Up to chapter 18 has been revised. Do not hesitate to let me know if there are typos. Thank you.
I will be revising chapters nineteen and twenty as well.
I am going back in time with some of the events in this chapter here, just a bit before Haruka and Michiru arrive.
The dark room of hard shining, black obelisk stonework quaked and vibrated by the will of the mistress. She held power within her little world of darkness. Her dark stone was much like the woman whom sat in the hard and cold throne, her palms running over the smooth armrests as if petting a long loved pet. Unflinching amber eyes gazed at the subjects that stood before her, taking in their features, the cloth that fit perfectly against their hard forms and finally past them to a point above their heads like they were insignificant insects that were barely worthy of her attention. The lady of the steel topaz orbs sat slumped back in her chair, her silver silky scarves hanging scantily dangerous over darkened mocha toned skin. Her white blonde hair was highlighted with thin tendrils of purple strands interweaving and glowed with the the blue moon that hung high in this dimension. The only prevalent light. A large part of the dark tower's ceiling had been blasted away to allow the mystifying moon's light to shine in the chamber where she sat on her throne. Many of her servants would walk in and find her staring up at the moon as if in a trance, her body bare of all clothing as she absently played with her pale strands. She would seem unaware, but she never was and never cared if she was found this way. She had a fascination with the blue moon, limbs spread out as she petted the black, cold floor as if she was caressing a lover.
None would comment on it. Their mistress was unhinged, powerful and would not hesitate to kill those under her command. Or force them to endure Barney the Dinosaur episodes for hours and hours at a time. Today though, glancing at her hand and watching as the dark color of her skin glowed in the blue light before diverting her attention to those whom groveled, bowed or stood before her, once more. Inwardly she took perverse delight as the blue light bathed the four men in it's glow. The very men whom were alive only because she allowed them to be so.
Each man was tall with handsome features that were a wet dream for any sane female. Muscular, battle hardened forms clad in simple gray uniforms. The top just pinned together on the farther left side of the chest with unforeseen buttons and a flap of the right collar folded down with individual colors lining the seams of the uniform. The men had their heads bowed in submission, but she could see the defining lines of their shoulders. She was amused as she wondered how they managed to look so compliant yet have the proud outlining shoulders of men ready to conquer the world.
"What is our objective?" Her voice was a breathy hiss, melodic as it echoed in the large chamber. Her gaze narrowed as she waited for them to answer, all four of their heads coming up and eyeing her in their own way of inspecting. They were smart enough to hide the surprise on their faces, but the whispers of their thoughts were loud and clear to her. Another good point for them was that they never once looked at each other to verify what might be a satisfactory answer. There was only one answer here…and it was the ultimate answer. Anything less and she'd have them in a room with SpongeBob screaming at the top of his lungs…if she so willed it.
The first man, the only one whom wore a cape with purple silk on the inner part, spoke, "To squash the happiness from our enemies." His cold blue eyes were lifeless, his hard face impassive as it should be. She nodded, a light smile flirting on the edge of her lips.
"What does the world mean to us?" Another pause stretched for a minute, never letting her gaze stray from the four under her power.
"It is nothing. We leave it as world domination is not the aim. The Princess, Senshi, Princes and dead Queen are our only objectives." The brunette with the long, silky hair spoke up in his somber tone, hands clasped behind his back. He stood between the man with the cape and the blonde girly man with long hair in a ponytail.
"Good. I still will never understand what everyone's fascination is with conquering the world and draining it of energy. Sounds like they put more energy than gaining any." She absently pondered out loud, seemingly missing as the four men exchanged peculiar glances. Yet, she knew. Since they were so good with their answers…she'll just infect their dreams with Adventure Time episodes…should work on horrifying them a little.
The final man, the blonde with the short hair and standing on the other side of girly man, asked what was on all their thoughts, "Mistress?" He called to get her attention first and gaining it successfully, "Why are we out to destroy the happiness of them and not rule the world?"
