View Full Version : Sailor Moon Fanfiction: Forgiving Haruka

03-19-2005, 09:43 PM
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Sailor Moon or its characters. It and its characters belong to their rightful owners. Technically original characters are mine, but should you wish to use them, all you need do is ask.

Author's Notes: This was written years and years ago (Five? Close to it?) and revised since then. It isn't an easy read for romance lovers, and contains some language/violence. It also features Haruka and Michiru as the main characters. Be warned that they are lesbians.
Oh, and I just may revise this again in the future.

Forgiving Haruka

The small square case lies in my hands, a sleek velvety gray. I don’t open it, of course, because it is already empty. The content has been removed only a short time earlier, and is now wrapped securely about my finger, the ring finger of my left hand to be exact. I am alone in my room; he left only a moment ago, with a gentle embrace and a tender kiss.

I shouldn’t have said yes, but I did. ‘Why?’ I ask myself over and over, replaying the inquiry through my mind like a broken record. ‘Why?’

‘Do I love him?’ I ask, the question more important than anything else at that moment. The truth is hard to deny, ‘Idiot, you know you’ll never love him the way you loved her,’ I tell myself coldly.

But I have to forget her and let her remain buried in those memories, locked away in the darkness of unremembered histories. I have to, but I can’t. Locking her into nothing more than a memory would be no different than killing her, something I could never do. Lately, it seems I can’t do anything I should do.

Gently, I finger the brilliant jewel set upon the golden band, twisting it absently around my tender flesh, driving a deep depression into my skin. It is the second engagement ring I own, but my feelings are so vastly different from the first time…


“Hurry up, Michiru,” Haruka urged, purring like a kitten. She grasped the edge of my blouse firmly, giving it a gentle tug. “Hurry!”

I smiled at her typical impatience, an aspect I had learned to love about her. “Wait, just a moment longer,” I replied softly, pausing as quickly as possible before our mirror, and pushing back a stray strand of my aquamarine hair.

She watched me, releasing my shirt, letting out a brief sigh, “You look beautiful, as always.”

“What’s the rush, anyway?” I asked curiously as she led me from the room, opening the door and dragging me through it.

She laughed, almost a nervous chuckle, “I’m hungry.” I knew she was lying, I could always tell. My judgment was confirmed as a soft redness brushed over her nose and spotted her cheeks. Nevertheless, I said nothing.


We drove in silence. The wind caressed my face softly as I closed my eyes and listened to the steady beating of my heart. I opened them to watch the amber sun vanish beneath the horizon. The sky was splattered, without any sign of order, with crimson patches and shades of violet streaks. Silently, I caught the image in my eyes, and made a mental note to paint the scene another time.

There was a lurch as Haruka slammed the car’s breaks in front of a park. I turned to face her, filled with curiosity at her mysteriousness. “Aren’t we going to a restaurant?” I asked, puzzled.

“Here first,” she said, voice filled with an odd sort of seriousness, completely separate from her typical manner. Hearing her tone of voice, I kept silent and climbed out of the car. Haruka took my hand in her firm, warm grip and led me into the park. We walked, enjoying the brightly colored flowers scattered across the grassy plains and the leafy foliage on the emerald trees. Haruka pointed to a bench, and we sat down in front of a large lake. The azure water reflected the radiant sky upon its mirror-like surface, calm and serene, with hardly a ripple to interrupt its beauty.

“I like this lake,” Haruka said softly, holding a steady gaze on its water. I stared at her, but somehow I could sense she couldn’t gain the courage to meet my eyes. “I like the way it appears to stretch out for an eternity.” She paused for a moment, letting the wind ruffle through her hair. “And at the horizon, it always seems to touch and merge with the sky just above it, always covering it like a soft blanket.”

I looked at her in surprise and, with a glowing hope, realized the analogy. My heart began racing uncontrollably.

Haruka stood, staring out at the sky and then down again at the water. She turned to me, slipping me a warm smile linked with another rush of redness. My eyes watched the scene in slow motion as she knelt before me on one knee, pulling out a small box, a rectangular one of shimmering blue velvet. The light caught the beautiful material for a moment, made it sparkle. For the longest moment, I couldn’t breath.

“Michiru, will you marry me?”


That was the most joyful day of my life. It was the one moment of my existence that I had been completely fulfilled, completely satisfied, completely happy. All I had dreamed of was turned into reality. And for once my life was perfect, absolutely perfect. Everything had seemed heavenly. There was nothing I needed. With Haruka, I would never lack anything.

I stare back at the glistening ring upon my finger. I remember hers. It was such a meticulously made ring, an intricate golden band with flecks of aquamarine woven through it. The symbol of Neptune was etched in turquoise upon the diamond. No ring could ever touch me so dearly again. No one- man or woman –could ever grasp my heart and reach into my soul as she had ever again. No one could ever thoroughly understand me and fathom the very depths of me as she had.

Where had my life gone since that day, since that ring? How did my life shatter into such tiny pieces? Why was I left with the vestiges- the remaining ruins, the skeleton frame of what had once been my life –unable to build it back into the splendor it had once possessed?


I had been dusting the cabinet, humming to myself. Elegantly, I swept the dark mahogany wood with the feathery brush, smiling. Haruka had taken Setsuna and Hotaru to check on the catering and to order more supplies for decoration. Before she left I made her promise to drive carefully, God knows I often worried about it. The wedding was scheduled to take place within one week.

One week. I was one week- a mere seven days –from eternal bliss. I felt I had already attained heaven. The invitations had been sent out and the congratulations had come pouring in. Each Senshi willingly contributed whatever they had available despite my own objections.

“This isn’t right! This is my wedding, after all!” I had insisted futilely.

“Nonsense!” Usagi had said, “Michiru-san, what kind of friends would we be if we wouldn’t help out at your wedding?”

“You don’t have to do this…” I tried again in vain.

“Of course not, but we want to!” Makoto had assured me.

“Thank you, everyone, thank you. Haruka and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” I had said, smiling and hugging them all in turn. The mirth spilled over within my already overflowing heart.

I walked to my closet and removed my wedding gown. Setsuna had made it, ignoring my hopeless pleas of begging her not to go through so much trouble. I gently removed the crinkling cellophane. I fingered the satin cloth, glistening with a faint cerulean glow, dreaming of when I would slip into it and wait to be joined with Haruka for all of eternity. I covered it and placed it in the closet, walking back out into the living room to wait for Haruka. Checking the time, I was startled. Haruka had said they would be back over two hours ago.

The telephone rang, clear and shrilly. I jumped up and ran to snatch it from the cradle. “Haruka?” I asked immediately, thinking that it must be her, calling to explain the delay.

“No, I’m sorry ma’am, I’m afraid you’re mistaken.” A pause, “You are Kaioh Michiru-san, yes?” a voice replied, gruff and emotionless.

I felt a cold chill go up my spine, and sank down into an armchair, “Oh…yes, I’m sorry…yes, I’m Kaioh Michiru.”

He cleared his throat, “I’m calling to inform you that there’s been an accident.”

My heart ceased beating, and again, I couldn’t breath, “Accident? What happened?” I heard the shrillness of my voice, but chose to ignore it.

There was a shuffling of papers on the other end, “Yes, the three occupants identified as Meiou Setsuna-san, Tomoe Hotaru-san, and Tenoh Haruka-san were involved in an accident and are now in critical condition. Now, we understand you are currently residing with these three, Kaioh-san?”

“Oh my god…” I whispered, and swallowed hard. I forced myself to remain in a calm state, “Where are they?” I demanded.

He sighed, and I wondered, briefly, how many times he’d had to do this in the past. “A local hospital. Shall we dispatch an officer to take you to them?”

“Yes, immediately, please,” I replied, and, after giving him my address, he hung up. I stood for a minute, still gripping the ivory-white phone. All I could do was hope against hope that it had been a dream, a prank call, a hoax- anything but the truth.

But as I heard the tires belonging to a police car screech to a halt in front of my house, I understood. My worst fears had been confirmed. It was at that moment my flawless paradise had been demolished, and for all the power I had as Sailor Neptune, I was helpless to repair the damages. My life had become an agonizing hell once more. And this time, I had no one to save me.


I stare into the mirror at my pale face and mass of wavy tresses. I am still beautiful, but my eyes seem so vacant and lifeless. No, they couldn’t be satisfied with wrenching my heart until all I could sense was torture- they had to suck out every particle of will I possessed to stay alive as well.

