Author Topic: The Great Log Posting: Arc IV  (Read 15262 times)

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Offline Halbarad

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The Great Log Posting: Arc IV
« on: June 26, 2006, 09:01:35 pm »
Once again, many thanks to Ebiris for the synopsis so gratuitously stolen and repeated here.

ARC IV - Shadow Tokyo

A few months passed peacefully after Germatou's end, but trouble once more reared its head in fair Tokyo. And it all started with one little girl with pink hair...

Having Chibi Usa fall out of the sky on Usagi's head, before she promptly glomped onto the girl and started wailing about how she thought we were all dead, came as no small surprise to our heroines. Having Chibs then freak out at no one recognising her and shooting off a massive beam of energy akin to the Silver Crystal only deepened the mystery.

Investigating further, they learned that she came from Crystal Tokyo, where her parents; Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion ruled. Ami's computer confirmed the DNA match with Usagi and Endymion, only leading to further confusion, since Usagi was with Rei and Endymion had gotten together with Setsuna.

It soon became clear that Chibi Usa was from a parallel universe, and shortly afterwards, the Black Moon family invaded from that dimension, still doggedly pursuing Chibi Usa and gloating of how they killed the Sailor Senshi in their own dimension.

While fending off the initial attacks from the Black Moon sisters, more bad news broke on another front. The idol singer Full Moon - Minako's alias - died in a car crash.

A few days after that, the senshi investigated a makeup shop that was being used as a front by the Black Moon. In the battle that followed, Beruche was killed by Sailor Mars. This led to another battle shortly after, with Cooan out for revenge. This battle had the bad luck to be videotaped on national television, as Cooan was cut in half by an attack from Sailor Dragon.

After that, the attacks ceased entirely. But while searching for a way to get Chibi Usa home, another problem presented itself. With the Black Moon running rampant in the other dimension, negative energy levels were skyrocketing. With the dimensional barrier weakened, that negative energy would spill over into our world with catastrophic results after reaching a critical mass in Chibi Usa's home.

The negative energy also presented a problem of making it difficult for the 'positive energy' senshi to traverse between dimensions. Only an extremely powerful source of positive energy could get them there, and the Silver Crystal had been gone for some time. The only other option was the Holy Grail, but without Sailor Neptune's talisman, it couldn't be summoned. Prompted by this, Usagi finally selected a new Sailor Neptine - the former Deathbuster, Viluy. After she inherited the powers and title, her talisman was revealed, and the senshi finally summoned the Grail forth.

The summoning of the legendary artifact produced some profound effects on the members of the fledgling new Moon Kingdom. Rei's two ravens; Phobos and Deimos both attained humanoid forms as small fairies, while Artemis and Luna both recalled how to transform themselves into their fully human forms. The former Deathbusters all underwent small changes in their spiritual auras to mark them as tied to the new Moon Kingdom, and Professor Tomoe also recalled all the knowledge he lost when Germatou fled his body.

A few days later, the girls were ready, and ventured forth into the other dimension. Arriving in the other Tokyo, they found the city in the grip of anarchy, with people everywhere deeply corrupted by the Black Moon's negative energy. After a brief battle with one of Rubeus' droids, being taunted with the deaths of this world's own senshi, and dealing with the students of Juuban middle who had set their school ablaze, the senshi arrived at the Crystal Point of Hikawa Shrine.

After dealing with the corrupted versions of Phobos, Deimos, and Yuichirrou, the senshi had to wage a prolonged battle against the corrupted guardian spirit of the Shrine, a small army of droids, and Calaveras. Eventually prevailing, Usagi used the Holy Grail to purify the Shrine and surrounding area, and set up a large scale barrier to prevent the Black Moon from counterattacking while they used it as their base of operations in this dimension.

Getting radio broadcasts from outside the city (TV not recieving anything) they learned how Tokyo was cut off from the rest of Japan as a disaster zone, with the outside world not truly understanding the nature of the threat they faced.

Performing a fire reading to make sense of what happened to make everything go so horribly wrong in this world, Rei saw how the Sailor Senshi here were sucked into a dimensional rift by Petz, while Beruche and Cooan were corrupted by the Black Moon and sent after Chibi Usa.

The following day while seeking out another Crystal Point to purify, the senshi were intercepted by Petz herself, the Queen of Shadow Tokyo as she called herself. After a fierce battle, Petz was killed and her Black Moon Strobe went haywire, sucking the senshi into the same void that claimed their counterparts!

Luckily Usagi was able to hold the rift open for them to escape, and in the process they recovered the bodies of this world's senshi - who they learned weren't actually dead on fleeing back to the Shrine, just incredibly weak. Almost like they were in suspended animation. Sadly, nothing the girls tried could wake up their counterparts, and the battle for Shadow Tokyo had only just begun.

Purifying a point at the Bob Floy Icecream Store (where they had fought Beruche in their own world), the senshi were attacked by Rubeus' UFO, only barely managing to fend it off long enough to purify the point and force his retreat. After the difficult battle, that world's Tuxedo Kamen appeared, startled at seeing Sailor Moon and the others apparently alive and fighting back after he had nearly lost all hope.

Taking him back to the Shrine, the girls explained the situation with the handy visual aid of the comatose native senshi, and compared stories with Mamoru over how things were different between the two worlds.

With the senshi proceeding to purify the remaining Crystal Points - the city already starting to return to normal from the significantly weakened flow of negative energy - Rubeus hatched a desperate plan to trap Sailor Moon at one of the points, blasting her with overwhelming negative energy from a remote location. But he underestimated her, and the Moon Princess instead turned the trap against him, using his negative energy flow as a conduit to strike directly at the villian, utterly disrupting the negative energy all over the city and allowing them to make short work of several Crystal Points in quick succession.

Badly overstretched, the girls were in little shape to fight when Rubeus' UFO returned after he recovered, fleeing back to the shielded Shrine before Usagi collapsed from the massive strain on her body of using so much energy.

With the city close to normal, the girls sat and waited while Usagi recovered, before the shield finally fell after four days, and Rubeus attacked. Fully rested, though, the senshi minus Usagi managed to shoot his UFO out of the sky, and defeat him handily, finally putting an end to the Black Moon's Shadow Tokyo.

But that still left the problem of the comatose native senshi...

Recieving a message from this world's Sailor Pluto via Chibi Usa, Rei and Usagi went to visit the Senshi of Time. There they recieved startling news - because of the success of the Black Moon, Crystal Tokyo would never exist. Chibi Usa had no home to return to, and her existence only continued thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal inside her body. Pluto also explained how this world's senshi could be revived by combining Chibi Usa's Crystal with Usagi's Grail and the other Usagi's depleted Crystal.

The problem of what to do with Chibi Usa remained. The girl had already latched onto Usagi as a mother figure after learning she was actually Serenity, but had no love at all for the immature girl in this world who HAD been destined to grow up into Neo Queen Serenity. And while she liked Rei well enough, she wanted her 'Mother' to be with her Mamo-chan. That couldn't really happen with this world's Mamoru quite devoted to his own Usagi.