The woman with light hair and purple tendrils sat back in her throne once more, having leaned forward in her small rant on previous Senshi enemies. She tapped her small round chin lightly, light gaze roaming over the handsome general's face and then continued to do the same with the others.
"Why are you willing to destroy their happiness if you loved them so much?" She spat out the word love sarcastically, resisting rolling her eyes in favor of watching their reactions, the way they breathed, taking note of the pulse points in their necks as well as their eyes…
"Because ours was taken from us." Kunzite, the man with the cape, answered in a soft, unyielding tone.
"By the Princes or Princesses?"
"Both." All four men's voices rang out. She could hear the truth in the statement, the truth they believed in. It was on the tip of her tongue to tsk them all, but refrained. After all, wouldn't it be the pot calling the kettle black? She could only silently muse, tilting her head to regard them and see a similar kind of hatred for the Planetary folks, she held. Though, certain objects of their hatred ranged.
She did not respond at first. She weighed the pros and cons of revealing anything to mere tools. A part of her, some part she had long since thought dead, whispered something about a bond forged in shared experiences. Would not the men become more loyal, more dedicated to her and their shared cause if they knew she had shared a similar fate?
"You could say we have more in common than we first thought." She found herself uttering, a façade of a friendly smile for them. The darkness in her stabbed at the part that whispered of shared friendships and a past she rather forget, and sent that part of her scurrying to the farthest reaches of her mind. She didn't have a heart anymore…someone stole it years ago and destroyed it.
"I will destroy their happiness…because mine was crushed." Her words were a haunting whisper, reflection coating along the syllables. She did not need to look at the men and focus on them to know that a new kind of light shone in their orbs. She ignored the resounding sounds of chains linking together in her mind, solidifying the men to her in a way she dare not look upon closer. They were tools, means to an end. And anything more was the fanciful feelings of a long dead girl whom once waited at a secret spot for hours, days and weeks just to find out her happy ending was never to be.
She'd be damn sure no one else got one, either.
Her body felt heavy and stiff as she regained consciousness. She furrowed her brow, hearing a distant dinging sound that began to grow in volume as she shook off the cobwebs of slumber. The back of her head throbbed, the searing sensation jolting down her spine and making her wince with the achy agony that made its presence in her joints. Her eyes felt as if they were glued shut as she struggled to open the heavy lids.
Groaning, the blunette raised her head, blinking bleary eyes. She roused further, finding herself sitting in some chair, the back of it reaching her shoulder blades and two comfortable arm rests on either side of her. Ami paused, blinking still as her eyes weren't adjusting. She was surrounded in total darkness. She slid her palms from the wooden armrests, feeling the grains of the wood against her fingertips and to the table in front of her. Swallowing, she let her sense of touch see for her as she continued a path along the table. She flinched at the sensation of something new, but curiously explored the crisp feeling long until her mind supplied that it was paper. Bumpy ridges of pages followed the first one, the tip of her finger trailing inward and finding the spine, painting the picture of a book in her mind. Upon further exploration she could feel a whole pile of books taking up the table top for as far as she could reach in the darkness.
Inhaling, she paused and took another large whiff, detecting the scent of ink, old dusty books and magic infusing the air with a distinctive familiarity. Ami moved to stand, but paused with a wince as she felt the stiffness in her body, her legs creaking in protest at the action of straightening, her muscles cramping along her backside. She stood there a moment, letting the unpleasant sensation pass. She could feel the mild tingling of numbness in her feet and hands. She waved her hands around, standing fully as she worked to get the blood flowing again.
Despite the fact that it was useless, she shifted her head around to try and gain some sort of idea of where she was. Part of Ami, the rational part, was somewhat alarmed that the darkness of the area was so thick, hindering her sight majorly. Another part, one born of instinct and intuition felt an odd calmness. A confusing mix for her, until a sudden flare of light blew up beside her.
