Disclaimer: I demand a picture of Rei with a small crow on her head.
Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon
The Wonderful World of Kim Pine
There's no kill like Crossoverkill.
The blue, green, and white gem in the sky may as well have been gold to the Princess who watched it from the flowering gardens of the Moon. Reaching up to the colorful orb, the Princess opened her hand set her palm just beneath it. It amazed her how such an immense place could seem so small.
She closed her hand, eclipsing the Earth with her fist, and laughed at the absurd allegory of her gesture. Lowering her arm, the Princess jumped when a pair of strong hands rested on her shoulders, but she relaxed just as quickly when she recognized that strength. She turned and looked up at the face of her Prince, the man who represented all that she loved about the Earth.
"Endymion!" she gasped, surprised that he would journey all this way to see her.
The Prince's hands left her shoulders, and gently caressed her face and tilted her chin upward. "Serenity… "
The Princess embraced the Prince, her heart pounding in her chest as he returned it. Their lips met in a gentle kiss, but gentleness was quickly discarded in lieu of passion. In a moment, the Princess was laying amongst the flowers, her Prince over her.
Breaking the kiss, she stared at him her face flushed and panting with desire, as he smiled dangerously. Whether she asked or not, he was going to continue, but he wanted to hear her, and she knew this.
"Endymion… p-please… " She only began to say.
And then a gunshot rang out.
There was a thud, and then a moan of pain that woke Luna. Looking to the source of the racket, she found that Usagi had fallen out of her bed and walked over to the edge. "Well this is new; normally sleeping is the only staying still you can do."
Groggy, Usagi sat up and stared at the Mau. "I had a weird dream."
Luna let out a huff. "Moaning like that? I'm not sure how it's different from your usual dreams."
Usagi's brow furrowed as she tried to remember it, but couldn't. "Huh, I usually remember my dreams. It didn't feel like one of my usual dreams, either."
She climbed back into the bed and under the blankets. Luna settled back down to go back to sleep.
"I'm going to be up all night thinking about it. I won't be sleeping tonight."
"Well you should, tomorrow's your little pre-show thing, isn't it?" Luna asked.
Usagi's loud snore was her answer. Rolling her eyes, Luna curled up and shut her eyes to sleep.
"It feels weird coming back here after the battle we just had. There are still police investigating the scene," Naru pointed out to Usagi the next day as the whole team sans Ami arrived at the Prince Park Tower Hotel for another adventure.
Usagi agreed. "I know right? I almost never go back to the scene of the crime."
"There are some you can't go back to even if you wanted," Rei said as she gestured to a big empty space in the skyline that was once Tokyo Tower.
Makoto was still feeling kind of bummed that she missed the fight altogether. "Court-ordered therapy sucks."
"You'll shine next time," Usagi said as they reached the doors and found a crowd bigger than the one for Kijin's photo shoot.
Seeing the line, Rei frowned. "That's a lot more people than last time."
"Well, it's Canadian Lady Gaga and her merry LGBT band compared to some kid who's good with a camera, why wouldn't there be a bigger crowd here?" Usagi asked before she looked to Makoto. "Mako-chan, you know what to do!"
Makoto cracked her knuckles and limbered up. "Everyone get behind me."
In the Convention Hall of the Prince Park Hotel, Ami was waiting amidst the other fans and press covering the pre-show conference with Heroes of Gunstar. Ami, who was a fan of the band, had managed to get Lifetime VIP Passes for every Heroes of Gunstar event, and distributed them to her friends.
"I hope they got in okay," she said as she looked around the large crowd.
There was a commotion behind Ami, and she looked back to see the crowds behind her being shoved left and right by Makoto, who stood taller than most of the crowd. Behind her, Usagi, Naru, and Rei brought up the rear, pretending to conga line behind Makoto.
"Move aside, VIP pass holders coming through," Makoto said as she shoved her pass in the face of another security person. Usagi, Naru, and Rei held their own up on as they passed in line.
Ami rolled her eyes and smiled to the others as they reached her. "Makoto, have you considered being a bouncer?"
"I'm too young for that," Makoto replied.
Usagi looked around at the crowd. "I'm still amazed that you got us down to the floor like this."
Ami nodded. "My mother got these from her current client."
"How is that all working out anyway?" Usagi asked.
Ami sighed. "Let me put it like this: these passes are an apology."
Usagi cringed. "Oh."
Naru looked around. "I wonder if my Mom and sister are down here yet."
"They're probably with the band already, and going to come out with them," Ami said.
Naru nodded. "Yes."
Ami looked back towards where Heroes of Gunstar were supposed to be showing up. "Oh, I wish I could be her."
"Hey Ami, you jelly?"
"Yes I jelly."
Naruru Osaka, Naru's (unoriginally named) younger sister was a bigger fan of Heroes of Gunstar than Ami, and had won the contest hosted by The Depths of Strange radio show to not only see the show, but spend the next few days as the band set up and did public appearances before the big show. Ostensibly, the girls were here to hang out with Naru to watch this meet and greet. However, the ever savvy Usagi brought up an important point regarding their last run of Nephrite's victims.
"The first time it was Jun, who was making a huge racket on the Tennis Courts with her skills. Kijin was chosen next because he's a big shot camera guy. If I were Nephrite, I would totally be casing out a band about to perform in front of thousands of people live, and millions more worldwide. We'd better keep an eye on them."
The lights went out, and the audience began to cheer as it meant only one thing. A ray of red light illuminated the Convention Hall's stage, before Natalie Adams, dressed in an eccentrically designed but sexy red dress and a black cape, slowly walked from the center of the light with a keyboard held over her shoulder.
As the crowd broke into louder cheers and cameras flashed like strobe lights, the ray of light became a swirling orb, before exploding outward in all its surreal glory, revealing the other members of the Canadian Super Band Heroes of Gunstar posed with their instruments raised.
Ami looked like she was about to explode. "Natalie Adams, Kim Pine, Stephen Stills, Stephanie Nordegraf, Joseph [REDACTED]. They're all really here… I'm looking at them in person."
Naru looked from Ami to Usagi. "She's going to have an orgasm."
"WE ARE HEROES OF GUNSTAR!" Kim yelled at the top of her lungs to the crowd! "WE ARE HERE TO GRACE YOU WITH OUR PRESENCE AND MAKE YOUR PATHETIC LIVES APPEAR VALIDATED!"
With that, Natalie jumped and seemed to fly over the six man deep row of photographers and news reporters hoping to get a shot of her. Landing in a crouch behind the press pit, she stood up, her cape slipping from her shoulders to the floor, and hugged the first person she saw, who just happened to be Ami.
"Thanks for coming out," Natalie whispered into Ami's ear before she pulled away and patted her on the shoulder.
Ami just nodded, her entire face red, and tilted over a little in a bow. "T-thank you… oh thank you… I love you…"
Natalie smiled to Ami, and patted her on the shoulder again before going deeper into the crowd. Naru covered her mouth and laughed as Ami fainted right on the spot into Makoto's arms. Makoto was wholly impressed by Natalie's leap.
"They say Canadians are something else… but that was quite a jump," she said to Usagi.
"Yes!" Usagi shouted enthusiastically as she looked back after the redheaded front-woman. "Natalie Adams is renowned for her leg strength. She once kicked some bitch across a nightclub, bounced her off the ceiling and everything. It was some crazy Nerima shit."
Rei gasped in amazement, before she felt deep, dark presence that alarmed every one of her senses. "G-guys, I'm getting some bad vibes…"
Looking around frantically, Rei acquired Kim, the freckled redhead making her way through the crowd. Unlike the band's flamboyantly dressed front-woman, the miniskirt and sweater-wearing Kim didn't seem much interested in interacting with anyone, given how she shoved aside a man who got too close, and clamped her hand over and breaking the lens of a camera that was pointed at her face.
"Don't make any sudden movements, lest you wish to have your face eaten," Ami warned as she approached them with her hands in the pockets of her sweater and her drumsticks hanging haphazardly out the right-hand sweater pocket.
Kim walked right through the middle of the group, and brushed past Rei. On contact, both looked at each other from the corners of their eyes, and Rei felt a shiver run up her spine.
"Sorry," Kim said as she kept going to keep up with Natalie.
The rest of the band followed, and the crowd surged to gather round them, leaving the Senshi behind. Everyone looked to Rei, who acted as though she'd seen a ghost.
"Rei, what is it?" Usagi asked.
"That woman… she is scary."
"Huh, is she possessed?" Makoto asked.
Ami then quipped in, "Actually, guys that's just how she is, surly and misanthropic. It's part of her appeal."
Rei confirmed it. "Yeah, I didn't sense an evil presence other than her herself."
Makoto, clearly the odd one out on this band, was perplexed. "So wait, she's a horrible person, and people like her for it?"
"That and she's an amazing drummer," Ami said.
"Well so is Neil Peart and he's the nicest guy you'll ever meet," Makoto said.
Usagi stared at Makoto. "Rush? Really?"
"What's wrong with Rush?"
Rei stared between the two girls. "You're Japanese teenaged girls, why are you discussing this?"
Ami then noticed Naru was missing. "Naru-chan?"
Naru emerged from the crowd. "Guys get over here, the band's about to perform a quick set!"
"WE ARE HEROES OF GUNSTAR! ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!"
Moments later, the lights were down and Heroes of Gunstar were on a small stage, in the Convention Hall, performing one of their songs from their album. The whole band was in force, and blowing away the crowd with their music. Near the front of the crowd, a camera crew was filming a documentary chronicling the band's Japan tour, and had stopped at Makoto, who was staring at the stage in awe.
"This band… it's amazing!" Makoto gasped when the camera man asked for her opinion over the music. "The musicians are all so talented, and Natalie's voice is so beautiful."
Ami muscled in on the shot, enthusiastic. "I love Natalie Adams!"
The camera guy thanked both and turned to a couple a few persons down, one Ranma Saotome and one Akane Tendo. The camera guy called to them, "Hey, I'm filming a documentary for the band; can you give us a reaction?"
Ranma looked to the camera, and then looked away, as if embarrassed to be seen on camera. "They're kinda cool."
"They're kinda awesome you mean, Ranma," Akane said as she nudged Ranma.
The cameraman pointed the camera at an older couple who was with Ranma and Akane. Scott Pilgrim, the man Natalie was singing about, pretended not to notice the camera. "I totally had sex with her back in college. It was awesome."
His girlfriend, Ramona Flowers, was not about to let him get away with that boast. "And she dumped you so hard you mentally blocked it out for years, dude."
A fifth interviewee, Shampoo, shrugged her shoulders. "She sound like Lady Gaga to Shampoo."
The cameraman went to Naruru Osaka, who had stars in her eyes as Natalie sang right in front of her. Her mother was standing right behind her. "Hey, prize winner, your thoughts?"
"This is the greatest day of my life!" Naruru squealed, despite it being all but drowned out by the music.
Going to another part of the crowd, the cameraman came upon a man drinking from a bottle of soda. "Any thoughts on today's event?"
Lowering the bottle, Masato Sanjouin turned to find a waste bin, and looked back at the camera. "No comment."
He walked away for the doors, and threw the bottle into a recycling bin on his way out.
"That… that was just amazing, I can't tell you enough just… wow!" Makoto certainly couldn't–she'd been like this since the three song set ended twenty minutes ago. She was acting like she'd never been to a live show before. The girls were all hanging off to the side of the Convention Hall away from the core of the crowd, as the band was taking interviews straight from the stage. Naruru and her mother were on the stage with Natalie. Naru was with them and trying not to freak out anymore than her sister that she was on stage with a superstar.
"And this is just a meet and greet with the band, her body's not ready for the actual concert," Usagi sad.
"Makoto, do you need a minute to step outside and breathe or something? You're wound up worse than Ami and it's scaring me because you're so tall and stuff," Rei pointed out.
Ami was keeping their eyes on the band, using her supercomputer to analyze their vital signs. There were a few beeps, and Ami looked to Usagi. "The scans show nothing particularly wrong with any of them, except that Kim has to go to the bathroom."
Rei looked at Ami. "You can tell with that thing?"
"This computer is ridiculous–Tricorder levels of ridiculous," Ami replied. At that moment, Kim got up from her drum kit and quietly excused herself.
Usagi headed after her. "I'm going to follow her to keep her out of trouble. Continue to keep an eye out for anything unusual, okay?"
"Roger," Ami said.
As Usagi left for the doors after Kim, Natalie was being asked another question.
"Is there any artist here you'd like to collaborate with?" A young man asked.
Natalie hummed and then grinned. "I'd love to do a song with G-Money USA. I hear he puts on an amazing show."
Usagi looked back as the crowd cheered and applauded Natalie's choice of collaborator.
"So you're a fan of Sailor Moon?" Naruru asked.
"I'm going to declare that I'm her biggest." A declaration that got Natalie many more cheers. "I want to thank her personally for her and her friends saving our lives back during that whole thing at Haneda Airport, and if she catches this in the news or something, I have something special for her at the concert and I want her to be there."
As cheers and applause filled the convention hall again, Usagi slipped through the door and closed it behind her. When she turned away from the door to face the bathrooms down the carpeted hallway, she jumped and hid behind a large potted palm tree adjacent to the door when she saw that Kim hadn't gone into the bathroom. She was standing in front of the door to the ladies' room, with a young Canadian man with wild brown hair, and an exotic looking foreign girl.
Usagi's eyes widened when she recognized him. "Hey, that's…!"
25 years old
Not the hero of this story
"Well, well, well… the legendary Scott Pilgrim finally reveals himself to his long lost friends." Kim sounded extremely agitated as she stared down Scott. Her gaze moved over to his lady-friend, and then back to him. "Really though, what is it exactly with you and underage Chinese girls?"