The other senshi were revived easily enough, and after some fun discussion of the differences between the two worlds, most of which seemed to traumatise this world's senshi - especially Usagi and Rei - the senshi returned back to their own dimension, Chibi Usa coming with them to live as Usagi's daughter.
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 1: Hotaru's Convalescence to Rei and Ann's 'Workout'
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 09:02:35 pm »
[11:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[11:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> The rest of Sunday passes in a daze. It's finally over; no more worries about the Silence. You hope.
[11:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi finds herself sleeping deeply, worn to the bone by the events of the day before.
[11:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> "...gi....Us....Usag.....USAGI!" The familiar feeling of cat claws slicing your face slightly stirs the tired girl, bringing her to awareness. (1 damage)
[11:46] * Usagi-chan awakens with a howl of pain. "Owww! Luna, what'd you do that for?" Usagi glares at the black Mau.
[11:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Because you're late, Usagi!" The Mau is atop you, and sounding quite annoyed. "You have twenty minutes before school!"
[11:47] * Usagi-chan grumbles, stretching as she gets out of bed at a normal rate of speed. "I think the Professor will understand if I'm a little late today."
[11:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna leaps off you as you get up, landing at the foot of the bed. "Usagi, you shouldn't be late, though," she insists strongly.
[11:48] <Usagi-chan> "All right, all right, I'm getting ready!" Usagi retorts, heading over to her closet to get a school uniform out.
[11:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Good," she nods. As you dress...
[11:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Luna, Artemis is here for your morning workout!" Mom calls upstairs, causing Luna to choke and blush a bit.
[11:50] * Usagi-chan bursts out in a fit of the giggles. "Morning workout, huh?" She grins over at Luna. "Decided that you might have gained a little weight?"
[11:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh hush," Luna hmmphs, still blushing in annoyance.
[11:51] <Usagi-chan> "I'm glad to see you getting some exercise at least." Usagi grins as she pulls her blouse on over her head.
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna turns her cat tail and rear to you, instead choosing to save some dignity by trotting downstairs.
[11:53] * Usagi-chan shakes her head and grins as she buttons her skirt in place. "There, ready to go!" she says with a smile, fastening her hair braid in place as she heads downstairs.
[11:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going into the kitchen, an amusing sight waits for you. Somehow, Artemis found a headband sized for a cat, and is wearing it. "Now, Luna. We'll start with a jog around the block, then some calisthenics to get your blood flowing," he says, the two sitting on the floor by the back door.
[11:55] * Usagi-chan covers her mouth to keep from breaking out in a full laugh.
[11:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "We have to get you in shape, Luna, or you'll fall behind Usagi," he prods, then looks up. "Oh, morning, Usagi." he says, Luna turning, her face full of mortification.
[11:56] <Usagi-chan> "That headband is just SO you, Artemis." Usagi grins.
[11:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> He grins back. "I've got to look the part if I'm getting the old twenty-pound furball in shape." To that, Luna glares at Artemis, eyes shooting nuclear missiles of hatred at him.
[11:59] <Usagi-chan> "It looks great on you - you should get one for Luna too." Usagi barely manages not to giggle.
[11:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That's ENOUGH of that," Luna growls, turning her head up. "Let's go, Artemis!"
[11:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure, Luna," he chuckles, going along with her. "Have a good day, Usagi!"
[12:00] <Usagi-chan> "You too, guys!" She gives the cats a wave as they head out the door, still laughing to herself as she grabs a slice of toast.
[12:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Thus, Usagi soon after departs to Mugen, arriving a good half hour late - though instead of going to her class, she heads to the 5th floor.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> However, the office is locked and empty. A handwritten note taped to the door by a secretary notes that Professor Tomoe is out today.
[12:05] * Usagi-chan smiles at the note and heads down to the tutoring office. 'I don't blame him a bit...'
[12:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> The day passes quickly enough, the subject of the day being science. It passes quickly because the tutor didn't bother waking you from your half doze...
[12:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Thus, the day ends, freeing Usagi from school's grasp for another day.
[12:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Usagi heads out of the tutoring room, her knack at running into people comes into play! By chance, Eudial's chest meets your face, causing both to stumble and trip.
[12:16] <Usagi-chan> "Gah!" Usagi squeaks, almost dropping her schoolbag. Looking up, she sees who she bumped into. "Oh, sorry Eudial-san - I didn't see you."
[12:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Getting up herself, she shakes her head. "It's no big deal. Anyway, did you hear about Mimette yet?" she asks, the latest piece of gossip dangling above you.
[12:18] <Usagi-chan> "Huh? No, what's going on with her? I know I haven't seen her in a while." Usagi replies.
[12:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial nods, but not replying until she leads you into the elevator. "She's transferring," she says simply.
[12:20] <Usagi-chan> "Transferring? Really? Why? Where to?" Usagi fires off the questions one after another.
[12:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "From what the Professor said, she felt that it would be best if she moved on," Eudial seems a bit guarded here. "She wanted a fresh start."
[12:22] * Usagi-chan nods, but looks sad. "I... guess I can understand that. It's really too bad though."
[12:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> The redhead is silent for a little while, not speaking until the elevator opens. "I guess. I won't miss her, but I hope she does better." She shrugs.
[12:25] <Usagi-chan> "Me too... I just wish things had been able to work out better for her here." She gives the redhead a smile. "Thanks for letting me know."
[12:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure," she says. "Going downstairs?"
[12:28] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I wanted to go over and see how Hotaru's doing, so I'm going to head right over to the Professor's house. If you see Rei, tell her she can give me a call whenever." Usagi smiles as she steps out of the elevator. "I'll see you later, Eudial!"
[12:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> She manages a smile back, although she looks a introspective more than anything else. "Later, Usagi."
[12:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Uasgi heads to the Tomoe house, the weather again good. It looks like Tokyo is hitting its spring stride now.
[13:00] * Usagi heads up the front walk to the Professor's home, a cheery smile on her face as she rings the bell.
[13:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> A short pause after the ring, until a cheery old lady opens the door. "Oh, hello there, dear. Can I help you?"
[13:03] <Usagi> "Yeah, is the Professor here?" Usagi asks. "I was hoping to get to see him today."
[13:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> "He's here. May I ask who is calling," she replies gently. "He asked not to be disturbed today."
[13:07] <Usagi> "I understand. Tell him it's Usagi, and I wanted to come see how Hotaru was doing today." Usagi nods to the maid.
[13:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> She smiles and goes back inside, coming back a minute later. "Come in, dear," she nods.
[13:10] <Usagi> "Thanks!" Usagi chirps, following the maid into the house.
[13:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> It's rather dark-toned and quiet inside the large house, seemingly decorated by one who prefers to see little sunlight or other light. Down a hallway you are led into a dark colored room, although the black curtains are lying on the floor, letting in a wealth of sunlight. Inside amid a few stuffed animals is Hotaru's bed, the girl sleeping quietly. Professor Tomoe is sitting on a chair by the bed, sitting watch over her.
[13:16] * Usagi smiles gently as she sees the scene of father and daughter. "Good afternoon, Professor." she says quietly, trying not to disturb the sleeping girl.
[13:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tomoe looks up, smiling. "Hello, Usagi," he nods.
[13:18] * Usagi walks over to the bed, giving Hotaru a careful look as she does so. "Sorry if I'm disturbing you... I just wanted to come see how Hotaru-chan was doing, make sure she's all right after everything that's happened."
[13:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's no hassle," he assures you. "She's been sleeping," he looks lovingly at his daughter, "mostly, but she's been awake a few times. She's rather fragile, so she's still recovering from the effects of the possession."
[13:22] <Usagi> "I'd imagine so... she must have had to live with the Mistress for a long time." Usagi keeps her eyes on the girl, looking for any remaining traces of the evil influences.
[13:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Her aura is a dark violet, a strange thing indeed. You don't think you see anything left of Germatou or the Mistress, however.
[13:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes..." he murmurs, brushing aside a bit of hair from her peaceful slumbering face.
[13:24] <Usagi> "And on top of all that she's Sailor Saturn as well." Usagi shakes her head. "I'm not even sure how to start to explain that one to her, but I know I need to."
[13:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "Soon enough, but we have some time now. She needs to rest right now."
[13:28] <Usagi> "I wouldn't dream of waking her right now." Usagi smiles. "She looks so peaceful."
[13:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's been a long time for her to sleep like that," he smiles again at her. "It's been so long since I've just sat at her bed..."
[13:31] * Usagi pats the Professor on the shoulder. "I'll leave you two alone then." With that, she heads for the door.
[13:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Just as you get up..."Daddy..." Hotaru murmurs, her luminous, darkly glittering violet eyes opening slowly.
[13:33] * Usagi turns to look at the girl in the bed, surprised.
[13:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Good morning, Hotaru," he says gently, holding her hand now. "How do you feel?"
[13:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sleepy..." she murmurs, her voice low. She blinks, the sunlight from outside stunning her eyes. As she clears them, she sees Usagi, frowning automatically.
[13:37] * Usagi gives the girl a questioning look, wondering what has her upset.
[13:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Don't worry, Hotaru," Professor Tomoe says quickly, "She's not another nanny. She's just an assistant of mine." He pats her hand soothingly.
[13:39] * Usagi heads over to the bed, kneeling down next to the black-haired girl. "It's really good to meet you, Hotaru-chan." She gives the girl a smile.
[13:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> She instinctively shrinks back a bit at first, but is calmed a bit. "Hello..." she manages, still a bit wary.
[13:42] <Usagi> "My name's Usagi. I've heard a lot about you from your daddy." Usagi continues to give Hotaru a reassuring smile.
[13:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi..." she nods slightly, warming a bit to your smile with a bit of a smile of her own.
[13:46] * Usagi 's smile brightens at the sight of Hotaru's own. "I'm really happy to see you're safe and home again... we were really worried about you."
[13:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru hesitates a bit. "I told you about Sailor Moon, Hotaru," Tomoe smiles to her, "Meet Sailor Moon, Hotaru-chan."
[13:48] * Usagi giggles. "At your service." She puts her fingers to her forehead in a salute.
[13:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> At this, Hotaru does smile more. "Sailor Moon... I saw you on TV once..."
[13:48] <Usagi> "Oh really?" Usagi smiles. "Did they get my good side?"
[13:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru starts to laugh a bit, but a cough instead wracks her body, exploding into a series of them that shake the girl's tiny frame. "Lie back down, Hotaru," Professor Tomoe urges after that.
[13:51] * Usagi caresses the girl's cheek gently. "Just take it easy, Hotaru-chan. You should probably get some more sleep."
[13:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods to the both of you, her eyes closing of their own mind soon after as she falls back into slumber.
[13:52] * Usagi stands up, still smiling. "So have you told her about everything that happened, then?"
[13:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> He spends a few moments watching her fall back asleep before replying. "Not yet, just the bare basics. She's been awake only a few hours total so far," Tomoe sighs to punctuate this. "She'll be bedridden at least a week if my guess is right. Her constitution is anemic at best, you see."
[13:56] * Usagi 's smile saddens a bit. "I hope it doesn't take that long... I really hope she feels better soon." Usagi looks over at the sleeping child once again.
[13:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I hope, but this seems to have done no favors for her health," he notes. "I was hoping the Mistress had done something that would have made her stronger for her use at least, but it seems not."
[13:59] * Usagi ponders for a minute. "I suppose I could try my Moon Healing again, but I don't know if it would have any long-term effects. It CAN help to heal injuries and stuff so maybe...?"
[14:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "If you would, by all means."
[14:03] <Usagi> "Of course! But I think I'll step outside to change - I don't want to wake her up." Usagi smiles and steps outside the bedroom, closing the door before she shouts the words. "Moon Prism Power, Make UP!"
[14:04] * Sailor_Moon steps back inside the room, looking towards the bed - and hoping that the shout didn't wake Hotaru.
[14:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru doesn't even seem to have stirrede.
[14:05] * Sailor_Moon nods to the Professor. "Okay, here goes nothing. Moon Healing Escalation!" Usagi holds out the Lunar Rod, sending the healing magic from it towards the sickly girl on the bed!
[14:06] <Sailor_Moon> roll 2d6
[14:06] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Moon rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[14:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> The spell flows through and into Hotaru, the magic doing its thing.
[14:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru stirs a bit, but nothing more visible from your magic.
[14:07] * Sailor_Moon holds the magic for several seconds, then finally lowers the scepter.
[14:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> You see no visible effect from you exertion. "Let her sleep now," Tomoe decides, rising and walking out of the room, waiting for you outside.
[14:10] * Sailor_Moon nods, releasing her transformation silently as she follows the Professor out of the room.
[14:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you walk back to the front door, "Once she does recover, I think we're going to all have a long talk."
[14:14] * Usagi nods. "I agree. There's a lot she needs to know, even if she doesn't have to do anything about it."
[14:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes," he says, opening the door and stepping out in the warm sunshine. "But no matter what happens..." he looks up at the sky, "She won't live hiding in the darkness again. We'll all give her a life in the sunshine, like she wants."
[10:31] <Anastasia> ---
[10:31] <Anastasia> Thursday is rainy and gloomy, the sun not seen once all day. Even the Witches office looks dark and dim today, the aura of a wet day permeating everything.
[10:33] <Anastasia> As Haruka arrives downstairs, she finds only Usagi there and awake. Cyprine is napping on the couch, and Tellu is nearly doing the same, nodding off in her Botany book.
[10:33] * Usagi-chan stares blankly at the wall, her head propped up on her elbow.
[10:35] <Haruka> Haruka walks across the room as quietly as possible, so as to not awaken the sleepers. Standing now near Usagi, she waves a hand before the blonde's face to get her attention.
[10:38] * Usagi-chan glances up suddenly, startled by the hand waving in front of her. "Huh? Oh hey, Haruka. How's it going?"
[10:41] <Haruka> Haruka gives Usagi a smile. "Just wanted to steal you away for a time," Haruka then glances at the wall Usagi had been staring at, "That is if you're not busy, after all." Haruka finishes with a soft chuckle.
[10:42] * Usagi-chan makes a face. "Only if the safety of the world depends on knowing how many bricks are in this wall. Have something in mind?"
[10:49] <Haruka> Haruka holds up a stuffed rabbit holding a purple iris in its paws. She also has a small bouquet of lavender, freesia, and purple asters in her other hand. "I was hoping you'd come with me to go see Hotaru," Haruka says. "I don't really know the Professor well and..." she trails off sheepishly.
[10:49] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Sure, I'd love to go see her again. Hopefully she'll be doing a little better by now, too." The blonde gets up from her desk and grabs her bookbag.
[10:51] <Haruka> "Thank you, Usagi," Haruka replies, releasing the breath she'd been sub-consciously holding.
[10:51] <Usagi-chan> "Don't worry about it." Usagi grins and pats the taller girl on the shoulder. "Come on, let's get going!"
[10:52] <Anastasia> ---
[10:52] <Anastasia> The Tomoe household is even darker in the rain, you note, the same pleasant old lady admitting you back to Hotaru's room. The Professor is again keeping watch over her, although he also has a laptop nearby. Hotaru looks to be awake right now, as she turns her head to see the two visitors.
[10:53] * Usagi-chan smiles as she comes into the room. "Hi, Hotaru-chan, Professor."
[10:55] <Anastasia> Hotaru smiles slightly at Usagi, and looks warily at Haruka. "Hello, girls," Tomoe says, putting aside his computer. "Come to see Hotaru again?"
[10:56] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, if that's okay. Haruka wanted to come and meet her today, too." Usagi walks over and kneels down next to the bed. "How are you feeling today, Hotaru-chan?"
[11:02] <Anastasia> "I'm feeling better, Usagi-chan," Hotaru smiles weakly, but still glancing at Haruka.
[11:04] * Usagi-chan looks over at Haruka, noticing the looks. "This is Haruka - she's another friend of mine, and she wanted to come with me to meet you today."
[11:06] <Anastasia> "She's also a friend of mine, Hotaru," The Professor chips in nicely. "Haruka, this is Hotaru, my daughter."
[11:06] <Haruka> "Hello, Hotaru." Haruka says to the girl, understanding the wariness, but still a bit sad at the reaction. "I brought these for you," she says, presenting her with the plushie and the flowers.
[11:07] <Anastasia> The girl's pretty eyes widen at those nice gifts, reaching up to them with a slightly shaky hand. "They're pretty..."
[11:10] <Haruka> Haruka smiles at the response. "It's not much," she says with a shrug, "But I hope you enjoy them, though."
[11:10] <Anastasia> "Thank you," she says, her voice quite happy. "Most people don't give me gifts..." is her comment as she takes the plushie.
[11:12] <Haruka> Haruka frowns on the inside at the remark, but makes sure to keep her smile firmly in place. "Lucky for you, I'm not most people," she says.
[11:15] <Anastasia> Hotaru smiles at that. "Thank you, Haruka..." she trails off, coughing once.
[11:16] <Haruka> Haruka smirks at Usagi before whispering to Hotaru. "Do you think they look alike?" she asks, while glancing at her blonde companion. Haruka just *knew* she would pay for that remark.
[11:18] <Anastasia> Hotaru looks up after her cough, then giggles. "They both have long, floppy ear thingys," Hotaru points to Usagi's odangos as she speaks.
[11:18] <Usagi-chan> "Hey!" Usagi says indignantly. "They're NOT ears!"
[11:20] <Haruka> "She does doesn't she?" Haruka replies with a chuckle of her own, feeling better now at brightening up Hotaru's mood somewhat.
[11:21] * Usagi-chan puts on a big mock frown. "Everyone always teases me about my hair..."
[11:22] <Anastasia> "It's cute, though," Hotaru says, reaching up to her own hair. "I wish I had long hair like that, but I kept having it cut," she sighs.
[11:23] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Thank you... it's my mother's hairstyle, and I like it a lot." Usagi reaches over and strokes the young girl's hair. "You have very pretty hair yourself, Hotaru-chan."
[11:25] <Anastasia> Hotaru merely smiles, then coughs again, twice in rapid succession.
[11:25] <Haruka> "There's nothing wrong with short hair..." Haruka mumbles, feeling her own locks at that.
[11:27] * Usagi-chan giggles. "No, but having long hair can be fun."
[11:27] * Haruka glances over at the Professor, making eye contact, and inclines her head indicating Hotaru and the coughing, wondering if their time for visitation might be up.
[11:28] <Anastasia> He thinks a minute, then nods. "Hotaru, why don't I get you some juice," he smiles to her, patting her hand. She nods, settling back into her bed. "Come, girls."
[11:28] * Usagi-chan smiles and stands up, following the Professor out of the room.
[11:29] <Haruka> "Hotaru, it was nice meeting you." Haruka says with a smile. "Enjoy your bunny," she says while heading out as well.
[11:30] <Anastasia> Once outside of the room, "She's still weak in body," he explains to Haruka. "She's never been robust, and the possession didn't help."
[11:31] * Haruka nods sadly at that. "I could tell..."
[11:32] <Haruka> "It's not fair for her..." she adds.
[11:32] * Usagi-chan seems thoughtful, not saying much to either of the others for the moment.
[11:33] <Anastasia> "I'm hoping that she'll recover soon, but..." he turns to glance in the direction of her room, "I'm worried that this made her health even worse."
[11:34] <Haruka> "Is it something that she can eventually recover from?" Haruka asks worriedly.
[11:34] * Usagi-chan looks sad at that. "I sure hope not, but I can understand how it could have. Is she doing worse than the last time I was here?"
[11:35] <Anastasia> "Her heatlh merely seems to be poor over all," he replies quietly. "She's doing a bit better, but I'm guessing she won't be out of bed until next week."
[11:36] * Usagi-chan frowns. "I hate not being able to do anything for her."
[11:37] <Anastasia> He nods. "Your healing helped a little bit, but it was short term."
[11:38] <Usagi-chan> "What exactly is it that makes her weak like that?" the blonde asks.
[11:39] <Anastasia> "As far as the doctors I've taken to her have been able to tell, she suffers from an excessively weak constitution." Professor Tomoe sighs, pushing up his glass on his face with his finger. "What that means is that she's always sickly and ill."
[11:41] * Usagi-chan keeps her frown for a moment. "I... hey, I'll ask Ami to look in the library! Maybe she can find something up there that would help - I'd do it myself, but I don't understand most of the science books up there anyway."
[11:42] <Anastasia> "Thank you," he replies simply, still gazing at Hotaru's door. "I'd love to see her playing outside instead of stuck in that room..."
[11:43] <Usagi-chan> "So would I. She really deserves to be able to have fun after all she's been through." Usagi smiles. "And if I can do anything to make it happen, I will!"
[11:45] <Anastasia> ---
[10:07] <Anastasia> Nearly a week after the events of Germatou's downfall, Saturday passes by slowly for Rei. It's cloudy and windy, and the visitors to the Shrine are at a dull trickle at best.
[10:08] * Rei-chan sweeps and sweeps, but the leaves just keep on blowing right back...
[10:08] <Anastasia> By about noon, the pace for the day is set - minimal work, with the very rare visitor as you sweep away...
[10:09] <Anastasia> But, as you do so, you notice a few new visitors... you're pretty sure that's Makoto coming up the stairs, right with Alan. And if your eyes don't deceive you, that's Herb and Ann with them...
[10:10] * Rei-chan pauses in her sweeping, giving the group a friendly wave. "Hi guys, what brings you here today?"
[10:11] <Anastasia> Alan waves back. "I heard you have good luck charms here," he says, in a pleasant mood. "I also heard they work well, so I thought we could drop by."
[10:13] <Rei-chan> "That's right, we do," Rei smiles, "The charms for good luck are our most popular item," she starts leading the group over towards the booth they have for selling such things.
[10:14] * Makoto follows with Alan to the charms, even if she has seen them before, letting her boyfriend have his fun. Makoto smiles at Rei as she entertains her customers.
[10:15] <Anastasia> Ann hangs back a bit, staying closer to Prince Herb than anything else.
[10:15] <Anastasia> Alan gamely follows along, taking in what is there. "Those are it?"
[10:16] <Rei-chan> "Since you guys are friends," 'Even if you did send a giant minotaur to trash my Shrine,' "I'll let you have them for free," Rei says cheerily, producing several paper scrolls. "These ones are just for general good luck, but we also make specific ones for luck in exams or love or work or things like that."
[10:17] <Anastasia> "Love charms," Alan asks, interested. "Could you make one for the Tree, like that?"
[10:20] * Rei-chan looks thoughtful, glancing over at one of the nearby trees which is decorated with various charms. "That's not a bad idea at all, Alan. I think I'll have to make something special, though - might take a day or two," she grins.
[10:22] <Anastasia> He nods. Ann is again quiet, though, keeping to herself at the moment.
[10:24] <Rei-chan> "So, how have you guys been doing lately?" Rei asks conversationally to the group as a whole, trying to keep the conversation moving.
[10:26] <Makoto> "Nothing much, just the usual school and hanging out," Makoto replies with a shrug, not sure what else to say, just what -not- to say.
[10:26] <Anastasia> "Good," Alan smiles. "The Tree is starting to grow a bit and..." he turns to Makoto. "I have a nice girlfriend, too."
[10:26] * Makoto blushes. "Thank you..."
[10:27] <Prince_Herb> "Teaching your friends to swim," Herb says. "Viluy looks really hot in her swimsuit. I wish Ann-chan was in my swimming class..."
[10:28] * Rei-chan looks at Herb, horrified, then looks at Ann, expecting her to be rather displeased with the remark about Viluy.
[10:28] * Makoto reacts much like Rei, focusing on Ann, waiting for her reaction.
[10:28] <Prince_Herb> "She'd put Viluy in the shade..."
[10:28] * Prince_Herb is starry-eyed.
[10:28] <Anastasia> Ann does indeed twitch. "Herb," she says gently, "Why don't you be quiet?"
[10:29] <Makoto> 'Wow...' Makoto thinks, speechless. Hanging out with Herb has done wonders for Ann's temper!
[10:30] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, "If you were quiet she could pretend you're one of those strong, silent, sensitive types instead of... well, you." She blushes a bit, but it really had to be said.
[10:30] * Prince_Herb nods. He's still not used to how girls think.
[10:30] <Anastasia> Alan snickers. "Herb," she says again. "Why don't you and Alan go back to the car? I left my purse there," she says, twitching again.
[10:32] <Anastasia> "Yeah, how about we do that," Alan quickly agrees, nodding and detangling himself from Makoto's bounty.
[10:34] <Anastasia> As the two go off...
[10:34] * Makoto seems a bit sad to see Alan leave her, but nods as he moves away. "See you in a bit, Alan."
[10:34] <Anastasia> Once they're out of sight, you can almost see and certainly feel the steam coming off Ann. "Urgh!" she grumbles, clearly annoyed.
[10:35] <Rei-chan> "He doesn't really mean anything by it, Ann, he's just a bit naive about things..." Rei says gamely in Herb's defence, not wanting to see things go sour for him and Ann.
[10:35] <Makoto> "A bit?" Makoto asks amusedly.
[10:36] <Rei-chan> "Okay, a lot..." Rei admits.
[10:36] <Makoto> "Alan is a bit naive, Herb is waaaaaaay out of the ballpark," Makoto adds.
[10:37] <Anastasia> Ann twitches again.
[10:37] <Rei-chan> "So! The tree's doing really well, huh?" Rei masterfully changes the subject. "That's great!" she nods quickly.
[10:38] <Anastasia> Taking a breath and turning around, "Yeah, it's starting to do better," she nods.
[10:40] * Rei-chan nods. "It seemed so sad, before... I know things are going to be different for it now, though," she smiles a bit, thinking of the better future the tree can have now that they've cleared things up.
[10:41] <Anastasia> She still looks a bit tweaked, but she's calming. You think... you haven't seen her much past 'homicidal', Rei. "It'll get a chance to grow right again..."
[10:43] <Rei-chan> "I'm looking forward to seeing it when it's all grown up again... I'm sure it'll be very beautiful," Rei says, hoping to draw her former nemesis out a little more.
[10:45] <Makoto> "How long does it take for the tree to grow?" Makoto asks curiously.
[10:47] <Anastasia> "We aren't really sure," Ann admits a moment later, the subject of Herb behind her now for the moment.
[10:50] * Rei-chan looks hopefully at Makoto for something to say, having run out of ideas and feeling the conversation starting to dry up.
[10:51] <Anastasia> "We never really saw it grow up - it's been like it has been until two weeks ago," she goes on. "We're guessing it's going to be a good while, though."
[10:52] * Rei-chan nods. "Well, it has time to develop in peace now, especially since you know just what it needs to grow," her smile turns slightly quirky, still amused by the whole concept of something existing solely on love.
[10:53] * Prince_Herb returns with Alan and the errant purse.
[10:53] <Makoto> 'Oh dear,' Makoto thinks as she notices Herb, as she looks to see if the twitch returns.
[10:55] <Anastasia> Ann, for her part, takes a deep breath and shrugs it off.
[10:56] * Prince_Herb whispers to Ann-chan. "Sorry, my love. Here's your purse."
[10:58] <Anastasia> "Thank you," she says nicely enough, taking it. "Anyway, we should be going now," she says, nodding.
[10:58] <Anastasia> Alan nods as well. "Nice seeing you, Rei," he says politely.
[10:58] <Rei-chan> "It was nice having you here," Rei says nicely to the group. "Come back anytime."
[10:59] <Anastasia> As the group starts to walk away, Ann stop. "Ah, I have to get something. I'll catch up," she says at the base of the steps, about to go down.
[11:00] <Prince_Herb> "OK," says Herb, not asking any more since he's guilty about the earlier gaffe.
[11:00] <Anastasia> "Okay," Alan shrugs, heading down the stairs. "Don't take too long."
[11:02] * Prince_Herb follows the others down the steps. "I wish I could avoid putting my foot in my mouth so often. I feel such an idiot."
[11:02] * Makoto pauses for a second, before shaking her head. 'Nah, not worth it...' she thinks, squashing her curiosity.
[11:03] <Anastasia> Just as the group leaves, Rei notes Ann coming back her way without them.
[11:03] <Makoto> "C'mon," she says to Alan cheerfully before he can ask why she shook her head, and pulling him by the arm.
[11:04] <Rei-chan> "Hm?" Rei looks up at Ann curiously.
[11:05] <Anastasia> "Rei, right," she asks, a bit unsure of herself at the moment.
[11:06] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, tilting her head a bit, "When I'm not Sailor Mars," she adds with a slight smile, knowing that Ann and her have interacted a lot more in the forms of 'Space Elf vs Sailor Senshi' than as regular girls.
[11:08] <Anastasia> "Well, yeah," she smiles a bit about that herself. "Um... I'd like to talk to you sometime," she says, just going ahead past her uneasiness.
[11:11] <Rei-chan> "About all the times we tried to kill each other?" Rei asks, unable to keep her lips curving upwards slightly.
[11:14] <Anastasia> Ann can't help but smirk at that, her personality coming through. "Yeah, kind of," she says, an impish idea coming to mind. Reaching out, she gives Rei's forehead a nice, solid tap with her knuckles. (1 damage)
[11:16] <Rei-chan> "Hey!" Rei sputters, dropping her broom. "Dammit! That's the first time either of us have landed a hit!" she can't help but break into giggling at that.
[11:17] <Anastasia> "And I got the first one," she smirks widely. "Took me long enough."
[11:20] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, was frustrating as hell, wasn't it?" Rei asks, grinning comfortably even as she thinks of all the times she did her level best to reduce the girl before her into a burnt cinder. Hoping Ann is paying attention to her and not the floor, she telekinetically grabs her broom to lift it just off the ground and maneuvour into position behind Ann.
[11:20] <Anastasia> OOC - Reroll that.
[11:20] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-4
[11:20] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-4 and gets 2."
[11:21] <Anastasia> Ann makes no sign of having seen the broom. "I can't believe you kept avoiding my shots," she grouses. "Even that blue haired girl couldn't dodge that last one, but you did."
[11:23] <Rei-chan> "What can I say, I'm nimble," Rei shrugs, before frowning. "You didn't even bother to dodge half the time," she grumbles, "If I saw you block another Snake Fire without straining yourself I'd have screamed."
[11:24] <Anastasia> Ann grins at that. "Ha! I knew that had to be pissing you off," she crows. "'Course, your fire couldn't hope to compare to my talents."
[11:27] <Rei-chan> "You're just lucky," Rei complains, "If I'd really gone all out, you'd never know what hit you."
[11:29] <Anastasia> "Hah, you couldn't even touch me, and I know you were trying all out," she continues to grin cockily, on the verge of laughing.
[11:31] * Rei-chan frowns, mentally instructing the broom to thwap Ann lightly on the back of her head (2 damage). "Hah! Did you see that coming?!" the miko gloats, rocking back on her heels gleefully.
[11:33] <Anastasia> "Gah!" Ann stumbles a step forward, waving her hands as she's off balance! She staggers a moment before her balance is completely ruined, falling face first into Rei!
[11:33] <Rei-chan> "Eeek!" Rei falls backwards, already a little off balance from her gloating. At least Ann gets a comfortable landing out of it...
[11:35] <Anastasia> Ann ends up on top of Rei, her face buried in the miko's chest. "Mmmmmgh," Ann mutters, her voice muffled by Rei's talents before she raises her head a bit. "Hey, that wasn't fair!" she complains, her face pouting a bit.
[11:35] <Rei-chan> "You're right, it wasn't," Rei nods, still more amused at the whole thing than anything else. "But it worked, didn't it?"
[11:36] <Anastasia> She frowns a first, but then loses control and lets loose a smile. "Then neither is this," she grins, rapping you on the forehead again. (2 damage)
[11:39] <Rei-chan> "Hey!" Rei grabs Ann's side just above the waist and pulls out the flesh, pinching as hard as she can! (2 damage)
[11:41] <Anastasia> "OW!" Ann yelps, before grinning back, doing the same to Rei's upper side, just out of range of her breast. (2 damage) "You're biting off more than you can chew," she warns, managing another smirk for a moment.
[11:44] <Rei-chan> "Gah!" Rei yelps in pain at the pinch, before determinedly asserting "No way!" as she has her telekinetically held broom poke Ann in the back! (2 damage)
[11:44] <Anastasia> Meanwhile...
[11:44] <Anastasia> It's been a few minutes now, Ann still not showing...
[11:45] <Anastasia> Alan frowns idly, waiting. "She's taking her time up there."
[11:45] * Makoto nods. "Yeah, she is. Hey Herb, why don't you go find what's keeping Ann?"
[11:48] <Anastasia> Meanwhile, back at the Shrine...
[11:49] <Anastasia> Ann is knocked back down into your chest face first at that, popping back out and having her hand regrip on the side of Rei's breast, pinching down very hard and quite painfully. (3 damage) Despite it, Ann's starting to smile, enjoying this little one-upsmanship show.
[11:49] <Prince_Herb> "OK, I'll fly up and have a look..." Herb says. "Don't you two do anything I wouldn't."
[11:49] * Prince_Herb leaves the love-birds alone and strolls back up
[11:51] <Makoto> "There isn't much you wouldn't do..." Makoto mumbles as Herb moves away.
[11:51] <Rei-chan> "Aaaah!" Rei nearly shrieks as Ann grabs her breast. "So you like it rough, do you?!" she demands, promptly grabbing Ann's nipple and twisting it viciously! (4 damage)
[11:52] <Anastasia> Ann eyes widen like saucers, a pained whimper gasping past her lips! Letting go of Rei's side, she goes to her nipple as well, pinching it hard enough to rip it off, you'd reckon. Pain explodes through Rei... (4 damage)
[11:53] <Rei-chan> "Ack! Ack!" Rei yelps, redoubling her efforts on Ann's nipple while using her other hand to pull the elf girl's hair! (5 damage)
[11:54] * Prince_Herb hears the squealing just as he reaches the door.
[11:54] <Anastasia> "Ugh," Ann mutters, getting down to business with her other hand, going for Rei's other nipple and sending pain up both of her gifts. (6 damage)
[11:54] <Prince_Herb> "Ann, Rei, are you in... trouble?" he asks as he steps through the gateway.
[11:55] <Prince_Herb> "What the heck?"
[11:56] * Rei-chan is a little too preoccupied to notice Herb, as she continues attacking Ann's nipple and hair, while bringing up her knee into the other girl's stomach! (6 damage)
[11:57] * Prince_Herb steps forward firmly and grabs the distracted miko and space elf, one in each hand and pulls them apart
[11:57] <Anastasia> "Gah," Ann yelps, but to Herb's pulling apart and the last of Rei's attacks.
[11:58] <Rei-chan> "Huh?!" Rei looks at Herb in surprise, still feeling pain shoot through her breasts. She then looks at Ann, "Uh... we'll call this one a draw..."
[11:59] <Anastasia> "Yeah," she agrees, wincing. "Hey, Herb," she manages after that, looking at him. "Kind of lost track of the time with Rei."
[12:00] * Prince_Herb looks angrily at both girls. "Just what was that all about? We're all meant to be on the same side now. I don't want to see either of you in a jaw brace like Mimette."
[12:01] <Rei-chan> "We weren't going that far, Herb," Rei remonstrates him unconcerned, "We just needed to work off some of the tension from all the other times we've got together." She then giggles and blushes as she realises how that could be taken.
[12:02] <Anastasia> Ann nods. "We have a lot of tension and pressures to get out and deal with," she agrees with Rei, then blushing as she sees Rei do so and puts that through her own mental grinder.
[12:02] <Rei-chan> "I think we're done, now," Rei nods quickly, taking a deep breath and trying to will away her blush.
[12:03] * Prince_Herb still looks angry, but recalls all the deadly no-holds barred fights he's had with Ryuu. "Well... God help me, if I ever understand women."
[12:03] <Anastasia> As Rei does so and gets her bearings back, she notes that Gramps is at the edge of the scene, watching on and still grinning, amused.
[12:03] <Rei-chan> "Grandpa!" Rei picks up her broom, looking decidedly unamused, "You just watched the whole thing?!"
[12:04] <Anastasia> "Yep, Rei," he calls, his grin goofy.
[12:05] <Rei-chan> "Grr!" Rei promptly takes off and starts chasing her grandfather around the Shrine, swatting at him with her broom.
[12:05] <Anastasia> Leaping nimbly ahead of Rei, he leaves a trail of laughter behind him. "Usagi's going to be jealous when I tell her about this, Rei-chan," he teases.
[12:05] <Prince_Herb> "Someone in this shrine clearly needs to get out more." Herb says. "C'mon, Ann-chan. Let's relieve those tensions in a more positive way."
[12:06] * Rei-chan pauses to fix her gi top, noting it has come rather open, then continues chasing the old pervert. "Don't you dare! It's nothing like that!" she yells in her pursuit.
[12:06] <Anastasia> Ann looks on at the crazed, broom wielding miko. "Yeah, some lunch sounds good, too."
[12:07] <Anastasia> "I wouldn't be so sure, you are the granddaughter of the greatest ladies' man alive!" Again, he ducks a swipe of the broom.
[12:07] <Rei-chan> "Greatest only in your own imagination you mean!"
[12:08] <Anastasia> Turning and stopping, his eyes are wide and teary. "You would doubt your own grandfather, Rei! Oh, woe onto our family! Even with three girls, my Rei is still doubting her inheritance!"
[12:08] * Prince_Herb laughs, his anger mostly dissipated, and holding Ann-chan's hand, leads her away to where Alan and Makoto are making out furiously.
[12:09] <Anastasia> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 2: A Talk with Souichi to A Mother's Disapproval
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2006, 12:42:49 am »
[08:19] <Anastasia> ---
[08:20] <Anastasia> A few days after Usagi and Haruka pay their visit to Hotaru, Rei follows suit after school...
[08:21] <Rei-chan> Still dressed in her Mugen uniform, and carrying a small bag of grapes in addition to her schoolbag, Rei rings the doorbell to the Tomoe residence.
[08:23] <Anastasia> Answering the door is a nice-looking old lady, dressed in a conservative maid uniform. "Hello there, dear," she smiles. "Are you here to visit Hotaru, too?"
[08:24] * Rei-chan smiles. "That's right. I'm Rei Hino - one of the Professor's assistants. How's Hotaru-chan doing today?"
[08:26] <Anastasia> The maid nods. "Hotaru is doing better today," she comments, standing aside to let you in and guide you down the darkly decorated hallways.
[08:27] <Rei-chan> "I'm glad to hear that," Rei says as she follows the maid.
[08:29] <Anastasia> Leading you to Hotaru's room, you find it to be almost blackly decorated, only torn-down curtains admitting rays of sunlight giving any cheer to the room. Well, that and a cute bunny plushie by her bed, as well as a few other stuffed animals. Hotaru is sitting up, dressed in a overly big white T-shirt and reading, while Professor Tomoe leans over as she reads, the two talking quietly.
[08:30] <Rei-chan> "Hello," Rei says, speaking quietly for some reason, "I'm not disturbing you, am I?"
[08:31] <Anastasia> The two look up, Hotaru rather hesitant while Professor Tomoe smiles. "Not at all, Rei. Hotaru, this is Rei, another of Dad's special assistants."
[08:32] <Rei-chan> "Hello, Hotaru-chan," Rei smiles at the younger girl, "We've met before, but you probably don't remember." She was rather preoccupied by her father the last time, and the only other time it was more the 'Mistress' then Hotaru...
[08:34] <Anastasia> Hotaru puts her book down on her lap. "Hello..." she says, a bit nervous. "Daddy, is she Sailor...." Hotaru peers at you for a moment intently. "...Mars?"
[08:34] <Rei-chan> "That's me," Rei grins, wondering if Hotaru remembered from her detransforming the other day, or if she's remembering something older...
[08:36] <Anastasia> Tomoe nods, chuckling slightly. "Yes, Hotaru." At this, Hotaru smiles at you, charming when she lets a bit of cheer through her gloom. "Thank you, Sailor Mars. Daddy said the Sailor Senshi saved me."
[08:39] <Rei-chan> "You're very welcome Hotaru-chan," Rei smiles, sitting at the foot of the bed, "Not just the Sailor Senshi, though - your daddy's other assistants all helped a lot, too. You should thank Cyprine and Ptliol when you see them - they're the ones who found out where you were being kept." She nods before adding, "And just call me Rei-chan. Sailor Mars is only my name when I'm working," she winks.
[08:42] <Anastasia> Hotaru still smiles, although there is a wanness, a weakness behind it. "Rei-chan... Daddy told me about his other assistants, too."
[08:46] * Rei-chan nods. "We all worked really hard to bring you and your daddy back together again," she looks between the Professor and Hotaru with a fond expression. "Seeing you both like this really is wonderful."
[08:48] <Anastasia> Hotaru looks up at her father, the two sharing a look. "Rei-chan... thank you for bringing my Daddy back to me, too. He'd been gone for so long..." Hotaru looks away, a tear glimmering in her eye as she recalls her days under Germatou and other... things.
[08:51] <Rei-chan> "I understand how things were unpleasant before, but that's all gone, now. You and your daddy can make lots of new, happy memories, now," Rei says, smiling beatifically, even as she feels a twinge of sadness, wishing she and her own father could have such an opportunity.
[08:55] <Anastasia> "That's right, Hotaru," Tomoe smiles, patting his daughter while she sniffles a moment. "Daddy won't laugh at me anymore..." Hotaru murmurs quietly, still looking away.
[08:57] * Rei-chan winces. "That wasn't your daddy, Hotaru-chan," she says, recalling Germatou's nightmarish cackle herself. "The thing that made everything so bad, it's gone forever now," she can't help but smirk a little as she recalls Germatou/Guinvain's end. "The Sailor Senshi made sure of that."
[08:59] <Anastasia> "Yes... but..." Hotaru shivers, and with a surprisingly loud wail, latches onto her father like a slingshot, crying. Between tears, "It kept saying how it was Daddy and it would always come back because I was special..."
[09:01] * Rei-chan looks rather uncomfortable. "You are special, Hotaru-chan, but the daimon won't ever come back, I promise," she says, not really expecting the girl to be paying much attention to her as she cries on her father's chest.
[09:04] <Anastasia> As he comforts his daughter gently, Professor Tomoe looks up to you. "Rei, could you go ask Akita to get Hotaru some hot chocolate, no milk?" he asks.
[09:05] <Rei-chan> "Of course," Rei stands up quickly, leaving the bag of grapes she had brought as she exits the room to search for the maid, and to give the father and daughter their privacy.
[09:10] <Anastasia> The maid is in the depressingly dark-toned living room, and she takes the order quickly. "Hotaru broke down again?" she asks. "It's what her mother or father made her after she had a good cry."
[09:11] * Rei-chan nods sadly. "I think it's my fault. I shouldn't have reminded her..."
[09:11] <Anastasia> She shakes her head. "Nonsense. Even since she came back... I've made hot chocolate a couple times each day." The statement is said with a loving sadness for Hotaru's mental state. "What happened to that poor girl..."
[09:14] <Rei-chan> "I guess..." Rei gives a wan smile, "It's better to get things out and have a good cry than to bottle things up and pretend everything's okay..."
[09:14] <Anastasia> "Yes, dear," she agrees, going to the kitchen. "Tell them that it'll be down there in five minutes."
[09:16] <Rei-chan> "Thank you," Rei bows, returning to Hotaru's room and pausing just outside the door to listen in.
[09:17] <Anastasia> Hotaru seems to have settled down, she's speaking very softly. With the door closed, it's too muted to make out. The Professor's response a moment later isn't, however. "Hotaru... I'm not leaving again."
[09:18] * Rei-chan re-enters the room, "Akita will be up in a few minutes," she says softly.
[09:20] <Anastasia> Hotaru is still clinging to her father, and looks to be almost falling asleep, her back slumped a bit. "Thank you, Rei," he nods. "So... how are the other girls doing? I haven't been to Mugen all week." As he asks this, he motions for you to sit down, a spare chair against the wall as Hotaru's breathing becomes soft and regular, her tears gone.
[09:23] * Rei-chan sits down, giving a sad look to Hotaru. "Things are mostly quiet at school - we're all just getting ready for moving up grades when the new term starts." She smiles a little, "It's peaceful, really. I don't know how long until the next threat to Earth shows up, but until then we can just be normal students."
[09:28] <Anastasia> He nods, stroking Hotaru's back. "Let it stay that way for a long time..." he says, getting up a bit and putting the now already sleeping Hotaru back to bed, tucking her in. "Let's discuss this in my study," he suggests with a final look at Hotaru. "She'll be asleep for at least two hours."
[09:29] <Rei-chan> "Of course," Rei stands up and exits the room, waiting for the Professor to lead the way to the study.
[09:31] <Anastasia> Back through the carpeted halls, you find yourself led to another room - a windowless, dark wood-paneled study, bookshelves built into the largish room. Along with this is the almost required overstuffed chairs, a liquor cabinet and a nice oak table. A hanging lamp provides a nice amount of light, at least.
[09:32] * Rei-chan takes a seat, waiting for the Professor to begin, since she doesn't really have a whole lot to add beyond what she just said, but he seems to have more on his mind.
[09:33] <Anastasia> He sits opposite you, and gets right into things. "Well, IS there another threat coming?" he asks, intent. "You said it like it was a matter of time."
[09:36] * Rei-chan sighs. "Back when we fought the Dark Kingdom, we thought if we could defeat them we could go back to our normal lives afterwards. The threat would be gone and we'd have preserved the peace on Earth. But then there were the Lunar Criminals, and then the Deathbusters, and Alan and Ann..." she frowns. "It's almost like it's our destiny to fight... I don't know what shape the next enemy will take, but I'm sure it will appear."
[09:38] <Anastasia> Tomoe takes in your small speech, quiet for several moments, then getting up and going to the liquor cabinet, a clink of bottle to glass a moment later. "Would you like some wine?" he asks absently, his manners kicking in while he thinks. "I find that I think better sometimes with a glass in my hand."
[09:39] <Rei-chan> "Just a little bit, thanks," Rei says, too polite to refuse.
[09:40] <Anastasia> He nods, coming back with a obviously expensive crystal wine glass, filled nearly to the top for you. He sets it on the table in front of you, sipping his own glass before going on. "I don't know if that's true or not," he shrugs, finally. "If the Earth is going to be in danger again, thenyou girls can count on anything I can do to help."
[09:44] * Rei-chan smiles, taking a small sip of her wine. "Thank you... I'm glad. Having a support base like you've provided for us at Mugen has been truly helpful. And getting to know other magically inclined people, too... It's good to know that we aren't alone; just five girls battling evil in secret..."
[09:50] <Anastasia> He nods. "Supporting yourselves alone against the Dark Kingdom must have been terrible." He sips at his glass, thinking. "Strangely, though, Germatou was uninterested in the early attacks. It dismissed them as amateurs and fools who would go nowhere. His orders for the Deathbusters were, in the event of coming across an attack, to ignore it."
[09:54] <Rei-chan> "Really? I suppose their attacks were a lot more subtle than Alan and Ann's draining sprees..." she frowns, "At least in the beginning, but I'd have thought he'd be concerned when people started being killed in case he missed out on a Talisman. But when you come right down to it, I don't think there's too much difference between Metallia and Pharaoh 90. At least in regards to the end result their presence on Earth would bring..."
[09:59] <Anastasia> "Perhaps not," he agrees. "In the end, the difference for Earth would have been minimal." He thinks that over a moment, going on. "Hm. Do you know anything about Metallia, past her goals, Rei?"
[10:11] * Rei-chan looks rather uncomfortable. "I don't think there's anyone alive who knows more about Metallia than I do..." She takes a gulp of her wine. "Is there anything in particular you want to know?"
[10:12] <Anastasia> He nods, going on. "Everything about Metallia. Any shred, big or small, I want to hear."
[10:18] <Rei-chan> "Okay," Rei takes another drink from her wine glass. "Usagi already told you a lot about the Dark Kingdom, what it did, how it worked... but as for Metallia herself... The only people who really knew much about her were her servants. Though I found out a bit when my mind made contact with her as I tried to close a portal she had made into Tokyo..."
[10:21] <Rei-chan> "First and foremost, Metallia was a creature of hatred and despair. Immensely powerful, too... it wouldn't really be amiss to call her a goddess. When my spirit came into contact with her that time," she shivers, taking another sip of wine, "it was like nothing I'd ever felt. I knew about the dark auras of youma, but this... it was infinitely more powerful. The backlash knocked me out and left me connected to her..."
[10:22] <Rei-chan> "She wanted the Silver Crystal desperately... probably because it was the only thing strong enough to stop her, but also because it would increase her power if she could control it." Rei shakes her head, "As powerful as she was, it wasn't enough. She had to have more."
[10:24] <Rei-chan> "There was a lot of hatred for the Sailor Senshi..." Rei scowls, "After she... changed me... made me into a mockery of what I was... I could feel her vengeful glee at what she had done. Her enemy had been remade into her servant, and it amused her no end..."
[10:26] <Anastasia> Professor Tomoe nods, letting Rei go on without interruption at the current time.
[10:26] <Rei-chan> "If she had succeeded in her ultimate goals... she wanted Earth. She didn't care how much she destroyed of her prize in the process, just so long as she got it." Rei wears a dark expression. "She had special plans for the Princess, but I won't speak of that. Metallia is dead now, and I'm quite happy to forget her miserable existence."
[10:27] <Anastasia> He again nods, thinking. "And of her main servants?" he asks. "Beryl, I believe, and her generals?"
[10:31] <Rei-chan> "Beryl was a sorceress who lived on Earth back in the days of the Silver Millenium... she was powerful and corrupt by any standards - probably a match for Kaolinite. Metallia acted through her, building her power on Earth." Rei again sips her wine, "Beryl lusted after Prince Endymion, but he loved the Moon Princess. It was easy for Metallia to manipulate her through her desires..."
[10:32] <Rei-chan> "The Dark Kingdom's generals were none other than the personal guard of Prince Endymion. I don't think they joined willingly - I think Metallia did to them what she did to me."
[10:33] <Anastasia> He nods at that, raising a hand. "I think both of us understand that part all too well."
[10:34] <Rei-chan> "Yes," Rei nods sadly, "We never found out what had been done to them until after we had defeated the Dark Kingdom, and the last surviving general - Jadeite - he seemed to be beyond help. He had been so thoroughly corrupted that even with Metallia's taint gone, he simply couldn't act any other way..."
[10:35] <Anastasia> That gets a long silence from the Professor. "I see." he finally says, his voice shaky in the slightest.
[10:36] * Rei-chan sighs. "At least he seemed to have found some measure of peace at the very end, but I still wish things could have gone differently for him..." she says, her tone melancholy as she swirls her nearly empty glass.
[10:37] <Anastasia> He nods. "Would you like some more wine?" he glances at his watch, "Or for me to call in some dinner. The time is slipping away from us tonight."
[10:40] * Rei-chan blinks. "So it has... I shouldn't impose on you any further," she says apologetically. "I'm sure you want to spend time with your daughter."
[10:47] <Anastasia> He smiles at that, but shakes his head. "It's no imposition. Besides," he sobers up, "This is as serious as spending time with my daughter is."
[10:49] <Rei-chan> "Well, if you insist I won't refuse," Rei smiles.
[10:50] <Anastasia> He smiles, going to the cabinet again, coming back with the nearly full wine bottle and placing it on the table. He then steps out of the room a moment. "Dinner will be here soon enough, then," he says as he settles back in. "Please, go on."
[10:52] <Rei-chan> "Well," Rei admits, "I've basically told you all I know about Metallia. She built up her forces on Earth without anyone in the Moon Kingdom paying attention until the attack came. With surprise and overwhelming force, the Dark Kingdom utterly razed the Silver Millenium, until Queen Serenity used the power of the Ginzuishou to seal the Dark Kingdom away and send us to be reborn in the future..."
[10:57] <Anastasia> "Hm. And the Crystal vanished again after it was used by Usagi?" he asks, vaguely on subject and thinking. "Back to whence it came, perhaps?"
[11:00] <Rei-chan> "I don't know the original source of the Crystal, but after Queen Serenity used it the last time it was split up into smaller fragments..." Rei furrows her brow, "After we gathered all the fragments - rainbow crystals - in one place, the main part of the crystal came out of Usagi and reformed. After the battle at Tokyo Tower it just vanished completely, though, with no clue as to where it went..."
[11:01] <Anastasia> "Could it have fragmented and spread again?" Tomoe muses, taking a sip of wine.
[11:04] * Rei-chan blinks. "That..." she furrows her brow again, "That's actually not a bad guess... hmm..." she looks thoughtful, "The rainbow crystals were hidden inside humans who were the reincarnations of the Dark Kingdom's greatest youma," she smirks, "Kind of odd that a reincarnated youma and a reincarnated sailor senshi would be in the same family, though... but if they've scattered again, I wonder where to?"
[11:05] <Anastasia> "Hmm... a reincarnated youma was related to one of you girls? That's quite interesting..." he murmurs, given even more fuel for the mental fires.
[11:07] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, my Grandpa was one of them - he looked even goofier than normal when he was a youma," Rei snickers slightly. "But if they did scatter, I wonder where?"
[11:09] <Anastasia> "Perhaps back to the youma? Or to-" he's cut off by the maid bringing in dinner, not resuming until the meal is delivered and she has left. It's homemade tempura and rice, and smells nice. "Anyway," he says, "If to them or to other bearers, could they be tracked?"
[11:12] <Rei-chan> "There were two devices that could do it," Rei says, taking a bite of her meal. "The Dark Kingdom had a black homing crystal they used which located them and extracted the crystals. We had the Moon Wand which also located them, though we never got a chance to extract any before the Dark Kingdom got them." She takes another bite. "Both those are gone, though. But I bet Usagi could spot a crystal with her aura sight, now, anyway."
[11:14] <Anastasia> "It may be worth pursuing," he muses, getting into his own meal. "If the Silver Crystal still exists, it would be worthwhile to get it... and prevent it from being used by anyone else."
[11:17] * Rei-chan nods, chewing her food. "Definitely," she says after swallowing. "Having it fall into the wrong hands would be catastrophic. But as to finding it - if it does still exist, even in a fragmented state... well, we don't really have the first clue of where to begin. The original fragments were used to seal powerful youma after the final battle, but there wasn't anything like that in our last battle at Tokyo Tower..."
[11:19] <Anastasia> He nods, working on returning his plate to its natural, empty state. "Could it have been destroyed because of Metallia, or as a backlash? Or..." Professor Tomoe puts down his chopsticks, solemn. "If the Deathbusters were operating during this, it's not unreasonable to assume a third group or individual could have been as well. Is it possible the Crystal was stolen?"
[11:22] <Rei-chan> "Stolen?" Rei looks doubtful, "I'm not sure. Considering how things got 'reset' after that battle, would it have stayed stolen? I think the most likely explanation is that it simply expended all of its power in utterly destroying Metallia - sealing Metallia nearly killed Queen Serenity, remember? I think if the crystal used all of its power it would simply cease to exist."
[11:26] <Anastasia> "Even if that is the case, I'd like to at least inspect one of the fragment carriers," he comments. "Just to be sure."
[11:27] <Rei-chan> "If you like," Rei shrugs amiably, "I know one of them is in Africa right now, but I expect the rest are still around Tokyo. It'd be easiest for you just to meet my Grandfather," she says, finishing off her dinner. "That was nice," she adds, pushing her empty plate away.
[11:29] <Anastasia> "That would be fine," he agrees. "On that; I recall you mentioning your Grandfather was somewhat talented as well?" he asks, settling in after topping off his glass.
[11:30] <Rei-chan> "In spiritual matters, certainly," Rei nods, allowing a bit of pride to show through, "He taught me everything I know about Shinto."
[11:32] <Anastasia> "Supernaturally talented at all," he smiles a bit.
[11:35] <Rei-chan> "Yes... not 'magic' per se, but he's very adept at using his ki. He knows all about creating spiritual wards and banishing demons and reading the Sacred Flame, things like that."
[11:36] <Anastasia> "He taught you the same skills, essentially," he asks, once again sipping from his wine glass. Between the two of you, you've about gone halfway through the bottle...
[11:39] <Rei-chan> "Yes," Rei smiles wanly, "Training to become a miko kept my mind off other things when I first came to live at the Shrine... and I'm glad for it. It's very spiritually fulfilling..." she smiles a bit livelier, "And my connection with the Sacred Flame made mastering my abilities as Sailor Mars a lot easier."
[11:41] <Anastasia> "You girls learned your magics by yourself, or did you have any help from your advisors? Most of the Witches needed some 'guidance'," a touch of distaste at that, the edge of his lip curling, "from Germatou to fully use their powers. The flame was yours?"
[11:45] <Rei-chan> "Our advisors didn't really help much with that... our main attacks mostly come from instinct, or memories of our previous lives. At most Luna or Artemis would just tell us the names of our attacks and remind us of certain abilities like the Sailor Teleport," Rei tells him. "Beyond simple destructive applications, mastery of our elements has mostly been trial and error."
[11:46] <Rei-chan> "The others practice a lot, but I just meditate to further my understanding of fire. Although at first I could only do that transformed," she blushes, "I assume you know about how I was expelled from T*A?"
[11:47] <Anastasia> A sudden chuckle comes from his lips. "Germatou heard about it and he went so far as to talk to the headmaster of T*A after your scanning results pegged you as a Witch candidate."
[11:47] <Rei-chan> "Oh?" Rei slumps a bit, "I've heard some of the rumours from T*A after I left... so what was said 'one headmaster to another'?"
[11:49] <Anastasia> Another deep throated laugh comes from him. "I have to admit, I find this funny even though the filter of Germatou's memories... anyway, the headmaster ranted about a 'pyromaniac, lesbian, Satanic witch who should be burned at the stake, befitting a firebug'. He went on a half hour about it, at least."
[11:50] * Rei-chan turns crimson. "Oh, boy... that was really bad... He had no way of even knowing it was me that did it."
[11:51] <Anastasia> "Heh," he muses. "He also ranted about the Aino girl to a lesser extent; you were the main focus of his wrath." A frown crosses his face at the mention of that last bit of unfinished business. "Speaking of Miss Aino, she was pegged as a possible Witch, but vanished into thin air right after the testing. Do you know what happened to her?"
[11:53] <Rei-chan> "Ugh," Rei frowns at that. "Minako was... is... Sailor Venus. She had a magic device she could use to make herself look different, and is actually the idol singer Full Moon. She decided that going off and singing songs was more important than her duty as a Sailor Senshi. None of us have heard from her since she vanished."
[11:56] <Anastasia> "She dropped her duty, just like that? I had the impression that you girls were tighter and more loyal than that." He again frowns, mulling it over.
[11:58] <Rei-chan> "There's more to it than that... she had been a Sailor Senshi longer than any of us, and it put a lot of pressure on her from an early age... and a lot of the rest is just stupid teenage drama you probably don't want to hear about," Rei says, not really wanting to get drawn on the subject much further.
[12:04] <Anastasia> He can't help but chuckle again, despite it all. "Stupid teenage drama? You'd think the responsible, mature Sailor Senshi were still only 14." Shaking his head, he goes on. "Regardless... if she comes back, will it be a problem?"
[12:06] * Rei-chan sighs. "Probably. Her just leaving without a word like that, especially when Alan and Ann were just starting their attacks, it really came as a blow. If she came back she'd have to work really hard to regain our trust."
[12:09] <Anastasia> Tomoe nods, making a mental note not to buy Hotaru a Full Moon CD. "She is still technically a Mugen eligible student, although I can remove her from that list if you wish."
[12:11] <Rei-chan> "I won't ask you to do that. If she chooses to come back, we won't avoid her. I get the feeling she won't come back, though... not with her career as an idol singer to pursue," Rei snorts, thinking of the all too brief shelf-life idol singers have.
[12:15] <Anastasia> "Alright," he agrees, taking the wine bottle and filling up his glass once more. But as he's doing that, the door to the study cracks open, revealing a still clad in a white shirt (and hopefully panties, but the shirt reaches to her lower ankles anyhow) Hotaru. She looks a touch sweaty from her exertions, but she's up and walking.
[12:16] <Anastasia> Professor Tomoe quickly puts down the glass, going over to Hotaru in a near sprint. "Are you alright, Hotaru-chan? You shouldn't be out of bed yet."
[12:17] * Rei-chan looks over, "She probably wondered where her daddy was," she smiles, standing. "I think I've kept you long enough, Professor."
[12:17] <Anastasia> "Yes," he agrees, kneeling next to his daughter. "It's nearly 8 already."
[12:17] <Anastasia> "Is Rei leaving already," Hotaru asks, looking up at her. "I... I wanted her to stay a little longer."
[12:18] <Rei-chan> "You do?" Rei looks surprised, and flattered.
[12:19] <Anastasia> She nods, looking at you with wide, bright eyes. "I... don't have many visitors usually."
[12:20] <Rei-chan> "Well, I can stay a bit longer, if you don't mind?" Rei looks at the Professor.
[12:20] <Anastasia> He nods to you, then smiles. "Why don't you and Hotaru go, ah, play?"
[12:21] <Rei-chan> "I'd be happy to," Rei kneels down next to Hotaru, "Is there anything you want to do in particular, Hotaru-chan?" she asks pleasantly.
[12:23] <Anastasia> She thinks a moment, putting her finger on her face. "Um... could we play Old Maid?"
[12:24] <Rei-chan> "Sure," Rei smiles, "It's been a while since I've played, but I think I remember the rules."
[12:25] <Anastasia> Hotaru smiles back, seemingly happy at just that. She leads you to her room, a light on now that the sun has set and to a nice, low-lying table and a deck of hardly-used cards...
[12:26] <Anastasia> The next hour passes by nicely, Rei winning 3 games and Hotaru 2. By the end, you've fallen into a relaxed, warm chatter, only broken by Hotaru's yawns.
[12:27] <Rei-chan> "It's getting pretty late now, Hotaru-chan," Rei observes. "You look like you're about ready to nod off."
[12:28] <Anastasia> She nods, yawning again. "I'm tired," she agrees. "Thank you, Rei-chan."
[12:28] <Rei-chan> "No need to thank me, Hotaru-chan," Rei smiles, "I had a lot of fun."
[12:29] <Anastasia> She smiles brightly, but then yawns a third time. "Can... can you and Usagi and Haruka come over again soon?"
[12:30] <Rei-chan> "Sure thing," Rei gets up and goes over to help Hotaru into her bed. "I'll talk to them tomorrow and see about us all coming to see you."
[12:31] <Anastasia> As she gets in, her smile widens into an honest grin. "I'll see you all soon?"
[12:31] <Rei-chan> "Maybe even tomorrow," Rei grins back. "Good night, Hotaru-chan. And sweet dreams," she says, backing out towards the door.
[12:34] <Anastasia> ---
[22:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Coming down from another day of studying to the Witches office, you find the Professor, Viluy and Eudial looking over a thick pile of papers, talking away...
[22:34] * Usagi-chan gives the group a wave as she comes in, not wanting to disturb them from whatever they're busy with.
[22:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> They don't even look up, throwing around words that make your brain ache and moan.
[22:35] * Usagi-chan grimaces at the flying jargon, settling down at her desk to work on her homework.
[22:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you do, the words 'translocation', 'matter-to-light' and 'teleportation' sprinkle the conversation...
[22:37] * Usagi-chan blinks, actually having recognized one of those words. She looks up from her desk, paying a little more attention to the conversation.
[22:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> 'Matter conversion... atomic splitting... lightspeed relativity...' All these words are bandied about, the rabbit's head dully aching.
[22:39] * Usagi-chan shakes her head, giving up on the conversation as being above her head. Maybe Ami could explain all that stuff to her later.
[22:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you tune it out, one last phrase gets your attention. "Moon to Earth movement..."
[22:45] <Usagi-chan> THAT gets Usagi's attention. Getting up from her desk, she heads over to get a peek at the papers the three are studying. "What's going on?"
[22:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hi, Usagi," Eudial says, glancing up from her craned position over the papers, wrinking her nose a bit to adjust the light pair of glasses she's wearing. "Do you remember talking about a way to get to the Moon quickly and easily?" Tomoe himself asks.
[22:46] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, it'd be great if there was some way other than having me or the senshi as a group getting people up there." Usagi replies.
[22:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well," Viluy goes on, taking the bait and running with it, "the Twins and our scanners say the Moon has an unusually vibrant magical current around it now. It might be possible to use that as a level, so to speak, to power a teleportation unit. Maybe."
[22:51] <Usagi-chan> "So... it might be possible to make a machine to teleport us back and forth from the Moon? Is that what you're saying?" Usagi looks surprised.
[22:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Perhaps, yes," Professor Tomoe replies, taking this break to stretch out a bit. "At least in theory - it's applying scientific principles to magical applications. It's impossible to know for sure until it's constructed and tested."
[22:54] <Usagi-chan> "Wow... well, it's probably all way above my head. I mean, I'm starting to understand a little bit about how magic works, but I have no clue when it comes to machines." Usagi looks thoughtful. "I wish there was something I could do to help you guys though, it'd be great to have an easier way to get back and forth."
[22:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> The three exchange a long look. Something about it... "Actually, you could," Eudial comments, drumming her fingers together. "How often can you teleport to and back from the moon, rapid fire?"
[22:57] * Usagi-chan blinks. "Well, I've never actually tried it directly like that before... it doesn't take much when I'm going by myself, so I'd say a lot. If I take more people it takes it out of me a lot faster though."
[22:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another three way look. "Usagi, if we were to put you on a sensor and have you teleport back and forth as many times as you can as fast as you can, the readings could be very useful."
[22:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe comments. "With those readings, the phase variance of the current would be established, as well as any quirks."
[22:59] <Usagi-chan> "Sure, if that'd help out I'd be happy to do it." Usagi smiles.
[23:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Are the sensor pads still in the old lab?" Viluy asks, already mentally going after the setup needed. With Tomoe's nod, the girls get up. "Come on, Usagi," Eudial says.
[23:00] * Usagi-chan nods, following Eudial out of the office.
[23:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> The old laboratory where Germatou held court is now well lit and cleaned, although there is still a high concentration of junk and clutter about. A short amount of moving, with Eudial and Viluy hauling out heavy looking metal pads, sets up the sensor station. It's a metal floor stand to perch on, and some glassy scanners that read signs from your body.
[23:06] * Usagi-chan is rather overawed by the setup, simply watching in silence as the two former Witches set up the equipment.
[23:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Stand right on the metal platform," The Professor instructs you as he works at a control panel a bit away from this.
[23:08] * Usagi-chan nods, stepping up onto the metal pads. "Should I go ahead and change now?"
[23:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> As he says that, the other two girls finish up and go to two other control panels, working away as well. "Please do, Usagi."
[23:09] * Usagi-chan nods, closing her eyes as a flash of soft white light announces her transformation into Princess Serenity.
[23:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay... ready when you are, Usagi," Professor Tomoe says, after glancing at the lab-coated Eudial and uniformed Viluy.
[23:12] <Serenity> "You need me to do this fast, right? Just wanted to doublecheck before I get started." Serenity asks.
[23:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes. As fast as possible - unless you can do it over twice in a second, it won't be a problem," The Professor confirms, eyes on his instruments.
[23:15] * Serenity giggles. "Nowhere near that fast... okay, here goes!" Serenity closes her eyes as she begins the incantation that will transport her to the Moon palace. About 20 seconds later, she completes the spell and disappears from the pad.
[23:20] <Serenity> Another fifteen seconds or so pass before the blonde reappears, but as the scientists watch the princess teleport back and forth they note that the interval between teleports is diminishing rapidly, and that the soft white glow around Serenity seems to be intensifying, almost focusing. Serenity comes and goes a full dozen more times, then after one final teleport she returns to the sensor pad, looking rather drained.
[23:20] <Serenity> "I think... that's about it. I might have one more in me, but I'll probably faint if I try it again."
[23:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> Once Usagi shows no more signs of going and after several seconds at the controls, Tomoe speaks up. "That's fine, we have the data we need."
[23:22] * Serenity nods, blowing out a breath. "Good... now, I think I'm going to rest a bit." She relaxes, changing back into her school uniform in the process.
[23:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Usagi walks back to the office, she finds herself terribly lightheaded and woozy. Perhaps overload? ...even the last thanks of the three are a bit muddled.
[23:23] * Usagi-chan collapses onto the couch, deciding that a nap is probably better there than at her desk.
[23:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> One sleepy Monday, Usagi misses school due to a cold. Nothing but a blip in her currently peaceful life, until your mother decides to spend some time with you after bringing you soup.
[11:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> The chatting goes well enough at first, although it hits a snag when Usagi mentions Rei in passing, Ikkuko automatically frowning.
[11:26] * Usagi-chan sighs at her mother's expression.
[11:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi..." she sighs herself at this, the tension thickening up in the room. "...How are you and Rei, ah, doing?"
[11:29] <Usagi-chan> "We're, um, very happy." Usagi burrows down into her bed.
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko plays with the folds of her dress as she sits on the edge of her daughter's bed, her hands showing her tension. "That's... good, Usagi."
[11:31] * Usagi-chan looks up at her mother, unsure of what to say.
[11:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Oppressive silence, as perhaps poisonous as anything Pharoah 90 would have brought, settles in. Ikkuko's face is strained as well, and she is suddenly looking all of her thirtysomething years. "Usagi... are you and Rei... intiamate?"
[11:35] * Usagi-chan works her mouth for a moment, desperately wishing she had a glass of water right now. "Um..." She blushes furiously, trying to hide in the covers.
[11:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Mother merely stares down at you, her eyes probing. "Usagi Tsukino, tell me the truth," she says firmly, resorting to the Motherly Voice, the one that you've heard since infancy.
[11:36] <Usagi-chan> "Yes..." Usagi says in a tiny voice, shrinking away from her mother.
[11:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko turns away, visibly deflating as a loud breath explodes out of her mouth. Slumped, she lets another meaty, disturbing calm settle into the room.
[11:37] * Usagi-chan closes her eyes tightly, her heart sinking at her mother's reaction.
[11:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Then..." Shattered by her words, the silence in the room breaks, leaving only the ambient friction between the two, "...you really should invite Rei over for dinner, and to meet your father."
[11:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> Her voice is notably sad, though, but resolute.
[11:39] * Usagi-chan opens her eyes, startled. "...what?"
[11:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> Her back is still to you as she goes on. "I really hoped for a while that this was some teenage confusion, but I don't think it's the case."
[11:42] * Usagi-chan's voice is small, but resolute. "I really do love Rei-chan."
[11:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah. Then... bring her over tomorrow night, Usagi." Ikkuko gets up, still not looking at you. "I'll make a nice dinner and we'll talk."
[11:43] <Usagi-chan> "All right, Mom." Usagi sighs, looking over at the clock.
[11:47] <Usagi-chan> Seeing that it's the middle of lunch period at Mugen, she decides to give Rei a 'call'. 'Rei-chan, are you busy?'
[11:49] <Rei-chan> 'Hi, Usagi,' Rei's mental voice comes back. 'Not really. Viluy and Eudial are talking about something... scientific... but it's all over my head. I'm just eating lunch.'
[11:49] * Usagi-chan sighs mentally. 'I just got done talking with Mom... about us.'
[11:50] <Rei-chan> 'Ah,' comes back as Rei's succinct reply.
[11:51] <Usagi-chan> 'She wanted to know if you'd come over to dinner tomorrow night.'
[11:52] <Rei-chan> 'Really?' Rei sounds surprised, and a little hopeful. 'So she's coming around?'
[11:53] <Usagi-chan> 'I... well, she still didn't sound all that crazy about it, but I think she's finally willing to accept that I'm serious about us.'
[11:54] <Rei-chan> 'At least there's some hope, now...' Rei responds. 'So how's your cold?' she asks, changing the subject.
[11:56] <Usagi-chan> 'Not too bad, really... just mostly tired more than anything. I'll probably be fine by tomorrow, I hope. It stinks being stuck in bed all day.'
[11:58] <Rei-chan> 'That's good,' Rei nods, unseen by Usagi. 'Can't have you ill tomorrow if it's such a big day...'
[11:59] <Usagi-chan> 'Yeah...' Usagi trails off mentally, still thinking about that. 'I hope everything goes well.'
[11:59] <Rei-chan> 'Me too, Usagi... me too...'
[12:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi does indeed make class Tuesday, even the teleport babble floating around the Witches office unable to get her attention as the day ends.
[12:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei finds Usagi sitting at her desk, seemingly distant...
[12:22] <Rei-chan> "Hi, Usagi," Rei waves a hand in front of her girlfriend's face. "Feeling better today?"
[12:22] <Usagi-chan> "Hmm? Oh hi, Rei-chan." She smiles as she finally focuses on the miko. "Yeah, just thinking about tonight."
[12:24] <Rei-chan> "I hope things go well," Rei says, fidgeting a little nervously. "What time will dinner be at?"
[12:25] <Usagi-chan> "6:30 - that's when Daddy gets home from work, usually." Usagi replies, fidgeting with one of her pigtails.
[12:28] * Rei-chan nods, leaning a bit closer to the blonde. "Well, that's a few hours off..." She steals a quick glance at the other girls in the room, who seem absorbed in their technobabble. "What do you want to do until then?"
[12:29] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Did you have anything in mind?"
[12:30] <Rei-chan> "Well... you seem awfully tense," Rei says in a quiet whisper, "I was hoping I could help with that... if you want me to?"
[12:32] * Usagi-chan blushes. "That would be nice..." she says quietly. "Should I take us away from all of this?" She giggles a little at that.
[12:33] <Rei-chan> "Please," Rei bobs her head in agreement.
[12:35] * Usagi-chan transforms without another word, and in short order the two lovebirds find themselves in Serenity's bedchamber in the Moon Palace, Usagi returning to her school uniform as the two appear.
[12:36] <Rei-chan> "Come on," Rei guides Usagi to the bed, "Let's make sure we're both... relaxed, for dinner," she smiles teasingly.
[12:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> Some time later, Rei arrives at the Tsukino house. Indeed, your activities on the Moon did relax you...
[12:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi is waiting for her, while her mother works away in the kitchen.
[12:42] * Usagi-chan opens the door for her girlfriend, giving her a gentle smile - she still seems pretty relaxed as well. "Come on in, Rei-chan. Mom's still getting things ready."
[12:42] <Rei-chan> "Thanks," Rei smiles, stepping inside and taking off her shoes. 'So does the rest of your family know, now?'
[12:43] <Usagi-chan> 'I have no idea whether Mom told Daddy or not... he hasn't seemed to be mad about it, so I'm guessing she hasn't. And I'm almost positive Shingo doesn't know.' Usagi sighs a little.
[12:44] <Rei-chan> "Right," Rei nods, deciding to play things low key and take her cues from Ikkuko. She follows Usagi inside, looking around for said other family members.
[12:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> Shingo is nowhere in sight, either upstairs or away. Usagi's father is in the living room, just winding down from a day of hard work while Ikkuko is finishing dinner.
[12:47] <Rei-chan> "Hello Mr Tsukino," Rei says, a tad nervously as she wonders if he'll suddenly leap up and start berating the evil lesbian pyromaniac witch who stole his daughter's innocence.
[12:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh, hello Rei," he turns to look at you from the couch, his tie loose and shirt now untucked. "Usagi mentioned you'd be eating dinner here tonight."
[12:48] <Rei-chan> "Yes, thank you for having me over," Rei says politely, dipping a quick bow.
[12:49] * Usagi-chan smiles outwardly. 'He doesn't know. He'd have said something if he did.'
[12:49] <Rei-chan> 'But is he going to find out tonight?' Rei wonders even while projecting an image of calmness and friendliness.
[12:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, anything he might have said afterwards cut off by, "Usagi, Kenji...," a tiny pause between that and, "Rei, dinner is ready."
[12:50] <Usagi-chan> "Thanks, Mom, we'll be there in a second!" Usagi calls back. 'I'd imagine so... I just hope he doesn't get too upset over it.'
[12:50] <Rei-chan> 'Shingo's not here?' Rei thinks with a sinking feeling. 'I think your mother doesn't want him to hear what's going to be the topic of conversation tonight...'
[12:52] <Usagi-chan> 'Over at Mika's again, I think.' Usagi replies as the trio head for the dining room.
[12:53] * Rei-chan enters last. "Thank you for inviting me to dinner, Mrs Tsukino," she bows to the blue-haired woman, again keeping up her manners.
[12:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Dinner is spread out in the dining room, a steaming platter of food. It smells really good...
[12:53] * Usagi-chan smiles nervously, hoping that this doesn't go TOO badly...
[12:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko manages to reply without pausing too much, merely smiling back as she sits down. The plates are filled, food and drink are passed around... and... nothing.
[12:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko doesn't say a thing, pushing her food around her plate a moment before Kenji speaks up. "So! How was your day, Usagi," he asks, oblivious.
[12:54] * Rei-chan sits down next to Usagi. "It smells delicious," she comments, waiting for her hostess to signal they can start eating.
[12:55] <Usagi-chan> "It was fine, Daddy." Usagi smiles a bit. "I managed to get caught up from yesterday fairly fast, so that was nice."
[12:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, then to Ikkuko as he starts on his food. "Rei, it's nice to have you over. Are you spending the night?"
[12:56] <Rei-chan> "Uh..." Rei glances helplessly at Usagi. "I thought the invitation was just for dinner..."
[12:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "What's wrong, dear," he says a moment later, Ikkuko's fork clattering loudly against her plate.
[12:57] * Rei-chan winces.
[12:57] * Usagi-chan goes pale, lowering her head a bit and avoiding her mother's face.
[12:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's just for dinner," Usagi's mom agrees, then sighs. "Kenji... Usagi has something she needs to tell you."
[12:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh?" Kenji smiles at Usagi. "Did you do well on a test, Usagi-chan?"
[12:58] * Rei-chan swallows a lump in her throat, her pale face and wide eyes betraying her nervousness.
[12:58] <Usagi-chan> "Um... no, it's not about that." She glances over at Rei. "I'm dating someone now."
[12:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "W-w-what?" Kenji twitches three times, finally getting out the word. "Who is it, Usagi?"
[12:59] * Usagi-chan takes a deep breath and swallows before replying. "It's Rei-chan, Daddy."
[12:59] * Rei-chan gives Kenji a slightly strained smile.
[13:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> Like a mist falling on a valley, Kenji's glasses fog up. "Rei-chan is your girlfriend," he asks lightly, a big, stupid grin on his face. He looks almost... unhinged.
[13:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi's mom merely lowers her gaze, letting the scene play out while her food stays untouched.
[13:01] * Usagi-chan nods slowly, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
[13:01] * Rei-chan reaches over to take Usagi's hand under the table, trying to show some solidarity.
[13:02] * Usagi-chan squeezes Rei's hand tightly, giving the miko a hesitant smile.
[13:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> A final twitch hits Kenji before he doubles over in loud, roaring laughter. It fills the room with an off-key humor, his body shaking with it.
[13:02] * Usagi-chan is completely taken aback at her father's reaction. "Wha... why are you laughing, Daddy?"
[13:02] <Rei-chan> 'This is very not good,' Rei thinks disconsolately.
[13:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh, Usagi, that was good," he finally manages as his laughing winds down. His glasses are back to normal now, his eyes sparkling. "You had me going there, the way you and Rei exchanged looks, too!"
[13:03] * Usagi-chan lowers her eyes. "I wasn't joking, Daddy."
[13:03] <Rei-chan> "It," Rei coughs delicately, "It's not a joke, Mr Tsukino."
[13:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "But you have to get up pretty early to get one over on Kenji Tsukino," he grins, pointing a finger at you... which drops a moment later at that second comment. Again his glasses fog. "It isn't?" he asks, very quiet.
[13:04] * Usagi-chan shakes her head, still not meeting his gaze.
[13:04] <Rei-chan> "No joke," Rei says weakly.
[13:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> "So... you're a lesbian, Usagi?" he asks her, still quiet.
[13:05] * Usagi-chan flinches a bit at the word, but nods. "Yes," she says quietly.
[13:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "My Usagi's lilies are blooming," he mutters, shaking his head. "You really are, Usagi? No joke?"
[13:06] <Usagi-chan> "I really am, Daddy. I'm not kidding." Usagi manages a crooked smile.
[13:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, his motions stiff. "And Rei... you're... being... a lesbian with my Usagi?"
[13:07] <Rei-chan> "Yes," Rei says in a small voice as she nods.
[13:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> He grumbles. "You didn't even ask permission to date Usagi!" he fires off, annoyed and crossing his arms. "And you're almost too young for her, Usagi needs someone to take care of her!"
[13:10] <Rei-chan> "Uh..." Rei flounders, not really expecting him to take that angle. "I'm two months older than she is!" she quickly replies, pointing at Usagi. Then wincing as she realises how lame that sounded.
[13:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "And what about poor Umino? He's taking you out to lunch this Sunday!"
[13:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> He shakes his head, seemingly peeved... but not really angry like Ikkuko.
[13:12] <Rei-chan> "He is?" Rei blinks, looking at Usagi in surprise, "I didn't think Usagi and Umino had even spoken since she transferred to Mugen..."
[13:12] <Usagi-chan> "He is?" Usagi looks nonplussed. "Since when?"
[13:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Since I talked to him yesterday," he nods. "Usagi hadn't been with anyone but her friends, so I thought she could use a nice nudge towards a nice boy." He laughs frantically, rubbing the back of his head. "I hadn't thought to tell you yet, though."
[13:14] * Usagi-chan sighs. "I wasn't even planning on BEING here on Sunday."
[13:14] <Rei-chan> "Um..." Rei looks rather confused, not having considered this reaction in her mental rehearsals. "I'm sorry I didn't ask for permission... our dating kind of caught us both by surprise." Gamely, she gives Kenji her most winning smile, "Can I have your permission to date your beautiful daughter?"
[13:15] * Usagi-chan grins at Rei's recovery, blushing a bit at the miko's description of her.
[13:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Kenji turns to Rei, passing by Usagi for the moment.
[13:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well... does she make you happy, Usagi," he asks, as Ikkuko kneads the tablecloth with her hands. She doesn't look happy at all with his reaction, tense lines all over her face.
[13:17] <Usagi-chan> "Very happy, Daddy." Usagi looks up at Rei, giving her a smile.
[13:17] * Rei-chan is too busy looking at Ikkuko, seeming rather unhappy with her reaction, to return Usagi's smile.
[13:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> He even manages to smile back at Usagi. "Rei, you have my permission to date Usag-" Kenji is cut off by Ikkuko's feet stomping on the ground as she gets up and quite hastily storms out of the room and upstairs.
[13:18] * Usagi-chan cringes at her mother's reaction, her smile fading quickly.
[13:19] * Rei-chan hangs her head. "Thanks, Mr Tsukino," she says sadly. "I'm glad at least one of you supports us..."
[13:20] <Usagi-chan> "Thank you, Daddy." Usagi gives her father a wan smile.
[13:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> Kenji pauses, the sound of a bedroom door slamming shut seconds later. He looks over his shoulder, in the direction of the stairs. "Girls, why don't you go ahead and..." he reaches into his wallet, pulling out several nicely large yen notes, "And go get some dinner out? Ikkuko and I need to talk." He sighs, far more serious than you're used to.
[13:21] <Rei-chan> "Thanks," Rei stands up. "Good luck," she adds, giving him a small smile.
[13:21] * Usagi-chan smiles as she takes the money from her father, giving him a hug and a peck on the cheek. "Thanks again, Daddy. I'm sorry this is causing so much trouble with Mom."
[13:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Go and have fun with your girlfriend," he does raise his voice a bit at that, still a bit shaky on it, "Usagi."
[13:23] * Usagi-chan nods. "I will. I love you, Daddy." She smiles warmly at her father.
[13:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> He matches the smile for just a moment before resuming a more serious expression, getting up and going upstairs...
[13:24] * Rei-chan sighs, taking Usagi's arm. "That was both better and worse than I had expected..."
[13:25] * Usagi-chan nods. "I'm glad Daddy took it as well as he did," she replies with a sigh. "I just wish Mom wasn't so upset about it."
[13:25] <Rei-chan> "Yeah..." Rei looks downcast. "I was hoping after inviting me like this she was coming around, but that's pretty clearly not true..." she says as she and the blonde head out.
[13:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you head out, a scream of, "I DON'T CARE! MY DAUGHTER IS A DAMN LESBIAN," works its way from the house outward, loud enough to reach down the street. Ikkuko seems quite unhappy and teary from the sounds of it.
[13:26] <Usagi-chan> "She'll..." Usagi swallows. "She'll have to accept it sooner or later, Rei-chan - because she's not going to change the way I feel about you." That brings a shaky smile from the blonde.
[13:28] <Rei-chan> "Nothing could change how I feel about you, either," Rei says, giving Usagi a smile interspersed with wincing as she listens to Ikkuko's tirade, unconsciously picking up the pace to get away. "But I still feel horrible causing this sort of trouble for you and your mother..."
[13:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Fleeing from the scene, you end up at a nearby okonomiyaki restaurant, a sit-in place with booths and atmosphere. Not really upscale, but it works for your purposes.
[13:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Amid a pair of okonomiyakis, the events of the past hour finally settle in...
[13:31] * Rei-chan eats her okonomiyaki. "It's a pity we never got to eat that dinner... it smelled nice," she notes.
[13:32] * Usagi-chan picks at her own okonomiyaki. "Yeah... Mom's a really good cook..." she says dully.
[13:32] <Rei-chan> "Yeah. I remember the dinner we had at Christmas..." Rei sighs, wondering if Ikkuko will ever tolerate her presence again.
[13:33] * Usagi-chan pushes her plate away, resting her head on her arms. "I wish I'd never said anything to her about it."
[13:34] <Rei-chan> "She'd have found out eventually," Rei says, putting an arm around Usagi. "We wouldn't be able to hide it forever, especially not from your own mother."
[13:35] <Usagi-chan> "I guess so... it just feels really bad that she's so upset about it." Usagi sighs.
[13:36] <Rei-chan> "I know," Rei slumps her shoulders. "I really hate this."
[13:38] <Usagi-chan> "I just wish there was something I could say or do to get her to stop being so angry about it, but she doesn't even want to listen to me."
[13:40] <Rei-chan> "No..." Rei frowns, "After all, two girls like... us... it's unnatural, isn't it?" She shakes her head, "I don't believe that, of course, but... but your mother does. And I don't think anything we can do will convince her otherwise. If she ever accepts us, the impetus has to come from within."
[13:42] * Usagi-chan sighs. "I run around fighting evil in a short skirt and boots, and I'm actually the ruler of an ancient kingdom on the Moon." She gives a short laugh. "You'd think that being with another girl would be fairly small next to all of that."
[13:44] <Rei-chan> "Obviously it's not small to your mother," Rei grumbles. "I suppose at the very least I should be grateful it isn't personal - she doesn't disapprove of me, just my gender."
[13:46] * Usagi-chan sits back up, poking at her now-cold okonomiyaki with her fork. "She won't even let me explain anything... I just hate not being able to do anything!"
[13:48] * Rei-chan sighs loudly. "Your father told us to go out and have fun. We're failing pretty miserably aren't we?"
[13:48] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, I guess we are," Usagi mumbles. "Kind of hard to when I know what's happening back at home, though."
[13:49] * Rei-chan nods. "I wonder if she's stopped yelling, yet?"
[13:50] <Usagi-chan> "Probably not yelling, but I bet she's still mad. She never yells for very long, but she doesn't exactly change her mind in a hurry either." Usagi frowns.
[13:51] <Rei-chan> "I almost wish a monster would attack right now," Rei snorts, pushing her partially chewed okonomiyaki around. "That always helps work stress off. But there aren't any monsters, and hopefully won't be for some time."
[13:52] * Usagi-chan smirks slightly at that. "You want to go work some stress off? There's something I've done a couple of times, if you want to try it."
[13:53] <Rei-chan> "Oh?" Rei raises an eyebrow, "And what might that be?" she asks, a curious lilt in her voice.
[13:54] <Usagi-chan> "Let's just say that I don't fix EVERYTHING in the palace." Usagi grins. "Beryl left behind more than a few souvenirs, and it feels SO good to just go and blast the heck out of some of them sometimes."
[13:55] <Rei-chan> "Heh," Rei pushes her plate away, chuckling. "I think that sounds like just what the doctor ordered."
[13:56] * Usagi-chan gets up from the table, still grinning. "Come on, we can head up from the bathroom or something."
[13:56] * Rei-chan nods, standing up. "Lead on."
[14:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> A while later, after nightfall, Usagi heads home. Another session on the Moon with Rei did help, but home beckons and looms.
