By Saturn Knight

"She never really had a chance on that fateful moonlight night.
Sacrificed without a fight, a victim of a circumstance.
Now that I've become aware and I've exposed this tragedy,
A sadness grows inside of me, it all seems so unfair,
I'm learning all about my life by looking through her eyes.
Just beyond the church yard gates, where the grass is overgrown,
I saw the writing on her stone. I felt like I would suffocate.
'In loving memory of our child, so innocent, eyes open wide.'
I felt so empty as I cried, like part of me had died…"
Dream Theater. "Through her eyes."

"Ms. Tsukino?" A well-dressed, dark haired woman called as she entered the room
where Usagi and Chibi Usa were awaiting Hotaru's return. "I'm Dr. Lisa Terrene, and I've just
been assigned to Ms. Tomoe. She's on her way back from the CT scan now." The doctor looked
Usagi directly in the eye; her own brown eyes were made larger from the small metal-framed
"Yes? Is everything alright?" Usagi stood up as the woman entered, very much glad for
her professionalism, and seeming concern with Hotaru. The blonde immediately noted she wasn't
very much shorter than the doctor, and their build was almost the same, though Lisa was more
full in the bust and hips. Dr. Terrene regarded Usagi's question a moment, before stepping beside
her and opening the chart, showing her the films that were recently printed out.
"See this black part here?" the doctor ran her finger along the slick surface, pointing at
the area that was considerably darker than the rest of the normal brain tissue, "This is a normal
result of acute head trauma. Though normally harmless, her previous medical conditions make
her more predisposed toward injury." Usagi nodded slowly, feeling a bit numb right now, having
looked at the CT pictures made it all the more real. Chibi pulled at Usagi's sleeve to try to see the
images as well, but the older girl didn't respond to the touch.
"What does this mean, doctor? What should we expect? The other doctor said that she
could be well or die. That's too much of a range for me." Lisa closed the folder and crossed her
arms around it, leaning her back against the wall and looking down at Usa who was on her way to
the door to see if Hotaru was on her way back yet.
"Well, the pressure in her head is stable right now, and we're going to keep her monitored
24 hours a day until it drops, or we have to take further measures." The doctor waited for Usagi to
nod before continuing. "Right now it'll be fine on it's own, but if she develops brain edema, it could
be fatal. We have to prep her for surgery just in case, we hope there won't be any trouble, but if
there is, we will have to physically release the pressure from her head, by opening the skull at key
points and removing the excess fluid." She hesitated a moment, glancing to Chibi, then back to
Usagi, "Since we don't know exactly where those points will be, I'm afraid we're going to have to
shave her entire head."
"Shave her head?" Chibi's soft red eyes looked at Lisa and began to water slightly. She
