Journey Through... 2: Masquerade Night

by: First-GeNeSiS

Disclaimer: I don't own Sailormoon neither do I own Toei Animation. Naoko Takeuchi-san doesn't know me but I know her. Ok, I'm just doing this for entertainment. I'm doing this for creativity, art, and to fulfill my innermost longings and imagination.

This fanfic doesn't appear in any of the eps of Sailormoon, and MOST of the places and names are totally fictitious other than the Sailormoon characters. I do suggest that you read "Journey Through..." first before reading this one so that you could totally understand the whole story. Just imagine it as a new beginning...

Chapter X

Robins had been singing for quite some time now. The leaves crackled like there was nothing else but peace. Alexandr slowly opened his eyes as he gasped the fresh air in a very well-lit room. 'Is this heaven?' Everything he felt was all too good to be reality. He had remembered perfectly the bloodshed and the feeling of joy in transition of his priced life. Were all of those a nightmare? No... with all the realizations he had experienced... he should be asking... were all of those a dream? He finally began to moved when he noticed the discomfort brought by tourniquets that seem to wrap the whole of his body. The wounds, the pain... the battle was definitely a memory.

Supporting himself up, the wounds were not too bad at all. He could managed himself well. He sat up straight as he scrutinized himself fully. He was treated half naked with only a fresh new dark trousers on. There's a feeling of a hard object that seemed to support his wounded thigh. His right arm seemed fine but the other was the opposite. Without cloths that uncovered the wounds in his limb, he saw clearly the healing cuts and bruises. He felt his head, his golden hair that's been mixed by white sheets wrapped around his forehead. His body was wrapped in bandages, binding his wounds, binding his chest. It was a miracle he survived.

He tried to balance himself putting both his feet flat on the floor. Bare- footed he familiarized the place he was in. There was no one in sight. And the surrounding looked so foreign in his gaze. The room was large and the bed was the only furniture present with a thin wooden chair and small table that seemed to hold his treatment. He walked toward the window that's been showing a glaring sun. He hid from it into a flowy drape and tried as much as possible to see the outside. There was no one.

Journeying back to the bed, he took hold of a well-folded white shirt at the side. Barely putting it on because of the sensitive wounds, he did manage to dress himself up nobly. There, he walked limping out of the room.

Darien's mansion! Down across the room were the same doors whom he had passed through at the start of the party. Yes! Thank heavens to Darien he had saved his life. Never was he more grateful. After that night, he finally realized the value of life not because of the essence of survival but because of understanding the presence of others. Joy lifted his soul as now he was already very eager to personally thank the master of the mansion.

Carefully he walked through the hallway. The place seemed very different from that night. The once joyous atmosphere and the different lovely couples waltzing were all but a mirage. Now, a new sound was brought by the wind. It's a sound that's direct from nature and a gift of solidarity -- the sound of silence. He remembered his mansion, the mansion of gloom and the den of stillness. That night he learnt his lesson. For once he had listened not to himself but he had mind the people around him. His head started to ache and he could only steady himself more supporting his head while walking until he reached the end of the hallway. There was a room. A room so decent to look at. At the middle seemed to be a grand piano. The music room no doubt! But the figures he was seeing were all too blurred to look straightly. He felt a little dizzy that he just have to lean back on the door and savor the pain inside his head.

"Milord!"

He turned around toward the voice in the hallway. "Serena!"

"What are you doing up in bed?" She hurriedly ran fast up to his aid. Gently, she supported him to stand up straight. "You are still not yet strong enough to walk around like that." She lead him inside the room to a chair at a corner. There she looked at him and by the looks of her eyes, she could only feel warmth and happiness at the sight of this person. "I really thought you won't wake up again. You've been unconscious for four days."

'Four days?' Alexandr could only grabbed hold of his head as he tried to remember anything while he was asleep. But there was nothing. There was nothing to think of but only the battle where he took his bruises from. He looked up to Serena. "How's Darien?"

Serena dropped her gaze. "He's still resting in bed to recover his strength. He's conscious but we haven't had a decent talk since that night."

"Oh I see." Alex tried to stand again to walk toward the piano in the middle. He gently swiped his palm edges upon edges of the shiny instrument. His eyes now so calm, his voice so tender. "I presumed he totally beatened up that bandit back in the arena?" He caught at the corner of his eye a tiny nod of Serena. "He must really love you."

