Chapter 12: "Truths Hidden In The Past"
A Sailor Moon fanfic
By Bill K.
Wakaba Tezawa entered the room first. Mamoru was just down the hall from her, Rei and Mitsuzaka at his heels and Usagi bringing up the rear. They all heard the audible gasp of shock and fear come from Wakaba. Entering the room, they found Sukio Tezawa slumped in a chair. Immediately Mamoru moved in.
"No pulse," he murmured, checking the wrist, the skin and the eyes of the woman. "No respiration. Lips cyanotic, pupils fixed and dilated." He stood up and turned to Wakaba. "I'm sorry, Tezawa-San. Your mother is dead. First glance would tell me a massive myocardial infarction, but I'd be willing to bet an autopsy would show cyanide poisoning."
Wakaba just stared at the corpse of her mother, trying to grasp what was being said as well as her mother being dead. Usagi was crying by the door, while Rei moved toward the body with respectful silence. She began saying a soft prayer urging the spirit of the dead woman to pass on to the next life. Mamoru looked at the table next to the dead woman. By a small, empty bottle of cyanide poison was a small scroll with a white ribbon around it. Picking it up, he unrolled the scroll and read it.
"It's from your mother," Mamoru proclaimed, drawing everyone's attention. "It's a suicide note."
"W-What does it say?" Wakaba asked.
"It says, 'I am the only one left who knows what happened that night. And so I will take that knowledge to my grave. I do this to protect the honor and good name of my family, which is more important than the truth. Let this act end all of the questions, for there are no more answers to find. Dr. Hitsugaya was well paid for his cooperation, but he only knows how Midoki died, not why. No one else knows anything. And they never will."
"Stubborn," Wakaba cursed softly. "Stubborn, stubborn woman."
"Did you want me to call the coroner's office?" Mamoru offered.
"No," Wakaba said, straightening up and exhibiting a strength of will that made her in some ways quite like her mother. "I'll have a private funeral home handle things."
"The police will want to talk to you," Mamoru reminded her.
"Let them," Wakaba replied. "I'm - - not really concerned about it right now." She turned and headed for the phone. "Would you excuse me, please? Mitsuzaka will show you to the door."
Everyone headed for the door. When they reached the street, Rei filled the other senshi in while Mamoru tried to console Usagi.
"That poor woman," she whimpered. "Was what she knew that terrible?"
"Maybe," Mamoru told her as he held her. "Or maybe the need to protect her family's reputation was that great." He paused and reflected. "Thirty years later and that night is still affecting lives." He thought a moment, then glanced at Usagi. "Maybe it's better if I left those events stay buried. Maybe there's nothing more to remember but tragedy and pain."
Getting into their two cars, Usagi, her husband and her friends drove back home.
The next evening, the bell sounded at the front door of the Tenoh home. Being closest to the door at the time, Junko opened it.
"Haruka?" Junko exclaimed with surprise. Immediately Himeko Tenoh's head popped out of the kitchen, looking to see if Haruka was doing anything improper with her daughter. "Hey, come on in! Can you stay long?"
"Junko!" Himeko hissed.
"Oh, Mom, it's just Haruka!" fumed Junko. "She's been here before and the gods didn't strike the place down with lightning!"
"Sorry, kid," Haruka replied. "I just came here to shoot a business proposition past your mom and dad." She glanced at Himeko, who was glaring at her with unconcealed venom. "Besides, I don't want to overstay my welcome."
"Stop calling me 'kid'," Junko snarled playfully.
Moments later, the four estranged members of the Tenoh clan were sitting at the kitchen table. Junko looked expectantly at Haruka. Gert was wary, while Himeko still seethed with naked disgust. Haruka took a moment to summon her courage and quiet her anxiety.
"About the other day," Haruka began. It was clear what she was about to say was difficult for her. "I - - well, it's been pointed out to me that, well, you were right," she said, her eyes cast down, "about the Fiat, I mean. It's not a car for a beginner, and it's not - - well, there are better cars for every day commuting and stuff. That Fiat's a show car. It belongs in a show or with a collector."
"Well I'm glad you see reason," Gert said neutrally. Junko was silently wondering where this was going. "It's good that you listen to someone, at least." He paused. "So, you come all the way over here just to tell us that?"
"Nope," Haruka replied. She pulled a check out of her jeans pocket and put it on the table, pushing it to the middle. "I sold the Fiat. Got a nice price, too. And since I was going to give Junko the car as a graduation present, I decided to give her the check for the Fiat instead."
Gert looked down at the check and his eyes popped. Junko's mouth fell open, while Himeko sat stone-faced and dour.
"One hundred twenty-one MILLION yen?" Gert whispered.
"Haruka, are you serious?" gasped Junko excitedly.
"Serious," Haruka responded. "It's all hers. Buy her car with it. Finance her college education with it. Hell, buy her the biggest gumball machine in Southeast Asia with it. I don't care. It's what the car was worth and I was going to give her the car outright." Her eyes narrowed. "Unless it really wasn't about the car, but who was giving it to her."