Scott looked over to his violet-haired companion, who just shrugged her shoulders.
17 Years Old
Chinese-built engine of destruction
"Oh, uh… we're staying with Shampoo while we uh… lay low for a bit."
"Shampoo? What is it with you and underage Chinese girls with weird names?"
"I don't know really, I guess it's a family thing…" Scott trailed off before smiling. "So, how have you been these past… uh…?"
Kim gave him a blank look. "You're kidding, right?"
Scott blinked. "Huh?"
"You haven't called, texted, or given the slightest hint you or Ramona were alive in… I don't know, almost a freaking year?"
At that, Scott reached up and scratched the back of his scruffy head. "Oh… that… wow has it really been a year?"
"Yes, a year. It's the year 2010 going on 11. You and Ramona said you were going down to New York City for the weekend and the next time anyone even hears from you is a drunken phone call to Knives from Las Vegas of all places three months later."
However, he rose to defend himself. "Whoa, hey, it's not like you all have been suffering while I've been gone, unless forming an internationally acclaimed rock band is just how you cope."
Kim narrowed her eyes slightly. "Natalie needed a drummer, and I just happened to be available since the guitarist in my band suddenly dropped everything and disappeared without warning."
Usagi was glad she followed her out, even if nothing else happened, this was some juicy drama.
Shampoo felt it merited repeating, "Wow, you're a dick."
"Dude," Scott snapped at Shampoo, before addressing Kim. "Look, you're doing better than you ever would have with me, aren't you? Why are you being so sore about it? Everyone else was happy as Hell to see me–well, except Joseph, because he's a prick–but still!"
Kim shook her head in frustration. "I'm being sore about it because you just left me alone again, asshole!"
Usagi let out a soft "Ooh!" at this revelation. This was better than her soaps!
Scott looked confused at Kim's outburst. He was long used to her anger being much like how she displayed it in public: a brooding, sarcastic contempt for all things that she always had a tight lid on. "Uh… Kim, are you alright?"
He reached out and cupped her cheeks, surprising her, before he began looking about her head. "Your head hasn't been giving off strange lights lately, has it?"
Kim violently shoved him back. "Don't touch me! I just told you! Everyone else was doing their own thing then, and you just vanished into thin air. You and Ramona were pretty much my only people in my circle and then you were gone, like that!"
Scott tried to play it off. "Come on, it wasn't that bad…"
Kim's glare suggested otherwise. "I'm done with this, you ass. Why don't you and your concubine go fuck off somewhere?"
Shampoo's expression was surprisingly placid, but Usagi could sense the spike of murderous intent from where she was down the hall. "What did you just call Shampoo?"
Knowing what he knew, Scott was certain that Kim's answer would very well determine whether she was going to live or die in the next five seconds. He quickly tried to defuse the bomb about to go off in his face. "Shampoo she's just angry she didn't mean-"
Kim cut him off. "I said fuck you, jailbait."
"Dead," Shampoo said as she swung at the woman's face.
Shampoo's hand stopped before her swing could connect and tear her face off. The displaced air from the blow actually knocked Kim back against the wall, the impact causing her drumsticks to slip from her pocket and clattered onto the floor. Scott had grabbed her hand, his own movement completely unseen.
Usagi gaped in amazement. "That was crazy fast."
Scott admonished Shampoo in a whisper. "Are you nuts? Do you have any idea what would've happened if you had hit her?"
"I don't take shit from any bitch; I don't care how mad she is," Shampoo replied.
Scott let out an incredulous groan. "But you wanted her autograph!"
"Sorry, I'm fresh out fucks to give," Shampoo retorted.
Taking her by the shoulders, Scott led her away. "I'm sorry, Kim… I'll talk to you later, okay?"
Kim watched the two go, stunned at first, but then her anger resurfaced and her cheeks reddened. "Whatever, Pilgrim."
As she turned to the Ladies Room, a voice called from behind her. "Miss, you dropped these."
Looking back, she saw Masato standing there holding her drumsticks. Staring down at them for a moment, she suddenly snatched them from his open hand and retreated into the ladies room, slamming the door shut behind her.
With a muttered "you're welcome" Masato turned and headed back, giving a passing glance to the still-cowering Usagi as he reentered the convention hall. Standing up, Usagi watched him go until the doors closed behind him.
That guy, he's the one who scouted out Jun… She turned and walked towards the ladies' room. Giving another look back towards the convention hall doors, she opened the bathroom door and walked inside.
When Usagi opened the bathroom door, the first thing that greeted her was one of the bathroom stall doors lying on the floor, having been kicked off its hinges. Cautiously, she stepped further into the bathroom, and turned towards the hand-washing sinks to her right. The mirrors over them had been shattered by one of the automatic hand dryers, which had been ripped off the wall mount and now sat in a sink.
Taking a few more steps forward, she stopped and looked to her left. Kim was in the stall, sitting on the floor in front of the toilet with her knees drawn to her chest, and glaring at her. Usagi raised her hand. "Ah, hi."
Usagi didn't, she walked over to the stall and leaned against the doorway and took a look back around the room. "I have to admit, this is the fastest I've ever seen anyone wreck a hotel bathroom and I've seen some real talents in my day." She looked back at Kim. "Do you at least feel a little better?"
Usagi then crouched down to Kim's level. "Do you want to talk about it, then?"
Kim bristled at the notion. "No! I said go away!"
Usagi shook her head. "'I cannot turn my back on someone in pain', Kamen Raider Z-3, episode 2. You, my friend, are someone who was pretty badly hurt."
The bitter redhead glared at the chipper blonde for a few moments more, before she accepted that the girl was only trying to be nice. Her expression softened and she crossed her arms over her knees to draw them closer.
"Your friend back there, he's an idiot, huh?" Usagi asked.
"The biggest," Kim replied without looking up.
"He's pretty impulsive, prone to really fucking it up too, right?"
"I know exactly how that is, my friends call me an impulsive idiot, too."
Kim peeked up at Usagi. "At least you're aware of it."
Usagi nodded. "Yeah, but even then that self-awareness comes and goes. That's where friends come in, to be there when it goes."
"It didn't seem to help out there."
Usagi didn't even try to sugarcoat it. "Well, you were pretty belligerent out there. Instead of looking for a fight, you should've just told Scott flat out that he hurt you."
Kim rolled her eyes and got up. "God, I don't need some twelve year old telling me… wait." She stared as Usagi stood upright as well. "How do you know his name?"
"I ran into him a while back; he was fighting some robot guy trying to kill him," Usagi explained.
Kim let out a huff. "That's really nothing new for him."
"I got that vibe." Usagi chuckled. "But you know what? I also got a vibe that he's a good person who cares about his friends and worries about them when they don't seem well. I mean, he didn't even hesitate to protect you from that crazy Chinese girl, right?"
At that, Kim looked down at that, as remorse began to eat at her a bit. "I guess… I had missed him so much. He and Ramona were the only people I could talk to after he cleaned up his act and got his crap together. Then they vanished and they didn't even say a word… he didn't even tell me."
She clenched her fists, and then unclenched them with a sigh. "But… I should've been happy just to see my friends again."
"Yeah, that's about right." Usagi stepped up to Kim, and then gave her a hug. "But hey, it's not too late to make up, is it?"
As Usagi pulled back, Kim sighed and relented from her anger entirely. "I guess not, no… " She shifted a bit, with a slight awkwardness to her movements. "Thanks."
"I'm an ally of justice, think nothing of it," Usagi said cheerfully.
Kim headed over to the door. "I'd better get back out there, the band's waiting." She took five steps, performed an about face, and went into the nearest intact stall. "… After I go to the bathroom!"
As the two went back in, Natalie was taking yet another question; this one however was for Naruru.
"Do… do I want to be an idol?" Naruru blushed at that. "Well sure! I sing karaoke all the time, and I'm in my school's light music club. I'm nowhere near as good a singer as my Mom, though."
The crowd's attention shifted to Mayumi, who blushed. "Ah? Oh my, I'm n-not that good…"
"Nonsense, you sing all the time and it's beautiful." Naruru looked from her mother to Natalie. "She really is, she's the other reason why I love music."
Natalie hummed and looked to Mayumi. "Can you sing something for us, then?"
Put on the spot, Mayumi's blush brightened. "Ah? Me sing…? In front of everyone?"
Natalie smiled and held up her keyboard. "Sure, you'll even have band accompaniment." She spied Kim making her way back. "Kim, get up here!"
The warm crowd cheered and offered their encouragement, especially Naru, Ami, Rei, and Makoto. Naruru quickly jumped on this encouragement. "I'll sing with you, we should do our favorite!"
Bowing under the encouragement of everyone, Mayumi's blush cleared up some as she finally gave in. "Okay, I'll do it!"
She turned to Natalie and Ramona, as Kim got to her drum kit. "Have you ever heard of the song 'Wings to Fly'?"
Natalie nodded. "Oh! The Susan Boyle song? I love her!"
She went over to her keyboard as the crowd cheered once more and cracked her knuckles. "Hey Kim, we're doing Wings to Fly."
Kim nodded and picked up her drumsticks, as Usagi joined the rest of the Senshi and informed them that everything went better than expected.
After adjusting the settings of her keyboard, Natalie began to play her keyboard and nodded to Mayumi, who took a deep breath and began to sing.
Want to spread my wings and fly
Away into the sky
How I dream to be so free
No more sadness no more pain
No more anger no more hate
How I dream to have those wings and fly into the sky
The crowd became quiet, surprised by Mayumi's singing. A little amateurish, but her voice was beautiful. Even Masato, who had regarded much of the show with disinterest, suddenly turned his attention to the stage.
If now, I could grant my wish
I'd wish to have those wings
Mayumi looked over to Naruru, and smiled as the girl smiled back, before she continued.
Those wings just like the birds
That fly up in the air
"Wow Naru's Mom can sing so prettily."
Usagi smiled. "Oh yeah, Naru's pretty talented too."
So high up in the air
With feathers bright and fair
The crowd broke into applause as she finished the chorus, and Mayumi had managed to fight down her blush as Naruru took a microphone handed to her by Stephen Stills.
"That was amazing, care to continue?" Natalie asked.
"Um… okay…!" Mayumi looked to her youngest, who nodded, and both began singing together.
No wealth nor power can make
My heart filled with such joy
When the next chorus began, the crowd joined in, singing aloud and filling the Convention Hall with song.
Want to spread my wings and fly
Away into the sky
How I dream to be so free
No more sadness no more pain
No more anger no more hate
How I dream to have those wings and fly into the sky… the sky…
The audience, swept up in the music, joined in.
Want to spread my wings and fly
The crowd was clapping with her, as were the members of Heroes of Gunstar not on instruments, and the members of the press covering the event.
Away into the sky
As everyone sang along Masato felt something twinge in his chest, and winced a little.
How I dream to be so free
The crowd–some holding up glowing cell phone monitors to mimic candles and others with their arms over the shoulders of the strangers next to them.
No more sadness no more pain
No more anger no more hate
How I dream to have those wings…
And fly into the sky
The crowd broke into uproarious applause, as Natalie left the keyboard and gave Mayumi a hug as she thanked the crowd for supporting her. In the audience, Usagi whistled as Rei wiped a tear from her eye, and Makoto and Ami clapped as loud as they could.
Masato Sanjouin, however, had left the building.
The next day at school, Usagi was drumming her fingers on her desk during lunch, having already finished her food. Seated around her desk, Ami, Naru, and Makoto dined at a much slower rate… well Ami appeared to be eating at the same rate because she had five times Naru and Makoto's food combined.
"I still don't know where that all goes," Rei's projection whispered as it sat atop Ami's phone. She was currently in swim class, given her current attire.
Bothering Makoto more than Ami's ravenous appetite was Usagi's inability to react to the image of a moe-moe girl in a school swimsuit. "Usagi-chan?"
Letting out an annoyed hum, Usagi drummed her fingers faster on the desk and closed her eyes. She stopped with a single pound of her fist, drawing everyone else's attention to her.
"Usagi?" Naru asked.
Ami had a pastrami on rye sandwich stuffed in her mouth. "Mff?"
"It is easily the biggest and best mark in the world. Any member of that band would do, they all give 200 percent on that stage at every show. What kind of energy sucking monster wouldn't go for that kind of raw power?" Usagi whispered.
Makoto quickly glanced around. The other students were, as usual, observing a fifteen foot exclusion zone around Usagi as they were known to do at the first given opportunity. Satisfied no one would be dumb enough to try to listen in; she returned her attention to Usagi. "Maybe it's too obvious?"
"Too obvious was a world-class photographer. Too obvious was a tennis amateur who bested a world-class champion. You can set a watch to this guy, I freaking swear it…"
Rei frowned. "I didn't sense any evil, well aside from Kim-san, but she's just really negative."
So was that Joseph guy, but when she tried to get a read on him, he just stared at her disapprovingly and it was super awkward.
"Even if he didn't go for it because it was too obvious, why wouldn't he? That's like a half-dozen prime targets for the Dark Kingdom and he's going to let them slide because of why?"
Makoto hummed. "Please, consider the following-"
Ami finished her sandwich and drew a line in her sketchbook. "And cross that reference off the list."
"Maybe Nephrite set the first two victims up like he did, so we would assume that the band is the next target. While we grow fixated on dealing with whatever youma pops out of them, he's free to take any target of his choosing."
Usagi wagged a finger. "A reasonable consideration, but if I may offer a rebuttal: If this were the case, why hasn't he just gone off to some other part of the world where we can't stop him?"
Makoto blinked. "Point noted. But bear in mind we live in Tokyo, where his attacks would go unnoticed in the larger weirdness that wraps this city up daily…"
"Yeah, except I can sniff out weirdness like you can sniff out bullshit, Mako-chan. Jadeite learned that the hard way so many times I'm still kind of curious as to why he didn't just pick up his ball and go home."