[14:16] * Usagi-chan heads home with a heavy heart, Rei having remained at the Shrine when the girls returned. She steps inside and slips off her shoes, not announcing her presence JUST yet.
[14:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> It's quiet at home. Almost too quiet.
[14:18] * Usagi-chan heads into the darkened house quietly, looking and listening for any sign of her parents.
[14:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Dad sits in the living room, watching TV, or at least appearing to. He looks to be more staring out into space, thinking.
[14:18] <Usagi-chan> "Hi, Daddy," Usagi says quietly as she catches sight of him.
[14:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> He turns, his glasses off and his face a bit worn. "Hi, Usagi," he answers. "Why don't you sit down here," he pats the couch by him.
[14:20] * Usagi-chan nods, taking the seat next to her father. "How did it go?" she asks, subdued.
[14:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> He doesn't reply to that at first, at least not directly. Instead, he rubs his cheek, a red palm print there. "Your mother decided to spend a few days at her friend's house." He doesn't dress it up at all, sounding sad.
[14:23] * Usagi-chan closes her eyes, hanging her head. "I'm sorry, Daddy," she says in a whisper.
[14:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's not your fault," he sighs again. "She just needs some time."
[14:25] * Usagi-chan is silent for a few moments. "She's had time, Daddy. I told her the same night I found out about my scholarship."
[14:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah, I know. She mentioned that," he comments.
[14:27] <Usagi-chan> "I didn't mean for this to happen, I promise!" Usagi looks up at her father with tears in her eyes. "I didn't know she'd be so upset!"
[14:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "You couldn't have known, Usagi," he agrees. "I'm not blaming you..." he reaches over, his arm around your shoulders. "Ikkuko will need to work this out herself."
[14:30] * Usagi-chan lets her head rest against Kenji's shoulder. "I'm so sorry..." she sobs.
[14:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> Kenji pats you on the back a few times as you cry. "Don't worry, she'll be back soon enough, Usagi..."
[14:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> After crying herself out...
[14:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi, there is also something else," he finally goes on.
[14:32] * Usagi-chan wipes her eyes with her sleeve, still sniffling. "What is it?"
[14:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Once things settle down, I'd like to take you and Rei out to dinner," he says, "Since tonight was ruined."
[14:34] * Usagi-chan gives her father a grateful, if teary smile. "Thank you, Daddy."
[14:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> -------
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 3: Days of Depression through A Life in Planning
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2006, 02:08:16 am »
[14:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[14:42] <Usagi-chan> The next day at school finds the girls back in their normal routine, although Rei notes that she hasn't heard from Usagi since the two parted last night - a bit unusual. As lunchtime rolls around, Rei finally makes contact with the Dumpling Head - and she's not in very good shape.
[14:42] * Usagi-chan stands in the lunch line quietly, a sad frown marring her features. Even her pigtails seem to be dragging today.
[14:43] * Rei-chan wears a sad expression as she comes up behind Usagi, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Things didn't go well at home last night?" she asks quietly.
[14:44] * Usagi-chan sighs, not even turning around to face the miko. "Mom left," she says simply.
[14:45] <Rei-chan> "L-left?" Rei repeats numbly, the colour draining from her features.
[14:46] * Usagi-chan nods slowly. "Daddy said she left to go stay with a friend for a few days," she goes on in the same leaden tones.
[14:47] <Rei-chan> Deciding that Usagi likely won't be too hungry given her mood, and feeling her own appetite desert her, Rei tugs on Usagi's sleeve. "Come on," she gestures with a tilt of her head for them to leave the crowded cafeteria.
[14:48] * Usagi-chan makes no protest as the miko leads her out of the cafeteria, abandoning her place in line without a second glance.
[14:50] <Rei-chan> Entering the stairwell, Rei leads the blonde up several flights, soon coming to a locked door at the top. Tapping in the code on the adjacent keypad, she opens the door onto the rooftop and leads Usagi out into the cloudy but mild day. "She just left?" Rei asks, still shocked.
[14:51] * Usagi-chan nods quietly.
[14:52] <Rei-chan> "Oh, Usagi," Rei feels her eyes beginning to water, enfolding the blonde in a tight hug. "I'm sorry. I'm so very, very, sorry," she whispers, crushing her girlfriend against her.
[14:55] * Usagi-chan begins to sob in Rei's arms, her arms encircling her love with no strength in them. "She doesn't even want to be around me anymore, Rei-chan."
[14:57] <Rei-chan> "I'm sorry," Rei says, stroking Usagi's back. "I just... I can't believe she could do such a thing... it's horrible," she continues, her sad tone tinged with faint outrage.
[14:58] * Usagi-chan continues to weep bitterly on Rei's shoulder. "I don't know what to do, Rei... I don't want her to hate me."
[15:00] <Rei-chan> "She doesn't hate you, Usagi. That'd be impossible," Rei tries to reassure the other girl, even as a faint mental voice points out that even without hating her, Ikkuko obviously doesn't love her or her family enough.
[15:02] <Usagi-chan> "Then why did she leave?" Usagi cries. "Why would she leave all of us if she didn't think I was horrible?"
[15:06] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei says in a slightly tremulous voice. "No," she repeats with more force, "It can't be true. It just can't! She's your mother. She can't not love you!" Rei shakes her head quickly enough for her hair to flap around behind her.
[15:08] <Usagi-chan> "Then why did she leave, Rei?" Usagi repeats in a whisper. "If it wasn't me, then what was it?"
[15:12] <Rei-chan> "I don't know," Rei says, slumping a bit. "But she's your mother, Usagi. A mother's love is unconditional." She stamps her foot lightly for emphasis, "Always."
[15:16] <Usagi-chan> "I just feel like it's all my fault... I've never seen Daddy so sad before, and it's my fault." This sends the blonde into a fresh round of tears. "Why did this have to happen?"
[15:19] <Rei-chan> "I don't know," Rei repeats weakly, wishing she had the magic answers that would make things right again. "But you can't blame yourself. You didn't force your mother to..." Rei swallows the lump forming in her throat, "... to leave. She made that choice all by herself."
[15:21] <Usagi-chan> "But she wouldn't have left if... if I didn't love you." Usagi squeezes the miko suddenly at that.
[15:25] * Rei-chan feels her heart clench, anger rising within her towards Ikkuko Tsukino for putting her daughter in the impossible position of choosing between her love for her mother and her love for her lover, and knowing that Usagi is completely unable to make that choice. A choice she most definitely should never have to make.
[15:25] <Rei-chan> "I'm so sorry, Usagi," Rei whispers, holding the blonde tighter. "It shouldn't have to be this way."
[15:29] * Usagi-chan simply clings to Rei, weeping bitterly at the thought of having to decide between her mother and her love.
[15:33] <Rei-chan> "Usagi," Rei whispers in her ear, bringing up a hand to run her fingers through the blonde's hair, "No matter what happens, I'll never hate you. Ever." She relaxes slightly, still holding Usagi, but resting her head on the other girl's shoulder. "It's a promise."
[15:35] <Usagi-chan> "Thank you, Rei-chan..." Usagi whispers, her voice barely audible. "I don't ever want to lose you."
[15:38] * Rei-chan smiles softly, though still tinged with sadness at their current situation. "As long as you need me, I'll be here."
[15:39] <Rei-chan> -------
[08:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> After a hellish night spent more on the fringes of nightmare-filled ruins than real sleep, Usagi finally wakes up, the reality of things stark and painful after last night.
[08:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Usagi sullenly puts on her uniform, Luna comes in, looking rather depressed herself, tail drooping.
[08:45] * Usagi-chan glances over at the cat briefly, but says nothing.
[08:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi..." Luna begins. "I heard about last night. How are you holding up?" She ventures slowly, into hopefully less mine-strewn territory.
[08:47] * Usagi-chan stays quiet, a look of deep guilt showing in her eyes.
[09:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hopping onto your bed, "Usagi-chan, don't worry. I think Ikkuko just needs a few days to think."
[09:04] <Usagi-chan> "She left, Luna, and it's my fault." Usagi says, sounding as tired as she looks.
[09:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> ""That's not true, Usagi-chan..." she says, but she doesn't sound quite convinced about it. "Ikkuko is hurt, and she needs a few days to heal. It's not your fault that she doesn't like you dating Rei."
[09:08] * Usagi-chan sighs. "I know you're trying to cheer me up, Luna, but face it - if I hadn't decided to date Rei, she wouldn't be this mad. It IS my fault."
[09:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi," she insists, "Don't blame yourself for this. You fell in love with Rei... you shouldn't have to apologise to anyone about it."
[09:11] <Usagi-chan> "I'm..." Usagi slumps. "I just don't know what to do, Luna. I thought she invited Rei over for dinner because she was getting used to the idea!"
[09:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna sighs. "I thought so, too. The case appears to be otherwise, however. That's so unlike her..."
[09:16] * Usagi-chan slowly collects her books and stuffs them into her bag. "I don't even know what I could say to her..."
[09:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Tell her..." Luna comes up empty, however, sighing. "She loves you, Usagi, even if she's disappointed right now. Just remember that."
[09:20] <Usagi-chan> "Then why did she leave?" Usagi says dully.
[09:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Do you remember when Artemis was gone a few days after fighting with Minako," she changes tacks, trying to get to Usagi. "Sometimes, you need to be away from those you love so you can think clearly."
[09:27] * Usagi-chan flinches at that, heading out of the room without another word.
[09:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> The next few days pass in an odd blur for Usagi. She's unable to really focus on anything, in her own personal, quiet hell.
[09:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> On the third day since it happened, Usagi arrives home listlessly, as usual...
[09:35] * Usagi-chan enters the house quietly, not bothering to announce her arrival.
[09:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Instead of silence, you hear the TV on and some noise in the living room.
[09:37] * Usagi-chan doesn't really make anything of it, figuring that Shingo is probably playing video games or something. She heads to the kitchen in search of something to snack on.
[09:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you walk into the kitchen past the living room, you catch sight of a bit of blue hair...
[09:38] * Usagi-chan looks over quickly at the brief glimpse.
[09:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> Mom's home... watching TV to be precise, her back turned to you.
[09:39] <Usagi-chan> "Mom?" Usagi says hoarsely, not quite believing her eyes at first.
[09:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> "...Hello, Usagi," she says, her voice quiet and composed.
[09:42] * Usagi-chan stands in the doorway to the living room. "Um, hi - it's... I'm glad you're home," she says awkwardly.
[09:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> Silence. She stands, coming up to you with a strange, almost regretful expression...
[09:48] * Usagi-chan stays where she is, watching her mother with almost a wary expression.
[09:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> She comes up to you, staring at you a moment, her eyes wet with pent-up emotion...
[09:50] * Usagi-chan feels her own eyes begin to tear up as well. "Mom..."
[09:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi.." she says, a catch in her voice. Her arms reach up, embracing you tightly against her.
[09:52] * Usagi-chan instantly melts into her mother's embrace, sobbing softly against the older woman's shoulder.
[09:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko's sobs match Usagi's as the two cry in each other's arms, nothing more said for now.
[09:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> A teary time later, Usagi finally draws back from her mother...
[09:56] * Usagi-chan wipes her face with the back of her hand. "I thought you hated me..." she sniffles.
[09:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Sniffling, "Usagi, I don't hate you... I couldn't hate you," she smiles weakly.
[10:00] <Usagi-chan> "Why did you have to leave?" Usagi asks in a broken voice.
[10:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I needed some time to calm down," she says, stroking the back of your head. "I got into a big argument with your father after you left."
[10:02] * Usagi-chan nods. "...I heard."
[10:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> She pauses, her lips pursing slightly. "I... needed that time to come to grips with things. Even then..." she smiles. "If I hadn't run into her, I would still probably be mad."
[10:05] * Usagi-chan sniffles, looking up at her mother. "Her?"
[10:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Do you remember Setsuna, who came by to visit you a little while back," she asks you.
[10:07] * Usagi-chan blinks in surprise. "You talked to Setsuna?"
[10:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, a more genuine smile on her face. "She reminded me of what's important - my family and my loved ones."
[10:09] * Usagi-chan smiles at that. "I'm just glad you're home."
[10:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'm glad about that, too," she hugs Usagi again. "I made you some lemon cake and cookies," she goes on, taking your hand and leading you into the kitchen, where those foods do indeed await.
[10:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Once Usagi settles in with said food and a glass of milk... "Usagi... you really do love Rei," she asks, her voice lacking the dread or accusation you thought you heard in it days before.
[10:15] * Usagi-chan nods. "I really do, with all my heart." She takes a bite of the cake, looking at her mother seriously.
[10:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> She does sigh again, but smiles acceptingly afterwards. "I'd always dreamed of my little Usagi-chan's wedding to some nice boy who would provide everything for her," she starts, her voice having a dash of nostalgia. "As you grew up... it was about all I could hope for with your grades and attitude."
[10:18] * Usagi-chan sighs a bit at that, knowing that a year ago it was definitely more than true.
[10:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I... couldn't let go of that," she sighs deeply. "You running off and ruining your purity with Rei wasn't part of that, Usagi-chan."
[10:22] * Usagi-chan winces at the description of it in those terms. "Well... I hope I can make you proud of me in other ways." She takes a deep breath. "I've already started on the future I want to make for myself, and I'd like to show it to you and Daddy soon - and Shingo too, if he wants to come."
[10:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> She closes her eyes, sighing again. "I'd like that, Usagi... with Rei, too, one day."
[10:25] * Usagi-chan reaches across the table, taking her mother's hand with a melancholy smile. "I love you, Mom."
[10:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> She reaches out, taking your hand as well. "I love you too, Usagi. Even when we disappoint the other or make them cry."
[10:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:12] <Anastasia> One fine April morning, as he heads back from his session with Usagi, Prince Herb has the luck to run across his rival/friend, Ryuu, jogging to start his day.
[12:13] <Anastasia> He trots over, smiling. "Hey," he greets you. "You know a girl named Rei Hino, don't you?"
[12:13] * Prince_Herb waves as the runner approaches him. "Hi, Ryuu. Great day to be out."
[12:14] <Anastasia> He nods, agreeing. "It's beautiful spring weather. Anyway, you know Rei Hino," he asks again.
[12:15] <Prince_Herb> "Sure," Herb says, "I know her. Have you been shrine-hopping again, checking out the best-looking miko?"
[12:16] <Anastasia> He frowns a bit at that, surprisingly. "Not quite. I had reason to go to her Shrine and I got an unpleasant surprise in the fact it turns out she's already spoken for." Ryuu sighs. "You aren't her boyfriend, are you?"
[12:17] * Prince_Herb stifles a laugh. "No way! I'm not her type! Definitely not."
[12:17] <Anastasia> He nods. "Good... I would have had another reason to beat you if that was the case," he sighs again. "Damn, she's really cute, too. Who's the lucky guy, anyway?"
[12:18] * Prince_Herb looks pained. "You don't want to know."
[12:19] <Anastasia> He blinks. "Why not? I'd like to know, so that I can ask him if he's serious or not. If he's not... I'd like to try to shake him off." He slowly smiles. "Damn, Herb, she's stunning. I haven't seen hair like that, ever..."
[12:20] <Prince_Herb> "Then again, if you hang around that shrine long enough, you'll learn anyway." Herb says, struggling with an ethical dilemma.
[12:21] <Prince_Herb> "Ah, if it's like that, I'd better say something."
[12:21] <Anastasia> "I'd like not to hang around if she's taken," he sighs. "It's not fun to sit there and look at what I can't have."
[12:21] <Prince_Herb> "She doesn't have a boyfriend. She's a lesbian, and has a very nice girlfriend."
[12:22] <Anastasia> Blink. Blink. Blink. If nothing else, his eyes still work as he is utterly stunned by that. "She's a... lesbian..." he mutters, making a motion with this hands that's both rather obscene and suggestive of what two lesbians might do.
[12:23] * Prince_Herb looks at the curious hand gesture and nods.
[12:24] <Anastasia> "FUCK," he curses venomously, kicking the sidewalk in anger. "Why do all the cute girls have to be taken by the other cute girls?"
[12:25] <Prince_Herb> "This is a recurring problem for you?" Herb asks, worried by Ryuu's extreme reaction.
[12:26] <Anastasia> He takes another annoyed kick at the sidewalk before responding. "Once before," he growls. "I found a girl I liked, found out she was a lesbian. Found another girl a few weeks later, found she was the other girl's girlfriend."
[12:27] <Prince_Herb> "That is truly a story of sorrow and woe. However, I have a suggestion."
[12:28] <Anastasia> "What?" he asks, sitll fuming.
[12:29] <Prince_Herb> "The Toudai kendo players are having their spring booze-up next week. I have an invitation from my classmate Hiroe to come and help them drink their sake, and I think you should come too."
[12:30] <Prince_Herb> "There will be girls there, unattached ones, with manly martial artists on their minds."
[12:31] <Anastasia> "Hm," he mutters intelligently, pondering it. "Let me get back to you on it when I'm calmer," he decides.
[12:32] <Prince_Herb> "Sure. I'll drop by your dojo sometime this week on my way back from work. And trust me, it will be fun."
[12:33] <Anastasia> He nods crisply. "Right... I think I'm going to go off and wreck a few training dummies. Bye," he says, going off in a serious snit.
[12:33] * Prince_Herb sighs. Maybe it would have been kinder to have been less frank, to have made up some story. "No, I reckon I owed him the truth," Herb says sadly.
[11:32] <Rei-chan> ---------
[11:34] <Prince_Herb> One evening, after leaving the library at Toudai, Herb goes to visit Rei-chan at the architecturally charming Hikawa Shrine.
[11:36] * Prince_Herb knocks on the door, which is answered by Rei-chan's grandfather. After spending a few minutes talking with the old man about their common friend Ryuu, Herb steels himself to visit the senshi of fire upstairs.
[11:36] * Prince_Herb takes his leave of the priest, and knocks upon Rei-chan's door.
[11:37] <Rei-chan> "Come in," Rei's voice sounds from within.
[11:38] * Prince_Herb opens the door and walks in. "Hi Rei!"
[11:39] <Rei-chan> Looking up from her assorted textbooks, Rei gives the Dragon Prince a smile. "Hi, Herb. What brings you here?" she asks.
[11:40] <Prince_Herb> "I wondered how you got on with Ryuu, so I thought I'd drop by and ask. He's one of my few guy friends, you know."
[11:42] <Prince_Herb> "Did you beat him up too badly? He didn't say much about the sparring session." Herb asks.
[11:43] <Rei-chan> "Oh, right," Rei nods, frowning minutely. "Well, I did try to let him down gently - he didn't seem too upset, so I guess things went okay." She then smiles a bit at the mention of the sparring, "He gave me a really good fight, actually. I wasn't holding back at all with that last punch."
[11:44] <Prince_Herb> "He's really very strong. I've always beaten him but it's usually touch and go," Herb says and sighs. "He asked me if I was your boyfriend, you know. He was smitten."
[11:47] * Rei-chan chuckles. "He's a nice guy. I'm sure he'll find someone soon enough." She gives Herb a more serious look, "Just watch out next time he challenges you for his sword. From what he told me and the Sacred Fire showed, he's constantly improving by a large amount," she smiles, "You've got a good rival to keep you on your toes, Herb."
[12:10] <Prince_Herb> "He's a good sort," agrees Herb. "I did have to tell him something, though..." The dragon prince looks guilty.
[12:11] <Prince_Herb> "He was asking about who your boyfriend was, and whether he had a chance, and so I either had to come up with an extravagant lie, a mysterious silence, or actually tell him something of the truth."
[12:12] <Prince_Herb> "And he's my friend, so I told him a little of the truth." Herb says, looking at his feet, and then up at Rei-chan's face to see how she's taken this
[12:13] <Rei-chan> "Ugh..." Rei groans. "I only told him I was taken - I didn't see any point in getting into the exact details." She gives Herb a piercing look, "So exactly how much is 'a little of the truth'?"
[12:15] <Prince_Herb> "I told him that you were only interested in girls, and that he had no chance." Herb says. "He was very upset, because the last two women he's been attracted to were lesbians as well. In fact, one was the other's girlfriend."
[12:15] * Rei-chan makes a face. "That sounds like something out of a manga I read once..." She shakes her head, "Poor guy. I can't imagine he was thrilled at all."
[12:19] <Prince_Herb> "Not at all, I'm afraid. So I promised to take him to the kendo players' party so that he could meet some other women martial artists," Herb says. "I'll keep my fingers crossed."
[12:20] <Rei-chan> "He is handsome, and pretty charming," Rei nods, "I'm sure he'll have no trouble attracting his fair share of attention at that sort of thing."
[12:25] * Prince_Herb nods. "I was worried you'd be angry, Rei-hime, that I'd told him. Thanks for taking it so well."
[12:25] * Prince_Herb smiles.
[12:25] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei shakes her head, "If you'd said anything about Usagi I'd be annoyed, but this..." she shrugs, "It's no big deal, really, I guess."
[12:26] <Prince_Herb> "I didn't think I needed to mention the Queen," Herb says, "It was you Ryuu was interested in, after all."
[12:27] <Prince_Herb> "Well, I'd better let you get back to your work, and go and have my own supper. See you at Mugen tomorrow, Rei-chan!"
[12:28] * Rei-chan nods. "Okay, bye Herb," she waves, before returning to her homework.
[12:28] * Prince_Herb bows, and leaves the Mars Princess to her studies
[12:28] <Prince_Herb> -------
[11:23] <Anastasia> Cuddling with Rei in the Temple's living room, life seems good now. The TV blares on, the entertainment report blaring about something or the other.
[11:24] * Usagi-chan rests her head on Rei's shoulder, only half paying attention to the TV at the moment.
[11:24] * Rei-chan snuggles up with the blonde, not really listening to the TV overmuch, just enjoying the warm feel of Usagi's body next to hers.
[11:25] <Anastasia> "...And in other news, the idol singer Full Moon has begun her second tour this week, after dropping record sales of her album, and promises more songs on the way..."
[11:25] * Rei-chan frowns a bit, but doesn't comment.
[11:26] * Usagi-chan catches only the words 'Full Moon', and looks up to see a picture of Minako in the corner of the screen. She sighs at the image.
[11:26] <Rei-chan> "At least she's doing well for herself," Rei remarks, catching Usagi's sigh.
[11:26] <Anastasia> "Her tour will consist of every major city including Tokyo. We'll keep you updated on her progress as she goes. Back to you, Hisuki."
[11:27] * Usagi-chan raises an eyebrow at that. "Coming back to Tokyo, huh?"
[11:28] <Rei-chan> "I doubt she'll take the time to come visit us when she's here," Rei says.
[11:30] <Usagi-chan> "I sure wasn't counting on it," Usagi replies. "I hope she's at least happy with what she's doing now." She frowns a bit at that.
[11:31] <Rei-chan> "She always said how important singing was to her. I'm sure she is happy," Rei sighs.
[11:32] * Usagi-chan looks over at Rei, almost looking like she's going to ask a question - but she closes her mouth and turns back to the TV without saying anything.
[11:32] <Rei-chan> "What?" Rei gives Usagi a curious look.
[11:33] <Usagi-chan> "I was just, um, curious. What it was like when you were dating her." Usagi looks a bit uncomfortable as she talks. "I mean, you don't have to answer if it brings up bad memories or anything, but I have to admit I'm curious."
[11:36] * Rei-chan shrugs a little, careful not to jostle Usagi. "You got a front row seat for most of the drama. I'm as much to blame as she was for how things fell apart... even if there were some good moments." She sighs, "I can't help but think if we hadn't got together, things wouldn't have turned out so badly..."
[11:38] * Usagi-chan sighs. "I know... I felt really bad a few times because of things between you two. It always seemed like she was suspicious of me going after you or something." That brings a small grin to the blonde's lips. "I can't imagine the two of us ever getting together though."
[11:41] <Rei-chan> "Heh," Rei can't help the small chuckle coming to her lips. "I sure never would have expected anything between us two back then... maybe Minako was more perceptive than I thought." She sighs, "More likely it's just how desperately insecure she was."
[11:44] * Usagi-chan turns her head to look up at Rei. "Do you ever... compare me with her? I mean, I know she wasn't all bad, and you two were happy for a while. And I know I'm nowhere near perfect."
[11:48] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei shakes her head, "That's not a healthy attitude to have. Truthfully I try not to think about her at all if I can help it. Minako was fun to be with at times, but there were so many problems..." the miko sighs again, "What she needed, I couldn't give. I just hope she can find someone else to make her happy now that she's moved on."
[11:51] * Usagi-chan smiles a bit at that. "I just couldn't help wondering if I ever did things and you looked at it and thought 'Minako was better at that' or something. I know it's silly, and I probably shouldn't worry about it at all. It's just something that pops into my head every so often."
[11:52] <Rei-chan> "If I ever did, I think I'd deserve to be slapped," Rei snorts. "That'd be really horrible."
[11:54] * Usagi-chan cuddles up a little closer to the miko. "I thought it was probably silly to think like that, but it's nice to hear you say it too."
[11:57] <Rei-chan> "You know I'm not one to dwell on the past, Usagi," Rei plants a kiss on the crown of Usagi's head. "Especially when the past makes me more sad than anything else."
[11:57] * Usagi-chan gives a contented sigh. "I know, Rei-chan... I'm sorry I brought it up."
[11:58] <Rei-chan> "Don't worry about it, Usagi," Rei says softly, "I don't really mind."
[12:03] <Rei-chan> After a few moments of comfortable silence between the pair, Rei speaks again. "You said Minako was suspicious of you... did she ever actually say anything, or was it just in her behaviour? I never really noticed myself," she admits.
[12:04] * Usagi-chan sighs. "Mainly the way she acted around me. Did I ever tell you about the time she was afraid she was using her power over love on you?"
[12:05] <Rei-chan> "I remember she mentioned that to me once," Rei says, narrowing her eyes a fraction at the memory. "I sure didn't appreciate having my feelings called into question like that."
[12:20] <Usagi-chan> "She talked to me about it first." Usagi frowns a bit. "I didn't think much about it at the time, but I think she tried to see then if I had any feelings for you. She gave me this really suspicious look while we were talking about it, and then looked like she was concentrating about something - and then she said something like 'that's all it is'. It took me forever to figure out what she was talking about, but I think she was making sure I was just a friend to you."
[12:21] <Rei-chan> "Geez," Rei makes a face, "That's pretty bad. I had no idea she went around doing stuff like that."
[12:24] * Usagi-chan frowns. "That wasn't even the worst one. Remember the day I came to talk to you after I saw Endymion and she followed us out of the temple?"
[12:25] * Rei-chan sighs. "Kind of hard to forget that day," she mutters.
[12:26] <Usagi-chan> "I know what you mean." Usagi sighs. "Right when I got to the temple, I saw her outside shoveling snow, and I actually heard her think the word 'suspicious' while she watched me come inside. Let's just say I wasn't that surprised when I noticed she'd followed us."
[12:27] <Rei-chan> "I can't believe I never noticed stuff like that," Rei shakes her head. "Then again, with all the other problems we had it's just one more little thing..."
[12:30] <Usagi-chan> "To be honest it was driving me crazy even apart from all the stuff that was happening between you and her. I couldn't figure out why she was so suspicious of me - I mean, back then I know I didn't think about you romantically at all, although I still would have called you my best friend." Usagi sighs. "I thought I had to be doing something, but I couldn't figure out what."
[12:32] <Rei-chan> "I think being my best friend was enough to upset her," Rei sighs unhappily. "It was pretty clear that she made me the centre of her world, and wanted me to think only of her in return... I just wish I'd seen it before getting mixed up in that relationship."
[12:36] * Usagi-chan nods a bit. "I kind of got that too. The only time I can ever remember really giving her a reason to be upset was after that argument you two had right in front of me - after you took off, I basically threatened her not to follow me when I went after you - I didn't want her to show up again and upset you even more."
[12:39] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, I was messed up enough myself back then. I couldn't be the foundation of Minako's world when I was such a wreck on my own. And that's why things went so badly in the end for us..." Rei sighs, shifting her position a bit as she snuggles with Usagi. "I think we've depressed ourselves enough with this talk... this is why I tend not to think about Minako if I can help it. The bad times almost completely overshadow the good times."
[12:40] * Usagi-chan finds Rei's hand, lacing her fingers with the miko's. "At least ALL those times are in the past now."
[12:42] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, we have our own future to look forward to, now," Rei smiles, tenderly clasping Usagi's hand.
[12:45] * Usagi-chan leans up and gives the raven-haired girl a soft kiss. "Amen to that. And I plan to make it a really good future, too."
[13:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[13:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> A week after Mom came back, things are starting to settle down again and return to normal. Usagi and Shingo going to school, Dad working, and Mom and Luna around the house.
[13:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Despite a bit of residual tension between you, things between you and Mom are better. One evening after dinner, as the two of you watch some inane TV...
[13:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko turns away from the TV, having become bored with it. "Usagi, do you have any plans this Friday?"
[13:39] <Usagi-chan> "Hmm?" Usagi looks up, startled out of her reverie. "Nothing in particular, why?"
[13:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Did you want to invite Rei over again," she asks, getting right to brass tacks. "Since last time went badly?"
[13:46] * Usagi-chan hesitates for a moment, and then nods. "I'd like that. I'll ask her at school tomorrow."
[13:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Alright, Usagi," she smiles wanly, turning her attention back to the TV.
[13:49] * Usagi-chan smiles back, feeling a bit hesitant about the entire matter. 'Hope it goes better than the last time...'
[13:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[13:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Usagi scurries about upstairs, choosing an outfit...
[13:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi," Luna calls, "Rei's here!"
[13:54] <Usagi-chan> "All right, I'll be down in a minute!" Usagi calls back, quickly grabbing a blue dress with a white floral design on the front along with a white blouse to go underneath. Dressing quickly, she dashes down the stairs to greet her girlfriend.
[13:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hustling downstairs, she sees Luna and Rei at the very front of the house, her girlfriend just getting inside.
[13:55] * Usagi-chan breaks into a smile at the sight of the raven-haired miko. "Sorry I didn't let you in myself, I was just trying to decide what to wear."
[13:57] * Rei-chan is just taking her high heels off, dressed in a fairly short red dress with a knit red cardigan over the top, the bottoms of it tied together just below her breasts. "That's alright," she waves it off, seeming to exude nervousness as she looks around the hallway. "You look good," she adds after failing to spot Ikkuko and settling her gaze on Usagi.
[13:58] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Thanks, you look really nice yourself." She gives Rei an admiring look.
[13:59] <Rei-chan> "I try," Rei smiles, stepping inside and giving Usagi a kiss on the cheek.
-------
My poor, sad old connection...
-------
[10:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko nods quickly at that. "I thought Koji was a bad influcence beforehand, and this proves it. He's nothing but a troublemaker."
[10:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes. Rei, I'd like to apologize on behalf of the Tsukino household," he bows his head a bit to her. "That was extremely rude of him to say."
[10:34] <Rei-chan> "It's alright," Rei waves it off, "He didn't really understand what he was saying."
[10:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, glad the matter is cleared up. "Ikkuko, is dessert ready? I don't think Shingo earned it today, anyway."
[10:36] * Usagi-chan grins. "Dessert? Now that's what I wanted to hear."
[10:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi's mother nods, getting up and going to the kitchen. A minute later, she comes back with a pie of some sort and vanilla ice cream. "Nothing too fancy," she says to Kenji.
[10:39] * Usagi-chan cranes her neck to get a better look at the pie. "What kind is it?"
[10:39] <Rei-chan> "Looks nice," Rei says, giving the dessert an appreciative look.
[10:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Apple," she nods, setting down and beginning to make plates of apple pie and ice cream. It's homemade pie, and tasty.
[10:40] * Usagi-chan appears to be approaching heaven as she demolishes her slice of pie. "Mmmmm.... Mom, I swear you make the best pies in the world."
[10:40] * Rei-chan nods. "It's really good," she enthuses, finishing a mouthful.
[10:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko takes the compliments, the meal soon over. As she takes the plates in, "What did you want to show us, Usagi-chan," Kenji asks, leaning back in his chair.
[10:42] <Usagi-chan> "Well, I told Mom already, but I don't know if she told you. I'm planning on going to college after I graduate from Mugen." Usagi nods.
[10:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Kenji blinks, but then grins. "That's wonderful, Usagi," he nods.
[10:44] * Usagi-chan smiles a little at that. "I'm not sure where I want to go yet, but I'm thinking about studying law or political science."
[10:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another blink. "Wow... that's...."
[10:46] * Usagi-chan blushes a little. "Yeah, I know... a year ago I probably would have completely freaked out at the idea."
[10:47] <Rei-chan> "It's been a busy year," Rei observes.
[10:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's a miracle," Kenji says, his face slack. "Usagi, in law school?"
[10:49] * Usagi-chan giggles a little at the expression on her father's face.
[10:49] <Rei-chan> "There's more," Rei puts in, turning to Usagi, "I think it's time we showed them."
[10:50] * Usagi-chan nods. "Shingoooo! Are you coming or not?" Usagi calls out. "You're gonna be mad if you miss this!"
[10:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> "What, are you going to show Mom and Dad your new job? I'd rather watch Gundam!" Shingo calls back quite loudly.
[10:53] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, I suppose giant robots in space are more exciting than what we have planned," Rei chuckles to herself.
[10:54] * Usagi-chan laughs out loud at that. "If only he knew." Remembering her parents' reaction the LAST time she transformed in front of them, she turns to address them. "You guys might want to close your eyes first."
[10:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko comes back in, having disposed of the dinner dishes. "What do you have in mind, Usagi?"
[10:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> A quick glance between them causes both your parents to shut their eyes.
[10:55] * Usagi-chan giggles as she transforms into Princess Serenity. 'You should change too, Rei-chan.'
[10:55] <Rei-chan> 'If you want,' Rei replies, willing her own Princess dress to replace her previous attire in a far less flashy display.
[10:56] <Serenity-hime> "Okay, you can look now. And stand close together." The princess smiles.
[10:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> They do so, both freaking a bit when they see your transformation.
[10:57] * Serenity-hime smiles. "It's still just me, Usagi. I just look a little different is all."
[10:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah..." Ikkuko says, but her voice says she doesn't quite believe it.
[10:59] <Rei-hime> "And I just changed my dress so I'm not outdone," Rei smirks at Serenity.
[11:00] * Serenity-hime takes her parents' hands gently. "Okay, now comes the really fun part." As Rei steps in close to her princess, Serenity begins the short chant that will teleport the group, aiming for her Lunar study.
[11:02] <Serenity-hime> The magic grows to encompass the four, and with a flash of light they vanish from the Tsukino home...
[11:02] <Serenity-hime> ----
[11:03] <Serenity-hime> Polished white marble is the order of the day in this room, making up the walls and floor. Two tall crystal bookcases stuffed with leatherbound books span one of the walls, and a large cherrywood desk dominates the center of the room, its top cluttered with blueprints and various other papers. A large, plush rolling chair is situated behind the desk, and visible past the desk is a large balcony overlooking rolling gray plains under the stars.
[11:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Your parents look around, their gaze soon to the plains and starry sky above. "This is the Moon," Kenji murmurs to himself, remembering all the photographs...
[11:16] * Serenity-hime grins. "Got it on the first guess, Daddy."
[11:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's beautiful," Ikkuko says, walking up to the window. "You never see stars like this in Tokyo."
[11:18] <Serenity-hime> "I know... I love looking at the stars when I'm up here." Usagi smiles, stepping up behind her parents.
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> They both continue on to the balcony, taking in the beautiful green Earth.
[11:20] * Rei-hime stands beside her Princess, smiling as the Tsukinos take in their surroundings.
[11:20] * Serenity-hime follows them out, leaning on the balcony's railing as she stares up at the cloudy blue orb overhead.
[11:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tearing his gaze from the Earth, "Is this what you really brought us up here for," Kenji asks. "The view is spectacular, but..."
[11:22] * Serenity-hime keeps her eyes on the planet in the sky. "This is what I'm going to do with my life, Daddy. I'm the queen of the Moon Kingdom, and I'm going to do everything I can to bring it to life again."
[11:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You're serious," he asks simply, not sure what to say beyond that.
[11:24] * Serenity-hime turns towards him, giving him a hesitant smile. "I really am."
[11:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Are you? This isn't another childish dream?" Ikkuko asks, not turning around. "Like how you wanted to become a idol singer, or a manga artist, or marry a nice boy and live happily ever after?"
[11:27] * Rei-hime gives Serenity a supportive smile, but lets her answer her parents herself.
[11:29] * Serenity-hime sighs. "This is a lot more serious, Mom. I have to face facts - I mean, I have a big glowing crescent moon in the middle of my forehead, just like all the other members of the Lunar royal family. I've heard time and time again about how I have responsibilities as the Princess and the Queen - and one of those is taking care of my kingdom."
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Picking up smoothly, "Usagi, your mother is just worried this is another whim of yours," he says reasonably. "If you do make a Kingdom here, you just can't pack up and quit one day."
[11:31] <Rei-hime> "She can't pack up and quit from being Sailor Moon, either," Rei points out. "Don't underestimate her."
[11:32] * Serenity-hime nods. "I know. This is something I'm going to have to spend my whole life on - I mean, I've already been working here for almost half a year, and that's just in repairing the palace. Even THAT'S only the beginning, and that's not even half done yet - although we've made a good start." She smiles over at Rei.
[11:32] <Serenity-hime> "I've got a lot of people to help me, and I really think we can make this work."
[11:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I guess..." Ikkuko murmurs, eyes still on Earth. "You're... growing up, aren't you?"
[11:33] * Serenity-hime nods quietly. "Yeah... I guess I am," she says softly.
[11:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> A momentary pause. "Then what? Live up here with Rei and leave Earth behind?"
[11:36] <Serenity-hime> "With Rei, and the other senshi, and anyone else that wants to help make the Moon live again - like the Professor and the other girls at Mugen. I'll never abandon the Earth, but I would live here, for the most part." Usagi replies.
[11:37] <Rei-hime> "When you can teleport like Usagi can, Earth isn't exactly far," Rei puts in.
[11:38] <Serenity-hime> "And the Professor has been working on a machine that will let anyone teleport to and from the Moon, too. If he gets that working, there won't be any reason why I couldn't come visit you, or you couldn't visit me." Usagi smiles over at her mother.
[11:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mugen is involved with this, too?" Kenji asks, interested. "I'd like to hear about that, Usagi."
[11:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> "So would I," Ikkuko turns, nodding to all of you. "You never really went into that, Usagi. If you're serious about this, I'd like to hear it."
[11:40] * Serenity-hime smiles. "Come on back inside then and sit down, we can talk about all of this." She beckons her parents back into her study.
[11:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> They do so, going back into the study. It's a touch chilly tonight on the Moon, you note.
[11:42] * Rei-hime follows Serenity, idly gesturing to the fireplace and igniting a decently burning fire to keep everyone warm.
[11:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Sitting down, they wait for Usagi to begin.
[11:45] * Serenity-hime takes a seat in the desk chair, leaving everyone else to find seats in the various well-stuffed chairs around the room. "The Professor and the Witches were all people I managed to purify as Sailor Moon. The Professor was possessed by a daimon named Germatou, who was basically trying to destroy the world." She grins wryly. "It's a little more complicated than that, but that's enough to explain the basics.
[11:45] <Serenity-hime> After he got purified, his daughter Hotaru was taken away by Germatou, and the senshi offered to help him find her - that's when all of us got our scholarships."
[11:46] <Rei-hime> "I was already at Mugen beforehand," Rei adds.
[11:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> They both nod, again waiting for Usagi to go on with the tale.
[11:48] * Serenity-hime nods. "Just before we found Hotaru, a couple of weeks ago, we managed to stop two people who'd been responsible for draining a lot of people's energy for a while - those were most of the attacks you heard about on the news. Anyway, we managed to purify them as well, and I brought them all - Alan and Ann and the people from Mugen - up here to see if they would be interested in helping me rebuild this place."
[11:48] <Serenity-hime> She smiles before continuing. "And I'm really happy to say that they all were."
[11:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You mean that new round of Juuban sickness," Kenji asks, "The one that was putting people into the hospital every few days? This 'Ann and Alan' were behind it?"
[11:51] <Rei-hime> "They thought they needed energy to sustain their Tree, which is what kept them alive, but in reality they were killing it," Rei tells them. "The tree was reborn thanks to Sailor Moon, and has been planted up here on the Moon."
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Tree," Ikkuko blinks. "Like a... tree-tree?"
[11:52] <Serenity-hime> "Well, a magical tree - but it looks just like a regular one, even if it's a bit small right now." Usagi nods.
[11:53] <Rei-hime> "It's a magic tree," Rei smiles. "They didn't even know it was self-aware until it was nearly too late. It's too young to talk now, though, it seems."
[11:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> "A magic tree?" Kenji shakes his head. "What have you girls gotten into again?"
[11:54] * Serenity-hime giggles. "Just the usual - saving Tokyo from whatever trouble it's in next."
[11:55] <Rei-hime> "We can show you it after Usagi finishes explaining things," Rei offers, "It's not exactly in the gardens, since we expect it to grow really big so it got planted out where it has lots of room."
[11:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Kenji nods, letting Usagi go on again.
[11:57] <Serenity-hime> "But anyway, we've been working on restoring parts of the palace for a few months now, and it's coming along pretty well - although it needs a LOT of cleaning, that's for sure." The princess makes a face. "It's a lot easier with so many people to help out, though."
[11:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "How much cleaning is it? Were things that badly ruined," Kenji asks.
[12:01] <Serenity-hime> "Some parts of it were.... my old bedchambers and the great hall were in really bad shape, and there are ceilings and walls down all over the palace. I can fix them, it just takes time. It's mainly a lot of work because the palace is so big though." Usagi explains.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> A lull as Usagi finishes up. "I wondered why you kept getting home from school late, or were never around any more on the weekends," Mom begins. "This is why?"
[12:04] * Serenity-hime nods. "This is why. A lot of those 'sleepovers' with Ami-chan were really spent up here too, getting various stuff finished up."
[12:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes," she nods, agreeing.
[12:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another silence. "Usagi... if you really are serious about this... good luck," Kenji smiles slightly.
[12:07] * Serenity-hime smiles. "Thanks, Daddy. I really want to make you proud of me."
[12:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Then... good luck," Ikkuko gives up, smiling at Usagi as well.
[12:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 4: Tellu's Lunar Garden through A Meal with the Dietman
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2006, 03:08:34 am »
[14:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another day of tutoring is done for Usagi. While it feels like her head is swimming with facts and information, she's starting to hold her own far better now, even in science.
[14:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> Plopping down at her desk and looking at her books and notes, however, gives Usagi just a sick feeling. Isn't that enough of it for the day?
[14:36] * Usagi-chan groans and shoves her papers to the edge of the desk, letting her head plop down on it.
[14:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi does so, her body almost falling asleep of its own will. Just as she drifts..."Usagi?" A familiar voice asks, stirring you from your brush with the slumber.
[14:37] <Usagi-chan> "...hmm?" Usagi mumbles drowsily.
[14:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> Blinking, you see Tellu, looking rather cute in her Mugen outfit. "Usagi," she asks again, her voice stirring you from restfulness.
[14:39] * Usagi-chan smiles sleepily. "Oh hey, Tellu. What's up?" She picks her head up off the desk, yawning a little.
[14:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Um...I just wanted to ask if you'd take me up to the Moon Gardens," she says quietly.
[14:40] * Usagi-chan smiles brightly. "Sure, no problem! Beats doing homework," she grouses, gesturing at the mess of papers on her desk.
[14:41] * Usagi-chan gets up from her seat, smiling as she concentrates on assuming the form of the Lunar princess.
[14:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> She smiles just a bit. "Thanks. I want to go see how the plants up there are doing."
[14:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> "They were lonely last time, and I promised I'd visit... and bring a few friends." On her desk are three potted plants, as well as some seeds.
[14:42] <Serenity-hime> "No problem. I've got a few things I can work on up there myself - as always." She makes a face, then giggles. "Okay, hold on!" Serenity quickly chants, and in a matter of moments the two find themselves in the center of the Lunar gardens, the Earth hanging low in the sky overhead.
[14:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Wasting no time, she takes the seeds and plants she took with her down to the garden, almost immediately going into the sparse plant population. She occasionly says things to the plants, little things here and there as she works.
[14:45] * Serenity-hime follows along behind the green-haired girl, smiling at Tellu's familiarity with the plants. "So how do they look? I'm almost amazed they've done so well - between the cold up here and my gardening skills, I'm surprised they made it past their first month." She giggles a little at that.
[14:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> As she gets the first packet of seeds, she smiles. "The soil is really good here, strong and full of nutrients," she explains. "They're doing well enough, but they need more attention and more friends."
[14:47] * Serenity-hime crouches down to look at some of the small seedlings. "I wish I could spend more time up here - with the plants and everything else. There's just so much to do... I know they're probably really glad to have you here, though. When it was just Ami and me, we barely had any time to take care of them at all."
[14:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu comes up to you, kneelign with you. "They're usually happy to just see you," she smiles. "Plants are like little children, they just want attention from us, mainly, or from other plants."
[14:52] * Serenity-hime smiles, admiring a small flower just getting ready to bloom. "I love seeing them too... they're so beautiful as they grow. I just wish I was able to take care of them better - I can't even manage a houseplant by myself, let alone a garden like this."
[14:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Just try and see them everyday for a minute," Tellu grins brightly, "Plants don't have overly high expectations, either."
[14:58] <Serenity-hime> "I think I can manage that much." Usagi grins. "I DO come up here almost every day these days... and I love visiting the garden, too." She sighs a bit. "It wouldn't hurt me to slow down a little and enjoy what we've all done so far."
[15:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> Taking a tiny hand shovel and beginning to tear open the ground, "How much have you done? I'm not familiar with the palace yet."
[15:05] * Serenity-hime smiles a bit. "Well, that's sort of my current project." Reaching out into subspace, Serenity withdraws a long, rolled-up sheaf of papers. "I was talking with Ami and she said it might be a good idea to take a look at what shape everything is in, so she made up these blueprints for me and I've been marking things off on it."
[15:07] * Serenity-hime finds a bare patch of ground, setting the blueprints down and unrolling them. On them is a layout of the palace; a fairly good chunk of it has been marked off in various colors - mainly red and yellow, with a few patches of green here and there. "The rooms in green are the ones that are completely done - the library, most of the residential quarters, my study, and the Great Hall.
[15:07] <Serenity-hime> The yellow rooms are ones that need to be cleaned up, but are still in pretty good shape, and the red ones are ones that need to have a lot of repairs done."
[15:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu reads over it, nodding to you when needed. "That looks like a lot of work," she remarks, thinking. "How much time would that take just, Rei, Ami and..." she pauses a moment, fishing for Jupiter's name, "...Makoto?"
[15:10] * Serenity-hime sighs. "Well, originally I was figuring it'd take me four or five years to finish everything completely - the palace is just huge. With the other senshi's help, I thought maybe three or four. With all of the Witches and the Professor, we might get it all done in as little as two." She beams at that.
[15:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Two years," she repeats, thinking. "Professor Tomoe and Eudial were talking about that the other day..." Tellu comments, thinking back. "About the Moon and the Palace and all of this."
[15:12] <Serenity-hime> "Really?" Serenity gives the green-haired botanist a curious look. "Mind if I get nosy and ask what they had to say?"
[15:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu hesitates, blushing. "Well... ah... I probably shouldn't talk about them behind their back," she slumps down a bit as she realises what running her mouth did.
[15:17] * Serenity-hime smiles. "That's okay, you don't have to say. I'm just curious what the others think about this place - I know I love the idea of bringing the Kingdom back, but then again I'm a little biased, too."
[15:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well... they are interested," she admits. "Professor Tomoe in particular."
[15:23] <Serenity-hime> "What about you? I can tell you like the garden a lot, but what about the whole thing?" Usagi asks.
[15:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu turns, gazing over the still mostly-barren garden. "A lot of plants could live here alone, let alone over the entire Moon," she speculates, interest high. "If that's going to happen, I'd love to be here and help out."
[15:32] <Serenity-hime> "I'd like that. There's just so much potential for this place - with plants and people and buildings and everything else that we could do." Serenity smiles, a faraway look in her eyes.
[15:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu nods, going back to digging and planting. "There's a lot of potential here," she agrees. "Quite a lot..."
[15:36] * Serenity-hime smiles over at Tellu. "I'm really glad you're here to help out, Tellu. It's awesome to have so many people that want to help out with it."
[15:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's your dream," she states simply. "You put so much energy into it."
[15:45] <Serenity-hime> "Well, of course! How could I do any less?" Serenity smiles. "Anyway, I'd better let you get back to your planting - you don't need me talking your leg off all day." With that, the princess rolls up her blueprints, giving the Tellu a final wave before heading inside the palace proper.
-------
Missing lead-up here? Alan brings Makoto up to visit the Tree of Life.
-------
[17:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[17:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Peering at the sapling intently, Alan finally speaks. "I think it's grown a bit since last week," he nods, mostly to himself. "It looks a bit taller."
[17:44] <Makoto> "It does, doesn't it?" Makoto asks. "Its leaves seem a bit shinier too, which is good."
[17:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Alan smiles. As you look at it, the minature shrine Rei set up sits there, paper charms aplenty around it, just off to the side of the tree. Is it bringing the Tree good luck and love, perhaps?
[17:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> Still inspecting the Tree, Alan goes on. "Did you want to visit the gardens as well, Makoto?" Alan glances up from the Tree a second to look at you, but his fine elven features are decidedly focused on the Tree right now.
[17:49] <Makoto> "Actually, yes. While I still want to ask the tree about a name other than 'Doom Tree', we'd need some way to talk with it first, so that can wait, I guess," Makoto replies.
[17:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Alan frowns a bit at that. "I've been trying to contact the Tree," he admits, "But... I don't think it's mature enough yet." His eyes stray to the tiny sapling again.
[17:56] <Makoto> "Well, you and Ann didn't really even know it could talk till a little while ago," Makoto says. "I wouldn't be surprised if it still took some time once it matured."
[17:56] <Makoto> "We'll just have to keep calling it 'The Tree' till you can, I suppose."
[17:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah," he agrees, looking at you again. "Anyhow, did you want to go to the garden?" he nods, extending his hand for you.
[17:57] * Makoto nods, taking his hand with a giggle. "Of course."
[17:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> Taking it, a few moments later you arrive in the middle of the garden. A small green-haired girl is working on a corner of it, her back to you and utterly absorbed in whatever she is doing.
[18:00] * Makoto blinks at that sight, recognizing her as one of the witches, though the name escapes her. Her brain scrunches up for a second before a tentative, "...Tellu?" comes from her lips as a weak greeting.
[18:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> The girl jumps a bit, a shower of seeds scattering out from her as she is startled. "Ah!" she half shouts, very high pitched as she whirls around.
[18:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sorry," Alan says, embarrassed. "You okay there?"
[18:04] * Makoto nods as she walks up to Tellu, her face red. "I'm so sorry for startling you."
[18:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> Not replying at first, she instead goes to her knees, picking up the fallen seeds. "It's alright, I just didn't hear you coming," she explains as she gathers the handful of seedling.
[18:06] * Makoto finally noticing the seeds, leans down on her knees and helps her pick up the seeds. "Yeah, I can imagine. Not many people visit the Moon after all, right?" she asks with a small grin.
[18:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> She agrees simply. "Yeah." Getting the last of them from Makoto, she stands and brushes off her overalls. "Makoto, isn't it? Alan? Nice to see you here... the plants like the company."
[18:09] * Makoto nods. "Yeah, plants seem to grow better with life around them. I should visit more often really."
[18:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> "They do," Alan nods approval at that. "I'd like to spend more time up here with the Tree, but the Earth is so... busy," he remarks, smiling just a bit at Makoto.
[18:10] * Makoto blushes a bit, both from his smile and his comment. "...Yeah."
[18:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It can be hard with school and with studying and with my greenhouse alone...I wish I came more often, too," Tellu confesses to you.
[18:15] <Makoto> "Oh! That's right, I'd been meaning to ask," Makoto starts to say, getting a bit excited. "Could I visit your greenhouse one of these days? I only really got a peek from outside, but I thought I saw some really exotic plants and..."
[18:15] * Makoto trails off, blushing. "Sorry, plants are a bit of a hobby for me."
[18:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu's face lights up in a smile. "Sure, I'd love that. I could show you around... and Alan, too, if he wants to come," she says hopefully. "There are a lot of visitors from the school, but a few more couldn't hurt."
[18:16] * Makoto smiles. "Thank you."
[18:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It sounds like fun," Alan agrees. "I'll have to change back, though," he notes, glancing at his green skinned hand.
[18:20] <Makoto> "So, you're planting some seeds? What sorts of plants were you looking into adding to the garden?" Makoto asks curiously, remembering the seeds.
[18:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes. White roses, sapphire lillies, decorative plants like that," Tellu nods. "As well as a few trees to grow tall over time."
[18:26] <Makoto> "Oh, that's nice. I can think of a few other plants that might look nice, but Usagi should be thrilled with lilies in the garden," Makoto adds with a smile.
[18:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu giggles at that. "That doesn't sound very complimentary, Makoto," she laughs, while Alan looks on blankly, the reference over his head.
[18:32] <Makoto> "Really? I would imagine she'd love to share the lilies with Rei once they bloom," Makoto says with an innocent smile, loving Alan's blank look. He was so cute whenever he looked confused.
[18:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu blinks, then a furious blush explodes across her face, giggles accompaning it. "Rei likes to smell the lilies with Usagi? I thought it was Eudial and Rei who liked lillies."
[18:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Huh?" Alan murmurs, completely lost. "What about lilies?"
[18:38] <Makoto> It's Makoto's turn to blink, as she tries to mentally picture that. A light blush covers her cheeks as she successfully imagines it. "Well, I suppose I could see that, now that you've mentioned it..."
[18:38] <Makoto> "Nothing, dear!" Makoto says cheerfully in reply to Alan's question. "Just some girl talk."
[18:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay..." Alan says, scratching his head and staying in silent befuddlement.
[18:39] * Makoto giggles and kisses him in the cheek. "I'll explain later," she adds in a whisper as her lips pass near his ear.
[18:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well, Eudial and Rei always seemed really close, even back before we met the rest of you... but so do Rei and Usagi, now..." Tellu, still blushing, speculates.
[18:41] <Makoto> "Perhaps they'd be willing to all share the lilies together? Hmmm..." Makoto mouths as she starts pondering with what could be a slightly disturbing smile.
[18:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Guh..." Tellu gasps at that, her face face and neck almost glowing red. "You mean all three are... that kind of lily lovers?"
[18:43] <Makoto> "Not yeeeeeet," Makoto drawls out.
[18:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> "But are they," she stammers out. "I mean... all three of them? That's alot of lily to be sniffed." she fumbles with the catchphrase as well.
[18:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> At this point, Alan wanders away, lost by the conversation, to inspect the rest of the garden. He doesn't think he'll miss anything... that makes sense to him, anyhow.
[18:48] * Makoto briefly ponders going after Alan... but finds she hasn't had a good deal of girl gossip to play with since the others left for Mugen.
[18:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Just... all of them... Eudial does like to spend time with Rei, and Rei spends time with Usagi, right," she mutters to herself, mentally wrangling this issue.
[18:49] <Makoto> "So you really thought Eudial and Rei were together? I mean, I can picture it happening now, but wow."
[18:50] * Makoto pauses before shaking her head. "Nah, as interesting as it'd be, I can't picture Eudial and Usagi."
[18:50] * Makoto sighs before grinning again. "Ah well, it was still a funny mental image."
[19:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You mean none of them are lesbians," she asks outright, now that Alan is gone, still pink cheeked.
[19:06] <Makoto> "Well, Usagi and Rei are, actually. I dunno about Eudial," Makoto says sheepishly.
[19:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh," she says eloquently, her mind groping with all this. "As in, Rei and Usagi are lovers?" she asks in a small, now confused voice.
[19:10] <Makoto> "Uhm, yep..." Makoto says. "You... don't have a problem with that sort of thing, do you?"
[19:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu just shakes her head. "I think I'm going to go back to my plants," she murmurs. "They're a lot more straightforward..."
[19:11] * Makoto grins. "They are, aren't they?" she replies, glad that Tellu is mostly just shell-shocked, and not disturbed in a bad sense.
[19:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, still rather aback at the entire conversation, leaving you to go tend to the garden you share with her.
[19:16] * Makoto follows Tellu, as she starts tending to the garden. After a little while, she notes that Tellu wasn't kidding about going back to her plants, and tries to bring her out again. Tapping on her shoulder she says, "C'mon, I'll help you." with a pleasant smile.
[19:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hm? If you want to..." she says, paying more attention to the seed she's planting than to you.
[19:19] * Makoto gives a small mental sigh, but does just that, helping to dig a hole carefully for the next plants, and helping quietly for a while in the hopes that she starts talking on her own.
[19:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu seems completely engrossed with the plants, her few words to the seeds as she plants them. She feels distant, as if she barely realises you exist right now.
[19:26] * Makoto sighs, noticing this wasn't working, and really wishing there was some way for the two of them to connect. "So... when would it be okay for Alan and me to visit you at your greenhouse?" Makoto asks after a bit.
[19:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure," she says as she plants another single seed, patting the ground lovingly where she just buried it. "I'm there most days after school..." she adds after, as an afterthought.
[19:28] <Makoto> "Really?" Makoto asks, as gears start churning in her head. "I would have thought a pretty girl like you would have a boyfriend to distract you from time to time."
[19:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> She shakes her head as she begins to dig for the next seed. "No," she confirms.
[19:31] <Makoto> "Hmm... I'll have to ask Alan if he knows anybody," Makoto muses.
[19:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You don't have to bother," she says quietly. "I like spending my time with my plants..."
[19:34] * Makoto shakes her head. "I like spending time with plants too. But people have their own charm. It's nice to spend time with both."
[19:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "I do that all day at school... after class, all I want to do is to spend time at my greenhouse or at the garden here."
[19:36] <Makoto> "It's not quite the same," Makoto notes with some amusement. "Are you really talking with them like you talk with your plants during school?"
[19:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Not quite," she shrugs, as she plants another seed. "I just like plants..." She does finally look up from her work at you. "I'll show you when you come to my greenhouse, alright?"
[19:40] * Makoto sighs. "Alright." 'Maybe I'll just show you later what it's like to talk with humans more,' she thinks with hope.
[19:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods with confirmation, then goes back to her work... to be fair, the garden has started to look better already...
[10:24] <Rei-chan> --------
[10:29] <Ana-work> April 17th, Rei's birthday... Over breakfast, Gramps gives you some news - your father called, and wants to meet you for an early lunch today. A driver will be over at 11:30 AM to pick you up.
[10:32] * Rei-chan gets herself ready for the appointed time, wearing the white dress she received for her birthday last year from her father, even though she later learned it came from his assistant.
[10:33] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> Thus presented, the car arrives at the bottom of the Shrine right on time, a formal, middle aged driver to get you. It's a nice black car, although obviously for government work.
[10:36] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> The driver, once quickly confirming you are indeed Rei Hino, drives you to the restaurant without further comment. It's an upscale French establishment in the high rent district of Tokyo; at least he's shelling out for this.
[10:37] * Rei-chan isn't impressed as she exits the car, being used to seeing her father once a year at a place like this. She heads into the restaurant.
[10:40] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> Entering, you are ushered into an enclosed side area of the restaurant, the entire thing in pastels with stylish tables. There are a few tables here, one holding two quiet men discreetly, and at the other sits your father, Dietman Hino. His hands are folded as he waits, his moustache and hair lined now with silvery gray.
[10:41] * Rei-chan approaches her father's table and offers him a smile, though not an especially bright one. "Good morning, Father."
[10:42] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Good morning, Rei," he replies, his voice businesslike. "You look well today." As you sit, you notice no menu, but there is already a glass of water waiting for you.
[10:43] <Rei-chan> "Thank you," Rei responds, sitting down and taking a sip of her water. "It's nice to see you again, after you couldn't make it last year," she observes, her voice faintly accusing.
[10:44] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "My apologies, but my work was demanding," he defers, not sounding apologetic, really. "Happy birthday, Rei," he goes on, not smiling. "You have had a busy year."
[10:46] <Rei-chan> "I've made a lot of friends this year," Rei nods, inwardly wondering what the hell he knows about her being busy, since he never even takes the time to so much as phone her. "I'm happier than I've been in a long while."
[10:46] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He snorts. "You have also brought great shame on this family name doing so," he says bluntly, not at all happy with you. Oh no, not at all. "Being expelled from school, no less!"
[10:48] * Rei-chan frowns. "I've accepted my responsibility for what happened at T*A. And I've managed to get into an even better school through my own hard work."
[10:50] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He frowns, his stern, stiff mask not budging. "Mugen Academy, Souichi Tomoe's school? I don't care about that right now," he says, brushing away your accomplishment. "I took the time to talk to the headmaster of T*A, Rei." A hint of annoyance now flickers across his face, a slight twitch. The way this is going, you can see why this is taking place in a private room. "A lesbian troublemaking witch," he spits out. "is what he called you."
[10:51] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He glares at you directly. "I hope you have not brought further shame to our name and that these are merely just slanders."
[10:55] * Rei-chan now looks genuinely annoyed. "I've been putting up with that sort of slander and rumourmongering ever since I started at T*A - although it was just confined to the other students up until my unfortunate expulsion. Personally, I don't care what any of those idiots say about me, because they aren't a part of my life." She matches her father's glare, thinking of the fact that he isn't much part of her life himself.
[10:57] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Hmph." With a gesture, he motions one of the two men over to him, the suit-clad helper handing him a few photographs which he puts in his lap, out of view. "Are they true, Rei," he pushes again, coldly. "You and this Minako Aino girl," his eyes narrow down into slits - he's not happy at all.
[10:59] * Rei-chan groans, REALLY not happy to have this dredged up again. "Minako was a mistake," she says coldly, "One that has been rectified." She leans forward a bit, "And I really don't appreciate being spied upon."
[11:02] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He pauses a moment, letting that go for now. As that happens, an almost silent waiter delivers two appetizers, some sort of bread with a fruity spread. "Spying or not, you have much to answer for," he goes on. "Mugen, you said?" He takes one of the photographs out, a grainy picture of you and Eudial, as Eudial fired her Flame Buster at Racy. It shows both of you in full Witch uniform. "What other mistakes have you made?"
[11:04] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Explain this, now!" He finishes in an angry half-shout. "At the scene of a monster attack, no less, dressed like that! Gallivanting around like some loose heroine who can't even manage enough clothes to stay honorable!"
[11:08] * Rei-chan winces, blushing a bit, too. 'Shit, shit, shit, shit!' she thinks a litany of curses in her head. "We killed the monster, didn't we?" she offers lamely, "What does it matter how I dress?"
[11:09] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He doesn't even diginify that last line with a direct comment. "Answers, Rei," he says again. "We WILL have an accounting for all you have done, right now."
[11:12] * Rei-chan frowns, crossing her arms. "You do recall that I live at a Shrine? And have trained as a miko ever since you left me there?" she asks pointedly. "These abominations," she gestures at the picture of Racy, "go against the natural order it is my duty to protect."
[11:15] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He snorts again, his face still coldly stern and demanding. "Be that as it may," he dismisses it for the moment. He idly puts a second picture on the table, one of Cyprine and Ptilol extracting a Heart Crystal from a poor man. The next picture is of one of the two in Mugen uniforms, also put in the center of the table. "I want to know what Souichi Tomoe is doing, now." he grinds out. "And what devilry you've buried yourself in."
[11:19] <Rei-chan> "Shortly after I transferred to Mugen, I became aware of the dark presence there," Rei answers tightly, "Several students and members of faculty were possessed by daimons. However, the school was exorcised last month." Rei frowns at her father, "I have to wonder why you waited until today to declare your interest in these matters."
[11:25] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Purified it?" he says, amused darkly. "My interest in it has gone up lately, Rei, because we believe Mugen was resposible for the latest round of attacks on Juuban. Arrest everyone concerned," he even gestures at you, "and publically declare an end to the Juuban sickness."
[11:29] <Rei-chan> "Are you insane?" Rei gasps, "And what will you do when the attacks resume?" She gives her father a very angry look, "I won't let myself or my friends be used as scapegoats for your political maneuvering."
[11:30] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Will they resume, Rei," he asks intently. "And you admit to being party to all this."
[11:32] <Rei-chan> "Locking up people from my school sure won't have any effect on the attacks," Rei answers tersely.
[11:35] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Really, Rei? And how would you know that?" Dietman Hino frowns at you fiercely. "This is your chance to save yourself and your friends, Rei," he softens just a bit, a tiny hint of compassion now coming through. "If nothing comes of this meeting, there will likely be action taken."
[11:36] * Rei-chan gives a significant look at the two minders, before giving her father a penetrating look, trying to guage his sincerity. "You're asking me to show a lot of trust in you, Father."
[11:37] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He sends it right back to you, his eyes showing very little. "Trust in me...or trust in the government that's nearly gone frantic looking for a scapegoat for the attacks."
[11:39] <Rei-chan> "Depending on what I tell you, can you really direct the government away from me and my friends, or will you just use that information to leverage your own position when the hammer falls?"
[11:41] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He grunts. "Rei, I'm the chair of the committee looking into this. Everyone on it is howling for blood to save their political seats."
[11:45] * Rei-chan doesn't look too pleased to hear that. "I can at least tell you right now that the attacks have finished - I'm sure you're aware there haven't been any since the end of last month. Any new attacks would have to come from a different source. Which isn't too unlikely, given that the recent attacks had nothing to do with the attacks of last year."
[11:48] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He pauses as he thinks about it, taking a moment to bite into his appetizer and have a sip of water. "I see. Then, how do you know all this, Rei? Was Mugen connected to the previous attacks?"
[11:50] * Rei-chan points to the picture of Cyprine and Ptliol. "Half of them," she sighs, "The ones involving creatures like that," she gestures to the Racy photograph, "had nothing to do with Mugen, although the two groups would fight whenever they encountered each other."
[11:52] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He is quiet again for a bit, his food seemingly more interesting at the moment than you. "And what of the Sailor Senshi? Are they this other group you fought against, another threat to Japan?"
[11:55] <Rei-chan> "As far as I know the Sailor Senshi are of no threat to anyone," Rei frowns, "They've been fighting monster attacks since last year, haven't they? And I know they've been fighting those monsters," she points at the Racy picture again, "Since there was even an attack at Hikawa Shrine. I've never heard anything about them hurting people, nor have I fought against them.," Rei explains, her food untouched.
[12:00] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He pauses again. "Is that all you have to say, Rei," he asks, firmly.
[12:02] <Rei-chan> "I've already told you a great deal," Rei points out. "And so far I have nothing to show for trusting you this much."
[12:04] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, surprinsingly. "I've protected you already for a long time, Rei," he says, again staring at you, an unspoken accusation in his eyes. "Do you want to see the last picture, Rei?"
[12:05] * Rei-chan looks at him for a moment before comprehension settles in. "I think I know what it shows." She sighs, "How long have you known, and who else knows?"
[12:07] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Just myself, and one lucky government part-time photographist who has been paid very well for his silence," he nods. "I've known for a few months now, and I haven't let it leak."
[12:09] * Rei-chan glances at the two minders, before eyeing her father. "If we continue this conversation, I need to be absolutely certain it won't travel any further."
[12:10] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He nods to them after that, the two walking out without further comment. "Well?" he asks, waiting for you to go on.
[12:12] <Rei-chan> "Yes," Rei nods, "Fighting monsters and such isn't just my duty as a miko, it's my duty as Sailor Mars. After I got caught up in events at Mugen, the senshi dealt with the daimons that were possessing people there. Then with some assistance from the formerly brainwashed people at Mugen, we dealt with the ones behind the monster attacks. They aren't a threat to anyone, any longer."
[12:13] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, taking it at face value for now. "Tell me about Mugen and the Sailor Senshi," he goes on instead, a order instead of a request.
[12:17] <Rei-chan> "Okay," Rei begins carefully, "I've been a Sailor Senshi for just under a year myself. Some of us have been around a little bit longer, others are more recent. We use our magical powers to protect people against these kinds of monster attacks, and the rest of the time we're basically normal girls." She frowns, "We try to keep our identities secret so we can lead ordinary lives, but obviously I wasn't doing a good job..."
[12:22] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He nods again. "And what of the girls from Mugen? Are they Sailors as well?"
[12:25] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei shakes her head. "They're girls with some magical or psychic abilities that were 'recruited' by the daimon running the operation there. It recruited me as well, although it didn't know I was Sailor Mars. After I threw off the mental control it had over me, I got the Sailor Senshi involved. We purified the girls and the Professor, but the daimon escaped. We caught up with it a few weeks later, though, and dealt with it."
[12:26] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He nods a third time. "Tomoe himself was involved in it? How deeply was the school compromised?"
[12:28] <Rei-chan> "The general student body and faculty had no idea what was going on. They kept their activities secretive, and as far as the rest of the school knew, they were just the Professor's research assistants," Rei answers.
[12:29] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He's quiet again, his brain searching over all this information. "And with this, you are sure the attacks are over," he asks while his mind works furiously.
[12:31] * Rei-chan sighs. "I doubt they're over for good - the two recent threats have been thoroughly neutralised, but we also eliminated those responsible for all the attacks last year. I can hope that no other threats will appear, but hope is all I have. If something does come up, we'll deal with it as best we can, as we have in the past."
[12:32] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He is silent after that, putting his head in his hands for a goodly while as he turns it all over and over and over...
[12:32] * Rei-chan stays quiet, letting her father assimilate all the information she's given.
[12:33] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> Finally, after what was one of the longer minutes in your life, "We both should be safe, I think," he says, looking up. A relief is evident in his eyes now, a long held worry starting to resolve.
[12:34] * Rei-chan smiles a bit. "I'm glad. And I'll try to be more careful about being seen in the future if I do have cause to fight again."
[12:37] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes," he agrees tiredly. "If this gets out, ever, my political career is finished, and you may be in grave danger."
[12:40] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei agrees, "I can imagine a lot of people would want to try and bring the sailor senshi under their control..." she looks over at her father, "Actually, that's a thought. If Professor Tomoe was able to gather a group of magically talented people like he did, does the government have any projects running along similar lines?"
[12:42] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes, there have been several plans to capture the Sailor Senshi and use or control them," he agrees, "Or even to dissect them and analyse how they do what they do." He sighs again, tension still pouring off of him. "There was an effort that gathered three people, but it met with complete failure on the battlefield."
[12:43] <Rei-chan> "Ugh..." Rei makes a face at the thought of being dissected. "I certainly don't want that to happen. What happened with those three people you gathered?"
[12:48] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Killed," he says flatly, "On their first attempt to battle a creature. It was labeled a lost cause after that, and abandoned for the time being."
[12:50] * Rei-chan winces. "Those poor people... when did this happen?" she asks, wondering how it fits in with the senshi's many battles.
[12:51] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Last summer," he explains. "There was an attack detected, and they went to try and stop it. They failed."
[12:52] <Rei-chan> "I had no idea..." Rei shakes her head, "I thought no one had actually been killed by a monster until that attack on the waterpark back in October..."
[12:55] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "There have been a few deaths in our attempts to combat the menaces," he confirms. "We have had almost zero luck using conventional force, and little more using other means."
[12:56] * Rei-chan nods sadly. "Well, at least things will be peaceful for the time being... hopefully a long time to come."
[12:57] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes..." A silence settles over things now, finally, your father's thoughts consuming him.
[13:02] * Rei-chan lets the silence stretch for a few moments before speaking. "Father," she begins hesitantly, "I know I've made mistakes - the Minako thing, and getting brainwashed at Mugen. But I really do try hard to do the right thing. I don't want you to think I'm a disgrace," she says, looking a little embarrassed and vulnerable.
[13:06] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He sighs deeply. "You have brought a good deal of public dishonor on our family," he comments quietly. "But you've also brought much private honor to our name with your actions as Sailor Mars." He doesn't say anything else on it, instead going back to his own thoughts.
[13:09] * Rei-chan actually smiles, that being about the highest praise he's ever given her. "Thank you, Father," she says, standing up and leaning over the table so she can kiss him on the cheek. "Now," she says as she sits back down, "Let's enjoy our one meal of the year together, shall we?"
[13:09] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> He smiles back for a moment, the nods. He gets up and exits a moment, a minute later your meal coming in... it's eaten in relative silence now, but not a heavy one.
[13:11] * Rei-chan enjoys her meal, appreciating time spent with her father not filled with recriminations and anger.
[13:11] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> After you finish eating, he leans back again, still thoughtful. "Rei, you can go now," he comments, still distracted by his thoughts more than anything else.
[13:12] * Rei-chan stands up. "I'll see you next year, Father," she says, suppressing a sigh at his dismissal.
[13:13] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> "Rei," he stops you with his voice before you can start walking.
[13:13] <Rei-chan> "Yes?" Rei looks at him quizzically.
[13:14] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> A second of long lost conflict passes of his face, almost a phantom. "Please, be careful out there. While I think you won't have any problems from the government, now, it's not impossible that a lone individual or group might take interest in the Sailor Senshi."
[13:15] * Rei-chan gives a small smile as she nods. "I understand. We'll be careful." She ducks her head a bit, "And thanks," she adds, before turning and leaving.
[13:15] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> Exiting, you find the driver from before waiting for you, to whisk you back to your life at the Shrine...
[13:20] <Eternal_Sailor_Anastasia> A short drive later, Rei is dropped off at her Shrine, her reality again separated from her father's.
[13:21] <Rei-chan> 'Guess I'll have to talk to everyone about this... later...' Rei thinks to herself, her current plans involving nothing more strenuous than sitting in her room and reading manga. Walking up the stairs, the miko heads right for her bedroom to do just that.
[13:22] * Usagi-chan is sprawled out across Rei's bed, looking at the door as Rei comes in. "Rei-chan, you're back!" She smiles, giving her love a smile. "How did it go?"
[13:24] <Rei-chan> "Usagi?" Rei blinks, surprised. "Uh, actually I was just thinking that I needed to talk to you about something..."
[13:25] <Usagi-chan> "Gramps let me in... I was coming to see if you wanted to go out for your birthday, but he told me you were having lunch with your father." Usagi gives the miko a concerned look. "Did everything go okay? You don't look so good."
[13:26] <Rei-chan> "Uh... it wasn't too bad..." Rei looks puzzled. "How'd you know it's my birthday?"
[13:26] * Usagi-chan grins. "I have my ways...."
[13:27] <Rei-chan> "Right," Rei sighs, sitting on her desk chair. "Anyway, I sure had an interesting chat with Father today, and that's what I needed to talk to you about. Everyone else, too, really..."
[13:28] <Usagi-chan> Seeing the expression on Rei's face, Usagi gets off the bed and walks over to the chair, starting to rub the miko's shoulders. "What happened?" she asks quietly. "You don't look happy about it, whatever it was."
[13:30] * Rei-chan snorts. "Father's the chair of the government committee looking into 'Juuban sickness' and all the monster attacks."
[13:37] <Rei-chan> "He's known about me being Sailor Mars for a couple of months, and he knows about what was happening at Mugen when the Deathbusters were in charge," Rei continues, sighing. "Although I had to fill in a lot of the blanks in what he knows to convince him Mugen isn't a threat to anyone any longer - he said we could all be arrested based on what he already knew."
[13:39] * Usagi-chan stops at that, her hands resting on Rei's shoulders. "Arrested?"
[13:40] <Rei-chan> "The Deathbusters WERE going around attacking people for their heart crystals," Rei points out, "He showed me a picture of Cyprine and Ptliol in the middle of a heart snatch."
[13:42] <Usagi-chan> "But they weren't responsible for that, Germatou was - and he's already paid for that. What point would there be in arresting any of them now? It's not going to stop any attacks, because there AREN'T any anymore."
[13:44] <Rei-chan> "The government needs a scapegoat so they can convince people that they're dealing with the problem," Rei explains. "I convinced Father that the Sailor Senshi had dealt with the current threats, though, and that Mugen wasn't a problem anymore. He says we should be safe from government interference, and he'll protect my identity as Sailor Mars." Rei tilts her head to look at Usagi, "But if he could learn all that he did, others might as well."
[13:48] * Usagi-chan looks thoughtful for a moment, then leans down to kiss Rei lightly on the lips. "Then we'll plan for if that happens. If he says we're safe for now, then we'll have time to plan if someone else finds out about us." She resumes her massage. "We'll manage, no matter what happens."
[13:49] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, relaxing into the massage. "We'll just have to be careful, and if something does come up, we'll deal with it like we have everything else." She sighs comfortably under the blonde's ministrations.
[13:51] <Usagi-chan> "But today, we're NOT going to worry about it." Usagi smiles. "This is your birthday - you should be having a good time, not worrying about senshi stuff."
[13:52] <Rei-chan> "I guess..." Rei replies, "I was just going to relax today..." she smiles, her eyes closed, "And you're helping a good deal with that."
[13:54] <Usagi-chan> "Well I'm more than happy to help. Today is your special day, Rei-chan." She leans down and plants a light kiss on the miko's neck, then continues her shoulder rub.
[13:55] <Rei-chan> "Mhmmm... you're too good to me," Rei says quietly, the tenseness vanishing from her muscles.
[13:56] <Usagi-chan> "I know..." Usagi giggles a little. "But I like being too good to you, it's a lot of fun."
[13:59] <Rei-chan> "Well, if we're going to continue like this, I don't think we should stay in the Shrine," Rei murmurs happily.
[13:59] * Usagi-chan grins. "I wasn't planning anything QUITE that strenuous for right now... but if you want to relax, I could give you a backrub."
[14:01] <Rei-chan> "Aww," Rei pouts. "Well, I guess a backrub would be pretty nice, too." She stands up and goes to lie down on the bed, resting her chin on her forearms.
[14:03] * Usagi-chan goes and sits down on the edge of the bed next to Rei, unzipping the back of her dress. "First we have to get this out of the way."
[14:05] * Rei-chan sits up. "I can oblige that," she grins, quickly shucking out of her dress and tossing it over the back of her chair. "Anything else that needs to get out of the way?" the underwear-clad girl gives Usagi a suggestive look.
[14:06] * Usagi-chan giggles, blushing a bit. "Just your bra... but I can take care of that after you lay down."
[14:08] <Rei-chan> "Sure," Rei smiles, making more of a production out of lying down this time, brushing her thigh against Usagi's side as she gets into position.
[14:09] * Usagi-chan giggles as she figures out what Rei's up to. She gives the miko a swat on her nearly-bare rear end as she lays on the bed. "You're terrible, Pyro." Letting her fingers trail down Rei's back to the clasp of her bra, she unhooks it and moves the straps to the sides.
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 5: Surprise, Rei-chan!
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2006, 03:41:53 am »
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My connection used to fail so much... ;_; Nothing to see here, move along. Rei just gets a very nice and relaxing backrub from Usagi, then the two head out for a walk.
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[16:41] * Usagi-chan leads the way into Juuban Park. She certainly wasn't exaggerating; it's a beautiful, warm spring day, and the flowers in the park are a riot of colors. "As much as I like having you all to myself, I still like having a chance to show off my beautiful girlfriend." Usagi winks at Rei.
[16:43] <Rei-chan> "Of course," Rei nods amiably, "What's the point in having something great if you can't show everyone else that they can't have it?" She looks serious for a moment then giggles.
[16:44] * Usagi-chan clamps onto Rei's arm. "I'd better keep a really tight hold on you then... I mean, you could have a dozen jealous suitors come and try to steal you away from me!"
[16:47] <Rei-chan> "Don't worry," Rei smiles, enjoying the feel of Usagi wrapping herself around her arm, "I'll stay true to my Princess," she gives the blonde a warm look.
[16:50] <Usagi-chan> "Sweet talker." Usagi grins. "You just want to get me at your mercy, don't you?"
[16:52] <Rei-chan> "You're so cute when you beg, you know that?" Rei replies with a slightly lecherous look.
[16:53] <Usagi-chan> "Oh, so it's ME now, huh?" Usagi gives Rei an incredulous grin.
[16:54] <Rei-chan> "I'm just saying, is all," Rei replies lightly, "Having you at my mercy is fun. But I sure don't mind when the tables get turned, either."
[16:56] * Usagi-chan giggles. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind." She separates from Rei a little, moving out to simply hold her hand once again. "How would you feel about dinner tonight?"
[16:57] <Rei-chan> "Have something in mind?" Rei asks.
[16:58] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Yeah... I was thinking about taking you to Cool River." The restaurant in question is an American-style steakhouse; Rei's never been, but it's rumored that the food is absolutely DIVINE - and priced to match.
[17:00] <Rei-chan> "Cool River?" Rei looks askance at Usagi, "Can you afford that?"
[17:01] * Usagi-chan smiles. "I've been saving up for a while. So do you want to go?"
[17:03] <Rei-chan> "I'd be honoured," Rei smiles back. Even if she'd rather not have Usagi go to this trouble for her, she gets the feeling that talking her out of it would be impossible.
[17:04] * Usagi-chan smiles brightly. "Good, then I won't have to cancel the reservations."
