Nami and the Night Visitors
by Naia Zifu

I couldn't sleep. It had been hours since my parents tucked me
in, and still I lay awake, staring at my poster from the Sera-myu
Winter Kaideban we'd just seen.
I went to a myu once before, with my mother, but I was three at
the time, and so naive I thought the actors were real Sailor Senshi. I
cried so hard at their death scenes, my mother had to take me out of
the theatre! At least this time I knew they were just actors, and was
old enough to appreciate the work they put into their performances.
But I had an even bigger reason to appreciate this myu in
particular; it was the first stage to include the newest little Senshi,
Sailor Triton.
The actress' name was Murasaki Hanae, a kawaii eight-year-old
girl from Osaka, with shining brown eyes and dark hair in little pony-
tails. Onstage, however, she wore a short, fluffy blonde wig and a
sparkly, embellished version of my real Triton fuku. Her dancing could
use work, but her acting was really good for her age, and her high,
clear singing voice was like an angel's! I couldn't have picked a
better actress if I'd cast her myself!
"I wish I could've told her who I am when I met her," I said
with a sigh. "Even at a time like this, I can't share my joy, 'cause
I've always gotta keep these dumb secrets. . ."
I looked away from my beloved poster in disgust, and lay
staring out the window for a long time instead.
Suddenly a star broke loose from the sky and streaked towards
the earth.
"Look, Mr. Sniffle, nagareboshi!" I told my bear. "Let's make
a wish!" But I couldn't even get one wish out before another star
fell, and another after that! "They look like they're headed right
towards us!"
I waited for them to burn out, like shooting stars do, but
these didn't. They disappeared behind the trees and, with a flash of
light, crash-landed in the woods behind our big backyard.
I leapt out of bed and grabbed my coat.
"Wait here, Mr. Sniffle, I'm going to check it out," I said.
"You look after the others while I'm gone, and I'll be back as soon as
I can."
Since it would be dark out, and even darker in the woods, I
took my Pikachu lantern along.
It was close to midnight and the house was dark and quiet. I
felt my way down the hallway in the dark, and waited until I reached
the stairs to turn on my Pika light in case it might wake my family.
Just a round, paper kids' lantern, it wasn't very bright, but I figured
anything beats stumbling around in total darkness!
I padded down the stairs, out the door, and across the backyard
without fear, but the woods were so dark and scary that time of night,
I wanted to turn and run back to my warm bed! I was about to do just
that, when I heard voices coming from the woods.
I gasped. Were those UFOs I'd seen? Maybe they dropped an
invasion force right in our backyard! Now I _really_ had to
And just in case those saucer people were dangerous. . .
"Triton Satellite Power, Make-up!" I said, barely more than a
whisper, so the aliens wouldn't hear me.
Then, Pika light in hand, I followed the sounds of voices to a
crater much too small for the falling stars I'd seen. Something had
certainly landed there, though! I heard voices speaking a language
similar to Japanese, but not close enough to understand. I hid behind
a tree to watch them, but there was no spaceship; just three very thin,
black leather-clad women.
Their clothing was identical besides variations in their
coloured armbands and chokers; they all wore black leather bra tops
with sailor collars, low-riding shorts, boots that came over their
knees, and gloves that came over their elbows. There were golden stars
on their circlets, waists, and earrings, and large winged stars in the
middle of their chests.
The shortest of the three had bobbed white hair with a long
ponytail at the bottom. Her eyes were a clear, bright green that
matched parts of her fuku, and her face was quite animated as she
argued with the others in a spoiled little-boy voice. The tallest one
had short brown hair combed off her face, but a few wisps had come
loose and fell past her pretty violet eyes. She, too, wore a long
ponytail, and the coloured bits of her fuku were a delicate lavender.
She stood with folded arms and a neutral expression, and spoke up only
rarely, in her deep, even-toned voice, to answer a question or calmly
make a point. The other had dark, curly hair cut similarly to mine
except for her long ponytail. The coloured parts of her fuku were a
shade of blue similar my own. Her deep-blue eyes flashed, and her
boyish face and voice were quite expressive as she argued.
I knew those fuku and distinctive haircuts immediately; I'd
seen them onstage just a few hours ago! I leaned in to get a better
look at them, and strained my ears to make sense of what they said, but
they spoke so quickly, and only the occasional phrase made sense in
Japanese. How could we communicate even if I did step up and introduce
Suddenly my Pikachu lantern slipped from my hand and fell to
the ground with a clatter! Its round shape bounced and rolled down the
side of the crater, where it stopped beside the little one's foot.
Three sets of eyes turned to look at me as I ducked back behind the
"Dare?" the black-haired one called. "Dare nano?"
Was she speaking Japanese now, or did that mean something else
in their language? Either way, I didn't answer. I remained crouched
behind the tree, breathing heavily, while my heart thundered in my
I heard no footfalls, just a small thud behind me. Suddenly
my Pika lantern was thrust in front of my face! Then I did something
really intelligent; I screamed and fell over on my bum.
"A Sailor Senshi?" the little one said, then something that
sounded like, "I don't think we've met this one before," if indeed they
were speaking Japanese now.
"Me? I-I'm new," I stammered. "I'm Sailor Triton. You're
Sailor Starlights, aren't you?"
The black-haired one nodded and offered a hand to help me up.
She introduced herself as Sailor Starfighter, the tall brunette as
Sailor Starmaker, and the little white-haired one as Sailor Starhealer.
I could've guessed as much; those were their names in the musical, too.
"Now what's a kawaii Senshi like you doing in the woods alone
at this time of night?" Maker asked gently.
"And carrying a Pikachu lantern, no less!" Healer added, a
lot less kindly. "What a kid! You're lucky we're not the enemy or
you'd be dead by now!"
I "hmph"ed and hugged my Pika light.
"I saw you land from my window and came to investigate," I
said. "Nobody else was awake." Then I pointed to the large clearing
and crater they'd made. "But you should be glad Papa didn't come with
me, or she'd be so mad what you did to her trees!"
Healer stared at me for a moment, then blinked twice and gave
Fighter a nudge.
"Ne, when you were Seiya, you and Uranus didn't--"
"Ecchi!" Fighter shrieked. "She's not even my type!"