Or did I inflict that upon myself? Was the demon, that witch of hatred and melancholy- almost bordering on suicidal –the work of my own hand?


The hospital was filled with a peculiar aroma, not a stench, but just a strange odor. I hardly noticed it. The small, dark assistant had led me here and deserted me, only instructing me to wait until the doctor allowed me to visit the patients. I hardly noticed her, let alone her words.

I fumbled with my hands nervously, wringing them and jumping at any sound, expecting the doctor to come and tell me anything, good or bad.

Finally, a man in white approached me. “Kaioh-san?” I leapt to my feet. “You may come see the patients now. They appear to be in stable condition.” The anxiety left my heart in peace for a brief moment, and I was filled with hope.


Setsuna lay on the first bed, shrouded in snow-white blankets. Tubes ran in and out of her. Her pallor was pale, and her jade hair was tousled, lying in a tangled heap beneath her head. She blinked for a few moments at me, observing me with her large maroon eyes.

“Michiru?” she asked, squinting.

“Setsuna, I’m here,” I cooed, feeling some of the dread that had been building up in my heart leave in waves. I had a sudden hope that everything would be all right.

“Thank goodness. I knew you would come,” Setsuna coughed and winced in pain. I bit my lip hard, and tasted the metallic-like flavoring of fresh blood, and took her clammy hand in mine.

“Don’t worry about me, Michiru. I won’t be in pain much longer. I can feel it,” she whispered, her voice faltering slightly, like the flickering of a lamp.

My skin prickled, growing cold with fear, “Don’t! Don’t say those things. You’ll be fine! The doctor said you were all in stable condition,” I protested, squeezing her hand, willing her soul to remain with me.

“No, Michiru. I’m sorry I didn’t make it, but I know when I’m dying. It’s all right,” she added with a faint smile, after she saw my expression. “I did my duties well, and in time, Father Chronos will choose another to cover the vacancy. Do not miss me, Michiru. I will always be here with you in some form…Senshi never die forever…” Her voice continued to fade, becoming almost indistinguishable. “At first, I thought I could make it. But as I felt my life slipping away, I knew I wouldn’t. I held on as long as I could to say my farewells to you…”

Tears began streaming down my cheeks, even while I fought them back. I had to be strong, I had to remain stable for Setsuna, and the others.

“Goodbye, dear Michiru. I can die easily as I have followed my destiny well in life. I just pray…pray that all turns well for you…I’m sorry… God, I’m so sorry I’ll miss your wedding… God bless you and your life…follow your destiny, Michiru… Follow your destiny…” The monitor showing her heart movement shifted into a straight line, even as I felt her spirit slipping away. I backed away from the bedside, my whole body numb.

“Michiru-mama?” a weak voice called. Turning, I rushed to the side of the next bed upon which Hotaru lay. She looked so weak and helpless, more so now than ever before. I nearly collapsed at the sight of the gash upon her forehead.

“Hotaru…” I said, the name coming out in a choked gasp.

“Michiru-mama!” Hotaru struggled to speak, panting. “Michiru-mama…I’m so scared…I want you to come with me, but you can’t. I’m so scared, to take this journey alone…”

“Hotaru, darling, wait! Not you, too!” I couldn’t breath- I couldn’t bear this. This couldn’t be happening…no, this couldn’t be possible.

“I struggled to hold on as long as I could…I tried my best. I’m so sorry, Michiru-mama. I didn’t mean for this to happen. Just, Michiru-mama, don’t blame Haruka-papa. She didn’t mean to, she really didn’t,” Hotaru begged, her eyes large with worry mixed with pain.

“What? Haruka? What didn’t she mean to do?” That was all I could take. My heart stopped, frozen, as I awaited her response.

“Haruka-papa tried to stop the car. She really tried. But…the road was so slippery and the car was going so fast. We hit the railing…” Hotaru said softly, her voice breaking up.

“Haruka? Haruka did all this?” I realized I was screaming. My voice rose shrilly, painful even to my own ears.

“No, Michiru-mama! Don’t be mad at Haruka-papa. She didn’t mean to! It was all an accident. You know Haruka-papa would never want to do something like this. Don’t be mad at Haruka-papa…please…don’t be mad…at Haruka-papa,” Hotaru was fading out too, being snuffed out like a candle that had at last burnt out.

“Hotaru? Hotaru!” I was shrieking at this point. Shrieking inside and outside in rage, in misery, in fury, in helplessness.

“I love you Michiru-mama…” and then the line went straight, the high-pitched single beep ringing in my ears. She was dead too. Snatched from me. She was only a child, barely sixteen. And she was dead. This wasn’t supposed to happen…not to the Senshi…not to my ‘daughter.’

“No! No, no, no!” I cried out. I remember the white blur of nurses that came in around me. One look at the straight lines on the two monitors, and all was explained. A man was in front of me, “You said they were in stable condition!” I bellowed at the doctor.

“Kaioh-san, I’m terribly sorry. It appeared so, and I’m most apologetic that things turned out differently. Now, would you kindly follow me?” He motioned for me to come after him. But I turned and ran. Ran from the hospital. Ran from the deaths. Ran from all the tangled confusion. Ran, trying to escape it all.

This wasn’t supposed to happen…this wasn’t destiny. I should have married Haruka, and they should have been at my wedding. And we should have stayed together as a family for all of eternity. None of the Senshi were supposed to die…

My life had been perfect- absolutely perfect. But…what did I have now? Nothing. How could Haruka do this to me? How could she? And it was at that moment all my anger and fury and feelings of helplessness turned upon her. I ran from the hospital, running, not caring where I went- just away from her.


Looking back, I sometimes bitterly recollect the emptiness and pure stupidity of my actions. Hotaru had been right- I shouldn’t have let an accident, a mere chance of bad luck, destroy whatever bond had held Haruka and I together. But then, I needed a scapegoat. I needed someone upon whom I could direct my anger, my sorrow, and my wrath at. I couldn’t cope with Hotaru’s death. I couldn’t cope with Setsuna’s death. I couldn’t cope with the annihilation of my perfect world.

Lying alone on my bed in the vacuous apartment, I often think…think of how I could have acted differently. Sometimes, I felt guilty- guilty for attacking Haruka like that, guilty for placing all the blame on Haruka, guilty for using Haruka as a way to vent out all the rage and grief I couldn’t deal with inside. And then I become enraged- enraged at myself for being so blind, enraged at Haruka for driving so recklessly, enraged at Hotaru and Setsuna for not pulling through, enraged at the whole world for being so useless and so tiresome, enraged at everyone for being unable to pull me out of my own miserable trap I had fallen into and couldn’t break away from.


I held the smooth silky gown in my trembling hands. The fury rising, I pulled with all my strength. There was a ripping sound, and the dress tore. Feeling the resentment falter a bit, I grabbed the pieces and tore. The sounds rang throughout the house as I frantically lacerated and rent the cloth until it lay in scattered shreds across the bedroom. Picking up my suitcase, I stood up, ready to walk away from the house, walk away from this accursed land forever.

“Where are you going?” a voice asked softly, in horror. A shadowy figure walked through the door, coming towards me. I froze. Gathering my courage, I continued, not heeding her.

“Michiru! Where are you going?” demanded Haruka, stepping in front of me, blocking my path.

“Somewhere away from here, Tenoh-san,” I said icily, putting emphasis on her name.

Haruka’s fists tightened by the tone I was using, “Michiru, what’s wrong?”

I narrowed my eyes. “I don’t have time for this ‘I didn’t mean it, please forgive me,’ crap. I have a plane to catch.”

Haruka moved quickly, barring the door. She stared into my eyes, trembled slightly, looked more vulnerable than ever before. “You can’t leave, Michiru,” she whispered at last.

“Oh can’t I?” I challenged, glaring at her.

“Why are you doing this, Michiru? Why are you doing this to me?” Haruka asked, her soulful eyes pleading with me, trying to win my heart once more.

“Why do you think?” I spat out.

Her jaw dropped, and she was silent for a moment. I began trying to push past her, but she panicked and grabbed my arms, wrenching me toward her, her hands in a strong vice-like grip. “I love you, Michiru! I love you! Doesn’t that count for anything? Look at me, Michiru! Look at me! Can you honestly say you don’t love me anymore?”

I stared into her verdant eyes and saw the desperation, the passion, and most of all the love. And from the searing anguish inside me, boiling out of control, I knew that beneath the anger, the bereavement, I loved her too.

I wrenched my gaze from hers. “I can’t forgive you, ever, for what you did to Setsuna and Hotaru.”