Serena looked away to the totally opposite direction of Alexandr. She wasn't sure at that very moment. On that night, there was something Darien suddenly knew. The secret that's been better left be hidden with time. She was worried. "Seiya just made him angry." The calmness of her nerves just urge her to tell a story to this kind man. Eversince, he'd always been a good listener. He had always have this certain substance that she could easily open up to him anytime. Somehow, with him around, she could always feel safe and comfort. She could feel that with him, her body's protected and her heart's secured. "Seiya was once my master at the tavern."

The words pulled Alexandr's gaze to Serena. At that time when he had met Serena, he remembered a shadowy figure from a corner and felt the stranger's eyes. Was that him? He straightened his stand as he faced toward her direction to listen to the rest of the story.

"Seiya told him everything!"

Though he couldn't see directly her face, her back motioned the sadness of a weeping lady.

"Milord, I'm scared."

With only a few feet away from each other, Alexandr could feel greatly the shivers of this lady in front of him. The sight called for compassion. If only he could go there and embraced her to shove those worries away. The thought just moved his heart even more. But such act can't be done. Somehow, it just can not be done.

"Darien didn't know that past. I never told him. Perhaps I was just a fraud right from the very beginning. But you knew, right? Nothing happened. There was nothing to be worried about. I am just another woman with a natural dignity." She tightened her fists. "But why am I suddenly feeling fright?" Her strong emotions broke with a gentle touch on her shoulders. Turning around, she saw the tall blonde. His face could only destroy such worries and melt a heart. She just couldn't take it any longer but to hug this ever kind person infront of her. Letting herself feel the warmth of this person's hold, and slowly dissolving into him. "Milord, I think you have known me better than anyone else. I don't have anything to keep from you. I know that you already know probably right from the very start this feeling that I'm having." She paused in an eternal pause. It's now or never, courage was not an issue. It's about honesty and trust. "... I love you, milord. I had always loved you."

Alexandr closed his eyes as he tightened his hold. Here was a different feeling. This feeling was ever so calming and it took awhile to gather up his strengths to reveal a reply. "You really have always fascinated me, Serena. But..." He tightened his hold even more praying much not to let go. "...but let us forget these feelings and leave them masked as they were. Your love, my desire... we are not the persons meant to be. We...."

"...No... Please don't!" She let go as her face were all covered in emotions. Was it anger or sadness? Disappointment or depression? "How would you know who and who are meant for each other? You are hurting me as we speak. Is your will to kill this love I've outrgrown for years? It's definitely not its fate, milord!"

He walked up closer to her. "A bright future is waiting for you in Darien's arms and I don't want to be the person who takes away that future away from you. Let us end this masquerade of fantasies that our hearts yearn for years for both of us know to be impossible for reality... It's god's fate for you to be there, and me be here." Alexandr smiled down to the small woman. "Darien is my childhood friend and I have known him as a child who has the most understanding concept of the world around him. I don't think that that ever changed." He wiped a single tear that had yet to fall from her eye. "You see Serena, Darien is a good man. If there's someone who could understand you more, it's him." Carefully lifting up her chin, his grin shone full tenderness to the lady. "Be with him." Softly, he leaned down and planted a kiss to the lady's cheek.

The feeling of rejection was painful than what had just been heard of. But the way the lord said it to her could only opened up a more shining tomorrow.

Alexandr finally let go though his heart tells to resist this decision. If he were feeling so good at it then why does he have to let such feeling fade again. Perhaps he had experienced enough, he had already matured enough to know what was really right and what was really his place. He followed the sight of the heartbroken lady out of the room knowing that she just had to look for a more soothing place to cry her heart's disappointments.

He sighed. Now, he's alone again. He's beginning to think that good fate dislikes him to its great extent. To much he would like to cry, he couldn't. Besides, there was nothing to cry about. There, he continue to believe that there's still a future for him. Thinking deeply brought him seated infront of the piano. Feeling the texture and every curves of the keys, he struck a note. For the last time he wanted to remember the memory. For the lastest time, he was finally prepared and assured to let go. Finally, his heart was saying 'Goodbye, Michelle'.

Closing his eyes, his fingers glided the song with pure wondrous melody that filled the whole room. It's been awhile since his ears taste music. To be exact, it's been a silent five years. His heart relaxed in lullaby hearing the smooth tunes he was playing.