"But the kid kinda looks like you, and she just said--"
"Sailor Uranus is my papa," I said, "but just by adoption. I
was an orphan." Then I matched the name Healer said with Fighter's
boyish face. "Hey, did you used to be Seiya-san from Three Lights?"
Fighter jumped in surprise. "How did you know that?"
"Guessing's my specialty," I bragged. "I've loved Three Lights
ever since I was little! I used to think your song was about me;
'Search for your love! Gin no unabara!' "
All three stared at me with weird expressions.
I blushed. " 'Unabara' was my family name before I got
adopted," I explained.
Healer's eyebrow twitched. " 'Since I was little?' " she
"Well, what do you know? She's a fan!" Maker said.
" 'Since I was little?' " Healer repeated.
Fighter suddenly beamed. "Gin-chan!" she labelled me.
" 'Since I was little?' " Healer repeated.
I made a face. "My name's not 'Gin-chan!' " I protested.
"I'm Nami!"
"Be flattered," Maker said. "She only nicknames people she
" 'Since I was little?' " Healer said yet again. "Have we been
gone _that_ long?"
"Chill, girl," Fighter said. "She _is_ little!"
"Oh. Yeah. Right," Healer said, sweatdropping.
Maker yawned. "Well, we've had a long trip. We're all tired
and dirty, so if you could help us find rooms for the night--"
"You can sleep over in my room," I said, "but two of you gotta
sleep on the futon; my bed's not big enough for all of us."
"Are you sure your parents won't mind?"
"Nah, why would they?" I asked. "We Senshi are like one big
The Starlights seemed unsure at first, but finally agreed, and
fought over the bed as I led them back to our house. I made them stop
arguing and take off their boots, though, to sneak them inside and
upstairs to my room.
They looked around my bedroom, touching everything like
children, while I took out the futon and made it up with spare linens.
Healer saw my new poster and asked, "Sera-myu? Are they still
doing those?"
"Hey, cool! You got in!" Fighter said of the Triton in the
corner. "And they haven't forgotten us, either, see?" She pointed out
the Starlights at the bottom.
"Am I still played by Ono Hikari?" Maker asked.
"Nope," Fighter answered, "we've all got new actresses. Damn!
That Sayuri-san was a hottie, too! I'll miss her!"
"Hikari-san's a villain this time, see?" Healer said.
Maker breathed a sigh of relief. "At least they haven't cast
her out entirely!"
"Why do you like her so much, anyway?" Healer asked. "She
never acted like the real you at all!"
"No, but she's beautiful, funny, a great singer and actress,"
Maker replied. "Why wouldn't I be her fan?"
"I say if they're gonna write us in, they should at least get
our personalities right!" Healer said, pouting.
"They didn't get mine right, either," I said, "but I'm not
complaining; I'm glad just to be in it at all!"
"Not like they can get us right anyway, our identities being a
secret and all," Fighter said. "They do the best they can with what
they've got."
"Though they should at least cast bishoujo to play me!" Healer
"We know, no human girls look good enough to play you," Fighter
said in a singsong voice. Then she and Maker both burst into giggles.
Healer just "hmphed" and slinked off to the corner to sulk.
I finished making the futon and, to be fair, made them all
guess numbers to decide who got the bed.
Healer guessed six, the exact number I was thinking of, so I
put my comfort toys out of bed for the night to make room for her. She
made a smug look at the others and settled into bed with a sigh. She
fell asleep almost instantly.
The others looked at her with disgust and tried to make them-
selves comfortable on the futon.
"Don't hog the blankets," Maker ordered, "and don't sprawl out
over the whole bed like you always do, either! You'll push me off!"
"I'll try," Fighter said, "but you'd better not grab me like a
teddy bear or I'll push you off on purpose!"
"Shh! Both of you be quiet or you'll wake everyone!" I hissed.
"Now stop arguing and go to sleep like good girls. I don't wanna hear
one more peep or one of you is sleeping on the floor! You understand?"
"Yes, Mother," Maker said with a giggle.
They both lay still, and I thought everything was fine, until
Fighter started saying, "Peep! Peep! Peep!" and Maker hit her with an
elbow. Then they started arguing again.
I let out a frustrated sigh, put my pillow over my head, and
tried to go to sleep in spite of it.
Who would've guessed the Starlights, among the most powerful
known Sailor Senshi, could be so immature? I hoped they weren't like
that all the time, or this could turn out to be one long visit. . .
"Peep! Peep! Peep!"
"Go to sleep already! I'm tired!"
"Peep! Peep! Peep!"
_Really_ long!
By the time I woke up, sunlight streamed through the window.
Healer's ponytail had somehow gotten tangled around my forearm. It
took several minutes to work out the knots and set my arm free, but,
surprisingly, she didn't wake up.
I looked at the others. Fighter was sprawled across the futon
with the blankets tangled around her, her mouth wide open and snoring,
while Maker had fallen on the floor with no blankets and shivered with
I had a soft spot for Maker already, so kind and pretty, with
Ami's intelligence and eyes the same shade as my mother's. I gently
stroked the stray wisps of hair from her face and covered her with the
top blanket of my bed.
"I can tell we'll be good friends," I whispered, and kissed her
sleeping cheek.
I let the Starlights sleep while I went downstairs, still in my
pajamas, to tell my family about our new houseguests.
"Looks like our Sleeping Beauty's decided to wake up, just in
time for lunch!" Papa said.
"Just 'cause I was up late," I protested, "taking care of
some. . .'stuff.' Er, Papa, whatever you're making for lunch, could
you make about. . .twice as much, please?"
"Well, yeah, but that's not it," I said, fidgeting and looking
at my feet. "We kind of. . .have, um. . .guests."
"Oh?" Mama said, looking up from her task of setting the table.
"Are you expecting someone?"
"About that. . . A funny thing happened last night; I was
looking out my window, when I saw these three shooting stars--"
Papa slapped her forehead. "No. No, don't tell me!"
"Now, Haruka, be nice!" Mama scolded.
"Well, they needed a place to sleep, so I let them spend the
night in my room," I said. "I thought since all us Senshi are like
family, it'd be all right. And you said they're good people, didn't
you, Papa? You said we liked them!"
"They defended our princess when we couldn't," Papa said, "we
have to like them! I just like them more when they stay on their side
of the galaxy."
"Away from Usagi-chan and me, you mean?" Mama teased.
"That Seiya probably heard about their wedding and came back to
try to wreck it!"
"Or congratulate her?"
