Darkness Returning

Chapter One

© 1999 by Sarel


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Author's Notes:

I started on this during a writer's block in my primary story. However, it didn't obey me, and went ahead to become longer and longer. Since I don't know much about the series of Sailor Moon (all I know comes from the episode scripts and all the fan fics out here), it is set in an alternate universe (Gods! How many are there really?). What that means, I think you'll find out. It's set approximately fifteen years after the first series.

Disclaimer: You wouldn't be reading this if you didn't know who owned Sailor Moon & co. anyway. Am I right? Good.


Darkness Returning - Chapter One

© 1999 by Sarel

"No!" he screamed, and bolted upright in his bed. He hugged himself, shivering in the sudden cold as the wind swept in through the open window and caressed his perspiring body. His blond hair hung down into his eyes, and he shook it back out of reflex.

His mother opened the door and looked inside, dressed only in night shift.

"Are you alright, Jed?"

The fourteen-year-old boy nodded. "Yeah. It was just a dream."

His mother smiled, assured. "Good night, then", she said, then left, closing the door behind her.

Just a dream, Jed thought. He wished he could believe it himself. It was just so real. The feeling of being trapped still clung to him, and he shivered as he remembered the evil eyes staring at him.

It was the third night now in a week that he had had those dreams. They always began the same.

A dark place. Night. A large field, lit up by spotlights in different colours. An airport. Running, not getting anywhere. Trying to get away, not succeeding. Girls laughing at him.

Then another darkness. Those eyes staring at him coldly. Knowing failure, and the price. Begging in vain. And then coldness and the sense of being trapped. Screaming silently, not being able to utter a word...

He shuddered at the memory and lay down again, wide awake. His mother thought he went back to sleep again. She didn't know he lay awake the rest of those nights, not being able to sleep, not tired. Just staring up into the ceiling. He didn't want to tell her; didn't want her to be alarmed.

He cast a glance towards his alarm clock. Four a.m. Three hours before he would be able to move about without waking his parents up again.

No, not parents, he thought. His mother, and her new boy-friend. He hardly knew his father. He had left them when Jed was only five; had visited only seven times since then.

Damn you, father! he screamed silently. Where were you when I needed you? Where are you now, when I would have needed you the most? A racking sob swept through his body, and he wept.

* * *

"Hey, Jed!" a voice called to him. He turned to see another boy his own age coming running towards him, auburn hair flowing behind him. Nedaru, by his friends called Ned. Irony that their names should be so alike each other, when they themselves weren't. But that, and the fact that both their mothers were divorced, had driven - no, not driven, encouraged - them to seek each others' company. Their class already saw them as the same.

Jed waved hi to the other boy, and waited for him to catch up.

"How've ya been, Jed?" Nedaru asked him, indigo eyes glittering.

The corner of Jed's mouth twitched into a bitter smile. "Not too good."

Nedaru nodded thoughtfully. "Dreamin' again?"

Jed nodded morosely.

They were silent for a while. Then Nedaru lightened up. "Hey! I know! If ya wanna, I can stay with ya tonight. Keepin' ya company, y'know."

Jed smiled gratefully. "Thanks, Ned. I really appreciate it."

"No problem", the other replied, then looked up. "Hurry! We're gonna be late if we straggle on much longer."

They ran to get to school in time.

* * *

Well seated in front of his computer, Jed cast a glance toward the other 'pair' in their class; Zach and Kaneda, sitting beside each other, heads close together as they eagerly discussed something. Those two were the only guys he knew of who had such long hair. Ned's was close, but still only shoulder-length. But, he smiled, is Zach really a boy? After all, Zach was short for Sakura, which wasn't at all a typical male name. Then they all straightened as their teacher entered the class room.

Before doing anything else, even sitting down, the blue-haired woman looked sternly at Kaneda and Zach. Pointing at a vacant computer across the room, she said, "Please return to your own seat, Sakura-san."

"Aww", the boy complained, but silenced as she intensified her stare at him. "Hai, Mizuno-sensei." Obediently he rose and crossed the room.

"Better. Now..."

* * *

Zach cast murderous glances toward their teacher when he thought she wouldn't notice. Why wouldn't she let him sit beside Kaneda? He did get his work done there, even though she said differently. Well, maybe it did take a little longer, since it was so much more interesting to look at Kaneda's screen.

