A lonely willow may weep for eternity, but every spring
it finds youth again. Will you be that willow for me? Strong
and reliable, always there for me to lean on during my troubles?
Will you be that for me? Holding onto eternity, and yet, finding
youth and joy every spring, blossoming with your strands of

Will you be here for all eternity?


"Velvety soft to touch,
The crimson splash of red,
The tear that trailed down its cheek
The fresh smell of dew and rain and home."
("The Rose")


One strong, smooth hand rested onto the odangle-blonde's
head. Startling the blue-eyed girl. "Na ni!" Whirling around,
she met the wide eyed stare of emerald eyes before the other's
surprise at her reaction turned into a sheepish grin.

"Did I startle you, Usagi-chan?" The tall brunette asked
apologetically, the guilty hand hidden safely behind the brown

"Hai!" Usagi nodded but then returned the smile as she
clasped both hands before her. "Ne, I'm glad you're here,
Mako-chan!" The blonde tilted her head as she looked up to her
friend excitedly. "After all, Papa mentioned some of the plans
they had for the Sakura Festival this year! I heard they're
going to be selling those special yams with Yuki Meiko-san's
special sauce! I've also heard it's a must have for the season
in the cooking world!" Usagi beamed.

Makoto blinked at her friend, another look of wonder
lighting up her face.

"Na ni, Mako-chan? Aren't you happy that you might be
able to trade recipes with this famous chief?" Usagi asked

Makoto smiled, "Hai, Usagi-chan." She set her hand on to
the shorter girl's head again, smiling down at her, "I was just
surprised you know so much about the cooking world!"

Usagi waved her hand before her face and shook her head
playfully, "Iie, you give me too much credit Mako-chan!" Amused,
Makoto kept silent, waiting for her friend to continue. "It's
Mama who's so interested in all this!" Makoto twitched slightly
at the answer to her silent question. She had expected too much
from the petite blonde. Even with an appetite like Usagi's,
reading articles on food interested the young girl as much as
math did. "If fact, Mama wouldn't stop talking about it all
yesterday!" Usagi sighed as she looked to the sky. "I wonder,"
Makoto turned to her friend once more, not quite sure what to
expect. Usagi smiled and then shook her head, turning those blue
eyes away from the crimson sky.

The sun was setting.

"What is it, Usagi-chan?" Makoto asked cautiously.

Usagi blinked at her question and then laughed nervously,
"Na ni yo? What do you mean Mako-chan?" The other fibbed.

Makoto raised one brow in questioning annoyance.

Usagi sweated under the look for a moment before giving
in. Turning away, the blonde girl blushed as she clutched her
bag behind her back. "I was just wondering, when the sakura
petals will start to fall. I thought, wouldn't it be wonder to
see the world filled with floating sakura petals? Imagine that,

Makoto started and looked to her friend. Her green eyes
misting slightly once the words sunk in. Blinking back the
tears, the tall brunette smiled as she casually flung her own
school bag behind her shoulder, turning her head to greet the
sudden breeze.

"I'm sure," she answered as Usagi turned to watch her in
curiosity. The odangle-blonde's face was still flushed from her
earlier embarrassment, but curious to what her friend had to say
won over her attention. Makoto smiled and looked back, straight
into Usagi's eyes. "That it will be beautiful."

* * *

She hummed as she washed the dishes. Tonight, she had
spent extra time to prepare something special for everyone
tomorrow. She sighed as she whipped her brow, setting down the
sponge. Her emerald eyes turned to her fridge, where on it laid
a small star magnet, with the kanji reading "Best Friends!" It
was a present from Shinozaki on her twelve's birthday and it had
been on her fridge ever since.

After the soap studs fell away under the streams of water
from the facet, she dried the dishes and then set them back neatly.
One plate, a pair of chopsticks, and a small bowel was pulled from
the rack when she finished cleaning the pots and pans. It seemed
so empty on the top cupboard where she kept her everyday utensils,
she thought as she slipped them into their usual place. She sighed
as she closed the cupboard door and dried her hands carefully.