[17:06] <Usagi-chan> With that, the two wander out of the park and into the business district of Juuban, Usagi still attached to Rei's hand. The pair draws a few curious looks from the various shoppers in the area, but for the most part their progress is unimpeded.
[17:08] * Usagi-chan follows a meandering course, window shopping at a few points and pointing out particularly good bargains or to-die-for outfits to Rei. Eventually, though, the two find themselves in front of the karaoke parlor often frequented by the Witches - seeming rather quiet for a Satuday afternoon, though.
[10:12] <Anastasia> It is indeed quiet for the day, almost unusually so. No one is even loitering around outside.
[10:14] * Rei-chan looks around, noting how quiet the place is and assuming it's closed today. "Did you want to go do karaoke or something, Usagi?" she asks her companion.
[10:14] <Usagi-chan> "Sure, why not?" Usagi smiles. "I didn't have any other plans for the afternoon." So saying, she pushes open the door to the quiet karaoke parlor.
[10:15] * Rei-chan blinks as the door opens. "Place looks closed..." she mutters, following the blonde.
[10:15] * Usagi-chan shrugs. "The door's open... just must be a slow day."
[10:15] <Anastasia> Inside, only a very few people are in the arcade, almost empty. The dance floor is quiet now.
[10:16] <Rei-chan> "Guess so..." Rei shrugs herself.
[10:16] * Usagi-chan shields her thoughts from the miko. 'Whenever you're ready, guys!'
[10:19] <Makoto> 'Ready Usagi,' Makoto thinks back with a quiet giggle. 'Just bring in the birthday girl.'
[10:20] <Usagi-chan> 'She's in and wondering what's going on. Spring it!' Usagi sends back.
[10:25] <Anastasia> Suddenly, from the side, covered by a few old arcade machines..."SURPRISE!" A shout rings out, several Sailors, Witches and a few others coming out in one chorus!
[10:27] * Usagi-chan joins in with a wide grin, stepping back a pace from Rei.
[10:27] <Rei-chan> "Aah!" Rei nearly jumps, putting a hand over her chest as she looks around. "You guys..." she smiles, seeing all her friends.
[10:28] <Usagi-chan> "Happy birthday, Rei-chan!" Usagi has a broad grin on her face.
[10:28] <Anastasia> Makoto, Ami, Ann, Alan, Eudial, Tellu, Viluy, the Twins, Hotaru... all are there and waiting for you. "Happy birthday, Rei," Eudial calls, supported by a few others. "Happy birthday, Rei-chan," Hotaru waves to you.
[10:30] <Rei-chan> "Aww, you guys didn't have to do this for me," Rei says, belied by her wide smile at seeing everyone here for her.
[10:30] <Prince_Herb> "Many happy returns, Rei-hime!" Herb says.
[10:30] <Makoto> "Sure we did!" Makoto says cheerfully. "The look on your face was cute, birthday girl!"
[10:31] <Anastasia> "Besides, it's an chance for all of us to get out of that dusty basement and have some fun," Eudial nods to Makoto.
[10:31] <Haruka> "The smile on your face does says otherwise, Rei," Haruka says in agreement to Makoto.
[10:31] * Usagi-chan giggles. "Darn right! And I can't think of a better excuse to have a party."
[10:32] <Anastasia> "Or to spend all day in an arcade," Viluy agrees even stronger.
[10:34] <Rei-chan> "Thanks, everyone," Rei says sincerely, bowing deeply. "This is the first time I've ever had an actual birthday party."
[10:34] * Ami-chan smiles. "Then it's long past due." she says warmly.
[10:35] <Anastasia> "Then you need to have your birthday cake, Rei-chan," Hotaru says, smiling shyly. "It's in the karaoke room, isn't it?"
[10:36] * Usagi-chan nods. "Should be. Come on, let's go get some of it!"
[10:36] <Rei-chan> "Cake?" Rei perks up, "I hope there's enough for everyone," she shakes her head, smiling, "I still can't believe you're all doing this for me..."
[10:37] <Usagi-chan> "Believe it." Usagi smirks. "And wait till you see this cake, Rei-chan - it's HUGE. Mako-chan really outdid herself on this one."
[10:37] * Makoto blushes. "Well it was made for a special friend," Makoto says with a proud smile.
[10:39] <Rei-chan> "Thanks, Mako-chan," Rei smiles gratefully at the brunette.
[10:42] <Anastasia> "Let's go, then," Eudial says, the group moving into one of the karaoke rooms. A table has been set up there, a very large, very chocolate cake, enough to feed at least 20. It's designed like a temple, down to icing designs and two ravens...
[10:42] <Rei-chan> "Wow!" Rei gasps, "You really did go all out on that, Mako-chan," she grins at her friend, "Thanks so much."
[10:46] * Usagi-chan pouts. "She wouldn't let me into her kitchen while she was working on it."
[10:47] * Makoto grins. "Well, we'd want a proud looking temple, not one that was in ruins," Makoto jokes.
[10:47] <Rei-chan> "But don't you think it's worth the wait?" Rei asks, still transfixed by the massive cake, before giggling at Makoto's words. "I don't know, that would fit the temple after some of our fights there..."
[10:48] * Usagi-chan laughs at that herself. "Well, it looks absolutely GREAT. I didn't get to see the finished thing until this morning, and it blew me away completely."
[10:51] <Anastasia> As you speak, the Twins go to the cake, getting the plates ready. "Who is ready," Ptilol starts, "for some cake?" Cyprine finishes.
[10:54] <Rei-chan> "Yes please!" Rei almost bounces on her heels as she approaches, eager to try some of the delicious looking cake.
[10:54] <Usagi-chan> "Meee!" Usagi sings out.
[10:54] <Anastasia> As well as cake, there is of course ice cream. It's altogether rather good, and quite filling.
[10:54] * Haruka looks at the cake then to Usagi then back again. "Chocolate bunny..." Haruka lightly snickers to herself at the that.
[10:55] * Ami-chan quietly moves up behind Usagi, blushing a little as she waits for a piece.
[10:55] * Prince_Herb watches amused as the Queen goes into power-eating mode. "Chocolate does that."
[10:56] * Prince_Herb admires the spun sugar figures around the temple. "Did somebody already eat the miko? Can I have a raven to nibble?"
[10:56] <Rei-chan> "Mmmhmm," Rei mumbles contentedly around a mouthful of chocolate. "This is great, Mako-chan."
[10:58] * Usagi-chan grins at Herb, the candy figure of Rei placed off to the side on her plate.
[10:58] <Anastasia> "Really good," Eudial agrees. As the cake is eaten...
[10:59] <Anastasia> "You know what comes next," Eudial grins to Rei. "Did everyone get Rei a present?"
[10:59] <Rei-chan> "You didn't have to do that," Rei blushes, waving it off.
[11:02] <Anastasia> "It's nothing," Eudial nods, glancing at the others. "You girls DID get Rei something each, right?"
[11:04] <Usagi-chan> "I did, but I'm waiting until last to give her my present." Usagi nods.
[11:05] * Makoto shrugs. "Did you?" Makoto asks, finding it just a tad annoying that someone would imply they wouldn't have.
[11:05] <Anastasia> "I'll go," Hotaru says, blushing and going back behind one of the couches to get something.
[11:05] * Prince_Herb brings out a flat shiny parcel from his subspace pocket, which looks suspiciously like a bunch of nicely wrapped tankobon.
[11:05] * Prince_Herb bows and offers the shiny parcel to Rei-hime. "Many happy returns!"
[11:06] <Rei-chan> "Thanks Herb," Rei smiles as she shreds the paper and sees some new manga to add to her collection.
[11:06] <Anastasia> Coming back, Hotaru comes with a slightly messily wrapped sphere... what's inside? "Here, Rei-chan," she says quietly, blushing still.
[11:07] * Rei-chan smiles at Hotaru as she opens the present, curious to see what's inside.
[11:08] <Anastasia> Inside is a crystal orb, frosted red. It is decorated like a cratered planet, with mountains, plains and tiny ice caps of white. It looks like the planet Mars...
[11:08] <Anastasia> It's perhaps a bit bigger than a baseball, but quite shiny.
[11:09] <Rei-chan> "Oh, wow..." Rei breathes, "It's beautiful." Crouching down a bit, she gives the little girl a hug, "Thank you very much, Hotaru-chan."
[11:10] <Anastasia> She returns the hug, smiling brightly at your approval. "Thank you, Rei-chan..."
[11:10] <Haruka> "Nice," Haruka comments to Hotaru, regarding her gift choice.
[11:10] * Rei-chan puts the orb and manga both on the table so she has her hands free for the next gift.
[11:15] <Haruka> "Happy birthday," Haruka says as she hands Rei a wrapped package.
[11:16] * Rei-chan gratefully accepts the package, tearing open the wrapping to reveal the gift.
[11:18] <Haruka> A framed autographed sketch is uncovered. There are two signatures from the creator and illustrator of the Slayers and a modified doodle of Lina Inverse that has some similarity to Rei herself.
[11:19] <Rei-chan> "Wow!" Rei grins, "I like it!" she gives Haruka a quick hug, "How did you get this?" she asks eagerly, showing off the signed doodle for all to see.
[11:20] * Usagi-chan seems particularly impressed. "That's really awesome, Rei-chan."
[11:21] <Makoto> "That's pretty cool, Haruka," Makoto agrees with the others.
[11:21] <Haruka> "I traded race tickets and autographed photos for it." Haruka replies to Rei. "Real junkies, they were."
[11:23] <Rei-chan> "Well, thanks a bunch," Rei looks at the picture, still smiling slightly dazedly, "This is really cool," she adds, putting it with her other presents.
[11:23] <Anastasia> Next is Viluy, with a flat wrapped package. "Here you go," she smiles as she hands it to Rei.
[11:24] * Rei-chan eagerly tears open the next present.
[11:24] <Anastasia> To your surprise, it's a black colored laptop computer. "It's my old one - I reconfigured it and since I didn't need it anymore..." she shrugs.
[11:26] <Rei-chan> "Hey, thanks, Viluy," Rei grins, giving the silver-haired girl a hug. "This'll come in really handy - and I bet if you reconfigured it it'll be better than anything I could ever buy myself."
[11:27] <Anastasia> Viluy smiles. "I threw on some software, too. That should last you a long time, Rei."
[11:27] * Makoto steps up to Rei, bringing up a medium-sized wrapped bundle, and handing it to the miko. "This was made by both Ami and me, Rei," Makoto states with a smile.
[11:27] * Ami-chan blushes and nods, taking another bit of cake.
[11:28] <Rei-chan> Putting the laptop on the table, Rei turns to Ami and Makoto, "Oh, what is it?" she asks, smiling as she unwraps the joint gift.
[11:28] <Makoto> As the wrapping paper comes off, a large overstuffed plushie is revealed inside. One resembling very much a blonde odango-haired schoolgirl, with a gleeful face.
[11:30] * Rei-chan breaks out into laughter at the sight, "You made this yourself?" she asks the pair, grinning widely.
[11:30] * Usagi-chan looks up at the two, an eyebrow raised.
[11:30] <Ami-chan> Ami nods, smiling. "Squeeze it."
[11:30] * Makoto nods with a grin. "Yeah, I made the plushie, Ami made the surprise."
[11:30] <Rei-chan> Hesitantly, Rei does so.
[11:31] <Makoto> A high pitched and excited voice squeaks out from the plushie saying, "Can I borrow your manga, Rei-chan?"
[11:31] * Haruka explodes in laughter, unable to hold it in!
[11:31] * Makoto grins.
[11:31] <Anastasia> Eudial snickers loudly, as do the Twins.
[11:31] <Ami-chan> Ami smiles, blushing a little more.
[11:31] <Makoto> "We put some more lines in there, just so you always have Usagi nearby."
[11:32] <Makoto> "But that's by far my favorite line," Makoto states.
[11:32] * Rei-chan laughs herself. "It's just like the real thing! Thanks, guys!" she hugs both girls, squeezing the plushie again as she does so.
[11:32] <Makoto> It squeaks out this time in a whiny voice, "Not so hard, Rei-chan! I'm delicate!"
[11:33] <Rei-chan> "Heehee," Rei giggles, putting the plushie on the table.
[11:33] <Haruka> "That was evil," Haruka comments to Makoto and Ami. "Good job."
[11:33] * Usagi-chan mutters to herself.
[11:34] <Anastasia> "I'll go next," Eudial volunteers, going behind the couch and getting two wrapped things. One looks like a bottle, the other a very thin and flat piece of paper/cardboard. She hands you the latter first. "For your birthday..."
[11:34] * Haruka wipes tears of laughter from her eyes.
[11:35] * Rei-chan opens up the flat object with a curious expression.
[11:36] <Anastasia> It's a 40,000 yen gift card to the local mall, good in all of the stores there. "And this," she says a moment later, passing you the wrapped bottle. "To remember our first time here," she laughs just a bit.
[11:36] <Usagi-chan> That elicits a giggle from the odangoed blonde, who can already guess what it is.
[11:39] <Rei-chan> Rei unwraps the bottle, "Thanks, Eudial - although I think I'll drink it in moderation next time," she grins, giving the older girl a hug of thanks.
[11:39] <Anastasia> It's a nice bottle of sake. "I'll agree to that," she nods, wincing at the memory of that morning after.
[11:39] * Rei-chan puts the gifts with the others, smiling brightly.
[11:40] <Anastasia> The Twins come next, without any present visible. "We have something for you, Rei," Ptilol explains, "But we'll show it to you later."
[11:41] <Rei-chan> "Oh?" Rei quirks an eyebrow, "I can't wait to see it then," she smiles, her imagination already working overtime as she tries to figure out what they've gotten her.
[11:44] <Anastasia> Finally, it's Tellu's turn. The girl, who has been quiet the entire time, finally comes forward. "Here," she says, handing you a vibrant red flower in a pot, almost burning with color. "It's a South American Fire Flower," she smiles. "They're rare, but they look just like a fire in sunlight."
[11:45] <Rei-chan> "It's beautiful..." Rei gasps, holding up the pot and examining it from all angles. "I'll be sure to take very good care of it," she smiles and puts it on the table before hugging Tellu. "You'll just have to tell me if it has any special needs."
[11:46] <Anastasia> "Lots of water and some fertilizer, but I can take care of that," she smiles to you.
[11:48] <Rei-chan> "You guys are so great," Rei says, smiling widely at everyone, "This is the best birthday I've ever had."
[11:50] <Usagi-chan> "My present isn't quite as impressive." Usagi blushes a bit, handing Rei an envelope sealed with wax and a crescent moon-shaped signet.
[11:51] <Rei-chan> "That's alright, Usagi," Rei gives her love a fond smile as she carefully opens the envelope to see what's inside. "Even without the gifts, having everyone here for me is more than enough."
[11:52] * Rei-chan takes out the note and reads it.
[11:54] * Rei-chan giggles, putting the note back in the envelope. "That's a very thoughtful gift, Usagi," she gives the blonde a hug and a kiss on the cheek. 'I'll put it to very good use, tonight.'
[11:54] * Usagi-chan giggles, blushing slightly. 'After I saw you earlier today I thought you might like that even more.'
[12:28] <Anastasia> There is a bit of murmur to this, but nothing serious. "Now...we have all day here for free," Eudial explains. "The Professor rented out the place, so... let's have some fun!"
[12:29] <Rei-chan> "Right!" Rei agrees quickly, letting go of Usagi and putting the letter in her pocket.
[12:34] <Anastasia> The girls splinter off to do this and that. Most head to the arcade, many games on free play and much fun had. Eudial stays in the room, idly munching some more cake and nursing a small glass of sake. Tellu and Ami are also in there, chatting with Makoto. Well, mostly Ami and Makoto, anyway, as they're doing all the talking. The Twins seem to have gone off somewhere, while Hotaru stays fairly close to Rei.
[12:38] <Anastasia> As the three approach Ami and company, you can hear Makoto trying to loosen Tellu up.
[12:40] * Prince_Herb invites Haruka to come and join him on the F1 racing simulator. "The winner gets to race Eudial!"
[12:41] <Haruka> "Heh," Haruka replies with a wide grin. "Sure."
[12:43] <Anastasia> Tellu merely smiles politely, seemingly a bit off-put by Makoto.
[12:45] * Makoto mentally sighs. 'I wish I could just get her out of her shell...' Makoto thinks, forgetting that Usagi can hear her.
[12:47] <Usagi-chan> 'Who? Tellu?' Usagi replies.
[12:47] <Rei-chan> "Hi guys," Rei says, coming up to Tellu and Makoto, "What are you talking about?" she asks, hoping to join the conversation.
[12:48] * Makoto is a bit startled, as she notices Usagi and Rei. Giving a nod to Usagi, she replies to Rei, "Oh, just stuff."
[12:49] <Anastasia> "Hi," Tellu smiles a moment to Usagi. "Did you want to talk to Makoto?"
[12:50] * Ami-chan finishes up her cake, and smiles to the three as they join the group, falling quiet.
[12:50] * Makoto looks upwards, almost exasperated at Tellu's attempt to escape.
[12:50] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Just coming over to see what you guys were talking about."
[12:51] <Rei-chan> "Um..." Rei blinks, noting how things seemed to just dry up on her arrival. "If you're talking about something private I can come back later," she offers lamely.
[12:52] <Anastasia> "No," Tellu says quickly. "I was just about to go to the bathroom, anyway."
[12:52] <Anastasia> She gets up with a nod to Makoto.
[12:52] <Makoto> "We weren't talking about anything private, Rei," Makoto says with a shake of her head.
[12:52] <Ami-chan> Ami shakes her head quickly. "It's fine, Rei." She assures the birthday girl. "We were just talking about the gardens a little."
[12:52] * Makoto weakly smiles and nods back to Tellu.
[12:53] <Usagi-chan> "Hurry back!" Usagi smiles. "I want to know some more about that flower you got for Rei." Usagi calls after the retreating botanist.
[12:53] <Anastasia> "Excuse me," she murmurs, brushing past Hotaru as she does so.
[12:53] <Rei-chan> "Okay..." Rei says, watching Tellu leave.
[12:54] <Anastasia> Hotaru sits down a moment later, looking at Rei. "Tellu didn't look very happy..." she murmurs to her.
[12:55] * Makoto sighs. "That might be my fault. I've been pushing for her to be more social."
[12:55] * Rei-chan nods. "Tellu's normally pretty reserved - she's really nice, she just isn't much of a people person."
[12:56] * Ami-chan nods her head. "Don't take it personally, Mako-chan. Shyness is hard to get over."
[12:56] * Usagi-chan nods. "She seems to really love her plants though." Usagi smiles a bit. "The gardens have just been doing wonderful since she started working on them."
[12:56] <Makoto> "I know," Makoto replies with her own nod. "I chatted with her in the gardens before."
[12:58] <Anastasia> Hotaru nods herself, quiet.
[12:59] <Rei-chan> "I'll go talk to her," Rei says, heading back out of the room and searching for the green-haired magical botanist.
[12:59] <Anastasia> A bit of searching leads you to the bathrooms, where Tellu is idly washing her hands. She glances up, smiling at perfunctorily. "Hi, Rei."
[13:00] <Rei-chan> "Hi, Tellu," Rei smiles, "Needed to get a break from Mako-chan, huh?" she asks knowingly.
[13:01] <Anastasia> Tellu colors just a bit. "Um... yeah," she admits, quietly. "She's kind of... overbearing."
[13:05] * Rei-chan nods. "Yeah, don't worry too much about it - I'm sure she'll figure out not press so much," she giggles a bit, "If Usagi and Ami don't tell her first, anyway. I think she's trying too hard. She's been really interested in your affinity with plants ever since she heard about it."
[13:05] <Anastasia> "Yeah..." Tellu nods, still blushing slightly. "Um, Rei, can I ask you something personal?"
[13:06] <Rei-chan> "Um, sure?" Rei blinks, wondering how the conversation shifted back to her so suddenly.
[13:07] <Anastasia> "You're friends with Usagi and Eudial... aren't you?" she begins by asking, waiting for Rei to respond.
[13:08] <Rei-chan> "Yes..." Rei nods slowly, a sinking feeling starting to develop as she recalls all the times the Witches had commented on the nature of her friendship with Eudial, and then the actual status of her relationship with Usagi.
[13:09] <Anastasia> "Well... Makoto told me that you, Usagi and Eudial were three... um... special friends," she says. "She kept saying how you were smelling each others lilies." She blushes brightly now, scarlet on green hair. "Um... are you three... like that?"
[13:11] <Rei-chan> "Ack!" Rei's hair toings out. 'Usagi, kill Makoto now. I'll explain later.' Composing herself, she addresses Tellu, "Eudial and I are just friends - platonic. No... lily smelling involved. Also, there is nothing between Usagi and Eudial, either," she says calmly.
[13:12] <Anastasia> She nods, still fiery red. "So it's you and Usagi," she asks, catching what you left unsaid.
[13:13] * Rei-chan nods. "We've been together since the day before we purified Mugen. We don't advertise it, but we don't try to hide it, either."
[13:14] <Anastasia> "Okay," she says, thinking of that kiss on the cheek today. "I... just... I don't know if should trust her after she told me that," she shakes her head.
[13:17] * Rei-chan frowns a bit. "I can see your point - Makoto certainly shouldn't be going around gossiping about us like that, far less spreading rumours that involve Eudial. You can be sure we'll have a... chat, with her about it." 'Usagi, is she dead yet?'
[13:19] <Usagi-chan> 'Working on it... what am I killing her for? She's not saying anything.'
[13:22] <Rei-chan> 'She told Tellu that you, I, and Eudial went around 'sniffing lilies' together.'
[13:22] <Anastasia> "Thanks" Tellu smiles, relieved. "She kind of nice, but...she's kind of forward, too."
[13:22] <Usagi-chan> '...oh, she is SO dead now...' Usagi mutters mentally.
[13:23] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, that's our Mako-chan," Rei chuckles a bit. "She's a good friend, but I think she needs a lesson in keeping her mouth shut. She probably just thought exchanging dirty gossip would be a fun way to get to know you or something."
[13:24] <Anastasia> She blushes again suddenly. "I thought she had her own boyfriend for gossip, though," she comments. "Why make up stuff about you three?"
[13:26] <Rei-chan> "Because she'd rather make someone other than herself look bad?" Rei asks amusedly. 'How's it going, Usagi?'
[13:27] <Usagi-chan> 'She's trying to hide behind Ami right now, but I'm not buying it.' Usagi replies sternly.
[13:27] <Anastasia> "That's not very nice at all," Tellu frowns fiercely. "You don't go around making up stuff about her and Alan, do you?"
[13:29] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei chuckles, "The truth is interesting enough. But don't hold it against her - I really don't think she meant any harm."
[13:30] <Anastasia> Tellu nods, but she doesn't sound convinced... although, she is smiling. "So... turnabout is fair play, though..." she muses. "Do you have anything on her and her boyfriend?"
[13:34] <Rei-chan> "Oh, I couldn't..." Rei shakes her head, "You'll have to ask Makoto herself. Or Alan. Or Ami."
[13:35] <Anastasia> She nods, then smiles again. "We should get back, though, shouldn't we?"
[13:36] <Rei-chan> "Yes, hopefully Usagi will have at least maimed Makoto a little by now," Rei smiles cheerfully as she opens the door and leads Tellu back to the others.
[13:42] * Usagi-chan is standing where Rei left her and Hotaru, an angry scowl on her face as she glares at the tall brunette - who blanches as she sees Rei coming out of the bathroom. Hotaru looks a little confused, and Ami just looks like she'd rather be somewhere else.
[13:44] <Anastasia> Hotaru, so confused, looks gratefully at Rei.
[13:45] <Rei-chan> "Hello everyone," Rei smiles brightly, although giving Makoto a brief semi-evil look. "Did we miss anything?"
[13:46] * Makoto wilts under the evil look. "Just me apologizing, or trying to anyhow, to Usagi about something..." Makoto mumbles.
[13:46] * Ami-chan turns to Hotaru. "I think Rei would like to talk to Makoto right now." She suggests gently. "Why don't we watch Herb and Haruka play until they finish, Hotaru-chan?"
[13:46] <Anastasia> Without much thought, "Okay, Ami," Hotaru agrees, with a final look at Rei. "I'll see you later, Rei-chan."
[13:47] * Ami-chan smiles and leads the younger girl to the arcade.
[13:47] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, and I'm not the only one you need to aploogize to." Usagi says with a frown, tapping her foot.
[13:48] <Rei-chan> "I'll be back out in a minute, Hotaru-chan," Rei smiles at the little girl before focusing on Makoto. "I forgive you, Mako-chan. Just don't do it again, or I might start spreading a few stories of my own."
[13:48] * Makoto sighs and looks at Rei. "Thank you, and I am sorry."
[13:49] * Usagi-chan finally seems mollified by that and relaxes her stance a bit.
[13:49] * Rei-chan nods, satisfied. "That's good enough for me. We won't speak of it again."
[13:49] * Makoto turns to look at Tellu and says, "Could I talk to Tellu in private for a minute?"
[13:51] <Rei-chan> "Okay," Rei gives Tellu a smile before looking at Usagi, "Come on, Usagi," she says, leading her out to rejoin Ami and Hotaru.
[13:52] * Usagi-chan gives Tellu a smile and a wave before heading off with Rei.
[13:53] * Makoto wraps her fingers around her forehead and massages her temples as she sits down.
[13:53] <Makoto> "That's gonna cost me so much to make up to them..." she mumbles.
[13:54] <Makoto> Taking her hand off her forehead, she sighs and looks at Tellu. "First off, I wanted to apologize to you though."
[13:54] <Anastasia> "I... wish you hadn't lied to me like that, Makoto," Tellu starts, not sure exactly how to proceed
[13:55] <Makoto> "Well, I did say that I had been joking about Eudial, but yeah, this is still my fault, so..."
[13:56] <Anastasia> "Yeah..." Tellu nods. "Um... did you want to still come by my greenhouse," she asks, remembering that part of the Lunar conversation.
[13:58] * Makoto smiles weakly. "Yeah. Yeah I would," Makoto replies. "But I'm not done, actually. I really mostly wanted to apologize about making you so uncomfortable. I hadn't realized I'd messed you up so much with that joke, and I felt really bad about how you just seemed to close up after that."
[13:59] <Makoto> "I dunno, I guess I've just been pushing you because of that, and wanted to say sorry."
[14:02] <Anastasia> "Thank you," she murmurs, looking away. "Maybe... we could try again?"
[14:03] <Makoto> "I'd like that," Makoto says.
[14:10] <Anastasia> ---
-------
And the party progresses, eventually into karaoke...
-------
[10:52] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, "Karaoke's fine. But let's lay off the sake this time," she adds with a sheepish look.
[10:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah," Eudial looks a bit embarrassed as well, actually blushing a touch when she looks at Rei.
[10:53] * Usagi-chan giggles at that.
[10:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Seening no more objections, the group heads back to Room 5. It's nice and soundproofed, with a few couches and chairs around a central singing area, with a minibar filled with drinks and a few snacks in back. It's a bit better than a typical karaoke bar... if the food and drink is free, anyway.
[10:57] * Usagi-chan heads straight for the minibar, investigating its snacking potential.
[10:57] * Ami-chan follows Usagi and snags a can of pop, and settles on the far end of one of the couches, smoothing her skirt as she sits down to observe.
[10:58] * Rei-chan goes and gets herself a cola. "Who wants to go first, then?" she asks.
[10:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> There are sodas of various types, a large selection of booze, and some peanuts and chips. Nothing too spectacular, unless you want to get bombed while singing.
[10:59] * Princess_Herb looks at Ami-chan.
[10:59] * Usagi-chan grabs a couple of the small bags of chips and a soda, flopping down on the couch. "Munchies first for me, then I'll sing."
[10:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial gets a chair for herself. "I'd rather listen to someone first," she comments.
[11:00] * Haruka takes the seat near Ami. "I vote for Ami, personally," she says with a grin.
[11:01] * Ami-chan chokes and blushes. "N-No, not me... someone else should go first!"
[11:01] <Usagi-chan> "What about you, Haruka?" Usagi looks over at her fellow blonde.
[11:02] <Rei-chan> "How about singing a duet with me, then, Ami-chan?" Rei smiles at the blue-haired girl.
[11:03] * Ami-chan squirms. "Uhm... I'm really not that good at karaoke, Rei-chan." she protests meekly.
[11:04] <Rei-chan> "Oh, alright, then," Rei waves it off, "I'll go first, then." She walks over to the karaoke machine, "Any requests?" she grins at her friends.
[11:04] <Usagi-chan> "Just make it a really good one!" Usagi calls between handfuls of potato chips.
[11:04] * Ami-chan sighs slightly, relieved, and settles back into the couch, still blushing.
[11:09] <Rei-chan> "Okay," Rei says thoughtfully, perusing the song list. "How about... this!" she keys up her chosen song and grabs a microphone, clasping it between both hands. "You bite your lip and your shoulders start to shake. What you need isn't words, is it?. I'm here for you. Don't hide your pain..." she begins singing the theme song from the Aa! Megami-sama movie.
[11:23] <Rei-chan> "Try to wish, then it will surely come true. We change our pain into strength. We have to wish. Yes, we have to wish..." she trails off as the music fades, her body swaying lightly. Finished, she gives everyone a big smile and bows, setting the microphone aside.
[11:23] * Usagi-chan smiles and applauds, almost dropping her half-empty second bag of chips in the process.
[11:24] * Ami-chan carefully sets down her drink before doing the same.
[11:24] * Haruka claps along with the rest.
[11:24] <Ebiris> "Okay, who's next?" Rei holds out the microphone invitingly for the next singer.
[11:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'll go," Eudial calls, after clapping for Rei. "I have something in mind."
[11:28] <Rei-chan> "Go for it," Rei cheers, handing over the microphone before sitting next to Usagi on the couch and making herself comfortable.
[11:28] * Usagi-chan snuggles up closer to Rei once the miko takes her seat, offering some of her chips to Rei.
[11:29] * Rei-chan gratefully accepts.
[11:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial takes the microphone, messing a moment with the sound settlings before starting...
[11:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> Beginning softly for a moment bejore injecting a throaty energy to the song, Eudial begins! "The flowing tears are completely withered, The loneliness that thirsts for blood, Death dances, bringing the scent, Of the soft hair of angels..." Her voice is supported by a background violin/synth, as well as some minor background vocals. It's not bad, really, but not really good, either. It doesn't quite fit her voice.
[11:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Winding up for the big push, the music goes up a notch. "Coppelia's Coffin, People are dolls tired from dancing, Sheep on the altar, The mechanical dreams, Where are they headed?" she goes on, trying to pull off the song and not quite making it.
[11:35] * Usagi-chan claps politely, although a lot less enthusiastically than for Rei. "That was really good, Eudial."
[11:35] * Rei-chan claps. "Yeah, interesting song, too," she adds to Usagi's comment.
[11:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> She step forward, frowning. "Was it? I was trying something different."
[11:37] <Rei-chan> "The music didn't really suit your voice," Rei says, not really able to lie. "I liked your version of You Get Burning a lot better from when we came here the last time."
[11:37] <Haruka> "Different?" Haruka asks with a curious look wondering what Eudial was trying to do.
[11:38] * Ami-chan blinks and nods to Rei. "It wasn't bad, though." she adds, smiling. "You do have a nice voice."
[11:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah. That song was too deep for my voice," Eudial says, holding out the microphone. "Who's next?"
[11:40] * Usagi-chan springs up from her seat on the couch, leaving the last of her chips with Rei. "Me!"
[11:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial hands you the 'phone, going back to her seat after a side trip to the bar for a Mountain Dew.
[11:43] * Usagi-chan is grinning from ear to ear as she searches through the song listing for a minute. She finds what she's looking for after a few moments, and punches the song up, one unfamiliar to most of the girls there.
[11:45] <Usagi-chan> "Satisfaction came in the chain reaction... I couldn't get enough, so I had to self-destruct. The heat was on, rising to the top - everybody's going strong, and that is when my spark got hot!" The blonde sings the English song with a slight accent, but not too badly.
[11:46] * Usagi-chan looks right at Rei, grinning as she gets to the chorus. "Burn baby burn, disco inferno! Burn baby burn, burn that mama down...."
[11:46] * Rei-chan sits up a bit straighter, rather impressed at Usagi doing so well in English, then wincing as she gets to the chorus. 'Oh, Usagi...' she shakes her head, unable to keep a slight smile off her face.
[11:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Uh..." Eudial's face is rather slack and stunned at that as she watches.
[11:48] * Ami-chan giggles, beginning to relax a bit as she watches Usagi's performance.
[11:48] * Usagi-chan fights down giggles as she finishes out the song, rather red in the face as the music stops. "I thought I'd try something funny this time," she says with a grin.
[11:48] <Rei-chan> "You Dumpling Head," Rei mutters fondly. "Have you been practicing that one?"
[11:49] * Ami-chan claps. "She must have. It was very well done." She giggles.
[11:49] * Usagi-chan grins. "A little... after I did so well on my English tests I picked up a CD of old American songs, and that one was on it. I've been singing along with it at home sometimes."
[11:53] <Usagi-chan> "Anyway, who's next?" Usagi looks around at the other girls. "Haruka? Ami?"
[11:53] * Haruka looks at Ami to gauge her reaction.
[11:54] * Ami-chan glances at Haruka hopefully.
[11:54] * Princess_Herb blinks.
[11:54] * Princess_Herb stands up.
[11:54] <Princess_Herb> "I'll do it."
[11:54] <Usagi-chan> "You want to give it a shot, Herb?" Usagi grins and hands over the microphone. "Good luck!"
[11:57] * Princess_Herb sorts through the older and dustier end of the karaoke machine's listings before finding the song she wants. She emulates the Queen in singing in English, though her accent is much different - she has Nian's rather upscale Hong Kong English to blame for that - more British than the British. Fortunately, she's chosen an Eric Clapton song, so it all works out.
[11:58] <Princess_Herb> "I got the key to the highway," she sings, rather wistfully, "Billed out and bound to go."
[12:00] <Princess_Herb> "I'm going to leave here running, Walking is too slow." Herb doesn't have a bad voice, but her performance is unpracticed, rather rough and ready.
[12:01] * Usagi-chan listens attentively, still blushing a bit from her own performance.
[12:03] <Rei-chan> Listening to the song, Rei can't help but think Herb should have splashed himself with hot water beforehand...
[12:03] * Princess_Herb begins to flag a little towards the end of the song, but manages to get through it. "Oh, give me one more kiss, sweet mama, 'Fore I go, 'Cause when I leave this time, You know I won't be back no more."
[12:03] * Princess_Herb sighs.
[12:03] <Princess_Herb> "That's really a guy's song, but that's OK, since I'm really a guy."
[12:03] <Rei-chan> "That was pretty good, Herb," Rei smiles, clapping. "But I think you'd have done that better as a guy," she recommends.
[12:04] * Usagi-chan grins. "I think Rei-chan is right... might want to try it as a guy next time."
[12:04] <Princess_Herb> "Yeah, I know. Who's up next? Ami-chan or Haruka-chan?"
[12:04] * Princess_Herb proffers the microphone.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'll go," Haruka gets up, taking the microphone.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> Haruka looks through the choices until she comes across a song by Do As Infinity. Shrugging her shoulders as it was as good as any, she queued it up.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Vivid flower," Haruka croons huskily, dragging the words out as the song called for. "No one knows it, but I was a loser even though it was close by I couldn't see it and I was always wandering...."
[12:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> Haruka taps her foot in tune with the melody to keep the beat up during the lyrical pause then, "I arranged the lies of self-satisfaction and locked the door so no one could come in and in an almost shut-off room I couldn't even find myself then I understood I can't do anything like this!!"
[12:09] * Usagi-chan smiles wistfully at the sad song, leaning her head on Rei's shoulder as she listens.
[12:11] * Rei-chan wraps an arm around the blonde, matching her expression as she watches Haruka belt through the angsty song.
[12:17] * Ami-chan sighs softly, watching Haruka sing, looking impressed and a little wistful as well.
[12:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Finishing, she bows on impulse, gauging the girls' reactions.
[12:20] <Rei-chan> Pulling her arm back, Rei claps enthusiastically. "That was great, Haruka - it really sounded like you put a lot of feeling into it," she compliments.
[12:20] * Ami-chan claps, smiling and nodding. "You're very good."
[12:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, holding out the microphone to Ami. "Did you want to go," she asks
[12:22] * Ami-chan blushes, hesitating before remembering that everyone else had gone. "I-I suppose..." she ventures, hesitantly taking the microphone.
[12:23] <Rei-chan> "Go on, Ami-chan," Rei encourages her, "You'll be fine."
[12:24] * Usagi-chan gives Ami a reassuring smile. "Show us what you can do, Ami-chan!"
[12:26] <Ami-chan> Ami smiles embarrassedly and nods to her friends, in thanks, moving up to the cleared area, and picking through the song folders, before finally settling on one, and preparing herself, butterflies beginning. Fortunately, she knows the song well, and closes her eyes to sing from memory.
[12:28] <Ami-chan> The music is a little more upbeat, and as the music starts, Ami takes a deep breath. "Like the wind, you disappeared into the asphalt, while being torn to pale shreds. I'll never give up." Though I hold tightly to what you said that day, it's just the wind blowing. "
[12:30] * Rei-chan bobs her head slightly in tune with the music, smiling at Ami's performance.
[12:30] * Usagi-chan taps her foot to the rhythm, watching the blue-haired girl with a smile.
[12:31] <Ami-chan> Ami's voice wavers a little, but as the song moves along, she begins to gather momentum and confidence, even raising her voice for the chorus. "Say yes! I just live more passionately than yesterday... Say yes! ...because I've known a loneliness that can't be healed. Say yes! If you can hear me, answer me, saying: I CAN BE, I CAN DO, I CAN SING, I CAN LIVE!" As the song wraps up, Ami promptly blushes red as a beet and hurries back to her perch on the couch.
[12:32] * Usagi-chan smiles brightly and applauds. "That was really good, Ami-chan!"
[12:33] <Princess_Herb> "Yay! Way to go, Ami-chan!" says Herb, enthusiastically.
[12:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial claps. "Nice," she smiles at Ami, having enjoyed the song.
[12:33] <Rei-chan> "That was great, Ami-chan," Rei turns to the blue-haired girl, grinning, "You were really enthusiastic at the end, there!"
[12:34] * Ami-chan blushes and nods sheepishly. "Thank you. I've always liked that song..."
[12:34] <Usagi-chan> "Well, you did it really well." Usagi grins.
[12:35] * Rei-chan nods.
[12:36] * Ami-chan nods again, smiling back at her friends, and relaxing some more. "What's next?" She replies, shyly changing the subject.
[12:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 6: Practice Makes Perfect to A Long-Delayed Unlocking
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2006, 08:15:40 pm »
[11:44] <Ami-chan> ----
[14:10] <Anastasia> A few days later, as Rei sweeps the Shrine one gloomy late afternoon...
[14:12] <Anastasia> As clouds cover the late afternoon sun and plunge the temple into darkness, you distantly note a few new visitors on this slow, ugly day.
[14:12] * Rei-chan looks up at the new visitors, going over to greet them.
[14:13] <Anastasia> Both clad in their Mugen uniforms are the Twins, waiting for you to come over. "Hello, Rei," Cyprine greets you, the other finishing it. "We want to give you your present."
[14:14] <Rei-chan> "Hi guys," Rei smiles, "I've been wondering what you got me ever since you mentioned that at the party. What is it?" she asks eagerly.
[14:17] <Anastasia> Cyprine nods slightly. "We want to teach you something," she explains, "you have psychic talent, Rei," Ptilol clarifies.
[14:19] * Rei-chan nods. "Yeah," she gives a self-deprecating smile, "I've noticed you guys seem to be a lot better off than me in that regard. What is it you think you can teach me?" she asks, her interest definitely piqued.
[14:20] <Anastasia> "You can use..." Ptilol peers at you, nodding. "telekinesis, correct?" the other finishes.
[14:22] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods again, "That's an ability I developed last December... I knew a bunch of others after Metallia... changed, me, but telekinesis is the only one that I can still do," she says, not flinching at the mention of her time spent serving the ruler of the Dark Kingdom.
[14:24] <Anastasia> "Have you had any other..." Ptilol starts this comment, Cyprine finished without missing a beat, "talents manifest?"
[14:25] * Rei-chan shakes her head. "Not since then, no. My telekinesis has become a bit more powerful, but nothing new has shown up."
[14:26] <Anastasia> The two exchange a look. "Sister, why don't we go inside, then?" Cyprine asks, Ptilol nodding in agreement.
[14:27] <Rei-chan> "Of course," Rei blushes, realising she should have invited them in earlier. Hurrying to cover her lapse, she leads them into the living room.
[14:29] <Anastasia> Once inside and settled down, the two go on. "Rei, have you ever thought about the force you use to move objects?" Cyprine asks.
[14:33] <Rei-chan> "A bit," Rei responds, "Truthfully I'm not one hundred percent certain on the exact mechanics of it - it seems limited in a few ways. I can move things, but I can't exert pressure on them. For example I could telekinetically push an egg against the ground to break it, but if I held it in the air I couldn't simply crush it via telekinetic force alone."
[14:39] <Anastasia> Ptilol goes on from there. "That force - it's the force of your mind put into the material world, Rei."
[14:39] * Rei-chan nods. "I figured as much."
[14:42] <Anastasia> "Learning how to apply this force in different ways and methods is the fundamental building block of telekinesis and other psychic skills that affect the material." Cyprine explains this to you, going on right after. "If you can do one... it's possible with the right training that you can do another."
[14:43] <Rei-chan> "Oh?" Rei leans forward, now very interested.
[14:46] <Anastasia> "Yes," Ptilol picks up. "We think you could probably manage levitation, or telekinetic force, or other such feats. We aren't sure of which ones, though."
[14:49] <Rei-chan> "Well," Rei begins, "I USED to be able to levitate," she frowns a bit, "Actually, my telekinesis is strong enough to lift someone around my weight, but I somehow can't focus it on myself. And I didn't really think about how I did it back when I used to be able to do it." She sighs, "I could make energy barriers and teleport and walk through walls and it was all so simple... I just haven't really known where to start in relearning them."
[14:50] <Anastasia> "Hm. Metallia gave you those abilities when she influenced you?" Cyprine asks, curious. "We remembered everything we learned from Germatou," Ptilol notes, a bit surprised.
[14:52] <Rei-chan> "She didn't teach me," Rei explains, "I just instinctively knew, the same as I know how to control fire from being Sailor Mars. It's not something I learnt like making ofuda or meditating on the Sacred Flame."
[14:53] <Anastasia> "Ah," Ptilol says, nodding. "She must have added something to you that allowed you to access power to use those abilities," Cyprine says. "Although, if you were able to recover one of the skills, it points even more to the possibility you could obtain others."
[14:56] * Rei-chan nods. "That's what I thought..." she frowns a bit, "Up until recently, the 'personality' I had when serving Metallia existed in my head kind of like a seperate persona. She implied I could relearn those abilities, but I never accepted anything from her... I was too afraid of falling back into that sort of psychosis again."
[14:56] <Rei-chan> "And after I broke Germatou's control I also got rid of the last vestiges of that personality..." she eyes a strand of her now raven hair.
[14:58] <Anastasia> The two send each other another look, this one rather veiled and curious. "Rei," Cyprine says, even more interested now. "We want to try to teach you a few other disciplines, regardless of if we succeed or not. Are you interested?"
[15:00] <Rei-chan> "Of course," Rei nods. "I'm always interested in learning new things, especially as they relate to the supernatural."
[15:01] <Anastasia> Ptilol nods. "Rei, why don't we start right now?"
[15:02] <Rei-chan> "Sure," Rei replies, "What do you have in mind?"
[15:03] <Anastasia> Cyprine takes out a 10 yen coin, tossing it onto the ground. "Could you pick that up for me with your mind, Rei?"
[15:03] * Rei-chan attempts to do so.
[15:03] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-4
[15:03] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-4 and gets 2."
[15:04] <Anastasia> The coin flies up, held in mid-air by your power, as you expected.
[15:04] * Rei-chan gives her guests a curious look.
[15:05] <Anastasia> "Now, try pushing inward, against the coin," Ptilol says.
[15:06] * Rei-chan does as she asks, straining her grip against the metal it surrounds.
[15:07] <Anastasia> Nothing seems to happen, however. "Now, let the coin drop," Cyprine instructs. "Just let it fall to the ground."
[15:08] * Rei-chan releases her grip on the coin.
[15:09] <Anastasia> It falls, clattering on the wooden floor. "That's the basic exercise for learning how to apply force to an object," Cyprine comments, smiling at you in a rare gesture. "You pick it up with your mind so that you are already using your mental will, you try to crush it to build the proper pathways to learn the ability, and you repeat."
[15:13] <Rei-chan> "Repeat, eh?" Rei muses, deciding to do exactly that.
[15:13] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-4
[15:13] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-4 and gets -2."
[15:14] <Anastasia> The coin almost zooms up off the ground this time, nearly reaching the roof before it stops.
[15:15] * Rei-chan blinks. "I did not mean to do that," she notes, lowering the coin back to be level with her head and trying the 'crushing' exercise again.
[15:15] <Anastasia> Again nothing happens.
[15:15] * Rei-chan drops the coin. "Any other exercises you guys can recommend?"
[15:16] <Anastasia> "You should just stick with one for a week or so and see if you get any results," Ptilol comments. "We'll talk to you in a few days - just keep up at this."
[15:16] * Rei-chan nods. "Okay," she gives them a smile, "Thanks guys."
[15:17] <Anastasia> Over the next few days, Rei spends time working on this, but not noting any unusual improvement.
[15:19] <Anastasia> And three days later, the Twins make a point to ask Rei about it.
[15:20] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei shakes her head. "Haven't been able to do anything more than I was doing back when you first asked me about it. Still, it's good practice, anyway, right?"
[15:21] <Anastasia> "It is," Ptilol agrees. Digging into her pocket, she comes out with a bit of cotton, a cotton ball. "Why don't you try it with this, Rei?"
[15:21] <Rei-chan> "Sure," Rei says amiably enough, repeating her by now familiar exercise step by step.
[15:22] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-4
[15:22] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-4 and gets 1."
[15:22] <Anastasia> The ball floats up...
[15:22] <Anastasia> (OOC - 2d6)
[15:22] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[15:22] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 11."
[15:23] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[15:23] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[15:23] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[15:23] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[15:23] <Anastasia> As you 'press', you see the soft, pliant cotton seem to shift ever so slightly, like a bit of pressure was indeed on it. Just a tiny bit, though.
[15:24] <Rei-chan> "Oh!" Rei blinks, noting the change. Instead of letting the ball drop, she tries again.
[15:24] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[15:24] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[15:25] <Anastasia> You don't see any more pressure, but what is there seems to be holding. "Very good," Cyprine says. "That means you at least have a tiny bit of potential with that."
[15:26] * Rei-chan lets the ball drop. "Yeah, it'll be a while before I can bend coins, but at least I'm getting somewhere," she smiles, "And I have only been at it three days. There's plenty time to keep practicing."
[15:27] <Anastasia> "Yes. If you CAN do it, I'd just try putting pressure on anything you can whenever it strikes you. Fundamentally, you need to just keep training your ability."
[15:28] * Rei-chan nods. "Yeah, I'll keep at it."
[15:29] <Anastasia> ------
[10:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> On a warm Spring day, Makoto and Rei finally spend some quality time together, passing through the warm greenery of the local park...
[10:40] <Rei-chan> "Ah... I love days like this," Rei sighs happily. "So peaceful..." she smiles contentedly, before looking over at her companion. "Hey... Mako-chan..." she begins in a slightly wheedling tone.
[10:41] <Makoto> "Hmm?" Makoto responds as she also enjoys the locale.
[10:42] <Rei-chan> "How are things going with you and Alan?" Rei asks, always eager to get some good gossip in.
[10:45] * Makoto shakes her head but smiles and answers, "They're going fine. Nothing really different from usual, really."
[10:47] * Rei-chan nods. "I'm glad things are working out so well for you two," she gives the brunette a quirky smile, "It's sure odd never hearing a word about your mysterious former sempai anymore, though," she chuckles.
[10:50] * Makoto blushes. "Well, Alan's cuter and better built and he's nicer and he's..." Makoto goes on for a while saying how Alan is so much better than her old sempai.
[10:54] <Rei-chan> Listening as Makoto goes through her extensive list, Rei smiles at first, her expression slowly turning to stupefied amazement as Makoto gets into the minutae of just how great Alan is in every conceivable way. 'Geez, did she have this list prepared or something?'
[10:56] * Makoto pauses as she realizes she's started rambling, and blushes again. "Sorry..."
[10:56] <Rei-chan> "Hey, Mako-chan," Rei nudges the brunette, pointing at a nearby bench under a tree where she just spotted something interesting.
[10:57] * Makoto raises an eyebrow and quietly follows Rei's pointing finger
[10:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> Under a tree-shaded bench on this fine day sits Endymion, chatting with a pretty woman, her long, green hair and feminine business suit complementing her figure well. Endy looks to be interested mainly in what she is saying and not her talents, however.
[10:59] * Rei-chan peers at the woman, trying to place her if at all possible.
[10:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> She's familiar... very familiar. Something about that hair...
[10:59] * Rei-chan looks at her aura as well, just knowing that she should know the woman.
[11:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Soul check.
[11:01] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[11:01] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[11:01] <Makoto> "Rei, why are we looking at Mamoru?" Makoto asks quietly, not seeing the point.
[11:02] <Rei-chan> "It's his companion that interests me," Rei says distractedly, "I'm sure I've seen her before..."
[11:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei - With a shiver, you are reminded of the chill ether of the Time Stream you saw once before.
[11:03] <Makoto> "Really?" Makoto replies back, with a bit of doubt, as she can't place the woman from anywhere. "Doesn't look familiar at all to me..."
[11:03] <Rei-chan> Rei's eyes widen. "That's Sailor Pluto!" she gasps quietly to Makoto. "What the hell is she doing here? And talking to him?" Her curiosity fired up, Rei tries to sneak closer so she can eavesdrop.
[11:03] <Makoto> "...Sailor Pluto?" Makoto states with surprise of her own.
[11:04] * Makoto, becoming curious, also moves closer beside Rei.
[11:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> There are trees about, enough so that cover isn't hard to obtain. OOC - Body checks, both of you. -2 bonus.
[11:04] <Makoto> roll 2d6-2
[11:04] * Hatbot --> "Makoto rolls 2d6-2 and gets 6."
[11:04] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-2
[11:04] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-2 and gets 4."
[11:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> Creeping in amidst some loose leaves and twigs, you get in earshot...
[11:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> "...I'm just glad to see that monster gone," Endymion says quietly. "She was a beast in the past and she was an abomination in the present."
[11:06] <Rei-chan> "Guinvain, probably," Rei whispers to Makoto.
[11:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> Sailor Pluto nods to that. "Yes. And with Germatou gone, the Pharoah 90 has no path into this world. The Holy Grail is safe again."
[11:06] * Makoto nods, but raises a finger to her lips. "Let's talk after they finish, just to be safe," Makoto whispers back.
[11:07] * Rei-chan nods, still listening intently. 'Why on Earth is she telling him about the Holy Grail?'
[11:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> He smiles. "And what of the other Talismans? Won't Sailor Venus be a problem?"
[11:08] * Rei-chan frowns.
[11:08] * Makoto likewise frowns, wondering what Minako has to do with the Talismans if anything.
[11:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> Setsuna smiles back warmly. "It's... destined to resolve itself," she comments. "Isn't that enough talk about work," she then asks. "I came to get away from my duties, not to discuss them."
[11:09] <Rei-chan> 'Get away from her duties? Is she even allowed vacations? She couldn't even leave the gates to fight Metallia!' Rei thinks, not really understanding what's going on, but not really liking it.
[11:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> Endymion chuckles. "I suppose so, Princess Setsuna," he smiles back. "Anything on your mind today?"
[11:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> Nothing pressing, Prince," her voice is amused as she says that, like an inside joke is being told. "Just lunch with an old friend." At that, she smiles and concentrates, two wrapped bentos plopping down a moment later in a puff of dust.
[11:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> Endy takes his, unwrapping it quickly. "You should teach Princess Serenity to cook," he remarks as he smells his food. "From what I understand, she is a culinary failure in this life."
[11:13] * Makoto can't resist and gives a quiet snort.
[11:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Setsuna giggles. Such a sound is truly bizarre to hear from her, almost enough to faze you. "Sadly so. Only Princess Makoto can cook at all. It's what they get for being royalty."
[11:15] <Rei-chan> 'I'm not THAT bad,' Rei thinks irritably.
[11:15] <Makoto> 'Heheheheh...' Makoto thinks, imagining just what Rei was thinking.
[11:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> After a first bite of his food, Endymion shakes his head in amusement. "So are you, Princess Setsuna. Then again, with am infinity of time at your fingertips, learning was a simple matter."
[11:16] <Rei-chan> 'He is FAR too well informed,' Rei thinks darkly.
[11:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Starting on her own, she smiles back at Endymion. Has Pluto's icy facade melted away? "I wish I could cook for others more often," she muses. "It's somehow lacking to be the only one eating my work."
[11:19] <Makoto> 'You could hang out with the rest of us senshi a bit more, you know...' Makoto thinks, a bit annoyed, since she's never even met the Senshi of Pluto before.
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> A short time passes, the both of them working on demolishing their meals. Once the majority of that is over, "How is Princess Serenity doing now," Endymion asks of her, point blank. "I so rarely see her now." A tinge of melancholy flavors his voice, a wistfulness that is never to be fulfilled now.
[11:20] * Rei-chan frowns a bit more.
[11:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "She and her Princesses are doing well at Mugen," she says, edging around the issue. "They have found friends and allies there, as well as Sailor Uranus and Saturn."
[11:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods thoughtfully at that, not pressing the heart of his question. "It's that she doesn't need or want me now, if it wasn't for my memories of magic," he remarks, sighing soulfully. "She has friends, allies... everything but a lover, and I do not seem to qualify for that."
[11:23] * Rei-chan covers her mouth, turning red as she fights to keep her laughter in.
[11:24] * Makoto looks over at Rei, at Endymion's words. 'You're a bit behind in the news, Mamoru.'
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> Setsuna frowns just a bit, almost letting herself reach to his hand, but she controls herself at the last moment. "Yes... I can see the future imperfectly, yet I saw few times when she would willingly leave you. The Princess has shown that destiny binds her not; Metallia, Oxyite, Orestes, Germatou all discovered that."
[11:25] * Rei-chan controls her mirth, but too late to really notice Setsuna's almost physical contact with Mamoru.
[11:26] * Makoto having been looking at Rei, also misses the gesture, as she turns her eyes back at the green-haired princess of pluto and the past prince of earth.
[11:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Setsuna goes on. "More often than not, I saw Metallia slaying the Princess and ruling, or the world ending as demons poured in, or the Deathbusters and the Sailors destroying each other, leaving the way open to Mistress 9 and her Master." Setsuna laughs a tiny bit. "Serenity has changed her fate more times in a year than a nation of people usually do in a century."
[11:28] <Rei-chan> 'She's that damn good,' Rei thinks, proud of her Dumpling Head.
[11:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's not that surprising that your fated love would be discarded as well," Setsuna finishes, going gently into that last blow.
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Endymion merely sighs again. "You saw many times when we were happy together in this life, Setsuna?" he asks finally of Sailor Pluto.
[11:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "Yes. Endymion...it's not your fault for her choices." This time, she fails to resist, taking his hand. He makes no motion to dislodge it...
[11:31] * Makoto raises an eyebrow at seeing the gesture. 'Well, those two are close friends...'
[11:31] * Rei-chan raises an eyebrow at that. 'That's awfully familiar...'
[11:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> The Prince of Earth looks up, his eyes sad. "Thank you, Princess, for your kind words. They mean much to me..."
[11:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Setsuna's face shows a hint of red at that. "Thank you, Prince. Your words mean much to me as well."
[11:33] <Rei-chan> 'Oh, my!' Rei thinks, seeing the redness. 'No wonder she talked to Ikkuko to smooth things over for me and Usagi...'
[11:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Smiling back, Endymion goes on. "So... you know of the past, the here and now, and the future. What am I to do? My Princess has outgrown her Knight."
[11:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> Setsuna pauses a moment, her cheeks now lighting up crimson. "Then..." she rises and goes to him, "you have to make your own future, Endymion." Leaning foward, she kisses him right on the lips!
[11:36] <Makoto> 'Woooooo!!!!' Makoto cheers mentally, as she looks at Rei, giving a look asking if they should leave the two alone.
[11:37] * Rei-chan covers her mouth again to hide her gasp. Looking at Makoto, she nods, backing away from the scene which had turned out far more personal than she'd expected.
[11:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Endymion freezes up at this, until Setsuna reluctantly pulls back. "Setsuna?" he asks hoarsely, stunned.
[11:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I... still care about you," she says quietly. "Please don't forget that, Endymion." With that, she turns and walks away quickly.
[11:38] * Rei-chan turns to Makoto. "Think we should go after her?"
[11:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Setsuna..." Endymion murmurs as Setsuna departs, his fingers going to his lips, eyes wide.
[11:39] * Makoto pauses in thought, before shaking her head. "I'd like to meet her, but both she and Mamoru must have a lot in their minds right now."
[11:40] <Makoto> "You know... it's odd how the impulsive action seems to work out a lot for us senshi, doesn't it? I hope it works out for Setsuna too," Makoto adds.
[11:41] <Rei-chan> "I sure never expected this..." Rei says, releasing a long breath. "But... can it work for Setsuna? The way she told it, I thought her duty kept her at the Gates of Time pretty much... all the time."
[11:44] <Makoto> "We'll help her with her duties then!" Makoto states firmly, before she gets all starry-eyed and she puts her hands together. "That was just such a touching scene! We can't let them not be together if that's what they want!"
[11:45] <Makoto> "Besides," Makoto drawls out. "It gets Mamoru out of yours and Usagi's hair."
[11:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you talk, Endymion shifts from casual clothing to his knightly armor, vanishing a moment later, still distraught.
[11:46] * Rei-chan nods, resolutely. "Setsuna must have been terribly lonely all that time she's been stuck at the gates. She deserves her happiness!" She then gives Makoto a sidelong glance, "He hasn't actually bothered us much at all, really. Aside from the fight with Germatou this is the first I've seen him in ages."
[11:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> That afternoon, Herb, Usagi and Ami all get calls from Rei about a 'Senshi meeting', the cats coming along as well.
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Gathering in the living room of Rei's shrine, it's a scene that has been a bit less common since Mugen. Despite the benefits that come with Mugen, you find yourselves feeling just a touch of nostalgia here.
[11:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> "So, what's the ruckus about," Artemis asks from Ami's lap. "You made a big deal about this."
[11:53] <Rei-chan> "You guys aren't going to believe what we saw today!" Rei says from beside Makoto, her bearing the perfect picture of someone about to spill the juiciest gossip EVER.
[11:54] <Usagi-chan> "So come on, tell us already!" Usagi grins.
[11:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes, tell us," Nian prods. "This should be most interesting!"
[11:54] <Rei-chan> "We saw Setsuna-san today," Rei says with a look at Makoto, enjoying the suspense.
[11:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> Artemis looks up hastily at that. "You mean Sailor Pluto?"
[11:55] <Makoto> "So I hear," Makoto says. "But that's not what's important!"
[11:55] * Usagi-chan smiles wistfully. "Oh man, wish I could have been there... I want to thank her for talking to Mom."
[11:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Then what IS important?" Luna presses. "This isn't just a Setsuna sighting, is it?"
[11:57] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, and I found out why she's so happy to help us in our relationship," Rei grins at Usagi.
[11:57] <Makoto> "Heh, did we ever find out why."
[11:57] * Usagi-chan blinks. "You have?"
[11:58] <Rei-chan> "She was talking to Endymion..." Rei begins, looking to Makoto and knowing she'd probably prefer to blurt out the highlight of said 'talk'.
[11:58] <Makoto> "She kissed him!" Makoto squeals out, Rei's premonition on the dot.
[11:59] * Usagi-chan's mouth falls open. "What?" she gasps.
[11:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "WHAT?" All three Mau yelp at that declaration, Luna almost fainting off Usagi's shoulder.
[11:59] <Ami-chan> Ami blinks, pausing in her petting Artemis for a moment, her eyes widening as she quickly glances at Usagi's reaction.
[12:00] * Makoto is nodding like crazy. "They were having a quiet, romantic lunch in the park, and she put her hand closer and closer till she was holding his hand. He didn't even know what was going on till she kissed him. It was so romantic!"
[12:01] <Rei-chan> "He seemed surprised and then she ran off before he could say anything. It was just like in a manga!" Rei adds.
[12:01] * Usagi-chan's look of shock slowly transforms into a grin. "Who'd have ever thought Setsuna..."
[12:01] <Makoto> "He didn't seem to mind either. He just sat there stunned, touching his lips..." Makoto says as she starts getting starry-eyed again and sighs.
[12:02] <Ami-chan> Ami smiles slightly and relaxes, resuming running her fingers through Artemis' fur, as she listens closely, blushing a little.
[12:02] * Usagi-chan giggles. "Sounds like my first kiss." Usagi blushes and looks over at Rei.
[12:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That's amazing. I never thought Setsuna was even interested, be it man or woman," Artemis remarks.
[12:02] <Rei-chan> "Heh," Rei blushes herself at Usagi's words. "We have to help her!" she suddenly declares, clasping her hands.
[12:03] * Usagi-chan punches a fist in the air. "Right! I'll be sure to talk to him the next time I see him - but what should I say, exactly?" She gets a thoughtful look on her face.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna, still stunned, is sent off of Usagi's shoulder by the sudden motion! "Gah," she mutters as she gets up. "Usagi, perhaps you should just let events wind out as they should...?"
[12:04] <Rei-chan> "No, we need to work from the other side! I bet Setsuna's really nervous and shy - we need to help her catch her man!"
[12:05] <Ami-chan> Ami laughs weakly, having a bad feeling about this, but knowing better than to speak up now.
[12:05] <Usagi-chan> "It doesn't mean I can't help them along, Luna." Usagi replies. "I'm not going to tell him to go sweep Setsuna off her feet or anything, but I have to be able to do SOMETHING."
[12:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> Artemis chuckles at this. "Ami-chan," he whispers, "You aren't planning to help with this, are you?"
[12:06] <Makoto> "I don't think hearing from your ex that you want him to chase after another girl, Usagi. I say we help Setsuna," Makoto explains, in agreement with Rei.
[12:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "But what if you scare him away from her, Usagi?" Luna counters.
[12:06] <Haruka> "I'm with Luna on this, personally." Haruka comments from the back.
[12:07] <Ami-chan> Ami shakes her head. "Maybe just prevent them from getting carried away?" Ami whispers back, watching the proceedings.
[12:08] <Usagi-chan> "He's just as lonely as she is," Usagi retorts. "I wouldn't change what I decided or anything, but it really did hit him hard. I think it'd be good for him to move on."
[12:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "They'll get carried away no matter what," he laughs, glancing at the quite excited females all around. "Knowing them, they'll try to forge love letters or something equally short sighted."
[12:08] <Rei-chan> "We need to find Setsuna first, though," Rei adopts a contemplative pose. "But how..." she taps her foot thoughtfully.
[12:08] <Ami-chan> Ami nods, giggling a little at the mounting excitement.
[12:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I suspect Endymion will be getting flowers delivered soon, and Setsuna too, if they can find an address for the Time Gates," Artemis goes on, still amused by the entire thing.
[12:10] * Haruka frowns slightly as her voice is ignored along with Luna's, but says nothing more on the matter, only shaking her head in slight disapproval.
[12:10] <Rei-chan> "I wonder if we could teleport there..." Rei muses, suddenly clapping her hands together, "Or Starfire's castle! She seemed to like Setsuna, so I bet she could help us with this!"
[12:10] <Ami-chan> "I suspect they won't stop there, either." Ami whispers to Artemis. "What should we do?"
[12:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna sighs. "It's your funeral, girls," she wilts a bit. "I'm just going to stay here and take a nice, safe, NON-INTERFERING nap."
[12:11] <Usagi-chan> "That would work too..." Usagi muses. "And Luna, we're not going to try to force them together or anything - just give them a little help, that's all."
[12:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Stay the hell out of the way, since they've divorced reason already," Artemis smirks at Ami good-naturedly. "Don't worry, I don't think Setsuna will carry a grudge... or not much of one."
[12:11] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods quickly with Usagi, "A nudge in the right direction."
[12:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna hmmphs again, passing by Haruka with a apologetic smile, before settling in a sunbeam and taking said nap.
[12:12] <Ami-chan> Ami giggles and nods. "Perhaps it would be sporting to warn them?"
[12:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That would be interfering ourselves, though," Artemis grins, now chuckling.
[12:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> Through all this, Nian nearly watches, making one comment to Prince Herb. "Prince, I fear this will turn into a bad episode of Candid Camera," he sighs, settling down and watching the impending disaster.
[12:14] <Ami-chan> "True." Ami concedes, smiling. "I suppose we're damage control, then?"
[12:14] <Usagi-chan> "Have a little faith, Nian!" Usagi shoots back, having overheard the comment.
[12:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Artemis just grins, then sallies forth to Usagi, unable to resist. "Usagi, that'll take a sea of faith for Nian."
[12:15] <Ami-chan> Ami claps a hand to her mouth to smother a giggle.
[12:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Indeed, my fellow Mau," Nian nods sagaciously.
[12:15] * Usagi-chan bends over to glare at the white Mau. "Just you wait and see!"
[12:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> He smirks back at Usagi, matching her right back. "And see the spankings Mommy and Daddy will have to give their bad girls," he says, barely stopping from laughing at he teases his Queen.
[12:16] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, it's the Sailor Senshi's Operation Matchmaking!" Rei postures dramatically, pointing a finger skyward. "We can't fail!"
[12:17] * Usagi-chan grins. "Right! So... Rei, you guys work on Setsuna, and I'll take care of Endymion." She nods once.
[12:17] <Haruka> "The road to Hell is paved with the best intentions..." Haruka mutters, shaking her head, hoping that the statement doesn't become prophetic.
[12:18] <Rei-chan> "Ah," Rei looks at Usagi, still in her triumphant pose, "Are you sure you should talk to Endymion at all? Men don't like to be forced, it'd be better if he doesn't even realise what we're doing until he's already in love with Setsuna!"
[12:18] * Makoto joins Rei in pointing to the sky. "It's Operation Matchmaking time!" Makoto says as a lightning bolt crashes dramatically behind her, before pausing and turning to look at the scorch mark behind her. "Whoops..."
[12:19] <Usagi-chan> "All I'm going to do is try to get him to.... EEEK!" Usagi jumps a foot in the air at the sudden thunderclap. "Makoto!"
[12:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> Artemis jumps at the thundercrash, then sighs. "The disaster is already underway, Ami-chan."
[12:19] <Ami-chan> Ami nods and sighs. "If you can't be talked out of this, perhaps it would be better to decide what's to be done before setting off?" she suggests, hoping to minimize the impulsive damage.
[12:19] * Makoto scratches her head as she laughs nervously. "Eheheheheh... I got a bit carried away..."
[12:19] * Rei-chan blinks, turning to look at the scorchmark. "Uh..." she looks back up at Makoto, then grins. "That's okay, we're all excited!" she exclaims giddily.
[12:20] * Usagi-chan sighs. "AS I was saying, all I'm going to do is get him to think about it. I won't force him or anything."
[12:20] <Rei-chan> "After that kiss he's already thinking about it, I bet," Rei nods to herself.
[12:21] <Usagi-chan> "Well, then, maybe I can find out what he's thinking. That'll help Setsuna too, if we know that much." Usagi smiles.
[12:21] <Makoto> "I still say we focus on Setsuna though," Makoto insists. "I mean, she could dress so much better if she's trying to get him to notice her for one thing."
[12:22] <Rei-chan> "She needs to be more aggressive!" Rei agrees, clenching a fist. "Show Endymion exactly what he could get!"
[12:23] <Ami-chan> Ami giggles nervously as she watches the debate, glancing at Artemis for help, then back at the Senshi with slightly fatalistic awe. "They're like a force of nature..."
[12:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> Artemis laughs again, merely shaking his furry head. "God help Setsuna and Mamoru," he mutters.
[12:25] <Ami-chan> "I don't think even he could stop them." Ami speculates with amusement.
[12:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another snicker from Artemis. "Usagi would probably drown Him in tears."
[12:27] <Usagi-chan> "Endymion won't go for it if she's TOO aggressive though... believe me, I know him pretty well. She just needs to show him how beautiful she can be and then she can make his heart melt." Usagi sighs dreamily.
[12:29] <Rei-chan> "We still need to find her first," Rei comments, before looking at the white Mau. "Hey, Artemis. Do you know if the Sailor Teleport can takes us into other dimensions? Like the place Starfire's castle is in?"
[12:29] <Usagi-chan> "That's true... maybe if I teleport and focus on Setsuna?" Usagi muses.
[12:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Artemis actually pauses a moment, thinking. "I... don't have a clue," he admits. "As for anything in the Time Gate or Timestream, I'd have my doubts. It's not a dimension you're in as much as in... time."
[12:30] <Usagi-chan> "Well, the Time Gate is in the Moon Palace somewhere, isn't it?" Usagi asks.
[12:32] <Rei-chan> "I thought the gates were in the same sort of place as Starfire's castle," Rei frowns. "I was thinking we'd go there and then... well, ask for directions," she blushes.
[12:34] <Ami-chan> Ami frowns. "If the Time Gates were that easy to reach, wouldn't they have been found more often?" she observes.
[12:35] <Rei-chan> "Well, yeah. But Starfire and Pluto know each other - pretty well, I think. I figure one will lead us to the other," Rei shrugs.
[12:36] <Usagi-chan> "That's probably the best idea, Rei-chan." Usagi nods. "Besides, I'd like to know how to get in touch with Setsuna more often anyway."
[12:37] * Rei-chan nods. "Okay, so who's all coming with us? I guess me and Usagi are definite, since we're the only ones who've been there before, and Makoto will want in on this to help Setsuna. What about the rest?" she looks at the others.
[12:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'll pass," Artemis comments. "I'll stay in this dimension, warm and safe."
[12:38] <Ami-chan> Ami shakes her head apologetically. "Sorry. I'm, uhm... busy." She says, hesitating slightly before finishing the sentence.
[12:41] <Haruka> "Have fun," Haruka replies sarcastically.
[12:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:40] <Rei-chan> After the big fuss about Setsuna kissing Endymion, cooler heads prevail and the girls manage to calm down, going their separate ways - though still abuzz with the news. Usagi, of course, stays at the Shrine with her girlfriend after everyone else has gone.
[12:41] <Rei-chan> "Usagi," Rei begins seriously after the pair relocate to her bedroom, "There's something else I need to talk to you about regarding Setsuna - she wasn't just flirting with Endymion, today."
[12:42] <Usagi-chan> "Hmm?" Usagi gives Rei a curious look. "What's up, then?"
[12:45] * Rei-chan sighs, not really wanting to make it sound like she disapproves of Setsuna even spending time with Endymion when she's so obviously smitten with him. "She told him things about us... the Deathbusters, Sailor Saturn, the Talismans..." she continues uncomfortably.
[12:46] * Usagi-chan takes it in, nodding a bit. "And that bothers you?" she asks quietly.
[12:47] <Rei-chan> "She said Minako was connected to the Talismans and the Holy Grail," Rei says flatly. "That's something that I think WE need to know a lot more than he does." She runs a hand through her hair in a stressed gesture, "I accepted her reasons for not telling us everything she knows, but if she's just going to go around blabbing stuff to someone who doesn't actually have to DEAL with the problems we do, it becomes an issue."
[12:50] * Usagi-chan frowns at that, remaining silent for several moments. "Yeah, I'd agree that that's a problem. I can accept her trusting Endymion, but why should he be told things that we aren't?" She leans back on her elbows, a scowl marring her features. "And Minako is connected with the Talismans somehow? I wonder how?"
[12:55] <Rei-chan> "I don't know," Rei frowns. "She said it would be resolved in time." She snorts, "Resolved by US, I bet." She shakes her head, "We Sailor Senshi are supposed to be united - we're more than a team now, we're the foundation of a new kingdom. Endymion, for all that he helped us in the past, has never been on anyone's side but his own."
[12:55] <Rei-chan> "It bothers me a lot for Sailor Pluto to be discussing OUR business with Endymion when she acts so damn secretive to her own Queen," she gestures at Usagi.
[12:59] * Usagi-chan sighs. "Don't think I haven't thought about that - Endymion being part of it is new, but it's been bothering me for a while that she's so secretive. I understand that she has to guard the Time Gate, and that means she can't be around to help us much." She pauses a moment, then continues.
[13:00] <Usagi-chan> "She acknowledged me as queen with the whole Sailor Neptune thing, but at the same time I have absolutely no control over her - I can't even FIND her if I need to, much less ask her to do anything. And that bothers me more than I'd like to admit. If she's got information that'll help us and she's not giving it to us, that's a real problem - and I'm not just talking about telling us what's in the future."
[13:04] * Rei-chan nods. "I accepted her reasons for not sharing everything before, but if she's going to be telling Endymion and not us, it's a whole different story. And I don't mind if she can't fight alongside us, but she should damn well give us as much information as she's willing to tell Endymion."
[13:05] <Rei-chan> She continues, frowning irritably, "And that's to say nothing of her telling Endymion about things we've already dealt with which aren't his concern. She had no right to tell him about Sailor Saturn."
[13:09] * Usagi-chan sighs. "I know you don't trust him much, Rei, but that doesn't really bother me all that much. He's not going to tell anyone else about what we've done, and I really don't think he'll act against us in any way. I agree that if she feels she can tell Endymion something we DON'T know, though, that she should be ready to tell us as well. THAT bothers ME." She frowns.
[13:09] <Usagi-chan> "Unfortunately, saying all of that's completely pointless if we can't even find her to talk."
[13:13] <Rei-chan> "Well, next time we see her, we'll make sure we get some way of contacting her - hell, even a communicator from one of the cats would do," Rei says. "And regarding Sailor Saturn, Hotaru-chan has NO reason to trust Endymion - she doesn't know him at all. Setsuna doesn't have the right to disclose her identity, to anyone."
[13:13] * Usagi-chan looks surprised at that. "You mean she actually told him about Hotaru-chan? I just thought she'd mentioned that we FOUND Saturn."
[13:16] <Rei-chan> "I didn't hear the whole conversation," Rei admits, "But from the way they discussed the end of the Mistress and us finding Sailor Saturn, even if she didn't mention Hotaru-chan by name it probably wouldn't be hard at all for him to figure out. He certainly seemed well informed on everything else they talked about."
[13:18] * Usagi-chan rubs her temples. "I bet part of that is because of his memories - he remembers more than I do about the past, even. But even with that in mind, he SHOULDN'T know that much about the present - I mean, we've barely seen him since Metallia, and I know I haven't told him much myself."
[13:19] <Rei-chan> "Setsuna's been keeping him filled in," Rei sighs, "It was pretty clear today that they've been seeing each other for a while. And if she can take that much time away from guarding the gates to see him, she should spare a bit more time for us."
[13:21] * Usagi-chan nods, clearly unhappy. "I can't argue with that - but again, it doesn't mean much if we don't have a way to get in touch with her. She can probably keep avoiding us indefinitely unless we can find a way to get to the Time Gate ourselves - and I get the feeling that won't be easy."
[13:23] <Rei-chan> "If she has to come to Earth to visit Endymion, then we've got a chance of bumping into her again like Mako-chan and I did today," Rei points out. "And even besides that, I'm sure she'll eventually visit us to drop off some cryptic tidbit of information or whatever."
[13:25] <Usagi-chan> "Probably, but Lord only knows when." She sighs. "I can't say I like it, but then again I don't know what I can do about it right now either."
[13:27] <Rei-chan> "I don't think there's anything we can do," Rei says unhappily. "Until we either chance across her by coincidence or she chooses to come see us, we're stuck waiting." She gives Usagi a small smile, "But when she does appear, just remember to thank her for talking to your mother before you give her a royal dressing-down, will you?"
[13:28] * Usagi-chan smiles. "I will, and I plan to wish her the best of luck with Endymion too. I don't dislike HER, I just don't like what she's DOING."
[13:30] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, "It's a problem, but it's not an insurmountable one. Besides," she smiles more openly, "She complained about being lonely, so it'd do her good to spend more time with her fellow Sailor Senshi."
[13:31] * Usagi-chan smiles at that. "Yeah... it'd be nice to get to know her a little better. Kind of hard to do that if we never see her."
-------
[13:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> A few days after hearing about Rei's preferences from Herb, Herb is disrupted from his evening studies by Lime. "There's a telephone call for you, Master."
[13:31] * Prince_Herb thanks his servant and goes over to the phone. "Hello, Prince Herb here."
[13:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hey, Herb," Ryuu's voice comes in clearly.
[13:35] <Prince_Herb> "Oh, hi, Ryuu!" Herb says, loosening up some. "Sorry, I thought you were someone phoning up to sell me a conservatory," he says, "Am I glad it's you!"
[13:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Heh. Anyway, you mentioned some party this week?" he goes on, getting to the point.
[13:37] <Prince_Herb> "Sure, I was going to drop round tomorrow, find out if you wanted to come." Herb says.
[13:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I guess I could give it a shot," his voice says, a bit of a perking-up. "Something to get my mind off Rei and whoever her girlfriend is."
[13:42] <Prince_Herb> "Great!" says Herb, and gives Ryuu the details of time and place, "These things tend to run along the let's-all-get-drunk-and-fall-over line, so don't expect anything grand. There will be plenty of girls there as well, so don't worry about that either, OK?"
[13:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> "So it's a typical college party," he snorts. "Got you."
[13:45] <Prince_Herb> "I'll see you there, then! I told Hiroe you might come, and that you didn't have any curses, so it's all sorted. I just have to persuade my good girl that she wants to come too."
[13:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> He laughs. "I'll see you then," he agrees, hanging up shortly later, leaving just one call to make.
[13:52] * Prince_Herb phones the Grangier's place, hoping to catch Ann-chan
[13:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ring...Ring...Ring...Ring...Rin- "Hi, this is the Grainger residence," Alan's voice comes in, "and we're not here right now. If you'll leave a -" *Click* "Hello," Ann breaks in, picking up the phone halfway into the message.
[13:54] <Prince_Herb> "Hiya, Ann-chan! It's Herb!" the Musk prince says, happy to have found her at home.
[13:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Heya, Herb," Ann speaks back into the phone, easy enough to imagine a smile on her face. "Just caught me getting out of the shower. What's up?"
[13:58] <Prince_Herb> "I've been invited to the kendo players' party at Toudai this Friday. Want to come?" Herb asks.
[13:59] <Prince_Herb> "My buddy Ryuu will be there, and a few of my university friends."
[14:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure," she says. "I don't have any plans, and Alan was saying that he and Makoto were going to be hanging around here."
[14:04] <Prince_Herb> "Great! There is one thing I wasn't sure about, though, which is whether space elves can safely drink alcohol, or if it causes you to change back."
[14:05] <Prince_Herb> "There will be a lot of sake around at that party, so if it would, we have to be careful."
[14:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hum," Ann muses. "I don't know, I'v never had alcohol before," she admits.
[14:08] <Prince_Herb> "OK. I'd better bring some round before the night of the party, so we can test it. Maybe we could go on a late night shopping date before that, and perhaps buy you a new party outfit as well?" Herb says, thinking of Ann in a variety of gorgeous outfits, and realising that his traditional male in-and-out shopping instinct has been subverted by the influence of his distaff side.
[14:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sounds good. Say, Thursday evening?" Ann suggests, going along with the idea.
[14:11] <Prince_Herb> "That sounds good." Herb says. "I'll pick you up around six, then, my sweet, if that suits you?"
[14:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That'll work," she agrees. "Anyway, let me call you back later, I'm here in just a towel and dripping on the floor. See you Thursday, Herb!"
[14:17] <Prince_Herb> "Bye, Ann-chan! Love you!" Herb says, and puts the phone down. He goes back to his room, thinking of his lovely space elf in nothing but a flimsy towel, her twin glories barely hidden by the thin terrycloth...
[14:17] * Prince_Herb sighs and goes for a cold shower.
[16:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[16:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Lately, Rei's dreams have been peaceful - no visions of terror, no Eternal Silences beckoning.
[16:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Only the occasional dream of her love, Usagi Tsukino, disrupting her good nights' sleep... until tonight.
[16:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[16:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> As the palace crumbles, Princess Herb shouts, "There's too many of them! I can't hol... ugh!" Complemented by her wet scream as a blade penetrates her chest, Sailor Dragon falls, fatally wounded as she defends the last stronghold of the Moon.
[16:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> Grimacing a moment, Eudial picks up her flame cannon, again firing into the crowd of hideous monsters. "They aren't stopping!" she curses a moment later, as you continue to fall back, the door to Serenity's room at your backs. "Rei, we need to do something quickly!"
[16:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> As if by magic, you notice two wooden, smooth sticks are in your hands. "Hurry," Eudial urges, dodging a sword swipe as the crowd threatens to overrun you!
[16:38] * Rei-chan blinks at the sticks, recalling them as the ones they found on the Moon... the ones Usagi said had something to do with fire... that she had kept in a sealed box in the Shrine ever since failing to discern their purpose. 'Will these help...?' she wonders, racking her brain for the usage of these magical items.
[16:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you do so, Eudial begins to turn again, to speak. But... whatever she was going to say is lost forever, the nearest beast plunging its wicked sword through her throat, your friend falling in a gurgling gush of blood...
[16:42] <Rei-chan> Falling out of her oddly disconnected dream state, Rei feels a rush of adrenaline as her situation hits home. Wasting no more time with contemplation, she summons forth a massive wave of flame in a wide arc around her position to lay into the horde of monsters!
[16:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> The flame roars forth, yet the sticks in your hand are ice-cold... the flame barely even phases the horde, instead prompting them to rush forward! A thousand blades pierce you, a flowering eruption of pain wracking you as you fall in dreambody and from sleep, Serenity's pained scream echoing as you rush to the material world once again.
[16:44] * Rei-chan sits bolt upright, cold sweat trickling down her brow from the nightmare. "Just a dream... just a dream..." she mutters, breathing heavily as her eyes dart around the room, still fighting for calm.
[16:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Rei's frantic panic melts away, only one thing is left in the aftermath - the image of those sticks, icy cold and useless when needed.
[16:46] <Rei-chan> Filled with restless energy, Rei tosses her blankets aside, getting out of her bed and promptly heading for the chamber of the Sacred Flame.
[16:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> Entering the Shrine proper, the Sacred Flame crackles with warmth and vitality, even in the middle of the night.
[16:48] * Rei-chan bows to the Fire, before going to the side of the room where a small wooden box sits on a shelf. Picking up the box, she taps the ofuda on the lid, her own spiritual energy the key to nullifying it, before opening the box to reveal the two sticks of her dream. "I haven't even thought about these in months... why now?" she muses, taking them in her other hand and setting the box aside.
[16:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> They feel cool to the touch, and smooth as silk. Nothing much, really, you'd think. Except to your finely tuned senses, you can sense a vague feeling of gravity to them, of substance.
[16:51] * Rei-chan rolls the sticks between her fingers, leaning against the wall as she examines them. "I'm sure you used to belong to me..." she addresses the magical artefacts contemplatively, "But I just can't remember what you actually DID," she finishes with some annoyance, wracking her brain for that elusive memory which will solve the puzzle.
[16:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Flickers and fragments of your past life flash by, mainly of Serenity at first, then of Mars. Scattered through those, like teasers, are the tiniest bits of information about the sticks... fire... strong...
[16:56] <Rei-chan> "Fire..." Rei bites her lip, "Always fire..." She holds the sticks up to her face, bearing a vaguely cross expression, "But how do I unlock the Fire within you, and why is it important, now?"
[16:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> Unbidden, a snatch of song echos in your mind, a more recent memory - the song Minako made for you about your relationship, just before the end.
[17:01] <Rei-chan> "Eternally falling snow?" Rei repeats part of the song quietly, "That doesn't have much to do with fire. What made me think of it just now?" She frowns, "Well... there was that bit about the burning candle..."
[17:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you think, the sticks are still cool and smooth, giving no clue to their true nature.
[17:05] <Rei-chan> "Hmm..." Rei decides to try a little experiment. Rolling up her right sleeve, she transfers one stick to her left hand, and then puts her right hand with the stick into the burning Sacred Flame, carefully observing any reaction from either stick as she does so.
[17:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> The stick heats slightly, not burning or smoking in the least, but not really getting warm, either.
[17:09] * Rei-chan withdraws her hand. "That did nothing..." She frowns, walking out into the Temple courtyard. Holding up the sticks, she tries to will heat into them with her magical control over fire.
[17:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> A bit of fire ane energy are pushed into it, but largely it feels like your will to create fire is trying to overfill a tightly packed container.
[17:15] <Rei-chan> "Interesting..." Rei purses her lips, deciding to try the opposite approach. Pointing the sticks skywards, she tries to 'open' the container, releasing what's inside (presumably fire given what little she can remember and the way it reacted to what she just did).
[17:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - 2d6+2.
[17:17] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6+2
[17:17] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6+2 and gets 9."
[17:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei does indeed feel something for a moment, something roaring and burning inside of the artifact. But yet, nothing comes out despite your try. But yet, for that moment, you felt the power inside of it, the energy sizzling and waiting.
[17:20] <Rei-chan> Thinking that she's on the right track, but something is limiting her, Rei transfers both sticks to her left hand and produces the Mars Pen in her right. With a cry of "Mars Power, Make Up!" she transforms into the sailor suited soldier of fire and passion; Sailor Mars!
[17:21] <Sailor_Mars> Again putting a stick in each hand, Mars aims skywards and repeats her previous attempt to unleash the power within these magical sticks of fire.
[17:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - 2d6
[17:21] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6
[17:21] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[17:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> Her will working with the magic of the sticks, Rei again feels the heat and fury inside, for a few seconds this time, yet can't quite open it all the way, to let the rage forth...not quite this try, at least.
[17:24] <Sailor_Mars> Taking several deep breaths, Rei focuses her will to the task with renewed vigour, certain that she's on the verge of a breakthrough with these stubborn magic items.
[17:24] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6 burning 20 EP
[17:24] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 burning 20 EP and gets 7."
[17:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Finally, like a rusted tap you managed to at last turn, a gush of fire pours from the sticks, your arms moving in a old, strangely familiar motion, a circle around with both sticks passing each other halfway. "Mars Star Inferno!" comes from your lips unbidden, the sticks shining as fire lights the sky!
[17:29] <Sailor_Mars> "Oooh!" Rei bounces on her toes after completing the procedure, giddy with her success. "So that's it, eh?" she smiles, deciding to give it another try just to prove it wasn't a fluke. "Mars Star Inferno!" she cries, forming a circle with the sticks as she aims upwards, this time paying attention to the form and intensity of the attack.
[17:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Again a raw, searing column of fire comes forth, again giving a light show against the night sky.
[17:31] <Sailor_Mars> "I like this," the miko grins, twirling her sticks like a cheerleader's batons before placing them in subspace as she detransforms.
[17:32] <Rei-chan> Feeling quite awake, Rei returns to her room and checks the time.
[17:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> It's 1:24 AM.
[17:33] <Rei-chan> "Damn... hoped it was later," she grumbles, realising that if she does stay up she'll be pretty darn tired tomorrow. Plodding off to the kitchen, she makes herself a mug of warm milk before retiring to bed once more.
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 7: Miss H at Mugen through A Visit With Rei's Mother
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2006, 10:06:29 pm »
[08:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[08:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> After a fun morning of tutoring - the big day is getting close - Usagi heads out to lunch, amid a throng of students. But as she winds her way down the halls, a familiar, red dress suit, brown haired and frantic teacher is cutting her way through the mess, with a few elbows, pardon mes, and so on.
[08:48] * Usagi-chan blinks, checking again to make sure it's who she thinks it is.
[08:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Get out of the way," Miss H grunts as another student in the swarm is pushed aside, your old teacher coming in your general direction, looking rather irked.
[08:50] <Usagi-chan> "Miss H?" Usagi calls out, waving to the brunette. "What are you doing here?" She heads towards her old teacher in an attempt to save her fellow students a bit of abuse.
[08:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Miss Haruna looks right at you. "Usagi!" she calls, sending a swarth of teenagers aside as she dashes up to you. "You're really at Mugen," she says, wide eyed. "I thought it was cover for you to join some strange cult."
-------
Once again, I stab at my connection. Miss H teaches at Mugen, thanks to our intrepid rabbit-like heroine!