"Pride, revenge, and an odd dedication to duty?" Ami suggested and went unanswered.
"Furthermore aside from gathering energy, destroying us is his objective too and the band would give him the best shot at that. Nephrite is going to target the band exactly because of that, and if he doesn't I'll turn in my tiara and surrender myself to Queen Beryl with arms wide open," she declared.
Makoto raised an eyebrow. "You're that certain about this?"
"Come on Mako-chan, it's just like with you, Ami, and Rei–a bunch of important people we've never seen before start showing up and being important. How are they not the targets?"
The sound of something crashing to the ground outside made the girls jump. Getting up and peering out the window, they found saw that a couple of students eating their lunch on the front steps of the school had dropped their lunch boxes, water bottles, and electronic devices and were staring in shock at the front gate.
Following their shocked gazes slowly, they too grew surprised at who they saw strutting onto the school grounds like they owned the place.
"What do you suppose they're doing here?" Makoto asked as the front woman for Heroes of Gunstar, its drummer, and Naruru strolled up to the front steps of the school, expensively dressed in black and wearing bitchin' sunglasses.
After dealing with Usagi for over a year and a half, Haruna had come to expect a great many things that could possibly interrupt her class. Fights, sloppy makeouts, debates on Germany's recent parliamentary measures, military intervention… but really an internationally acclaimed rock band deciding to peacefully show up and sign autographs for everyone who wanted one was probably at the bottom of the list.
That it was still on the list at all though was a testament to Haruna's in-depth understanding of the chaos that was Usagi Tsukino.
As she watched the school's principal walk by with sparkles in his eyes and a signed copy of one of Heroes of Gunstar's albums in his hands, she let out a relaxed sigh and sat back in her chair. At least this meant that she wouldn't have to resort to drinking today.
"Naruru-chan thought it was unfair that she got to hang out with us, so here we are," Natalie explained to Naru as she finished signing another mesmerized fan's autograph while sitting atop her desk.
Naru looked from Miss Adams to her younger sister, "Naruru, you really didn't have to do this for me!"
"You're the one who told me to not give up trying to call in, and if I had I would've never won," the younger Osaka replied with a bright smile.
Overcome, Naru grabbed Naruru in a hug. "You are such a sweetheart!"
"She really is, I want her to be my little sister," Natalie joked.
Naru hugged Naruru to herself. "You can't have her, she's mine!"
"Then can I be your big sister, too?"
Across the room Makoto hummed. "She's so nice. I can't believe she once had her ex-boyfriend and her then-current boyfriend fight to the death in a supermarket."
"All rock stars go through that phase, man," Usagi said as she observed the small entourage that had followed Naruru and Natalie into the school. Kim was on the other side of the classroom, demonstrating an advanced drumstick twirling technique for some students.
Ami was discreetly checking out Kim with her supercomputer and feeding the data in real time to Rei, who was currently sound only due to being in her pool's changing room. "You're not reading anything at all?"
"Just like Natalie there's nothing. If anything she seems less evil than she was before…" Rei replied. "I want to go to your school, interesting things always happen there. Me? I'm stuck with girls being in angst with each other all the time. It's pretty and all, but it's super boring."
"Boring? With a name like St. Bacchus, you'd think it'd be livelier," Ami mused.
Ami could hear the pout on Rei's face. "Not as lively as your school…"
"Being interesting goes both ways, things might be fun now but I'm damn sure the other shoe's going to drop any minute now," Usagi said as she watched Kim closely.
Makoto hummed in amusement. "Come on Usagi-chan, stop acting like you don't live for that shit."
"You're right, it gets me wet."
Kim was still smartly twirling her drumsticks, her maneuvers becoming faster and complicated until, to the amazement of her small audience, the sticks had vanished altogether and she rested her hands on the desk. One of the students, Umino, adjusted his glasses.
"W-where'd they go?" He noticed the other students staring at him. "What?"
"Behind your ears," a girl murmured in awe.
Umino reached up and sure enough, the drumsticks were on his ears. He quickly removed and stared at them in amazement. "That was amazing!"
Kim took them back, twirled them, and smirked. "I know."
"Rei's right… this is a hell of an improvement over yesterday," Makoto said of the formerly dark and dreary drummer–now merely an antisocial but cool drummer.
Usagi tilted her nose up smugly before she loudly declared, "Well I did offer her some kind words."
Hearing her, Kim looked her way. "Oh, hey there Ally of Justice."
Usagi waved. "Nice to see you're in a better mood than yesterday."
"Yeah, about that… I hope you're willing to take responsibility. People are disturbed by the fact that I'm capable of emotions other than hate, because of you."
Usagi looked up and to the left as she shrugged her shoulders. "What can I say? I just have that kind of effect on people."
The classroom door slammed open violently, revealing that whore Usagi beat up a few weeks ago, the one with the Roppongi Gangster boyfriend that Usagi similarly destroyed the very next day. She looked different, very different. Her formerly black hair was dyed a stark blonde, she wore noticeably heavy makeup, and she looked like she may have gotten a tit job in the month or so it had been since she had last been seen at school.
Everyone in the classroom, students, teacher, and rockstars alike, turned their gazes onto her as she kept hers locked on Usagi and burning with hatred.
"Case in point," Usagi said as she recognized her.
Naru also recognized her. "Oh my God… w-what happened to you?"
"And who did your makeup? Because they need to be dragged out into the street and shot for their crime against mankind," Natalie added.
Haruna sighed and began rummaging through her bottom drawer.
The whore ignored them in lieu of pointing at Usagi. "You bitch! I got thrown out of school because of you!"
Usagi blinked several times as she processed that. "That's an even better question, what are you even doing here?"
"Who is she?" Ami asked.
Makoto shrugged her shoulders. "Someone from before we showed up, I guess."
"I'm here for revenge!" the whore answered Usagi.
The entire classroom went quiet again, before the students all went back to fawning over their rockstar guests. Speaking of them, they were the only ones who seemed somewhat concerned.
"Does this happen a lot?" Kim asked Umino. "I have some serious déjà vu going on here."
"The stories I could tell you," the nerdy boy answered.
Haruna could not find her flask of whiskey, and began looking in the other drawers. Had she misplaced it?
The sounds of engines roaring, tires screeching, and horns beep-beping drew everyone's attention to the windows. Outside, a brightly painted and ridiculously customized van with some anime girls drawn on it crashed through the front gate, followed by over twenty cars of various make, model year, customization, and bass boost.
Out of the van even otaku would be ashamed to be in the presence of, jumped that idiot boyfriend of the whore's. He then held up a picture of Usagi before turning to the guys getting out of their cars.
"YO! FIND THIS BITCH AND KILL HER!" he yelled, prompting cheers from most of the guys who showed up.
"I take back everything I said about wanting to go to your school," Rei said.
"I told you."
Kim looked to Natalie. "Is there seriously a rapacious mob of losers about to smash their way into this school to kill a girl?"
Natalie pulled out a phone and started typing out a text message. "After flying into a transforming robot battle I don't think I can be surprised by anything this country throws at us." She finished sending the text and looked around. "I just contacted my security detail and the police, what do we do until then?"
"You've got nowhere left to run and nowhere to hide! Now my boyfriend's going to kill you!" the whore declared as she jabbed her finger in Usagi's direction.
Haruna reached into the top drawer of her desk and brightened when she found her flask, sparkles and bubbles appearing in her eyes and in the air around her.
"When he and his boys get here, I want to see you cry and beg!"
Popping open the top, Haruna knocked it back to take a sip… only to find nothing inside. Looking down at it, Haruna's sparkles faded away into the dark miasma of despair.
The whore laughed. "In the meantime, I highly recommend pissing yourself followed by a course of praying to your impotent G-"
Haruna whipped the flask at the girl's head, silencing her. "We're not doing that anymore."
As the girl crumpled to the floor unconscious, Haruna turned back to her desk, sighed, and promptly flipped it before standing up, the crash of it going over causing everyone to jump. Everyone.
"Oh shit," Usagi said in amazement as Haruna rolled her shoulders and cracked her neck. The onrushing stampede of sneakers and boots could be heard down the hall, amidst the battle cries of men with too much time on their hands.
"Usagi and Makoto, you will accompany me into the hall." Haruna's command was immediately and obediently followed, both girls joining their teacher in the hallway as students and faculty fled for cover.
"Haruna-sensei, you're not really going to fight them, are you?!" Umino asked among other students who gathered at the doorway.
Haruna looked off to the side, her expression wistful. "When those Gunstar Heroes walked into my classroom, I thought that today was just going to be an unusual yet peaceful day. But here I am, about to face down a horde of corpses endangering the lives of my precious students."
She sighed. "Even then, I thought I could just have a nip and behave like a functional human being. Resolve things peacefully, nonviolently…" Her voice then changed, becoming rougher, deeper, and full of bloodlust that sent all the right shivers through Usagi. "… But I was wrong."
One of the idiots suddenly came around the corner and pointed at Usagi. "There's that motherfucker right there!"
"So, if I can't have a proper drink to get me through today…"
Usagi and Makoto both stared at Haruna, completely mesmerized by their teacher as she raised her hand to her face. Natalie and Kim had managed to worm their way around the other students to the doorway with Naru and Naruru to get a better view.
The Roppongi Gangster's gang came pouring around the corner behind the guy who spotted them, running straight up towards the teacher and her students.
They stopped dead in their tracks when Haruna swung her hand from her face to the wall, creating a large web of cracks that reached to the floor and ceiling.
She stared at the hooligans, her eyes dull and glazed over. "… I'm just going to have to drink your blood."
Natalie pulled out a composition notebook and pencil. "And suddenly I have an idea for a song."
The bloodlust that dripped from Haruna stayed the invaders for a moment; a few intrepid young men overcame their hesitation and charged with yells. The first one to reach Haruna attempted to shove her aside so he could get his hands on Usagi. Within seconds of laying hands on the teacher, he was crashing to the floor with both his arms broken in multiple places.
Another landed on him, screaming about his leg bending in a way it was not supposed to.
Grabbing a third guy, Haruna elbowed him in the face, breaking his nose and dislodging most of his teeth before she discarded him like a used rag. When one attempted to flank her, she grabbed his arm and tripped him, sending him face first into the ground before wrenching his arm in the wrong direction with a loud, wet crack.
"Girls, you're not seriously going to let me have all the fun, are you?" Haruna asked as she got up and dislocated another's shoulder before kicking him back.
Makoto and Usagi looked to one another and nodded.
"Then let some of them by, you crazy bitch!" Usagi shouted as she ran forward and uppercut a guy attempting to attack Haruna from the side.
As Haruna caught another man's desperate attempt at a kick and twisted his leg five hundred forty degrees, Makoto moved up and hammered another man with several punches.
Knocked back, the punk spat out some blood and put up his dukes. He attempted a few strikes of his own, but Makoto weaved around them and put him down with a well-aimed punch to the jaw.
One man took a swing at her with a crowbar. When Makoto ducked under it, Haruna plucked it from his hands before Makoto lifted him off his feet with a punch to the gut.
"She's got a weapon," Umino said before Haruna used it to grisly effect on another hooligan. "Oh my God."
"MY FUCKING LEG!"
"Gordon Freeman would be proud," Kim said.
Natalie's pencil was leaving a trail of smoke as she wrote in her notebook. "I swear this song is writing itself."
A particularly large man more at home on the MMA circuit than a school brawl suddenly fell upon Makoto, easily parrying her strikes before scurrying around her to grab her in an arm lock. "Gotcha bitch!"
On seeing this, Usagi jumped onto the adjacent wall and kicked off it, twisting herself to slam her foot down Sailor Moon style atop the fool's shoulder with an oh-so-satisfying crunch.
As Usagi sprang off the injured man, Makoto broke free of the hold and threw him into the growing circle of bad dudes surrounding them.
Haruna lifted the bloodied crowbar to her lips and licked some of the excess from the curve of the improvised weapon. "I don't give a fuck; I'll kill all of you bastards."
Usagi suddenly found herself envious of her parents.
"Enthusiastic as you are, there are way too many of these guys," Makoto noted.
"Akane Tendo could eat these guys' breakfasts and then take their lunch money after!" Usagi argued.
"Yeah, but none of us are Akane Tendo, now are we?!" Makoto blocked and countered an attacker, as Haruna severely damaged another's reproductive capabilities with the crowbar.
Usagi kicked a guy so hard in the face he soiled himself, before she had to spring back from several more lunging for her. "Okay, that's a fair point!"
Several swift blows from the crowbar brought them all down, before Haruna used it to keep the crowd back beyond its reach. "Numbers or not, we don't have to beat them all just keep them busy."
The revving of a chainsaw caught the ears of all three defenders before Haruna suddenly blocked a swing from the weapon aimed for her head. As sparks flew from the crowbar, she looked at the hockey-mask wearing idiot wielding the weapon. "Seriously, a chainsaw?! Do you want to go to jail forever?!"
"Nobody makes a fool outta Chaka's boys! I'm gonna cut that bitch up right after I cut you up, and then I'm gonna cut up every motherfucker in the school!" the lunatic said.
Makoto hesitated and glanced towards the chainsaw wielder. "Did he say Chaka-?"
She was bashed over the head with a folded chair, and stumbled back several steps more annoyed than in pain. "Oh what the hell?!"
With a whine, the chainsaw sheared through the crowbar, and a few more swings finally had Haruna on the defensive. Behind him, the others were cheering at the top of their lungs as Haruna skillfully put herself between the chainsaw and Usagi, using both halves of the crowbar to parry the weapon as sparks flew.
