AN. *singing The Doors* This is the end. My only friend, the end...
Seriously, though, this is the last part. I thought about splitting it, because it's long but I am - true story - too lazy to cut it up since it's already uploaded into one story file on ff net. :)
Sailor Moon is not mine.
On a Wing and a Prayer
Part Ten: Death
Venus fell, eyes clamped shut with pain. The sounds of battle wheeled through her ears, pain ravaged her body.
Tarnished and broken, her Love Me chain clattered softy to the ground, still clutched in one blood hand. Opening quivering blue eyes slightly, the fallen senshi saw two blurry red eyes focus and re-focus and then come into clarity: The face of Beryl. The face she had watched first with pity, then with worry, finally with terror from miles above the Earth's surface.
The Earth woman's eyes were now red, blood-shot, glowing with triumph.
Black-red hair flew in storms around her pale face. She was grinning, fangs protruding from purple lips.
"So sad, pretty little soldier," the witch remarked, delight written on her features, "about your lovely kingdom. And your poor, pathetic little princess."
Agony flowing through her entire body, Venus worked her features into a snarl, and with her last bit of strength, spit as much as she could into Beryl's smug expression. "You may win this battle," the blonde whispered, "but I know, someday, good will win the war."
Wiping her face, Beryl shook her head, eyes red with the fires of hell, "The war will never end."
Groaning slightly, Venus shut her eyes, the Love-Me chain falling limply out of her hand. She did not move.
Beryl stood, slowly, alone now, her Generals had found another enemy to contend with. Suddenly an anguished voice raised over the battle, and Beryl's snake-like gaze darted to a small figure clutching a white pillar.
Princess Serenity's gray eyes were locked on her fallen friend, her hands digging into the marble column, her hair coming loose and flying back from her body.
"Venus!" She cried, tears streaming in dirty streaks down her face, dusty with the debris of battle, "Venus!"
Grinning, Beryl disappeared in a haze of purple-black smoke, leaving the senshi's cold body to the shaking arms of her best friend.
Stumbling forward, Serenity took her friend's body in her arms, pale hands desperately trying to wipe the blood from her head-senshi's face. 'She was so beautiful', Serenity thought, 'so beautiful, she'd hate to be covered in this horrible blood, she'd hate...' "V-chan," she murmured, a broken whisper.
Eyes blank with grief, the Princess did not notice a tugging at the darkness buried deep within her, did not notice a hissing building up around her.
Two glowing ruby eyes materialized first, then a figure stood behind the sobbing, white-clad girl, black and churning with evil.
Endymion's eyes darkened as he locked swords yet again with the man who used to be his best friend in the world. Kunzite's face was devoid of any emotion but fierce determination to do his new master's bidding.
`Even if it means my death,' Endymion thought grimly, dodging another blow to the shoulder.
Turning quickly to avoid Kunzite's death blow, he saw his three other
Generals, standing off the side, watching the battle and waiting, he saw, for Endymion to tire. So they could attack him at once.
He had no chance.
"Please," he said, desperately, "this is a useless battle! Look at all who are dying for no reason but Beryl's pride! Stop this, please," he asked, reaching out a hand, his sword still held in the other.
The red cut on his palm had reopened, and slowly dark blood oozed from beneath the scabbing. Kunzite raised one, coal-black eyebrow before an ironic smile fell across his face.
"Looks as if we both belong to someone else now," the general said, signaling to the others.
A scream echoed across the palace grounds. 'Serenity-' Endymion thought, but it was the last thing that passed through his mind before everything went black.
"Princess," an oily voice glided to Serenity's ears, and she finally looked up from Venus, sliding gray-blue eyes to the side nervously.
That voice was so familiar.
"Who's there?" She stood, her dirty white dress swishing around her legs, her eyes searching the nearby area. The battle was soundless to her now, her eyes blind to everything around her. "Who is it?"
Ice-cold hands curled around her small shoulders, red eyes gazed over her head, the murmuring continued in her ear.
"I think you know, Serenity, Princess, who is calling to you now."
The darkness locked away inside her swirled and tugged at her belly, demanding release. The purity of the crystal clashed inside her and dimmed her powers. Grey eyes faded, and blinked, slowly as they turned to the scenes before them.
