Fandom: Sailor Moon

Title: The Contemplation of a Senshi

Author: Girl Who Writes

Feedback: Feedback would be lovely if you feel so inclined. It is 'the currency of the realm'.

Character: Michiru, peripheral Michiru/Haruka and Mamoru/Usagi.

Word Count: 1212

Rating: PG

Genre: Character reflection.

Summary: Perhaps this has shut other people out – people who do not have the time or inclination to befriend me as myself – not the artist, not the senshi, not Haruka's other half, just Michiru – Michiru contemplates herself, the senshi and her family after Stars.

Notes: This is very much based in my thoughts that Michiru really doesn't get enough of a role in the anime. Truthfully, I haven't managed to see all of Stars, yet, but I was disappointed that she (and Setsuna) didn't get much focus during S. I love Haruka as much as any Outers fan can, but I think a more balanced account of the Outers history would have been better.

Many ideas in this will be continued in an upcoming fic I'm working on; this was an entry for the first person POV challenge at Livejournal's miscficchallenge, and an experiment in finding Michiru's 'voice'. I really hope you enjoy it. I'll duck off and finish the next piece for All Kinds of Time now 

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi. I'm just a humble fan and make no profit from this fan based venture. The quotes are taken from U2's One.

Is it getting better - or do you feel the same?

Do you have a place where real life fades? Where the problems you have flow over you, broken down into their simplest forms, so that you can rearrange them, into something that doesn't make it a problem anymore? Not quite a success or a solution, but so that you can step over, move ahead and not think about it again.

I used to think that the sea was. That I could swim and leave everything behind, take my time to regroup and heal myself for a time. Or maybe I could hide behind my violin, and let the music speak my thoughts. Perhaps I could turn my one thousand words into a painting. Let it all be said, laid out in its most simple form.

But I cannot, anymore. There is no running from the cold feeling that runs through my veins, that stalks me every moment – every smile, every laugh.

I do not feel safe anymore. Perhaps I never did, and my naiveté has given way to this state of… I cannot think of a less dramatic way to say it, but paranoia.

I broke enough bones, spilt enough blood, when I was alone as the senshi of Neptune, to never really think that I was invincible. My Haruka, however, I always felt like she could save the world single-handedly, that nothing could hold her down. I think that she thought that, too, until a well aimed gun revealed we concealed the talismans within our own hearts, and left us cold on the stone floor of a cathedral.

There is a distinct difference between being faced with the cold bodies of innocents who will remain ignorant and alive, preparing yourself for the day that you walk away from the body with a new weapon, and realizing that the only person you have to kill to succeed is yourself.

Did I disappoint you?

The other senshi – the inner senshi – they regard me as cold, unfeeling. I genuinely wonder, sometimes, if they consider me a friend, or just an extension of Haruka, whom they idolize.

I wonder what I did not to earn such regard from them. Why is Haruka considered a more valuable friend and ally than myself? I am nowhere near as physically enduring as Haruka – her past-times rely very much on the physical side, whilst mine leave little time to train for my duties as senshi. But what is it that makes the girls enamored with Haruka? Deeply respectful of Setsuna? Grateful for Hotaru?

I have never felt apologetic for the person I am – for the woman I have become. I have never felt a reason to; I am a successful artist, I have a family – a dear best friend, the most charming and loving pseudo-daughter and the woman I love by my side.

I may have discarded friends, family, other paths, to find this place, this carefully crafted niche, and sometimes I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a fall, wondering if I should ask forgiveness, if I should be disappointed in myself. Perhaps this niche has turned me into something I can live with, being myself, but it has shut other people out – people who do not have the time or inclination to befriend me as myself – not the artist, not the senshi, not Haruka's other half, just Michiru.

I am not jealous of what other people have – whether it is material or emotional – but disenchanted that I do not hold the girls' friendship and respect. I do not condemn Haruka or Setsuna for it. I condemn myself for being so easily overlooked.

Too late, tonight, to drag the past out into the light.

I wonder, sometimes, about who I was in the Silver Millennium. I have a few memories – many focused around training exercises or political treaties, but nothing that really tells me what sort of person I was. 'Princess' and 'senshi' are easy words to throw around for Luna and Artemis when the other girls get curious about the gaps in their memories, and Setsuna cannot reveal much – I wonder if there are holes in her memory, too; perhaps it's a sign that we simply were not close during that lifetime. Or, maybe, she's trying to protect me.

Or just doing her duty as Guardian of Time. I'm not sure which reasoning I dislike the most.

Was I a decent person? It's easy to condemn the royal families of the past now, in this modern age, for being greedy and self-satisfying, until I consider the fact that the House of Kaiousei may have been just as corrupt and self-serving as those French and English courts in the pages of history. I cannot reprove the actions of others that I myself – in any form – have committed without a second thought.

I must be able to respect the cause I fight for; not only the Princess, who has proven herself over and over again, but that past incarnation of myself. I cannot walk a path without knowing what is behind me, what I can learn from myself.

It is anyone's first guess that I am curious about the history Haruka and I share. Setsuna offered an unsurprised response when she learnt about the nature of our relationship, and I once again have to wonder whether it is her gift of foresight as the senshi of Pluto, as a knowing friend, or that we are simply repeating history. Is history forcing us to retrace our steps, or would I find myself in Haruka's arms outside of the powers of fate and destiny?

Haruka once joked that we were the ones on the pedestal – that Mamoru has fallen to the dark forces more times than we can count, and it is Usagi that risks everything for his safe return; that Haruka and I have remained strong, and lend that strength to not only each other, but to the ancient duty we have been entrusted with, and when we fell, we fell together.

Emotionally, I cannot see anything that could have resulted in Haruka and I not ending up together. Logically, my mind points out that higher powers control our fate, and that maybe I shouldn't be so eager to please, so easily manipulated down past roads.

Have you come here for forgiveness?

Perhaps I should put everything behind me. Find a common ground between constant, cold fear and whatever is beyond that. I don't feel like being an old woman before my time – and if Neo Tokyo is based in any sort of truth, my time is a long way away.

Maybe I should just be grateful for what I have, what I am and what I will be. A higher power, a tragedy played out on the universe's stage, I should be grateful that I have found love, a family, a place that is mine, instead of agonizing over the details that hover in the back of my mind, making me feel uncomfortable and critical of myself.

If nothing else, I can assure myself that this sense of condemnation I force upon myself is what absolves me – I am flawed, and therefore I am human, and after all my crimes, my mistakes, that is a comfort.