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The Greatest Power by ACM
Stronger than any super power is the power of a child with a question that no one wants to answer. However, with a few special techniques, a parent can work around it, temporarily.
Hotaru was a sweet and spirited little girl. She called Michiru, Setsuna, and Haruka her parents and they had very little trouble with her. She was completely harmless, until one night at dinner, when she decided to ask the question.
"Where do babies come from?"
Haruka nearly choked on her salad. Michiru and Setsuna just stared blankly. "Could you excuse us for just a moment, Hotaru-chan?" Haruka sputtered. She darted into the kitchen, followed closely by Michiru and Setsuna. At first, the three only looked at each other. Finally Michiru spoke up.
"So, What are we going to tell her?"
"I don't know. She was reborn and kept some of her old memories. Why couldn't she keep this one?" Haruka whined.
Technique One: Every Woman For Herself (Shameless Evasion)
"I don't know, but someone's going to answer her question."
Teal and deep blue eyes fixed on Setsuna.
"Hey, don't look at me," she said frantically, grabbing her coat from a hook on the wall. "It's, um, not my destiny to tell her. Yeah, that's it. Gotta go!"
Setsuna sprinted out of the kitchen, past the table where Hotaru sat staring with wide-eyed innocence, and out the front door in less than five seconds.
Hotaru was confused. What was taking Haruka-papa and Michiru-mama so long. She had asked a simple question. Could it be that they didn't know the answer?
Technique Two: Changing the Subject
"What are we going to do?"
Michiru was panicking.
"I guess the only thing we can do is answer her question."
"Or we could change the subject and hope she forgets," Haruka suggested.
Michiru was shocked.
"What? We needed a plan, so I came up with a plan. Do you have a better one?"
"No, I guess not."
Haruka and Michiru casually walked back to the table.
"So, where do they come from?"
"Hold on a second, Hotaru. Did you eat all your dinner?" Michiru asked, thinking quickly.
"Yes," Hotaru said sweetly.
"Did you drink all your milk?" Haruka tried.
"Well, go on and finish it!"
Too Haruka and Michiru's horror, Hotaru finished her entire glass of milk in one gulp.
"Hotaru-chan! How did you do that? You hate milk!"
"I know, but I really want to know. So, where do babies come from?"
'Oh no!' Michiru thought.
Technique Three: Distraction
"Um, come on Hotaru-chan. Time to do the dishes."
Michiru grabbed the child's hand and ran into the kitchen before Hotaru could say another word. She said her thoughts aloud to keep Hotaru from being able to say anything.
"Okay, we need soap..."
"towels and...Oh, what am I forgetting?"
"What is it, Hotaru-chan?"
As soon as she said it , Michiru was sorry. 'Oh no, she's going to ask me again, and I've got no where to run. I'm trapped in the kitchen. Way to go, Michiru!'
"Don't we need the dishes?"
Michiru sighed with relief.
"Yes, Hotaru-chan. I'll go get them."
"NO! No, Hotaru-chan. You stay here. I'll get them."
Michiru was back in the dining room in a flash.
"How's it going?" Haruka asked casually.
"No time to talk. I have to keep her busy."
Michiru ran back to the door.
"Haruka, I said I'm in a hurry!"
"Okay, okay. Sorry."
Michiru walked back into the kitchen.
"Michiru-mama, do you know..."
"The dishes! I forgot the dishes again!" Michiru shrieked and ran back into the dining room.
Haruka chuckled as Michiru scrambled to pick up the dishes.
"Oh, very funny. You won't think this is so funny when it's your turn," Michiru grumbled on her way back to the kitchen. Haruka stopped laughing.
"I'm glad you found the dishes okay, Michiru-mama. Where do babies come from?"
From the kitchen, Haruka heard the unmistakable sound of plates shattering, followed by a loud thud.
Technique Four: Bribery
The dinner plate catastrophe had sufficiently shaken things up at the Outers' house so that everyone had forgotten about Hotaru's question, including Hotaru, until two days later.
The Outers and Chibi Usa had gone to the park. Haruka was pushing Michiru on a swing while Hotaru and Chibi Usa were building a sand castle. Setsuna sat on a bench, trying to inconspicuously read a romance novel. She glanced up at Chibi Usa and Hotaru. They were whispering. Setsuna saw a look of surprise brighten Hotaru's purple eyes, but she couldn't hear what the girls were saying, so she went back to her reading.
"You really think I can use this to my advantage?" Hotaru asked in disbelief.
"Of course. This is the best part of being a kid. When they don't want to answer your question, they'll do anything to stop you from asking it," Chibi Usa answered.
"Well...Okay, I'll try."
Hotaru brushed the sand off of her purple overalls and walked over to Setsuna. She tried very hard to look cute and innocent as she asked, "Setsuna-mama, do you know-"
"Um, Hotaru-chan, why don't you wait on that question and we'll go get some ice cream for everyone? What do you say?"
Hotaru's eyes lit up.
Chibi Usa winked at Hotaru as they skipped off to the ice cream stand.
Technique Five: Exasperated Pleading*
*Note: This one is only used as a last resort!
Two ice cream cones and three carousel rides later, Hotaru decided it was time to let her parents off the hook, almost.
Haruka dropped Chibi Usa off at her house then headed for home. The family had a late dinner, since everyone had filled up on ice cream. After cleaning her plate and placing it in the sink, Hotaru decided to ask one last time.
"Michiru-mama, Haruka-papa, Setsuna-mama, would one of you please answer my question! Where do babies come from?"
Hotaru forced her sweet face to look frustrated. Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna looked completely exhausted. Finally Michiru spoke.
"Hotaru-chan, we want to be honest with you, but..."
"We just don't think we should tell you until you're older," Setsuna finished as the three older senshi picked up their plates to take them into the kitchen.
All of them stared at Hotaru as though expecting her to explode at any moment, but she grinned broadly.
"That's okay. Chibi Usa told me this afternoon," she said and skipped away.
From the dining room, Hotaru heard the unmistakable sound of plates shattering, followed by three loud thuds.