couldn't imagine Hotaru without hair, but most definitely doesn't want her to die. "Why do you
need to do that?"
"Because we don't want hair to get into the incisions, the holes we might have to make,
because hair isn't supposed to be there and could get her brain infected…" Dr. Terrene paused
and glanced apologetically at both girls, " I'm very sorry, but this is the only way to provide the
fastest possible treatment if something should go wrong, God forbid it." The doctor placed her
hand on Chibi's shoulder, "I know she means a lot to both of you, and I'm praying that she'll be
alright." Just as she finished her sentence, Hotaru was wheeled back into the room, still
unconscious. Chibi ran to see her, placing her hand on Hotaru's even before the bed stopped
moving. The tech looked at the girl, but didn't say anything as he locked the bed into place and
headed out of the room, nodding to the women before he left.
"Did you hear that Hotaru? They want to shave your head…I know you wouldn't want
them to huh? But we'll get you some hats, and you can wear those." Chibi's eyes spilled tears,
the drops ran down her face and splashed onto Hotaru's cheek. "You said before you wanted a
hair cut like Haruka-papa, didn't you? Well, now you'll get to see what it looks like!" Chibi's hand
reached to Hotaru's hair and running her fingers through it, now beginning to sob. The lack of
sleep, and the horrid events of the last day had made her a nervous wreck. Usagi too felt like
crying, Hotaru's hair was so beautiful, it was a shame to cut it all off, but whatever would save her
"We'll need to shave her head now, hun…" Lisa said to Chibi, once more placing her
practiced hand on the small child's shoulder. A female nurse came into the room with a bag, a
pair of scissors and an electric razor. "I'm sorry…" Terrene said before stepping out of the room,
not wanting to observe the process.
"Can I see the scissors?" Chibi asked the woman who looked at her dumbly a moment
before nodding and handing them, handle first, to the girl. "Thank you," she said politely and
wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Reaching out, she grabbed a lock of Hotaru's hair and
snipped it off, holding it tightly in her hand. The nurse, having gotten the idea handed Chibi a pair
of rubber bands to bind the hair together, which she did with only slight difficulty. "There…now I'll
always have a piece of you with me Hotaru!" Chibi said with her best brand of false cheer as she
handed the scissors back to the nurse. "Can we go get something for lunch, please?" The pink
haired child asked her mother, not wanting to stay either. She couldn't bear to watch it.
"Sure, let's go get a donut or something sweet. I've been dying for something all
morning." Which was a half-truth, sure she had been hungry. She was always hungry. But
suddenly she didn't feel too much like eating. Placing her arm around Chibi, Usagi pulled her from
the bed, directing her to the door; though she cast one last look over her shoulder to see the
nurse began to cut the raven colored tresses from Hotaru's head…Usagi felt sick.

