Crystals of Love: Forsaken
~Title: Crystals of Love: Forsaken
~Show: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
~Challenge: One of your couple has a strange form of temporary blindness and can only see auras
~Timeline: "A Child of Darkness and Light", "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", "Our Past 1: The Reason We Fight", "CAS 4: Princess of Light", "Our Past 2: The Reason We Still Fight", "Our Past 3: The Reason We Fought", "CAS 5: One Last Shining Star", "In the Darkest Forest", "Destiny or Duty", "Desperately Searching", "Kazeko", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 1: The Gathering", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 2: Castle in the Sky", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 3: Queen of the Moon", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 4: Separation Anxiety", "Crystals of Love: Forsaken", "Chronicles of the Star Senshi 5: Black Moon Family", "Horoscope"
~Time: Crystal Tokyo (before Black Moon family comes, after Uranus and Neptune vanish)
~Series: Crystals of Love: Tales of the Heart from Crystal Tokyo
~Summary: One mistake can ruin a life, no matter how powerful you are.
~Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon. You know that. I do own all of the Star Senshi (i.e. daughters of the Senshi).
Chapter 1: Lonely and Forgotten
She was alone and lost, a single solitary soul with a weight of guilt on her conscience that no amount of time or love could heal, a soul with no purpose, no friends, no family, no country, no hope, only her power. The power to kill, the power of hatred, the power of flame. A power she never asked for and hadn't wanted in a very long time, a power that proved to be more trouble than it was worth, a power she would gladly give back if only she could. But even her god had forsaken her, told her in no uncertain terms that what she did was unacceptable, unforgivable, that she was not even good enough to deserve death, only the torture of her lonely, forgotten existence.
The red-haired woman pushed the matted hair out of her eyes as the brilliant sun crested the rusty mountains on the horizon, the golden color mingling with the dusty color of her new home, reminding her of the brilliant love she would never know again, the wife and children she was not permitted to see—though she had birthed many of them herself—the friends she had forsaken with her selfish act. She thought of Matsurika, now a beautiful woman with ice blue eyes and hair all the colors of flame, happily married to Rikaze and Asako's firstborn child on Earth, Hibana. Hibana's twin Asakaze had married her second child, Rikuriko, who had purple gray eyes that belonged to the red-haired woman and hair a mixture of one mother's rich gold and the other's red. The hermit had birthed that child, and most in the court agreed that she had passed on her fiery nature. The third daughter, Koyama, had one mother's ice blue eyes and hair the raven color her other mother's had been so many hundreds of years ago and was happily married to Kumiko, daughter of the Aquarian Senshi, three women who lived together as happily as any two other Planet or Star Senshi in the strange customs of their planet. Mika had grey eyes and red gold hair, a common color among her siblings, and had married the fifth daughter of Haruka and Michiru—two beloved Senshi lost for so long—Aya. Chieko, her eyes dark blue to match her calming nature and her birth mother, whose golden hair she also bore, was wife to Yuki, another daughter of the Aquarians. The last daughter, closest to the outcast's heart, only the second she birthed, was named Chiyoko, and she was identical to her birth mother when she was young and human, with purple-gray eyes and raven hair that shone red in the light. She was married to Setsuko, the youngest daughter of Setsuna and Ailan, identical to the daughter of Hades who had birthed her.
The outcast caught herself before she thought of her children's other mother, the golden-haired nymph with eyes the color of a summer sky who had won her heart so long ago. She couldn't stop herself from remembering the day they met, Sailor Venus saving the unfortunate Senshi from Kunzite and Zoisite, standing tall and proud on a building overlooking the construction site, golden hair blowing in the wind. Even back then, fourteen years old, she had been magnificent. Then, the next day, when Usagi vanished, Aino Minako had come to the shrine—her shrine, her home—and officially joined the Senshi, going with them to find Usagi. Years later, Minako returned to that same shrine, breathless, smiling, as the sun broke over Tokyo and two soul mates met, separated for so long, brought back together at last after finally remembering their previous lives. From that day on, they were inseparable, one soul with two bodies, lovers then wives. As the time of Earth drew to a close, they created a family at that shrine, waiting for the day when Crystal Tokyo could finally become a reality.
She clenched her fist, feeling fire build within her, as she remembered just a month ago when those loving blue eyes turned hard in hatred, anger causing the other woman to glow gold, the outcast's actions disappointing and infuriating Minako. Without giving her wife a chance for apology, she threw her out of the palace, the Queen banishing her from Earth and forbidding her from visiting the Moon. She was a true outcast, banned from Crystal Tokyo, the world she almost destroyed in her stupidity, the people who would hate her until they forgot her completely. And she, immortal, would live forever on the planet of her god, a god who had looked at her and shook his head, vanishing, forsaking her forever. All she had left was her power, the power that destroyed her life.
"I never wanted any of this," she whispered, hot tears running down her cheeks, tears she was accustomed to, tears she was afraid she would soon run out of. "I never wanted to be a senshi, be immortal, be special, be outcast. I only ever wanted to be a singer . . . a miko, a wife, a mother. Not a princess and a courtier to the Queen. Minako . . . why? Why can't you forgive me? So many times before you have . . . but I cannot even forgive myself . . . I understand why the queen threw me out, but how can you hate me so much? Does our life together mean nothing? I love you so much and you act like it all means nothing . . . like our life together was a lie . . . I was not even permitted to see my daughters one last time . . . my granddaughters and great-granddaughters. My family is forbidden to me, save one life alone." A watery smile crossed her face, tinged with a bitterness she could not completely expel, as she placed one deadly hand over her flat belly. "She does not know about you, my daughter. She never will. But I cannot raise you; you did nothing to deserve this life. Somehow I have to find a family to love you, hold you, give you the life you deserve. And when they find out that you are a senshi—as all of our daughters have been—maybe then she will guess what happened and take you to the palace to live with your sisters. But never with me, my love. My daughter."
