Disclaimer: Sailor Moon and all characters contained within this work are the copyright of Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation, Kodansya and probably lots of other big people I'm forgetting. I am using them without permission, but suing me because of it would be futile as I have nothing. Feel free to distribute this work around (for no profit, of course; I'm not making any...), as long the included text is unmodified. If you publish or repost it somewhere, please let me know.

Comments, criticism, flames, etc. welcomed (and, in fact, requested) at Ultrace@aol.com.

Time Twister
A Sailor Moon fanfic by Mike Chenoweth [Ultrace@aol.com]

Part 7: Destinies Divided

* * * * * * * *

Rei and Amy were hiding behind the pair of bushes, waiting for Neflyte and Molly to arrive. It was probably the most uncomfortable time they'd ever spent together. Every silent minute felt like an hour.

"Rei, you believe in destiny, right?" Amy asked. It was a stupid question, Amy already knew the answer. Rei had made the others aware many times that she believed in it strongly.

Rei was looking up at the clear sky. "Yes," she said quietly.

Amy waited a few seconds before she asked the next question. "Do you think we're destined to always be together?"

Rei smiled. "Maybe, but you know I'd rather spend the rest of my life with a cute guy than with you."

Amy giggled, a little. "That's not what I meant. Do you think the Sailor Scouts will always be together?"

Rei's smile disappeared, replaced by a more serious look. "Yeah, I do." She stared at the ground while she gathered her thoughts. "The Scouts are like the family I never had... I don't think there's anything we can't overcome together."

Amy was surprised by Rei's answer--she'd taken for granted having a loving parent, where Rei only had her grandfather. The other Scouts meant everything to Amy, but they must have meant just that little bit more to Rei. "What if we can't put things back as they were? We'll have no future?"

Rei shook her head. "It will all work out... If it doesn't, then that's how it was meant to be. It's easy if you think of it that way..."

"Then nothing we do matters," Amy said.

Rei turned to her. "Of course it matters!" she snapped in sudden anger. "Ever since we got here, I've been doubting all of this. We have to do what's right, regardless of how it will turn out. This is so wrong... Killing someone and saying that's how it's meant to be..." she stopped for a few seconds.

Her voice very unsure, she started again. "But protecting my friends is the right thing, too... And if this is the only way to protect all of you... I'll do it."

Amy just looked at her. She didn't have any more questions, at least not for Rei. However, she was questioning herself more now than she had been five minutes before.

The two waited out the last ten minutes or so in silence until Molly came into the park, with Neflyte following behind her.

* * * * * * * *

Molly led Neflyte over to a large tree in the middle of the park, just where Amy had expected them to go.

"Now, take off your jacket," she said as he sat down against a tree.

Rei's eyes widened. Molly and Neflyte had sat down facing directly at her and Amy in the bushes.

Molly could see as Neflyte was taking it off that the jacket was too dirty to use any part of it as a bandage. She looked down at her shirt, then bit into it, ripping off a couple of strips that she used to begin wrapping his arm.

"You know, right down town..." she started.


"...there's a cafe where they serve delicious chocolate parfaits."

"Chocolate parfait?" he asked, almost confused.

"Yeah, you like it?" she asked.

He hesitated, having never had a chocolate parfait before. "Yeah, I do."

She smiled and looked up at him. In a lightly chiding tone, she said, "You're lying... But you're only lying because you want to be nice to me."

She'd finished bandaging his arm.

"Thanks, Molly," Neflyte said, flexing it.

Molly sat down next to him and looked out into the trees. "I wish we could have a chocolate parfait together. It's been a... Secret dream I've been having ever since I met you. But, I guess it'll never happen, huh?"

"Why not?" Neflyte asked. "Let's do it." Odd, he thought, he was totally serious. The thought of he and Molly having a chocolate parfait was appealing to him.

"Really?" Molly asked, delighted.

"Do you think I'm lying to you?" he asked her with a smile.

"Nuh-uh, I'm just happy."

They stared at each other for a few moments.

"Tell me," Molly said, anxious to break the silence. "Do you have holidays in that evil society of yours?"

Neflyte looked at her for a few seconds, then chuckled. He began to laugh.

"Neflyte, you're actually laughing..."

Molly couldn't resist, and soon she was laughing hysterically as well.

"Hey, it's funny," she said, "I'm laughing and crying too!"

Amy had been watching the entire area, and she noticed that one of the youma had floated into the park, completely unseen by Neflyte and Molly. It was holding out its arm, getting ready to strike. Amy turned back to Molly, preparing to hit her with the Ice Bubbles.

Then she saw it, a look in Neflyte's eyes. He'd spotted her.

Aware that something was wrong, Neflyte suddenly looked all around the park. He saw the youma. With blinding speed, he shoved Molly aside, and watched in shock as half a dozen large thorns went through his own chest.


