Blood Moon- Part 12
This is so close to done, it's scary. Just one more Part after this one, people, I promise! Sort of a depressing thought... to me anyway....
"Sailor Moon" is the property of Takeuchi Naoko.
"Pt 12- Changes"
Death wasn't so bad, Kunzite decided. After a brief moment of intense agony and fear, there was a calm, soothing warmth. He felt as though he was simply lying in his bed, slightly more than half asleep and completely contented. He relaxed, wondering if anything else would happen, and hoping it wouldn't.
Slowly, foggy images played themselves across the surface of his mind, washed in a golden glow, and without the power to move him, although he knew somehow that they should.
... his lifeless body, the spear driven through his chest with such force that it was embedded in the stone floor of the cavern...
... Queen Metallia, in Rei-chan's body, laughing wickedly, as sight slipped away... not his sight, he knew, but someone else's...
... Mako-chan leaping forward to grasp the Night Saber from where it had dropped... the blade flaming and flaring in her hands, burning her... but, beyond pain, she was launching herself at Metallia, her pleasant young features twisting in hatred and fury... no longer caring that the evil queen inhabited her friend's body... only wanting to kill...
... Jadeite right behind her, pistol drawn...
... Minako sobbing, dashing toward the fallen, crystal clear tears streaking her white cheeks, her eyes filled with anguish enough to break the hardest heart...
...Artemis, calm and expressionless, rising and walking slowly behind Minako, leaving Ami-chan and Luna where they lay, only just beginning to regain consciousness...
... Queen Metallia, being no fool, warping away in a fiery flash just before Mako and Jadeite could reach her, still laughing uproariously...
... Minako cradling a limp body in her lap, shedding bitter salt tears upon the beloved face...
Suddenly Kunzite realized whose mind he was seeing through. It was Usagi's. And he wasn't dead... yet. He knew that now. There was almost a sense of disappointment, but then he rallied enough to be glad. He was held somewhere... strange. It was as though he was in two places at once. Or... not quite. He was being held within Usagi's soul, kept safe from the grasping hands of Death, and Usagi, in turn, was bolstered, sheltered, surrounded by a greater power. Its source, he finally realized, was the ginzuishou. Usagi kept him from being dragged away into death, and the ginzuishou held her to the mortal realm.
Minako and the others, however, did not understand this.
...Mako, weeping bitterly, threw herself down next to Usagi, where Kunzite's body had been moments before... it had faded and misted away, as Nephrite's had done... Mako's hands were badly burned, but she was too consumed by the pain in her heart to notice...
...Jadeite cursed roundly, shoving his pistol in the holster so violently he nearly shot himself in the leg... then wrenched the spear from the floor and in a sudden burst, broke it over his knee... the two pieces sparked and fazed out of existence...
...Ami and Luna crouched on the floor, huddled together, weeping painfully...
Artemis knew what to do.
Minako clutched Usagi's limp body close, unable to cease sobbing long enough to check and see whether the girl still lived. She was certain that her friend, sister, would follow Kunzite into death, if she hadn't already. And there was nothing anyone could do.
Mako grasped one of Usagi's hands -- the left one -- and was startled to find that although the small girl was white and bloodless, as boneless as Kunzite had been in death, her fingers were clasped tightly about the moon stick. And the ginzuishou was still glowing. A warmth radiated from it, and the power-burns from the saber that scarred raw and red across Mako's palms were healed painlessly over before her eyes. She gasped, slowly coming to realize....
"Move," Artemis ground tightly, shoving Mako unceremoniously aside and pulling Usagi's body forcibly from Minako's embrace. The blonde cried out in shock and anger, but Jadeite held her back when she would have lit into Artemis.
"Wait, Minako. I think-- I think Art knows what he's doing..." Mako faltered, grasping one of Minako's hands in her own and turning on her heel to watch as the pale man lifted Usagi's body into his arms, and took a step or two away from the group. Kneeling, he placed her gently on the floor, then, clasping his slim fingers about her left hand, he closed his eyes and frowned in concentration a moment.
There was a quick flash of gold light from the ginzuishou. Usagi seemed to revive at least partially from her stupor. Her limp limbs stiffened and a slight hint of awareness shaded her waxen features. She shifted, eyes still closed, then sat up, moving to her knees before Artemis. They knelt, facing each other, the moon stick held between them.
Artemis opened his eyes briefly, glancing over at the silent, watching group. They could see the tears streaking his pale cheeks, but his eyes were calm and tranquil. "Forgive me, Minako-chan," he said softly.
