"Princess! Hurry, come with me!" gloved hands took her by the wrist, pulling her urgently out of the cushioned chair of the vanity. Her brush clattered to the floor, a thousand thoughts racing through her mind as she tried her best to keep up with her blue-haired friend. Something was wrong – Mercury wasn't usually like this. Her heart racing, they burst into the grand hall and ran, faster than she had run in her entire life. Noises erupted around her, voices raised in concern and determination to her left, from within the courtyard of the palace; and voices raised in fury and terror from without, the foreground to a low rushing sound. She glanced to her right and slowed involuntarily at the sight spied through the columns.

"Princess!" Mercury cried out again, her voice tight and anxious, pulling her along, but Serenity's shock slowed her still. The gardens were on fire; the flames roared from a distance, creeping ever closer to the pools nearer the front of the palace. Off in the distance, seemingly rising from the thick black smoke, was an enormous crowd of people, shouting in fury as they approached. They were armed with swords, their weapons glinting red. She couldn't tear her eyes away. From her right erupted a command – "Charge!" – and men and women clad in silver armor rushed through the passageway beneath her, hastening to meet the charge, to defend their kingdom from the encroaching threat. What was going on?

Mercury stopped and wheeled around, her hands gripping Serenity's forearms tightly; she pulled Serenity's confused gaze with the uncharacteristic roughness. Her blue eyes streamed tears, her face red and frightened, "Princess, please!" she begged desperately.

It was then that Serenity became truly frightened.

She nodded and started running, focusing solely on the blue-haired head bobbing before her, the sailor collar that rippled with their speed. They dashed down a circling stair and darted out into another hall, racing quickly away from the chaos behind them. If she could go fast enough, perhaps it would go away. It would go back to the way it was before – no more battle cries and the screams of agony, but the music of a ball, the soft whisper of wind through the flowers, the trickle of water in the fountains.

They burst through a door that would lead them out of the palace, out into the capital city, but before they could run down the short staircase and lose themselves in the chaos of the streets, Mercury's hand was torn from hers and she fell hard on the marble stairs. She shrieked in pain, fear, and confusion as she fell, the scream turning into a sharp gasp as a stair jutted into her stomach. Tears coming to her eyes, she pushed herself up onto her hands and looked around for Mercury, only to see her sprawled, unmoving, back at the top of the stairs several feet away from her.

"Mercury!" she called fearfully, struggling to her feet through the pain and telling herself forcefully that the blackened blast across her friend's chest wasn't a fatal blow.

"Hello, Princess!" a voice hissed from below. She turned and saw a woman with wild red hair glaring up at her, pointing at her accusatorily, a mad smile on her face, "We will take the Kingdom of the Moon and make it our own! The Legendary Silver Crystal will be mine!" Her eyes were unnatural, her aura black and sinister. She held her hands above her head and an even crueler force manifested, a terrible blade shining though the coalescing darkness.

But suddenly she wasn't alone. A caped shoulder hid her from view; a tall, raven-haired man took a stance between her and the cruel women before them, his sword raised defensively. Endymion. Despite the situation, the fear, the panic around her, she felt safe behind him.

"Prince!" the woman spat, "will you be a traitor to Earth? This is all for Earth's prosperity!"

Earth's prosperity? What was she talking about? Her heart hammered in her chest.

"Stop! Lay down your arms!" Endymion commanded, his voice strong and confident in the face of evil. He sounded convinced that his words could stop the battle, and she put her faith in that. "Stop this futile war immediately! War and hatred will never amount to anything!"

She appeared before them in a blurred flash, her sinister eyes glowing angrily, and brought down her blade. It tore through Endymion's shoulder, continuing sickeningly through his chest, and her world crumbled around her as he cried out in pain. She screamed, as loud as she could; screamed in rage at this woman and her war, screamed in terror for her people, but, most of all, screamed in pain as the person most dear to her was torn from this world. Endymion! "Endymion!" she screamed, her eyes closed and her hands in fists near her face, wishing that none of this were real! None of this could be true! It just couldn't!

Her mind turned to frenzied despair, watching Endymion's body collapse, his red blood spilling over the white marble in pools. He was dying – he was dead. What was left for her, now? Her heart crumbled, taking her soul with it, deep into loss and despair. There was only one thing she could do.

With all of her being she called forth the sacred sword, the sword sworn to protect her, and as it materialized in her hands she turned it upon herself, then pulled it close to her as though it were him, her love. The blade bit deep into her chest and she fell down beside him. While blade disappeared her mind lingered for a moment as visions of her life flashed before her eyes: of music and parties with her friends; of the ocean on Earth and his deep blue eyes that she felt she could fall into; of stolen kisses amongst roses…

And she wished she had told him she loved him.