A/N Oh my God, I am so sorry for the lack of updates. I was finishing up commissions and working. Life comes first, after all. Anyways, here's where some might get confused. Think back to the Infinity Arc in the manga. Hotaru was battling with both Sailor Saturn and Mistress 9 within her body. And her body was sickly. The only way she could heal, was to transform into Sailor Saturn. All questions should be answered within this chapter and next chapter. Also, I am working on covers and certain scenes for this series. Any and all pics can be found on my new DeviantART account. Link is on my profile. As per the usual, I do not own Bleach nor Sailor Moon. Enjoy.
Chapter 3: The Senshi of Lava! Io Erupts!
It was cold, the ground slick against the girl's pale skin.
Deep brown eyes barely opened, as a warm hand came across her forehead, the touch soft and gentle.
"Rei, is she alright?"
There was a pause. "She's got a bit of a fever, but she's alright. Let's get her inside!"
Strong arms came around the girl's weak body, and carried her inside the Shrine, where it was nice and comforting. "Ami, help me with the door?"
Quick footsteps made their way over and slid the door open, the girls hurrying inside. "There's an empty futon in the guest room. We'll set her there." The young girl was deposited onto a soft mattress, hands quickly working to get off her wet clothes. "Ami, I have some robes in the closet. Pull one out for me, please."
The young girl on the futon groaned softly, curling up onto her side. "P…please…" Her voice was raspy, her breathing coming out in wheezes.
"Hey, try not to speak." Dark violet eyes softened, her hands working to slip the robe onto the girl, then pulled up the blanket.
Footsteps reentered the room, stopping by the futon. "Rei, I have a glass of water for her."
"Thank you." She turned back to the girl in the bed. "I'm Hino Rei, and this is Mizuno Ami." She gestured to her partner. "Can you…tell us who you are?"
The girl weakly coughed in the futon, her cheeks flushed with heat. "H-Hinamori…Momo…"
"Alright, Momo," Rei took a damp cloth from the bowl next to her, and laid it on Momo's forehead, "do you know where you are, or how you got here?"
Momo slowly shook her head. "N-no…" She took in a breath and closed her eyes, falling asleep.
The raven haired beauty leaned back on her haunches, an eyebrow raised. "Huh, how odd."
The other girl sat down next to Rei, running a hand through her short, blue-green hair. "Yes, it is quite odd."
Rei's eyes flicked down to see something shining on the sleeping girl's forehead, before winking out. "Ami, did you see that?"
"Mm, yes," Ami gently murmured, leaning in close.
"Could she be…?" Rei trailed off, deep in thought.
"Impossible…" Ami remarked, an eyebrow raised.
Rei let out a breath through her teeth, then got up and started to leave. "Keep an eye on our guest. I'm going to consult the Fire." She left the room, the material of her pants brushing together, and her hair trailing like a dark veil behind her. Ami leaned back, staring at the ceiling.
"Looks like you caused a bit of an issue…"
Aw…it's such a warm, sunny day! School got out just in time!
Orihime made a face. Much as she loved school, there were days when she just wanted to screw it and stay curled under the covers. A light chuckle came from her left side, Makoto smiling broadly at her. "Long day?"
"Sure was." Orihime nodded.
Next to her was Tatsuki, lazily carrying her case over her shoulder. "Michiru made it fun, though." She looked over at Makoto. "Hey, Sparky! Remember we have a rematch later."
The Thunder Senshi raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Oh!" She clapped her hands together. "A friend of mine finally got her Shrine up and running! We can spar there!"
"A Shrine?" Orihime cocked her head to the side.
A strong hand gently took her wrist and started to jog forward. "Yeah! You'd love her! And with any luck, our resident genius will be there as well!" Makoto pulled the healer forward and around the corner, a set of steps coming up. "Hurry up! Come on!" They took the steps two at a time, a look of pure joy on the busty woman's face.
They made it to the top, Makoto letting go of Orihime for a moment. "Rei! Rei, we're here!"
A young girl made her way forward, long, raven locks bouncing behind her, wearing the traditional clothing of a Miko. Her violet eyes were wide, a bright smile lightening up her face. "Mako! You made it!"
"Rei!" The brunette enveloped the other in a hug, squeezing the girl. "It's good to see you! About time you got the Shrine up and running!"
"I know." Her eyes filled with surprise at seeing Orihime. "Oh? Who's your friend?"
Orihime flushed, marveling at the girl's beauty. "I'm Inoue Orihime."
"Hino Rei. Pleasure." Rei held out a hand, shaking Orihime's hand.
"Hey! Dying over here!"