"Artemis, no!" Luna cried.
But he had already closed his eyes again, and there was a glow growing in strength about he and Usagi, haloing their kneeling bodies, but concentrated on the ginzuishou. Then the gem gave forth a sudden burst of pure white light, causing everyone to turn their heads away in pain.
They looked back, blinking dazzled eyes, to see....
Kunzite groaned and shifted. A sharp stab of pain shot through his head, but it was overwhelmed by the shock of realizing he *had* a head to ache.
"Wha--" He bolted upright, then the agony caught up with him, and he collapsed with a moan back into the ready arms that he now knew so well. "Ouch."
There was something strange about his voice... something different about the way Usagi's embrace felt. He blinked open his eyes, squinting up at her. Her face was tear stained, but serene. She looked down at him with a small smile. "Just lie still a moment, loveling," she murmured, stroking his brow.
He was glad enough to comply. There was something dreadfully wrong, besides the fact that he should be dead, and wasn't. He felt strange inside himself... just.. wrong somehow. His mind was too blurry to tell him why at the moment, so he lay quietly, enjoying the warmth of Usagi's embrace, and slowly taking in his surroundings.
The first thing he noticed was the sound of weeping. It seemed to him the girls did nothing but cry. He shifted his protesting head the tiniest fraction, and turned his eyes to see who it was this time. The move felt so very wrong, but he still couldn't figure out why.
It was Minako crying, again She was collapsed in Jadeite's lap, her shoulders heaving as harsh sobs wracked her slim body. She cried as though she had lost her best friend.
"She has, in a way," Usagi's soft voice brushed into his mind.
Luna was weeping also, held tightly in Ami's arms, although her tears were more tempered.
"What do you mean?" Kunzite queried, discovering it was easier to speak this way. There was nothing strange in the touch of his mind with Usagi's, and it spared his aching temples as speaking aloud would not have done. Besides, he was afraid to speak again. Afraid to know....
But he had asked, and Usagi looked back down at him, a small line etching itself between her slim brows. He felt her worry. Not for herself, but for him. Then, almost reluctantly, she sent him an image of what she was seeing at that exact moment.
Kunzite stiffened involuntarily, although he had been more than half expecting it, really. Usagi was looking down into Artemis's sharp, pale face... only it wasn't Artemis behind the features. Kunzite squeezed his eyes tightly shut, not denying, but for the moment unable to cope.
Usagi looked up, giving him time to himself. "Minako-chan... Luna..." she said softly, sorrowfully.
"Why-- Why did he--" Minako jerked out, raising red, swollen eyes.
Usagi shook her head. "You know why. Without the Star Sword and the Night Saber we could not hope to defeat Metallia."
Minako's face crumpled again, and Jadeite gathered her close. The man scowled at Usagi. "But, still, he didn't have to go and do himself in--"
Usagi cursed suddenly, startling the others. "Shit! Is that what you think? Oh! Gomen nasai, friends! I didn't realize you didn't know!!"
"What are you talking about?" Mako asked, frowning in confusion. Her cheeks were raw and tear stained also, but she had herself well under control.
Usagi took a deep breath and raised the moon stick. "He's in here," she replied gently, gazing at the glowing ginzuishou.
Usagi's blue eyes grew misty, and a small smile curved her pink lips, even while a single tear tracked down her cheek. "When Kunzite was killed, I nearly followed. The power of the ginzuishou caught and held us both. But we were helpless. There was nothing for Kunzite to return to, and without him, I could not go on. Then Artemis came and offered his body. So when he and Kunzite transferred, the ginzuishou embraced Artemis. It will hold him until a new body is found, or his next one is born."
"N-Next one?" Ami stuttered.
Luna, who still looked grief-stricken but less so than earlier, turned to quirk a tiny smile at the wide-eyed girl. "Reincarnation, Ami-chan. Remember? That's why you're here."
"Well, yes, I know you said that, but...."
"But you can't believe in something so mystical?" Mako asked. Her voice was a bit sardonic, but she did not mean it unkindly. She was just a little on edge, as were they all.
Ami frowned at her. "All right. I guess I knew Luna was telling the truth about our previous lives... in my heart... but I never allowed my head to take in the fact. It'll just... just take me a little while to get used to the idea."
"And in the meantime, Artemis is as good as dead, and Metallia knows we're here, and we've got to get our friggin' act together!" Jadeite, as usual, was the only focused member of the group. He was also pretty pissed off, for reasons that were mostly unclear. Perhaps Kunzite could have guessed them, but he was a little out of it at the moment.