Mars, black hair flowing around her body, laid out beside nameless soldiers she had tried to lead to victory. The brilliant red of her uniform was faded, the white stained with her blood. She did not breathe. Serenity's heart screamed inside her chest, her mouth could not move.
Jupiter, kind green eyes closed forever beneath black lashes, laid out on the palace steps. No visible sign of death except the stillness of her chest, her paleness of her once expressive face.
Mercury, gentle Mercury, crumpled in a wash of blue and red, defeated while defending the protected fortress where the young women and children huddled in fear.
The Princess felt shards of something burning dig relentlessly into her heart at the visions Metallia was showing her.
Those very children Mercury had been trying to protect... those children... all slaughtered. Serenity fought a terrible urge to vomit, to cry, to tear at her hair, to die.
"This war," the voice continued, "these deaths. They weigh on your soul. They demand your repentance."
"No," she whispered, softly, weakly.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, dear Princess," the voice dripped with sarcasm, with darkness, "but the fact remains: without you, none of this would have happened. This is your fault." Serenity lifted her hands, which were covered in Venus's blood.
Something deep inside her burned to tell her that it's not true. This isn't her fault, that it couldn't be. Something... someone... had told her... her mind grew fuzzy.
Dizzily, her knees gave way, her eyes closed slowly, and she fell toward the ground.
Endymion opened his eyes, putting a hand to his aching forehead tenderly.
Pulling it away, he cursed softly when he saw his fingers stained with crimson.
Sweaty strands of black hair fell over the wound, into his eyes and he muttered in annoyance as he pushed them back, wincing in pain.
He stood carefully, glancing around him. For a moment his eyebrows knitted together, fear filled his chest. Where was the battle? Where was the enemy? Where was Serenity? She had screamed. She was in danger, he could feel it, deep in his heart.
All around him, flowers grew, their heady scent filling the air. Emerald green grass fanned in the slight breeze, white clouds dotted the perfect baby-blue sky, the golden sun beamed with brilliance. Earth, Endymion realized, happiness filling his heart. His home, his planet. Kneeling he put a hand to the soft grass. For a moment he paused, eyes gleaming with confusion. He pulled his hand back, looked at his marked palm. 'Why am I wounded?'
Deep blue eyes searched his armor, torn and dirty, sweaty and bloody.
Endymion felt his heart pound furiously. Something was very wrong. And he hurt. From a million cuts, wounds and bruises making themselves known all over his body.
"Say the word, and you'll be healed."
Endymion's head snapped up, his eyes widening when he realized he wasn't alone. Before him stood a tall girl, wrapped in a light green dress, with soft red hair falling down her back, and beautiful, bright green eyes. She smiled, pure white teeth beneath soft pink lips.
"Say the word," she repeated, still locking her eyes with his, "and all your wounds can be healed."
"Beryl," he murmured, not quite sure where the name came from but certain it was the correct name. For a moment, the name called to mind evil, snake-like eyes and fanged teeth, but that could not be right. The girl before him was gorgeous, not hideous.
At the sound of her name, the girl's creamy skin tinted to a lovely pink color and she smiled again, delight across her features. For a hazy moment Endymion felt he'd have to do anything to see that smile again. Anything. His mind searched for a foundation, freewheeling.
She stepped forward, put one soft hand on his. "Now," she said softly to him, he smiled back at her, enraptured, "What hurts?"
Dark eyelashes lifted, perfect eyes narrowed. Blue and gray danced lovely in the fire of tired eyes, white hair curled around the bright glowing symbol of the crescent moon.
The white, white light of the crystal pulsed.
"No, Endymion," the Queen said, her voice melodious and soft, "I will not allow you to be caught in this mind trap."
A thin line of white caught the air.
"You love her too much for this," her voice bit out the last word with contempt for her enemy's resort to mind-control and trickery.
"Remember." she whispered to the wind.
The Prince of Earth shook his head, biting his lip.
'What hurts'? Why was that question so difficult? He had a million wounds all over. His head ached, his palms stung, his shoulder ached... so easy it would be to hold out his hand and have her start with healing the slice across it. Heal his pain, make it stop.
