Since my 'awakening' at the park, I've found that the personalities of the 'new' senshi are different in subtle ways from their previous incarnations during the Silver Millennium, of which only Luna and myself seem to have any clear memories. Because of this, I continue to see brief glimpses of their old ones mixed into their current personalities.

Rei Hino, the new Sailor Mars, is a miko of all things! I find it fitting that she uses a fire to focus her other abilities, it matches her still fiery personality. She has a confidence bordering on arrogance. I almost turned out much the same before Jusenkyou. She has a rather volatile relationship with Usagi, to most people it would seem that the two of them hate each other, and yet she dose what ever she can to protect Usagi, even if it means endangering herself. Makoto Kino, Sailor Jupiter, is pretty closes to her old self, a romantic tomboy through and through. A firm defender of what she believes in and those she cares for. This time around she also seems to have an amazing talent in the kitchen, I hope she has a chance to run a restaurant like she dreams of. I will value her friendship even if I can't have her love.

And then there's Usagi Tsukino, I'm not too sure about her. I can't remember any Sailor Moon back in the Silver Millennium but Luna insists that is who she is. However, I can recall myths and legends about other senshi who were a great deal more powerful then the rest of us in the Inner Court, I wonder if Usagi is one of them? Every time I look at her, I can feel recognition right on the tip of awareness and yet I can't grasp it, it's as though something keeps me from remembering. Time will tell us about the one Luna has chosen as our leader, in the meantime, I will protect and aid her to the best of my abilities.

Cursed Waters

An alternate beginning

Featuring the Sailor Senshi

Chapter Three

Hopes, Dreams and Realities

Her breath was coming in ragged gulps, her legs felt like they were on fire and her vision was starting to blur, but she still struggled to keep up with the tall man holding her arm. Even as the trees in the park slid by her eyes, her feet somehow navigating the uneven terrain, her companion kept charging between the trees, his long, auburn, hair streaming behind him. Naru Osaka was not sure how the events just a short while ago had come to pass, why the strange blonde man had kidnapped her or what he meant by the things he had said. But when Masato broke through the window and rescued her like a knight of old, she was sure everything would turn out right. Their conversation in the park where she bandaged his wound, less then a minute gone, had reviled much to her. She wasn't sure about Mas… Nephrite's intentions to her, but she trusted him.

Naru's foot finally gave out on her and with a painful cry she went down. Nephrite immediately stopped and was by her side in an instant.

"Naru? Are you all right?" He asked in his cold voice. The lack of emotion toward her once would have had her cringing, but she knew he did care for her in some way. His rescue of her proved that.

"I… I'm fine Nephrite-san. You should leave me. I'm only slowing you down, I can hide and sneak out later." His eyes narrowed at her for a second before he dismissed her suggestion.

"Nonsense girl. Zoysite knows what you look like and he is hunting you as well. I can take him and his playmates, you can't."

Naru smiled at his unspoken but obvious protective streak toward her. She was just about to respond when Nephrite lunged forward and tackled her, the two of them rolled out of the way as a cluster of spear-like creations pelted their previous position. Naru heard laughter she recognized as Zoysite's echo around them.

"Isn't this touching? The mighty Neflite brought low by a weak, little human girl. I'm doing you a favor by killing you Neflite, really." The effeminate general appeared hovering among the tree branches as three creatures emerged from the shadows beyond.

Naru's eyes widened as the next few minutes blurred together. She saw Nephrite shout back at Zoysite, the blonde man leaving and his creatures attacking. Sailor Moon (How did she know about this? Naru briefly wondered) arriving and, after a few crucial seconds of indecision, joining Nephrite. Then the spears were filling her sight as they raced toward her. She blinked as the image was replaced by Nephrite's chest; she caught him as he fell forward. Her heart nearly stopped when she saw the jagged holes in his back made by the attack meant for her. The three Sailors and three youma disappeared from her mind as she held Nephrite, his green blood starting the stain the ground.

"Nephrite?" She asked, her voice, like her heart, breaking as tears fell from her eyes

"Naru, don't be sad for me." The dark general told her, "It… was worth it… to see… you safe." He tried to smile at her but a cough was forced from him. "I… I don't think… we'll be able… to have that… sundae after all." He finally managed a smile as Naru's tear-streaked face filled his sight, just before everything faded.

"Nephrite? Nephrite?!" Naru's sobs increased as the body of her love, Nephrite, General of the Dark Kingdom, dissolved in a shower of lights that drifted up into the cold night sky. Her torn sleeve, stained with his blood, fell into her lap. Clutching the last remnant of Nephrite, Naru screamed her anguish to the sky.

"NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!"

"Naru?" The door to her room opened as her mother rushed to her daughter's side. "What's wrong? Please tell me."

Even in the face of her mother's obvious concern, Naru Osaka found herself unable to do more then cry on her shoulder. As she had been doing every night since then.

)O+  +O(

Shading her eyes from the afternoon sun, Ami gazed at the shrine Usagi had said the other Senshi would be. Thinking of her new friend, Ami again wondered what was bothering her. She had spent the entire day staring at an empty seat with an expression of depression on her face. Ami hadn't been around her too much, but she could tell that depressed wasn't an emotion Usagi felt very often or for long. Making this daylong funk she was in concerning. The transformed boy made a mental note to try and work a question about it into the meeting… if she could handle it. Jupiter. Shaking her head, Ami started up the steps of the Hikawa Shrine.

Sweeping the stone courtyard was not something Rei considered a chore like most would. She set a rhythm for herself and just let her mind go. It was a sort of meditation for her, like before the Sacred Fire, except it soothed her mind and calmed her body. When she was sweeping, hours would vanish like minutes, and her problems were either settled or well on their way to being so. It took the voice calling her name three tries before Rei noticed the other girl standing in front of her; hand on her hip and an amused smile on her face.

"Oh! Mako-chan, I didn't see you there for a second."

"Yeah. I guessed. Although I'm pretty sure I know the answer, has Usagi shown up yet?"

"You're right, you do know the answer." Rei didn't bother to mask the annoyance she felt. "Neither has this supposed 'Sailor Mercury' Usagi was going off about last night. You find out anything from odango-atama today?"

Makoto strolled over to the patio surrounding the temple and house. Tossing her book bag to the ground, the tall girl leaned against a support pillar to wait for Rei to finish her chore.

"Nah, Usa-chan was distracted be something all day. I think she's worried about Naru."

"Naru? Why? We saved her didn't we?"

Makoto thought Rei might have been joking, but the honest confusion on the shrine maiden's face shot that theory down. Suppressing a sigh, Makoto opened her mouth to reply, but the words froze in her throat as her eyes fixed on the figure standing beneath the archway. Rei blinked at Makoto's stalled expression before following her eyes, her own narrowed at the familiar form slowly approaching the two Senshi.

Ami could feel the guarded suspicion the white and red clad shrine maiden was directing at her. She recognized both from the arcade the day before and, though her heart was pounding with mixed emotions, she screwed her courage together and started crossing the distance between them. A brief eternity later, she was in speaking range and still hadn't thought of a way to start. Fortunately, Rei knew of one.

"I recognize you." She stated coldly, drawing a surprised look from Makoto, "What do you want here?"

Ami winced at the miko's cold demeanor and almost turned before, forcibly, reminding herself that she swore she would not back down this time. Taking a deep breath, Ami bowed to both girls as she addressed them. "Hello. I'm Ami Mizuno, pleased to meet you. I was told by Usagi-san that this was the Senshi meeting." As she rose, she pulled out her henshin pen and showed it to Makoto and Rei.

Both girls blinked at the pen. Rei brought her gaze back to Ami's face before raising an eyebrow. Makoto was more enthusiastic in her own demonstration. She launched herself off the post and slapped the startled Ami on the back while leading her forward.

"Hi! I'm Makoto Kino, but everyone calls me Mako-chan. You must be Sailor Mercury, Usagi told us about you last night, although she never did get around to saying your civilian name. Nah she was too busy telling us about your fight yesterday. Oh by the way, she's Rei Hino, don't feel too bad, we all got the silent treatment from her at first, she just needs to get to know you."

Makoto led the smaller blue-haired girl into the back of the shrine where they held their meetings. Rei watched the two disappear behind the shrine, her eyes narrowed at their departing backs before scanning the courtyard again. Still no sign of Usagi. With a 'humph' of annoyance, Rei set her broom on the ground and walked after the other two Senshi.

)O+  +O(

"Zoysite! Appear before me!" The cry had barely faded before the blonde general teleported before his queen, already kneeling.

"Yes my Queen?"

Beryl, the Queen of the Dark Kingdom, smiled down at her third general as she sat upon her stone throne, her hands slowly passing over her crystal scepter and bright red hair flowing above her. It was so nice to have a general who actually got his job done, she thought as her eyes drifted to a small gem resting in a red cushion beside her.

"Ah Zoysite, we are pleased with your success in retrieving the first nijizuishou. But there are still six more to be had and six more of our warriors to unleash on the Senshi."

