A/N: Zombie story, am I right?
I've been adamant on finishing this one, but when I was looking at the story to continue where I left off, I realized I am abhorred with my writing. Therefore, before I move onwards with the overall plot, I will be revising the existing chapters as they cause me to inwardly cringe on seeing my poor writing habits of the past.
Stick around friends and fans, this zombie story just grew legs.
The sun's rays drilled through Haruka's window, obstructed minimally by the blinds intended to deter against. With the slow ticking of time, the sun strove higher in the early morning sky. Haruka rolled over and gazed at the clock on her dresser.
With the protection of the sun gradually seeping past her blinds, Haruka finally drifted off for her brief visit of sleep.
What months before would have been an unwelcome sight at such an ungodly hour of the morning, instead was to Haruka a reprieve from her recent demons and newly induced insomnia.
Unfortunately, as much as Haruka now preferred to sleep during the day, her overactive lifestyle involving sports, academics, racing, and soldierly duties, did not accommodate much time for her reprieve found though daytime catnaps. Consequently, Haruka had acquired the new habit of insomniac tendencies, opting to avoid sleep entirely.
Haruka so envied the inner soldiers and their naivety. Haruka shouldered her demons with her, from battle to rest, never able to dispel or placate them. But these girls exhibited no sense of seriousness, Haruka observed laughing and gawking like the schoolgirls and children they were. She silently muttered curses against the inner soldiers and their carefree capabilities, so unlike what they were charged with carrying. Ignorant to the concept of sacrifice, believing so fervently the inner soldiers could save everyone. The stakes were high in the mission they, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto, had been appointed to execute and defend, and the inner soldiers seemed all too eager in Haruka's eyes to fall prey to their own emotions.
Brought back to the mention of her team, Haruka lingered on the personalities of the two women she had truly developed respect for, being as driven and ambitious towards the mission as she was…but Haruka gravitated clearly towards one more than the other.
Michiru had persisted endlessly to involve Haruka in a fight the young racer knew bordered dangerously on the horizon; of which Haruka wanted to remain completely shrouded in ignorance, and uninvolved. She had initially feigned ignorance on the aquamarine haired beauty's mention of the silence, instead painting the facade of Michiru as another loyal follower come flocking to Haruka's heels.
Enthralled by the violinist's compelling beauty as Haruka was, there was a terrifying acknowledgment of reality attached to her presence, at their initial meetings. The silence was real, and this woman was here to bring the fight to it, whatever it was.
Kick and scream as she did, internally, Haruka soon succumbed to the beckoning of Michiru and the invitation to arms, forming their partnership.
The things a beautiful face can compel of you, Haruka, she thought to herself whilst smirking.
The impending devastation of the silence demanded every ounce of Haruka's attention, but it struggled immensely against the contrasting image of devastation: Michiru.
Looking at the smaller girl at first, Haruka gathered a different perception of her. She exuded a sense of wisdom, far beyond what her years implied, grace, and of course beauty. Not exactly the defining attributes of the soldier type, Haruka considered to herself. But Michiru was a deadly adversary, largely because others underestimated such lethality behind such an appealing girl.
She was lethal, graceful… "intelligent…independent…" Haruka silently uttered aloud to the walls of her room. Rolling once more on to her back, the blonde continued calculating what she considered to be her partner's defining characteristics.
"Talented." An accomplished violinist, swimmer, academic, artist, Michiru was certainly not lacking in talents and pursuits. To Haruka, Michiru was the conquering goddess of the arts, and eternally more, in the racer's daydreaming eyes.
"…beautiful." It was a thought often bouncing in the walls of Haruka's often one-track mind, which promptly derailed when Michiru walked into Haruka's presence.
Haruka drew herself abruptly from her daydreaming, lest she be drawn more to the woman who's life would be forfeit for mission accomplishment.
She glared intently at the ceiling, suddenly overcome with an unsettling mood.
Always with the mission, Haruka lamented, permitting her steely resolve to crack slightly at the thought of inevitable loss. Loss of a partner. Loss of innocents. The chances both would be spared were slim, in Haruka Tenoh's mind.
Distracting further from her eventual catnap, Haruka reflected back on the inner soldiers; spitefully.
Haruka had once been incredibly fond and oddly delighted by the bubbly presence of Usagi, and the insane antics her entourage had to endure on the daily. The warm perception of those school girls had quickly changed on the mutual, and coincidental, exchange of identities of both the inner and outer soldiers. The inner soldiers merely concerned themselves over the personal affairs of entrance exams and boys, prompting Haruka to always icily consider, Where is your sense of duty?