She tilted her head down, fighting to catch my eyes. “It was an accident, Michiru! An accident! I didn’t mean for this to happen! I tried…I tried so damned hard. I never meant for it to end like this. I would give up almost anything to take it back- you know I would,” Haruka’s voice cracked, her weakness shining through.

I took advantage of her shattered state of mind, “It was still your fault! Have you ever thought of the risks at stake when you went speeding off, driving recklessly?” I was icily cold.

“Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I’ve tossed in bed all night wondering why I couldn’t have driven more slowly, more carefully? Don’t you think I’ve tortured myself to the point of insanity playing over and over again in my mind what I could have done to avoid the accident? Don’t you think I wonder again and again why I didn’t die in the place of Setsuna and Hotaru? Don’t you think I wish I could have given up my life to save theirs?” She cried, tears welling in her eyes. She added in a shaky whisper, after a long pause, “Do you know how much I hate myself, how much I blame myself for this?”

I said nothing. I wanted to run to her, to gather her in my arms and weep together. But part of me wanted to run, run from all the grief, from all the chaos, run from everything, and most of all, run from her.

“Michiru?” she asked, hope threaded through her voice.

I could have stopped. I could have stayed. I could have sought refuge in her safe arms. In the arms of the one who drove the car into the railing and killed Setsuna and Hotaru. Closing my fingers around my ring, feeling the delicate touches it held, I pulled it off and hurled it with all my strength at Haruka. It struck her in the cheek and fell to the floor with a loud telltale clang.

“Take your damned ring! Stay away from me- forever!” I screeched in a strangled voice I didn’t recognize. Haruka had her hand on her cheek, her jaw stood slack, and she collapsed, as if injured, against the wall. I ran out the door, clutching my suitcases. It wasn’t until I was outside that I felt the two warm streams of trickling tears running down my cheeks.

From within, I could hear Haruka shouting, “Michiru… Michiru! Michiru!” The pain-racked woe evident in her voice broke my heart, but I walked steadily on. Taking one last look at the house, once my beloved sanctuary, I stopped a passing taxi.

“To the airport,” I told the driver, my voice lacking all emotion.


I pull a handkerchief from my purse and quickly wipe my wet eyes and damp cheeks. The silky satin feels smooth against my skin.

I finger the rigid band imprisoning my ring finger. I bite my lip, drawing fresh blood. Rage roars inside me, I stand before my mirror. Facing my reflection, glaring at myself while gritting my teeth, I channel all the hatred and bitterness inside me at it.

“I hate you!” I scream, flinging the ring, like I had in the past, at the mirror. It bounces off, and lands on the carpeted floor. A small crack rushes across the center. Grabbing a book, I hurl it at the mirror. Fueled by boiling fury, I snatch anything I can- the phone, lamps, small statues, necklaces, even my shoes –and smash them against the mirror.

I hate that reflection. I hate staring into it and seeing myself, seeing the witch, the vile demon. I am so full of bitterness, resentment, and pure darkness.

The mirror is now shattered and cracked. Tightening my hand into a fist, I punch the mirror, shards tearing through my skin with ease. Scarlet streaks of blood stream down from my knuckles, flowing and coating my entire hand. Numb to the pain, I strike the mirror again and again as my blood smears upon it, growing into large red blotches that seemed to stretch and pull outwards.

Turning, I step deliberately onto the fragments of the mirror, feeling them grind into tiny particles, and walk calmly to the bathroom. I eye the hundreds of bottles of various kinds of make-up. What use are they? Yes, people had always gushed over my extraordinary beauty. They could only see the placid mask of regal loveliness- not the irate beast under that lovely costume.

I narrow my eyes into slits at the mirror. “I hate you! You hear me? I hate you!” I screech. “You deserve to die for what you did, what you do! I hate you, you ****ed up *****!” I grab a small flask of perfume in my hands and hurl it at the mirror. The amber liquid pours out as the glass connects with glass and shatters. Bottle after bottle explode, the splintering noise like music to my ears. Coughing as the aroma saturates the air, suffocating me. I take hold of a cup and smash the containers holding various creams. They break as the cream splatters to the floor like white icing.

Worn out, I stumble back into my room, collapsing onto the littered carpet, my head throbbing painfully. Taking a sharp fragment of glass, I rip open the sleeve of my blouse, exposing the creamy white skin of my arm.

“Let me die…let me die…” I chant, panting with exhaustion. I slash my arm, the razor-like blade cutting mercilessly into my tender skin. The vermilion liquid seeps through the wounds, making a startling contrast upon the whiteness of my arm. Too exhausted, and my head beating in time with my heart, I shut my eyes and relent to the darkness, the soothing coldness of death.


“Where am I?” I croak, my voice raspy as a raven’s, emitting a doomsday command. My throat burns even as I speak. “Oh my god,” I mutter under my breath, sitting up in the hospital bed.

“What the hell, may I ask, were you trying to do?” my fiancé, sitting at my side, his forehead creased with lines of worry, asks, almost in anger.

‘Oh god,’ I think. ‘What’s a good excuse?’ I stare at him, saying nothing, holding his steady gaze.

He blinks, wiping his eyes, perhaps to remove tears, “I did manage to call up several cleaning companies. I believe they put your apartment back in order…”

“Thank you…” I whisper softly, feeling his pain as well as my own.

His jaw tenses, his eyes growing cold, “I found this on the floor,” he opens his palm, revealing the engagement ring he had given me. “What’s the explanation?”

I say nothing, biting my lip, adding yet another cut to the already numerous ones there.

“Well, Michiru? Tell me. Could it possibly be that you don’t want to marry me?” he glares into my eyes, searching for the truth, hoping to be wrong.

“No,” I protest hoarsely. “Don’t think like that…it’s not like that at all…”

“So what’s the explanation then?” I can hear the anger rising in his voice.

I sigh, shutting my eyes, “Look, when we seriously began dating, I requested one thing. That you would have to accept me, mysteries and all, just as I am. I will not keep it a secret that there are things that bother me, and at times will push me to extremities,” I glance down at my arm, see the long red scars, feel tears starting to come. “You agreed to that, and so now, if you would kindly remember that deal, you may stop interrogating me…”

He remains silent, deep in thought. “Very well,” he sighs finally. “But, the wedding is still up for next month?”

I swallow, hating myself more than ever, “Yes.”

He smiles, his teeth shining, but I can see through the mask. “I’ve chosen a church, you’ll be happy to know!” He lifts my left arm gently from the mattress, slipping the ring on once more.

“Where is it?” I ask, feigning excitement.

“I decided on a beautiful church in Tokyo,” he states proudly, stroking my hand.
“I remember you said you had been in Tokyo before, and I absolutely adore the city. Besides, my grandmother lives there.”

I freeze, my muscles tensing in horror by his words. It couldn’t be true, tell me it isn’t true, “Tokyo?” I stammer at last.

“Yes, you don’t mind, do you?”

I should have said yes. Anyone else in my position would have said yes. But I no longer hold control over my actions. I feel like a doll, a hideous doll, able to talk and walk, but with no mind of its own. And I never do what I should. “No,” I reply. “Of course not…”

“Very good. Get a good rest, Michiru dear,” he stoops, kissing me lightly on the lips before leaving the room.

I feel nauseous from the kiss. Why had I chosen him in the first place? Because he is available and evidently loves me very much? Because he is the one person who was not frightened away by my dark, brooding moods and never questioned the past I keep so carefully concealed? Because he is the one person who is willing to accept my reserved attitude toward the many odd habits I have?

I should have broken off with him long ago, because as wonderful as he is, I know that there is only one person I love- loved once long ago. I had alienated her. Why was I so stubborn, so harsh, and so utterly insipid? Why couldn’t I forgive her, forgive her for a mere accident? Turning my face into the thin, overly starched pillow, I sob, allowing the pain ripping into my heart to echo itself in my desperate cries.


The doorknob turns, the door opens, and a girl steps in, held in wisps of light until she shuts the door once more.

“Good morning, Kaioh-san,” she says, curtsying.

“Hello, Saori-chan,” I reply, smiling. “Ready for your lesson?”

She nods, as I motion for her to sit down in the plump armchair across from my own. She flips up the snaps of the case upon her lap, and pulls out her bow and then, with the greatest care, she removes her violin. With a practiced hand, she shifts the instrument into position, holding the bow above it. Her eyes flick up to mine and, at my nod, she slides the bow lovingly over the strings. As the notes ring out in a melodic stream, I find myself staring at her.

