I’ve been awfully busy since I finished Sailor Moon S, which means I haven’t had time to sit down with the next season of the classic show. There’s always time for fanfiction, however. While I was excited to finally meet Sailors Neptune and Uranus in S, they’re by no means the main characters, and I wanted to see how fans imagined their relationship. How did two girls from such different walks of life handle their partnership, both as Haruka and Michiru, and as Uranus and Neptune? What made them into the harder, grittier scouts they became, who judged individual lives against the greater good of the world? This fic from Michiru’s POV digs into how Michiru first discovered Haruka and how their relationship developed over the course of the season.
“Who is that?”
“Huh? Michiru!” Her classmate looks up from the magazine in her hands, unfiltered surprise scrawled all across her face, and the three girls crowded around her follow suit with gapes to match. She presses the magazine closed, tapping her finger against the cover photo that Michiru had just touched. “Her? That’s Haruka Tenoh! You really haven’t heard of her? She’s the youngest motor racer in Japan, and one of the best in the country, too!”
“Oh,” says Michiru, then pauses. “May I borrow this for a bit?”
All four look at her as though she had just now landed from outer space. The magazine’s owner is happy enough to shove it into her hands, however, with an awe-struck exclamation of “Wow, Michiru, this is really rare for you!” as she’s apparently “never interested in this sort of stuff”. Michiru responds with an “Oh, really” that’s more of a stock reaction than a legitimate question, thanks her, and returns to her seat with the magazine in hand.
On the cover, Haruka Tenoh is beautiful. Perched on the driver seat of the racecar like it was built for her, helmet tucked beneath her arm, on an open road where you can see nothing but the sand and sky. “Faster than the Wind”, the bold print reads, and in smaller letters describes the promising young racer who just got the gold in the nation-wide quarter-final and told Japan Entertainment Weekly all about her win and plans for the future, more on page three. Michiru traces a finger across the line of her jaw — high and sharp like a man’s, but with a fascinating sort of delicacy to it — up to the line where her hair begins, short sandy-gold blowing back in the wind. And in that moment, every last hard-suppressed fantasy filters through the newly-formed crack in her mind’s dam, flooding her.
They could be driving along the beach. She would feel warm summer breeze flutter through her hair, and breathe in ocean air. There would be no roads but the one they would make for themselves, and Haruka would turn to look at her, and smile.
Michiru’s chest tightens. This is ridiculous. She really, really shouldn’t.
She turns to page three.
The author draws a compelling picture of a Michiru who first begins to crush on Haruka long before they meet simply because of Haruka’s obvious and unfettered freedom and independence. While Michiru is often on her own, it’s on the understanding from her parents that she will perform perfectly at every educational or extracurricular task she’s handed. Haruka is beautiful because she clearly doesn’t spend a second of any day giving a fuck about what people think. (And also because she’s, you know, really attractive, and Michiru is a huge lesbian.)
Michiru’s both horrified and reassured when the girl she’s been crushing on turns out to have been called to the same harsh responsibility as she has. It’s not easy being a Sailor Senshi, and drown on dry land doesn’t shy away from the difficulties that the two of them face, both emotionally and physically. I especially liked being able to get into Michiru’s head because in the show she and Haruka seem so much older and more serious and put-together than the five inner senshi, but the reality of the matter is that they’re still teenagers too. For all the pretty skirts and beautiful transformations, the sailor senshi lifestyle is awfully brutal. Can you imagine being fourteen and discovering you had a sacred duty to stop a force threatening to wipe out the entire planet? I’d be a damn wreck.
This bittersweet and beautifully written fic is a pleasant diversion at around 11k words. Check it out here at the AO3!
Hear more from Lady Saika on Character Reveal, the podcast she cohosts with BrothaDom!