-------
[12:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another trip to see Hotaru was in the cards, really. While word does filter out that she's improving, her request for you to visit again stays in the back of your mind...
[12:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> So, one day after school, the four Senshi around decide to go visit her again..
[12:30] * Rei-chan rings the doorbell of the Tomoe residence.
[12:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> To your surprise, Hotaru opens the door rather quickly. She looks better, a hint of color in her cheeks, visible against the black long sleeved shirt and skirt she wears. "Rei-chan," she smiles at the door. "You came back."
[12:32] * Usagi-chan smiles at the sight of the girl herself. "Hey there, Hotaru-chan!"
[12:32] <Rei-chan> "Hi, Hotaru-chan," Rei grins, "I'm glad to see you're up and about." She gestures at her companions, "I brought Usagi and Haruka just like you asked." She pauses for a moment. "Herb's here, too."
[12:33] <Haruka> "Hey there, Hotaru," Haruka says with a wave and a smile. "Feeling better, I'm guessing."
[12:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> She smiles at all three, even Herb, as she takes Rei's hand, yanking her inside gently. "Can we play cards, again, Rei?" she asks.
[12:34] * Prince_Herb bows to the Saturn princess.
[12:34] <Rei-chan> "Sure," Rei chirps happily, allowing herself to be pulled along.
[12:34] * Usagi-chan follows the two inside, smiling brightly at the sight of Hotaru doing so much better than the last time she visited.
[12:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> Inside, you catch sight of Professor Tomoe, talking with another man in the darkly-hued living room. Something about repainting... Anyway, Hotaru leads you back to her room, sunshine gleaming in there.
[12:37] * Usagi-chan gives the Professor a wave as the group passes.
[12:38] * Haruka follows the procession, giving the Professor a nod of greeting on the way.
[12:38] <Rei-chan> As they enter Hotaru's room, Rei gestures between Hotaru and Herb. "Herb is Sailor Dragon, by the way, Hotaru-chan," she nods, before frowning as she notes Herb's masculine state. "Uh... he turns into a girl when wet, too."
[12:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> He waves absently, more interested in the other discussion.
[12:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Um," Hotaru turns to him as you enter her room. "Like magic?"
[12:39] <Prince_Herb> "Only with *cold* water, Rei-hime," Herb says
[12:39] <Rei-chan> "Pretty much," Rei shrugs. "Some sort of curse or whatever. He seems happy enough with it, though, so no one really minds."
[12:40] * Usagi-chan nods. "I'm just glad to see you're feeling so much better, Hotaru-chan." Usagi says with a smile as she seats herself on the floor.
[12:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru nods to Usagi at that. "I'll be going back to school soon," she says with a tiny frown.
[12:42] <Rei-chan> "You are?" Rei looks interested, "Will you be going to Mugen with us?"
[12:42] * Haruka cocks her head to one side peering at Hotaru, "Something wrong about school?"
[12:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru's head turns away, the girl quiet now. "I... they think I'm a freak," she says quietly, unspoken tears in her voice.
[12:44] <Rei-chan> "Who does?" Rei asks, now frowning a bit herself.
[12:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> "My classmates," she whispers. "They all think I'm a monster..." Hotaru shakes her head, some unpleasant memories rushing back in.
[12:48] <Usagi-chan> "Well, *I* sure don't think you're a monster OR a freak, Hotaru-chan." Usagi smiles. "They just don't know you, that's all."
[12:48] * Haruka nods at Usagi's words while taking a seat on the floor.
[12:48] * Rei-chan hugs Hotaru gently. "That's all behind you now, Hotaru-chan. You're not a monster at all," she says, her heart aching for what the little girl must have been put through thanks to Germatou.
[12:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru melts into Rei's arms, softly crying. "But... I helped one of them and they all hate me now..."
[12:50] <Usagi-chan> "You helped one of them and they hate you?" Usagi looks puzzled. "What happened?"
[12:50] <Rei-chan> "What do you mean?" Rei asks softly, stroking her hair, "Why would they hate you for helping someone?"
[12:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I... can help people when they're hurt..." Hotaru says, muffled from her position on her shoulder. "Sammy hurt his arm when he fell from the jungle gym, but I healed it... they all called me a monster..."
[12:54] * Usagi-chan glances over at Rei, surprised. "Wow, Hotaru... that sounds really cool."
[12:55] * Haruka shakes her head at the "brilliance" of youthful logic, but says nothing aloud.
[12:55] * Rei-chan shakes her head sadly. "Being able to do something like that is wonderful, Hotaru-chan. The people who called you a monster are stupid idiots," she says, with some irritation as she recalls the various names she was called at T*A.
[12:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru cries a bit more before saying anything. "Are they....? Maybe they're right..."
[12:57] * Prince_Herb nods. "The girls at Rei-chan's old school called her terrible things as well, but now she's at Mugen all that's forgotten," Herb says. "People are more trusting there these days."
[12:59] <Rei-chan> "No they're not!" Rei says fiercely. "I got called names at my old school because I could do things that aren't 'normal' and the people who did that are just as stupid as the people who make fun of you. Don't you think for one second that they're right, because they're not."
[13:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru pushes away, a bit cowed by your tone. "But if I wasn't... would Daddy and everyone been..." Hotaru looks away, her gaze on the floor.
[13:01] <Haruka> "Do you think you're a monster?" Haruka asks Hotaru.
[13:02] <Usagi-chan> "That wasn't you, Hotaru-chan." Usagi says quietly. "That was the Mistress, and she's gone now."
[13:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> She doesn't reply, instead sniffling and staring at the floor guitily.
[13:06] <Rei-chan> "Come on, Hotaru-chan," Rei says, her tone softer now, "We're all your friends - none of us think you're a freak or a monster."
[13:07] * Prince_Herb takes Hotaru's hand. "That's right."
[13:08] * Haruka sighs a bit, wondering if her innate bluntness was too much for the girl. "Look, Hotaru, if you truly believe that you're not a monster then you aren't. No matter what anyone says, as long as you believe you're not, you won't be."
[13:09] * Usagi-chan leans over to look Hotaru in the eyes, smiling. "It's not your fault any of it happened, Hotaru. You were just caught in the middle of everything."
[13:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Thank you..." she says quietly, looking up to Prince Herb as he takes her hand. "But I feel like I am..." Concentrating a moment, a golden glow surrounds Herb's hand and Hotaru's, just for a moment. Herb feels a warm buzz, a restful feeling. "That's... what I could do if you were hurt.."
[13:10] <Rei-chan> "And that's a beautiful gift, Hotaru-chan," Rei beams. "Usagi knows a spell for healing people, but she can only do it as Sailor Moon - and we're all very grateful she can do it. None of us would ever think such an ability is a bad thing."
[13:11] * Usagi-chan grins. "Besides, that's a lot better than Rei-chan - all she does is set stuff on fire." She grins over at Rei. "Isn't that right, Pyro?"
[13:11] * Rei-chan frowns. "I can make things warm without burning them, too. Which I recall you all appreciated tons back in Winter!" she sticks her tongue out at Usagi.
[13:12] * Usagi-chan returns the gesture before breaking down in a fit of the giggles.
[13:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> At your interplay, Hotaru chuckles a bit as well. "You promise you won't tease me about it?"
[13:13] <Rei-chan> "Of course not," Rei grins. "We can all do weird stuff ourselves, remember? It's a good thing, not a bad thing."
[13:13] <Usagi-chan> "No way!" Usagi declares emphatically. "We'd never do anything like that!"
[13:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Wiping her last tear away, she smiles shakily. "Thanks, Rei-chan, Usagi-chan, Haruka-chan and Herb-chan."
[13:17] <Rei-chan> "Anytime, Hotaru-chan," Rei smiles. "Now, you said you wanted to play cards again, didn't you?" The miko holds up her hand and tries to telekinetically grab the deck of cards from Hotaru's desk, sending it into her waiting palm.
[13:18] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-4
[13:18] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-4 and gets 3."
[13:18] * Prince_Herb reaches into his backpack. "I brought you this as well. Makoto said you liked plushies..."
[13:18] * Prince_Herb takes out a cute dragon plushie and offers it to Hotaru as the cards fly about.
[13:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru's eyes widen at Rei's trick, staring at the deck of cards. "That's cool," she says, taking the plushie as well.
[13:21] <Rei-chan> "It is, isn't it?" Rei smiles, shuffling the deck in her hands. "And so is your healing ability."
[13:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Holding the plushie, she look at Rei, her eyes sparkling. "Yeah... maybe you're right..."
[13:23] <Usagi-chan> "So, what are we going to play?" Usagi smiles.
[13:24] <Rei-chan> "Old Maid, again?" Rei gives Hotaru a questioning look.
[13:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru nods, her eyes still quite fixed on you. "I'd like that... we can play with 5 people."
[13:24] <Prince_Herb> "I don't know the rules," admits Herb. "You'll have to teach me."
[13:25] <Rei-chan> "It's not a complicated game," Rei tells Herb before explaining the rules.
[13:25] <Usagi-chan> "That sounds great! Come on, Rei-chan, deal the cards already." Usagi grins.
[13:26] * Rei-chan deals out the cards and the gaming commences!
[13:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> The game goes, Haruka winning the first game as Usagi is stuck with the Old Maid card at the end.
[13:28] * Haruka tries not to gloat, but the grin on her face belies the fact....
[13:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Smiling, "Can we play again," Hotaru asks.
[13:30] <Haruka> "So Usagi can be Old Maid again?" Haruka quips.
[13:30] <Rei-chan> "Of course. We need to wipe that grin off Haruka's face, don't we?"
[13:30] <Usagi-chan> "I'm not going to lose this time!" Usagi glowers, giving Haruka a stare.
[13:31] * Rei-chan gathers up the cards. "We'll see what the cards say," she says calmly, shuffling and redistributing the deck.
[13:32] <Usagi-chan> Investigating her hand, Usagi looks around at the other players when her turn arrives. She grins as she remembers Rei's trick with the cards; going over to Hotaru's hand, she points at one card in the fan, outlining it in a purple glow the color of Hotaru's own aura. "I'll take that one."
[13:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru's eyes widen as you take that card...
[13:40] * Usagi-chan giggles. 'I couldn't resist a little showing off of my own.'
[13:40] * Rei-chan notes Hotaru's reaction. 'There's no harm in it.'
[13:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> The game goes on, this time Hotaru wins, with poor Rei stuck with the Old Maid.
[13:42] * Rei-chan grumbles good-naturedly at her defeat.
[13:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru giggles at that. "Rei-chan, you're the Old Maid," she teases.
[13:43] * Usagi-chan grins. 'Not as long as I'm around...' she thinks to the miko.
[13:44] <Rei-chan> "It's a hard life," Rei complains, before blushing at Usagi's thought.
[13:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Do you know any other card games, Rei-chan," Hotaru asks, still wanting to play.
[13:45] <Rei-chan> "We could play Go Fish?" Rei suggests.
[13:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay," she agrees, waiting for the game to start.
[13:49] * Rei-chan explains the rules for Herb's benefit as she gathers up the cards, and then deals them out once more for the new game.
[13:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> The game starts, Herb winning quickly this time.
[13:53] <Prince_Herb> "Bwahahah! My draconic powers bring me victory once again!" Herb jokes, tickling the plush dragon under the chin
[13:53] <Haruka> "Beginner's luck," Haruka replies with a smirk.
[13:53] * Rei-chan sweatdrops. "What she said," she points at Haruka.
[13:55] <Haruka> "Deal again, Old Maid!" Haruka replies, pointing back at Rei with a playful grin.
[13:55] <Rei-chan> "Oh, you," Rei playfully bats Haruka's arm, gathering up the cards and dealing them out once more.
[13:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> This time, Herb wins again by one pair...
[13:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "We got closer this time," Hotaru comments, "At least it wasn't as bad as last time."
[13:58] <Rei-chan> "The beginner's luck is powerful today," Rei says darkly, though betrayed by the mirth in her eyes.
[13:59] * Haruka settles for grunting in reply.
[14:00] * Rei-chan deals once more. "This game for the championship!"
[14:01] <Haruka> "We should check his sleeves for extra cards," Haruka stage whispers while pointing back at Herb.
[14:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> This time, as if to bely her comment, Haruka wins...
[14:02] * Haruka whistles the tune of "We Are The Champions" while trying not to grin so widely.
[14:03] <Rei-chan> "Bah!" Rei slumps backwards to lie on her back. "You win this round, Haruka!" she postures inneffectually.
[14:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "We'll win next time," Hotaru nods, smiling.
[14:04] <Haruka> "In the end," Haruka begins, "It's all about skill." She punctuates it by nodding in what she thought was a sagacious manner.
[14:04] <Rei-chan> Pulling herself back up, Rei gathers the cards once more. "This game for the world cup," she mutters, dealing them out.
[14:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru wins this time, the game going on a goodly while.
[14:10] <Rei-chan> "I'm doing my reputation as a psychic no good at all, here..." Rei mutters to herself. "Oh, well. Congratulations to our world champion," she gestures, smiling at Hotaru.
[14:10] <Haruka> "What, no applause for the 'champion'?" Haruka mock whimpers, while clapping for Hotaru.
[14:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru blushes. "Thanks..."
[14:11] <Rei-chan> "You weren't gracious enough in victory," Rei smirks at Haruka.
[14:12] * Haruka clutches her chest. "You wound me, Rei."
[14:13] <Prince_Herb> "I still hold the Men's title, though," says Herb, "despite Haruka's convincing performance."
[14:13] * Rei-chan cringes, looking between Haruka and Herb as she expects impending violence.
[14:14] <Haruka> "Coming in first in a one-man race lacks something, Herb." Haruka shoots back.
[14:15] <Prince_Herb> "It's still a win," Herb says, winking
[14:16] <Haruka> "Feh," Haruka snorts, looking away in a mock huff.
[14:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> Soon after, the girls leave, after a promise to see Hotaru again...
[15:51] <Ebiris> ------------
[15:55] <Serenity-hime> It's late, late into the wee hours of one Sunday morning that finds a bleary-eyed princess hard at work in her study in the Moon Palace. She takes a sip from a cup of tea left for her by Ami some hours previously, grimacing a bit at the bitter taste.
[15:56] * Serenity-hime rubs the back of her hand against her eyes, trying to focus on Eudial's latest report on some sort of vehicle found ruined in one of the palace basements, although it's making little sense to her.
[16:01] <Serenity-hime> She leans back in her chair, closing her eyes as she tries to collect her thoughts... when something on the edge of her awareness strikes her as being slightly out of place. Furrowing her brow, she tries to focus on the source of the disturbance, finally narrowing it down to the library.
[16:02] <Serenity-hime> "A break would probably be good anyway..." she mutters, draining the last of her tea before heading down to the library itself.
[16:03] <Serenity-hime> As she approaches the library on the opposite side of the palace, she recognizes the aura as Rei's. 'How did she get up here?' Usagi thinks to herself as she pushes open the heavy oak door of the library.
[16:08] <Rei-chan> Inside the library, Serenity is confronted by the sight of a semi-transparent and pajama-clad Rei Hino, floating comfortably several feet off the ground in a horizontal position and concentrating intently on a thick tome that floats just before her head.
[16:08] * Serenity-hime blinks in surprise. "Rei?"
[16:10] * Rei-chan starts slightly, the book abruptly falling to the ground. "Hi, Usagi," she waves sheepishly, still seeming quite comfortable as she floats in the air as if she were lying on her stomach. "I didn't think you'd be up here so late," she observes.
[16:11] * Serenity-hime remains rather shocked as she comes over to get a closer look at Rei's ghostly form. "I didn't think you'd be up here at all... if you ARE actually up here." She waves a hand through the spectral image.
[16:13] <Rei-chan> "I'm not physically here, no," Rei says, dodging away from Serenity's hand. "My body is still in bed at the Shrine, but I've projected my consciousness up here." She sighs, "I couldn't sleep, so I figured reading a few boring old Lunarian books would cure insomnia."
[16:14] * Serenity-hime giggles. "Well, they're good at that... but wow, I didn't know you could do anything like this."
[16:15] <Rei-chan> "Heh," Rei smirks, "You're not the only one who can learn new tricks," she says, shifting to a standing position with her feet on the floor, although one of them is going through the book she was reading. "I used to only be able to do stuff like this when meditating very deeply with the Sacred Flame as a focus, but it's gotten a lot easier."
[16:18] * Serenity-hime grins. "You're not the only one still learning new tricks." Closing her eyes and muttering a few words in the Lunar tongue, Serenity summons an exact duplicate of Rei's image as it appears in the library, only much more solid-looking. It gives the ghostly miko a grin and waves, prompting Serenity to giggle.
[16:21] * Rei-chan pouts. "Show off," she mutters, grinning. Looking at the duplicate image for a second, she turns back to Serenity, "Just how real can you make that?"
[16:22] <Serenity-hime> "Pretty real... when I first figured out how to make an illusion, it was like this - just what you see. I've managed to tweak the spell around a little, and if I concentrate a little more I can make it sound and even feel real."
[16:24] <Rei-chan> "Boy... I just can't keep up," Rei shakes her head. "So what are you doing up this late anyway? And up here?" she asks curiously.
[16:25] * Serenity-hime sighs. "Going over paperwork. I swear, I really do appreciate having everyone from Mugen to help us out, but there are SO many reports on what people want to do and what they've found and what they need... ugh!" Serenity runs a hand through her hair in exasperation.
[16:26] <Rei-chan> "You need a secretary to filter stuff like that for you," Rei announces, smirking.
[16:27] * Serenity-hime sighs. "I'm starting to wonder if I don't... I mean, half the stuff that Ami and Viluy and Eudial put on my desk I can't even understand half the time. At least I really only have to do this about once a week - it's just taking longer than usual tonight because Eudial's found a bunch of new stuff."
[16:32] <Rei-chan> "Want me to help you look over some of it?" Rei offers helpfully. "If nothing else, it'd serve just as well for curing my insomnia as reading about the Martian potato famine of 422," she says, making a face.
[16:33] * Serenity-hime smiles. "If you want to. It's all up in my study though, if you don't mind heading up there. I sure wouldn't mind the company."
[16:35] <Rei-chan> "Makes no difference to me," Rei shrugs, drifting along beside Serenity without moving her legs.
[16:35] * Serenity-hime shakes her head as she starts the long trip back up to her office. "It's weird having you here like this though... you look like a ghost almost."
[16:38] <Rei-chan> "Well, I could make myself invisible, but I doubt that would be any better at all," Rei replies. "This is just the easiest state for me to maintain when I project myself, although..." she furrows her brow, concentrating a bit. After a few seconds she looks physically solid, although her aura is still shadowy and she still floats. "Any better?" she asks hopefully.
[16:39] * Serenity-hime smiles. "Kind of... although I'd still prefer it if you were really here. Although I doubt we'd be getting much work done if you were." That prompts a grin. "I can't cuddle with a projection."
[16:41] <Rei-chan> "Well..." Rei gives Serenity a sideways look, "I can't teleport myself, but you could come down and pick me up?" She matches Serenity's grin, "Besides, it is rather late to be worrying about work..."
[16:42] * Serenity-hime grins. "If you're still awake when we get done, you've got a deal. But I really do need to get through some of this stuff, some of it's been waiting for an answer for a couple of weeks." She makes a face. "I kind of let it get behind, that's why I'm up here so late tonight."
[16:44] <Rei-chan> "Oh, well," Rei shrugs again, "Guess we'd better get cracking, then."
[16:46] * Serenity-hime nods, stepping into the brightly lit study and flopping down in her chair with a sigh. "Ugh... just so much to go through!" She points to a small pile of papers. "That's all proposals for new things to put in - everything from a computer system for Ami and Viluy to a greenhouse for Tellu." A second, smaller pile. "That one's mostly Eudial, and a little Ami - all old technology that they've found up here that they think they can fix."
[16:46] <Serenity-hime> A third pile, dwarfing the other two. "And that one is requests for me to fix various things, since I'm the only one who can really do a lot of that." She sighs.
[16:49] <Rei-chan> "Heh..." Rei chuckles, "Okay, I guess I'll help with the 'to fix list'. I'll see about putting them in order of importance for you while you decide what to do with the other proposals?" she suggests.
[16:50] <Serenity-hime> "That would work. Oh, and I already know that a ton of them are Viluy and Eudial wanting power restored to various areas - you can just set all those aside. Ami's still trying to map out where all the holes in the power grid are, so until we really know that I can't do much about those anyway." She picks up the pile of proposals for new additions and begins to read through them.
[16:52] <Rei-chan> Rei once more adopts a horizontal position as if lying down in midair, and the large stack of requests float up to in front of her face as she begins to read them, going through each paper and then arranging them into three separate piles as she works through the bunch.
[16:55] * Serenity-hime takes the Lunar Pen out of subspace and uses it to scribble notes on the various proposals as she sorts through them. Tellu's greenhouse gets a provisional approval, as soon as the Professor has the teleport machine set up; the materials to construct it would be too hard to get to the Moon otherwise.
[17:00] * Rei-chan frowns for a moment as she debates whether Ami's request to repair the telescope in the observatory deserves priority. While it has little practical use right now, it does sound rather interesting. Although it would likely be a fair amount of work as well... and it would still need power to work. Nodding, she sticks it in the second pile, deciding not to bother Usagi with it right now.
[17:03] <Serenity-hime> The next proposal in Serenity's pile is regarding the teleporter itself, from the Professor. Usagi narrows her brows as she reads over the complex document, detailing exactly what will be needed to make a second teleport pad on the Moon and how it will have to be powered. She underlines a few key requirements and sets it aside for Ami, knowing that the girl genius will have to translate most of the rest and figure out how
[17:03] <Serenity-hime> to arrange the things that Serenity DOES understand.
[17:30] <Rei-chan> The two girls continue working in companionable silence, and after a while Rei finally places the last sheet of paper from her stack. "Done," she announces with a tired sigh. "The first pile," she points to the leftmost and middle height pile, "Is essential - mostly construction work that's important so we don't get people breaking their necks on the stairwells."
[17:30] <Rei-chan> "That," she points to the middle and shortest pile, "Is not really important, although some of it is interesting. The rest," she points at the last, and tallest pile, "Are things to do with the power."
[17:33] * Serenity-hime sets aside the last of her pile as well. "Done here too... most of this stuff is really a good idea to have up here, but we can't really build a lot of new stuff until the Professor gets the teleporter up and running. - it's just too hard to get materials up here for us right now. It has to be either the Twins or me doing it, and there's only so much we can do at once."
[17:35] * Serenity-hime grins wryly. "Although I'm turning down Herb, Haruka, and Eudial's request for a garage. We don't have any cars up here, and I'm not sure I want them to build any either, at least not the kind they use on Earth. Too much pollution - the air up here is at least completely clean right now, and I'd rather not mess that up."
[17:36] <Rei-chan> "Especially since we're not sure exactly how much we have," Rei nods quickly. "No way we're going to mess up the Moon the way pollution messed up Earth. The air up here is so much nicer than in Tokyo."
[17:37] <Serenity-hime> "Yeah, I know." She looks over at the pile of recent discoveries and sighs. "Those aren't quite as important - most of those are just to make sure it's okay if they start working on something. It usually is, I just wanted reports so I know what's being worked on and whether it's going anywhere."
[17:39] * Rei-chan nods, breaking the gesture with a cavernous yawn. "Anyway, I'm getting pretty tired, now. I think it's time for bed." She drifts into a standing position, "Although my offer still stands if you like?" she asks hopefully.
[17:40] * Serenity-hime smiles. "I don't know, I'll have to think about it..." Murmuring the words in the back of her throat, Serenity teleports from her study into the miko's bedroom. "Okay, I thought about it." She giggles.
[17:42] * Rei-chan is lying immobile on her bed, breathing deeply with her eyes closed. Although a couple of seconds later her eyes open and she sits up as her consciousness returns from the Moon. "Give me some warning, would you?" she complains half heartedly, getting up out of bed.
[17:43] * Serenity-hime gives the miko an embarrassed grin. "Sorry, just thought I'd surprise you a little bit." She moves behind Rei, encircling her with her arms. "You need to take anything up for in the morning?"
[17:44] <Rei-chan> "I guess some clothes and my schoolbag if we'll be going straight to school," Rei muses, telekinetically gathering said items so she doesn't have to escape Serenity's hug.
[17:45] * Serenity-hime grins and kisses Rei's neck. "It's Saturday night, silly - well, Sunday morning now really. No school tomorrow."
[17:47] * Rei-chan blinks. "Oh yeah..." she shakes her head. "Never mind then," she sends her belongings back where they came from. "Guess I'm not thinking straight."
[17:47] * Serenity-hime glances over at the clock. "Well, it is almost three in the morning... I think you can be excused for being a little foggy." She tightens her grip a little, teleporting the pair straight into the princess' chambers.
[17:50] <Rei-chan> "Well, I could sure do with sleeping right now," Rei yawns again, leaning back against Serenity and tilting her head to look at the blonde's face. "You going to get changed so we can go to bed?"
[17:51] * Serenity-hime slips out of her transformation, revealing that Usagi had been wearing a pair of overalls and a light yellow blouse earlier in the day.
[17:52] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, just give me a minute." She yawns, heading over for one of the restored dressers. "I actually started keeping a pair of pajamas in here since I've stayed up here way too late a few times now."
[17:53] <Rei-chan> "That's a good idea," Rei nods, pulling back the covers on the bed and hopping onto the mattress.
[17:54] * Usagi-chan changes into her pajamas with relatively little fuss, heading over to the bed and plopping down onto it heavily. "Man, I'm beat..." she grumbles into the pillow.
[17:55] <Rei-chan> Pulling the blankets over them both, Rei cuddles up against the blonde. "Sweet dreams, Usagi," she murmurs.
[17:57] * Usagi-chan snuggles up to Rei a bit more herself. "'night, Rei-chan." She gives the miko a kiss on the cheek before dropping off into a deep slumber.
[17:57] * Rei-chan soon follows her love into the realm of peaceful sleep.
[09:49] <Usagi-chan> -----
[09:51] <Usagi-chan> It's a sunny Sunday afternoon in late May, and as with most Sundays of late, Usagi is enjoying it in typical fashion - by spending her time in the chilly, dusty recesses of the Moon Palace.
[09:52] <Usagi-chan> Today at least is more pleasant than most; having recently repaired the last of the collapsed hallway ceilings, Usagi is in her royal study, updating her blueprints and trying to determine her next objective in the long process of repairing the palace.
[09:55] * Ami-chan sticks her head into the room, glancing around until he gaze falls on the Moon Princess. "Usagi-chan? Are you in the middle of something?"
[09:55] * Usagi-chan glances up from her study of the color-coded blueprints. "Hmm? No, nothing that important - come on in." She smiles. "What's up?"
[09:59] <Ami-chan> "I finished with the parts Herb bought for us." Ami offers, moving into the room. "We have a temporary computer setup for your office now." As she moves in, the cart she's pulling comes into view, holding a monitor, computer case and assorted odds and ends, as well as a large black box.
[10:00] * Usagi-chan blinks. "Oh... I didn't know you wanted me to have a computer." She looks at the items in the cart curiously.
[10:03] * Ami-chan smiles. "It would be a good idea to back up the blueprints." She observes. "As well as other things." She eyes the slight disarray of the table. "It's neater, too."
[10:05] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, yeah, I know it's kind of a mess. But at least I have the space to MAKE a mess in here." She smiles at the large cluttered desk with a measure of fondness, picking through a stack of reports from Artemis on the latest sales figures for the new toy line he was trying to push.
[10:06] * Ami-chan smiles. "Some things never change." she teases gently, moving the cart up to Usagi's desk.
[10:07] <Usagi-chan> "Anyway, where are you going to put it? I can clear off a space for you." Usagi begins to pile the papers up in a stack, paying little attention to what's getting stuffed together.
[10:09] <Ami-chan> Ami winces slightly as she watches the cleanup method, conviced getting Usagi a computer was the right thing to do. "It won't need much space, just the one corner near the chair will do." she answers, gesturing as she begins unloading supplies.
[10:10] <Usagi-chan> "Right..." Usagi nods, rolling up the blueprints to open the requested area up.
[10:11] * Ami-chan begins setting the monitor and case on the desk, and quickly began pulling out cables, humming as she works, an oddly bouncy tune.
[10:13] * Usagi-chan lands in her chair, spinning around in a circle in it as she waits for the blue-haired genius to finish her work.
[10:16] <Ami-chan> Ami finally finishes hooking up the computer, and takes the black box out, setting it on the floor, and plugs the computer into it, smiling apologetically up at Usagi. "I haven't finished making an adapter cord yet, so this will be the power source in the meantime." she informs the blonde. "Er... Usagi-chan, you've used the computers at school before, right?"
[10:17] <Usagi-chan> "Sure, Umino showed me how to play Solitaire on one once." Usagi nods.
[10:20] <Ami-chan> "..." Ami shakes her head, smiling slightly. "Well, it's a start." she giggles. "Just give me a moment to set it up so it's not hard to use, okay?" she asks, coming around the desk and beginning to turn things on. As the computer begins beeping a thought seems to strike her. "Rei mentioned that you brought your parents up here?"
[10:23] * Usagi-chan smiles at the memory. "Yeah, I brought them up after Rei and I had dinner with them. They both really liked the view from the balcony."
[10:24] <Ami-chan> The computer finishes booting up and Ami begins tampering with the setup as she talks. "Did... you explain things to them?" she asks hesitantly. "How did they react?"
[10:25] * Usagi-chan sighs a little. "Mom was afraid I was just doing this on a whim, that I'd just give it up after it got hard or something." She smiles a little at that. "I think if I was going to do that I wouldn't ever have started."
[10:27] <Ami-chan> Ami smiles back. "I know. And so do the others. We wouldn't have committed to this if we didn't believe in you." she replies warmly before a pensive look falls over her again and she resumes typing, her hands moving quickly enough to seem a blur.
[10:28] * Usagi-chan smiles. "I really don't thank all you guys enough for all your help... I mean, none of you had to help me out with this at all, but you've all chosen to help me put this place back together."
[10:31] * Ami-chan grins, and the computer beeps once before going black, and a gauge slowly fills up across the screen. "It's what we all believe in." she replies, slipping out her glasses from a pocket and putting them on. "And... it's really fun."
[10:32] * Usagi-chan giggles. "Well, I'm glad you enjoy it too. Doing the repairs is fun, and getting to see everything after it's finished is AWESOME... but I could really pass on the cleaning up part." She makes a face.
[10:34] * Ami-chan smiles. "I don't know. I find it satisfying to monitor my progress that way." she shrugs. The computer monitor dings as the gauge fills up and suddenly, a bright blue background appears, and the logo from the Sailor Senshi products being sold writes itself across the screen.
[10:36] * Usagi-chan puts one hand on the roll of blueprints. "Thanks for the blueprint idea too, Ami-chan. It was kind of fun to take a look at the whole palace, and I was surprised, too - most of it's not really in bad shape at all, just dirty and dusty."
[10:38] * Ami-chan looks up from the screen and smiles. "You're welcome. And yes, we do have less work to do than we originally thought, hmm?" She winces slightly as the irritatingly perky music from the toy commercials plays on the startup.
[10:40] * Usagi-chan shares Ami's wince. "I swear, Artemis had to write that jingle JUST to be as irritating as possible." She shakes her head. "Anyway, yeah. It looks like most of what I'll have to repair will be furniture and stuff, but even most of that is in fixable shape - we shouldn't have to buy much of that at all."
[10:42] <Ami-chan> Ami nods absently. "Yes, though I have my doubts about being able to re-upholster some of it... ah! Finished!" She smiles, quickly deleting the sound files before she shows Usagi what to do.
[10:43] * Usagi-chan looks past Ami at the computer. "Okay, I remember what Umino showed me for Solitaire... you use the mouse to click on that button there and you find it where it says Games."
[10:46] * Ami-chan giggles and nods. "I took a popular operating system and customized it a little." she confesses, running through the files menus. "This is where to go to find what you need." she says, looking over her shoulder. "Be sure to name the files distinctively, or they may get lost."
[10:46] <Ami-chan> She pulls an odd looking device from the pocket of the long coat she's taken to wearing while on the moon. "Can you pass me one of the blueprints?"
[10:47] <Usagi-chan> "Sure..." Usagi unrolls the large sheaf of paper, spreading it out on the desk above the keyboard. "What are you going to do with them?"
[10:49] * Ami-chan gestures with the device, which looks a little like a supermarket scanner, only much wider. "It depends on if this works or not." she admits, plugging it into the back of the computer. "But hopefully, this should function as a scanner."
[10:49] <Usagi-chan> "What's it supposed to do?" She eyes the device curiously.
[10:51] <Ami-chan> While she works, she glances back at Usagi. "Mm... it transfers data digitally onto the computer for storage." she remarks absently, suddenly flicking a gaze around the room. "Hmm..."
[10:53] * Usagi-chan blinks. "Okay..." Noticing Ami's stare, she looks around the room herself. "What's wrong?"
[10:55] <Ami-chan> The blue haired girl blushes. "Sorry. I was just trying to remember if you needed anything else done in here." she assures Usagi, smiling, then frowning a little. "I'm getting a little behind in what needs to be done..."
[10:56] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "It's pretty much done in here, unless I want to hang curtains or something later. I got all the books I need from the library, and the only thing I really need to do is decorate a little."
[10:57] * Ami-chan looks relieved. "Oh good." she sighs, unable to supress a slight yawn. A sudden, soft ding from the computer catches her attention, and she turns back to it and checks.
[10:59] <Ami-chan> "It worked!" Ami enthuses, turning the monitor to face Usagi, and showing the perfect replica of the blueprint she's just scanned. "This should also cut down on you needing to carry them to and from Earth." she adds. "You can just remove the hard drive."
[11:00] <Usagi-chan> "Remove the what?" Usagi says, looking at the blueprints on the screen. "And they're kind of small - I can't read any of my notes."
[11:02] * Ami-chan blinks. "Oh!" She clicks on the tools bar she put on the top, and zooms in on some of Usagi's notes, making them legible. "Sorry. If you use the tool bar, you can magnify any part you like." she explains, demonstrating on several parts.
[11:03] <Usagi-chan> "Oh, okay." Usagi smiles a little, trying it out herself. "How can I make more notes though? I can't write on the computer screen."
[11:04] * Ami-chan grins, and shows Usagi the text function. "Just click where you'd like to add notes, and you can type them." she explains, then smiles impishly. "And this way, I can read them, too."
[11:05] <Usagi-chan> "Hey! My handwriting isn't THAT bad!" Usagi pouts.
[11:09] * Ami-chan giggles and pats Usagi gently, stifling another yawn with the back of her hand. "No." she agrees. "Haruka's is worse..."
[11:12] * Usagi-chan giggles herself. "Well, at least *I* can read it, and that's the important thing." She says with a nod. "So what else am I supposed to use this for?" She gestures at the screen. "Besides solitaire."
[11:16] * Ami-chan laughs softly at that. "Of course." She taps some programs she's added. "Mostly records, for now." She explains, steering Usagi to her list of supplies on hand and what they currently need to continue. "We can keep track of what we're doing a little easier with this, and it will get more and more useful as the scale of the work increases... but hopefully by then I can acquire a better computer system, hopefully useful through the entire complex."
[11:19] <Usagi-chan> "Wow... sounds like it'll be really handy when it's ready then." She looks at the computer. "I... GUESS I can keep notes and stuff on here, but I'm just so used to scribbling stuff down on pieces of paper..."
[11:21] * Ami-chan smiles and shakes her head. "You can keep doing that. I know better than to try and break you of your habits." she giggles. "But try and enter them into the computer later." she suggests.
[11:22] <Usagi-chan> "I'll give it a try." Usagi smiles weakly, staring at the computer as if she's waiting for it to do something to her.
[11:24] <Ami-chan> Ami sighs good-naturedly. "It won't bite." She adds. "But if you need help, with it, just call, okay?"
[11:25] <Usagi-chan> "Right..." Usagi continues to eye the glowing screen. "How do I turn it off, anyway?"
[11:27] * Ami-chan shows Usagi the shutdown button on the computer screen. "I've set a script up to autosave when you click here, so only use this button, okay?"
[11:28] * Usagi-chan looks at the icon and writes down the name on a piece of scrap paper. "Got it."
[11:30] * Ami-chan smiles and nods, watching Usagi write it down earnestly, looking as though she wants to say something, but not opening her mouth.
[11:34] * Usagi-chan begins to play around with the computer a little, opening various programs to see what they look like.
[11:38] * Ami-chan lets Usagi fiddle with the computer for a moment, her gaze distant as she ponders. 'I wonder...' she thinks pensively, sighing a little as she pushes her glasses farther up her nose. "Do you think you can manage it?" she asks aloud, smiling again.
[11:40] <Usagi-chan> "I'll try..." Usagi mutters, concentrating as she tries to figure out exactly what the point of the spreadsheet program she's looking at currently is.
[11:44] * Ami-chan shakes her head and smiles, and begins explaining the purpose of the spreadsheet.
[15:31] <Anastasia> ---
[20:14] <Anastasia> After school one day in May, Haruka stops off to get a quick bite to eat before anything else - she missed lunch due to something pointlessly annoying and stupid. It's the color of the plastic booths that trigger it, the sea green of it triggering a memory in Haruka's mind.
[20:14] <Anastasia> It's a minor recollection, really. Nothing that great... just stroking Michiru's sea-green hair...
[20:16] * Haruka lets out a tired sigh, something that she was becoming far too accustomed to doing. She shuts her eyes, enjoying the familiar feelings they bring out.
[20:17] <Anastasia> Taking a few deep breaths... "May I sit down, Haruka?" your hear after closing your eyes, a faintly familiar voice right now.
[20:17] <Haruka> Opening her eyes Haruka looks up at the speaker curiously.
[20:18] <Anastasia> A woman dressed in a business-style dress suit looks on, her long, vibrant green hair stunning. That rings a bell, too, that hair...and that face, her tiny smile and scant warmth in particular.
[20:20] <Haruka> "By all means." Haruka replies with a friendly smile, motioning to the open seat. In the back of her mind though, she wonders why the woman looks so familiar....
[20:21] <Anastasia> She sits primly, looking on at you and then glancing at the slightly tacky coloring of the seats. "Were you remembering Michiru," she asks gently. "These seats are almost the same color as her hair."
[20:23] <Haruka> Haruka's breath catches in her throat at that. "H-how did you...."
[20:25] <Anastasia> Still smiling her faint, mysterious smile, she goes on. "Because I knew you and Michiru, even before Oxyite's attack. I am Setsuna Maioh, Sailor Pluto." Pluto stops, her smile widening a bit. "It's been a very long time, Haruka. I'm very happy to see you again." Fondness is present in her voice, notably.
[20:28] <Haruka> The mention of Oxyite's name caused Haruka to wince slightly, but as her companion's revelation continues, her expression goes through a myriad of changes. "Setsuna Meioh... Pluto..." Haruka whispers in wonder, trying to digest it all.
[20:29] <Anastasia> "That's right," she says with great kindness and gentleness. "You have found friends here, have you not? Usagi, her guardians and the Witches? Yet... you haven't forgotten Michiru, have you?"
[20:31] <Haruka> "Of course not!" Haruka exclaims a little too hotly at the thought of forgetting Michiru. Catching herself she replies a little more quietly, "Sorry."
[20:33] <Anastasia> Setsuna shakes her head, a fond smile there. "No, it's alright. I'm glad you still have fire in you, Haruka. It wouldn't be the same if you were moping all the time."
[20:37] <Haruka> "Well, I must admit that I did get a good deal of practice at moping as well..." Haruka trails off. Shaking her head she looks across at Setsuna. "Was there something important you needed to tell me? I'd heard from the others that you were a particularly... difficult person to get a hold of."
[20:39] <Anastasia> Setsuna chuckles at that. "I cannot spend much time away from my duties - but this is a special exception. Haruka," she starts, sounding more and more like a big sister than the distant ruler of Time, "with the tragedy that befell Michiru, I would be remiss not to at least pass on as much as I can of her life and times to you."
[20:42] <Haruka> "I don't know what to say," Haruka whispers. "All I've had to remember her by were my dreams and a picture in an old book so this is... Thank you."
[20:44] <Anastasia> Reaching out, Pluto takes your hand. "I don't have time to pass everything on verbally," she says with honest regret, "as what time I do have to spare from the gate must be spent elsewhere. So..." With little fanfare, a thin notebokk appears, sea blue covers with a painting inset in the middle. It is of Michiru in a beautiful blue gown, sitting on a sea rock in the middle of a gentle ocean, her eyes luminous as she stares on.
[20:48] <Haruka> Haruka's eyes are wistful as they trace the contours of the woman on the cover. With both her eyes and her trembling fingers she tries to engrave the image to memory. "She's beautiful..." she whispers to Setsuna, her gaze is still affixed to the notebook.
[20:49] <Anastasia> "She was," Setsuna says sadly, sighing a bit. Rising, she smiles once more at you. "Be well, Haruka... and in the end, find another to love. Michiru won't be happy to see you again if you've spent your life pining away in a corner."
[20:52] <Haruka> "Perhaps..." Haruka says to Setsuna, not all that sure how to accept that thought. Rising to her feet, Haruka grabs the older woman in an embrace. "If you need anything from me, ask it and I will try to pay you back for what you've done for me today."
[20:53] <Anastasia> She returns it for a comforting moment, then parts. "I have to leave now," she sighs. "Until we meet again, Princess," she says softly, then walks away and out, a echo of your past resonating for just a few minutes with you.
[20:55] <Haruka> "Until we meet again then, Setsuna," Haruka echoes while watching her retreating form. Looking down at the notebook Haruka smiles softly. "Thank you."
[20:57] * Haruka looks down at the book in her arms and opens it to the first page reverently. Her hearbeats thundering in her ears and her mouth dry with anticipation.
[20:59] <Anastasia> As you open it to the first page, a gentle violin tune drifts out from it, music generated by what must be magic. It's heartpiercingly familiar, a simple melody filled with emotion. The pages are filled with neat handwriting...
[21:03] <Haruka> The emotions that would once have reduced her to tears only fill her with a feeling of contentment. Haruka takes her seat in the booth once more before staring at the text, reading it softly to herself in a whisper...
[21:05] <Anastasia> They seem to be stories about Michiru, from Setsuna's point of view. All sorts of things, from her brushing her hair in the morning to ruling Neptune and everything in between. It's a written record of her true life, not what would be in a history book but a living memory of Michiru.
[21:11] <Haruka> "This, I think," Haruka begins with a chuckle, "Is going to be a very long read...." Haruka closes the book for the time being, deciding to take the reading to a more private setting. 'The last thing I want is for people to see me being weepy....'
[21:11] <Anastasia> ---
[13:20] <Rei-chan> Saturday afternoon. Usagi stayed behind at Mugen for a few hours to get some last minute revision done with the help of some of the other girls, but after leaving school and changing into some casual clothes, she heads to the Shrine to visit her girlfriend. However, as she approaches, she sees Rei already descending the steps at a sedate pace, dressed in a cream white kimono.
[13:21] * Usagi-chan stops in her tracks, rather taken aback at Rei's appearance and formal attire. "...Rei-chan?" she calls hesitantly.
[13:22] <Rei-chan> The kimono-clad girl pauses at the bottom of the stairs, turning to look at Usagi. "Hello, Usagi," she gives a slight smile.
[13:24] <Usagi-chan> "Is... something going on?" Usagi asks, a bit puzzled.
[13:25] <Rei-chan> "I'm going to visit Mother," Rei answers, looking thoughtful for a moment. She nods slightly, as if coming to a decision. "Would you like to come?" she asks.
[13:26] <Usagi-chan> "You..." Usagi looks confused for a moment, then gets a sober expression as she realizes what Rei means. "Oh. You... want me to come?"
[13:29] <Rei-chan> "If you don't want to, I understand," Rei says, sounding just a little bit disappointed. "I just... I've never really told you about Mother. I think this would be a good time." She manages a quirky smile, "Besides, Mother should get to meet my girlfriend, too."
[13:30] <Usagi-chan> "No, it's not that." Usagi manages to smile a little. "I'd be honored to go with you, I just didn't... well, I thought it'd be something more private for you."
[13:31] <Rei-chan> "It always has been," Rei admits, "But I've never really been close enough to share this with someone else before."
[13:33] * Usagi-chan looks at Rei in her white kimono. "I don't think I'm exactly dressed for it, though..."
[13:34] * Rei-chan shakes her head. "That doesn't matter, Usagi. I'm sure Mother won't be upset over a little thing like that."
[13:36] <Usagi-chan> "I just want to be respectful... wait, I know! Just hold on a minute." Usagi dashes up the stairs to the shrine, returning just a couple of minutes later dressed in the same style as Rei - a pure white kimono. "There, that should do it." She smiles.
[13:37] <Rei-chan> "You didn't have to do that, Usagi," Rei shakes her head, smiling indulgently. "But thank you, anyway."
[13:38] <Usagi-chan> "Maybe not, but I wanted to." Usagi smiles. "If you wanted me to meet your mother, I want to make sure I do everything I can to make it right."
[13:40] <Rei-chan> "Thank you," Rei leans over and gives Usagi a quick peck on the cheek. "I'm sure she'll appreciate it." That said, Rei begins walking away from the Shrine, moving slowly not just to suit the sombre mood of the day, but because it's pretty darn hard to rush about in a heavy kimono like she's wearing.
[13:44] * Usagi-chan matches her pace with Rei's, inwardly grateful to Rei for wanting to share such a special moment with her, but at the same time grave, understanding that this can't be one of Rei's happier days.
[13:46] <Rei-chan> "You know how Hotaru has such a weak constitution?" Rei asks out of the blue as they walk under the bright afternoon sunshine of this late spring day.
[13:47] * Usagi-chan nods. "Yes?"
[13:49] <Rei-chan> "My mother was the same way... Grandmother, too, I think. I guess I'm lucky I take after Grandpa..."
[13:50] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, I guess so..." Usagi falls silent for a few more minutes as the two continue to walk. "How long has she been gone now?"
[13:53] <Rei-chan> "Ten years today," Rei sighs. "She was always frail... and then her heart just gave out. There was no real warning... she collapsed while taking me out shopping, and died in hospital the next day..." The miko's voice is sad, but controlled as she relates the story.
[13:54] <Usagi-chan> "So you were only... five when she died?" Usagi takes Rei's hand, giving it a squeeze. "That must have been so hard for you."
[13:57] * Rei-chan nods, swallowing a lump in her throat. "My world fell apart... what Father did afterwards didn't help at all." She sighs, closing her eyes for a few seconds as she calms herself. "Grandpa did his best to help me, though..."
[13:59] <Usagi-chan> "I'd say he did a pretty good job." Usagi gives the miko a gentle smile.
[14:01] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, he did," Rei nods, managing a smile of her own. "He trained me to become a miko, and helped me centre myself. I never wanted to live at the Shrine at first, but over time it did become a real home to me."
[14:04] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah..." Usagi smiles. "I don't know, but it really seems like you fit at the shrine somehow, like you really belong there." She half-laughs. "Sounds kind of silly when I say it, but I still think it's true."
[14:07] <Rei-chan> "Well, I have spent most of my life there," Rei shakes her head, "I can barely even remember the house we used to live in... just a few odd things like the colour of the couch, the style of the kitchen cupboards." She snorts, "It was just a place, anyway. It's the people that made it a home."
[14:08] * Usagi-chan nods. "Yeah..." She falls silent again, unsure of what to say.
[14:15] <Rei-chan> The pair walk along in silence for a few more moments before Rei speaks up again. "You know, it was because of my mother that I became interested in singing..." she remarks into the silence, "She used to sing me to sleep. She started giving me voice coaching not long before..." Rei frowns, shaking her head, "Anyway, even if she couldn't be very active, she was a wonderful singer."
[14:17] <Usagi-chan> "I bet you got your voice from her then... you're pretty good yourself, you know." Usagi winks over at the miko.
[14:19] <Rei-chan> "Not just my voice," Rei smiles, "I'll show you a picture later - I really do look just like her."
[14:20] <Usagi-chan> "Really?" Usagi's smile widens. "That'd be really cool - I'd like to see her."
[14:26] * Rei-chan nods as the pair approach the cemetery, Rei pausing to duck her head as another mourner leaves before leading Usagi along the narrow paths between the thousands of grave markers towards her mother's one.
[14:30] * Usagi-chan falls quiet again as the pair enter the graveyard, the somber mood of the quiet expanse damping the blonde's usually cheerful demeanor a bit.
[14:32] <Rei-chan> The duo finally come across a medium sized stone marker, the writing on it identifying it as belonging to Sachiko Hino. Rei smiles slightly as she notices a white rose placed in the offering tray, producing a pair of incense sticks herself as an offering and setting them alight.
[14:33] * Usagi-chan stands back a bit as Rei goes about her business, not really sure what she should be doing at this point.
[14:41] <Rei-chan> Clapping twice in respect for the dead, Rei begins. "Hello, Mother," the miko speaks softly. "It's been a whole year since I visited you... and what a year it's been. But before I tell you about how my life's been turned upside down since we last talked, I'll introduce you to the person most responsible for it happening." Rei smiles and gestures to Usagi, "Mother, I'd like you to meet the girl I love; Usagi Tsukino."
[14:43] * Usagi-chan steps forward and bows to the stone deeply. "Um... hello, Mrs. Hino. I'm Usagi Tsukino, and it's really an honor to meet you."
[14:51] * Rei-chan gives Usagi a grateful smile. Then she begins to carefully, and without leav"ing anything out, tell her Mother all about the past year. How she became Sailor Mars and made her first real friends, the war with the Dark Kingdom, her fall to Metallia, the Minako mess, the space criminals and the beginning of the Moon Restoration, the elves and Deathbusters, and her assimilation with her past life.
[14:52] * Usagi-chan stands back and listens, nodding in places, bringing her hand up to wipe away a tear in others, even once or twice covering a giggle or two.
[14:56] <Rei-chan> Clapping her hands twice as she concludes, and noting that the incense sticks have almost completely burnt down, Rei makes her farewell. "Thank you for listening to me, Mother - I know I don't normally talk as much, but it felt good to get it all out."
[14:56] * Rei-chan bows her head, "I hope next year I can tell you about similar happiness as I've found, without the pain the last year has given me. Never forget that I'm always your loving daughter, and I miss you every day."
[14:59] * Usagi-chan smiles slightly as Rei makes her farewells.
[15:00] * Rei-chan turns to Usagi as she steps away from the marker. "Thank you for coming with me today, Usagi. It means a lot to me."
[15:01] <Usagi-chan> "You're welcome, Rei-chan... I'm really glad you invited me to come, too." She gives the miko a small smile.
[15:02] <Rei-chan> "Come on, it's getting near dinnertime," Rei smiles as she leads Usagi back out of the cemetery.
[18:27] <Rei-chan> ---------
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 8: Rabbit of Mugen to Hit the Beach... about time!
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2006, 08:29:35 am »
[15:32] <Anastasia> Monday. The first day of the week. Oh, and it also feels like the first day of the rest of Usagi's life - she's due to be integrated into her new classes today, her schedule waiting for her in the tutoring office.
[15:33] * Usagi-chan heads up to the office with some trepidation, wondering how tough her new schedule is going to be.
[15:33] <Anastasia> The woman you remember from the exams is there today, waiting for you. "Miss Tsukino," she begins, "Good luck." With that, she puts the schedule down, ready for you to pick it up.
[15:34] * Usagi-chan takes it up and looks it over. "Thanks..." she says with a smile.
[15:35] <Anastasia> Of note, the first class - starting in ten minutes - is English. A glance at the teacher's name confirms that irony is having a good laugh at you right now.
[15:35] <Usagi-chan> "You're kidding me, right?" Usagi mutters. "Miss H?"
[15:36] <Anastasia> "Is there something wrong, Miss Tsukino," the battleaxe of a woman asks.
[15:37] * Usagi-chan shakes her head quickly. "No no, nothing wrong. Just a little surprised, that's all." Usagi smiles weakly. "I'd better get going, thanks!" Checking the schedule once again for the room, she heads out to face her new classes.
[15:38] <Anastasia> Room 237 it is. Dashing in with two minutes to spare, you almost run into Miss H, who is working on the blackboard. "Hey, watch it," she says, before seeing who it is.
[15:40] <Usagi-chan> "Sorry, Miss H, just running a little behind." Usagi mumbles before looking for her seat.
[15:40] <Anastasia> There are several open seats all about the room, a few people still aren't here. "Usagi?" she asks, turning from the blackboard. "You're in THIS class?"
[15:41] * Usagi-chan nods as she claims a seat. "That's what my schedule says."
[15:41] <Anastasia> "Unbelievable..." she mutters, shaking her head, but she makes no more issue of it.
[15:42] <Anastasia> At any rate, class starts shortly. "Hello, class. I'm Miss Haruna, and your new teacher for English. Are there any questions?" She's even wearing a new, nice outfit - blue instead of her habitual red.
[15:43] * Usagi-chan doesn't say anything, knowing more about the teacher than anyone else in the class does. She glances around at her classmates idly.
[15:43] <Anastasia> Most look rather interested, but none ask questions. Thus, the class begins. It's really easy to feel familiar here, Miss Haruna's teaching rather even-handed today.
[15:44] * Usagi-chan actually makes an effort to pay attention, not wanting to screw up class on the first day at least.
[15:45] <Anastasia> MIss H calls on you no less than four times, but you know each question. Whew... she doesn't call on anyone else more than once.
[15:46] * Usagi-chan grumbles inwardly at the extra attention, but doesn't make a big deal over it.
[15:46] <Anastasia> Soon enough, period one is over.
[15:47] * Usagi-chan checks the schedule for the next class.
[15:49] <Anastasia> It's a Geometry class of some sort, Room 138. Mr. Yamagochi.
[15:49] * Usagi-chan hurries along, hoping not to cut it quite so close for her next class.
[15:51] <Anastasia> You make it in time, getting a seat near the front. Mr. Yamagochi stumbles in, a bit on the plump side, unshaven and overall dirty looking. "Right, class. Is Usagi here?"
[15:51] * Usagi-chan raises her hand. "Here, Mr. Yamagochi."
[15:51] <Anastasia> "Get up here and say something about yourself, Usagi." That's all he says back to you.
[15:54] * Usagi-chan blinks a bit at his rather abrupt manner. "Um, okay..." She heads up to the front of the class. "My name is Usagi Tsukino and I transferred here from Juuban Middle. I really like video games and manga, and I'm hoping to get to know a lot of new people here at Mugen." She smiles and returns to her seat.
[15:54] <Anastasia> There is a small bit of murmuring to that, then class begins. He's a fast moving teacher, although he does seem to explain things very well, just once. You'll need to take good notes with him.
[15:55] * Usagi-chan does the best she can, scribbling furiously in an attempt not to get left behind.
[15:56] <Anastasia> The period goes by, Usagi feeling like she has a decent idea of what was said. He has a gift at putting it in simple, easy-to-understand terms as possible. Still, though, notes are needed.
[15:56] * Usagi-chan feels a little surge of confidence that she actually understands what's going on - in MATH, no less.
[15:57] <Anastasia> And thus, the class ends soon enough.
[15:57] * Usagi-chan gets up with a bright smile, checking her new schedule once again.
[15:58] <Anastasia> Your next class is a History course - the name sounds familiar...
[15:58] * Usagi-chan heads over to the room, trying to remember where she's heard the name before.
[15:59] <Anastasia> As you walk to class, you catch sight of Rei going in the same direction.
[15:59] * Usagi-chan smiles and waves to the miko. "Hey, Rei-chan!"
[16:00] <Rei-chan> "Hi, Usagi," Rei smiles, turning at her name. "How's your first day of regular classes going?"
[16:00] <Usagi-chan> "Not too bad... but you'll never believe who I got for English in first period." She smirks.
[16:01] <Rei-chan> "Miss Haruna?" Rei guesses, Usagi's old teacher being the only person she'd expect the blonde to actually mention like that.
[16:02] * Usagi-chan nods. "Of all the luck... and if today's going to be the usual, I'm going to be her favorite student this year." Usagi makes a face at that.
[16:03] <Rei-chan> "She's probably still amazed you made it here, even if you did help her get the job herself," Rei grins. "What class do you have now?"
[16:03] <Usagi-chan> "History, with..." She checks the schedule again for the name.
[16:06] <Anastasia> Mr. Biyuki.
[16:06] <Usagi-chan> "Mr. Biyuki, it says."
[16:07] <Rei-chan> "You're in my class," Rei smiles brightly. "Of course, he's boring as all hell, so you'll probably be napping in no time," she adds, making a face as the pair head into the classroom.
[16:08] * Usagi-chan grins, switching over to mental speech. 'Not if you're in here... if he's that boring we can just talk or something.'
[16:08] <Anastasia> The teacher is rather young and with a bad case of pockmarks. After you sit..."Miss Tsukino," he calls after class just begins. "Could you come here and introduce yourself?"
[16:08] <Rei-chan> 'Most people make do with passing notes,' Rei observes, taking her seat, 'But this is a lot easier.'
[16:10] <Usagi-chan> "Right." Usagi stands up with a smile, heading up to repeat her performance from Geometry. "Hi, my name is Usagi Tsukino and I just transferred here from Juuban Middle. I really enjoy reading manga..." Here she glances over at Rei and smiles. "...and hanging out with my friends."
[16:10] * Rei-chan smiles back.
[16:11] <Anastasia> A blue haired girl watches on during this, glancing at Rei and catching the look you send her. She looks friendly enough..
[16:12] * Usagi-chan smiles at the girl as she heads back to her desk, having picked up the look.
[16:12] <Anastasia> She smiles back. AS the boring lecture starts, you soon get a note from her. "Hi, are you Rei's friend? - Shiori"
[16:13] * Usagi-chan smiles at the note, turning it over to scribble on the back. "Yeah, I've known Rei since before I came here. -Usagi" She passes the slip of paper back.
[16:15] <Anastasia> You get a smile from her again, but no other note. Thus the class passes by, the information familiar and boring.
[16:16] * Rei-chan amuses herself by practicing telekinesis with a 10 yen coin under her desk.
[16:16] * Usagi-chan passes the time chatting mentally with Rei, although coming dangerously close to giggling a couple of times at comments about the teacher.
[16:19] <Anastasia> And thus, with a relief, class ends for lunch.
[16:19] * Usagi-chan heads over to join Rei again as they leave the classroom. "Well, this will be nice - we can just go straight to lunch from here."
[16:20] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, stretching and yawning as they leave the classroom. "What do you have after lunch?"
[16:20] <Usagi-chan> "Let me look." Usagi fishes out the semi-crumpled schedule from her bookbag and investigates it again.
[16:23] <Anastasia> Geology is after lunch, Mr. Nayumi in room 423.
[16:24] <Usagi-chan> "Says I have geology after lunch." Usagi makes a face. "It WOULD have to be science."
[16:24] <Rei-chan> "Ah," Rei nods, "I've got chemistry, so we won't be together for that," she comments as the pair head towards the cafeteria.
[16:25] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Well, I've still got one class with you at least - that's pretty cool."
[16:26] * Rei-chan nods. "What about after Geology? That should be your elective - I took Drama but got shunted into the Chorus Group pretty quickly."
[16:27] * Usagi-chan reads over the last two classes of the day to doublecheck them. "I asked for chorus after you told me about the drama teacher, but I don't know if I got it."
[16:28] <Anastasia> Usagi did get lucky, however, as she got Chorus.
[16:31] <Anastasia> Lunch goes by well enough, and onto Geology. The teacher is a old man, cheery as he invites you up to talk about yourself.
[16:32] * Usagi-chan heads up to the front, buoyed by her pleasant day so far and the teacher's enthusiasm. "Hi everyone, I'm Usagi Tsukino and I transferred to Mugen from Juuban Middle. I'm hoping to make a lot of new friends here at Mugen... it's very nice to meet all of you."
[16:35] <Anastasia> A few nods. Class begins, the teacher good but not great... and you promptly begin to drown, what he's going over isn't what you covered. Oh dear.
[16:36] * Usagi-chan grimaces and does her best to follow along...
[16:37] <Anastasia> By the time it ends, you're convinced this class will be a bloodbath without help. The words, they made no sense!
[16:38] * Usagi-chan feels her heart sink as she heads off to her next class... what was it again? The schedule comes out once more...
[16:39] <Anastasia> Gym.
[16:40] <Usagi-chan> "At least I can handle that... I think..." Usagi mutters as she heads off towards the changing rooms.
[16:41] <Anastasia> In there, you find a half naked miko with your name written all over her.
[16:43] * Usagi-chan grins widely. 'Looking good there, Pyro...' she thinks in sultry tones.
[16:44] * Rei-chan jumps slightly, turning around to give Usagi an accusing look. 'You didn't say that out loud, right?' she asks.
[16:44] <Usagi-chan> 'Should I?' Usagi winks, heading over to look for her own locker.
[16:45] <Rei-chan> 'Not unless you want to set the rumour mill on fire,' Rei replies, shaking her head and resuming her undressing before grabbing her plain black school swimsuit.
[16:46] * Usagi-chan giggles. 'I'll pass on that.' She notes that the other girls in the room seem to be getting into their swimsuits, so she pulls her own relatively featureless black swimsuit out of her locker, changing into it swiftly.
[16:47] <Rei-chan> "Wonder if we've got Herb for this?" Rei asks Usagi, having finished changing herself.
[16:47] <Anastasia> Once dressed, the class heads to the pool. Ironically enough, you reconize the teacher RIGHT OFF THE BAT.
[16:48] * Usagi-chan smirks. 'Got it in one, Rei-chan.'
[16:48] <Rei-chan> "Oh, boy..." Rei mutters, spotting the Dragon Prince/ess.
[16:49] <Anastasia> Herb - As your class fills in, you notice that two Princesses are amidst it, Rei and Usagi.
[16:49] <Princess_Herb> "Better play it cool this time," Herb thinks.
[16:51] * Usagi-chan keeps a straight face as she enters the swimming pool area, trying not to grin at the sight of her teacher.
[16:52] * Rei-chan clamps down on the evil voice telling her to pull a nasty prank by heating the water during class.
[16:53] <Anastasia> Thus, class starts. It's a beginning swimming class, nothing fancy at all.
[16:53] <Princess_Herb> "OK, class. This is basic swimming, and I'm Herb, your teacher. I'm just going to take the register, and when I call out your name, tell me your level of swimming ability as well. Most of you will be beginners, I'm told, but some of you have transferred in and I don't know about you."
[16:54] <Anastasia> Most of the students are beginners, but then Rei and Usagi make it to Herb.
[16:54] <Rei-chan> "Rei Hino, advanced," Rei says lazily.
[16:55] <Usagi-chan> "Usagi Tsukino, average." Usagi replies.
[16:56] * Princess_Herb smiles pleasantly. "Well, we'll see how you both do in the pool. If you're good enough, you can goof off in the deep end while I go through the basics, or help your classmates."
[16:56] * Princess_Herb finishes taking the roll and starts the lesson proper.
[16:57] * Rei-chan sticks around, willing to offer her help if anyone needs it.
[16:58] * Usagi-chan waits to see what Herb wants them to do.
[17:01] * Princess_Herb sees that the two have the swimming credentials that they claimed and allows them to choose what to do as she gets down to showing the rest of the class how.
[17:02] <Princess_Herb> "Have fun together, if that's what you want."
[17:03] * Usagi-chan grins. "Come on, Rei-chan - let's hit the pool!"
[17:04] <Rei-chan> "Sure," Rei smiles, walking up to the deep end and gracefully diving in.
[17:04] * Usagi-chan follows along, starting a game of water tag with the raven-haired girl.
[17:06] <Anastasia> The rest of the period goes by, going by with frantic speed.
[17:07] <Anastasia> Your last class is with Rei as well, Chorus.
[17:07] * Rei-chan tells Usagi about the Peter Pan production as the pair head up to the classroom.
[17:07] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Wonder where I'll end up?"
[17:08] <Anastasia> As you go in, you can hear a few people warming up on a song - including the teacher, a black man who speaks with a strange accent. "Hello there, Rei. Is that Miss Tsukino," he guesses off the bat.
[17:09] <Rei-chan> "That's right, Mr Lodeson," Rei nods.
[17:09] * Usagi-chan smiles, nodding. "I'm Usagi Tsukino, Mr. Lodeson." Usagi affirms, picking up the name from Rei.
[17:09] <Anastasia> "Good," he smiles, his voice deep and resonant. "Introduce yourself to the class, Usagi."
[17:10] * Usagi-chan nods, smiling as she steps up in front of the class. "I'm Usagi Tsukino, and I just came to Mugen from Juuban Middle. I wanted to try chorus out because someone told me that I have a really good voice, but I don't have a lot of practice so I thought I could get some here."
[17:11] <Anastasia> "Well then," Mr. Lodeson says, "Why don't you try a song and we can see how good your voice is?"
[17:11] <Rei-chan> 'Go for it, Usagi!' Rei mentally encourages her.
[17:11] <Usagi-chan> "Um... sure, I guess. Anything in particular I should sing?" Usagi smiles at the encouragement.
[17:12] <Anastasia> "Anything is fine," he nods. "Just relax and choose something."
[17:14] * Usagi-chan nods, thinking for a moment. An idea occurs to her, and she begins to sing in a clear, if hesitant, voice. "Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars... Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars..."
[17:14] * Rei-chan smiles, enjoying Usagi's voice as she sings the song.
[17:16] <Anastasia> The song goes on, and Usagi finishes. "Not bad," he smiles to you. "You won't ever headline at Carnegie, but you have a measure of talent."
[17:17] * Usagi-chan blushes a little at the praise. "Thanks..."
[17:19] <Anastasia> "Now then," he addresses the class. "The production starts in a month! We need to start really buckling down and getting in tune..." AT that, the lesson goes on. You sing a few more times in chorus, having a decent time of it.
[17:21] * Usagi-chan does her best to pick up with the rest of the class, although she's unfamiliar with most of the songs.
[17:21] <Anastasia> And then, finally... it's over.
[17:23] * Usagi-chan heads out of the classroom with Rei, breathing a sigh of relief. "Well, I made it... one real day down at Mugen Gakuen. Who'd have ever thought?" She grins at the miko.
[17:24] <Rei-chan> "First of many, Usagi," Rei smiles.
[17:25] * Usagi-chan smiles, taking Rei's hand. "I'm just excited that I have so many of my classes with you."
[17:26] <Rei-chan> "It is nice, isn't it?" Rei agrees cheerfully.
[21:15] <Anastasia> ---
[21:16] <Anastasia> Looking over your History assignment - a 10 page paper due in week and two days - Usagi slumps on her desk in the Witches office. Rei isn't even around for comfort, getting extra help in Chemistry...
[21:17] * Usagi-chan mutters dire imprecations against Mr. Biyuki under her breath. "Why couldn't this be over LUNAR history?" she mutters.
[21:19] <Anastasia> Of course, no such luck. Although, perhaps a different luck is coming your way. The door to the Witches office opens, Hotaru coming through, right ahead of her father. She's dressed in the Mugen outfit and looking a bit cheerier than she has in a while.
[21:19] * Usagi-chan smiles, the sight of the dark-haired girl out and about improving her mood to no end - not that it could have gotten a lot worse. "Hey there, Hotaru-chan."
[21:20] <Anastasia> "Hi, Usagi-chan," she smiles, Professor Tomoe nodding. "I had my first day of classes and they went good," she explains, taking a seat and sitting right next to you.
[21:21] <Usagi-chan> "Cool, what classes did you get?" Usagi gives the girl an interested look.
[21:22] <Anastasia> "Pre-algebra 2, Geology prepepration," she stumbles over the word a bit, "gym, World History... stuff like that," she explains, as Tomoe quietly gets a chair himself, sitting down just a bit away from you two.
[21:23] <Usagi-chan> "I've got geology this year..." Usagi makes a face. "It's kind of interesting, but the teacher is REALLY hard to understand sometimes."
[21:24] <Anastasia> "Which teacher do you have, Usagi," Professor Tomoe butts in a bit.
[21:25] <Usagi-chan> "Mr. Nayumi," Usagi replies. "He's really nice, but he's just... ugh, I get so lost sometimes."
[21:26] <Anastasia> He nods, filing it away for future reference. "How are your other teachers, Usagi?"
[21:27] * Usagi-chan smiles wryly. "Kind of weird having Miss H as a teacher even after I transferred, but she's fun. My geometry teacher is kind of the opposite of Mr. Nayumi - he's almost rude, but he makes it really easy to understand. I just have to take lots of notes."
[21:28] <Anastasia> "What's his name," he prods you gently, obviously gathering student feedback.
[21:30] <Usagi-chan> "Mr. Yamagochi. And then I've got Mr. Biyuki for history..." Usagi grumbles. "He's incredibly boring in class and to make things worse I've got to do a ten page paper in a week for him."
[21:34] <Anastasia> He nods, again storing that. "Usagi-chan," Hotaru breaks in. "Daddy said you wanted to talk to me once I got better."
[21:35] * Usagi-chan looks up at the Professor for confirmation. "I did."
[21:36] <Anastasia> He nods slightly to Usagi.
[21:37] * Usagi-chan nods slightly. "How much has your dad told you about the Sailor Senshi so far, Hotaru-chan?" Usagi asks.
[21:38] <Anastasia> "That they saved me and that they're my friends," she nods, smiling at you. "That Sailor Moon is a great heroine, and so is Sailor Mars, Mercury, Dragon..." she rattles off all the Senshi that hang in your group.
[21:39] * Usagi-chan smiles. "That's all very true. But there are other senshi out there, too - I've met Sailor Pluto before, although I don't see her very often at all."
[21:40] <Anastasia> Hotaru smiles. "So did I," she comments, much to the surprise of Professor Tomoe. "She came and saw me in the park last week. She even brought me some candy."
[21:41] <Usagi-chan> "Did she really." Usagi smiles at that. "I'm glad you got to meet her too, Hotaru-chan. But there's one other senshi that I know of right now."
[21:42] <Anastasia> "Really," Hotaru asks, still smiling. It looks good on her instead of the depression on saw on her when you first met her, so much more alive.
[21:43] * Usagi-chan nods, returning Hotaru's gentle smile. "Sailor Saturn. And her real name... is Hotaru Tomoe."
[21:44] <Anastasia> "...What?" Hotaru says, her voice suddenly dropping several levels. "I'm... I'm not Sailor Saturn...."
[21:45] * Usagi-chan nods solemnly, still smiling. "You are, Hotaru-chan. I saw you transform for a minute when we first found you."
[21:46] <Anastasia> She shakes her head vigorously, a hint of panic showing in her eyes. "No I'm not," she says again, even quicker. "I'm just Hotaru... I don't want to be anything else."
[21:47] <Usagi-chan> "Hotaru-chan, it's nothing you have to be afraid of." Usagi places a hand gently on the dark-haired girl's shoulder. "Being a senshi doesn't make you a different person at all - it just makes you special."
[21:48] <Anastasia> "Hotaru," The Professor gets up right after that. "It's alright. You're still Hotaru even as Sailor Saturn, not Mistress 9."
[21:49] * Usagi-chan nods. "That's right. I'm still plain old Usagi even when I'm Sailor Moon - I can just do a lot more things when I'm Sailor Moon that I can't when I'm just Usagi."
[21:52] <Anastasia> Hotaru looks away, at the floor. "But..."
[21:53] * Usagi-chan gives the girl a gentle look. "But?"
[21:53] <Anastasia> "But..." Hotaru sighs, shivering. "I... don't want to... I just want to be Hotaru again..."
[11:13] <Usagi-chan> "And you are, Hotaru-chan. It's like your dad said - being Sailor Saturn doesn't mean you're not Hotaru at all. You're not going to change being who you are just because you're a senshi." Usagi gives the girl a confident smile. "And if you don't want to, you don't have to worry about being a senshi at all - you can just stay Hotaru all the time if that's what you want."
[11:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> She looks at you, a hope in her eyes. "I don't?"
[11:16] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Nope. It doesn't mean you AREN'T Sailor Saturn... but you don't ever have to worry about fighting or anything like that if you don't want to."
[11:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru nods. "I don't really want to fight," she agrees. "I just want to try to be happy again... with Daddy and my friends..."
[11:19] <Usagi-chan> "And I want you to be happy too, Hotaru-chan." Usagi draws the girl into a gentle hug. "Your daddy and I just thought you should know about who you really are, that's all."
[11:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'm Hotaru," she affirms, "Just... Hotaru."
[11:23] * Usagi-chan pulls back and gives the girl a smile. "You're Hotaru... and a little something extra. Just like me - I'm Usagi with a little something extra."
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, then Professor Tomoe steps in. "Hotaru, aren't you ready to go home now," he says, deciding what needs to be said has been said for now.
[11:26] * Usagi-chan sits back up in her chair. "It'll be okay, Hotaru-chan. Just remember - if you've ever got any questions, you can always ask me or any of the other senshi about it."
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "Okay." With that, she goes back to her father, who nods to you once and then leaves, putting Usagi back in conflict with her paper.
[11:31] * Usagi-chan sighs and gets down to the unpleasant task ahead of her.
[11:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:00] <Ana-lunch> Summer! After a rough week of heat and schoolwork, Sunday is reserved for one thing - taking a car to the beach, having fun, and getting back Monday morning... and skipping class that day, but who's counting?
[12:00] <Ana-lunch> It's a beach in the typical sense, with blue ocean waves, warm sand and a few vendors at the edge. The girls arrive, the Witches opting to set up for sunbathing while the Sailors get there...
[12:01] * Usagi-chan climbs out of the car, clad for the moment in a white t-shirt, cutoffs, and sandals. "About time we got to go to the beach!"
[12:03] <Rei-chan> "Yeah... hopefully there won't be any ghosts like last year," Rei smirks as she follows Usagi out, herself dressed in a cropped tight red t-shirt and denim short shorts.
[12:04] * Usagi-chan mutters at the memory. "I don't even want to THINK about work today... I just want to have fun, relax, and get a really good tan!"
[12:05] * Makoto smiles as she steps out, her feet stepping onto the warm sand, toes digging in. She's wearing a loose white shirt and small brown shorts, sunglasses tipped against her forehead. "Yeah, let's have some fun."
[12:05] * Haruka pops open the trunk of her own car while mentally going over the list of things she was going to take down to the beach. She smiles when she catches sight of Usagi's exuberance.
[12:06] * Ami-chan smiles faintly, and shakes her head as she retrieves her things, clad in a violet sleeveless top and a white skirt, saying nothing as she pulls out her books and slips on her sandals to walk down to the beach.
[12:07] <Rei-chan> Following Haruka round the back, Rei grabs a large towel to wrap around herself as she changes into her swimsuit.
[12:10] * Usagi-chan steps out of her sandals, dancing a bit on the hot sand before getting used to it. She quickly sheds her t-shirt and shorts, leaving herself clad in her new silver bikini. She wads the clothes up into a bundle and stuffs them into the trunk of the car, grabbing her towel as she does so.
[12:10] <Makoto> "Jeez, you're not already changed, Rei?" Makoto says as she pulls off her shirt, revealing the top of a light green bikini with darker green lightning bolts. "That's something that only an old person does!"
[12:11] * Ami-chan gathers her books into one arm and wanders to the back of the car, retrieving her blanket before slipping down to the beach itself, looking for a quiet place to read.
[12:12] * Rei-chan sniffs, "Excuse me, Mako-chan," she mutters, removing the towel to reveal herself dressed in a rather revealing red and white one-piece and putting her clothes back in the car. Grabbing a pair of dark sunglasses, she rolls up her towel and follows Ami down to the beach.
[12:12] * Usagi-chan trots along behind Rei, looking around the beach for a good place for them all to set up their towels and picnic stuff.
[12:12] * Haruka snickers at Makoto's comment while grabbing hold of her own towel, cooler and beach umbrella. "Do we have everything? Are we ready?" Haruka asks, getting ready to lock the car up.
[12:15] <Makoto> "Think so," Makoto replies with a nod, as she pulls off her shorts as well, before starting to follow after the others. "Anyhow, off to feel the waves!"
[12:16] * Haruka sighs, lugging her burden down alone to the beach as the carefree girls skitter off. "Kids..." Haruka mutters before following along as well.
[12:17] * Usagi-chan has found a fairly wide expanse of sand free of other people, and begins to spread her towel out. "Over here, guys!"
[12:19] <Rei-chan> Setting down her own towel next to Usagi's, Rei promptly lies down and puts her sunglasses on, relaxing with her hands behind her head.
[12:19] * Ami-chan smiles and follows Usagi. Finding a relatively quiet place nearby, she spreads her blanket on the sand, setting her books down on it and slipping out of her sandals before sitting down and smoothing out her skirt.
[12:20] * Usagi-chan flops down on her towel, digging a bottle of suntan lotion out of her bag and starting to apply it to her arms, legs, and stomach. "Aren't you afraid of getting sunburned, Rei-chan?"
[12:21] * Rei-chan chuckles. "It'll take a lot more than this to burn me." She sits up, "But I can help you out with those hard to reach areas if you like?" she offers, smiling.
[12:21] <Haruka> After setting down her load onto the sand nearby, Haruka opens the beach umbrella and firmly plants it into the sand. She spreads a fairly large beach blanket down to serve as a sitting area, placing her towel and cooler within reach.
[12:21] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Thanks... my back is going to be a pain, so you can get that for me."
[12:22] <Makoto> "Flirting already?" Makoto jokes as she sets her towel at the other side of Ami's.
[12:22] <Ami-chan> "Do they stop?" Ami asks innocently as she picks up a book.
[12:23] <Rei-chan> "Just offering a helping hand is all," Rei says, spreading her arms as she protests her innocence.
[12:23] * Usagi-chan sticks out her tongue at the pair and continues her work with the lotion, spreading it across her stomach now.
[12:24] * Makoto giggles at Ami's line as she taps her sunglasses onto her nose and off her forehead. "Wonder where Alan is. You two have the right idea at least."
[12:24] <Usagi-chan> "You need this after I'm done?" Usagi waves the bottle of lotion at Makoto.
[12:24] <Makoto> "Yeah, if you don't mind. I forgot to bring some," Makoto replies.
[12:25] * Usagi-chan hands the bottle over to Rei and lies down on her stomach. "Sure, no problem."
[12:26] <Rei-chan> Accepting the bottle, Rei scoots over onto Usagi's towel and squirts a big dollop of lotion onto her lower back.
[12:26] * Usagi-chan squirms a bit at the cool lotion landing unexpectedly on her back. "Hey!"
[12:27] * Ami-chan unzips her skirt and begins tugging off her top, and then squirming out of her skirt, revealing a deep blue one-piece, with cutouts on the back, and a coral colored floral design.
[12:27] <Rei-chan> "Relax, Usagi," Rei says calmly, beginning to rub her back and spread the lotion around.
[12:28] * Usagi-chan does so, laying her head down on the towel as Rei continues her work. "It was just cold is all."
[12:28] <Haruka> "Ami," Haruka calls out. "When you feel like reading you can take cover under the shade if you want."
[12:29] <Rei-chan> "You'll warm up in no time," Rei says, spreading the lotion up between the blonde's shoulderblades and underneath the strap of her bikini top.
[12:29] * Ami-chan looks up and smiles, picking up a textbook. "Thank you." she answers, nodding and moving over to Haruka's umbrella.
[12:30] * Usagi-chan purrs with contentment, closing her eyes as Rei works. 'Just try not to warm me up TOO much, Pyro.' she thinks to the miko with a mental giggle.
[12:31] * Makoto raises an eyebrow at the blonde purring and shakes her head.
[12:32] * Rei-chan chuckles. "Bit too public for that, Dumpling Head," she whispers, leaning towards Usagi's ear as she works the lotion into her upper back. Sitting back up, she works more lotion onto her palms before starting on the blonde's thighs. "Done with the lotion, Mako-chan," she says in a louder voice.
[12:32] <Princess_Herb> "Ahoy!" calls Herb-chan from the deck of a small sailing boat about 200 metres offshore. She's dressed in a very fetching aquamarine tankini.
[12:32] <Princess_Herb> Looking closer, you see that Alan and Ann are there as well, on the deck of the little boat.
[12:33] <Princess_Herb> "I brought the Royal Yacht!" Herb shouts, and laughing, dives from the deck into the cool seas and strikes out powerfully for the shore.
[12:33] * Makoto nods and reaches for the lotion. "Thanks, Usagi," Makoto states. Looking in the direction of Herb and, noticing her boyfriend, she smiles and starts waving at Alan.
[12:34] <Usagi-chan> "No problem, Mako-chan." Usagi mumbles, already feeling drowsy in the warm sun.
[12:34] * Ami-chan sits down on Haruka's blanket, giving the older girl another smile before she begins reading up on biology.
[12:34] <Rei-chan> Finishing up, Rei gives Usagi a light swat on the rear. "All done," she chirps brightly, going back to resume her own sunbathing.
[12:34] <Usagi-chan> "Hey!" Usagi comes out of her light doze with a start. "Meanie!"
[12:36] <Rei-chan> "How ungrateful," Rei sniffs, "After I just helped you out of the goodness of my pure heart..."
[12:36] * Princess_Herb strides out of the waves, like Aphrodite from the foam and walks over to the others. "Hi gang. We took the scenic rou... Usagi-chan, does your dad *know* what you're wearing?"
[12:37] <Usagi-chan> "No." Usagi giggles, sitting up on her towel. "And what he doesn't know won't hurt me."
[12:38] * Makoto giggles at Usagi's reply. "Let me guess, Rei's advice?"
[12:38] <Princess_Herb> "I mean, wow..." Herb-chan says with a grin.
[12:38] <Rei-chan> "Herb, I don't think Ann will appreciate you showing Usagi this kind of attention," Rei says coolly.
[12:38] <Usagi-chan> "Nope, I actually picked this one out myself... even if Rei-chan told me I should actually get it." Usagi blushes.
[12:39] * Haruka returns Ami's smile, then chuckles slightly at the girl's choice in reading material. "There's no letting up for you, is there, Ami?" Haruka opens the cooler, digging through for a bottle of water. "Does anyone want anything while I've got this open?" Haruka asks while shaking some warmth back into her hands after plunging into the ice.
[12:40] <Princess_Herb> "Well, I'd better mention how nice the rest of you look before she swims ashore, then."
[12:40] <Rei-chan> "Not for me, thanks," Rei calls over to Haruka.
[12:40] <Princess_Herb> "It should be a good day!"
[12:40] <Makoto> "I'm fine right now," Makoto replies. "Thanks though."
[12:40] <Usagi-chan> "I'm okay for now, Haruka!" Usagi calls over.
[12:45] * Haruka nods at the replies, taking a swig of water then looks over curiously to Ami who had yet to answer.
[12:46] * Ami-chan has her nose in her book, having missed most of what went on since she opened it.
[12:47] * Makoto looks over at Alan, wondering when he and Ann will join them.
[12:48] <Anastasia> As if taking a cue from you, Alan blinks away. Moments later, you hear a gentle plop on the sand behind you.
[12:49] * Makoto turns around and grins. "Nice entrance."
[12:49] <Usagi-chan> "Hey Alan." Usagi waves to Makoto's boyfriend. "Glad you could make it."
[12:50] * Rei-chan waves lazily to Alan, content to continue relaxing quietly beneath the sun.
[12:52] <Anastasia> "Thanks," he grins. In his human form, he's wearing only a pair of green swimming trunks, and his skin is already a bit pinkish.
[12:53] * Princess_Herb looks around for Ann
[12:53] * Usagi-chan grins. "You'd better get HIM lotioned first, Mako-chan - he almost looks like he's burning already!"
[12:55] <Makoto> "Maybe," Makoto says as she finishes putting the lotion on her arms and motions for Alan to come closer. "I'm surprised you can get sunburned though..."
[12:55] <Anastasia> "Lotioned?" Alan asks, not following Usagi.
[12:57] <Anastasia> He looks to Makoto as he does so, shrugging. "What's all that stuff on that you're rubbing on your arms about?"
[12:58] <Makoto> "It's so I don't get burned by the hot sun," Makoto says. "You look like you'll be needing it too, you're already starting to get a bit red..."
[12:58] * Usagi-chan lays back on her towel, determined to soak up the rays and have a good nap.
[13:01] * Makoto puts some lotion in her hands, then rubbing her hands so it doesn't feel too cool, starts passing her hands over Alan's right arm.
[13:01] <Anastasia> "Gah, that feels slimy," Alan complains right off the bat, shuddering.
[13:02] <Makoto> "Heh, better that, than feeling like a boiling lobster tomorrow. Trust me on that," Makoto states, having had a few experiences with sunburn.
[13:02] <Anastasia> "Eh..." he says, but lets you keep applying the lotion. "It can't be that bad."
[13:02] * Rei-chan chuckles quietly to herself, glad that she doesn't need to worry about getting burnt.
[13:04] <Usagi-chan> "It can be worse, Alan - TRUST me." Usagi calls out, her eyes closed. She herself is rather prone to getting sunburned if she's not careful.
[13:04] * Princess_Herb looks around for Ann once again.
[13:05] <Makoto> "Your skin gets all red, it cracks and peels, you feel a slight itching sensation, but feel pain whenever anything touches your sensitive skin. Oh, it is that bad," Makoto says with a smile as she finishes both of Alan's arms and legs, and starting on his smooth chest, her hands firmly pressing against it as she starts spreading the lotion there, and a light blush forming as it starts to glisten.
[13:05] <Anastasia> Ann has teleported over to where the Witches are... speaking of them, they seem to be having fun running around with Viluy's bikini top, the silvery girl blushing as she runs around after it, her arms crossed over her chest as the others laugh and pass it around.
[13:06] <Anastasia> As you do so, Alan starts to blush a bit as well, only one other thing really related to THAT type of touching for him.
[13:06] * Princess_Herb blushes and heads over to be with Ann.
[13:07] * Princess_Herb is careful not to look at Viluy's bouncing boobies... very careful.
[13:07] * Ami-chan looks up for a moment, catches sight of the Witches' activity, and blushes darkly, re-burying her nose in her book.
[13:08] <Makoto> Controlling herself, Makoto moves onto his firm back, trying not to think of how often her arms have been wrapped around it. Once done, she looks at Alan with her red face and asks, "Uhm, could you help me put some on my back too, Alan? I didn't reach there when putting it on myself..."
[13:08] <Anastasia> "Hey, give it back already," she says, automatically moving one of her arms to snatch at the top (which currently Ann has, and is giggling quite a bit), and giving all concerned a nice peek.
[13:08] <Anastasia> Alan is blushing almost as much as Makoto. "Um..." he glances around, almost guiltily. "Sure, Makoto."
[13:09] * Makoto passes him the lotion and turns her back to him, as she raises her ponytail so Alan can apply the lotion properly. "Thanks."
[13:10] <Anastasia> His hands move over your back, the lotion almost painfully cold as he rubs it in. Almost by habit, you feel his hands moving in a certain pattern, one that is quite familiar to you on your back.
[13:11] * Rei-chan glances over to note the fracas around Viluy. "Yeah... that's why I don't wear bikinis," she comments to herself smugly.
[13:11] * Makoto licks her lips which suddenly feel very dry, and breathes deeply as she tries to focus on what the others are doing.
[13:12] <Anastasia> As Herb gets there, Eudial has the bikini top, laughing as she stays just a step ahead of Viluy.
[13:15] <Anastasia> Finishing, Alan leans back with a deep breath, released. "What's going on over there," he asks, turning to where Viluy is still trying to get her top back.
[13:15] <Rei-chan> "They're just messing around..." Rei comments, "Although I'm starting to feel sorry for her..." Sitting up, she calls over louder, "Hey, Viluy! Need any help?"
[13:15] * Haruka is stricken with an inexplicable neck problem that sees her unable to turn it from its currently fixed position of watching the Witches' antics....
[13:16] <Anastasia> She turns, waving frantically and again forgetting about basic modesty. My, the clothes almost hide her... "YES!"
[13:17] <Rei-chan> "Alright," Rei grins, getting up and running over to join the activity and hopefully even the odds a bit for the poor girl.
[13:17] * Makoto takes a deep breath, ignoring Alan's question since Rei's dealt with it as she tries to not think of doing something naughty. "I... I think I'm going to go for a small swim, guys," she says in a small voice as she pulls off the scrunchie holding up her ponytail and sways her head to let it all down, the hair covering her red face to some degree before she starts heading to the water. She needed a cold shower and this was the closest she'd get.
[13:18] <Haruka> "I... I really like the beach..." Haruka says wistfully in a daze.
[13:18] * Princess_Herb tries to help, but since she's not looking, she's not going to be much use.
[13:19] * Princess_Herb realises that she can even the odds by taking Ann-chan out of the fight and glomps her from behind.
[13:19] <Anastasia> Getting there, a bikini clad Eudial again has the top, blinking as she sees Rei coming in her direction.
[13:19] <Anastasia> Ann falls face first downward, probably getting a mouthful of sand as well.
[13:20] * Princess_Herb has a hold on Ann and goes down with her.
[13:20] <Rei-chan> "Having so many against one isn't fair," Rei waves a reproving finger, belied by her giggling. "I'm going to have to even the odds a bit."
[13:22] <Anastasia> Side stepping Viluy, Eudial grins. "Think you can catch me, Rei?"
[13:23] <Rei-chan> "Let's find out!" Rei matches the grin, lunging at the redhead!
[13:23] <Anastasia> OOC - Let's go ahead and make you and Eudial do body checks, Rei.
[13:23] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:23] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[13:23] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[13:23] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 6."
[13:25] <Anastasia> As you run after her, Eudial giggles a bit too much and doesn't pay attention, tripping and falling flat on her face.
[13:25] <Anastasia> "Ahhh!" she yelps as she races downward to the warm sand, waving her arms futilely.
[13:25] * Rei-chan snatches up her prize triumphantly!
[13:25] <Anastasia> "Dammit..." Eudial grumbles, slowly lifting her face out of the sand.
[13:26] <Rei-chan> "I was kind of hoping this would last longer..." Rei admits, handing the bikini top to Viluy.
[13:26] <Anastasia> Dashing up to you, Viluy snatches the top away from Rei, dropping her arms and giving Rei a show as she swiftly replaces it.
[13:27] <Princess_Herb> "If we'd gone to the nudist beach like Haruka wanted to, none of this would ever have happened!" Herb jokes.
[13:27] <Anastasia> From her neckbound position, Haruka sees pretty much everyone over from the Witches' camp turn and stare at her.
[13:27] * Makoto ignores all that's going on as she relaxes in the soothing ocean water, the small waves going around her body.
[13:28] * Rei-chan giggles at Haruka's new plight.
[13:28] * Usagi-chan half-dozes from her position on her towel, rolling over onto her stomach after a few minutes.
[13:29] <Anastasia> "She did," Tellu asks, surprised. "I mean... that's just kind of..." she blushes brilliantly, unable to really say anything else.
[13:30] <Rei-chan> "I don't think Herb is being entirely truthful," Rei comments, giving the crossdresser a sideways glance.
[13:30] * Haruka blinks a couple of times wondering how the situation has turned in such a manner. "She certainly did not," Haruka answers Tellu while frowning at Herb. 'Maybe in the back of my mind, yes, but certainly not out loud...'
[13:32] <Anastasia> Cyprine chuckles, glancing at Ptilol. "Good idea that we didn't try that joke," she murmurs to her red haired twin. "It would have been even more of a disaster than we anticipated," Ptilol agrees.
[13:32] <Princess_Herb> "Eh? I was joking, of course." Herb says.
[13:33] <Rei-chan> "Anyway," Rei says, bouncing on the balls of her feet, "Who wants to play volleyball?" she asks brightly.
[13:33] <Haruka> "Of course," Haruka mutters in response while turning away from the bunch.
[13:35] <Anastasia> "Sure," Eudial agrees, taking quick headcount. Viluy nods as well, ready to move away from her topless stint.
[13:35] <Rei-chan> "Usagi!" Rei yells at the dozing blonde.
[13:36] * Usagi-chan raises her head, blinking sleepily. "Huh?"
[13:36] <Anastasia> The Twins shake their head, going in their red and blue one pieces to a beach towel to soak up the sun.
[13:36] <Rei-chan> "Volleyball! You want to play?"
[13:36] * Usagi-chan smiles, standing up and stretching. "Sure, just give me a sec to wake up."
[13:37] * Princess_Herb gets out her school swimming instructor's whistle
[13:37] <Rei-chan> "Okay, that's four so far," Rei comments, looking over to Alan. "How about you, Alan?"
[13:38] <Anastasia> Thinking just a moment, "I saw this on TV once," he nods vigorously. "I'll watch, thanks."
[13:38] <Rei-chan> "In that case Makoto better play," Rei smirks, knowing exactly what he's thinking.
[13:39] <Anastasia> "I'll play," Ann chips in.
[13:40] * Rei-chan nods at Ann before cupping her hands around her mouth. "Makoto!" she yells out to the waterbound brunette.
[13:40] * Makoto looks up and back towards the group, as she hears Rei's voice. "Yeah?" she yells back.
[13:41] <Rei-chan> "We're going to play volleyball but we need one more player to make the teams even!" Rei yells, "You want in?"
[13:42] <Makoto> "Sure!" Makoto yells back with a smile as she starts to move back to the beach, shaking her head to let some of the water out.
[13:42] * Usagi-chan heads over to Rei's side of the volleyball net. "Where do you want me, Rei-chan?"
[13:43] <Rei-chan> "Alright, me, Usagi, and Makoto versus you three?" Rei suggests to the other players, giving Ann a challenging smirk. "You'll serve, Usagi," she tells the blonde.
[13:44] <Anastasia> They nod, going into position.
[13:44] * Makoto grabs a spare towel, not wanting to use the one on the sand, and dries her head and arms a bit, before tying her hair back up into a ponytail. "The water was so nice," she says to the non-players. "You should go for a soak if you're not going to play."
[13:45] * Usagi-chan heads to the back of the marked-off area with the ball. "All right, ready when you are!"
[13:47] * Usagi-chan tosses the ball up into the air, serving it overhand.
[13:47] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6
[13:47] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 11."
[13:47] <Anastasia> With Ann at front, Viluy in the support role and Eudial in back, they're ready.
[13:47] <Anastasia> roll 2d56
[13:47] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d56 and gets 52."
[13:47] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:47] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[13:48] <Anastasia> Usagi serves, giving the ball a good whack... right into the middle of the net.
[13:48] <Makoto> "Try an underhand serve, Usagi," Makoto offers.
[13:49] * Usagi-chan fumes. "Stupid ball..."
[13:49] <Anastasia> Ann smirks. "This is going to be a breeze," she grins, her green biniki not even sandy yet.
[13:50] <Makoto> "Yeah, for us. Don't mind, Usagi. Show 'em what we've realy got," Makoto states with confidence.
[13:50] <Anastasia> Getting the ball, Eudial serves it up. "Easy targets," she agrees with Ann, ready to go.
[13:50] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:50] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[13:51] <Anastasia> However, she puts a bit too much into it, curving it to the right and well out of bounds.
[13:51] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-4
[13:51] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-4 and gets -2."
[13:52] * Rei-chan telekinetically grabs the ball and passes it to Makoto. "You're up, Mako-chan."
[13:52] <Makoto> "Heh," Makoto grins as she catches the ball and twirls her arm. "Time to play for real."
[13:53] <Usagi-chan> "Gooo Mako-chan!" Usagi yells.
[13:53] * Makoto throws the ball upwards, leaning a bit back to get some power into it, and then slams her hand into the ball as it starts to go down.
[13:53] <Makoto> roll 2d6
[13:53] * Hatbot --> "Makoto rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[13:54] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:54] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 3."
[13:54] <Anastasia> Viluy moves swiftly, batting the ball up to to Ann, who is ready to send it spiking at the other side!
[13:54] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:54] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[13:55] <Anastasia> Of course, reality and intent don't always go hand in hand, the ball meeting net instead of sand.
[13:55] <Anastasia> "Crap," Ann mutters, glaring at the offending net. "Stupid..."
[13:55] <Rei-chan> "Heh, breeze is right," Rei says cockily.
[13:57] * Usagi-chan giggles.
[13:57] <Anastasia> Ann glares, but settles in, ready for the next point.
[13:57] * Makoto smirks, and looks at Rei to pass her the ball again.
[13:57] * Rei-chan leans down and grabs it from underneath the net, tossing it over to Makoto.
[13:58] * Makoto catches it, and looks at her opponets. "So you guys ready for more punishment?"
[13:58] <Anastasia> "Try it," Viluy grunts, all business now.
[13:59] <Makoto> "Alright, here...we..." she starts to say as she goes through the same serving motion. "GO!"
[13:59] <Makoto> roll 2d6
[13:59] * Hatbot --> "Makoto rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[13:59] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:59] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[14:00] <Anastasia> Having misplayed it slightly, Viluy has to dive, but manages to get it back in Ann's direction!
[14:00] <Anastasia> Leaping up to meet it, she goes for a dramatic spike, planning to even the score!
[14:00] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:00] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[14:00] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6
[14:00] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 11."
[14:01] * Usagi-chan comes up with a mouthful of sand as she dives for the ball, missing it by a good two feet.
[14:01] <Anastasia> "Ha," Ann grins as Usagi fails. "That's what I was talking about."
[14:02] <Makoto> "Don't mind, Usagi. We're still ahead."
[14:02] <Rei-chan> "Pretty good, Ann," Rei grudgingly admits.
[14:02] * Usagi-chan frowns, spitting sand.
[14:04] <Anastasia> Getting the ball, Viluy grins as Eudial takes position at the front of the net and Ann settles in the middle ground. "Witches 6 Super Volleyball BUSTER," she cries dramatically, serving for blood!
[14:04] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:04] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[14:04] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6
[14:04] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 11."
[14:06] * Usagi-chan sadly misjudges the distance, the ball landing in the sand a good meter in front of her. She groans loudly, scooping it up and tossing it back to Viluy.
[14:06] <Anastasia> Eudial gives Viluy a strange look. "Where did THAT come from," she asks quizzically.
[14:07] <Makoto> "It's only one point, Usagi. Just be more careful," Makoto says trying to cheer her blonde friend
[14:07] <Anastasia> Catching the ball, she shrugs and smiles. "Just made it up on the spot," she grins.
[14:07] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, keep at it, Usagi," Rei says encouragingly to her girlfriend.
[14:07] <Usagi-chan> "I'm trying!" Usagi says in a voice tight with frustration.
[14:08] <Anastasia> "Again, the Witches 6 Super Volleyball BUSTER," Viluy shouts, serving!
[14:08] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:08] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 6."
[14:08] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6 burning 20 EP
[14:08] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6 burning 20 EP and gets 4."
[14:09] * Usagi-chan manages to get underneath it this time, setting it up neatly for Rei.
[14:09] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[14:09] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[14:09] <Rei-chan> With a powerful leap, Rei rises from the sand to spike the ball down into the opposing court!
[14:10] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:10] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[14:10] <Anastasia> Ann goes for it, but misses her attack at it, the ball finding the sand.
[14:10] <Makoto> "Woohoo!" Makoto cheers as her arms go up. "Told you you could do it, Usagi-chan!"
[14:10] <Rei-chan> "Yeah!" Rei pumps her fist, turning arount to high five Usagi.
[14:10] * Usagi-chan grins, returning the high five. "About time!"
[14:11] * Rei-chan moves into server position and waits for Ann to pass the ball over.
[14:11] <Anastasia> Ann grumbles, picking it up and tossing it over.
[14:11] * Usagi-chan steps up to the front line, more nervous now than before.
[14:11] * Makoto likewise gets into position, smiling.
[14:12] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[14:12] <Rei-chan> Catching the ball, Rei settles herself before tossing it straight up. With none of Viluy's dramatics, she belts it over to the other side of the court.
[14:13] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:13] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[14:14] <Anastasia> Ann goes for it in another dive, but ends up completely overdoing it, landing OVER the ball, having jumped much too high.
[14:14] * Usagi-chan can't help but giggle a bit at Ann's ungainly landing.
[14:15] <Rei-chan> "Two one to us," Rei announces happily.
[14:15] <Anastasia> Ann lets loose a slightly pained breath as she rolls over, kicking the ball in annoyance. Eudial gets it, chuckling herself at that screwup. "Yeah, yeah," she smiles, tossing it.
[14:16] <Rei-chan> Lightly catching the ball, Rei repeats her previous serve.
[14:16] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[14:16] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[14:16] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:16] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 6."
[14:17] <Anastasia> Moving more skillfully this time, Ann gets it and leaves it up for a nice counter for Eudial!
[14:17] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:17] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 12."
[14:18] <Anastasia> Eudial shows that she isn't gifted in the realm of volleyball, stumbling as she jumps and going the wrong way, right into the net! She makes quite a tumble as she knocks the net over, the ball forgotten as it lands in the sand.
[14:19] * Makoto winces. "Well, ow."
[14:19] <Rei-chan> "Eudial!" Rei gasps, putting her hands over her mouth. The game forgotten, she runs over to see about helping her up.
[14:19] * Usagi-chan is first to arrive, having been right next to the net herself. "Are you okay, Eudial?"
[14:20] * Makoto joins Rei shortly, checking on Eudial. That should theoretically not have hurt more than her pride, but best to make sure.
[14:20] <Anastasia> She gets up, seemingly okay. "Yeah, I'm fine. My ego, though, is going to need a transfusion."
[14:20] * Usagi-chan giggles. "Glad you're not hurt at least." She heads over to one of the net poles, pulling it back upright.
[14:21] <Rei-chan> "Yeah... that wasn't very graceful..." Rei says embarrassedly, working on helping Usagi in putting the net back up.
[14:21] <Anastasia> Ann just shakes her head. "What's the score now?" she asks, as the girls get the net up.
[14:22] <Rei-chan> "Three one to us," Rei says, retrieving the ball after fixing the net.
[14:22] <Anastasia> Ann says something about a comeback, but it's not quite audible to you.
[14:23] <Rei-chan> Tossing up the ball, Rei bats it over to the other side, a bit more gently this time.
[14:23] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[14:23] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[14:24] <Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:24] * Hatbot --> "Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[14:24] <Anastasia> Ann just barely can't get to it, her fist just a moment late.
[14:24] * Princess_Herb watches Ann bounce around the court happily cheering her on
[14:25] <Makoto> "Game point!" Makoto drawls out with a grin.
[14:26] <Rei-chan> "Did I mention that the losers buy the winners' ice cream?" Rei adds innocently.
[14:26] * Usagi-chan lights up at that. "Ice cream!"
[14:26] <Anastasia> Ann glares, then sputters. "Like hell," she scowls. "I didn't even bring any money!"
[14:26] <Rei-chan> "Better improve your game, then," Rei says, still grinning.
[14:28] <Rei-chan> Gathering up the ball, Rei serves for what will probably be the last time of the game, although she takes it easy like she did on the last one.
[14:28] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[14:28] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 2."
[14:29] <Anastasia> With a almost supernatural burst of power, REi rockets it in, the other team helpless as it lands in the corner for the win!
[14:29] <Makoto> "Woo! Great serve, Rei!"
[14:29] <Rei-chan> "Wow..." Rei puts a hand behind her head and chuckles nervously. "I was just kidding about the ice cream, guys... no need to get worked up about that..."
[14:30] * Usagi-chan glomps Rei. "Way to go, Rei-chan!"
[14:30] <Anastasia> Eudial sighs. "Way to go, Ann," she glares, the two exchanging nasty looks.
[14:31] * Rei-chan puts an arm around Usagi as she glomps her. "Good game, everyone," she calls, hoping the losers don't get too bitter about it.
[14:31] <Makoto> "Hey, hey, we're just playing for fun. No need to get worked up," Makoto says with her arms in front of her in a calming motion.
[14:32] <Anastasia> The two turn their backs to each other, both a study in peeved rivalry. "HMMPH!"
[14:33] <Rei-chan> "Come on, Usagi," Rei guides the blonde away from the volleyball court, "We can still get ice cream even if it isn't free."
[14:34] <Usagi-chan> "Absolutely!" Usagi grins as she heads for a small shack on the beach selling the frozen treats.
[14:34] <Anastasia> Even though the two make an effort to ignore each other, the other three come along as well. Ice cream DOES sound good, after all.
[14:34] * Makoto shakes her head, and heads back to her towel to get some sun.
[14:35] <Princess_Herb> "Yum..." says Herb, "I wonder if I can get rum and raisin?"
[14:36] <Anastasia> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 9: Unwelcome Attention through Caution, Genius at Work!
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2006, 09:11:56 am »
[14:37] <Anastasia> Later in the day, the group has gone swimming, leaving Usagi alone with the twins, as the Witches finally moved over after the ice cream. They're napping, of course, still entangled. It's cute in a vaguely incestuous way, if you want to be perverted about it.
[14:38] * Usagi-chan has appropriated Rei's sunglasses since she hit the waves, currently lying in the sun with her arms behind her head.
[14:40] <Anastasia> As you have doze... "Hey," a man calls out, having come up on you while you weren't paying attention.
[14:40] * Usagi-chan looks up from her blank stare, turning to focus on the sound of the voice. "Hmm?"
[14:41] <Anastasia> A man in a too-tight speedo stands right in front of you, now blocking the sunlight. He's perhaps 30 or so, in decent shape with deeply tanned skin. "Hi there," he grins. "I noticed you are alone here today," he says, paying the twins no mind.
[14:43] * Usagi-chan raises her sunglasses, giving the man a curious look. "No, I'm here with a group of friends - they're just off swimming right now."
[14:43] <Anastasia> He smiles, utterly undeterred by that. "I mean, I don't see you with a boyfriend," he explains. "Why don't I take you for some soda and we get to know each other?"
[14:45] * Usagi-chan grins wryly. "How about not? I'm quite happy where I am, thank you."
[14:46] <Anastasia> He doesn't miss a beat. "Then how about I bring you some sodas and we get nice and cozy right here," he says, trying a slightly different tack. "It's a shame for such a young flower to be alone here, without a boyfriend."
[14:47] <Usagi-chan> "That's quite all right, I'm not thirsty at all." Usagi is trying hard not to giggle now. "And I'm already attached, thank you very much." 'Rei-chan, this is hilarious - there's some guy here trying to hit on me that must be twice my age.'
[14:48] <Anastasia> "R-really," he says, posing just a bit. "I'm sure he won't mind if such a perfect specimen borrows you for a little while, will he?"
[14:49] <Rei-chan> 'You're kidding?' Rei's deadpan mental voice comes back, 'No, wait, I can see him. Geez... that's really pathetic.'
[14:49] <Usagi-chan> "Oh, I doubt that very much. Definitely the jealous type." Usagi grins.
[14:49] <Anastasia> "He doesn't have to know," he grins, trying and failing to be deeply charming. "Though... once you've been with the champ, he'll seem like a chump!"
[14:51] <Usagi-chan> 'I know... I'm having too much fun with this though.' She giggles through the mental link. "I really, REALLY doubt that. I mean, she's watching you right now."
[14:52] <Rei-chan> 'Don't play with him too much, Usagi. Just get rid of him,' Rei warns her mentally, 'Guys like that are just bad news.'
[14:52] <Anastasia> He turns, looking out at the ocean before doubletaking back. "She?" he says. You can almost see the yen signs that appear his eyes, victory signs flashing in his head. "Then... I'm sure I can manage two lovely women and show them a good time."
[14:53] * Usagi-chan scowls at that. "No, I'm sure you can't. Feel free to move on any time."
[14:53] <Anastasia> "C'mon," he pleads quickly... then, seeing your expression, sighs. "Fine," he grumbles most nastily, shuffling off. "You're missing a party, though! A PARTY!"
[14:54] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I think I'd rather miss that one, thanks," she mutters. 'What a weirdo.'
[14:55] <Rei-chan> 'Hehe,' Rei giggles mentally, watching him trudge off from her vantage out in the sea, 'Good work, Usagi.'
[14:55] <Usagi-chan> 'Thanks. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I had a girlfriend... ugh.'
[14:56] <Rei-chan> 'Is that what made him leave?' Rei asks, knowing some of the more uncomplimentary terms used for girls of her persuasion besides 'lily sniffer'.
[14:58] <Usagi-chan> 'No, that's the creepy part. He looked like he'd won the lottery or something, tried to say he'd 'take care' of both of us. I had to tell him to take a hike before he actually left.'
[15:03] <Rei-chan> 'Eeeewww!' Rei grimaces. 'That's disgusting!'
[15:04] <Usagi-chan> 'Yeah, tell me about it.' Usagi says with some distaste. 'Just glad he took the hint.'
[15:06] <Rei-chan> 'Yeah. Want me to come back?' Rei offers.
[15:07] <Usagi-chan> 'Nah, it's okay. He was a creep, but he's gone now - you go ahead and enjoy yourself.'
[15:07] <Rei-chan> 'Okay, just let me know if you want some company, though,' Rei says, going back to her swimming.
[15:11] <Anastasia> A bit later, Usagi is again interrupted by another person. "Hello there," a teenager in a blue bikini says, her shortish black hair and nice grin appealing.
[15:12] * Usagi-chan looks up, having been a bit more awake this time. "Hey there, what's up?" she says with a smile.
[15:13] <Anastasia> "Not much," she replies. "Mind if I sit down?"
[15:13] <Usagi-chan> "Sure, go ahead." Usagi shrugs. "Something you needed?"
[15:14] <Anastasia> She does so, sitting surprisingly close to you. "Oh, I just wanted to say hi," she smiles at you. She's close enough to where you can almost feel her body heat.
[15:15] * Usagi-chan edges away from the girl almost imperceptibly. "Um... okay..." 'This is weird...'
[15:16] <Anastasia> "Zaku was talking about you," she smiles, inching closer than you moved away, getting into violation of your personal space range. "You're cute... how about your girlfriend?"
[15:17] <Usagi-chan> "Um... Zaku?" Usagi keeps moving away, almost falling off her towel now.
[15:18] <Anastasia> "Oh," she smiles relentlessly, getting close enough to be almost on you now. "He's a friend of mine - he said you liked girls."
[15:20] * Usagi-chan quickly sits up and moves to the opposite end of the towel. "I like A girl, just one." 'Okay, now this isn't funny anymore.'
[15:20] <Rei-chan> 'Huh? What now?' comes Rei's mental voice, the miko pausing in her swimming to look over in Usagi's direction once more.
[15:21] <Anastasia> She unflappably scoots forward. "Oh, don't worry," she grins. "Me and a few other girls like us like to gather at a nearby beach house for all SORTS of fun. Want to come with your girlfriend?" she offers, her smile most decidedly not pure now.
[15:21] <Usagi-chan> "Um, no thanks." Usagi shakes her head. 'I've got a GIRL trying to hit on me now... this is seriously bizarre.'
[15:22] <Rei-chan> 'Haha! Want me to come and rescue you?'
[15:22] <Usagi-chan> 'I think if I could take care of the guy I can take care of her. It's just... weird.'
[15:22] <Anastasia> She smiles most hungrily. "Are you sure? Let me tell you, it's ten times better when you have more than one warm female on you..." she grins strangely. "No matter how good your girlfriend is, she's just one person... it's heavenly with all of us."
[15:23] * Usagi-chan 's eyes almost cross with the description. "I'm positive. One hundred percent, absolutely sure. And I know no one could ever be better than my Rei-chan." She finishes with a note of triumph.
[15:24] <Anastasia> "What about your Rei-chan..." she lets her hand go onto your leg, her fingers dancing. "and me... and a few friends?"
[15:26] * Usagi-chan takes the girl's wrist firmly, removing her hand from her leg. "No."
[15:26] <Anastasia> She smiles at you wistfully. "You're missing something you'll never forget..."
[15:27] <Usagi-chan> "I'm quite happy with the way things are." Usagi replies.
[15:27] <Anastasia> "Oh well," she sighs, getting up. "Let me know if your girlfriend is interested - we'll be happy if she comes by herself." With that, she walks away.
[15:29] <Usagi-chan> 'Yeesh... she was worse than that creep who came by earlier!' Usagi thinks with some exasperation.
[15:29] <Rei-chan> 'Persistent, was she?' Rei thinks back amusedly.
[15:29] <Usagi-chan> 'You don't know the half of it. Had her hand all over my leg and kept asking me to come to some beach house with her and her 'friends'.' Usagi mutters.
[15:30] <Rei-chan> 'Wow... you ARE popular,' Rei thinks.
[15:31] <Usagi-chan> 'By the way, you've got an invitation to join them too,' Usagi thinks dryly.
[15:32] <Rei-chan> 'I'll pass, thanks,' Rei thinks back, just as dryly. 'Although it's nice to know that none of your suitors want to steal you away from me, so much as get a bargain 2 for 1 deal.' she adds sourly.
[15:33] * Usagi-chan sighs mentally. 'Yeah, it's a real compliment.'
[15:33] <Rei-chan> 'Want to come out for a swim?' Rei offers, 'You won't get hassled as much out in the water.'
[15:34] <Usagi-chan> 'Maybe in a few minutes. I just had a big snack before she got here, so I'd probably better not hit the water just yet.' Usagi replies.
[15:35] <Rei-chan> 'Okay,' Rei nods, though too far away for Usagi to see, 'Let me know if you need any company, though.'
[15:36] * Usagi-chan smiles, also too far away for the miko to see. 'I always want your company, Rei-chan - but don't let me drag you away if you're having fun.'
[15:36] <Anastasia> ---
[15:50] <Anastasia> Rei slept poorly as hell last night, due to a bit of a stomach upset. Despite that, Rei went along to school... and in History, despite Usagi's presence, fell right asleep.
[15:51] <Anastasia> ---
[15:52] <Anastasia> As if a ghost out of her own body, Rei watches as Rei Hino walks into the Royal Greens restaurant, getting seated and ordering. She's by herself, at a window seat.
[15:52] * Rei-chan watches curiously, wondering what her 'other' self is up to.
[15:53] <Anastasia> Rei gets her meal, yet you see her spending more time glancing across the street. She seems to be considering something over there... yet in the end, she shrugs and gets to her meal, whatever is across the street failing to get her interest.
[15:53] * Rei-chan looks across the street, following her counterpart's gaze and wondering what has aroused her interest.
[15:54] <Anastasia> Across the street is one of the many small cafes that dot Tokyo, the Timely Coffee. As you look at it, the view and everything around you blows away, as if an ethereal fog.
[15:55] <Anastasia> In its place, you see the Witches office, Rei, Usagi, Ami and Makoto chatting about something. The words are strangely garbled...
[15:56] <Rei-chan> Deciding she won't get anything from listening to them, Rei looks around the office for any clues as to what is going on, also making a point to examine the calendar for the date.
[15:57] <Anastasia> Beyond the single desk where they are talking, everything else is out of focus. As you look, a few words are intelligible. "Last... When... In... We will... miss..."
[15:57] <Rei-chan> Not having much else to do, Rei tries harder to focus on the words, hoping they'll become clearer if she concentrates.
[15:58] <Anastasia> "...chance to... to her... is a Sail... the..." It seems to be Usagi speaking.
[16:00] <Rei-chan> "Sailor...?" Rei repeats the half heard word. "But which one..." she runs through the list and realises that they could pretty much be talking about any of the currently not present senshi for various reasons that have become apparent recently.
[16:01] <Anastasia> "...on will be... her, I hope." Ami this time.
[16:02] * Rei-chan continues listening, the mystery no closer to being solved.
[16:02] <Anastasia> "...miss... wasn't a bad... in the en..." Makoto this time, the girl frowning just a bit.
[16:04] <Rei-chan> "What wasn't a bad what?" Rei asks in a frustrated tone.
[16:04] <Anastasia> Rei sighs. "...even if she did mean that... can't hate..." your double says.
[16:05] * Rei-chan frowns, having narrowed the list of possible Sailors the topic revolves around to two, based on her current knowledge. And with one starting to look more likely than the other...
[16:06] <Anastasia> Usagi sighs once again. "It's okay... live with... She'll find her..."
[16:06] <Rei-chan> "Minako," Rei says quietly, now almost certain. Setsuna's words about the Talismans and Minako come back to haunt her. 'But how long until we have to deal with this?' she wonders.
[16:08] <Anastasia> "No one... deserves that..." Ami agrees.
[16:08] <Rei-chan> 'Deserves what?' Rei wonders, listening intently.
[16:09] <Anastasia> The girls nod, all sighing. No more conversation after that, each walking away... the ringing of the bell to let you out of History is heard, snapping your head up suddenly.
[16:10] * Rei-chan blinks as she awakens, before sighing and slowly gathering her stuff, wondering how long the current peace will last.
[16:11] <Anastasia> ---
[16:13] <Anastasia> One fine June evening, just after dinner... "Usagi," Shingo calls. "Someone's on the phone for you!"
[16:14] <Usagi-chan> "Phone for me? Be there in a second!" Usagi calls back, setting down her dishes next to the sink before hurrying to the phone. "Hello, this is Usagi."
[16:14] <Anastasia> "Hello, Usagi," Endymion replies. "How do you find yourself this evening?"
[16:15] <Usagi-chan> "Oh, hi Endymion. I'm doing okay - what's up?" Usagi toys with the phone cord as she speaks.
[16:16] <Anastasia> "Usagi, I need to talk to you - tonight, in person." he replies, serious. "As soon as possible."
[16:16] * Usagi-chan blinks. "Is something wrong?"
[16:17] <Anastasia> "Nothing world-ending," he says, the joke painful. "But I need to talk to you, Serenity. Can we meet in the Great Hall of the Moon... for old time's sake, tonight?"
[16:17] <Usagi-chan> "Um.. sure. When do you want me to be there?" Usagi says, wondering what's going on.
[16:17] <Anastasia> "Ten minutes, if possible," he replies quickly. "Less if you can."
[16:18] <Usagi-chan> "I'll be there in five, soon as I let my parents know I'm going. See you there."
[16:18] <Anastasia> He hangs up without further word.
[16:19] * Usagi-chan heads back into the kitchen. "I've got to head up to the Moon in a hurry, Mom - I'll be back as soon as I can."