So why could he not answer her?
"What hurts?" she said a second time, her voice not changing, as concerned and beautiful as the first.
He couldn't answer, because something hurt him so much more than all his wounds, pulled at him, tortured him beyond mere physical scratches.
Separation, desperation, dedication, longing...
Endymion lifted confused and sad blue eyes to the girl before him, and the truth leapt to his tongue even as the ache filled his chest.
"My heart." He whispered.
She frowned harshly, her scowling making her face become ugly.
"Bring me to Serenity," he pleaded to her, somehow knowing she had to keep her promise, had to end his pain the only way she could.
And Endymion slammed into reality, as Serenity fell into his arms.
"Endymion?" She cried, trembling, he realized, and crying.
"Serenity," he whispered, pulling her close for a moment, savoring the feeling of holding her, knowing she was safe.
"You're alive," she murmured over and over again into his chest. Lifting her eyes to his, Serenity let a sob pull on her lower lip, "The senshi," she trailed off, her grief telling the rest of the tale.
"Oh, Serenity," he breathed, could not say anything else. His eyes told her everything he couldn't.
Footfalls surrounding them made the two lift their heads, and Endymion went white. Serenity whimpered slightly with the pain of the evil pulsing inside of her.
The Generals stood with the pride of victory, and in the middle of them, angry, ugly, and pulsing with power, stood Beryl.
Serenity felt the world tilt, her eyes burning, her heart aching each time it pounded in her chest. Endymion still held her hands, his grip on her slender fingers almost painful.
"Beryl," the princess whispered the name through dry lips, her voice a mere breath of air.
"The very same," the woman, no, devil before her said, lifting her hands. The air shimmered between her fingers.
"What is that?" Serenity said, stepping back. Endymion pressed his hand to her shoulder, and pleaded with his generals to stop. His voice; along with Beryl's who was telling him it was no use, that his friends' minds were no longer their own, had lowered to a buzz in Serenity's ears.
Her kingdom, her people, her friends. This witch had taken them all.
Anger and hatred so hot it burned flooded through her veins, the evil energy she had buried inside herself to save Endymion stirred to life. She narrowed her eyes dangerously, her hands shaking with this new feeling of power.
"You are mine, Beryl," she whispered, drawing on the energy inside her.
Beryl's red eyes narrowed and the air that was shimmering in her hands suddenly solidified into a gleaming sword.
"DIE!" Beryl screamed, lifting the sword in her hands.
"You first!" Serenity cried, lifting her arms and engulfing herself in the power pouring from inside her. She pressed her hands forward and a wall of white glimmering power knocked the sword from Beryl's hands.
Cursing, the taller woman stumbled, her eyes vivid with loathing.
Endymion darted forward in a blur of black and red, lifting the sword with his own hands and turning it on Beryl, "Leave her alone!"
But before either could make a move, Nephrite and Jadeite had Endymion by the arms, Kunzite locked an arm around his neck, raising a dagger warningly.
With a quirky grin completely unlike him, Zoicite easily plucked the sword from Endymion's hands and bowed low to Beryl, presenting it like a coronation scepter.
The prince struggled, eyes wide with fear. When he met Serenity's gaze, his heart dropped, blood freezing like ice.
The familiar soft blue eyes had hardened into two gems, narrowed and determined. They held no fear. They held no love. Only hate.
He remembered, suddenly, her tear-filled eyes looking into his.
["I'm scared... there is something I can't explain happening to me..."]
Beryl's evil grin, ["You wanted to know, Prince Endymion, who did this to her?"]
Gasping, suddenly, he saw what was happening. She was being deceived, the power she used was not hers...
"SERENITY!" He pulled at the men holding him back, struggled with all his might, "Serenity, STOP! PLEASE!"
Her eyes were dull, narrowed, not moving from Beryl's as she pulled more power from inside her small body.
"Please," he said eyes not moving from hers, and for a moment the princess's gaze slid to his, and she stared at the tears collecting in his eyes.
"She will kill you if you give into hatred this way," he told her, keeping his voice calm as his best friend lifted the dagger to his throat.
Serenity blinked, slowly.
"Your power is love, it is light, it is not the darkness you use now. Stop it! This isn't the way to win this war!"
