A/N: Just a few things I'd like to clear up. Kizami is written in a very specific way so that his dialogue is confusing...a lot of the time, what he's saying doesn't make any sense but that's just him being a whacko not because of some plot points I left out or anything. Sometimes, the other characters are written in the same way, namely Saturn. Also, Yakumo is the name of the villain from the YYH movie Poltergeist Report; I recommend watching it as a fan of the series but don't expect to hear the original voices; the movie takes place somewhere between Dark Tournament Arc and Chapter Black presumably so it's a little out of context in my story.
And okay, I can believe years later I'm still getting the same complaints about this pairing. How...on Earth...is this considered to be 'child molestation'? Anonymou said the H/H pairing was such for some reason...Hotaru's physical age can literally be anywhere depending on where your fic takes place. I normally start my fics after Stars season which would put at her a minimum of 14. Hotaru herself is obviously much older than that though; I honestly believe that Saturn has existed from the dawn of time just as Pluto because let's face it, death and rebirth...the world kinda needs it. On the other hand, Hiei is a demon, and not just any demon; he's half-fire half-ice. They age differently according to Togashi-san (or YYH's mangaka); they don't hit maturity until reaching the age of 100 which obviously Hiei hasn't done yet because Yukina hasn't either. And since the other guys are around the ages of 15-18 (by the series end, anyhow), I would assume Hiei would be around there as well. Technically, his age could fall anywhere between 16-99, truthfully. But yeah, there you go.
reven228: I know it sounds weird to say since we're past that point but we'll get to see Hotaru's reactions to a lot of Hiei moments later on. Sounds confusing but it will make sense once we get to that part. XD
aquafina_rain: Thanks you so much for you encouragement on characterization and everything else lol. And we'll just have to see about Saturn, whether she stays or goes. Hope you enjoy the next chapter.
Mew: Oh there will ass-kicking...it just may not be well written.
Kalladin1989: Thank you!
Hotaru glared up at Kizami, "If you truly desire to stare death in the face, then so be it..." she warned, holding her henshin wand up into the air. She could sense the boys looking at her in confusion, Kizami merely smiling at her with great pleasure as she took a deep breath.
Hotaru cringed at the voice, narrowly avoiding some kind of energy blast that flew straight over her head. That hadn't been meant to hit her, it was sent as a warning. She looked back up at Kizami who continued to levitate with arm still outstretched from where he had fired the blast. "Not yet my dear, we're not quite ready to start the party yet."
"The hell is this freak talking about?" Kuwabara asked, looking back at everyone, "First he wants to fight, now he says no?"
"I don't know...what do you want? Who even are you?" Hotaru yelled back, her henshin wand still clutched with her hand in case this happened to be some kind of bluff.
"Patience, human bitch, patience. I don't feel the need to be wasting any more breath or time on any of you. In just a few more minutes, your world is going to become mine." he explained, his face contorted disgustingly with evil intent.
"Why you..." Hotaru growled lowly, her cheeks red from embarrassment by his name-calling. Haruka wouldn't have stood for that, no, the sandy-haired warrior would have charged straight at him with sword drawn. She grit her teeth...it didn't matter anymore what his intentions were, he was evil through and through, there was no reason for her to wait any longer.
"Wait," It was Kurama, arm outstretched in front of her to block her path, "Hotaru, I understand your anger but you must hold off for now. There's no telling what he's plotting. This very well could be a trap in of itself."
"Dammit, we don't have time for this," Yusuke roared, his biggest concern being fighting Toguro to avenge Genkai. "We can't just stand around and do nothing."
"You idiots couldn't even touch him, remember? I highly doubt he'd let his barrier down now." Hiei informed, still assessing the situation and what could possibly be done. And don't think that rising surge of power through her had slipped past him...she had been about to do something; call on that spirit inside of her most likely. She'd been preparing to unleash the full ferocity of that celestial power she kept so dearly hidden and locked away.
"Right then," Hotaru nodded, hands clasped over her chest as she murmured mostly herself. She'd been trying to pep-talk herself into doing this...she had to. "Please, you have to cover me."
"Hotaru, what are you-?"
"Please Kurama, you have to trust me on this. I need you guys to cover me while I transform...if I can call on Saturn's full power, then we can beat this guy no problem...no one will even have to get hurt." she smiled sweetly, fully believing in what she had said. A look of confusion went around the group of boys before they finally agreed...what other option did they have? They couldn't stand around and wait for this guy to make a move, and they definitely didn't want to give him time to collect enough energy for an attack.
