I like to listen, to the house, to the street outside, to everything. I like to listen, when it's quiet, and the only thing that I can hear, really hear, is my breathing, soft, calm, almost musical.
Sometimes I don't hear very much at all, nothing more than the muffled rumble of a car outside, or the gentle rustle of the wind outside my window. But every now and then, I hear her. She sings, so softly that I have to strain to hear her, and even then all I can catch is the cadence of the song, while the words slip through my fingers.
I wonder, sometimes, what she sings about, and why the song sounds so familiar, because I've never heard anyone else sing a song like that. One day I'll ask her, but somehow, I don't think she'd reply.
Sometimes, when she sings, I see things, old things, things best left forgotten. And sometimes, when she's singing and I fall asleep I dream of things, wonderful things, terrible things, ancient things…
Yesterday she sang, and yesterday I dreamed. I dreamed that I wasn't a schoolgirl anymore, living with her adoptive parents, I dreamed that I was something else. I dreamed that I was sleeping, and that I'd been sleeping for a long, long time and then something woke me up. I dreamed of her.
The door to my room creaks open and she's standing there, but all I can see are her eyes, her old, old crimson eyes. For a moment we simply stay there, more comfortable in silence than in words.
"It's late, Hotaru," she says at last. "You should go to bed."
And then, before I can stop myself I speak. "Why do you sing when no one will hear you?"
For a second, just a second I see something in her eyes beside that eternal, seemingly unshakeable calm. But the emotion is swift, fleeting, and it is gone before I can be sure of what it was. Was it grief, or perhaps, regret?
"Why do you ask?" The wall is up again, hard, impenetrable. Timeless.
And it makes me angry to see her do that, to pretend that she doesn't feel the way the rest of us do. Why can't she see what it does to everyone around her? It hurts me, to know she doesn't trust me enough to show me how she feels.
"Don't lie to me, Setsuna." For some reason it feels right to address her like that, not as a daughter to a mother, but as an equal. "I've heard you singing, I just want to know why."
She turns, and for a moment, I fear she won't reply, but as she leaves, she speaks, and her words carry crisply through the cold night air.
"Because it's all I have of her," and her voice is so terribly sad as she says this. "And it's all that I'll ever have."
And then she's gone, and I'm lying in my bed, waiting for her to start singing again. Only she doesn't, and before I know it I'm asleep and I'm dreaming again, dreaming that I'm waking up…Awaken…
My eyes flutter open and the world swims slowly into focus. There is someone in front of me… she's tall… is she an… enemy? No, she can't be… I know her… she wears the uniform of a senshi… and in her hands… the Time Key… Pluto…
There is crystal around me, and she's speaking. I read her lips because almost nothing of the sound carries through the crystal. She wants me to awaken… to get out… to come with her… why?
And then it hits me…
The death throes of an empire… a solar system awash in a sea of blood and fire…
The crystal shatters in an instant and I fall to the floor. She is by my side in a moment. Strange, she does not seem afraid of me… the last time… the last time I awakened… they were all afraid.
"Sailor Saturn," her voice is strong, firm, familiar. I like it. "Sailor Saturn, we must hurry."
I look down at my hand, clasped tightly in hers, and notice for the first time that I am naked. Perhaps she does as well, for she releases my hand and turns away. It matters not, a moment later and I am clothed, sheathed in the regalia of my station.
I try to stand, only to stumble. It has been too long since last I walked. Without thinking I push her helping hands aside and reach out for something else. Through the warp and flow of magic I find what I am searching for and it materialises in my hand. It is lighter than I remember, but it still feels the same, dead, and yet, somehow alive. Thousands of voices fill my mind, from all those who have come before, and yet, when I try to focus on one, to pick one out from all the others, they fade away, leaving only silence.
She is looking at me now, and now, now she is afraid. Her face pales, and her crimson eyes are all the more lovely for it, as is her emerald hair. For an instant she looks young and then I see her eyes and know better. I remember now… this one… the only one who understands…
"Come, Sailor Saturn," she says. "We must go."
I say nothing, for there is nothing left to say. The solar system is lost, awash with the corrupted spawn of the negaverse. Only one course of action remains, and it is why I have been awakened.
Destroyer, some called me, Slayer of Worlds, said others. It matters not what name I am given, the end is always the same. I close my eyes and will myself to the place where it all began, and where it all must end. The moon.
My essence rides the solar wind, upon wings of violet ribbon, and in my wake I leave nothing, only silence and despair. Like a bolt of lightning I shoot through the asteroid belt, only my thunder does not roar, it whispers, quiet and deadly. Silence.
I reach the moon, and feel a ripple in the fabric of reality as Pluto joins me. We float above it all, the destruction, the death, the gore. From high above, I gaze down at the Sea of Serenity, at the swirls of red that mar its pristine waters, and at the bodies that its currents drag to and fro.
The youma have sensed us, for now they turn their eyes upwards, from the desecrated cities and palaces of the moon, to the skies, to me. A million screaming demons roar their challenge, I need only whisper my reply.
And they do, in their tens of thousands they do. They lack even the time to scream as I strike them down. Wherever my gaze falls, death follows, as slender ribbons of lavender power arc downwards and scythe through the ranks of youma.
The glaive quivers in my hand. It is time. I have dallied long enough.
"Go." The words is neither an order or a request, but simply a statement of fact. Pluto nods, she understands, and yet in her eyes, the glimmer of tears? It is time.
Pluto vanishes and the power builds up inside of me, it builds and builds and builds. I can feel the pressure in my chest, and it is suddenly hard to breath.
Violet lightning crackles into existence around me, and the glaive sings with power as I lift it high above my head. It is time, it is time, it is time.
There is a moment of perfect silence. Nothing makes a sound, not the youma, not the fires burning all across the surface of the moon, not the roar of thunder all around me, nothing. Silence spills outwards, consuming everything in the solar system. For a single, impossibly small moment, I am at peace, revelling in the glorious ecstasy of my power. And then it comes, the hum, the whisper, the roar, the scream, the power.
Violet and lavender ribbons explode outwards in every direction, enveloping the moon in less than a second, the rest of the solar system inside of a minute. Everything they touch simply ceases to be, and destruction, unrivalled, unparalleled, unlimited reigns.
Well, here I am, with another Saturn centric fanfic in store for everyone. I had a lot of fun with my last fanfic, so I'm trying my hand at something new, a proper, novel like story centred around Hotaru. As you can probably tell, this part concerns her past, or rather, Saturn's past, exactly how it's relevant I won't say just yet .
But, anyway, enough of me prattling on. What do you think? Good, bad, ugly? Drop me a line, because, seriously, feedback just makes my day…. I just hope I'm not too rust lol.