Her hair is shoulder-length, and a dark, violet-tinted black. Her large dark eyes are staring intently on her violin, appearing to be in a dream as she immerses herself in her own world of music, as only a true musician can. She is one of the most talented students I’ve ever come across.

And the one, ironically enough, who resembles Hotaru to the most agonizing extent. The first day I met her, the word “Hotaru” slipped out of my mouth in an eerie, ghostly voice. The girl had turned to me, staring at me strangely, and had said, “No, Kaioh-san, my name is Saori.”

As I stare at her, I remember Hotaru’s pale face as she had lain upon her hospital bed, gasping and struggling to speak to me.

“No, Michiru-mama! Don’t be mad at Haruka-papa. She didn’t mean to! It was all an accident. You know Haruka-papa would never want to do something like this. Don’t be mad at Haruka-papa…please…don’t be mad…mad…at Haruka-papa,” her voice echoes in my mind. I laugh bitterly, judging those who have left me behind differently, in anger. She had known, hadn’t she? She had warned me…and I had been dumb enough to ignore her warning and break my ‘daughter’s’ dying wish. Her dying wish…

But I paid for my mistakes, didn’t I? Oh yes, I had paid dearly. My life, once so much like a paradise, had become a torture, a hell. And all because I didn’t heed Hotaru’s last wish, because I had been so stupid…

“Konno-san?” Saori’s voice cuts into my thoughts, as the music ceases in play.

I turn to her, forcing a faux smile, and fluttering my eyes, “Oh, Saori-chan. I’m terribly sorry. Continue, you’re playing beautifully,” I coo, sounding fake to my own ears.

Still staring at me oddly, Saori shrugs slightly and begins her music once more.

‘God, Hotaru, I’m so sorry. I’m so damned sorry I didn’t listen to you, sorry I was so thick-headed,’ I think, lines creasing my forehead. If only…if only…

If only Haruka hadn’t gotten into the accident…

If only Setsuna and Hotaru hadn’t died…

If only I hadn’t blamed Haruka…

If only I hadn’t deserted Haruka…

If only I hadn’t met Ginta…

If only I hadn’t become engaged to him…

The list of ‘If only’s’ ran on and on. But what’s the use? What hope do I have now, with no one to pull me out of the endless pit I had become chained inside of? I am plodding down a curving road, with an unknown horror around every bend, one I know that leads me closer and closer to my doom, yet I am too weak to pull myself away from it and search for the right path.


“Hurry,” Ginta urges, tugging on my sleeve, though with none of the gentleness the same gesture had been used with so long ago. “There are people lined up behind us. Why aren’t you moving?”

I’m standing still, staring into the entrance into the tunnel- the tunnel that leads to the plane that will bring me back to Tokyo, the accursed city I had run from to run from my ruined life only to destroy it once more.

I ignore his impatience, and the grumbling of the people behind me, and step into the tunnel, my legs feeling like jelly.

What awaits me there? What has happened to her? Is she still there? Does she remember me?

She’s alive- that much I know. In the past, I had seen her on television once or twice, and always found myself unable to tear my eyes away from her face. She had taken up racing full-time, disguising herself as a male, winning one championship after another. That is all I knew, and all I care to know. The once or twice I had seen her on the television did nothing but etch another bleeding wound into my already tattered heart.

“Michiru?” he whispers in my ear as we walk down the tunnel, his warm breath stirring the wisps of hair framing my face.

“Yes?” I choke out, fighting to keep my eyes from his.

“What’s the matter? You look pale and there’s something…something about your face…I can tell there’s something wrong,” I glance at him, see his eyes clouded over with anxiety.

“Nothing, nothing. Doesn’t matter, really. Don’t worry about me,” I say hollowly. He allows me to walk in front of him, make my way into the plane’s narrow aisle and to our seats. I glance up at him again and see the same lines of worry he’s worn ever since my attempted suicide. I laugh, a dry, hollow chuckle, “Just let me catch up on some sleep and I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” I settle comfortably into my seat and finger the burgundy velvet, digging my nails into it.

“All right,” he concedes, clearly skeptical, as he settles beside me.


Tokyo has not changed much since I last saw it- busier, old buildings torn with new ones replacing them, but still most everything remained the same since I was last here. Wrapping my jacket more tightly around myself, I walk, my whole body trembling in anxiety, with Ginta.

"I made reservations in a restaurant I went to sometime before. I think you'll enjoy it very much. It's an absolutely delightful place, the best restaurant in the city, they say," Ginta says, cheerful, but the fake cheerfulness he’s used for a long time now. I think the nonstop talking helps calm him. I listen, half-heartedly, as we walk on. He stops, pointing to a cozy-looking brick building, standing on the corner of the busy street. Inside, there is light, and warmth, and laughter. I don’t deserve to be among such happy people.

"Here we are," he chirps, pulling me toward it, excitement dancing in his eyes. I can see him going over happy memories of this place in his mind.

I stand, rooted to the ground, praying that I’m wrong, that he means another place, "Here?" I gasp out at last.

He recognizes the strained voice I have, and turns, once more filled with concern, "Yes, why? Is there something wrong?"

The world swirls around me. It can't be…it just can't be…I wonder, is the world, and every person living on it, against me? How can I be led here…the cruelty of fate’s command…how I wish to wring her neck…

It’s the restaurant Haruka and I always used to eat at on our birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, on a sudden whim, anything. It had always been our personal favorite restaurant. She brought me here after her proposal, we had sat together at a beautiful table, enjoying the food, but happier to be in each other’s company. To step in was to wallow in anguish of the old memories of life before…before some force had ripped my life and burnt it until only ashes remained.

I should have immediately begged to go somewhere, anywhere, else. Instead, I shake my head mutely and follow him in, my heart heavy and my feet dragging. A smiling hostess greets us. My fiancé gives her the reservations and asks for the nonsmoking area. Nodding, she motions for a pretty waitress to take us to our seats and give us our drinks. I remember in the past how Haruka would flirt with such waitresses, and how they would return her affections, glancing at me from time to time with worry. But she was never serious about them…

As I sit waiting for my lemonade, I glance around, reminiscing in the dark maroon carpet, the rosewood tables covered by the lacy tablecloths of ivory white, and the glistening gold upon the ornate chandeliers robed in glittering crystals. I smile, remembering one time here when Haruka had almost gotten us kicked out. She had left for only a moment, and when she returned, a man was standing at my side, attempting to ask me out, the devil’s drink lying heavily in his breath. Her temper getting the best of her, she had punched him squarely on the jaw, sending him back onto another table. Had the manager not been such a large racing fan, we would have been forbidden to return. That temper had always been a problem…

My eyes catch a shock of blond hair, glittering brightly with an eerie glow. My head begins to pound furiously, my heart to race. My lungs burn, my throat closing up. Breathing becomes nearly impossible as I struggle to take in air in forceful gasps. My hands, my entire body, trembles with fear of what I see before me.

It can’t be her. It can’t be. It just can’t. No…please…don’t let it be her…please…don’t let it be…

I see the waitress approaching, but I can’t seem to find my voice. She looks at me, decides that I must either be mad or in need of something, and asks about the latter

Forcing another false smile, I swallow my pride, or what’s left of it, and ask in a trembling voice, “That man in the dark blue suit over there, with the blond hair- I think I’ve seen him before. Who is he?” Ginta cranes his neck in the direction I’m pointing, and squints to see whom I’m talking about.

Looking down at me, she widens her eyes in surprise, “You must know him! Everyone does. That’s Tenoh Haruka, the world champion in racing for- oh, I don’t know –like five, six years maybe. He’s incredible!” she gushes. She has a dreamy expression, staring at Haruka. I can’t help the rush of jealousy suddenly coming over me. Like I have so often in the past, I feel grateful Ginta isn’t able to read me like a book. Like Haruka could…

“Does sh…I…I mean he come here often?” I blurt out in a stutter, with a curious glance from Ginta.

The waitress seems to take pride in being able to give out information on the world famous racer, “Yes, he does. He comes here every day. He’s been doing this for so long…five, six years maybe. There’s a rumor circulating that say he does it because it used to be someplace special between him and some girl who deserted him,” she frowns. “They say he’s lost his head since she left and comes here to remember her. I don’t know, but I say any girl who dumps him must be an absolute fool!” she blushes, feeling out of place.

My cheeks burn, out of anger and embarrassment, my hands trembling out of control. I snatch the small glass of lemonade from the waitress, gulping down most of it in a single breath.