Tatsuki had finally made it to the top, breathing hard, sweat running down her heated cheeks. "You couldn't wait five seconds for me to catch up!"
"Hey, gotta learn to keep up, Waves." Makoto chuckled, using her new nickname for the girl.
"Yeah yeah, whatever." She rolled her eyes. "I'm Arisawa Tatsuki. Good to meet you."
Rei was frozen for a moment. "You have the grace of water protecting you," she turned to Orihime, the same look upon her face, "and you, the Sun surrounds you like a halo."
The two looked confused for a moment. Makoto let out a booming laugh. "Sorry, forgot to warn you. Rei is psychic. And," she winked at her friend, "she's the Senshi of Fire and Passion, Sailor Mars!"
"Another Senshi?" Orihime couldn't believe her luck. No matter where she went, she met more allies. More who could help train her as a Sailor Senshi. "Cool!'
"Rei, is Makoto here? I hear voices."
A slim young girl came out, the wind blowing through her short blue-green hair. "Oh, I didn't know we had more company."
Orihime stepped forward. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Orihime."
The girl held out a hand. "Mizuno Ami. Charmed."
Rei gestured to the Shrine behind her. "Join me for tea and cookies? I just made some."
Before Tatsuki could open her mouth, Orihime piped up, smiling cheerily. "Hai! Cookies and tea!" She sent a look to her best friend. "Coming Tatsuki?"
The fighter looked rebuffed for a moment, then smiled a small smile, shaking her head. "Sure. I could use a snack before I kick your ass." She sent a sly look over at Makoto.
"Don't worry." Makoto cracked her knuckles. "I'm always up for a good fight, friendly or no."
"Are you guys coming or what?" Orihime waved from the door to the Shrine, a cookie in her mouth. "If you don't hurry up, all the cookies will be gone!"
Tatsuki could only chuckle as she made her way up the stairs and met up with her friend. Makoto lagged behind, a sad smile on her face. "So much like Usagi." Unshed tears filled her eyes, looking up at the clear blue sky. "Princess…I wonder where you are…if you're safe…" She sighed and headed inside. Best to try and get a cookie before they were gone. She didn't want to lose fingers getting in the middle of Orihime snacking.
Orihime waved for Makoto to join her. "Sit here!" Makoto obliged, grabbing a cookie off the top of the platter.
"So," Ami leaned back onto the floor, "has there been any word?"
"Word?" Orihime repeated, an eyebrow raised.
"Sorry, forgot to mention," Makoto took a sip of her tea, "that our leader is missing."
"Yes," Rei replied, resting her chin in her hand. "Before we came here, we ended up finding out our friend and leader, Sailor Moon, had gone missing. Her mother called us, searching for her. We knew something was wrong after that."
"After that, Sailor Pluto came to us, showing us that the future had been drastically altered, and that we were to come here. The rest would happen naturally." Ami nodded. "And not long after that, we took up residence here in Karakura Town. I happen to have an internship at the clinic in town."
"I teach at the Dojo," Makoto chirped.
"And I run the Shrine here," Rei said with a smile. "And as you know Michiru and Haruka teach at your school. And you should meet Sailor Pluto soon."
"Oh, speaking of the Senshi, Hotaru, I hear, will be attending your school shortly as a freshman. Just to keep an eye on things," Ami spoke up.
"Hey, a small girl with a large blade. Not getting on her bad side," Tatsuki muttered under her breath.
Rei softly laughed. "Yes, she may be tiny, but she holds a lot of power within her." She placed a finger to her chin. "Come to think of it, whatever happened to Minako?"
"You know her, now that she's become an idol at all." Makoto raised an eyebrow. "Last I heard, she was touring France, promoting her new album."
Soft footsteps stopped at the sliding door. "Excuse me, Miss Rei?" Everyone looked up at the new voice.
Standing there was a petite young girl, her hair in a bun, wearing traditional Miko robes. Her deep brown eyes were wide with excitement. "Ah, company!"
Orihime's eyes widened, her breath caught in her throat. "Ah!" She clamped a hand over her mouth, stifling a small squeak of surprise. The girls looked over at her, looks ranging from shocked to surprised. No way! Inside, Orihime was struggling. Momo! It's Momo! But what is she doing here? She shook her head quickly to wipe the dumbfounded look on her face. I mean, she'd only be here if there was trouble, right?
Momo had looked indifferent, her head slightly tilted to the side. "Ah, Orihime!" She came forward and wrapped the healer in a small hug.
"Good to see you, Momo," Orihime acknowledged. "But what are you doing here?"
"We don't know," Rei spoke up, saving the timid girl by Orihime the trouble. "Ami and I found her outside the Shrine after the rain last night. Poor girl."
