Just a quick little New Year's story. Sort of taking a break from posting, Never Walk it Off, which is soon going to be discontinued. Why? None of you have been answering my question, so I can't finish the damn story until you do. Which is kind of sad considering it was posted in bold letters across the last chapter I put up. Don't own Sailor Moon, never will.

A Year of Mourning

By sakanascales876

Minako sighed and took a deep breath as she leant against the cool metal of the balcony. It was what, 11:50? She chuckled as she shook her head…where did the time go? She shivered. Where did her friends go? She looked below at the tiny little people that were excitedly preparing for the New Year, making her wince at all the noise and joyful cries. Minako took a sip of wine; maybe this was a good thing.

Maybe this was a way of telling her that she needed to move on, and that she needed to accept the truth.

They were dead, and they weren't coming back.

Jadeite would be cracking a joke and Rei would be slugging him in the gut for it. Ami and Zoicite would be cuddled on the couch, reading a book together and stealing glances and blushes at each other. Makoto would be accusing Nephrite of burning dinner, and Nephrite would be defending his title as 'MAN,' and telling her that the kitchen was not his place, it was hers. And Kunzite…Kunzite would be brushing away the tear that had just fallen silently from her cheek and into the crowd below.

They had left her alone, and Minako wished that she had just been killed along with them.

She shakily lifted the wine and gave her trade mark victory V.

"Happy New Years, everyone," she said, her voice absolute. She would not, could not cry anymore.

She cackled. "Beryl…Metallia…burn in hell."

"Prince, Princess…rest in peace and find happiness wherever you are."

She had finally let them go.

Across the city, a girl with two remarkable pigtails was cocooned in her beloved's arms, who was resting his head against hers as they stared quietly into the stars.

She heard Jadeite crack some silly joke and then his grunt of pain as Rei slugged him in the gut, telling him to grow up. Ami and Zoicite were under a blanket on the couch, reading a book on the respiratory system for some upcoming test they were supposed to have. Makoto was waving the smoke out of the kitchen while yelling at Nephrite for turning up the stove too high while he vehemently protested that this was all "Women's work." And Kunzite…Kunzite had told them that he would have preferred to spend New Year's alone, and nobody argued with him.

This had been the year that Minako was taken.

They had all been killed by Metallia after a bold attempt to save the Earth, which succeeded. They were reborn, all except for her.

The most loyal of them all, Sailor Venus, who had been there through thick and thin and the fires of hell, had not come back.

"Happy New Year's, Mamo-chan," Usagi whispered brokenly as she clasped his hand.

She saw his knuckles go white. "Usa…" he breathed against her neck, his arms tightening around her.

She didn't meet his eyes. "Where do you think she is now?"

"Making everyone in the Beyond's life a living hell by trying to match people up."

She should have laughed, but she didn't.

"Kunzite…he's starting to move on, isn't he?"

Mamoru shook his head. "I don't think he'll ever find another…she had stamped her name on his soul already."

A single tear fell down her cheek, and Mamoru gently brushed it away. He drew her into a hug, soothingly rubbing his arm up and down her back.

"Do you think she'll ever come back?"

Venus was the toughest of them all, whose determination would have her battling hell and beyond just to say goodbye. She would have been back by now…but he could lie. He could lie for her sake…only for her's.

"Yes. Nothing could keep that girl away from us."

A lie. Nothing more, for she couldn't handle anything less.

The deep bells resonated across the city, and Mamoru captured Usagi in a long kiss, and Usagi returned it fully, knowing she had done the right thing.

She had finally let Minako go.

Minako raised the empty glass to the sky. "Happy New Year," she whispered.

The wine glass slipped from her hand and shattered on the floor.

She had finally let them go.

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-Fishyscales876 :)