"I thank you, My Queen" Zoysite replied, kneeling just a fraction lower with a satisfied smile on his face. Before he could continue however, Queen Beryl's voice cut over him.

"However, we are not pleased with the appearance of yet another Sailor Senshi, or with the defeat of our warrior." Beryl narrowed her red eyes as she cautioned her minion. "I do hope you won't disappoint me as your predecessors have. It was incidents such as this that started them on the path to ruination."

Zoysite gulped at the thinly veiled threat before working up the nerve to respond. "I understand my Queen. I shall not fail you. My preparations are complete for the retrieval of the next crystal."

"Good. Make sure you do not fail. Dismissed!"

"Yes my Queen." Zoysite bowed once more before teleporting away. In the private chambers he shared with Kunzite, the Third General picked the kurozuishou up from his dresser. He gazed into its depths for a few seconds, envisioning the rewards both Queen Beryl and Queen Metallia would bestow on him for the success of his mission. Giggling, he cast the crystal from him as he invoked the magic. "Kurozuishou, show me the next Carrier of a nijizuishou!" As the image appeared, Zoysite smiled. "Too easy." Still chuckling, he faded from sight.

)O+  +O(

Ami was sure she was in hell. While waiting for Usagi to arrive, the Senshi were passing time in Rei's room talking. First she had to listen to Rei go off about Usagi's shortcomings. Then it got worse, Ami tried to keep the heartbroken expression off her face as she listened to Ty… Makoto destroy her dreams as she raved about a boy she was interested in.

"…should've seen how he looked in that gi," Makoto was saying, stars in her eyes, "The way he moved was just…" A soft chime interrupted her.

The brunette blinked before pulling a small, calculator-sized device from her schoolbag, Ami recognized the communicator from Mercury's memories. As Makoto answered, Ami felt a chill run down her spin, turning her head slightly, she saw Rei still glaring at her. The miko's near-hostile attitude toward her had intimidated the blue-haired girl at first, but new it was starting to really get on her nerves. Ami stared coldly back at Rei as Mako-chan's conversation wsa ignored by both until she lowered the communicator with a sigh.

"That was Usagi," Makoto told the two girls with her, "She won't be able to make it today; she's going to the movies with Naru to help her over Nephrite." The brunette sighed as she lowered the communicator. She remembered the incident at the park that resulted in the death of one of the Dark Kingdom's generals. Even though they were not in the same class, Makoto had been worried about the redhead, especially after hearing Usagi say that she hadn't been in class since then.

"That's what I'm talking about!" Rei exclaimed, "She would rather go to the movies then attend a meeting! I say we should remove Usagi as leader. She is not in the least serious about her responsibilities or duties."

Ami had had enough of listening quietly to this little girl almost consistently insult her friend. Slamming her hand on the table drew the attention of both senshi, but hers was focused on Rei. "If this is how a typical meeting goes, I'm not surprised Usag… Usa-chan, doesn't want to show! Since I've been here you've done almost nothing except glare at me and say how bad Sailor Moon is at being leader." Both of the girls were staring at her in shock, however, Ami saw anger start to rise in Rei's eyes, but she had worked up too much momentum to stop now. "If you really feel that way, then you can leave. Usa-chan and I handled Zoysite and his minion fine without your help. We can do it again if need be."

"How dare you!" Rei snapped as Ami drew another breath. "I've been at this a lot longer then you have Miss Einstein. In every battle, she's done more to hinder our side then to help. Even in your battle, all she did was draw fire and get thrown at you. Don't try to deny it, Usagi said so herself!"

"Hey guys," Makoto tried to defuse the two arguing girls, "This really isn't constructive. We… uh? Guys?" She looked between to two before laying her head on the table. They were both ignoring her completely. The Senshi of Jupiter really, really, really hoped they would work this out. "And I thought a Rei/Usagi argument was bad." She mumbled.

"What you seam to be conveniently forgetting, shrine maiden, is that it was Usagi who healed Tofu, and it has always been Sailor Moon who has finished the fights that you've been in. I did some research last night, I know." Ami shot back. In a remote corner of her mind, Ami marveled at what she was doing. Before Jusenkyou, Ranma would've been completely lost in a verbal fight while Princess Mercury, though an excellent debater, backed out from most confrontations if given a chance. With the merging of their two personalities, the Ranma/Ami personality was now just as confident in a mental challenge as in a physical one.