"Aw, what's the matter? Are you giving up? Growing impatient? You don't have to worry, everything is almost in place." Kizami informed, noticing as the boys began to move into a semi-formation to block any attack that he might attempt. "What the-...?" Kizami questioned, cocking a dark brow.
"SATURN PLANET POWER...MAKE-UP!"
It was honestly all Hiei could do to keep from turning around to see...here it was, the power that he'd long to see ever see he'd discovered who she was. The power of a celestial...it was nearly suffocating to be so close to a purified power like this. A flash of purple light continued to emanate from behind them. Hotaru could feel Saturn's power beginning to overflow as she was wrapped in a warm, purple dome of energy.
"No! Not yet!" Kizami roared, firing more energy blasts their way; the boys easily dealing with them in their own way.
From inside the dome, the Silence Glaive appeared to cut through the purple-colored energy as Sailor Saturn exited fully transformed and ready for battle.
"Step aside, please," Saturn said in a low monotone, drastically different from the sweet, innocent tone of Hotaru. The boys quickly turned at the sound of the new voice, moving over to either side as she made her way closer to Kizami with Glaive at the ready.
"I am...Sailor Saturn. My guardian deity is a planet bathed in silence...I am the soldier who governs the power of death, destruction, and rebirth." With each pause, Saturn twirled her Glavie around, finally able to be in full control of the physical body once more. It would only take her a short while to get the feel of the weapon, this Glaive having been made especially for her around the dawn of time. Kizami...he would be severely punished for his insolence.
Kizami 'tsked' at her then let out a chuckle, "So very lovely...and what an enjoyable glare you give me, my dear. However, I do hate when party guests show up early. Still...I suppose we can get things started without a hitch!" he snapped his long fingers, two black shadows with burning red eyes and mouths appeared beside him.
"Kizami...who are you? Explain your intentions."
"Oh of course, now where are my manners?" the man said in a mocking tone, "You know me as Kizami but I'd much rather prefer you call me by my new title. You see, I am the ruler of Hell."
"The ruler of Hell? If you truly are the leader of those who dwell in Inferno then what are you doing in this realm?" Saturn questioned, her Glaive never ceasing in the slightest. He may have been a ruler as she was (if his story were true), but that didn't mean she trusted him anymore.
"Yeah asshole, nice try! We put that netherworld guy Yakumo down a long time ago!" Yusuke informed. It had been right after the fight with the Saint Beasts that Yakumo, the proclaimed King of Hell, had risen up to the human world to steal the power sphere and take over their world. After dealing with his henchmen, they'd put an end to him and saved Reikai and their world.
"You ignorant humans, do you not understand the concept of balance? Without a ruler, Hell would be imbalanced from the other worlds, and thanks to you idiots there was a power struggle of which I came out on top. You're looking at the new King of Hell! And as my first decree, I believe I'll take over the human world! You'll all bow down to me!"
Saturn's eye widened...that phrase...now...now it was coming back to her. "Silence! Answer me this! Are you or are you not...were you not once a celestial being?"
Kizami's mouth turned upward into a crooked grin, "Have you finally remembered me my lovely bride? I was so hoping you would, that way I don't have to beat it into you. But yes, I was once a celestial just as you are Princess Saturn."
"Then you are as I suspect...you were once a part of the Saturnian court but you tried to seize the power of the throne during my slumber and were ultimately executed from your crimes. Even though I was asleep, I could still hear your voice ringing in my ears..." Saturn growled, unable to shake the man's fanatic raving about being king and having her subjects bow to him from her mind. "Now, you will pay for your crimes again, you monster. I will send you back down into the flames of Inferno myself."
"Aaah, but you're too late my dear. My portal to Hell has already began to open!"
Saturn's eyes widened again as everyone followed Kizami's finger. The ground below him, right in the center of the arena, was beginning to crack and split, the blocks collapsing in on themselves. No...this was really happening...Hell was going to merge with the human world just as Setsuna had feared. With a cry, she lunged into the air with Glaive aimed at his head. It wasn't until she made contact with Kizami's barrier did she realize that Hiei had also attacked with her. The two were blown backwards from the force of the barrier rejecting their attacks.
"It will literally be a Hell on Earth...and the Lady Saturn will become my bride. Then, not only will I rule Hell and Earth, but I'll be able to take over the Saturnian throne...then the Lunarian throne of the Silver Millennium. And why stop there? I may as well take over the entire universe as well!"
"I don't think so!"