The woman slowly stood and shuffled back to her tent, the beige peasants robes she wore hugging her body in the stiff Martian breeze. The planet was barely hospitable to a senshi, but deadly to a mortal and uncaring to the end. The world matched its senshi. She slipped into the tent and stretched out on her pallet, eating the bowl of soup she had managed to make from the war rations she brought with her from Earth, only eating for her child's sake. For her own life she did not care and would gladly have died, but for Minako's child she had to live for just a little longer.
The woman watched the sun climb higher in the sky, knowing better than to tempt the rusty desert during midday, feeling her own power growing with the light. She quelled the fire with some effort, concentrating on the flames of her small hearth-fire, flames that she had used in a shrine long gone to calm her thoughts, a ritual that barely worked anymore. Still, she had to try. Slowly, she felt the flames recede, unable to hear anything but the screams of hundreds of people as they died, the fires consuming them without thought, without caring, without mercy. Men, women, children, babies . . . it did not care. She did not care. She covered her face with her hands and screamed, the sound barely loud enough to drown out the voices. To end the pain . . . Rei screamed until she passed out, her dreams no less comforting. The Senshi of Mars, the Queen of Flame, slept in a lonely tent on an empty planet, far from anyone she knew and everyone she loved.
The God of War rolled his dark eyes, glancing up briefly at the blonde goddess. "I don't want to talk about it, Aphrodite."
"You need to. Her pain hurts you, I can tell. We suffer when our Avatars suffer."
"She deserves to suffer! She killed all those people . . . what she did we can never forgive. She doesn't deserve forgiveness."
The blonde sat down beside the dark god, placing a small hand on his leather-clad shoulder. "We all need forgiveness, Ares. What she did . . . it wasn't on purpose."
"Maybe not, but it was her arrogance and selfishness and ignorance that caused it. Once, long ago, before their long sleep, the Senshi listened to us. Now they seem to think that they are better than us, that they are gods and not Avatars. Maybe the others learned from this. Maybe they won't try what she tried."
"They're hurting as much as she is," Aphrodite whispered. "She's hurting."
"I'm sorry about your Avatar, but she knows that what her wife did was wrong. She can never forgive her. None of them can, and none of them should. There's no way for me to take her power back, now that I've given it. I can't choose a new Avatar until this one dies. If she ever dies."
Aphrodite shook her head and looked away, staring out across the empty fields. She hoped that the Senshi and the gods would find it in their hearts to forgive the poor woman.
Minako stood on the balcony outside her room, golden skirts swaying in the wind, blue eyes watching the birds circling the crystal palace, tears falling at irregular intervals. She raised her hand and stared at the diamond on her finger, a beloved face flashing in the depths of the stone. She stifled a sob as she lowered her hand, brushing her hair behind her ears as she resumed her contemplation, staring toward the spot in the sky where she could sense her own planet. "Where did you go?" she whispered, her soft voice almost unrecognizable through her tears. As if to mock her sorrow, her mind brought forth the memory of the last time she saw her beloved Rei, the red-head crying and shaking her head, trying to explain that it was a mistake, and Minako had not listened, sending the other Senshi away in her anger. Then the Queen banished the woman from Earth and the Moon, forbidding the Senshi of Mars from seeing her children before her exile began.
"Rika!" Minako spun around as her oldest daughter jumped into her arms, Matsurika's wife standing back out of respect for the mother-daughter reunion. "Rika, where have you been?! I haven't seen you in months!"
"We've been busy about three hundred light-years from here. The Council of the Star Senshi never lacks for something to do, you know. We heard that . . . something happened, and we saw the damage . . . was there an attack?"
Minako turned away, her voice soft. "You could say that."
"Mother, what happened? And where's Rei?" None of Minako's daughters ever called Rei by any less than her given name, and the Senshi of Fire wouldn't have it any other way. The confusion in Matsurika's voice cracked Minako's reserve.
"She—she's not here anymore," Minako whispered, shaking, fists clenched. Matsurika wrapped her arms around her mother, tears in her eyes, waiting for the blonde to explain. "A month ago . . . there was an accident . . . Rei . . . oh, Rika! She's been exiled!"
"Exiled?" The Senshi of Antares pulled back, staring at her birth mother. "Rei? Did she . . . did she do that?" Minako nodded, unable to speak. "Why?"
"I don't know, Rika. No one knows . . . she . . . just said that it was her fault and that she was sorry . . . all those deaths, Rika. She killed so many people . . . our people! I was so angry and I couldn't believe she could do something like that . . . I told her that I didn't want to speak to her, see her . . . ever again! And Serenity . . . exiled her from Earth and the Moon. She never even got a chance to come say goodbye to her daughters. It seemed so fair back then . . . now I look back and it seems so cruel. She loved you all . . . she didn't mean to, Rika. And now I can't hear her, can't find her, can't feel her . . . I don't know what I've done. I can't live without her, yet it seems that I must . . . the two of us were supposed to be together forever, soul mates . . . now half of my soul is out there somewhere and I can't find her. I'll never see her again."
A sob sounded from the doorway as Rika and her mother looked up, tears in their eyes, to find Rikuriko, Koyama, Mika, Chieko, and Chiyoko—Rei's daughters—filling the room and embracing their mother. Their wives stood back, wiping tears from their own eyes, and wondered what happened to make Queen Serenity exile Rei.