A/N: Ok, Remember the Series of one-shots I was going to make? Well here we go; this first one will take place as mostly Hotaru acting as a teacher with Saeko being a sort of student. The basic idea around this is a song fiction dealing with the more intricate details of the Shadow Realm and Time Gates that I had made for the TSK series. Those of you who have read the first book should know what it is I'm speaking about. Light hearted and good natured despite the settings it is about this fiction details Hotaru teaching Saeko about her Senshi duties after she awakened as Quicksilver. It will start off as a Saeko POV and work its way from there. Setsuna plays a very small role as well, however for you guys who follow my series, it may give insight as to why a particular even happened the way it did.

Please Read and Review!


Song: Fireflies
By: Owl City

This means lyrics.
This means story.

Hotaru had always been a girl none of the Senshi could fully explain and her duties weren't exactly easy to deal with. Yes Hotaru could be a dark being there were no doubt in that, Saeko found herself by a lake filled with little orbs flying around her, the afore mentioned Senshi sitting by her side playing with these lights. White as purity they were a far cry from the purple that emitted from Hotaru's eyes on a normal basis. Why was this child so scary to the outside when she so clearly could be more than the occult Senshi of death and destruction? Clearly here she was, playing with things to the untrained eye thought were fireflies. Her smile was that if happiness and it seemed odd to Saeko that this would be something so welcoming even if these beings weren't exactly alive.

"I like these beings, but they don't only reside here Saeko. These beings are spirits and they float every place you can imagine." That's what Hotaru had spoken to me when I first came into contact with that rather odd white light. Surely I knew she wouldn't allow it, whatever it was to hurt me, and yet I felt afraid of it… why? Funny, this Senshi before me could be fearful of many things and yet she governed one of the things I work to prevent, not that she didn't but still. Anyone who would have told me they see dead people before I became a Senshi I thought needed help, yet here I am eating my words as this little… thing…yes that's what I'll call it, merrily began to float around me in what seemed to be happy glee, I Mizuno Saeko should be fit to be tied! Funny this girl before me, Hotaru shared with me many things that night, things I never began to understand possibilities on.

"Saeko," Hotaru asked when the light finally left me alone to regain what little logic I had left after coming face to face with it. "Do you know what that light was?"

"Don't you mean who?" I asked and when I received a small chuckle I knew I perhaps corrected the wrong part of that question.

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

"Not at all." Hotaru laughed kindheartedly. "There are more to these lights than just souls. They can be dreams, voices lost; any and all life forms can be that of a light. Anything with a reason can become a light as long as its reason must exist. That light was a wish you had made just now; ironically you made that same wish within the past as well."

"You've got to be kidding me." Saeko sighed when she received a look meaning that Hotaru was indeed speaking fact. "Alright then, what was this 'wish' of mine?"

"Simple, that light was one of hope, a wish that when all is said and done you have made the right choice. Many lights like these are released into the realm where time doesn't move forward or backwards, rather these gates can contain many things. That wish was one of your own and one that seems to live on endlessly no matter what; you want to do the best you can. That wish dives so deeply within your soul it becomes a life of its own although not one that ever can claim a living body. Anyone who falls asleep at night can often release these little wishes unspoken when they have control of what they do and say. In the depth of sleep one can find a great many wishes because in your sleep you are ageless, time cannot move because in sleep concept of mortal reality becomes skewed." Hotaru spoke simply as more lights seemed to appear from the water and all along the areas etched in the darkest reaches, it amazed the new warrior of Mercury at how calmly the girl stood as so many seemed float like a mob after its prey. Smiling she welcomed them with open arms much to Saeko's dismay.

Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

Hotaru allowed her arms to become covered in the lights as she closed her eyes allowing her eyes to fill with what looked to be tears, allowing herself to embrace the feelings of those who were no longer able. Purple light seemed to cover the area and for not the first time Saeko felt fearful. What was this light, and why was it now engulfing Saeko as well. This wasn't something she was used to as both seemed to be lifted into the darkness of the night. Around them were stars and below them, planet Earth.

"If you fear this Saeko, then you will also fear me because I am what you will see before you shortly. This is not a bad thing; however you must understand I have granted you this because I want to show you the things your light asks to see. I know you fear to ask me, but I do not fear to show you." Hotaru's voice echoed on seemingly endlessly.

"Are we in space?" Saeko asked confused. She seemed to be floating in outer space as stars and other things surrounded her, this begged the question of how one could survive out here, but one question at a time, she was still so confused.

"No, Look before you, look at earth. What do you see?" Hotaru asked simply receiving no reply. "We are still at the Gates however what you see is earth in the form of what it is now, currently. While we remain here, out there time still moves and with it so does day and night, what you see on one side is day, the other is night, but that doesn't look like it from here does it?" Hotaru knew the answers and yet it seemed funny that she was so willing to teach this woman what she wouldn't dare show others.

