Disclaimer: the characters do not belong to me. The plot is mine however, and it is loosely based upon a role playing game I run by the same name of SILVER MEMORIES. Everything you read here is purely fiction and for enjoyment purposes only. The names will be in English, as will be the mannerisms so I don't get flamed for butchering the Japanese culture completely.
Song Credit: John Mayer
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Golden hair shimmered in the moonlight as a lone figure traversed down the marble white halls. Her face was grim, not at all becoming for the young beauty, but altogether understandable. Times were tough; there was talk of a war brewing outside the palace grounds, one that could possibly change the fate of the universe forever. Trouble had been rare in the past, but with the discovery of a dark cloud in the far reaches of the galaxy it was becoming more and more apparent that something was coming.
A small sigh escaped the lips of the blonde girl as her feet slowed, eventually halting altogether. Her body seemed to sway as though she was faint, and perhaps she would have had she not grabbed hold of a large pillar at her side. Seconds ticked by in silence before a choked sob was let loose, and then another. Before long the girl was crying freely, her body shaking with the momentum. Within minutes she was sliding down to the ground, her heart shattering into a million pieces.
It had only been a few months ago that things had seemed so bright, and now everything was darkening. An ageless era of peace and prosperity was finally coming to an end; and with it a love story that would eventually come to transcend time itself. For the time being however it was easier to believe that this was the final chapter of a life unfulfilled.
"How could it come to this?" choked out the blonde, a stray curl escaping from one of the jeweled buns atop her head. "How can it be over before even starting? Is there no one that can save us?"
"Princess …" The soft voice came from the other side of the pillar, causing the young blonde woman to glance upwards, her eyes blurred with tears. She used the back of a single hand to wipe her eyes, focusing her attention on the dark haired man kneeling beside her. He was the cause of both her pain and joy – her everything. It was he she had fallen in love with only so long ago, and it was he she was about to lose as the war around them destroyed all that she held dear in her heart.
"Oh Endymion, how could it have come to this? How can the universe fall apart around us? Can this really be the end of the Silver Millennium?"
"Oh Princess, my beautiful princess …" Endymion reached out an arm to encircle the waist of the golden haired creature with tears streaming down her face, pulling her into his arms. The moment she was there the princess began to cry, her body shaking with every sob she could muster. Minutes passed before she could calm herself, her tears coming to a halt of their own accord. She was spent dry, an ache replacing the sorrow in her heart.
Endymion continued. "Please don't cry. It hurts me to see you like this."
"How else should I be? My friends are out fighting what is likely their final battle, my mother has been weakened with every hit we take, and I'm afraid that in the end our attempts will be futile – that this is the end of us. I can't live without you, Endymion … but what hope do we have of living out the rest of our lives together when the world is crumbling around our ears? This is it … this is goodbye forever."
"Not forever," replied Endymion seriously, his arms tightening around the princess. "You and I will always be together no matter what happens. Whatever comes, know that I will always love you – nothing, not even time can keep you from me. We're meant to be together, Selenity. We will be together. I know we will."
"How – how could you possibly know all this?" Selenity's head moved away from Endymion's shoulder so as to see into the eyes of the one she loved, her own filled with hope and fear.
Endymion placed a gentle hand on her cheek, his thumb rubbing the flesh ever so softly. "The moment I first saw you I knew I loved you – it didn't matter that you were Lunarian and I a Terran. We're meant to be together; every fiber of my being knows this to be true, Selenity. There isn't anything I wouldn't do to have you with me for all time … and should our armies fall this day in battle I believe we will meet again in the future. I don't care how long it takes, but I will find you again. I know I will, and when I do we will be together … we'll have our happily ever after."
A tiny glimmer of hope appeared on Selenity's face, her lips twitching with a hint of a smile. "You sound like my mother, so full of mysticism."
"Fate isn't mysticism."
"It very well could be given the fact that it's willing to tear us apart now."
"You simply have to believe. Believe in your friends. Believe in your army. Believe in your mother. Believe in me. Most of all, believe in us. You do believe in us, don't you?"
Selenity tilted her head to one side, her smile saddening as she allowed her eyes to rake down to the uniform of her lover. "You're the one thing I could never stop believing in, Endymion. I believe in us. I do."
