This story takes place the day after Desperately Wanting, magnificently penned by Adam Jones. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet, since this story will probably not make much sense until you do.
As always, the characters in this story are the sole property of Takeuchi Naoko, Toei and Kodansha. The word “Pandemonium” comes from John Milton’s Paradise Lost and is the place in Hell from which Satan rules, i.e., the home of all the devils and demons in hell. There is no Shinto analogy for this concept and so I borrow from my Western antecedents. The original idea for this story is Adam Jones’, I only penned these few words. Enjoy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rei awoke panting, grasping for unseen support. The room lurched sickeningly around her, the air stifling, clinging. She retched as her feet hit the cool floor and she stood, wavering, her body reacting to hidden pressures, unknown forces.
Rei held herself tightly, controlling the cant of the room with an iron will. Something was wrong…that dream she had last night…the pain….
Her knees gave way as a dreadful weight of truth hit her. It had not been a dream at all. A wave of nausea ran through her, but she clamped her teeth together, determined not to lose control.
She felt trapped. Rancid air, moist and redolent with unwanted passion, unfulfilled desire, cloyed at her. She crawled to the door and thrust it open, sucking down lungfuls of the clean morning air.
Rei lay her head on the aromatic wood of the veranda, letting the blood still in her head. The pounding rhythm calmed her, and she listened to her own heartbeat as she would to the sigh of the ocean in a shell.
Something was wrong…the idea clung where no other coherent thoughts could. Something was terribly wrong. Another wave of sickness came, bringing with it tears of bitterness from some deep place within her. She retched over the railing and leaned heavily, wiping her mouth on her arm.
Her head felt less thick, less dull now, as she lay her head on one arm, breathing in the humid earthiness that rose from the ground below her.
The storm. It had come and gone and had not taken her away. And now she was left, alone, lost, a traitor to her best friend. An adulterer. The words slapped themselves into her mind. But something was wrong… Yes, something is wrong, you just had sex with your best friend’s boyfriend…*you* are what is wrong. Rei shook her head to free herself of the condemnation, but the critical voice would not leave.
“That’s not it!” She cried out loud, surprising the crows that lived within the trees. Their cries drew her attention and she tried to focus on the feeling, but her thinking was still muddled.
Rei looked at her hands, felt them once again stroke the muscled chest, the strong jaw, along the cheek to his ear…
Her head pulled up sharply with the thought. His ear. There was something wrong…she could not get the idea out of her mind. No earring…there was no earring. His ear had been pierced on his 21st birthday, she remembered. But this ear had been smooth, holding no jewelry.
Rei put the heel of her hand against her forehead, willing the thoughts to become clearer. What was wrong? No, that was the wrong question – what was different? Even as she stroked his thigh, asking him to enter her, she had felt something, sensed something…tentative? Shy? He had never been shy with her. Why now? Was it because of Usagi…Usagi…
An image came unbidden to her mind, an Usagi betrayed, an Usagi regarding her with disgust, with deception etched in every line of her face. An Usagi that hated her. Tears flowed down Rei’s cheeks unchecked.
She could not be sorry, she realized. She could only be held accountable. Even for Usagi, I could not stop myself. I would not stop. I would do it again. She recalled the dark figure, approaching across the courtyard, eyes filled with desire, eyes that looked at her as they never had before, devouring her.
As if they had never seen her before.
“He wore that shirt, the one I loved so much. So soft to the touch…” her voice, barely a whisper, died away. It was a shirt he had worn, so long ago. A shirt now only remembered in a photograph. He and Rei and Usagi. In a photograph.
Rei’s hand flew to her mouth and she fell to the wood planks beneath her. She gripped the wood with clawed hands, trying desperately not to spin into the abyss that opened up for her. She could not believe this…it could not be true!
But the blue eyes that had consumed her were not lying. But those blue eyes never lied, did they?
“O God,” Rei moaned. “What have I done?”
No answer came but the distant cawing of her crows. The sound brought her no comfort or news this time. She alone knew the truth.
“Oh Usagi, what have I done?”