Faded
by Zandrellia - zandrellia@excite.com

Tragedy strikes and a journey through life and pain
begins for Chiba Usagi.

Disclaimers:
I don't own Sailor Moon, it was never my idea. I just
thought a really good horror fic should be written for
the show. I hope I lived up to my ideals.

*****

"There's nothing I can do Mrs. Chiba. We've exhausted
every means possible. It's in God's hands now." The tall
doctor said as he pushed his bifocals further up his
wrinkled nose.

-Oh just wonderful! Of all the doctors I get a christian
devout! Doesn't he know that my family was in that
house?! What does god have to do with it! Where was he
when the gas leak started?!- A frizzled Usagi glared at
the man but spoke none of her angry replies. She didn't
have anything against religion but at this moment she
could care less how mankind was created.. she just wanted
her family to live.

Turning suddenly to begin another walk in her pace she
nodded to the man and smiled pathetically. "Thank you,
doctor. I know you tried." -Yeah.. and emptied my bank
account!-

Rei came in and handed the blonde a hot cup of coffee
and a breakfast plate from McDonold's Restaurant. Usagi
took the coffee gratefully but stared down at the funny
styrofoam plate. The raven haired girl shrugged and
walked over to a table to open the food for her friend.
"I know you don't like it but they were the closest I
could find. You really didn't think I was going to leave
you here for longer than I had to, did you?"

"I know, I know. You're all keeping watch on me and it's
your turn. I'm very grateful to you all. This has to be
difficult for everyone." Usagi smiled and sat down
across from her friend to pick at the food with the odd
spork that came with the meal.

After eating the meager meal she leaned back in the
chair. -I'll just close my eyes for a moment and rest
them. Just for a ..- Slight snores and whimpers could be
heard from Usagi as she tossed and turned in the
uncomfortable chair.

Rei sighed as she flipped the channels and pulled her
oversized red coat further around herself. "It's always
so cold in hospitals. Almost like they are actually
trying to kill you with it." She smiled as she heard a
familiar voice coming from the hallway outside the dim
waiting room.

Yuuichirou stepped in and smiled at her. She returned
the gesture and smirked at the small bundle he was
carrying. "Feeding time already?" He nodded and she held
her arms open for him to hand her the baby.

She kissed him on the cheek and smiled at him. "I'll
hold him for a while. Ami's supposed to be here at seven
so it shouldn't be long and then we can go home." He
sat next to her and leaned his head back, closing his
eyes temporarily.

"I think I got as much sleep as you did. Someone is most
definetly a mama's boy." He smirked at the look he knew
his wife was making at him. Her temper was always so
predictable to him. "I'm going to get a little rest so I
can drive without running us off the road. It's pretty
treacherous out there."

"Snow? Already?" He nodded and affirmation and then
turned from her slightly to get away from the lamp on
the other side of the room. The tiny boy in her arms
began to squirm and cry and she quickly began to rock
him as she prepared to feed him.

Soon the small aqua room was filled with the sounds of
her husband's snoring, her best friend's gentle cries of
sleep, and her child's suckling. And as always the tick,
tick, tick, of a rather loud wall clock. Rei reached
over and turned the television off and smiled at her
little, but efficent, family.

*****

Ami stopped at a quaint little folk bakery and bought two
dozen doughnuts, pastries, and other small foods. She was
glad that she had thought of bringing a coffee maker and
some fine vanilla flavored coffee that Mamoru had sent to
her on his last trip to Europe.

Driving down the rather difficult road she popped in a
cassette and sang along as Sting crooned his most
memorable past works. She hoped that Rei would not be
angry for her for being late but she had to answer a
quick e-mail before she had left.

Business was business and family was family but Ami was
quite splendid at multitasking. This, she had shortly
found out, was why she had so few aquaintances. It wasn't
enough that she give some of her own time to others.

No. Most people wanted all of her time devoted solely to
them. She smiled as she thought of the kind e-mail and
how Mamoru was not like that. -Rather odd for a Leo..
but.. I suppose it does work. After all.. the less he
pressures others to spend time with him the more they
want to.-

She chuckled and pulled into the parking lot of the
hospital. For seven twenty five in the morning it was
still rather dark and Ami could see the small white
snowflakes in the yellow oozing light of the street
lamps.

Gathering everything together she braced herself and
walked slowly but surely across the fresh snow. As her
footprints made new marks along the pristine white a
long shadow stretched over them. Ami pulled the door
open with a struggle and went into the hospital.

*****

The rather odd looking figure stood in the frigid air
and watched the woman enter the building carefully. If
one were to look at this person they would be unable to
tell if it were man or woman, adult or youth. They were
rather tall and had shoulder length, stringy, blonde
hair.

Green eyes peered from behind a blue ski mask and firm
but large lips were pressed in a stern purse. A huge
orange sweater was on and over this was a large pull over
fleece which was ragged and dirty with mud and grass
stains. The hands were covered by slender leather gloves
and the pants were baggy grey sweats.

