By Saturn Knight


This is my first Sailor Moon fic. Not sure exactly how good it is, but I
figured I might as well submit it for being read. I took a few liberties
with the characters, not very many though, IE giving the already sickly
Hotaru asthma. Time frame is of normal, Hotaru being 12-13. You can email me
at Saturn_Knight@hotmail.com with comments/questions.

Forcing herself along the icy street, near midnight, fighting the cold, 
which gnawed at her with relentless force, Hotaru pulls the purple sweater 
around her tighter; though it did nothing to keep the bitter caress of the 
wind from violating her body. In the back of her mind, playing like a broken 
record, the question 'Why did I agree to come to America!?' made her think 
of her warm, safe bed back home. 'Home…' Hotaru said to herself, just as the 
first snow began to fall, fluttering gently from the sky and landing on her 
shoulder. Turning to look at it, her body shaking violently from the cold, 
she frowned, wondering where she was, where were the others, and why did bad 
things always happen to her?
	"Because you're the Soldier of Death…that's why," she mumbled to herself, 
turning her gaze to the sky as the snow picked up, now falling regularly. A 
shuddering breath trailed into the sky, mingling with the frigid air before 
finally succumbing to the relentless chill of the night. "God, it's 
beautiful…" The faint light seeping through the clouds backlit the scene to 
perfection, something no artist could ever replicate. Tearing her gaze from 
the sky, back down to the snow covered ground, Hotaru felt fear rising in 
the back of her throat…she had been walking for the good part of an hour, 
and had come across nothing more than bare trees, rocks, and now snow.
	"I wanna go home…" she said to herself, the simple act of talking causing 
another plume of vapor to rise from her lips. Though her hands were numb, 
the muscles ached under her skin with every movement. She was very glad now 
that had she listened to Haruka's advice, on wearing her snow boots when she 
went out into the cold, otherwise, she would have lost the ability, and the 
will, to walk long before. Then she sneezed… a single, violent sneeze. The 
sudden loss of breath began a coughing fit that drove her to the ground, the 
snow crunching under her weight as she went down to her knees … Reaching 
into her pocket for her inhaler, she shakily threw the top off it and took a 
breath as best as she could and tried to hold it. Forcing herself not to 
cough as the world spun, she exhaled quickly and repeated, her body giving 
violent spasms from her refusal to cough.
	Unable to hold her fit any longer, she surrendered to her body and began 
coughing violently, trying to stand only caused the world to black out for a 
moment. Staggering, fighting with all the strength she could muster, but she 
was at war with something she could never beat; no matter how hard she 
tried, no matter how strong her will. She was fighting herself. As her body 
hit the ground, her eyes looked up to the sky as the snow continued to fall, 
making her already-numb face sting anew with the ice that was now settling 
in. As her body gave into shock, she felt the world slowly start to slip 
away from her conscious mind. Her last coherent thought as she looked to the 
sky, and it's dangerous beauty, was "It's hard to believe something so 
beautiful could be so deadly…" then all was darkness.
	"I'm worried about Hotaru," Chibi Usa said to Usagi, as they sat in their 
hotel room in Maine. "She should have been back a long time ago." Chibi sat 
with her back against the bed, with Usagi behind her, brushing out her pink 
hair. "Do you think she's ok?"  She twisted her body to look at Usagi, who 
was too busy watching the American soap opera on TV to pay much attention. 
	"What?! Huh?" Usagi jumped, literally, as Chibi yelled, just about falling 
off the bed and onto the floor. "What now?" she blushed light red, 
embarrassed that she wasn't paying attention. Her own hair was let 
completely down, not in the usual dual ponytails. "I'm sorry… What did you 
say Chibi?"
	"UGH, you never listen!" Chibi took the remote and promptly switched off 
the TV, tossing the remote under the bed where she believed Usagi couldn't 
get it. Turning her eyes to Usagi, who was already on all fours, halfway 
under the bed attempting to fish the remote out, she shouted as loudly as 
she could, "USAGI!!" This caused Usagi to jump again, hitting her head on 
the under board of the bed, with a yelp and a wince, she quickly worm her 
way out, with the remote of course.
	"OW! What, Chibi Usa? WHAT?" Usagi's eyes were watering from the sting of 
the pain. "What is so important?" Reaching out her right hand to gingerly 
touch the fresh bump, her left hand extended with the remote to switch the 
TV back on, but met with a slap from Chibi's hand, knocking the remote away.
	"It's HOTARU! She's late! She said she'd be back 2 hours ago." Chibi 
glanced at the clock over Usagi's shoulder, "I'm worried about her…she 
doesn't know this place, WE don't even know this place…it's cold outside, 
and snowing, and it's dark, and it's lonely, an--"
	"…And you worry too much…" Usagi rolled her eyes and glanced longingly at 
the remote.