Seisen's blade sunk deep into the skull, and a quick turn of his body sent brain matter
flying, and blood running down Hotaru's clothes. The sound of the sword tearing free of the flesh
was that of someone slicing a cantaloupe open with a dull knife. Hotaru felt her body hit the floor,
and look up at the darkness and at the black dressed youth above her.
"Next time, Firefly…duck?" Seisen returned his sword to its scabbard and wiped the
blood from his hands onto his pants. He turned to view the portal again, leaving Hotaru on the
floor, wondering what just happened. She wasn't dead? Her hands moved to her head and
touched it gently, though it was slick with blood and fluid, it was intact. It wasn't her head that he
cut…then whose was it? Hotaru turned behind her, finding a body lying within a foot of hers; what
appeared to be a mix between a human and a jackal. It's head was that of the latter, it's large
canines coated with it's own blood, as a large part of it's skull was torn clean off. The body was
human, though covered in mangled, dirty fur.
"I'm… alive?" Hotaru's hands moved along her body now, making sure she was still
whole. "Thank you, Seisen…" she was polite about it, and placed her hands on the floor. She
began to push herself up, but the blood was too thick and her grip quickly slid, sending her
sprawling onto her chest. "ow…"
"Need a hand?" The youth asked over his shoulder, before turning his head to gaze at
the girl. Hotaru nodded, finally admitting defeat; Seisen was immediately by her side, a hand on
her elbow, and another around her waist to lift her as if she weighed nothing at all. His hands did
not release her body; "Come on…this is going to be quite a ride, hold on tight, or you might get
lost…whatever you do, don't let go of me." He waited until Hotaru again signaled yes before
stepping onto the platform before the portal and then added a quick, "Here we go…" before
drawing his sword, a crackle of electricity surrounded them a moment, then sucked them into the
The hungry, swirling vortex pulled them in, the colors were blinding and dizzying in their
intensity. Purple light flowed over them; tendrils of color began to tug at their bodies, pulling them
from every which way, but the sword's electric-like properties of the blade shocked them away.
Hotaru whimpered and pulled tighter onto Seisen, who wrapped both arms around her, as the
blade guided their way through the vast stream of time and space.
Something caught Hotaru's eye. She was facing Seisen's chest, with a good view over
his shoulder, and glimpsed a black outline creeping slowly towards them. "Seisen…something is
coming, I can't make it out but it's moving really fast." The youth turned his head to the right, to
look over his shoulder and swore quickly at what he saw.
Quickly approaching the pair, emerging from the darkness of the void was an
indescribable creature. Decayed human bodies were stacked in a shapeless pile, with large, bony
appendages that raked the air, flexing and extending as it neared the two. Soon, it's left tendril
like arm craned back and shot for them quickly. "Brace yourself!" Seisen shouted.
A rough force rammed the pair forward, as the creature struck them, sending both the
youth and Hotaru spinning head over heels in the infinity. Seisen quickly flared his legs out, to
counter the spin, though he was slightly nauseas, and keep them facing in the same direction.
With a short grunt, he ignored the pain having no choice but to ride it out; he knew better than to
turn around and face what was attacking them. It would leave Hotaru vulnerable. Another forceful
slam collided with Seisen's back; this time a low snap was heard as one of the man's ribs was
cracked clean in two.
"Ugh…" Seisen gurgled; it was obvious his lung was punctured. "Dammit…almost there,"
he whispered to Hotaru. "Turn your back to me…" he began to move his hands, grimacing in pain
as turned Hotaru in the opposite direction. She did as she was told, and held onto him tightly.
Once she was completely turned, he placed his around her shoulders, to give her more coverage,
just as another blow landed Seisen's back. He grunted loudly, cursing a blue streak as he
shuddered a moment, then went limp. His eyes closed.
Hotaru glanced over her shoulder to see what was going on, only to be greeted with the
sight of Seisen's blood stained face, rivulets of the crimson liquid were pulled from his body,
twirling into ribbons as it spilled into the distance. Blood was pouring from his mouth; that much
was evident even with his mask on. The creature had pierced his rib cage. "Seisen!" Hotaru
yelled out, causing the man to open his dark, innocent eyes to regard Hotaru. He looked
exhausted, and was coughing thickly.
"Take the sword…" his hands moved to hers, placing the blade into her palm then closing
her hand around it, the fierce wind still whipping around their bodies as the colors around them
began to decrease. "It's…pushing through me…it's trying to get to you…" just as he said that, the
tendril managed its way through Seisen's chest, spraying Hotaru's back with blood. Seisen's grip
increased on Hotaru and he began to push her away, but a moment too late; the bony extension
pierced her back, just at her heart. She screamed loudly, and Seisen's face contorted as he
gathered the last of his strength, "Hold on…don't let go of the sword, it will guide you back…"
Shoving Hotaru away, and off the tendril, Seisen wiggled quickly, causing the hole in his
chest to enlarge, but it would decrease the dexterity of the tendril as he moved. "Brace
yourself…" The man pulled his legs back and placed them just at Hotaru's back, and with a quick
move and a loud yell, he shot both legs out, sending Hotaru flying down the portal at a dizzying
speed. She managed to get one last look behind her, to see her blood spilling through the vortex,
and Seisen floating limply through the air, before vanishing from sight. "Thank you…" she
whispered to him as she neared the end of the portal, her body shaking lightly from both fright
and blood loss.

