Thorny Roses

Chapter 14

By the way, I don't know why but this song just seemed to go with the fighting scenes: watch?v=dINwkKqWMP4

Sailor Jupiter wrestled with Petz, both of them punching and kicking the other. Nephrite was battling it out with the Yuma, avoiding its electric bolts while slicing at its body.

"Give it up," Petz harshly whispered, smirking at Jupiter. "After I do away with you, I'll go after that fool of a comrade you've got over there. There's no chance both of you will survive, so just lie down quietly and give up."

Jupiter felt raw fear as Petz threatened Nephrite. However, that fear quickly evolved into pure anger and ferocity. The lightning senshi screamed out of fury.

"JUPITER LIGHTNING STORM!"

In a blast that was stronger than any of Jupiter's previous blows, lightning traveled from the thick, dark clouds above and landed on Petz.

The eldest Ayakashi sister screamed before falling to her knees in defeat. The Yuma, distracted by its master's downfall, didn't notice Nephrite's sword coming straight towards its heart. The Yuma gasped as it looked down at the sword protruding from its chest. It crumbled into dust, the wind blowing its remains away.

Jupiter felt weak but she stood tall.

"How…how did you do that?" Petz wheezed.

"If you threaten my loved ones, I have no other options. I must destroy what is threatening the people closest to me," Jupiter growled. She took a menacing step towards Petz's crumpled figure but a hand on her shoulder stopped her.

Nephrite smiled at her. "You did a good job but this is enough."

Jupiter smiled softly at him in return and placed a hand on his cheek. Petz watched the display of affection with an ache in her heart. Nephrite's blue eyes reminded her of a pair of blue eyes that she had often stared at and longed for.

Petz clutched her heart, feeling physical pain. "Sapphire…" she whispered.

She fizzled away, disappearing.

"She got away!" Jupiter exclaimed.

"It's alright—we won this round," Nephrite sighed. "But I'm sure this isn't the end."

Jupiter silently nodded.

Sailor Venus and Calaveras were evenly matched. Both were also beginning to get tired.

As Venus was fighting, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kunzite struggling against the Yuma's tangle of hair. The Yuma slowly stalked towards Kunzite's body, grinning maliciously as her eyes glowed white. Venus noticed the look on Kunzite's face: a look of pain and panic, rolled in with fear. Venus was shocked at the pure exposure of emotions and vulnerability on the normally stoic man's face.

"VENUS BEAUTIFUL LOVE!"

The Yuma screamed at the incredibly strong onslaught of energy beams and, in a flash of light, was nothing but dust.

Calaveras gasped in anger and turned towards Venus' oblivious form. She raised her whip to strike but stopped when a sudden sword was held at her neck. The blade was not cutting into her but she felt the thin edge of the cold metal.

Kunzite glowered at her as he held the sword at her jugular vein. "Don't you dare," he growled.

Calaveras scoffed but dropped her whip.

"Thanks," he whispered to Venus as she neared.

She smiled at him and flashed her signature Sailor V symbol. "It was my pleasure."

"This isn't over," Calaveras sneered. "Things are far from over." With that, she disappeared, leaving her whip behind.

"Check," Berthier smirked gleefully.

Sailor Mercury furrowed her eyebrows. She stole a glance at Zoicite, still frozen in place. She sighed, her breath coming out in soft white billows.

"Do you give up?" Berthier grinned, cocking her head mockingly to the side.

Mercury didn't answer. Again, she looked at Zoicite.

He stared back at her, his green eyes staring concernedly at her. He offered a slight nod of encouragement and a smile.

Mercury felt butterflies flutter in her stomach. Zoicite made her feel like no other person had before. It couldn't be love—it was too early. But it was something so similar, something that Mercury had never read about before in books.

"I said, are you ready to give up?" Berthier growled, irritated by Sailor Mercury's lack of response.

"Hm? Oh, no, not at all," Sailor Mercury smiled. She looked down at the chess board with new eyes. Berthier and Mercury had the same amount of pieces on the board, give or take a few. The water senshi scrolled her eyes over the chess board hoping to spot an opening in Berthier's tight defense.

Mercury's eyes perked up in surprise that Berthier had missed it.

Without a further moment in delay, Sailor Mercury moved her chess piece, cornering Berthier's king.

Berthier cried out in shock. "What—how—when—ugh!" Berthier screeched. In anger, she threw the table over and shook a menacing finger at Sailor Mercury, who was still frozen to her chair.

"We'll be back." Berthier disappeared in the blink of an eye, taking the ice with her. The room temperature returned to normal as Sailor Mercury and Zoicite were returned their abilities to move.

"Well, that was quite a game," Zoicite commented wryly.

Sailor Mercury smiled. "Yeah, I had fun."