"Who cares why they're here?" my sister interrupted. "They're
our guests; we should make them feel welcome."
"Oh, all right," Papa said. "I'll make a few extra burgers."
"I'll set three extra places," Mama said.
"Great!" I cried. "I'll go get dressed and wake them up!"
"Just don't change in front of them," Papa called. "You know
they can turn into boys at any time!"
But they were girls when I returned to my room, still asleep in
their little leather fuku.
I chose a green thermal shirt and tie-dyed overalls from my
closet. Then I dressed in the washroom down the hall so the Lights
wouldn't wake up and see me, as Papa feared.
I watched them sleep for a moment from the door of my room;
they looked so peaceful I didn't want to wake them! If they'd come all
the way across the galaxy to visit, they must be really tired. But
they'd be hungry, too, and if I didn't wake them they'd sleep right
through lunch!
I jumped on my bed and bounced three times. Healer didn't wake
up. I bounced again, longer and harder. She didn't even budge. I
shook her hard by her shoulder while shouting in her ear to wake up.
All she did was roll onto her belly and put the pillow over her head.
I sighed and put my hands on my hips. Wouldn't _anything_ wake
these three up?
Suddenly I had an idea. I got out my little blue tape player,
which still held the "happy tape" Yuka made me. I turned the volume
almost to full and hit "play."
"Search for your love! The crystals of the skies! Search for
your love! Baby, please don't cry! Search for your love! I really
want to hold your body close to mine!"
All three sat bolt upright and made gagging sounds.
"Make it stop!" Healer pleaded.
"What is that?" Maker asked.
"Our beautiful song!" Fighter screamed. "What have they done
to it?"
I turned the tape off and explained, "It's the only way I could
wake you! Nothing else worked!"
"Who _was_ that?" Fighter demanded.
"An Amerika-jin boy band called *NSync," I replied. "My best
friend Yuka-chan likes them."
"They suck!" Healer opined.
"And they ruined our song!" Fighter said.
"Although, we still own the rights to that song," Maker said.
"That means for every copy sold of their version, every time it's
played on the radio. . ."
"We get royalties!" the others chimed in. "Ka-ching!"
Since they put it that way, I felt bad my only copy of that
version was pirated off Yuka's CD. I decided not to mention that to
them, for fear it would make them stop liking me.
"I told Mama and Papa you're here, and I think they're okay
with it," I said. "Papa's even making lunch for you. Are you hungry?"
"Traversing the galaxy at lightspeed without stopping to eat?
You bet we are!" Fighter said. "What's she making?"
"Cheeseburgers, I think."
"Ah, now you're speaking my language!" she said. "Just turn
around for a minute so we can change. Can't go to lunch like this,
now, can we?"
I turned around as requested, but from the corner of my eye I
saw their reflections in my mirror. In a flash of light, their fuku
were replaced by casual, unisex clothing, and their female bodies
turned male right before my eyes. It was kind of neat, seeing
Starlights become Three Lights right there in my room, but it was kind
of gross, too. It's fine to dress up in boys' clothes, but turning
into one is a different thing entirely!
After that, I had to try really hard not to flinch when Seiya
took my hand and said, "Iku yo, Gin-chan, let's see how well Haruka-san
makes those cheeseburgers!"
"You know how he's always felt about Usagi-chan," I heard Papa
say as we came downstairs. "We've gotta keep them apart, at least
until after the wedding."
"Odango's getting married?" Seiya asked. "When?"
"Next Sunday afternoon," Mama replied.
"Hey, looks like we got here just in time!"
"She's marrying _Mamoru-san,_" Papa said sternly, "and they've
put it off long enough without you coming back to confuse her again,
I flinched at her hostile tone of voice and lack of
honourifics, but Seiya didn't even bat an eyelash.
He said calmly, "We didn't come to crash her wedding,
Haruka-san. We didn't know there was one until now! We came back
'cause when we left, your friends said to come visit any time. By now
our world is back, better than ever, with no immediate threat in sight,
so we asked for a little time off. What's the crime in that?"
"And you wonder why your world was so easily conquered?"
"Haruka," Mama scolded, "don't start!"
"I'm sure they wouldn't leave their world undefended," Hotaru
said. "They must've left _someone_ behind to look out for things."
"Hey, our princess isn't totally defenceless," Yaten said.
"She can use her own Senshi powers if she has to. We just don't risk
our princess, making her fight our battles for us, like you do."
"That's it!" Papa shouted. "I said I'd try to get along for
Nami-chan's sake, but this is clearly not working out. I'll recommend
hotels, loan you money if you need it, but you are not staying here!"
"Papa, no!" I cried. "They're my friends!"
"Let's all calm down and eat our lunch like reasonable people,"
Mama said. "Dragging out old grudges won't get us anywhere."
Everyone agreed and took seats around the table. Papa held
her tongue when Seiya sat beside me, but took her seat on my other
side, as if she trusted Seiya with me about as much as Usagi.
"So what were you three arguing about when I found you last
night?" I asked.
"We thought we were lost, man!" Seiya said. "We tried to land
in Tokyo city, but when we looked around and saw trees, we didn't know
where we were!"
"And you tried to blame me for losing us!" Yaten said.
"Well, you were the navigator!" Seiya said. "If we got lost,
it'd be all your fault!"
"But you didn't get lost," I said. "You were in the backyard,
and I found you!"
"We landed right where we should be," Taiki said. "If we'd
gone where we meant to, we might never have befriended such a special
little girl."
"Yeah, Haruka-san, we just love this kawaii little kid of
yours!" Seiya said.
"She's so precocious!" Taiki added.
"And she let me sleep in her bed last night!" Yaten said.
"Only because you guessed six," Seiya argued.
"With how you acted on the futon, I don't want you in my bed,
Seiya-san!" I said.
Seiya looked deeply hurt.
"But I thought I was your favourite one!"
"I don't know yet who's best," I said. "I only met you last
night! But after how you treated Taiki-san, I'd rather she slept in my
bed tonight."
"I'd rather none of them did," Papa said. "I'll ship them all
off to a hotel after lunch."
"Don't be silly," Mama said, "we've got lots of room here! You
can stay in our guestroom as long as you want."
"But, Michiru, I--" Papa began, but Mama gave her a stern look.
"Oh, all right, we'll give it a try. . .for Nami-chan."