"Then that is all that matters." At this Endymion released Selenity, gracefully moving back onto his feet. Her clear blue eyes followed his movements, resting on his hand as he extended it in her direction.
"May I have this final dance?"
With an air of sorrow about her Selenity lifted her slender hand and placed it in that of Endymion's, allowing him to lift her onto her feet again before taking up the ever familiar positions with one another as dancing partners. They had done it so many times before that the whole thing seemed little more than routine. Being in the arms of the one she loved came naturally to Selenity, and she knew that tonight of all nights would be one for the books.
And without music, the pair began to dance.
She ran without knowing if she would ever be able to stop. Behind her she could hear the panting of her pursuer. Perhaps they would never end this fatal chase. All around her was the clash of metal against metal. There was a battle afoot and she was now caught up in it. She had hoped to come across an accord of sorts before things got out of hand, but both sides were being stubborn and thus, no accord had been wrought.
There likely never would be.
This was a battle to the finish. It would continue for as long as it took for one side to be proven victorious, the other nothing more than moon dust.
For Princess Meriel of the planet Mercury it was the thought of turning to dust that kept her feet steady as she ran. If she stopped it would be the end of her, and for once in her life the princess found she really was afraid of dust. Meek and mild mannered as she appeared in the Lunarian Court, one would hardly have thought the princess as being particularly brave, but she had read ever book there was on the subject of death and had thought herself prepared for that inevitable fate all humanity shared. Yet she was now being proven so very wrong, for it was death that was chasing her, and it was death she would surely come across this tiring day of battle.
Tucking a strand of dark blue hair behind her ears, Meriel ducked behind the corner of the hedge, thanking her lucky stars that she was outdoors in the garden. Surely this would be a safe as place as any to try and hide. It wasn't becoming of her to be sure; Meriel was more than just the Princess of Mercury, she was its guardian representative born to protect the Princess of the Moon. Unfortunately the Mercurian had no idea where her precious friend currently was, though she hoped with all her heart the blonde girl was safe and sound within the castle walls. It wouldn't do to lose her too in the name of peace and prosperity.
"I know you're there, Princess. You can't run forever." The voice was steely, matching perfectly the heart of the man behind it. Once Meriel had fancied his mind, thinking him one of the more intellectual men she had ever met. How soon she had been proven wrong, for out of nowhere he had turned to darkness, using his skills and mind for something that she herself could never support. Whether or not the man formerly known as Ephraim was truly evil was unknown to the Scout of Mercury, and she did wish to find out.
But he was right, she could not hide forever. It would be foolish to think that by doing so she would be helping her fellow Scouts out fighting in the name of the Moon. Meriel would need to prove her worth as well, and gladly would she do it in the name of Selenity, her dearest friend and compatriot.
Please let her be alright. Please let Selenity live to see the light of another day. She is the future of the Silver Millennuim – she must live. She simply must.
Taking a deep breath of air Meriel stepped out from behind the hedge she had ducked behind. Standing tall in her uniform of a white body suit encircled by a light blue ruffle skirt, matching bows, a pair of matching boots, and a golden tiara with a blue gem in the middle, Meriel looked every inch the Sailor Scout she was.
"In the name of Mercury, I shall punish you," murmured the young woman, her voice soft as she spoke the comforting mantra aloud. How many times in the past had she spoken them to another? Of all the Scouts in the system, Meriel was the least battle tested … but that would not prevent her from trying with all her might to do what she had been born to do.
She would fight evil.
She would fight the man she had almost fallen in love with. She would fight unto the death, hers or his, it did not matter.
Across from her the man who would never more be known as Ephraim curled his lips into a thin smirk. "I'm afraid the fates have a harsh punishment awaiting you, dear princess. This is the end of the Silver Millennium as we know it – your fate and mine are forever entwined, and today it shall end. This will be the fall of the House of Serenity."
"Then so be it." This time Meriel managed to steel her voice like ice, matching the frosted tips of her white gloved fingers. She could feel the power within her building up as it had only ever done with great concentration. It seemed the rumor of anger making one stronger was all too right; she only hoped it would prove to be a helpful agent this fate filled day.