The blue-haired woman cast a reprimanding glance towards him, and he quickly absorbed himself in his work.

* * *

After school, Kaneda walked home, alone for once. Sometimes he actually thought the smaller boy annoying. Sure, it was rather flattering, the way he followed him around, and his obvious admiration was kind of cute, but did he have to follow him around everywhere?

"Excuse me?" a voice said behind him, and he felt a slight tapping on his shoulder. As he turned, he saw a girl, dressed in school uniform, with flaming red, almost crimson, hair stand there with a puzzled look in her face.

"Yes?" he asked. It didn't hurt to be polite.

"Do I know you? I noticed you walk past me, and I just felt I recognized you from somewhere."

Kaneda frowned. The girl did look familiar. "I understand what you mean, but I can't remember where I should have met you." He decided to introduce himself again. Perhaps that would make him recall? "I'm Hayashi Kaneda. Nice to meet you." He smiled. "Or perhaps it should be 'nice to meet you again'?"

The girl smiled as well. "I'm Shiro Hotaru. Since we don't seem to remember where we met, perhaps we should get to know each other again?"

"That's a good idea", Kaneda agreed.

* * *

Zach froze as he saw Kaneda walk off with a red-haired girl. He had just been about to hail his friend when she had stepped up to him. With growing anxiety he had watched their conversation, barely hearing what they said.

Who was this girl - Hotaru, was it? - and where had she come from? And why did Kaneda greet her that friendly? Kaneda was his! Then he blushed at what he had just thought. Of course Kaneda had every right to find a girl. But did she have to be so pretty?

Angry with himself that he couldn't stop thinking about Kaneda and that girl, he entered the park not far from where he lived. He had been there quite often ever since he was really little, only five. There was especially a certain spot he liked, where he could sit and dream himself away when the other boys called him names, saying he must be a girl. It wasn't his fault he had been born with this slender body, with bones seemingly as light as a bird's. And his almost waist-long wavy golden hair didn't exactly enhance his masculine nature. He had cut it off once, several years ago, thinking that if he had shorter hair the other boys might stop bullying him. It didn't work. Now his hair was almost the same length it had been then, and he had vowed to himself he would not cut it again.

He sat down, leaning back against a tree. The image of a red-haired girl floated before his inner eyes. He would kill her for taking his Kaneda away! Then he again checked himself, blushing at his thoughts. How many times would he have to tell himself that Kaneda wasn't his? He had every right in the world to walk off with that girl.

But why does it hurt so much? he thought. Why was he... jealous? He closed his eyes, unable to stop the single tear that traced its weary path down his face. Eventually, he fell asleep.

* * *

"I'm sorry", a voice said. He looked up at the man holding him. "I tried to persuade her..." an image of a red-haired demon flashed before his eyes "...to give you a second chance, but..."

He smiled wearily, tired from - tired of - the pain that floated through his body. "I'm just happy I can die with you by my side. Can I ask you for one last favour, though?"

"Anything."

"Please let me die beautifully..."

Suddenly the air was filled with the scent of flowers.

"It's so pretty", he whispered. "Thank you..." Again he looked up at the white-haired man. "I've always loved you, Kunzite-sama..." he said for the first time since he had met him. A single tear fell from his eye as he spoke. This was the end. Never again would he behold his love. Never would he lie in his arms, again experience those short moments of comfort in this cold world.

Drifting away, he heard Kunzite's voice far away in the darkness, "I'm so sorry, Zoisite..."

* * *

He woke with a start. It was almost dark. Jumping up, he leaned back against the tree as the world blackened. As it reappeared, he started off home.

What kind of dream was that he had had? Why did that man, Kunzite, look so much like Kaneda? And the demon, hadn't she looked like a twisted version of that girl, Hotaru? He laughed mirthlessly. Of course! It had simply been a dream summoned by his subconscious. What had the world come to when he had to dream about it to realize what he felt?

It was so easy. Of course he loved Kaneda. Why else would he be so jealous because he talked to someone else? He should tell him what he felt. But how can you be sure he won't laugh at you? a small voice said inside his mind. It's better not to tell him.