"Yes, but it was only a small fever, brought on by the cold." Momo smiled shyly. "Since then, Miss Rei has offered me a place here to stay. Least until we figure out why I was found where I was."
"And since then, I offered if she wanted to train as a Miko." Rei nodded in their direction. "Needless to say, she agreed."
Makoto stood up and stretched, yawning. "As good as all this chatting and what-not is, I'd like to get my sparring match started."
"Agreed." Tatsuki got up and stretched as well. "Are we sparring as Senshi."
Makoto nodded. "Why not? It'll be a good training exercise for you." She pulled out her wand, complete with a giant orb on top. "Ready?" Tatsuki nodded.
"Jupiter Crystal Power! Make up!"
"Callisto Power! Make up!"
Thunder crackled and water crashed in the air, revealing both Sailors Jupiter and Callisto. Jupiter smirked, flicking her long ponytail over her shoulder. "Hit me with your best shot!"
Callisto grinned. This is where she felt at ease, sparring. There was nothing like trying to take control in a fight, friendly or no, that got her blood pumping. "Callisto Wave Strike!"
Jupiter danced away from the wave of water, cracking her knuckles. "Sparkling…" She collected a disc of crackling energy in her hands and brought it back, aimed to throw. "Wide Pressure!" The disc hurtled forward, slamming into the ground.
"Hey, Makoto! Try not to destroy my Shrine!" Rei hollered out, sitting on the stars next to the door. "It was expensive enough to buy. I can't imagine how much it would cost to rebuild anything that broke."
"Yeah yeah!" Jupiter waved her friend off. "Jupiter…" She held her hands over her head, bringing her leg up and twirling around. "Oak Evolution!" Dark green leaves of energy shot forward, filled with electricity.
Callisto dodged the blasts, running forward. "Swirling…" She brought her hands close to her chest, water starting to rise up from her feet. Her body spun around, guiding the water into what looked like a tornado. "Water Cyclone!" The water spun forward, splashing into Jupiter and knocking her over, the breath knocked out of her lungs.
"Come on, that all you got?" Callisto playfully taunted.
Jupiter pulled herself up, wiping off her forehead and giving her a fiery smirk. "Just getting warmed up."
Orihime watched the two clash, exchanging blow after blow. She held a hand over her mouth, stifling a laugh.
"What the hell? That's cheating!"
"No it's not! Jupiter Double Axel!"
Callisto blocked a twirling kick from the Thunder Senshi. "That was cheating, and you know it! Nothing was said about using actual, physical attacks! Callisto Roundhouse Kick!"
Rei watched the two, a gentle look in her eyes. "Now this is what I like to see."
"Oh?" Orihime turned to look at her.
"Yeah." Rei leaned forward, her chin once more in her hands. "Makoto has always been our fighter. She's more at home trading blows and helping to train others that anything else. Not to mention she's a great cook and homemaker."
"Looking at her, you'd never guess, as she looks like such a tomboy," Orihime remarked.
"Most are too afraid to even come up to speak with her, let alone get to know her. They see how tall she is, or hear rumors about her, and immediately judge. It's not fair to her." Rei looked at her. "But it's nice to see things returning to normal, even if it's for a little while."
Momo came out to sit beside them, along with Ami. The four watched as Callisto and Jupiter continued, both never seeming to tire. That was, until black tentacles shot out of nowhere, separating the two. The girls on the porch immediately stood up, searching for the intruder.
Up above stood a light lavender Youma hovering above them. "Well now, looks like I caught me some fine prey. Good thing I followed the energy from your little sparring match."
"Swirling Water Cyclone!"
"Quickly, while the two have that Youma distracted!" Mars already had her transformation rod out. "Mars Crystal Power! Make up!"
"Mercury Crystal Power! Make up!"
"Sun Prism Power! Make up!"
The familiar waves washed over Orihime as she transformed. She loved the rush it gave her, the fact that she felt herself get stronger with every transformation. She took her spot next to Mars and Mercury. She looked over her shoulder at the now shocked girl, her eyes wide while taking in the scene. "Momo! Get yourself to safety! Now!"
Momo, not looking twice, turned to run. Orihime looked back over her shoulder as Momo dove behind a large bolder, shielded from view. Poor girl, she probably can't transform into a Soul Reaper. I didn't see any badge or anything else to help her transform. Her gaze hardened. I guess it's up to me now. "Hey!" The Youma looked up from the two Senshi she had engaged with.
"Ruining a nice sunny day? You're pathetic!" Mars stepped forward, her primary red standing out. "You make me sick! Soldier of flame and passion, Sailor Mars!"