Placing it on the table, I blush again, “I’m terribly sorry, but I was dreadfully thirsty,” I apologize. The waitress regards me with a long curious look, but she smiles politely, assuring me it wasn’t a problem. She picks up my near-empty glass and walks away to refill it.

“Are you all right?” Ginta asks, always a broken record.

“Yes!” I cry out irritably, crossing my arms and lowering my head.

He ignores my mood, “I can’t believe you didn’t recognize Tenoh Haruka!” he exclaims with the enthusiasm of a small child. “I can’t believe I have the good luck to be in the same restaurant as him! Did you know…”

I block him out as he begins chattering happily about racing statistics, and how good Haruka is, and how lucky he is. I sigh, and wait anxiously for the waitress’s return, letting my eyes dart about the room while my head spins dizzily, hazily. They land on another pair of eyes, gazing at me incredulously, locked intently, unwavering.

It is she, no doubt about it. Her mouth slightly open, and her eyes widened to the full extent. She has become deathly pale, her hand frozen as it grips an empty glass. I stare back at her, into those captivating emerald gems, those eyes that have haunted me all these years. The lively spark, something I had always admired about her, is no longer there, but nothing else has changed.

Nothing…she looks almost…almost as she had before, so long ago. ‘Except for her eyes,’ my heart screams at me. And the ghostly pallor, so unbefitting to her. Seeing the depth of the vacuity, the hollow pain engraved deeply into those beautiful eyes, I shudder to think of what she has been through.


I took advantage of her shattered state of mind, “It was still your fault! Have you ever thought of the risks at stake when you went speeding off, driving recklessly?” I retorted coldly.

“Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I’ve tossed in bed all night wondering why I couldn’t have driven more slowly, more carefully? Don’t you think I’ve tortured myself to the point of insanity playing over and over again in my mind what I could have done to avoid the accident? Don’t you think I wonder again and again why I didn’t die in the place of Setsuna and Hotaru? Don’t you think I wish I could have given up my life to save theirs?” She cried, tears welling in her eyes. She added in a shaky whisper, after a long pause, “Do you know how much I hate myself, how much I blame myself for this?”


“Michiru?” Ginta shakes my shoulder, tearing my mind away from the past, my eyes away from hers. I turn to him curiously.

He cranes his neck up, glancing at Haruka, who is still staring at me, “Why is Tenoh-san staring at you? Are you two old acquaintances?” he asks, growing excited once more. I groan inwardly, praying that something, anything, would get me out of this awkward situation.

“No, no…of course not!” I lie, shamelessly.

Ginta jumps up, grabbing my wrist and pulling me up as well, “Well, he’s obviously looking at you! Come on! Let’s go meet him!” he pulls me along, my feet dragging the whole way, and starts towards Haruka’s table.

“Gin…Ginta!” I plead, desperately trying to stop him. He doesn’t heed my cries. Haruka continues to stare at me, in a mixture of shock and utter incredulity. Her hand moves, placing the glass back on her table.

Ginta stops beside Haruka, breathing heavily with anticipation, “Tenoh-san?”

Haruka’s eyes flick up to my face and, with a great amount of difficulty I can see, she manages to smile politely and nod. We stare at each other while Ginta gushes happily about his admiration for Haruka’s driving skills.

I want to be anywhere- absolutely anywhere-but here. To be staring into my true love’s eyes…to remember the agony in her voice as she had called my name the day I left…to remember the love I had thrown away in that moment of stupidity and stubbornness in not forgiving her…

“Do you know my fiancée?” Ginta asks Haruka suddenly, his voice cutting into me like a knife. Whipping around, I turn to stare at Ginta in terror.

I turn back to see a small tremor pass through Haruka, pain flicker through her eyes, contorting her steady gaze ever so slightly. “Your fiancée?” she chokes out at last.

Ginta looks sheepish, only now realizing how strange he looks, “Well, you were looking at her, and I presumed you know her…”

“You mean her?” Haruka asks, though she knows the answer already I’m sure, pointing at me. I can see a slight trembling in her hand. She notices it as well, and quickly lowers her arm.

Ginta puffs up with pride, “Yes,” he says, taking my hand in his.

Her eyes don’t stray from my face. I feel like she’s able to take me prisoner if I look at her again, so I lower my eyes, “No…I don’t…” Haruka whispers in a stifled voice. “She merely reminded me of someone I thought I knew,” I can feel my face turn red. I understand her more clearly than anyone else ever could. “Pray, introduce us.”

Ginta smiles, eager for the chance to remain here, talking to his idol, “This is my fiancée, Kaioh Michiru,” he says, slipping an arm around my waist. “We arrived here in Tokyo yesterday. We will be married the day after tomorrow at the Tokyo Episcopal Cathedral.”

“Tokyo Episcopal Cathedral?” Haruka asks, the words sounding like a curse on her tongue.

“Yes, I chose it. Isn’t it a beautiful choice?” he asks, ignoring, or perhaps not realizing, the pain he is putting Haruka and I through. I stare at him helplessly, desperately trying to motion to him to leave.

“It’s a wonderful church,” Haruka whispers in agreement, her voice distant. Standing and turning abruptly, she slams down a few bills, nearly knocking over her glass and says to us, but with her eyes on me the whole time, “Once…once I thought I would be married there as well…” her voice is filled with heart-breaking sorrow as she walks away, not looking back, heading toward the exit.

I stare after her, tears sliding down my own cheeks, warm streams directly from my heart. ‘Haruka…Haruka…come back! I need you…I need you so much!’ I scream inside my head, my heart, my soul.

I hardly feel Ginta’s warm hands as he drags me back to our table and, without a word, hands me a tissue to wipe my tears with. Someday I will be grateful to him for how understanding he is, without being aware of the truth. But now I am trapped in my own hell…trapped like my ring finger is by the diamond ring, representing an emotion long denied to me…


I toss in bed once more, my eyes opening of their own accord, staring out into the darkness of night. The moonlight shines through the windowpanes, bringing more memories of the past with it. I can’t bear to endure the pain of these images any longer. Flipping around, I check the bedside clock. It’s only two in the morning. Groaning, more of pain than fatigue, I slip silently out of bed, careful not to disturb Ginta, snoring softly beside me. I peer out the window, holding the silky drapes back with one hand. A compulsion to run outside seizes me, though why I’m unsure. Throwing on clothes and grabbing my jacket off the hanger, I sneak out, leaving the white plastic hanger gently swinging.

It’s cold, the wind biting deep into my tender skin. Tugging my jacket snuggly against my slender frame, I walk rapidly into the neighboring park, keeping my eyes locked on the rough concrete path, lit to a ghostly pale white by the moon high above. Stepping off into the damp grass, my feet being bitten by the sharpness of its iciness, I cast my eyes about the field I now find myself in the middle of.

A dark figure lying on the ground, nearly hidden by a crop of trees, grabs my attention immediately. The figure’s jacket, a thin slice of blackness against an even darker background, is stirred by a passing breeze. I can hear its soft rustling from here. Fate moves my feet, pushing me to approach the person before me. I hadn’t moved but a few steps before the figure sits up, turning to see the intruder.

There’s silence, a long cold silence made colder by the breeze, and then, “What the hell are you doing here?” a voice demands, apparently startled. I recognize the voice, the blonde hair…everything about her instantly.

I take a step back, my throat becoming sickeningly dry, “What are you doing here?”

She stands, brushing the dirt off herself quickly, efficiently, “Not that it’s any of your business, but I come here on nights I can’t sleep…sometimes to look at the moon, sometimes not…” There’s a soft sadness in her voice. I can see her closing her hand into a fist, darkness upon darkness, “What are you doing? Shouldn’t you be in bed with your fiancé? Or was it husband?” she adds sarcastically, voice grown cold.

I gasp, “Haruka, please, don’t think like that…” I fidget with my hands.

She takes a step closer, and I can’t help my heart as it begins racing, “Why not? I see that you had no trouble finding a replacement. And I also see that you decided to come back here too, finally, after you found someone to replace me and flaunt your new lover in front of your old one,” she spits out.

Where the wind has chilled my body, her words freeze my heart. Tears come to my eyes, “I didn’t ask to come back to Tokyo! If it had been my choice, I wouldn’t have come back at all!” I shout back, amazed that I still contain enough willpower to fight her.