Saturn gasped...she knew that voice. She knew she shouldn't turn her back on the enemy but-!
"Sorry you had to wait for...!"
"A team of pretty warriors!"
"We are the Sailor Senshi!"
"Soldiers of love and justice!"
"And in the name of the moon...we shall punish you!"
Saturn gasped at the sight, then her face softened into a smile, "Inner Senshi..." she whispered as the 5 girls jumped down from the various seats where they'd been posing in the stands. Paying little attention to the boys, they rushed straight to Saturn.
"Are you alright, Saturn?"
"You shouldn't have tried to take this guy on by yourself!"
"You definitely should have called us first!"
Saturn quickly tried to answer their questions, half-hinting that they should pay more attention to Kizami behind her in case he decided to launch another attack.
"And don't forget us!"
All heads looked around the stadium for the sound of the voices this time. Saturn knew those voices quite well too...Hotaru would definitely be glad to see them as well. Kizami on the other hand let out a growl,
"Who invited all these bitches to my party?!"
"Sailor Uranus, appearing gracefully! We're to crash your party, bub! "
"Sailor Neptune, appearing beautifully! The real party doesn't start until the Outer Senshi arrive!"
With either introduction, the duo jumped from their position on the stadium seats and down into the 's strange, where was Pluto in all this? Saturn began to look around for her, failing to see the grass-haired Senshi anywhere...she would have introduced herself along with Uranus and Neptune. "Where's Pluto?" she asked concerned once the entire group of senshi had gathered around her.
"Actually, Pluto's the one who told us you were in trouble!" Moon informed her with a giggle, "She brought us all back together and we did a quick Sailor Teleport to find you!"
"Yeah, this guy's throwing out some major bad vibes here. We've gotta take out him and quick!" Mars affirmed as the entire group nodded their heads. Saturn could tell they'd heard his full story, feeling no need to explain to any of them about their situation.
"He fully intends to do this, we need to get the civilians off the island and now!"
"Don't worry Saturn, we already took care of that...even though this island seems to be filled with nothing but demons!" Venus explained, still not sure why Hotaru and Saturn had come here in the first place...that Pluto failed to tell them. "We warned everybody to get off the island as soon as possible so hopefully they took our advice."
"Listen, these are my friends, they've come to help us, okay? Please, we need your help as well." Saturn turned back to the boys who'd all remained silent until now, merely wanting to observe before taking action. They all nodded their heads at her to show they were ready. After all, so many celestials in once place...Hiei actually found this quite interesting.
It was a full on group assault then, Kizami just barely able to defend himself against his 12 attackers. He continued to conjure up shadow after shadow in order to defend himself...it was taxing on his energy reserves but if he didn't then he feared being defeated by these low-class wretches. Since when were humans, demons, AND celestials willing to work together? The last time he'd been on Earth they were all trying to kill each other! Still, the hole was growing larger and larger...once it was big enough, they'd break through that silly barrier and spill out over the Earth.
'Saturn...' The warrior stopped herself in mid-charge, lowering her weapon as she did...it was Pluto!
'Yes, Pluto, what is it?' Saturn questioned eagerly, wondering if the woman had any news or any advice to help them through this battle.
'Saturn, that island is growing more unsafe by the minute. You must evacuate all the humans left on the island as soon as possible! If the humans are subjected to the fumes pouring out of that hole for too long, their souls may very well be dragged under and lost to Hell forever!'
'Oh no...what about...?' Saturn looked over to the two demons who continued to fight on.
'They should be fine for awhile longer, but your friends Yusuke and Kuwabara won't be able to hold out much longer.'
Saturn resisted the urge to reply back and inform the senshi that they were Hotaru's friends, not hers. Still, she assured Pluto she would do as such. She began to move, dodging and flipping over shadows and attacks, and made her way over to where Yusuke stood his ground.
"Yusuke, listen to me! The portal to Hell is grower bigger by the minute. If you and Kuwabara stay here any longer then your souls will become forfeit to it! You must find Kayko and the others and get them off this island immediately!"
"What the hell? Are you serious? Look lady, I'm not going anywhere until I beat Toguro! He's gotta pay, dammit!"
"If you truly desire that then you will take my advice. We should be able to defeat Kizami on our own...at least save Kayko, Shizuru, Botan, and Yukina for Hotaru's sake then. She doesn't have many friends and I'd hate to see them die because of stupidity."
With a growl, he punched the ground, "Dammit!" he roared, "Come on Kuwabara! We've got to save Kayko and the others!"