"No, it was the wand that healed him. As for our previous battles, yes it was Sailor Moon who killed the youma, but there's no way you can say that we can't kill one. Sailor Moon may have a lot of raw power, but Makoto and I can do just as much damage, it would just be over a longer period. Which, I might add, is more then you can do." Rei sat back with her arms over her chest, a smug smile on her face. It takes more then a high IQ to win a fight with me girl! She thought to herself, as the blue-haired girl across from her remained silent. The miko frowned when Ami suddenly smiled; it wasn't a nice smile.

"You don't trust Luna I see." Was all she said.

"What!?!"

Ami raised an eyebrow before replying with just the right amount of disdain. "I wasn't aware you had a hearing problem. Do you want me to say it again? You. Don't. Trust. Luna." Makoto was now looking back and forth like a tennis spectator, her eyes wide and mouth just hanging open.

"What does Luna have to do with this?" Rei demanded.

"Why it's very simple. I'm sure even you can understand it." Ami leaned forward to press her point. "Luna chose Usagi as the leader of the Sailor Senshi. If you want Usagi replaced as leader, with yourself I'd imagine, then you're saying you don't trust Luna's judgment." Ami sat back, mirroring Rei's earlier pose. Beat that. She thought.

"She has a point" Both heads whirled in surprise at Makoto's voice. They had completely forgotten she was there. Surprising a sigh, Makoto continued. "Luna did choose Usagi to lead the Senshi, and has continued to insist that she be the leader, regardless of how she sometimes acts. You saying that you think she shouldn't be can be interpreted to mean you don't think Luna made the right choice." Rei sat still, the trembling of her shoulders the only sign of her anger. As hard as she thought, she couldn't come up with a way to counter what Ami said.

It was to this scene that Luna, who had ended up walking to the shrine after finally accepting that Usagi was not going to show up at all instead of just late, finally pushed through the door. It was unfortunate that Rei had her back to the door.

"AAAGGGHHH!!! C-C-C-C-C-C-CAT!!!!!"

The two, battled-hardened senshi blinked as one as they looked at the space formally occupied by their newest member. Also as one, they looked up at Rei's ceiling at the trembling blue-haired girl. The trembling, blue-haired girl who was now holding onto a smooth ceiling with only her hands.

"Well," Makoto finally ventured, "That's something you don't see every day. Even if you're us."

A stunned Rei could only nod dumbly.

"Oh, Ami!" Luna cringed, "I'm sorry, I forgot about your fear of cats… um… just out of curiosity, how are you doing that?"

)O+  +O(

Naru Osaka left her two friends to continue to the movies without her, she had seen someone she needed to talk to as the three friends passed a cemetery. Naru had been surprised when Usagi had arrived with Umino in tow; she was even more surprised to find that she had missed him as well as Usagi. Their presence brought her out of the circle she had been running in since Nephrite died. As she walked among the headstones, Naru realized she was ready to move on but first, she had to say goodbye one final time. Finally, she saw the priest she had spotted earlier. Hurrying her steps, the young girl approached the robed man walking among the stones. He turned to face her as she neared, a gentle smile on his face.

"Welcome my child." He greeted her warmly, "What can I do for you?"

"Ah… I'm sorry to bother you sir…" Naru started tentatively before trailing off.

"Nonsense, it is the duty of a servant of God to offer aid to all who ask. Merely ask and I shall do whatever I can to aid you."

Naru took comfort in the priests' words and, after taking a deep breath, started to tell him her troubles. The priest, Father Malcolm, listened to the young girls story, weighing each word gravely and waiting to the end of her tale before speaking. When he did speak, he told her of the glory and grace of his God, and assured her that her departed friend was not in pain any more and was in a better place, watching over her.

"Are… are you sure he is? I mean… he did some pretty terrible things in his past." Naru timidly ventured.

Father Malcolm smiled at the small red head before him. "Yes my child. What ever he did in the past, his actions concerning you tell me that he wished to repent those deeds. God only asks that you start on the path; His grace will be with you from your first step. Forgiveness, my child, is always given to those who truly wish it."

Naru smiled at him before hugging him in thanks. As she released him, a spiteful voice that had haunted her nightmares was heard again.

"What a load of garbage." Both turned to see the blonde dark general floating a couple of meters above the ground. "I can't believe Neflite willingly died for you."

"You knew Nephrite?" Naru ask before recognizing the person before her.

"Forget about Neflite." Zoysite sneered, "Neflite was weak and stupid. He deserved everything he got."

The priest frowned, ever so slightly, at the newcomer, taking his mid-air seated position stoically. "That is not a very good thing to say to a grieving woman good sir."

