Azure

Notes: don't own Sailor Moon or Fushigi Yugi so please don't sue.

Prologue: A Year of Peace, A Century of Turmoil

A year.

We have had peace for an entire year.

It might be something to celebrate...if we knew that it was to be a permanent fixture.

"Ten seconds. That's all you need to beat your personal best. Think you can do it?"

I am not sure but I don't tell her these aloud. Instead I give a curt impersonal nod of my head. I have learned that it is all right for me to doubt my own abilities so long as I don't express these insecurities to others.

The soles of my feet patted nosily across the slick off-white title. Reaching up I place a white swimming cap around my shaggy blue mop of hair. Standing at the edge of the cold water drenched floor I am posed for action, my heart thudding within the bony cradle of my rib cage, blood rushing to my ears making it nearly imposable for me to hear anything. A fine shutter went through my spine as time slowed to a crawl, I glanced over at the swim team coach surrounded by my peers that I compete with and against but only know them by name and face and nothing else.

A shrill cry of the silver whistle dangling from coach's neck resounds through the halls. Without hesitation I dive into the water, my body propelling itself through my home and my element.

As most who claim to know me even halfway well knows that I love the water more than anything, even before I become a senshi of water I was a literal fish because whenever I wasn't studying I would be at local fitness center swimming.

I didn't joined the swim team when I was in junior high because I was too wrapped up in studying, and partially because I was too shy to tryout, and then I became a Sailor Senshi after that I was lucky to have time to finish two chapters ahead of my other classmates.

Children were not meant to "save the world" Sure it has brought some good things to my life, like a new sense of growing confidence and of course friends that are more loyal to me than family. I love them like sisters and in turn I have no doubt that they will never cause me to distrust them. I can never lose my faith in them; hopefully they feel the same about me. But on the flip side I feel trapped.

I know I might sound like a whining child but I have to say this to someone and I suppose that you are better than no one in particular.

I want, no need, to be normal.

I was "odd" even before I became a senshi since I actually enjoyed studying rather than frolicking, I would beg my mother to send me to cram school for the summer instead of allowing myself a vacation...all for a dream. A good normal dream, but an obsession never the less. Being a senshi, I hate to say this but it is true, only made it worse because now I wasn't just super smart I also was endowed with supernatural powers that I had to use to help save the world.

Giving such powers to a child is almost like giving an active explosive to a chimpanzee. Something is bound to break; something has to be traded in for that power.

Life.

Not in the literal sense mind you but in the...I am not sure how to explain it but its' like I am alive physically; I can feel emotions, strongly even sometimes, I can love and be loved, I can breathe but...there are moments that I really wonder...is this really life I am living.

Too "Matrix" sounding for you? Me too...that's what scares me.

I barely heard the announcement of my time as I pulled myself out of the pool. Around me my teammates gaggled around me to congratulate me. I politely, yet with the trademark shyness, accepted their praise and walked away.

Ducking into the locker room ten minutes before class is over I turn on the nearest shower, peel my bathing suit off and get in to at the very least rinse the chlorine out of my hair.

The steaming drops of purified rain soothe and warm my skin with each droplet. I tune out the noise of the other girls taking their own quick showers and gathering their things to go home. I still have at least one more stop before I head home.

I wait for the sounds of my teammates to disperse before I finally exit the shower, my skin wrinkled and a bit red in some places but at least now I am fully relaxed. Leaving the school behind me I turned towards the setting sun, the bright colors dimmed by the smog of the bustling city of Tokyo. The sky has never been as clear as it was on that day that Usagi shone like a brilliant morning star. The benevolent heiress to the world.

It seems likes years...but it has only been one.

My now feet, now shod with dark brown shoes clanked up the steps to the public library. A few days ago I had borrowed several volumes, mostly on Japanese mythology since a ten-page thesis is due on the subject before the end of this first semester. One volume in particular caught my attention almost instantly.

"Excuse me," I whisper to the middle-aged woman with salt-and-peeper hair sitting behind the tall mahogany counter.

"Yes? Oh Miss Mizuno, back so soon I see. Is there anything I can help you with?"