Saturn watched as the two boys sped away...with any luck they would encounter the Toguro brothers and be able to have a fair fight somewhere else. Although his brother didn't believe in such, the younger Toguro had refused to fight Yusuke until he was strong enough...there was no way he'd run away from their fight, not after all that. Funny, she could almost narrate this...
"Watch your back!" She was only able to turn around after Hiei had deflected a blast with his sword, "Fool, if the detective and that idiot were so incompetent then they would have been dead long before now."
"Why you!" Kizami growled, throwing up a long-fingered palm in the direction of the Inner Senshi, an airwave of power being sent their way and knocking the warriors back.
"Oh no you don't!" Uranus exalted, jumping into the air with Space Sword, its crimson blade still shimmering despite the lack of sunlight. The sandy-haired warrior slashed with all of her might in an attempt to weaken the barrier, at least, since they had yet to put a scratch on it. However, her blade hit nothing as Kizami dissolved before her eyes, quickly reappearing upside down below her, strongly gripping one her ankles in his hand. He spun her through the air before launching the warrior down to the ground and into her teal-haired partner.
"I never much liked you other bitches," Kizami sneered, "If it had been up to me then Lady Saturn would have been the only ruler..." The insane king continued to prattle on, effectively causing the Saturnian senshi's stomach to knot up in disgust.
"This won't be as easy as I had thought..." Saturn murmured, knowing that she should help her comrades but she drastically needed to rest and recharge her energy for a moment.
"You said he was a celestial...how do you kill a near immortal being?" Red eyes were on her then, despite their grim situation, there was no less inner fire to them. Saturn stared back at Hiei a moment before answering.
"Even though Kizami was nothing more than a commoner amongst my people, although powerless at the time, he was still a Saturnian. After being executed and sentenced to an eternity wandering in hell...he must have acquired his powers down there somehow. Only those with royal blood were permitted to have powers, and this made him insanely jealous."
"So that barrier...it's not your technique?"
"I bet he'd like to claim so. It's nothing more than a cheap imitation, something he probably conjured up from watching myself or Hotaru perform the task." Saturn gasped, remembering, "If he was present on the island the entire time...or maybe, watching us from the time this all began, he must have seen it on the boat ride when Hotaru was attacked by those demons."
"That doesn't help our situation any, woman. His barrier can be brought down. I just need to find the best method."
Saturn closed her eyes, her head slightly nodding downwards, "Yes, your dragon would be sufficient enough to bring down the barrier," she explained almost as if reading his mind, "but correct me if I'm wrong, it would be impossible for you to use that technique again so soon. And not to mention, there's no telling what else might get caught up in the blast. Kurama is too weak to turn back into Yoko, and none of our powers as senshi seem to be having any effect."
Hiei grunted with a smirk, "So you're saying it's hopeless then?"
"Not exactly..." Saturn trailed off, a smirk of her own gracing her face, "We just need the right kind of distraction." She smirked, a plan already formulated as if she'd experienced the situation before.
Just as Saturn had hoped, Kizami had been watching her and Hiei's interaction the entire time. Was it perhaps an understatement to say that Kizami was the jealous type? The poor ruler looked red in the face, practically ready to explode with anger. The Lady Saturn...his Saturn...cohorting with a demon? No, she wasn't allowed! Not with such riff-raff! She should only speak with him, only smile for him! Kizami couldn't control his pupils from beading and shifting rapidly back and forth inside of his skull as his mind ran wild with ideas about the two of them...no, how could this be? She belonged to him, dammit, not some lowly demon! He was the Ruler of Hell now...how would his Goddess of Death not be pleased with him? She should be running to him at this very moment...ugh, why were they standing so close to each other?! It made him angrier and angrier just to see the sight...
...fine, if that's how she wanted to behave. Kizami straightened his posture, still levitating over the now much-wider portal beneath his feet, his face softening back into a straight line.
The Inner and two Outer Senshi looked on in worry from where they lay on the ground. He was seriously powerful...but they had to keep him from destroying the world! And they couldn't, wouldn't, let Saturn fall into his evil hands either.
None of them could feel the strength to move then...it felt as though the pressure of the air had suddenly increased; as if someone had increased gravity on their planet 10 times from what it normally was. Kizami was doing something...but what? Neither senshi nor demon could move a muscle no matter how hard they try, even going so far as to be forced to their knees.