	"SOMEBODY around here has gotta worry. The only thing you worry about is 
how you look to Mamou Chan, and your shows on the TV!" Chibi stood, being 
short enough to look the sitting Usagi in the eye, "Hotaru is late…she's 
normally on time, unlike some other senshi I could name… Aren't you 
worried?" This struck a chord with Usagi, and she was about to protest, but 
as she moved to grab the remote from the floor, her eyes wandered to the 
window. There was roughly a foot of snow blanketing the ground, and the 
dark, thick clouds had suffocated the faint light that the moon provided.
	"Yeah, she's ok…" Usagi said, more in an effort to convince herself, rather 
than Chibi Usa, who was now at the windowsill, on her tip-toes peeking out 
from the 10th floor room. "Just stay off the phone in case she has to call 
and ask for our help." Almost as if on cue the phone rang, and both girls 
looked at each other. Before the end of the second ring, Chibi had vaulted 
over the bed and tore the phone receiver off the hook and, placed it to her 
ear. Usagi wasn't too far behind her, trying to maintain a bit of dignity, 
rather than throwing herself on the bed she had recently been crawling 
	"Hotaru?" Chibi said, hopefully, but was greeted with the voice of a man on 
the other end.
	"Uh…no, this is Lieutenant Grey of the Maine PD. We found a girl out in a 
run down part of Oak Street, off the highway. She was unconscious, and 
covered in snow. She had a card key to this hotel, and this room. Purple 
hair, about five fe--"
	"HOTARU!!" Chibi shrieked, dropping the phone on the floor, her face going 
pale as she heard. Usagi quickly picked up the phone, placing it to her ear.
	"Hotaru is that you?" Usagi said into the phone, not sure what she was 
supposed to hear, but thought it would be bad news. She sighed, gazing to 
Chibi was sitting on the floor with her knees to her chest crying like the 
world was going to end.
	"No….This is Lieutenant Grey, of the Maine PD. A patrol had located a girl 
lying in the snow near the highway…we believe it's a friend of yours, since 
she had the key to this room in her pocket." The voice paused a moment, 
"She's currently at Memorial Hospital, south of Main Street."
	"Oh Hotaru…." Usagi reached down and placed her hand on Chibi's shoulder. 
"How do we get there from the hotel? The hotels on…" Usagi grabbed the pad 
off the desk near the phone, with the little pencil they provide, "It's on 
Greenway parkway."
	Arriving at the hospital, via the car Usagi had rented for their vacation, 
miraculously in one piece, in spite of the horrid driving conditions, the 
two entered the warm hospital and headed directly for the information desk. 
The sterile, cold feeling of the hospital sent chills down Chibi Usa's spine 
as she looked over the sparkling white tile, and stoic white walls of the 
entry way. The counter was vacant at the time they arrived, and Chibi Usa 
began an incessant attack on the bell, before having her hand removed by 
Usagi, who sternly shook her head. Removing her pink earmuffs, and staring 
out a nearby window, Chibi's heart sank. It was still snowing badly, and 
only grew more intense with every passing second.
	Turning back to the counter, Chibi was about to hit the bell again, when a 
woman emerged from the back area. Her white nurse's uniform was wrinkled, 
and fit her a bit too tightly, and the blue knit sweater she wore was 
stretched to its limit. "Yeah?" the red haired nurse asked. Usagi noted 
immediately that the woman smelled sickeningly of cigarette smoke.
	"Hi, we're looking for the girl who was found…" Usagi swallowed hard at 
this. She was used to visiting Hotaru in hospitals, but never for something 
like this. "She was found by the highwa--" The nurse cut her off with a 
sigh, rolling her eyes.
	"Room 415…fourth floor." The nurse then turned around and started back to 
the back, but paused. Reaching to the counter and taking the bell off the 
top, and placing it in her pocket, the woman gave Chibi Usa a steely glare.
	"My, isn't she the friendly one?" Chibi asked, taking Usagi's hand and 
pulling her towards the two massive steel doors of the elevator. Pushing the 
button a few times, Chibi waited impatiently for the lift to arrive. Her 
mind was cluttered with thoughts, assuming the worst…'I can't live without 
my best friend,' Chibi thought, trembling and blinking back the tears that 
made their way to eyes. 'If anything happens to Hotaru, I don't know what 
I'll do…I...I want to see her…I want to see her now!' With a red-eyed glare 
at the button, Chibi demanded, "What is TAKING this thing so long?!"
	"I don't know…I guess they're busy or something?" Usagi too, was wondering 
exactly what was keeping the lift from taking them to the fourth floor. She 
looked to her left and viewed the staircase, but dismissed it; there was a 
fire alarm on the door. Sighing, she pushed the button again…the elevator 
sounded in the silence of the lobby and opened it's metal jaws.