And like a dance of old the pair began their battle the moment Ephraim leaped forward, a foreign cry escaping his lips as he slashed his way through a blast of ice cold bubbles.
The sword cut through the air to clang against that of another before being lifted back to cut the air again. It was a timeless exercise, one she had been practicing since the age of three. Her father had taught her well, as could only be expected of a Martian. She was heiress to all that was war and chaos, two things she loved best in the universe. At this point in time the raven haired beauty craved blood, that of the one in which she was currently engaged with in battle. The battles they had raged against one another before had never been quite like this, never so filled with ire and rage, and certainly never with the intentions of killing the other.
Princess Regan of Mars was used to battle. She lived for it. One would think, however, that of all days to hate war, this would be the one, for the man she was fighting against was the one in which she had finally lost her heart. The one she had secretly wed only weeks before his dark betrayal to the universe they lived in.
It was hard to believe that Regan had allowed herself to believe in a happily ever after. She had sworn off men before allowing herself to even think about them. Men had only ever been tireless creatures that thought they could run the life of any woman they pleased. Seeing her mother and father together had been more than enough for the fire blooded princess – she would never bow down before any man in the name of love.
Yet she had done just that merely months after meeting a man by the name of Jedidiah. She had known the moment she laid eyes on him that he was different. He had pursued her relentless for weeks with the usual bouts of flowers and terrible singing, much of which had been done to annoy her because he himself had no intentions of falling in love either. She had been an amusement of his, one in which to pass his time while on the moon.
Fate had other things in store for in the midst of their eighth sword fight with each other they finally let go of all they had been hiding, and from that point on their relationship became a whirlwind of secret rendezvous' and stolen kisses, all of which had culminated in a ceremony with only a single witness.
But now that was gone, all a part of the past Regan wished to bury along with her own self. She had allowed herself to love and it had only brought upon heartache. Never again would she fall for this act; never again would she open her heart to another.
There was no doubt there would be death tonight; her own, more than likely. It was natural to think little of it. What more did she need now that her heart had been ripped out and replaced with an unspeakable fury of a woman scorned and betrayed?
He was the only one she would ever love, that she knew for a fact; and tonight she would make it so that she was the only one he ever loved. He would die by her hands. She knew he would – just as she knew she would die by his. Tragic love, perhaps, but inevitable due to tragic circumstances.
Sweat dripped down Regan's face as she brought her sword against that of her lover's once more, bringing as much of her weight as she could to press his sword in his direction. She was growing weaker, much of which had to do with the long hours spent already in combat. It was likely her fault the battle had begun – the Scout of Mars had been more than willing to strike the first blow this day.
"Admit defeat, admit you cannot beat me."
Regan gritted her teeth. "I will bow down to no man, not even you, Jed."
"You've never been strong enough against me."
"This time is different. This time I'm not playing games. I'm not here to win your heart. I'm here to win your world."
"You follow a woman as dark as sin."
"You never loved me well enough to make me stay."
"You never had all of me." It was a lie, for Regan knew he had been given her heart and soul without her ever meaning to, just as she had received his. Their words were spoken in bitterness of two lovers still strained over an argument they would never remember. It was their destiny.
Jed took a step backwards, his sword falling to his side, but his hold never loosening. He too was fairly capable with a sword and knew to keep ever watchful with the Princess of Mars in front of him, a sword in her own hand.
"Come with me," he coaxed, his words softening ever so slightly. "Forget your oath to them, and remember your oath to me."
Regan allowed her eyes to flicker shut as the back of his hand reached out to stroke her face. He had never liked the thought of her loyalty belonging to that of another before him. Jed would always be a jealous man; jealous of her status as one of the guardians of the Moon Princess – for it was his belief that by keeping her place in the Sailor Scouts he would never have all of Regan.
"I will not forsake my princess for the likes of you, just as you will say you will not forsake your queen for the likes of me. We are at a standstill, Jed, neither one of us able to gain the upper hand."
"I will kill you."
"And I will kill you."
