By Saturn Knight


WARNING: Yes, a fic with a warning. This isn't your run of the mill episode here. This
one will be slightly, if not very depressing. The email address is the same,
Saturn_Knight@hotmail.com for those of you who wish to email me, but don't send me
hate mail, because it'll be deleted.

"Where did we come from? Why are we here?
Where do we go when we die?
What lies beyond? And what laid before?
Is anything certain in life?
They say 'life is too short,' 'the here and the now,'
And 'you're only given one shot.'
But could there be more? Have I lived before?
Or could this be all that we've got?
'…Move on be brave! Don't weep at my grave!
Because I am no longer here.
But please never let your memory of me
Dream Theater: "The Spirit Carries On."

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of one of
God's children." The day was overcast, gray and simply miserable. The angry sky
rumbled with fury as the small group crowded around an open grave, in direct defiance of
the chill. The figures, huddled around site, stood in somber, detached silence as the priest
continued to speak. " 'The lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…' We commit thee,
Hotaru Tomoe back to God's earth, though the body is only a vessel, and you, such a
lovely child, are in the hands of God once more. 'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' so it has
always been and it always will be" He stepped forward, dropping a single rose on the lid
of the coffin, and motioned for the others to do so as well. The senshi approached one by
one, standing before the simple stone that marked her final resting place; an angel with its
wings wrapped around a small child, and murmured their final goodbyes to the lacquered
coffin lid.
"We'll miss you, Hotaru…" Ami said as she crouched down and released the
rose, allowing it to fall above the priest's.
"I'm sorry I never got to know you better," Minako sighed, she too allowing the
brilliant red rose to drop into the grave.
"It won't be the same without you, Hotaru…" Usagi stood by the edge of the six-
foot deep, rectangular hole; Chibi was by her side. Both of them relinquished their roses
at the same time, Usagi turned to let Chibi stand a moment longer.
"I'll miss you, Hotaru…you were my best friend. I never met anyone like you,
and I know I never will. You…" she paused, shaking her head and trying to swallow the
lump that creeped into her throat. "You can never be replaced…" Her eyes closed, tears
finding the way down her cheeks, only to fall, unheeded, onto the lid of the coffin.
'Why?' Chibi thought to herself. 'WHY!? It's not fair! She didn't do anything!
She wasn't a bad person anymore! It wasn't her fault before! SHE CHANGED!! DO
YOU HEAR ME?! SHE CHANGED!!!' She began to shake with anger, her small hands
curling into fists as she glared at the carving of an angel that watched over a nearby
grave. 'Why did you take her?! WHY!? All her power- all our power and we couldn't do
anything to help her! What good are we if we can't even protect each other!? How are we
supposed to protect the world? This is ridiculous…' Chibi was beginning falter, shaking
hard enough now that the other Senshi noticed, and Usagi slowly approached her.
"Come on…the other's need to say goodbye to her too. We all miss her," Usagi
too was crying, though not as uncontrollably as Chibi. The child didn't move, as much a
statue as the stone monuments that stood silent vigil over the dead. Slowly, red, swollen
eyes met Usagi's and Chibi opened her mouth to speak, but couldn't for a moment.
"Shh…" Usagi's finger moved over her daughter's lips, signaling her not to talk. She had
never seen her like this before, so angry, so…frightening.
"WWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYY!!!!???" her piercing wail
echoed, rebounding off the tombstones, making the sound redirect to the people who
stood between them. Soon it sounded like the angels themselves were screaming in