The dark general laughed mockingly before coming to a rest on top of one of the headstones. "Do you think I care? I'm only here for one reason. You. I've come to take the nijizuishou and release your true self. Although continuing to come across the Carriers as they're giving out advice to weak human girls is getting very annoying."

Naru's eyes widened as Zoysite pulled a familiar dark colored crystal from… somewhere… and held it just above his hand. "That's Nephrite's crystal! I know you! You're the one that had those things kill him!"

Zoysite let lose another peal of laughter before responding. "How right you are little girl." The smirk disappeared from his face as he turned to look at Father Malcolm. "But enough wasting time! Welcome back to the Dark Kingdom, Father! ZOI!" The beam of light lanced into Father Malcolm's chest and showed a small green crystal within. Naru screamed and frantically charged the effeminate general. Zoysite frowned at the girl before swatting her away. "Go away child. You're no match for me!"

"She may not be," A strong voice, laced with outrage cut across the field. "But I am!" Sailor Moon had arrived.

After noticing that Naru had left them, Usagi backtracked along their path until she finally saw her friend in a cemetery, talking to a priest. When she saw Zoysite appear, she broke into a dead run and, after sending a hurried signal to the other Senshi, transformed in time to see Naru hit. Again, She thought, Again the Dark Kingdom interferes with Naru's life! First Jedite, then the incidents with Nephrite, and now this creep wants in on the club! I've had enough with this! "Cemeteries are places to pay our respect to lost loved ones, and priests are to offer guidance and comfort! I will not allow you to desecrate either! I am Sailor Moon! And in the name of the Moon…I will punish you!"

Zoysite ignored the moon brat and concentrated on the nijizuishou in the priest before him. As the crystal emerged, he smiled and held out his hand for it while taunting the near by girl.

"We've all heard your little speech before, Sailor Moon; but why don't you tell it to my friend here?" Zoysite laughed again as the crystal neared his hand. Just before he could grasp it, however, a red streak flashed by. Imbedded in front of Sailor Moon was a single red rose. The sailor-suited defender of love and justice tore her gaze away from the rose and brought it to the tuxedo-clad man who had thrown it. Zoysite did not take advantage of Sailor Moon's distraction, he was busy trying to find where the crystal had been deflected.

"Tuxedo Kamen! You've come to save me again!" She squealed happily.

"Eyes forward Sailor Moon!" The masked hero commanded fiercely, already jumping after the blonde General. "You still have an opponent to deal with!" With that, Tuxedo Kamen left Sailor Moon and jumped after the Dark General.

"Wait… Tuxedo Kamen!"

"Vultinator!"

"Huh?" Whirling around, Sailor Moon saw that, in place of Father Malcolm, a tall red haired and blue-skinned man with gray wings and boxers' clothes was bearing down on her. "EEEEEKKKKK!!!"

)O+ +O(

Meanwhile, Ami and Makoto were tearing down a crowed street on their way to the cemetery. Makoto chanced a quick glance at the small, blue haired girl that was keeping pace with her, and remembered the events of a few minutes ago with concern.

They had just gotten Ami calmed down (and off the ceiling), when a frantic call from Usagi saying that Naru was being attacked again came, Ami had jumped to her feet demanding that they go to her aid.

"Why?" Rei had said, "Don't you have faith in her abilities?" Ami just glared at the dark haired miko before responding.

"Yes I do," She told Rei in a voice colder then her attack, "But the point of a team is that she doesn't have to be alone! Now, are you coming, or are you going to sit and sulk?"

Rei's teeth made in audible sound as they ground together, but the Senshi of Mars did not move. Ami held her gaze a moment longer before shifting her glacial eyes to the Senshi of Jupiter. Makoto gulped, looked imploringly to Rei, but Rei remained seated. Sighing, Makoto got to her feet and nodded. "Let's go." With that, the two Senshi left the temple and started toward the cemetery.

I really don't like this. Makoto thought as she ran. The Senshi should stick together! What's wrong with Rei? And why did I take Ami's side so quickly? It was almost as though it was a familiar position to me… Further soul searching was placed on hold as the two girls arrived at the church-front. Ducking behind some thick bushes and trees, they retrieved their henshin pens and held them high.

"MERCURY POWER, MAKE UP!"

"JUPITER POWER, MAKE UP!"

A pillar of light engulfed each young woman as the ancient magic surged in their bodies, transforming them into Sailor Mercury, Senshi of Ice, and Sailor Jupiter, Senshi of Lightning. After a second to readjust to their heightened senses, the two ran around to back of the church. The sounds of combat reached their ears as they turned the corner. Mercury jerked to a halt and found she could only stare. Jupiter, noticing her teammates' sudden stop, turned to her in concern. Mercury was facing the fight with her jaw just hanging and her eyes wide. Jupiter saw what, or more precisely who, she was staring at, smirked and was about to comment when Mercury shock herself out of her stupor and turned to the brunette Senshi with a curious look on her face and something else in her eyes.

