Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is the property of Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha/Toei Animation/DIC.
Author's Notes: The part after the Sailor Senshi defeat Neherenia (fighting against Galaxia and meeting Sailor Starfighter, Maker and Healer) didn't occur in this story. The story takes place when Usagi is two years into college.
Coldness --that was the first thing the blonde registered as her mind awakened. Opening her eyes, Usagi found herself alone and in an unfamiliar setting. Benches decorated the stone path in front of her and the sound of a fountain trickled near by. Looking up, the blonde distinguished swirling black clouds that swarmed in front of the sun. The wind stormed through the trees, screaming like a banshee. Her skirt fluttered loudly as the icy wind circled around her, causing goose bumps to raise all over her skin.
Stepping forward on to the brown grass, Usagi felt a shiver creep up her spine like a caterpillar. All the plants were dead, Usagi realized as she turned her head. Dark, leafless trees surrounded the clearing and the flowers were gray and wilted. The air was musty and hard to breath. The sky rumbled and the young woman hurried forward in search for shelter.
This wasn't right, Usagi thought to herself. Wasn't it summer? Sweeping back her bangs, Usagi turned around to find no one was with her in the park, which was even more odd. The parks in Tokyo were usually filled with people, no matter what season it was.
Breathing in deeply, Usagi quickened her pace. The wind howled unpleasantly in her ears. Turning around, Usagi thought she saw eyes watching her behind the tree branches. Hoping that it was merely her imagination, the blonde pushed the notion aside.
The blonde slowed to a stop as she saw an old abandoned shrine. Examining the building, Usagi noticed shingles missing on the roof and that the wood was beginning to rot. The building looked like it was about to fall apart at any moment but it was definitely better than nothing. Usagi started to step forward but stopped when she felt something cold crawl over her. She was unwelcome here. Biting her lip, Usagi tried to back away but her feet were glued to the ground.
Footsteps steadily approached her. Without raising her head, the blonde knew that the figure approaching her was trouble. The young woman strained, willing her legs to move.
The footsteps stopped and Usagi slowly raised her head.
His deep red eyes met Usagi's blue orbs and held them there while he lifted a hand and placed it under her chin. Usagi shivered. Using his other hand, he reached forward and grasped Usagi's shirt.
"You," he whispered coldly, "will be mine."
Her head snapping up, the first thing Usagi saw was the assistant teacher standing in front of her table and glaring angrily at her. Usagi immediately stood up in her chair and bowed down to the teacher. Even with her eyes glued to her shoes, Usagi could still feel the assistant teacher's ocean-green eyes glaring at the back on her head. She had been through this enough times, that the blonde could even imagine Mrs. Yamanaka's annoyed frown. Glancing around, Usagi could see the entire class staring at her. At the front of the class, the professor had even stopped writing on the board and had turned around to see what the disturbance was. Usagi blushed deeply as she held her head down.
"I'm glad that you decided to join us," Mrs. Yamanaka said edgily.
"I'm sorry," Usagi stuttered. Biting her lip, Usagi risked a glance up at the assistant teacher and then to the professor.
Mrs. Yamanaka leaned down towards Usagi and said quietly, "You are the person that is responsible for your learning. It is your choice whether or not you decide to fail this class, however interrupting the learning of other students with your mumbling is unacceptable."
Sighing resignedly, the older woman turned around and walked down the aisle to the front of the class with her long silvery-blonde hair swinging elegantly behind her. The professor had already turned around and was scratching notes on the board. The familiar sound of chalk on the board filled the room and everything had returned to normal as the students hurried to copy down the notes. Sitting back down, Usagi buried her head in to her arms and took a couple of deep breaths before raising her head to look at the board.
Usagi slowly treaded her way through the crowded school grounds. The grass beneath her shoes tickled her ankles as the blonde stepped on the rough green carpet. Numerous students were scattered along the emerald green grass, eating their lunches and joking around with their friends. The sound of laughter tickled Usagi's ears like a feather. The warm sun shone down on the clearing, warming the blonde's face and bare arms.
As the blonde's eyes fell upon a familiar tree, Usagi smiled. Sliding her school bag off her tired shoulders, the young woman leaned against the rough bark of the yew tree and sat down in between two roots. Leaning her head back, Usagi closed her eyes for a moment as she reviewed the dream. Her brow furrowed gently as she recalled the fading images. It had felt so real. The coldness, the wind, and the eyes… Usagi felt goose bumps raise all over her skin as she recalled the crimson red eyes. She had never recalled anything that had affected her so much in a dream. However, like she had told herself before, it was just a dream. Besides, her dreams had never meant a thing before.
Slowly lifting her heavy eyelids, Usagi lifted a hand to smother her loud yawn. It seemed that no matter how old she was, she still was unable to break her bad habits of staying up late and being late for school in the morning. Groaning, Usagi stretched her arms. She knew she shouldn't have stayed up to watch the movie but it seemed so interesting. Luna was right… again. Usagi sniffled. Considering the way she sprinted out of the house this morning, she was definitely going to receive another lecture from Luna.
Throwing back the cover of her school bag, Usagi dug out her lunch. As she pulled out the paper bag, the blonde noticed something drop out of her school bag.
Leaning over, Usagi wrapped her fingers around her henshin compact. Usagi ran a finger over the smooth surface of the gold crescent moon on the bottom of the compact. How long has it been since she last used it? Four years. Has it really been four years since she had last been Sailor Moon? Has it really been four years since she had last shouted the words 'Moon Eternal, Make-Up'? Time seemed to have passed by so quickly.