The ride back to home was quiet, uneventful. 'I'm glad she's at least quiet now,'
Usagi thought to herself, looking over at the sleeping child that rested in her lap. 'I
thought we were going to be kicked off the plane on the way back here. She was glad the
people were sympathetic, even if annoyed and distressed at the hysterically crying child
who only ceased her sobbing after she fell asleep.
"I didn't know she'd take it this hard." Ami whispered to Usagi who only sighed
and nodded, though both of the older senshi's eyes were puffy from tears, they had
nothing on the pink haired girl. "It's so sad…I never knew she cared about Hotaru this
much… they were very good friends, now that I do think about it." Usagi nodded to Ami
for a fraction of a second before her eyes went wide.
Hearing Ami talk about Hotaru in the past tense finalized it as her being gone.
Usagi winced visibly and pulled her daughter tighter into her body, suddenly wanting to
be comforted, though Chibi didn't awaken. "Ami…god, why did you say that?" Usagi
narrowed her eyes at Ami even though she knew that she wasn't angry at her, hissing
through her clenched teeth, "Why?"
"I…I'm sorry Usagi, but all I said was that Hotaru and Chibi were-" she cut off,
suddenly realizing just what she had said and her hand covered her mouth. She didn't
need to say anymore. She didn't have to.
They spent the rest of the long ride from the cemetery listening only to the rain
patter down, and Chibi's steady breathing as she slept. 'You must be exhausted,' Usagi
thought as she brushed aside some of the girl's hair. 'I've never seen you cry like that,
and this much before…let alone scream that loudly. You must really care about her,
huh?' She refused to talk about Hotaru in the past tense, it tore her too much to even
begin to. 'She's lucky to have a friend like you…'
"Usagi….Usagi? We're home now," Usagi looked up quickly, realizing they were
now at Makoto's house, where they would be staying to keep each other company. "Do
you need a hand with her?" Ami gestured to Chibi, she was the only one who didn't head
quickly inside, not because of the angel's tears that streamed from the heavens, soaking
the world beneath, but because they were too numb to know any better. Only Ami's hard
wired sense of responsibility and courtesy remained.
"Huh? Oh, no, I've got her…" Usagi placed both legs out onto the ground, before
standing; the cold, but comforting rain began to trace over her face. "Let's get inside."
The door to the car was closed by Ami, as Usagi needed both hands to carry her daughter,
who was too out of it to even place her arms around her mother's neck. 'God, she's such
a dead weight…'
A stabbing pain in Usagi's head brought to her a sudden halt. She leaned her back
against a soaked pillar, to keep herself upright. Her mind forced the replay of the scene at
the funeral, where they stood gathered around Hotaru's grave. Only this time, she was
watching herself, and the others, in third person. Watching herself stand crying, Usagi
felt a direct chill, slithering down her spine before turning to the stone on the ground. It
was blank. The angel carved onto the gray stone suddenly turned its eyes and head to face
Usagi who gasped in fright. It began to mouth silent words to her, though she couldn't
make them out. 'I…I don't understand!' She thought trying harder to read the lips of the
"Love is stronger than death… Love is stronger than life… Don't let her grief
over come her… Love her…" Hotaru's hushed voice clearly sounded, whispering though
Usagi's ear, causing her to jump, and look around frantically, but the only thing she saw
now was Ami, who had her hand on Usagi's shoulder.
"Usagi! Are you ok? Get inside before your d-- catch a cold." She began to lead
her inside, oblivious to Hotaru's warning that carried itself on the fridged air.

Seisen floated through the swirling darkness, unaware of the creature that was
stalking him through the endless depths of the portal.. Unbeknownst to him, he was
floating back to the astral plane, by nothing more than dumb luck, but the monster
trailing him intended to stop this. It's tendril flared quickly at the youth, intending to
entangle him and draw him closer to itself to pull him from the sanctuary of the darkness.
However, at that moment, Seisen's eyes opened to see the imminent collision, but
managed to turn his body vertically so the tendril would only slam into his chest, not grip
him like the creature wanted. The impact of the blow sent the youth spinning head over
heels out of the portal and onto the ground of the astral realm, leaving the furious cry of
the creature to echo in his ears, just as his hand closed around the Silence Glaive. It began
to shimmer in response to his touch, but soon darkness was all he saw.
Waking in the still, flame lit darkness, Seisen sat up. His body was healed, he was
whole again…he glanced to the glaive by his side, which just shined knowingly. "Thank
you, Hotaru…" he mumbled under his breath before a single tear streamed down his face,
he could feel in his heart that the girl was dead, which meant he had very little time. He
stood up, grabbing the glaive in his hands, and began to run quickly down the path to the