"So this is what a day in Nerima is like…" Haruna blocked the chainsaw again before kicking her attacker back.
Usagi grabbed Haruna and yanked her back when the maniac was handed a second chainsaw by one of his friends, and he began dual wielding them like he was some kind of Jedi Bruce Campbell. "Now we're going into Roanapur territory."
Laughing gaily, the chainsaw guy lifted both of the weapons above his head and swung them down with all his might for Haruna's head. "CUT YOUR GUTS!"
Both stopped, chain and all, caught on Natalie Adams's boot. Holding the chainsaws above her head with a very high kick, she finished writing down in her notebook. "Cut your guts… I'm saving that one for my inevitable metal phase."
She spun and kicked through both chainsaws with her other foot, shattering them into pieces. Still spinning, she drilled her heel into the masked man's face, sending him into and through the wall Haruna had weakened with her earlier slap.
The cheers the other invaders diminished into silence with the ease at which one of their strongest and scariest men had been dispatched after looking so promising.
Landing in a crouch, Natalie got up and flicked her hair aside. "Are you guys okay?"
"So okay," Makoto said after getting a glimpse of Natalie's fancy leg work.
Haruna stepped up. "Oh, I didn't know you could fight. Well I did, but I was under the impression you didn't want to cause a scene or ruin your makeup or something."
"Actually, I wanted to tell you that-" Some shouting caught everyone's attention, and they looked back to see bodies being tossed into the walls and ceiling at the back of the horde of invaders. "My security is here."
Kicking a guy and embedding him into a wall was Scott Pilgrim, sporting a navy blue t-shirt with "SECURITY" emblazoned across the front in yellow. "I can't believe I missed getting an autograph from Shigeru Miyamoto for this."
25 years old
Still not the hero of this story
Alongside him was a short girl with red hair done up in a pigtail, also sporting a security t-shirt. Looking every bit as annoyed as Scott, Ranma Saotome easily dispatched three of the hooligans before they could reach her with a single kick. "I didn't think people this dumb existed outside of Nerima."
16 years old
Gender: Currently Female
Charging through the crowd of gangbangers, Ranma was a blur of hands and feet, before she came out of the front of the brawl, sliding to a halt in a combat stance. After a brief second, more then ten of them collapsed to the ground unconscious or in pain. "It's pretty embarrassing."
Scott pummeled another opponent in the face, his own fists moving like blurs before he performed a spin kick that scattered more of the attackers like bowling pins at the end of the lane. One such human projectile went end over end toward Haruna, who caught him by his baggy shirt and threw him over her shoulder and down the hall.
Usagi eyed Ranma with interest, as she picked up a dude and began juggling him with hands that moved almost faster than she could follow. "Who is she; I need to give her the sex."
As Ranma punted the now human pretzel over their heads, Natalie smirked. "She's taking all your kills."
Haruna wouldn't have any of that, and grabbed both Makoto and Usagi. "Get in there and fight to your heart's content, girls!"
She shoved both into the melee, Makoto tearing down one of the ridiculously dressed gangstas with a lariat, while a laughing Usagi used the momentum bestowed upon her to break a man's face with a rolling kick.
Recovering from the kick, she ducked under a punch and hooked her arm around her attacker's waist and swung around him twice before throwing him against a wall. As he bounced off it, she fired another kick like a bullet from a rifle into his chin. When he slumped off it again she lowered her leg, before slamming her fist back into the jaw of a brawler trying to grab her from behind.
"Nice!" Scott complimented her smooth backhand as he tossed another unconscious body on the pile behind him.
Bones breaking and screams signaled Haruna's return to the fight. When Usagi looked over, she spotted her teacher grabbing the arms of a kid dual-wielding nunchaku at her, before painfully forcing his elbows to bend in the wrong direction before she kneed him hard enough in the groin to ensure he'd be pissing blood for days.
She looked over at Natalie, who kicked another dude so hard he bounced off the walls and ceiling several times each, and then at Ranma as she smoothly danced around another opponent before her hands and arms vanished and he was pummeled by a hundred punches.
"God I love redheads," she purred.
"Said everyone ever," Makoto playfully added, as she finished leaving another five opponents lying on the ground, quietly pleading for the sweet release of death that would not come for them this day.
As natural selection continued to do its grisly but necessary work on the human gene pool, the smarter and more certain to successfully reproduce members of the mob finally grasped the futility of trying to kill this particular junior high schooler, and were fleeing for their lives and health–much to Haruna's chagrin.
"You're leaving already? But you just got here! Don't go, you might actually hit one of us if you believe in yourselves!" she taunted after them.
"That's e-fucking-nough! If you bitches don't stop and do exactly as I say, I'm going to cut this bitch's throat!"
The fighting stopped on the spot, as everyone still standing and not running for their lives turned their gazes over to the Roppongi gangster himself holding Naruru at knifepoint.
"Sorry guys, I was trying to get a good picture for my scrapbook," Naruru lamented.
"Everyone get down on your knees or I'll really do it, I mean it!" He had hoped for horror, shock, and reluctant acquiescence. All he got was everyone laughing hysterically at him.
"Are you serious?" Haruna asked.
"He completely is," Makoto replied.
"I swear to God, I'll cut her!" Something was wrong. He was supposed to have had these bitches right where he wanted them, and they were laughing?!
Scott was laughing so hard he was on the verge of tears.
Usagi snickered. "Oh, and what would you have us do?"
Ranma had her hand over her face, and just shaking her head.
Natalie hummed. "Maybe he wants us to submit to his gang, like in those porn books."
Haruna groaned. "No imagination whatsoever."
"I'd say the same for you, 'Spring Gardener'," Usagi quipped.
Haruna made a mental note to leave Usagi speaking German for the rest of the day for that one.
Not even Naruru was afraid after glancing back at her captor. She looked to her older sister. "Naru-nee, get a picture!"
Naru snapped a picture with her supercomputer. "This is definitely going in the scrapbook."
"Is this all a big joke to you people?!" The Roppongi gangster backed up bumped into someone, and slowly looked back. Standing there, with her arms folded, and also looking pretty damn amused … was Sailor Mercury.
He stared at the Sailor Senshi.
The Sailor Senshi stared back.
Beads of sweat began marching down his face and neck, double-time.
Smiling pleasantly, Sailor Mercury waved to him briefly.
The knife fell to the floor with a clatter, as the gangster's face changed all manner of color before deciding on eggshell white.
Overcome with an air of serenity, he let go of Naruru and dusted her off with great care, and bowed in apology to her. Turning back to Sailor Mercury, he bowed deeply to her as well… then dove screaming in terror out the nearest window.
Imagine his disappointment, or perhaps relief, when he landed in the arms of two police officers who had just arrived on the scene.
Seeing him leave, Sailor Mercury looked to the others and winked before she disintegrated into glittering lights that faded away.
"I think Japan is now my favorite country," Natalie declared on the spot.
"And this is now my best day ever, or at least in the top five," Usagi said.
"At least someone is having a good day."
Haruna abruptly exited her murderous state, as all eyes went to the end of the hallway, where an exasperated Natsuna Sakurada was standing with an entire squad of SAT officers kitted out for what they had feared was some kind of terrorist act. Instead, they found her younger sister splattered in blood, and fifty poor schmucks who walked into the wrong meat grinder.
"Oh, hello Miss Sakurada," Natalie said before she looked back and forth between the sisters. "Huh, I really should've noticed that sooner."
Natsuna sighed. "You and I have to have a little talk about you running off without the police escort I assigned to you."
That piqued Usagi's interest, as Natalie amicably complied and headed over to the Superintendent General.
As police and paramedics rounded up the gangsters and parents came to pick up children, Natsuna and Natalie were sitting on the bleachers by the edge of the PE Track behind the school. For the last few minutes, they were going back and forth about what Natalie had done–run off with Kim and Naruru to Azabu-Juuban Junior High without consulting anyone, especially the police, about their whereabouts. Directly underneath the bleachers, undetected, Usagi was quietly listening in on their conversation.
Natsuna sighed. "Why are you making this difficult?"
"I could really ask the same of you. Since we got here you've been treating each and every one of us like we were US Presidents, and while it's marvelous for my ego it's exhausting."
"It'd be completely unacceptable if something were to happen to you, especially as a consequence of the crisis we're going through right now. The precautions we take are imperative for your safety and the safety of your friends and fans. You doing things like tearing off in the middle of the day make that hard for us."
Natalie slowly nodded. "I get that, but what's the point really? I'm not knocking you or your police, but if the Dark Kingdom is really gunning for us like you think, what can you do to stop them?"
Usagi's eyebrows arched up. They think they're after the band, too?
"Our primary objective is protecting you during any such attack. But if we do have to fight them, we're not completely helpless."
"Neither my band nor I are completely helpless either."
Natsuna nodded. "Yes, I know exactly who you hired for your security."
Though Natsuna was a bit perplexed by all that, she had been told the aforementioned "Who" was a young man.
This was all well and intriguing. The police had not only noticed the pattern but they were preparing for it too all on their own. Usagi had to hand it to them; she expected them to be considerably less savvy about all of this, even with Nephrite making it so obvious.
Then again, this is Natsuna we're talking about…
Concentrating so much upon the conversation, and confident as she was in her hiding spot, she was completely off her guard right up to the point that someone quickly tapped on her shoulders. Jumping in surprise, she hit her head on the underside of the bleacher seat directly above her.
Hard headed as she was, by some miracle Natsuna and Natalie didn't notice it.
Rubbing her head, Usagi whirled around to quietly berate whoever had snuck up on her, but stopped short when she saw that it was Ranma, investigating her investigation.
Folding her arms, Ranma looked around before she quietly asked, "What are you doing here?"
All but forgetting what she was doing here herself, Usagi's eyes roamed lewdly over the cute and curvy redhead before she scanned the area around them both and smiled.
"Ich werde dich um meine Finger wickeln."
Ranma didn't understand a lick of German. "Wait, what did you just-?"
Usagi rested two fingers on the redhead's lips and leaned close. "… Just nod your head and say 'okay'," she purred.
Making their way over to the PE field from the front of the school were Scott and Kim, the latter twirling her drumsticks idly while the former was nervously rubbing his forearm. The two of them hadn't talked since yesterday, even after Natalie had assigned him and Ranma to her security detail. Now, here he was, smack dab in the middle of the awkward zone and here she was being… friendly?
"I'm pretty surprised, Pilgrim… you didn't screw it up like you normally do."
… Or maybe he wasn't. Surprised, Scott turned his gaze over to Kim. "Well, if it's beating someone up I can always do that right."
"No you really can't, but you get it right when it counts so there's that."
Scott took whatever he could get. "Thanks… I think."
Pulling a smirk, Kim stopped twirling her drumsticks and pocketed them. "Is something wrong, Pilgrim?"
"No!" he lied through his teeth.
Kim stared blankly at him.
"Well… actually… kind of?" Scott looked away nervously. "It's just that you're being nice and normally you're not."
Kim rolled her eyes. "Of course I'm not, and that's why I wanted to talk to you."
Scott's mind was racing. What was Kim planning? How was she going to get revenge? Did… did she have a weapon on her? Was she going to call Simon Lee from out of nowhere to exact his revenge once and for all? Was… was she going to try to make out with him and sabotage his relationship with Ramona?
"Look, I've been thinking about it, and I really want to-"
"Before you start, Kim, let me warn you that Ramona and I are very serious right now and I have no intention of cheating on her," Scott said, effectively cramming both his feet into his mouth.
That won him another blank stare from Kim, before she shook her head. "When I said it was never going to happen again, I meant it. I wanted to talk about us, and what happened yesterday. I wanted to say…" Kim took a deep breath. "I'm sorry."
Scott stared at Kim, and then scooted away from her. "Are… are you dying?"
Kim looked up at the sky, asking whatever was out there for strength, and then sighed. "I shouldn't have acted like a bitch yesterday. That was just a big mess, a year's worth of me being angry over nothing, really."
Scott was looking at her as if she had turned into some kind of monster. "W-who are you and what did you do to Kim, you body snatcher?!"
Kim's expression returned to its perpetual scowl, but it was a little softer than usual. "Don't make me rip open your skull so I can punch your brain in the face."
That seemed to convince him.
"Wait, so you're actually… apologizing?" He looked around quickly. "This isn't some kind of prank, is it?"
"Jesus Christ, do you want me to be a bitch to you, because I will!" Kim yelled at him, before she realized it. "Heh, I've got you trained, Scott Pilgrim.
Scott bowed his head. "Damn you, Pavlov."
Kim let out an amused snort.
He scratched the back of his head and smiled some to Kim. "… You're my best friend, and I'm just glad you're not upset anymore. I almost can't believe it."
"You are right though, we were better off without you," Kim said. "I mean, you left and we all became successful beyond our wildest dreams."
At that, Scott put on the smuggest look on his face. "Don't care, I got Ramona."
Kim did something that Scott swore hadn't happened in like ten years, she let out a laugh. It sounded a little rusty and kind of creepy, like she was getting used to the reflex, but it was a genuine laugh. Her smirk turned into a small smile. "Yeah, you got her all right and all the baggage that comes with her. But I'm glad for you, and I'm glad you're here."
Scott became freaked out again. "You're smiling… you're actually smiling! W-what happened to you?"
"You should thank Usagi, she said that even though you're an idiot, a spaz, and a jackass, you still care… and I should be happy that we're still friends."
Scott just looked even more helpless than he normally did. "Who?"