"Loveling?* Usagi queried anxiously, looking down at her bonded, trying to get over the confusion of seeing Artemis's sharp face where her mind touched Kunzite's mind.
Kunzite squeezed his eyes more tightly shut, wishing everything would just go away.
"Is he gonna be okay?" Mako asked, suddenly realizing there was another aspect to this than merely Artemis's sacrifice. "I mean, if I just had my body get killed, taken away from me for all time, and got stuck inside, say, Luna's or something...." She let that thought trail away and shuddered. The others in the group shivered as well, jolted by her words into an awareness of what Kunzite had truly lost. Mako felt like punching something, and she jumped to her feet, pacing restlessly. She couldn't stop imagining what it would be like, and she had to struggle not to start weeping openly in sympathy for the transplanted king.
Usagi bit her lip sharply, hot tears flowing down her cheeks as she felt Kunzite's anguished confusion, and sense of loss and fear. "Oh, love--" she choked, hugging him close, struggling to overcome his painful, tangled emotions with a blanket of her love and concern.
Mako grimaced. But, strangely, she suddenly knew what to do. She stopped pacing, planted her fists on her hips, then--
"All right, Kunzite! Enough wallowing in self pity! On your feet! We've got an evil bitch-queen to defeat, and a kingdom to destroy! Get it together!"
Luna, Ami, and Jadeite looked at the girl as though she had lost her mind. Minako was startled from her prolonged bout of weeping and blinked up with much the same expression.
However, it worked. Kunzite pulled out of Usagi's embrace and leapt to his feet, glaring at Mako. Usagi grinned widely.
"Don't you try giving me orders, bitch!" Kunzite snapped with Artemis's voice.
Mako chuckled. "That's more like it." She cocked her head. "All right. No more orders. But now that you're on your feet, I'll ask -- are you ready to go get the baddies?"
Kunzite wrinkled Artemis's face into a peevish expression. "Of course. I must revenge myself on Metallia! And--" He broke off, seemingly startled, perhaps by what he had been about to say. "Um...."
"I don't think so, loveling." Usagi rose to her feet, her face sober again. "It wouldn't do any good in the end, and it wouldn't change anything."
Kunzite scowled. Mako looked curious, but knew better than to ask. She crossed to haul Luna and Ami to their feet. Jadeite stood as well, his movement hampered a little by the fact that Minako was hanging from his belt.
Usagi tucked her hand through Kunzite's arm, then turned to the others. "We have very little time left. We must strike while Metallia still thinks Kunzite is gone."
"Hai!" Kunzite raised his head. It was beyond strange to see him in Artemis's body. It was the same face and form as previously, but Kunzite stood more on his heels, his shoulders firmer, his chin held more proudly. And the large crystal eyes were slightly narrowed, the fire burning behind them at odds with the youthful innocence of the rest of his features. "Metallia thinks I'm dead, and she will half expect Usagi-chan to have followed me." He placed his hand over Usagi's as she moved closer, smiling up at him. He winced at seeing his slim, pale fingers, but smiled weakly back. "So she thinks the Night Saber is useless, and the Star Sword greatly reduced in power."
Luna was frowning in thought. "I know the Star Sword can be used by almost anyone once it is called into being, but the saber--"
"The saber is... different." Kunzite started as Luna handed him the Star Sword, which Artemis had dropped earlier. He nodded his thanks as he strapped it about his waist, which was suddenly several inches slimmer. "You see... the saber must be.... Well, it...."
Usagi looked soberly up at him. Mako blinked. She could have sworn that a second ago the blade under discussion had lain where she herself had dropped it, but now it was held lightly in the hand Usagi did not have wrapped about Kunzite's waist.
"Let me, loveling."
Kunzite discovered a disadvantage to this new body. With Artemis's pale flesh, it was easy to tell when he blushed. "Uh... yeah, g-go ahead."
Mako bit back a grin. Well, at least things seemed back to normal -- or as normal as they could be when Usagi was acting like a responsible adult, and her soul-bonded, who was a Dark Kingdom king and a former enemy, was wearing the body of a man who until a few hours ago had been a cat....
"Eep!" Mako suddenly clapped her hands tightly over her mouth, her eyes huge and shining over her fingers. Distracted, the others turned to her.
Jadeite cocked a brow. "What's your problem?"