"Looks like day all over." Saeko affirmed with a nod.

"Yes but why?" Hotaru asked before smiling at scientific thoughts. "And before you say anything about the sun, gravitational pull, or anything science related remember you are talking to me, not an astronomer."

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

"Then I have no idea." Saeko admitted "Go on then, explain this one. I am baffled by this."

"I figured." Hotaru laughed. "All that science mumbo jumbo only holds some relevance. Those lights are ones only I can see; they are the dreams of those lost, souls of those who are no longer alive but never leave earth. They dream for the future wishing for someone to hear their calls, they are happy, but even so they want to have someone, some place to hear them. I know I can, but I don't know if anyone else can." She grew serous for a moment before giving a simple yet meaningful warning. "What you are about to see,it's not exactly something someone who hasn't been in the void has seen. Do not be worried to see it, they won't hurt you."

The lights of the earth, had many different hews and along with these hews a flurry of colors invaded the sky. Funny people say a rainbow only can occur after a rain storm, but then why were these colors all over the place. Not only were the colors spastically flying into Hotaru's general direction it seemed as no order or balance could be maintained and Saeko wasn't worried, but she was confused.

"Umm, should we run?" Saeko gawked as quite a few lights began to pass her, totally and completely ignoring her. "They look mad at you."

"I told you to not be afraid, and mad no, hyper yes." Hotaru spoke as the tiny lights zoomed around the nighttime sky and jumbled around her form. She was absorbing them. "They are the spirits seeking to follow me around, I kinda couldn't drag them with me when we left for the gates, they saw me and that explains the spastic little buggers you see before you."

"Indeed." Saeko was effectively speechless.

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

Before Saeko knew it she was also being swarmed by the warm embrace of multi colored lights as they began to get closer than she would have liked. "Shoo. Shoo. Go to her not me!" Saeko squeaked confused as Hotaru laughed much to Saeko's dismay. "That way! See? She's over there!" She pointed trying to coax the lights away from her.

"No use there, those ones know you. Family I would assume, although I can't quite tell who's saying what in this mass, they seem happy to see you though." Hotaru was still amused by the spasm around the night sky. "This is what most humans fail to see at night. These lights embody many things and the confusion can get over whelming, but as you can see, nothing is going to hurt you unless you actually want it to cause you harm."

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

Saeko was spinning in lights still a little confused in all of this. "No. Put me down. No. Bad buggers!" Saeko used the term Hotaru had used but to no avail, "No..Sit…Stay..HOTARU!!" she was being carried in an ocean of lights now, all seemingly flocking around the two of them dancing around in a way that would have made one think that they were a drug addict. "Stop that!" She used a motherly tone in hopes it would work, yet again it failed as she got stuck in a dance of souls embracing her, welcoming her and pleading with her not to shun them away. "Want to give me a hand?"

"aww they like you how cute!" Hotaru voiced before continuing, "Most of these lights seek an outlet, you just happen to be one they haven't seen around here before. Rei can be a type of outlet given she has the ability to reach them, however I can span a far greater reach, you just happen to be floating in the brunt of what physics like Rei cannot seem to reach." Hotaru willingly allowed the current of lights around her as she also absorbed their feelings and all that they wished for her to hear, she accepted freely for them, happy that she was making their voices heard.

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

"This cannot be reality…" Saeko looked around before remembering her vow to accept oddball situations no matter what, but this was simply far too much. "So much for science…actually, so much for any kind of rationality at this point." She sighed realizing that these lights would leave only when they wanted too and she might as well make the best of the situation. She allowed the lights to carry her around earth and all that it entailed she saw many things, rain, sleet, snow hail, small smoke clouds that she would notice were left over from fires. She was seeing Earth as a whole, and it was something that mesmerized her.

"This is what I see before I go to sleep every night Saeko. You're just lucky you get to see this, because not everyone does while they are alive." Hotaru smiled as she drifted in the current allowing herself to take in the universe that no matter how many times she would see it never became dull. It really did seem endless.

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
'Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I'm far too tired to fall asleep

"They call me here before sleep, and often this is where their voices hit me in the most emotional way. They cry, they smile, they laugh, they even feel things like fear, concern, amazement, most that had been living beings or wishes that stemmed from such beings can express anything that life had while in a mortal shell." Hotaru explained as they flew over more parts of the earth, and some were starting to take their leave, no longer needing to linger now that they had the chance to be heard.

"This is what you deal with each and every night?" Saeko asked worried for Hotaru's well being.

