’t lock the door this time.” Brett called after her. The bathroom door slamming answered him. He sighed, shaking his head. “Care for a glass of water?”

“Sure.”

Brett took a glass out of the cupboard and filled it with water from a pitcher of water from the fridge. “So, Seiya. Want to stay for dinner? I think Serena’s making waffles tonight.”

“I guess so if you are.”

“Of course.”

“What was with Jen anyway? She looked like she was about to cry when I gave her the rose and chocolates.”

Brett set his glass of water down on the table. “Jen’ll kill me if I tell you the whole story, but I’ll tell you the basics. If you want to know more than what I’m going to tell you, you’ll have to get her to talk about it and good luck to you if you try. You see, it has to do with her boyfriend.”

“I knew it! She has a boyfriend in Canada.” Seiya moaned. “So why is she going along with this sparring match if she has a boyfriend? Is she confidant that she’ll win?”

“Shut up and listen. Her boyfriend is in Canada, or, at least, what’s left of him.” Seiya’s look of profound confusion forced him to elaborate. “He’s dead. That’s all I can say, except that she never talks about him. Sometimes, Serena will mention him, as will Jen, but not often and only when they’re trying to make a point. It’s kind of why she’s here. She had to get away from it.”

“I see.” Seiya sat back in his chair in shock. “Poor Jen. I’ll call off the match.”

“No! Whatever you do, don’t call off the match. I beg you!” Brett said frantically.

Seiya looked puzzled. “Why?”

“She’ll hunt you down and make you fight her. She’s been taking this fight very seriously, you see.”

The sound of gushing water from the bathroom stopped. A couple minutes later, the door opened. Jen, wrapped in a towel, walked unsteadily towards the bedroom. Suddenly, her long legs gave out from under her. She cried out in surprise.

Seiya got there before she fell to the hard floor, injuring herself further. “Jen? Jen, are you alright in there?”

Jen stared up at him, dazed. “I - I guess so,” she said finally. “She looked down at his hand. “Move them or loose them, pervert.”

Seiya looked at where his hands were placed and blushed bright red. “I…I’m so sorry!”

“Now that you’re done your wonderful tomato impression, could you help me up?” Brett laughed and Seiya blushed even redder. Standing now, Jen walked into the bedroom to change.

“Smooth, Seiya,” Brett teased. “Real smooth.”

Jen was at school the next day. She looked very pale, but she was alive and well. Seiya blushed every time he looked at her, especially in class, seeing as she sat beside him.

It’s weird.  Seiya said to himself. I’ve never seen her take any notes in class, yet she has very good grades. Not on the level of Taiki and Ami, but still very good and certainly better than average.  He looked over at her, concerned.  She looks so fragile, like a crystal rose that will shatter at the slightest touch. Sighing, he turned his thoughts to the events of earlier this morning. There’d been another attack that morning. By now, the media was fully aware of these new senshi. Now they had something else to talk about.

[FLASHBACK]

It was a good morning. The sun was out and the weather was nice and warm s summer was approaching. Tyler had invited him to go with her on her morning jog. It was beyond him as to why but he wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity to get to know one of Jen’s friends a little better. After about half an hour, they saw Michiru, in her school uniform, under attack by Quartzite and the triplets Panther, Cheetah, and Lynx.

Seiya was torn between helping his fellow senshi, thereby revealing his true identity as Sailorstarfighter to Tyler, and inaction. While trying to make up his mind he heard a noise over to the side.

“Sun Beam!” a man’s voice shouted as a blinding golden light surrounded the enemy.

The senshi twins followed by SunArrow appeared between Michiru and the enemies. “Shame on you for attacking those incapable of defending themselves against them,” the taller, silver haired one said.

“For the love of StarFreedom, pick on someone your own size, you big bullies,” the slightly shorter, golden haired one said.

“Like you?” Panther growled, licking his lips.

The twins backed up. “Nicely done, Shailara,” the taller one muttered.

“Dark Fog Surround!” Panther shouted, pointing at the twins.

The silver haired one reached her hands out. “Taleer Dream Shield!” The two attacks collided in a flash of silvery blue light.

“Air Twirl!” her sister shouted shouted.

“Mars Flame Sniper!”

