You know the NA episode "Bad Hair Day" where Malachite has one of Sailor Moon's hairs and tried to match it up? Mina's hair just *happens* to match because Serena's hair got on her by mistake? Well, that just struck me as odd. Having never seen the original Japanese episode (and being less than fluent in Japanese anyway) I have *no* idea if the original hair was Minako's or Usagi's. It makes more sense with it being Minako's, ne? I mean, they're *both* blonde, so how can the Dark Kingdom tell whose it is *anyway*? My solution? Write a fanfic! So here ya go:

General Commentary

~Shining Gold~

by Fushigi Kismet

I summoned the strand of gold to twine about my fingers, showing it to Beryl as I explained my plan. She appeared skeptical, but that was just as well, the only other thing she *ever* was consisted of being furious enough to perform some . . . hasty actions. Such as when she had imprisoned Jadeite in eternal sleep or . . . killed Zoisite, my lover.

That was a bone of contention that still rankled. I had loved Zoisite . . . still loved him, but I hid my loss well. That was the only way to stay alive in the Dark Kingdom. NEVER let your true emotions show. There are more than enough minions ready to jump on you and rip out your throat at the least sign of weakness or chance at promotion. Here, backstabbing ruled supreme. You learned very early on when you made the Dark Kingdom your home, to never *ever* let down your guard. That was offering yourself up as a sacrifice. That got messy.

So anyway, I was outlining my plan to Beryl, who eventually approved it and dismissed me to go initiate it. Prince Endymion watched me the whole time and smirked.

I hated that. I wanted . . . to hate him. But I couldn't. I couldn't! Somewhere, far back in my mind, I knew - had always known - that my loyalty did not lie with Beryl, but with Endymion, my prince. It had been a bond forged long ago, in blood and war and tears. Yet, still I wanted to hate him, but that other part of me stopped me and I satisfied the hating urge by insulting him and arguing with him whenever possible.

He hated *me* and let me know that whenever he could, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn't bring myself to so much as lay a hand on him. That was probably for the best as Beryl (I had long ago ceased to think of her as Queen) would have been . . . upset. It was no secret that she lusted after him and had attempted to get him to share her bed, but the part of him that still resisted his brainwashing had refused. Flatly. And so the denizens of the Dark Kingdom were stuck with an irate Queen and a smugly supercilious Dark King. And me. There was always me, the despondent one.

I longed for so much, for escape from Beryl, for the feel of the sunlight on my skin, for companionship . . . but most of all, for love. I hungered for love. That was what had driven me to this latest of schemes.

The truth of the matter was . . . the golden hair I had found did *not* belong to Sailor Moon. It belonged to . . . a blue-eyed, sweet-faced, golden-haired goddess of love. Love that I craved. Love that I needed. Her love.

I had remembered. I do not know when I knew for certain the first time or when I noticed her for what she truly was. Perhaps it was the first instant that I laid eyes on her, outlined on the rooftop, a white cat at her side. Perhaps I knew her then as she broke through the forcefield I had constructed around the Senshi.

I do not think she knew me as she insulted me, but I knew her. Oh, now I am just coming to realize that I knew her from the start. How could I not? I think, though, that as our eyes met, something flashed through hers. Recognition? I cannot be certain.

Still, now I know her. I remember. I remember the anguish in her eyes as I betrayed her for the first time. The tears she shed upon my death . . . so long ago, and yet, so fresh in my memory. I remember the feeling of her lips on mine, her body in my arms, the warmth in her eyes, the scent of her hair. Her hair, oh God, it was her hair that I held. This was my one, last, desperate ploy to escape the darkness that had all but consumed me. There was no other way. I would find her, and I would reveal my true identity to her. I was Kunzite, her lover.

Maybe, just maybe, she could find it within herself to love me back. I no longer cared about Beryl or the Dark Kingdom. All I wanted was to be safe and secure in her arms. All I wanted was to feel her love and know that I was loved.

And so . . . I twined the strand of shining gold tighter around my hand and 'ported to Earth. This piece of her that I held in my hand . . . this was my last chance.

Later, I returned, my illusions shattered. I had done no more than catch a glimpse of her. She . . . how could she love me? She was all that was good and pure. I had no place in her life. I did not deserve her.

I belonged here in the dark dank places where all vermin scurried off to. I had taken my last chance . . . and lost it.