Chapter Nine: She's Beauty, She's Grace, She's... Wearing a Mini-skirt?
Tsuna and Yamamoto tore out of the house at the sound of screams, skidding to a stop next to Gokudera.
"What is it?!" Tsuna immediately demanded, lowering himself in a battle ready position. In the distance, there seemed to be a huge dust cloud. Whatever was approaching, was approaching fast. Civilians jumped out of its path, screaming.
"What nonsense." Hibari drawled. Gokudera just sighed.
"Huh?" Tsuna questioned. Then he paused and took a closer look, distinguishing between the screams of the civilians and the scream of whatever was approaching.
"Ah! It's Senpai!" Yamamoto said, laughing cheerfully. Tsuna suddenly felt very, very tired.
Ryohei skidded to a stop in front of the house, throwing up his arms.
"Made it here extremely fast!" He cheered, fist pumping. Everyone just stared at him deadpan, except for Yamamoto, who chuckled, and Hibari, who grimaced.
"Why are you here?" Gokudera demanded.
"Ah! I heard from Reborn that we were all meeting here! So I brought Mukuro and the girls." Ryohei stated proudly, giving a thumbs up, looking around for the young Reborn who had seemingly disappeared.
There was silence for a moment, as Yamamoto smiled and Gokudera sighed again. Hibari looked like he was a second away from murdering everyone here. Tsuna took it upon himself to ask the obvious.
"Where are they then?"
That was when the screaming started again. Except this time, it was of blood-curdling terror.
Most people would call Mukuro insane or mad or just plain out of his mind. Chrome was usually of the minority opinion. She thought of Mukuro as eccentric. In a good, creative way.
Today was not one of those days.
"You were using us as bait?!"
Chrome never knew her voice could become so loud and shrill. Though, usually she wasn't this mad.
The momentary lapse in emotional composure was worth it to see the nanosecond of stunned shock flash across Mukuro's face.
"You know I would never let anything happen to you." He quickly soothed, setting up another illusion to keep the strange creature at bay, giving Haru time to help an injured but seething Kyoko.
"I can take care of myself. But you put my friends in danger." Chrome retaliated, her voice once again quiet, but still hard with anger. Mukuro just raised a brow, nodding his head towards the angry future mafia-boss wife as Haru valiantly tried to soothe her.
"It came out of nowhere and hit me! And now I'm going to look like I can't take care of myself and Tsuna will worry and try to keep me inside with onii-san for a whole week before I can finally convince him otherwise and-Let me at it! I could've taken it if it hadn't ambushed me!"
Chrome knew Kyoko was not one to be trifled with, but it was amusing to watch the seemingly delicate girl in action when her rage was directed at someone else. Mukuro too looked amused for a second, as it was entertaining when the normally reserved Sasagawa sibling went off.
"I assure you, I meant no harm to come to anyone," Mukuro continued, serious for once, "But I wanted to figure out who this new enemy was and their motive. I never expected them to attack so viciously and in such a blatant manner. Nor did I expect it to be something like this."
Chrome stared at him for a moment as she set up another illusion to distract civilians, though they were quickly fleeing.
"And I know you can take care of yourself. You can make the biggest, baddest mafia men cry for their mothers."
Chrome gave a soft smile at Mukuro's response before turning to Haru and the still upset Kyoko.
"Is it ok if you look after her for a moment? This thing might back off if I shoot it." Haru said, practically dumping the injured girl on her. She then ran off before Chrome could tell her that putting bullets in things didn't always solve the problem. Mukuro gave his usual twisted grin before running after the trigger-happy brunette, leaving Chrome to lament the mess that was her life.
And then it all went downhill from there.
One civilian heavily bleeding, though not mortally wounded, if her angry shouts were anything go by.
Another female civilian, holding a strange trident thing, stood guard over the injured female.
And the third female was currently charging at the monster.
The last civilian, a male also holding a strange trident, was maniacally laughing as he followed the brunette.
Rei hadn't been Sailor Mars in awhile, but she knew civilians should be running from the monster, not towards it.
"Which means they probably aren't civilians." She murmured to herself, watching them carefully, not yet transformed.