Stepping out of the kitchen, she untied the apron and, in
a moment of laziness, tossed it onto the arm of her sofa. She
looked out into the night, blackness filled with light shining in
the horizon. Tokyo almost seemed to be in a different time of
day from where she stood.

Sliding open the balcony door, she stepped outside for a
brief moment. Inhaling the breeze, and closing her eyes to the
sparkling city's view before her, Makoto listened intently to the
traffic beeping, the buzz of streetlights, and the flutter of the
moth's wings passing by her ear. Opening her clear green eyes to
the dark sky, she found darkness greeting her from above.

This was her life.

"No stars tonight," Makoto sighed dejectedly. Draping her
arms across her balcony beam, she looked down to the streets
below. I wonder what the others are up to, she thought.

Shaking her head, Makoto rested her chin in her hand,
hypnotized by the dance of the winged insects twirling around the
light. There was still much to do. Homework was still waiting
to be finished, and her house was getting just a little bit too
disorganized. Ami will simply blame it on her procrastination
for the former and tell her that she was using the latter as an
excuse not to do homework later.

Makoto smiled at the thought.

Her blue-haired friend was probably right.

She stared out to the city again, mesmerized by the
glitter, the sounds, the sights. If only... she looked to the
sky, hoping to find a star and failing. She touched one hand to
the side of her face and then shook it in denial. But the wish
refused to be denied.

If only... I weren't so lonely.

* * *

The Sakura Festival was beautiful!

Little stands were set in rows and rows, open for
bargaining. People everywhere were greeting friends, families
and colleagues. Many even choose to wave instead of bow.
Everyone looked so relaxed this day that it made her smile, just
being there made her happy.

Hefting the heavy basket in her hand so that at least
one hand was free, she unconsciously touched her earrings. It
was a habit she developed when she got nervous or was thinking
of something that took up almost all of her time. She smiled
when she saw Usagi, waving as she neared and held tighter onto
the basket, knowing the spark of happiness and admiration in
her friends' eyes will appear when they eat her food. It made
her happy to be near them like this.

Something moved in the corner of her eye, forcing her to
turn as she saw the shadows pass.

She stopped.

Her green eyes widened in surprise at who those shadows
belonged to.


She shook her head in denial, feeling the tears in her
eyes rise slowly as her eyes moved from the smiling dark-haired
girl to the boy beside her. The name forced itself passed her
lips, coming out as a whisper, half prayer and half sorrow.

Too many memories to ignore.

'You like him, don't you, Makoto-san?'

So many things to forget.

'Makoto, do you believe in dreams?'

So many reasons not to remember.

'I know you'll never be able to forgive me. You must
hate me, for what I've done.'

So many things to let go still...

"Mako-chan! Mako-chan!" Small voices came and whispered
into her ears. She blinked. The crowd passed, obstructing her
view. And once the crowds dispersed again, they were gone.
"Kino Makoto!"

She started as she turned to see her friends frantically
trying to get her attention.

They looked worriedly to her but when they saw that they
had gotten her attention at last, their faces lit up as they
waved at her. She waved back with a happy smile, turning in their
direction, but impulsively she glanced back at the place where she
had caught a glimpse of her past.

It was empty.

* * *

"Ne, Mako-chan, who was it that you saw in the crowd
yesterday?" The dark-haired girl asked, as the she blew at her
tea. "You seemed occupied."

Around them students buzzed, the sound of the game
machines hummed and beeped in the background. Makoto stirred her
tea, but at the question her spoon slipped from her fingers. The
others at the table turned at the soft clinking sound of the
spoon against the cup, curious to what had caused it. "It was no
one," she finally answered after a long moment of silence. Her
wide-eyed look and flushed face gave her away.

