AN: YAY!! I finished the first hurdle, err, book! Um, lessee...I’ve gone through one editor and now my new editor keeps shooting me evil glares when I laugh at her for agreeing to edit this. But! Lucky for you, NO MORE LONG BOOKS!! After Book 1, come on, this thing’ll be a bitty little one. ^_^. I promise.
A few changes have been made...I use senshi instead of soldier (see revised SC Book 1), as well as new names
Corinne/Uranus: Alexandra (no evil glares!! I swear! Just because *my* name is Alexandra...)
Princess Mars: Morrigan
Princess Jupiter: Atalanta
Princess Saturn: Vivian
Princess Neptune: Cordelia
And the beginning of this book, since there is no prologue, and also since this book is depressing enough without me adding salt to the wound, is supposed to be comical. It also, perhaps, offers insight as to why Innocence is even telling her story anyway.
And onto the pain... err, reading. Enjoy!
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Book 2: Split Personalities
Chapter 1: Paranoid
Darien, clothed as Prince Endymion of the Celestial and Golden Kingdom’s poured his heart and soul out in a downpour of tears for his beloved sister, on Serena’s shoulder. She wouldn’t dare let herself cry, not just yet, for fear that if she started, she might never stop. Unfortunately, though, she was facing the coffin as well as the chapel clock. It sounded with a loud gong, twelve times.
It was August 3rd.
A solitary tear rolled down her cheek as she rubbed the back of Darien’s head, trying to soothe him as best as possible. But she knew, this pain would never leave him. The light Innocence brought with her to his eyes died when she did.
They’d all returned to Earth by seven AM, just in time to catch the news reporter saying that all around the world, those who had been supposed dead on the previous day, were now all alive and well, and healthier than ever.
It had been a mistake on the media’s part.
“You died?” my companion asked me incredulously. “Is that the end of the story? Wait, I don’t get it. You’re here, *alive*, now... Aren’t you?”
I laughed a little. “Yes, and had you not so rudely interrupted me, I could continue with the next segment in my story.” Thinking back on my life, at least until its current point, I have lived far too long in total. I rubbed my temples, knowing this would take forever and a day in one sitting.
So much has happened, and yet so much more is to come.
“So, Prince Hyperion was actually Andrew?”
I rolled my eyes at my ‘listener,’ who by now was asking too many questions to actually merit that position. I decided now was the time to play the mysterious bit for all I could right now. So, I merely blinked innocently and sat quietly until she got the hint.
My eyes, needless to say, were far too lubricated when she finally quieted down.
“Yes, Hyperion was actually Andrew. I only realized it hours before I died, too. But my darling Darien, his actions, dreams, and emotions play a major part in my story now.”
Every night for weeks on end, he dreamed of me. Yet, it was not my soul even connecting to his. It was his own grief washing over him, torturing him, telling him he could save me, when in all reality, he couldn’t, no matter what he dared to try. We were alike in so many ways, I found out. We both blamed ourselves for the pain we felt. It took us so long before we realized that not everything is our fault. I suppose, to some degree, we still suffer from this affliction, but we have improved considerably over time.
I tried to talk to him, to communicate with him on any plane, but he was too grief-stricken. But, in that time, he finally saw just how much Serenity loved him. Everyday, she brought him food to eat (and improved her culinary skills immensely for his benefit). When he would break down and cry, she would sit with him, holding him, or just talking to keep his mind off of it. Sadly, though, she never truly dealt with the pain she felt. Her heart was far too large to let something as insignificant as the way she felt get in the way of one she loved.
She was there for Rini, Darien, and all of her friends. But few noticed the dull pallor of her skin or her languid movements. She, too, dreamed of me. I wanted so badly to comfort them, any of them, from this pain, but I didn’t know how to. They were too absorbed in their pain. I understood it, but I didn’t know how to get them out of it, as Endymion had done for me when he had died during the Silver Millennium.
I spent half of my time with the senshi, and the other half trying valiantly to bring myself back to life. I could resurrect others, but not myself.
I’d make progress and then slam painfully into some sort of wall. I never knew you could feel pain when you were dead.
I would have given up long before, save that Darien needed me too much. One night, I found myself in his bedroom again, trying to comfort him as he cried himself to sleep as the window blew a cool breeze into the room. I had not been paying attention to his words until he suddenly jerked up.
My hand brushed against his hair and he felt it.
At first, though, the feeling scared him and he jumped back on his bed, a bit horrified, but softened his expression when he actually saw me. He smiled sadly, noting that I was translucent, perhaps even just a figment of his imagination.
Slowly, I moved closer to him, and he didn’t move away. When I was less than a foot from him, he tried to encase me in a hug, but succeeded in only falling onto the bed.
“I’m sorry, Darien. But I can’t touch you.”
