Title: Silence

Author: Girl Who Writes

Pairing/Characters: Setsuna

Word Count: 563

Rating: PG

Genre: Angst

Summary: Nothing in the world is perfect, she knows that.

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is property of Naoko Takeuchi. No profit whatsoever is made from this endeavor.

Spoilers: Since most of my information is gleaned from Wikipedia, I will say the whole series, though I doubt there are any remarkable spoilers past Series 1 and 2.

Warnings: Bitter!Setsuna and liberal plotting? See Note.

Notes: Okay, this is my first SM fic, and I'm still getting a real feel for the characters. This piece is actually a segment from a much longer piece I'm planning to write. I hope you enjoy it! Written for lj's sm monthly, prompt #01 – corruption.

Corruption \Corrup"tion\ (k?r-r?p"sh?n), n. F. corruption, L.

corruptio. The perversion of integrity.

Nothing in the world is perfect, she knows that.

Setsuna knows this better than anyone. She knows that Neo-Queen Serenity and her circle are living in a bubble, fueled by childhood fairy stories, blind hope and the sort of naïve ideals Setsuna herself cannot recall ever really having.

Two years since Crystal Tokyo had been founded, all white marble and shining rock, and Setsuna has resigned herself once again to the irreversible flaws in the fabric of this new society. Yes, it was physically beautiful – far more aesthetically pleasing than the old world, and there was less disease, less physical suffering than ever before. But, as she had to remind herself every millennium, human nature always won out over the best intentions.

She spends her time standing before the Golden Door in the palace, a physical entrance to the Gates of Time, and most of the people who live and work in the palace never notice her; at least, they never acknowledge the solitary Sailor Pluto, the one who had to be convinced that the Golden Door wasn't abandoning the duty that had been bestowed upon her by a far more selfless and realistic woman that the current monarch.

She is like another piece of elaborate art, her eyes unblinking, her hair fluttering against her cheek. She could empty the castle of heretics and con artists with her knowledge, and leave Serenity and Endymion with a single foot servant and the odd scullery maid.

She watches as people meet up in her darkened hallway, the lights dimmed and the moonlight spilling through the massive windows. Money and trinkets are exchanged for the only true currency – information. Their Queen is enigmatic, serene, and gives away so little during her public addresses, the people become desperate, fearful, trying to find out what precisely happens in the great palace. Maps of planned territories slipped from Endymion's desk, half written policies fished out of the rubbish, and roughly drafted and discarded speeches are of true value as the people try and decipher the intentions of Serenity and Endymion.

She overlooks it all. Serenity may have offered her a temporary reprieve from the Gates of Time, perhaps thinking guarding a door at the end of an empty hallway was preferable to darkness and swirling vapor, when they are both equally as lonely. The mutters of duplicity are far preferred to the empty, white hall, despite the fact her companions never so much as meet her eyes.

Perhaps she is just trying to remind Serenity that these are real people she is trying to govern, and not pawns to be waved and smiled at; placated with pretty, reassuring words. It will be a harsh lesson and Setsuna almost savors that thought. Serenity will be reminded that she is nothing but a pale imitation of the woman whose face she wears; that no matter what Serenity assumes, Setsuna will always be loyal to the woman who handed her the Time Staff and asked her to watch over them.

She stares at the Garnet Orb and feels weary. Perhaps all her years spent fighting for the people of Earth have debased her, and she is just like everyone else who meets in the long, empty hallway – sneaky, manipulative, flawed and always plotting against the person who holds the power.