[16:19] <Anastasia> "Sure, Usagi," she says over the dishes, not concerned in the least about this, only about the leftover grease from fried tempura night.
[16:20] * Usagi-chan nods, heading up to her room to change for her teleport. Once there, she quickly shifts to the form of Princess Serenity, teleporting to the Great Hall without further delay.
[16:21] <Anastasia> On arriving, you find Endymion already there, staring moodily at the Earth, the green light from the planet reflecting off his black armor.
[16:21] <Serenity-hime> "Endymion?" Serenity calls as she catches sight of the armored man. "What's wrong?"
[16:22] <Anastasia> He turns, a mess of emotions on his face. Sadness, loss, hope, recovery... he looks torn. "Hello, Serenity," he greets you gravely. "I wanted to tell you, instead of by a note." He straightens a bit, gathering his inner will. "I'm leaving Earth."
[16:24] * Serenity-hime straightens up. "I... see. Where are you going to go?"
[16:24] <Anastasia> His expression now a bit more neutral, "Far away... far away indeed." He turns back to Earth. "Serenity, I am the Prince of Earth, yet that is not my planet in this age."
[16:25] * Serenity-hime looks up at the blue planet overhead. "It's certainly a lot different than the Earth you used to know, that's for sure."
[16:26] <Anastasia> "Yes... The Kingdom of Earth is no more, only the scattered nation-states of the Planet Earth. My days, the days of the Kingdom, are past. I myself am but a fragment of that age, left behind."
[16:27] * Serenity-hime looks down a bit. "I kind of know how you feel. I may be trying to rebuild it, but the truth is that my kingdom isn't much more than a handful of people and a ruined palace."
[16:29] <Anastasia> "Yet, your Kingdom is still here as it was." Endymion concludes. "Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter - they all may be reclaimed and rightfully restored by their royal bloodline in time. But Earth?"
[16:30] * Serenity-hime nods, understanding his dilemma. "So what are you going to do from here?"
[16:31] <Anastasia> "As I said, I am departing. Someone else has given me a chance for another life - a lonely one, a life away from all I remember and care about."
[16:31] * Serenity-hime smiles slightly. "You're going to stay with Setsuna then."
[16:32] <Anastasia> He sighs strangely, but does not turn. "You know? I had not thought that she had told you."
[16:33] <Serenity-hime> "I do, and she hasn't." Serenity replies simply. "Endymion, I wish you both the best of luck. I'm sorry... I'm sorry I couldn't be to you now what I used to be, but I really do hope you find happiness with Setsuna."
[16:37] <Anastasia> "Serenity... I'm sorry, too. I would live happliy here if you still... cared, but now? I have nothing but an apartment from Mamoru's memories. I don't know if I'll find happiness with Setsuna, either." He turns to you, his well sculpted face tired and sad. "But... at least, maybe, the last two ghosts of the past will be able to stop each other's loneliness."
[16:41] * Serenity-hime smiles. "I have hope for both of you. I'm sure things will work out for the two of you." She half turns away from Endymion. "I almost don't... can I ask you for one favor then, as you go?" She looks up at the prince, her face serious.
[16:42] <Anastasia> He nods gravely. "Of course, Serenity. What do you want?"
[16:43] <Serenity-hime> "Would you ask Setsuna to meet me at her earliest possible convenience?" Serenity's words are quiet, but there is an underlying core of steel to them. "I have several things to discuss with her."
[16:45] <Anastasia> "I'll pass it on to her, Serenity," he agrees.
[16:46] <Serenity-hime> "Thank you." She smiles again. "Good luck, Endymion."
[16:48] <Anastasia> He nods again, turning back to the Moon. "Serenity... may both you and Rei be happy together."
[16:49] * Serenity-hime narrows her eyes, unseen by the prince as he gazes up at the Earth. "We are. And I wish the same for you and Setsuna."
[16:51] <Anastasia> "Thank you," he says, his voice quiet in the halls.
[16:52] <Anastasia> ---
[17:05] <Anastasia> From this, a week passes. It's getting close to Usagi's birthday when coming home from another day at Mugen, she finds her mother talking with none other than Setsuna, the Senshi of Time favoring a simple greenish housedress today.
[17:06] * Usagi-chan's usual smile dims a bit as she sees Setsuna. "I'm home," she announces simply.
[17:07] <Anastasia> "Oh hello, Usagi," Ikkuko smiles, getting up. "I was just keeping Setsuna company while she waited for you."
[17:07] <Usagi-chan> "Thanks, Mom." Usagi smiles. "I'd like to talk to her alone now, if that's okay."
[17:08] <Anastasia> "That's fine, dear," she nods, going into the the kitchen. Setsuna waits for you to start, a slightly different air about her this time. A certain... happiness, vague but visible.
[17:09] * Usagi-chan smiles slightly at Setsuna's new attitude. "I take it Endymion gave you my message?"
[17:09] <Anastasia> "We talked," she nods.  "My time isn't unlimited, so if you would get to the matter you wish to discuss, I would be grateful."
[17:11] <Usagi-chan> "Well... first off, I wanted to say thank you for talking to Mom, and to wish the two of you the best of luck. That said, there are a few things I need to hear from you." Usagi's tone gradually becomes more firm as she continues.
[17:12] <Anastasia> Setsuna nods. "Go on, then," she prompts you simply, getting to business.
[17:12] <Usagi-chan> "Am I the queen or not?" Usagi asks simply, locking gazes with the green-haired woman.
[17:13] <Anastasia> "You are," she agrees, meeting your gaze with infinite calmness.
[17:15] <Usagi-chan> "Then who do you hold your allegiance to, Setsuna? You've been withholding information from me - and I'm not simply talking about knowledge of the future. Yet you've decided it's perfectly okay to share that same information with someone else who has no direct connection to the Moon Kingdom itself."
[17:17] <Anastasia> "I hold alleigance to my duties and resposibilities," she responds coolly, not batting an eye. "Whom I share information with is at my discretion and my discretion alone as the Guardian of Time."
[17:21] <Usagi-chan> "Then who are you responsible to for those duties?" Usagi says somewhat sharply. "I don't claim to know what your responsibilities are as the Guardian of Time, but I do NOT like the fact that you seem to come and go as you like and just drop us little tidbits of information." She pulls out the as-yet unused transformation wand of Neptune. "You gave me this with no explanation of how it was related to the Talismans and the Grail - Why?"
[17:25] <Anastasia> "Because I have my duties as the Guardian of Time. Allowing Neptune to be taken once again became my duty once you truly began your Moon Restoration." There is no raise to her voice to match yours, simply matching you with composed cool. "Oh, do not misread those words - it carries no guarantee that you will succeed, merely the possibility exists now that you will, and thus that Neptune may be needed."
[17:28] <Anastasia> "Normally, I would not have interefered such as that, but I was the only one who could do so," she goes on. "Telling you about the Talisman or the Grail connected to Neptune's Talisman would have been no different than telling you about Mugen and the Doom Tree that day." Setsuna looks on at you, her eyes unreadable.
[17:33] <Usagi-chan> "And so you sent me out to place some unsuspecting person in danger that NONE of us but you had any idea about, with Germatou out there looking for the Talismans and ready to kill to get them." Usagi glowers. "Personally, I don't care so much if I get put in danger myself. But if someone else is going to be put at risk like that - and ONLY based on my judgement - then I want all the information up front.
[17:33] <Usagi-chan> I will NOT put someone else in danger like that."
[17:40] <Anastasia> "As a Queen, you will know that you often do not have that luxury," she comments, almost faintly amused. "But if my main concern was Germatou, I would have never even brought you Neptune's pen. No Mirror, no Grail and no entry into this world."
[17:42] <Anastasia> Setsuna straightens a bit, cool and calm as always. "Queen Usagi, your wishes on this matter are important to me, but my duties override even that. No matter what the danger would have been, it was irrelevant. My duty dicated what must have been done."
[17:45] * Usagi-chan scowls. "Maybe I can't have all the information all the time - but you could have told me a lot more than you did. Even without knowing about what the Talismans were or that whoever I chose to be Neptune would be in danger from Germatou specifically, you could have at LEAST told me that there'd be more than the usual amount of danger to face for Neptune - at least I would have been able to warn her." She sighs a bit.
[17:47] <Usagi-chan> "Like I said, I don't know what all your duties are, and I don't even know if I'd understand them all - but look at things from my perspective for a minute. You show up without any warning and give us tiny pieces of information and things to do and then disappear to God only knows where, and we can't even contact you to ask questions. And then you go and tell Endymion a ton of stuff that he doesn't really have any business knowing anyway -
[17:47] <Usagi-chan> what am I supposed to think?"
[17:49] <Anastasia> "That I am doing my duty, the duty I have done since time immemorable," she says. The way she says it is slightly harsh, almost like a reprimand. "Know that I am loyal to the Queen as much as my duties permit, but they override any other." She finally softens a bit. "I wish it were perhaps otherwise - it would have been a simple matter to kill Beryl in her childhood, or prevent the accident that allowed Germatou into this world."
[17:51] * Usagi-chan sighs, not at all fazed by Setsuna's tone. "And how am I supposed to know what those duties are? I have no idea what you're supposed to be doing. I just don't KNOW enough, that's the problem!"
[17:55] <Anastasia> "My duties are to guard and maintain the Timestream, and all that entails - the Gates of Time must be protected, the timeline must go on with as little interference from beyond as possible, and I must hold my position so that none with impure motives could take it and shape time to their whims."
[17:56] <Anastasia> Setsuna stands after that, frowning. "But enough. I have spent too much time away from the Gates as it is, Queen. I must go now."
[17:57] <Usagi-chan> "One thing before you go. I want some way to get in touch with you. And yes, I understand that you can't leave the Gates very often, and I don't plan on running to you every time we hit a bump. But I don't like the fact that we have absolutely no way of reaching you if we really need to."
[18:01] <Anastasia> She looks at you, a smile creeping across her face. "Perhaps it was meant that way this time, my Queen. Though..." Setsuna focuses a moment, a black orb floating in the air besides her. It's decorated like Luna's face, albeit a spherical version. "Should you ever truly need to reach me, this will allow you so. Call out, "Luna-Pluto Power" and I will hear you.".
[18:04] * Usagi-chan finally smiles. "Thank you." She rises as well. "I appreciate that you came, and I really do wish you and Endymion all the best."
[18:05] <Anastasia> She nods back. "Endymion deserves his own chance at happiness, Usagi." Setsuna chuckles lightly. "He's like a lost puppy now... perhaps that's why I'm fond of you as well." With that, she heads to the door and outside.
[18:06] * Usagi-chan shakes her head and smiles. "Not all I was hoping for, but not all bad either." She looks at the odd ball. "Weird way to get in touch with her though..."
[18:06] <Anastasia> It's cat face is in a cheery grin, strangely enough. It's almost like a toy...
[18:07] * Usagi-chan tosses it up in the air and catches it. "I just hope it works... wonder what Luna's going to think of it. Looks a lot like her."
[18:09] <Anastasia> Tossing it up, you catch what looks to be a metal or plastic patch on the very botton with some lettering.
[18:09] <Usagi-chan> "Huh? What's this?" Usagi turns the ball over to look at the lettered portion.
[18:10] <Anastasia> A few words are engraved into the metal bottom. "To the past and futures lost and those lost with them. May new dreamers come from the new day."
[18:11] * Usagi-chan frowns a bit. "Futures lost... I wonder what futures HAVE been lost...?"
[18:11] <Anastasia> As you ponder that, Ikkuko comes back in. "How did it go, Usagi-chan?"
[18:12] * Usagi-chan glances up from the inscription. "It was okay... not everything I was hoping for, but not too bad, either."
[18:12] <Anastasia> She nods. "She left her Luna-P with you," she asks, going over to it with a big smile. "She showed it to me... it's so cute and like Luna," she glows.
[18:13] <Usagi-chan> "Did she?" Usagi looks a little surprised at that. "What did she say about it, anything?"
[18:14] <Anastasia> She takes it from you, giving it sparkly eyes as she sits on the couch. "She said it was something she made for someone who never quite made it to her," she explains. "I don't know what that means, but it is terribly cute."
[18:16] * Usagi-chan looks a little down at that, connecting that with the inscription. "Yeah, it is." she says a bit sadly.
[18:17] <Anastasia> Giving in completely to her instincts, Ikkuko huggles the cute toy. "Ooooh... I wish I had something this adorable when I was younger..."
[18:18] * Usagi-chan giggles a little at the sight of her mother acting like a little girl. "Be careful with it, Mom - I need to hang on to it."
[18:18] <Anastasia> She either ignores you or doesn't answer, instead huggling it contently and lying back on the couch. "Usagi, go stir the stew on the burner," she says absently. "I think I'd like to take a nap."
[18:19] * Usagi-chan blinks. "You want ME to take care of dinner?" She gives her mother a concerned look. "Are you feeling all right?"
[18:20] <Anastasia> "It's already finished, just don't let it burn," she says, getting comfortable already. "Just stir it every ten minutes for another hour and serve."
[18:20] <Usagi-chan> "Um... okay." Usagi says uncertainly, heading into the kitchen to take care of the stew... and give it a preliminary taste. Just a taste, though.
-------
[18:35] <Usagi-chan> The following day finds Usagi in a pensive mood, much quieter than usual. She manages to keep a cheery face for most of the day, although she's far from talkative. The time after school finds her headed to the office with Rei, still deep in thought.
[18:36] <Rei-chan> "Penny for your thoughts?" Rei asks out of the blue as she keys in the passcode on one of the many doors leading down to the Witches office.
[18:36] <Usagi-chan> "Hmm? Oh, sorry Rei-chan, just thinking about last night. Setsuna finally showed up." Usagi says absently.
[18:37] <Rei-chan> "She did?" Rei pauses, her hand holding the door half open. "What happened?"
[18:38] <Usagi-chan> "We... talked." Usagi frowns a bit. "I couldn't get much out of her, but I did at least get a way to contact her."
[18:39] <Rei-chan> "That's a start, I guess," Rei sighs, heading through the door and holding it open for Usagi. "Did you ask her about the way she gets to pick and choose who she gives information to, and why we're not at the top of her list?"
[18:40] * Usagi-chan scowls at that. "Yes, and she just sidestepped it. Apparently it's up to her judgement as the Guardian of Time who she gives information to or not."
[18:41] * Rei-chan frowns. "You remember how I said I heard her mentioning Minako's connection to the Talismans and Grail?"
[18:41] * Usagi-chan nods. "Yeah, although I didn't bring that up specifically."
[18:42] <Rei-chan> "I... I think it's going to become an issue soon," Rei says uncomfortably.
[18:43] <Usagi-chan> "What's wrong?" Usagi gives the miko a concerned look as she opens the door to the office proper.
[18:46] <Rei-chan> "I had a dream the other day... it wasn't very clear, and I'm not fully sure, but I saw you, me, Ami, and Makoto. I think we were talking about Minako. I got the impression something bad had happened, or was going to happen to her," Rei explains quietly, the two going over to their desks.
[18:47] * Usagi-chan sighs. "You think that's what Setsuna meant about the situation 'resolving' itself?"
[18:49] <Rei-chan> "Probably... maybe..." Rei snorts, sitting down. "But I am sure that we'll have to deal with it." She looks askance at Usagi, "Have you... heard, anything from her? Ever since she left?" She emphasises 'heard' enough to imply Usagi wouldn't hear from Minako with her ears.
[18:51] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "Every once in a while I'll pick up little snatches of something she's thinking, but it's never about any of us and she never replies if I try to send anything to her. I quit trying about a month ago completely, although I'll still pick stuff up every once in a while if I'm really looking for it."
[18:51] * Rei-chan nods. "She's moved on completely from us, I guess..." she sighs, "But how long can it last before she comes back into our lives?"
[18:53] <Usagi-chan> "I don't know." Usagi doesn't exactly look pleased at the thought. "I've been trying NOT to pay any attention to Full Moon, so I have no idea how her career is doing - but if she's like most idols, she's probably just about finished with her career."
[18:54] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei nods, "Of course, 'Full Moon' never really existed, did she? Minako can just use her compact and remake herself as a fresh new idol when her current career dies. It'll probably be something else that brings her back..."
[18:56] * Usagi-chan leans back in her chair with a sigh. "Yeah, but do you think she could make it twice? Even with a new look? I mean, most of the people who try out for that stuff never make it even once."
[18:58] <Rei-chan> "I wouldn't underestimate her," Rei says dourly. "She's not just talented, she has magic to help her out. And 'Full Moon' can easily pave the way for another up and coming idol before her career fades completely."
[19:00] <Usagi-chan> "You might be right, I guess," Usagi admits. "I just can't see people buying the same thing in a different package that easily."
[19:00] <Rei-chan> "People are dumber than you think," Rei snorts, half amusedly. "They'll buy whatever the record companies tell them to buy."
[19:02] * Usagi-chan sighs. "Who knows what she'll end up doing then. If she's good enough, she could probably keep it up for years."
[19:03] <Rei-chan> "Unless something bad happens to her in the near future," Rei comments, bringing them back to the subject of her dream.
[19:05] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah... your dream didn't give you any clues about what it was that happened?"
[19:08] <Rei-chan> "Well... in the first part of the dream I saw myself eating a meal at a restaurant called Royal Greens, and the other me kept looking over at the Timely Coffee cafe. I have no clue what that means, though. The next thing I saw was us talking here, but I only caught a few snippets that made me pretty sure we were talking about Minako. We seemed sad but... resigned, I guess..."
[19:09] * Usagi-chan sighs. "That could mean almost anything if we were talking about Minako."
[19:10] <Rei-chan> "I did catch Ami saying that no one deserves 'that'. No clue what 'that' is, though..." Rei sighs, before a frown mars her features, recalling what Minako did to Cynthia. "Hell, maybe I'm misreading it and we were talking about something Minako did to someone else. It just wasn't clear enough."
[19:11] * Usagi-chan rests her head on her desk. "I hate it when we only have half the story... all we can do is guess."
[19:13] <Rei-chan> "Didn't someone once say 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'? I feel like that fits, here..." Rei looks unhappy. "That dream can be interpreted so many different ways, we could easily wind off going in completely the wrong direction, and be even more caught off guard when whatever it foretells actually happens."
[19:15] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, I know..." Usagi grouses. "It's like that whole Neptune thing - I really let Setsuna have it about that. If I'd just charged off and given the pen to someone, I could have put them at even MORE risk of getting killed by Germatou, if Neptune's Talisman was like Haruka's was."
[19:17] <Rei-chan> "That's true, but I'm sure Setsuna had the idea that you wouldn't do that - you didn't even know anyone with the potential at first, and you'd want to get to know someone really well before entrusting them with that. Chances are the Germatou thing would be resolved one way or another before a new Sailor Neptune was found." She gives a small smile, "And that is how things have turned out."
[19:18] <Usagi-chan> "Maybe so, but she still could have told me there was an extra risk there - even if she couldn't tell me what it was." Usagi frowns.
[19:19] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, she could have," Rei agrees, nodding. "But if she had, you'd have been jumping at shadows with no clue where the risk could come from, wouldn't you? That's the problem with just having a little information."
[19:21] * Usagi-chan grumbles. "I know. And apparently I STILL need to find a Neptune; she said if Germatou had been part of the reason, she would have kept the pen herself. So I've STILL got to be looking out for people."
[19:23] <Rei-chan> "Of course," Rei nods, "Making someone a sailor senshi just so you can get a talisman really seems wrong to me. If we grant someone the power of Neptune, it should be because we need the person herself, not the magic mirror."
[19:25] <Usagi-chan> "That still leaves the question of WHY though." Usagi leans back in her chair again. "We've found every senshi that we know of EXCEPT for Neptune, now, and I can't see us having so much trouble that one more person would make a difference. We have the Witches and Ann and Alan to help now if things get bad too - so why is it important that there be a senshi for every planet?" Usagi frowns.
[19:26] <Rei-chan> "Maybe it's not?" Rei suggests, "Maybe it's just important that as Queen you have the CHOICE of giving someone that power?"
[19:28] <Usagi-chan> "Then why would Setsuna make a point of doing it? The way she talks, you'd think she never leaves the Gate except when it's urgent - yeah, I know she met with Endymion, but she's very rarely talked to any of us without a specific reason."
[19:30] * Rei-chan sighs. "I don't have all the answers, Usagi. I just don't think you should worry about second guessing yourself or Setsuna or anybody else. Just do what you think is right," she gives her love an honest smile, "It's worked pretty well so far, hasn't it?"
[19:31] * Usagi-chan smiles a bit at that. "I guess so... it just feels like I'm walking around blind sometimes, and this stuff is too important to make a mistake on."
[19:34] <Rei-chan> "I know. It is important, but running yourself around in circles isn't going to help. When the time comes, I have faith that you'll do the right thing. And I know the others feel the same way," Rei says supportively.
[19:35] <Usagi-chan> "Thanks, Rei-chan." Usagi gives her love an honest smile. "I'll try my best with what I do know."
[19:36] <Rei-chan> "And you'll always have us to help you," Rei says, scooting her chair a bit closer to Usagi's and taking the blonde's hand.
[19:39] * Usagi-chan leans over and kisses Rei's cheek. "And I'll never be able to tell you how much that means to me."
[12:47] <Rei-chan> ----------
[08:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Late June is normally a fun time of the month - warm, sunny, fun. Except when, you know, it rains all day. Usagi, having spent too much time on the Moon for her own good lately, lays around the house, chatting off and on with Luna and Mom. Until...
[08:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> Coming back from getting the mail in the steady light rain, Ikkuko puts all but one letter aside, standing in the living room and stopping as she reads it.
[08:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh," she murmurs quietly, a heartfelt sound as she read it.
[08:48] * Usagi-chan looks up. "What's wrong?"
[08:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Nothing," she replies, looking you with a teary smile. "Usagi, do you remember your aunt Chisato? ...No, probably not," she concedes. "She hasn't been in Japan since you were a toddler."
[08:50] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "What about her?"
[08:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Her daughter, Eiko, is 15 now and hasn't lived in Japan since she was 2. Chisato wants to send her to live with us so she can see her native country," she smiles, wiping away a tear from the corner of her eye.
[08:54] <Usagi-chan> "That's kind of cool, I... guess..." Usagi starts out with a smile, but her expression gradually slips a little as she goes on.
[08:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "Oh, I missed them so much... I'd love to see them again since they moved to Europe..."
[08:56] <Usagi-chan> "And she's staying here?" Usagi says, not exactly sounding enthused.
[08:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "Of course, Usagi-chan. We'll have to clean up the attic, but we'll welcome her with open arms, like family," she smiles happily, her eyes wet with emotion.
[08:57] * Usagi-chan grumbles. "So much for being able to relax at home."
[08:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh, it's not that much work, Usag..." she stops, then blinks. "Oh. Oh dear," she murmurs. "Yes. I suppose we can't tell her that you're Sailor Moon, can we?"
[08:59] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, and I'll have to keep my stupid braid on all the time too." She frowns. "Even in bed!" That makes her droop.
[09:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well... we must all make sacrifices for our family, Usagi," she nods, serious in face and demeanor now. "Luna won't be happy about eating out of her catfood bowl again, either..."
[09:02] * Usagi-chan gets a quirky smile at that. "I guess she won't, will she? How long is Eiko going to be staying here?"
[09:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko goes back to the letter, reading again. "At least a semester. It will depend on how well she does here and a few other things," Ikkuko explains, nodding.
[09:03] <Usagi-chan> "She'll be going to Juuban, I guess?"
[09:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Probably," she agrees. "I don't know if they've already made arrangements for her schooling or not. We'll find out on... July 1st," Ikkuko glances again at the letter. "She's due in that afternoon."
[09:06] * Usagi-chan smiles a bit. "The day after my birthday, huh?"
[09:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes, Usagi," she comments. "We'll have to have your party early in the day so we don't have altogether too much mess to clean up," she says out loud, adjusting her mental plans on the fly. "And..." she looks at you, that certain look of motherly firmness. "Usagi, why don't you head up to the attic and start moving some of those old boxes out?"
[09:08] * Usagi-chan sighs. "Do I have to?"
[09:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes, Usagi," she says stoutly, although a bit of a smile plays at her lips. "You have to. Get up there and get going."
[09:09] * Usagi-chan mutters to herself, but heads for the stairs. "All right, I'm going..." she says with bad grace.
[09:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you go upstairs and get the attic ladder down and set up, "Why are you going upstairs, Usagi," Luna asks, coming out from your room. Of late, Artemis's regiment has seemed to have worked - she's far fitter than she was a few months ago.
[09:11] <Usagi-chan> "We're getting a guest. Mom got a letter, and some cousin of mine is coming to live with us for a while." Usagi coughs a little at the dust as she climbs up the ladder.
[09:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna hops up with you, the dusty and boxy attic as gloomy as ever. It's a fairly big space, just in need of some cleaning up and a bit of work. "Really?" Luna frowns quite a bit, almost a scowl. "We can't tell her you are Sailor Moon...so that means we have to act at home again," Luna concludes, sniffing at the dust distastefully.
[09:14] <Usagi-chan> "I know... and I'm going to have to be extra careful about my mark, too. And YOU'RE back to a cat food bowl." Usagi smirks a bit at that last.
[09:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Ack!" Luna yelps, twitching. "I hope I'm not going back to catfood, too," she grumps loudly.
[09:16] * Usagi-chan covers a tiny giggle. "You'll have to ask Mom about that."
[09:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I will," she nods, then sneezes twice in a row. "You'll need to dust after you move those boxes," Luna observes, sniffing. "At least...I'll go have Ikkuko bring you up some lunch," Luna agrees generously, hopping down the steps.
[09:19] <Usagi-chan> "You're too kind." Usagi says dryly as she continues to shift the boxes to the side of the attic, her work punctuated by an occasional sneeze. "I swear, the MOON isn't this dusty."
[09:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> At least Luna is right - lunch comes up via Dad, who at least has the kindness to help you move the boxes and dust. Still, it takes a good part of the early afternoon to get it all done.
[09:21] * Usagi-chan plops down on the floor, resting her back against the boxes. "Thanks, Daddy." She takes a sip from a glass of iced tea.
[09:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure, Usagi," he says, doing about the same. "Wow... cousin Eiko. I haven't seen her since she was in diapers," Kenji muses. "I wonder how she is now?"
[09:24] * Usagi-chan sighs. "It's going to be crazy around here again with her here. I just hope there's no trouble while she's here - I don't want to have to run around hiding as Sailor Moon again."
[09:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "I heard Luna complaining about being off the table," he laughs a bit. "Don't worry, Usagi, it'll be fine."
[09:26] * Usagi-chan smiles. "You're probably right... I doubt anything will happen anyway."
[09:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> In the Witches office Ami sits, working on another batch of homework. She's alone and relaxed enough, until...
[09:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I told you, it won't work like that," a voice from the hallway just outside says fiercely, the door opening a moment later to reveal Eudial and Viluy. "We'll need more compensation," Viluy snaps, glaring at Eudial, "or it'll overload."
[09:49] * Ami-chan blinks and looks up as the door opens, glancing curiously at the pair, but staying quiet for the moment.
[09:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> With a toss of her tied-back hair, "It'll work FINE," Eudial grunts, annoyed. "The force will buffer out, so no more compensation is needed!" As they argue, they continue to walk inside, still arguing as they walk.
[09:53] <Ami-chan> Curiosity bubbles over at the vague statements, and Ami hesitates, not wanting to interrupt, but eager to know what they're working on. "Is there a problem?" She finally asks them cautiously.
[09:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Waving a paper she holds in her hand, Viluy fires back. "It will not! I've told you, it'll over -" Viluy stops, turning to Ami. "Yes," she glares at Eudial, who returns the glare, "there is." She slaps her papers down in front of you. "Why don't you read this and tell Eudial how wrong she is?"
[09:58] * Ami-chan is taken aback slightly, not wishing to takes sides just yet. "Uhm..." she murmurs hesitantly, nervously picking up the papers and scanning them for content.
[09:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> It looks to be some technical diagrams to do with the Moon Teleport they've been working on. Highly complex, but you're able to more or less follow what's going on. The issue at hand is the actual teleportation itself, and the forces involved.
[10:01] * Ami-chan examines the proposed method of operation, trying to discern the nature of the argument - studiously avoiding looking up at the pair standing nearby.
[10:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> The two are currently exchanging hot looks while you read... In non-technical essence, it's about the force needed for the teleport, how it will buffer out, and how much compensation is needed for it.
[10:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> There are two sets of numbers, one arguing for more compensation than the other.
[10:06] * Ami-chan thinks quickly, applying her own judgement as she looks for the reasoning behind the differing conclusions, hoping to discover why Eudial believes no more is needed.
[10:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial's theory is that the force will be fully consumed by the action of teleportation and such, thus that compensation past a basic point is unneeded. Viluy begs to differ, insisting that more is needed. Looking over it, you quickly become convinced Viluy is right - you find yourself doubting that all of the energy and force created and used will buffer out.
[10:16] <Ami-chan> "Mmm..." Ami frowns at the paper, trying to delay long enough to think of a way to disagree with the older girl respectfully. "Viluy's reasoning seems sound, Eudial..." she begins hesitantly, avoiding criticising Eudial's reasoning directly. "Why do you think that the compensation is unnecessary?"
[10:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Viluy smiles a bit, turning her gaze to Eudial as she answers. "It's because the force will be consumed by the action of the end teleport," she explains. From Viluy's numbers, you'd have to disagree.
[10:19] * Ami-chan pushes her glasses up further onto the bridge of her nose. "Viluy's calculations are sound, though." she replies reasonably, double checking the math quickly as she does so, looking for the major differences between her numbers and Eudial's, looking for something that might have been left out.
[10:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Viluy grins it triumph, while Eudial simmers a bit, frowning. "You're serious," the redhead inquires as you go over them. Fundamentally, it's just a difference in views rather than any gross math errors, at least to your eye.
[10:29] <Ami-chan> "Well... um... it does seem safer to err on the side of caution." Ami observes, and bites her lip. She wanders on over to the board, and begins writing down the relevant parts of the math to help her think. "Here, and here are power variables." she muses, adding slightly to Viluy's equations, mentally drawing a picture of the device in her head. "But while this one is dealt with, this one doesn't appear to be regulated at all."  
[10:30] * Ami-chan frowns. "And if you're incorrect, without the necessary compensation for the extra power, the end result could  be explosive... or worse, if it's a living being in transport." She observes.
[10:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial sighs as she goes over Ami's work. "Yeah... That does look right," she finally concedes, deflating while Viluy still smiles in triumph.
[10:34] * Ami-chan nods, scribbling a bit more. "In fact, if you trimmed the extra variables down..." she continues, writing a bit more, entirely new math beside it, and wiping out a few of the original numbers, "You could reduce the necessary power entirely."
[10:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Really," Viluy comments, her smile dropping off as she peers at the new math and goes over it.
[10:42] * Ami-chan nods, and turns to the pair, blinking a little. "I think so." she agrees mildly, a little nervous, as neither of them look particularly happy with what she's done.
[10:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> They both nod, poring over the work and copying it down themselves. "We'll go over this, Ami," Eudial comments, finishing up with it. "Yeah," Viluy nods.
[10:47] * Ami-chan nods politely, watching them carefully. "O-Okay." she agrees, mildly not seeing any sign that she's needed further she makes to go back to the desk she was working on her homework.
[10:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> They leave a few moments later, again in discussion, but this time more muted as they break down what you added.
[10:48] * Ami-chan sighs a bit, and goes back to her homework, wondering exactly what she did wrong there.
[10:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> Later in the afternoon, just as Ami is packing up to go, the phone in the office rings. No one else is around (Still. Where did Rei and Usagi get off to/on, anyway?), so it's up to Ami to answer it.
[10:53] * Ami-chan leaves her satchel on the desk, and goes to answer the phone. "Hello?" she answers quickly, glancing to see whether it's an outside line, of from within the school.
[10:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Ah, hello Ami," Professor Tomoe's voice greets you as you see it's an inside line. At any rate, there are very few outside lines that would call this number. "I heard you helped Viluy and Eudial out today."
[10:55] <Ami-chan> "Oh! Hello, Professor. And yes, I did... did it work out all right? They didn't seem happy when they left..."
[10:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tomoe chuckles warmly. "Oh, it was most helpful. Anyway, don't mind them - they tend to bicker fairly often over the exact means and methods of this project. Eudial is far too aggressive while Viluy is too conservative, so things tend to balance out in the end."
[10:58] * Ami-chan smiles. "I'm glad to hear it." she replies, relieved, then pauses. "Did you want to talk to Usagi? I haven't seen her or Rei all afternoon..."
[10:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> "So am I," he agrees. "No, I was hoping to catch you, Ami. I know you have a few obligations already, but would you mind helping out some with this teleporter as we go into the final stages of work? They showed me your figures, and I think you'd help out quite a good deal."
[11:02] <Ami-chan> "Really?" Ami asks wonderingly. "I'd be happy to!" she agrees cheerfully, excitement beginning to bubble up within her. 'I hope I can manage this... but... what with the other things... well, I'll make it work, somehow.'
[11:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Great," he says right back. "I'll talk to your teachers and make sure to free up some time for you, Ami. Glad to have you on board."
[11:04] <Ami-chan> "Thank you very much for the chance!" Ami responds happily, though the back of her mind is working furiously. 'Let's see... I can shift my appointments, I'm fairly certain... no, that happens at night...'
[11:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'll come down and talk to you about it tomorrow," he promises. "Until then?"
[11:05] * Ami-chan nods reflexively. "Of course. Have a good afternoon, Professor."
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 11: Miko Hotaru to Agony Aunt Haruka?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2006, 03:14:36 pm »
[11:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[11:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> Early summer generally means a pick up in business at the Shrine, and today is no exception. Shuffling along all morning and into the early afternoon, a stream of visitors keeps Rei more than busy.
[11:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> It's the sight of your crows blaring like mad and then diving down from their perch on the Torii, down the steps of the Shrine that gets Rei's attention even more than the man she's talking to about Shrine customs.
[11:09] * Rei-chan turns to look at the Torii, vaguely alarmed at what could inspire that reaction from Phobos and Deimos.
[11:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> You can't quite see from here, but they seem to be vigorously bothering someone coming up the stairs...
[11:10] <Rei-chan> "Excuse me," Rei quickly bows to the man she was talking to, rushing over towards the steps to investigate herself.
[11:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you get closer, you see that Professor Tomoe, dressed in a casual polo shirt and slacks is protecting Hotaru as best he can from two very agitated ravens...
[11:12] <Rei-chan> "Phobos, Deimos, stop that!" Rei yells angrily at the ravens, hurrying down towards the Professor and his daughter.
[11:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru looks up from cowering behind her father, up at Rei hopefully. As commanded, the ravens very reluctantly back down, eyeing Hotaru the entire time. "She's evil!" is the general, basic thought you're getting from the two.
[11:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eyeing the birds and brushing off his shirt, the Professor glares at the birds before pushing up his glasses and smiling pleasantly at Rei. "I don't think your birds like us," he comments.
[11:14] <Rei-chan> "No she's not," Rei says firmly to the ravens. "She's my friend and you'll treat her that way." Turning back to the Professor and Hotaru she bows, "I'm terribly sorry, Hotaru-chan. They won't bother you again."
[11:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> The ravens only very reluctantly consent, their grumbling and warnings in the back of your mind. "It's okay, Rei-chan..." Hotaru murmurs.
[11:18] <Rei-chan> "No," Rei shakes her head, still bowing, "They shouldn't have acted that way towards you. I'm very sorry that you recieved such treatment on your first visit to the Shrine."
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's nothing," Professor Tomoe smiles, putting it aside. "Anyway, Hotaru wanted to see your Shrine, so I thought she could come up here," he nods. Hotaru is dressed in a black jumper with a dark purple shirt underneath.
[11:20] * Rei-chan rises from her bow, deciding to have a long chat with her ravens later on. Putting it behind her, she gives her guests a smile, "Well, I'm very happy to have you both visit. Come on up," she beckons the pair up towards the Torii.
[11:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> They follow, Hotaru looking around wide-eyed at the entire place.
[11:23] * Rei-chan falls into her familiar role, explaining various parts of the Shrine and telling Hotaru about the holy days they celebrate here and what makes them special.
[11:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru follows along in an almost daze, her eyes wide as she takes it all in. "This is where Rei-chan lives..." she murmurs at one point, smiling widely.
[11:24] <Rei-chan> "Yes, since I was a little girl," Rei smiles at Hotaru. "Grandpa's been training me as a miko ever since."
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru smiles and turns to the Professor. "Daddy, can I study to be a miko, too," she asks, causing Tomoe to blink.
[11:25] * Rei-chan blinks as well.
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Um... why don't we talk about it later," he says, a bit off guard with an apologetic glance to Rei.
[11:27] * Rei-chan nods, leaving the decision in the Professor's hands. "Anyway..." she resumes explaining all things related to the Shrine, finishing up as they come to the many charms on sale here.
[11:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru follows along the entire time, taking it all in and dragging her dad along with surprising energy. Before she even asks, "How much are they?" Tomoe asks, glancing at Hotaru. "How about one suitable for her?"
[11:31] <Rei-chan> "This one promotes good health," Rei smiles, producing a lovingly made scroll, crafted by a beautiful miko.
[11:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That sounds excellent," he nods, getting out his wallet.
[11:34] <Rei-chan> "Don't worry," Rei waves for him to put it back, "You're friends so you don't have to pay anything."
[11:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> He shrugs, but doesn't argue. Hotaru takes the scroll, smiling. "Thank you, Rei, she grins. "Dad," she turns to him again. "I really do want to study here," she insists again. "With Rei and become a miko."
[11:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well.." he pauses, stalling while giving Rei another glance of curiosity. "I guess I didn't expect you to show such interest in spiritual matters, but if Rei's grandfather says it's okay and your health stays good..." she shrugs and smiles at Hotaru.
[11:39] <Rei-chan> "I'm sure Grandpa won't mind," Rei puts in, "He's always looking for more people to help out here." She smiles at Hotaru, "And I know I wouldn't mind having you here - although it is a lot of hard work at times," she warns.
[11:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That's okay, Rei-chan," Hotaru lights up with a huge smile. "Can I start right now?"
[11:40] <Rei-chan> "Now?" Rei blinks, giving the Professor a questioning look.
[11:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe hesitates as well. "Today, Hotaru? Well... I guess, if you really want to..." he says, sounding more and more surprised each comment.
[11:43] <Rei-chan> "Well, I still have some of my old hakama from when I was about your age, Hotaru-chan..." Rei gives the younger girl a considering look, "They'd probably fit. Although for today I suppose it'd be best if you just followed me around on my chores to give you more of an idea of what's involved..."
[11:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, going to you with a grin. "Sure, Rei-chan." Professor Tomoe shrugs again, putting it behind him for now. "Rei, I'll come back for Hotaru later tonight. I didn't anticipate this, and I have some business in town that needs to be taken care of."
[11:45] <Rei-chan> "Okay," Rei nods, "Will you come back before or after dinner time?"
[11:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> "After, if it's no bother to you," he says, again glancing down at Hotaru.
[11:46] <Rei-chan> "It's no trouble," Rei replies easily.
[11:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "I'll see you tonight." With a final smile to Hotaru and glance backwards, he goes off, leaving you with one very happy girl.
[11:47] <Rei-chan> "Come on, Hotaru-chan," Rei gestures for the girl to come inside with her, "Let's get you dressed properly if you're going to be a miko."
[11:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going inside, Hotaru follows along as you go to where you store your old hakamas...
[11:49] <Rei-chan> Reaching into the closet, Rei takes out a set of robes from when she was about ten, holding them up and judging them around Hotaru's size. "So what makes you want to be a miko, Hotaru-chan?" she asks conversationally.
[11:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru blushes a bit. "Well..." she stammers. "Ah... Rei-chan is a miko..."
[11:53] <Rei-chan> "Well, if you just want to help me out, that's fine," Rei gives Hotaru a kind smile, "But if you really want to take Shinto seriously, you need to find your faith for yourself, not for someone else."
[11:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "Okay," she nods to that in a small voice. "I will, Rei-chan."
[11:57] <Rei-chan> "Don't worry too much about it," Rei smiles, handing over the folded robes and leading Hotaru to her room, "It's something you'll find on your own terms." Opening the door, she gestures Hotaru inside while remaining in the hallway herself. "Just get changed and then you can help me around the Shrine, today."
[12:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Right, Rei-chan," she smiles back, taking the robes and going inside. A minute later... "Rei-chan," she calls. "Um... could you come in here? I'm having problems figuring out how to place these..."
[12:00] * Rei-chan opens the door and steps inside, closing it behind her. "What's the problem, Hotaru-chan?"
[12:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> The robes are in a pile around her, the girl now only clad in white underwear and a training bra. "Ah... could you show me how to tie these in place," she asks, blushing a bit.
[12:03] <Rei-chan> "Sure thing, Hotaru," Rei says, gathering up the robes. "They can be tricky at first," she says, helping the little girl get dressed properly.
[12:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru nods as you help her tie them on, soon robed as a miko. She turns once in the robes, cautiously. "They're hotter than I thought," she comments.
[12:06] <Rei-chan> "Hmm..." Rei frowns a bit. "That could be a problem, then... especially on a day like this. Maybe you should just wear normal clothes if you're only just following me around today. I'll see about getting some made with lighter material for next time?" she offers, not wanting to risk Hotaru hurt herself from heat exhaustion.
[12:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "No," Hotaru shakes her head. "I'll be okay," she smiles at you, taking a few steps. "Can we start now, Rei-chan?"
[12:07] <Rei-chan> "Okay, then..." Rei nods, deciding that they'll be taking frequent breaks for cool drinks this afternoon. "Come on," she leads Hotaru back outside to follow her around as she deals with the other visitors to the Shrine on this busy day.
[12:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> The day wears on, Hotaru making you and your duties the center of her world. Despite a few moments of weakness, she keeps up fairly well, although she looks quite tired by the end of the day. As things start to wind down around six and dinner is being eaten with Gramps... "Another friend of yours, Rei?" he asks, glancing at Hotaru. "She's cute, but a bit young."
[12:11] <Rei-chan> "Well, she wants to learn how to be a miko, and it is better to start young," Rei says in between eating her food.
[12:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods at that, looking again at Hotaru. "She'll grow into quite a..." he mutters, before smiling back at Rei. "Good work, Rei. We can use more mikos."
[12:13] * Rei-chan smirks a bit at her grandfather's words. "Yes, a little extra help is always handy to have."
[12:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru smiles at him a bit shyly. "I'll be happy to help out here with Rei-chan," she ventures, eating her own meal with surprising vigor.
[12:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Good," he smirks as well. "You'll get plenty of exercise, at least, to keep a good figure."
[12:17] * Rei-chan shakes her head a bit. "It is hard work, but we won't push you too hard, Hotaru-chan."
[12:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Gramps chuckles while Hotaru nods, the rest of the meal going by quickly. Right after, Professor Tomoe comes back, chatting with you while Hotaru changes. "How did it go for her?" he asks, quite interested.
[12:19] <Rei-chan> "She kept up pretty well," Rei nods approvingly. "She was a bit tired towards the end, but it gave her a good appetite for dinner. I don't think she'll have any real problems helping here."
[12:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "That's good. Rei... I didn't expect her to take to you the way she did," he admits, hesistant again. "If this is any bother, I can talk her out of this, I'm sure."
[12:22] <Rei-chan> "Oh, no," Rei shakes her head, "I don't mind at all. It's kind of nice, really. Almost like having a little sister," she grins a bit sheepishly.
[12:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> He chuckles a bit at that, in a strangely good humor. "Perhaps that's what she sees you as," he ventures. "She keeps talking about Rei-chan when she gets the chance... she took to you even more than the other girls."
[12:25] <Rei-chan> "I'm a bit surprised, really," Rei admits, "But I'm glad, too. Hotaru-chan deserves to be happy, and if I can help with that, I'm glad of it."
[12:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> He turns in the direction of Rei's room. "She does...and if this makes her happy, then so be it."
[12:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Having finally set aside the time to visit Mugen's gardens with Alan, Makoto goes thither... the gardens span several greenhouses and outdoor areas, quite nice in the summer weather with its fragrances and blooms. Alan smiles as soon as you get there, seemingly soothed by the plants...
[12:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hi," Tellu greets you when you arrive, dressed in a green dress that almost looks like a plant itself, beautifully green, at the front entrance. "You brought Alan," she glances at him.
[12:32] <Makoto> "Yeah," Makoto says with a nod. "I remembered you said it was okay if he came too."
[12:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah," she confirm. "Well, ah, come in." Tellu steps aside, admitting you to the colorful rows of plants ahead.
[12:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It smells great in here," Alan comments, instead of a real, proper greeting. "Lively, too."
[12:34] * Makoto just nods, just in awe already at the condition these plants are in. "You're right. It's so rare to see plants so...vibrant."
[12:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Indeed..." Alan murmurs. "It's like a dream... they're all perfectly alive and happy."
[12:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I take good care of them," Tellu smiles, lovingly glancing around. "They're so happy and singy when they're taken good care of," she says as she goes to a nearby flowering bush, red flowers exploding off the green bush.
[12:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Alan nods, going over to the bush. "It's incredible, this is excellent work even by high standards," he gushes, leaving Makoto behind a bit.
[12:44] <Makoto> "I'm always told my plants are beautiful, but I could only wish mine did half as good as yours," Makoto replies as she follows after Alan.
[12:44] <Makoto> Looking around she notes that the greenhouse isn't reserved to just Japanese native plants, and stares at some plants that she's only ever seen in books.
[12:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> 'The plants like you, Makoto," Tellu comments, going over to you, past Alan. "You could probably do better with a bit of work."
[12:49] * Makoto giggles. "Man, I wish I could communicate with them, like you can," Makoto states, looking at Tellu with a smile, seeing how comfortable the girl is here.
[12:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu glances around a moment, seeing no one really nearby. "Well..." she stops a moment, hesitating with a blush. "If you're as talented with plants as I think you are..." Alan raises an eyebrow at that, but says nothing. "...maybe you could learn..."
[12:50] * Makoto blinks. "Really?" she says, some excitement creeping in.
[12:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Maybe..." she murmurs, going a bit red. "I don't know for sure, but..."
[12:55] <Makoto> "Hey Alan, wouldn't it be cool? I'd be able to talk with the Tree as well then," Makoto says.
[12:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure," Alan shrugs, interested himself.
[12:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Makoto..." she starts, fumbling. "If I rememeber, aren't Sailor Jupiter's powers invovled plants as well as lighting?"
[13:03] * Makoto pauses and thinks, a faint image coming into her head, but shaking it she says. "Well, I've never used any powers involving plants, but I suppose it makes some sense if they did."
[13:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu nods. "If you can hear plants..." she thinks, then sighs. "I don't know. What I can tell you is to just LISTEN."
[13:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I remember it being like tuning into the right channel on a stereo dial..."
[13:10] * Makoto scratches her head. "Okay..." she mutters, closing her eyes and tries focusing on the plants. "Listening... listening..."
[13:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> Makoto focuses for a few minutes, only the breathing of her own chest is heard, though, and the occasional bit of patter from a passerby.
[13:11] * Makoto opens her eyes, and shakes her head.
[13:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Nothing," Tellu asks. "Well... the hard part was figuring out what to listen to, I think."
[13:14] <Makoto> "I guess..." Makoto says, a bit disappointed.
[13:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Alan smiles. "It's not too hard," Alan smiles at you gently. "It's more about stopping from listening us and listening to them."
[13:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah," Tellu nods in agreement. "And once you know the channel, it's not too hard from there on out."
[13:20] <Makoto> "I suppose..."
[13:27] * Makoto walks over to a random plant, and passing her finger through the leaf, closes her eyes again, trying to put out everything she could normally hear, trying to listen to something... else. Or whatever.
[13:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Makoto tries to tune everything out... slowly, very slowly...she almost hears something. Like a baby's voice gurgling happily, just for a moment.
[13:36] * Makoto blinks open her eyes. "Whoa..." she says, looking at her hand and then at the plant. "It was like...a happy baby, or something."
[13:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tellu nods, then smiles. "That's what a lot of plants sound like when they're happy," she smiles, looking up a bit. "They aren't really intelligent, mind you, but they can convey very basic feelings and emotions."
[13:47] <Makoto> "Wow... so this means I -can- communicate with 'em too..." Makoto says before smiling brightly, and leaning down to kiss the leaf of the plant. "Thank you for your help..." she whispers to it, before turning back to look at Tellu and Alan.
[13:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> Alan has a slightly amused expression on his face, while Tellu is a bit more smiley. "Congratulations, Makoto," Alan says.
[13:52] <Makoto> "Thank you," Makoto says before hugging Alan, and smiling at Tellu from over Alan's shoulder. "I couldn't have done it without both of you."
[08:23] <Ana-morningstuff> ---
[08:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> After your birthday party, it comes up that Mother expects you to leave school early to meet Eiko at the airport. Well...getting a half day off isn't bad, you guess. Dad and Shingo also free up their afternoon, and the bunch of you head off Narita airport to pickup your housemate.
[08:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Pushing your way through the masses and fighting your way to an entry gate isn't too bad, really. Finding you have to wait 20 minutes for deboarding is, on the other hand. Your family waits, standing and bored with a few others in similar positions.
[08:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Finally... amid a sea of tired looking businessmen, Japanese and Western, one woman stands out. A teenager, with a sure, haughty gait and strikingly long, oddly tinted hair. It's black mainly, but a few slightly different strands can be seen. It's a lighter color, but it's hard to tell what color it is.
[08:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Her purple top and jeans are cut oddly, almost sharply. Something about them screams fashionable - to match her step - as she carries a single suitcase with almost visible disdain.
[08:36] * Usagi-chan watches the girl carefully, almost hoping that this ISN'T her cousin.
[08:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> After a split second of gawking, Ikkuko smiles and waves. "Eiko! Eiko," she calls and waves, Eiko deigning to look over at you. Not a friendly set of eyes, hers... Coming over, "Aunt Ikkuko," she asks, her voice a teenage grump, a voice that expects things laid out for them.
[08:38] * Usagi-chan represses the urge to sigh and puts on a smile for the girl.
[08:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes," Ikkuko smiles. "It's good to see you again, Eiko-chan," she comes over and gives Eiko a light hug, which she notably doesn't return. Glancing over the family, she stops on Usagi, scowling very deeply.
[08:39] * Usagi-chan is somewhat taken aback by Eiko's reaction. "Is... something wrong?"
[08:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> The scowl deepens even more. "Yeah, your hair," she snorts nastily, pushing away from Ikkuko. "No one but an old woman wears it like that." From the contempt in her tone, 'Old woman' is as big an insult as she knows.
[08:44] * Usagi-chan resists the urge to snap off a retort.... barely. She's probably just grumpy from the long flight to Japan, right? That doesn't stop her from gritting her teeth and scowling a bit herself. "I'm quite happy with my hair, thank you."
[08:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> "WhatEVER," she tosses her head back, Ikkuko and Kenji exchanging a long look. Shingo, on the other hand, stares on, rather stunned by the entire event. "Eiko-chan, why don't we get going," Ikkuko suggests, sounding just a bit less cheery than she was before.
[08:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Whatever," she replies again, as the family heads back to the car...
[08:47] * Usagi-chan draws a long breath in through her teeth. It's looking like this is going to be a looooong six months...
[08:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> On the drive back, Usagi is crammed in between Shingo on the left and Ikkuko on the right - she insisted that Eiko get the front seat this time.
[08:50] * Usagi-chan is quite satisfied jammed in where she is... and with the grouch in the front seat. Hopefully she'll be in a better mood once she's rested, but until then... Usagi resolves to keep her distance.
[08:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> The car ride goes on... "Eiko," Kenji tries, as the girl is making no effort to chat with you, "Where in Europe did you live before coming back to Japan?"
[08:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "London, Paris, Berlin, Gratinberg, all the fashionable spots," she replies haughtily, like those residences prove her pedigree.
[08:57] * Usagi-chan frowns slightly at the mention of London, but doesn't say anything.
[08:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh..." Kenji nods as he drives. "Um... Gratinberg?" he asks, a bit curious. "I've heard of the others, but not that."
[08:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eiko snorts. "If you haven't heard of Gratinberg, you must be a nobody," she asserts. "It's THE fashion capital of the world!"
[09:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh," Kenji replies, a slight sigh. He doesn't try again after that, a moody, repressive silence settling in after that.
[09:00] * Usagi-chan rolls her eyes, unseen by her cousin.
[09:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> Arriving home, you pile out of the car, relieved to be out of that too-warm pressure cooker. Eiko takes in the house, but says nothing.
[09:02] * Usagi-chan frowns a bit. 'What, does she hate EVERYTHING here?'
[09:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> "This is nowhere as nice as my sister's house," she notes, leaving her suitcase in the car as if she expects someone else to get it. "No style at all."
[09:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> Taking just a moment to rub her temples and wish for aspirin, Ikkuko forces on a smile. "It's nice enough, Eiko," she comments as she goes forward, Kenji getting her suitcase. The two women go inside...
[09:04] * Usagi-chan looks skyward for patience before following her mother into the house.
[09:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going inside, you see the Ikkuko leading Eiko on a tour of the first floor. Eiko looks throughly unimpressed by the first floor.
[09:06] * Usagi-chan notes her cousin's expression and shakes her head. 'Why am I not surprised?'
[09:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Your room is upstairs, Eiko," Ikkuko comments as the two head upstairs...
[09:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Whatever," she replies as the two ascend the stairs, leaving Usagi and co. behind.
[09:08] * Usagi-chan sighs and heads up to her own bedroom, figuring she might as well get started on her homework so she can pay a visit to Rei later in the evening.
[09:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you go upstairs... "An attic?" Eiko complains. "Whatever, as long as I can be alone."
[09:10] * Usagi-chan heads past the pair in silence, pushing open the door to her room and flopping down at her desk.
[09:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> And thus, the day begins. Usagi works on her homework while the rest of the house does their thing, and helps Eiko settle in.
[09:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> At dinner, which is a nice meal to 'celebrate' a new houseguest, Eiko only nibbles at best, as if the food isn't good enough for her. "Aren't you hungry, Eiko," Ikkuko asks, straining to smile.
[09:14] * Usagi-chan pauses in her own serious business of eating to look over at her cousin, chopsticks held halfway to her mouth.
[09:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'm fine," she fires back, having eaten only perhaps four bites. "I can't let my figure go to bulk," she snips, glancing at Usagi and her less restrained eating habits.
[09:15] * Usagi-chan narrows her eyes. "I get more than enough exercise to work it off." she retorts, resuming her meal in silence.
[09:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eiko snorts and turns, ignoring Usagi from then out, shortly after leaving the table with only a 'seeya!'
[09:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Once she heads upstairs, Mom lets out a deep, frustrated breath, putting down her chopstick. "Usagi-chan," she asks, tired
[09:17] * Usagi-chan looks over at her mother with sympathy. "Hmm?"
[09:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Eiko isn't a monster or possessed, is she?" she asks, almost hopefully as she fishes into her dress pocket, getting out a pair of aspirin.
[09:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Kenji nods in sympathy, giving his wife a meaningful look. "It would make sense," he agrees.
[09:18] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "Afraid not... completely normal except for being a total grouch."
[09:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I dunno..." Shingo murmurs, almost inaudible to you and certainly to Kenji and Ikkuko.
[09:19] * Usagi-chan gives her little brother a curious look. "What's that, Shingo?" She doesn't bother to tease, the whole family having had enough for one day.
[09:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> He blinks and looks up. "Nothing," he says, not returning fire himself. "Must of been thinking out loud."
[09:21] * Usagi-chan shrugs. "Anyway, if it's okay I'm going to head over to the temple for a little while tonight." She gets up from the table, taking her dishes over to the sink.
[09:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure, Usagi," Kenji nods. "No hurry back," he follows up, another glance at Ikkuko. "Hell, spend the night if you want."
[09:22] * Usagi-chan blushes. "Daddy! ...not that I'd MIND spending a night away from her." she finishes in a mumble.
[09:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> After school, the pattern that began a few weeks ago continues - Hotaru finds you in the Witches office right after classes, and after homework, follows you home for a few hours of mikoing. She's being surprisingly dedicated - she hasn't quit after the first few days, which says something.
[09:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> As the July sunlight finally begins to relent a bit and Hotaru is just starting to get tired for the day, you see your beloved blonde rabbit climbing up the stairs, looking quite... amiss.
[09:28] * Rei-chan waves to the blonde. "Hi, Usagi," she calls over from where she's sweeping leaves with Hotaru.
[09:28] * Usagi-chan trudges heavily up the stairs, giving Rei a half-hearted smile. "Hey, Rei-chan. Hi, Hotaru-chan."
[09:29] <Rei-chan> "You look pretty down," Rei observes, recalling why Usagi said she was leaving school early today. "Problems with your cousin?"
[09:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hi, Usagi," she smiles, brighter than ever when she's with Rei.
[09:31] <Usagi-chan> "You could say that." Usagi sighs heavily. "She's a complete grouch... she said my hair was like an old lady's, she insulted my eating habits, she acted like she couldn't stand the house, and she treated ALL of us like some backwater hicks or something. I just needed to get out of there for a while."
[09:36] <Rei-chan> "Ugh," Rei makes a face, "Sounds like a real ray of sunshine." Stretching, she turns towards the house, "Come on, let's go inside so you can vent," she smiles at Hotaru, "I think we've done enough work for today, anyway."
[09:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay," she agrees with Rei with a happy smile, following along.
[09:38] * Usagi-chan follows Rei into the temple, feeling better already JUST from being away from the wonderful personality that is Eiko.
[09:39] * Rei-chan leads the pair into the living room, inviting them to make themselves comfortable while she goes into the kitchen to get some snacks and drinks.
[09:39] * Usagi-chan flops down on the couch, giving Hotaru a smile. "So how are you liking the miko stuff, Hotaru-chan?"
[09:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru sits down on the couch as well, loosening the tie to her hakama slightly. "I like it," she replies, happily. "It's kind of fun once you start to do it, and I get to spend time here."
[09:41] <Usagi-chan> "Lots of hard work though... I've helped her out with it once or twice, and it really wears me out." Usagi grins.
[09:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "It is, but it's worth it," she comments, a bit of tiredness in her voice. "But... that charm Rei gave me has helped me keep going," Hotaru asserts.
[09:43] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Yeah, she makes some pretty awesome charms, doesn't she?"
[09:44] * Rei-chan returns a moment later, setting down a tray of cookies and three glasses of iced tea on the table. "So, Eiko isn't very happy to be living with you guys, huh?"
[09:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hotaru grins. "Yep." It's strange - from her almost perpetual melancholia a month ago, you'd never reconize her now. She seems so happy right now...
[09:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Still smiling, Hotaru gets a glass of tea and a cookie, favoring the former quite a bit.
[09:46] * Usagi-chan sighs, taking a cookie from the tray. "That's an understatement. She kept going on about all the places she used to live in Europe and how our house isn't as good as her sister's... to tell the truth, Mom and Daddy BOTH asked me after dinner whether she was possessed, it was that bad."
[09:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> A bit of Hotaru's cheer vanishes at the p-word, but she remains quiet, more interested in the conversation now.
[09:47] <Rei-chan> "Heh," Rei can't help but chuckle at that. "That bad, huh? Oh, well, at least you won't have to deal with her all the time - I doubt she'll be attending Mugen, or hanging out at any of the places you spend your time."
[09:48] <Usagi-chan> "No kidding. Gives me more of an excuse to work on the palace after school - although I do feel bad for Mom having to deal with her the most." Usagi shakes her head. "She'll be here for at least a semester too - although I hope not any longer than that."
[09:50] <Rei-chan> "Nothing redeeming about her at all?" Rei asks, hoping things aren't really as entirely bad as the picture Usagi is giving.
[09:51] * Usagi-chan sighs. "Not that I've seen so far, although I'm hoping once she's gotten a couple of days to adjust it won't be so bad. I mean, I know people are usually grouchy after the flight here because it's so long, and I'm hoping that's all it is."
[09:52] <Rei-chan> "I guess you'll just have to wait and see," Rei observes, biting into a cookie of her own.
[09:52] <Usagi-chan> "Here's hoping." Usagi raises her glass of tea in a salute.
[09:55] <Ami-chan> ---
[10:00] <Ami-chan> It's a rather grey looking sunday morning, clouds hanging overhead, and rain looking about to fall, though it hasn't started...yet. The streets are still mostly deserted at this hour, and for something to do, you've gone out for a leisurely drive.
[10:01] <Ami-chan> As you aimlessly roam the streets, your car swings by the park, and out of the corner of your eye, you think you see a familiar blue-haired figure slumped on the swings...
[10:03] * Haruka pulls the car over, wondering why she would be out here with the weather as it was and alone, for that matter. Stepping out of the car, Haruka walks over to the girl quietly, so as not to outright disturb her, but to give quiet company.
[10:06] * Ami-chan doesn't move for a moment, then finally looks up, startled. "Haruka!" she gasps, her eyes widening momentarily, then shivering a little as she relaxes, offering a wan smile. "Hello... I didn't hear you come up..."
[10:08] * Haruka gives what she hopes is a reassuring smile to the girl. "I know," Haruka replies. "I didn't really want to disturb your thoughts, but I just wanted to check to see if you were okay." Now scrutinizing Ami's somewhat gloomy demeanor, she asks worriedly, "You are okay, aren't you?"
[10:10] * Ami-chan smiles, a little distantly. "I don't know." She admits wearily. "It's been... a long night..."
[10:13] <Haruka> "Did you want to talk about it?" Haruka asks. "I'm a pretty good listener."
[10:15] * Ami-chan blushes a little. "I... well..." she begins embarrassedly. "It's probably not the most interesting thing in the world to hear about..." she demurs.
[10:19] <Haruka> "If it's got you crossed up like this, it's something." Haruka shrugs, before plopping down onto the swing next to her. "Get it off your chest and I might be able to help somehow."
[10:25] <Ami-chan> "It's..." Ami hesitates, blushing darkly, beginning to choose her words VERY carefully. "I... have a friend. A very close one, that I've never had anything but deep affection for." Ami begins slowly, scuffing the toe of her shoe into the sand. "But something changed... and now..."
[10:28] <Haruka> "Now...?" Haruka prompts, her curiosity now piqued, but hoping it would spur her companion into saying what she needed to.
[10:35] * Ami-chan looks up, smiling weakly. "I don't know." she admits. "I feel self-conscious and, somehow, happy..." she shakes her head. "I almost thought I was getting sick... I was flushed, with an elevated heartbeat, and a bit dizzy..."
[10:40] * Haruka looks at Ami with a smile of her own. "Lovesick?"
[10:41] * Ami-chan looks back with a resigned expression. "I hope not..." she sighs. "But... I can't explain it..."
[10:45] <Haruka> "Any reason why?" Haruka asks. Mentally she smacks herself, thinking perhaps it was a bit too forward and adds, "Or is that too personal?"
[10:50] <Ami-chan> "There are a few." Ami hedges nervously. "But... if I am, it makes things hard." she sighs, shrugging helplessly. "This isn't the sort of thing I should be worrying about. I have senshi business, and my other work..."
[10:56] <Haruka> "Take care of yourself first and worry about the other stuff afterwards," Haruka tells Ami with a sagacious nod. "Matters of the heart are dicey, and I can't say I'm an expert, but I'll help you if you want."
[11:00] * Ami-chan smiles softly. "Thank you..." she replies, staring at the ground again. "What do I do about making this stop, then?" she asks, shyly.
[11:05] * Haruka thinks about that for a moment. "Look at it a bit scientifically if it helps you tackle the problem any." Leaning back slightly she hummed to herself thoughtfully. "Identify what you feel, try to figure out why you feel that way, test it in your mind and through experimentation..." she trails off, wondering if that's what she meant to say. "It made sense in my head, dunno if it made any sense coming out my mouth though," she said with
[11:07] * Ami-chan goes a brilliant red at the mention of experimentation. "I-I can't!"
[11:13] * Haruka blinks for a second, not really understanding the reaction. "Huh...? OH!" Waving her hands in denial she tried to reassure Ami. "No, that's not quite what I was suggesting. Well, I guess you could... but what I wanted to say was to put yourself in a situation to test those feelings. See if they're true or not."
[11:15] <Ami-chan> "What do you mean?" Ami asks softly, calming down a little.
[11:22] <Haruka> "Like with an experiment," Haruka starts to explain, groaning inwardly at the strange path her 'words of wisdom' had taken them to. "Try to set up a situation where you're with your lucky guy and judge internally if what you feel is really love, friendship or an infatuation." Haruka runs a hand through her hair in frustration. "Am I making ANY sense? Any sense at all?"
[11:24] * Ami-chan frowns slightly. "I think I see what you mean..." she admits, sighing. "But I don't really know the difference between them, either."
[11:30] * Haruka props her elbow onto her thigh, pillowing her cheek in the palm of her hand while looking across at her companion. "Ask yourself some question. Like, can you picture spending the rest of your life with that person? How important is that person to you?" Haruka wracks her brain for any more, but draws a blank. "Something along those lines anyway. I think deep down, your heart knows the answer, though your mind might not have a clue."
[11:35] * Ami-chan thinks for a moment, her cheeks reddening. "Maybe..." she agrees. "But... what do I do if the answer is yes?"
[11:42] <Haruka> Haruka looks at Ami carefully. "It's a difficult answer, one which only you can address, really." Placing a reassuring hand on the girl's shoulder Haruka continues. "It doesn't always work out though - one of life's unfairnesses, I guess. But even if it doesn't pan out, you'll finally have the answers that you've been searching for."
[11:47] * Ami-chan blushes a little and nods. "I think I already knew." she replies quietly. "I just didn't want to believe it." She hestated, then put her own hand over Haruka's and smiled gratefully up at the older girl. "You're very easy to talk to about this. I wish they were more like you..."
[11:53] * Haruka keeps the smile on her face, though internally she screamed. 'Yargh! I've been cast in the role of the 'good friend'!' "Is that right?" she asks.
[12:03] * Ami-chan nods, stretching. "I do feel better, having gotten that off my chest." She admits, smiling, just as the sand begins to gently darken with raindrops.
[12:09] * Haruka looks up just as the raindrops begin to strengthen in intensity. "Ah, geez. Come on, I'll give you a lift home." Grabbing Ami by the wrist she begins to make her way to her parked car. "I've got a spare jacket you can use if you need it."
[12:14] * Ami-chan blinks and nods as she's pulled to the car, looking at Haruka's back and beginning to blush faintly as the older girl leads her away...
[12:15] <Ami-chan> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 12: An Afternoon at the Pool to Chibi Usa? Who?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2006, 08:14:45 pm »
[09:40] <Anastasia> ---
[09:40] <Anastasia> Hot, hot, hot, HOT!
[09:41] <Anastasia> It's July, and a heatwave has settled into Tokyo. Along with temperatures well over ninety each day, high humidity plagues you.
[09:42] <Anastasia> Even in the normally well-cooled Witches office, it's humid and warm. As Ami and Haruka note, quite unhappily.
[09:43] <Anastasia> At least the heavy door to the office opening stirs the air a bit, Viluy entering with a nasty grimace. "It's not even cool down here," she asks, her school uniform clinging in a few interesting places from the sweating she's done.
[09:45] * Haruka takes an appreciative glance at Viluy, smiling weakly at the girl. "I was hoping it'd be cooler in here too..." she says disappointedly.
[09:46] * Ami-chan looks up from fanning herself with a thin booklet and smiles tiredly. "It's not as bad as upstairs." she offers, he eyes widening slightly at Viluy, then averting her eyes carefully.
[09:47] <Anastasia> Viluy nods at that, going over to her desk and tossing her school pack down on it. "It should be," she comments, tossing her heavy-with-sweat hair back. "Why it isn't is something I'm going to ask Professor Tomoe tomorrow."
[09:49] <Anastasia> Sighing, the silver haired girl scowls. "It's not even worth staying here in this heat," she muses, an idea forming. "The pool should be done with for the day now - I'll go take a dip." Turning to Ami and Haruka, "Do you two want to come? It's kind of boring to swim by yourself."
[09:51] <Haruka> "I'm game," Haruka replies then turns to Ami inquisitively.
[09:51] * Ami-chan perks up a little at the thought of swimming. "That sounds nice..." she agrees, smiling.
[09:53] <Anastasia> Smiling at the both of you, "Good. Let's get going before we melt down here."
[09:54] * Ami-chan nods and stands, picking at her somewhat sticky uniform. "Yes..."
[09:55] <Anastasia> Viluy nods at that, glancing at Ami's sticky top. "Yeah, these things," she pulls at it just above her bosom, "stick terribly in the humidity."
[09:56] <Haruka> The thought of whimpering crosses Haruka's mind at the sight of the two girls action, but she's able to force it down, if barely....
[09:57] <Anastasia> Going on and out, you brave the overly warm halls of Mugen, down to the PE changing room. Bathing suits for all the classes are stored around and cleaned, so getting a suit before you go in is simple. Viluy sheds her top the moment you're in the room, tossing her clothes on a nearby sitting bench as she frees her body from her top and skirt. "Aahhhhh..." she sighs, then working on her bra strap.
[09:59] * Ami-chan blinks, and looks away, blushing as she moves off to a corner to undress, marginally slower, but still eagerly removing the unbearably hot uniform.
[10:00] <Anastasia> Discarding her currently icky and sweatier undergarmets to the same pile as her uniform, Viluy starts to put on her swimming suit, not really paying any attention to the other two girls at the moment.
[10:01] * Haruka chuckles. "Not a shred of inhibition for you, is there, Viluy?" As she enters, Haruka notes how amusing strange it might look for the unknowing to see someone in a boy's uniform going into the girl's locker area, before getting changed as well.
[10:02] <Anastasia> "We're all girls here," she shrugs to herself, replying, stopping from putting on her swimming suit to turn to Haruka. "It's not like you don't have your own set of these," she glances down at her talent on open display, again beginning to put on her swimming suit.
[10:03] * Ami-chan sighs in relief as she removes all but her bra and panties, then slowly takes those off and begins climbing into a swimsuit, trying hard not to pay attention to Viluy's... disconcertingly appealing display. Shoving those thought down, she pulls the suit straps over her shoulders...
[10:06] <Haruka> "True," Haruka replies, folding her clothes neatly and placing them in the locker while donning the swimsuit.
[10:06] <Anastasia> Finishing up her own changing at last, Viluy glances around for Ami as Haruka changes. "I'll be out in the pool," she calls, going out right after.
[10:08] * Ami-chan nods, and follows Viluy. "I'll go with her..." she calls to Haruka, smiling. "Hurry up."
[10:09] <Haruka> "Sure, I'll catch up." Haruka replies, closing the door to her locker.
[10:10] <Anastasia> Going out into the gym and to the pool room, the cool water is heaven on your body. Viluy is just floating on her back at the moment, sighing in relief...
[10:11] * Ami-chan smiles to herself, and, pushing everything from her mind for the moment, submerges herself, and begins pushing herself though the water on the bottom of the pool, relaxing at the pleasantly familiar movements...
[10:14] <Haruka> Finally catching up with the other two girls, Haruka makes her way to the edge of the pool before doing a short hop into the depths of the water. Surfacing in the water, Haruka pushes the hair back from her eyes as she marvels at the coolness of the water. "I feel alive again..." she says aloud with a sigh.
[10:17] <Anastasia> "Yeah," Viluy agrees with a relaxed smile. "I can think straight for the first time today."
[10:18] <Haruka> "Thinking is overrated," Haruka quips, shooting a smirk at Viluy, while treading water.
[10:18] * Ami-chan surfaces with a small splash, smiling happily. "This was an excellent idea, Viluy."
[10:19] <Anastasia> Flipping and getting back into a basic floating motion, she smirks back at Haruka. "You sound like a jock," she laughs, sending a splash of water at the blonde's face. "I think I'm going to start doing this every day after school, until it cools off," she agrees to Ami.
[10:20] * Haruka sputters, clearing the water from her face. "And what if I am?" she replies, sending a wave of her own towards the girl.
[10:21] * Ami-chan swims to the edge of the pool and giggles, watching the other two play as she sinks down a bit.
[10:21] <Anastasia> Laughing as she's splashed, Viluy sends another watery wave at Haruka. "That means you'll be stuck in a okonomiyaki shop, working for minimum wage for your life, or lifting furniture. Not like Ami and myself, who have a plan and a future," despite her words, she smiling the entire time, a second splash of water at Haruka for good measure.
[10:24] <Ami-chan> "Perhaps she'll keep house for someone?" Ami suggests, giggling.
[10:24] * Haruka turns her head, taking the brunt of the watery assault on the back of her head. "With MY talent and skills?" Haruka starts, mirth dancing across her feature. "Perish the thought!"
[10:25] <Haruka> "Hah!" Haruka says upon hearing Ami's answer, then turns and notes Ami's position. "You can't take potshots then retreat to the sidelines, you!" she says, sending a spray of water towards Ami.
[10:25] <Anastasia> Viluy chuckles lightly, leaning back and watching Haruka and Ami as she drifts back to a side of the pool to lean on a solid surface.
[10:26] * Ami-chan squeaks and plunges under the water to avoid the spray. She surfaces a few feet away, smiling. "You missed." She notes.
[10:29] * Haruka smiles on seeing Ami getting involved now. "I assure you that it was by intention," Haruka says jokingly. "Once I have my target, I won't stop, mind you!" Haruka punctuates this by sending yet another wave towards Ami.
[10:34] <Ami-chan> "Eek!" Ami boggles and ducks under the water again, and when she surfaces this time, she has an odd glint in her eye. "I accept your challenge!" she states, and concentrates. Dipping into her connection to water and focusing on Haruka's swimsuit, she uses it as an extension of her own hands, to give the larger girl a fairly impressive wedgie, while returning the splash...
[10:40] <Haruka> Haruka's eyes widen in shock as she lets out a strartled yelp, which allowed Ami's splash easy entry into her mouth, leaving her sputtering, coughing and staring across at Ami in wonder. Adjusting the bottom of her bathing suit slightly, Haruka gave an amused, yet accusing stare at Ami. "I don't know how you did that, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was you...."
[10:40] * Ami-chan blinks innocently. "Did what?"
[10:41] <Anastasia> Viluy raises an eyebrow as she floats away from the scene, smiling as she watches the two bicker.
[10:43] <Haruka> "What exactly, I'm not sure yet," Haruka says to her fiendish companion. "But I intend to find out!" With that Haruka makes a grab for Ami, while sending a healthy wave towards her.
[10:45] * Ami-chan grins, and submerges again, knifing through the water to gain distance, before resurfacing to smile again. "Be my guest." She offers, confidence coming to her more easily, here.
[10:49] * Haruka slightly frowns, the watery environment not as friendly a medium to her as it apparently was to the smaller girl. "Grr! Just you wait 'til we're on solid ground, you water sprite!" Haruka knows she has no chance of catching the more nimble girl, but makes an attempt at capture for the heck of it!
[10:53] <Ami-chan> Laughing softly, Ami slides backward, dodging Haruka's capture attempts, and closes her eyes for a moment, dipping back into her power, and suddenly, a wave of water catches Haruka from behind...
[10:57] * Haruka feels the surge of water drawing backwards and, having expected something similar to the first, she hovers her hands near her swimsuit at the ready. The tidal wave washing over her in a still pool was NOT what she was prepared for. Haruka goes under in a shocked flurry of bubbles!
[10:58] <Anastasia> Viluy still watches on, showing surprise at it, then turning to Ami. "Was that you?" she asks, vastly amused. "That wasn't nice at all." Though, the nod of her head shows approval.
[10:58] <Haruka> Surfacing, Haruka spits out a mouthful of water before giving Ami a defeated look, waving a non-existant white flag of surrender. "I give..." Haruka says sheepishly. "But you have to show me how you did that one of these days..."
[11:00] * Ami-chan blushes a little at Viluy, and giggles as Haruka surfaces. "It's not much... I can do something similar to Rei's fire powers, only with water." she shrugs modestly, and in demonstration, a tiny column of water rises, snake-like, from the pool, then flops back in with a splash.
[11:01] * Haruka marvels at Ami's display. "I... can't do anything like that," Haruka returns longingly.
[11:02] <Anastasia> "That's nice," Viluy agrees. "You have water magic powers, linked with your Sailor skills," she marvels on as she asks, interested.
[11:05] * Ami-chan shrugs again, a little embarrassed by the attention. "Of a sort." she replies softly. "I'm still learning, and occasionally, my elemental control eludes me." She glances at Haruka as well. "It seems strange that you can't... perhaps you have yet to discover it?" she offers.
[11:06] <Haruka> "Discover it?" Haruka echoes curiously. "How do you... 'discover' it?"
[11:09] * Ami-chan hesitates, embarrassed. "Well...I think it's a matter of simply finding out what you're attuned to, and practicing talking to it..."
[11:10] <Haruka> "Talking to it?" Haruka repeats, frowning a bit at her newly-acquired parrotlike abilities. "So you... talk to the water?"
[11:11] <Anastasia> "I think she means more like focusing on it just so," Viluy supplies, speaking up. "That's how I learned to control my powers - you have to understand how to apply them."
[11:13] * Ami-chan nods to Viluy. "Yes, that's it. It's hard to explain, but you have to communicate, in a sense... make it understand what you want it to do."
[11:13] * Haruka ponders this a bit, while swimming towards the pool's edge for purchase. "How would I find my element?" Haruka asks.
[11:15] * Ami-chan hesitates. "I'm not... entirely sure. World Shaking doesn't make it entirely plain, as Rei-chan's attacks did... Perhaps the computer...?"
[11:19] * Haruka hoists herself up out of the water while digesting that, smoothing back her water-soaked hair; however, nothing intelligible seemed forthcoming on her end.
[11:23] <Haruka> "If your computer can find anything, I'd be grateful really." Haruka tells Ami.
[11:24] * Ami-chan smiles and nods. "I'll look and see... there might be something in the library, too..." she muses.
[11:28] <Haruka> "Thanks, Ami." Haruka says before suddenly giving Ami a large smirk. "So I was right," she chuckles with amusement. "That... thing in the water the first time around WAS you."
[11:31] * Ami-chan blushes. "Uhm... yes." she admits. "It seemed a better solution than pulling off your bathing suit..."
[11:36] * Haruka coughs at that, but shoots Ami a wicked grin a moment later. "Only if you really want to, Ami." Haruka finishes that off with a few chuckles.
[11:38] * Ami-chan blushes darkly, staring at the water. "That's fine." she murmurs in embarrassment. "I didn't really think of how that sounded..."
[11:39] <Ana-lunch> Still in a good mood, Viluy laughs again and sallies forth. "Ami, it's not THAT bad if you took her suit... at least it isn't a beach with anyone who cares to see you..." Viluy goes into a frown at that. "Ooooh, that Eudial... I'll get her for that..."
[11:40] * Ami-chan goes even darker red, remembering.
[11:41] <Haruka> "I didn't see any problem with it..." Haruka adds with a grin.
[11:42] <Ana-lunch> Leaning back, Viluy ponders exactly how to get her back. "It's the entire being at a public beach..." she lights up red herself, "With all those guys around. I'd only be annoyed if it happened privately, like here or in a bath. Eudial..." she growls that, still thinking. "Heh, she'll get hers for that..."
[11:44] * Ami-chan blinks. "What do you plan to do?" she asks curiously.
[11:45] <Ana-lunch> "I don't know yet, quite," she replies, thinking again by the slightly abstracted tone in her voice. "But it'll be a masterpiece of revenge..."
[11:47] <Haruka> "You hope," Haruka snipes with a snicker.
[11:48] <Ana-lunch> "Oh, there is no hope," she declares strongly. "It will be. Mark my words, Eudial Kawashima, you'll rue the day you thought my bikini top was a target."
[11:49] <Ana-lunch> It's probably just as well she's not gifted in thunder as Makoto is, as the likely resulting thunderbolt if she was would be both corny and electrifying.
[11:48] * Haruka can't hold back a hearty chuckle at that declaration.
[11:50] * Ami-chan smiles. "Do you have any ideas?" Ami asks, finding herself curiously supportive of Viluy's motives. After all, she'd been teased similarly before...
[11:51] <Ana-lunch> "Weeeellll," she finally says, going on past the declaration. "I was thinking that one good turn deserves another - something in the same vein as what she did to me. She thought it would be funny if all those strangers got to see my breasts, so... heheheheheh."
[11:54] <Haruka> "Make sure to tell me when it happens," Haruka says. "I'm always up for a good show."
[11:55] <Ana-lunch> Viluy smiles. "And it'll be quite a show indeed..."
[11:56] * Ami-chan blushes at the thought and shakes her head. "I have a funny feeling this will start something..." she murmured.
[11:56] <Haruka> "Promises, promises." Haruka tells Viluy with a smirk.
[11:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'll come through. In fact..." she drags herself up and out of the pool, standing up on dry ground. "I need to go catch Tellu about that. Thanks for the company here," she smiles at the both of you, waving as she goes off.
[11:59] * Ami-chan waves, a bit surprised. "Bye..."
[12:00] * Haruka nods. "Later."
[12:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Bye... maybe I'll see you here after class tomorrow? The heat is supposed to last until next week."
[12:00] * Ami-chan smiles and nods. "I can't stay long, but I'd love to come."
[12:01] * Haruka thinks about that for a second. "I'm game."
[12:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> Viluy smiles again. "Okay, see you then." With that, she's gone, back to change.
[12:02] <Ami-chan> "Do you think Eudial will take that and not retaliate?" Ami asks Haruka musingly.
[12:02] <Haruka> "No, of course not." Haruka replies with a smile.
[12:03] <Haruka> "So, did you have fun today?" Haruka asks Ami, brushing back her still slightly damp bangs.
[12:05] * Ami-chan nods and smiles. "I like to swim." she replies, stretching a little. "It's therapeutic, I suppose..."
[12:07] <Haruka> "I'm glad," Haruka says, before another thought makes itself known to her. "We'll have to set up a date."
[12:07] * Ami-chan blinks. "Hmm?"
[12:10] <Haruka> "A date," Haruka repeats, before scolding herself for not being more clear. "Sorry. You were saying before that you might be able to figure out my element with a computer?" Haruka cocks her head to the side to the study the girl, wondering if she may have heard wrong.
[12:11] <Ami-chan> "Oh!" Ami nods. "Uhm... Free time for me comes at kind of odd times... perhaps after school?"
[12:14] * Haruka smiles at Ami. "How about I give you my cell number and you call me when you've got the time? It's not like I'm in a hurry or anything so just ring me when it's convenient." Haruka looks at Ami questioningly. "Does that work for you?"
[12:16] * Ami-chan nods, and smiles a bit sheepishly. "That'll be fine." she agrees. "I should talk to Usagi as well..."
[12:19] <Haruka> "No problem, Ami." Haruka replies with a happy grin. "You actually did more than enough by just telling me about this power. I'm not sure I would've found out about it on my own."
[12:20] * Ami-chan waves dismissively smiling a little. "Usagi or Rei would have thought of it eventually..." she notes. "But getting you started will be interesting... I'm curious, myself."
[12:24] * Haruka nods her head in agreement, while beginning to make her way towards the lockers. "I'm kinda anxious to see it as well." Haruka admits. "Did you want to get something to eat after we get changed?"
[12:26] * Ami-chan follows, and smiles apologetically. "Sorry... I wish I had the time, but I have to go out this evening."
[12:28] * Haruka sighs somewhat defeatedly. "Oh well," she says with a shrug before smiling. "Them's the breaks, I guess. I hope you enjoy your evening then."
[12:29] * Ami-chan thinks inwardly of the night to come and sighs. "I doubt very much I will, but thank you for the thought." she replies, smiling wryly.
[12:30] <Haruka> "Huh?" Haruka asks with a curious look towards Ami. "Why? What do you have planned that you're not looking forward to?"
[12:31] * Ami-chan blushes. "It's kind of a secret." she says, after a moment. "Not that I don't trust you, Haruka, but I really don't want the others to know just yet..."
[12:39] * Haruka blinks, noting the blush and hesitation. "A secret?" she asks with an amused look, but a moment later she adds. "Oh, right. Don't worry about it, Ami."
[12:39] <Haruka> 'Her love interest.' she chides herself for forgetting already. 'Wait... then why isn't she looking forward to it...?'
[12:40] * Ami-chan smiles sunnily. "Thank you." she replies, peeling off the bathing suit and heading into the showers...
[12:41] * Haruka gives her companion a puzzled frown as she goes ahead, but doesn't pursue the matter further.
[12:54] * Haruka heads into the change room a moment later as well, but the question in her mind was still nagging at her slightly. Coming to a decision, Haruka decides to gently try to figure out what might be bothering Ami, hoping that the girl didn't close herself off with this endeavor....
[12:55] <Haruka> ---
[09:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> The next day or two passes by well enough for Usagi. With school and other things afterwards, your time at home is minimal. Ikkuko, on the other hand, is either becoming addicted to aspirin or is nursing the biggest stress headache in the known galaxy. Whenever you see Eiko out of her room - which is rare, she seems happy to be shut in there seventy five percent of the time - she largely ignores everyone or makes bitchy comments.
[09:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> Coming home, Usagi sighs. Thunderstorms, a few tests, Rei having a prior obligation... yep, it's just one of those damn days.
[09:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you enter and dry off from the rain outside, Luna is waiting for you. She looks most unamused, and a bit ruffled.
[09:58] * Usagi-chan sighs, hanging her coat on a hook next to the door. "Hey, Luna." she says dully, lacking the energy to do much more.
[10:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> The cat's fur is, on closer inspection, a bit odd. Like Luna just got soaked and her fur is sticking to her skin. "Usagi," she says, suppressed rage in her voice. "In the name of the Moon, I demand you punish that girl!"
[10:08] * Usagi-chan kneels down next to the bedraggled looking Mau. "What happened?"
[10:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna hisses. "She threw me out into the rain, that's what!" Luna looks furious, anger coming off her in feline waves.
[10:13] * Usagi-chan sighs. "Let's get you over to the bathroom and dried off. You can explain what happened on the way." She stands and heads for the stairs.
[10:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Luna comes along, starting up again as you shut the bathroom door behind you. "She saw me by the front door as she was going out," Luna hmmps again. "And she thought it would be funny to grab me and toss me into a puddle!"
[10:14] <Usagi-chan> "She just tossed you out into a puddle for no reason?" Usagi scowls. "Did anyone else see it?"
[10:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "No," Luna admits. "But you can't let her get away with it!"
[10:17] * Usagi-chan frowns. "I'll talk to her, that's for sure." Usagi finishes toweling off the mooncat, leaving her looking like a black puffball. She exits the bedroom and heads for the attic ladder, banging on the trapdoor. "Eiko? Are you in there?"
[10:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> No response. "Usagi, she's still out," Luna says. "At least I think she is."
[10:19] * Usagi-chan checks her watch. "Still out now? I wonder what she's doing, school let out more than an hour ago. It's sure not a day to be taking a walk or something."
[10:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I don't have a clue," Luna replies waspishly, licking her still-wet front leg. "I hope she drowns out there. Serves her right."
[10:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> With a lifting of her nose into the air and a sign of great disgust, Luna hops off to your room to dry and clean.
[10:22] * Usagi-chan grumbles and heads down to the living room to wait on the couch, flipping through the TV channels idly.
[10:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> About an hour later, Ikkuko returns home with a covered and steaming load - she brought take out home for dinner, Kenji right on her heels.
[10:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> No sign of Eiko, though.
[10:24] * Usagi-chan gives her parents a wave. "Hi Mom, hi Daddy. You have any idea where Eiko is?"
[10:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> "No," Ikkuko replies with uncharacteristic shortness. "It's dinner time, Usagi, go wash up."
[10:26] * Usagi-chan sighs and nods. "Right." She heads off to the kitchen sink, washing up and heading over to the table for dinner.
[10:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Over dinner... "How are you doing, dear?" Kenji asks the still stressed looking Ikkuko. Putting down her chopsticks, Ikkuko gives the both of you a stern look. "I wish dear sister Chisato had drowned the rat," she says sweetly, a twitch going through her. "I made the mistake of going with her this morning for her registration to Juuban Middle."
[10:30] * Usagi-chan blinks at her mother's words. 'Wow...' "What happened?"
[10:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> "She thought it would be funny to insult the principal, vice principal, her guidance conselor, and the student representative," she grinds out. "I've never been so embarrassed! And that poor counselor, she looked ready to have a heart attack, the poor thing!"
[10:32] * Usagi-chan winces. "ALL of them?"
[10:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "All of them." Ikkuko nods. "It's a miracle they didn't expel her on the spot! She certainly tried fairly hard for just that." Ikkuko puts her head in her hands, sighing. "Kenji, would you get that bottle of wine, please?" Kenji nods, getting and shooting you a look that says, more or less, 'Keep her talking'. "Thank Goodness you aren't still at that school, Usagi, at least."
[10:34] <Usagi-chan> "Tell me about it..." Usagi grumbles. "I'll probably have to warn Mako-chan about her though. Did you know she apparently came back here and then tossed Luna out into a puddle when she left again?"
[10:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko looks up, weary. "It wouldn't surprise me," she grunts tiredly. "She's a disgraceful young woman! I don't see how Chisato has tolerated this!"
[10:36] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "She was soaking wet when I got home and about ready to kill Eiko. I was going to ask her exactly what she thought she was doing when she got home, but I don't know where she is."
[10:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko grunts again, as Dad returns with a uncorked wine bottle. At least she's bothering with a wine glass. "Usagi, let me handle her," she affirms. "You don't need to deal with this."
[10:38] <Usagi-chan> "And you don't have to try to do it all by yourself either, Mom. Luna's my cat, I can at least talk to her about that much of it." Usagi offers her mother a crooked smile. "It's just one less thing for you to worry about."
[10:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> She sighs, nodding wearily. "Thank you, Usagi. Oh, and... Shingo's spending the night out, so he won't be home," she mentions.
[10:40] <Usagi-chan> "Lucky him." Usagi mutters. "He may be a little weasel, but he's a weasel with sense," she says, not unkindly.
[10:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> Thus, dinner ends. The evening settles in, Usagi killing time as well as Mom. 9 PM passes, with no sign of your accursed housemate.
[10:41] <Usagi-chan> "Good grief, where the heck is she?" Usagi mutters to herself.
[10:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> 10 PM, still nothing. "Nothing even open this late," Ikkuko notes, frowning. "What trouble did she get herself into," she wonders out loud.
[10:42] <Usagi-chan> "You want me to go look for her?" Usagi looks over at her mother.
[10:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> A short pause for consideration. "No," she says finally. "If it gets much later, your father and I will go out ourselves."
[10:43] * Usagi-chan nods, settling back down to wait again.
[10:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> 10:31. You hear a car door slam outside, shaking you from your reverie, the door opening a short bit later to show Eiko, looking a bit tired as she trudges in without a word, not even taking off her shoes.
[10:44] * Usagi-chan glares at her cousin as she tracks water in all over the floor. "'bout time." she mutters.
[10:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Eiko," Ikkuko stands up, speaking firmly. "We need to talk."
[10:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Whatever," she waves her hand absently, dismissing the both of you as she heads upstairs, he shoed feet clacking on the steps.
[10:46] * Usagi-chan looks over at her mother incredulously. "Did she just do that?"
[10:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I know she just didn't do that," Ikkuko mutters fiercely, moments later heading up the stairs after her. "Usagi," she calls back. "Why don't you talk to her in the morning? I'm going to be busy."
[10:47] <Usagi-chan> "Will do... just leave enough of her for me." she mutters before heading up to her bedroom.
[10:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> Once in your own bed, you catch echos of Ikkuko's voice, yet none of Eiko's...
[10:49] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "Unbelievable... even SHINGO's never been THIS bad." She rolls over on her side to face the wall, attempting to go to sleep.
[10:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Despite the noise, Usagi soon falls asleep...
[10:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> -------
[10:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Saturday afternoon - away from the bustle of Mugen and studying, a warm July day beckons. A well-made picnic lunch by Makoto sets the table as a few good girlfriends get together to hear Usagi's horror tales.
[10:57] <Usagi-chan> "Oh, man - I don't think I've EVER seen Mom so mad. She came wandering in at 10:30 last night and just walked right past BOTH of us waiting up for her!" Usagi shakes her head. "I still have to go home and talk to her about what happened with Luna."
[10:58] <Rei-chan> "Well, you know what they say," Rei remarks idly, leaning back, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives."
[10:59] * Haruka nods in agreement at those words, but chooses not to say anything aloud for the moment.
[11:00] <Usagi-chan> "I can't believe she mouthed off to EVERYONE at Juuban though! The principal, the vice principal, AND her guidance counselor!"
[11:00] <Makoto> "Was it Suzuki?" Makoto asks hopeful.
[11:00] * Rei-chan chuckles a little at Makoto's question.
[11:00] <Makoto> "I'd heard about the new girl who mouthed them off, but certainly not the name of the counselor, or the fact that she was your cousin..."
[11:01] <Usagi-chan> "Probably not... Mom didn't say who it was, but she said she looked like she was about to have a heart attack when Eiko did it. I can't imagine ANYONE giving Suzuki a heart attack."
[11:01] <Rei-chan> "I bet Mako-chan imagines it often enough," Rei gives a sidelong glance at the brunette.
[11:01] <Makoto> "Hmmph, that's sadly true. That old witch will probably outlive us all."
[11:02] * Ami-chan shakes her head. "Did your mother say what happened after you went to bed, Usagi?" she asks curiously.
[11:02] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I didn't see her this morning before school, which is actually kind of weird - she's usually up and making breakfast before I even get up."
[11:06] <Rei-chan> "Poor Mrs Tsukino..." Rei shakes her head as well. "I suppose at least this'll make her more grateful to have you, Usagi," she finishes with a small smirk.
[11:07] * Usagi-chan smiles wryly. "It's been kind of nice in one way. Shingo's been keeping his head down WAY more than usual, since Mom's been so fried lately."
[11:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> As she speaks, Usagi is boinked on the back of the head by a falling, pink object! It bounces off Usagi's head and behind her, giving Usagi a good bump. (2 damage.)
[11:08] * Makoto blinks and looks in the direction the object came from.
[11:08] <Usagi-chan> "Ow!" Usagi rubs the back of her head and turns around, looking for the source of the object - as well as the object itself.
[11:09] * Rei-chan blinks as well, looking at the object that just hit her girlfriend.
[11:09] * Ami-chan blinks, glancing first to check on Usagi, then at the object.
[11:10] <Haruka> Haruka blinks at the strangeness of the situation before asking, "Are you okay?"
[11:11] * Usagi-chan feels the bump gingerly. "Yeah, just hurts a little."
[11:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> The object is in fact a curled up little girl in a school uniform, her hair bright pink and in two strange, almost bastardized odangos, a la Usagi. Her red eyes open, staring at the Princess. "Usagi...?" she asks in a small voice. "Are you really Usagi?"
[11:12] <Rei-chan> "Who are you?" Rei asks, "And where did you come from?" she looks upwards, wondering how the little girl could have fallen on top of Usagi like that.
[11:12] * Usagi-chan blinks. "Yes... who are you?"
[11:12] * Ami-chan stares at the little girl, and then at Usagi, then back to the girl curiously.
[11:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> With a sniffle, she glomps onto you, crying softly. "I was so scared..." she sobs. "I thought you hadn't come back..."
[11:13] <Makoto> "Come back from where?"
[11:13] * Usagi-chan is taken aback by the sudden hug, looking down at the girl in surprise. "Uh... come back from where? And who are you?"
[11:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi - Her aura is very bright and strong now, you notice. Far stronger than a child's should be.
[11:14] * Rei-chan watches curiously, wondering how the girl knows Usagi.
[11:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> "From the bridge after that thingy created a big dark hole in the sky," she sniffles, looking up to you desperately. "Those sisters nearly got me, Usagi..." she clings on.
[11:14] * Ami-chan stares at the girl curiously before discreetly pulling out the Mercury Computer, concealing it behind her leg while scanning the little girl.
[11:15] <Rei-chan> "Dark hole in the sky?" Rei repeats, deciding to examine the girl on a spiritual level, as she gets the impression things are starting to get weird again.
[11:15] * Makoto looks up to search for a dark hole.
[11:15] * Usagi-chan kneels down next to the girl, giving her a curious look. "What sisters? What are you talking about? And who are you?"
[11:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ami-chan - The girl's energy is extremely powerful, and quite active. It's remeniscent of something... your computer is processing.
[11:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei - Her spiritual energy is strong, far more than it should be by any reasonable measure.
[11:17] * Ami-chan bites her lip, glancing sharply at Usagi and the girl, but staying silent while her computer works.
[11:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Again sniffling quietly, she looks at you. "Usagi...?" she frowns. "Oh no, that means that..." she backs away, a familiar black cat-like sphere appearing in front of her.
[11:18] <Ami-chan> 'Usagi... she's powerful. Be careful.'
[11:19] * Usagi-chan really looks surprised now. "Luna-P? Where did you get that?" Usagi's look is now rather penetrating.
[11:19] * Rei-chan gets up, moving closer to Usagi, on her guard thanks to the strange girl's unusual power and odd arrival. "Luna P?" she stops, blinking at Usagi and then looking at the sphere.
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> She looks at you, backing up a step and hugging it to her. "Puu gave it to me," she says, wary now. "You're... Usagi... Sailor Moon, right?"
[11:20] * Usagi-chan exchanges glances with the other senshi, then gives the girl a hard stare. "What makes you think I am?"
[11:20] * Makoto blinks. 'Has Setsuna been telling stuff to people other than Mamoru?' Makoto asks mentally, remembering what was mentioned when Rei and her spied.
[11:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I saw you transform yesterday," she explains quietly, hugging the Luna P to her tightly. "Before you went to the bridge and disappeared."
[11:21] <Rei-chan> "What bridge?" Rei asks, frowning. 'None of us have transformed recently, have we?'
[11:21] <Usagi-chan> 'That's what I'd like to know...' Usagi thinks back. "I don't know what you're talking about - I haven't been anywhere near a bridge. And what's your name?"
[11:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> She shrinks back again. "Usagi... you don't remember me?" she asks, a real note of hurt, confusion and desperation in her voice.
[11:22] * Ami-chan stares at her computer while it works, urging it to hurry, glancing up every so often to monitor the conversation carefully, her eyes flicking back and forth.
[11:23] <Rei-chan> "None of us know who you are," Rei says, glancing at the others for confirmation.
[11:23] * Makoto feels sorry for the kid, and says in a small voice. "We've never met you before, kid, that's why we're asking."
[11:23] * Haruka shakes her head at Rei's look in the negative.
[11:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Turning on her heels, the girls sobs and runs away!
[11:23] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "Afraid not... are you in some kind of... hey!" Usagi springs to her feet and takes off after the girl. "Wait up!"
[11:24] * Makoto runs after the kid, trying to catch her. "Hey, wait!"
[11:24] <Rei-chan> "Wait!" Rei runs after her, deciding not to let someone who knows about Usagi being Sailor Moon get away like that.
[11:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[11:24] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[11:24] <Makoto> roll 2d6-1
[11:24] * Hatbot --> "Makoto rolls 2d6-1 and gets 8."
[11:24] * Ami-chan looks up, and gets to her feet, and follows quickly, hoping her computer got enough data while the child was present.
[11:24] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6-1 (10 ep burn)
[11:24] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6-1 (10 ep burn) and gets 7."
[11:25] <Ami-chan> roll 2d6-1
[11:25] * Hatbot --> "Ami-chan rolls 2d6-1 and gets 5."
[11:25] <Haruka> roll 2d6-1
[11:25] * Hatbot --> "Haruka rolls 2d6-1 and gets 5."
[11:25] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-1
[11:25] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-1 and gets 9."
[11:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi and Rei stumble a bit as Makoto springs into action, as does Haruka. The girl makes it perhaps 20 feet before stumbling down with a great wail, the two nimbler girls stunned just as they get to her by a vast column of golden energy coming from her now moon-decorated forehead!
[11:27] <Rei-chan> "Holy crap!" Rei yelps in surprise.
[11:27] <Usagi-chan> "What the..." Usagi gapes in astonishment.
[11:27] * Ami-chan no longer bothers trying to hide her computer and begins scanning frantically.
[11:27] <Makoto> "Uh... okay, is anybody else weirded here?" Makoto asks as she takes a small step back away from the girl.
[11:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi - That was a burst much like Lunar energy.
[11:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ami - Her energy is vastly off the charts for a moment as the light bursts out.
[11:28] * Usagi-chan stares at the column of energy.... and rivets her eyes on the girl's forehead as she catches sight of the glowing crescent branded on it. "Who are you...?"
[11:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> The pink-haired one wails, crying. "I want to go home to Momma!"
[11:28] * Makoto hesitantly tries to get closer to the kid, asking, "Who's your momma?"
[11:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> She merely wails again, from her prone position on the ground.
[11:29] * Usagi-chan hurries over to the girl, kneeling down next to her. "Calm down, little one, it'll be okay. We'll help you." She strokes the girl's pink hair gently.
[11:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Once you do this, the beam stops as the girl latches onto Usagi, sobbing. "I wanna go home..." she says over and over into your chest, sniffling.
[11:29] * Rei-chan approaches herself, her natural reaction to a crying child overshadowing the fact that said child probably has enough power to blast the lot of them.
[11:29] * Haruka stands next to Usagi, watching the situation.
[11:30] * Usagi-chan puts her arms around the girl, stroking her back gently. "It'll be okay, I promise."
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> The girl merely clings to Usagi, crying her eyes out...
[11:30] <Makoto> "She never breaks her promises, kid," Makoto says with a smile while pointing at Usagi. "We'll all help you out, trust us."
[11:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> Finally, with a sniffle, she looks up at you. "Usagi, you do remember me, right? You're back from that hole in the sky and Sailor Moon'll stop those sisters again?"
[11:32] <Rei-chan> 'I wonder how she's connected to the Moon Kingdom... and how she knows about Usagi being Sailor Moon...' Rei wonders, watching as Usagi comforts the girl.
[11:32] * Usagi-chan shakes her head sadly. "I'm sorry, I really don't remember you. But if there's anyone trying to hurt you, I promise I'll stop them, no matter what." She gives the girl a smile.
[11:32] * Makoto really feels sorry for the kid, being so insistent on them recognizing her. 'Poor kid...'
[11:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> She whimpers, but holds on. "I want my mommy.." she cries again, shaking.
[11:33] * Ami-chan checks to see if the computer's previous processing has completed yet, and then looks up at the child. Her heart goes out to her, but she doesn't really know what to do...
[11:33] * Usagi-chan gives the girl a firm hug. "I'll help you find your mommy, I promise." Deciding that the girl isn't going to be in any shape to answer any questions for now, she carefully picks her up. 'Now what?'
[11:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ami - Your computer is turning up readings consistent with Lunar energy and the Silver Crystal.
[11:34] * Haruka looks on a bit uncomfortably, feeling kind of helpless as she's unable to offer much help.
[11:34] <Rei-chan> 'Let's go to the Shrine, I guess... we haven't had a senshi meeting there in a while, and I think this qualifies as a reason,' Rei suggests to Usagi.
[11:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Thank you, Usagi..." she murmurs into your shoulder.
[11:34] * Ami-chan goes pale. "..." 'Usagi-chan...you need to see this.'
[11:34] <Makoto> 'We should go somewhere else, Usagi,' Makoto thinks after a while. 'Someone might have seen that column of light and be coming to investigate.'
[11:35] <Usagi-chan> 'Rei's right - let's get to the shrine. We can work out what to do from there.' She smiles down at the girl. "Can I at least get your name? We can't just keep calling you 'kid', you know." She gives the pink-haired child a wink as she starts to head for the shrine.
[11:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Chibi-Usa," she whispers, hugging you.
[11:36] * Rei-chan walks alongside Usagi, occasionally throwing curious looks at Chibi-Usa.
[11:36] <Usagi-chan> 'What's up, Ami-chan?' Usagi asks mentally as she continues down the street.
[11:36] * Makoto walks behind the two quietly, wondering what's going on.
[11:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa settles into Usagi's shoulder, being quiet now and tired.
[11:38] <Ami-chan> 'The Mercury computer reads her energy as consistent with Lunar energy... and the Silver Crystal.' Ami thinks back, her mind rapidly going over what she knows, and how this is possible.
[11:38] * Usagi-chan almost stumbles at that. 'WHAT?' she thinks incredulously, not bothering to send the thought to Ami alone.
[11:39] * Rei-chan gives Usagi an alarmed look.
[11:39] * Ami-chan nods tensely, staring hard at the computer. 'I'll show you when we get to the shrine.'
[11:39] * Usagi-chan keeps walking, looking rather shell-shocked.
[11:40] <Rei-chan> 'What is it?' Rei asks worriedly.
[11:40] <Usagi-chan> 'Ami says her energy is like the ginzuishou's...' Usagi thinks dazedly, still sending to the group as a whole.
[11:41] * Makoto blinks in surprise. 'The...ginzuishou?!?'
[11:41] <Rei-chan> 'What?!' Rei thinks, alarmed. 'I felt her energy was tremendous, but... what on Earth does this mean?' As she thinks, Rei examines the girl's aura in more detail, comparing it with what she remembers of the Ginzuishou when Usagi actively used it.
[11:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei - 2d6
[11:42] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6
[11:42] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[11:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> The girl's energy is vibrantly powerful... it's like Usagi's in a way, and there is also something about it... something like the Crystal long lost, something primally powered.
[11:43] * Ami-chan runs the girl's data through the computer repeatedly, trying to wring as many relevant facts as possible out of it to give Usagi.
[11:44] <Rei-chan> 'Her energy reminds me a lot of yours, actually,' Rei sends to Usagi, 'But yeah, I can sense something in it that reminds me of the Ginzuishou...'
[11:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> The computer is processing, but the fundamental readings are the same.
[11:44] * Usagi-chan focuses on walking, her thoughts spinning wildly. 'How could she... but the crystal was gone!' she thinks in a daze.
[11:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Arriving at the temple, you head straightaway inside, Chibi Usa having fallen asleep near the end of the walk.
[11:47] * Usagi-chan deposits the slumbering girl on the couch in the living room, taking care not to awaken her. "Who is she, really?" she says hoarsely, taking the time to really study the girl's aura.
[11:47] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6
[11:47] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 6."
[11:49] <Rei-chan> "Whoever she is, she has to be connected to the Moon Kingdom - if her energy didn't tip us off, that crescent moon mark she had for a second did." Rei shrugs helplessly, looking around the room, "Anyone remember someone like her from back then?"
[11:50] * Ami-chan moves up beside Usagi, and examines the little girl gingerly, hoping to find a loose hair or two on her person.
[11:50] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "No one that I know of. I don't remember ANYONE with pink hair at all."
[11:52] <Makoto> "Well, she does have your hairstyle. Sorta..." Makoto points out. "Maybe that means something?"
[11:52] <Rei-chan> "Considering her energy and her marking, I'd almost guess she's part of the Lunar royal family," Rei sighs, "But I sure don't recall anyone besides Princess and Queen Serenity."
[11:52] * Makoto nods with Rei's assumption.
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi - Her aura is bright white, and powerful. There is something about it familiar to the Crystal, something strong.
[11:52] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah, I was an only child back then." Usagi muses.
[11:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ami - There is a loose hair or two you can get.
[11:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Pink-haired Chibi Usa stirs a bit as you examine her, but still sleeps, if restlessly.
[11:54] * Usagi-chan strokes the girl's hair gently. "Whoever she is, she's apparently having a rough time."
[11:54] * Ami-chan gently takes the hairs between two fingers, and moves off to the side, and begins analyzing them at the molecular level, looking for close DNA matches in her database as a starting point
[11:55] <Rei-chan> "Yeah... she seemed like she knew us, both as normal people and Sailor Senshi, which someone from the old kingdom wouldn't - especially in the case of Sailor Moon..." Rei continues to muse thoughtfully.
[11:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mommy..." the girl murmurs in her sleep. "I didn't mean to...."
[11:57] <Usagi-chan> "Hopefully she'll be calmed down enough after her nap to answer a few questions." Usagi continues to run her fingers through the girl's hair.
[11:58] <Rei-chan> "I'll go make up some snacks," Rei says, getting up and heading into the kitchen to do her bit as a good hostess.
[12:00] * Ami-chan lets her computer run for a few moments, and when it finally finds positive matches, she can't control her reaction. "Oh my!" she gasps, glancing up nervously.
[12:01] * Usagi-chan glances over at the blue-haired senshi. "What's wrong, Ami-chan?"
[12:02] * Makoto also glances at the genius girl, and moves closer to the computer, curious to see what Ami found now.