While Koan and Sailor Mars were intensely fighting, a scream was heard. The two stopped fighting for a second to see Jadeite slice the Yuma with the speed of light. The Yuma broke apart into large pieces, dissipating into dust. Jadeite smirked as he sheathed his sword.

"No…" Koan cried. She fell to her knees, sobbing into her hands. "I failed…I failed, Rubeus…" she whispered.

Sailor Mars looked down on her in disgust but also in pity. "You're pathetic," she spat out. Koan only sobbed harder.

Jadeite placed a hand on Sailor Mars' shoulder. "Relax," he said. "Besides, don't you feel a little bad for her?"

"We can't feel bad for her—she's the enemy!" Mars exclaimed. Sailor Mars hesitated but took a firm step towards Koan's sobbing figure.

Sailor Mars gulped. "Mars…Wild—"

Sailor Moon dipped and dived around the Yuma, attacking it and confusing it while searching for a weak point. While jumping over the Yuma, Sailor Moon noticed something glowing in the largest spike on the Yuma's body.

Spinning in the air, Sailor Moon landed on the Yuma's back. The Yuma clumsily tried to pry Sailor Moon off of its back but its efforts were in vain. Sailor Moon raised her staff in the air. "I hope this works," she muttered.

She brought the staff down on the glowing spike. The force of the indestructible staff on the diamond Yuma's back was strong enough to break the spike into miniscule shards, revealing a glowing spot that Sailor Moon took for its weak point.

"Silver Moon Kiss!"

Sailor Moon flipped off of the Yuma's back is it crumbled into crushed diamond. She smiled to herself, proud that she could take care of such a large Yuma on her own. She turned around to watch the fight between Endymion and Rubeus. They spun around each other in the air, the clang of sword against sword reverberating around the Juuban Supermarket.

Endymion swung his sword at Rubeus, only to have it blocked. Nonetheless, Endymion persisted, pushing his sword against Rubeus' sword, both weapons shaking from the forces exerted on them.

"She's going to suffer whether you're around or not," Rubeus grimly said.

"What?!" Endymion growled and pushed harder.

"There is something in store for Sailor Moon and the Rabbit that no outside forces can act upon. You should just give up and save yourself."

In that moment, Endymion remembered how it felt when he had broken up with Usagi. The lost, broken look in her eyes as he felt his heart shatter. The dark days that followed after she had left…

"Mamoru, you've got to snap out of it," Motoki said as he wiped a glass with a rag.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Mamoru grumbled. He stared down at his coffee, which had gone cold long ago.

"If you were going to be so broken hearted about this, you never should have broken up with Usagi-chan," Motoki frowned.

In a flash, Mamoru grabbed Motoki's collar. "You don't know what you're talking about," Mamoru glowered.

But Motoki didn't flinch. "I don't need to. All I know is that a man should stand by the woman he loves." He pried Mamoru's fingers off of his collar and walked back to the kitchen.

Mamoru sat back down, feeling tears on the verge of spilling from his eyes. He covered his face in his hands. "Usako, please…please come back…"

Endymion glared powerfully at Rubeus, who felt his blood drain from the intensity of the glare.

"I will never leave her," Endymion growled. "Never again."

With a powerful thrust, Endymion knocked the sword out of Rubeus' hands. The sword stuck in the ground before fading away. Endymion placed the tip of his sword at Rubeus' neck.

"I'll give you the grace of a few last words," Endymion said through gritted teeth.

Rubeus gulped, truly fearful of the man before him.

I failed…I failed, Rubeus…

Rubeus' eyes widened in shock. He had heard a voice…it sounded like Koan. The words were followed with what sounded like sobs.

"Koan…" Rubeus murmured before disappearing.

Endymion gasped in shock before narrowing his eyes in anger. His uniform faded away, leaving him as Mamoru. He slowly floated back to the ground, landing beside Usagi.

She smiled at him. "You did well," she said.

"No, I let him get away." Mamoru looked away from her.

Usagi shook her head. "No, I'm proud of you." He looked into her eyes, those endless pools of morning sky. He tipped her chin towards him, pulling her in for a kiss.

Usagi smiled against his lips, cupping his cheek tenderly as she fisted his shirt with the other hand.

"Usagi! Mamo-chan!"

The couple turned around to see Chibiusa running towards them, followed by Luna, Artemis, and Luna P.

"Chibiusa!" Usagi kneeled down to catch the little pink-haired girl.

"You guys were so awesome!" Chibiusa gushed. "You were both kicking and punching, and jumping around and spinning, just like the circus, and, oh my gosh! It was so cool!"

Mamoru chuckled as Usagi smiled brightly at the young girl.

"I'm glad you enjoyed the show," Usagi laughed.

"It's over now, right? Now I can go back home, right?" Chibiusa looked eagerly from Mamoru's to Usagi's face, hoping that they would verify her beliefs.

Usagi and Mamoru looked at each other with wary expressions. Luna and Artemis shared a similar look while Luna P floated above them awkwardly.