"Yatta!" I cried, clapping my hands. "It'll be just like one
giant sleepover!"
"Are you sure it's no imposition?" Taiki asked.
"Of course not!" Mama said.
Hotaru added, "We'll have lots of fun!"
I leapt from my chair and tugged on Seiya's arm.
"Iko! Iko!" I said. "I gotta show you around, or you'll get
lost and never be heard from again!"
"You didn't ask to be excused," Mama said.
"Can I, Mama?"
"Of course."
"Arigato," I said, and kissed both her and Papa on the cheeks.
The Lights weren't even finished eating when I dragged them off
for their tour.
Hotaru caught up a moment later, and I think she may have still
been chewing.
"You know they're just letting us stay here to keep an eye on
us, don't you?" Yaten asked.
"Even _I_ know that," I said, rolling my eyes. "They're so
paranoid sometimes! But who cares why, as long as you get to stay?"
"Yeah, we can sit up late talking, and eat pizza, and play
board games!" Hotaru said.
"And sing karaoke!" I announced. "Santa-san gave me one as a
special gift for my first Christmas!"
"And I'm sure he's regretted it ever since!" Yaten muttered.
"I heard that!"
"Let's just hurry and do the tour now so they can go shopping,"
Hotaru said. "If they're staying two whole weeks, they're gonna need
new clothes and stuff!"
She had to have an ulterior motive for saying that; normally my
sister hated clothes shopping as much as I did! So why was she so
anxious for it now?
"New clothes shopping?" Yaten said dreamily. "Now you're
speaking _my_ language!"
"And, if it's all the same to you," Hotaru said, "could you
buy a lot of. . .how shall I say. . .women's or unisex clothing?"
Ah, there it was!
Seiya blinked stupidly. "Huh? How come?"
"Because I think Nami-chan is uncomfortable around men,"
Maker's voice said, and when I looked there was a girl in Taiki's
I was surprised. "How did you know?"
"Your hesitation to take Seiya's hand was the first clue. And
though I was male at the time, you referred to me, during lunch, as
'she.' It's obvious you prefer us as women."
"Fine with me," Yaten said, and abruptly changed to Healer's
voice, "I prefer being a girl anyway."
I felt Seiya's hand change and pulled back in surprise.
"If it makes you happy, Gin-chan, I'll do it," she said,
"though it might be awkward to everyone who's used to me being a boy!"
I squealed and hugged all three female Lights.
"Arigato gozaimasu!" I cried. "I like you so much better when
you're girls! Oops! I mean--"
"We're still the same people, men or women," Seiya said,
patting my head. "The boy bodies are just like costumes. They don't
change who we are inside."
"But you don't need costumes here," I said. "We all know who
you are!"
"But we were guys last time, and we thought everyone was more
comfortable with that," Seiya said. "You seem to be the only
"Don't be!" Yaten said. "You're the first human I've met that
likes us better as girls! I think we make the other Senshi nervous."
"You don't make Triton nervous," I said, hugging Seiya's hand
to my cheek. "I think you're the coolest!"
"Except when we're boys," Seiya said.
Hotaru punched Seiya in the arm.
"Seiya-san!" she scolded, and went on tiptoe to whisper some-
thing in her ear. I heard my name mentioned, but couldn't make out the
It must've been about my past, why I was nervous around men,
as Seiya apologised and promised to stay female if it would make me
more comfortable.
Hotaru and I gave our guests a thorough tour, complete with
advice on how to get along and avoid trouble with Papa on their visit.
Our last stop was the guest bedroom, where they'd be spending the next
two weeks. It was decorated in rich autumn hues and elegant patterns,
with beautifully-carved cherry furniture and a fluffy bed big enough
for all three to sleep together comfortably.
"Isn't it great?" I said. "Yuka-chan says it's like a queen's
royal bedroom!"
Yaten shrugged. "A bit cramped for all three of us, but it'll
do." I couldn't believe how hard she was to impress! "Now I'm ready
to get shopping and find something to fill that wardrobe with!"
I didn't ask to tag along, since I find clothes shopping so
dull, but Papa insisted I go to keep the Lights out of trouble.
Did she think they'd meet Usagi-tachi while they were out and
send me to keep them apart? Maybe she just wanted me out of the house
so her Outers could discuss things alone. Whatever her reasons, I
complied, expecting a long, dull afternoon watching friends buy
clothes. Sitting home staring at the walls was more fun than that!
With the loan of Papa's least favourite car, they drove to the
bank where much of their Three Lights fortune was still kept and, in
male form, went in to withdraw shopping money. Then, becoming girls
again, they dragged me to several upscale clothing shops, where my jobs
were to help with zippers and approve the outfits my friends tried on.
Later, they dragged me around a department store while they bought
hygiene and other personal necessities.
Only after all their shopping was done, did we get to look
around the toy department. Seiya was just like a kid, playing with
anything out-of-box or boasting a demo feature. We boinged balls, rode
scooters down the aisles, played electronic games and toy musical
instruments, attacked each other with toy dinosaurs and animals, and
made Sailor Moon and Barbie dolls get into girly-fights, until the
clerks got annoyed and asked us to leave.
"Gomen," Seiya said, blushing, and took Barbie's head from that
Tyrannosaurus' mouth. "Guess we got kinda carried away there."
"I can't take you anywhere, can I?" Taiki scolded.
"Let's just check out and go," Yaten said, hiding her face.
"You embarrass me!"
But she recovered quickly enough as we left the store and the
last of the shopping bags were loaded into the car.
"I haven't had this much fun in years!" Yaten said. "I'd
forgotten what fun shopping sprees can be!"
"Look out, her uppity side's re-emerging!" Seiya told Taiki,
who burst into giggles.
We were getting into the car to leave when the display window
of a computer store across the street exploded outwards. A large, bald
man with a goatee lay, cut and bleeding, on the pavement. Customers
fell over each other fleeing through the doors and broken window. Then
came the cause of the whole ugly scene; a monster resembling a giant
dead mouse, with the trap that had killed it still firmly clamped
around its torso.
"A mouse?" Yaten shuddered. "Why did it have to be a mouse?"
"Why didn't you say you were having a war?" Seiya asked.
"It never came up!" I whined.
"Well, we're involved now," Taiki said. She pointed to an
alley half a block away. "We can change in there."
The four of us ducked in and drew our respective henshin
"Fighter Star Power, Make-up!"