Ami flinched, lifting her arms up to protect her face and screw her eyes shut against the blinding light compared to the total blackness that had preceded it. After a moment of nothing happening, Ami felt safe enough to lower her arms. What she saw had the blunette's jaw dropping and her arms falling down to her sides. Bright glowing balls of light trailed along the end aisles of shelves, revealing rows and rows of books. She blinked, getting her bearings as she studied the rest of the room. She had been sitting at a desk, facing the large majority of a room, shelves of books on both sides and a large sitting area with an intricate rug of almost Persian design with an odd twist of Venusasian culture mixed in, her mind supplied, though she didn't know how or why but the information was there. She studied it once more before realizing that the Venusasian culture of the past had been, indeed, much like Indian culture reflected in the popular movie Aladdin and the Lamp.
Ami shook herself of the thought as she didn't understand why she would be remembering cultural likeness of the past with the present. Until she looked up and viewed the large library again and had the stunning realization, "I'm in the past." She felt silly for stating the thought out loud as well as she realized how obvious the situation was. She felt like doing the ever so famous face-palm, but decided to ignore the urge and press forward to view the room further.
On each end of the larger book of shelves were smaller ones, all about fifty feet in length and touching the high ceiling. It was a startling contrast, sturdy oak against the brilliant white texture of what she could now recognize as the infamous stone the Moon Palace had been made of. Ami pondered, brow furrowing as she eyed her surroundings again. She didn't remember any library, not like this. So where was she? The Moon or…Mercury?
A knock came from the large doors from the other side of the room, making Ami frown. Why would someone knock to get in the library? Another knock and she called for the one to enter as her mind worked on the possible idea that this was a room of hers. An offie perhaps? She glanced once more around to try and get her bearings. She had retained her present self of mind and this was a memory, yet she felt as if she was reliving a moment and that any wrong move would expose her as an imposter.
A deep masculine chuckle met her ears and she turned, eyes wide to see…Wufei. She tilted her head curiously, seeing the tall Chinese man leaning against the door, hands in the pockets of his ambassador Uranian robes, a loose fitting garment made entirely of plain navy blue that gave no hint of the masculine, toned form beneath.
In his hand was the very flower he had spoken of when she had walked in on him and Rei talking. Ami gulped, gaze stuck on the flower that he has spoken of in great detail. The flower, Frebesia, black petals with white veins, tinges of blue on the outer layers and the frost that covered it. Ami felt like someone had kicked her in the chest with how sharply she had sucked in her breath at such a sight. She had been surprised to walk in on Rei and Wufei talking about her and then Wufei's quiet declaration of things she liked, still liked, but the flower…she had thought he had made it up. Rei had acted like she knew it, but Ami hadn't remembered it at all. Yet, here it was, staring back at her to taunt her. The beautiful petals reminding her of past memories that involved more of those flowers, how they grew along the palace walls of Mercury. Part of her hadn't believed it existed and yet here she was…seeing the living proof that it had. Oh, it was so beautiful looking, too.
"Are you crying?" His voice was gruff, tinged with an emotion she didn't think anyone else would have detected. He was nervous. Ami redirected her gaze up and meeting dark coals of endless black. His own eyes were narrowed, glinting with worry. Ami raised her own hand up and felt a string of wetness on her cheek. She flinched her fingers away as if she was bitten, eyeing the glistening spot on her finger. She had been crying, but why?
Ami was sure that she was quite a sight. She glanced down and finally realized what she wore. A nightgown material that hung around her thighs, two thin straps hooked over her shoulders to hold the loose piece of material to her. It was of a silky texture, but breathed like cotton and, Ami blushed, was very thin.
A sudden shift of a shadow and fabric, Ami turned her gaze to the male before her and found he was discarding his robes and leaving…She gulped, gaze roaming over the expanse of a naked chest and then to the long cloth of training pants that hugged low on his hips. Ami flushed, glancing away. Sure, he had been naked when they first met but she had been too much of a hurry to run and hadn't taken notice. She glanced back, seeing him smirking with his arms crossed over his chest. Right now he was just calm, as if this happened a lot. Hopefully, he didn't always randomly take off his shirt. She felt like tittering worriedly at that. Worried for her own sense of mind more than anything else.