"The crazy blonde girl those assholes you beat up were trying to kill? She said she ran into you the other day…"
At that Scott shook his head. "No way, the only crazy blonde girl I ran into since I got to Japan was-"
Kim and Scott stopped at the bleachers, and Natsuna and Natalie looked down from them in surprise when Usagi was sent tumbling out from under them and came to a stop face down with her backside in the air. Sitting up onto her knees, she rubbed her behind to soothe the kick that had been effectively applied to it. Oh well, at least this time she hadn't been hit in the head.
Following her out with a bright blush and pulling down her t-shirt back into place; Ranma came storming out after Usagi. "I have a girlfriend, you pervert girl!"
A seductive grin appearing on her lips, Usagi sat up and looked back at Ranma. "So do I, let's call them up and make this a party."
Ranma's blush grew brighter, before she stomped away to put some distance between her and her newest fan.
Kim looked from her to Scott. "Scott, meet the crazy blonde girl."
Natalie was writing down another song title in her notebook, as Natsuna sighed and shook her head.
Opening night arrived and Tokyo Dome City, the sprawling entertainment complex that surrounded its arena centerpiece, was alive as crowds of fans, critics, and even protestors swarmed around the entrances as spotlights waved beams of bright white light above their heads.
Backstage inside the Tokyo Dome itself was chaotic, as the show director informed the band and staff that it was less than ten minutes to show time. Instruments were being tuned, lines were being rehearsed, and most importantly the security detail was being reviewed again by Natalie and Natsuna.
"So you've finished moving your units outside?" Natalie, who was half-dressed and sporting a hair-style identical to Sailor Moon's, asked.
"Yes, security inside the arena itself will be handled by your staff. But we'll be on alert to move in if things get too out of hand."
Natalie nodded. "And if the Sailor Senshi show up?"
"We won't try to apprehend them, so long as they keep the situation from getting out of hand themselves."
"I promise we'll behave," Sailor Moon declared from the doorway leading to backstage.
Natsuna and Natalie whirled around as the other staff momentarily paused in surprise at the appearance of the fugitive hero herself. The latter smiled and walked over to her.
"It's nice to finally meet you in person," she said before taking Sailor Moon into a hug.
"Same here," Sailor Moon replied as she returned the hug. "And it's so nice of you, Natsuna, to not make this a big old farce to attempt arresting us."
"Public safety is my priority here tonight, not arresting you. Don't do anything to endanger the public directly, and I won't be bothered too," Natsuna replied.
"Ah, so tonight is a truce then?" Sailor Moon asked.
Sailor Moon beamed. "That's good! In exchange for your leniency I will give you some helpful information: You were absolutely right in what you're doing out there, the Dark Kingdom's going to try something here tonight."
Natsuna frowned. "What?"
"You were right as rain to think they'd do something to Heroes of Gunstar, the whole point of this thing is to draw us into a battle. But we don't have to worry about that." Sailor Moon winked. "I appreciate the consideration, Natsuna."
"Not too considerate, we had to bar people from the floor seating. No one was happy about that," Natsuna lamented.
Natalie smiled. "But those people are getting a very special performance as an apology."
Sailor Moon nodded. "I'd like to be part of that show, too!"
"You're always welcome at my shows." Natalie then remembered. "Oh! There's something I wanted to ask you."
"Shoot," Sailor Moon replied.
"… Is there a Sailor Venus?"
A strange question to ask, but Sailor Moon nodded. "Yes, there sure is, though she's on assignment elsewhere."
Natalie pumped her fist. "Yes, that's perfect!" She looked over towards Joseph, who was tuning a guitar. "There is a Sailor Venus, I told you!"
"Damn," the bearded misanthrope growled. Well, that was a ten-thousand dollar bet he lost.
Natsuna frowned. "You're going to go on with the show?"
"Of course, can't have a good show without a fight to extend the set."
"Yes you can, we're just used to it," Stephen Stills called out.
Natalie looked off to the side. "Well… yeah, that too."
"I see…" Natsuna looked to Sailor Moon. "I would like to talk to you about something. Can we go somewhere private?"
"Of course, lead the way?"
Nodding, Natsuna and Sailor Moon headed towards the door, the latter looking back. "See you during the show!"
"Sure, I have to get into the rest of my costume anyway." Natalie gestured to her largely incomplete outfit.
Both Natsuna and Sailor Moon excused themselves, and Natalie clapped her hands to gain the attention of the rest of her band and staff. "All right guys! We're in the eleventh hour, let's hurry this up!"
Natalie headed to her dressing room, one of several set up by the refreshment table for the staff. Standing beside the table, Scott Pilgrim and a currently male Ranma Saotome watched Sailor Moon leave with the Superintendent-General.
"Sailor Moon's really short." Ranma had expected someone taller, not someone hardly taller than his girl half.
Scott smiled. "I guess, but it's kind of hard for me to notice the difference, what with me being so tall."
His expression going blank, Ranma turned his head and stared up at the Canadian. "You know, you're not that tall, for a foreigner."
"I'm tall enough and that's what matters!" Placing his arms akimbo, Scott threw back his head and laughed mightily–before Ranma quickly elbowed him in the stomach. "OOF!"
Ranma chuckled, before Scott grabbed him in a headlock and began grinding his knuckles against the top of his head. From there, the two began roughhousing as one of the dressing room doors opened and Kim walked out. Seeing the two, she shook her head and smirked.
"Reliving the glory days of high school, huh Scott?" She asked.
Scott, now stuck in a headlock of his own, looked up at Kim, who was now wearing a mostly white Gothic Lolita gown that seemed almost too elaborate for a drummer to wear.
"Uh… isn't it a bit much to drum in?"
"It doesn't stop Visual Kei drummers," Kim replied.
"Most Visual Kei drummers do it on keyboard, though," Ranma said.
Kim smirked. "Good thing I'm not most Visual Kei drummers." She twirled a drumstick and tapped Scott on the nose. "Wish me luck?"
Scott blinked, and then shrugged his shoulders. "Um… good luck?"
Kim smiled. "Thanks."
Grabbing a bottle of water, Kim waved and walked off to join the other band members. Ranma looked at Scott. "Isn't she a face-eating monster?"
"Yeah, about that…" Scott elbowed Ranma in the stomach to escape the headlock and looked back in the direction Kim went. "I think something's wrong with her."
Ranma rubbed his stomach. "What do you mean?
"She apologized for exploding at me the other day… it was so weird."
The door to Natalie's dressing room opened, and Natalie poked her head out to follow Kim's departure with her eyes. Looking over to Scott and Ranma, she called out to them. "It is."
Both young men turned to her.
"Scott, Ranma… keep an eye on her okay?" For the first time since Scott first ran into her after touching down in Japan, Natalie looked genuinely worried.
"Jeez, to think there'd be drama over someone not acting like a miserable jerk," Ranma muttered.
Natalie gave him a look. "I'll forgive you because you don't know any better… but Kim's always been…"
"A miserable jerk because of Scott dicking her then dicking her over?"
Scott was affronted. "Dude!"
"Yes actually, but there was a lot more than that. She's never had it easy in life. Ever since she met Scott, people have gone out of their way to just screw her over. And it wasn't even because they didn't like her or she did something to deserve it. People would just do stuff and not care that it hurt her."
Natalie stared at Scott pointedly as she said this, and he got even more defensive. "We worked out our issues."
Ranma whistled. "Is it really that bad?"
"Whenever she got to a good or stable place, something happened and she would be forced to start over. Even in the band, she's got this fear that something's going to happen and it's all going to come crashing down around her."
Ranma held up his hands behind his head. "Well, now she's in a good mood right? What's the problem then?"
"That's exactly it, the moment she's happiest is when something terrible happens. So keep an eye on her okay, in case anything goes wrong."
"You got it," Scott replied.
Ranma nodded assent. "It's the least I can do; a Martial Artist always repays his debts."
"Thanks, you guys…" Natalie smiled to Ranma before looking to Scott. "He's good people, Scott, even if he's just a kid."
With that she turned and went back into her dressing room, closing the door behind her.
As Scott and Ranma looked to one another and shrugged their shoulders, Naru narrowed her eyes after overhearing the exchange from Naruru's partially opened dressing room door.
Hidden in the lights suspended from the ceiling, the Sailor Senshi were careful to stay better concealed this time, with the tens of thousands of people waiting for the concert to begin below. Sailor Mars in particular was trying not to freak out, with so many people around them, while Jupiter was surprised at the dramatically reduced attendance. The floor seats, which would normally be set up on the rest of the baseball diamond not occupied by the stage, were completely absent aside from pieces of audio/visual equipment set up to take advantage of the new space.
"If something happens, we'll have plenty of room to fight at least."
Though, all of the Senshi would prefer it if a youma didn't appear. Then they could enjoy a free concert.
Sailor Moon suddenly shot up and landed atop the structure holding the lights with the other Senshi, causing Sailor Mars to let out a yelp. "I'm back!"
"So Natsuna didn't try to arrest you?"
"Nope, it's exactly like I thought: even they've got Nephrite figured out like a two-piece puzzle on this one." Sailor Moon folded her arms and looked back down at the empty field as she recalled the advice given to her. "But even with all this space to play around in, we've never done a gig in front of a crowd like this."
"So we're going to be a bit more defensive, then?" Sailor Jupiter asked.
Sailor Moon nodded. "First chance we get, though, we hit her all at once and hold nothing back, got it?"
The other Senshi nodded resolutely to Sailor Moon.
In the arena's Press Box, taken over by the police and acting as their command center, Natsuna entered and was surprised to see the Governor himself overseeing the show with his hands folded behind his back. "Ishihara-dono what are you doing here?"
"I just came to oversee how things were going," Ishihara replied with a small smile. "And see what's so interesting about this particular foreign band."
Natsuna nodded. "Well, everything's ready for when the battle starts."
"That's very good. Are they here as well?"
Natsuna blinked. "Yes… they've been here for a while now. They've agreed to fight on the terms we've set, so any fight shouldn't be too bad."
Ishihara nodded, as the lights went down. "Then this will be quite the show."
The stadium soon plunged completely into darkness, as Nephrite watched from one of the gates, his arms folded. A single light shone on the stage, revealing Mikan Shiratori, and the crowd's cheers intensified as she held up her hand.
"Hello, everyone!" she called out into her headset microphone. "It's me, the fabulous Mika-chan, your MC for tonight's show! I hope you're all ready for a great show, the greatest show!"
She held out her arms, as hologram projections of colorful flowers and sparkles appeared over her, wowing the crowd. She then clapped her hands together. "But first! We have a very special guest, honorary band member and all around super cute girl, Naruru Osaka! Let's hear it for her, everyone!"
Another spotlight appeared on Naruru, who emerged despite her nervousness at being in front of so many people, and walked quickly over to Mikan, who exchanged a bow with her. Resting a hand on Naruru's shoulder, Mikan turned to the crowd again, as hologram projections of lights, like glass twinkling in the sun, began to appear around them.
"Naruru-chan, it's true that you're a big fan of Heroes of Gunstar, yes?"
"The biggest!" Naruru replied happily.
Sailor Mercury snorted. "I would've won that contest were I not failing that test…" Just another thing to blame on Ryo Urawa, she supposed.
"Is there any other music you like, any particular idols that you also listen to? Hm? Hm?" Mikan asked.
Naruru thought about it. "Well… there is one artist I listen to, but it's kind of embarrassing."
"Oh no, don't be embarrassed. I'm sure we all know who it is!" Mikan insisted, while looking a bit smug.
"Oh, if you insist, I do really like G-Money USA!"
Sailor Moon laughed, as the rest of the audience laughed and cheered. "I'm so glad I released that mix tape!"
"You know, it was really good," Sailor Jupiter admitted.
Sailor Mars tapped her fingers together. "I don't think I'll ever understand hip-hop."
Mikan looked a little stunned, and annoyed, as more of the sparkles appeared. "G-Money… USA…?" She sounded angry.
Naruru looked up at Mikan, when she heard her tone shift, and then stepped back as the idol turned a nasty glare onto her. "G-Money USA!? You mean Sailor Moon, right!?"
"Uh… ah… what?" Naruru stepped back, as Mikan walked towards her, her expression becoming meaner as the sparkles intensified.
"Thanks to that stupid girl, I lost my head! Do you have any idea how much that hurts!?" Mikan roared at her.
Sailor Moon stood up. "What?"
Naruru tripped and fell back, as Mikan held out her arms, and the sparkling lights surrounded her, and flashed away… revealing the form of the youma Derella.
Derella grinned down at the girl, as the audience freaked out. "Well I hope she's watching this, because I'm about to lop off yours!"
She raised her hand, ready to strike Naruru, when the lights all went out again, leaving only Derella lit up. Looking around, Derella growled. "Now what?"
There was a tremendous, billowing red explosion behind the stage, and a solid beam of light shot up. A single figure began to appear from within it, and the crowds stared as a booming voice spoke.
"Preying on the defenseless is what you youma do all the time, this is nothing new. How about I teach you a new trick?"
Derella looked towards the glowing light, and the figure that began to emerge from it. "Who… who the hell are you now?!"
The figure replied, as her booming voice became more distinct and the light receded to reveal her identity. "I am the unrelenting force of good and justice in the universe! Where there is evil, I will be there to meet and obliterate it!"
The light faded to reveal Natalie Adams, dressed in a red, white, and black, stylized rendition to Sailor Moon's outfit, her long red hair done up in a similar style of long tails, though sans the odango. "I am Sailor Gunstar!"
Naruru sat up, gasping. "A Sailor Senshi!"
"A dead Sailor Senshi!" Derella yelled as she opened her mouth and unleashed her glass spray attack. Crouching, Sailor Gunstar leaped above the attack and high above the stage, before flipping and landing behind Derella. When Derella looked back in disbelief, Sailor Gunstar comically booted her in the backside, sending her falling to her face.
Derella got back up, looking indignant. "Who do you think you are?!"