After they had defeated Neherenia, Tokyo seemed to be at peace at last. The scouts were able to focus on their schoolwork and on achieving their dreams. Before she knew it, they had all gone their separate ways. Usagi's grip on her henshin compact tightened as she thought of her friends.
Ami had been accepted in to a prestigious university in the United States and was still working hard today to become a doctor. Though she is busy more often than not, Ami writes letters to Usagi as regularly as she could. Rei had decided to travel the world, write songs and study to become a model. Usagi had argued that Rei could stay here to write songs and learn to be a model but Rei insisted that she wanted to see the rest of the world first. Makoto was now the apprentice of a famous chef in Japan. Though she didn't want to leave Tokyo, the position offered was a once in a lifetime chance and something that benefited her greatly; while working for the chef, Makoto could learn how to become a better chef and earn money to start her own shop. Makoto was not as far away as most of her friends and visited Usagi whenever she could get away from her job. Still Hiroshima was a great distance away from Tokyo and her friend could only find time once every few months. Minako left to achieve her dream of becoming an idol. Her friend had been a great success so far. After completing her first movie, Minako had been a great hit and was offered a role as a main character in another movie. Minako was currently in France filming. Usagi had received a long letter from Minako just a few days ago telling her how excited she was to be able to play this role.
Usagi was happy for them. She truly was. When they had left, she had wished them the best of luck in achieving their dreams; yet, deep inside she had wanted them to stay. She knew she was selfish for wanting that but... Usagi shook her head and quickly pushed those thoughts away. All their enemies had been defeated and there was no reason why they should stay with her here in Tokyo when there were so many other things to accomplish. Life was short. One must live while they can.
Usagi closed her cornflower blue eyes. As for her dream of being a bride… The blonde slowly opened her eyes and lifted her left hand. Glancing down at an elegant engagement on her ring finger, Usagi felt a sad smile tug at her lips.
Though Mamoru was no longer here in Tokyo with her, she still could sense his love for her whenever she gazed at the engagement ring he had given her before he left. He had warned her that he would be busy and might not be able to communicate with her often. Usagi knew that Mamoru didn't want her to wait for him and move on if she wanted to, but she had answered that she would wait for Mamoru and would always love him. She had meant every word back then. Mamoru wrote to her whenever he could and Usagi wrote back pages about what it was like back home. She missed him a lot but tried her best not to show her sorrow in the letters she wrote. Usagi wanted Mamoru to succeed in his dreams without worrying about her.
Things weren't that bad, the blonde convinced herself. Mamoru and Ami visited last summer, once their school term was over and all of them had a great time together, despite the fact that Usagi still had school to attend to. For her, the school year started in April and is separated into three terms with holidays in spring, winter and a month long break in summer. Therefore Usagi was not able to attend to her two friends for half of their holiday. Hopefully, they will have a chance to visit her again next month in June once their school year was over. Rei and Makoto might even drop by as well. She doubted Minako would be able to make with the movie she was shooting in France. Besides, she had been able to see Minako when she came to Japan to shoot a couple of scenes in her last movie. She was a side character in that movie so she was free to visit Usagi whenever she had the time. They went to the arcade and the park just like when they were younger. It seemed just like old times. Minako would beat her at every game they played, the two would eat ice cream together and chat about nothing in particular.
Closing her hand over the compact, Usagi returned it into her school bag. Due to the fact that there were no longer any enemies, Usagi no longer wore it on her school uniform. However, she kept the compacter close to her side.
Looking up, the Usagi become aware of a very displeased face glaring down at her. Tapping her foot impatiently, Naru leaned forward. Her wavy ginger hair tumbled over her shoulders, framing the young woman's face. Her eyes were narrowed and glistened with a hint of irritation.
"Usagi, do you remember what you promised me yesterday?"
"Uh," Usagi backed away sheepishly as her friend came even closer. Feeling her back press against the bark, Usagi grinned awkwardly and looked up at her friend. "I promised you something?"
"You said that if I helped distract the art teacher while you sneak into class, you would take me out for lunch," Naru scowled. Her glossy cherry lips were pursed, as she crossed her arms over her chest. "I had to look all over to find you. Come on, you'd better hurry or we won't make it back on time for our next class."
"Did I really promise you that?" Usagi asked, scratching her head. Dimly, Usagi recalled Naru helping her get into class but didn't remember a promise about taking her out for lunch.
"Of course, now hurry up."
With that said, Naru picked up Usagi's hand and started dragging her friend across the field. The blonde was barely able to register what was happening before scooping up her lunch and her school bag with her free hand. Usagi was grateful that the grass was soft but she was sure there was going to be grass stains on her skirt when she got up.
"Hey, Naru, you can let go of me."
"No way, you'll just run off again."
Smiling awkwardly, Usagi tried to ignore the stares of the students she passed by as Naru continued to drag her across the grassy ground. It was difficult though, especially as a group of students all stopped eating to gape at the two --or more specifically, Usagi-- as she passed by on her bottom. A young man walking past Naru almost dropped his drink as he did a double take. Blushing deeply, Usagi twisted around and got onto her knees but ended up falling face first into the ground as Naru continued to pull on her arm.
Even the grass didn't seem to be agreeing with her today. Feeling the little green blades prodding her face relentlessly, Usagi decided that today was definitely going to be a bad day.
Dropping his drink, Seiya spun around just in time to see her fall face down in to the ground. Her cornflower blue eyes glared angrily up at the young woman in front of her. Despite the livid look she was sending her friend, Seiya could feel something particular about the young woman sprawled on the ground.
"Oi! Seiya! Come over here!"
Seiya hesitated as he turned away. Taking one last look at the blonde woman, Seiya turned back around and hurried forward.