A gruff chuckle pulled her out of her spiraling thoughts of always being caught off guard by a shirtless Chinese man, "You still blush whenever I lose clothing." He shook his head, smirking blooming into a full blown smile. He crossed the distance and Ami felt like her feet were stuck to the ground until he scooped her up bridal style. Ami felt like her brain was filled with cotton as she found herself snuggled into strong arms and against a warm expanse of muscle. She turned as he kissed her nose, shoulders shaking in silent laughter when the door opened once more.
She looked over the man's shoulder even as she tried to mentally order herself to get out of his hold. Yet no limb would follow her command. Peeking through the large door that the past Wufei had entered through, a head with blonde strands and kind blue eyes took in the scene with a large smile, "Making sure she didn't work herself to death either?" Quatre asked, smiling wide before moving further into the room, practically wearing nothing as well but for the same training pants as Wufei.
"She looks like she woke up…"Ami watched as both men looked ahead and she turned as well, curious to see where they were looking at when she spied the very place she had awoken from. Both men laughed as she wiped back around to them, trying to protest. The same invisible force as before held her will.
Quatre leaned down and kissed her cheek, ruffling her hair in a sibling fashion with that usually warm smile turning into a charming sight, "You did it again, sister." He tapped her nose before turning to Wufei, "Make sure she sleeps decently?"
"What do you think I'm here for?" Wufei snorted, but Ami could tell the men were merely playing on banter.
They're both looking out for me, the thought whispered down her spine and she knew it was truth. She looked from one to the other, both still talking and joking about her work ethic and sleeping habits. She could distantly hear what they were saying even as she digested the information and more truths seem to grasp at her consciousness. She had been unable to pull from the Chinese man because she was in the past and her past self's actions…hadn't wanted to pull away from him. Even as she discovered the thought she snuggled deeper into his warmth, yawning.
"I won't keep you." Quatre muttered, leaning down and kissing her forehead one last time, "You take care, sis. I have an Amazon to woe." He winked playfully, but his jaw and eyes had hardened in the dead seriousness that she found she could recognize.
And Ami felt her heart going out to the boy, smiling in support, "Don't let her slip from your fingers…"
Quatre's teasing expression morphed to a somber countenance as he nodded, "I won't…ever." He straightened then, nodded to Wufei before turning and showing himself out. The door thudded shut and Ami found herself alone with the half-naked Chinese man in the resounding echo. She turned her gaze to his and found her lips claimed. The kiss was soft, as he took his time and began stoking a fire that warmed her when she hadn't known she was cold. Ami could feel the tingles that shot from her lips and down to her toes as the kiss grew more needful. Her toes curled as she could feel herself clutching him closer as she returned the kiss; unable to believe herself but finding that…she didn't want it to end.
When they did finally pull away, Ami let out a small sound of protest and then flushed red when she realized it. Wufei merely chuckled and pressed his forehead to hers, dark eyes warm and full of some emotion that Ami felt too scatter-brained to diagnose right then.
"Let's get you to bed." He muttered, low and husky from their kiss and her pulse fluttered just as she gave into the urge that nagged at her and kissed him again.
Ami came away, groaning in slight disappointment, snuggling deeper into the arm cover that she was hugging by her side. She smiled grateful as it hugged her closer in turn.
Wait, what? Ami's eyes snapped up and found herself staring at the slumber visage of the very Chinese man whom she had just relieved a memory about. She sat up and found, to her innocent horror, that she had been wrapped around him with one leg hooked over his, his chest having been her pillow and one arm had been flung across his stomach. Ami guiltily winced as she maneuvered herself off of the sleeping man. Glancing around, as she stood she found the likely culprit of her brother, sitting in the chair she had been in long before she passed out. He was sleeping now, head tilted back as little snores escaped him.
The blunette looked from one man to another, emotions churning as well as her thoughts. She shook her head, bewildered, "I can't think on it right now…sleep," She nodded, "Sleep is a good idea right now." Absently she leaned down and kissed Quatre's cheek before moving past him and to the door, she turned back to eye the sleeping figures of both men before leaving the room.