Michiru did not share the passionate contempt for the inner soldiers as Haruka did, although expressed incredulity at Sailor Moon's initiative to save one girl, Sailor Saturn, at the cost of the world they were charged to protect. Fortunately for Sailor Moon, the situation had unfolded ideally for all parties involved. Yet Sailor Moon and Usagi's intentions and willingness to sacrifice would be forever etched in the outers minds'.
The home line in Haruka's apartment rang out from her living room, summoning the occupant from her rueful thoughts. Gradually, Haruka mustered the desire to lift each limb from it's entanglement under the sheets.
"Fine, fine…I'm up" Haruka grumpily grumbled under her breath, hoping to cease the incessant ringing.
"I'm awake, damn you!" she seethed between clenched teeth as she briskly jogged to the phone. Forcing herself to not destroy the phone in her hand, Haruka calmly placed the receiver to her ear groggily uttering to the other end
"Yes?" She looked to the clock in the kitchen in order to justify her foul disposition to the caller.
7:02. Damn right it's too early for a "good morning".
"Good morning, Haruka. It's Michiru."
I can make an exception. "Michiru…good morning." Though relieved at the sound of her partner's voice and early call, Haruka was stricken with curiosity at Michiru's lack of correspondence via their communicators. The women rarely spoke on the phone, if ever.
"Is something wrong?"
"Should there be?" Michiru responded, tugging a smile at her lips.
Yes. We're the outer soldiers. There is always something.
"I thought we could meet up today and have a talk." Michiru continued, sensing her counterpart's still sloth-like mode. "Maybe get some coffee, or fresh air at the park."
The racer knew business was first and foremost, but regardless of the nature of their time together, Haruka thoroughly enjoyed any opportunity to bask in the presence of the other woman.
That feeling Haruka so desired to ease her into the arms of sleep, blanketed her as a warming embrace, whenever in Michiru's presence. The two partners would meet, and Haruka felt the burdens of the world gradually lifting from her shoulders. It never leaves. It's just shared by Michiru.
"I am going to go ahead and endorse the coffee suggestion" Haruka said, whilst attempting to mask her true level of fatigue.
It did not fool Michiru, being a woman renowned for her perception and sharp senses. "No sleep last night?"
Haruka shook her head, for reasons unbeknownst to herself. "The sandman has been an elusive fiend, passing over my apartment."
"Some coffee will do you good then." Michiru enthusiastically responded, attempting to uplift the blonde from her weariness with promises of fresh brewed coffee. "Let's meet in…30 minutes?"
"Sounds like a plan" Haruka responded, letting her weary head come to rest on the counter.
"Yes?" came the response.
"Please downplay your beauty today. I can't be bothered to swat away all the flies pursuing you on minimal sleep." The blonde grinned against the countertop, knowing well Michiru understood the nature of their flirtatious games.
Michiru delivered a soft laugh on the other end, "I dress comfortably. Not to attract suitors."
Haruka sighed out of exasperation, letting one arm cradle around her head as it rested on the counter. "Fine. I'll bring my spray bottle."
"See you soon, Haruka." Michiru replaced her handset in the cradle, then walked to her own room she too had just risen from.
She truly took Haruka's parting comment to heart, as the blonde would most certainly embarrass any flirtatious advances from admirers. She settled on one of her more minimalistic dresses, grinning at Haruka's suggestion.
Haruka hung up her phone, still resting against the cold soothing embrace of the countertop. A call that normally should have roused and rallied more energy from Haruka, she instead submitted to the comfort of the level counter.
"Just a quick power nap…few minutes." she reassured herself, knowing the words fell deafly elsewhere in her empty apartment.
30 minutes later, Michiru found herself occupying a patio table of their preferred coffee shop, alone but not without notice and flirtatious winks.
I'm sure I'll hear about this from Haruka, she thought as she paid no heed to the flirtatious demonstrations.
The artist couldn't help but pay notice to the splendor of the park just a few feet away from her table. The beautifully crafted birds' nests caught her eye in particular, high aloft in the trees on the outskirts of the park.
