This is a story I wrote a long time ago. I do not own Sailor Moon, this is purely for the enjoyment of readers and as such I hope you enjoy.
I remember the day when I made the hardest decision of my life. The rain fell softly against the walls of Crystal Tokyo and I stood outside in the gardens hoping that nature's tears would mask my own. No one could see me like this. The Senshi of Jupiter is not supposed to show this weakness. I must have been there for hours drenched in the cold mist. I was shadow of the person I used to be. My strength may have been intact, but my duty was broken. To save my Queen I knew that I would have to make the decision that I know no one else would be able to. There was much gossip about my departure, but none of it spoke the whispers of the truth. The King of Earth had strayed from his Queen and I refused to be the one that hurt her in this way.
"The stars and this Kingdom are nothing to me if you leave."
I sighed. "You would betray Serena so lightly. I will not be the object that tears this place apart."
He bowed his head. "Tell me you don't love me Lita. Tell me now."
I nodded. "I have a duty to protect the Queen. That is all that matters. I don't love you Darien and you need to stop being so foolish. You have everything, a wife who loves you, and a daughter who sees you as her hero. You force me to leave by feeling this way."
He then walked right up to me and kissed me. I pushed him back. "Tell me you felt nothing. Lita tell me the truth."
I turned away. "My heart belongs to another as does yours. Don't force me to hurt you further."
He shook his head. "Your heart belongs to a dead man. Move on with me Lita."
But I simply turned. "At least I loved him enough to stay with him until the end."
And with that I left.
That memory still haunts me to this day. The rain fell to my face for so long before I detransformed and turned back into a civilian. As I walked back into the palace I saw the faces of the servants. They didn't recognize me like this. The only indication of who I was rested in the ancient symbols of Jupiter that had been branded in my wrists from a disagreement with my guardian. They were covered by the sleeves of my green hoody. I made sure no one saw as I entered my room. A duffle bag rested near my window with all of the essentials packed. I had been thinking about this for a long time. A frantic knock came to my door and I froze in place.
"Lita? You in there? Raye needs to talk to us." After several moments of silence Mina left.
I opened my desk drawer and pulled what money I had out of the book that I had tucked away for safe keeping. A single tear fell from my eye as I stuffed the bills into my jean pocket. This was it, the moment I had tried so hard to avoid, but Serena can't know. It would break her heart. I then looked out the window and bowed my head before pulling the hood up over my hair. I looked back once before picking up my bag and jumping down three stories to the ground below. The rain masked my escape as I left the grounds of Crystal Tokyo.
That day came seven months ago. Now I find myself alone staring at the solemn grave in front of me. I fiddle with the band around my finger as I drop to one knee and kiss the stone.
"Ken… I wish you were here." But the harsh truth was that he wasn't.
Like so many in my life he left me involuntarily. My heart was stone now. I knew that there would never be another like him. My hands shook in the cold of the winter air. My ring was like ice on my finger. When I stood back up there was a faint silence that lingered. It was a silence that I have been so familiar with. I was alone.
I zipped up my leather jacket and pulled my gloves out of my pocket. I traced my finger over the symbol in my left wrist before putting on my gloves. So much reminded me of the past. When I returned to the motorcycle that I had parked on the side of the road there was a chill that had cut through me. I picked up my helmet and slid it over my hair. An older couple stood across the field with a bouquet of flowers. Even though I could tell they were mourning there was still tenderness in their stance. I started up the machine beneath me and let the engine roar. Then I was off again to an unknown location. My name is Lita Kino, Princess of Jupiter and former Soldier of Neo-Queen Serenity. I'm always moving now in an attempt to escape, but sooner or later I know that everything is going to be catching up with me.
I was somewhere in France when I decided to stop and get something to eat. At least here in the European countries there was little to be known about Neo-Queen Serenity and her Senshi. I parked on the street and placed my helmet on the handle before walking into the small café.
"Thé s'il vous plait." The waitress nodded and went behind the counter.
I knew three languages and I was so happy that French and English were two of them. I guess this is what happens when you need to converse with foreign diplomats. As she returned I paid her and sat back as I browsed through the menu. A brief memory came to mind of when the five of us used to sit and eat at Crown's. Just as the waitress returns a young man starts to get agitated at a table in the corner. Actions like this don't go unnoticed to me. I order the lunch special and sit back. That is when a group of three boys entered and took a seat at his table. It took a moment for them to get settled. The young man I had observed before was now sweating profusely and I now understood why. One of the men was pointing a gun at him from under the table.