Younger Rei would have jumped immediately into the fray to protect them. Older Rei was able to assess the situation and realize that there was something different about them. Not only did they wield strange weapons-seriously, who used a trident of all things?-but there was the fact that they had used some sort of power to set up illusions of all things. If Rei hadn't been there from the beginning, she would have assumed nothing was wrong. But, since she had watched the two trident wielders work their strange magic, she had known it to be fake and the illusions had seemingly crumbled before her eyes. But the worst part was perhaps the realization that those illusions had most likely been weaker ones that they hadn't put too much power into. They had been trying to trick civilians, not a reincarnated Princess of Mars with psychic powers. So, older Rei took the time to assess the situation and worry.
"I'll be there soon." Minako's voice crackled over her wristwatch. Her voice jerked Rei out of her thoughts and she gripped her Mars Crystal tighter.
"Mars Power, Make Up." She whispered, feeling the familiar rush of heat that accompanied her transformation. In seconds, she stood on the roof in her original uniform. While it may have been best to transform into her Eternal form to deal with an unknown enemy, a part of her was wary of the people attempting to fight the monster. She wanted to hide her trump card from them. Besides, while the enemy seemed to have regenerative power, it was sluggish and slow and didn't seem very powerful.
If worst came to worst, it would be easy to transform into her Eternal form. With that thought in mind, Sailor Mars jumped into the fray.
"Tell me, whatever did you do to anger this thing?" Mukuro asked wryly, seemingly unconcerned with the weird creature that wouldn't die.
It had jumped out of nowhere, hitting Kyoko with some kind of black energy that burned her. Haru had been next to her and almost got hit herself, but had been able to jump out of the way, pulling Kyoko with her so the other girl missed the brunt of the attack. Now, though she was trying to take down the thing, she instead began to study it.
It was less of a creature than it was some kind of flaming humanoid shape. Black flames covered every inch of the being, except for the glowing yellow slits that Haru assumed were its eyes. It also had a mouth, though some strange black liquid was dripping from it. It was also making low, keening sounds. No matter what they did, it didn't seem to be harmed and just kept attacking them. The strangest part was how it seemed to be targeting Haru, trying to catch her and completely ignoring any attack Mukuro threw at it.
Perhaps it hadn't been aiming for Kyoko. Perhaps it had been aiming for Haru and merely missed, hitting her best friend instead.
"I don't know..." Haru said slowly, "But it sounds like its in pain."
Mukuro let out a low chuckle at her words, giving her amused look that verged on condescending and made her feel like a child.
"Of course you would worry about something trying to kill us."
"I'm not worrying!" Haru shot back, "It's just been making those sounds since it appeared, but no matter what we do, it doesn't seem to be affected. So if we aren't causing it pain, then what is?"
Mukuro face shifted, taking on an analytical look at her words. He opened his mouth to speak, before their world erupted in flames.
Mukuro instinctively threw up a barrier, shifting so he was slightly in front of Haru. Though the flames didn't reach them, they couldn't see what was happening, only hearing the creature let out a high-pitched shriek. As the flames died down and a figure emerged, Haru felt her jaw drop.
"Well that's new." Mukuro simply said.
It was understatement to say that Rei had a lot of pent-up energy. So as soon as she jumped at the flame creature-which, in retrospect, attacking a flaming creature with fire wasn't the best idea, but what could you do when you were the senshi of fire-she let it all out. Of course, she made sure to keep the flames contained, so they wouldn't hit the other two people fighting the monster. But, on the monster, she unleashed an inferno.
As the flames died down, she took in the full sight of the creature up close.
"Where's Mercury when you need her?" She muttered, crossly. At least the creature was in some kind of crouched position, with what was most likely arms wrapped around itself. The sounds it had been making now came out as a shriek that didn't seem to be stopping soon. Sailor Mars still stayed in a ready position, waiting for it to attack.
"Um, excuse me?" A voice piped up behind her. Mars slowly turned to see the boy and girl staring at her, the boy with amusement and the girl with confusion.
"Yes?" Mars asked slowly, wondering why they still weren't running, especially as the Sailor Senshi were here now.
Non-civilian tourists then.
"Why are you fighting in heels and a skirt?" The girl asked, her face scrunching up with puzzlement. Rei paused and stared at the girl, trying to formulate a response.
"There is a monster made out of black flames trying to kill you and you question my outfit choices?" She slowly asked.
"Yes?" The girl replied, staring at Rei as if it was obvious, "While the mini-skirt isn't that much of an issue and is actually really cute, the heels seem like they would impede your ability to fight. It's a strange choice to Haru."