She had opted not to bring her violin, wanting to devote her full attention to Haruka and her present plight with insomnia. However high the wall Haruka attempted to build between herself and Michiru, the latter was determined to bring them down and bridge the gap. The racer internalized much of her grief, strife, and struggles, masked by the facade of Haruka's intense charisma and wit. Michiru knew her partner was deeply troubled, needing no use of her mirror or visions to paint a picture.
While Michiru tried, as Haruka did, to maintain the division between their personal and professional lives, inevitably the two divisions met. It was imperative to aid Haruka in finding a reprieve from her insomnia in order to maintain her combat mentality and readiness. Therefore it was justified on personal and professional fronts. Truthfully, Michiru cared deeply for the witty and flirtatious blonde, and for her health, even at the risk of their personal and professional lives becoming more intimately intertwined. This worried her, because there was no ebbing of these emotions; they grew by the day. This produced considerable concern in Michiru, especially in light of the events at the Marine Cathedral, where the overall mission had almost been compromised because of emotional investments. The violinist was determined to find a balance.
Thinking back to the present state of Haruka, Michiru worried for her tardiness, almost entirely certain the taller girl had fallen asleep. She considered using her communicator to check on her other half, but opted against it, hoping Haruka could get some rest.
She stood up from her small table, to the interest of some admiring fans, moving to get coffee for herself and Haruka, insisting the latter would no doubt show up shortly.
Darkness blanketed her, instilling an instinctive defense in the soldier. During the day?, Haruka questioned herself, as the dark dreams normally only followed her at night. This was an unwelcome invasion to her limited day-rest.
Echoing a sense of vastness of the realm she occupied, a voice inquired. "What will you do?" it called to Haruka, authoritatively commanding a response. An unwise voice to ignore, she gathered.
"You beg my pardon?" Haruka deliriously responded, to her own amusement.
The realm reverberated slightly at the remark, but again echoed with the same voice, "What…will…you…do?" it slowly repeated.
Haruka couldn't fathom in the dream state she existed, to what the voice questioned of her. She turned the question over and over, not knowing how to challenge the presence's vague inquiry.
With what? My life? The mission? The world? Her mind veered in endless directions, but could deliver no answer for the inquiring voice. More than anything, she detested this voice, for it often plagued her with terrifying visions of a future, or alternate universe, she very much wanted to prevent; and therefore sought to ignore it.
"These people, they will burn, you know."
Haruka shook her head. No, I don't know.
"What's more, is they know. They see images, premonitions, as you do, of the impending future. Yet they have no degree of power to act, contrary to you."
That took Haruka by surprise, prompting her to speak. "Who are they? Is it the silence they see?" Haruka's mind raced with the image of people running to their deaths in the mouth of a volcano, vaulting to their deaths. How could this be permitted to pass?
"They receive the message, thus enabling disconnect. They cannot comprehend the significance."
Great. Thanks for that clarity. She thought bitterly to herself.
"Your past has shown you must be pushed, propelled into plight. You will not act on it of volition. It is your choice, and yours alone, whether you will be pushed from a mound," the voice paused, lingering on a thought "or from a mountain. You will be the prophet heralding these chosen to their deaths, and they shall know why, Sailor Uranus." The voice spoke sternly, unwaveringly, yet with an edge of caution.
"Why more? Why do more people have to die?" Haruka demanded, speaking in the direction of the elusive voice, ever-changing in it's position.
"You have not seen death yet, Uranus, save but yourself and Neptune."
How many people have to be torn apart by these games?
"But I will answer you, as to why they must die."
Haruka hung on to the specter's words, seeking desperately for some sign of closure or clarity on the dream sequence. Instead, at the mention of "Neptune", Haruka quickly bolted out of her dream state with a terrifying realization.
In reality, Haruka had collapsed with her legs giving way and sweeping the tall athlete to the ground, opposite the counter she had napped upon.
Reassessing her surroundings and returning to the real world, her heart beat at the unprecedented speed it usually did from these visions, this time pumping adrenaline rather than fear.
Haruka breathed a collected sigh of relief, bringing her head to rest back upon the carpeted floor.
Suddenly reminded of the cause for her rousing from the dream world, Haruka bolted once more back up, "Michiru!"
Not bothering to pause in summary of the vision, Haruka hastily collected herself and sped off towards her room. Choosing a white dress shirt, tan colored slacks, and an accompanying blazer, Haruka donned her apparel and made her way towards the front room once more.
With that, the blonde departed in the spirit of haste, using the wind to sweep her towards the sea.