Show: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Timeline: "The Last Sacrifice: The End of the Silver Millennium", "CAS 1: The Trouble with Love is the Lovers", "CAS 2: To Defy Destiny", "Every Cloud", "Crystal Shards", "CAS 3: Unwilling Accomplice", "CAS 4: Princess of Light", "CAS 5: One Last Shining Star", "Destiny or Duty", "Desperately Searching", "Kazeko", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi"
Series: prequel to "Chronicles of the Star Senshi", sequel to "Desperately Searching"
Couples: Haruka/Michiru, Rei/Minako, Usagi/Mamoru, Makoto/Ami, Setsuna/Ailan
Time: About 6 years after Sailor Stars
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon and all the characters thereof belong to Takeuchi Naoko and all companies with which she is associated: Toei, Kodansha, Pioneer/Geneon in America. I own the parents of the senshi from 'The Last Sacrifice' and their reborn spirits, any Cupids mentioned, all crystals except the ginzuishou, the Guardian of the Balance, the shadow-wraiths, and Michiru and Haruka's daughter.
Chapter 1: Ai no Uta
Haruka looked at herself in the full-length mirror in the spare bedroom, smoothing down the white dress shirt over her semi-flat chest and reaching for her vest. She stared at her strong hand, long fingers, slight tan, toughened by years of throwing around massive amounts of energy as Sailor Uranus and wielding an incredibly powerful sword. She turned her long hand over, looking at her finely lined palm, remembering back to the days when she was a student at Mugen Gakuen, when she was looking for the talismans hidden in her pure heart crystal, when all she could see was blood. In her mind, she heard her beloved Michiru's words of comfort from those days: "Don't worry, Haruka; I like your hands."
Haruka pulled her hand to her chest and held it, brilliant green eyes sparkling, a slow smile spreading across her face. Michiru. Gods, but she loved that woman. She had known her since Junior High, since she discovered that she shared a destiny with the most beautiful woman in the world. And now that they had finished not only High School but also college and were preparing for their own new careers, she and Michiru could be much more than mere girlfriends, Senshi partners in service to their young princess. Pulling her attention back to the task at hand, Haruka slipped her arms into her vest and pulled on her dark navy jacket.
"I'm ready when you are," Haruka called back, looking at the closed bedroom door where her lover was dressing, knowing that her Michi was not yet ready. That was fine with her. Haruka checked the clock before picking up the one piece of jewelry Michiru had given her, one of the few necklaces she consented to wear. It was a beautiful dark gold piece of amber, colorful iridescent scales buried in the depths of the petrified sap roughly forming the symbol of Uranus. It gave Haruka a sense of power to hold the lifeblood of a tree that had been extinct for hundreds of thousands of years. The piece of amber, almost a perfect heart shape, hung from a golden chain that sparkled in the light of the guest room where Haruka had been exiled when Michiru wanted to dress alone, away from her lover's amorous hands and time-wasting plans. Haruka fastened the chain around her neck, glancing at her reflection in the mirror once more. The dark navy suit made the tall tomboy look even taller, and her short boots reminded her of her Sailor fuku. She ran a hand through her short blonde hair, watching it fall back into place, revealing the tiny hoop earrings she always wore.
"I am now. Coming, Ruka, or should I call a taxi?"
"If it comes to that," Haruka laughed, "you can drive yourself." She exited the guest room, knowing that Michiru wasn't out of the bedroom yet. Setsuna had taken Hotaru shopping with Usagi, Mamoru, and the Inner Senshi, giving Haruka and Michiru time to perform at the diner they frequented before they all met for dinner at their favorite restaurant. They only had one performance before the meeting, and they were going to be late if a certain violinist didn't hurry up. The subject of the pianist's thoughts coughed discreetly behind her, closing their bedroom door, and the taller woman turned slowly to look at her.
In the years since Haruka had met the aqua-haired beauty, Michiru had grown from a stunning young lady just discovering her sexual potential to a drop-dead gorgeous woman fully aware of her effect on all men and her lover Haruka. Her hair, longer than it had been when two Junior High students met each other on a dusty racetrack so long ago and so far away, now rippled down her back like a shimmering waterfall, just caressing her slender waist. Her pale blue dress hemmed in lavender and covered in tiny white flowers hugged her breasts and hips; sleeveless, with a low neckline and virtually no back, the dress accented her sea-blue hair and deep sapphire eyes. Her white skin seemed to glow with an inner light that had nothing to do with her immense Senshi powers, and Haruka could feel the joy pulsing off her girlfriend in waves. Kaiou Michiru smiled at the blonde, tilting her head in amusement. "See anything you like, Haruka?" She fingered the aquamarine pendant hanging from her slender neck before turning her attention back to her lover.
Haruka nodded, swallowing. "Beautiful," she managed. "I don't think I'm dressed well enough to escort you tonight."