Sailormars, Sailoruranus, and Sailormoon joined the fight. Uranus kept looking at Michiru, who stood with a blackened wing shaped crystal suspended in the air in front of her throat.

Quartzite cursed. “Come, you three. Let’s let Aqua take care of these meddlesome, half-sized trouble makers.” She said, then all four disappeared.

“Who’re you calling half-sized?” the one called Shailara shouted after them.

“Aqua?” Mars asked confused. Then she saw the blue fog growing around Michiru.

“Aqua!” the yahrai shouted when the fog dissipated.

“Michiru!” Uranus cried heading towards her.

“Oh boy,” SunArrow said as Aqua threw Uranus to the pavement. “Now we’re in for it. Don’t these senshi ever learn? Sailorstardancer! Sailorstardreamer! Help them!”

“Aqua Poison!” the yahrai shouted pointing. A stream of aqua-colored acid flew at the twins.

“Taleer Hurricane Blast!” Sailorstardancer shouted, sending the attack back towards Aqua, burning her face. She shrieked. Uranus winced, glaring at the twins.

“Now, Sailormoon!” Mars shouted.

“Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!” The beam from her Eternal Moon Tial hit the yahrai, but had no effect.

“Now I see why they aren’t afraid of us.” Uranus said in awe. “Michiru…we have to help her!”

Beside Seiya, Wolf gritted her teeth, fists clenched. She muttered something in English that Seiya couldn’t understand.

Sailorstardancer walked up to Sailormoon.  "May I see your wand thingy?"  Sailormoon nodded and handed her Tial to the older twin. Sailorstardreamer walked over to join her sister. They joined hands and held the Tial above their heads while SunArrow held off Aqua. “Taleer Duplicity!” they said and the Tial glowed.

Stardreamer handed it back to Sailormoon. “Here. It should work now. Try it again

“Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!” This time the attack worked! Sailoruranus caught Michiru before she hit the ground

“You did well, girls. Andalrien  would be proud,” SunArrow said, beaming.

“Thank you, Dralden!” they said together, then jumped into the trees, SunArrow following.

[END FLASHBACK]

That leaves only one left that we haven’t encountered one on one: Starsinger. When will she appear?

Seiya looked over at Jen. She’d pulled out a small blue binder out of her schoolbag and was scribbling something in it. There were uneven lines of funny characters he recognized as English writing. What’s she doing? A journal? Is she taking notes because of her injuries?  Seiya shook his head. No, the line lengths don’t look like she’s taking notes. I’ll have to ask Ami about it. She knows a lot about English.

Between classes, he managed to ask Ami about the strange lines Jen was writing on the page. She said she was writing some sort of poetry.

 

Saturday dawned clear skied and sunny two days later. It started off cool but warmed up rapidly with the humidity typical of the time of year. Jen walked into the bathroom, staring at her reflection in the mirror and made a face. It’s a good thing I don’t bruise easily!

After a warm shower, Jen put on a loose pair of black shorts and her second favorite red tank top. The other one was reserved for tonight. Tonight. Two things were happening today: her sparring match with Seiya Kou after school and the Three Lights Talent Contest that evening.

A slow smile spread across her face. Brett had said that he was a decent fighter, but, then again, Seiya was no match for her. He couldn’t possibly be. He was just a normal person. I’ll beat him, and then I won’t have him following me around like some overgrown puppy dog and possibly discovering my secret. Then we’ll win their happy fluffy little Talent Contest and that will be the end of that. I won’t have to worry about them anymore and we can just get this over with and go home.

Two slices of toast popped out of the toaster. Serena had woken up and started making breakfast. This morning it was bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. Jen remembered that Andalrien  had hated eggs with a passion. Tyler and Jen both disliked eggs, but didn’t absolutely hate them the way that Andalrien  had. Thinking about Andalrien  made her both sad and angry at the same time. She sat down and ran her fingers through her damp red-black hair.

Tyler walked into the kitchen. Her long silver hair hung loose, some of it hanging in her face. She sniffed the air. “I smell bacon.”

“I’ll take ‘Duh’ for two hundred,” Jen said dryly.

“I’ll go wake the twins,” Serena said, shaking her head. “Watch the food, please, Jen.”

“I’ll do it,” Tyler offered.

“If you do it, there won’t be any left for the rest of us.”