"Baka!" he told himself. "You're such a coward!" And he knew it to be true. He would never dare to speak of his feelings to Kaneda, afraid of losing him. The dream had told him the truth. Not until he died had he told his love what he felt. It would be the same now.

He opened the door. "Mum! Dad! I'm home!" No one answered him. "Oh well... They're probably out having fun." He sighed. "I'd better be in bed when they get home."

* * *

Nedaru sat still on his temporary bed beside Jed's sleeping form, looking out through the window. The full moon shone clearly on the star-sprinkled sky. It was a beautiful sight.

"Hoshi wa nani de..." he whispered, then stopped, confused. The stars know... what? What did the stars know?

Jed moaned in his sleep, and turned uneasily. Nedaru looked at him, slightly concerned. Whatever his friend was dreaming, it wasn't something nice.

"No..." Jed moaned.

Great! He's talking in his sleep too, Nedaru sighed. Then he watched in slight fascination how Jed stiffened, and reached upwards with one hand.

"No, Queen Beryl-sama! Please!" He bolted upright. "No!!"

Nedaru stared at his friend. How was it that Jed had spoken a name that figured in his own dreams?

Jed wiped the sweat from his fore-head with a weary hand. Then he looked apologetically at Nedaru. "Sorry if I woke you up."

"Ya didn'. Was lookin' at the stars." Nedaru pointed out into the night. "Couldn' sleep."

Jed grinned wryly. "Well. Now I can't either."

"That name", Nedaru said slowly, hesitant to speak it loud, "Beryl. Queen Beryl. What... Who's that?"

"I don't really know. She's one of the bad guys in my dreams." He shuddered. "She's got the most evil eyes I've ever known." He drew the covers more tightly about him, sat up in a more comfortable position. "How come?"

"It's jus' that... I know her too."

"What?" Jed exclaimed. Then he looked anxiously towards the door and continued in a hushed voice, "What do you mean? You never told me of your dreams."

"I didn' really see it necessery to do so."

"Do so now. We have", a quick glance towards to alarm clock, "more than three hours till we can get up without worrying my parents too much."

"It starts off in a park, y know..." The dream shone in Nedaru's mind as clearly as the moon outside. "I'm walking with a girl, but I know I'm not really supposed to. She's got red hair, just like my mother, and really nice blue eyes." He grinned slightly. "Then we sit down by some trees, and before we know it, we're attacked by three monsters. And in the dream, I sort of know that they're working for an enemy of mine, a rival. But not of the girl, rather of power."

"Hey, Ned!" Jed interrupted.

"Yeah?"

"What happened to your accent?"

Nedaru frowned. "Whaddaya mean?"

"Well, when you were telling me that dream, it simply disappeared!"

"Well, I dunno why. But anyways, both me and that enemy, whose name begins somethin' like Zoi... Or somethin'... Both of us work for that Queen Beryl, whoever it is." He looked out, up at the stars. "Then the monsters attack us, and nearly hit the girl, but somehow I jump in the way. In the dream I don't know why, since I'm only using her to further my cause, but I do it anyway. Some kind of long thorns get stuck in my shoulder, the right one", he added and touched it lightly. "I tell the girl to run away, but she won't. Instead she tries to pull them out, even though it seems to hurt her; why she does it I don't know. She seems to be infatuated with me for some reason." He snorted, completely absorbed by the memories of the dream. "My rival - I can't quite see his face, it's all a blur - tells me to hand over the kurozuishou. I don't want to, but he takes it anyway, that bastard!" He snarled. "Then these so-called heroines appear, and kill off the monsters, which I would have done myself if I hadn't been too injured, and force my rival to escape." He stopped, and shook his head to clear his thoughts. He looked up at Jed, seeing him for the first time since he had re-started the telling of his dream. "And then ev'rythin' goes dark, y know, an' the last thing I hear 'fore I wake up, is that girlie cryin' an' tellin' me not to die." He exhaled heavily, relieved of being done. "It's not as horribl' a dream as yers seems to be, it's mor' kinda sad." Again he shook his head, slower this time, disbelievingly. "It's jus' so real."

"I know."

Goto Chapter 2


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Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.


This page belongs to Stayka's Dark Kingdom Home at http://www.dark-kingdom.de

© by Sarel - Email: sarel@hotmail.com


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