“But you just did-"
Now *I* was confused. How could he have felt me? Maybe he was going crazy? I would put absolutely nothing past my brother.
“Why are you tormenting me? Just be gone, dead woman!” he yelled at me, tears glistening in his eyes. I knew he didn’t mean it, even if it did still hurt to hear it. He curled into a ball and tried to sob himself to death. He had yet to return to classes, and even if he had, his disshelved appearance would have been quite the contrast from the beautiful young man he once was. Thankfully, Serena entered the room.
Well, not so thankfully. She saw me also. And promptly dropped the tea cup on the floor, breaking it. Then she passed out.
“Heehee, she passed out?”
“Yes, she passed out.” You could tell from the gleam in her eyes that she was mentally picturing the prim and proper Queen Serenity fainting away. The laughter which ensued proved this. Ok, even *I* had to laugh at that. Serena had come a long way from her teenage years. She even puts *me* to shame.
“Ok, you can finish now.” Oh, she’s giving me permission. I feel so special. The look I gave her obviously conveyed that.
“Thank you, oh magnamous one.”
As I was saying before so rudely interrupted (again), Serena fainted. Darien rushed over to her, scooping her protectively into her arms and being a spirit, the only thing I could do was feel the love radiating from that protective grasp. It warmed my heart immensely, and helped me realize that this was what I had given up my life for.
But had I really given up my life? I saw myself in Crystal Tokyo. Everyone I loved was there, and I was not translucent, as I now appeared to be. I tried to recall everything that I had seen before taking my last breath in this universe.
Crystal spires, a crystal city, a crystal castle protected by the Sailor Senshi. Most of them were surrounded, I remembered, by children.
The demure little girl near Mercury... and a man with the same color brown hair.
The orange-haired little boy near Venus, that she desperately tried to run after while another man chuckled. Of course, she hit him over the head with a quick swipe of her hand, which only caused him to laugh more.
Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto almost protectively hovering near Saturn, until another girl, with dark brown, almost black, eyes and a cloud of maroon hair threw herself into Saturn’s arms. I could hear her silvery voice...
“Amarah! Can I play with the glaive today?” Pluto’s eyes nearly bulged out of her head as she took the girl into her arms, and said an almost sarcastic, “No sweetie.”
“But MOMMY!” the child whined. When did Pluto have a kid?
The Jovian warrior had two little boys running around her legs, both with her brown hair, both looking like they were about to drive their mother insane, or at least knock her down. She looked at me, then shrugged, with a look that said ‘what can I do?’
Finally, a girl with black hair, nearly purple in the sunlight, ran over to my future self from Sailor Mars to play with a small figure behind me—
The images and voices suddenly stopped. ‘NO! Let me see!’ I yelled in my mind, clawing for more. What was behind me? Cassiopeia? A child, perhaps?
‘Please, let it have been a child behind me.’
I returned reluctantly to the world around me—
“Do your stories always have to be so long?” she asked, fidgeting. I threw up my hands in defeat. I’d never finish at this rate. Goodness, how had I gotten her to listen to the first part of my life without causing so much of a disturbance?
“Do you always have to interrupt?” I asked in the same annoyed voice.
She rolled her eyes. I valiantly had to fight the urge not to bop her upside the head for that action when I realized just how much I did that as a child. I rolled my eyes.
How much I *still* did that.
Caught in a moment of insight, she asked me something I never thought I’d ever hear uttered.
“Are you sure you were really a goddess? I mean, your story sounds an awful lot like a twisted version of Astraea.”
Ok, she deserved that hit.
“I’m sick and tired of being compared to that... that... CONSTELLATION!” I yelled exasperatedly, gritting my teeth as I explained exactly what happened. “You see, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times, mythology and me got a little distorted. Call it the Golden Crystal, call it misinterpretation, but my story got a little warped, ok? So sue my publicist. Let me explain for you now.
“Astraea, Goddess of Innocence and Purity. Became the constellation Virgo when she was the last goddess of purity to flee the earth during the Bronze Age. Note, that was AFTER me. Also called the Star Maiden.” I shot a withering look at her. Thankfully, it silenced any further comments on that ‘star maiden’ thing. “Astraea was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Well, one of their daughters.
“I am Innocentia, Goddess of Life and Death, Protector of Life—"
“Must you continue with this part?”
“ANYWAY! Did you want to hear the story or not?”
“Fine then,” I said haughtily, raising myself from the soft chair I sat in, preparing to walk out that door and down the hall to my own room. Mentally, I started counting in my head ‘Five, four, three, two...’
“No, don’t go just yet. Please finish. Just please, for the love of everything holy, don’t make it as long as your last story.”
There went that feeling of triumph. Gee, she really knows how to shoot a person down, doesn’t she?
“Alright. Short and sweet.”
“Oh, and could you go back to the third person? You think too much.”