The click of the door had both men opening their eyes and staring at the pristine white before Quatre turned to Wufei with triumph, "I think…I think she's starting to remember?"
Wufei didn't turn to the blonde man, but nodded as he continued to eye the door, "I'll take what I can get." He whispered and Quatre could only shake his head, but he could feel the emotions Ami had given off. She just needed time to come to terms with some additional feelings.
The deck was quiet with just the beating waves and the call of the sea gulls filling the peaceful atmosphere the young pale girl found herself in, sitting on a white lounger in a pair of black shorty-shorts and purple tank top, elbows on knees and cheeks in the palm of her hands. Everyone else was inside, possibly sleeping or worrying over the three boys that had drained themselves by using their own planetary powers. The attack at the Gala would be discussed tomorrow as it would have to be debated whether or not the monster was a sign of a new enemy or one of the stray youma that popped up from time to time. The latter was much preferred. Needless to say, most were tired and feeling drained from the events of the night.
Tonight, though, Hotaru couldn't sleep. Her mind was abuzz with so much information. Well, for one, Setsuna-mama was related to the braided man whom spoke at her with such intimacy that Hotaru didn't know how to feel about it. Yes, she had been aware of the information when he had first spoken of being the Prince of Pluto, but a part of her had still denied the possibility that the braided man could be related to the Guardian of Time. She had witness the meeting between Duo and Setsuna-mama, having barely stepped out and watched as the two had embraced out on the porch earlier in the evening. She had stayed for a moment before retreating back into the house and to her room. The moment had been just for the two siblings and she had felt wrong on intruding upon it, especially as she witnessed the shuddering of Pluto's shoulders. Hotaru knew she had been crying, thus one other reason on why she had not made herself known.
Hotaru had remained hidden away in the dark recesses of her room on the bottom floor until Minako, Rei and Ami had shown back up with a passed out Trowa, Heero and Wufei. The house had been in a scramble, some barking questions, others acting to help the three girls and others arguing with those that were demanding answers to shut the hell up and help. The whole scene was a jumble of confusion when Rei had demanded everyone's' attention and explained what had happened. Most had turned to Setsuna, some surprised to see her but remained silent on that, for an answer. She hadn't had one. Her eyes had been wide in surprise, blinking as she shook her head. So no one pressed her further and jumped into action. It had been a group effort to get the three men into the house, cleaned up, dressed and into their respective beds. Ami and Setsuna had looked the trio over, checking pulses, shining lights in their eyes and both had come to a consensus. The boys had spent energy on powers they had not tapped in to many years, like since the Silver Millennium. The energy of powers drained the boys of vital nutrients and energy to sustain them.
The boys had been sent to bed to rest and might likely not wake up till way later in the afternoon or even later than that. Makoto was sitting with Heero, holding his hand the last she had seen. The two had been growing closer, accepting the sibling bonds as they got to know each other. Yes, Makoto still held back slightly since part of her still held the huge fear that she would get hurt, didn't have the memories Heero did. Sad, but Hotaru could sympathize even as she hoped Makoto would let the barriers fall and just forget about getting hurt. No, wasn't fair of the little Princess of Saturn, but hey, life hadn't been fair ever.
Hotaru smirked wryly, glancing up at the moon. Ami, she knew, was checking in on the Chinese man whom had been discreet in trying to woo the blunette. Wufei had been as rowdy as the other men when they had turned, sure, but after the whole buzz had worn down he seemed to make small little attempts with the genius. It was a nice bit of juicy topic that some of the girls speculated on. Yes, they all had their own issues, but Wufei had this resilience, the understated way of romance that Ami hardly even realized it. Rei had gushed with each of them at one point about the small conversation she had 'pushed' him into and how Ami had walked in. The romantics in each of them had given into girlish sighs. Hotaru chuckled slightly. Yes, they were all still females that enjoyed romance of many form, but when it came to the situations within their lives was quite different. Sure they could laugh and coo when they watched the others being romanced, but when it came to each of their own selective situations…just hell no. Hypocritical of each of them? Fuck yeah (Hopefully Haruka-papa never knows of her cussing. She's just like that).
