Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon. That privilege goes to Naoko Takeuchi.
A/N: This is my first time writing a fanfic and I would greatly enjoy any criticism that's given! Happy Reading!
It was warm, almost unbearably so. Usagi quickly threw the blanket off of her body, but she still felt too warm, like she was a cookie baking in an oven. Sometimes, when her mama is making cookies, she would let Usagi sit on the floor in front of the oven window and watch as they flattened and turn a golden brown. That's how she felt right now except she didn't taste and smell as good as a cookie did.
Little beads of sweat were slowly making their way down her forehead. There was a strange smell coming from outside of her door. Usagi took a quick sniff of the air and she smelt… smoke? But that can't be right. Why would there be smoke right outside her bedroom door?
'Silly me.' Thought Usagi. She turned onto her side and tried to go back to sleep when suddenly her mama burst through the door.
"Usagi! Usagi! You have to wake up now!" A frantic Ikuko screamed as she shook her daughter awake.
Usagi opened her bleary eyes and saw her panic-stricken mama hovering over her. As soon as Ikuko saw that her daughter was in a form of semi-wakefulness, she quickly wrapped Usagi in the blanket she'd thrown off of earlier and scooped her into her arms.
"Mama? What's going on? I'm too warm." Usagi tried to wriggle out of the blanket, but Ikuko had an iron hold on her.
"Usagi, you have to keep the blanket on. It will keep you safe." Ikuko explained in a rush as she re-wrapped her daughter. Satisfied that the blanket now covered Usagi from head to toe, save for a small opening for Usagi's eyes, Ikuko hurried towards the door and down the stairs. Once they were downstairs, a thick layer of heat and smoke surrounded them. Usagi took a quick peek from under her blanket and all she saw was red, orange and black. Now she understood why she smelt smoke earlier, her house was on fire!
Before she could ask where her papa and Shingo were, Ikuko was trying to make her way towards the door through the smoke and flames. It was getting harder to breathe and each second they spent trapped in the house was making their survival less likely. Usagi clutched her mama's blouse with a tight fist as fear seized her little heart as she took in her surroundings. She could see the fire spreading at a rapid rate. Everything the fire touched went up in flames in a matter of minutes.
Finally Ikuko was able to find her way to the front door. She quickly pulled it open and ran a safe distance towards the street where a small crowd was already forming. The cool afternoon breeze brushing against their faces was a welcome relief from the blazing inferno. Ikuko gently set Usagi down as they both watched their home being consumed by the angry flames. She tore her gaze away from her home and took a quick look at their surroundings. She could recognize the familiar faces of the neighbors, but she couldn't find the faces that would set her mind at ease. Her husband and son were still missing.
All too soon the feeling of relief vanished and was replaced by horror when Ikuko realized Kenji and Shingo must still be trapped inside. She wanted desperately to go back inside and get the rest of her family to safety, but she couldn't leave Usagi all by herself. Ikuko was just about to accept her decision to wait for the rest of her family to emerge when she heard the high pitched crying of her baby boy coming from inside the inferno. She promptly made up her mind and knelt down towards Usagi who was still watching the flames.
Ikuko gently took hold of her daughter's chin and turned her head towards hers.
"Usagi, you have to listen to me. Mama has to leave you for a bit so make sure that you stay exactly where you are, alright?" Ikuko said softly.
"Mama? Where are you going? Where's papa and Shingo?" Usagi's bright blue eyes were staring into Ikuko's with such confusion and fear that it made her heart break for what she's about to do.
"Mama needs to find papa and Shingo, Usagi. But don't worry, sweetie, we'll come back in no time, okay? Never forget that we love you that I love you so much." Ikuko choked out. Her throat was tight from repressed sobs and her vision was blurry from unshed tears.
"I love you too, mama." Usagi replied in a small voice. She didn't understand what was going on. Why was her mama crying and why did she get this feeling in the very back of her mind that this was goodbye?
Ikuko gave Usagi a sad smile and cupped her daughter's face with both of her hands. Her eyes closed as she leant forward to give her baby girl a kiss on her forehead and her tears were finally released. When Ikuko pulled back she took one last look at Usagi, turned and sprinted towards the burning house.
Usagi watched as her mama's long skirts and blue hair billowed out behind her as she ran. When Usagi saw her mama's figure being swallowed up by the wall of red, she started shivering as if she had the chills. Even with the blanket covering her and the heat coming from the house, Usagi still felt cold. She watched the flames lick at the sky and was mesmerized by its enchanting dance. The longer she stared, the more distant things were beginning to seem. Soon enough darkness took over her vision and she collapsed onto the hard ground. The last things she heard were a baby crying, a woman screaming and sirens.
It was cold, dark and absolutely quiet. A thick layer of mist and fog surrounded everything. In the distance a figure standing in front of an elegant giant door could be made out through the dense fog. Once the fog parted, it revealed a tall woman wearing a black sailor fuku. At her side she was holding a large staff in the shape of a key with her eyes closed. Aside from the rise and fall of her chest, she could have been mistaken for a statue.
When she suddenly opened her eyes, they revealed garnet orbs and the slightest bit of worry. She could feel a very strong sense of dread that time has been fractured and there was no way to repair it without repercussions.
"Sailor Pluto." Announced a deep voice, "have you felt it?"
"Yes. A piece of time has been broken. This was never meant to happen." The woman now known as Sailor Pluto answered.
"Your mission has changed. The others are neither old enough nor powerful enough to protect her. You are the only one who is capable to become her guardian. Do you accept?"
"I accept." With those simple words, Pluto turned around and opened the Space-Time Door. As she stepped through the threshold the doors slowly closed behind her. She never once looked back.