AN: Thanks for the reviews! Hope you enjoy this chapter!
Taiki and Mina woke up the next morning. Though with a slight headache, they were otherwise fine. Hotaru, however, was still extremely weak. Haruka had insisted that she stay in bed as the others tended to her needs.
"It felt like someone had plunged into my body and tried to pull all my organs out through my mouth," she shuddered at the memory and tears started to run down her cheeks. Haruka wrapped her hands around the little girl and pulled her into a tight embrace. "Oh Haruka-papa, it was so horrible. I thought I was going to suffocate! And when it came back into me I felt like I would explode!" Haruka flinched when Hotaru recalled the event but still, she managed to soothe the sobbing girl. Everyone grimaced at the thought of how it must have felt.
The senshi stayed in Rei's room for the rest of the day filling in Taiki, Mina, and Hotaru as to what they had discovered and discussing possible battle strategies if more were to appear. They finally decided that they need to speak to Pluto about it. But when they tried to contact her again, there was no answer.
"I wonder what happened to her." Michiru's elegant face was wrought with worry. Haruka noticed it and grabbed her hand to comfort her while still holding on to Hotaru.
"There is nothing we can do except wait for her to come to us. Why can't she just tell us everything for once?" Sighed Haruka.
"Where's Usagi-san and Seiya-san?" asked Hotaru when she stopped crying and looked at the group.
They all shook their heads telling the young girl that they didn't know. So she pulled out her communicator to talk to Usagi.
"Hotaru-chan? Are you alright?" Usagi's voice was excited and loud.
Hotaru chuckled and answered that she was fine.
"Are you still at Rei's? I'll come right now." Hotaru nodded and they shut off their communicators. The group waited until Usagi and Seiya arrived.
"Where have you two been all night?" Mina winked at the couple as they walked in. Both of them blushed and looked away. Their reaction raised a few eyebrows in the room.
"No…nowhere! Seiya just walked me home!" Usagi practically shouted back at Mina, "Never mind that. How are you feeling Mina, you too Taiki and Hotaru?"
Mina said smiled brightly and said she was fine as she clung onto Yaten. Taiki nodded and Hotaru smiled and said she was fine too. Usagi sighed in relieve and went to sit by the table and Seiya followed closely behind her.
Haruka noticed this and cocked her eyebrow, "Isn't it time we told Mamoru-san what's happening?" She knew of Seiya's affection for Usagi and he had earned her respect after the battle with Galaxia but Haruka still believed that her Princess should be with their rightful Prince.
"We broke up." Usagi's eyes were filling with tears again but held them back from falling from her eyes. She had decided last night that the only way she could move on from Mamoru was to tell everyone what had happened.
"Is it because of him?" Haruka pointed at Seiya. She was clearly angry but held back from attacking the Starlight since she was holding on to Hotaru.
"No. Seiya had nothing to do with this…." She went on to tell them about what she saw when she was at Mamoru's place.
"There must be some mistake Usagi." Rei placed her hand on her shoulder, "you must have misunderstood something. You two were destined to be together."
Upon hearing this, Usagi clenched her fists on her lap under the table. She continued but everyone noticed the bitterness in her voice, "I knew you guys would say something like that. That's why I didn't want to tell you but you all needed to know that I don't want to follow that destiny anymore. Even Pluto told me to follow my heart. She said everything will be alright so I trust her." Seiya placed a hand on her shoulder and smiled at her when she started trembling.
Haruka refused to believe that the destiny they had worked hard to protect was over… just like that. She slowly removed herself from Hotaru, "It's his fault isn't it? I should have known better than to trust you!" And she charged towards Seiya. Her fist was suddenly stopped by Yaten. Yaten had expected her to react this way and seen her move from the bed.
"Nothing happened between them. I was there when he picked her up after she broke up with Mamoru-san. She was such a wreck that if Seiya wasn't there, who knows what might have happened." He swiftly pushed Haruka's fist away making her back up. "Why are you forcing her to be with someone who clearly doesn't love her back?"
"Haruka-san, like I said… Seiya had nothing to do with this. This is my decision and I just wanted to tell you guys because I thought you guys would understand…" she sniffled a bit.
"I support your decision Usagi-chan." Mina walked up next to her and hugged her. "It would be unfair to you if you can't have happiness like we can. As for the future, we'll muddle through together. It'll turn out fine if we're all together." She smiled brightly at Usagi then at Yaten. Usagi understood what she meant – she was fine with Usagi and Mamoru's break up as well as approving her and Seiya's love. She nodded at Mina to show her friend her gratitude.
Watching them, the other girls nodded in agreement. Haruka just sat down again, closed her eyes and twitched her eyebrows. Michiru giggled at her lover.
"So what do we do?" Haruka huffed. Usagi smiled, realizing that Haruka wasn't going to argue anymore… at least for now.
"There really isn't much we could do except wait for another attack. I left my computer running to scan a 50km radius for the same energy readings I picked up from the wraiths. It can tell us where the wraiths will appear a few minutes before they show up." Ami told the group.
So the group started to disperse from the shrine as the day went by.
"So are you going to sleep over at my place again tonight Odango?" Seiya winked at Usagi as they walked down the street towards Usagi's house. Usagi flushed bright red.
"You wish pervert!" She pouted and walked faster. He laughed and chased after her.
"I know you want to. You can't get enough of me. Just admit it." He teased and tugged on one of her ponytails.
"Mou… you're so full of it! Besides, we're at my place now so goodbye!" She started to turn around to stomp into her house but he grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. He quickly leaned in and planted a light kiss on her cheek. She blushed again while she placed a hand over the cheek he just kissed.
"See you tomorrow Odango." He whispered into her ears. He then stood back up and waved as he left. Usagi couldn't see the smug look that appeared on his face – he was proud that Usagi was dazed from his actions.
The next morning, he came to pick her up from school. As they arrived to class, they noticed that Naomi had not shown up for class. Taiki merely shrugged as Seiya gave him a questioning look and the couple sat down at their desks.
It was at lunch when they appeared again… wraiths. Ami's computer had beeped and she located the wraith's energy in the park close to their school. The four girls and three Starlights headed towards the park and hid behind some bushes to transform.
It was Jupiter and Fighter who fired the first attack at the wraiths that had just appeared. The creatures sucked up the attacks and fired it back. Mercury used her own attack to deflect the blowback from Jupiter and Figther's attack to protect Sailor Moon. In the mean time, Healer and Venus had used the distraction to jump behind the wraiths and blasted at them. The wraiths fell forward and attempted to get up until another attack shot through the air from the distance. The wraiths instantly froze in its spot.
"Sailor Moon, now!" yelled Fighter.
She pulled out her Crystal to successfully purify them. Venus and Jupiter wasted no time and towards the direction of where the last blast had originated… but their path was blocked.
It was Pluto.