The dagger drew a thin, thin line of blood across his throat, the deep red shocking against his pale skin.
A tiny sliver of fear fed into crystal blue eyes, the princess lowered her hands, turned to Beryl.
"My power," she whispered, wisps of hair still a pure silver-white against her dirt-smeared face, she stared at her hands, "the crystal. "
Inside her she could feel the crystal's familiar energy swirl, linked back through her heart and mind to her mother in the palace. The crystal was still quiet, threading through her, protecting her. Then what had she been frightening Beryl with?
Shuddering, she realized she had almost given into to the darkness inside her, almost _helped_ Beryl when she had wanted to defeat her.
"Serenity!" Startled by her lover's voice, Serenity looked up just in time to see Beryl swing the sword toward her stomach.
Holding up her hands, the princess shut her eyes and screamed. Endymion's eyes widened, then intensified to a blue darker than the night sky.
Queen Serenity gasped, lifting her head from her trance, standing so her chair fell behind her and ran out of the room.
The battle field seemed to freeze, like the stars suspended in the sky.
Endymion elbowed Kunzite in the stomach, pulling away in a burst of strength from Jadeite's grasp, and narrowing missing the daggers of the other two men.
There wasn't time, nothing he could do save her, except -
["I desire life only if it means being with you."]
He didn't even need to think. The sword sliced through his side like fire, and his knees gave way before he even realized he was falling.
Serenity screamed his name as he fell back into her arms, her legs giving way as well so they both collapsed onto the marble stairs behind them.
"Endymion!" She screamed again, putting a warm hand to his face. He forced his eyes open, made himself smile slightly against her palm.
Her eyes were quivering, so full of fear and of pain, "Don't leave me," she begged him, her fingers brushing dark hair away from his blood-shot eyes, "promise you won't leave me." Tears were already falling down her face. In the background, Beryl had dropped the sword, backed away, the generals surrounding her as she screamed. Neither noticed her at all.
"I'm sorry," he said, softly, as his eyes filled with tears and his mouth filled with the metallic taste of blood, "I can't lie to you."
"I love you," she said, her eyes still unfocused, grief-stricken, "I love you, I love you, I'm so sorry, Endymion, I never meant for this to happen," she lowered her head to his shoulder, sobbing, and wrapped her arms carefully around his neck, avoiding his injury. "I'm sorry, Endymion."
"Serenity," he said softly, eyes closing. He meant to say he loved her, but his breath left his body before the words could be formed. But it didn't matter.
Shutting her eyes, putting her hands to her head, Serenity cried out, her anguished voice echoing throughout the field, over the bodies of her subjects, the peaceful faces of her friends, through the palace, to the sky, the stars, the Earth.
This was the end.
"Serenity," a soft voice murmured, and lifting her hands from her ears, the trembling girl looked to either side.
"Mother?" she whispered, brokenly, but the area around her was completely empty. "Mother. " she shuddered, her hands lifted to her face then she pulled back in horror when she saw they were stained with Endymion's blood. Blinking, she noticed the stillness in his face, the slowing of his bleeding. He was dead.
Heaving, gagging, Serenity stumbled to her feet, hair a mess, white dress dirt and blood-stained, wings gone. A fallen angel, barefoot on the threshold of hell.
And Beryl was turning around, her eyes bloodshot and incensed.
Shaking her head, she pulled inside her, but the crystal's power wouldn't budge from it's protective shell around the evil knot inside her.
"Mother!" she screamed, backing against a pillar, "Mother, I can't use the crystal!" Shutting her eyes, she pulled on the crystal's power, tugged at it mentally until it physically hurt inside her chest. She pulled and pulled as her heart pounded deadly in her ears. 'The crystal could bring him back,' she thought frantically, 'the crystal could bring him back to me.'
"No!" A strong voice interrupted her thoughts, her mother's voice.
Queen Serenity pressed her hand against the side of the palace, the other hand clutching the crystal. Her face was pale and sweating, her body weakened.
Shutting her eyes, she again called to her daughter through their link, not daring to try to move.
"Run Serenity! Get out of there!"
