Author: A Writer of Fact and Fiction PM
Usagi and her friends discover another Sailor Senshi, and meet some very special visitors she brings from the future. This story occurs about a month after 'A Time for Lovers'.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Humor - Sailor Senshi/Sailor Scouts & Setsuna M./Sailor Pluto - Chapters: 16 - Words: 27,310 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 09-11-12 - Published: 05-24-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8146560
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Will you please calm down, Usagi-chan" Rei said. "No one's picking on you. Why are you always so paranoid about that anyway?"
"It's not fair that you can visit with your daughters, but Mamo-chan and I can't see ours!" the upset blonde replied.
"Well if you hadn't made her so mad at you in the future, she'd probably already be here. Did you even stop to think of that?" Rei grumbled. Seeing her friend's expression go blank, she added, "No, I didn't think so!"
"Setsuna-san, when the kids return to the future, can you take Rei with you too?" Usagi asked. "She's nothing but a grumpy pest here."
"I beg your pardon?" The miko glared back. "If it wasn't for my help, you'd probably be history by now, odango atama!"
"Minna, please." Mamoru gestured to the four little girls who stood quietly beside their parents. "Squabbling like this isn't setting a very good example for the little ones."
"Mamo-chan, it's not my fault that Rei is always so miserable!" Usagi insisted. "I feel bad that a sweet little girl like Akane-chan has to live with her!"
The miko's face flushed red with rage. "Why you arrogant little-!"
Before Rei could finish, Ami quickly reached out and covered Chieko's ears. "Let's all try to wait patiently like Setsuna-san asked us to" she interrupted the miko, her expression begging the feuding girls to stop fighting.
"Oh... all right" Rei relented. "But I'm doing this for you, Ami-chan. Not for her!" Her deep purple eyes regarded Usagi with scorn.
Puzzled at the lengthening delay, Setsuna excused herself from Usagi and Mamoru. "I'll find out what's taking so long for your daughter to arrive, and be back shortly" she promised. "In the meantime, everyone please enjoy the time together with your children. Remember that time is a very precious thing. Mamoru-san, why don't you escort Usagi on a quiet walk around the shrine's grounds? That may help ease the tension."
"An excellent idea, Setsuna-san" Mamoru agreed. Taking his girlfriend's hand, they followed the green-haired young lady from the room, much to a still flustered Hino Rei's relief.
Minako and Taro sat on the floor with their daughter between them. The other couples quickly followed suit, sitting in groups of three and chatting excitedly with their future offspring. "I really like your dress, Emiko-chan" Minako said. "It's very pretty."
"Orange is my favorite color too, Mama" the girl smiled. "When I grow up, I want to be just like you!"
"Do you have any Senshi powers, Emiko-chan?" Taro asked his child.
"Not yet, Daddy" she smiled sweetly at him. "But Sailor Pluto told us we should all get them very soon."
"Let's all hope she doesn't inherit Minako's impulsiveness as well!" Rei joked. "Or her carelessness. A pair of Minakos would drive me completely insane!" Ignoring her blonde friend's frigid glare, she asked her daughter, "Akane-chan, how long will you be staying with us?"
"Until tomorrow, Mama. We wanted to see how you lived when you were younger, so Queen Serenity sent us here to be with you."
"Queen Serenity?" the miko asked, puzzled. "You mean Usagi's mother from the Moon Kingdom?" She glanced toward Ami. "But isn't she..."
"No, Mama. Not her" Akane said. "Usagi-san is our queen in the future."
"Nani?" Rei was stunned. "That idiot odango atama actually becomes our queen?" She looked at Yuuichirou in horror. "We're all doomed!"
"I'm sure Usagi will have matured a lot by then, Rei-chan" Ami reassured the worried miko. "And we'll also have Sailor Pluto to help us."
"We'll need the help!" Rei scoffed, still unconvinced.
"Ah, Rei-chan, we may have a slight problem here" her boyfriend spoke. "How are we going to explain the girls to your grandfather? We certainly can't tell him where they're from or who their parents are!"
"That's a good point" Rei acknowledged with a concerned look. "Any ideas, Ami-chan?"
Her brilliant blue-haired friend pondered the question for a short while. "Well, we could tell him they are from... some other school" she suggested. "And that they've been sent here to learn things from older girls. Perhaps some kind of... field trip?"
"But they look just like us, Ami-chan" Makoto chimed in as she adjusted the green tie in her daughter's hair. "Won't that seem kind of suspicious?" Ami fell silent again, churning the problem over in her mind.
"Hai, they are like little copies of us, Mako-chan" Rei said. "Well, we'll just have to ask Pluto what to do. Our 'Queen Usagi' wouldn't send them here without some kind of cover story... or would she?" The miko frowned deeply. "You know, I bet she would! That royal imbecile didn't think this thing all the way through!" she fumed. "Some Queen! Ha!"
"How about bringing everyone out to my house in Nerima for the night?" Makoto asked.
"Mako-chan, Yuuichirou and I can't just drop everything, run away from the shrine and leave Ojii-chan here all alone. We have obligations!" Suddenly an idea dawned on her. "I still have some old miko clothing packed away from when I was young." She turned to her daughter. "Akane-chan, how would you like to be a trainee miko for a day?"
