SPOILER WARNING: This is based heavily on scenes from Acts 31, 41, and 46. Don't read if you don't want to be surprised! This takes place sometime after the Final Act. But as the Special Act hasn't come out yet, this story is definitely my version of how Motoki and Makoto develop their relationship. Many thanks to Shingetsu and TV-Nihon for their transcripts and subtitles!

Miracle of Fate
Erienne Lee
maia.pleias@gmail.com
http://afaerietale.cjb.net/
10/29/04


Another thunderstorm, another lonely evening. It was the kind of

night that was perfect for wearing the warm, cherished forest green

muffler. That was yet another reason Motoki’s partiality to the damp,

chilly weather had grown.

The window was a dark, gaping rectangle that occasionally lit up

with the brilliance of lightning. He stood there now, forehead against the

cool black glass all but oblivious to the pounding rhythm of the unseen rain.

The muffler coiled around his neck like a snug serpent, subdued under his

hand that held onto the end draped over his shoulders.

Invariably, his mind drifted to her, as it always did during a

rainstorm.

Kino Makoto.

Her name vibrated off the walls of his mind like the thunder

rolling out of the sky. By now, her face and features were a permanent

picture in his mind’s eye. He could recognize her tall, lithe figure and

gamine smile in the midst of a sea of people. Or, at least, he liked to

believe he would have been able to see Mako-chan in the sailor-suited

soldier known as Sailor Jupiter, even if he hadn’t been first-hand

observer to the transformation.

No, it hadn’t really shaken the foundations of his beliefs when

he first witnessed her transformation. Shocked him, certainly. Who

wouldn’t be stunned to hear four simple words turn into one mind-

boggling light and laser show resulting in the transformation of a

super-heroine?

Jupiter Power, Make Up.

He never could have imagined hating four short words like he did

those. At times like this, when he was alone, with the thunder and

lightning blatantly reminded him of her, he couldn’t help but loathe

that one phrase. The words threw up an invisible barrier between them.

They gave Mako-chan special powers and a civic responsibility.

She turned into a goddess in her alternate identity--- not that

she wasn’t a goddess as her everyday self. But as a soldier for justice,

she was the embodiment of victory and strength. As he had watched her

shout the words that one time, it all fell into place. The reason she

had not returned his feelings that day by the river…

He had been nervous, but more confident than ever that he had a

fighting chance with Mako-chan. She had gone out on a movie date with

him, after all. Alright, so maybe he hadn’t been as confident when she

tried repeatedly to end the date immediately after the movie. So maybe

it had been more impatience or a burning need to put an end to any more

wondering whether Mako-chan felt the same.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about you,” he had finally managed to

get the words out. “Ever since you gave this muffler to me…”

He watched her nervously, and heard his heartbeat become a

muffled thumping in his ears that threatened to drown out her words. She

seemed stunned and hesitant, but she spoke firmly.

“I’m sorry,” Makoto said, swiftly turning around to avoid his

gaze, so he wouldn’t see the regret on her own. “I don’t feel that way

at all. I’m not at all feminine, not like you think. I’m at my best when

I’m fighting. A lot of people at school are even afraid of me.”

He wanted to deny her claims. “Mako-chan.”

As if his interruption fueled her argument, she whirled around

to face him again. “I don’t think it’s going to work out. It may be

disappointing, but you should quit while you’re ahead.”

Her insistent tone made him lower his gaze in defeat.

Makoto continued on, unknowingly rubbing salt in the wound.

“You’re asking for the impossible.”

He could take it no more, and steeled himself to rebound; it was

his nature.

“Mako-chan,” he said, forcing a smile on his face. “I

understand.”

He let out a small sound, a half-laugh, half-cry.

“What can I say? I’m beaten. I’ve never received such a thorough

refusal before,” he said over his shoulder, now that he faced the river

rather than Makoto.

“Motoki-kun.” He could hear the concern in her voice.

“But,” he cut her off, turning around again. “I feel relieved to have

gotten it off my chest.”

He nodded to emphasize his statement.

“Goodbye.”

Was that how he would leave her? No, he couldn’t leave without

first acknowledging his steadfast sentiments.

“One more thing,” Motoki said. “I still think you’re a wonderful

young woman, Mako-chan.”