[12:02] * Ami-chan hedges. "It... turns out there's a good reason we don't remember her, Usagi... she's not from the Silver Milleunium..." she sighs. "But she IS a member or the Royal family..."
[12:02] <Ami-chan> "She's your daughter."
[12:03] * Usagi-chan freezes completely, her hand hovering over Chibi Usa's cheek. "She's what?" she says hoarsely.
[12:03] * Makoto stares at Ami speechless, and nods with Usagi's question.
[12:04] <Ami-chan> Ami is very unsettled. "It's a positive DNA match..." she affirms. "Her mother is Princess Serenity."
[12:05] * Usagi-chan seems to have stopped even breathing, an expression of complete shock stamped on her features.
[12:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mommy... I'm sorry... Mommy, don't go..." Chibi Usa moans in her sleep, a tear escaping her closed eyes.
[12:06] * Rei-chan returns, setting down a plate of cookies and a pitcher of orange juice, along with several glasses on the table. "What's up?" she asks, noting Usagi's expression.
[12:06] <Makoto> "Usagi's a mommy, apparently," Makoto says somewhat shocked, forgetting to be careful with her words.
[12:07] * Haruka coughs at Makoto's brilliant display of tact.
[12:07] <Rei-chan> The silence from Rei stretches for several moments. "Excuse me?" she asks at last in a small voice.
[12:07] * Ami-chan blushes and looks nervously at Rei.
[12:08] * Usagi-chan lets her hand fall on Chibi Usa's cheek gently, wiping the tear away with her thumb.
[12:08] <Ami-chan> "Chibi-Usa is her daughter." Ami supplies quietly.
[12:09] <Makoto> "Usagi... did you ever sleep with Endymion during the millenium?" Makoto asks, still too shocked to display a sense of tact.
[12:10] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "Never."
[12:10] <Rei-chan> Rei falls silent a bit longer. "This isn't funny, guys," she says eventually, not sounding happy at all.
[12:10] * Ami-chan winces. "There's more." she supplies meekly. "And you aren't going to like it..."
[12:11] * Rei-chan frowns at Ami. "If this is a joke, it's a bad one."
[12:11] * Ami-chan smiles weakly. "I don't know any jokes."
[12:12] * Usagi-chan doesn't respond, still staring at the girl.
[12:12] * Haruka stays quiet, waiting for Ami's revelation.
[12:14] * Ami-chan looks back at the computer, in hopes that the information has magically changed in the past few seconds, but unfortunately, it hasn't. She takes a deep breath. "Her father is Endymion." she finishes, bowing her head.
[12:14] * Usagi-chan freezes again. "That's not possible." she says after a few moments.
[12:14] * Makoto pauses and looks at Usagi again. "Are you -sure- you never did it with him back in the past?"
[12:14] * Ami-chan shrugs helplessly, but doesn't respond.
[12:15] <Rei-chan> Still looking unamused, Rei throws a look at Usagi and Chibi-Usa. "Don't you think their ages are a bit too close for Usagi to be her mother?"
[12:15] * Haruka swats Makoto on the head lightly.
[12:15] * Usagi-chan turns a glare to Makoto. "I think if I'd had a child back in the Silver Millenium I'd remember it."
[12:15] <Makoto> "What? Rei's point stands, so if she's their daughter she has to be a reincarnation or something!" Makoto says after Haruka swats her. "Well, how else could she be your kid?!?"
[12:16] <Rei-chan> "Obviously she isn't," Rei says firmly.
[12:16] <Usagi-chan> "How am I supposed to know? I've never even SEEN her before today!" Usagi shouts, turning to face the group.
[12:17] <Ami-chan> Ami sighs. "I would say the ordinary logic doesn't apply here, unless Usagi has been pregnant recently." She reasons. "Which she hasn't."
[12:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa stirs a bit at Usagi's violent motion, her red eyes staring at Usagi. "Usagi..." she murmurs sleepily"
[12:17] * Rei-chan goes to sit next to Usagi, putting an arm around her. "I don't know. We'll figure this out, somehow..." she falls silent as Chibi Usa awakes.
[12:18] * Usagi-chan turns back to the little girl, giving her a wry smile. "Sorry, kiddo, guess I woke you up." 'Whoever she is - whether she's my daughter or not - she's in trouble. That's what's important right now.' she thinks to the group as a whole.
[12:19] <Rei-chan> 'You're right,' Rei nods, sending a look at the others that asks them to drop it.
[12:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mmm... Usagi..." she squirms, detangling herself and rubbing her eyes, then shrinking into herself a bit. "It was just a dream, wasn't it?"
[12:19] * Makoto shifts uncomfortable, but nods. 'Yeah, I feel sorry for her, so... yeah.'
[12:20] <Ami-chan> 'Agreed,' Ami replies.
[12:20] <Usagi-chan> "What was?" Usagi turns back to face the crimson-eyed girl.
[12:20] <Rei-chan> 'Besides, if Usagi was her mother, she wouldn't call her 'Usagi', would she?' Rei reasons to herself.
[12:20] * Makoto looks sadly at the kid as she once again seems to be certain that they should know her. 'Poor kid...'
[12:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You remember me, Usagi? You came back from the bridge and we'll go back home to Aunt Ikkuko?" she stares at you hopefully, her eyes large and vunerable.
[12:22] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I really never met you before today." She takes the girl's hand. "I don't know why you seem to know me - or about Sailor Moon - but I bet we'll get everything sorted out in no time." She gives Chibi Usa a reassuring smile.
[12:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> She sighs, but looks at you hopefully, despite her wounded eyes. "Usagi... I saw you transform before you went to the bridge, after you told me to stay here," she whimpers. "I didn't mean to distract you and for you to fall into that hole... Please remember me..."
[12:24] <Rei-chan> "Usagi hasn't transformed in a while, Chibi Usa," Rei puts in gently, "None of us have had to. There hasn't been any reason to fight, recently."
[12:24] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I've never been in a fight on a bridge that I can remember. And I'm not trying to forget you, I promise - I've really never seen you before today."
[12:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> She falls to her knees, tears starting to fall down her face helplessly. "Usagi... why... don't... I'm sorry, I don't want to lose you like Mommy..."
[12:26] * Usagi-chan gathers the girl into another hug. "You're not going to lose me, Chibi Usa - I'm not planning on going anywhere until we figure this mess out. I promise."
[12:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa cries again, but not for long. Perhaps her tears have run out? "Usagi..." she looks up. "Makoto, Rei, Ami..." she then stops, staring at Haruka and blinking, huddling back into Usagi. "Who are you," she asks, suddenly suspicious.
[12:28] <Usagi-chan> "This is Haruka." Usagi smiles. "I guess if you already know about Sailor Moon, it won't hurt to tell you - she's Sailor Uranus."
[12:28] <Rei-chan> "How do you know us but not her?" Rei asks.
[12:29] * Haruka shrugs at Rei's comment, but nods in greeting at the frightened girl.
[12:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> The girl looks at Rei hesitantly. "Because Sailor Moon and her friends... Sailor Mars, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter and Tuxedo Kamen always saved me... and Mommy said Sailor Moon was a great heroine..."
[12:29] <Haruka> "Venus...?" Haruka comments idly.
[12:30] <Rei-chan> "Sailor Venus and Tuxedo Kamen haven't been around for a while, Chibi Usa," Rei says, keeping her tone neutral.
[12:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa shrinks again, almost into Usagi entirely, if it were possible. "But... I saw Sailor Venus and Tuxedo Kamen yesterday..." she says quietly, latching onto Usagi.
[12:31] * Haruka blinks at that.
[12:32] * Usagi-chan climbs up onto the couch, settling the girl on her lap. "Where?"
[12:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I saw Saior Venus here yesterday, with you and Rei and Ami and Makoto, and Tuxedo Kamen later."
[12:33] * Ami-chan frowns. 'There's something strange about this...' she thinks, beginning to run a search on her computer for information on temporal anomalies, a theory beginning to form.
[12:33] * Usagi-chan glances over at Rei before turning back to Chibi Usa. "Minako has been gone for almost four months, Chibi Usa. None of us have seen her since March."
[12:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa just sighs again, still hugging you. The poor girl looks almost broken now...
[12:35] * Usagi-chan strokes the back of the girl's head. "I don't know what's going on, Chibi Usa, but I promise I'll help you find your Mommy."
[12:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> She doesn't reply, instead staking her claim on Usagi.
[12:36] <Rei-chan> Frowning for a second, Rei throws a glance at Ami before speaking. "Who is your mother, Chibi Usa?"
[12:36] <Ami-chan> "Chibi-Usa..." Ami begins quietly, turning to face the girl from her computer, "Do you know any other Sailor Senshi?"
[12:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> She doesn't answer Rei, instead hugging to Usagi. "Neo Queen Serenity," she finally answers, barely audible.
[12:38] * Usagi-chan blinks at that. "NEO Queen Serenity?" she says quietly.
[12:38] <Rei-chan> "And Endymion is your father?" Rei asks, her face pale.
[12:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "...King Endymion of Crystal Tokyo and Earth," she replies finally.
[12:40] * Rei-chan swallows hard. "I see..." she says in a tiny voice, staring down at the floor.
[12:40] * Usagi-chan sighs, completely lost. "Crystal Tokyo..." Noticing Rei's look, she turns her head to face the miko. 'Rei-chan?'
[12:41] <Rei-chan> Taking a moment to respond, Rei answers Usagi. 'She's from the future...'
[12:42] * Usagi-chan keeps her gaze locked on Rei. 'I love YOU, Rei. I don't love him. And that's not going to change.'
[12:43] <Rei-chan> Rei looks up, her eyes glistening. 'We don't always know what the future holds, Usagi...'
[12:44] * Ami-chan moves closer, and repeats her question, her suspiscions growing at the child's answer. She smiles gently at the child, wincing slightly at the sight of her friend's distress. "Chibi-Usa, do you know any other other Sailor Senshi?" she asks.
[12:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> She looks up at Ami. "No, just Sailor Moon and her friends," she nods to her, still shaky.
[12:45] * Usagi-chan thinks quickly. 'How could Endymion be King of Earth when he's already left to stay with Setsuna, Rei? Something just doesn't add up here - he told me he was abandoning his 'kingdom' before he left.'
[12:46] * Usagi-chan continues to soothe the girl as she carries on her mental conversation with Rei.
[12:46] <Rei-chan> 'Obviously he's going to change his mind,' Rei sighs.
[12:47] <Ami-chan> Ami frowns, sighing as her theory is derailed, and tries a different tack. "Can you tell me what brought you here? If we know more about what's happened to you, perhaps we can fix it?"
[12:47] <Usagi-chan> 'I don't think Setsuna will give him up that easily... and I know I'm not going to let you go unless that's what you want. I love you, Rei.' Usagi thinks back, her eyes shining with tears.
[12:48] <Rei-chan> 'I believe you, Usagi, and I love you,' Rei thinks back earnestly, 'But something must have happened so Chibi Usa could be born in the time she comes from.'
[12:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa doesn't reply right away, looking away from Ami.
[12:50] <Usagi-chan> 'Then we'll figure out what it is. I'm sure Ami can work out what's going on here... there are just too many things that don't make sense.' She gives Rei a smile.
[12:50] * Ami-chan stays quiet, deciding that things are stressful enough without forcing the issue, and lets Chibi Usa be.
[12:50] * Rei-chan returns the smile, a bit shakily. 'I guess things like this are the reason we need to have some way of contacting Setsuna.'
[12:51] * Usagi-chan grins. 'I hadn't even thought of that... I'll use Luna-P as soon as I get home today. Maybe she can tell us something.'
[12:57] * Haruka decides that nothing more can be done here and decides to head on home for the time being.
[12:58] <Usagi-chan> The conversation tapers off for a few minutes, Usagi still holding the pink-haired girl in her lap. After some time has passed, she sighs. "I'd better get home... Mom wasn't expecting me to be out all that long this afternoon, and I still have to deal with Eiko." She makes a face at that, then turns to Chibi Usa. "Do you want to stay with me?"
[12:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa nods.
[12:59] <Haruka> "Do you want me to drop you off, Usagi?" Haruka asks, wanting to help in some small manner.
[13:00] <Rei-chan> "Yeah... good luck, Usagi," Rei sees the blonde off, deciding not to give her a goodbye kiss with things being the way they are.
[13:00] * Usagi-chan looks around at the remaining senshi. "I'll take her home with me then. Give me a call if you guys need anything..." here she looks at Rei. "Or if you come up with anything." She looks at Ami. "Thanks, Haruka - that would be great." She gives the tall senshi a smile.
[13:01] <Haruka> "No problem," Haruka answers with a nod.
[13:02] <Rei-chan> "I'll see you guys later," Rei waves to Makoto and Ami, trusting them to see themselves out as she goes to her room to indulge in some of the sake Eudial got her, hoping to relax her currently overstressed mind before taking a lie-down.
[13:03] * Ami-chan sighs and stands, tucking her computer away. "I will." she replies, smiling distractedly. "I should be on my way, too..." 'Usagi...when she's a bit more comfortable, ask her more about what's happened...I don't have enough information to draw any conclusions...'
[13:04] <Usagi-chan> 'I will... and I'm going to talk to Setsuna too. Maybe she can tell us something.' Usagi waves to the group. "We'll see you guys later!"
[13:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 13: ...Granddaughter... through Okay, NOW She's Evil
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2006, 10:19:38 pm »
[13:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going home, Chibi Usa is very quiet, almost silent entirely. By the time you get home, it's midafternoon, Ikkuko's dinner smelling great as you enter. No sign of Eiko down here.
[13:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa does perk up a bit at that smell. "Aunt Ikkuko's making sukiyaki for dinner," she says to herself.
[13:08] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Sure smells good, doesn't it?"
[13:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa nods. "But she made it three nights ago..." she says absently, thinking.
[13:11] <Usagi-chan> "She did?" Usagi blinks. "That was the day after Eiko got here, I thought she did curry that day."
[13:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Eiko," Chibi Usa asks. "Who's Eiko?"
[13:12] * Usagi-chan makes a face. "My cousin... she's a total snob and incredibly rude."
[13:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi," Ikkuko calls out, interrupting. "Is that you? Sukiyaki for dinner, and have you seen Eiko?"
[13:13] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah Mom, it's me." Usagi calls back. "We're going to have a guest for dinner tonight, sorry I couldn't call you about it sooner." She leads Chibi Usa into the kitchen by the hand.
[13:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going in, the smell of the meal simmering makes your mouth water. "Oh, we are?" she asks, looking at Chibi Usa, a bit surprised. "Hi there," she smiles anyway, "And you are?"
[13:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa looks hurt as she replies, giving her name. "Chibi Usa..."
[13:16] <Usagi-chan> "She's tied up with the senshi somehow." Usagi offers as a bit of further explanation. "She showed up out of nowhere this afternoon, and we're trying to figure out what happened to her."
[13:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Well then, Chibi Usa, why don't you and Usagi go watch some TV or read manga in her room until dinner is ready," she smiles at the girl, with a quick glance at Usagi.
[13:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh." Ikkuko blinks. "Okay, then. Usagi, why don't you put her upstairs and come down here. We need to talk, anyway."
[13:17] * Usagi-chan nods. "Come on, Chibi Usa - you can raid my manga stash, even if it's not as good as Rei-chan's." Usagi gives the girl a wink and takes her upstairs.
[13:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa follows, entering your room and barely glancing around, already familiar with it... until she spies something on top of the shelf. "Luna-P!" she protests, producing hers a moment later, then looking between the two, confused.
[13:19] * Usagi-chan grins. "Now you know why I was so surprised to see yours earlier. Setsuna gave me that one a few weeks ago - do you know her?"
[13:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Puu gave me mine," she says, still looking between them. "She's my friend, and Mommy's."
[13:21] <Usagi-chan> "Puu?" Usagi looks curious.
[13:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Puu," she nods. "She gave it to me when I visited her Gate."
[13:21] * Usagi-chan nods. "Really tall, long green hair?"
[13:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa nods again, going to sit on your bed. "Puu's like that."
[13:24] * Usagi-chan giggles. "That's Setsuna. She's my friend too, although I don't get to talk to her very often. But I will be in a few minutes. Anyway, you can grab one of my manga or something - I'll be right back, Mom wanted to talk to me about something." She gives the pink-haired girl a wave and heads back down the stairs to see her mother.
[13:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going back downstairs after Chibi Usa takes your Slayers manga out and starts doing her thing with it, you find your mother waiting for you in the living room, rubbing her temples. "I'm going to put the aspirin companies on easy street if we get any more house guests," she notes to you, sounding far older and more exhausted than usual.
[13:26] * Usagi-chan sighs. "More trouble with Eiko?"
[13:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "She's a brat," she sighs deeply, looking up. "But what about Chibi Usa?" she peers at you, still tired, but aware. "Her hairstyle is rather familiar - you don't have any family coming in, do you?"
[13:28] * Usagi-chan takes a deep sigh, wondering whether she should tell her mother. "She's also got my crescent moon marking, although it's hidden most of the time."
[13:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko looks at you. "Is she related to you from the past," she asks, a bit tense.
[13:29] * Usagi-chan closes her eyes. "From the future. Ami-chan says... Ami says she's my daughter."
[13:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Ikkuko pauses with her mouth open, unable to process. "She... she... granddaughter?" she finally manages, her mouth barely functional.
[13:32] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I don't know how it's possible, to be honest. From what Ami found, the person who's supposed to be her father... well, he's not around anymore, and I don't think we'd ever do... that even if he was." Usagi blushes a bit at that admission.
[13:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko just nods dumbly and stares. Not a word now, just wide eyes and a brain that you can hear trying to throw a gear.
[13:35] <Usagi-chan> "I didn't know where else to bring her... she's been clinging to me ever since she showed up this afternoon, and if what Ami says is right I can't blame her." She leans her head on the back of her chair with a groan. "It just doesn't make any sense though!"
[13:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> Quiet for a while as she works out her own issues, she finally replies. "She can stay here," she says firmly. "Usagi... stir dinner. I'm going to meet my granddaughter."
[13:37] <Usagi-chan> "Just... go easy on her, Mom. She's had a really rough day, and I don't know if she even realizes I'm her... mother." Usagi chokes over that word a bit.
[13:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko merely nods, going right up upstairs with a spring in her step.
[13:38] * Usagi-chan sighs and heads over to the kitchen to keep dinner from burning.
[13:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> An hour later, just as it's time for dinner - Dad calling that he'll be late - Ikkuko comes back with a happier Chibi Usa trailing behind her. "Is dinner finished, Usagi," Ikkuko asks.
[13:42] <Usagi-chan> "It's getting there." Usagi says, a bit frazzled at trying to maintain her mother's masterful cooking - with moderate success, it still looks and smells relatively edible.
[13:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> She smiles, holding Chibi Usa's hand with a big smiles on her face. "That's good. Chibi-Usa-chan, go wash up and we'll have dinner."
[13:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa smiles a bit at her, before going off and doing so. Once she's gone, "Usagi, what's this about me not remembering her," she asks, still looking happy, if prying.
[13:44] <Usagi-chan> "I wish we knew. She's been saying that about all of us ever since she fell on my head this afternoon, but none of us have ever seen her before." Usagi shrugs.
[13:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "Well, I'm sure you'll sort this out." she chirps. She seems so jubilant as she goes into the kitchen to get the food and plates.
[13:46] * Usagi-chan shakes her head and smiles, at least happy to see her mother in a better mood after her trials with Eiko the past couple of days.
[13:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> Dinner goes by, with no sign of your dad OR Eiko. Whew. "Chibi-Usa-chan, why don't I tell you a story after we go take a bath," Ikkuko beams at her, Chibi Usa smiling back and nodding.
[13:48] <Usagi-chan> "I'll be in my room if either of you guys need me... hopefully Setsuna can tell me what's going on." Usagi gives the pair a smile and heads up to her room.
[13:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko smiles and murmurs a confirmation... Upstairs, the Luna-P looks down at you, as if expecting Usagi.
[13:51] * Usagi-chan climbs up on her desk chair and retrieves the black ball. Holding it in both hands, she calls out the phrase given to her by Setsuna. "Luna-Pluto Power!"
[13:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> The eyes of the Luna-P glow a moment, shifting to two TV-like screens, Sailor Pluto's face appearing in both, if a touch fuzzy. "Usagi?" Pluto asks, a strange smile evident. "The dreamer came after all," she muses.
[13:53] <Usagi-chan> "Is that you, Setsuna?" Usagi asks. "The picture's kind of fuzzy."
[13:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes," she nods. "It's unavoidable, I'm afraid."
[13:54] <Usagi-chan> "Just making sure. Um... I've got a really weird question. There's a little girl here who landed on my head this afternoon, and we think she's from the future somehow - do you know anything about her?"
[13:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Chibi Usa," she nods again. "Yes, I do. I know quite a bit about her."
[13:56] * Usagi-chan breathes a sigh of relief. "Is she actually my daughter?" she asks, cutting straight to the point that's bothering her.
[13:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "She is the daughter of Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion, but she is not your daughter," she smiles again, that same damn smile..
[13:57] * Usagi-chan blinks. "But Ami-chan said she matched as being my daughter..." she says with some confusion.
[13:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Usagi... allow me to explain something. The river of Time is vast, but it is only one river in a greater ocean," she explains. "And at times... droplets from one river can splash over into another."
[13:58] <Usagi-chan> "But what does that have to do with Chibi Usa?" Usagi asks, still lost.
[14:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> Pluto sighs. "She is not from your time or world. Ask Professor Tomoe about it tomorrow, he'll understand. Usagi... even though she and the others are not part of this world, they are still in it... as such, my role is still circumscribed. All I can say is that another trial is coming. Be strong, Usagi." With that, the Luna-P's eyes blink, going back to normal.
[14:01] * Usagi-chan sighs, replacing the cat-like ball on the shelf. "Well, if the Professor can make sense of that I guess it's a start." She sits down on her bed and sighs. "And if she isn't from our world, then I guess Rei-chan has nothing to worry about." That brings a smile to her face.
[14:03] <Usagi-chan> With that thought, Usagi extends her mind towards the miko's. 'Rei-chan, are you there?'
[14:03] <Rei-chan> 'Yes?' the miko's mental voice comes back a second later.
[14:04] <Usagi-chan> 'I just finished talking with Setsuna. She couldn't tell me a whole lot, but she said that Chibi Usa isn't even from our time or world. I don't know how she got HERE, but she said to talk to the Professor about it tomorrow. She's not actually my daughter, from what she said.'
[14:05] <Rei-chan> 'But... Ami's computer said she matched... and who else would Neo Queen Serenity be?' Rei sounds a bit puzzled.
[14:06] <Usagi-chan> 'I don't know either, but she said Chibi Usa isn't actually my daughter. I'm just hoping the Professor can explain it tomorrow.' Usagi sends back. 'But if she's not from our time, then you don't have anything to worry about at least.'
[14:07] <Rei-chan> 'Well, we already knew she's not from our time,' Rei sends back, half amused, 'I'm sure we'd both know if you'd ever given birth. But if she's from the future...' she gives a mental sigh, 'Really, there's no telling what could happen.'
[14:10] <Usagi-chan> 'Stop that, Rei-chan.' Usagi scolds mentally. 'You don't know any more than I do - but I'm definitely going to go see the Professor first thing tomorrow. Maybe he can explain it. Oh, and one other thing - Setsuna said there's another trial coming. Nothing specific about when, of course, but it sounds like there's more trouble on the way.'
[14:11] <Rei-chan> 'Trouble... well, at least we've had some respite. And Setsuna's actually warning us, this time...' Rei thinks.
[14:12] * Usagi-chan nods, unseen by her girlfriend. 'It's nice to have that much at least. She almost made it sound like it might be connected with Chibi Usa somehow, but she didn't say it specifically.'
[14:13] <Rei-chan> 'She did mention 'sisters' that... the sailor senshi, seemed to be fighting... maybe they'll be following her to our time?' Rei wonders.
[14:14] <Usagi-chan> 'Yeah, I know. If they show up here, though, there's no way I'm going to let them cause trouble.' Usagi thinks firmly.
[14:15] <Rei-chan> 'Definitely not,' Rei thinks, echoing her girlfriend's determination.
[14:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[08:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:02] <Rei-chan> Sunday morning... still a bit rattled over yesterday's events, Rei nonetheless takes the time to visit the Tsukino's at Usagi's behest to join her and Chibi Usa as they visit the Professor to hopefully figure out just what the hell all this time travel stuff means. And it gives her a chance to pick up Hotaru early before they head back to the Shrine for miko duties.
[09:02] <Rei-chan> Standing outside the Tsukino home, Rei rings the doorbell.
[09:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you ring it, the door happens to open, revealing a new face.
[09:03] * Rei-chan blinks. "Oh, hello. Are you Eiko-san?"
[09:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> A youngish, dark haired girl in strangely, alluringly cut clothes comes out and walks past you wtihout a word, only turning up her nose at you. She's not THAT pretty to do that... not bad by any means, but not a drop-dead gorgeous miko like yourself. "Yeah," is all she grunts, passing you by with easy contempt.
[09:04] <Rei-chan> "Figured," Rei snorts, matching Eiko's contempt as she enters the house, taking off her shoes and going to the living room.
[09:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> In the living room are Ikkuko and Chibi Usa, the latter watching TV and the former knitting while keeping an eye on the tyke. Chibi Usa still looks rattled, but more relaxed now. "Rei," Ikkuko nods, even smiling a bit as she look at Chibi Usa.
[09:06] * Usagi-chan comes down the stairs a moment later. "I thought I heard the... oh, hey, Rei-chan!" Usagi's face lights up as she catches sight of her girlfriend.
[09:07] <Rei-chan> "Good morning Mrs Tsukino... Chibi Usa," Rei smiles at them both, before her expression brightens as she sees the blonde. "Hi, Usagi," she waves a bit more cheerfully.
[09:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa turns, but is silent for the moment. "Good morning, Rei," Ikkuko nods again. "Have you met Chibi Usa-chan?"
[09:08] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, we all met her yesterday," Rei responds to Ikkuko. "Um... Eiko let me in..." she adds a bit awkwardly to explain her presence.
[09:09] * Usagi-chan growls. "You mean I missed her again?"
[09:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> You can almost feel the temperature in the room drop, Ikkuko's face darkening. "Oh. She went out again? Good."
[09:09] <Rei-chan> "Yes... not a very friendly girl, I noticed..." Rei comments herself.
[09:09] * Usagi-chan snorts. "That's an understatement."
[09:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "No," Ikkuko nods in agreement. "She's a spoiled brat...I'm going to have words with dear sister Chisato."
[09:12] <Rei-chan> "Um..." Rei feels a tad awkward with all the tension in the room. "So, are we going to go visit the Professor, then?" she tactfully changes the subject!
[09:13] <Usagi-chan> "Yeah. You ready to go, Chibi Usa?" Usagi smiles over at the pink-haired girl. "We're going to go talk to someone who can HOPEFULLY explain where you're from."
[09:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay," she says, getting up. Dressed in some old hand-me-downs from Usagi's youth, she comes along. She still looks sullen, though.
[09:14] * Usagi-chan offers her hand to the girl, wondering what has her upset this morning.
[09:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> She takes it, going quiet as you leave.
[09:16] * Rei-chan walks with the pair, Chibi Usa between herself and Usagi as she occasionally steals glances at both girls.
[09:16] * Usagi-chan casts slightly worried glances over at the girl as they head for Professor Tomoe's house, still curious why she's so sullen this morning.
[09:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa stays quiet most of the walk, finally opening up near the Professor's house, almost abruptly. "You really don't remember," she asks Usagi, in a small, afraid voice.
[09:19] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I really don't," she says in an apologetic tone. "I think there's been some kind of mixup though. I talked to Setsuna - Puu - last night, and she said the Professor could probably explain things to us." She smiles.
[09:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa sighs. "Yeah... but... you're not like Usagi, either. Usagi is a mean girl who can't even walk without falling," Chibi Usa comments. "You're not like her. You're... like Mommy more."
[09:21] * Usagi-chan glances over at Rei. "I am?"
[09:22] * Rei-chan gives Chibi Usa an odd look, "How do you know Usagi... and your... mommy... as different people? You knew another Usagi, as well as Neo Queen Serenity?" she asks, trying to make sense of things.
[09:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa looks at Rei, clearly confused. "Huh? I mean... Usagi's different now..." she mumbles, not really following
[09:23] <Rei-chan> "How did you know Usagi before, though?" Rei presses, "I thought you came from the future - where you live with Neo Queen Serenity and," she winces, but keeps her tone the same, "King Endymion?"
[09:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa looks away. "I have to find the Silver Crystal to help my mommy. Usagi had the Crystal, I know it... and then, she was Sailor Moon and she and her friends..." The girl looks away even more, tears forming in her eyes. "That sister said they were dead after going into that hole... Usagi and..."
[09:27] * Usagi-chan stops, kneeling down next to the girl. "Hey, it'll be okay, I promise. If Sailor Moon and all her friends were together, then there's nothing that could stop them - so you don't need to worry about them." She gives Chibi Usa a reassuring smile.
[09:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa sniffles. "Really?" she asks, looking up at you.
[09:29] * Rei-chan just falls silent, Chibi Usa's tale failing to provide any answers.
[09:30] <Usagi-chan> "Really. Especially if she had the Silver Crystal." Usagi nods, still smiling.
[09:30] <Rei-chan> "Wait!" That draws Rei up short, "Usagi gets the Silver Crystal back in the future?"
[09:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mommy's always had it," Chibi Usa says. "I don't know why Usagi has it now..."
[09:33] <Usagi-chan> "But I don't have it now. I... lost it a while ago." Usagi says quietly.
[09:33] * Rei-chan nods. "Not since the end of the Dark Kingdom."
[09:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa looks right at Usagi, her eyes widening in panic. "But you have to! If you don't have it...I can't help Mommy! You're lying again, aren't you!" Chibi Usa sounds hurt at that.
[09:35] * Usagi-chan shakes her head, putting her hands on the child's shoulders. "I'm not... but there may be another way to help your Mommy. But let's figure out why you're here first, and then we'll figure out what to do about your Mommy, okay?" She smiles.
[09:37] <Rei-chan> "Why would you need Usagi's silver crystal if your mommy has it?" Rei asks, still finding so much unclear with this story.
[09:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay..." she looks up to Usagi, her eyes still showing confusion and hurt. During this, Rei's question either misses her, or she dosn't answer it.
[09:39] * Usagi-chan takes Chibi Usa's hand again as she stands, giving it a gentle squeeze. "We're almost there," she announces as the Professor's house comes into view.
[09:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going up to it, the Professor himself happens to answer the door. "Hello, girls. Are you here for Hotaru already?"
[09:42] <Rei-chan> "Actually, Professor, we need to talk to you first," Rei gives Chibi Usa a glance.
[09:43] * Usagi-chan nods. "We've got some questions about Chibi Usa here, and I was told you could probably answer them."
[09:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, moving back to allow you inside. "Oh, do be careful of the living room - it's being repainted today," he says, and as you enter, you see that between the dropcloths and workers, it is indeed being changed to something less dark.
[09:43] * Usagi-chan smiles at the update in the decor. "I like it."
[09:44] * Rei-chan decides to let Usagi and her 'daughter' explain things, since she's so badly lost on what's happening.
[09:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe smiles a bit as he leads you back to his study. "Germatou loved darkness, and he decorated to match. I can't stand dark colors anymore because of that," he notes as he leads you into the comfortable study, familiar to Rei.
[09:47] * Rei-chan takes one of the comfortable chairs, leaving the talking to others.
[09:48] <Usagi-chan> "I can't blame you at all... besides, the light colors make this place seem a lot less stuffy." She settles down in a chair herself, letting Chibi Usa choose her own seat. "Okay, down to why we're here. Chibi Usa here landed on my head yesterday afternoon while we were all hanging out in the park."
[09:50] <Usagi-chan> "We've... found a few things out about her since then, but one thing that's bugging me is that she seems to know all of us - but none of us have ever seen her before yesterday. I talked to Sailor Pluto about it yesterday, and she said Chibi Usa isn't from our time or our world - something about lots of different streams, I didn't understand it myself."
[09:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe starts with faint amusement at the start of your story, but that quickly fades into interest, especially at the bits at the end. "Usagi, could you repeat exactly what Sailor Pluto said," he asks intently.
[09:53] * Usagi-chan pauses for a minute. "She said... there are lots of streams in one big ocean of time, and that sometimes drops from one get into another. Something like that, anyway."
[09:53] <Rei-chan> Rei's eyes widen with realisation. 'That explains it! She's from a future, but not our future! Then the Usagi that she knows... and Sailor Venus and Tuxed Mask, too...' she looks thoughtful as she considers what this alternate timeline must be like.
[09:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe thinks a moment, smiling slightly despite it. "Streams... like alternate timelines and dimensions," he nods. "It was part of the general research that brought about the... incident with Germatou. IF that's correct, this girl has somehow been dislocated into another timeline from her own."
[09:55] * Usagi-chan still looks lost. "So... what exactly does that mean?"
[09:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe glances at Chibi Usa again. "That this girl is from another world - Earth, but not from our Earth."
[09:56] * Usagi-chan looks over at Chibi Usa. "Then... how did she get here?"
[09:56] <Rei-chan> "Yeah, so she's not just from the future, but she's from a future where even our own pasts are different," Rei nods, pleased with her reasoning.
[09:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa is quiet at that, looking at Usagi most of the time.
[09:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Exactly, Rei," he nods. "A dimensional tear, I suppose. Something that caused a gap or wrinkle in the fabric of that world could have bled out, and if so... a strong energy souce could use that to go world from world."
[09:58] <Rei-chan> "Chibi Usa, didn't you say there was some big black hole in the sky or something... at that bridge?" Rei turns to the child.
[09:58] <Usagi-chan> "A strong energy source, huh?" Usagi gives the girl a much more penetrating look as she studies her aura intently, looking for the traces of the ginzuishou-like energy again.
[10:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi squirms a bit. "Yeah... the day before yesterday... Sailor Moon and her friends vanished into it... then the sisters chased me again the day after and... said that Sailor Moon was dead..." Haltingly, Chibi Usa explains her tale, emotional again. "I... don't remember much until I saw Usagi," she looks at said odangoed girl.
[10:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi - roll 2d6
[10:00] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6
[10:00] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[10:00] * Rei-chan pales a bit, hoping for the sake of that alternate world, that those 'sisters' were bluffing.
[10:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> THere are traces of the same energy as before... and a more primal power.
[10:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tomoe grimaces. "A black hole in the sky? That could very well be such a rip," he agrees. "Chibi Usa, how big of a hole was it?"
[10:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Big... bigger than a van," she says, shutting her eyes.
[10:07] <Rei-chan> "Is there any way those sisters could have followed Chibi Usa here?" Rei asks, "From what Setsuna said, it looks like we're going to have to fight again, soon."
[10:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> That gets an even more intense grimace. "A dimensional tear that size could not only suck several people in, it would likely remain a weak link in and out of that world for years to come... anyone who wanted to could go through it with enough energy, or an extremely powerful energy discharge could run afoul of it as well."
[10:07] * Rei-chan sighs. "That answers that..."
[10:08] * Usagi-chan continues to stare at Chibi Usa. "Why did you need the ginzuishou for your Mommy?" she asks quietly.
[10:09] <Rei-chan> "Wait," Rei turns to the Professor, "In and out? So there's a risk of people here being sucked into that other world?"
[10:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mommy needs help because she's in trouble," Chibi Usa says, quite helpful and unhelpful.
[10:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "In theory. It would take an extreme amount of power to trigger this weak link - more than you or Usagi or any of the Witches could manage, so it's not a pressing concern," he explains. "It's easier if you're aiming for it."
[10:11] <Usagi-chan> "I understand that, but why does she need the Silver Crystal in particular?" Usagi persists.
[10:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mommy... lost hers," she says in a very small voice, hanging her head.
[10:13] <Usagi-chan> "How did she lose it?" Usagi continues, her voice gentle.
[10:13] * Rei-chan shoots a glance at Usagi, wondering if the 'loss' happened the same way as the Silver Crystal vanished in this world.
[10:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa just shakes her head, looking miserable.
[10:17] <Usagi-chan> "Do you not know?" Usagi places a hand on the child's shoulder.
[10:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, still looking away.
[10:19] <Usagi-chan> "You do or you don't?" Usagi asks, not sure what she meant by the nod.
[10:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I... don't," she whispers softly.
[10:20] * Usagi-chan nods. "I understand." She sighs. "I can't help you with the Crystal, but I promise that I'll help you in any other way I can."
[10:21] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei chimes in reassuringly, "Even without the Silver Crystal, Sailor Moon's power is unbeatable," she gives the child her best encouraging smile.
[10:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe even chips in. "Sailor Moon is a wonderful person, and she and her friends will save your mother." He speaks with conviction there, let me tell you.
[10:27] * Usagi-chan grins. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys." She slips out of her seat and pulls Chibi Usa into a hug. "We'll work everything out, I promise."
[10:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mommy said that, too..." Chibi Usa murmurs. "Please... Sailor Moon, save Mommy!" Chibi Usa looks right at you again, her soul in her pretty red eyes.
[10:33] <Usagi-chan> "I will." Usagi gives the little girl a serious smile. "Whatever it takes."
[10:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Speaking of such... Usagi, why don't you go take Chibi Usa to Hotaru's room for a while and come back," he suggests, eyeing the girl.
[10:50] * Usagi-chan nods. "Come on, Chibi Usa-chan." She stands, giving the girl a smile. "Let's go meet Hotaru-chan."
[10:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa nods, going along with Usagi without argument.
[10:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Usagi leaves and closes the door behind, Professor Tomoe sighs deeply.
[10:52] <Rei-chan> "Professor?" Rei gives him a concerned look at the sigh.
[10:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> He shakes his head to Rei. "That poor girl... and if she's telling the truth, she's likely bringing calamity right on her heels."
[10:55] <Rei-chan> "Yes, with what you just said and what we heard from Setsuna, I think it's a certainty that these 'sisters' will be coming after her..." Rei frowns, "I hope they were bluffing when they told her they killed Sailor Moon, but if they really are that strong..."
[10:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Indeed. Things will be picking up again." Professor Tomoe sighs once more. "Also, at some point it will be prudent to send her back to her own world, which will require a means to do so."
[10:58] <Rei-chan> "Yeah..." Rei sighs, "If she was just from the future, then Sailor Pluto could send her back easily enough, but crossing dimensions as well as time..." She gives the Professor an apologetic look, "Forgive me for saying so, but we've already experienced the hazards inherent with that."
[11:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods solemnly, his face set. "Yes. But... if that wrinkle does exist, it will simplfy things greatly, as most of the work will already be done."
[11:02] <Rei-chan> "I suppose... if it already links our world with that other one, then it does make things easier... But we can't just send her back before we make certain it's safe to do so."
[11:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "And therein lies the problem. If we keep her here, she'll pine for her world... as well as likely having company from said world coming after her. If we send her back, we'll have to deal with what caused this in the first place."
[11:13] <Rei-chan> "Well, I'm sure Sailor Moon is still alive back in Chibi Usa's world." 'Since Chibi Usa couldn't exist, otherwise.' "So I suppose it's fairly likely that she'll come here looking for her if she can. The only question is whether she'll come before those sisters Chibi Usa mentioned..."
[11:16] * Usagi-chan slips into the study quietly, closing the door behind her. "Hotaru's playing cards with her right now."
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, then looks at Rei. "I hope so... Usagi."
[11:20] * Usagi-chan looks over at the Professor. "Yes?"
[11:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Do you think that girl is telling the truth?" Tomoe asks Usagi point-blank.
[11:23] * Usagi-chan sighs, thinking for a moment. "I think... I think she's not telling us everything. I believe what she says about Sailor Moon and the people after her, but... I don't know. It's just a hunch, really."
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Her story makes too much sense with my theories to be fabricated," he comments. "And she doesn't come off as a gross liar. I think she is at least partially truthful," he muses.
[11:26] * Rei-chan nods. "I don't think she's telling us everything, but what she is telling us is probably true."
[11:26] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "And I don't want to push her too much right now. With everything she's been through, she's already had a really rough time of it - I don't want to make that worse by asking her a million questions."
[11:27] <Rei-chan> "Yeah," Rei agrees, "Whatever happened obviously shook her up pretty badly. And being thrown into another world where none of the people she knows know her sure can't be helping."
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tomoe nods again. "Where is she staying?" he asks, going to the more immediate worries.
[11:31] <Usagi-chan> "With me for now." Usagi replies. "She seems to like being with me, and I'm trying to help her be as comfortable here as I can."
[11:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "Regardless of where, it's likely going to be for several days at the least. Usagi... I can begin research and work to access this wrinkle, but it will take time."
[11:32] <Usagi-chan> "I understand. I'll take care of her until then." She smiles.
[11:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Alright," he says, taking off his glasses and polishing then in a familiar motion. "I'm going to need to put the brakes on the Lunar teleport for a bit, however. It's simply not viable to have both projects going at once, and I'll need Ami, Viluy and Eudial's help with my work."
[11:36] <Usagi-chan> "That's no problem - there's no real rush to get the teleporter done, and this is more important." Usagi nods.
[11:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> "On that... I think we'd all best have a long conversation about the possibility of more visitors, especially if we have hostile ones. I'll make arrangements with your morning teachers, girls."
[11:38] * Rei-chan nods.
[11:38] * Usagi-chan nods. "I'll call the senshi for a meeting this afternoon in the office then. Oh yeah, that reminds me - I know it won't be for very long, but would it be possible for me to bring Chibi Usa to Mugen? If she's in danger, it's probably best for her to stay close to us as much as possible."
[11:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Certainly," he nods, getting up. "Shall we pick this up later? I have calls to make now."
[11:40] <Rei-chan> "Okay." Rei stands up, "It's still a little early, but I may as well take Hotaru round to the Shrine now - we can have lunch before starting on the chores," she smiles a bit.
[11:41] * Usagi-chan nods. "And I'll probably take Chibi Usa up with me - thanks to her showing up yesterday, I'm behind on my paperwork again." She sighs.
[11:42] <Rei-chan> "I can give you a hand with it later this evening," Rei offers.
[11:42] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Thanks, Rei-chan. At least I'm not TOO far behind this time."
[11:43] * Rei-chan nods, heading upstairs to Hotaru's room.
[11:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[11:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> The next day, all the girls in Mugen gather in the Witches office, a long discussion about the current scenario ensuing.
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> After feeling out the basic information, the general consensus is a bit worried, but confident - if you guys took down Germatou and those Elves, this won't be a problem, right?
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hopefully.
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Although, the other consensus is that it would be a good idea to keep your eyes open in case someone DOES come after the kid. So agreeing, your life moves on, if a bit more worrisome now.
[11:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[11:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> After the meeting, Professor Tomoe asks Ami, Eudial and Viluy to stay after while the others go to class. "Girls," he begins. "As I said, a device to broach the gap between dimensions will require a lot of work and effort. I'd like to have you three move from the Lunar teleportation project and assist me with this instead."
[12:00] * Ami-chan blinks. "Of course." she replies nodding somewhat hestitantly, resolving to spend the evening looking up all she can find on the subject.
[12:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure," Eudial nods, Viluy agreeing as well. "How much work is this looking to be?"
[12:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> "At least two to three weeks," he replies, thinking. "Some of the work from the Lunar teleporter can be adapted to this, so it's reduced substantially."
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Also... Viluy and Ami, I'd like to withdraw you from your math classes for the duration of the project to work on this. You'll be getting plenty of work with the subject for this, and the time will speed up this project even further."
[12:07] * Ami-chan blinks in surprise, then nods. "That's fine." she agrees thoughtfully, if a little put out. "How are we going about this, though? I'm afraid I don't know too much about the subject..."
[12:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I have some books on the matter, and I can fill in the gaps as we go over the basics. It's not too complicated, since I've developed the underlying theories now... at least it shouldn't be for you three." He smiles a moment at all of you.
[12:09] * Ami-chan blushes slightly and nods in agreement.
[12:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Mainly, it's about putting the knowledge to applicable use through technology and such," he nods. "Anyway, I'll go get you those books and we'll pick up tomorrow."
[12:12] <Ami-chan> Ami nods. "Alright. Will you need any extra hours?" she asks, almost dreading a 'yes' reponse, but mentally trying to plan for it.
[12:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> "We'll see," he says. "It's too hard to say right now."
[12:15] * Ami-chan nods again, breathing a slight sigh of relief. "Alright." she replies softly, thinking about what will be necessary soon.
[12:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> As he leaves, "Huh," Viluy murmurs. "Trouble found us again."
[12:17] * Ami-chan smiles slightly. "You grow accustomed to it, after a while."
[12:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial glances at Ami, smiling a bit as well. "Well, with all of us...it won't be too bad, will it?"
[12:19] <Ami-chan> "No." Ami smiles a little more thinking about her friends, and what they've all been through. "We'll get through this, too." she finishes, sounding confident, despite the niggling little part of her that's dreading possible combat.
[12:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hopefully without getting possessed again," Viluy muses to herself. "Or without anyone getting hurt."
[12:26] * Ami-chan winces and nods. "That would be nice, yes." 'I hope, I really do.' "The faster we complete this project, the better..." she muses. "The longer it takes us, the chances of problems finding us unprepared grow..."
[12:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'm not so worried about fighting now that we at least have a heads up," Eudial comments. "I'm more worried about something going sour on this. Messing with dimensions is what caused Germatou to begin with." She pauses, thinking and idly pushing her thin glasses up her nose. "I hope the looking glass isn't so dark this coming time."
[12:31] <Ami-chan> "But that incident has given you some experience, right? We understand the dangers, which leaves us in a better position to avoid them." Ami adds to Eudial's comment. "As you said, with all of us, it won't be so bad." She replies, smiling.
[13:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[12:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Wednesday dawns cloudy and humid, not a nice day at all. Despite it, life goes on, school in and out. As Haruka drives home, the radio news has come on, going over the minor stories of the day. "...Scattered residents of Tokyo reported seeing a UFO-like object in the skies early today. I tell you, I think a few loons just hadn't gotten their coffee yet..." Nothing of interest, except that as Haruka drives down,
[12:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> she notes a large 'GRAND OPENING' sign by a new corner boutique, a gaggle of girls and guys checking out the stylish looking clothes in the window and a few going inside. NEW TOKYO FASHIONS reads the store's logo.
[12:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> There seems to also be a ruckus just outside the door... are two girls fighting?
[12:49] <Haruka> "Huh," Haruka says to herself, glancing curiously at the rather eye-catching display.  Parking her car, Haruka decides to have a look-see at what the commotion might be about.
[12:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hopping out of your car, you see that a rare public catfight is on between two girls right out front, a dropped shopping bag to the side. One girl has dyed blonde hair cut short and curved, and is wearing clearly designer clothes. The other is wearing similar clothes that show off her flat stomach, with long black hair with strange highlights.
[12:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> At the moment, the black haired girl is dragging the blonde down, both snarling in a most unfeminine manner.
[12:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> A few women are around her as well as a few men, but none are daring to get into it, watching on with frank interest at the fight.
[12:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> With a push down, the black haired one shoves the blonde down, her boot going to the blonde's stomach a moment later! This causes her to curl up into a pained ball and the kicker to grin savagely.
[12:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I said it was mine, bitch," she taunts, icy hot contempt dripping off her words as she takes the dropped bag for her own.
[12:55] <Haruka> "Whoa," Haruka says aloud.  She gets herself ready to restrain the dark haired girl should she go further while looking down at the girl on the ground to see if she needs any help.
[12:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> The girl on the ground has gone into a fetal ball, tears of pain flowing down her face, her lunch following from her mouth a moment later. The contents of her stomach seem to have been brought up by that cruel blow, covering mainly her shirt now. The other girl just grins viciously, dusting herself off...
[12:58] <Haruka> "Don't you think that was a bit much?" Haruka says to the dark haired girl, while kneeling down to check on the injured blonde.
[12:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> She laughs. "It probably wasn't enough for stealing what I had my eye on," she still grins, holding the shopping bag and walking away. The blonde looks at least winded and in need of a shower/change of clothes now...
[13:02] <Haruka> "What a piece of work..." Haruka mutters in disgust.  Turning her attention to the girl, Haruka lightly shakes her by the shoulder.  "Hey, you going to be okay?"
[13:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you check on her, another lady comes out of the double glass front doors. Wearing a blue, frilly dress and umbrella, she looks the part of a Southern belle..if a somewhat cold one from her facial expression. "Come in all, come in for our first day sale," she crows, ushering people inside. To your surprise, most of the people do just that...
[13:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh... thanks..." the girl mutters weakly. "My stomach hurts."
[13:06] <Haruka> "You need any help? Can you stand up?" Haruka asks her worriedly.
[13:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> She can do so, if shakily. "Thank you... but I just want to go home," she says, looking down. "Thanks, um..." she looks up at you curiously, smiling just a bit. A touch cute, maybe, but nothing to write home to Uranus about.
[13:08] <Haruka> "Haruka," she finishes for the girl with a smile, making sure she doesn't tip over or anything.
[13:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> She doesn't need the help, at least, despite the wobble. "Thank you, Haruka," she smiles. "I'm Yuuki."
[13:13] <Haruka> Haruka nods at that. "Nice to meet you, Yuuki." Haruka turns to look in the direction the dark haired girl had gone before facing the blonde and asks, "What the heck happened between you and that other girl anyway?"
[13:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> A sudden sneer takes over her face, what cuteness that was there vanquished. "I got a cute shirt before she did and she couldn't handle that. Little..."
[13:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> As she speaks, you feel a curious agreement come over you. That bitch! What did she do that for, anyway? You should've done her in the face with your foot but good, too...
[13:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "At least I still have this ring," she says, flashing a gold ring with a black stone inset.
[13:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "It's free today with any purchase! I can't believe they're giving away such a nice ring." Her sneer is still there, though, nasty as ever.
[13:25] <Haruka> "It is nice..." Haruka finds herself nodding along with Yuuki.
[13:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I think it's real gold, too... you should get yourself one before they sell out, Haruka." she nods as well with you.
[13:27] <Haruka> "I should, shouldn't I?" Haruka answers, her gaze not leaving the ring in Yuuki's possesion.  Haruka turns towards the store to do just that...
[13:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> The woman from before is still there, welcoming in more people. Of note is her hair, a braid across her forehead, just like Usagi wears her hair. "Come in," she calls. "Buy today and get our special Dark Stone Ring free!"
[13:31] * Haruka smiles at the woman and walks into the store, looking around for something to purchase so she could get herself that ring.
[13:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> Racks of clothes are about, all of a 'stylish' cut and make, nothing really cut and dried for day-to-day wearing. One shirt, a whitish dress shirt, catches your eye amidst the crowd browsing the racks.
[13:35] * Haruka walks up to the rack and holds it up for sizing and inspection, then nods to herself in approval. She looks about for a cashier to finalize the purchase.
[13:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another girl, one with brown hair braided down the back in a odd little yellowish top and skirt, takes your order. "That'll be 2,000 yen," she smiles, reaching under the counter and bringing out a black stone inlaid ring, just like Yuuki's.
[13:40] * Haruka hands the girl the money and tucks the bag with the shirt in it against her side as she takes hold of the ring. She places it on her finger to see how it looks.
[13:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> The ring is really pretty on your finger. Really, really pretty... sparkly... you just LOVE it, never wanting to take it off...
[13:44] * Haruka smiles darkly as her attention is drawn further and further to the ring. "My precious..."
[13:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[13:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> After school Wednesday Usagi heads home. Chibi Usa has been staying home with Mom the past few days, the two spending quality time together. If it just wasn't for Eiko...
[13:52] * Usagi-chan heads into the house. "I'm hooome!" she calls out.
[13:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hello, Usagi!" Mom calls out from the kitchen. "How was your day?"
[13:55] * Usagi-chan smiles and heads for the kitchen. "Not too bad... other than the part where I had to go to school." She makes a face, then grins.
[13:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That's good," she chuckles. "Eiko's out, so it's quiet," she notes, closing the oven lid.
[13:56] <Usagi-chan> "Thank god for small favors, right?" Usagi says with a grin. "Where's Chibi Usa-chan?"
[13:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "She's taking a nap," she smiles back, going into the living room to sit down. "She helped me with making the snacks today - " a cake, if a bit lumpy-looking, sits on the living room table along with plates " - and wore herself out."
[13:59] * Usagi-chan giggles. "It doesn't look too bad. Had a taste yet?"
[14:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yes," she nods, a piece already missing. "It's all right, why don't you hav - " Ikkuko is cut off by the front door opening, everyone's favorite grump coming in. (OOC - Usagi, Soul check, +1)
[14:01] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6+1
[14:01] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6+1 and gets 9."
[14:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> As she enters, you see wisps of black clinging to her, shreds of dark energy attached to her aura now.
[14:02] * Usagi-chan narrows her eyes as she looks at her cousin. "Where have you been?" she says in clipped tones.
[14:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Out," is her equally clipped response, not even looking at you as she heads towards the stairs, a shopping bag in hand.
[14:05] * Usagi-chan darts over and grabs her cousin by the arm. "That's not going to cut it today. Where?" she says, her voice urgent.
[14:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> She looks at you with narrowed eyes, jerking away from your touch. "Why don't you mind your own business," she says again, cold as a night on Pluto. "I don't have to tell a old, lonely dog where I've been."
[14:07] <Usagi-chan> "Think again, GIRL." Usagi emphasizes the word, glaring daggers at her cousin. "Now where have you been?" Her voice cracks like a whip.
[14:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> She hesitates just a moment, surprised at your tone, but quickly dismissing it. Without another word, she very unkindly shoves off you, heading upstairs without another word.
[14:10] <Usagi-chan> "HEY!" Usagi follows after her, spinning her around roughly by the shoulder as she reaches the top of the stairs. "Answer me!"
[14:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I don't have to," she sneers, "You aren't my mother, bitch." With that, she shoves back quite hard! (OOC - Body check, Usagi. -2 bonus.)
[14:12] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6-2 (10 EP burn as well)
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6-2 (10 EP burn as well) and gets 5."
[14:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi manages to hold her ground despite that, Ikkuko just starting to climb the stairs herself...
[14:13] * Usagi-chan shoves Eiko against the wall roughly. "I'm NOT playing around! WHERE?"
[14:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Soul check, +2, Usagi.
[14:14] <Usagi-chan> roll 2d6+2
[14:14] * Hatbot --> "Usagi-chan rolls 2d6+2 and gets 8."
[14:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you grab her, you notice the energy bits digging in deeper. "Bitch!" With that, Usagi is slapped, her hand matched with an expression of real anger and hatred directed just at you. "Know your place and leave me alone," she hisses.
[14:17] * Usagi-chan retaliates with a full-armed slap, snapping Eiko's head to the side. "I will NOT leave this alone," she growls.
[14:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> Reaching the both of you, Ikkuko steps in. "That is ENOUGH," she half yells. "I will not tolerate this in my house!" Eiko merely grunts again, this time pushing off Usagi and into a run up the remainder of the stairs.
[14:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi - The black energy around her is fading as she does so. Whatever it was, it seems to have burned itself off by that action.
[14:20] * Usagi-chan shakes her head, relaxing a little at the sight of the energy dissipating. "Sorry, Mom."
[14:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> As Eiko heads away and to her room, "Usagi," Ikkuko says, honestly surprised. "I don't blame you, but wasn't that a bit much?"
[14:23] * Usagi-chan lowers her voice, keeping her words too quiet for Eiko to hear. "Remember when you asked me if she was possessed? Well, when she came in here she was crawling with some kind of dark energy - that's why I was trying to figure out where she'd been." She shakes her head. "Like I could actually get her to tell me. It looks like it burned itself off though when she took off."
[14:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> Mom blinks at that. "She was," she lowers her voice to match yours, grabbing your arm to lead you down the stairs. "Is she evil or a monster...?"
[14:26] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "Not now... just back to her normal bratty self." She frowns a bit at that. "I'd like to know where she picked up that energy though - it doesn't just appear out of nowhere."
[14:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Now downstairs, she replies again. "Perhaps she is up to no good," she murmurs. "It might not be a bad idea to have Luna follow her around to see if she's doing something wrong."
[14:28] * Usagi-chan nods. "Couldn't hurt, that's for sure. I'll talk to her in a minute." She sighs. "I hope this isn't connected to those sisters that are after Chibi Usa."
[14:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Someone is after Chibi Usa," she asks, her eyes widening slightly. "Who? Why?"
[14:36] <Usagi-chan> "We don't know exactly." Usagi shakes her head. "Just that she was in trouble before she got here, and that the people who were after her might follow her here. We've been watching out for any kind of trouble ever since she arrived."
[14:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ikkuko frowns, glacing upwards, too the roof. "You don't think Eiko could be connected to them, do you?"
[14:38] <Usagi-chan> "Not directly, no. She got here before Chibi Usa did. But I don't know why she'd come home with dark energy all over her either." Usagi sighs. "And I doubt I could get answers out of her if my life depended on it."
[14:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> She settles down onto the couch, sighing. "Do keep an eye on her, and... LUNA, DINNER! LUNA, DINNER," she calls out, to get the Mau's attention in a way that won't raise suspicion. Sure enough, Luna comes down the stairs soon herself, yawning.
[14:42] <Usagi-chan> "Hey, Luna." Usagi greets the mooncat. "Mind taking on an assignment for a while?"
[14:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> "What's up," she asks, jumping into Ikkuko's lap, who begins petting the Mau.
[14:45] * Usagi-chan blows out a breath. "Eiko just came home covered with some kind of dark energy - and huge surprise, she wouldn't tell me a word about where she'd been." Usagi rubs the red hand imprint on her cheek. "I want you to follow her when she goes out and find out where she's going."
[14:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> Looking at your cheek with a vague anger, she nods. "Really now? No problem, Usagi, I'll be glad to."
[14:48] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Thanks, Luna. And don't worry - I gave better than I got," she adds, noticing the direction of the Mau's gaze.
[14:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You dusted her?" she asks hopefully. "Or sent her to another dimension?"
[14:50] * Usagi-chan grins. "Nothing THAT severe... but she's going to be feeling that slap for a while."
[14:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Crud," Luna says, with perhaps a small note of real regret. "But yeah, I'll keep an eye on her."
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 14: Haruka's Precious.... to Makoto Kino, Usagi's Hero!
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2006, 11:01:21 pm »
[14:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[14:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> Anyone who say Haruka that Thursday morning would think she was perhaps distracted - then they would see the ring and either be confused or smile to themselves, depending on if they were in the know about her or not. Through her morning classes, her gaze largely stays on it...
[14:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[14:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you finally escape another dry history lesson, Rei and Usagi relax. That's done for the day, at least, with lunch ahead.
[14:58] * Usagi-chan groans and stretches as the pair leave the classroom. "I swear I should take naps in there!"
[14:58] <Rei-chan> "He doesn't notice if you do," Rei snorts. "I've done it once or twice."
[15:00] * Usagi-chan makes a face. "I should probably just study my English more in there or something... I SWEAR Miss H is trying to make my life as difficult as possible. She calls on me three times more often than anyone else in the class!"
[15:00] <Rei-chan> "Maybe she just likes to hear your voice?" Rei teases as the pair enter the cafeteria.
[15:01] <Usagi-chan> "Oh yeah, I'm so sure." Usagi scowls. "More like she likes to drive me crazy!"
[15:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> Entering the cafeteria, something catches Usagi's sight out of the mess of auras about - one golden yellow one, with a black layer over it. A familiar black layer, to be specific.
[15:02] * Usagi-chan stops short, looking over at Haruka specifically.
[15:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Haruka is in the back, by herself, staring at something on her hand. Yep, that's quite a dark energy taint she has going.
[15:03] * Rei-chan follows Usagi's gaze.
[15:03] * Usagi-chan heads over towards Haruka, worry written all over her face.
[15:03] * Rei-chan follows, narrowing her eyes. 'You sense it as well?' she asks Usagi.
[15:04] <Usagi-chan> 'Yeah...' Usagi thinks with a frown. 'Not the first time either - Eiko came home with something like this yesterday.' She takes a seat next to the tall blonde. "Haruka? Are you feeling all right?"
[15:05] <Rei-chan> 'Really...' Rei files that bit away, looking over Haruka a bit more carefully as she tries to figure out what's causing the bad vibes from her fellow senshi.
[15:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei-chan - It's easy enough to tell that the thing on her finger - a golden ring with a black stone inlaid - is causing the problem. It's not being subtle...
[15:06] * Haruka barely acknowledges Usagi's presence, ignoring her question. Her attention is fully upon the ring that adorns her hand. "It's pretty, isn't it?" she remarks off-hand, not really directed at either senshi.
[15:07] <Usagi-chan> "No, it's not pretty at all," Usagi replies with a frown.
[15:07] <Rei-chan> Rei glances around the crowded lunch hall. "Hey, Haruka, want to come with us down to the office?" she asks, not wanting to settle this out in full view of everyone.
[15:09] * Haruka turns and glares at Usagi at the remark, not even bothering to turn to Rei as she answers gruffly, "No."
[15:10] <Rei-chan> "Are you sure? If we go down there, you can tell us all about your pretty new ring?" Rei wheedles, shooting a glance at Usagi and sending 'play along.'
[15:11] <Haruka> Haruka's features soften slightly at that, but she still seems unsure.
[15:11] <Usagi-chan> "Come on, Haruka - you can tell us how you found something that awesome. It looks really cool." Usagi fights an expression of distaste, but manages to get it out with a straight face.
[15:12] * Haruka smiles a hollow smile. "That sounds... nice." she replies, getting up from her seat to follow the pair.
[15:13] * Usagi-chan guides Haruka out of the cafeteria by the elbow, the dark glow surrounding her aura giving her butterflies.
[15:13] * Rei-chan leads the trio downstairs towards the Witches office, when she comes to one of the locked doors. Inputting the code on the keypad, she holds the door open for Haruka and Usagi. 'Get ready, Usagi,' she sends.
[15:14] <Usagi-chan> 'Ready when you are.' She heads through the door first, turning to face the other two as she does so.
[15:15] <Rei-chan> As Haruka passes her, Rei produces an ofuda in her hand, swiftly reaching out to stick it on the taller girl's back and crying out "Akuryo Taisan!"
[15:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> The ward slaps onto her back, causing Haruka to go board-stiff, straight up, moaning! Haruka feels a strange force going through her, blowing away the clouds from her mind as she is paralysed.
[15:17] * Usagi-chan quickly steps up to the taller girl and pulls the evil ring from her finger.
[15:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> It pops right off, warm in Usagi's hand and crackling a moment with dark energy! Haruka feels her body move again as she stumbles forward, her mind still clearing.
[15:19] * Rei-chan leans forward to support Haruka as she stumbles. "Are you alright, now, Haruka?"
[15:20] * Usagi-chan drops the ring like it's a snake, stepping on it with her heel as it clatters to the floor.
[15:20] * Haruka groans weakly. "No...?" she answers uncertainly. "I feel so," she thinks for the right word, but fails. "Blah."
[15:20] <Rei-chan> "That ring was filling you with evil energy," Rei tells her, "Where did you get it?"
[15:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> With a loud CRACK, the ring shatters beneath Usagi's heel, wisps of plainly visible darkness fading from the wreckage.
[15:22] * Usagi-chan shudders slightly as the energy dissipates. "Good riddance," she mutters.
[15:22] * Haruka steadies herself, rubbing her head wearily like a sobering drunkard. "Where did I get it...?" she thinks aloud. "Oh, over at the shop that had the grand opening recently." she finishes weakly.
[15:23] <Rei-chan> "A new shop?" Rei mutters, giving Usagi a look, "Sounds like the Dark Kingdom's style..." Turning back to Haruka, "Which shop?"
[15:23] * Usagi-chan nods in agreement, turning to Haruka. "Where is it?"
[15:24] <Haruka> "New Tokyo Fashions," she croaks.  "I think...."
[15:24] <Rei-chan> "I think a visit by the Sailor Senshi is in order," Rei says. "You feel up to it, Haruka?"
[15:25] * Usagi-chan nods sharply. "I'll bet that was where Eiko went too... she had a bunch of shopping bags when she came home last night."
[15:26] <Haruka> "Yeah, I'm up for it, Rei." Haruka replies.  "I've got some payback to dish out..." she finishes in a growl.
[15:27] <Rei-chan> "Let's go right now, then," Rei declares firmly, "This is more important than classes."
[15:27] <Usagi-chan> "As long as we can get lunch afterwards." Usagi nods. "I never got a chance to eat!"
[15:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[15:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hopping out of Mugen and into Haruka's car is no problem. Anyone who might think to stop you would know which students they're supposed to look the other way for. It's not an overly long drive, and you can see quite a clientele around and inside the shop. A vague darkness can be just seen or felt around the shop, foreboding.
[15:34] * Usagi-chan frowns. "That's the place, all right... dark energy everywhere."
[15:35] <Rei-chan> "So, what's the plan?" Rei asks. "We going to investigate like this first, or just transform and go in blazing?"
[15:35] <Haruka> "I vote for blazing." Haruka says, then adds, "But I might be biased."
[15:36] * Usagi-chan frowns, considering the possibilities. "What are we investigating, though? I mean, the place is swarming with dark energy - it's fairly obvious that's the source of those rings. But if we just go in blasting away, someone might get hurt."
[15:38] <Rei-chan> "I don't know what we'll find in there," Rei shrugs, "I was just suggesting in case you wanted to play it more low key to begin with."
[15:38] <Haruka> "Someone getting hurt would be the goal," Haruka quips with a smile.
[15:39] * Usagi-chan thinks for a minute. "Rei-chan, how about you and I go in and check it out to be absolutely sure, and Haruka can transform and wait for us in case something goes wrong while we're looking?"
[15:40] <Rei-chan> "Okay," Rei nods amiably. "If things go wrong, it should be pretty obvious," she adds with a smile.
[15:40] * Haruka frowns slightly at the thought of not getting a chance to reap immediate vengeance, but reluctantly nods at Usagi's wishes.
[15:41] * Usagi-chan nods. "Try to stay out of sight for now, Haruka. We'll be back in just a few minutes." Usagi opens the car door and climbs out.
[15:41] <Rei-chan> "Alright, let's go," Rei exits the car. "Keep a sharp eye out, Haruka. Things will probably start going to hell before too long."
[15:42] * Haruka nods at Usagi before turning to Rei with a smirk, "Give them hell."
[15:43] * Rei-chan nods, returning the smirk before she heads into the store with Usagi.
[15:43] * Usagi-chan grins. "I'm planning on it." She follows Rei inside the store.
[15:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going inside, you see that the racks of clothes are being perused by several people. A red haired woman in a dress suit is behind a small counter, watching and ringing up purchases... including, as you see, a ring to a girl who just bought something.
[15:45] * Rei-chan examines the red haired woman in case she's a youma or similar being.
[15:45] <Usagi-chan> 'Check out the front counter... did you see the ring?' Usagi thinks to Rei.
[15:45] <Rei-chan> 'Yeah,' Rei replies distractedly.
[15:46] * Usagi-chan looks around the store herself, as she sees Rei focused on the girl at the front of the store.
[15:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> Walking about, you see rack after rack of trendy clothes in this smallish boutique, as you can feel the negative energy. It's present, all right... all the people in here are having it infect their auras.
[15:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei - There is something slightly off about her. Maybe it's just the energy about, or something else, but...
[15:51] <Rei-chan> 'Something a little odd about that cashier...' Rei sends to Usagi, not having anything more concrete as she browses the store, trying to sense any particularly dense concentrations of the dark energy that infests it.
[15:51] * Usagi-chan turns her own attention to the cashier, seeing if she can make out anything more than Rei could. 'Looking at her now.'
[15:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei - Behind the counter...
[15:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> Usagi - Energy around the cashier, something off.
[15:53] <Rei-chan> 'I think those rings are being kept behind the counter - that's the biggest pocket of dark energy I can sense right now,' Rei sends to Usagi, still appearing to be idly browsing.
[15:53] * Usagi-chan frowns. 'I can't make out anything specific about her either... and I don't think there's much else we can do in here right now. Head back to Haruka?'
[15:54] <Rei-chan> 'Unless you want me to burn those rings?' Rei asks hopefully.
[15:55] * Usagi-chan blinks. 'Actually, that's not a bad idea. A fire would clear people out of here. Can you do it without anyone noticing it's you?'
[15:58] <Rei-chan> 'Easily,' Rei replies, glancing towards the counter out the corner of her eye as she fixes the location of the dense dark energy in her mind. Once she has it clearly defined, she wills a small but intense fire into existence within the area of intense energy, but as far away from the cashier as she can make it.
[15:58] * Usagi-chan tries to remain casual, looking through one of the racks of clothes as Rei works.
[16:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> The fire starts, soon a plume of smoke trickling up and a fire alarm going off. There is a general commotion, the woman behind the desk jumping out and away in shock.
[16:01] * Usagi-chan grabs Rei's arm. 'Come on, we should get out of here too - we can come back transformed in a minute.' She begins to pull the miko towards the door to the shop with everyone else currently inside.
[16:01] * Rei-chan allows herself to be pulled outside.
[16:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> Along with you, a torrent of shoppers reluctanly are emitted from the store as you make distance, amid the ringing of the fire alarm!
[16:02] * Usagi-chan heads for the nearest quiet alley to transform, looking around to make sure there are no spectators before she does so.
[16:02] <Usagi-chan> "Moon Prism Power, Make UP!"
[16:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> All the spectators are fixated on the store, making it simple.
[16:02] * Rei-chan stays with Usagi as she does so, producing her own henshin wand. "Mars Power, Make Up!"
[16:03] * Haruka finds herself a secluded spot to transform. "Uranus Planet Power, Make Up!"
[16:05] * Sailor_Moon heads around to the back of the store, looking for the delivery entrance. 'This way, Rei-chan!'
[16:05] * Sailor_Mars follows at a rapid clip.
[16:08] * Sailor_Uranus makes her way past the thinning crowd, the majority having already fled, and enters the store.
[16:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> A few girls blink at the suited Sailor of Uranus, but you get little resistance as Rei and Usagi find a back door... which is locked.
[16:09] * Sailor_Mars does her telekinetic thing to unlock the door.
[16:10] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6
[16:10] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[16:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> The lock goes, the door unlocked without TOO much trouble.
[16:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> Inside, the redhead is holding a burning metal box, full of melting rings, the same kind that got you yesterday. The woman puts it down, panicking.
[16:10] * Sailor_Moon quickly rushes into the burning building as the door swings open.
[16:11] <Sailor_Mars> Opening the door, Mars rushes inside and straight towards wherever she can sense the biggest concentration of dark energy.
[16:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> There is a tiny back room, which leads to the main room with Sailor Uranus and the cashier, looking at a burning box of rings quite distressedly. "Oh NO," she moans, holding her left hand, a glimmer coming from it.
[16:14] * Sailor_Moon focuses on the glimmer as she rushes out into the store proper.
[16:14] * Sailor_Mars follows Sailor Moon.
[16:15] <Sailor_Uranus> Haruka stands proud as she exclaims, "Invited by a new age, I am the magnificent Sailor Uranus, here to punish evil!"
[16:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Turning from the box, but still holding her hand, the redhead panics even more. "What?!"
[16:16] * Sailor_Moon poses as she enters the shop. "How dare you try to deceive people out looking for a stylish new look! I'm the soldier of love and justice, Sailor Moon, and on behalf of the Moon - I'll punish you!"
[16:17] <Sailor_Mars> "For fire and passion, Sailor Mars is also here to put a stop to your evil!" Rei chimes in.
[16:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> From amid the racks of clothes, a chuckle sounds out. With her back to you and her umbrella hiding the back of her silvery hair, Uranus reconizes the person from yesterday by voice and clothing. "Well, well, well. Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars," she turns, a smile on her face and her braid down, revealing a black, upside down crescent moon on her forehead, like Usagi's in reverse. "And did I hear Sailor Uranus, too? My, what a group!"
[16:21] <Sailor_Moon> "Who are you and what do you want?" Usagi shouts to the woman.
[16:21] <Sailor_Mars> "Are you the ones that came from the other dimension?" Rei demands.
[16:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> "My, you're even sharper than the last batch of Sailors," she laughs lightly, an ethereal sound, yet one tainted by an inner darkness, more like arrogance given sound. "I am Beruche, and I'm looking for a lost rabbit. If we find her, I'm sure we won't have to play with this city's Crystal Points."
[16:23] <Sailor_Uranus> 'Answer their questions so I can get straight to thrashing you....' Sailor Uranus growls mentally.
[16:24] <Sailor_Mars> "We won't let you come here and do as you please," Rei says forcefully.
[16:24] <Sailor_Moon> "Go back to wherever you came from... you aren't going to get anything here!" Usagi retorts.
[16:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh dear," she sighs, whirling her umbrella. "Such a disappointment... but no matter. Droid Fashiontista!" Fading back into the racks of clothes, the white haired Beruche vanishes, a green and grey, metallic-skinned feminine creature in a low-cut, stylish dress appears, two oddly crooked clotheshangers in hand - they're bent into almost looking like rods. "Destroy the brats!" Beruche's voice echoes from away.
[16:28] <Sailor_Mars> Keeping one eye on the droid, Rei looks to see what became of the cashier.
[16:28] * Sailor_Moon smirks. "Better than you have tried!" she retorts, even as the voice disappears.
[16:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> The woman has passed out, her hand visible - a ring is on it, black stone and all.
[16:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Initiative.
[16:29] <Sailor_Moon> roll 1d6+12
[16:29] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Moon rolls 1d6+12 and gets 15."
[16:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[16:29] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 6."
[16:29] <Sailor_Mars> roll 1d6+10
[16:29] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 1d6+10 and gets 11."
[16:29] <Sailor_Uranus> roll 1d6+14
[16:29] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Uranus rolls 1d6+14 and gets 18."
[16:30] * Sailor_Uranus gathers her power into her clenched fist, golden light spilling forth as she calls out her familiar attack, "World Shaking!!"
[16:31] <Sailor_Uranus> roll 2d6
[16:31] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Uranus rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[16:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[16:31] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[16:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> Sending rows of clothing down and torn asunder, the World Shaking crashes into Droid Fashiontista! The thing is knocked back several feet and to its knees by that, but it's still up.
[16:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you battle, you can smell an odd odor, burning metal as the rings continue to melt away...
[16:35] * Sailor_Moon swings into action next, bringing forth her scepter to destroy the not-so-fashionable Fashiontista! "Moon Princess Hallation!"
[16:35] <Sailor_Moon> roll 2d6
[16:35] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Moon rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[16:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[16:35] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[16:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> Just as it steadies from the World Shaking, Usagi's Hallation crushes the Droid, sending it back over a rack and into a wall, the clatter of metal rack frames and hangars heard in addition to the crunch of the wall as it slides across the floor! Leaping up, the thing reacts with agility to recover! "You little tramp," it calls. "And in such unfashionable outfits, too!"
[16:37] * Sailor_Moon snorts. "Like you're one to talk, Miss Fashion Disaster?"
[16:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh, the fashion police will get you for that jailbait outfit, girlies!" With that, the two hangers in its hands glow, two streams of cloth coming out, one towards Sailor Moon, and the other to Sailor Uranus!
[16:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[16:39] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 11."
[16:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[16:39] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 6."
[16:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> The one towards Sailor Moon hits a nearby rack instead, wrapping it with cloth, while the other goes right at Sailor Uranus!
[16:39] <Sailor_Uranus> roll 2d6
[16:39] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Uranus rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[16:40] * Sailor_Uranus sidesteps the attack casually, looking at the droid. "Was that it?" she grins. "I'm afraid you're going to go out of fashion at this rate."
[16:41] <Sailor_Mars> Glancing over at the smell of burning metal, Rei ceases the fire she started earlier, not wanting to risk it spreading.
[16:41] <Sailor_Moon> roll 1d6+12
[16:41] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Moon rolls 1d6+12 and gets 14."
[16:41] <Sailor_Mars> roll 1d6+10
[16:41] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 1d6+10 and gets 13."
[16:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[16:41] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 3."
[16:41] <Sailor_Uranus> roll 1d6+14
[16:41] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Uranus rolls 1d6+14 and gets 16."
[16:42] * Sailor_Uranus raises her fist to the air once more and releases her attack, hoping to finish it quickly. "World Shaking!"
[16:42] <Sailor_Uranus> roll 2d6
[16:42] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Uranus rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[16:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[16:43] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[16:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> The second World Shaking gets it, this time launching it straight up from the impact, the Droid cratering in the roof and falling to the ground, outright falling apart in the process, fading into nothingness as it does so!
[16:44] * Sailor_Moon breathes a sigh. "Nice shot, Uranus." She gives the tall senshi a smile.
[16:44] <Sailor_Mars> "Well, that was quick and painless - for us, anyway," Rei glances at the disintegrating droid, trying to sense if the dark taint is gone from the store.
[16:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> Rei - It's fading already...
[16:45] * Sailor_Moon heads over to check on the unconscious cashier.
[16:45] * Sailor_Uranus grins at Sailor Moon. "That was rather... therapeutic." she says with a happy smile.
[16:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Bah," Beruche's voice echoes through the store a moment later. "My, you got lucky... though with how pesky the last group of Sailors were... it's not surprising that it'll take some time to kill you girls, too! Tata!"
[16:46] <Sailor_Uranus> "Run, flee, hide." Sailor Uranus taunts at the retreating villain with a shake of her head.
[16:47] <Sailor_Moon> "Lucky nothing... we'll always beat creeps like you!" Usagi taunts back.
[16:47] * Sailor_Mars nods. "And compared to some other things we've fought, that really wasn't anything special at all."
[16:48] <Sailor_Uranus> "Sad actually." Haruka adds to Mars' comment.
[16:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> The cashier is unconscious and slightly burned on her hands, but looks fine. Her ring is gone now...
[16:50] * Sailor_Moon nods. "Looks like she'll be okay. Come on, we'd better get out of here - and I want to check on Chibi Usa first thing."
[16:50] * Sailor_Mars nods, heading back towards the rear exit.
[16:50] * Sailor_Moon follows Mars towards the rear of the store.
[16:51] * Sailor_Uranus follows the others.
[16:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Thus, the girls escape from the scene of another incident safe and sound, this time.
[17:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[18:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> After your successful droid greet-and-beat, Usagi eventually ends up at home. Chibi Usa is there, with Ikkuko in the kitchen as the two make cookies today.
[18:01] * Usagi-chan wanders into the kitchen. "Smells good in here."
[18:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> "We're making cookies," Chibi Usa says as, on a stepping stool, she cracks an egg and drops it into the mixture. While still somewhat overcast, she looks more relaxed now.
[18:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> "How was school, Usagi?" Ikkuko glances at you from keeping an eye on Chibi Usa, making conversation.
[18:03] * Usagi-chan comes and peeks over Chibi Usa's head at the work going on. "Short. Had to take off at lunchtime to take care of some stuff, so I'm starving."
[18:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I'll talk to you about it later," she agrees, glancing at Chibi Usa. "These are almost ready to cook, I'll bring you up a batch when they're done, Usagi."
[18:05] * Usagi-chan gives her mother a quick hug. "Thanks, Mom. And if you feel like talking in a little while, Chibi Usa, I've got a few more questions for you." She ruffles the girl's pink hair playfully.
[18:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> After a moment's hesitation, she smiles back. "I will."
[18:07] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Come on, let's do a little talking then. Mind if I borrow her for a little while, Mom?"
[18:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Sure, I can finish the cookies myself," she nods. "Go along with Usagi, Chibi Usa-chan."
[18:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hopping down from her stool and removing her slightly soiled apron, Chibi Usa comes along with Usagi. "I want some cookies, too," she says, going along.
[18:09] * Usagi-chan lets the girl wash her hands, then takes her out into the living room. "If it's okay, I'd like to ask you a little about those sisters who you said were after you." She speaks seriously, but retains her smile.
[18:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> Pink mini odangos drooping as she looks down, she speaks. "Those girls..." she says. "They're looking for me..."
[18:12] * Usagi-chan seats herself on the couch, pulling Chibi Usa into her lap. "They might be... we fought someone today, but I'm not totally sure whether it's the same people who are after you. Do you know their names or what they look like?"
[18:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Um... Cooan, Beruche... um...Calaveras... and..." Chibi Usa stumbles over the slightly tricky names, but gets them out more or less intact. "...I don't remember the last one," she finally says.
[18:16] * Usagi-chan nods. "Beruche was the one who left us a little present today. But we took care of it in no time flat." She gives Chibi Usa a confident grin.
[18:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Chibi Usa blanches a bit, but says nothing damning. "Oh... thank you, Sailor Moon."
[18:18] <Usagi-chan> "Hey, that's my job." She gives the girl a hug. "And now that we know they're here, it won't be long before we send them packing again."
[18:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> She smiles a bit, but then it fades like that. "But Mommy still needs help," she says quietly.
[18:22] <Usagi-chan> "We'll take care of that too." Usagi nods. "The Professor is already working on a way to get you back home. You'll be back safe with your Mommy before you even know it!"
[18:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay..." she says quietly, again looking away. "But... I still need the Silver Crystal to help Mommy..."
[18:26] * Usagi-chan wraps her arms around the girl in her lap. "We'll work it all out, I promise."
[18:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods hopefully. "Can I go back to the kitchen now," Chibi Usa asks. "I want to help with the cookies."
[18:29] <Usagi-chan> "Go for it - but save some for me!" She lets the girl get up.
[09:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[09:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another day on the books. After the swimming class with Usagi and Rei, and then another one, it's time to freshen up, which takes a bit. After that, Herb ends up ducking into the teacher's lounge. It's a nice enough place with a fridge, a couch, vending machines, a table, and so on. Of note, two people seem to be having a rather vocal argument. One is familiar, the rather distinctively odd teacher you met the first day of your job, the other a redheaded woman in a red suit.
[09:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "I told YOU," he grunts at her. "That it ISN'T possible for ME to do THAT!" several twitches accent his words, his eyes in danger of dislocating each time.
[09:58] * Princess_Herb wonders if they'll stop arguing now that she's here. She gets a tin of coffee from the machine whilst the argument continues unabated
[09:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Miss Haruna waves her arms, equally spastic. "Why not? It's easy enough for you to do, right?" she shouts, to accent her arm waving and generally brazen demeanor now.
[10:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another twitch, this one accompained by a wagging finger. "That's not the POINT!"
[10:04] * Princess_Herb takes a seat and drinks her coffee, while she tries to work out what they're arguing about.
[10:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> Miss Haruna stamps her foot, half furious. "Come ON! Look at me, I'm a flower," she poses, resting the back of her hand against her forehead, "in prime bloom! I deserve to catch someone equally stunning!"
[10:07] * Princess_Herb decides to say nothing, rather than say something dumb at this point.
[10:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Then ask HIM yourself," he twitches, walking away, muttering about 'crazy women'.
[10:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Miss Haruna glares at his retreating back. "Fine, I will," she grumbles, going over to get coffee herself before sitting down near you, still fuming.
[10:17] * Princess_Herb studies the unpicked flower carefully.
[10:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Her face is a portrait of stewing annoyance as she sips her coffee and simmers in her own juices. After a bit, she turns at you and glowers. "Can I help you?" Tou-CHY.
[10:21] * Princess_Herb rubs the back of her head in embarassment. "Eh, I guess. This is my first time in the staff room, and I don't really know anyone or what's going on."
[10:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh." Miss Haruna lowers her blasters a bit. "Well... um.... just pretend you didn't see that entire argument," she suddenly laughs, grinning way too much.
[10:25] * Princess_Herb blinks. "What argument?"
[10:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> "The one I ju... heheheheh," she smiles, nodding to herself. "Good..." With that she gets up, laughing to herself. "I'll get you soon, oh yes..." she murmurs, thinking out loud as she leaves.
[10:30] <Princess_Herb> "How strange the staff here are," Herb thinks. "Maybe I really will fit in here."
[10:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[11:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Getting the booze was a simple enough matter, not worthy of mention. Ann arrives at your apartment a bit past seven, Lime and Mint... elsewhere, as per logic's dictates.
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Hey," she smiles as she comes in, dropping off her light jacket near the door. "So, yeah. You wanted to try that alcohol stuff?" she asks.
[11:21] * Prince_Herb lightly embraces Ann-chan as she comes in. "Yes; the people here drink a lot of it, but I'm worried that it might affect you differently."
[11:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, returning the hug briefly. "Might as well find out," she agrees, walking in. "What exactly does it do, anyway? I heard it makes people loopy."
[11:25] <Prince_Herb> "That was just Minako..." Herb mutters. Out loud he says "People drink it to relax - it lowers their inhibitions, makes them feel warm inside."
[11:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Minako," Ann asks, interested. "A past girlfriend?" she grumps just a bit, sitting down in the living room.
[11:28] <Prince_Herb> "No girlfriend of mine," Herb says. "She was the senshi of Venus that left."
[11:29] <Prince_Herb> "A sad case," he says, as he gets the sake, the little cups, the heater and other paraphernalia ready. "I thought we'd watch a DVD while we tried this stuff, so I rented Snow White."
[11:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> "What happened to her?" Ann asks, as she watches Herb get all the various items. "Oh, I've seen it, but it's my favorite," she smiles widely at that. "Oh, to be Snow White and rescued by a handsome prince..."
[11:36] <Prince_Herb> "She was Rei's girlfriend, but apparently also a secret pop idol, out drinking the dangerous hallucinogenic alcohol called absinthe most nights. She went insane, or so I understand."
[11:37] <Prince_Herb> "I think we can arrange a handsome prince," Herb smiles, "the singing dwarves will be more difficult, though."
[11:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> That's a bit much for Ann to take in at once, the girl blinking. "Um... okay." Ann finally manages just that, coping with exactly what to say to THAT. "...although I wonder if Rei..." she mutters to herself, before shaking that away at the mention of Snow White, smiling again. "Ooooh! Well... maybe Rei's grandfather?"
[11:42] <Prince_Herb> "You're wondering if she has THAT mirror in her shrine? I can honestly say I never saw it." Herb jokes.
[11:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Er... nevermind," she says. "Um, sake, right?" she moves on from that, looking at the gathered tools of the trade.
[11:50] * Prince_Herb moves over to the coffee table by the couch to pour two cups of the warm liquor, then hands one to Ann-chan. "The flavour may be unpleasant at first," Herb warns.
[11:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Okay," she nods, eyeing it and sniffing it. "Whoa, it smells strong," she comments, moving her nose a bit away from it.
[11:58] * Prince_Herb sips a little of the warm fluid, "It's good, though."
[12:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "If you say so," she says finally, shrugging and taking a goodly swig from it...
[12:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "GAH!" she gasps, the cup dropping as her hands zoom to her throat, gasping. Her disguise ability blinks, her true form flickering with her human form... "It... burns!"
[12:02] * Prince_Herb looks worried. "Are you okay?"
[12:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Drawing in short, ragged breaths, her disguise ability finally fails, the elven girl sitting on your couch now. "Guh! How do you drink that crap?" she gets out between breaths, blinking her eyes as it impacts other parts of her body. "It's like liquid fire!"
[12:05] <Prince_Herb> "Eh, that's part of the attraction, I think..." Herb says, putting an arm around Ann to steady her. "I'm sorry."
[12:05] <Sailor_Anastasia> Still breathing a tad frantically, she shakes her head. "Fine, but...I think I'll pass on any more."
[12:06] <Prince_Herb> "It's good we learned that you don't react well to it now, though." Herb says. "It would have been a shock if we only learned it for the first time at the party."
[12:07] <Prince_Herb> "Let's just watch the film and cuddle. I'll leave the sake alone as well tonight."
[12:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, settling in to watch the film, not changing back to her human form.
[12:09] <Prince_Herb> "I like you like this a lot, you know." Herb says, kissing the points of the cute elf girl's ears.
[12:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> Giggling a bit on impulse to the stimulus, Ann turns to you. "Funny how it works out like that... then again... with how we met..." Ann muses, thinking back to the comic shop.
[12:39] <Prince_Herb> "It must have been fate," Herb suggests, enjoying the warmth of Ann next to him far more than the fire of the sake inside him.
[10:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
[10:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> Lately, the rumor mill has been abuzz at Juuban middle. A new girl, Eiko, is said to be a total prick, and stories of her already legendary encounters have been circulating through out the school. Mouthing off to the principal, her counselor... getting suspended from her first class group... yep, she's causing a buzz.
[10:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> Sadly, one morning for Makoto, the rumors start hitting closer to home. As you get ready for class, your first period teacher comes in with a black-haired, long-haired with highlights girl, who bears her school uniform like it's a disgrace. A pouty, stuck up twist of her lips graces her face, and you can just feel the utter comtempt she views each and every one of you with.
[10:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Class," your first period teacher begins, gesturing at the bitch, "We have a new student today. Miss Eiko Yoshima has just returned to Japan from abroad."
[10:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Miss Yoshima," he goes on after she fails to reply to that, "Why don't you tell us a bit about yourself?"
[10:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> She just wanders away, into the population of desks. "Whatever," is her only reply, getting the desk right behind Makoto. As she passes, you can smell strong, cloying perfume. This would be pleasant, if she hadn't perhaps used about five times too much.
[10:17] * Makoto can't stop from scrunching up her nose at the smell as the girl passes, but hopes it remains unnoticed.
[10:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Um..." your teacher stumbles a bit. "Fine... Class, why don't we begin now...?"
[10:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> If she noticed, she gave it no mind to you. Thus, the period begins. About ten minutes in, you feel a slight, annoying jarring. A few seconds pass, then it happens again. It feels like a nasty case of 'someone putting their feet against your desk from behind' syndrome, the bane of all students.
[10:19] * Makoto shifts her desk a bit, so as not to disturb the class, but at least give the hint that she's being annoyed to Eiko.
[10:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> Again, if she notices, she pays no mind, the jarring happening every few seconds. This makes it pretty much impossible to concentrate on the lesson, or to do much at all besides get disturbed.
[10:21] * Makoto frowns, and instead concentrates on sending a small shocks towards Eiko's feet.
[10:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> The first time doesn't do much, but the second time does. There is a pause of perhaps a minute, then it starts right back up again.
[10:24] * Makoto twitches, and tries to up the shock a bit.
[10:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> This time, you are rewarded with a bit of a yelp from her, the class and teacher stopping to turn to her. "Is there something wrong, Miss Yoshima," he asks, stopping his lecture.
[10:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Whatever," she grunts again, putting her head down to quite notably take a nap. A momentary battle to say something else passes over your teacher's face, but he shrugs it off. "Let's resume, class..."
[10:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> The rest of the period goes well enough, until a teacher change. Your next teacher notes the snoozing girl, going over to wake her up with a rap on the head with a ruler.
[10:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Wake up," your teacher says, the woman frowning in disapproval. "This isn't your bed at home, Miss."
[10:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Slowly raising her head to see the teacher, "Fuck off," she growls, giving her a one-finger reinforcement of that before putting her head back down. The class, who had been watching to begin with, goes into a stone cold stunned silence at that, gaping and staring while the teacher has a similiar reaction.
[10:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "EXCUSE ME," your teacher finally gasps out, dropping her ruler in surprise. "Miss Yoshima, this is unacceptable!" Fumbling, your teacher turns to the nearest student - Makoto. "Miss Kino, would you please escort Miss Yoshima to the office?" she asks of you. "I will not tolerate this disrespect in my classroom!"
[10:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> For her part, Eiko just ignores this, putting her head back down.
[10:34] * Makoto fumbles at that and eeps. "Uhm..." she tries to protest, sure that Suzuki would blame -her- somehow.
[10:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> Nodding, and pretty much reinforcing that you don't really have much of an appeal, "Thank you, Miss Kino," she says, turning back to Eiko. "No, Miss Yoshima, get your foul mouth out of my classroom!" AT this, Eiko shrugs, gets up, and says, "Whatever, bitch."
[10:35] * Makoto just lowers her head in resignation and gets up as well, moving to the door, with the pace of someone heading to her execution.
[10:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Get... out!" your teacher grinds out, her shock giving way to honest anger at being talked to in this manner. As you exit, Eiko just turns away from you, going in the opposite direction of the guidance office without a word to you.
[10:37] * Makoto is almost tempted, tempted to let her get away. Still, if she had to do this... "Hey wait, the office is the other way," Makoto calls out.
[10:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Fuck you, I'm getting out of this shitheap," she says, turning her nose up in disgust. "Go back and suck that bitch's cock some more." Perfectly frozen yet burning disdain coats her every word, as if this school is so far below her that it's an insult to be here.
[10:48] * Makoto twitches, as veins start to throb in her temple. Grabbing the girl's arm tightly, she says in a sweet voice, "The only bitch around is the trashy and smelly looking one I'm holding."
[10:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You don't like being called the little cumwhore that you are," she raises her face away from you. "You stink of cum," she tries to yank her arm away. "It turns my stomach."
[10:52] <Makoto> "While I'm sure that you have deep and personal experience with that stink, I think you need to smell yourself first," Makoto says not loosening her hold on the girl's arm. I think your brain has addled under all the fumes you've doused yourself under, you drama queen."
[10:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You little bitch," she hisses, a bit of her coldness giving way to pique. Her hand races across, a loud slap assailing your face. "Why don't any of you pieces of trash know your place here?" As if a switch was flipped, her cold demeanor is giving way to a surprisingly hot anger, almost from the dead blue. (2 damage.) Her eyes narrow, her face scrunching up.
[11:02] * Makoto looks at the girl with an incredulous look before shaking her head. "The only one that needs to know her place is you, little drama queen," Makoto says while tightening her hold on Eiko's arm painfully (2 damage). "Was your little stunt supposed to hurt?"
[11:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> Continuing the change from her haughty demeanor before, you can see her face and eyes just flood with red-hot anger, rage simmering below the surface that is just now erupting. "I said to LET GO OF ME," she yells abruptly, time time punching Makoto right in the face, and rocking her world just a bit! "LET GO OF ME!" (2 more damage, and the slightest trickle of blood from your nose.)
[11:15] * Makoto uses her free hand to touch under her nose, feeling the coppery liquid trickling out. "Okay, now that was just annoying," Makoto states, before pulling the girl in by her arm, and digging her free hand into her gut (6 damage), still holding back. "I'll let go of you once you're in the office and become someone else's problem, you little bitch," she hisses out.
[11:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eiko staggers, stunned for several seconds by the blow. Then she blows up herself. Screaming incoherently, she starts flailing at you, screaming like a banshee banished from the darkest pit of Hell! "LET GO LET GO LET GO!" As this happens, a rain of ineffectual blows comes down, and you hear doors opening and people rushing out behind you...
[11:24] * Makoto groans as people start flooding out of the rooms. "Don't you people have classes to deal with?" she asks, annoyed as she gives a quick chop at the base of the girl's neck, just hard enough to hopefully knock Eiko out so she can drag her to the office and be rid of the pest.
[11:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> At that, she falls like a sack, indeed rendered unconcious by your attack. As she falls, you hear, "Miss Kino, what happened?" your teacher asks, rushing out with a few other teachers from nearby classrooms.
[11:29] <Makoto> "She wouldn't go to the office, and when I tried to stop her she started attacking me," Makoto explains while sweating a bit, as she tries to pick up the slumped girl. It was the truth after all. Sort of. "She was making a commotion, so I knocked her out, so I can take her to the office without continuing to interrupt the classes."
[11:29] <Makoto> 'Please just buy that as it is...' she thinks mentally.
[11:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eiko is rather light, and not all that difficult to pick up. "I see. Miss Kino, let's take her down to the clinic," she nods, going up to you. Away from the other teachers, she speaks very quietly. "We'll get this straightened out, I'm sure. This is the second student she's attacked."
[11:37] * Makoto mentally releases a breath of relief, both for not having to deal with Suzuki, and the teacher taking her word as is. Nodding, she asks, "Should I just come straight back to class afterwards?" 'Or do you want me to stick around so the little bitch doesn't attack the nurse?' she also thinks without adding.
[11:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> Away from the crowd now, she speaks more normally. "You can go back to class - it'll be a free period until lunch now, anyway. I'll have to deal with this myself." Turning a corner to the stairwell, you take on the stairs. "Odds are that she'll get kicked out for this, regardless."
[11:42] * Makoto nods. "I'll be back soon then," she replies as she departs with Eiko over her shoulder towards the clinic.
[11:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, going down herself, but in the direction of the main office.
[11:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going to the clinic, it's a simple enough matter to despoit her there, washing your hands of this entire mess.
[11:48] <Makoto> After dropping Eiko unceremoniously onto a bed - and giving the nurse a quick rundown on why she was knocked out - Makoto starts heading back to class.
[11:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> Getting back to class, you can see the unsupervised students are abuzz with the developments of the morning, a general "What happened?" from them as soon as you enter.
[11:51] * Makoto simply walks up to her seat, ignoring the buzz for now, unless someone dares asks her personally intead of just buzzing around their guesses.
[11:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> After a short bit of that, the girl who sits to your right finally asks. "Hey, Makoto... did you really get into a fight with that Eiko girl?"
[11:53] * Makoto sighs. Figured someone would go ahead and ask after all. "Yes, I did," she replies simply.
[11:53] <Sailor_Anastasia> The class digests this, chattering about. "Wow," she says, eyes a-wide. "Did they have to call an ambulance or a hearse?!"
[11:55] * Makoto groans at that. "I only had to drop her at the clinic. I only really knocked her out."
[11:55] <Makoto> "I'm not about to get into fights that require ambulances..."
[11:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh my God! You knocked her out!" is her response, overplaying it. "Wow, Makoto can really lay it down.." Another guy near you murmurs, as the class gets prime gossip.
[11:58] * Makoto groans as the rumor mill starts twisting her words. 'Why do I even bother?' she thinks.
[11:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> Despite this, most of the class looks on with a certain respect and awe, the time going by fairly decently. The teacher isn't back at lunch time, and escaping from the classroom isn't that bad an idea...
[12:00] <Makoto> Deciding that escape is the better part of valor, Makoto beats a hasty retreat out of the room, deciding to spend her lunch in the more pleasant company of Alan.
[12:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann seems to have had the same thought, meeting you in the stairway up to her floor. "Hey," she smiles. "Heard there was a fight downstairs," she says as he settles in next to you, making conversation lightly.
[12:03] * Makoto groans yet again. "Not you too..."
[12:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Big story down there, huh?" she asks as you go into an abandoned classroom - a leftover of the days when Alan was here.
[12:10] * Makoto sighs. "No kidding. I wouldn't be surprised if the rumor spread all the way to Mugen."
[12:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "So then, what happened?" she pries a bit, sitting down. "Did someone make another joke about you and Alan?"
[12:12] * Makoto snorts. "I'm not that defensive, you know," Makoto replies. "No, it was Usagi's cousin. She's a really rude bitch who tried to 'show me my place.'"
[12:13] * Makoto smirks a bit at that last part. "Well, you've heard the rumors on how well she succeeded."
[12:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Rrrrreaaaaalllly?" she purrs, now quite interested. "That Yoshima girl? I heard about her."
[12:14] * Makoto raises an eyebrow at that. "Oh? Do tell..."
[12:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> "She's a total snob who hates everyone and got thrown out of one class already," Ann reports, going over the gossip. "They said she'll be expelled soon and that her parents will have to leave Tokyo in shame."
[12:16] <Makoto> "I doubt the last part much, seeing as she's staying with Usagi and her family, but I can see the rest," Makoto says.
[12:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann nods, opening up her large lunch. At least Ann can make up the cosmic defecit left here in the eating department by Usagi. "It's been what everyone in my class is talking about. Unimo won't shut up about it, as a matter of fact." A slight grimace there.
[12:18] * Makoto blinks and looks at Ann. "You're stuck with Umino? You poor girl..."
[12:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "I'm still in Usagi's old class," she explains. "Naru, Umino, and her old friends. Anyway..." Ann then starts on her lunch, a short silence as both girls begin eating. "I kind of miss Alan being around here," she comments to you, her lunch vanishing in Usagi-esque chunks.
[12:22] * Makoto nods a bit sadly at the thought. "Yeah, I know what you mean. It's just not the same."
[12:22] <Makoto> "I miss the sound of his song floating through the hallways."
[12:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods, smiling a bit. "You know... he said he misses you at lunchtime, too. You two are so lucky to have each other..." Ann smiles more, letting her thoughts move a bit...
[12:26] <Makoto> "Yeah," Makoto replies with a bit of a smile, before noticing Ann's wandering thoughts. "How are things going with Herb?"
[12:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann comes back to reality, crashing on down. "Oh? Well enough, I guess," is her comment. "Herb's a nice guy."
[12:28] * Makoto frowns a bit at how the answer was worded, but unsure of how to pry on the matter.
[12:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Stopping her assault on her meal, she sips from her bottle of water, slowing down. "Herb's a really good guy," she repeats. "He's nice, he treats me well, he's cute..."
[12:30] <Makoto> "...but?" Makoto asks, a bit sad that there might be problems between the two.
[12:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> "But...I don't know sometimes," she admits, looking unusually unsure and quiet. "You and Alan hit it off so perfectly - I got a bit of feedback from your, ah, special time before we healed the Tree. I like Herb... but after all that happened, I'm not sure if I'm with him because I want to be because I like him, or if because I feel like I should be for the Tree."
[12:34] * Makoto pauses silently, unsure of what to say just yet.
[12:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann ruminates silently for a bit, then fills up the silence again, still rather melancholy. "Hell... even if I have been forced into this, I'm not sure I'm unhappy with it. I just... don't know," she sighs. "I'm happier now than when we were attacking and... I like having friends. But..."
[12:38] <Makoto> "You still feel forced," Makoto says. Not really sure if her action is correct or not, she gingerly hugs Ann. "I'm sorry you feel like that."
[12:40] <Sailor_Anastasia> She returns it after an uncertain pause, separating a moment after. "Maybe, yeah. Maybe I'd like just to flirt a bit without feeling guilty, or try the field. Maybe I also want to sleep with Herb and make babies," she smiles oddly at that. "But I don't know right now."
[12:41] * Makoto coughs a bit at the last part of that statement, and releasing the girl, she gingerly smiles. "Just do what you think is best. That's all anybody can really do, I think."
[12:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> She nods. "If I just knew what was best right now," she murmurs. "Maybe..." Ann suddenly gets up, dropping her disguise magic. "Makoto, do you want to go see the Tree? I'd like some company," she offers, even sounding sweet instead of her normal edge.
[12:43] * Makoto blinks at the sudden disguise drop, but quickly nods. "Hmm... sure, why not."
[12:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann nods, taking your hand. A second later, the classroomscape of Juuban vanishes, the cold reaches of the Moon replacing it. The sapling perks up from the ground. To your eye, it does look a bit bigger already than it did that one first day...
[12:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann lets your hand go, sitting down right next to the sapling.
[12:46] * Makoto sits down at the other side of the sapling, smiling at Ann. "So why did you want to come up?"
[12:46] <Sailor_Anastasia> "To check on the Tree," she responds, shifting now so that she's laying belly down in front of the sapling, it taking up most of her plane of view now. "And because it's relaxing for me to see."
[12:49] <Makoto> Passing her finger over a leaf, Makoto nods. "It's nice to see it growing so fast too."
[12:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Yeah." Ann agrees in one small word, gazing at the growing sapling. "At this rate, you and Alan's children will be able to play under its shade." She smiles at you again, even with a bit of warmth.
[12:51] * Makoto starts coughing wildly, her cheeks flushed red. "C-c-children?"
[12:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ann giggles slightly. "Well, yeah. If my guess is right, you two are trying hard enough. Unless..." she raises her gaze a bit, to your belly. "you're already cooking?"
[12:53] <Makoto> "W-w-what? NO!" Makoto says, turning her flushed face away.
[12:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Laughing, Ann goes on. "I don't know what else you call it, though. That IS what you do to make babies, right?"
[12:55] <Makoto> "Well, yes, but you don't have to do it just to have babies..." Makoto stumbles out.
[12:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> "But then you can do other things if you don't want kids," Ann laughs a bit harder, rocking a bit. "Tried any of those with Alan?" she teases, her laughter becoming even stronger.
[12:57] <Makoto> "Uhm..." Makoto replies wisely.
[12:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Kidding," she shakes her head, still chortling strongly. "I don't really want to know what you and Alan do when he spends time at your apartment..."
[13:01] <Makoto> "Eheh.." Makoto laughs as she scratches her head. 'Well, it'd be weird to talk about that with his sister anyhow...'
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.