The princess was shaking violently now, her shoulders heaving as she backed away from her love's body, from Beryl's approaching form. Turning, she ran as fast as she could, her bare feet pounding on the marble. Smoke and fire burned her eyes, death in every section of her vision.
"Mother, I promised him he'd live! I promised he'd survive!" She was choking on her tears, tripping over the fabric of her dress.
"Serenity, if you use the crystal to save them, it will not longer protect you against the evil buried inside you. You will be destroyed." Her mother's voice echoed in her head, and Serenity let one small hand slam against a pillar, stopping her body as she lifted her head.
"Run, Serenity!" But the princess didn't move. Fingers curled against the marble.
"I could release the darkness inside me," she murmured, "Then I could use the crystal, I could save him, save them all."
Her mother didn't answer, her shocked silence answer enough.
"No," she finally whispered as her only child turned, and confidently, courageously, with all the pride of princess, walked straight back the way she came.
Beryl only bothered to turn from blasting the last of the Lunar soldiers when Serenity was right before her, standing by the body of Endymion, her white dress swirling around her legs, her hair down and tumbling down her back.
Serenity bent, long fingers curling around the hilt of the crimson and metal sword that claimed her beloved's life. She lifted it to show Beryl, the blood-stains already drying, the metal dark with the evil inside it.
'Please, mother,' Serenity thought.
'Serenity, this is forbidden,' the grief in her mother's voice made the princess falter.
"I'm sorry, mother," she whispered out loud, "for every rule I've broken. But please don't make me break my promises, too."
The Queen answered her daughter, her voice strong like the look in the younger Serenity's eyes, 'I forgive you, angel.'
The sword in the Princess's hands began to glow, from black to pure, beautiful white. The stone inside the hilt cleared to a dazzling opal color, the blood disappeared from the blade. From far away across the grounds, Queen Serenity held the pulsing crystal, as she poured and poured it's energy into the sword.
Beryl smiled, "Ready to die, Princess?"
Princess Serenity's face was as peaceful as it had ever been. Her eyes serene and her smile kind. Her dress glowed white, and a shadow of pale wisps of light, like wings, floated behind her. She looked every inch the angel she had tried to become for Endymion so long ago.
"Yes," she whispered.
And she twisted the sword in her hands, slicing the blade through her own stomach.
'Our bond is not broken,' Serenity choked to her mother, as her knees gave way and her vision blurred, 'Endymion... senshi… I join you.'
"What?" Beryl was screaming in the background, but Princess Serenity didn't hear, didn't care.
The bubble of evil inside her had burst the second the blessed sword pierced her flesh. The power of the crystal bubbled forth from her body, gleaming and cleansing and so bright, pure white, literary tearing her apart.
It engulfed Beryl, the prince, the senshi, and broke into a million points of light.
The angel smiled, her eyes fluttering shut as she died.
She had a promise to keep, after all.
Trembling, Queen Serenity fell to her knees, staring at the empty field where her princess, senshi and worst enemy had been just moments ago. Now they were all gone, the bodies scorched finer than dust by the crystal's power. But bodies didn't matter, it was their souls Princess Serenity had given her life to save. Beryl was sealed away, and maybe, if destiny favored the Princess and those she loved, they could all live again.
Shutting gray eyes, the Queen's pale face faltered and she fell back on
to the rubble, staring at the lovely stars blinking in the sky. The last wind that would ever float its way through the moon kingdom ruffled the tendrils of her hair.
'They _will_ live again,' she thought, suddenly sure, pride filling her heart, 'you've kept your promise, my angel Serenity.'
Then her eyes fell shut.
And the breeze died, the silence falling across the ruins. Far, far away in the jewel-studded sky, the Earth rose.
I think that now all my old Sailor Moon fanfiction stories are up now! Except one, which is a cheesy little song fic to On My Own from the musical Les Miserables. I know ff net does not allow song fics so I was thinking of removing the lyrics and uploading it just as a short inspired by On My Own? I'm not sure it's worth it.
I also keep thinking of little shorts I could write, like little conversations that I feel should have happened (or maybe did happen!) in canon. Similar to Ex Post Facto (but maybe not all of them would be as serious as Ex Post Facto). Now I'm babbling.
Anyway, let me know what you thought!