"Anyone who would step in on a friendly battle is low!" Mercury stepped forward, her arms crossed. "Soldier of water and intelligence, Sailor Mercury!"
"On a nice day like this, it's always nice to see friends and have a little fun! You, however, are not welcome!" Sun's hand pulled away from her face, revealing herself. "Pretty guardian in a sailor suit! Sailor Sun! And you're toast!"
"Enough squawking!" the Youma growled out, flinging out a blast of energy. "Now, just be good girls, and die already!"
The Senshi let out loud cries as they were forced to their knees, the air becoming suffocating. Sun looked up to see the Youma enjoying herself, a wicked look in her black, soulless eyes. "Sun…Solar…"
"Oh no you don't!" The energy seemed to pick up, getting even stronger. "I won't let you get any of those attacks past your pretty little lips," she purred, taking in the scene. "For I know if I let you speak, it'll be the end of me."
Momo looked around the boulder to see everyone on the ground, struggling just to breathe. Oh no! I have to help them! Her body shook. But I have no way to transform into a Soul Reaper, no badge, no soul candy, nothing! Her eyes turned back, landing on Orihime, who laid motionless on the ground. I have to do something!"
A flash of light surrounded her, revealing a small wand with a capitol "I" on it, and a line going through the bottom of the letter. She looked at the wand, and started to reach for it.
Momo stopped, her breath held in her throat.
If you take that wand, you can never become a Soul Reaper again. Here's where you make a choice. Do you want to stay a Soul Reaper, or earn a new power, and become a Sailor Senshi? Choose wisely, for if you make your choice, you cannot go back…
Who was that voice? Momo didn't recognize it. But it seemed to have spoken the truth. Soul Reaper…or Sailor Senshi…She looked back up to see her new friends, and even Orihime, lying unconscious. If there was ever a hard choice to make…
She reached out and took the stick, the words coming to mind.
"Io Power! Make up!"
She waved the wand, the ground cracking beneath her feet. Lava rose up and encased the young girl in a cocoon, hardening into rock. The rush of power within her while she had transformed was exhilarating. The rock crumbled and broke away, her body now in a sailor fuku, red being the primary color. "No way…" she breathed out. "W-what is this?"
The Youma bit back a loud snarl of anger. "What is this? There's another one?"
Momo stood there, a look of defiance on her face. "Aren't you the ugliest monster I've ever faced! Protected by the Satellite that orbits my home world of Jupiter! Soldier of lava and energy, Sailor Io! And I'll rain down punishment to those who threaten to harm my friends!"
The Youma let out a sound that was a mix between anger and surprise. "Who the hell do you think you are?"
Momo chose to ignore that comment as she brought both her feet together. "Io…" She began to spin around, gathering a sizeable amount in her hands, which were above her head. "Lava Bomb Blast!" The chunk she was holding broke apart and flew toward the Youma, breaking by her feet. Hot, tiny little pieces landed against her skin, leaving scorch marks on her skin.
She howled in pain. "You little bitch! You'll pay for that!"
A large dragon, surrounded by fire and crackling with electricity sped forward, ready to engulf the Youma. After casting a look of contempt, the monster vanished in a whirl of energy, leaving everything just as it was.
Orihime, now detransformed, came up to the petite girl, her hair long out of its bun, and blowing gracefully in the wind. "Momo?"
Momo turned wide brown eyes over to Orihime, running up to give her a tight hug. "Didja see? Didja see?" She was breathless and giddy with excitement. "What a rush! What a…what a…"
She blushed and cleared her throat. "I'm sorry. That…was a bit much." Her eyes closed and her transformation went away. With a soft sigh, she fell forward, landing in Orihime's arms.
Rei made her way up to them, a soft smile on her lips. "She did a good job."
Orihime nodded. "Yes." She turned back to the girl who stayed asleep in her arms. "But was I the only one who felt her power?"
Rei crossed her arms. "You mean that burst of energy when she transformed?" She pursed her lips and looked to the sky. "Maybe we should wait for her to wake up, so we can talk to her then…"
"Agreed," Orihime replied, her voice soft. "I'm curious as well as to what happened." Her hands strayed to her cell phone in her pocket. "I'll call Urahara, see if he can come by."
A/N: For those of you wondering how a Soul Reaper can become a Sailor Senshi, that will be partially answered next chapter. However, I will be leaving a portion opened, as because of their power. If any would like to know, feel free to PM me. But until then, that mystery shall stay just that, a mystery. As always, reviews are appreciated. Next time: A Tempest! Sailor Nereid Brings a Storm!