My words hit her hard, and she turns, refusing to allow me to see her in pain, “Oh…I see. So you’re still mad at me? So it was just poor luck that dragged you back here and made you run into me, the evil ***** who, in your opinion, killed poor victimized Setsuna and Hotaru?” She turns back, her eyes blazing as she glares at me.

“Don’t you dare mock Setsuna and Hotaru,” my voice has lowered dangerously. “Mock me and shout at me all you want, but you mock them once more, and I can guarantee you, I’ll strike hard.”

Haruka stands before me, quiet, pondering my words.

I soften my tone, feeling a rush of pity, “Can we talk, Haruka?” I ask her, my voice a whisper.

She finds her voice, “Oh…so after, what, six years of running away and hiding, you finally decide you want to come back and talk?” she asks bitterly. “Pray, what changed your mind? Your new tie with your fiancé?” she adds, placing calculated emphasis on fiancé.

“Haruka, I’m so sorry. I really am…I…I screwed up,” my heart sinks at her obvious resentment toward me.

“Sorry? That’s all you can say? Do you know what hell you put me through? God, you wouldn’t listen. You didn’t care. Nothing I said mattered to you. One moment of turning to respond to one of Hotaru’s questions and the car slipped. And once it slipped on the ice, well, there’s no way I could have gotten it back under control. It spun…hit the railing…on the side Hotaru and Setsuna were sitting on.”

I stare at her, my jaw slack with shock, “I…” I begin, unsure as to what I should say.

Haruka continues, interrupting me, “Yeah, that one moment was all it took to kill everything we ever had. One moment, for how many years? We had been together for how long? Ten? Twelve? Did it ever matter to you, Michiru? After you ran away…ran away after I did all I could to try to bring you back, did it ever matter to you?”

‘Of course it did!’ my heart screams, but I remain silent.

“I let you go, Michiru, because I believed I mattered- what we had mattered –enough to bring you back after you had time to think it over. And because I loved you too much to keep you and force you to do anything against your will. I was wrong, wasn’t I?” She lets out a long sigh, “The first time I met you…the times I protected you from the world…the way I always supported you…the years fighting the daimon…the years battling Neherenia and Galaxia, everything…none of it mattered, evidently. I guess it all died with Setsuna and Hotaru…and now you have a brand new life without me. I’m glad you’re happy without me. I’m glad something positive came for you after you dumped me as the scapegoat, the conniving fool who killed your beloved ‘daughter’ and dear friend,” she laughs, but it’s a dry hollow laugh, caught and twisted by the wind.

“Don’t say those things!” I choke out, reaching to grab the angry woman’s arm, in hopes of soothing her.

She shoves my hand away, “Don’t touch me,” she orders icily.

“I didn’t mean to, Haruka, I didn’t mean to…”

She holds up her closed fist, shutting her eyes tightly, “If you didn’t mean to, you would have come back, damn it! You meant to. No, once I had Hotaru and Setsuna’s blood staining my hands, I meant nothing to you. I just wrecked your whole perfect life, so of course you had to run away from everything and forget it all. I’m glad you achieved your goal and have a nice heavenly life now. So go ahead and go away. Go live your perfect life. That’s all you ever wanted. Why torture yourself with me? I’m just going to taint it again, aren’t I?” She turns away once more, a little crystal drop welling in the corner of her eye.

I move quickly, darting around the troubled blond, coming to a stop in front of her, “Don’t you dare say that! Do you have any idea what I’ve been through?” Haruka stares at me blankly, completely mute. “I came back because I want to apologize, Haruka. I wanted to apologize. I’m so sorry, Haruka. I…I should have forgiven you…I should have. Ever since I left…well, what they say is true. You can’t run from a problem, you have to face it. I’ve been through hell, Haruka…I’ve been through a living hell. I should have come back…or stayed. But…but I was too scared…” my voice trails off, speaking becoming too difficult.

Haruka stares down at me, using her height to an advantage, with hard eyes, “You’re too late…” she whispers icily. “I’m sick…sick of caring about you, sick of loving you. Sick of waking up each day and praying, just hoping that you’ll be beside me again, sick of hoping against hope you still love me and will come back to me. I’m sick of hope, of that evil hope that makes me feel like I can survive- survive a day because maybe, maybe you’d come back and everything would be back to normal, and going to bed each night in more agony because it was still a hazy dream, a mere, distant castle-in-the-air. I’m sick of what you put me through…” I can feel my heart stop as I realize what she’s about to say, “…and I’m sick of you…”

I’m desperate, as I realize the true horror of the situation. That I could lose her forever, “Haruka…I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say…what do you want, Haruka? What do you want from me?” I can hear the shrillness of my voice, but that doesn’t matter now. All that matters is making her understand, making her love me again.

She pries my hand from her arm, though I don’t remember grabbing her, “There’s nothing more you can say, Kaioh-san. No amount of words can soothe six years of pain, of absolute hell,” she is moving away, twisting out of my clutches. “I just want you to leave me. Just leave me to somehow grope through the rest of my pitiful existence…”

“Haruka! Don’t leave me! Please!” I beg, realizing at last that nothing else matters now.

She stops, turns to look at me. I am filled with hope because maybe, just maybe, I’ve broken through her wall of defense. She smiles, a wicked grin bearing no compassion, “Ah, I see the position has changed. Why not, Kaioh-san? Why should I stay? Give me one reason, one good reason…”

“Because I love you…I love you so much, Haruka!”

I can see the disgust seep into her face, “Go back to your fiancé, Kaioh-san. He’s the one who belongs in your life. It’s too late for us. Goodbye…” she turns her back on me, laughing ironically, heartlessly, and walks away.

I collapse on the grass coated with dew. My heart has been broken into pieces, but tears refuse to come. This pain, this cruel pain, is much too deep for such a cleansing thing as tears. How can she? How can she just walk away from me like that?

‘But she was right, wasn’t she?’ I remind myself. I had left her, left her when she needed me the most. I had cut her off without listening to her. I had ignored, ignored all that Setsuna and Hotaru had warned me about. I had been my own worst nightmare, my own demon. I had single-handedly finished ripping my life into shreds, burnt it into ashes, and destroyed the life of my one true love as well.

Shivering as I stare in the direction Haruka had disappeared into, a glitter catches my eye. Stumbling toward it, again fate holds control, I kneel down close to the ground.

My eyes widen in surprise, my heart grinds down to nothing. It’s the engagement ring, the ring I flung at Haruka’s cheek the day I left. Painstakingly, I pick it up, hold it tenderly in my upturned palm and whisper gently to the wind, “I love you Haruka. I still love you. I will always love you, Haruka…whether you hate me or not…I love you…” My only answer is the soft whispering of the wind around me.


Filled…the church is filled with people. There’s an unnerving hum of voices whispering to those sitting beside them. My family, all of those who I love, is seated out there. ‘Not all…’ I scream inside. The wedding will begin any minute now. I sigh deeply as the music begins to play.

Clutching my bouquet close to my heart, my nose taking in the flowers’ sweet smell with ease, I step forward, shakily, one step at a time, and join Ginta, the one I should love, at the head of the alter. Distantly, I can hear the priest mumbling as I stand at his side. His words, though I hardly hear them, hold no meaning to me.

Six years, six years ago I could have been married here. Six years ago I could have repaired all the damages. Six years ago, I could have been happily joined with the one I truly love. Six years ago, I could have survived.

Ironic, ironic I would be here now in the same place six years too late, cementing down a life I was never supposed to live. I know it will imprison me forever in hell, in the ashes of the life I had destroyed myself. The same place, two different women with two different lives- two different women under the same face…same soul…

“I do,” the words hit me hard, ringing in my ears. I turn to face Ginta as he slips a slim golden band around my ring finger.

The priest turns to me, his eyes sparkling, a smile on his face. He believes in love, takes pleasure in joining those who love each other together forever. “Do you, Kaioh Michiru-san, accept Shinomori Ginta as your lawfully wedded husband, and promise to honor and obey him as long as you both may live?” each word seems to echo as it leaves his mouth.

I stare into Ginta’s dark blue eyes. Nothing. I can feel nothing from him even remotely close to what I can read in Haruka’s eyes. This man…this man will never come close to comparison with her. For a brief moment, his image fades. I can see Haruka standing before me now. This is how it should have been…this is my rightful destiny.

“Michiru, will you marry me?” Haruka’s voice echoes in my head. Of course I would…that was all I had ever wanted. Why couldn’t I have kept it? How could I have been stupid enough to throw away the one thing that had ever truly mattered to me?

