Compete for the Heart
A/N: I told someone that I wasn't going to rewrite this because I'd planned on turning it into a fan comic. The idea didn't work out, and even though I hadn't updated, I continued to get reviews. Finally, I've buckled down and decided to update it, but I wanted to rewrite it first so that it was better and my fans could come back and enjoy it with correct grammar, more advanced vocabulary, and all around more effort. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy.
Chapter 1: Starfighter's Return
The crack was obvious, a horrendous gray line surrounded by white where the color had been chipped off. One wrong move, and the motorcycle helmet most likely would have fallen apart. Sometimes she hated being Sailor Uranus. The enemies were always damaging her stuff nowadays. "Look at this!" She grumbled to the air since it was the only thing around to listen. "Now I have to buy a brand new one! These things are expensive!"
She thought about the shiny new helmet she'd seen in the store the other day and suddenly felt better about it. "Maybe I'll just buy a really nice one." She smirked. Sometimes she loved her enemies.
Turning the corner, her smile faded and was replaced with a look of surprise. Before her was a very large crowd of people. News vans were parked all over the street, blocking any way through (it was a good thing she walked). Everyone was screaming.
She dropped the helmet, it rolling to the side, and reached into her coat, thinking perhaps that a battle was at hand, but only after observing the scene more closely did she find that she was incredibly mistaken. This crowd was extremely exultant… and all female for that matter.
"What in the world? Who's in town?" She asked the air again.
As if on cue, a person in a red baseball cap and sunglasses forced their way through the crowd and charged at her. Despite her good reflexes, she was unable to dodge, and the person had only just caught sight of her when they collided and collapsed to the ground.
"OOF!" They cried on contact. He had fallen on top of her, his cap flying off of his head in the process.
"Hey!" Haruka yelled angrily. "You should watch where you're…" She trailed off as he lifted his head, his shades tumbling off of his face. "What! You're SEIYA!"
He tumbled off of her and got to his feet in a flash, bolting down the street like lightning. He was soon followed by the crowd of screaming fan girls and reporters.
"What is he doing back?" Haruka wondered, picking up his hat and glasses. After thinking a moment, she grew angry. "HEY! Come back here and apologize, idiot!"
Her original mission of buying a new helmet was forgotten, just like the one she had left on the side of the road.
"E-excuse me, pardon me… MOVE!" Haruka yelled, forcing her way through the mob of love-sick fans. She rolled her eyes at every 'I LOVE YOU' and 'MARRY ME SEIYA'. Idiots.
Give me a break, She said to herself.
Seiya's back was thrown up against a closed and most likely locked, black gate, staring over the ocean of reporters asking him millions of questions. Perspiration beaded his forehead as his vision swayed in and out of focus. The reporters' voices vanished from his ears. All he could hear was his rapidly beating heart.
Finally making her way close enough to the front to actually see him, Haruka noticed his dazed look. He wasn't responding to anyone, something very unlike the haughty senshi. She wondered what was going on and if it explained why he had returned to Earth so suddenly and unexpectedly. She needed to interrogate him, but first she'd have to get rid of the crowd… but how?… She knew.
"Hey, everybody! Taiki and Yaten just got off a plane, and they're looking for wives!" She shouted. "I'm totally serious!"
Moments later, the area was cleared, and she was standing alone in front of Seiya.
Seiya slid his back down one of the bars until he was sitting on the ground. His heartbeat faded from his ears, and his hearing was restored. With the back of his wrist he wiped the sweat from his brow, and then sighed in relief.
Haruka's shadow loomed over him as she approached, and he looked up in surprise. "Huh?" He asked stupidly.
"Sailor Starfighter has returned. I'm interested as to why," Haruka said irritably.
"Haruka?" He questioned in bewilderment, staring at her as if she was a being from another galaxy… which was actually kind of true…
She handed him his hat and sunglasses. "I came to get an apology from you, since you fell on top of me like that," She explained in an all but cheerful tone.
"Oh, that was you?" He asked, taking the items from her.
"Yeah," She griped. "You're lucky I brought back your perfect disguise." She spoke about his disguise with blatant sarcasm.
"Y-yeah…" He said sheepishly, turning his face away from hers and rubbing his neck.
"So, what are you doing back for, seriously? I thought you had your frou-frou princess and kingdom to take care of. What are you up to, joyriding around the universe?"
"I came here for Usagi."
"She's not interested in you," Haruka said flatly.
"I know that!" Seiya barked. "I came for her assistance. I was hoping that she could help me… but without Taiki and Yaten being my distractions, I can't get away from my fans to find her."
"I see how deeply you care about your friends," Haruka said dryly, then perked up. "Wait, they're not with you? Where are they?"
"Well, see… that's why I'm here."
"Okay, now I'm even more interested," She said, offering him a hand and helping him up. "Tell me what's going on," She demanded, rather straightforwardly.
"Well… okay…" He wiped his forehead clean once more. "Here it goes. All right…" They started walking through the park together. Seiya idly placed his hat back on his head and replaced his sunglasses. "A few months ago, we arrived home at last. Everything had returned to a normal, peaceful atmosphere, they way it had been before Galaxia. We were all extremely happy, and we often had fancy parties as royals often do. The night before one of her more luxurious parties, she came to us speaking of pain and problems she had been experiencing for awhile. She claimed that she was no longer able to ignore these problems.
"Taiki and Yaten and I escorted her to the physician on our planet, and after a thorough examination, she claimed that her majesty was fine, and Kakyuu seemed to stop worrying."
Haruka stared at him, silent. He went on.