Hotaru paused in her line of thought, rethinking back to when it all began. Had it really just been a bit of a week ago? It had seemed like so much time had gone by to allow the number of events to happen take place. She yawned, mouth widened as she pushed dark strands out of her face and behind her ear before resuming the precious position. So, that would mean that the vacation time would have to come to a close soon. The girls each had jobs, families or other things to get back too. Yes, it would have been nice to stay here and let the peaceful scenery be constant, to keep trying to figure out the situation with the guys, but the reality was that this could never last forever. Not even if Crystal Tokyo was up and running.
Hotaru yawned once more, rubbing at her right eye, knowing that her thoughts were tiring her a bit. She didn't feel ready for bed though, knowing that once she lay down the thoughts would plague her and she'd just be laying there awake. Yes, they would all go back home soon. That would leave them all with setting the guys up with identities to hold them in this new world. Birth certificates, licenses (seems cars weren't much different here, either), diplomas, finding them work and then there was the issue of living arrangements. Hotaru fought back a cringe when her thoughts turned full circle back to Setsuna-mama and Duo.
Hotaru didn't want to ask, nor did she want to hurt Setsuna-mama by not wanting the braided man coming to live with them at the mansion. It was just…just….The short girl exhaled slowly, feeling at a loss at whether she should even finish the thought. Or if she even could.
"You seem lost in thought." A soft, velvet voice spoke from the darkness, distracting her from her inner struggles. Hotaru glanced behind her, seeing one of the men that should have been resting. She smiled for his benefit and scooted over, patting the seat beside her in silent invitation.
Trowa sat down, but Hotaru took note of the stiffness in his actions. Honestly, she probably should have rushed him back to bed since his complexion was pale and there were dark circles around his eyes. His energy was nowhere near up to speed, but then that emerald eye was twinkling and she smiled in answer to the slight amusement he showed.
Like all the others, Hotaru had spoken to the other boys and gotten to know a few of them. No deep conversations, but light banter and a few encouraging remarks. Part of Hotaru rooted for some of the guys, especially the brothers. She could empathize and wanted the others to have a sibling bond because she had lost one long ago after losing her own sister in this life.
"I am." Hotaru answered softly, taking in the tall frame of the boy whom wore a gray t-shirt and black basketball shorts, shivering. Hotaru frowned, turning sideways and lifting her hands, "You should be sleeping." She hesitated a mere moment before shaking it off and giving in to her need to help him. A dim light glowed from the palm of her hands as she placed both hands on his lower arm. Trowa stiffened at the contact, but relaxed in her hold. Hotaru was grateful as she returned her gaze to his features, "No answer for that?"
A moment of silence followed, a long moment as Hotaru's healing powers seeped into the flesh of the darker skinned boy. Trowa just watched her, mouth pressed close and expressions non-existent on the fetching face. Hotaru did not press for an answer further. If he wished to speak he would do so, besides, silence wasn't scary to her. She was the Senshi that silenced all…and she had long ago made peace with silence, finding a melancholy comfort in it. She knew she couldn't fear silence when it was much of all she had ever known, a constant pattern that had littered the life times she had lived.
"You should be in bed, too." Hotaru's gaze flickered to his face before returning to let her eyes rest on where her glowing hands encased his arm. She fought back another yawn, aware of the green irises watching her from beneath light brown bangs that shifted in the small breeze that made a pass every now and again. Hotaru thought back to any other time she might have talked to Trowa, but couldn't think of a time. Maybe a few small comments between here and there when she was speaking to someone else, but nothing else that stood out. Hotaru was much like an observer, taking in the interactions of others even as everyone tried to include her in on everything. There was a fine line of observing and being part of things, she knew as she walked a fine line of doing both. For centuries she had mastered the art of just sitting back and watching. In the years to come she would learn to do, to act and be part of something. Trowa was much like her, walking the fine line of observing and doing. He just tended to not talk while doing either. So, really, she had never had an actual conversation with Trowa.