Mako let out another strangled squeak, struggling to keep from bursting into hysterical laughter. And there stood Minako with another king and former enemy, who had been her lover, even though she was still a virgin, and there was Luna, good old Luna, in a human body, and- -
"N-nothing!" she choked out, slowly regaining control of herself. They looked at her curiously as two huge tears rolled down her flushed cheeks, but no one said anything. Jadeite shook his head and turned to Usagi.
"You were saying?"
She shot Mako an amused, sympathetic glance. "It's simple. Or, rather, it's far from simple, but a simple explanation is all we have time for. We really have to get going." She frowned, collecting her thoughts.
"Did it have anything to do with those wings you sprouted?" Mako suddenly asked, her voice shaking slightly, her green eyes still too bright.
Usagi sent her a sharp glance. "No, not really. That was... a side effect, if you like."
"That was you, Usagi-chan," Kunzite said softly, his new voice a low purr in her ears.
She blushed in her turn. "Yes, well.... At any rate, the Night Saber is a magical blade older than most any others, and certain... tests had to be passed to receive it. I... passed."
"With flying colors, no doubt," Luna said, affection clear to read in her voice. She gave Usagi a long, measuring look. "I wondered what had happened. Oh, dearheart...."
"Enough with the love-fest." Jadeite dragged a hand through his hair. "Now we all know little bits and pieces of the story, and I doubt anyone knows the whole thing! If any of us survive this, we'll have to have a nice little get-together to try and sort everything out, but right now it doesn't matter why the Night Saber works, or how! All that matters is that it does!!"
"You're right, of course." Usagi nodded briskly. "No more dithering about. We must do what needs to be done!"
The others nodded, some fervently, and some reluctantly. Both Minako and Kunzite seemed to be nearly over their shock and grief, although in Kunzite's case it was just a matter of delayed reaction. He simply didn't have time to throw a fit about losing his true body just now.
"All right. Let's go see about bringing down the Dark Kingdom!"
Endymion started in fear as Queen Metallia flashed back into the center of camp. Fortunately she was too busy laughing to notice. It was not pleasant laughter.
Endymion drew a deep breath, trying to still the pounding of his heart. If what Rei-chan had said was true, he needed to do something about it. But what?
"My queen," he stepped forward and bowed deeply as she lowered herself grandly onto her throne, a wicked smile still curving her lips.
"Uh... I... I regret to inform your majesty that more than ninety nine percent of the youma ranks have been decimated. They were... uh... they were dissolved by some--"
Metallia waved a hand, cutting him off. "It doesn't matter. The traitorous king is dead, and the little Sailor bitch will soon follow, if she isn't dead already! We need fear nothing. Take a few of the youma we have remaining and go wipe out the remnants of the pitiful little band."
Endymion felt something inside him break as he heard her words. Sailor Moon... dead? It wasn't possible! It just wasn't--
He straightened at her sharp tone. "Hai! How--" he broke off and licked his dry lips nervously. "H-how many youma, majesty? The Sailor Venus is a formidable foe, and--"
She glared. "I know that!" she snapped. Her crimson eyes flared. "I don't care how many you take! Take all that's left! Just do what needs to be done!"
"Hai, majesty!" Endymion bowed low and hurried away, his black cape flaring behind him. He had to do something, but in the meantime, he couldn't keep showing weakness before the queen. He'd have to pull himself together, and quickly, or else he'd be too dead to do anything!
"I'm telling you, Mako, I will not give you the blade!"
"But why not?" she demanded, glaring at Kunzite.
He glared back, disconcertingly, with Artemis's clear blue eyes and pleasant face. Mako felt a bit shaken, but she did not back down. "After all, you have the Star Sword now--"
"That doesn't come into it. The blade is--"
"Mako-chan," Usagi's calm tones cut through Kunzite's new voice, raised though it was. "You saw what the knife made me do, back in the throne room. And that was back when I was still...."
Mako cocked a brow as Usagi trailed off, looking somewhat confused. But she could understand why that was. Usagi had changed so much in the past day or night, or whatever it was here, and yet, at the heart of it, the heart of her self, she was still the same person she had always been.
"All right," Mako sighed, shrugging. "I'll concede."
"Whoa, that was a big word," Jadeite jeered. "Did you hurt your brain? You wanna lay down for a moment?"
Mako growled and raised a fist, but at that moment Kunzite expostulated;
"What is it?"
The others stared at Kunzite in shock as he froze, his eyes wide.
"Here! To me! Quickly!"
He swept Usagi into one arm, Mako into the other, and as the rest pulled closer, compelled by the urgency in his voice, he whipped them all away in a large group warp.