"Yes, that is my job as their Senshi, everything I do… I do it for the souls who have no voice to the outside… that includes everyone… I don't hold an actual duty towards Usagi, but I do for those she's lost, people like her mother of the past and those families of the forgotten moon. I remember what others can't so that no one else has to. Whether it is a living being or those who have passed on I look after them. It can be hard, but just as anything within our roles as a Senshi sometimes the job sounds worse than it really is. Although this aspect can be hard to deal with, it is a reward that no one gets to see until their time has come."

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

Just as soon as it had started the lights began to leave and slowly Hotaru bid all of them goodbye until her next visit to the sky. She allowed her tears to show, giving solace promising to return. As they left the side of Hotaru and Saeko they were gifted with a new type of rainbow. One that seemed even Saeko understood "Thank you." they seemed to say. It was then that Saeko felt the tears well within her eyes as well. Then she shouted hoping that her voice to travel to them as well. "Thank you for showing me. I will return when I can!" At that, Hotaru smiled, glad that Saeko had accepted those who at first made her uneasy.

They waited until the final little light flickered out after reaching its home on earth, wherever that was exactly. Then the area when back to normal, as if the Gates of Time had been there the entirety of their trip, as if it had only been unseen to Saeko's eyes. She was still speechless trying to place together her own emotions after that experience. "Have they all gone home happy?" Saeko could only hope that they had, she was crying, yet she was at peace, but then she was something else, what was the word, if there even was one to describe this feeling.

"Some have, some have not… it depends on what you mean by happy, there is a balance in everything, even death or a wish. Happy is a term that can be easily manipulated." Hotaru answered allowing her expression to change lightly matching her more normal demeanor. "I can tell you that they liked you being there. All they want is to be noticed, to be cared for, they don't have much of that, but for me I have to be there. I need to watch over them, you were gifted to see that, because none of the other Senshi have been able to be shown. I showed you because you wanted to know, that wish was granted because your soul made it your will."

But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

When Saeko went to sleep that night she was gifted with the lights again, not very many, only a small handful found their way into her sleep. Even so, she couldn't speak to them, couldn't understand them at all, yet they seemed happy. This was the light side to the world of darkness, a view that everyone had feared, shunned, hated with every passion known to man, Saeko wished to see, to fully understand, and even if she was still learning this night had been one she wouldn't ever forget. She noted that these lights weren't ones of wishes like that one she saw when she had been awake. No these were actual spirits who wanted her companionship, ones she willingly allowed in her depth of sleep. When she would awake from that dream they would be gone again, however they would be happy to greet her, if only for a few hours every night.

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

"Life and death, time and space, the many elements that build up earth are all one entire unity in the afterlife. This is the truth I have learned in my time as a Sailor Senshi. One day I wish to be one of these lights, and that someone will listen to my plea one day. I want to dance and play in the eternity that the world of shadow is. It can be scary, or that of a womb. Shadows are that of night, things we don't every fully understand. I myself don't know why I travel to this world before I sleep at night; even so, I love it there. Someone or something guides us all and what that thing is I have no idea. I have a feeling though that this shadow is only a mere gateway for something much larger. Please who ever guides me to guide the shadow, take me there as a light one day, let me fly happily just like the ones I visit. That is all I ask." Hotaru spoke quietly the same words she would speak every night before sleep reached her and she would travel with the same little purple orbs that would never leave her side.

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

"Science, technology, logic, none of it could explain what I experienced tonight. If there is a great being out there I think I caught a glimpse of their power tonight. Thank you whoever you are. Now I understand why so many aren't afraid of the afterlife. I know Hotaru seems to think we as humans fear such a thing, but in her eyes I saw something more than I think she wanted me to see. I saw hope, I saw longing, I think she wants to be a being like that one day, please, when her time is right deity grant her that wish, let Hotaru be free one day, please." Saeko said as she spoke to the night sky when she awoke from her dream, it was going to be day break soon, and for the first time in a long time her mind was filled with many things, little did Saeko know however that within these feelings she was also planting a new light, one that she wished dearly would be granted for Hotaru, she wished the child happiness.

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

"So is that her wish?" Setsuna said as she saw another light form under the sky, thought very small and barely formed this light was a soul of a woman she knew well. "She wished Hotaru to be happy, then I shall do what I can." Taking her Staff she tore a hole within the gates and walked through a rift into the future.

"To me, my life holds no value unless the people I am to look after are protected. Time is ageless, but it can also be a curse of never ending life. I Setsuna exist in every single place in time, and therefore I will never fully die, sadly this is why I feel Hotaru's pain. Her deity will not grant her the ability to leave until the bearer of the soul have come to terms with the failures of this world, or if one wishes to redeem that life from such a never-ending cycle. No one will be able to fully end my life and thus I need not worry, however Hotaru has been given a wish of mortality by that of another, I only hope that this possibility although small can be granted, if this is to be true then I'll need help. A new bearer must be found, and I can only wish that I can find a Senshi out there willing of the task."


Let me know what you think of this small little one-shot.