Offline Halbarad

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Post 15: Okay, Evil Ice Cream Is Just Going Too Far...
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2006, 11:45:49 pm »
[09:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> After getting a collection of thick, heavy, technical books, the task at hand looks even more imposing. The material within is highly difficult, even for someone as skilled as Ami. Not impossible by any means, especially since the theories are already developed, but difficult. Talking to Professor Tomoe about it helps as well, as he is able to point out useful things and clarify parts of it.
[09:26] <Sailor_Anastasia> Eudial and Viluy spend much of their time doing just that, as they are just barely able to handle the parts that are relevant to themselves.
[09:27] <Sailor_Anastasia> Getting in after classes and after Eudial and Viluy leave the Professor's office...
[09:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> The conversation has hit the clarifications and comments you needed, and is winding into other matters.
[09:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> "At this rate, we should be able to start serious construction in a week or so," he says, leaning back into his chair. "Two weeks at the outside - I'm worried about Eudial's progress in particular, this appears to be at the very limit of her ability."
[09:31] * Ami-chan blinks in surprise. "It is? I hadn't noticed. She's been having more difficulty?" She asks curiously, wondering why the professor is mentioning it to her.
[09:33] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, a bit sadly. "Eudial is a bright girl, but this is on a level past what even most intelligent scientists can understand. She's doing a good job of keeping up, but she's struggling... she spent four hours in here yesterday going over things with me." He smiles a bit, looking at you. "Ami, you're doing the best of the three by far. When we begin, would you keep an eye on them and make sure that they do well?"
[09:35] <Ami-chan> "Um... certainly." Ami replies, a bit embarrassed. "I'll do my best, but... I'm not sure how to watch over others in a matter like this... will she resent me speaking up?"
[09:36] <Sailor_Anastasia> "If you're correct, she shouldn't," he replies, looking at you. "Eudial is rather fiery, but she's a good person under that. She won't bite your head off, Ami."
[09:39] * Ami-chan blushes. "I understand, but... could you give me advice on how to proceed?" She smiles a little nervously. "I've never done anything like this before."
[09:41] <Sailor_Anastasia> He smiles back, quite warmly. "Of course, Ami. IF you notice something amiss, simply tell her and talk to her about it nicely. It's not hard at all, and it's a integral part of working with another person. Otherwise, you're just splitting up the workload."
[09:45] <Ami-chan> "I see." Ami nods, relaxing a little, and smiling back. "I'll do my best, then." she decides, and nods.
[09:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Good," he smiles back, glancing down at his watch. "It's already nearly six," he murmurs to himself, surprised. "The day is going by quickly," he notes, getting up. "I should be heading home."
[09:49] * Ami-chan blinks, and glances at the clock, her eyes widening. "Oh! I should be going as well. Was that all, Professor?"
[09:50] <Sailor_Anastasia> "That's all," he comments, stretching out his arms, but then back at you. "It is rather late, and it's a miserably hot day. Would you like a ride home, Ami?" he asks, deciding that there is no need to have you deal with such a nasty, wet, humid day.
[09:52] * Ami-chan hesitates, then nods, smiling. "If it's not too much trouble... I'm going to be late as it is now..."
[09:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It's no trouble, Ami," Tomoe replies, walking to the door of his spacious office. "Walking in this weather will just tire you out on top of everything else."
[09:58] * Ami-chan quickly gathers up her things, and puts what she can in her schoolbag, and follows him to the door, nodding ruefully. "Unfortunately true..."
[10:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> Going downstairs, the two of you lightly talk about nothing important. In the small private parking lot, the heat beats down on you the moment you step outside, at least ninety degrees and with nearly 100 percent humidity this late in the day. Truly nasty weather. Once in the car with the air turned up (a late model Toyota, rather nice and black in color), it's easier to talk and forget about the terrible heat. "Ami, you mentioned that your mother was a doctor?"
[10:04] * Ami-chan nods, wiping at her forehead delicately with her sleeve. "Yes, she works at the hospital as a pediatrician." she smiles, slightly proud.
[10:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, pulling out of the parking lot with practiced ease. "A bit taller than you, blue hair as well," he asks. "I think she may have seen Hotaru once back when she was a baby. The name Mizuno is familiar."
[10:09] * Ami-chan smiles. "That sounds like Mother..." she agrees, thinking a moment. "I wonder if she remembers you."
[10:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It was only one minor consultation among many," he shakes his head. "We went to several doctors when Hotaru proved to be a sickly child. I'm rather surprised I remember her, honestly."
[10:14] <Ami-chan> "Ah." Ami replies, nodding. "I can imagine why she would be memorable, though. She has something of a reputation for... bluntness." She says wryly.
[10:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tomoe nods as you drive down the street. "I remember something about that, too," he smiles a bit as well. "She said th- the hell?" he says, surprised. From the hood of the car, a thin bit of smoke is coming out, black and smelly.
[10:16] * Ami-chan blinks, and turns to look at the smoke, startled.
[10:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> Quickly pulling over to the side, he kills the engine, hopping out, a quiet but rankling curse muttered. Tomoe goes out and pops the trunk as more smoke seeps out and is promptly given a face and chest full of dark smoke, sending him away in a coughing fit. The main engine is giving it off, which is NOT a good thing at all. "Dammit!" Professor Tomoe curses, stumbling out of the escaping pillar of thick, black smoke.
[10:19] * Ami-chan slips out of the car and examines the smoke carefully, reflexive suspicion building in her mind, and checks to see if the smoke is staying cohesive, or dissipating.
[10:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> Wiping is now dirty glasses on the clean bottom of his shirt, he glares a the engine. The smoke from it is fading away slowly, the stink of burning metal pungent to your nose. "That had better not be the engine going," he mutters, clearly pissed and showing it with an angry scowl at the car. If anything, the humidity is making the cloying smoke and heat from the car worse, too.
[10:28] * Ami-chan wrinkles her nose, and moves around to look at the mess under the hood, trying to identify the problem if indeed it is visible.
[10:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> With all the smoke coming out, seeing much of the inner working of the car is a foolhardy task. Smoke sill comes out from the car at a good clip, stinking up the nearby shopping area, although the group of people around the ice cream shop doesn't seem to mind too much. With this sweaty, draining heat, that's probably understandable.
[10:35] * Ami-chan frowns, and glances to check whether the crowd at the ice cream shop is observing closely before she tries to do anything about the engine.
[10:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> They all are turned to face the ice cream shop - it looks like there is some sort of open air thing going on there, from the serving girls coming out, anyway.
[10:37] * Ami-chan touches the Professor on the arm gently, to get his attention. "If you stand back a moment, I can cool it down..." She offers.
[10:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> He turns, his anger vanishing to a small degree. "By all means," he nods, stepping back, taking a moment to wipe his brow off. It's HOT.
[10:43] * Ami-chan pulls her bracelet from subspace discreetly, and slips it on, focusing on a small area above where the smoke is coming from and concentrating, focusing on dousing the engine with a light shower of water, careful not to make it too cold...
[10:45] <Sailor_Anastasia> Water pours down and out, formed by your mystical bond with the power of water! Light hisses of steam burst out, small reports of cooling metal. Soon enough, you can see the engine as the smoke stalls and stops - it's pretty badly messed up, yeah. Hope Professor Tomoe's warranty is still valid.
[10:48] <Ami-chan> "I don't think this can be fixed, Professor." Ami murmurs, after examining the vehicle for a moment. "At least, not easily..."
[10:49] <Sailor_Anastasia> Looking on himself in soot-tinged glasses, he nods, muttering an additive to his thoughts, one that would be best not repeated. "No, I think I'm going to need a tow truck. My apologies, Ami," he turns to you, sighing and sweating.
[10:51] * Ami-chan shakes her head. "There's no need to apologize." she assures him earnestly. "These things happen."
[10:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> He glances back at his now useless car. "Yeah," he sighs a second time. Taking out a cell phone, he makes a few short calls, taking perhaps two minutes. "Well, a tow truck will be here within an hour," he says, again wiping his brow and glancing around. "If we're here..." Tomoe gets out his wallet, taking out a nice, big bill. "We may as well at least get some ice cream."
[10:59] * Ami-chan blinks, about to refuse politely, then reconsiders, the faint stickiness of the humidity changing her mind. "If it's not too much trouble..." she agrees, a bit shyly.
[11:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods. "Just bring me back something," he smiles. "And it's not too much trouble, compared to the trouble you've had because of this."
[11:02] * Ami-chan nods and smiled. "Please, don't worry about it. What would you like?" she asks.
[11:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Just a cup of vanilla ice cream, as long as it's cold." Professor Tomoe smiles again, glancing at his ruined car.
[11:06] * Ami-chan nods quickly, taking the bill and walks across the way, and moving through the crowd to the ice cream shop, looking around.
[11:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> The ice shop's name is on a billboard above the small building, the Bob-Floy. The name is familiar...thinking, you recall Artemis mentioning it in passing, and how it has good ice cream. A crowd of perhaps twenty people stand in front as ice cream is sold, all looking quite eager for the frosty treats.
[11:08] <Sailor_Anastasia> A counter in the front of the shop is there instead of a door, the ice cream and sales coming out largely from that. A few serving girls bring bigger orders out from a side door.
[11:10] <Ami-chan> "Hmm..." Ami moves up to the counter, glancing at the menu, and suddenly wondering about an ice cream float. She gets in line, waiting for her turn as she examines the choices...
[11:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> The crowd moves quickly and simply enough...though, one or two of the people look a bit overinterested, staring solely at the ice cream and the girl serving it. While her white, braided hair and face are kind of cute, she's not THAT stunning to get that level of attention.
[11:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Finally, the guy in front of you gets to the counter. "Give me a chocolate cone," he says quickly, with audible desperation in his voice. The woman at the counter smiles, producing the item shortly. Oddly, you don't see any money pass hands. "Thank you, and come again tomorrow!"
[11:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> The man barely steps away from the counter before tearing into it, not caring that he's getting chocolate all over his white shirt as he opens the counter up for the next customer, Ami. His eyes are solely on the ice cream...
[11:17] <Ami-chan> Ami frowns at that, but keeps the sudden uneasiness to herself, and approaches the counter. "I'd like a cup of vanilla ice cream, and an ice cream float, please." she asks, trying not to stare at the other customer.
[11:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Certainly. That will be 1,000 yen." The bill given covers that with plenty of change. The cup is quickly produced, as is the float. Looks good and cold and tasty, just the remedy for this heat.
[11:20] * Ami-chan accepts the items, and is sorely tempted to eat them, but there was something wrong with what happened there. She decides to hold off until she can examine it - though inwardly, she feels a bit paranoid.
[11:20] <Ami-chan> "..." She sighs, and heads back across the street to where the professor is, frowning.
[11:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> The girl behind you almost kicks you to get to the counter, ordering as you walk away. Such a rush.
[11:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you come back, he catches your expression but stays silent, glancing at the ice cream.
[11:22] * Ami-chan frowns deeper, and hesitates before handing over the ice cream. "That was strange..."
[11:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> "What was," he asks curiously, his expression neutral. "Did something happen?"
[11:27] * Ami-chan sighs. "I'm not really sure." She admits. "The product from the store seems a little more popular than normal... and apparently, the store doesn't charge some customers." She smiled sheepishly. "Though, Usagi is quite attached to ice cream as well. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid?"
[11:30] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe frowns a bit. "Well... it is hot today," he finally shrugs. "Maybe they're giving loyal customers a break today?"
[11:32] * Ami-chan nods. "Perhaps... though, one girl almost kicked me to try and get to the counter faster as I left." she adds. "That seems a bit much, even for someone who loves ice cream as much as Usagi does..."
[11:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> He frowns a bit more. "Yes... but..." he shrugs again. "It is just ice cream," he muses, sweat staining the sides of his shirt now.
[11:36] * Ami-chan slips out her computer, nodding. "I hope so." She agrees. "But since the others encountered those people chasing Chibi Usa-chan, I'd like to make sure... I'm sorry, I imagine this seems silly, but it'll only take a moment." she apologizes to the professor, beginning to scan the cups.
[11:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> Tomoe smiles, despite the heat. "I can't blame you," is all he says, letting the girl do her work.
[11:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> The scan finishes quickly. RECEPTACLE FOR DARK ENERGY IDENTIFIED X 2. DO NOT CONSUME.
[11:42] * Ami-chan feels a mixture of relief and a slight sense of dread as the scan finishes. "Dark energy..." she whispers, glancing over her shoulder, and then looking back to the professor, feeling a little better about her hunch now. "I was right. Eating this would have been our undoing."
[11:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> He frowns deeply, just staring at the now starting to melt ice cream treats. "I'll call Usagi and the others," he comments. "We can't let this go on any longer, then."
[11:45] * Ami-chan nods. "Please." she smiles. "I'll take these and throw them away quietly..."
[11:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> He nods, taking out his cell phone again. "That was close..." he shudders once Ami's back is turned. "Too close too..." With a quick dial, the phone in the Tsukino house.
[11:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> When Ami comes back from disposing of the vile stuff, Professor Tomoe is just finishing on the phone. "Some of the girls will be right on their way," he explains.
[11:58] <Ami-chan> "All right." Ami replies, smiling a little tensely. "Perhaps I should stay out of sight for now. If I'm seen exhibiting no symptoms after purchasing that, we may arouse suspicion..." she murmurs, opening the car door and sitting down to hide herself from direct view of the shop.
[11:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> It's even hotter in the car, though, the still-strong sun beating down on the metal...
[12:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> Shortly thereafter, Herb, Rei and Makoto arrive and find you, all interested in what is up. During this time, the shop does booming business.
[12:01] * Ami-chan exits the car, relieved to be out of the oven, perspiring a bit.
[12:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe nods to each as they arrive, until the last of the three get there. Gesturing discreetly at the ice cream stand, "Ami went to get us some ice cream there, and it turns out that it's a front to fill people up with dark energy," he explains quickly, keeping his voice reasonably low.
[12:03] * Rei-chan glances over at the shop, trying to sense anything herself.
[12:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - 2d6-2
[12:04] <Rei-chan> roll 2d6-2
[12:04] * Hatbot --> "Rei-chan rolls 2d6-2 and gets 3."
[12:04] * Prince_Herb inspects the engine, trying to see if the problem's something he knows enough to fix
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> Herb - New engine, likely. There was serious damage.
[12:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> The ice cream shop raidiates bad mojo, as well as many of the patrons to the shop. Ami thinks she sees the man in front of her in line again, still stained with chocolate.
[12:05] <Rei-chan> "Oh, yeah. Definite dark aura around there," Rei nods.
[12:06] * Ami-chan raises her eyebrows, nodding in agreement, wincing at the sight of the slovenly man.
[12:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> "It needs to be stopped," Professor Tomoe says quietly. "Before it can affect any of these people any more."
[12:07] * Rei-chan looks around for some place they can transform unnoticed. "Yeah. We'll put an end to this."
[12:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> There are some quiet sides to the buildings that would serve, yes.
[12:08] <Prince_Herb> "I hope you're not too attached to this car, professor," Herb says, closing the bonnet.
[12:09] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe just shakes his head, mainly intent on the ice cream stand.
[12:09] <Rei-chan> "Hmm... Probably best thing to do would be transform then enter via the back of the shop?" Rei looks at the other senshi for their thoughts.
[12:10] * Makoto nods. "That sounds as good a plan as any, Rei."
[12:10] * Prince_Herb nods.
[12:10] * Ami-chan nods. "They don't seem to use it for customers."
[12:10] <Rei-chan> "Okay, let's go," Rei leads everyone around to the quiet area around the back of the shop.
[12:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Do be careful, though," Professor Tomoe adds.
[12:12] <Rei-chan> Once at the rear of the shop, Rei holds up her transformation pen. "Mars Power, Make UP!"
[12:13] * Makoto follows Rei, also raising her pen upon being hidden in the back of the shop. "Jupiter Power, Make UP!"
[12:13] * Ami-chan follows Rei's lead, and raises her own pen. "Mercury Power, Make UP!"
[12:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Transforming in a swell of lighting, bubbles and fire, the Sailors Mars, MErcury and Jupiter arrive at the scene, ready to fight evil in the name of their planets!
[12:15] <Sailor_Mars> While waiting on Herb to transform, Rei tries to sense any focal point to the dark aura inside the shop.
[12:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Rei, 2d6
[12:16] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6
[12:16] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[12:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> Inside, nearer to the front than to the back...
[12:18] <Sailor_Mercury> Edging closer to the building, Ami presses on her earring to activate her visor, and begins looking for traps, or things that might catch them unaware...
[12:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> Scanning... there seems to be a spatial distortion, a very minor one inside the back area.
[12:20] * Prince_Herb calls out "Dragon Prism Power Makeup!" and transforms into the silken-thighed fighter for love and justice, Sailor Dragon!
[12:21] <Sailor_Mercury> "Be careful moving in, Rei... there's some sort of spatial distortion near the rear." Ami warns, taking her computer out to see if she can figure out what it is.
[12:22] <Sailor_Mars> Seeing everyone is ready, Rei tries the back door, "Okay," she nods to Ami, "The focus of the dark energy seems to be at the front, but there might be something else at the rear..."
[12:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> The back door is, predictably, locked shut.
[12:25] <Sailor_Mars> Shrugging, Rei does her usual telekinetic thing to remedy that.
[12:26] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6-2
[12:26] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6-2 and gets 5."
[12:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> The door opens with a click, a gust of mercifully cool air coming out. Ahead is a large freezer area, perhaps a bit bigger than it should be by looking at the size of the building. Tubs of ice cream are stacked all over the place.
[12:28] * Sailor_Mars enters, looking around. "This must be the distortion - it's too big for the building," she notes.
[12:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> It's quite cold inside, a welcome relief from the blasted heat of July's weather.
[12:29] * Sailor_Mercury moves in, and scans the room carefully. "I think you're right." she nods.
[12:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> On the opposite wall is a door, presumably leading to the front of the store.
[12:30] * Sailor_Jupiter shivers a bit as she walks behind Mars and Mercury, trying to keep her eyes open.
[12:31] * Sailor_Mercury moves up to the door, and uses her computer to scan just beyond it as she waits for Rei to approach.
[12:32] * Sailor_Mars walks up to join Ami at the door, grabbing the handle but not opening just yet. "Ready?" she asks the other girls.
[12:32] * Sailor_Dragon follows up.
[12:34] <Sailor_Dragon> "I'm ready." Herb says
[12:34] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you grip the door... "My, my. You girls have the strangest skill at finding your way into business that doesn't involve you," To Mars, the familiar voice of Beruche laughs lightly, appearing on a stack of ice cream tubs. This time, she wears a bathing suit-like baby blue garment with her white hair.
[12:35] * Sailor_Jupiter snorts at that, focusing on the enemy instantly and away from the cold. "Stopping villains like you -is- our business."
[12:35] <Sailor_Mars> Whirling at the sound of the voice, Mars poses dramatically and issues forth her speech! "Ice cream is the favourite food of everyone on hot days like this, for you to pervert it with evil is unforgiveable! In the name of the Moon, I'll punish you!"
[12:37] <Sailor_Mercury> "To addict people to evil is an affront to justice! Likewise, in the name of Mercury, you will be defeated!"
[12:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Oh dear!" she raises her hand to her cheek, as if in shock. "Such passion over ice cream... Droid Abominable! Come forth and splatter these pesky senshi!"
[12:41] <Sailor_Mars> "If it's anything like your last droid, why not save the trouble and just give up now?" Mars asks cockily.
[12:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> Suddenly, a mound of ice cream containers are sent flying, a stack of them punched by a large, hairy white beast! It towers at fifteen feet tall, pure muscle with a strange red fur patch that serves as a bizarre kind of bikini top and bottom. The tubs of ice cream hurtle at the senshi with surprising speed. (DCV check -1 bonus for all.)
[12:43] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6
[12:43] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[12:43] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6-1
[12:43] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6-1 and gets 4."
[12:43] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 2d6-1
[12:43] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 2d6-1 and gets 2."
[12:46] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 2d6-1
[12:46] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 2d6-1 and gets 10."
[12:47] <Sailor_Anastasia> Dodging and ducking the frozen projectiles, one thuds against Sailor Dragon's shoulder! (5 damage.) The speed at which it goes at creates a decent impact in Herb's shoulder!
[12:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Initiative.
[12:48] <Sailor_Mars> roll 1d6+10
[12:48] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 1d6+10 and gets 11."
[12:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[12:48] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 3."
[12:48] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[12:48] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 3."
[12:48] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 1d6
[12:48] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 1d6 and gets 1."
[12:48] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 1d6+13
[12:48] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 1d6+13 and gets 15."
[12:49] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 1d6+11
[12:49] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 1d6+11 and gets 13."
[12:54] * Sailor_Mercury narrows her eyes, focusing on the moisture and ice in the room, and visualizes the Droid's feet sticking to the floor, and ice forming to hold them there...
[12:55] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 2d6
[12:55] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[12:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> Ice begins to form at the monster's feet, wrapping its lowest body parts in a cone of ice!
[13:00] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Tsk tsk," Beruche sighs to the Droid amidst its protesting roar. "If that's the best you can do, these girls are going to have their way with you. Perhaps I can leave you some help..." As Beruche vanishes, a wind from nowhere picks up, a momentary blizzard spawning! In seconds, thick white snowflakes are clogging the entire area, a bitingly cold wind blowing through you! (+1 to all of your ACV/DCV checks.) You can barely see in the swirling snow!
[13:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> From the icy storm, a roar from the Droid echoes in the wind, the sound of ice shattering a second later!
[13:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:01] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[13:02] <Sailor_Anastasia> Missing Sailor Mercury by a mere inch overhead is a large ball of snow, impacting on the wall behind her and causing even more snow to rain down!
[13:03] <Sailor_Jupiter> "Damn! I can barely see..." Jupiter says as she tries to focus on where the attack came from. "Supreme Thunder Dragon!" she shouts as she aims in what she believes she sees the monster.
[13:03] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6+1
[13:03] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6+1 and gets 9."
[13:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:03] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[13:04] <Sailor_Anastasia> In the crackling blizzard, your Dragon soars out! Distantly in the storm, you think you scored a hit, a bellow of pain a moment later confirming it!
[13:05] <Sailor_Mars> Narrowing her eyes as she is pelted by the myriad snowflakes filling the area, Rei focuses on where she senses the droid, and the sound of its roar after Jupiter's attack, holding up her crossed forearms and crying out, "Mars Snake Fire!" as she unleashes the fiery viper's head at their foe.
[13:05] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6+1
[13:05] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6+1 and gets 7."
[13:06] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:06] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[13:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Cutting a momentarily clear path through the raging storm, the Snake Fire finds the monster! It stumbles, burned but still quite vital and ready to battle... you think, anyway. The storm makes it near impossible to see.
[13:11] <Sailor_Dragon> Hoping that the other senshi attacks have weakend the creature enough for her to take it down, Sailor_Dragon decides to unleash one of her most powerful attacks. "Soaring Dragon Spirit!" she cries out, rising off the ground as she does so. If she misses the monster, there's going to be an awful lot of melted evil ice cream in here, she thinks.
[13:11] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 2d6+1
[13:11] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 2d6+1 and gets 12."
[13:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> The winds buffet you as you rise, the attack crushing through the storm! But... you can't be sure, but you didn't hear any wail of protest, and the attack did go rather high...
[13:13] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Initiative, and each of you have taken 8 points of damage from the intense cold.
[13:14] <Sailor_Mars> roll 1d6+10
[13:14] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 1d6+10 and gets 15."
[13:14] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 1d6+13
[13:14] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 1d6+13 and gets 16."
[13:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[13:14] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 3."
[13:14] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 1d6+11
[13:14] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 1d6+11 and gets 12."
[13:14] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 1d6+11
[13:14] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 1d6+11 and gets 17."
[13:19] <Sailor_Dragon> "I can't tell if I hit it or not!" Sailor_Dragon says, before following up that attack with another. "Flying Sword of the Dragon!"
[13:20] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 2d6
[13:20] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[13:20] * Sailor_Dragon sends the knife-like ki into the howling storm
[13:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:21] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[13:22] <Sailor_Anastasia> Again, your ki flies out into the storm! A grunt from the beast, you think, is heard as it moves. The winds and snow cloak it well. You see no sign of it now, however.
[13:24] <Sailor_Jupiter> "Let's finish this thing quickly, I'm freezing here!" Jupiter states as she tries to focus on the monster. "Supreme Thunder!" she shouts as her tiara raises and electricity courses around her.
[13:24] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6
[13:24] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6 and gets 12."
[13:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> Supreme Thunder roars out... but due to your foot slipping on a forming ice patch, it's only electrifying the roof.
[13:28] <Sailor_Mars> Still keeping her eyes half-closed against the blizzard, and stiffening under the intense cold, Mars holds up her crossed arms and shoots a fiery serpent at where she thinks the beast is, crying out "Mars Snake Fire!" once more.
[13:28] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6+1
[13:28] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6+1 and gets 12."
[13:28] <Sailor_Mars> do-over!
[13:28] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6+1
[13:28] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6+1 and gets 9."
[13:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:28] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[13:29] <Sailor_Anastasia> Firing off her second attack, Sailor Mars sees a flaming snake battle through the foul weather, hopefully hitting the creature!
[13:36] * Sailor_Mercury reaches out and closes her eyes, concentrating hard as she puts all her effort into dispersing the raging blizzard, to allow them to see their opponent!
[13:37] * Sailor_Mercury rolls 2d6 burning 30EP
[13:37] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 2d6 burning 30ep
[13:37] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 2d6 burning 30ep and gets 6."
[13:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> Willing so, the blizzard finally begins to lessen and slack, just in time to show the monster, injured but still kicking, coming right at Sailor Jupiter in a outright body rush!
[13:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:39] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[13:40] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6+1
[13:40] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6+1 and gets 10."
[13:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> Hurtling into Makoto, the Sailor is caught by the yeti-like creature's charge and slammed into the wall! A second later, the monster follows, crushing the poor girl under its weight before picking her up and throwing her across the room to the other wall, near the door you came in. (48 damage)
[13:43] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Initiative, and four damage from the the blizzard being up part of the round.
[13:43] <Sailor_Mars> roll 1d6+10
[13:43] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 1d6+10 and gets 12."
[13:44] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 1d6+11
[13:44] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 1d6+11 and gets 17."
[13:44] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 1d6+9
[13:44] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 1d6+9 and gets 15."
[13:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> The blizzard has stopped now, the scene of barrels and tubs of ice cream spilled willy nilly about, along with a very crushed and bruised Sailor Jupiter!
[13:44] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[13:44] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 1."
[13:45] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 1d6+13
[13:45] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 1d6+13 and gets 15."
[13:50] <Sailor_Mercury> Again reaching into her power over water, Ami pictures a band of ice forming around the Droid's feet and ankles, fusing them together in a solid block!
[13:50] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 2d6 burning 10ep
[13:50] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 2d6 burning 10ep and gets 8."
[13:51] <Sailor_Anastasia> Mercury gathers her power, but can't quite manage to make it so to her will, the ambient elements resisting her effort!
[13:52] <Sailor_Anastasia> Now the beast is fully visible, roaring as it flexes and readies itself to charge again!
[13:53] * Sailor_Dragon takes a lead from Mercury-hime, and launches a low strike against the creature, trying to knock its feet from under it.
[13:53] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 2d6
[13:53] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 2d6 and gets 5."
[13:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> The creature doesn't evade, your blow slamming into it's legs! Despite that, the hefty creature is just too heavy to be taken down in one martial arts strike, only lightly injured!
[13:55] <Sailor_Jupiter> Jupiter growls as she recovers from that last hit, and she pulls out her mace, with the plan of smashing the monster down.
[13:55] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6
[13:55] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[13:55] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:55] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[13:56] <Sailor_Anastasia> The mace strikes the creature in it's upper leg, causing it to let loose a throaty roar of displeasure!
[13:57] <Sailor_Mars> Continuing her previous attack, Rei blasts the creature with yet another "Mars Snake Fire!"
[13:57] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6
[13:57] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[13:58] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:58] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[13:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> The fire strikes it, causing it to stagger back and singing its fur! Despite more pain and smoldering fur, it strikes out with one of its large hands at Makoto, the girl close enough to be its target.
[13:59] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[13:59] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[14:01] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6
[14:01] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[14:01] <Sailor_Anastasia> Dancing out of the way with her mace, Jupiter narrowly avoids the desperate attack of the monster!
[14:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> As you continue to battle, Beruche rematerializes, sitting primly on perhaps the only still standing stack of ice cream buckets. Beside her is another woman, wearing a pink leotard-like full body suit with a purple, spiky tutu at the waist and a big black/purple jewel at the top of her high, long, curly hair. "I told you, sis," the new woman says. "Your droids will just get... beaten down," she laughs mockingly, with Beruche seething beside her.
[14:05] <Sailor_Dragon> "Now that's a terrible outfit," Herb comments.
[14:07] <Sailor_Mars> Noting the new arrivals, Mars produces the Ash Rods in her hands as she prepares to really go all out.
[14:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Turning with whiplike speed to Sailor Dragon, she hisses. "It is not! This is a height of fashion, far better than that miserable Sailor Suit!"
[14:07] <Sailor_Anastasia> Beruche turns from seething to mild amusement. "You are a fashion disaster, dear sister," she chides, smiling less than nicely.
[14:08] <Sailor_Mars> "I can feel the sisterly love from here," Rei comments sarcastically.
[14:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You shut up," she growls at Beruche, then turns to Sailor Dragon. "I don't LIKE you... I think you need to see a REAL droid in action, little girl! Droid ElectraC! Come down!" In a flash of buzzing lightning and a thunderclap, a green-skinned and electric blue garbed (a short, short, SHORT dress, panties, and a flimsy top) woman appears, cackling.
[14:11] <Sailor_Anastasia> "My, my, sis! If you're so confident of your monster, why don't we go do something about that outfit while they deal with the Sailors?" Beruche vanishes with a chuckle, the other following suit with an angry glare at where her sister was.
[14:11] <Sailor_Dragon> "No, she's right," Herb agrees.   "That lovely blue outfit complements her appearance wonderfully. You look like you got dressed in the dark."
------
Meanwhile...
-------
[14:14] <Sailor_Anastasia> Having recieved a call about a possible dark energy source, Haruka drives down to the Bob-Floy ice cream shop. Nearby, you see a very sweaty Professor Tomoe sitting as his car is towed away, his attention on a nearby and closed ice cream shop.
[14:16] <Haruka> "Professor?" Haruka looks at the man questioningly.
[14:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> He gets up as you park, a short wave. "The girls are in that ice cream shop there," he explains shortly. "They've been in there several minutes now."
[14:18] * Haruka nods, tossing the man her keys. "If you need it," she tells the Professor before making her way to a secluded spot to transform.
[14:19] <Sailor_Anastasia> He catches them without further word. There is a bit of an alley to the side of the shop...
[14:19] * Haruka calls out, "Uranus Planet Power, Make Up!"
[14:21] * Sailor_Uranus then looks for a way into the building to aid her fellow senshi...
[14:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> There is a small front desk that's closed down with a metal slide down railing, and a back door. Cold is coming from the door... it feels kind of good, actually.
[14:23] <Sailor_Uranus> "An open door..." she mumbles. "Thanks girls." Haruka makes her way through the entrance, cautiously.
[14:24] <Sailor_Anastasia> In front of you is a battle scene, a wrecked freezer with the girls battling two monsters!
-------
And back in the storeroom...
-------
[14:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> OOC - Initiative.
[14:12] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 1d6+13
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 1d6+13 and gets 15."
[14:12] <Sailor_Mars> roll 1d6+10
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 1d6+10 and gets 13."
[14:12] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 1d6+9
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 1d6+9 and gets 12."
[14:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 5."
[14:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 1d6
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 1d6 and gets 4."
[14:12] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 1d6+11
[14:12] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 1d6+11 and gets 15."
[14:15] <Sailor_Jupiter> Taking advantage of still being close to the first monster, and hoping to finish it off before both monsters can attack together, Jupiter launches another swing with the mace.
[14:15] <Sailor_Jupiter> roll 2d6
[14:15] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Jupiter rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[14:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:16] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[14:17] <Sailor_Anastasia> Another crushing blow, this one right in its chest! It staggers as a spurt of greenish, nasty looking blood is coughed up, barely standing!
[14:19] <Sailor_Mercury> Ami stretches out her arm, and a blue, fluid ball appears in her outstretched hand. With a flourish, she lets it fly at the electric Droid with a cry of "SHINE AQUA ILLUSION!"
[14:20] <Sailor_Mercury> roll 2d6
[14:20] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mercury rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[14:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:20] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 11."
[14:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> The critically injured giant makes a final dive at Sailor Dragon, trying to land belly first on it and crush her onto the floor under its weight and bulk!
[14:23] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:23] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[14:24] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 2d6
[14:24] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 2d6 and gets 8."
[14:25] <Sailor_Anastasia> Unable to move fast enough, Sailor Dragon is caught under the beast and driven to the floor, hard! A painful crunching sound is heard as the Sailor of Dragons impacts with the cold, hard surface below! (48 damage) After that, with a final groan, the monster fades away, defeated and out of vitality at last.
[14:27] <Sailor_Jupiter> "That's one down..." Jupiter mouths, looking at the beastie remaining. "And one to go."
[14:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> The electric monster, hit by Mercury's water attack and sent to the floor in a heap, leaps up, showing that underneath her shirt is a decent green-tinted rack! As the monster on Herb fades, she glares at the downed Senshi. "Master Cooan is a fashion goddess!" With that and a wave of its hand, an arc of lightning crashes at Sailor Dragon!
[14:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:28] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 9."
[14:29] <Sailor_Dragon> roll 2d6
[14:29] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Dragon rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[14:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> Lightning hits the downed Sailor, crackling and frying her in agony! (39 damage)
[14:32] <Sailor_Anastasia> Twitching, the Sailor of Dragons doesn't move from her crater, her transformation slipping away as she fades into unconsciouness. Well, hopefully just that.
[14:35] <Sailor_Mars> Twirling the Ash Rods in her hands, Rei traces a pair of fiery circles, crying out "Mars Star Inferno!" as she releases a massive torrent of fire at the remaining droid!
[14:35] <Sailor_Mars> roll 2d6
[14:35] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Mars rolls 2d6 and gets 10."
[14:35] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6
[14:35] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6 and gets 4."
[14:37] <Sailor_Anastasia> The attack consumes the slight Droid, charring it and sending into a pile of ice cream buckets! It slowly begins to rise despite horrific burns, one of its eyes clearly burnpopped.
[14:37] * Sailor_Mars slumps slightly, feeling horribly drained by the attack.
[14:37] <Sailor_Uranus> A familiar voice cries out.  "World Shaking!"
[14:38] <Sailor_Uranus> roll 2d6
[14:38] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Uranus rolls 2d6 and gets 6."
[14:38] <Sailor_Anastasia> roll 2d6+6
[14:38] * Hatbot --> "Sailor_Anastasia rolls 2d6+6 and gets 13."
[14:39] <Sailor_Anastasia> As the droid lays there, the World Shaking rocks it, causing it to vanish as did the previous monster! Dusted!
[14:41] * Sailor_Mercury wastes no time, and hurries over to Sailor Dragon as the Droid vanishes, quickly examining her.
[14:41] <Sailor_Jupiter> "A bit more than fashionably late, aren't you, Uranus?" the tired Jupiter grumbles as she moves over to Sailor Dragon.
[14:41] * Sailor_Mars dismisses her Ash Rods back into subspace, staggering tiredly over to Herb as her transformation dissipates.
[14:42] <Sailor_Anastasia> Mercury - Herb has taken several serious injuries, including a few broken ribs and internal bleeding. She needs medical attention soon, sooner, soonest.
[14:42] <Sailor_Uranus> "Way more than a bit, Jupiter." Haruka replies embarrassedly.
[14:42] <Rei-chan> "Herb looks in a pretty bad way," Rei comments, hunching down.
[14:43] <Sailor_Mercury> "We need to get her to hospital, SOON." Ami says tightly. "This... is serious."
[14:44] <Sailor_Uranus> "We could take her in my car, but I'm not sure if she'd survive the trip..." Haruka says.
[14:44] * Sailor_Mercury looks up, shaking her head. "Can we call Usagi?" She asks. "We need to move quickly..."
[14:45] <Rei-chan> 'Usagi?' Rei tries to telepathically contact the blonde.
[14:46] <Usagi-chan> 'Hmm?' you hear Usagi's reply a moment later.
[14:47] <Rei-chan> 'Usagi, we need you at the Bob-Floy icecream shop right now,' Rei tells her, 'Herb's been hurt really badly.'
[14:48] <Usagi-chan> 'Right, I'll be there as soon as I can. Are you guys out of sight right now?'
[14:49] <Rei-chan> 'We're inside the shop in the back,' Rei continues, 'The place is empty besides us, I think.'
[14:50] <Usagi-chan> 'Got it. I'll be right there.'
[14:50] <Rei-chan> "She's on her way," Rei tells Ami.
[14:50] * Serenity-hime appears in a flash of light a few seconds later, looking around to get her bearings. "What happened?"
[14:50] * Sailor_Jupiter releases a sigh of relief. "Usagi..."
[14:50] <Rei-chan> "We fought a couple of droids," Rei says, staggering away from Herb to give Usagi room. "These ones did a lot better than the last one."
[14:51] * Sailor_Mercury looks up, and moves back as Usagi arrives.
[14:53] * Serenity-hime frowns as she moves over next to Herb. Laying her hands on the sides of the wounded senshi's face, she begins to mutter the words of a healing cantrip.
[14:53] <Serenity-hime> roll 2d6
[14:53] * Hatbot --> "Serenity-hime rolls 2d6 and gets 7."
[14:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Warmth passes from the hands of the Moon Princess, Herb's body glowing with golden light... (HP+20, current HP 15 and still very unconscious.)
[14:54] <Sailor_Anastasia> Herb takes a deep breath, her breathing more stable now.
[14:55] * Serenity-hime breathes out a deep sigh. "How does she look now, Ami-chan?"
[14:56] * Sailor_Mercury crouches beside Herb and examines her carefully, using only her visor. "She should be okay, judging by her looks, though she'll still need rest..." Ami estimates, before checking what her visor tells her
[14:57] <Sailor_Anastasia> Herb is somewhat better - the internal bleeding has stopped, and her ribs are a bit less mangled. She'll still need a few days of rest, likely, but she'll live.
[14:57] * Sailor_Mercury smiles and nods, releasing her transformation.
[14:58] * Sailor_Jupiter likewise lets her transformation go, but unlike Mercury, finds herself frowning.
[14:58] <Serenity-hime> "Where should we take her for now? I can just teleport her from here, but I don't know if she needs to go to the hospital or not." Serenity looks over at Ami.
[14:58] <Ami-chan> "She'll need to stay in bed for a while, but she'll live." Ami smiles, relieved.
[14:59] * Sailor_Uranus sighs disgustedly at herself, not really saying much.
[15:00] * Ami-chan ponders. "A doctor would be a good idea, but she can go home, for now, Usagi."
[15:01] <Rei-chan> "I think all of us could do with some rest right now," Rei sighs tiredly, working her limbs to try and get some of the cold-induced stiffness out of them.
[15:02] * Serenity-hime nods. "Probably best if someone comes with me to run interference just in case her servants show up." Serenity grimaces at the thought. "That or take her up to rest on the Moon."
[15:03] <Sailor_Anastasia> Carrying the injured Herb out, the oppresive heat of duskfall is strangely refreshing from the bitter cold of the ice cream shop as you head out. The Professor is rather relieved to see you and concerned over Sailor Dragon. "Is she alright... are all of you all right," he asks, seeing how all of you look rather drained in one manner or another.
[15:04] <Rei-chan> "Herb got the worst of it," Rei replies. "Although Mako-chan took a nasty hit as well," she gives a concerned glance at the tall brunette.
[15:05] * Ami-chan blinks at that, and looks over as well.
[15:05] <Makoto> "We're alive, but I won't say alright," Makoto mutters.
[15:05] <Usagi-chan> "Are you okay, Mako-chan?" Usagi gives Makoto a concerned look.
[15:06] <Makoto> "I'll be fine. My pride's more hurt than anything," Makoto tries to say with a smile, but failing to give a convincing smile.
[15:10] <Sailor_Anastasia> Professor Tomoe smiles at Makoto, pulling out the key Haruka gave him. "Haruka, did you want to drive? I was thinking Herb and Makoto would need to be driven the most urgently."
[15:11] <Haruka> "Sure." Haruka answers, feeling a bit guilty about the injury to her two teammates.
[15:12] <Makoto> "I'm really fine, I've been hurt worse before," Makoto tries to protest, and really preferring to be alone for now. She felt she had some things to think on.
[15:12] <Sailor_Anastasia> He shrugs. "Are you sure? Rei, how about you?"
[15:13] * Rei-chan shakes her head. "I'm just tired - the coldness isn't really bothering me now that I'm outside. I can walk home easily enough, though."
[15:14] <Haruka> "If I'm going to be taking Herb home, I'm going to need someone to serve as a guide." Haruka mentions.
[15:15] <Usagi-chan> "I'll go then. I've been to his apartment once before." Usagi nods.
[15:15] <Sailor_Anastasia> Thus, the girls depart, each to their own places and worlds... Makoto to think, Ami to rest, Rei to sleep.
[15:16] <Sailor_Anastasia> In the car ride, Sailor Dragon finally stirs, perhaps half way home...
[15:18] <Princess_Herb> *koff* *koff*
[15:18] <Sailor_Anastasia> As she awakens, her body aches dully in several places. You feel like you were run over by a bus, then dropped off the Tokyo Tower.  Oooh, it's sore.
[15:20] <Sailor_Anastasia> "Are you alright," Professor Tomoe asks, turning to the still battered Herb.
[15:20] <Princess_Herb> "What happened?" she croaks, trying to remember
[15:21] <Princess_Herb> "There was a fashion victim, and a yeti, and lots of stars."
[15:21] <Sailor_Anastasia> "You were injured in the battle," Tomoe explains. "We're driving you home now."
[15:22] * Haruka takes a quick glance at Herb through the rearview mirror, but concentrates on the road ahead.
[15:23] <Princess_Herb> "All right," Herb says, "I could definitely do with a rest."
[15:23] <Usagi-chan> "Ami says you should be good as new if you just take a couple of days off and rest up a lot." Usagi replies from the front seat next to Haruka, turning to look at Herb.
[15:25] <Princess_Herb> "Thank you, your majesty," Herb says, realising that the Queen must have had a hand in saving her neck.
[15:25] * Usagi-chan shakes her head. "You don't need to thank me, Herb."
[15:26] <Princess_Herb> "I want to, though. More than that, I think I want to sleep."
[15:27] * Usagi-chan smiles. "Sleeping is better than thanking me. Get some rest, Herb."
[15:28] <Sailor_Anastasia> He does so, arriving at home shortly there after for a good, long rest in his soft bed.
[15:31] <Sailor_Anastasia> ---
I am a terrible person.
Excellent Youkai.