Dejana's Writing

Fair Exchange
a Sailormoon fanfiction by Dejana Talis
-not to be used without permission-

Written for sm_monthly, March 2006 (Villains) Day Five (Role Reversal).

A lone figure moved through the empty rooms of Galaxy TV. Heels clicked on the floor, and bells jingled as the slim visitor passed through the darkened offices in even, purposeful strides.

At last! Back where we belong! See, I knew you'd miss it.

Shut up. I don't listen to you anymore.

Smooth steps brought the shadowed figure past abandoned cubicles and down dusty aisles. She lowered her eyes, not wanting to look at the places where the others had been, not wanting the memories of that life.

Sailor Tin Nyanko stepped into the elevator. The doors closed, and it began to move. She clenched her hands into fists at her sides in an attempt to stop them from shaking.

She had come here to die.

As the elevator rose, she raised her fists and studied them. One black, one white. One wrist still bearing the bracelet of Sailor Galaxia, and that side of her body the blackness of her sins.

I'm so excited! We're going to see Galaxia-sama again, and she'll fix everything back to normal, isn't that wonderful?

Shut UP! Leave me alone.

That dreadful golden bracelet, the mark of her betrayal...and the only thing that kept her alive. Try as they might, Eternal Sailormoon and her friends could not find a way to save Sailor Tin Nyanko, not completely. They all knew what would happen if the winged princess healed her other half and destroyed the remaining bracelet. Tin Nyanko had no starseed. She had sold it to Galaxia in exchange for her life. She knew that the starseed really was her life, that as long as it existed she would not really die, but she had been afraid, afraid to lose this body.

The former Animamate trembled. What a fool she had been. She had given up on her planet, on her responsibilities as a Sailor Soldier, and indulged her own selfish wish to keep her body. She had imagined that even in the employ of Sailor Galaxia she could fight back, she could work against the golden queen from within. She had not realized that wearing the bracelets meant becoming someone else.

Tin Nyanko's eyes squeezed shut, and tears rolled down her cheeks.

What's this? Why are you crying? We're going home! We'll be healed, and then we can go back and get the starseeds from those rotten Sailor Senshi! Galaxia-sama will be so proud!

That voice... No matter what she did, it would not be silent. Since she overruled the monster she had become and remained with Eternal Sailormoon and her friends, Tin Nyanko had been able to assert control over her entire body despite the evil that still owned half of her. As long as she wore the bracelet, however, she could not be entirely rid of the black cat. She shuddered as she remembered all she had done in the name of Sailor Galaxia's conquest. She had hurt people. She had tricked, and stolen, and destroyed. She had killed.

Sailor Soldiers were supposed to fight together, and she had murdered her own comrades. No good she could do now could erase that evil. The black cat was with her still, always whispering in her head, always tormenting her with thoughts of cruelty and sin, awaiting any chance to reassert itself. Tin Nyanko's once-flawless face and body were covered with bruises and scratches from where her dark side clawed at her when she slept. Her enemy was inescapable, and the only way to get rid of it was to die.

She could have endured the constant struggle, had it not been for Galaxia's retaliation. Eternal Sailormoon was so forgiving. She had promised she and her friends would find a way to help Sailor Tin Nyanko. The past few days she had spent fighting alongside the Sailor Senshi of this planet had almost made her feel like a real soldier again.

But Sailor Galaxia had to have servants.

Tin Nyanko had been the last of the Animamates, and Galaxia would not lower herself to come to the planet personally. She needed a new slave to seek out the true starseeds, and when the golden queen wanted something, nothing could stop her from taking it.

Sailor Tin Nyanko would never forget the look on Eternal Sailormoon's face as she watched Sailor Jupiter take the starseed from that little girl. The former Animamate still shuddered when she remembered the horror of that fight, the reluctant attacks of Jupiter's friends and the futile pleas of their princess. She didn't know what tricks Galaxia had used to get the green-suited soldier to wear the bracelets, but once they were on, Jupiter could not escape their power even if she wanted to. Tin Nyanko knew that from experience.

The Sailor Senshi could not fight one of their own. Sailor Jupiter had retreated that time, but she would be back. It was time for Sailor Tin Nyanko to do the right thing, the best thing. She didn't know if she would succeed, but she had to try. Perhaps her sacrifice would erase some of her sin.

Perhaps Sailor Galaxia would take her back, in exchange for Sailor Jupiter's freedom.

The elevator rumbled to a stop. The doors opened, and Tin Nyanko stepped out, prepared to grovel at the golden queen's feet and profess her undying loyalty if only Galaxia would restore her lost bracelet and give her one more chance.

At the far end of the expanse, the gold-plated soldier was indeed reclining on her throne as she usually did. Between her and Tin Nyanko, however, stood Sailor Jupiter, and her stance and expression were anything but friendly.

Sailor Galaxia knew a winning hand when she had one.

"Ah, the prodigal child at last," the green-suited soldier said, her lips curling into a twisted smile of anticipation as she poised herself to spring. Sailor Tin Nyanko took a step back, but the elevator had vanished. The bracelets on Jupiter's wrists flashed as the bloodlust rose in her eyes.

A short while later there was a brief scream, followed by a forlorn jingle as a single bell dropped to the floor.

The End
Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon and its associated characters and canon are the property of Naoko Takeuchi and Kodansha.
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