Makoto's house was deathly silent, the senshi sitting around the living room
staring at the rug in the middle of the floor. Nothing stirred the quiet, besides the sound of
the girls' breathing. A breeze floated on the thick air, chilling Usagi down to her bones,
though none of the senshi seemed to notice the sudden icy whisper that ran it's fingers
through Usagi's hair. "Remember…" Hotaru's hushed voice murmured to the girl,
"Remember what?" she said aloud, causing the rest of the inners to look at her, as
the others chose to heal in their own way. Four sets of red eyes looked to Usagi, though
no one spoke to her.
Assuming she was just thinking aloud they dismissed it and went back to looking
at their own feet. Chibi stirred in Usagi's lap, sitting up and glancing to her mother, "Did
you hear her too?"
Seisen stood at the foot of the bed, having successfully managed to prevent
Hotaru's passage into the afterlife by mere moments. He sighed, sitting down on the
chair, exhausted. "If I had been a second later, you would have gone…I'm glad I know
my way around the plane," he spoke to her, though she was asleep, just to break the
uneasy silence.
"You see, when you die your spirit returns here, to the astral plane. You are here
physically, like I told you before, since your spirit makes you whole here." Seisen knew
he was only talking to himself, but it was that or listen to the burning of the torches. "I
found you before you wandered your way into the afterlife…some people find their way
back to the realm of the living, which is why they are ghosts because they have no body
and don't want to be completely dead. So, I stopped your spirit from entering and losing
you forever…now all we have to do is find a new body for you, or have you reborn…
that's going to be hell, let me tell you…we'll worry about that later, just relax…"

Chibi sat in the tub of Makoto's bathroom in the now cooling water. She had been
in there for almost two hours, though she hardly noticed the time. Her skin was
wrinkling, her mind was wandering and her heart was aching. She didn't want to move,
she didn't want to think, she just wanted to be with Hotaru again.
"Chibi…? Are you OK in there?" Usagi asked as she gently knocked on the door.
The blonde was more worried about her daughter than she let on, Hotaru's words echoed
still in her ears, but she didn't understand what they were meaning to tell her.
"Yeah….I'm ok, I think I want to get out now." Chibi said, standing up and
letting the water drip from her body as she pulled the drain plug from the bath. She
watched the water swirling down the drain, but somehow in her mind she pictured
crimson swirls of blood draining down the hole. Her blood. She glanced away quickly.
"Ok…you have your pajamas and everything? We're going to sleep in the living
room, on the sofa…Minako, and Rei will be sleeping in Makoto's room, so we're sharing
with Ami." Usagi leaned her body against the door, her fingertips tracing the pattern of
the wood grain as she waited for Chibi to answer her.
"Yes…" was the only response Chibi gave as she began to towel off, though the
edge of the fabric was caught in the drawer. She sighed as she pulled it open and removed
the towel piece, and just as she was about to close the drawer, a small black object caught
her eye. Reaching in, she removed the black cylinder, which upon further inspection
revealed itself to be a box cutter; the razor still protruding from the top.
Chibi's mind flashed once more to the vision of her blood flowing down the
bathtub drain as she looked over the glint of the steel's edge. "Hotaru…" she said softly,
numbly running her finger over the blade, not so much as wincing as it tore easily
through her skin. "I'll see you soon…" she shoved the blade into the pocket of her
pajama pants and continued to dry herself off.