"Healer Star Power, Make-up!"
"Maker Star Power, Make-up!"
"Kakkoii!" I squealed as they became powerful, leather-clad
Star Senshi. "I love your henshin!"
"Arigato," Fighter said, "but haven't you got one of your own
to do?"
"Oh. Right," I said, blushing. I raised my shell-topped wand
and cried, "Triton Satellite Power, Make-up!"
Then I ran from the alley to confront the beast, only to find
one Senshi already engaged.
"Shine Aqua Illusion!" Mercury cried.
The mouse tried to dodge, but the trap made it too clumsy. It
fell face first on the pavement and was easily encased in ice.
Mercury knelt beside the bald guy to check his injuries.
"He's still breathing," she said, "but he's lost a lot of
blood. Somebody call him an ambulance!"
"Damn! I knew that mouse was a bad idea!" a voice said.
I looked up to find a woman crouched on the power line like a
bird. She wore black leather pants and a tattered black tanktop with
an inverted pentacle on the front. Her skin was pale, her grey eyes
heavily lined in black, and her long black hair was an unkempt mess.
"Who are you and where did you come from?" I demanded.
"I'm your worst nightmare," she replied, and laughed. "I've
always wanted to say that! Actually, I'm called Morgana and I come
from the kingdom of Hell!"
"There's no such thing as Hell," I scoffed.
"Hell, Tartarus, the Netherworld; call it what you will, it
does exist. The end of the world is at hand, little Senshi. I'm just
here to help usher it in."
"Not if I have any say in it! Hurricane Smite!"
The storm formed around my body and travelled down my arms
towards its target, but at the last moment Morgana leapt from the wire.
The power line snapped and fell to the street, crackling with
"Hurricane Smite!" I fired at the mailbox she'd landed on, but
she moved again and the box was ripped apart in the tempest.
"You guys are so slow, it's pathetic!" she taunted from her new
perch atop a fire hydrant. "Here, let me show you how it's done!"
Morgana took out a strange deck of cards and drew one, which
began glowing with red energy.
"King of Cups!" she shouted, and threw the glowing card at me.
I screamed and dodged, so the card barely missed my head.
"Five of Swords!" she cried. "Nine of Wands! Six of
I dodged the first card, but the second glanced off my arm, and
the third hit me squarely in the knee. I cried out in pain as my leg
gave way beneath me and I fell.
"Triton!" Mercury cried.
"I'm okay. Just get that hurt guy out of here!"
She quickly surveyed the situation, and ignored my orders.
"Shine Aqua--"
"The Tower!" Morgana said quickly, and threw the card before
Mercury could finish her attack.
The card struck her solidly in the head, and she toppled over
like a domino.
"Mercury!" I cried.
I tried to go help her, but I still couldn't move my leg.
"Worry about yourself first!" Morgana said. "And I've got just
the card for you, little Senshi! To the Moon, Alice!"
"Matte!" I protested. "I'm not Sailor Moon! My name is
But she threw it anyway, and I raised my arms to shield my face
as the charged card sped towards me.
"Star Serious Laser!" Fighter expertly shot it down just in
"Well, it's about time!" I scolded. "What took you guys so
"Assessing the situation," she replied. "We didn't want to
rush in unprepared."
"Are you all right?" Healer asked.
"I'll be fine," I said, "but what about Mercury?"
I looked past them to see Maker kneeling beside Mercury,
cradling her head on her lap and caressing her hair. But Mercury had
yet to wake up, and that worried me.
"Can't you just heal her or something?" I begged.
Healer shook her head. "Nope, despite the name, I can't heal
"Then why are you named that?" I argued.
"Oh, like you really weigh three tons?" Healer scoffed.
"Let's just get this done and get Mercury help before it's too
late!" Fighter ordered.
"At last," Morgana said, "Sailor Senshi with style! It's
almost a shame to have to kill you. . .almost. . ." She peered through
her cards again and drew, "Eight of Wands!"
"No thanks, we do that enough on our own," Healer said, dodging
the attack. "Go comb your hair and buy some new clothes, fashion
victim! Star Sensitive Inferno!"
She leapt to dodge, but was a little late. Although she wasn't
physically hurt, about a foot off the ends of her hair had been singed.
Morgana was horrified. "You hurt my hair! I won't forgive
you!" She drew another card from her deck, but rather than attacking
us, Morgana threw it at her disabled monster. "Five of Cups!"
"Uh-oh. . ." the Lights said collectively as the ice melted and
the mouse monster got up.
The monster was also free from its trap, without so much as a
mark where it had been.
Morgana took advantage of the distraction to disappear before
the Star Senshi could do her any more damage.
The mouse monster leapt onto Fighter, and when she raised her
arms to shield her face, it bit down hard on her left wrist. She tried
to throw the creature off, but it wouldn't budge, and I didn't dare use
my power while it was on top of her!
Despite her hatred of mice, Healer wrapped her arms around it
and tried to pull it off, but that, too, was unsuccessful.
My knee still hurt too much to stand, but I managed to crawl
over and grab hold of the mouse monster's tail. I closed my eyes,
trying not to think about what I was doing, and bit its tail as hard as
I could.
The monster yelped and let go of Fighter's arm. With the force
of Healer's tugging, it fell backwards and tumbled end over end until
it smashed into a parked car.
"Get out of the way!" I cried.
Healer sat up, looking dazed at first, but her pale green eyes
grew to saucers and she scrambled out of the way when she saw what I
"Hurricane Smite!" I shouted.
Though the monster struggled and tried to run, it was ripped
apart by the storm. Then the storm collapsed on itself, taking with it
all the bloody pieces.
"I just have one thing to say about that power," Healer said.
"It's not the power that's gross," I retorted, "it's what
happens to the zombies when the storm hits!"
"Well, I think your power's damn cool!" Fighter said.
Coming from someone as cool as her, I took that as a huge
Fighter pulled off her long black glove to examine her wounds.
"Doesn't look like it broke the skin," she said. "Thank
heavens for leather fuku!"
"But what about Mercury?" I asked.
Maker still knelt beside her, caressing her hair and speaking
softly into her ear.
Finally Mercury's eyes fluttered open and she smiled faintly.
"Ta-Taiki-san?" she said weakly. "Am I dreaming this?"
Tears shone at the corners of Maker's eyes.