The whole mansion echoed the flying notes of a song so calm and fragile. It's a song that opens a heart to fill a new life. Such a sweet song! Such melodious magic! The walls waved in unison, the air flowed smoothly everywhere and the servants paused to hear such beautiful concord of sounds. Marcus was all but sleepy taking breakfast in the kitchen. His appetite became better with a tune for every bit of bread. Serena halted from its sobbing depression on her bed as her feeling was replaced by harmonious solidarity of this new music she heard. Darien woke up gently hearing the strong sensations in his ears. He smiled in delight. "Alexandr..."

The strong waves carried the blonde Lord to a whole world. Pure satisfaction. He savored every bit of melody produced by his fingers, so smooth and accurate. His fingers flew smoothly. He continued playing when he heard a mirage sound of violin playing with him. It was following perfectly his lead. Was it his vivid imagination? Were his ears now this dilussional as well? Nevertheless, he could totally feel the sweetness of such strong blending of the instruments. He continued to play fervently than before as the accompanying violin without a flaw followed him as if it knew the notes so well. As if his very own hands are the ones playing such small musical instrument. He sighed in happiness as both instruments played in unison, touching note after note, hitting uniformly sharps and flats, gliding softly in the atmosphere, dancing in pure sensations. His lips curved in a smile. 'It's as if making love again'. His partner was all too knowing of his desires. He gently slowed his pace from the ranging climax of notes and finally coming to a stop. He finished the piece.

Alexandr opened his eyes seeing his fingers resting on the keys. They looked so tired now. He panted softly from his long performance. It's been a very long time since he had touched an instrument. He used to play the piano before he became a courtier of his brother. Yet, he was amaze on how well he just did.

"You seemed to be tired now." A soft giggle was heard at a corner of the room.

Was there somebody else? Was it the violin? He slowly turned around at a shadowy figure who second by second stepped forward into the light. Wide- eyed, he couldn't believe it. Did his eyes deceived him? There's just no way to believe it. Michelle! He could only stare without words. His eyes could only stay forever on this woman's physique.

"You seemed to be panting a little." She approached slowly to the sitted blonde. "I presumed that you haven't been practicing much?"

She was smiling to him. Yes! The woman with aquamarine hair, the smooth skin, the angelic face. She was talking to him at that very moment. His mouth froze. Was he dreaming? Was she alive? After five long years?

Her giggles sounded like a miracle. "So, don't you want to say anything?" She got hold of some strands of her hair pushing them back. "I have to say that you were really very good. I didn't know that you could play. But it was really fun following you like that. I truly enjoyed myself." She looked at the bandaged forehead. "Are you alright now?"

He nodded as his mind raised a doubt. Is she really Michelle? If she was then she could have known him. He finally looked depressed again. It's impossible. She's definitely not. Though she resembled her alot but they were just two different persons. The one was dead and this one was breathing. He looked even more depressed than before. He had thought that everything was finally over. But with the sudden appearance of this woman, everything was back as it was. He seemed to have a cursed life. Anyway, it's there now, so the best thing to do was to wait to where fate would take him.

"Thank goodness." She smiled cheerfully. "You know, the servants here are not that reliable as you think they are. They might look like they're curing you but actually, they could just worsen a case." She smiled even more. "So, that's why I took the liberty of caring for you instead."

"What?" Seemed surprise, he looked choked. "Umm.. did you mean.. you did all of these?"

The lady nodded greatly.

"From head to toe?"

She nodded again.

He breathe nervously and silently enumerated, "my head, arm, thigh, hands, and..." He blurted aloud. "my torso?!" He had a wounded abdomen. As far as he could remember, everything was treated well. His abdomen was bandaged perfectly and her breast already bound. "You didn't..... did you?"

Her smile was ever so beautiful.

For the first time he blushed like a kid again. "You know?"

"You are indeed a very special person, milord!" She kept her eyes on him as she gracefully walked toward the door. "And I am really looking forward to experience what you had let me experienced earlier, again."

"Wait!" He called out. "Who are you?"

She turned to him again never removing her cheerful face. "Oh- I'm a visiting cousin of Darien. I just came here for the masquerade. But I think I'll be staying longer than I expected."

She was about to disappear when Alexandr's voice echoed again. "Can you please tell me your name?"

She smiled lovingly, "-Michiru-".

THE END

Author's Notes: At last, I'm finished. I hope Masquerade Night complements Journey Through just right. I'm sorry it took quite a long time to finish this eventhough it's shorter than the first one. But still, just like JT, I really put my heart into this too. I hope you enjoyed it. x Thanks again for reading!!!

QUESTION: How do you compare it to Journey Through in quality? I hope it's not that too far behind, or is it just too far ahead?