“Japanese people are so weird,” Tyler said after scowling at Serena as she left the kitchen. “I mean, what kind of weird people go to school on Saturdays? Saturdays are for sleeping in and spending all day, in your pajamas, in front of the TV and watching cartoons.”

“At least it’s only half a day,” Jen said, shrugging. She munched on her toast. “Otherwise, I agree with you.”

The twins and Serena came into the kitchen; the former yawning as they tied their hair into the ponytails they customarily wore.  Serena tossed a red elastic at Jen and a strip of leather at Wolf so they could do their hair.

“So, Jen. All ready for your little fight this afternoon?” Serena asked, dishing out eggs and bacon as they helped themselves to the stack of toast.

“I guess so,” Jen said, setting her half-eaten piece of toast down on her plate.

“What’s wrong?” Starr asked concern filling her large green eyes.

“Doesn’t Seiya remind you of someone I used to be friends with before…? In every way I can think of. Stars, I have to concentrate just to call him ‘Seiya’.”

“Ouch,” Tyler said sympathetically, polishing off her breakfast. “Anyway, we’ve got to head off for school or we’ll be late.”

The others stared at Tyler. “Somebody grab a thermometer! She must be running a fever!” Jen muttered loudly.

“Definitely! Wolf wanting to go to school? This is not possible,” Starr teased.

“Enough already! I just want to get school over with so I can see this fight. No offense J, but I hope he kicks your butt!”

“Humans can’t beat a senshi in combat, you know that Wolf,” Serena pointed out. “It’s been tried against the weakest senshi and the senshi will beat them every time. Humans don’t have the strength to beat us.”

“We’ll see.”

The time on Serena’s watch read one o’clock as they reached the appointed place in Juuban park. When the inner senshi and Three Lights got there, Jen was just beginning to stretch her muscles. She was wearing the same pair of shorts and tank top that she’d worn to school earlier, but the way she moved emphasized her curves to the point where she may as well not be wearing any clothing. Very little was left to their imaginations

Usagi stared. “I would kill to have a body like that.” The inners agreed with her.

Seiya took his jacket off. He’d changed clothes right after school. Instead of his school uniform, which was too hot to fight in, he was wearing baggy gray pants and a white t-shirt.

Jen paused in her stretching as she spotted him walking up. “So, ready to have your butt kicked, arrogant one?” she asked pleasantly.

“Do you always start sparring matches this way?” he asked, also stretching.

“Naturally,” she walked over to Tyler, taking a sip from the water bottle offered to her.

Brett cleared his throat. “Are you two ready? Good. You fight until the other one can’t fight anymore or gives up. Jen has requested that you don’t hold back Seiya. Jen, no nails or you forfeit. Ready? Begin!”

“You’re sure about this?” Seiya asked, reluctantly assuming a fighting stance.

Jen replied with a well-aimed kick to his midsection, catching him off-guard. “C’mon, pretty boy!” she taunted. He let off a series of kicks and punches that she dogged easily. “Is that all you’ve got?”

The match went on like that for the next ten minutes, after which Brett called a two-minute break so that they could catch their breath. Though Jen had hardly done a thing, she was exhausted. Could be worse. She thought, taking a long drink from her water bottle. I could be fighting one of An’ei’s minions. Still, he’s good, for a human.

Seiya leaned against a tree, out of breath. Why can’t I hit her? She’s been injured, so maybe I’m holding back.  He shook his head.  No, that’s not it. She’s pretty good, especially seeing as she was injured recently. Great stamina. I’ll have to get her to show me how she does this.

The break ended and the match resumed. Jen was moving a little slower, partially due to the fact that Seiya occasionally landed some of his shots. He aimed a kick at her gut, but she dogged. Unfortunately, this made her hit a tree. Dazed, she returned to the fight. She punched towards his jaw, but he caught her fist and flipped her.

Jen landed on her back, the breath having been knocked out of her. Seiya pinned her arms to the ground. Brett declared him the winner. For some reason that Seiya couldn’t figure out, Wolf looked smug.

“So whose butt got kicked?” he teased as he helped her up. “So it looks like you’re my girlfriend now.”

“Looks like. I’ll warn you right now, Seiya. If you dare kiss me, I’ll kill you. I swear.”