'This is...extremely unexpected...' Saturn grimaced, again acting as if all of this had happened before; kind of like those silly movies Hotaru watched...there was no point in watching again if you already knew the outcome. But this outcome...she couldn't have for-seen this one.
"I told you...that you would all bow before me." Kizami lifted his head as he spoke, the once familiar-looking purple eyes now reddened with crimson anger and power. "You...you will see the error of your ways, Lady Saturn. Those who consort with demons will suffer in my Hell throughout all of eternity. Now...I'LL DRAG YOU BOTH DOWN INTO HELL WITH MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
The ground cracked and splintered, an off-shoot from the giant hole speeding their way like a torpedo. The pressure in the air made it too difficult to move still, and the ground crumbled away beneath Saturn and Hiei's feet. Without the use of their limbs, the two were pretty helpless to it and fell under.
The cries of the senshi rang out as Kizami calmly back-flipped and dove down into portal, obviously heading to where he'd sent the other two. As soon as he vanished, the warriors quickly rose to their feet, the pressure that had once hung in the air now dissipated.
"Hotaru-chan!" Moon screamed as she tried to run closer to the portal, only to be held back by Uranus and Neptune.
"Sailor Moon, no! If you get too close, you might fall in too!" Uranus warned her as the other blond began to collapse in their arms, emotions about to overflow. "Saturn will take care of Hotaru, believe me, I know she will. We have to stay here and do what we can. We'll need to find Pluto and see what can be done about stopping the portal from getting any bigger."
Uranus, now taking charge as she was apt to do sometimes, turned her attention to Kurama who stood only a few feet from their group, "Hey pretty boy, I take it your one of Hotaru's new friends, right?"
"Yes, we are. And I'm afraid I don't know this Pluto you speak of but I am aware of one person who should be able to do something about this; he's the jr. ruler of Reikai."
Uranus nodded, "Right then. If I know Pluto, she hopefully already knows this guy."
"Haruka...what about Hotaru and the other boy? Shouldn't one of us go down there as well...just to back them up? We had trouble fighting him with 12 people, what can they honestly do with just two?" Neptune asked, concerned as the other senshi nodded their heads and spoke up with sounds of agreement.
"No...Haruka is right..." Moon whispered, "We can't...we can't put anyone else in danger. Saturn is capable of handling things on her own...she'll be alright." The odango-haired princess smiled, hoping to reassure her comrades by the action. Had it not been for their grim situation, Kurama might have smiled himself due to the irony...it was obvious to see who had influenced Hotaru's beliefs when it came to action.
Suddenly, the ground began to rupture again, a greenish fog billowing out from the portal.
"Everyone, cover your mouth! Don't breathe that gas in, it's miasma!" Kurama warned, each senshi rapidly following his advice. Without a word, the unlikely group of warriors began to make their way out of the arena, and began heading for the docks. It was the farthest location from the arena and most likely the safest place to be at this point. Since there was only one extra person, teleporting shouldn't be too hard of a task, after all, they couldn't just leave the poor red-headed boy to fend for himself.
Hotaru stirred...a pounding in her ears...like a drum...it was a steady rhythm, familiar...it was warm...not warm-sounding, warm-feeling...no, it was more intense than that! It was hot, it was burning hot!
The purple-eyed girl awoke with a stir, pulling herself up onto her hands as she did so. Where...where was she? This place...it was hard to breathe and smelt of sulfur, smoke, ash, and flames. And if she wasn't mistaken, she could also make out the stench of burning flesh...luckily it wasn't her own. Were they...were they actually in Hell? She'd always heard about this realm from various people, even Saturn herself once when they had briefly discussed the boundaries between worlds. It didn't look how she imagined it would have, and nothing could have prepared her for that smell...the area they were in was slightly dark, a purple-hue taking over the room. The floor below didn't feel hardened or ashy, but instead sandy...wet, mushy sand like a beach would have at nighttime.
Sensing something else below her, she glanced down and saw Hiei, still unconscious from their fall. Had he...had he grabbed a hold of her on the way down and turned them so that he would take the force of the landing? She hurriedly scrambled off of him, her face no longer flushed from the intensity of the heat.
It was then she realized that she had de-henshined...where was her henshin wand? Saturn must have been knocked unconscious as well, causing her to de-henshin automatically. She had to find her wand though...she couldn't leave it down here! And she definitely didn't want to be attacked without it on hand. What an awful turn of events...Hiei, she pleaded mentally, please wake up...I don't want to be alone in a place like this...
A/N: And so it begins...next chapter, we confront Kizami in his throne room for (hopefully) the last time!