"Um yes," I reply as I shift through my book bag to find the book.

It is ancient to say the least, the leather bound cover is torn and tattered in so many places that it seems to be covered with tape more than anything, the pages yellowed to a tarnished gold and some seem to even be missing, possibly designated. When I first checked it out I had to ask the clerk to make sure that I was allowed to borrow such an old tome. She had said yes, but when I got it home it wasn't merely the age of the book that had me concerned.

"This book I checked out Saturday. I think you might want to have a look at."

"Hmm, has it been vandalized?" the librarian asked seriously as she pushed her glasses up to rest on her prim nose.

Instead of replying I just let her hold the book for herself as my mind briefly wandered to the night before.

After pouring over the other texts that I had borrowed I was curled up on my bed reading with avid interest the stories of these young women who would come to this "other world" find seven warriors and summon powerful gods. The tales themselves were very intriguing and I could have easily written six pages alone devoted to the first about the land of ice and snow, Hokkan was the name of the fictitious country I believe. As I read towards the back of the book, there was one very strange page.

It had a title written in the same flourish and elaborate style of the previous titles but what was so strange about it...

"Hmm that's odd," the librarian mused aloud.

This drew me out of my mental wander, "What's strange?" I asked aloud even though I had a pretty good idea what she was referring to.

She lifted the book and flipped to the last fifty pages of the book. Blank tarnished dog-eared pages, no title and certainly no...

"Are you sure you didn't miss a few pages before those?" I inquire as a sudden chill runs down my spine; something tells me that she will not find what I had clearly seen. And she wouldn't hear "them".

They say voices are the first sign that you are going crazy...but the vary notion of me going insane is just well crazy.

Carefully she flipped through the pages to the last story about some young priestess named Miaka, and sure enough after that last page of the story there was only a blank page, no title, no watercolor picture of a blue- haired girl dressed in foreign garments surrounded by people she doesn't know.

Then someone cried out to me...

"This is very strange. I know that this book is very old but it is odd to have fifty blank pages. When this book was made paper was very precious since a lot of people were scholars and writers, well before the war at least, so this is rather unusual for it to be seemingly wasted.

No scratch that it wasn't one voice but many...does it mean that I am defiantly insane?

Help us Child of far away We ask of you to pray to our God above the stars He has turned a blind eye and we need Your fair light to alert him Of his chosen's plight

"That's what I thought. I just wanted to make sure that it there wasn't something missing from the book." I lied as I took the volume back.

"I would let you borrow another copy of the book...that is if we had another copy of it. The founder of the library received as a inheritance from his father in the late sixties so as far as records show this book is one of a kind."

"It's alright really. Trust me I have more than enough here to finish my report. Thank you just the same." I said softly before turning away to leave.

Those words still swam around in my head as effortlessly as I swim through water. The haunting voices, ghosts of the people depicted in the crude water colored painting.

To prove my theory I crack open the book on the train heading home, sure enough the same blank page was now filled with a picture of a girl with short blue hair dressed in a fur trimmed navy kimono, a black fur hat perched awkwardly, almost as if it was a bit too big, on her head, in her hands in a necklace with bone ornaments and a single jade diamond shaped jewel dangling from it's center. Her dark blue eyes look chillingly familiar, maybe because I am looking at them through my reflection in the glass.

No.

She can't be me. For one she appears to be too...happy. And "secretly" she is tightly holding the hand of one of the warriors. But the very resemblance is so similar it is frightening.

"Final stop, Juban district..." the intercom intones.

Grasping my book bag and book I leave the train and hoof my way back to a more than likely empty apartments since mom is working the late shift again. The jangle of my key ring tells me that another long and lonely night with just my books and me are in store for me. I am still friends with the other senshi but they all have their own lives of course, besides I feel horrible just calling them up because I feel alone. Placing the book on the dining room table I assemble a tray of instant noodles in a bowl, a cup of mint green tea, and some chocolate cookies. Taking the tray to my room I managed to juggle the book as well and head for my room. Crawling on top of my made bed carrying the tray and book with me I settle in stretching my bird like legs out in front of me, not really caring how much my skirt rode up since it is just me in the room.