It was almost 1:00 AM before Usagi finally fell asleep. Ami had been resting for
almost an hour before hand, though Chibi was still awake listening to the thunder rolling
in the distance. The child had been sitting in silence the entire night, weighing the pros
and the cons of the razor in her hand, and though terribly frightened she had chosen to
indeed go through with it.
The chill in the air was undeniable as the child walked her final, self imposed mile
down the dark, lonely hall towards the bathroom; she wanted to do it in the bathtub,
where she wouldn't make a mess for Makoto. Flipping on the light switch, Chibi was
instantly blinded by the fluorescent daggers that sought out her dilated pupils and paused
a moment to let her eyes adjust to the brightness.
"I'll be with you soon, Hotaru…" she whispered to herself as she closed the door
behind her and made very sure it was locked before she took a look at herself in the
mirror. Red, tired eyes stared back at her, alabaster skin stained with the tears that have
since run dry. The child sniffled, wiping her nose with the back of her hand and stepping
over to the tub and sitting herself in it. It was cold. She shivered lightly in the tub, though
she chilled even more when she rolled up her left sleeve, since it was closer to the heart
she figured that it would bleed faster. "I'm sorry mom…everyone," she whispered to
herself as she extended the end of the blade to full length.
As she placed the razor's edge to her skin, she hesitated a moment. It would hurt,
she knew very well, but it was better a moment of physical pain than a lifetime of agony.
"I'm sorry…" the girl whispered again before pressing down on the handle of the box
cutter and driving it as deep as it will go into her soft skin.
White hot pain seared her body as the deep, crimson liquid began to pour from the
small wound on her wrist…it would take too long. Gathering her courage, she roughly
pulled the blade up her arm, moving toward her elbow rather than horizontally across her
wrist, as it would slice the entire vein rather than just a portion of it. With every
centimeter of her skin that tore, it allowed more blood to freely drop into the tub, the tiny
globules soon becoming thick, morbid river that washed her life down the drain.
Unable to take any more pain, Chibi dropped the box cutter with a loud clatter
against the tile floor, sending a few droplets spraying across the white tile.
The sound transmitted easily through the thin walls of Makoto's house, causing a
few of the senshi to awaken. Sitting up in the darkness, Ami rubbed her eyes and
stretched; the clock read almost 1:15 in the morning. "Who is up at such an hour?" she
whispered to herself, though as she stood she realized that Chibi Usa was missing.
"Leave it to her to wake the house…just like her mother." Ami said aloud, pausing to
look over the sleeping Usagi, "That isn't necessarily a bad thing though…" Shaking
herself free from the stare she had placed on the senshi of the moon, Ami began to head
in the direction of the noise.
Ami stepped quietly through the house, and when she reached the bathroom door,
she knocked softly on it, "Is everything ok? I heard a loud noise…" This startled Chibi,
who turned to look at the door a moment, but the room began to spin.
She didn't care anymore, she could hardly focus on anything; not what she was
leaving behind, only what she was going to. Her vision continuing to blur, the child
forced her eyes open a last time, and in her disorientation saw her best friend leaning over
Hotaru's violet eyes were of great comfort to the dying girl, and as she felt a hand
running through her hair, she knew everything was going to be over soon, and she
wouldn't have to feel anything else. "Shh….Chibi," the soldier of Saturn whispered to
her, caressing her face with her pale hand, "Just a moment or two longer."
Hotaru felt selfish…she felt ashamed, and dishonorable for doing this. She knew
she should have stopped her friend from killing herself, but she couldn't. Hotaru wanted
Chibi to be with her. She wanted to see her again, to feel her touch, to know that she
wasn't alone in the darkness. Seisen was someone to talk to, yes, but it wasn't the same.
Nor had the man stopped her from coming back to see Chibi, which led Hotaru to believe
that this was OK with him as well.
"What will happen…?" Chibi mumbled the girl who still stood over her, finding it
very difficult to talk. Her body ached all over as the muscles began to seize, leaving her
to sit stiffly with her friend. Hotaru didn't say anything to her, simply shook her head and
leaned down, nuzzling the smaller girl's face with her own. Chibi shakily raised her
bleeding hand and touched Hotaru's lips with her fingers, causing a smear of blood to run
across them. "Please…" Chibi said, touching her lips again.
The raven haired child nodded to her friend and tilted her face to the side. Just as
her lips met Chibi's, the door unlocked seemingly of it's own will. "Chibi?" Ami called,
though she wasn't heard by either of the two in the room. Hotaru wrapped her arms
around her friend's body and hugged her tightly.
Chibi shuddered a moment, taking a final deep breath before growing still; dying
wrapped in Hotaru's arms never breaking their kiss. "Chibi, I'm coming in." Ami said
again, and the door slowly opened.
The sight that Ami witnessed that day would never be forgotten. Hotaru,
completely restored in her beauty sitting on the ledge of the bathtub holding a bloody
child in her arms. The raven haired ghost turned to look at Ami slowly, her lips smeared
with blood, giving her an even more macabre appearance. "Goodbye Ami…tell my
parents I say the same. I'm sorry I'm so selfish…" and with that, she faded from sight as
Ami began to scream as loud as she could.

"So how does it feel, little one?"
"H-…how does what feel? Where am I?"
"How does it feel to be dead?"
"Yes…you and Firefly…only there's a problem…"
"Problem….? I don't understand."
"……thou shalt not kill."

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