Leia had always been a headstrong princess, even in her younger years. She had never stopped to think things through carefully, and no matter how hard she tried she could not keep her emotions intact. It was a great character flaw, one in which she gladly reveled as now her anger was keeping her adrenaline pumping. The brunette ignored the fact that she had a trail of blood flowing down her right arm. It mattered very little how many times she had already been hit; she had given just as much as she had gotten. Coming from the planet Jupiter worked in her favor for the princess was able to focus her great power on what was in front of her, much of which she was able to do without bothering to concentrate. Controlling thunder and lightning meant concentrating was futile; it would all hit where it needed to hit in the end.
"Give it up, Athena. This is the end for you." Leia spat out the words, drops of blood flying from her mouth as she struggled to keep her legs from buckling beneath her.
"Not until I have your head," stated the other woman, her blonde tresses falling around her once fair complexion now matted with blood and soot.
"I'd like to see you try."
"And I'd like to see you dead."
"This is why father disinherited you – you never could share with me, your own sister by blood."
Athena grunted. "Half sister, fool – I never asked for a sister, and I certainly never asked for the old man to father a child with a woman that was not my mother."
"If anything it should be I who hates you. At least I'm the legitimate one, the one born from his actual bride and not a woman he found himself lusting over a single night." She knew exactly what to say to wound her sister's ego. They had been playing this game for many years now, and should they manage to live after this night they would continue to play it some more.
Leia had tried to love her sister; she had tried to act as a sister should. For some time she followed the older blonde around like a small puppy, always hoping for a hint of affection and possibly a friend to call her own. Athena had never given her a chance though, and through the last countless number of months they had been in contact with one another the Jupiterrian Princess could not honestly say they had gotten along. The pair of them had fought worse than usual, making those around them cringe for fear of being asked to take sides.
It had only been at the request of her closest friend, the Princess Selenity that Leia had refrained from trying to harm Athena outright. Even her father had been unable to keep Leia's anger with the blonde girl at bay. The two were simply destined to be enemies until the end of time. There was nothing that bound them together but blood, and even that was now slowly running out if their battered bodies were proof enough. It had been foolish to think Athena would ever change – the betrayal so soon ago had been of no surprise to the Scout. Her only ire was not recognizing it before it had happened.
"That's only the beginning of our differences, Leia. I will always be on the opposite side of you. I will always be in the shadows with you taking my spotlight – but today that all ends. I will take your place as supreme. I will be more than you can ever be."
"Following a woman to hell and back only guarantees you the worst spot among the stars – your existence is going to come to an end, and it will be at my hands that it comes about."
"You sound like you might actually mean that. Don't tell me you've finally grown up, Leia. I think I might actually cry a little now."
Grinding her teeth in anger Leia launched herself forward, a cry of thunder escaping her lips. The blonde woman she knew as Athena jumped backwards, a sharp rapier slicing at her sister's exposed skin within the green uniform she wore. So long as the other was standing the two women were certain they could keep going, their hatred of the other keeping the adrenaline in their blood flowing.
Only death would be able to put a stop to their personal vendetta, and it was death they both were seeking.
He had once been her teacher, someone she had admired and trusted above all others. Now he was little more than the man she abhorred; the man she would kill first and foremost this day in hell. Princess Avalon of Venus was the least blood thirsty, her reputation as a lover and most beautiful woman in the universe forever foreshadowing her wherever she went, but today was a different day. Today there was war, men dying for what they felt they believed in, and the universe crumbling around her ears.
Today was a day unlike any other.
Taking a deep breath Avalon paused for a moment to eye the man with white streaked hair before her. It was certainly longer than the last time she had seen it, in the past going little more than past his ears, its color still the tawny brown she had grown to like. A blue eye caught sight of a strand of her hair, its blonde color dull in the light of day. Normally the lackluster shine would bother her to no end, but the princess was willing to sacrifice her usual regimen of beauty for that of the world belonging to her princess, for that was ultimately what she was fighting for.
Selenity was a good friend, practically a sister, and it was for her that Avalon would gladly lay down her life. It was a part of her destiny, sure, but even without the oath taken formally so not very long ago the blonde Venetian was fairly sure she would do the same as she was doing now. She believed in all that was good and pure. She believed that the Silver Millennium could be saved, and as long as she believed Avalon would continue fighting no matter how long it took for one side to win over the other.
