The Thin White Line

A work of Sailor Moon fanfiction

Sailor Moon created by Naoko Takeuchi. All rights reserved. I ask that you not do anything with this work without the author's permission.


Did you ever want to be a superhero?

I did, when I was younger. Who wouldn't? Beat the bad guys, get everyone looking up to you... for someone growing up, there is no greater job. Sailor V was my personal idol; I gazed longingly at the posters, pumped weeks' worth of allowance into the video games, and dreamed of one day riding the skyscraper roofs - just like her.

God, I was an idiot.

I finally got to meet Sailor V; she was a good friend of mine. They all were; war makes for strange friendships, and ours was forged while staring in the youma's maw. We learned to trust each other with our very lives - and to lay down that life for each other if called to. In that time, we became more than friends; we became sisters.

They are strangers to me now. We accomplished our mission, and paid the superhero's price. Their debt is paid. Mine still lingers.

I am alone. They don't remember us anymore. Youma scars were washed clean in our rebirth; innocence - blissful, ignorant innocence - was the reward for our service. Our lives were our own again; we finally had the chance to live out our lives in peace. The Moon Kingdom could finally rest.

Until last week. Luna didn't have a choice, I know, but part of me wishes I'd died in bliss, rather than become... this... again. My life returned to me, I quickly vaporized the poor creature... and found silence my reward. There was no Sailor Mars there to yell at me, no Sailor Venus to misquote some appropriate saying, no Tuxedo Mask to smile at me with confidence. Only cicadas cheered my victory, their chirps leading me back to the comfort of home.

They are the only ones who can cheer, now. I am cursed to carry the Moon Kingdom's banner, with none of the important benefits that come with it. Mamo-chan's dark eyes are closed to me now; Ami and Makoto barely notice me in class; to Minako and Rei, I am just another pretty face. I am Sailor Moon - and I work alone.


School, at least outwardly, is unchanged. I am still Tsukino Usagi, class klutz; sometimes I wish that my skill as a Senshi would transfer to my normal life. The days are unchanged; one boring period merges into another, with only the occasional respite of a break. To be honest, I'd welcome school, embrace it with open arms - if they were not there to remind me. Every time something good happens, I feel like rushing up to them, to share my joy; every time the lunch bell rings, I find myself wishing for Makoto's cooking; every time I falter or fail, I long for Ami's comfort and wisdom.

They, unfortunately, are not the only ones who have changed. I can't see it like I did before, no matter how hard I try. Umino and Naru wonder why I seem so distant, why I never *talk* to them like I used to. What could I tell them? Who would believe me? Again, the calling of the superhero is a secret one, a quiet aching inside. The pains are an indelible part of me now; it is almost comfortable, frightening as that sounds.

Evenings are not much better. I never realized how much they were a part of me, how much of my life was encompassed in us. My social life is severely stunted; haunts I once darkened are no longer welcome to me. Even if I did go out and 'have fun', where would I do it? Snacks seem dull without the flavor of friends; games bore me to tears without a companion to share them with. In the end, I end up in front of the television; at least that will not leave me.

My nightly patrol comes as the moon rises. I say nothing during it, make no unnecessary stops; I do my job, and get out. There is no fun in it now; the fun was burned out in an Arctic explosion. As I move, I watch the others around me, wondering if they know the thread that exists between their life and something much darker. Would they help me if they knew; could they?

The last five stops of my rounds are always the same. They are places where I was once welcome, where five people go about their lives. I watch them enjoy what I cannot; I watch them live the life I lost. I observe Rei as she sweeps the shrine, Ami as she studies her math, Mamoru as he hangs out with friends... I see them as they should be.

And I would not take it away from them for the world. They've earned their rest.

The day began with noisy shouts; it ends with quiet sobs. Luna snuggles close to me, to try to console my pain; I know she blames herself for what happened, even if it did save my life. In that darkness, I tell her how I feel, why I feel... it is the only sounding board I am allowed, the only place where I can truly scream.


I don't want to be a superhero anymore.

When it first started, it was fun, all a game. All I had to do was moondust the bad guys, and all would be well. It's not that way anymore; I know the lives hanging on the thread, and will not let it break. It is not a pleasant vigil; it is a line that threatens to break me in its stead. Unfortunately, someone must act, and the only someone who can is me.

There can be no vacation for me. In a way, I can't take the uniform off; even if I go out as Tsukino Usagi, I still see as Sailor Moon. The battle is heating up, and I must defend. I give up my life for this cause, because lives must be given up for this cause. I walk the dark path, walk it alone to protect those I love, and I will not falter from that responsibility.

No matter how much it hurts.


Originally released: July 9, 1999

Released to fanfiction dot net: February 17, 2009