She lunged to attack Sailor Gunstar, but was held back at arm's length by a hand on her face as she flailed ineffectually. The audience broke into applause, as Sailor Gunstar looked back and shrugged her shoulders.
Shoving Derella back, Sailor Gunstar helped Naruru onto her feet and dusted her off. "You okay?"
"Yes!" Naruru said excitedly, before Derella got back up. "Oh no, the youma!"
"Oh yes, the youma, and I'm going to rip you to shreds!" Derella roared.
Sailor Gunstar laughed. "Not so fast, you don't know it yet youma, but you're not just facing Sailor Gunstar!"
Sailor Gunstar then performed a series of Kamen Raider-style poses and pointed to the sky. "Heroes of Gunstar… ASSEMBLE!"
Some truly heroic music began to play, as more beams of light shot to the ceiling. From the beams, the members of Heroes of Gunstar began to emerge. Stephanie Nordegraf, Stephen Stills, Joseph, and finally Kimberly Pine stepped from the light and staring death straight at Derella.
"Oh my God, this is awesome," Sailor Moon said as she all but drooled at the display of special effects in front of her.
Sailor Gunstar held her hand out, and from a trap door below her, her alter-ego's keyboard is ejected for her to catch. The band's other instruments; Stephanie's bass, Stephen Stills and Joseph's guitars, and Kim's drum kit were raised much more slowly, for their wielders to take up.
Sailor Gunstar joined her band mates, with Naruru at her side, and set up the keyboard's stand. Derella took a step back, clearly nervous. "Wait, hold it…!"
As Stephen Stills proceeded to dive bomb on the whammy bar of his guitar, Sailor Gunstar called out. "It's time to banish you once and for all, youma… with the power of rock!"
Spinning her drumsticks, Kim raised them above her head and counted it out for the whole damn arena to hear.
"WE ARE HEROES OF GUNSTAR!" She slammed her drumsticks together. "ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!"
The music exploded from the speakers, as the band unleashed their opening song, an instrumental known simply as the "Anthem of Scott Pilgrim". The music buffeted Derella, whose scream of agony was drowned out as she disintegrated, leaving a smiling Mikan who turned to the crowd and urged them to give it up for the band as the sparkles of the Derella hologram scattered across the arena, joined by multi-colored rays of light, and pixilated stars to the audience's delight.
Up in the lights, the Sailor Senshi were as amazed by the light show that was happening around them as they were by the upbeat and blood pumping music being played on stage. As a few pixilated stars whipped by them, Mars looked over to Sailor Moon. "This is amazing!"
"I know, right?!" Sailor Moon called back.
Mercury was trying her hardest not to head-bang to the music, when a call signal appeared in her visor. It was a text message from Naru, which she quickly opened and began to read. Her eyes widened. "Sailor Mars?"
"Get your ofuda ready, Naru-chan's figured out the target."
On the stage, the song was rapidly approaching its climax, the audience already at a fever pitch as the band played to their fullest, no more than Kim, whose drumming seemed to stand out over the others. She was on fire, note-perfect, playing better than she had in months, even better than the dress rehearsal yesterday.
The song drew to an end, and the hologram projections settled into a starry sky on the arena's ceiling, as a recreation of the Toronto and Tokyo skylines appeared behind the band.
"TOKYO!" Natalie called out as she picked up a microphone. "HOW ARE YOU?!"
The audience roared back, the sound of cheers, applause, and stomping feet causing even the lights where the Senshi were sitting to sway.
"I see that Tokyo's got a monster problem, but that's being handled, huh?" Natalie asked as she paced down the stage's runway, eliciting even more cheers.
"You know who I'm talking about yeah? Let's hear it! Come on!" Natalie held up her microphone, as the whole house began chanting her name.
"SAILOR MOON! SAILOR MOON! SAILOR MOON! SAILOR MOON!" SAILOR MOON!"
"That's right, let's give it up for her! It's been years since Tokyo's seen a Hero of Justice, hasn't it!?" Natalie asked the crowd.
As the crowd of thousands cheered, Kim sat back at her drum kit and took it all in. She felt… good, like a weight had been lifted off her head and shoulders and now that it was gone she could appreciate it all better now. She was playing for a sold out crowd of thousands, loved by millions of people she didn't even know, but that wasn't just it.
"… I deserve this," Kim said to herself.
The years of being dumped, treated like crap, cheated on, and used for nefarious schemes that turned her into a cold, mean person felt behind her. She glanced out the corner of her eye, towards where Scott was watching, and began to smile. She had her friends, her fame, she had it all.
An ofuda charm then tagged her right in the forehead.
The music stopped and everyone on stage looked at Kim in surprise, while Kim stared cross-eyed at hissing and cracking charm.
"Huh?" Kim asked.
"Kim…?" Natalie whispered.
Before anyone could react, a blinding light erupted from Kim. Shielding her eyes from it, Natalie slowly backed away, as its intensity slowly ebbed. She could see Kim sitting limp at her drum kit, her head tilted back as the light–shining from her forehead–began to change shape, as if something was beginning to emerge from it.
"Oh man!" Scott gasped as Ranma assumed a fighting stance.
To everyone's fright, the light fully transformed into a female figure that slipped from Kim's body and began to rise above the stage. The light faded faster, revealing the red-skinned, tiger print bikini-wearing youma Goro. Several arcs of electricity shot up from the black-haired youma's back, before transforming into a ring of tomoe-marked drums that gave off sparks of dark-colored electricity.
Goro opened her eyes, and looked down at the stage below, and at Natalie, Naruru, Mikan, and the other members of Heroes of Gunstar staring up at her. The thunder youma stared down at them, and felt nothing but contempt for the very idea of their existence. She raised her hands, and in a flash of plasma, a pair of silver drum sticks appeared in her hands. She was going to reduce these stupid humans to shadows burned into the stage.
The youma heard something and looked up, just in time to see Sailor Moon's leg swinging down to meet her face. The kick connected, launching Goro like a missile towards the stage. Before she could hit and completely trash it, however, Sailor Mercury struck from below with her own kick, launching Goro straight up to the ceiling of the dome.
Before she could impact it, Sailor Jupiter caught her in the stomach with an elbow, before she lifted her foot and dropped it on the youma, sending her crashing down into the open floor of the arena in front of the stage.
Landing on the edge of the stage, Sailor Moon let out a huff. "Damn it! Of all the people the world Nephrite sticks the youma in; it's the one person who actually gets nicer when she's possessed!"
The Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter landed beside her, as the latter asked, "Why do you suppose that is?"
"Negativity," Sailor Mercury answered quickly as she activated her computer.
Sailor Moon quickly got it. "I see…"
The youma rose to her feet, entirely unharmed by the attack.
Sailor Moon blinked. "Well! This is going to be one of those fights."
Goro huffed. "Sailor Moon, you and your friends have killed a lot of youma, even defeated Zoisite and Jadeite. Your run ends tonight."
She twirled a drumstick in one hand. "I'm far stronger than any youma you've faced before, and now I'm stronger than ever."
"Thanks to all that negative energy you ate, right?" Sailor Moon asked.
Goro paused. "You caught on that quick?"
"I have to admit, putting the youma in a girl who already is a major bitch? Pretty sneaky, but it's not going to change the outcome of this fight for you." Sailor Moon posed and pointed down at Goro. "Negativity or not, you're still going down for snacking on that girl's energy!"
"It ate Kim's energy?" Natalie then looked over to Kim, who had fallen from her chair. Without hesitation, she ran to her. "Kim!"
In the stands, Nephrite narrowed his eyes, as Goro let out a laugh, her voice echoing among the clamor from the audience. "I was able to drain that miserable little cunt dry, and with all of her dark, dark energy, I'm going to fry you until you're nothing but free particles!"
"Yeah… no," Sailor Moon said as she crouched down and shot forward to kick a hole through Goro. The youma ended up no-selling the hell out of the kick. "What the…?"
Millions of volts of electricity immediately struck and sent her smashing into a wall. When the electricity disappeared, Goro herself punched Sailor Moon in the stomach, creating a large crater in the wall, which was then illuminated by another burst of millions of volts.
Goro drew her hand away, to punch her again, when Sailor Moon socked her in the jaw, knocking her back. With a few cracks and pops, Goro disappeared. As Sailor Moon stepped out of the hole she made, she realized it.
"She's got moves like fucking Enel-" A bolt of lightning struck her, driving her into the ground.
Above her, Goro raised her drumsticks, as electricity arced between them. "You're not fast enough to beat me, Sailor Moon!"
Sailor Moon got up, smoke rising from her body and a little unsteady, but more or less intact. "Oh shit, I think she boiled my blood for a bit there."
Goro snorted and held her drumsticks above her head as the ring of drums lit up, charging an even stronger lightning bolt. Sailor Moon looked up, and then held up her hand. "This one's more your speed."
The lightning bolt came down, just as Sailor Moon vanished, replaced by Sailor Jupiter, who met Goro's lightning blast head on in an incredible display of light and sound, before the bolt was grounded harmlessly. Steam rising from her body, Sailor Jupiter smirked up at Goro.
"Lightning elemental, now what?!"
Sailor Mercury reappeared on the stage, setting Sailor Moon next to Mars. "You okay?"
"I need a few seconds to… recharge." Sailor Moon brought a hand to her mouth to avoid vomiting from her bad pun.
"Okay, I'm gonna go back over there and kick the crap out of her then," Sailor Mercury said. "Sailor Mars, stay with the band and protect them in case the youma tries to attack them."
Sailor Mars nodded affirmative, before stopping. "Wait, but you're a water-type!"
Mercury looked back at her. "What does that have to do with anything–ohh… don't worry I'll be alright." Mercury looked towards Goro and smirked. "I know Extreme Speed."
Sailor Moon actually vomited this time. "You guys are killing me worse than the youma."
Goro backed from Sailor Jupiter once again, her electricity pushing the Senshi back considerably. "What's the matter Sailor Senshi, afraid to fight back?!
Goro moved behind Sailor Jupiter instantaneously and lunged to stab her in the back with one of her drum sticks, when Mercury parried the strike. Goro grinned and her drums collected electricity. "Water conducts electricity you know."
Sailor Jupiter suddenly turned and lunged through Mercury, scattering her into particles of light as she uppercut Goro to the ceiling. Goro flipped over to set her feet onto the ceiling and crossed her arms to block Sailor Mercury's punch as she reappeared in front of her.
Electricity crackling around her body, Goro attempted to fry Mercury, but the swift Senshi slipped away from the burst of lightning. Goro watched as Mercury stopped, also standing upside down on the ceiling, and grimaced in annoyance. "Cameran was right, you have to go first!"
She attacked Mercury, becoming a bolt of lightning that shot after Mercury as she disappeared from sight.
As flickers of light shone from Mercury and Goro's high speed engagement on the ceiling of the Dome, Natalie was leaning over Kim, checking for vital signs. They were there, but she was barely breathing, and her pulse was weak. Scott and Ranma were at her side, having gotten there when Natalie did.
"Kim, wake up!" Natalie whispered as she gently shook her.
Scott shook his head. "We have to get her to a hospital, or get a health pack or something!"
"Yeah, trying to leave in the middle of a monster fight," Stephen Stills said as the other band members watched Mercury and Goro's clashes all over the arena.
"We're all going to die here," Joseph lamented in annoyance.
"Shut up, Joseph!" Natalie, Stephen Stills, Steph, and Ranma shouted at the bitter bearded guitarist before Goro and Mercury's fight had returned to the floor of the arena.
A bolt of lighting tore up the floor and Sailor Mercury's disappearing afterimage as both youma and Senshi exchanged blows all over the open floor. Reappearing with a line of images trailing behind her, Goro swung her drumsticks as if she was hitting the drums on the ring on her back, and each drum fired a lightning bolt that homed in on Sailor Mercury from different directions.
Mercury managed to dodge three of them with ease, but the forth cut close, singing her hair, while the fifth curved in to hit her dead on. Sailor Jupiter, however, slid between them with a burst of electricity-boosted speed and again grounded the lightning bolt with the antenna from her tiara.
"Shit…" Jupiter growled as smoke rose from her singed body after tanking the hit. She looked out the corner of her eye to see Mercury suddenly vanish from her side. "Can we get an opening already?!"
Sailor Mercury reappeared, her kick being blocked by Goro's punch before they disappeared again. "Coming up!"
When they reappeared, they were behind Jupiter, with Mercury twisting her body to avoid a lightning slash. "Get ready!"
They disappeared and reappeared again, Mercury recoiling from the headbutt she crashed into Goro's nose, before disappearing again when she missed the follow-up kick.
Another barrage of lightning bolts hit the ground around Jupiter as she moved to avoid them. Charging up as the lightning crashed around her she looked around rapidly before she disappeared. When she reappeared Goro was all but impaled on the punch she rammed into the youma's gut.
Pulling her fist away, Jupiter performed a somersault kick that launched Goro up, and got clear as Mercury kicked off the ceiling and landed on Goro with enough force to create a ten meter deep crater that almost reached the edge of the stage.
Sailor Mercury jumped out of the hole. "Jupiter! Your turn!"
Goro slowly tried to get up from the hit and looked up to the edge of the pit to find Sailor Jupiter held a steel girder in her arms.
Tossing the girder into the air, Sailor Jupiter leaped up after it and drew her arm back as electricity crackled up and down it. "Go! Jupiter Sky-Burning Javelin!"
She punched the girder straight down at Goro, accelerating it to supersonic velocity within fractions of a second and leaving a trail of superheated plasma behind it. The ensuing impact deepened and widened the crater, and left Goro impaled on a pillar of molten slag.
Sailor Jupiter landed next to Sailor Mercury, who had activated her computer again and was quickly running through hundreds of thousands of calculations.