My gut was telling me to go over there and say something, but my mind was telling me that I had to stay anonymous. If things got ugly I couldn't just become Sailor Jupiter without drawing attention to myself. That is when I ignored my mind and went with my gut.
"Excuse me I was wondering if you guys could help me. I'm looking for-" But the man at the end of the table interrupted.
"Look sweetheart. There are just some things that young women shouldn't be around and this is one of them." His accent was thick. I smiled as my age would probably be at least five times his.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but I really do need-" He didn't respond. Instead I found an arm grabbing mine as one of the men stood. My reaction sent him flying through the adjacent table.
That is when all hell broke loose. I flipped the next guy onto his back before being hit in the face. It stung, but when I looked back I saw one of the men holding a gun in their hand. At that moment I froze and grasped my arm as a single gunshot rang through the air. The blood was trickling down my left arm as the guy I had sent through the table held the hot barrel in my direction. Then there were sirens as all three of the men booked it. The young man still sat at the table with a look of fear in his eyes. He didn't move until an officer forced him to.
As for me I was sent to the hospital. The bullet didn't go through my arm. Though I tried to explain that I was alright the blood couldn't have been covered up. Thus I spent several hours in the O.R. When I awoke I felt perfectly fine. A doctor came in and checked my bandage only to be left speechless as my wound had completely healed in the matter of hours. You try explaining this to medical professionals.
"I've never seen…" She only stopped once she saw the symbols on my wrists.
"…Lita Kino?" As she said my name I recognized who she was.
"Mrs. Mizuno?" Though I know that none of the other scouts had their planetary symbols on their body, it was Mrs. Mizuno that had tended to mine after the fight I had with my guardian. She was just as amazed then at the Senshi's ability to heal as she was now. I stood to grab my jacket as she shut the door.
"I thought you were with Amy in Crystal Tokyo." I sighed and put on my jacket. There were still traces of blood on the sleeve.
"I haven't been there in a while." My eyes fell and I was thankful that she didn't stress the matter further.
"Look I'm off in a few minutes. Do you need a ride somewhere?"
I nodded. "Just back to that café. My bike is still parked outside."
She then opened the door and stepped out.
The car ride was fairly quiet. Mrs. Mizuno reminded me much of my own mother before her death. Even though my memories are vague I still know this much. When we had arrived I thanked her.
"Take care now Lita." I then nodded as she drove off.
I stepped up to my bike and pulled the helmet off the handle. There was a moment there when I was contemplating my next move. It was dark out now. I should go find a place to stay the night. I placed my helmet on my head and flipped down the visor when I felt a shift in energy. That is when I looked up to the stars and saw a white beam streaming high into the sky. I knew instantly what it was. Neo-Queen Serenity was calling for all her Senshi to return to Crystal Tokyo.
There was hesitation in my next actions. I was duty-bound to return, but that also meant returning to a place that made me extremely uncomfortable. I took a moment to think things over. I don't fly. Not since my parent's death. It would take me quite a long time to get back to Crystal Tokyo. Was it even worth it for me to go?
The streets were fairly empty, but still. Crossing Europe is no easy task in such a limited amount of time. I closed my eyes and thought hard on my decision. That is when I sighed and hit myself for what I was going to do. I kept my head down and began the long trek back to Crystal Tokyo.
Every day since then the beacon has always been high in the sky. Weeks of travel turned into months. I know I could just take a plane, but I am not willing to go that route. You can't say that I didn't have perseverance. Now I'm on a ferry towards Japan. The sea rocks back and forth. Had I been a child then this might have been comforting to me. Instead I am indifferent to the route that has been lain in my wake.
A little girl stands beside me. Her hands can barely reach the railing. When night comes she is still there standing with me. She couldn't have been older than six. That is when she turned and spoke to me.
"What is that?" Her small fingers pointed to the light in the sky.
"That is Neo-Queen Serenity's Crystal Palace."
Her eyes widened. "It's so bright."
I smiled. "It's because she's calling for someone."
She then shot me confused look. "So when they come does the light go out?"
I shrugged. "Depends if it is the person that she has been looking for." That is when the girl turned back.