"It's no dream, Ami-chan," Maker said. "I'm really here."
Mercury laughed a bit. " 'Ami-chan?' " she repeated. "Now I
know I'm dreaming!"
We arrived home a sorry-looking lot. Seiya supported me as I
limped along on my hurt knee, while Taiki carried semi-conscious Ami,
and Yaten ran ahead to hold doors for us.
"What happened?" Papa asked as Taiki gently placed Ami on the
sofa. "What's she doing here?"
"What happened was, we just got sucked into your war," Seiya
said. "As for her, I think she was there on her own. I didn't see the
"She took quite a blow to the head," Taiki said. "She could do
with medical attention."
"She's a Senshi," Mama said, "she's survived far worse. But a
cold compress couldn't hurt. Hotaru-chan, could you bring one,
"And for Nami-chan?" my sister asked.
Seiya sat me down and pushed up my pants leg to examine my
"Looks fine to me," Seiya said. "You're probably just a little
Then she kissed it to make it feel better.
Hotaru nodded and hurried off to get the cold compress for Ami.
"There was this weird lady there named Morgana," I reported.
"She said she's from Hell, and she threw all these really weird cards
at us!"
"Tarot cards," Yaten said.
"Tarot cards?" I repeated. "What's that?"
"They're for telling fortunes," she replied. "I can teach you
if you want."
Yaten went upstairs, and returned with a large, well-worn deck
of cards. On their backs were animals unknown even to Earth's wildest
mythology, while their faces were similar to the cards thrown at us.
But there were no specific genders in that deck; every figure on every
card was androgynous. Some of the card names were different, too, so
Yaten read the names of each and told what they corresponded to in an
Earth deck. She explained briefly what each card meant and how their
positions affected that. Finally she asked me if I'd like to try.
I looked at Ami, who had yet to properly wake up from her
injuries. Taiki hadn't left her side for a moment; she sat caressing
Ami's hand and whispering words of encouragement.
So I shuffled the deck once, concentrating on Ami, and cut
three times. But as I laid the cards out one by one, the pictures
changed; I saw the battle with the mouse monster where Ami was injured,
and all of us worrying about her.
I looked to Yaten for an explanation, but she just shrugged and
said, "It's Taiki's deck," as if that explained everything.
"Look, there's Taiki-san now!" I cried as a male Taiki was seen
leaving Earth, and the little card Ami was so sad! But the sorrow was
passing, and she became happy again because Taiki came back. She still
worried, though, that Taiki would leave forever and leave her sad and
lonely again. I was about to place the last card, to see how their
romance would turn out, when Ami began to stir.
"Taiki-san?" she whispered. "What happened?"
"You took a pretty bad blow to the head, but you're going to be
fine," Taiki said, and kissed the back of her hand. "Just rest now."
Ami's eyes darted to Taiki's female body. Taiki shifted self-
consciously and started to turn male again, but Ami stopped her.
"Don't," Ami said. "You're beautiful as a girl! It just came
as a shock at first. I'll get used to it."
When Ami woke up, I was too happy to even place the last card!
I dropped the deck and rushed over to hug her.
"Ami-san, Yaten-san's teaching me tarot and I asked them about
you and guess what they said about you and Taiki-san?" I babbled.
I was about to tell her, when Taiki's eyes went wide and she
waved her hands about wildly.
"You don't think Ami-san has a right to know?" I asked.
"Know what?" Ami asked innocently.
"Never mind," Taiki said quickly, "it's not important."
I looked back at Yaten as she examined the last card. She
looked at Taiki and Ami with an unreadable expression, but before I
could ask what it said, she shuffled the deck back together and went
upstairs with it.
Papa sighed. "I guess it was unavoidable," she said. "We
can't keep our guests a secret any longer."
Mama nodded. "I'll call the others and set up a meeting right
I knocked loudly and continuously at the guest bedroom door the
next day until Seiya answered, half-asleep, wearing a pale-blue, lace-
trimmed, satin camisole and matching shorts. Her dark curls stood up
at all angles from sleep, while her unbound ponytail formed itself into
loose spiral tendrils to her knees.
"Seiya-san! Seiya-san! Did Taiki-san come home yet?" I asked.
Seiya looked me up and down with a weird expression. "Don't
you ever sleep?"
"I did sleep! I just woke up a little while ago," I said. But
I was very alert for someone who's just woken up; I'd even showered and
dressed already! "Now I'm worried about Taiki-san. Is she with you?"
"Taiki's not here," Seiya said.
Yaten called from inside, "I bet she slept over with her
Seiya shot her an angry look, but said, "Try phoning Ami-san's
and see if she's still there."
When Taiki left to take Ami home, she said she'd be back within
the hour. We even asked her what she liked on her pizza, and ordered
accordingly, but when hours passed with no sign of her, Seiya got
greedy and ate Taiki's as well. We sat up watching movies and eating
ice-cream, but no Taiki. We played Monopoly until almost dawn, but
still no Taiki. I fell asleep on the board around five-thirty, and
woke up in bed, in my pajamas, just past noon.
I thought she might've returned while I slept, but I asked
everyone in the house, and no-one had seen her. So I finally took the
advice I'd been given all day, and phoned Ami.
The phone rang once, twice, three times. . . If Ami was home,
she usually answered by then, but I heard it ring four times, five,
six. . . I was about to hang up when Ami finally answered.
"Moshi moshi?" she said cheerfully.
"Ami-san, Taiki-san didn't come home last night!" I said. "Is
she with you?"
"Yes, she's still here," Ami said. "We, um. . . I was still
shaken up from the fight yesterday, so I asked her to stay the night
just in case. Would you like to talk to her?"
"Yes, please."
"Okay, hold on." I heard her call, "Taiki-san? It's
Nami-chan. She's asking for you."
Then, not a sound for a couple of minutes. I wondered if we
had been disconnected.
Finally, "This is Taiki," she said sleepily.
"Taiki-san, you didn't come home last night!" I scolded. "I
was worried something had happened to you!"
"I was here all night with Ami-chan," she said.
"And you didn't even have the courtesy to phone?"
Taiki laughed and apologised, "Gomen. I'll remember next time,
I promise."
"But you missed pizza and ice-cream and late-night Monopoly!"
"Gomen," Taiki said again. "That does sound like fun. I'm
sorry I missed it."