It seemed there was no hope at the end of that day. And yet, the

days directly after did not breed any awkward moments with Makoto. She

still flashed a brilliant smile along with her Crown pass. She still

inquired after the goings-on in his life. She still bantered and

exchanged small talk with him like an old friend.

A small seed of hope began to take root inside of Motoki.

Then came that fateful day when Ami-chan arrived in front of the

counter at the arcade, beaming a smile the Cheshire cat would have

envied.

“A new species of turtle has been spotted near the children’s

building,” she announced.

He should have known she was up to something, but Motoki heard

nothing else past the word “kame”.

And so, he had been there with Mako-chan when the strange

occurrences began. People on the street began to suddenly faint dead

away, and frightening creatures appeared to terrorize innocent citizens.

They had just found Shouta, the missing boy from the children’s

community center amidst the chaos of the city.

Fortunately, Shouta-kun had only been hiding in a tree. With a

little coaxing and a lot of scrapes and sweating, Motoki managed to

rescue him. He had almost jumped for joy when he turned to see Makoto’s

unguardedly warm gaze focused on him. He even let himself believe there

was unambiguous affection in the way Mako-chan lightly blotted the sweat

from his brow. The next good sign from the heavens had definitely been

the turtle song. It was always good karma when you had something in

common with the girl’s father, even if it was only a preference for a

childhood nursery rhyme.

It was simply his lousy luck that the youma chose that moment to

attack, as if to save him from getting his hopes too high. Motoki was no

match for the group of grotesque beings and not much in the way of

defense for Mako-chan and Shouta-kun. He lay sprawled on the grass at

the foot of the tree, beaten once again--- this time physically, and

Makoto had no recourse but to transform.

“Jupiter Power! Make Up!”

He had fought out of the well of pain he was in when the

flashing light and glittering radiance filled his vision. He had

forgotten the smarting aches all over his body when Sailor Jupiter stood

in Mako-chan’s place. It was her face, her body. But everything else was

all wrong, all different.

And then wrong became right as he watched Sailor Jupiter battle

the youma. Fearlessly. Instinctively. Expertly. She wielded lightning

from the sky with a twist of her arms.

“Supreme Thunder!”

It was over, just like that. Waning afternoon turned to dusky

evening, and the youma were vanquished.

He could do nothing but stare, wide-eyed, mouth slightly agape,

at Makoto.

She swallowed, unsure of how to begin. “Motoki-kun… I…”

“I am definitely surprised,” Motoki cut in with a dry laugh. It

seemed like he would always be saving her from the awkwardness of

explanations. “You’re like a champion of justice…”

“No… not exactly,” she said softly. “But I have to keep fighting

enemies like the ones you saw. That’s why…”

She trailed off, and her meaning was clear. It cut into Motoki

like a jagged shard of glass, but still he forced a cheery grin and

nodded firmly.

“I understand,” he said, his smile faltering.

He watched her in wretched silence as she turned and jogged

away, continuing on her mission of justice.

It was almost like trying to reach an asymptote. One step

forward, two steps back. Those four short words made her unattainable.

Although at the bottom of his heart, he had never given up nor changed

his feelings, he had also hardened himself for almost certain

disappointment. It was not his right to demand the unspoken feelings be

brought to the surface, not when the safety of innocent people was at

stake. How could one such as her, someone extraordinary and destined for

greater things, be paired with an insignificant nobody like him? He

would only interfere with her duty.

Motoki, being Motoki, presented a carefree persona to the world

at large. Inside, he railed at fate for doing such a thing to both of

them. There was nothing else he could do. Still, he was grateful that

they were good friends, that fate had put them on the earth at the same

time to live their lives.

She had accepted his lucky turtle charm even after her secret

was out. She had said she liked it, even. That was enough for him, for

now. Such thoughts were what drove him onward with his days and brought

a cheerful mien to his face.

Underneath it all, he couldn’t stop thinking about her, about

her alternate identity and what it meant. The thunder and lightning

would now forever remind him of her. If the sky suddenly became

overcast, he wondered if she was nearby, and if she was safe from any

harm she might have put herself into.

One day, he realized that his fears for her safety and self-

imposed solitude were somewhat exaggerated. Mako-chan wasn’t quite as

alone as he thought. He had noticed it before, that there seemed to be a

special bond between the girls that visited Crown Karaoke regularly.