Her friends were in battle too, each one of them going up against someone they knew and had once come to trust. Avalon could only hope it would not be so difficult for them to strike that final blow should the chance unveil itself. She hoped to see them again, her sisters at arms, her friends for eternity, but it was a foolish thing to hope for what one could only know as being a lost cause. They would never see each other again. Their parting looks had said as much before they had vanished into the thick of battle, the four of them pursuing one person in particular to take out in hopes of weakening the other side. They had known and still gone out to battle, a good thing given that it was their duty to the kingdom of the Moon.
"I see I taught you well. You have trained yourself well to keep your powers in reserve so as not to lessen the energy that keeps you going. I always said that was the weak point of your friends – they never knew when to put effort into their powers, or when to put effort into not using them at the drop of the hat. You were my best student, Princess."
At one time Avalon would have glowed under so blatant a complement, but now she could only narrow her eyes and take a defensive stance, her yellow-gold heels digging into the moon soil beneath her feet. She would not fall for his tricks, for he had many up his sleeve, making him the most dangerous of Soldiers to be going up against. "You underestimate us all," she said simply, her voice flat even to her own ears.
"You could give up and save your own life, but here you are risking all you have for that pesky little princess. What kind of friend is she to let you and the others come out alone against the likes of us, knowing full well that the power of the Negaverse has made us stronger than you could ever imagine?"
"The stronger you are, the harder you shall fall, Malachi. You taught me that the first day I met you, or have you forgotten the lessons you so valiantly spoke?"
"I forget nothing, child. My memory will outlast time."
"But you will not. You will fall this day, Malachi. You will suffer greatly by my hands, for only the best can teach the best – and I am the best."
"What would your friends think if they heard you now?"
"What will yours think when they see your body lying lifeless in the dust?"
"Only one of us can be proven right, Ava." His nickname for her made the princess freeze ever so slightly. It was natural to hear it said thus, but goose bumps appeared on her arms to tell her that even so there was danger behind his words.
He's trying to put me off guard, but I will not allow it. I will not fall at his hands. I have so much more living to do, and Selenity … she is counting on me. I cannot fail her. I cannot fail. I will not fail.
"Then may the best one win, Malachi, for the one to fall will not be me."
Pulling the chain of silver hearts from around her uniformed waist Avalon unleashed the fury of her power on her former mentor, her eyes stinging with tears as she did so.
For one who loved with all her heart, striking at a man so near to her as a father was almost more than she could bear.
The universe was coming apart at the seams. Every which way that Serenity looked she could only see things going from bad to worse. Mercury was stumbling beneath the fury of the General Nephrite; Mars was clutching her stomach as she attempted to fend off the General Jadeite; Jupiter was on her knees with the fury of the heavens at her reach as she tried to bring down the General Zoycite; and Venus was being tossed about with her own chain by the Dark General Malachite.
The Sailor Scouts were no match for the Negaverse, and for the Queen of the Moon, Serenity was finally beginning to see that her cause was lost.
"How could this have happened? How could we have fallen so?" The silver-blonde queen sagged against the window she was peering out, her body weakening under each blow the Scouts took from their darker counterparts. From behind her came a voice of a man, followed by that of a woman, both doing their best to soothe her under the terrible circumstances.
"My Queen, we all underestimated the enemy. We let them into our lives without knowing it, never once imagining that Amethyst would strike at the very heart of our team."
"Artemis is right. Peace and prosperity for so long makes one forget there is evil lurking on the furthest reaches of the universe. We weren't prepared for this. We weren't prepared for anything remotely close to this."
Serenity glanced back at the dark haired woman and light haired man, her eyes brimming with tears. "I should have known something was afoot when the Outer Scouts came with tales of discord and civil war on their own planets. I had hoped that with the death of Undine's father it was nothing more than a simple battle of wills to accept Undine as heir to the throne – I never once imagined it was all a part of a bigger plan. To know that Amethyst was behind this all … it's … I never thought it could happen. A minor heartbreak on her part has led to the greatest war our universe has ever known. Oh Luna, whatever shall we do now?"