"Jupiter? Who's the moron in the tux?"

It took all of Jupiter's will power to not fall over, as it was, she developed a severe twitch in her right eye as she looked to Mercury with a strained expression and a sweet drop behind her head.

"Umm… that's Tuxedo Kamen." She finally offered lamely.

"Tuxedo Kamen eh…" Mercury looked back at the evening-suited fighter in contemplation for a short period before turning back to Jupiter with a concise evaluation of her opinion. "He's a dork."

This time, Jupiter couldn't stop herself from falling. "What do you mean by that?" She demanded as she got back up. "He helps us out whenever we're in a jam and always rescues Sailor Moon when she's in serious danger."

"Please, what kind of moron would go into battle in a evening suit!?" Jupiter had no answer so Mercury continued on, "I mean what we ware might not be the height of decency, but at least it allows us to fight well. Look at him," She waved a hand toward the fighting pair a short distance away, "His cape is not at all practical for close quarters combat and the tuxedo, while looking nice, is not cut to allow ease of movement. At least he has some training in the Art." Mercury fell silent and watched the battle for a few seconds more before finally snapping after Tuxedo Kamen was thrown for the third time. "Oh this is just too pathetic. Jupiter, find Moon and see if she needs any help. I'll stop Tux-Boy here from making a total mockery of male heroes." Without waiting for either question or agreement, Sailor Mercury launched across the headstones to the struggling men a short distance away.

Jupiter watched her teammate sail over the stone littered field with the ease of the mist she cast and wondered to herself, Why is she so concerned with the image of male heroes? It's not like she is one. Shaking her head, she turned away from the battle and started to scan the remainder of the cemetery for signs of Sailor Moon. Spotting a flash of light from the corner of her eye, Sailor Jupiter barely registered it before she was moving toward it. The tall Senshi arrived in time to see Umino tackle Naru out of the way of a… flying boxing glove? Silently adding another mark to her 'Strange forms youma take' list, Jupiter moved over to the two civilians and helped them to their feet.

"Are you two alright?" She asked, trying not to sound as though she knew either personally. "You had best leave the area. You can't help us here." Both teens nodded and stumbled away, Jupiter noticed that Umino had taken a cut on his arm from shrapnel when the glove had exploded. Mentally crossing her fingers that he was okay, Jupiter looked for her leader. A startled exclamation to her left and she found Sailor Moon jumping out of the path of a large, winged man with boxing gloves.

"Sailor Moon!" She cried, already charging the youma. The creature turned to the newcomer, a crazed smile on his lips. With a shrill cry, he lifted his arm and launched the boxing glove at the approaching warrior, another glove formed over his hand in a flash of red light. As Sailor Jupiter spotted the missile, a small rod extended from the tiara on her head, electricity crackling along its length. "Supreme Thunder," Her arms crossed in front of her, her last and index finger extended on both hands. Jupiter felt the charge build above her, and, when she sensed it ready, threw her arms wide and willed the energy at her target with a final shout. "Crash!" The bolt of lightning arced from her tiara and connected with the incoming glove. With a fierce flash of light, the glove vanished and Vultinator cringed back, blinded by the explosion. Jupiter's lips curled into a small, satisfied smile as she felt her fist land firmly on the things stomach. Vultinator staggered back a few steps, clutching the bruised area. "Now Sailor Moon!" Jupiter cried.

"Right!" Sailor Moon responded. Withdrawing the Moon Rod form her storage space, Sailor Moon began to build up her attack. "Moon Healing Escalation!" She called as the light surrounded Vultinator and restored him to Father Malcolm.

Jupiter ran to the tired blonde with a bright smile. "Well Sailor Moon, looks like we've 'dusted another one."

Moon just smiled at her friend before remembering, "Tuxedo Kamen! Where did he go?!" She asked, frantically looking around for sight of him.

"Umm…" Jupiter trailed off, remembering Mercury's words earlier, "Sailor Mercury is aiding him against Zoysite."

"What!" The pigtailed girl shrieked, "We've got to help him!" Her exhaustion forgotten, Sailor Moon turned and charged blindly into the cemetery.

Jupiter sighed before calling after her absent-minded leader. "Sailor Moon!" When the blonde head turned to face her, the tall brunette raised a hand in another direction. "They're over there!" Moon's blue eyes blinked a few times before Jupiter's words went through, when they did; she corrected her course and took off in the new direction. Jupiter watched her go before chuckling and shaking her head before she ran after her.