Her parents came by a little later. The three of them looked so happy as they gazed at the stars. It was late when they returned into the cabin. It was early morning when we reached Tokyo's harbor. I went down below and got on my bike. The sounds of cars echoed through the air. I was the third person to get off the ship.
The streets were hollow and emptier than usual. My path didn't stray. The Crystal Palace was directly within sight now. Buildings got larger as I approached the large gates that guarded the palace wall. The guards motioned for me to stop. I obeyed and flipped up my visor.
"What business do you have in the palace?" I paused before pulling off my helmet.
"The Queen has summoned me." The older guard looked at me as if I were a ghost. The younger one looked at me with distrust.
"And you are?-" But the other guard spoke before he could finish.
"Princess Jupiter. Come right in." Both of them looked at each other as I thanked him.
I replaced my helmet on my head and continued on into the long courtyard. The property of the Crystal Palace was massive. It was almost a city in itself. I attracted stares from various guards and servants as I headed to the back and punched in my code for the garage. As I turned off my engine I heard footsteps approaching.
"Amara, Serenity wants to know the status on the outer patrols." As my body turned I saw Raye staring at me. There was suddenly a knot in my stomach.
I simply pulled the bag off the back of my bike and began loosening the strap on my gear when she spoke again.
"Did you hear me?" I then looked back to the bike and took off my helmet.
"Yeah I heard you Raye, but you're talking to the wrong person." If looks could kill then I would probably be as dead as you could get.
Raye was in her sailor fuku while I stood before her dressed in civilian clothes. There was silence between us for a long time before I began walking towards her.
"I came back because I saw the light in the sky." She rolled her eyes.
"Well you took your bloody time getting here didn't you? I told Serena that she should have just left it alone, but she doesn't have a choice. She needs you Jupiter." I sighed.
"Don't fool yourself Raye. You know I don't fly. I can honestly say that I got here as fast as I possibly could." She then shook her head as I walked past her.
"Maybe you should just slip out and leave again. God knows that you really don't want to be here." That is when my temper got the better of me and I hit her hard across the face.
"You have no idea what you're talking about so stop it!" By this time the guards had converged on us.
Sailor Mars picked herself up off the ground in time for Neptune and Saturn to converge on us. I didn't even look at them as I walked by. Perhaps coming back here was a mistake.
The moment I entered the palace was the only time in my life that I felt less than equal to those around me. I climbed the grand staircase until I ran into Amy. She was silent, but the confusion was written all over her face. It wasn't until I rounded the corner that a guard approached me.
"The Queen wishes to speak to you."
I nodded. "Is there a place I can put my things."
He didn't hesitate in taking them from me. "I will leave them in your own room." I thanked him before descending the stairs to the main foyer.
For the first time in a long time I transformed mid-step as I crossed the room. My appearance was both so foreign and so comfortable to me. I passed Uranus and Pluto who stood with their eyes following me as every step echoed by them. My heart dropped when I past Darien on my way to the private chambers. I could feel his eyes on me the entire way.
"Lita." I entered and bowed to the Queen. She took several steps towards me before hugging me there on the spot. Rini was behind her with a smile on her face.
I expected a demand for an explanation for my sudden absence, but instead I was being held in a loving embrace. Tears were starting to fall from her eyes now as I spoke.
"You summoned me my Queen."
She steps back in confusion. "When did we get so formal?"
I shrugged. "Much has changed Serena."
She nodded. "I just… I want to make sure you're alright Lita. I want you to know that you're always welcome here. You don't need to run away. We're your friends if there was anything bothering you then-"
"I'm sorry Serena but I'd rather not talk about it."
She bowed her head in acknowledgement as Rini approached. "We needed you back because the Silver Crystal is losing its powers."
I then looked to Serena. "What do you mean?"
Her eyes dropped. "I've just lost my connection to certain planets. Mina is already at Magellan Castle rectifying the problem on her end, but I've also lost Io."
I nodded. "Somehow that doesn't surprise me."
Rini spoke. "If it is not too much to ask…" She trailed off as I looked to the Queen.
"You're kidding right? The last time I was there my guardian decided to chain me to a wall and brand the symbols of Jupiter in my wrists."
That is when he spoke. "Well if it is too hard for the mighty Jupiter."