"I'm not sure, My Queen. I had half hoped it wouldn't come to this … and now … now it seems …" Luna trailed off, her shoulders falling under the weight she felt placed upon her shoulders. As friend and advisor to the Queen it was her place to have an answer of sorts to the question hanging in the air, but there was none that the dark haired beauty could give.
"There is," ventured Artemis with some hesitancy, "perhaps, one last thing we can do."
Luna shook her head, knowing instantly what her partner meant. "It's much too dangerous – we would all perish."
"It might be our only hope." The one that spoke was Serenity, her eyes dimming in the fading light of day. Both her advisors looked at her with evident concern. This battle was taking quite the toll on their ever resilient queen. It would take a miracle for her to come out of this alive.
"Perhaps we need to place more faith in the girls – perhaps they can pull it off –"
"Endymion!" The cry that pierced the dusk was that of the Princess Selenity, and a glance out the window showed the slender princess running across the marble steps towards her lover as he crumbled to the ground, a woman with bright red hair and a sinister gleam in her eyes standing over him with a thin sword in her hands.
The Moon Queen felt her heart stop as the woman she knew as Queen Beryl of the Negaverse turned with her sword, its thin blade directing itself in the direction of Serenity's beloved daughter.
"Selene! No-o-o-o!" Her own cry echoed throughout the battlegrounds as one by one the Sailor Scouts fell in battle, the army of the Negaverse succeeding over that of the Lunarian and Terran forces combined.
Drops of blood spotted the once white steps, sending the now childless mother into action, her spirit reviving itself for the final confrontation she would ever know.
From thin air she conjured a thin wand with a crescent moon and silver crystal atop its cylinder form. Closing her eyes and holding the wand above her head Serenity spoke words of power to create a blinding light seen across the entire universe. It was the power of the Silver Millennium Crystal – the power of the Moon itself, and that of Queen Serenity's heart and soul.
The light spread itself far and wide, catching all within its path, freezing time itself. Serenity could feel her spirit breaking, her body falling to the ground as she spoke more words to complete her final spell, one born of sacrifice and undying love for those already gone.
When the light faded the dark that was the Negaverse seemed to have been vanquished, locked back in their dark pit of despair from whence they had come. They would have to grow in power to be able to break from the spell they were now placed under, and Serenity hoped that it would never come to pass for many centuries to come … yet she knew that it would. Something as dark as the Negaverse and the being behind it would never truly be gone, even if Serenity could manage to make herself whole and stop it. No, that was not to be her destiny and she knew it wouldn't be.
That belonged to another, others born to ward off evil and protect the universe from itself.
Luna and Artemis rushed to Serenity's side, catching their weakened Queen as she slid to the ground. They carried her over to the divan of her room, prompting her up with pillows as the sound of breaking marble reached their ears.
Artemis caught Luna's wild eye. "The castle is coming apart – the power of the Silver Crystal is too much for it to bear. We have to get out of here before we're all crushed to death."
"Don't …" Serenity coughed her voice barely a whisper as she tried to shake her head. "Don't bother. I won't live to see another day. I used up all that I had to do the spell … I only have so much left now, and it … I must do one last thing."
"Queen Serenity, you mustn't! You don't know what you are messing with when you evoke the power of the Crystal." Luna hoped that her urging would be heeded, but she could tell by the stubborn look on Serenity's pale face that she would be ignored.
"The Negaverse will return, but I will not let them win. We need time, and right now time is not on our side. The Scouts have fallen. My own child … has … fallen." Here her words broke with tears, but Serenity struggled to pull herself together so as not to weaken her body further than it already was.
"Your Majesty," began Artemis, but he got no further. He already knew that his Queen had made up her mind. There was nothing more to say.
Luna glanced up at Artemis, her eyes widening as she realized he too was giving up. "No! This can't be! It can't be the end yet!"
Serenity sighed, a frail finger pointing out the open window. "Our time is over, Luna. The Silver Millennium has come to a close."
And with her dying breath Serenity spoke only a single word, thus ending her reign as queen.
To be continued …
A/N – I'll be using songs for every chapter, so suggestions are greatly welcome, along with characters you feel they go to, etc. Oh, and I'm looking for a beta for this story as I want to be sure to keep my focus in line, so if someone would like to help out, I'd love you greatly.