They were together more and more frequently. There was also a certain

sense of purpose and seriousness in each of the girls’ speech and

actions. The conjecture that the other girls who gathered at Crown

Karaoke were also soldiers of justice lay at the back of his mind like a

niggling worm, until yet another fateful day.

It had been soon after Motoki had first witnessed Mako-chan’s

transformation, and it was Nefurin, of all people, who confirmed it.

Ah, Nefurin. Nephikichi-kun. His was an entirely different story.

Oh, he wasn’t a bad sort--- simply misunderstood and always

short of temper. The latter was definitely an impediment to earning his

salary, but with someone like Motoki keeping an eye on him, Nefurin had

slowly been learning to adjust. It was during one such supportive moment

when Nefurin substantiated Motoki’s suspicions.

Nefurin was going to commit certain courtship suicide by buying

a set of water buffalo horns for Ami-chan. How could Motoki not step in?

Just because his own love-life was lacking didn’t mean others’ had to,

not if he could help it.

So they had returned to the vendor on the street where Motoki

had purchased the turtle charm for Makoto, in order to choose a gift for

Ami. Motoki was almost positive that Nefurin had a soft spot regarding

Ami-chan. Still, he certainly hadn’t shelled out two thousand yen so

that Nefurin could spend it on animal parts. And Ami-chan didn’t deserve

a gift like that, no matter how unpalatable her burnt cookies had

tasted.

“Nefurin, ah, I don’t think Ami-chan is interested in things

like that,” Motoki began.

“What would you know?” Nefurin retorted, busily polishing the

horns. “I must give her something in return for her food.”

“If you could call it that,” Motoki muttered under his breath.

He sighed, resigned, and said more loudly, “Girls go for cuter, more

amusing gifts.”

At that, Nephrin perked up. “Girls? Yes, that’s right… Ami is a

girl.”

Motoki nodded energetically. “They like cute things. Let’s go!”

Two blocks down and five minutes later, the two young men were

in a pet store, gazing down into an aquarium filled with turtles.

“Cute and loving, perfect for Ami-chan,” Motoki declared.

Nefurin’s skeptical gaze was certainly no mirror of Motoki’s

rapt one. Even as he opened his mouth to let out a stinging retort,

Nefurin spotted a small movement out of the corner of his eye. It had

been the aquatic flip of a wispy fin. He turned to focus on the

opalescent glint of scales through the underwater light in a nearby

aquarium tank. The sign underneath it read, “Cyprinus Carpio, Butterfly

Koi”.

By this time, Motoki had noticed Nefurin’s wandering attention,

and stood in front of the fish tank, inspecting the sinuous movements of

its inhabitants.

Nefurin pressed his fingers against the cool glass. “I will take

this one.”

Motoki raised an eyebrow at that. “Why not a turtle? Fish have

no feet, they’re not fun.”

He received a withering sideways glance for his remark.

“It’s perfect for her, for her powers. A creature of water,”

Nefurin murmured, more to himself than Motoki.

“Eh? Powers? A creature of water?” Motoki was puzzled, but it

hit him the next minute. “No! Don’t tell me Ami-chan is just like Mako-

chan… I had suspected the other girls ever since I saw Mako-chan tra---”

He halted in mid-sentence, not sure whether he should reveal the secret

to Nefurin, and let out a small, nervous laugh.

“Nevermind.”

Nefurin gave him a piercing stare and did not speak for a

moment. “So, you know,” he finally said.

Motoki’s jaw dropped, never expecting his suspicions to be

verified. “You mean… so it’s true? The other girls, Usagi-chan, Ami-

chan, Rei-chan… Even the strange little one, Luna?”

Nefurin gave a small nod and moved away, saying no more, leaving

Motoki standing rooted to the spot to mull over the unexpected truth.

Finally, he came to a conclusion.

“So, at least she isn’t alone in her fight,” Motoki said,

looking up to see Nefurin holding a plastic bag filled with water and

the butterfly koi.

Nefurin watched the movements of the fish intently and agreed

with Motoki. “They have each other. You don’t have to worry about her.

They… are special,” he admitted, giving Motoki a knowing look.