I hesitate for a moment to place the book aside, hunger being more of a driving force than avid curiosity. I giggled softly thinking how poor Usagi- chan would be in utter turmoil if she had to chose of satisfying a burning curiosity or filling her stomach, of course the stomach would win but only after a long fought battle. I compromise by eating the noodles and nibbling on two cookies before prying the book open.

Drawing my knees up, kami only knows how much of my thighs can be seen from this position; I balance the book on them while I sipped at the now warm tea in my right hand.

The watercolor painting of the "last" priestess was still there, as if it had been there since the author of this book had dipped his quill into the well to write the last line, the last page, the last chapter of this epic.

I was once again captivated with how similar we were, the painting and I. Gently I foolishly ran my right index finger across the page, first touching the face of the priestess than touching each of the people. For a painting that lacked artistic value they all seemed alive, almost as if they were flesh transposed onto page rather than dyes and ink.

Gingerly I pass through the pages re-reading the inked words that must have been written almost a century ago and yet seems to disappear and re-appear like magic. A girl, young, shy, and full of doubts apparently saves this fantasy world. Hmm not too different from Usagi and the rest of us. We all have our insecurities but most of us are better at concealing them than others are.

Maybe that is why I feel so lifeless. Since we have had peace for an entire year I haven't felt much of the adrenaline rush of when we had to fight against demons every other day, and saving the world occurred every other three months. Even though I'll be the first to admit that I am no fighter I do miss the thrill of defeating an enemy be it by skill or sheer dumb luck, most the latter.

That's why I am imagining all of bizarre things. I am just looking for something inciting and exciting, just anything to peak my curiosity. The voices, the pictures and words that vanish and appear are all in my imagination. Albeit this is the most vivid my imagination has been since I was little. It's much more like a dream rather than imagination...yes a dream.

"No. It's not a dream," a forging voice, whispers.

Opening my heavy eyes I look at the book to see the painting erased completely leaving a blank yellow page. Before I can examine this now constant phenomenon a strong gush of wind bellows through my open windows but this isn't some gentle springtime gale; for the wind howls so boisterously that it bashes my glass windows against the walls shattering the panes into small glittering shards. I gap at my windows only to shrilly squeak as the wind picks up again this time picking up the shards of glass like a violet spiked tornado.

Roughly pushing the tray from my lap, the teacup smashes to the floor, then rolling out of bed to get out of my room as the glass tornado chases me. Standing in the living room I try to find a place to hide but instead of having time to run I have to act on my feet.

"Mercury Power!" I said raising my hand to summon the powers of water.

Nothing. I feel no rising of power, no sense of kinship to the water and ice.

I stare with helpless wide eyes as the tornado reaches me. A shard of glass reached out to cut my left cheek, blood rushes to the summons of the open gash. Crying out in pain I turn to run only to be held back a forceful human embrace.

Whipping my head around at first all I see is a shadow even though the living room is well lit.

A hand touched my injured skin; a finger crawled down the wound, causing me to wince in pain as the pad of the finger smeared the blood on the bridge of my nose.

"Can you feel that?" the same voice asked.

I dared not move even my lips were frozen so that they couldn't reply or deny the obvious truth.

"In dreams you can't feel pain. You can't bleed...and yet you live in a dream...correct?" the voice asked.

Finally my lips move, "W...who are you?"

A soft chuckle.

"The question shouldn't be "who are you?" but "who am I?" the voice, clearly male, whispered into the shell of my ear.

I gasped as he moved from my ear to my cheek; a warm but wet sensation came as his tongue lapped up the drying blood collecting on my already closing wound. He turned me around so that I could face him. The shadow around him was gone, but I could only see one thing before I fell to another form of darkness, sleep.

The last thing I saw were blood red eyes.

Notes: Kind of cryptic, shaky, and way OOC for Ami-chan but I had to try this because as perusal this fic idea was toying with my mind and refused to give it up. I hope that you have enjoyed this chapter, if you guys want more just tell me so but if I am way off base, well tell me so a writer is only half as good as the input he or se receives. Thanks for reading! Peace