"Um, we're not sure, Chibiusa," Mamoru said carefully. He didn't want to upset the little girl.

They all watched as Chibiusa's face fell. "Oh…" She momentarily looked up, a grin on her face though her eyes were shiny with a thin layer of tears. "But you guys were still cool!"

Usagi smiled pityingly at Chibiusa, pulling her into a tight hug. Chibiusa hugged her back, relishing in the feeling.

"I want to be just like you when I grow up," Chibiusa whispered. Usagi only hugged her tighter.

Sailor Mars raised her arm, preparing to strike.

"Mars Wild—"

Suddenly, a red-haired man appeared beside Koan. Koan looked up in shock and gasped when Rubeus shot black energy at Sailor Mars' form. Sailor Mars was thrown back with a scream and Jadeite ran towards her. He turned back to see the red-haired man disappearing with Koan.

"Mars! Mars! Rei, goddamn it!" He growled. "Wake up!"

He pressed a healing hand to her cheek as he cradled her. Jadeite watched as her transformation faded away but she remained unconscious.

"That must have been some pretty strong energy," Jadeite muttered. "Who was that guy?"

His communicator began to ring, as did Rei's. He answered both.

"Jadeite?" Usagi's voice was heard on the other end of Rei's communicator as well as his own. "What are you doing with Rei's communicator?" Her voice became panicked. "Is she alright? Did something happen?"

"She's fine, Usagi," Jadeite sighed. "Just unconscious."

"Usagi!" Makoto's voice could be heard on another line. "We won the battle!"

"Yeah, so did we!" Minako exclaimed.

"Well, with a little help," Kunzite said.

"Guys, let's meet back at Usagi's apartment," Mamoru's voice was heard. "I have a feeling this isn't over."

"Five minutes, everybody!" Usagi said.

The lines went dead.

Jadeite carefully laid Rei down in one of the spare beds in Usagi's apartment while Usagi watched from the doorway.

He tucked her in, pulling the blanket up to her chin and moving her hair out of her face. He placed a tentative kiss on her forehead, full aware that Usagi was watching his every move.

"You really like her," Usagi stated, a soft smile on her face.

"Yeah, yeah I do," Jadeite said, looking down at Rei's sleeping face.

"Come on," Usagi said, turning serious, "We have a lot to discuss."

They walked towards the living room where everyone sat or stood around a map of Tokyo. At the center of the circle, Ami and Zoicite studied the map. Luna and Artemis had gone back to the battle locations to survey the damages.

"Okay, so here are the places that were attacked," Ami said, circling the points on the map.

"Hmm," Zoicite hummed thoughtfully. "There are five points…about equally distanced from each other," he said, measuring the distances in his head.

"So, what does this mean?" Nephrite asked. He was becoming impatient.

"It forms some sort of strategic shape," Ami answered, "Meaning, these weren't random attacks. These specific points make something important…"

"Wait a second," Chibiusa said. "This map looks really familiar."

"What do you mean, Chibiusa?" Mamoru asked.

"I think I've seen a map like this in Mommy and Daddy's study," Chibiusa answered.

"Really?" Minako exclaimed. "Do you remember any words or specific pictures on this map? Anything?"

"Umm…" Chibiusa bit her lip, trying to remember.

"I think I can help with this."

Everyone in the room turned around to face Sailor Pluto's hologram, coming from Luna P's eye.

"Puu?!" Chibiusa cried. She ran towards the hologram, a bright smile on her face.

Usagi felt a twinge of jealousy that Chibiusa was running towards another woman in this way.

"Puu?" Jadeite whispered.

"Shh," Kunzite shushed him.

"You look good, Small Lady," Sailor Pluto smiled.

"Puu, when can I go home?" Chibiusa pouted.

"Soon, Small Lady, soon." Sailor Pluto turned towards her audience. "These points are the Crystal Points. In the future, they are situated around the castle and part of the city in order to protect Crystal Tokyo. You circled most of points here," Sailor Pluto said.

"Most of them? There's more?" Makoto asked.

"Well, they form a star—" Pluto began.

"Then shouldn't there only be five?" Mamoru asked.

"That is the common misconception," Sailor Pluto explained. "The Crystal Points are designed to protect the outside of the city and the inside. The sixth Point is directly in the center."

"So, if we draw in these lines…like this…" Zoicite said, drawing the star with a pen.

"Then the center of the star is—" Ami stopped. She felt the blood drain from her face.

"What is it? Ami, what's the center?" Minako asked.

Usagi scooted into the center of the circle and looked down at the map. She tightened her eyes out of dread.

"It's Hikawa Shrine," Usagi choked out. "Rei's temple."

Koan floated above Tokyo, the sunset coloring her in hues of red and gold. She covered her face as she turned away from Rubeus. "I'm so sorry, Rubeus," she sobbed. "I've failed once again."

Rubeus embraced her from behind. "Shh, it's alright. I have failed, as well."

She looked up at him in surprise. "How are we going to face Prince Diamond?"

Rubeus smiled at her. "Together."

Koan smiled at him through her tears and held him close.

"Oh, how sweet."

The couple broke apart to face Calaveras, with Berthier and Petz beside her.

Calaveras, the one who had spoken, sneered. "This fight isn't over yet."

"What else can we do?" Berthier sighed. "They've already defeated us."

"Not quite," Petz said. "We still have the last Crystal Point."

"Petz is right," Rubeus nodded, determined. "We must prevail during this battle. Otherwise, we may as well let ourselves be killed rather than face Prince Diamond."

Emerald watched over the Ayakashi Sisters and Rubeus' discussion. She scoffed at their foolishness.

"With this kind of resignation, they will surely fail," she smirked.
"What are you doing, Emerald?"

The green haired woman whipped around, seeing Sapphire standing warily behind her.

"Oh, Sapphire," Emerald smiled coyly. "I didn't see you come in," she said as she snaked hand up his arm.

Sapphire pulled away roughly, his aquamarine eyes cold. "What are you doing, Emerald?" He repeated.

"Oh, just enjoying the show," she said daintily, unfazed by his coldness.

Sapphire wordlessly stepped forward to look into the floating orb. He saw the Ayakashi Sisters and Rubeus discussing their next attack. His thoughts zeroed in on one of the Sisters in particular.

Petz was still beautiful, though there was a malicious glint in her eyes that wasn't there before. Sapphire and Petz had loved each other immensely. However, after the planet of Black Moon began failing, tensions began running high between everyone in the clan. Sapphire and Petz fought often, fighting with caustic words and leaving broken feelings in the aftermath.

Petz and Sapphire had decided to break off their relationship, neither wanting to suffer any longer.

Sapphire looked down, only to quickly glance back up at Petz's face. He still loved her, and he probably always will. He wished that they could be given another chance—he would make it up to her if he could. He wanted to bring back the soft look that she had before they began fighting.

Emerald watched Sapphire with interested eyes.

"You know, at this rate, they probably won't survive another battle with the Senshi and Shitennou," Emerald airily commented, a smirk on her face.

Sapphire stiffened and walked out of the room.

No, they will survive. They have to. She has to.

The Senshi and Shitennou sans Rei sat frozen around the map.

Jadeite gulped. "R-Rei's temple?"

"It seems like it," Ami whispered.

"Then what are we waiting for?" Nephrite stood up. "We need to go now to fight off the enemy!"

"We mustn't act rashly," Kunzite calmly said.

"There's nothing to be rash about," Makoto said, standing up as well. "There's no time to think of a plan of attack. We need to be quick."

"They're right," Sailor Pluto said. "If any of the past Crystal Points are destroyed—"

"Then the future Crystal Points will never be created!" Ami gasped.

"And there will be no protection for Crystal Tokyo!" Minako completed.

"We need to go now," Usagi said. The rest of the people in the room nodded.

"I'm coming too," a voice rasped.

The people in the room turned around.

"Rei!" Jadeite ran over to her, putting her arm on his shoulder. She still looked a little pale, but overall, she had gained some of her energy back.

"What are you doing out of bed?" Usagi asked, frowning.

"Don't give me that look," Rei weakly snapped. "I'm coming with you guys."

"You're too weak," Ami said.

"No, I'm fine!" Rei retorted. "I can still fight!"

Jadeite looked at Rei. He was aware that she would keep fighting with them until they would allow her to go. As of now, they were wasting valuable time and there was no guarantee that Rei would survive unscathed from the battle. There was only one way to keep her from going.

"Don't come," Jadeite coldly said.

Rei looked up at him, surprised by his cold tone. The Senshi and Shitennou were surprised, as well.

"W-what?" Rei stuttered.

"Don't come. You'll only be a handicap."

The Senshi gasped and Usagi shook her head. She knew exactly what he was doing.

Rei's brows furrowed but the hurt was evident in her eyes. "Excuse me?" She removed her arm from Jadeite's shoulders.

Jadeite followed the movement with a little sadness in his expression, but he continued. "We can't take care of you while battling. If you were to get hurt, you'll only get in our way."

Rei looked as though she had been slapped. She quickly recovered and stared coldly at Jadeite. "Well, I'll make sure not to get in your way then."

The silence was heavy.

"We're wasting time," Mamoru said quietly, staring at Jadeite who was staring at the floor beside Rei. She kept her eyes on him before turning away. Jadeite felt cold, as though the sun had suddenly set.

"We need to get going," Usagi said. "Everyone transform."

Well, I'm trying to update faster and I hope you guys liked this chapter! Please review!

Love,

Pegasus'Horn