Author: Girl Who Writes
Feedback: If you feel so moved.
SMMFC Prompt: Cherub
Word Count: 1022
Summary: It was not Small Lady who burnt her mark into Saturn's brow and expected a millennia of power – of life and death, of evolution and revolution - to come to her hand.
Notes: This takes place a very long time in the future. Notes at the end, so not to 'spoil' aspects of the story.
Disclaimer: The characters of Sailor Moon belong to Toei, Bandai and Naoko Takeuchi. I make no profit from this fan-based venture.
She can feel the power within her, burning in her blood and ringing in her ears. There is nothing she can do to silence it.
The city spirals up in the sky, all glass and marble, the purest white crystal, almost glowing against the night sky. Soon, the Earth's other cities will be the same, reaching up to the moon in shining white rock, Serenity's most beautiful dream brought to reality.
Not life. Never life. There is no life in Crystal Tokyo, just polished stone in shades of pink and white. The people in the city are just smiling automatoms, with Queen Serenity's name holy words on everyone's lips. Time is an arcane thing when lives span centuries, Pluto a figurehead for something that is no longer important to these people; something quaint that patronizes everything the ancient senshi has done, something that makes Hotaru's blood boil.
She knew this day would come. Both of her – the ancient Saturn, reassuring whispers in the back of her mind guiding her choices, her powers; and Hotaru Tomoe, who is eternally eighteen, eternally the baby of the senshi. The power she wields and the one she fights for are two separate entities. She was young, still aging, when she first wondered how it was possible to answer the call of Saturn, and to defend Serenity's hopes and dreams. Death and rebirth versus the precious sanctity of life. Continually moving forward, changing, evolving, fighting versus a statis of gleaming crystal.
Logic versus love.
Saturn sits upon the gleaming spire of a cathedral – the only perch in Crystal Tokyo that gives her a respectable view of the sprawling palace in its entirity, twisting around and holding the city – like the Grail as the Ginzuishou rose from it that final night. Her Grail, the voice of Saturn reminds her; Saturn's Grail, that rests in the Royal Gallery, the colour bleached to white from that final battle. The Three Talismans and the Holy Grail; the birth rights of the Outer Planetary Senshi.
How much else have they relinquished in Serenity's name?
Saturn is furious in her head, awake and shrieking for justice, for balance, for what is rightfully hers – the Grail, the title and that final act.
Hotaru jerks her head to the side, as if movement can stop the whispers. It is the eve of Neo-Princess Serenity's coronation. Chibiusa, finally Neo-Queen, the heiress to the rock city.
She picks the Glaive up from next to her, and holds it upright, smiling to herself as the blade glints in the moonlight. Perhaps the people below her will stare and fear the malevolant glint of the Reaper's Scyth atop one of their religious shrines to Serenity, will scream and riot and pull it all down around the Neo-Queen's ears, on her last day of ruling. Perhaps they will see it as a warning, as a reason, as an apology.
Or perhaps they will notice nothing because what is the glint of a silver blade in a city constantly shining, even in the dark?
She pulls the brooch from the front of her fuku; the glass orb, lavender coloured and light in her hand, stamped with the golden crescent of the one she serves. Her fuku dissolves into ribbons twisting around her body as she balances the brooch in one hand before dropping it.
The ground is far from her perch and it is a few seconds before she hears the tinkle of glass against the white paving stones of the streets; the cries of passers-by, who crowd around to inspect the discarded ornament. Will they recognize the colour? Or will they piece together Serenity's mark and pray for the soul that desecrated it?
Saturn – now Hotaru – stands, clutching her Glaive to herself, the ribbons of her fuku hanging listlessly around her. The moon sigil on her brow burning more and more brightly, more painfully. Her eyes fall closed.
And then there is only the purple marking of Saturn; reclaiming its senshi, reclaiming its power, reclaiming its role. The ribbons dissolve into the fuku for Saturn's soldier; something that is familiar and comfortable, and dreaded like nothing else Hotaru can name.
She knows what waits for her; crowds of citizens lining the streets, curious and indignant that one of the Solar Senshi has not taken Serenity's mark upon them and still approaches the palace.
They will be in the throne room, laughing, smiling, happy. Her Pluto-mama will be there, expecting this, with a sad but understanding smile. Neptune-mama will be shocked but will not stand against her. Uranus-papa will be confused and angry but will defend her against the outraged Guardian Senshi; will brandish her sword for her without thought of the consequences.
And little Chibiusa – well, not so little now – will tearfully ask why now, why the eve of her own Queenship, her greatest dream so much closer.
And Saturn-Hotaru will smile thinly, and turn to the pale Queen on the throne, horrified and repentant now.
It was not Small Lady who burnt her mark into Saturn's brow and expected a millennia of power – of life and death, of evolution and revolution - to come to her hand. It was not Small Lady who ever presumed herself, her needs and her ideals above the fury of the Silent Planet, the duties of the Holy Ones.
A little part of Hotaru wants to bow her head and apologize to the one that was Usagi Tsukino, who saved her upon her destined death, who raised a planet from death and disease, and only wishes for love and happiness for her friends; the part of her that hasn't been eighteen in a millennia knows Usagi died in the same ashes of Tokyo that Serenity rose from.
It is not Hotaru who speaks, nor Saturn, even if the words pass through her lips. They are the words of the planet, the solar system; the words that have been screaming at Hotaru for weeks and weeks; words that have been said before, in a time none of them can remember quite clearly.
"It is over, White Moon Queen."
Notes: This rapidly morphed into something darker than I originally planned, and it's another fic I'd love to expand into something epic. It touches briefly on the ideas that in S, Sailor Moon is not able to properly wield the Grail; and whilst Saturn has the Glaive, it makes sense that the three Talismans and the Grail would be used by the four Outer Planetary Senshi – also the reason for the title of Holy.
The moon sigils for all the senshi was something I considered when the Senshi swore their alligence to N-Q Serenity.
If there's anything that's not easily understood, let me know. I hope you enjoyed it :D