Decrepit and withered socks wagged from around thin
ankles and tiny blue sports sneakers were tied onto the
person's feet with red shoe laces. They smirked and
walked slowly towards the little red honda civic that
Ami drove.

*****

"I come bearing gifts!" Ami smiled as she came in and
saw Rei sitting there half asleep in the chair. She
placed the coffee pot on a table and plugged it in.

Walking out into the hallway she poured some water into
the pot from a drinking fountain and came back in to see
Usagi sitting awake and wide eyed. The blue haired woman
smiled gently to her friend and nodded to the white
bakery boxes on another end table in the corner of the
room.

After the coffee machine was set up Ami opened a small
bag which she had brought with her as an after thought.
"I usually keep this in the car for emergencies but I
had the feeling I might need it." She moved some chairs
from the far wall and placed the small object there.

Usagi was curious and watched as Ami pressed the small
device and inflated a full sized bed on the floor. "I'll
be right back with some pillows and blankets." She left
just as Rei's face was slipping from the hand which held
it up.

The baby cried slightly and Rei and Yuuichirou were both
instantly awake. "We should probably go home." He said
after a short pause to discover that the child was
unhurt. Rei nodded and they stood to leave just as Ami
entered the room with three pillows and four blankets.

"No you don't. Neither of you are going anywhere. I'll
call Makoto and have her bring over the playpen so that
you AND the baby can sleep. I won't let you drive today.
You are both going to lie down on that bed for now and I
will hold the baby." With that she handed the two
startled people three blankets and two pillows.

Ami came over to Usagi and handed her a pillow and a
blanket as well and then took the baby from Rei who was
already snuggled into the bed and falling asleep. "I'm
going to call Makoto really fast, Usagi. Do you need
anything?"

"Mu..uhm..asprin?" The blonde answered between bites of
a cream filled pastry. She watched her friend leave and
went over to the coffee machine to get a drink and
passed a tall mirror. Stopping before the mirror she
stared sadly at her reflection. "If only Mamoru saw me
now. He would throw a fit, I know it!"

Her pale brown sweater fell over her left shoulder
slightly and she pulled it up and tried desperately to
straigten the wrinkles in the material. No use. Even her
tight stonewash jeans were wrinkled up. "What a mess."

"I happen to think you're rather beautiful, actually." A
sarcastic voice came from the doorway. Usagi turned to
see Mamoru standing there with Chibi-Usa in his arms.

"Oh really?" She asked with a smile and turned to face
him. As she did so her right odango flopped over and fell
apart even more. He laughed and walked over to set their
little girl down in a chair. Usagi picked up the pillow
Ami had given her and placed it in the chair for her to
lay on. She smiled and covered her with a blanket.

"She's so pretty now. Can you imagine how many boys and
men you'll have to kill to keep them away from her?"
Usagi asked and then giggled at the face Mamoru made. He
smiled and pulled her close for a kiss.

Just then the doctor entered. "Mrs. Chiba?" Usagi turned
and nodded to him. "I'm afraid that I have to ask you
and any close family members to come visit with your
parents now. They won't make it through the day."

The tears welled up in Usagi's eyes as her lip quivered
with the scream that wanted to come from her. All that
escaped was a feeble moan as her left hand flew up to
cover her mouth. Mamoru pulled her close as her head
began to shake in denial. "We'll come in a few minutes,
doctor."

The doctor nodded to Mamoru. "I'm sorry that things had
to end up this way. Could I speak with you after you've
had your visit Mr. Chiba? I don't think your wife can
handle much more and there are a few police with some..
inquisitions?" Mamoru's eyebrows raised in confusion but
he understood what the man was implying.

"Let's talk in an hour. That should give me plenty of
time. The girls can stay in for a while longer." As he
said this Usagi began to shiver and her cries became
louder. The doctor left the room just as Ami, Makoto,
Haruka, and Michiru entered.

Makoto set to the task of putting up the playpen and
Michiru and Haruka took the baby from Ami to change. They
had happened to see Makoto walking to the hospital with
the playpen and asked if she needed a lift. Since they
were the only ones who had any real infant care
experience, with exception to Usagi, they decided to come
along to the waiting room.

"Shingo." Usagi said between wimpers. "I have to tell
Shingo." She pulled from Mamoru and ran into the hall to
the pay phone. He followed her and held up some change
for her to shove into the machine. She stood with both
hands on the reciever, visibly shaking and crying on
occasion. "Hi.. Shingo? It's me, Usagi. You can tell that
something's wrong? Oh.. my voice. Well.. It's Mama and
Papa. Well.. you see.. there was this gas leak.. and Papa
lit a match or something and it caused an explosion and a
fire. Papa was in the basement and couldn't get out and
Mama was pinned under the china cabinet. They had the gas
and a lot of smoke in their lungs, besides all the damage
from things falling on them from the explosion. You
should come. The doctor says.. the doc.. the doctor
says.. that they aren't going to make it through the
day. I know! I would have called earlier if I had known.
Please, Shingo, come if you can. They were always so p..
p..proud of you and your achivements. What, going to
college and all. Yeah.. ok. I'll see you soon. Bye."