I turned slowly and glanced over my shoulder. "Easy for you to say Darien." Sensing the tension Serena placed her hand on my shoulder.
"He's only teasing Lita. Look all I'm asking is that you go to Magellan and wait for Mina then the two of you can head to Io together. Nothing should happen with the two of you there."
I sighed. "Alright."
I took a step back and bowed as I turned to see Darien. His eyes were softer than they once were. I wasn't surprised that he was there, but it still didn't make me feel comfortable. He was watching me as I left and that was enough for me to hurry and get this task over with.
Magellan Castle was about the same size as Io with one distinct difference. The accent colour of the flags was orange as opposed to green. I treaded carefully as I stepped off the teleportation pad. There were voices echoing ahead. I stepped around the corner and heard a swift grinding of metal. I had little time to react as a hearted chain wrapped itself around my neck.
"Stop its ok!" I fell to my knees as the chain loosened its hold. Mina was by my side so fast. "What are you doing here Lita?"
I paused to catch my breath. "Serena told me to come. The two of us need to go to Io when you're finished here."
That is when I looked up for the first time and allowed my gaze to rest on Guardian Venus. She didn't smile. In fact there wasn't even a glimpse of positivity in her face. She turned and walked away leaving Mina to help me up. I took a deep breath before Mina gave me a hug.
"Where the hell have you been Jupiter? I've been so worried."
I smiled. "Well that's the most heartwarming thing I've heard all day."
She stepped back. "Next time you plan on going somewhere do tell me how I can reach you. It's hard walking around the palace without one of my best friends."
I laughed. "So you're not angry?"
She sighed. "I was at first, but I know that you probably had a good reason. One day I hope you'll tell me."
I sighed. "Perhaps one day."
There was a silence between us as we walked up the grand staircase to a room that was lined with portraits. Venus then emitted a light that revealed a figure cloaked in darkness. I wasted no time in shocking it. As it fell a purple crystal appeared in its place. I went to take a closer look but Mina held me back.
"Those are shards of the dark crystal. Serenity warned us that they are hindering the power of the Silver Crystal. We've almost destroyed them all." She then walked past me and stepped on it. I heard footsteps behind me. Guardian Venus stood there with a changed expression on her face.
"Princess Lita it has been a long time. Will you be staying here for a little while?" I looked over to Mina who smiled as she addressed her guardian.
"Actually our visit must be cut short. We still have to meet up with Guardian Jupiter."
Guardian Venus nodded. "Well then I wish you both well." And with those words she faded into the wall.
Mina then took my hand and began leading me towards the teleportation pad. The air was slightly bitter and this caught my attention. As the pad began lighting up I chose this moment to warn Mina.
"I have to tell you. Last time I saw my Guardian I was throwing her out of the main window after she burned my wrists."
She nodded. "Then it will be a friendly reunion for the both of you."
I merely smiled as our surroundings shifted. The moment I stepped off the pad a dark silence enshrouded us. We readied ourselves for anything that may come our way. As we rounded the corner towards the main hall a voice whispered through the air.
"You shouldn't be here Princess Mina."
I reacted quickly by pulling Mina behind me as a bolt of lightning hit me square in the chest. That is when she revealed herself to us. My guardian was a younger image of me. Only her eyes were glowing red with rage. I stood back up and ran at her head on. She moved to the side and hit me hard across the face.
"Didn't you learn your lesson last time? The power of Jove is only reserved for the strong." She threw me back past Venus.
I opened my eyes slowly only to see Mina being lifted off the ground by her throat. There was no hesitation as I hit my guardian with a mountain of electricity. Venus fell and looked to me.
"She is so much more violent than the others."
My guardian picked herself up and stared right at me. "Looks like you've gotten stronger my princess. Our last fight had done you some good." She lunged at me as I briefly heard Venus say that she was going to go look for the shard.
I hit my guardian hard with my fist, but she merely smiled and hit me harder. That is when I held onto her and summoned all the energy I could. The blast was so big that we both flew out of the castle wall and onto the surface of the moon. She picked herself up first and hit me hard in the torso. I retaliated by grabbing her throat and lifting her off the ground.
"My guardian is meant to aid me not hurt me."
She smiled. "I'm helping you by making you stronger."