* * * * * * * *

Through some quirk of fate, it couldn't have gone any better. Neflyte's discovery of Amy hadn't distracted him at all; if anything, it had made him more alert. Neither Molly nor the youma had seen Rei or Amy, either.

"Getting careless, are you?" the youma asked, as its two partners transported next to it. All three casually floated to the ground. "That thorn'll suck your energy and shrink your body to Nega-dust. What a way to go!" she cackled. "If you don't want the girl hurt, give us the star crystal."

Neflyte gritted his teeth. He was already weakened, the thorns were draining his energy further, and his arm was almost completely paralyzed. He couldn't possibly protect Molly from the youma, and he sensed that the Sailor Scout he had seen in the bushes couldn't be counted on either.

In the end, there wasn't really any choice to make. "Fine, it's yours," he growled to the youma, and then turned to Molly. They would probably kill her anyway. "Now get out of here! Run!"

"No!" she yelled repeatedly, running up to him.

He made his best effort to shove her away. "Don't be foolish! Run!"

Molly didn't listen. She grabbed at the thorns in his chest and started pulling on them. They felt like acid to her hands, but the pain in Neflyte's chest must have been twice as bad. He couldn't help but groan in agony.

The youma were watching on with amusement. "Stupid girl! She'll never pull that out!" the leader of them laughed.

Molly's hands were beginning to blister. She refused to give up. In the bushes, Rei wasn't surprised, especially after once seeing Molly stand in front of Sailor Moon's tiara and protect Neflyte. But if she actually did pull it out...

"Quickly, it's alright!" Neflyte lied between groans. "Stop!"

He looked down, and couldn't believe it. Some of the thorns were actually coming out.

The youma who had fired the thorns recoiled. "It's not possible!"

Molly was crying, partly because of the horrible pain in her hands, but mostly for him. "Neflyte, don't die!" she sobbed. "Please, don't die!" The thorns she was pulling were only a couple of inches from coming out. `Please...' she silently begged.

Amusement had turned to annoyance. "Now I'll have to get rid of them both!" one of the youma snapped. She threw out her arms to fire a volley of bombs.

But she never succeeded. A voice from the bushes reached her just before the attack did. "Mercury Ice Bubbles--Freeze!"

The youma watched as their bodies were encased in sheets of ice, almost completely immobilizing them. With the exception of Molly and Neflyte, every head turned to Amy in surprise--including Rei's.

* * * * * * * *

Serena thought that she had seen Neflyte somewhere around the park, but when she heard the commotion inside, she knew for sure it was him. She didn't mind going in alone without Amy or Rei--for once. She was so angry about Molly, she felt like she could take on the whole Negaverse.

For some person in an outfit that looked very familiar to suddenly jump in her way was the last thing she was expecting.

"Sorry, Sailor Moon, but you're not going in there," Mina said.

"What?" Serena asked, totally off-guard.

"You heard me," Mina told her. She was standing right in front of the entrance.

Serena didn't consider this blonde girl to be a threat, but nothing, she told herself, NOTHING was going to get in her way. She heard Molly's voice--she couldn't make out what was being said, but it sounded desperate--and that was the last straw.

"I am Sailor Moon, the champion of justice," she said. "I right wrongs and triumph over evil, and that includes anyone who stands in the way of friendship! On behalf of the Moon, I will punish you!"

Mina seriously doubted that. "Go ahead," she said. `Serena was always thrown a little off by confident enemies,' she thought.

Serena ran toward the park entrance, hoping to scare off whoever this bimbo was. But the bimbo stepped to the side, grabbed Serena and flipped her over onto the ground. She wasn't dealing with an ordinary person after all.

"Moon Tiara Magic!" Serena yelled, after getting back on her feet. She flung the tiara-disc at Mina, who was completely prepared, since it was Serena's only method of attack.

"Venus Love Chain Entangle!" Mina called back.

The chain of linked hearts flew out and met the tiara head on, knocking it to one side and continuing on straight at Serena, who managed, barely, to get out of the way.

Mina had decided before Serena showed up that the best way to buy time would be simply knocking her out instead of trying to delay her. "Venus Crescent Beam Smash!" The beam hit Serena in the chest, throwing her back almost ten feet.

Mina ran up and checked on Serena. She was unconscious, but okay. As Sailor Moon, she was a lot more durable than plain old Serena.

It had gone as easily as Mina thought. She only hoped the same could be said for Rei and Amy.

* * * * * * * *

"What are you doing??" Rei yelled, in disbelief.

"I'm doing what's right," Amy said. "Isn't that what you said, `We have to do what's right, regardless of how it will turn out'?"

"We have to protect Serena--Princess Serena. Don't you remember that?"

"At the cost of innocent lives?" Amy asked.