"Now we murder her with science!" Sailor Mercury looked back at Sailor Mars. "Quickly, use your Fire Soul! Sailor Jupiter, follow up!"
Impaled in the pit, Goro just let out a growl as she tried to remove herself from it. "You think… this is going… to stop me?!"
She looked up, and saw Sailor Mars in the air above her, fire in her eyes and her hands clasped together. "MARS FIRE SOUL!"
The blast of flame shot into the pit, as Sailor Jupiter's Supreme Thunder followed, creating a magnetic field around flames that got very hot, very fast. Holding her hands out, Jupiter drew her hands together, her electric field compressing the flames tighter and tighter around Goro as the ball lifted out of the crater and became brighter, turning the dim arena into high noon in the desert.
Sailor Moon stumbled over to Sailor Mercury's side, staring in amazement at the ball of light. "Did you just make a fucking ball of fusion?"
"I want to be thorough!" Mercury replied proudly. "Finish it off, Sailor Moon."
"With pleasure!" Sailor Moon removed her tiara, and it too began to shine brightly. "Moon Tiara, action!"
She threw it straight into the miniature sun burning in the arena, and the golden discus sliced clean through it, leaving two halves that erupted into a bright flash.
Mars and Jupiter landed with Mercury and Sailor Moon, as the tiara returned to her hand and was replaced on her forehead.
Sailor Moon looked over to Mercury. "Did we kill it?"
Sailor Mercury scanned the area with her computer, and grew wide-eyed as the dark energy and Goro's electrical signature began to reemerge, much more powerful than before. "N-no…"
"Are you kidding me?!" Jupiter demanded as Goro reconstructed herself from stray electrons and the dark energy that wreathed her.
Nephrite scowled at the sight of Goro simply manifesting herself out of thin air. How much energy did that negative drummer girl have?!
"You don't get it, do you?" Goro asked. "When channeled properly, emotional energy is one of the strongest forces in the universe!"
She held her hands out, the dark energy mixing with her electricity, intensifying it and causing her body to become firmer and more muscular as her red skin adopted an orange tone to it. "This negativity is the best! Her anger, despair, and outright hatred for everything, even herself… it has magnified my powers by a thousand fold, maybe more!"
As Goro declared this, Sailor Mercury was measuring the youma's skyrocketing energy output. "She's not bluffing!"
Sailor Moon looked over. "Mercury, what does the computer say about her power level?"
Mercury read the numbers. "The output is increasing exponentially; it's already over nine times higher than when we first started slapping her around and not showing any signs of stopping!"
Sailor Moon was relieved at least that Mercury didn't make the obvious reply. "So… in layman's terms we're fucked?"
They were, as Goro swung her staff downward, sending a tremendous lightning bolt crashing down on the Sailor Senshi. As before, it was immediately drawn to Sailor Jupiter, and when the bolt went through her into the ground, the ensuing blast of force knocked all four Senshi back into the front of the stage.
"Fuuuck… having your blood boiled and living through it is not cool!" Sailor Moon groaned as she tried to get up.
Sailor Jupiter, coughing, tried to get back up on her feet, as Sailor Mercury shook her head.
"She officially hits harder than that bus youma…" The blue-themed Senshi moaned.
Up in the press box, Natsuna couldn't believe it. "Are… are they actually losing?"
Ishihara just hummed, and waited patiently.
Back on the stage, Scott stared down at Kim. She looked strangely peaceful despite her grave condition; her lips were even turned up into a small smile. He was a spaz and an idiot, but this was one of those few things that clicked perfectly in his head. Kim's growing niceness had been because of the monster literally eating all of the pain and misery that made her into such a cold, angry person.
"Her being happy was just something hurting her," He realized aloud before he got up and looked towards the youma, now wrapped in a bright ball of pure plasma as she continued to transform.
Over her bikini-clad body, a gold-tinted, lacquer-like armor appeared and spread across every inch of her skin, as her drum ring transformed, becoming an ornate, lightning themed ring of bronze that gave off blue flames rather than just simple lightning. Goro's drumsticks turned into staffs, which she combined to form a single long pole that she held above her head.
"I am no longer a mere youma! I am a thunder GOD!" she yelled as she unleashed a massive bolt of lightning that Sailor Jupiter once more stood to ground like the others. When it struck, Sailor Jupiter actually yelled in pain as her own energies were overpowered by the youma's.
"Sailor Jupiter!" Sailor Mars yelped, as the other Senshi fell to her knees, coughing.
"Ishihara-dono, we have to get out of here!" Natsuna shouted as she tried to pull him away from the Press Box's windows. Ishihara just held his hand out, stopping her.
"The tide is about to turn," he simply said.
"Stubborn aren't you?!" Holding her staff above her head, Goro grinned down at the Sailor Senshi, and created a massive orb of dark, electrical energy at its end. "Be as stubborn as you like! Nothing can defeat a Thunder God!"
In the arena's shadows, Nephrite opened his eyes as they flashed red.
"Even the gods are ruled by the stars."
At that instant, a strange crest appeared on Goro's forehead, first shining blue, and then a dark red before black and red bolts of lightning suddenly shot across her body, causing her to scream in pain.
"The fuck…?" Sailor Moon asked as Goro threw her head back and screamed, the dark energy suddenly shooting from her and through the ceiling of the arena. To Mercury's surprise, the energy count began to decrease rapidly.
"She's venting energy and getting weaker!" Sailor Mercury happily reported.
"Why is this… what's happening?!" Goro screamed as more power left her.
"This energy is not for you, but I'll leave you just enough to deal with the Senshi while they are weakened," Nephrite contacted her.
Goro fell to the ground, still in her transformed state, but her golden lacquer armor was already cracked and peeling in some places. Getting up to her feet, she panted and wobbled as she felt another burst of energy leave her, and then another. "Nephrite, damn you… I was going to defeat them with that…!"
"You're still standing, aren't you? Go, defeat them and show me your strength," Nephrite ordered.
Sailor Mercury looked to Sailor Moon. "She's weaker than when she first came out, and stabilizing. She's a little higher than the last youma, but be careful with her electrical tricks."
Sailor Mars couldn't help it. "It looks like she blew a fuse!"
Sailor Moon let out a groan in agony.
Steeling herself, Goro looked up at the Senshi and gripped her weapon in both hands. "Tch… I'm still going to defeat you! I've more than enough power to take care of all of you on my own!"
Sailor Moon snorted. "Care to bank on it?"
Electricity flickered across Goro's body, and to the ends of her staff. "Let's go-!"
A fist slammed into Goro's face. Wide-eyed, Goro looked down the arm to the person who had landed the punch. "The fu-?"
She was launched backward, and slammed into the back wall of the converted baseball field by the overwhelming force of Scott Pilgrim's punch.
Sailor Moon's eyebrows rose. "Well!"
As Goro pulled herself out of the crater she made in the wall, Scott pointed at her. "You bounced around in my friend's head, feeding off her like a parasite! I'm going to kick your ass you evil… evil… sexy bikini thunder demon!"
In a flash, Goro leaped out of the hole she made in the wall, and spun her staff. "Who the fuck… do you think you are?!"
She all but teleported to Scott, swinging the staff to cut clean through him with the electricity surrounding it, only to miss as Scott narrowly ducked under it and countered with an uppercut that lifted her off her feet. Jumping up, he flipped and stomped on her chest with both feet, sending her bouncing off the ground.
As the young man landed on his feet, Goro stopped and slowly got up, her golden lacquer now missing in places. "No, he's just a human…" She got back up. "There's no way a human's going to get the better of me."
"Too late, I am so much better than you!" Scott shouted back.
Goro snorted. "No."
She zapped over to him, and swung down at him with the staff… only to miss again. As Goro's eyes widened in disbelief, a kick connected with the side of her head. Slamming into the ground, the youma tumbled along the ground and was struck several more times, accelerating her roll before Ranma finished his rushing chain of hits by stomping her into the ground with both feet.
Jumping off her, the teenaged martial artist prodigy landed next to Scott. "Oi… you know you're pretty big dumbass for jumping into a Sailor Senshi fight, right?"
Scott snorted. "What's that make you?"
Ranma grinned. "An even bigger dumbass."
"And I'm the biggest dumbass of them all," a furious Natalie said as she hopped off the stage and walked over to the gathered Senshi and the new challengers.
Rating: MAD AS HELL!
"Sailor Moon take five, I want to kick this bitch's face in for messing with my band!"
Sailor Moon couldn't help herself and laughed. "Well, well, well! I defer to you, Miss Adams!"
Goro got up, letting out a growl of frustration and created a blade of lightning at the end of her staff. "I will kill all of you!"
She shot towards the nearest target, Ranma, and thrust the spear for his chest. Ranma was quick, however, and parried the spear away so he could clock Goro in the face with a headbutt, knocking her over again with pieces of lacquer and the bronze from her ring clattering behind her. As the lightning youma got up, Sailor Moon called out to her.
"Hey Thunder God! You look like you're having a bad time, there!"
Goro's eyes became bloodshot at the taunt. "When I'm done with them, you die first!"
A ball of plasma surrounded her, sending out a wave of heat that buffeted the three above-average humans. Channeling the energy to her palm, Goro roared and fired it as a solid beam of energy that all three avoided. As her plasma barrier faded, she looked up in time to see Natalie fall upon her Sailor Moon style, twisting her body to drop her with flying roundhouse that hit like a speeding truck.
"I really like her form," Sailor Jupiter admitted.
"Is this a good idea?!" Mars asked.
Sailor Moon nodded. "Let them, we'll mop up."
Goro got up, huffing angrily before she screamed and attacked Natalie wildly. Her swing left her open to a kick to the face, that Natalie followed with a high kick that sent Goro stumbling back.
Scott and Ranma passed Natalie on either side, Ranma elbowing Goro's stomach as Scott kneed her in the nose, shattering all the lacquer on her face and breaking part of the ring above her head.
Natalie panted as Goro struggled to stand on her feet. She looked back towards Kim, and then at the lightning youma. "Bitch… you pissed off the wrong front-woman!"
As she said this, Ranma looked to Scott and held up his fist. Nodding, Scott pounded his to Ranma before he called out to Goro. "It's time to get what's coming to you, sweet combo style!"
Goro took a deep breath, and let out a berserker's scream as she fired lightning from her remaining drums and her open palms, creating a single large beam aimed at her attackers. "I'LL SHOW YOU THE STRENGTH OF A THUNDER GOD!"
Natalie responded by raising her foot above her head and swinging down, the tremendous force of her kick splitting the beam down the middle, all the way back to Goro.
Sailor Jupiter was simply awestruck now. "I have got to learn her technique.
Frozen in disbelief that her attack could be countered, Goro stared dumbly at Natalie before Ranma ran up to and punched her several times in the stomach, chest and finally face, knocking her back. "Hey, you're up!"
Scott caught Goro by the back of her head and yanked her down to knee her in the back. As Goro howled in pain from the hit, he punted her back towards Ranma. Stopping her with a kick to her throat, Ranma somersault kicked her into the air, lobbing her back towards Scott before rushing after her.
Recovering in mid-flight, the youma lifted up her spear and thrust it straight for Scott as he waited for her. "DIE!"
At the last second, Scott twisted his body to dodge the spear and backhanded her in the face, smashing the last of the lacquer covering it.
Turning back around Scott nodded to Ranma as the dazed Goro began to fall back to the ground. Returning the nod, Ranma skidded to a halt, and both unleashed hell, raining a barrage of punches all over Goro as their arms vanished. Up on the arena's jumbotron, the word "HIT!" with a rapidly increasingly counter appeared, counting every strike Ranma and Scott struck the youma with.
As she watched Goro lift off the ground, held aloft by the punches, Natalie felt Sailor Moon rest a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey, is that five?" The Senshi asked.
Natalie looked to Sailor Moon, and nodded. "Yeah, this is a wrap."
The counter kept going, ascending past 100, then 500, and then finally stopped at 997 as Scott and Ranma drew back their steam-emitting hands. Suspended in the air for a moment, Goro limply fell forward… and right into the double uppercut that sent the counter to 999 and Goro flipping head over heels straight up towards the ceiling.
As she flipped, she could catch glimpses Sailor Moon grinning up at her as she got ready. "Why… when I was so close?"
She got no response.
"Ready!?" Sailor Moon shouted as she drew her leg back. Natalie nodded, and jumped. With a gleam in her eyes, Sailor Moon swung her kick, which Natalie landed upon and used to launch her straight for Goro. "Moon Natalie, Action!"
Goro went wide-eyed when she turned over again to see Natalie reach her, with her foot extended in a classic flying kick. "Nephrite you-!"
Her yell became an unintelligible, gurgling scream as Natalie shot past her like a bullet. Goro's ring of drums shattered, as her head was severed from her neck, the youma's entire body bursting into flames immediately after.
Reaching the apex of her flight, as the jumbotron flashed "1000!" repeatedly, Natalie nodded and let herself fall. "You just got kicked to the curb, bitch."
She fell, plummeting towards the stands below, and landed rather unexpectedly into the many arms of her fans in the upper levels. She sat up and looked around; not a single person had tried to leave the arena so they could watch Sailor Moon kill the fuck out of another youma.
"Shit, you guys are the most loyal fans on Earth. I just wish you were mine," Natalie said in exasperation as they crowd-surfed her to the edge of the upper seats. Thanking them, she jumped and landed in a crouch as Scott and Ranma rushed to join her.
"That was the coolest thing I've seen in like, two weeks!" Scott declared. "You did a Fastball Special Flying Meteo Inferno Death Blow that was SO SWEET!"
"Are you okay?" Ranma asked as Natalie stood.
"I'm fine; I think I got demon blood all over my leg though." Natalie looked down. "Yeah, I did."
"That's an occupational hazard," Sailor Moon said as she walked over.
"If it's all the same I'll stick to music." Natalie's eyes widened, when it all swiftly came back to her. "Oh no Kim, is she alright?"
Sailor Moon smiled, and looked back. "She should be okay."
They looked over to see Kim sitting up, rubbing her head. Sailor Mars had gone to her and was gently rubbing her back. She could feel strange warmth emanating from her palm, returning her strength gradually.
"God… what happened… where am I…?" She then turned her head to see Sailor Mercury smiling at her. "Holy shit, you're that red Sailor."
"Y-yes, I'm Sailor Mars. Can you get up?"
Kim nodded and rose to her feet. She rubbed her forehead. "Did… did a monster really just pop out of my head?"
"Like something out of FLCL, yes," Sailor Mars replied.
"Huh, I always thought that'd be more a bassist thing," Kim said. "Well, is it dead?"
Sailor Mercury nodded. "Yes, your friends killed it," She said just before Scott and Natalie pretty much tackled her, knocking her back down onto the stage. "And they're really glad you're fine."
"I couldn't… tell…" Kim groaned as she was cuddled by the two. She didn't struggle though; she just felt none of that old misanthropic charge she was used to. "God, I expected Scott to be like this, but Nat?"
Natalie hugged her. "I've seen enough band members die at gigs, I'm glad you're safe."
Scott nodded. "What would we do without you to point out our flaws and hate us for being idiots?"
Kim shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know, hang out with Julie?"
"She's gonna be okay!" Scott tearfully exclaimed as he nuzzled Kim's face.
Up in the press box, Ishihara turned and headed for the exit. "Sakurada-san."
"Yes, Ishihara-dono?" Natsuna was dreading the next words to come out of the Governor's mouth.
Natsuna blinked, and stared at the old man. She was relieved out of her gourd but… just like that? Before she could say anything, Ishihara gave her a wizened smile, and Natsuna dropped it then and there. "…Yes sir."
Ishihara nodded. "I'm going to go get something from the concession stand, is there anything that you'd like?"
Natsuna blinked again, and then held up her hand. "A beer, if possible!"
"So what the hell happened out there?" Sailor Jupiter asked as the band started picking up their instruments, and a quick test of the systems went underway.
Sailor Moon folded her arms and nodded slowly. "I would like to know that. The Dark Kingdom used energy from their victims against us before, and this was probably their best shot. Then just like that–poof."
Sailor Mercury analyzed the data. "The youma had more energy than she could handle, so naturally once she tried to use too much of it, it all fizzled out of her."
"What about that sigil that appeared on her forehead, though?" Mars asked.
Sailor Moon, Mercury, and Jupiter stared at Rei, who blinked. "Y-you didn't see it?"
"I'll review the data more in-depth later, we should get going since everything's beginning to wind down," Mercury suggested.
"What, and miss the rest of the concert?!" Sailor Moon asked.
"What concert? "There's a big old hole in the middle of the floor, there's rubble everywhere, and I think the structural integrity of the ceiling's in question," Jupiter noted.
"Sound check!" Stephen Stills called out, and the band began tuning their instruments.
Sailor Moon smiled. "I guess that answers it."
"What about Kim? They can't play without a Drummer!"
"Oh, she's fine now!" Sailor Mars declared proudly. "I gave her some of my energy; she should be okay for the rest of the show."
"You can do that?" Sailor Moon asked.
"I guess I can? I mean I thought I'd try it, and I guess it worked…?" Sailor Mars shyly looked to Kim. "Did it?"
Kim nodded and dusted herself off. "Yeah, I'll be okay."
"Crazy-ass Canadians…" Jupiter muttered with a smile.
"Are we really so different?" Ranma asked before he gestured to the Senshi. "I mean… look at you guys! Look at me!"
"Yes, yes, look at you!" Sailor Moon purred at the boy.
Ranma hesitated a bit, and then took a step back when Sailor Moon sidled over to him with an amorous edge to her tone. "I really liked those moves of yours out there. Want to show me some more after the show?"
Putting his hands up, Ranma quickly shook his head. "Ah… no…" He smiled nervously. "I have a girlfriend, you see!"
Sailor Moon couldn't help herself. "Is she cute? Call her up and let's make this a party."
Ranma paused and blinked as he clearly remembered hearing something like that before. Before he could point this out, Sailor Jupiter grabbed Sailor Moon by her long streams of hair and hauled her back. "Down girl."
"Sailor Moon," Natalie called as she ran over to her. Both Naruru and Mikan were at her side, now that it was safe. "You're not leaving, are you?"
"No, no-no-no, in fact we wanted to stay for the rest of the show!" Sailor Moon replied cheerfully after freeing herself from Jupiter's grasp.
"Great!" Natalie took Sailor Moon's hand, and led her to the front of the stage, and the cheering crowd, a bit thinned due to all the running around caused by the battle but no-less enthusiastic. Seeing two of their idols together, their cheers grew to a fever pitch.
"Greatest show on Earth, am I right!?" Natalie called to the crowd, as Mikan and Naruru joined the two, Naruru looking up at Sailor Moon in awe.
Natalie looked over to Sailor Moon, as Kim performed a few rim shots on her drums to make sure she was up to snuff for the next song. "A few days back I said I had something for you."
Sailor Moon brought her hands to her cheeks. "Come on, Nat-chan! You're making me blush! I don't need anything from you, protecting people is a reward in itself!"
"I know, I know, but me and the band were thinking, that if you're gonna be a hero, you're gonna need a few things! A bunch of badasses backing you up, a sick-nasty villain to kick the shit out of, but most importantly… you need a theme song! And while you have the first two down pat, Heroes of Gunstar is here to supply the music!"
And with that, the sound of a bell tolling began to sound from the stage's speakers. Stepping back, Natalie called out.
"WE ARE HEROES OF GUNSTAR AND SHE IS THE ONE NAMED SAILOR MOON!"
The band hit it, starting up with Stephen unleashing the opening guitar chords, a sharp sting that led to the intro to the song that sounded vaguely like a hard rock version of an old nineties J-Pop song, Moonlight Marinade or something, Sailor Moon could not be bothered to remember for how cool it sounded. As the intro played, the skyline of Tokyo appeared via projection behind the stage, with a stylized crescent moon above it, it was with the completion of this transition that Natalie began to sing.
Fighting evil by Moonlight
Winning love by Daylight
Never running from a real fight…
She is the one named Sailor Moon!
Natalie pointed to Sailor Moon for emphasis, and Sailor Moon oh, so humbly smirked and shrugged her shoulders.
She will never turn her back on her friends
She is always there to defend
She is the one on whom we can depend,
She is the one named Sailor…
The lights then turned orange, as the astronomical symbol of Venus appeared in place of the Moon, and Mikan and Naruru joined Natalie.
The symbol for Mercury appeared next as the lights turned blue.
It became Mars as the lights turned red.
The lights turned green, as the symbol became Jupiter.
Natalie then stepped forward.
Powerful and unstoppable, she is the one named Sailor Moon!
Stephen Stills cut loose, unleashing a brief but positively smashing guitar solo. Standing close to Kim's drum set, Sailor Mars tried not to explode from embarrassment, Sailor Jupiter maintained a cool composure, while Sailor Mercury recorded the song for her ringtone.
Up in the lights, where the Senshi had been, Jadeite looked to Motoki and Tuxedo Kamen, the latter of whom just smirked and nodded as he continued to air guitar in tune with Heroes of Gunstar's guitarist, who was wrapping up his solo with a reprise of the intro. Natalie took it from there, putting an arm around Sailor Moon's shoulders, which Sailor Moon returned.
Fighting evil by Moonlight
Winning love by Daylight
With her Sailors there to help fight,
She is the one named Sailor Moon!
Beautiful Destroyer Sailor Moon!
She is the one…
She, Sailor Moon, and everyone on stage raised their hands to the air, as the audience did the same and called out together.
As the greatest concert in Japan's recent memory raged on well into the night, Nephrite appeared in the lair of Queen Beryl, who was watching the concert on her tablet as she held an orb of energy just above her other hand that was significantly smaller than the energy Nephrite had previously gathered. As he finished materializing, her eyes went from her tablet to him briefly before returning to it.
"You did pretty good, Nephrite."
Nephrite bowed deeply.
"Once again, you've exceeded my wildest expectations."
"Thank you my Queen."
Beryl looked at the ball of energy. "But…"
Nephrite didn't rise up from his bow. Of course.
"… We've proven it fool-proof and effective; we can now raise the quota."
Nephrite looked up. "Raise the quota? Why?"
Beryl dismissed the orb of energy and rubbed her chin. "Remember a while back when I said that Adonis was dead? Well, he's dead and so is his entire operation. Kunzite can't even gather energy like he used to because that Sailor Senshi and her friends are a half-step behind him ruining his operation, and Zoisite is trying to help Kunzite kill that other Senshi."
She adopted a condescending, if relaxed expression. "So yeah, if you could take on the quotas of three generals and meet them by the end of November… that'd be great."
Nephrite recoiled somewhat. "My Queen, I can get the energy I need, six or seven more operations and-"
Beryl smirked before lowering her tablet. "Nephrite, you know how savvy those girls are. You've fooled them three times, but they're catching up, and pretty soon they'll know full well what you're doing… and not just them."
She suddenly swung her hand to the side, smashing a spider that had been crawling on the armrest of her throne.
Beryl wiped off the back of her tablet. "You need to work fast, you need to work hard, but above all else… you need to work smart. So get out there, champ and show me what knots you can tie those bitches up in." She then shooed Nephrite away, the tremendous force displaced by her hand buffeting and pushing him back slightly. "Now get out of my sight."
His expression tight, Nephrite quietly vanished from Beryl's throne room. As he left, Beryl returned to watching the stream of the concert on her tablet. When the camera showed a close-up of Kim performing a drum solo, she smirked with pride.
"That's my little cousin…"
It was hours later, well after midnight, when Usagi opened her bedroom door and crept inside. The rest of the concert and the after party had taken a lot out of her, it was easily the longest she or any of the Senshi remained in their forms but it was worth it. Lives were saved, a youma was defeated, and everyone had a great time.
"I saw the show online, you were amazing out there!" Luna said from the end of Usagi's bed.
Usagi smiled to Luna. "Thanks."
"Artemis and Minako thought so too."
Usagi blinked. "Minako, you mean Sailor V?"
Luna nodded, and Usagi sighed.
"Sailor V's been doing this longer than the rest of us, did she offer any critique?" Usagi asked as she began stripping from her clothes.
"Well, Artemis was impressed that you were able to figure out Nephrite's plan like you were and Minako said that 'Moon Natalie Action' was pretty cool."
Usagi finished buttoning up her pajamas and looked at her animal advisor. "How does she deal with youma, anyway?"
Luna's ears briefly folded back. "Messily."
The more Usagi heard about Sailor Venus, the more she wanted to party with her. "I hope she wraps up that Millennium nonsense soon and comes back, we're going to need all the help we can get." She climbed into bed and pulled the blankets up.
"We will." Luna settled in to go back to sleep, and closed her eyes.
"Get help, or we will need it?"
"Both. Now get to sleep, after a long day like that you must be…"
Usagi was already snoring. Rolling her eyes, Luna moved up to Usagi's side, and curled up alongside her to fall asleep as well.
The gunshot echoed across the luscious garden, and then silence fell over it. Her eyes opening cautiously, the Princess sat up, and looked to her Prince, who appeared as bemused by the sound. It wasn't an enemy; they would've fired again by now, wouldn't they?
A young woman's laughter then made them freeze, and the lovers turned to find its source standing over them, a young woman in elegant yet very functional attire, twirling a small handgun in her gloved hand. Upon sight, the Princess's eyes narrowed.
"What's wrong, Rabbit, did I scare you and the Animal King over there?" She asked in a taunting voice.
Getting up, the Princess hitched her shoulders and began marching straight towards the woman, who lowered her hand and the gun she held. Behind her, the Prince stood and tried to call after her, "Princess, wait…!"
"No, let her come, I want to see what the pampered bunny thinks she can do," The woman said smugly.
The Princess stopped in front of the Gunwoman, her fists clenched. The Gunwoman leaned close. "Well, go ahead, do whatever you think you can, Rabbit."
The Gunwoman was rather surprised, when the Princess grinned, cocked back, and punched her straight in the face.
With a jolt, the woman dreaming awoke and looked around groggily. She was lying on the deck of a heavily modified, WWII vintage PT Boat. Shaking her head, she brought a hand to her face and rubbed her nose, it still felt sensitive. "Fuck, did I bump my face on something?"
She looked over to a Japanese man, sitting on the edge of the boat with a line cast into the clear and beautiful ocean, the sandy floor only a few meters below them and teeming with fish. "You know, I had the weirdest dream while I was out."
"You were a pacifist advocate for non-violence and gun control?" The man asked.
He was swiftly kicked in the side, painfully. As he whimpered and rubbed where she struck him, the woman lit up a cigarette and took a drag from it. "It was weird; I can barely remember it now. I was in space, or on the moon or something, and there was this chick… who punched me in the face. I fucking hated her."
Her companion stared at her with a completely baffled look on his face. It was obvious he was looking for words, any words he could possibly say, he finally found them.
"Revy… did you take any strange pills before we set out?"
"Fuck you, Rock."
Beryl: Your friends are their own people, with their own lives, they come and go, but as much as you are a part of theirs, they are a part of yours.
Nephrite: So respect your friends, or lose them forever.
Zoisite: Or you could just make new friends, rich ones.
Beryl: Shut up. Queen Beryl says! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!