Michiru laughed as she threaded her arm through Haruka's, pointing her girlfriend toward the door and the car outside. "Flattery will get you nowhere, Ruka, however, a kiss and I'm all yours." She smiled at the expression on her girlfriend's face as they reached the door. "On a more serious note, you look very handsome tonight, Haruka. I wouldn't go with anyone else."
The two women had attended the same arts college for four years, both majoring in music and visual art. Haruka told everybody that she wasn't much of an artist, but her lover disagreed, and after the world returned to normal following Haruka's wish more than six years earlier, Michiru encouraged the racer's artistic talent. Now their paintings were always displayed in one exhibit, and Haruka had received many medals and much fame, especially since most of the world thought that she was a man and her paintings were fairly delicate and "feminine." They also performed concerts together and had toured Japan many times since High School, even doing two overseas trips. Their fame did not tempt them long, and the famous Kaiou-Ten'ou duet never failed to perform for the customers at their favorite nightclub at least once a month.
The drive to the club was silent, both women lost in their own thoughts. Michiru kept glancing over at Haruka, wondering why the taller woman was so uncharacteristically nervous and unusually reserved. She had never expressed any fear at not being good enough for Michiru, except for the little incident with the wish. It was just a performance at their favorite old haunt, not a concert for the emperor and his family. It was no different from their hundreds of other duets, and Haruka had written three of the songs they were to perform. She should be a little apprehensive that the customers would not like her music, though they always did, but that was not the sense Michiru was getting from her lover. It was almost like Haruka was afraid of her partner, and that made no sense at all to the aqua-haired woman. It wasn't their anniversary, it wasn't anyone's birthday, and it wasn't a holiday. So why was tonight so very special? What could it possibly be? Haruka's mind remained closed to her partner.
The silent blonde could see her hands shaking almost imperceptibly on the steering wheel, palms sweating uncontrollably. She had fought enemy after enemy as Sailor Uranus, including the Messiah of Silence, Nehelenia, and Galaxia, but she had never trembled. She died, Michiru by her side, after sacrificing herself and betraying her princess for the sake of the mission, but she was never afraid. Desperate to calm her nerves, Haruka rested her hand on the gearshift, letting the purring rhythm and vibrations of her car soothe her shattered nerves. She jumped as Michiru's warm hand slid over hers, glancing over at the younger woman. "Michi?"
Michiru stared straight ahead, smiling, letting the warmth and reassurance of her hand provide Haruka with the support she so desperately needed. Haruka relaxed, letting her thoughts calm and her worries blow away with the wind as the pair sped toward their destination.
Michiru and Haruka finished the song, both bowing, the aqua-haired woman reluctantly letting her mind return to the mundane plane from its flight with Haruka far above the earth. In the past, before she met her soulmate, Michiru's spirit wandered alone during her performances, and she always knew that she was missing something. With Haruka, though, she felt complete, their minds and spirits so closely linked that neither felt complete without the other. The muted applause as the music faded was the rowdiest the small, elegant nightclub would support, but the only person that mattered to Michiru was her partner standing at the piano. Haruka bowed again, gesturing for Michiru to wait before leaving the stage. She took center stage and cleared her throat, waiting for the noise to die down.
"Michiru and I have been performing together at least since we began High School seven years ago, and we have been playing duets here almost that long, certainly before I became known for the piano. That is why I chose this diner for tonight." Michiru looked at her lover, eyebrows raised, as the tall blonde turned to face her. "Michiru, we have been together for a long time, and I would like for 'a long time' to become 'forever'." She crouched down on one knee, pulling a small blue box out of her pocket, watching as Michiru's sapphire eyes filled with tears. The aqua-haired senshi swallowed, hands flying to her mouth as she began to shake her head almost imperceptibly in wonder.
Haruka opened the box.
A sigh spread through the room at the absolute beauty of the ring that shone brightly enough to be visible to every patron of the diner. "Aishiteru, Michiru," the blonde senshi whispered. "Will you marry me?"
Absolute silence reigned in the diner as Haruka held her breath, blood pounding in her ears, heart beating as fiercely as if she had just run a marathon, her entire world hanging on her lover's answer. She could feel the other diners leaning forward in their seats, praying for her.
Michiru reached out one trembling hand, finger just barely brushing across the tiny diamond flower on the golden band, and her sudden half-sob broke the tension in the room. "Yes," she whispered, tears running down her cheeks. "Kami-sama, yes, Haruka."
The blonde pulled the delicate ring out of the box and slipped it on Michiru's slender finger, biting her lip until it was safely on. She had been so afraid that it wouldn't fit.
Suddenly overwhelmed by the sheer reality of her lover's answer, Haruka shot to her feet and pulled Michiru into her arms, kissing her as cheers sounded through the formerly quiet room. Gods she loved this woman!