"You lie!" The blonde with a silky red ribbon in her
hair accused Makoto outright. Leaning over the table, the blonde
coyly pointed one finger at her nose as blue eyes winked at her
suggestively, "I'm sure it was a boy!" The blonde said

"Minako-chan, it's not always about boys you know?" The
dark-haired girl told Minako with a slight frown on her face.
Makoto was ready to thank the other for getting her out of
Minako's grasp as the blonde sat back down in her seat with a
huff at the dark-haired girl's words. "After all," the other
continued as she flipped back a few silky strands. "She'd have
told you all about how he looked like her old sempai by now if it
were true!"

Makoto decided to retract her earlier willingness to
thank the dark-haired girl. But Minako seemed to agree, which
didn't do much for Makoto's pride, but at least it got the blonde
off of her back! "Well, I guess you're right..." Minako finally
nodded one curt nod in defeat as she rested her chin in her hand.

"You really shouldn't pry, Rei-chan, Minako-chan."

They all started as the turned to the blue-haired girl
sitting in the corner of their table. Blue eyes lifted from the
book in her hands and looked up to them with a gentle smile,
"After all, it isn't polite to snoop where you aren't wanted."
Adjusting the rim of her glasses, the blue-haired girl tilted of
her head. "Mako-chan will tell us when she's ready."

"Hai, hai!" Rei laughingly agreed.

"Hai." Minako, though, sounded much less amused in being
deprived of her fun.

"Arigato, Ami-chan." Makoto thanked the other who only
smiled back softly.

Minako sipped her soda as she turned her head to the
window. "A-no," the blonde girl said after a moment of silence.
"Do you believe in dreams?"

A shocked silence soon followed as three pairs of eyes
stared at Minako. "Na ni yo, Minako-chan?" Makoto demanded.
Shaking her head in disbelief at the usually cheery blonde. What
ever prompted Minako to ask that question in the first place?
She wondered.

"Daijoubu yo, Minako-chan?" Rei asked softly from across
the table. Dark onyx eyes searched the blue that would not
reveal itself willingly to the dark-haired girl, not this time

Ami tilted her head in curiosity at the blonde. Silently
observing the other as the blue-haired girl tried to reach her own
conclusions through logical deduction. But Minako was not
predictable, and Makoto had a feeling Ami was having trouble
figuring this particular problem out in her head.

Minako laughed and then shook her head at the questioning
faces staring back at her from her friends. "Iie. It was
nothing." Golden hair glistened in the sunlight streaming from
the outside, fluttering as Minako pushed it back. Blue eyes
regarded the world beyond the glass pane, eyes of an elusive and
languid color beneath the sunlit glow outside, but the reassuring
smile lingered on her lips to quiet further questionings. Makoto
wondered what the other was thinking.

But the question hung in the air around them, unanswered.

* * *

The door closed behind her as she glanced to the ceiling
of her cozy apartment.


She sighed and kicked off of her shoes. Setting her
school bag to the wall and putting her keys down on the table
in the hallway she headed for the kitchen. She had bought new
foodstuff after that big cook out she had for her friends during
the Sakura Festival, and she had ran out of a few essentials.

Opening the bag, she began to take the contents out. She
started as she saw a bag of cinnamons. "I didn't realize I
bought this..." she whispered to herself silently.

'You like cinnamons, ne?'

She shook her head at the memory and quickly stuffed it
into the cupboard. Best think about that later, she thought and
went back to work.

After dinner, she walked toward her room and opened the
white door. She paused just before she entered, but was unsure
of why she had hesitated. It was as if she was stepping into a
stranger's room. It seemed absurd that she would think that way.
She stopped at the foot of her bed, but something seemed to have
caught her attention at the corner of her eyes. "Na ni?" She
whirled around to see nothing.

Blinking startled she looked around a few times but no
one appeared. What's wrong with her today? Ever since the
Sakura Festival, she had been feeling edgy, as if something
Lingered, unexplored at the back of her mind.

She sat down on the bed, releasing her breath that she
hadn't realized that she had been holding. She felt so relaxed

Curling into a ball, she leaned against the headboards
of her bed. Soft hands brushed against her shoulders and she closed
her eyes.

