Haruka slammed the trunk of her car, which was fully loaded with baby formula, shut. Why Michiru had thought Haruka any good at dealing with babies was beyond her. She had been told to buy baby formula, and so, buy it she did. Never mind the small detail of what kind of baby formula. Who knew there would be so many different kinds, loaded down with so many vitamins and minerals and things she couldn't ever dream of being able to pronounce correctly. She had bought every kind the store had. Let Michiru sort it out, it served her right.
Haruka got behind the wheel and rubbed her eyes. Taking in baby Hotaru was, if nothing else, a test of patience. The baby had led to a lot of sleepless nights and it was always her "turn", never Michiru's. Having a baby will be fun, Michiru had said. Haruka damned that woman for her silver tongue and damned herself for loving every bit of it.
Starting the engine, she waited a moment for the heater to kick in. Summer in the land of the rising sun had been wonderful, with it's bright days and warm nights and Michiru in butt-floss bikinis. But Old Geezer Winter had arrived with a vengeance. All she wanted now was bed. Thank the Kami for bed, with it's warm blankets and soft pillows and Michiru, who was both soft and warm, to curl up with.
The clouds hid the stars and moon from her. The sentimentalist in Haruka loved to lay out in the grass with Michiru and some wine and watch the heavenly bodies flow past. She hadn't realized, until recently, how much Michiru, her Michiru, had meant to her, made her feel whole. It was anyone's wonder how she had tricked that poor woman into loving her.
She began to pull out onto the road but stopped when a pair of fire engines rolled past, lights ablaze and sirens blaring. Somebody was most certainly having a bad night.
The cold air had, thankfully, kept most of Tokyo's residents inside. The streets were nearly deserted as Haruka pulled into the driveway of the home she shared with Michiru and, on occasion, their friend Setsuna. The lights were lit in only one room. Poor Michi was probably trying to get Hotaru to sleep. Haruka grabbed the bags from the trunk and went inside. Setting the bags on the counter, she began to sort through them, "Michi, I'm home." She called out to her lover.
"It's about damn time." someone other than Michiru replied.
Looking up, Haruka saw a well dressed man who didn't look to be much older than her, "Who are you? Where's Michiru?" she growled, surveying for the nearest weapon.
"You don't remember me, Haruka? I'm saddened. And after all of the years we spent together. As for your little girlfriend," the man gestured to one of the chairs and Haruka had to shift to see around the corner. Michiru sat in an armchair, bound and gagged, her eyes radiating terror as she sat, bowed and shivering.
"You bastard," she snarled, "If you hurt her-"
"Relax. I am a man of honor. I would never harm an innocent woman. Besides, if I had harmed her, I doubt you'd be willing to listen to my message."
Haruka's curiosity overcame her caution, "What message?"
"Yugisho-san wishes to speak with you."
"Why couldn't Yugisho-san come to my door and ask politely, or, failing that, ring the telephone."
The man chuckled at her glibness, "For Yugisho-san, this is polite." He became serious once more, "You know that as well as I. You also know that nobody leaves the Yakuza, at least not alive. You will come with me at once, and we will speak with Yugisho-san about your reinstatement into our services. If you come willingly, Kaiou-san will live. If you don't...well..." he pulled a silenced pistol from concealment under his sport coat and pressed the muzzle to Michiru's temple. Michiru, for her part, remained remarkably calm.
Haruka's eyes widened, "She has done nothing towards you. Leave her be."
"You have no room here to make demands. Make your decision or I will make it for you. My patience wears thin."
"If I go with you, will you let her go?"
"On my honor-"
"You have no honor." Haruka spat, "Do not swear on that which you don't have."
The man smiled, "On my life, then, Kaiou-san will go free, and no harm will come to her."
Haruka sighed, defeated, "Then I will go."
"A wise decision." he cocked the pistol and fired. Michiru slumped to the side and fell from the chair.
"You bastard! You motherfucking, cock-sucking bastard! You swore she'd go free!"
Cold hatred filled the man's eyes to match the fury in Haruka's, "Do not think to question my honor, Tenou. You will learn that there is a terrible price to pay for what you have done."
Haruka reached onto the kitchen counter and seized a knife, "You go straight to hell, sir."
"Oh, after you. Ladies first."
White-hot pain stabbed into her abdomen as the man fired his pistol again. Haruka dropped to the floor, "Die slowly, Tenou. This is your lesson. To die slowly and think about how your unwise decision before, has led to catastrophe now." The man left only to return with two cans of gasoline, which he began to pour onto the floor, "Good-bye, Tenou-san. We will meet again, I'm sure."
"Be sure to wear bunny ears on your deathbed," she groaned, "So I can find you in hell and spend eternity kicking your ass."
"That's Tenou Haruka for you, resistant until the very end." He lit a match and dropped it on the carpet, which immediately erupted into flames.
Ami pulled up the collar of her coat against the winter chill. She couldn't wait to get home, to her warm apartment, and get some sleep. The University was tough and took a great deal of energy. Luckily, there wasn't a great many evils to fight anymore, perhaps their reputation as defenders of Earth had worked around the galaxy. Evil was avoiding the tiny blue marble like the plague so there wasn't much need for the Senshi anymore.
She noticed that she was near Haruka and Michiru's house. She hadn't seen her favorite couple in quite some time, since they were so busy with the baby. She thought it wonderful of them that they had decided to adopt Hotaru to atone for trying to kill her. She checked her watch, it wasn't very late, perhaps a quick visit, just to say hello, wouldn't be out of the question.
As she neared their house, she noticed an odd shimmering in the windows. Perhaps Haruka and Michiru were having "Alone Time" together. If that was the case, she didn't want to disturb them. She began to turn back when she noticed something else about the odd shimmering. Ice flooded her veins as she realized that the house was on fire.
She charged the door, slamming into it shoulder-first, and broke it open. The training and conditioning she was going through was really beginning to pay off. She ran through the flames and nearly tripped over Haruka in the darkness. The woman groaned as she clutched at her stomach with one hand and Michiru with the other, "Haruka-san, what happened?"
"Michi," Haruka gasped.
Ami bent to check Michiru and gasped when she saw that half the woman's head was missing, "I'm sorry, Haruka-san. She's gone."
"Oh, God." The woman wept.
"Haruka, listen to me. Where's the baby? Where's Hotaru?"
"She's gone," Haruka continued to cry, "My Michi, you're so unfair."
Haruka, Ami decided, was probably in shock from her lover's death and from her wound. She hoisted Haruka onto her shoulders, making a mental note to thank Makoto for the training, and plunged through the smoke, out the door and across the street where she set Haruka onto the grass and tore a strip of fabric from her shirt, using it to bind Haruka's stomach wound, "We need to get you to the hospital." Ami mumbled as she tightened the makeshift bandage.
"No hospital, no police." Haruka gasped. Behind her, Ami could hear the windows shattering from the fire's heat, "Haruka, there's not much time left. Please tell me where the baby is."
Haruka mumbled something incoherent and passed out.
"Worthless," Ami growled, standing. She turned and raced back to the house to find Hotaru. As her foot touched the bottom step, the building exploded, launching her back across the street. Debris collided with her as she hit the ground hard. She rolled onto her stomach and stood, watching as what was left of the house collapsed.