I sighed. "Well, we're having a Senshi meeting at three. Will
you and Ami-san at least be there?"
"Senshi meeting?" she repeated. "Where is it?"
"Rei-san's place," I replied. "Ami-san knows the way."
Taiki hesitated, but Ami cut in, "We'll be there."
"Great!" I replied. "I'll see you then."
Mama poked her head in to say, "Nami-chan, you'll have to get
off the phone now, sweetie. It's time to eat."
"Oops, gotta go now, Taiki-san; time for lunch," I said. "See
you at the meeting later. Ja!"
"Did you find her?" Papa asked.
I nodded. "She stayed over at Ami-san's, just like you said.
I wonder what they were doing all night?"
Papa choked on a mouthful of rice. Mama laughed and patted her
back to help her cough it up.
"Did I say something wrong?" I asked innocently.
Hotaru laughed, too, so Mama sent her to bring Seiya and Yaten
down for lunch.
A few minutes later they stumbled downstairs in their bed-
clothes. Seiya still wore her blue camisole and shorts, while Yaten
had a pink rose-printed nightgown and silly pink feathered slippers.
They didn't bother to wear robes, which raised eyebrows from the other
grown-ups in the room. But at least they had the decency to be
embarrassed when they found Setsuna there!
"Hey!" Seiya cried. "When'd she get here?"
"She was here when I got up," I said with a shrug.
"Setsuna-auntie comes and goes as she pleases."
Setsuna vanished a week ago with no explanation, which wasn't
odd for her, so I thought nothing of it. Likewise, when I awoke to
find her sitting at the table reading the paper, I just hugged her
hello and told her what she'd missed, namely Triton's first myu and our
new houseguests. I never asked where she disappeared to or why.
"It's good to see you both again," Setsuna said, sounding
almost sincere.
"Uh, yeah, you too," Seiya replied, still sounding confused.
"So what's this 'Senshi meeting' thing you're dragging us off
to?" Yaten asked.
"It's tradition," Mama said. "When there's a new threat we
meet to share information and discuss strategies."
"Or that's why _we're_ there, anyway," Papa said with a sigh.
"More often than not, the whole thing turns into a gossip fest."
Yaten groaned. "Now I _know_ I'm gonna regret this!"
"It won't be so bad," Seiya said. "At least Odango will be
there!" Papa gave her a scary look, so she added, "As a friend! I
just wanna see her as a friend!"
"It's okay, Haruka-papa. As long as Seiya-san's a girl it's no
problem!" Hotaru said. "Usagi-san only likes boys, remember?"
But that wasn't much comfort when Seiya could become a boy at
any time!
"Wear a dress," Papa ordered.
Seiya frowned. I was with them when they bought those clothes,
and Seiya wouldn't even try on a skirt! But Papa wasn't playing; when
Seiya came down in baggy overalls and a red hoodie, Papa sent her back
upstairs to change, on threat of being left home if she didn't! So she
changed into a black turtleneck and Taiki's red paisley miniskirt,
which due to the height difference, came down to Seiya's knees.
"I look like a drag queen," Seiya complained, tugging at the
skirt hem.
"No you don't; you look pretty!" I said. "I hope Taiki-san
won't be mad you're wearing her skirt."
"Nah, we borrow each other's stuff all the time. That's what
best friends are for!"
"But without permission, and before she's even worn it
"She'll understand," Seiya insisted. "It's the only way I'll
get to see Odango."
I could tell by her voice how much she hated that fact. It
must be doubly hard, not only facing your crush, who's about to marry
someone else, but as the opposite gender from your last visit as well!
It was a very awkward moment, to say the least.
"Seiya! I'm so glad you came for a visit!" Usagi cried as we
arrived at the Hikawa Jinja. She ran over and hugged Seiya, but
stepped back with a puzzled look. "Fighter?"
Seiya patted Usagi's odango. "Please, just call me 'Seiya,' "
she said. "I haven't used that name in so long, and I've missed it!"
"I've never seen you in a skirt before," Makoto said. "It
looks good on you."
"Hey, isn't that my skirt you're wearing?" Taiki asked from the
I was surprised to see Taiki and Ami enter holding hands. Just
yesterday they were too uptight to even admit their crush, and now they
could just walk into the meeting flaunting it? What happened overnight
to make such a change?
"Well, yeah," Seiya admitted, "Haruka-san's requirement. And
may I ask whose dress that is you're wearing?"
Taiki blushed and refused to answer. But she didn't have to;
we all knew that little yellow floral dress was Ami's.
"So how come you're all girls this time, anyway?" Minako asked.
"We _are_ girls!" Yaten protested.
"But you were boys before. . ."
"Gin-chan likes us better this way," Seiya said, patting my
"Gin-chan?" the Inners repeated.
Hotaru wondered, "Ne, Seiya-san, why _do_ you call my sister
'Gin-chan?' "
Seiya smiled, cleared her throat, and did her best impression
of my off-key singing, "Search for your love! Gin no unabara!"
Everyone laughed, but I just felt embarrassed. My favourite
singer just mocked me in front of my friends! I was sure I would be
scarred for life!
"Well, girls or boys, I'm glad you're here," Usagi said.
Papa muttered, "Although the timing could've been better. . ."
"Yeah, sorry you had to show up in the middle of a war like
"Find three extra seats at your wedding and it'll be worth it,"
Seiya said, and kissed Usagi on the cheek.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Papa asked.
"I'm not gonna cause trouble, if that's what you mean," Seiya
retorted. "I won't lie; I am still in love with her. But it's like
they say, 'you can't lose what was never yours to begin with.' Her
heart belongs to Mamoru-san; it always has. And, try as I might, I'll
just never be good enough."
"Seiya. . ." Usagi whispered.
"You deserve a real man, Odango," Seiya said, stroking her
cheek, "and that's the one thing I can never be."
A collective sigh arose from all the Inners.
Even admitting defeat, Seiya was such a romantic!
But Minako spoiled the moment by saying, "I don't deserve a
real man, Seiya-san! Feel free to pursue me! Talk to me like that and
I can even overlook the skirt!"
The whole room burst into giggles, while Seiya blushed and
tugged so hard at that skirt I thought it would come off!
"Aren't we supposed to be talking war here?" Seiya said
"All right, we've tortured our guests enough for one day," Mama
said. "Why don't you tell us all what happened on your outing?"
"Well, I was in town getting a new CD-R drive for my computer,"
Ami began.
"What was wrong with your old one?" Makoto interrupted.
"Nothing; it was just so slow!" Ami replied. "My new one can
burn a CD in half the time."
"Then can I have your old one?" Makoto asked.
"Of course! Just come by and get it any time."
"Arigato," Makoto said. "I'll pay a fair price for it, or if
you'd like something in trade--"
"Just get on with the story!" Yaten shouted.
"Gomen," Ami said, and continued, "I was checking out when I
heard someone in the back scream and--"
"I know!" I interrupted. "It was that mouse zombie! I was
shopping with Seiya-tachi when a guy crashed through the window, and
we saw it. Yaten-san was scared!"
"Was not!" Yaten protested.
"Were too!" I said. "Yaten-san doesn't like mice."
"Especially undead ones!" Seiya said. "So are all your
opponents zombies this time or what?"
"So far, yes," Ami said. "But we're lucky; so far they've only
been animals."
"We should assume that'll change any time now," Taiki said.
"That Morgana person claimed to be from Hell, and if I'm up on my Earth
mythology, 'Hell' is for condemned _human_ souls, not dead animals."
"If she's from Hell," Mama said, "she could call up the worst
of the worst, like Hitler, or Nero, or Jack the Ripper. . ."
"Kowai. . ." Usagi said, with a terrified look.
"That won't happen," I said. "You can't zombie someone with-
out a body!"
"Yeah, but there are lots of dead bad guys _with_ bodies they
_can_ send after us!" Minako said.
"Kowai. . ." Usagi said again, sounding even more frightened.
"This is all speculation," Seiya said. "There's no point in
getting all paranoid when we don't know the enemy's methods and motives
"It's called 'preparing for the worst,' Seiya. Perhaps you've
heard of it?" Papa said. "Then again, if you'd done less waiting and
more preparing back home to begin with--"
"Haruka," Mama scolded, "we're not doing this again!"
"I agree with Seiya-san this time," Setsuna said. "You're
letting your imaginations run wild with your preconceived notions of
Hell, all the while knowing nothing of its reality. You can take
mythology into account, for preparedness' sake; just don't let it rule
"Agreed," Taiki said. "Let's start with what we know and build
on that."
"Tarot cards," Yaten said, "we know she likes those."
"Yeah, she kept throwing them at us," I said, "and Mercury got
hurt. Then Morgana was about to get me, too, but the Starlights chased
her away. It took Ami-san a long time to wake up! But don't worry,
she's okay now; Taiki-san slept over at her place to make sure."
Taiki and Ami blushed as all Inners' eyes turned to them.
"First night back and you're sleeping over already?" Rei asked.
"I didn't even know you were a couple!" Minako said. "Sneaky!"
"I think you make a lovely couple," Makoto said, and kissed Ami
on the cheek.
"Couple?" Usagi repeated, blinking stupidly. "But Taiki-san
"Perfect whether male or female," Ami finished.
"Do all your Senshi meetings turn out like this?" Seiya asked.
"More or less," Papa replied.
"Well, I'd certainly prefer less!"
Papa chuckled and nodded agreement.
It was the closest thing to friendship I'd seen from them yet!
The meeting went on for hours the same way, just bits of
serious talk amidst a sea of gossip, but I missed most of it. I was so
bored after the first two hours I went outside to play.
I was pretending to be a baby tiger stalking through the
jungle, when one wall of the Hikawa Jinja exploded outwards and a
zombie emerged, carrying a broom.
Hearing my screams, the others ran out, but they were as
shocked by the creature's appearance as I was! Though this zombie was
bigger than any of us, its squat build, bald head, Buddha-like face,
and Shinto priest's robes left no doubt who it was in life.
"Ojii-chan," Rei whispered, tears forming at the corners of
her eyes.
"Your grandfather's dead?" Makoto asked. "How? When?"
"I just saw him a few hours ago," Rei sobbed. "He was fine!"
"Something must've happened to him while we were in our
meeting," Ami said. "There are any number of reasons-- stroke, heart
attack, natural causes; he _was_ quite elderly. . ."
But the cause of his death didn't matter so much as he was a
zombie now, and wanted to kill us!
Starlights were the first to transform, having no personal
attachment to Rei's grandpa like we did. But they had enough respect
for our feelings not to destroy him outright.
"Star Gentle Uterus!" Maker cried. The zombie toppled over
with the force of the blast, but didn't seem hurt. "I know he meant a
lot to you; that attack was only half-strength."
"Maybe Sailor Moon can try to heal him," Fighter said. But
Usagi had yet to transform; she just stood there in shock with the rest
of us. "Odango!"
Luna clawed her owner's face. "Usagi, snap out of it!"
"I-I'll try," Usagi said. "Moon Eternal, Make-up!"
Out of reverence, she skipped her traditional speech just this
once, and just hit him with her "Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!"
Her power shrunk Rei's grandpa back to normal size, but he was
still dead, and his corpse just flopped limply to the ground.
"Ojii-chan!" Rei cried.
She ran over and knelt beside him, tears streaming down her
All the rest of us could do was stand around, numb with
shock. Not only was this our first human zombie, but the first we
used to know in life, as well! And if it could happen to Rei's funny
grandpa, who knows who they might use against us next?

©2001 Naia Zifu, all rights reserved.
Unabara Nami and Morgana are my own original characters, but all Inner
and Outer Senshi, and Starlights are all SM characters that I don't own
rights to. As always, I'm not trying to make money off anyone else's
Apologies if I misinterpreted any tarot, but I'm very much an amateur.
I don't know every meaning, and my readings turn out oddly sometimes.
As far as I know, *NSYNC has never covered "Nagareboshi He," nor do I
want them to. The idea of American boy bands covering Three Lights
songs-- in cheesy translated lyrics, no less-- just seemed so funny to
me I had to joke on it!
No, there are no Sera-myu with Triton in them, as she's just a fic
character. Her actress is meant to be fictional as well, but if
there's a real child actress from Osaka called Murasaki Hanae, do tell
and I'll fix it.
And apologies to my beloved Lights myu actresses for casting them out;
I love you all, but Hikari-sama and Momo are a bit old for the parts
now, and Sayuri-sama's a bit. . .missing. . . I assume if the writers
ever bothered to put the Lights back in, they would be recast :-( .