"If you're going to make note of what I should do, then we are going to revisit what it is you, yourself, should be doing." Out of the corner of her eye, she could see him blink, brows slightly raised in response to her statement. Hotaru could feel some fatigue kicking in as she pulled her healing limbs from his. Already Trowa looked better, not so pale and tired, though he should still get some sleep.
"Thank you." Hotaru righted herself, still twisting her body to face him with her hands in her lap. She smiled in response to his quietly spoken words.
"Anytime." Silence reigned once more between them, still comfortable but different from the one before. It was infused with a new possibility, a new feeling that Hotaru knew she hadn't detected there before. It was not unwelcome.
"You know," The silent man began, "I know exactly what I should be doing and it doesn't involve sleep." Hotaru schooled her expression to remain platonic, not the surprise she was feeling. Trowa had rarely ever spoken of his desire to rekindle his and Minako's past relationship. After the first few days of the men's 'behavior' the guys had calmed down to show that they weren't merely sex starved crazies, as Hotaru noted.
Hotaru could only think that it had been a male version of Senshi Lust, memories awakened and alive once more must have made the men desire to feel more alive, like a survival trigger kicking in. Each Senshi, after having died or after being in a brutal fight, had the same experience. The blood coursing through their veins, rushing in heightened awareness. Their nerves on end and high alert, senses roaring to life in a pinnacle of perfection. It was an adrenalin rush on crack. Senshi Lust acted the same way, an after battle blood lust where the Senshi needed to find release fast by either acting on the feelings or a long, cold shower would be needed.
"I see." Hotaru absently said at length, tilting her head back to look at the tall man more fully, a curious gleam in her orbs. Trowa blandly met her stare head on, his own head tilted forward.
"How can you?" Hotaru blinked, taken back as she could detect a note of sarcasm in the question. A flush made its way to her cheeks and further over her countenance. She didn't turn away though, didn't dare fall back from the challenge he had presented.
"Like the others you want her to remember, to have it go back to the way it was before. She won't accept that, neither will I. He is a stranger, just as you are a stranger to her." Hotaru did finally answer, knowing she was repeating information that had been discussed. Inwardly, she winced as the statement began to sound like a broken record. It sounded more like an excuse that was weakening every single time she spoke to these men, saw them every day for the past couple of weeks. Appearance wise, she remained strong even as a little part of her laughed cruelly at the inner truth she was just realizing.
"I had wanted that, yes." He didn't deny it, the corner of his lips twitching. Hotaru could feel hers doing the same, but repressed it as she waited to hear what more he was going to say, "I knew after we all had the talk that it wouldn't be like that, though. I knew I couldn't expect her to remember. I hadn't before then, before the apparition tore us away from the afterlife of Hell and brought us here." Trowa paused, turning away and letting his gaze roam out and into the ocean. Hotaru continued her perusal of him. She took note of a shift in air, the tightening of his lips. She sat up a little straighter, brow crinkling. Hotaru could feel a shift again and somehow knew that she would get a closer look inside Trowa. She didn't have so long to wait, "In my old life I had no name. I had no past that I could remember." His voice was quiet, emotionless just as his face turned to stone, "The name I have was given to me when the original Trowa Barton had died in an accident. I was there and the scientist didn't want to get in trouble, so I took on the name, took on being the pilot, took on duties that weren't mine. I took it all because I wanted a purpose, a name."
"I became a part of something, the Gundam pilots. I helped finish wars, helped with fighting for peace. I gained people, friends I know I never would have met if I hadn't had taken on the name Trowa. Later, I learned that I had a sister. Catherine and I had met in the circus, where I hid on my off time, working as performers. I hadn't known who she was, but eventually, she claimed me and said I was a lost little brother she once had, Triton Bloom." Hotaru watched as he said the name, like he tasted some new delicacy that he wasn't sure he liked, "I didn't take on the name, because I felt that I had already established myself as Trowa. I was still empty, still feeling as if life was missing so much for me. I had a sister, friends, name and a purpose. Yet I could remember closing my eyes and being teased with the combination of blue and gold. My dreams taunting me with a past that was so far out of my grip, making me remember the warmth of loving arms, of kisses raining down my cheeks. I was sure it was dreams from my life before losing my memories." He cast her a glance, "I was right, in a sense. They were memories, memories that were reminding me that I had to get back to her, Minako. I had vowed, long before now, that I would always be there for her. I would always offer myself as comfort, shelter and love in the face of her fears. In those dreams I had purpose, I had identity and I had so much more. I hated to wake up. I hated to lose all that and fall back into the lie I had built." A long breath of air seeped out of the man. Probably the most she had ever seen him talk and the words held such poetic truth, his tone somber that Hotaru had no trouble believing it. He had nothing to gain from lying either way.