'Makoto, do you believe in dreams?'

Minako was not the first to ask her that question.

The picture flashed behind the glass frame.

'You must hate me, for what I've done...'


Three smiling people, arm in arm. They seemed so

'I know that you will never be able to forgive me.'


She leaned against the wall as she looked to the blue,
endless sky. It was so peaceful here, almost as if she had found
a sanctuary, a place to hide away...

"Hey there, you must be the new girl!" She started as
she turned to the man before her.

"Na ni?" she whispered in surprise.

Their eyes met and she stared into eyes as dark as the
color of the midnight sea.

Who are you?

She crossed her arms defensively, closing her eyes in an
act of indifference to the handsome young boy before her, "What
do you want?" She demanded coolly, opening one emerald eye to
regard him.

He only smiled, "I'm just wondering if you're new. I'm
one of the members of the student council and it's our job to
ensure that all the students in this school are comfortable.
You're a face I've never seen around here before."

She pushed herself off of the wall, turning away as she
readied herself to go. "Maybe, you don't usually take notice of
people who doesn't want to be bothered."

She walked away.


Pausing, she turned annoyed, "What do you want?" She

Those dark eyes regarding her were closed in thought,
upon opening them again, she was taken aback at how beautiful
they seemed to shine. Frowning, she put her hands on her hips
and tilted her head in agitation, "What do you want?" She
repeated again.

He bowed to her, "I apologize for disturbing you. I did
not realize that I wasn't paying attention to all the student
bodies in this school as I should have been. Gomen nasai."

She blinked. No one had ever apologized to her for her
attitude. Usually, they just whispered behind her back and
treated her unfairly when she was in their presence. She
blushed, feeling guilty, and all of a sudden, humbled.
"Daijoubu-yo," he looked up to her, startled at her voice
breaking the silence. "You'll have time enough to work on your
lack of observational powers." She finally said.

Kino Makoto is vulnerable to no one!

"I think, I'll like it here, in my new school." She said
at last after another stretch of silence.

He's own face broke into a smile as he bowed to her
again, "I thank you." Green eyes sparkled under the noonday sun
as she smiled for the first time in a long time, to another
fellow human being.

Here, was her sanctuary.

"Kino Makoto-sempai?" She blinked.

"Hai?" Brown hair fluttered as she stared down at the
smaller girl.

"Kawaii! I'm Goro Ayoshi!" The younger girl bowed
before looking to her with a bright smile. "I've always admired
your cooking! Do you think you can teach me on your free time?"

Makoto blinked surprised. "Okay... Goro-san." she
finally replied reluctantly to the strange girl before her.

"Really?" The smaller girl smiled and bowed again with
many thanks. "A-no, Makoto-sempai," she looked to her new
apprentice in amused curiosity.


"Please, call me, Ayoshi."

Makoto smiled softly, feeling a warmth go through her
body. "Alright, Ayoshi."

She turned and walked away, happy that she had found a
place to stay.

She was so blind.

So innocent...

So ignorant...

What a fool she had been!


The girl in the middle of the picture frame, behind the

She seemed so lonely and out of place.


Ayoshi caught her staring at Sempai that day, long ago.

"You like him, don't you, Makoto-sempai?"

She had been so surprised at the question that she didn't
know how to answer it. "Ayoshi?"

She could still hear his voice questioning her at night,
'Makoto, do you believe in dreams?'

What did she say back then?

What had she answered?

She couldn't remember, because back then, he was her
dream and he was right there before her, almost in her grasp.

Why did she not grasp it when she had the chance?

Was it fate after all?

Why did it wanted to take this away from her? Of all
things. Why this?


Those young hands and hearts and dreams all disappeared
into the dark. 'Guess who?' It was Ayoshi's favorite game. She
had always called the other girl childish for playing it, but
Ayoshi never seemed to mind.

The dark-haired girl seemed to like playing blind.


Why did she like it so?

Those hands covered up her eyes.

"Guess who, Makoto-sempai?"