Weakly she placed the phone on it's cradle and leaned
into the machine. Mamoru pulled her close and kissed her
on the forehead. "They're proud of you too, you know." He
said as he lifted her in his arms and carried her to a
large bathroom which was meant for handicaps. After he
set her down on the toilet seat he went back into the
waiting room and came back with Usagi's purse.

"What are you doing?" She asked and then it dawned on her
when he pulled a comb from the abyss that was her little
white purse. -I must be a wreck. I can't look like this
for my parents.- She sat still as he untied her hair and
combed it gently. After it was neat he parted it again
and placed it in the usual odango's as if he had been a
hairstylist all his life.

"I've watched you do this too much." He joked and she
laughed a little. "Wash your face off and put some of
this lip balm on your lips. The weather is already
affecting them." He said as he handed her a towel and her
favorite tube of lip balm.

"Is the weather all that bad outside?" She asked as she
bent close to the mirror to put the lip balm on. He was
combing his own hair in the mirror behind her and shook
his head.

"No, not really anymore. It was early this morning but
mostly the air has become very dry. I don't want you to
have blisters and breaks on your beautiful face."

"Ah. So we'll be able to go home tomorrow?"

"Probably." He said as he wrapped his arms around her
waist.

She turned in his grasp and pulled his face in for a
kiss. "Good. I don't want to spoil Chibi-Usa's life all
because of something she doesn't even understand yet."

"She's very mature for her age, you know."

"I know. But there are some things that maturity doesn't
prepare us for. No matter how old, wise, or intelligent
a person can become they will never be prepared for
death." They exited the bathroom and headed towards the
waiting room.

"You amaze me with your depth, Usagi." He said and she
smiled and winked at him.

As they entered the waiting room they noticed Ami was
talking to Minako who had come for her shift early. Usagi
waved at her and headed towards Chibi-Usa. Lifting the
little girl in her arms she tried her best not to cry as
she untied the hair and combed it gently.

Slowly the girl's eyes fluttered open and she smiled up
at her mother. "Hi mama! I've missed you." She pushed
forward and hugged her mother ferociously.

Usagi smiled and rubbed the child's back. "I've missed
you too, pumpkin. Now sit still so I can do you hair."

The girl complied and sat up as her mother straitened
the pink strands and contorted them into the typical
elongated buns. "Can I wear some of you lipstick mama?"

Her mother smirked and nodded as the girl jumped up and
down as she handed her the tube of lip balm. It wasn't
her fault that she didn't realize that her mother rarely,
if ever, wore real lipstick.

Ami stood and gathered her personal items and went over
to hug Usagi. "You always were the strongest among us."

"Thanks, Ami, but I think that title goes to Makoto." The
blonde said with a smile.

"No, she's right." Makoto said as she stood and brushed
her knees off from the slight rugburn.

"I have to go home now. I need to sleep for tomorrow or
I won't make it in to work." The blue haired woman said
and Usagi nodded. "If you need anything, just call."

"Okay, thanks Ami. You're the best." Usagi smiled and
hugged her friend again. She didn't want her to go.
-You're just being selfish Usagi. She needs to sleep.-

"Hey, Ami? Do you think you can give me a ride home? I
have a few more hours before I have to go to class and I
need to study for a test." Makoto asked and Ami nodded.

"Sure." They smiled and walked down the long hallway
towards the exit, talking about Ami's work and Makoto's
endevours at college.

****

Usagi sat for a few moments, watching the second hand on
the large wall clock tick away, as her feeling of despair
became worse.

She couldn't take it anymore and ran down the hallway and
out into the bitter cold of the parking lot, waving her
arm. "Wait! Ami, Makoto!"

Ami and Makoto were still talking and the blue haired
woman looked up at Usagi. "Is something wrong?" She asked
as she swung the door to shut.

The heavy door swung and in the quiet of the parking lot
Usagi heard the click of the door as it closed. And then
the car flew into the air with a great explosion an Ami
and Makoto were hit with shrapnel and thrown four feet
to the hard and cold ground.

Usagi screamed as the automobile fell with a loud crack
onto the parking lot, dangerously close to her friends.
She ran inside crying out for someone to help and a
receptionist called the paramedics to the front parking
lot.

During all of this one thought rang through Usagi's mind.
-Who is doing this?!-

*****

To be continued...

Well.. this one is certainly different from my other
works. It's rather sad and depressing, but I actually
like this. Don't hesitate to tell me what you think! :)