"Can I, Mommy?" the little girl squealed with delight. "I'd love that!"
"Of course you can, honey" her mother said. "I'm sure I can find something that will fit you."
"I'm going to be a miko!" Akane proudly announced to her friends. "Just like Mommy is!"
"Ami-chan, is your mother working tonight?"
"She is, Rei-chan" Ami replied with an understanding nod. "Ryo-kun and I can take Chieko-chan to my home after Mother leaves for the hospital, and bring her back in the morning before she returns. That should work."
"And Yuji-chan and I can take Midori to my apartment for the night!" Makoto added. "Problem solved!"
"Uh... what about our daughter?" Minako interjected. "My parents are home tonight so we definitely can't stay there."
Before the discussion could go any further, Setsuna returned along with a disappointed-looking Mamoru and Usagi. "It will be just the four of you on this visit, children" she announced. "Chibiusa won't be coming."
"Why not, Setsuna-san?" Emiko asked, also disappointed.
"She's being very uncooperative and stubborn today, so her parents decided it would be for the best to send her some other time" the Senshi told the little blonde.
"Like mother, like daughter" Rei teased.
"Quiet, you!" Usagi yelled, feeling more than a little hurt by the turn of events.
"You'll get to meet her eventually, Usagi-chan" Setsuna reassured the girl. "Don't take it so hard." The blonde muttered something unintelligible to the woman in reply.
To everyone's alarm, Hino-sensei picked that inopportune moment to walk into the room. "Yuuichirou-chan, are you slacking off again?" he growled at his apprentice. "We have visitors... out... side..." His eyes went wide as he noticed the children, and especially the sight of Akane sitting happily between Rei and her boyfriend. The Shinto priest leaned back with his hands on his hips. "Rei-chan, would you mind telling me what's going on?"
Rei looked up at her grandfather like a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar. "Uh... konnichiwa, Ojii-chan! I guess you're wondering why these kids are here" she grinned weakly at the old man.
"Now that you mention it, that thought did cross my mind" the priest said, his voice level and emotionless. "Care to explain?"
The miko stared at him. "Explain? Of course I can explain, Ojii-chan! They're... uh... they're just..."
Her diminutive grandfather folded his arms. "Go on."
Setsuna jumped into the conversation, bowing deeply to the Shinto priest. "My name is Meioh Setsuna, Hino-sensei. I represent an organization responsible for the care of these young children and have encountered a slight... ah... transportation problem. Your kind daughter and her friends have volunteered to look after these four sweet souls for the night. They are far from home and in need of a place to rest." She assured him, "They'll be leaving tomorrow and I promise they won't be a burden."
Rei cringed inwardly, not knowing if her wise old grandfather would buy the story. The priest stood silently for a moment, regarding each little girl in turn, and the teenagers who sat beside them. After another long, careful look at Akane, he smiled warmly. "That's very good of you to offer our help, Rei-chan." He next addressed the young woman. "This request is... highly unusual, Meioh-san, but... I think we can manage to look after them for you until tomorrow."
"Domo arigatou, Hino-sensei." Setsuna bowed again. "I knew we could count on the good people of the Hikawa Jinja to help us."
"Yes, certainly" Rei's grandfather said. "We're always glad to be of service here." He faced his apprentice. "Yuuichirou-chan, I'll cover your duties for the remainder of the day. Your new assignment is to help Rei and the other girls take care of these kids. They can sleep in this room tonight, we have plenty of bedding to make them comfortable. Please see to it." He raised an eyebrow, "Do you think you can handle this without making a mess of things the way you so often do?"
"Hai!" the apprentice grinned, nodding briskly. "I've got it covered, Hino-sensei!"
"Good. Then carry on." The old priest rubbed his chin, thinking, 'Am I seeing things, or does every child here look just like... no, it can't be! It's just some odd coincidence." Shaking his head, he left the room. 'Perhaps it's my old age...'
"That was close!" Rei breathed a sigh of relief after he had gone. "Arigatou, Setsuna-san."
"Mommy, who was that?" Akane asked the miko.
"That was my grandfather, honey. Don't you remember him from the future?"
The little girl's forehead wrinkled as she thought for a moment. "Oh! Now I do, Mommy. I remember seeing his picture!"
"His... picture?" The sudden realization hit Rei hard, and she took Yuuichirou's hands tightly in hers. "He's not with us then, Yuuichirou-chan. That means... he's..." The first of several tears slid down her face and the teenage boy comforted his grieving girlfriend with a gentle hug. Usagi hurried over to the miko and also threw her arms around her distraught friend's shoulders.
"What's wrong, Mommy?" Akane asked. "Please don't cry."
Mamoru looked questioningly at Setsuna, who shrugged. "That wasn't part of the plan, Mamoru-san."
After Rei had wiped her eyes and collected herself, she looked wordlessly at the blonde standing close by. Usagi cowered, expecting a nasty outburst, but instead Rei smiled at her.
"Arigatou, Usagi-chan" the miko said softly.
"I thought you'd be mad!" Usagi puzzled. "Why are you thanking me?"
"I'm thanking you for reminding me to make the most of the time we still have with our loved ones. Even if that wasn't your intention."
"Oh. You're welcome, Rei-chan" Usagi smiled back.