	Entering the room was one of the hardest things Chibi had ever had to do in 
her life. She and Usagi crept into the eerily quiet room, only to see their 
friend laying there, hooked up to machines that kept her alive. Chibi gasped 
and ran to her best friend, shakily reaching out and taking Hotaru's hand as 
carefully as she could, afraid she was going to hurt the girl by her touch.
	"Oh Hotaru…" Chibi whispered, as she felt Usagi's hand on her shoulder 
giving it a gentle squeeze. The purple haired girl made no response to the 
touch. Her eyes were closed, a tube in her mouth to keep her breathing, with 
an IV in the back of her hand. Chibi Usa slowly reached out to move some of 
the matted purple hair from over Hotaru's eyes, in a vain, almost sadistic 
hope that the she would see violet orbs flicker to life.
	"It'll be ok," Usagi said reassuringly, not only for Chibi's benefit, but 
her own as well. It pained her to see Hotaru in this condition, as so often 
seemed the case. Another gentle squeeze of Chibi's shoulder, before the door 
opened and the doctor stepped into the room. He was dressed in green 
S.C.R.U.B.s, and had a stethoscope hanging around the collar of his white 
	"You must be the ones the officer called," the doctor said, picking up the 
chart from the door and giving it a glance over as he rubbed his slightly 
stubbled chin. "I guess we start off with the basic's, what's her name? We 
have Jane Do-" Chibi cut him off, looking up at the man who was at least 
twice her size.
	"Is she going to be ok?" her red eyes brimming with tears as she asks him 
the question, swallowing hard and waiting for the worst news. A faint hope 
whispered reassurance, but was swiftly drowned by the cackling of reality… 
Usagi was soon behind her, but cast a glance over her shoulder to Hotaru, 
who was lying as still as death.
	"We don't know, we don't have her medical history, insurance information, 
or any--" This time Usagi cut him off, stating the facts quickly.
	"Her name is Hotaru Tomoe… H-o-t-a-r-u   T-o-m-o-e." Usagi paused as the 
doctor scribbled down the name then continued, "Look under Haruka Tenou for 
the insurance information, H-a-r-u-k-a   T-e-n-o-u." She was now glad that 
Michi had insisted that they had health insurance for their trip; even if it 
was an expensive, and only temporary policy, it sure did come in handy right 
	"Alright. I'll have my nurse check it out…" he turned to head away, but 
Chibi grabbed his shirt to keep him from going anywhere, and pushed the 
nurse's call buzzer a few times… not releasing her grip, she looked up at 
him, shaking her head.
"Something else I can do for you?" the doctor asked, looking down at the 
short pink-haired girl.
	"What's wrong with Hotaru?" A single tear ran down Chibi Usa's face as she 
all the horrid possibilities floated through her head.
	"First off she's got hypothermia, secondly she was barely breathing when 
they brought her in. She's lucky she had her inhaler in her hand or she 
probably would have died." The doctor's cold tone caused Chibi to sob a 
single time. This was her FRIEND he was talking about, not just a patient!! 
The doctor sighed and looked toward the door, grateful that one of the 
nurses came to see why the buzzer was being rung. Stepping over to her, he 
handed her the paper with the names on it and whispered something, then 
looked back the two standing by the bed, and nodded curtly to the nurse.
	"Visiting hours are over. They have been for about 4 hours or so, but 
seeing as how this is an emergency, you can stay. Plus, all the roads are 
snowed in… unless you're walking, you're not going to be able to get home. 
I've arranged for another bed to be brought in. I'm afraid we can only spare 
up to two beds per room, and your friend has one…" He stopped turned to the 
door, "I'll be back as soon as I get the information. She'll be fine until 
then." And with that, he headed out to gather the records of the girl.
	"She'll be fine, Chibi…I promise," Usagi said, glancing at her watch. It 
was almost 1 in the morning now. "I'm going to get some hot chocolate for 
us, down at the cafeteria. You can stay here if you want." Usagi said, 
moving to the door as Chibi Usa headed directly for Hotaru's bed and took 
her hand again, letting that be Usagi's answer. "I'll be right back, ok?" 
Usagi watched the two for a moment, feeling a sharp stab of pain as she 
realized this really could be it. Shaking it off, she turned on her heal and 
walked out of the room.
	Staring at her friend, Chibi Usa reached out again, running the back of her 
fingers gently down Hotaru's cheek, ignoring the tears that fell from her 
eyes. "The soldier of death…" Chibi whispered softly, feeling her heart 
breaking as she saw Hotaru in such a horrid condition. "The one who can 
destroy the world…" the pink haired girl murmured as she leaned down and 
placed a kiss on Hotaru's cheek, saying to herself. "It's hard to believe 
that someone so beautiful could be so deadly…"
Back home

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