Hotaru could only sit there and let his words sink in even as the inner romantic in her sighed and wanted to find the blonde to shake her into accepting the man. Hotaru reeled her thoughts back, shaking them as she had a mental image of her, covered in hearts, bashing Minako over the head with a mallet, screaming at her with pointed teeth and red eyes. No, she knew it would do no good, just as Hotaru began to realize why she didn't have deep conversations with the guys like this.
She had been unaware as to the reason, but now she could see with startling clarity. She hadn't wanted to know the truth, see with her own eyes a deep part of these men. Yes, she had talked and given some of them advice, but she didn't really know them. Now, she could feel the guilt, the empathy assuaging her like a festering wound that just itched. She had tried to keep her interactions brief, non-deep. That small part of her that had been laughing cruelly was getting bigger. The established thought of the men being strangers? Becoming more and more like a pretext. She could see how they each tried, in their own way, to woo past loves, reestablish that sibling bond and rekindle friendships forgotten. She had tried to keep herself separate, but as she watched them, every word exchanged and she was getting in deeper and deeper as if it was…The young woman swallowed, Destiny.
"Then I learn in this life," Hotaru was brought out of her epiphany as Trowa continued to go against his silent nature. He waved a hand around, "that my name was Trowa in the past. I learned about being a brother, a prince and that the blonde and blue dream was actually someone who needed me."
"Need you, how?" Hotaru questioned, her brow furrowing as she thought about Minako and how she would need Trowa. Minako was a happy girl, easily someone Hotaru felt she could confide in. Sure, Minako might have her silliness that was a comedic relief, but she was pretty stable as far as Hotaru had been able to discern. As stable as any of the Senshi could be, anyway.
A dry chuckle was the first part of his reply. Hotaru was puzzled but remained silent once again. She analyzed the tall male critically, her purple orbs taking in the mordant tilt of the left side of his lips, the way his gaze had taken on a new sheen, determination, "Minako might seem like she shows everything on her sleeves, but the truth is she never does. She is strong, but her weakness is that she never shares her weaknesses. She needs someone who will see, who will let her lean on them in her time of weakness." Hotaru opened her mouth to retort, but the flash of those green orbs had her stopping short, "I'm not saying you or the others are incapable of doing this for her, but there is more about Minako that many are never aware of, much less being aware of her fears herself."
The brief flash of agitation she had felt earlier melted into mystification. She could feel her newest question on the tip of her tongue, could taste it. She didn't ask, didn't get to. Trowa had stood up and was eyeing the side door. Hotaru slowly looked around him and her eyes had gone wide.
I blame the lateness of this chapter on Ami-chan. She just had to fight me every step of the way on her damn memory. This girl must have psychological issues with confronting her emotions, jeez. XD Never mind that I'm the writer. You can only do what you can with the character, especially when they want to be stubborn.
I had to add the plotter, the baddie, because I realized she has never had a full coming out. Her reason for why she is doing what she is doing is never actually stated but there are hints and I couldn't help but add humor. This is primarily a humor based fic. Anyone with kids or have seen some of the shows today can relate to some of the horrors of the shows added.
I find myself at a surprised twist that I had never originally intended to take with this story, but the idea is just too juicy and twisted that I can't find it in me to go with the original idea I had in mind. I think many will find it fun too.
Thank you all for reading and hope to see some reviews or PMs.