"What makes you think we want money earned by your immoral lifestyle?" raged Himeko.
"You may have disowned me, but Junko and I haven't disowned each other!" Haruka snapped back. "It's MY graduation present to MY sister! And if you're not going to let her take it now, I'll just put it in a bank until she's twenty and give it to her then!"
"Mom, would you stop!" Junko barked. "Haruka's trying to be nice!"
"She's trying to lure you into her depraved lifestyle!" Himeko countered.
"Oh, would you STOP with that!" Junko cried.
"NAH!" Gert interjected, extending his arm to the center of the table. Everyone looked at him. "Let's all of us calm down." He turned to Haruka. "Haruka, this is a lot of money. You should do what you want with it."
"I am," Haruka replied stonily. "I'm giving it to Junko - - now or when she's twenty."
"But so much?" Gert goggled.
"If I win the points championship again this year, I'll make it back and more," Haruka told him. "I'm not hurting for money. The fact that I can buy toys like that Fiat should tell you that. I want Junko to have it."
"Gert!" Himeko hissed.
"Mama, we can't stop it. We can only hurt Junko," Gert told her. Then he rolled his eyes. "Ach, but the taxes!"
"You'll figure it out," Haruka said. She rose to her feet. "Well, that's all I came to say. See you around, Junko."
"Haruka!" Junko called out. Haruka paused and looked back at her. Junko looked at her. She seemed to be struggling to articulate her joy. Finally she stammered out, "Thank you."
"Happy to do it," Haruka smiled back warmly. "Don't blow it all too quick, huh?"
"Ha! Into the bank it goes!" Gert proclaimed.
"DAD!" howled Junko.
"Not another word on the subject!" Gert cut her off. Meanwhile Himeko just glared angrily at Haruka's back.
The disowned child of the Tenoh family was about to close the front door when Junko caught her.
"Haruka, I," the teen stammered. "This is so cool what you did! You are the best!"
"Thanks, kid," Haruka smiled.
"But stop calling me 'kid', damn it!" Junko fumed. Then she noticed the Fiat was parked in the street. "Hey, I thought you sold that?"
"Deal's still closing," Haruka shrugged. "I wrote the check out of my account and I'll replace it with the sale check. I figured why wait?" She glanced at the car. "It's sort of my farewell drive." A thought occurred to her. "When I get the Reventon, how about I take you for a drive in it?"
"How about you let me drive it?" Junko bargained.
Haruka stared at her. She seemed almost shocked.
"Come on, Haruka! I know how!"
The lanky blonde swallowed like something unkind lay in her stomach.
"OK," Haruka sighed. "But I'M riding shotgun!"
"Grown ups," huffed Junko.
Spring was approaching. At Hikawa Shrine, Rei Hino was walking through the dormant gardens, inspecting how the plants had survived the winter. Deimos was perched on one shoulder, while Phobos occupied the other. Occasionally a guest would pass her and Rei would give them a warm greeting. One of the guests was intimidated by the glare Deimos gave her and hurried off.
"Deimos, be nice," Rei whispered, though she couldn't help but be amused by the incident.
There was something in the air, something that said 2010 was going to be a good year. Maybe she was having a premonition. Maybe she was just being overly hopeful. But wouldn't it be nice if it were true?
A sudden sensation more than anything else caused her to stop. As she turned to it, Deimos suddenly took flight and headed for the trees. Startled, Phobos joined her sister. Rei looked. Standing on the bridge over the pond was a man. He was tall, black and muscular like an athlete. His suit was well-crafted and accentuated his body well. The two just looked at each other for a moment. Neither made any attempt to move toward the other.
"Hi, Rei," Derek Johnson said.
"Mr. Johnson," Rei replied neutrally.
"Oh," Derek replied, spirits falling. "It's going to be like that, huh? Well, I can't say I'm surprised." He turned to leave.
He took four steps before Rei worked up the courage to call out "Derek!" Derek turned back to her. "I'm sorry. That was rude of me." She dropped her gaze. "I am glad to see you again."
"But it's still too soon?" Derek added, voicing the unspoken thought of the priest.
"I'm sorry," Rei said. "I know you didn't try to hurt me on purpose."
"Yeah," Derek nodded cautiously. "I just figured, since I'm going to be playing with the Giants again - - since we're going to be in the same city, I thought . . ."
"Maybe we could pick up where we left off?" Rei said, voicing his unspoken thought in that eerie manner she had.
"But if it's still too soon," Derek began, then trailed off. "If that's not possible," and he smiled hopefully, reminding Rei of one of the reasons she was so attracted to him, "I'll settle for friends."
"It is still too soon," Rei advised him. "Maybe it always will be still too soon." A timid smile inched up her mouth. "But I think I might be able to do friends."
"That's good," Derek said, encouraged. "It's always good to have friends - - especially friends with 'connections'. Put in a good word for my OPS, huh?"