Chibi turned the soup in her small, Styrofoam tray over and over with her spoon. Her face
was stained with tears, and she had no real appetite. She glanced over at Usagi, who sat staring
at her donut, looking for some kind of answer in the chocolate surface. "Good soup?" the blonde
girl asked without even looking up. Chibi only gave her a slight grunt, before putting the spoon
down and glancing at the clock. It was now 3:00PM; they had been in the cafeteria for almost half
an hour, neither of them having said a thing to the other until Usagi had broken the silence.
"You think they're done yet…?" Chibi inquired, pushing the bowl away from her in
disgust. "I want to see her again" Usagi shrugged and was about to say something, but the loud
speaker sudden blared over their heads.
"Code blue, room 415, code blue room 415!" Both girls immediately looked at each other,
stood quickly enough to knock their chairs over, and darted towards the elevator.

In the operating room, Hotaru's head was already opened up, and they were attempting
to drain the fluid from her skull but to little avail. Her blood pressure was dangerously low, and her
pulse was down to almost an almost unreadable level. She was hooked to a bypass machine at
this point, both blood and IV drips were in place, as the doctors tried desperately to save her
young life. Hotaru's spirit however, was quickly streaking back into reality, thanks to Seisen's
shove. The sword that was wrapped so tightly in her hand suddenly faded from existence as she
was rocked violently into a stop, just above her real self, though her vision was horribly blurred.
Her spiritual body bled, and her life was fading quickly, both in the real world, and in the astral.
Soon, as her vision began to focus, Hotaru saw her own body; hooked to tubes, blood pouring out
of her head while the medical team worked as quickly as possible to try to keep her alive. Her
spirit's eyes began to shut, both her bodies were shutting down.
"What happened to me…?" Hotaru thought as an invisible force began to pull back into
her body. "The last thing I remember about being here is the snow, and the sky…" Soon, she was
being bound back into herself, and as she returned to her physical form, she was immediately
overwhelmed by pain.
She regained consciousness on the table, a bolt of pain caused her to sit up quickly,
pulling both the IV drips from her arm in the violent motion. "Chibi…" Hotaru mumbled lightly,
glancing to one of the nurses, her violet eyes locking onto her for a moment before they rolled
back into her head and she fell back onto the table limply, causing a few instruments to go flying
off their trays, and a nurse to scream loudly.
"Get her stabilized," the head surgeon directed the staff, "we need more anesthesia,
more blood, 0, get as much of it as you can carry! Move it!" the team began to scramble, a couple
slipping on the blood that coated the floor, dripping from the IV tubes. Before they could even
reach the door to head to the blood bank, the heart monitor let out a steady beep, signaling a loss
of the pulse. Hotaru Tomoe was dead.

"'Ruka…" Michi placed her left hand on her head, while her right quickly grabbed
Haruka's knee, squeezing it tightly in the cab that was racing to their destination. "I…I don't feel
good." She held her chest and clenched her eyes tightly shut, "God…it feels like my heart is
crumbling in my chest..." Haruka placed her hand on Michi's, not exactly sure how to comfort her,
but she didn't have a chance to even open her mouth before Michi began to sob. Haruka knew.

As Usagi and her daughter reached Hotaru's room, she was already gone and in surgery,
though there was a nurse in the room. Chibi went immediately to her and began pumping her for
information. "Where's Hotaru!?" she demanded, looking up at the woman who simply glanced
away, not allowing the young child to acquire eye contact.
"The doctor will be in shortly to talk to you," she answered evasively and began to walk
out of the room but was blocked by Usagi who stood in front of the door, her hands on her hips
and a dangerous glare returning to her eyes.
"Where. Is. She!?" Usagi demanded, her eyes starting to narrow as the nurse looked
away from her as well.
"She's in the O.R." That was technically not a lie, since she was still physically in the
operating room, "the doctor will be in shortly to speak to you." The nurse then sidestepped Usagi
and left the room closing the door behind her.
"I don't like this feeling," Chibi said to Usagi, looking at her fearfully, "I…I don't feel good, I
feel sick, and empty… Why do I feel like this? It's not right." Usagi was about to try to reassure
her, but the doctor entered the room with a solemn look on her face, Usagi felt her heart begin to
"Ms. Tsukino… please sit down, you too as well, child." Usagi slid into the chair numbly,
and Chibi sat quickly into her lap, both their eyes glued to the doctor, "There is no easy way to
say this…Ms. Tomoe regained consciousness in surgery." She paused a moment, Chibi's eyes lit
up and a broad smile formed on her face, she began to dismiss her ache. "She whispered the
word 'Chibi'," Lisa spoke quietly, "Then she went into cardiac arrest…"
The doctor sat on the bed, placing a hand on either side of her head, "I'm sorry, both of
you, but your friend passed away…" Chibi's grin stayed on her face a moment, it felt stiff, unreal,
it slowly began to fade. Suddenly it felt very cold, and Chibi began to struggle for breath, tears
began to stream down both of the girl's faces, and Usagi placed her hand on her daughters back
to try to comfort her.
The silence of the room was suddenly shattered by Chibi's soul shredding scream.

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