)O+ +O(

Tuxedo Kamen winced as he pulled himself up from the ground where Zoysite had knocked him down with an energy blast. Part of his mind wondered why he was so involved in the fight this time. He usually stayed in the background, with the exceptions of a few times against Neflite. There was something about those crystals he saw Zoysite pull from both men however, though he wasn't sure how, Tuxedo Kamen knew those crystals were the key to his identity. Somehow, he knew that those crystals were the key to everything, if he had all of them, then… then…

He mentally sighed is frustration at his lack of knowledge, somewhat surprised that he was suddenly concerned about it now. Normally, he became aware whenever Sailor Moon was in danger, saved her and left. It was the end all, be all of his existence and he never questioned it, until now.  Firming his resolve, the evening clad hero, pulled his feet under him and was preparing to lunch himself at the smirking general when he caught a flash of motion just behind him.

Sailor Mercury, he believed the new one was called, was jumping over headstones at an exceptional rate, even for a Senshi. In the time it took him to blink, she had crossed the distance between herself and the General and, as he watched in shock (and a small amount of vengeful glee), she extended her right leg and planted it firmly in Zoysite's back. The startled expression on the floating man's face was, Tuxedo Kamen thought, exquisite.

He raised his eyes from the fallen general and looked at the sailor-suited girl standing on his back with her arms beneath her breasts and satisfied smirk that mirrored his own.

"I thank you Sailor Mercury," He began, nodding graciously to her.

"Save it," She said, cutting him off, "You needed the help Cape-Boy."

Tuxedo Kamen was glad the masquerade mask that covered his suddenly twitching eye. Cape-Boy? "Ah… Yes, well…" The normally eloquent hero found himself at a loss for words. He was spared from the confident smirk being directed on him by the sudden shifting of Mercury's footstool. Zoysite had remained stunned following the surprise attack, but he was recovered now and very mad. Those insects had gotten dirt on his clean and pretty uniform! Calling upon the dark energies that flowed through him, the Dark Kingdom general pushed up, upsetting the balance of Sailor Mercury and requiring her to jump off.

"You pitiful little insects!" He raged, "I'll kill you for this insult!" A ripple of darkness passed through the air into Zoysite's hands, forming a sphere of energy that he hurled at the blue haired girl. Mercury knew she could've just stepped to the side and avoided the blast, but seeing the mad general had reminded her of one of Genma's lessons. A mad enemy makes mistakes. Therefore, deciding to aggravate his condition, she casually jumped over the ball and landed mere inches in front of him. Lightning fast, grabbed his nose between two fingers of her right hand and brought her left hand slapping down across them similar to what she (he at the time) had seen in her mother's video collection of old American comedies.

Reeling back, Zoysite soon realized that while the attack did very little damage, it was an insult. He growled at the smirking girl before him, and took a step toward her. A second streak landed in front of him, glancing down, he saw a red rose between himself and the girl. Soon a second smirking face, this one belonging to Tuxedo Kamen, joined Mercury's. The blonde general was glaring at the two of them when he heard a sound from his right, a quick glance showed Sailor Jupiter fast approaching, with Sailor Moon behind her. Seeing both the direction of his gaze and the tightening of his jaw, Sailor Mercury's smirk was replaced by a dead serious frown.

"Do you think you can take all four of us Zoysite?" She asked in an icy voice, "(Do you really want to try?)"

At hearing the last sentence in Lunarian, the common language back in the Silver Millennium, Zoysite's eyes briefly widened and then narrowed as he took in the form before him. Finally, with a low growl, he jumped into the air and floated away from the forces gathering against him.

"This isn't over Kirris," He told the girl, "Not by a long shot." With that, the general vanished in a swirl of cherry blossoms. Tuxedo Kamen hadn't even waited for the smaller man to finish before he was heading to the green crystal flashing on the ground. He was reaching for it when a gloved hand moved past him and snatched it from the ground. Whirling, he glared at Sailor Mercury who was examining the small gem with interest.

"Give it to me." He commanded.

Mercury's eyes hardened at the whip of command directed at her, before tossing the crystal in the air and swiping it again in an iron grip as she held the man's gaze. Both fighters held their position for a heartbeat more before Tuxedo Kamen lunged. Mercury fell back before his outstretched arm and turned her body allowing it to pass in front of her as she brought her right palm across the front of his chest with deceptive power. Neither combatant noticed the glittering gold object fly from Tuxedo Kamen's vest and disappear behind a row of headstones. The caped man fell back, whizzing and holding his chest. After regaining his breath, Tuxedo Kamen looked at the Senshi with a small smile.