Prince Endymion stepped from the warp hole he had created, followed by about seventy youma -- all that were left -- and looked around in surprise. This was where the senshi had been, he was sure of it. As distracted as he was, he couldn't have gotten it wrong.
Yet, there was no one here.... the plain was empty of all but himself and the youma warriors.
There was no time for explanations. Kunzite drew the Star Sword as he closed his warp.
Queen Metallia looked up in surprise from where she sat on her throne. The others in the group cried out in shock, but then moved to cover Kunzite and Usagi, protect them from....
From nothing. There were no youma, no guards, not even Prince Endymion. Nothing.
The queen rose, narrowing Rei's eyes. "So!" she snarled, those burning eyes fixed on Kunzite. "You survived after all!"
"Never underestimate the power of purity!" he snarled back.
"Hah!" She raised her hands, readying a blast. "I'm almost glad you survived! Now I have the pleasure of killing you twice! But before I do, I think I will destroy your little bitch! You'll see how little 'purity' is actually worth as you listen to her dying screams!"
"I think not," Usagi said calmly, stepping forward and clasping Kunzite's hand. As Queen Metallia furiously sent a blast of bael fire at them, she and Kunzite crossed their blades before them. There was a quick flash, then nothing. No flames. The blades looked unchanged. But the color drained from Queen Metallia's borrowed face.
"The circle is complete," Kunzite said quietly, but with a profound sense of finality in his low voice. "And you stand outside the balance. We are here to remove your blighting presence, cleanse the pocket world you have twisted to your own desires, and return it as a healthy part of the whole."
Prince Endymion had decided. With a grim expression, he sent a storm of spikes through the youma battalion that had followed him. They shrieked and died, with no time to fight back. He swallowed his bile as the stench of blood filled his nostrils, and a wash of scarlet broke over his heavy boots.
Drawing his sword, he warped back to the queen's throne.
"You shall not defeat me!" Queen Metallia screeched, as panic- stricken as she was angry. Then her eyes suddenly flickered, and the fire died. A new expression came over her face, the fear and fury dying, to be replaced with a familiar look of resolute stubbornness.
"Rei-chan!" Usagi cried out. Rei's dark eyes fixed on her.
"Usagi-chan! Quickly! Kill me, now!"
"No! I-- I can't--" Usagi choked, losing much of her new confidence and self-assurance.
"Damn it, odango-atama! I can't hold her back forever!" Anguished tears burned down Rei's pale cheeks, but Usagi still hesitated.
There was a blast of air and suddenly Prince Endymion stood beside the girl. He took one look at her face, ignoring the shocked group standing before the throne.
"Mamo-chan!" She grasped his sword hand. "Hurry! Do it!"
"No!" he cried, sweat beading his pale brow. "There's got to be some other way!"
"You're all a pack of damned cowards!!" Rei sounded sorrowful, rather than scornful. In a sudden move, she grabbed the knife from Endymion's belt and before anyone could act, plunged it deeply into the left side of her chest, where the breastplate did not cover her flesh.
"NO!" Usagi and Endymion screamed in an anguished chorus.
Endymion caught the girl as she fell. There was a momentary flash of anger and hatred across her face, then a thick red mist rose from her body. It hesitated a moment, before streaking away.
"No!" Endymion sobbed, feeling Rei's life pour hot and quick over his hand as he sought ineffectually to close her wound. His cheeks were awash with searing tears, yet he was cold through. "No, Rei-chan! Don't you dare die on me!"
He remembered now, remembered everything, but it was of little help. Knowing who he was wouldn't stop Rei from dying in his arms.
She smiled painfully up at him, blood trickling from the corner of her mouth. "G-gomen--" she choked, but was unable to say anything further. Slowly the light began to fade from her dark eyes. They slipped closed, her face going slack.
"No!" Endymion cried, holding her close. Then he started as he felt a warm hand on his arm. He looked up in surprise to see Sailor Moon, looking very unlike herself, gazing at him soberly. There were tears on her pale face as well, but her eyes were warm and steady.
"Mamo-chan. I can save her, if you're willing to share your own life- force with her."
His dark eyes grew huge. He couldn't speak past the lump in his throat, but he nodded fervently.
Usagi gave him an angelic smile, then raised one of Rei's limp hands and clasped it about the moon stick. She took one of Endymion's hands in turn and pressed it about Rei's, over the handle, her own covering both of theirs.
"You are prepared?"
He nodded .