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, the monster chose that time to let out what sounded like a scream of anger and charged at Mars. She deftly jumped out of the way, landing next to the fighting duo. The monster swayed, almost falling on its face from the charge. It slowly began walking towards them.
"Look, you're obviously not from around here, but I've got this handled. This is what I do. So you should take your friends and run." Mars quickly said, jerking her thumb at the two girls farther away watching intently.
"Haru isn't going to abandon you." The brown-haired girl said, aghast. The man just continued watching in amusement, as if he were spectator watching for entertainment, rather than an active participant.
"Like I said, it's my job." Mars snapped back, flames appearing in her hand that she shot at the creature to push it back. The girl let out a squeak, staring at her with wide eyes. The boy's eyes narrowed, losing the amused look.
"Well, what a surprise," The boy finally spoke, his mismatched eyes staring at her intently, "You're a Flame user."
Before Mars could work out the strange sentence, one of the girls called out to them.
"Stop arguing and just work together already!" The orange-haired girl yelled fiercely.
Mars snapped back to attention, turning to the monster. Surprisingly, it had stopped attacking. It's head was thrown back, emitting some kind of call. Seemingly noticing that it had their attention again, the creature went quiet and raised a hand.
"...Ars..." It hissed.
"What?" The brown-haired girl muttered, brows furrowed.
"...Mars..." It hissed again, the word clear now.
"Leave," Mars said flatly, "It's after me."
Without waiting for a word from the strangers, Mars jumped forward.
"Akuryo Taisan!" She called out, slapping an ofuda on the creature. Instead of collapsing or shifting back into a human like she had expected, the creature just let out a shriek and waved its arms wildly.
"And what was that supposed to do?" The boy called out, leaning casually on his staff.
"If it was a demonic creature, it would have exorcised him," Mars replied, staring intently at the flamed being, "If it was being controlled, it would have disrupted the link. This just tells me that this is something entirely new."
The monster reached up to rip the piece of paper off, when a sudden beam of light shot out and hit its arm. It let out another screech as all eyes turned towards an orange figure standing on a roof.
"Oh look, another one." Mukuro murmured blithely.
The orange figure dramatically flipped her hair over her shoulder before jumping down and sauntering over to Sailor Mars.
"I'm a little disappointed, Mars. I expected you to be done by the time I arrived."
"If you've noticed, I've been trying to deal with them, Venus." Mars rolled her eyes, jerking her head toward the boy and girl. The girl was still tense, eyeing the screaming creature while the boy jauntily waved.
"Well, have no fear, Venus-sama is here to save the day!" Venus threw back her head and laughed. However, everyone paused as the creature's voice grew in pitch and fervor, falling to the ground and violently convulsing. The flames around it erupted, as it continued to scream.
"Well that's not good." Venus muttered.
If there was one thing Tsuna wanted out of puberty, it was to have a huge growth spurt. As it was, he was still pretty short compared to his companions. This, of course, made it much harder to move through a crowd of panicking people running in the opposite direction.
Ryohei had pushed through the crowd easily enough without breaking a sweat. Yamamoto was close behind him, also not having too much difficulty getting through. Gokudera had let out a string of violent curses and people had given him space.
Hibari, of course, had simply walked through, the crowd giving him a wide berth. This left Tsuna behind, struggling with the crowd as the others got farther away.
A hand grabbing his own pulled Tsuna out of his murderous thoughts towards his Cloud Guardian. He glanced up, meeting Gokudera's determined gaze.
"Like I would leave you behind, Tenth!" His right hand man snapped, pulling him through the crowd. Soon, they cleared the panicking mass, meeting with Ryohei and Yamamoto on the other side. With a nod from Tsuna, they all began sprinting towards the sound of battle.
"Damn that Hibari, going off without us." Gokudera muttered next time.
"Whatever is going on, our priority is to save civilians. If the girls are up there, then I want Ryohei and Yamamoto to cover them and get them out." Tsuna ordered, earning nods from the others.
They rounded another corner, finally coming across what had caused the commotion. The sight before them, however, made them all freeze.
Haru and Mukuro stood up ahead. Next to them were two girls in strange sailor fukus. Before them, on the ground, was some creature covered completely in black flames. One of the girls, the one in orange, held a golden chain that was wrapped around the creature, keeping it from moving, though she was clearly struggling to hold it as it flailed about wildly. The one in red was arguing with Haru.