“Follow your destiny, Michiru…Follow your destiny…” Setsuna had warned me to follow my destiny…and I threw it all away. I ran away from it…but I paid for that mistake, oh God, I paid for it.

“No, Michiru-mama! Don’t be mad at Haruka-papa. She didn’t mean to! It was all an accident. You know Haruka-papa would never want to do something like this. Don’t be mad at Haruka-papa…please…don’t be mad…at Haruka-papa,” Hotaru and Setsuna had both known, had used their last breaths, last seconds alive, to warn me. I had been blind, foolish to recognize it then.

“I love you, Michiru! I love you! Doesn’t that count for anything? Look at me, Michiru! Look at me! Can you honestly say that you don’t love me anymore?” Haruka’s desperate pleas come back to me, whether I would like to hear them or not. I should have answered her…should have answered her six years ago. But I didn’t…I was still so stupidly stubborn. I know now…but it’s too late…

“Kaioh Michiru-san?” the pastor prompts, breaking into my thoughts. I turn to face Haruka’s image, and find Ginta, staring at me anxiously. My heart breaks.

I take a deep breath, “I still love Haruka…” I whisper. Shocking to my ears, my voice rings through the room. “I still love her…I never stopped. I’m sorry, Ginta. I’m so sorry for leading you on the way I have,” Ginta’s in tears, as well as myself, and I can hear the startled murmuring from the seated viewers. “But I love Haruka…I can never love someone else,” I add, more to myself than anyone else, “I have to find her…I have to find her and tell her…”

Ginta collapses heartbroken to the floor, his eyes wide with shock, wet with tears. He watches, speechless, as I pull his engagement ring and the slim golden band from my finger and deposit them on the floor. The finger, the ring finger, is finally free. I’m free…free from my hell.

Walking casually down the steps and down the long red aisle I smile, ignoring the horrified stares from all sides. I had come here this morning the reluctant bride, knowing painfully the trap I was securing myself into, the prison without a key, and now I leave to find the one I truly love. As I reach the large wooden doors at the entrance, I throw aside my bouquet, and tear off my veil. Reaching into a tiny pocket, nearly hidden in the folds of the dress, I grasp the diamond engagement ring Haruka had given me six years ago. Slipping it on my finger, for the first time in six years, I laugh.

I grasp the handle of the heavy door, and open it, basking for a moment in the golden sunshine. “Michiru!” Ginta screams from behind me, his voice filled with no less pain than Haruka’s had. I walk out the doors.


My steps quicken; I break into a childlike run, happy and carefree. Leaping into my car, I fish through my purse lying on the seat beside me, and find my keys. My car starts like the gentle purring of a kitten. With one arm on the back of the passenger seat, I begin backing out of the parking space.

From the cathedral comes the dull thudding of the door opening and closing. I whirl, see Ginta standing at the entrance. He looks crushed, hurt more than ever before in his life. ‘I hurt him…’ I realize, biting my lip. He stands on the stone steps, staring at me, his eyes never leaving me as I exit the parking lot. I don’t look back.

Stopping at a traffic light, I close my eyes, “Haruka…where are you, Haruka?” I whisper softly to the wind. It’s only now that I realize that I don’t know where she is, have no idea where I’m going. ‘But I’m enjoying the ride…’ I think with a smirk.

Led by unseen hands- perhaps fate is giving me another chance -I head towards the racetrack. I park in yet another parking lot and, while running toward the entrance, I dig a few bills out from my purse and shove them in the ticket collector’s hand. He gives me an odd look, scratches his head, and lets me pass. Ignoring the jeers from bystanders, I gather up my full skirt, head through the gate and make my way into the arena.


I hear, before I see, the roaring of the engines, the cheering of the exhilarated crowd. What has led me here? Why do I think she’s here? ‘Because she is…’ I tell myself. Through the static of the loudspeaker, I can’t distinguish the garbled messages. I pick out one thing… ‘Tenoh Haruka.’

My full skirt in hand, I lean over the side of the low gate, staring as the racecars speed by, my eyes never leaving hers. Of course, she is in the lead. I have no proof that Haruka is in that car. ‘But she is…’ my mind tells me softly, soothingly. I only have to wait until the end of the race, until she wins, to tell her that I’m back.

I close my eyes, see her image. Her last words come back to me, the coldness piercing my weakened heart. “Go back to your fiancé, Kaioh-san. He’s the one who belongs in your life. It’s too late for us. Goodbye…” Goodbye…she said goodbye…but surely she will change her mind. I feel the slender golden band wrapped around my finger, the cold dread of accepting Ginta’s proposal comes back, but I open my eyes to Haruka’s ring, not his.

I wonder what Haruka’s thinking now. My eyes follow the car in the lead, as it twists around the tight turns with ease, with a death-defying speed. She loves racing…lives for racing. Somewhere deep in my heart, a certain realization awakens, whispers to me. ‘Since you left, racing has become her life…the only thing she lives for…’ I wish I could tell her now, before the race ends, that I’m back for good.

The waitress seemed to take pride in being able to give out information on the world famous racer, “Yes, he does. He comes here every day. He’s been doing this for so long…five, six years maybe. There’s a rumor circulating that say he does it because it used to be someplace special between him and some girl who deserted him,” she frowned. “They say he’s lost his head since she left and comes here to remember her. I don’t know, but I say any girl who dumps him must be an absolute fool!” she blushed, feeling out of place.

The car turns again, my eyes on it, as it shifts out of position, jerks shakily to the opposite side. My heart’s beating echoes loudly in my ears, as time seems to go in slow motion, just for this. “Haruka…” a voice whispers in horror, coming from my own mouth, to my utmost surprise. With a shrieking squeal, the car collides with the railing, continuing with that same speed, death-defying speed. A loud crunching of metal against metal fills the air, the car is covered with sparks, and then flames come. My heart refuses to beat.

I have no proof that Haruka is in the car; there is no proof that it was she who just crashed. ‘But it is…’ my mind sobs, uncontrollably. I find I can’t move, can’t tear my eyes away, as there are screams all about, as suited workers rush to put out the fire and pull the driver from the crumpled pile of twisted metal that was once a car. My eyes take in the flames, the limp body, the shock of golden hair as the helmet is ripped away, but they remain dry. This pain is too deep, too horrible for such a cleansing thing as tears. Haruka…

She holds up her closed fist, shutting her eyes tightly, “If you didn’t mean to, you would have come back, damn it! You meant to. No, once I had Hotaru and Setsuna’s blood staining my hands, I meant nothing to you. I just wrecked your whole perfect life, so of course you had to run away from everything and forget it all. I’m glad you achieved your goal and have a nice heavenly life now. So go ahead and go away. Go live your perfect life. That’s all you ever wanted. Why torture yourself with me? I’m just going to taint it again, aren’t I?” She turns away once more, a little crystal drop welling in the corner of her eye.

No, she was wrong. Her hands were clean, had always been clean. It is mine that are stained, covered with the blood of everyone who had ever meant anything to me. And now, that includes Haruka…


“I like this lake,” Haruka said softly, holding a steady gaze on its water. I stared at her, but somehow I could sense she couldn’t gain the courage to meet my eyes. “I like the way it appears to stretch out for an eternity. And at the horizon, it always seems to touch and merge with the sky just above it, always covering it like a soft blanket.”

My eyes travel over the same lake, the lake I sat at six years ago. Six years ago…six years ago I was so happy. Haruka’s proposal, it had meant the world to me. After that, it seems my life had gone straight down to hell’s fires, to be burned to nothing more to ashes. How much has changed since then. Perhaps this is where fate had been leading me the whole time…a punishment for every sin I had committed through my life. To take away Setsuna and Hotaru, to force me to live secluded, and finally to rip Haruka from me as well. All a cruel game thought up by fate…

Over the years, droughts have made the lake shrink in size, pull away from the shores. Looking out, I can see the end, the opposite shore of the water. Over the years, that land has been cleared and built upon, crude buildings pushing high into the sky. The sky, as beautiful as ever…its beauty eternal…it no longer hugs the water of the lake. The two are separated, no longer merge beautifully.

My eyes stare deeply into the water below me, softly lapping at the shore before my feet. Over the years, it’s become muddy with pollution, become impossible to see through. It’s been stained by evil. I look at my hands, see the blood staining their smooth skin, and see the muddied water…

Further Notes: Sometime far in the future I may actually finish "Forgetting Michiru," which is the counterpart to this story. Basically it's the same story, only from Haruka's point-of-view.

03-20-2005, 09:14 AM
Excellent. Your writing is amazing and I loved the characterization.