On the plain where Endymion had slaughtered the last of the youma, something stirred. It was one of the youma, who had been more hardy and heavily armored than the rest. And so she had held onto her life longer than the others had. She looked almost human, except for the razor sharp blades springing from her elbows and shoulderblades, and the metallic shimmer of her long silver-gold hair.
She stood, eyes glowing crimson, a mere youma no longer. She grew several feet in height, her flesh pale, her clothing reconfiguring from heavy armor to a skimpy black leotard, and thigh high boots. The long, gleaming hair she kept, as well as the pointed ears standing out from her head. An intricate black and crimson helm was the closest thing to armor she now wore, but the power lancing about her lean limbs and slender hands was worth more than any physical armor ever made, in myth or reality. She resembled nothing so much as a grand and ancient warrioress of the sidhe, but there was no one here to make this observation. She stretched, feeling her power grow. She had been wrong to think that the youma were unsuitable. In this body, formed of evil, by evil, she had a strength she had not previously felt. She tossed back her head and belted out a long, hideous laugh.
Queen Metallia was back in business, and this time she wasn't going to let any stupid little girl stop her.
Mako watched, her tears drying forgotten on her cheeks, as a golden glow surrounded Usagi, Endymion, and Rei. It looked almost like when Artemis had given up his body, only there was no flash of white light. The gold glow grew brighter, but it wasn't painful to look at.
She moved to stand beside Kunzite, who was holding the Star Sword in his right hand and the Night Saber in his left. She noticed a little resentfully that it wasn't burning him, but that was no doubt due to his bond with Usagi. However, she had more important things on her mind.
"What's she doing?" she asked Kunzite, still not able to get over the feeling that she was talking to the wrong person. She thought she was pretty sure she knew what Usagi was doing, but she wanted to hear it from the next closest source to the girl herself. She needed the reassurance.
Kunzite shook back his white hair, not taking his large crystal blue eyes from the small group crouched on the dais. "She's... bonding the two, so that they can share their strength." He licked his lips. "That means that Rei will live, but both she and Endymion will be greatly weakened."
"A bond?" Luna chimed in, her brow furrowing. "Like yours and Usagi's?"
Kunzite cocked his head, thoughtful. "Well... no, not really. Similar, but different. It won't be as close, or extend beyond death. They won't be able to speak mind to mind, or share thoughts and memories, but they'll have a better understanding of what the other is feeling than unbonded mortals. And I think it unlikely either will choose another for a life partner."
Mako had to stifle a grin at the satisfied tone of this last observation. She didn't think Kunzite was even aware of it himself.
"But what's taking so long?" she asked. Just then the glow faded and died, and Rei stirred, but Kunzite answered anyway.
"Well, think about it, Mako-chan. Rei nearly died. That's not something you can fix with a snap of your fingers."
Mako stuck her tongue out as Usagi stood and stepped off the dais rejoined Kunzite. She looked weary but contented. Endymion collapsed against the throne arm, Rei still cradled in his lap. He was too weakened to support both Rei and himself, but he wasn't about to let go of her.
"You're... you're not jealous?" Minako queried, peering at her friend. Usagi giggled slightly, taking her saber back from Kunzite and leaning against his side, resting her head on his shoulder. "Silly," she said softly.
"Minako, you're not still gonna try to kill Endymion, are you?" Mako asked, suddenly anxious.
Minako turned and glared at the tall girl. "Makoto no baka! What do you think of me?"
"Okay, okay. Gomen."
"Kunzite, Rei-chan and Endymion are too weak to help us any." Usagi glanced over at where the two were immersed in each other, huddled closely, gazing into each other's eyes and speaking softly. She smiled a little sadly. "Rei would cream me if she heard this, but I think you'd better send them back to Earth, before the battle truly begins."
"Nanii?" Mako blurted, as Kunzite nodded and turned to the two on the dais. In a blink, energy swirled around them, and then they were gone. "Battle?" Mako continued, her eyes wide. "What do you mean? Rei-chan--"
"Rei got Metallia out of her own body, but she certainly didn't destroy her," Jadeite answered grimly. "It's not that easy to kill a parasite."
"Funny! I was thinking the same thing!" spoke a strange new voice. The air about the throne swirled, blackness and flames mingled in equal parts. "I see now I have been too easy on you. I shall not make the same mistake again!"
A woman stood in the pool of Rei's spilt blood, tall, eight feet at the least, with a face lovely and entirely evil. Her eyes gleamed fierce scarlet, and she held power in her hands.
"Now, I shall squash you like the insects you are!"
: : Part 13: Final Stirke : :
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