"Very well Sailor Mercury," He told her, "I'll let you hold on to it, for now." He straightened and met Mercury's cold gaze with one of his own. "But make no mistake; the nijizuishou will be mine."

"Tuxedo Kamen!" A bright voice called. Both looked at the other two Senshi approaching before returning their gaze to the other. With a slight nod, Tuxedo Kamen turned and walked to the cemetery gate without a backward glance. Mercury watched him go with a small frown on her face.

"What are you hiding?" She wondered before turning to great her fellow Senshi.

Sailor Jupiter arrived first switching her eyes between Mercury and where Tuxedo Kamen left. "What was that all about?" She asked.

"Nothing." Mercury answered shortly. She turned to show the tall brunette the crystal in her palm. "This is what the Dark Kingdom is after. They seam to be called nijizuishou. I'm not sure what they want them for, but I think we need watch out for them. Twice now they've pulled one of these things from someone, turning them into a youma, but it's the crystals that they want."

"Hey guys!" Sailor Moon called as she ran up to them, something clenched in her hands. "Where did Tuxedo Kamen go?"

"Vanished again." Jupiter told her leader with a half-grin, knowing what was coming next.

"Ohhh!" Sailor Moon squealed, "He's soooo mysterious! Showing up at the nick of time and then vanishing." The blonde-haired girl sighed, hands beside her cheek, a blush on her face and stars in her eyes. Jupiter chuckled and even Mercury couldn't suppress the grin beneath her arched eyebrow. Jupiter placed a hand on Mercury's shoulder, not noticing the slight tensing of her muscles.

"Come on Mercury," She told her companion cheerfully, "Let's leave Usagi to her day with her other friends."

"Oh Kami! Naru! Umino! Where did they go? Are they alright?" Sailor Moon swiveled her head about, pigtails flying, trying to find her friends.

"Take it easy Usa-chan," Jupiter hastened to assure her friend, "They're over there and fine. Umino got a cut but I don't think it's serious." She finished talking to air as Sailor Moon, barely remembering to power down, was already running after her two friends. With a sigh, Jupiter turned to Mercury. "Let's go. She'll be fine now." Together, the two Senshi left the cemetery and went back to their other lives.

Meanwhile, Usagi was sitting by her friends in a nearby park. The disguised heroine was relaxing when she noticed something Naru was doing.

"Hey, isn't that Nephrite's?" She asked of Naru as she was wrapping the strip of cloth around Umino's wound.

"Yeah, but I think he'd be glad to see it used like this." The red-head told her, "I think I'm over him. I'll never forget him though. We didn't know each other long, but for how long it was, it was magical." She finished with a smile to her friend. One answered by a bright smile from her friend.

"I'm glad you're feeling better." Usagi said honestly. Her gaze went to the object in her hands. It was a small, gold, star-shaped locket. With a flick of a finger, Usagi opened the cover and smiled softly at the gentile tune the locket played as a small silver crescent moon moved around a blue circle.

"Hey," Naru asked, looking down at the small device, "Where'd you get that?"

"Someone special gave it to me." Usagi replied.

"It's a nice tune." Umino said, with Naru's agreement.

"So," She teased the blond, "You got a boyfriend huh?" Usagi just smiled without responding, all her attention on the song and the vague memories and feelings they stirred.

End Chapter 3

Next time on Cursed Waters: Ranma faces his past as Ami questions her future. Sailor Mercury challenges Crimson with the lives of her friends at stake. This and more in Chapter Four: Questions of the Soul.

"Ami? Who's that?"

"My father."

ALSO COMING!!

You've read about their struggle in modern times. You've heard about the world they will make in the future. Now, see the events that preceded it all. Cursed Waters Special: To Thaw a Frozen Heart. The tail of Mercury and Jupiter's relationship from their first meeting to the Fall of the Moon and of the difficulties they faced before finding each other.

AN:

I would just like to say I have nothing against Mamoru, but I feel that Ranma would react like that if he saw him fighting as Tuxedo Kamen. I apologize for the lateness of this chapter and the lack of updates. RL has severely limited my time to write. Also, I wish to thank Brian Drozd who pointed out a small mistake in Chapter 2 concerning Mako-chan's eye color. And to CCMax, Tofu was just joking when he was talking about reincarnation, he was trying to cheer Ami up. The fact that he was right was just a coincidence… really… um… why are you looking me like that?