Motoki flushed and let out a small embarrassed laugh. “No matter

how strong she is, I can’t help but worry. It’s ridiculous, I know. I

can’t do anything, while she--- she…”

There was silence for a moment, as Nefurin seemed to absorb his

words. The expression on his face said that he understood exactly how

Motoki felt, and he did not like it one bit. But how could Nefurin be in

the same position? Unless…

But then Nefurin let out a derisive laugh.

“Idiot!” he said, breaking the strained tension in the air.

They had left it at that.

Time passed, and Motoki knew that the clandestine activities of

the girls were declining. He no longer saw them gathering at the Crown

with somber faces, nor did he see them suddenly rushing out to

who-knew-where without a backward glance at him behind the counter.

His relationship with Makoto remained steadfast. He would still

occasionally share a meal with Mako-chan, or catch a movie. But he was

afraid to do anything more, while at the same time longing to ask her that

particular question a second time.

It was only on nights like this one, where the rain whipped

relentlessly on the windows and the thunder rang out loudly and angrily,

that he would let himself reminisce, muse, and ponder on the what-ifs

and why-nots. He was lost in his thoughts, and only the peal of the

doorbell brought him out of his reverie.

Motoki gave one last sigh before pushing himself off of the

windowsill to make his way to the front door. He threw the door wide

open, and didn’t allow whoever it was a chance to greet him.

“Hai! Who’s out in this nasty wea---” he stopped in mid-sentence

as his eyes alighted on a thoroughly sopping and bedraggled Makoto

standing on his doorstep.

She had never looked so beautiful to him as she did now, with

her hair plastered to her head and the tip of her nose red from the

chill air. She held up a basket and gave him a small smile.

“Are you hungry?” She sounded slightly nervous.

“Mako-chan,” Motoki said, and he couldn’t stop the huge grin

from appearing on his face.

“I… Well, that is…,” she trailed off, lowering the basket to her

side as her confidence drained.

Her sodden form finally registered in his mind, and Motoki

quickly pulled Makoto inside, slamming the door shut against the wind

and rain.

“Mako-chan, you don’t have to explain anything,” he said.

She looked at him, at his familiar face and the muffler he wore

and the shirt with the turtle stitched onto it, and the reason she was

there sang loudly in her heart. She smiled again.

“No, I do. That is, I wanted you to know that, while I am a

soldier of justice…” she said, looking him straight in the eye. “I’m

also a soldier of love. I don’t need to be alone. I’ve known that for a

while now. I’m not destined to be alone, no matter what my past life

dictated. And it was because of you, Motoki-kun, that I’ve matured as a

senshi.”

She took a deep, expectant breath.

And Motoki let out an elated shout.

Owari. (End.)

(c) 2004 Erienne C. Lee


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End notes (in the unlikely event that someone is interested):

In case you didn't understand it, most of the story--- the part in the middle--- is a series of flashbacks, based on episodes 31 and 41. Only the first and last few paragraphs take place in the present, sometime after the Final Act.

Did I have a hard time figuring out a title for this fic! "Miracle of Fate" comes from one of my favorite quotations, "What a miracle of fate that we could live our lives at the same time on earth". I was also listening to Sailormoon songs like I usually do when I write SM fics and one of the tracks was the PC Engine single, "Onaji Hoshi ni Umareta Futari Dakara" (Because We Two Were Born on the Same Planet). The lyrics echo that quotation, and I thought it was very fitting for Motoki and Makoto. I also put the gist of that into one of the lines in this story.

Hmm, yeah, I just HAD to put Nephrite/Nefurin in the story. I kept wondering what he would have gotten Ami-chan, and this is what I came up with. I know she already has a tank of fish in her room, but Nephrite wouldn't know that. Oh, and butterfly koi are gorgeous. :)

Another thing regarding Nephrite/Ami. The part where Nephrite is supposedly thinking about his own unattainable girl doesn't necessarily involve Ami. He could be thinking about Beryl. You're free to think of it either way, since it seemed like he still had some sortof feelings for her.

I wrote this late last night when I felt like I was going crazy with personal problems. It felt good to have control of something, anything, even characters and their thoughts through the keyboard. I've wanted to do a one-shot for a while now, and after FINALLY finishing the PGSM series, I really, really wanted to write about Motoki. It's just sad that I didn't sit down to crank this out until something bad happens to me. -_-;