The only part that didn't sit well with me was where Ginta collapsed when Michiru leaves. Up to this point he had seemed like "the boss" of the relationship. So I would've expected him to believe he could stop her from leaving because he's basically told her what to do up until this point.

You've got some great lines in the story,
A few of my faves:

I swallow, hating myself more than ever, “Yes.”

“I did my duties well, and in time, Father Chronos will choose another to cover the vacancy. Do not miss me, Michiru. I will always be here with you in some form…Senshi never die forever…”

If only Haruka hadn’t gotten into the accident…

If only Setsuna and Hotaru hadn’t died…

If only I hadn’t blamed Haruka…

If only I hadn’t deserted Haruka…

If only I hadn’t met Ginta…

If only I hadn’t become engaged to him…

The list of ‘If only’s’ ran on and on. But what’s the use? What hope do I have now, with no one to pull me out of the endless pit I had become chained inside of? I am plodding down a curving road, with an unknown horror around every bend, one I know that leads me closer and closer to my doom, yet I am too weak to pull myself away from it and search for the right path.

I also loved how simple you made their engagement (Haruka and Michiru) None of this flowery "you are my world" crap. It fits their relationship and personalities really well.

Great work.


03-20-2005, 03:36 PM
Ah, but Ginta is the boss because Michiru allowed it, because Michiru stopped caring where her life led her. Her sudden role-reversal (taking command, running from the church, etc.) leaves him stunned. It's a glimpse of the true Michiru...but that is not the woman poor Ginta fell in love with.
Though I love that you say that. Nobody else ever has. Usually they just feel bad for him ^^;

^_^ Thanks sweetie.

You know, it's funny. Usually I wind up hating something after writing. Not this one. I'm almost- dare I say it? -proud of it. I wrote it at a particularly emotional time, and in some parts I think that shows (One is in my favorite scene: Haruka and Michiru's reunion at the restaurant).

03-20-2005, 07:52 PM
OH MY GOD! You posted my favorite damn fic you ever wrote! This has been and always will be, like my favorite SM fanfiction.

I need to set like an hour aside to read it again. Aiiieee! I'm so excited!!!

Die Tod von Euch
03-21-2005, 01:00 PM
You may not believe this...but I've read this before!! o_o I remember now! Wow! And I loved it then, too. Ah man....such emotion... Poor Michiru! Poor Haruka! ;_; Fate is so cruel...so cruel.

Anyway, just a few errors like the use of wrong words in places like:

Lead by unseen hands-
Should be "Led"


Aloud crunching of metal
A loud

Most likely typos for the most part. There are a few others. Other than those -very- minor errors, this is perfect. <3

03-30-2005, 11:11 PM
Hur hur...fixed them typos you mentioned ^^;

Here's the funny thing. I actually had a still more cleaned up version, only...I lost it. This one is one I had shown a writing teacher years ago. Funnier thing is that I had changed all the names to make reading easier on her. So I did try to clean it up for this posting, but I was more focused on getting the names straight.

So...yeah. See any more stupid typos, please tell me. Or tell me if anything doesn't flow smoothly enough for you. I'm always making changes.

03-31-2005, 12:04 AM
oh wow..... !!

I love it... very very good fanfic, i must say... I've been an SM fan since I was like 9... hehe...

Keep up the good work ^__^

Reps for you as well... <3

04-12-2005, 02:08 PM
ok well i wrote a fanfic for sialor moon and now i fell vastly inferior, good god that story is awesome...sad...but awesome

04-12-2005, 03:08 PM
Awww, well...thank you ^^;;;

Have you posted your story? I'd like to read it.

04-13-2005, 08:28 PM
yes it is posted the thread is title Fanfic: Untitled Sailor Moon Fanfic and then i posted chapter 2 but after reading this i'm seriously considering rewriting it so that it's at least somewhat in the league of this story. anyway, check it out, i think the story is pretty good but it just needs to be reworded and stuff i think.

03-19-2006, 03:37 AM
O.O Oh wow.......rei........ *gives her a standing ovation, weeping horribly as she does* ....oh......Michiru......Haruka........that story.......is so sad!!! It's....such a greek tragedy! *can't stop crying* ......I haven't cried this much since I watched Aeris die for the first time.............

03-19-2006, 03:18 PM
Aww, thank you.

I like tragedy ^^ Can you tell? Especially that with an almost ironic aftertaste. It's kind of a common theme in all my stories (links to them found in my sig), original and otherwise.

Actually, I had another idea for an ending to this story. You think this one hurts? Oh man...the other was a killer. Never wrote it though. I think it would be overkill.

Bucky Katt
04-08-2006, 12:32 PM
( I'm going to write this in the form of a letter, because a normal post [for me] will sound too much like a freaky fangirl. c_c; )

Dear Reiako,
Your writing has inspired me to do a lot of things. To deepen a character, to live the character, and to not be afraid of writing something that the character wouldn't do. Not only that, but you must have been in front of your computer for hours, typing the fanfic! Or did you copy and paste it from Microsoft Word? Whichever you did, I respect it, and I'm pleased to say I will look forward to reading your next fanfiction or story...Whichever comes first. Darn, now I wish I could positive rep you twice! ;_; Oh well, life must go on.
And as Capernicus said, did, whichever: -!Gives a standing ovation with crazy fanfare!-
Keep working hard, Reiako! You'll be an author yet! (Oh, and if you start selling books, are you going under the pen name "Reiako" or will you put your AG/AF name on the inside of the book?)
~Sayoko <3

04-08-2006, 08:45 PM
You're too kind ^^;;; Thank you.

I do want to get published one day. I've actually been writing original fiction more than fanfiction lately, for that reason. If/When that happens, I'm sure I'll mention it in here and thus tell you the name I'll be using ^_~ (No, it won't be "Reiako"...though I may use that in a note)

04-11-2006, 03:12 PM
I'd like to see you try to turn this into an original fiction. I think it'd be interesting to see.

Music Fiend
04-11-2006, 06:03 PM
Reiako, your talent has stunned me. That was a fantastic piece of work. Nothing more can be said.

04-11-2006, 07:12 PM
I've considered doing just that, actually...turning it into an original work. It CAN be done, but I'd need to work on fleshing out the characters with strong backgrounds. As it is, most reading the story know who Haruka and Michiru are. I'd need a similarly powerful bond.

Many thanks ^^;

02-23-2008, 07:24 PM
O Hello Thar

02-23-2008, 09:42 PM
First, before I act like a fangirl...I want you to know I caught some mistakes.

At the top of the story, this should say "finger":

I stare back at the glistening ring upon my fingers.

Near the end of the story, this should say "ringing":

“I do,” the words hit me hard, rigging in my ears.

^^ Moving on...this story was EXCELLENT; one of the best fanfics I've ever read (and I usually stay away from fanfics 'cuz the ones I find...usually suck. You know, full of bad grammar and incoherent ideas. Or they sound like a 10-year-old fangirl wrote it, after being high on Pepsi and cookies. >.>)

But yeah, you did a fantastic job. I really love the diction in the story. It's so...simple (ie: you only needed to use a few words to convey a single emotion) and varied. Coolest of all, you use so many different words -- you'll use "tousle [of hair]" in one spot, and "strands [of hair]" in another...

That said -- and I hope this doesn't sound stupid -- how'd you come up with all of those words? Did they come to you automatically when you wrote the story (which means you read a LOT, or you deal with these words often)...or did you just look up synonyms somewhere? Synonym.com (http://www.synonym.com/) or Thesaurus.com (http://www.thesaurus.com) maybe? xD

I ask because....I want to write like that someday. I want to convey deep feelings with only a few simple words (instead of writing an entire paragraph to get the same point across. Kinda like what I'm doing right now. xD) And I want to use/interchange synonymous words, like "stench" and "odor". Truth is, I've actually heard a lot of the words in this story before...I just never remember them when I write my own stories. .___.

But anyway. (xD) Keep up the excellent work! And I hope you finish the second part of the story soon!! ~<3

PS: Does the second part have a genuine "ending"? Or is it left kinda open-ended? Or...is that something you don't really want to reveal right now? =O

02-27-2008, 05:20 PM
Aies >.> While I appreciate the fresh views...stop stickying my stuff, lol! Pick on someone else.

Thanks for the spelling corrections. I haven't looked at this in ages. I probably corrected them already in my copy XD

02-27-2008, 06:34 PM

I love making you suffer.

Besides, I usually pin them to remind myself to read them.