Those young hands and hearts and dreams stole her own
dreams away. "Do you believe in love, Makoto-san?" The soft
white hands stayed before her eyes.


So many tears.

"Gomen ne, but no matter how I try, I cannot regret
my happiness. I love him."

So many things hidden and unknown to her.

"I did it for love, Makoto-sempai, I wish, one day,
you'll see that. I cannot regret what I have done for love,
because I would've done anything just to be near him!"

"Baka!" The word escaped her lips in angry pain.

Those young lips met and never parted. She bared
witness to it all. To the way his hands had thread through
another's hair, to the way the younger girl's hands clutched
to his jacket.

"Baka." She whispered, though she was no longer sure
who she was addressing such a title to.

'Guess who, Makoto-sempai?'


"I know that you will never be able to forgive me. You
must hate me for what I've done." She had struck the younger,
dark-haired girl hard across the cheek. Felt the anger at the
girl before her, but it was mostly at herself.


"You're right. I hate you."

She turned and ran away, hoping to escape the pain.

I wish, I could learn to hate you both, Sempai.

What a fool she was!



"Why did you hit Ayoshi-chan today?"

She stared out under the rain, listening to the storm
outside. The umbrella she dropped lay at her feet. He had
startled her upon his arrival. He had called the other
Ayoshi-chan. She had been so hurt and disturbed that her
fingers went numb on her.

"I wanted to hear it from you," he continued in her
silence. "Ayoshi told me not to ask, but I have to know! Why?
Why did you have to destroy our friendship? Can't we just be the
three friends we once were, you, Ayoshi and I? You know I love

She had whirled around then, and stared at him with
wide-eyed fear. Green turning darker, like a deep forest, hiding
her secrets. She turned away from him. "Then you shall never


She had turned away from him, willing herself not to cry.
Never to cry! She refused to allow this to make her vulnerable,
to make her weak before his eyes!

Her hands clutched into fists. She had so wanted to
destroy something then and there. Wanted to... wanted to...

She wanted to cry.

But Kino Makoto is weak for no one, ne?


He grabbed her from behind but she did not react. She
felt that if she let herself go, she would melt into him like the
smell of cinnamon melting into your skin. "Makoto, answer me,
damn it! You owe me!"

'You like cinnamons, ne?'

How long has it been since he said those words to her?
Since she heard him ask in that voice? But now, he would never
speak to her like that again. He had Ayoshi. She was the only
one he'll see. Not Makoto. Never her.

She looked out into the rain in silence while he cried
onto her back.

"I love you."

"Na ni?"

She pulled away from him before turning to face him, she
backed away to the outer edge of the gazebo. Remembering the
sunny day they had all met. How did such a happy beginning turned
into such a storm?

"And now you know why we can't go back to being just
friends." She turned to look at his startled face. "Now, I am no
longer in debt to you."

'Won't you forgive me, Makoto-sempai?'

He stared at her in disbelief.

"Everyone eventually leaves you in the end, Sempai, whether
they mean to or not. Didn't you know that? Why do you still believe
in dreams?"


She didn't respond, only looked into his eyes.

'There are so many things you don't know about me,

She never realized how much it hurt to look at his
beautiful face twisting in worry. He seemed so distant now, no
longer a dream in reach of her hands.

'Do you believe in love, Makoto-sempai?'

Iie. I don't know anything about love...

"Sayonara," it was her own way of dismissing him from her
life. She would not see him after today. She had lost her
momentary sanctuary in the sun.

'A-no, Sempai...?'


'...Never mind.'

So many things to let go still...


Only one. One smile. One house. One set of dishes for
dinner. Only one. Forever and ever...

The rest?

They were cut off. Ripped away. That was how things
worked here. That was how things always ended.

No more friends.

The picture lay shredded on the ground.

No more Ayoshi who liked to play 'Guess who?' and who
loved to eat yams during the Sakura Festival.

No more Sempai who believed in her.

No more.

There was only one person in the picture frame now,
behind the shining glass, untouched by all time.

