Universe: Bookverse, present life
X-posted: personal LJ, deviantArt
Summary: Their friendship was a lie. Is his real?
Notes: After Mercury left her (willing) stay in the Dark Kingdom, she was supposed to convince the other senshi of the true past.
As if she could forget - and as if she had a choice. Mercury could only nod dumbly in response to Kunzite's reminders. He would not be contacting her if it was not important, but...
Angry voices. Venus, Mars, Jupiter. Usagi. Even Usagi? Their approach made the shitennou break the contact and Mercury turned to the Crown Karaoke door. She raised her eyes to them and then, as she saw their expressions, lowered them again. All of them were transformed to fight. She didn't know what to say. Maybe there was nothing to be said.
Venus spoke first.
"Mercury! Don't move." She was in a far too familiar pose, far too serious, ready to strike if she were disobeyed. Mercury obliged, staying quietly seated with her gaze wandering towards the floor. There was nowhere to run to anyway, now.
"Minako-chan!" The shock was Usagi's. Of course. Even now, she couldn't side with the others about this, could she? Usagi would trust Mercury - Ami - just as Mercury had trusted Usagi, wouldn't she?
"We have to do this, Usagi." Mars, all business just like Venus who she looked up to. "We can't let her go any further!"
"She spent all that time with the enemy," Jupiter pointed out bluntly. "How do we know what they've done to her?" The aggressive posture and stance said plainly that she thought it was more of a matter of what Mercury had already been prepared to do anyway. Mercury was the traitor, a harsh blow to the girl who had found it difficult to trust to begin with.
Ami had found it hard to trust, too. Was she right after all, then? All those thoughts that the senshi were only there because she could fight, was that it? That was all there was to their friendship? It really was a lie? When had things gotten like this? Was it before or after she'd left?
They were all wrong. Everything they knew was a lie. No one knew more than Ami - Mercury - how traumatic that realization was. She had learned the true, full story of the Silver Millenium and that long, bloody past life. They had not welcomed it when she'd returned to tell them. Perhaps they would even kill her. She found herself strangely calm, in an almost altered state, at the thought.
Any further protests from Sailormoon were cut off. The Venus chain was soon in its owner's hands, and she was stepping in towards Mercury. The senshi of water could not possibly transform and fight all four of the other girls at once. She braced for what she was sure was coming, wincing with her eyes closed tightly and her head ducked.
Nothing happened. Still not daring to open her eyes, Mercury heard the sounds of a brutal short-lived battle but none of those sounds manifested themselves in injuries to her body. There was a voice she recognized, a voice she knew well. Her eyes flew open.
Kunzite? The sight was short-lived as the tension and its unexpected sudden release took hold and she lost consciousness.
When she awoke, Mercury was laying in a familiar bed, staring at a familiar ceiling. This was...
"The castle in the Dark Kingdom?" She spoke the words aloud without realizing it, sitting up in bed and turning her head hesitantly from side to side to confirm her first impressions. Kunzite was there, casually seated in a chair a short distance away.
They hadn't seen each other face to face like this in so long, was her first thought, and the senshi hated herself for letting that be her priority. She schooled her mind to more appropriate subjects.
"Why did you--?" Before Mercury could finish the sentence, he'd already cut her off.
"They would have--" The shitennou cut his own sentence off next, amending it, "It was necessary." He said no more, giving her a slightly haughty look that defied her to ask for a further explanation.
"And everyone is...?" Her own look in return was timid, unsure whether she dared venture even this far, unsure whether she even wanted the answer.
"Unharmed." His lips clamped tightly shut on the word.
That was something anyway. Or maybe she shouldn't think that way anymore. Still, it felt equally wrong to think of them injured and beaten just to take her from their midst, even if it had been to save her. She was hardly ignorant that he'd done it to save her. He must have been watching, scrying through some spell. Mercury's shoulders slumped a little, and she slouched forward. He was always having to take care of her. She found she couldn't quite look at him directly.
He took her chin in his hand, turning her face, forcing her eyes to meet his - examining her, Mercury felt. Kunzite found whatever he was looking for and released her after several moments.
"You also," he said, not finishing that sentence either: You're also not hurt. It was true; he'd arrived before any of the girls had even touched her. She realized then that there was something she'd never truly said to him, even after everything that had happened.
There was a long silence between them.
"Don't say unnecessary things," he finally chided her. The shitennou stood then, and left Mercury to her own reflections.