Unnoticed by Amy or Rei, the youma were busy trying to break free from their encasings, but despite their powers, they lacked the necessary strength. Molly, unaware of anything outside of herself and Neflyte, had succeeded in pulling out one handful of the thorns in Neflyte's chest and was working on the others.

"You call that innocent?" Rei asked, pointing absently to Neflyte. Her volume hadn't lowered a bit. "How many times did he try to kill us?"

"Take a look, Rei!" Amy said. "He was just willing to give up his life for Molly. Can you look at him and still say he's evil? That he doesn't deserve another chance?"

"Yes! Our future depends on it!" Rei yelled, almost in tears. She turned to Neflyte and Molly. `I hate Neflyte... I hate Neflyte...' she told herself. "He needs to die. Don't try to prevent it."

Amy did exactly that. She walked up to Rei. "I won't let you," she said, solidly.

Rei looked at her, dark eyes burning. "You can't stop me." She brought her hands together, but Amy grabbed them. Almost without thought, Rei shoved her to the ground.

`I hate Neflyte! I MUST hate Neflyte!' she yelled at herself.

Molly managed to pull the last of the thorns from Neflyte's chest, and now sat there looking at Neflyte with a dazed expression. Neflyte had already seen and heard what was going on with the two arguing Sailor Scouts.

Rei brought her hands together again. "Mars..." she began, feeling the power of fire move through her.

Amy made a last appeal. "What would Serena want?" she asked Rei.

Despite Rei's concentration, Amy's question hit its mark. Suddenly, all she could see were images of Serena, some she was familiar with and others she never knew existed. Serena, willing to die, begging Rei to go home so she wouldn't get hurt. Serena, on an asteroid, giving up her life so that everyone would be safe. Serena, surrendering to the enemy when the Scouts had been captured, because she couldn't bear to see her friends in pain.

"Fire..." Rei continued, the hot energy flowing into her hands.

When her mind cleared, she saw Neflyte sitting there, feebly struggling to get Molly out of the way so she wouldn't be incinerated. There was no look of self-preservation in his eyes, only a genuine concern for her.

`It doesn't matter!' Rei told herself, but she knew it was a lie.

"Ignite!" she yelled.

Neflyte, not as badly hurt as he wanted them to think, grabbed Molly's shirt and slung her to the side the moment he saw the fire emerge. After a few moments of involuntary flinching and screams that weren't his, he realized he was still alive.

The youma, however, were nothing more than a pile of ashes surrounded by a few stray pieces of ice.

Rei fell to her knees, tears running down her cheeks. "I'm so sorry..." she said, imagining what she'd say the next time she saw Serena and had to tell her that she'd die because Rei had been too weak. She could feel Amy's hugging, but it gave her no reassurance.

At his urging, Molly helped Neflyte stand up. Slowly, they made their way to where Rei was slumped. "Sailor Mars..." he coughed out. "I don't understand...what just happened. But, thank you..."

Rei was just sobbing, a thousand things running through her mind, from when Serena would die to how it would happen. She didn't say anything, because she didn't even hear him.

After a minute, with Molly's help, he started to walk out of the park.

"Neflyte!" Amy said. Maybe there was still a way out of this...

He stopped walking and half-turned to her.

"If you want to thank us, then, please, don't go after Zoisite," she told him.

"How do you...?" Neflyte gave her a puzzled look. "I'm sorry... But I'll have to."

"Molly needs you now more than ever!" Amy said, and as she did so she looked at Molly, who appeared to be in some sort of shock. "Isn't she more important to you than revenge?"

"You don't understand... This isn't about revenge. I will do this for Molly, not me..." He stopped to take a breath. "Zoisite will use Molly as my weakness, just like tonight. So as long as Zoisite lives, Molly will never be safe. I'm sorry."

He turned back and walked out of the park with Molly.

Rei was still crying, and Amy felt like joining her.

* * * * * * * *

When Mina saw Neflyte and Molly leaving the park, she knew that something had gone wrong, especially since Rei and Amy were nowhere to be seen. She decided against going after Neflyte, and instead opted to make sure the other two were okay.

She found Rei in a state of collapse and Amy trying to comfort her.

"What happened?" Mina asked.

"We failed..." Amy said, in a low voice. "We couldn't kill him."

"I was too weak..." Rei muttered.

"Is there anything else we can do?" Mina asked.

"I tried to convince him not to kill Zoisite," Amy said. "He wouldn't listen. I don't think we can do anything else. Lita won't be killed for two days, but I'm sure that the Key won't keep us here that long."

Mina suddenly remembered what Setsuna said. "How are we going to get back, then? The Key's not supposed to take us back until we succeed."

"It looks like it's been getting dimmer. Can I see it, Rei?" Amy asked. Rei reached down to take off the necklace. Amy continued, "When it runs out of power, I guess we'll probab--"

Rei's hand touched the Key. It exploded in light.


(July, 1996)

* * * * * * * *

return to Index / go to Chapter 8

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury