Dejana's Writing

In Vino Veritas
a Sailormoon fanfiction by Dejana Talis
-not to be used without permission-

Written for sm_monthly, January 2008 (Silver Millennium) Day One (In Vino Veritas).

"Endymion... you'll come visit me, won't you?"

"Of course. I won't let you be alone."

It was the Feast of Venus. Nothing ever changed here; no sun rose, no seasons passed, but Sailor Pluto knew the date as surely as she knew the Starlight Festival was five million three-hundred and eighty-four thousand six hundred and twelve seconds away. She didn't have to look back into the world to know it, not anymore.

Pluto leaned on the Time Key with a sigh and let her eyes lose focus. The duty was so dreadfully boring. She was the pride of her family, a Sailor Soldier, chosen by the Moon Queen herself... but that was little consolation in the face of endless days among the mists.

Even unfocused, her gaze kept sliding in a certain direction. Pluto straightened up and began pacing in front of the great Time Door, forcing her attention away from the frontier. He would be here. He always came.

"Are you sure you haven't had too much?"

Alexandra sat up indignantly, sweeping her dark green hair out of her eyes.

"When I am a Sailor Soldier, you shan't speak to me that way," she proclaimed. The bottle of Ocean's Red hung precariously from her loose fingers. Endymion smirked as the young Plutian swayed, her cheeks as rosy as the wine.

"When you are a Sailor Soldier, you shan't drink so much." He reached out and pulled the bottle from her protesting hands. "Only a week since the announcement, and you're already putting on airs."

"I seem to recall," slurred Alexandra, "a certain little boy who strutted about as if the very grass would obey his commands."

"I grew up," Endymion argued, taking a swig of the wine himself. "More than a certain princess, I daresay." His companion snorted and shoved him playfully in the shoulder, but only succeeded in losing her balance. Endymion barely avoided spilling the bottle as Alexandra tipped into his lap.

"You're not going to pass out, are you?" Endymion blinked in his own drunken haze and set the wine aside. Alexandra lay silently on the grass, staring up at the sky sparkling with stars. She had been told there was no sky at the Gate, only the shifting mists of Time. In less than a month, that formless world would be her home.

"Alex?" Endymion's worried face swam into her field of vision, more blurred than it should have been. He raised a hand to her cheek and wiped away the trickle of tears.

"I'll miss this," the Plutian whispered. "I'll miss you."

"I told you I'll visit."

"It won't be the same," Alexandra moaned. She rolled onto her side, turning away from her companion. "Nothing will be the same. I've always enjoyed the Feast of Venus, the dream of someday spending it with a lover..." Her flushed cheeks deepened into a true blush, and she was glad Endymion could not see her face. "That's all over now. This was the last one I'll spend in company."

"No. I'll come and share the day with you."

Alexandra sat up and turned to face him, suddenly lucid through the haze of wine. "You will?"

"Every year," Endymion vowed. "I'll bring a bottle of wine, and we'll drink it together, just like always."

"Red wine?" the Plutian pressed. "My favorite?"

"It's a promise." The Earth prince's perfect lips curved into the warm smile Alexandra loved so much. It warmed her from her fingers to her toes, even more than the wine. He was her friend, her oldest and dearest friend. He would never leave her.

"See that you don't break it," she said with a smirk. She reached out and pulled the bottle of Ocean's Red toward her. Endymion shook his head in mock disgust.

"See that you properly appreciate it," he scolded. "Red wine is meant for lovers; it's not easy to come by on the Feast of Venus."

Sailor Pluto spun around and leveled the Time Key at waist-height. She raised it in her arms and twirled it to the side, then brought it back, running through each of the maneuvers she'd been taught in turn. The exercise did little to distract her mind. The day was slipping past, the hour her mind marked so easily growing later and later. He would come. Endymion never broke his promises.

It was true time was passing on a greater scale. Endymion was growing older, taking on more responsibilities, meeting new friends and forging new bonds. Although she didn't want to consider it, Pluto knew he would eventually have demands on his time that would keep him from her. Still, she clung to the hope that he would come. They had been friends since childhood, closer than any of the other royals. No one could take her place in his heart.

It was true Endymion's visits were fewer these days, but this was the Feast of Venus. Who else could he possibly spend it with but his most cherished friend? It was true when he visited he talked more and more of Princess Serenity, the Moon Queen's renegade daughter who came to Earth against her mother's orders - blast that girl! - but first and foremost Endymion belonged to Pluto. Things were more difficult now that she was a Sailor Soldier, but in the end, he was sure to be hers. He would come with a bottle of rich red wine, and they would drink and it would be just like old times.

Any moment, he would come. Any moment, he would banish the traitorous unease that was beginning to curl in Pluto's stomach. Before long, she'd be teasing Endymion as he apologized for being so late, and gazing into the eyes that were her only reminder of the evening sky, and tasting the earthy velvet of rosy wine on her tongue. They'd share their game of playing lovers, and Pluto would have a few short hours to pretend it was real.

Any moment...

Pluto sucked in her breath as the fine hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Something had entered her domain. She felt a foreign presence within her borders, a violation of the barriers that protected it. Her grip automatically tightened on the Time Key, but her heart leapt in excitement.


There was no reply. The intruder didn't appear to be moving, from what Pluto's senses told her. Bending the rules that bound the guardian of time, she ventured into the mists, seeking the source of the disturbance. It was in the direction from which Endymion usually arrived, but no human shape disturbed the shifting fog.

The Time Door was barely within sight when she discovered it. A basket had been left just inside the borders of Pluto's realm, small and plain with a bundle nestled inside it. The time guardian strained the reaches of her sensory abilities, but the giver was nowhere to be found. There was no letter with the parcel, no video cube, nothing.

Sailor Pluto knelt beside the basket. With trembling hands, she unwrapped the silk cloth and lifted out the bottle.

Fabreman's Liquid Diamonds. A fine white wine.

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