"During the middle of the party, she collapsed. Soon afterward, it was apparent that she was ill, and Taiki, Yaten, and I did all we could to take care of her while the doctor searched for a cure… Soon afterwards, Taiki and Yaten too succumbed to the illness and were bedridden. I decided that the best for me to do was to travel to earth and find Usagi. I know her power can help us. I need her to save our kingdom, for almost all of the people there have fallen ill and will die soon if not saved."
Haruka paused, noting that they had somehow waltzed right out of the park and were now standing in dangerous territory of fan girls (after all they moved fast), and then spoke up. "There's a café…" She pointed across the street at a small restaurant occupied by little to no people. "There's a café over there. If you cut through it, You can get to buns-head's house without being spotted. It will take longer, but you'll get there."
"Oh, wow, really?" Seiya exclaimed, taking his sunglasses off to see it better. His eyes were glittering. "I don't believe it! You must have this town wired or something because you know that!"
"I get around," Haruka said unenthusiastically, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, it totally works if you follow the path. Michiru works there on weekends, so she should be able to get you through the kitchens to the back way."
"Oh, Haruka! You're a lifesaver! Literally! Thank you!" He threw his arms around her and hugged her.
She shoved him off. "Hey, now, lay off! You're welcome. Just don't flirt with her. She has a boyfriend, and it's not you. Besides, Usagi isn't interested in girls."
"You would know," Seiya replied bitterly, stalking off. "Jeez, can't even take a thank you."
"Not from you, jerk," She replied equally as hostile, walking in the opposite direction. "Your sob story is none of my concern so get it taken care of, and get off my planet."
Seiya stuck his tongue out at her and sauntered off, hands in his pockets. Haruka waited until he was out of earshot to turn and look back at him. "I really hope things turn out all right…" She mumbled concernedly.
Evening fell. After an hour of haggling and two minutes of threats, Haruka had gotten the helmet she desired at a very good bargain. She carried it under her arm, smiling proudly and feeling pleased with herself. Her mood vanished suddenly when she swore the darkness had shifted.
"Something doesn't feel right…" She muttered, glancing over her shoulders at the few people on the sidewalks and the several cars that packed the road. Nothing was out of the ordinary. "I'm just being paranoid," She growled, shaking her head of the suspicion and fears. "Man, I need to get home."
Just as her body vanished around the corner, two younger girls with oil black skin, clothes and hair peeked around the corner from the alleyway, their snakelike green eyes, the only proof of them being more than mere shadows, glistening maliciously. "I saw her! I saw her!" said one of them in a high-pitched, rather aggravating voice.
"Yeah, I saw her too!" The other one said in a more gruff, but equally annoying voice. "That was her!"
A third person appeared, this time a woman, but still hidden within the shadows, away from sight of people. "Yes… Ten'ou Haruka, Sailor Uranus… If she thinks she'll be able to hide from me, she is gravely mistaken. Dear, dear Haruka… Your heart is fragile but burns brightly like the talisman sword you wield. Your heart will be mine for the taking as long as you keep your first kiss and stay fearful of love…" She and her children of the shadows ducked away into darkness as if they had never been there at all. The last evidence of her existence was the evil chuckle she let out, and it was only a sheer echo upon the walls.
By the time Haruka had reached her home, she was seriously regretting not driving to the motorcycle shop. The route was not quite so scenic in the dark, and she'd done enough walking for the day to make her ankles sting underneath her socks and tennis shoes. It had been a long day, and she was so glad to finally be home. She could crawl between her sheets and sleep peacefully without a single worry or care in the world. There would be no concern for that Sailor Starfighter or his/her grating voice…
Haruka unlocked the door and shoved the keys in her pocket, then entered the house as she slipped out of her shoes. She could hear Hotaru playing video games which struck her as odd, considering the child would never even pick up a controller unless Haruka talked her into playing against her. She placed her new helmet on the hall table and padded in her slippers to the living room where she found Michiru and Setsuna sitting on the love seat, watching the racing game on the television with mild interest, and Hotaru with a controller in her hand plopped down next to…
"SEIYA!" Haruka exclaimed, stunned.
"Hey, Haruka, what's up?" He mocked slightly, grinning dumbly over his shoulder while his hands unconsciously continued playing the game. He apparently expected this response and was finding quite a lot of joy in it.
"What are you doing in my house!" She shouted, blushing with fury.
Seiya had returned to playing his game.
"Michiru invited me to stay here for a day or two," Seiya said, leaning forward, eyes focused only on the game.
"I thought you had to go to Usagi's house! Why stay!"
"Turns out that Usagi is off somewhere with her Mamo-chan celebrating an anniversary of their first date or something like that. Damn Mamoru has to ruin everything all the time. I don't know where she is, but her mother claimed that she'd be back in a couple of days, so I have no choice but to wait it out here."
"Haven't you made peace with him yet, Haruka?" Michiru asked, shaking her head at their childishness.
"He's famous! Why doesn't he stay at some random celebrity's house or something?" Haruka argued.
"Don't talk about me like I'm not here," Seiya said. "I don't want to draw attention to myself, and no one will ever find me here."
"If you didn't want to draw attention to yourself, you should have come here as a girl!" Haruka yelled, stomping up the stairs.
"Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you," Seiya replied acrimoniously, unaware of her leaving. "Whatever."
"She's really not so bad once you get to know her," Hotaru explained, concentrating more deeply on the game than even her playing partner. Her eyes lit up. "I won!" She exclaimed.
"Eh, this controller's busted," Seiya pouted.
"Things are going to get interesting," Setsuna whispered to Michiru who wholeheartedly agreed.