I closed my eyes and smashed her back into the ground. I soon felt a sharp pain in my left side causing my grip to lessen. I then looked down to see the small dagger in my guardian's hand. My blood poured from my side as I threw her away from me. A light emanated from the second floor of the castle. My guardian screamed from where she stood. When she looked at me next the darkness in her eyes were gone. I heard Mina calling my name but I slumped to my knees within seconds.
"Lita!" My name practically fell off her lips as my guardian returned to my side and pressed her hand against my wound.
"My sincerest apologies Princess. I don't know what came over me." I felt so much better as both my wound and my blood disappeared.
Mina helped me to my feet as I involuntarily detransformed. For some reason I felt so weak. It was at this moment that my guardian saw my wrists. Her eyes were instantly filled with regret.
"By the gods-" But Mina interrupted.
"I don't think it was your fault. That warrior was stronger than the others. I'm almost certain that it had been controlling you for a long time." Still my guardian looked to me.
"Please forgive me Princess."
I smiled and Venus supported most of my weight. "Believe me it's alright."
I regained my footing as I transformed again. Venus let me go when she felt my weight lifting from her shoulders. We returned back to the castle while still trying to calm Guardian Jupiter. This was one of those things that she had to forgive herself for. When we returned to the teleportation pad I smiled to my guardian and gave her a hug before disappearing with Mina.
The walls around us shifted from Io to the Crystal Palace. We both stepped off in unison and continued down the hall in order meet Neo-Queen Serenity in her quarters. It surprised me that Mina wasn't too talkative. We passed both Uranus and Neptune without a single word before running into Darien. Venus smiled as she addressed him.
"Is Serena in there?"
He nodded. "Yep, she's been waiting on edge for you two to return…" He then looked to me. "…Lita if you don't mind I have something that I need to speak to you about once you're finished." As much as my gut said to say no…
I opened the big wooden door to reveal a frantic queen. The moment her eyes fell upon us she jumped from her seat and hurried over.
"Are you two alright?"
I nodded. "How is the crystal?"
She smiled. "Back to full power."
I took one step back as both Serena and Mina entered in a conversation that revolved around shopping. "I'll be right back."
Mina nodded as I turned back to the door.
When I reentered the hall I wasn't surprised to see Darien still waiting outside. His eyes seemed much more sympathetic now. His hands were deep in his pockets as if he was going to bring them out to present me with something. I made sure to stay wary of the situation.
"I've thought of you everyday Lita. Not a moment went by-"
"Nothing has changed Darien. I told you that I will not be the one to break her heart." I then began walking towards the window when he spoke.
"I love you Lita." Neither of us noticed that Venus had stepped out of the room. That is when he brushed his hand against my arm.
"Darien, don't force me to leave again."
He then looked into my eyes and drew his face closer to mine. I stepped back and hit him hard in the groin. He fell like a rock. A tear slid from my eye as Mina stared at me with a look of confusion.
I brushed past her, climbed the stairs, and entered my old room. All of my belongings were placed neatly on my bed. I detransformed and grabbed them before turning back to the door frame. Mina stood in front of me in her civilian clothes with an expression of sadness on her face. I closed my eyes as I walked past her.
"You don't have to go. Look we can tell Serena together. This is your home more than it is his."
I shook my head. "You know as well as I do that she has a fragile heart…" I then pulled out a piece of paper from my pocket and grabbed a pen off the dresser. "…Call me if you're ever outside of Tokyo." She just stood there with the paper in her hand as I walked outside to the garage.
The rain was falling in a harmonious pattern. I wasn't surprised to see both Raye and Amy walking up behind me as I brought out my keys. I could see it in their eyes. Raye was furious and Amy was confused.
"So you're just going to leave again?" I put on my helmet in order to mask the tears that I knew were going to be falling soon.
"Stop it Raye! You don't know the whole story." I looked up to see Mina behind them.
After securing my belongings I got on the bike and let the engine roar. Serena came running in her full length gown. This was going to be harder than I thought.
"Please don't go Lita!" I hesitated for a mere moment before rolling past them.
I didn't look back as I picked up speed. The gates then opened in front of me as I, Lita Kino, Princess of Jupiter left Crystal Tokyo behind for the second time.
Forgive me everyone, but this just isn't my home anymore. As much as I wanted to stay I knew I couldn't. It hurt more than anything else in this world, but my friends come before I. That is how it is and always will be.