"Kyoko!" Ryohei suddenly screamed. His voice jerked Tsuna out of his stupor and he glanced around, finally noticing the orange haired girl bleeding on the ground with Chrome hovering over her protectively. Ryohei charged ahead, heading for his sister.
"Kyoko!" Tsuna called out, worriedly, following behind Ryohei.
"Onii-san! Tsu-kun!" Kyoko gasped, looking at them in surprise. They immediately crouched next to her, Gokudera and Yamamoto moving to stand by Chrome. Ryohei helped prop her up while Tsuna clasped her hand. They both began shouting at the same time.
"Kyoko! Who did this to you! I'll beat them to the extreme!"
"Kyoko, what happened?! Where are you injured?! I'll call a doctor immediately!"
"Stop!" She cried out, halting their worried spiel, "You need to go help the others. I'll be fine, but something bad is happening.
"I'll stay with you," Ryohei immediately said before looking at Tsuna, "I'll watch over her, so you go help the others."
Tsuna hesitated, not wanting to leave Kyoko behind. He then felt something squeezing his hand, looking down to see her clasping his hand and smiling brightly.
"Go." She whispered, pulling her hand away and giving him a small shove. He nodded sharply, standing up.
"Change of plans. Chrome, Ryohei, get Kyoko to safety. Gokudera, Yamamoto, you're with me." He commanded, receiving nods from his Guardians. Tsuna ran towards the others, giving a one last glance over his shoulder at Kyoko. Then, he turned, ready to face the enemy who dared to hurt his precious family.
As a group of three boys ran up to join the other two, Venus heard Mars groan next to her, the Senshi of fire having given up her argument with the brunette girl.
"Great, more civilians."
"There's that one over there." Venus pointed out helpfully, noticing a dark-haired boy standing away from the crowd, observing them. The monster had ceased its shrieking and was now trying to stand, causing Venus to swear at the energy it took to hold it, though that didn't mean she wouldn't take the time to tease Mars.
"You're not helpful at all." Mars shot back, tensing as the monster shifted to its knees.
"You're welcome," Venus replied brightly, "Hold it off while I deal with them."
At Rei's nod, Venus turned, letting her Love-Me Chain dissipate, and quickly made her towards the group. To her surprise, she recognized two of them, the silver-haired boy and the dark-haired boy-Hayato Gokudera and Takeshi Yamamoto-from Rei's Shrine. Behind her, she heard Mars call out an attack and the monster cry out.
"Leave," Venus said, her voice authoritative, causing them all to turn away from the battle between Mars and the monster, "This is our responsibility."
"We can help." The brown-haired boy replied evenly, but Venus shook her head.
"You're obviously not from here," Venus replied in amusement, "Or you would know who we are and leave immediately."
"We don't know who you are, but will you tell us after the battle?" The boy asked after a moment, "If you do, we'll stay out of this."
The others glanced at him in surprise, but Venus didn't have time to negotiate. The way the boy worriedly glanced behind her, he must have realized this too. Hearing Mars cry out behind her, she quickly nodded.
"Fine. Now go." She demanded. The boy nodded and quickly backed off, albeit hesitantly, the others following, though a couple were reluctant. Now that they were out of the way, Venus turned back to the enemy.
The creature, whatever it was, had grown in size. The flames around it seemed to burn much brighter. It seemed to be much more powerful now. Venus tensed, preparing an attack.
"Mars, move! Wink Chain Sw-" She began calling out, Mars jumping out of range, when the creature let out an ear-splitting scream and collapsed.
There was a stunned silence for a moment as the flames around the creature disappeared, revealing a black husk below that immediately began bleeding from the amount of holes in it.
"Well that's not supposed to be happen. Usually I have to stab it first to win." Venus broke the silence, scratching her head, as she exchanged glances with an equally confused Mars. She heard the group of strangers murmuring behind her.
"Call the others," Mars replied, her eyes narrowing, "We have a new enemy."
Author's Notes: So I haven't updated this in two years. Don't worry, this isn't dead. I swore I would finish this story and I will, even if it takes me until I'm 50. I just wrote this 3 times and lost it each time, so I lost a lot of motivation for writing, especially when some things happened in my personal life. However, fourth times the charm!
To clarify real quick, yes Tsuna and Kyoko are together, though they aren't officially in a relationship. That will be expanded on in the story. Rei and Tsuna will grow close and romance could develop there. You'll have to wait and see.