"Sure," grinned the priest.
"You interested in a season pass to the Giants' games? I think one of the reasons I bombed out in San Diego was because you weren't cheering me on."
"In that case, it's my duty to say 'yes'," Rei beamed. "But don't mess up. I'll let you know about that, too."
"Kind of figured," Derek smiled.
Sailor Pluto was at her post by the Door Of Time. She spoke with Queen Serenity and King Endymion, who had come from their year of 2056 into the timeless limbo where the Door Of Time resided, to visit Pluto as they did periodically. During their conversation, Serenity had noted the death of Wakaba Tezawa at the age of seventy-nine. It set the Queen to reminiscing about the incidents of 2010, which set Endymion to do so as well. To their surprise, Pluto had taken up the conversation as well.
"But Sukio Tezawa was wrong in thinking no one else knew what happened that day in 1982, though she had no way to know this," Sailor Pluto said. "I knew. With my unique ability to see all that has been and all that will be, and all that will never be, I know what event set in motion that which led you to where you are today."
"Then tell us, please!" gasped Serenity excitedly.
"Unless that knowledge will affect the time line," Endymion added cautiously.
Pluto smiled briefly. "It will do no harm to the time line," she said. "Though I am not certain you will be happy once you know the truth."
"I've wondered about that time for so long," Endymion replied. "I think I'd rather know, since you've given me the choice."
"As you say, my King," Pluto nodded. "Midoki Tezawa was happy with his life, until he met your mother. He was instantly attracted to her and as time passed became more and more infatuated with her."
"Really," Endymion replied ominously. Serenity looked at him with concern.
"Finally his infatuation drove him to make advances toward your mother," Pluto continued. "He repeatedly sought to tempt her to his side. When she refused him, he began making veiled threats to your father's position in the company should she not comply. She told your father, to warn him of his superior's treachery, perhaps to motivate him to seek another position with another firm."
"Yes," Endymion mumbled, lost in a memory that had been locked away for seventy-eight years. "I heard them. My Dad was angry. I thought he was angry with Mom or me, but I remember now. She tried to keep him there, but he stormed out of the house. Mom just stared out the window for the longest time. That's when I pulled the flowers out of her garden, to give them to her as a present and try to cheer her up. She was so upset."
"For she did not expect your father would seek out Tezawa and threaten him with a gun to protect her," Pluto said. "Would he have shot Tezawa? History would have been much changed if he had, but he did not. Nor did he have the chance."
"The poison?" Endymion asked.
"At the moment your father drew his weapon, Tezawa grew dizzy. It stayed your father's hand. Then Tezawa fell over, gasping for air, and died. Panicked, your father ran from the room, thinking he was responsible." Pluto leaned in. "But he was not."
"Who poisoned him?" Endymion inquired. "Was it Madame Tezawa?"
"It was," Pluto answered. "She had learned of her husband's unwanted advances toward your mother. In a fit of anger and jealousy, she poisoned his tea with cyanide."
"How horrible!" Serenity exclaimed.
"A fact she soon realized," Pluto added. "Madame Tezawa spent twenty-six years swallowed by pain and regret over a simple act of passion."
"An act that took three lives instead of one," Endymion mused. "I don't think Dad would have been in such a hurry if he hadn't thought he was fleeing a murder charge."
"I am sorry for bringing you such painful news, my King," Pluto offered.
"No," Endymion shook his head. "It clears up some things I've always wondered about." He thought a moment. "But knowing that doesn't seem to help bring back all the memories I lost because of the accident."
"If I may," Pluto proposed. "Your loss is not the memories before the accident, for they would have faded regardless. You were a normal boy. You laughed, you played, you learned, and you were loved. The loss is the memories you would have had were it not for the accident."
"And you can't bring back what you never had," Endymion said. "But one good thing did come out of all of that tragedy."
"What's that?" Serenity asked.
"It put me in that hospital room that day," Endymion smiled at Serenity, "and allowed me to meet you."
Serenity beamed at him, stars in her eyes.
"And that reminds me," Endymion continued, turning back to Pluto, "who was it who pulled me from the crash that night? I assume you know."
"I do," Pluto replied, lowering her gaze. "But it is something I do not think I should reveal."
Endymion seemed momentarily disappointed. "If you think so, I'll take you at your word. I just wish I could thank whoever it was."
"I am sorry," Pluto said. Then she rose, as if she saw something no one else had. "Thank you for your visit. Your company is always welcome, but you have spent enough time with me. A great many other people have need of you."
Exchanging good-byes, the Royal Couple departed through the temporal nexus into the real time world. Pluto watched them depart, then grew wistful.
"Your gratitude honors me, My King," Pluto murmured as she continued to stare at the temporal nexus, "but I was only doing that which was needed of me. You are far too important to the future Crystal Tokyo to have died that night. Far too important to my beloved Queen," and she paused as a lump formed in her throat, "and far too important to me."