The girl in the picture kept smiling.


Galaxia is gone.

She sighed in relief when she reached the door of her
apartment. It was so hard fighting and now its over. Usagi was
safe. Life was normal again.

The door shut behind her as she stepped in.

Everything seemed so familiar, and yet she felt out of

Everything was her own, and yet she felt like a stranger
there, a strange in a strange place.

She set her shoes carefully at the door and looked out to
the dark skies outside her window. There will be no stars to see
tonight, at least, not from her balcony window.

She walked into her room.

So empty.

No one here but herself.

She smiled as she closed her bedroom door.

Everything was safe.

Galaxia was gone.

The world was right again.

There were no more battles, only peaceful silence...

And herself.

The pictures hung upon the walls. The empty floors, clean
and clear. The pillows and clothes pilled onto the comfy looking
sofa. A single light shown, lighting the room.

The door clicked closed in the empty place.

"I'm home."


"Makoto, do you believe in dreams?"

"What is there to believe in Sempai? All my dreams have

"I don't know. Maybe you can still believe in someone you

"Everyone eventually leaves you in the end, Sempai, whether
they mean to or not. Didn't you know that? Why do you still believe
in dreams? What have they given back to you in return for your love?"

"I don't know. I'm still waiting, waiting to see."

"Maybe, one day, you might see that nothing is eternal,
Sempai... Not even love."


The young, lush, green willow wept in silence, with her
tears floating in the breeze.

The picture crumbled behind the glass from age.

'Nothing is eternal, Sempai... Not even love.'


Neo-Queen Serenity stood upon the Crystal Tower,
overlooking the city.

Sailor Jupiter, along with her friends stood behind her to
view the city they had created. The tall, brunette senshi looked
over to the beautiful woman before her and the handsome King by
the woman's side.

'Usagi-chan. Are you the Usagi-chan I know and love?'

There was no answer to her question, and she didn't want to
voice it. Instead, she looked over the paradise city.

'Everyone eventually leaves you in the end, Sempai, whether
they mean to or not... Why do you still believe in dreams? What
have they given back to you in return for your love?'

The crystals glittered beneath the clear blue sky.

'Maybe, one day, you might see that nothing is eternal,
Sempai... Not even love.'

Ayoshi's hands covered up her eyes and stole her dreams
from her when she had been careless, but she had always been careless
about the things she valued and loved. 'Do you believe in love,

'...nothing is eternal... nothing... Not even love.'

Sailor Jupiter smiled at the beautiful paradise before her.

"I'm home," she whispered.

And the breeze carried her whisper away into the infinite sky.

But she had already forgotten... what home was.

'...no one is eternal...'

Didn't you know that, Sempai?

The crystal city glittered.

The picture behind the glass crumbled into ashes.

Shadows became her memories.

'Will you be here for all eternity, Mako-chan?'

The door clicked closed in the empty place.

Closed to her secret palace.

'Mama? Papa?'

They smiled back at her from behind the sparkling crystals.

Untouched by time.

A silent crypt.

"I'm home."

.The End.


I'm trying a new style ^-^v
Hoped you liked it! (Hoped it was eerie! ^-^v)
This story doesn't contain any Silver Millennium
references, unlike my usual style. Well, it was a sacrifice
I'll have to make. It just didn't seem appropriate. Makoto
has enough troubles in her current life, I didn't feel like
I need to add any more angst to the story... -_-;;
Special thanks to Cavis who challenged me to write a
Makoto fic in the first place and who reviewed it after it was
done. This is definitely dedicated to my editor A. L. a Campo
who did WONDERS going so thoroughly through my fanfic Sheep.
Domo Arigato! Words cannot describe my gratitude!

WARNING: "The Rose" is MY poem. Plagerize it
and die! ];D I promise ^-~ Ayoshi
is also made up from my mind. Please
ask permission to use her if you plan
on doing that. (P.S. Her name has NO
meaning, I just made it up... hopefully
it sound japanese ^-^v) Domo arigato!