Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon.

(A.N: This links in with my fic 'Beauty of the Water, Tears of the Flame', but it isn't necessary to read it to understand this.)

Of Fireflies and Rabbits
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

What had been the point of moving back to Japan if this was all that was going to happen to her? School, school and even more school when the main schoolday was over; how fantastically fun…

"Tomoe-san, if you'd just come this way then we'll show you to your classroom."

Tomoe Hotaru groaned mentally as she followed the teacher down the winding corridors of Juuban Cram school, wondering for what must have been the millionth time why her aunt Setsuna had decided to send her there. She certainly wasn't failing – they were considering moving her up a grade in fact – and she couldn't really be bothered with extra credit work so there was really no point in being here, especially not when it meant she would be surrounded by retards and swots.

"Tomoe-san, this is your classroom. Professor Mizuhara will be…" Hotaru blanked it all out; she couldn't be asked to listen to a word this woman was saying; what was the point? At least back in America they hadn't been so hellbent on studying: but then again she'd had to live with her father and his dear new wife Kaori, which was the most horrible experience of her life: even studying was better than that, no competition.

Hotaru followed the teacher into her classroom where a bored looking middle-aged man was leaning against a rasied podium. She supposed that this was Professor Mizuhara. He and the other teacher exchanged a few words before Mizuhara showed her to a spare seat. She noted that the seats on either side of her were empty and wondered why he hadn't sat her next to another student. Then the door opened and a girl with long, blonde hair literally tripped into the classroom.
"Tsukino!" Professor Mizuhara snapped at the girl in question. "Late again I see. You need to get out of school earlier and come her on time for once."

"Hai," the girl, Tsukino, muttered and walked away from her scowling teacher, then took the seat next to Hotaru, who mentally sighed; it appeared she was stuck next to the class retard, wonderful. Could it get much worse?

"Are you new here?" the blonde next to Hotaru asked and Hotaru rolled her eyes.

"No, I've been coming here all the time, you've just been too much of a ditz to notice me," Hotaru muttered sarcastically but the blonde girl didn't hear her.

"What's your name?"

"Hotaru Tomoe… I mean Tomoe Hotaru, sorry."

"Are you from Europe or something? I know they give their names the wrong way round there…"

"America," came Hotaru's reply. "I lived there for a few months with my father. I was born in Osaka but I've moved in here in Tokyo with my aunt."

"America? Wow, I've always wanted to go there," the girl gazed up at the ceiling dreamily. "Maybe Mamoru would take me there one day… But anyway, why are you living with your aunt now?"

"That's none of your business really, Tsukino-san. It's just that my father's a complete bastard."

"Usagi is fine."

So that was this girl's name, Tsukino Usagi: she reminded Hotaru somewhat of a rabbit; innocent and vulnerable to be eaten by foxes…

"Your name means 'rabbit of the Moon', doesn't it?" Hotaru asked, although she knew the answer perfectly well already.

"Yes, and your name means 'firefly of the earth' right?"

Hotaru nodded: she liked her first name, just not her last name. Maybe she could change it to Mei'oh Hotaru; it'd sound far better considering she was living with her aunt, Mei'oh Setsuna, now. Maybe she could just get Setsuna to adopt her; she hated her father so much…

It was then that the bell rang to signal the end of classes, catching Hotaru by surprise. She stood up to leave but felt a hand on her shoulder and turned around to see Usagi smiling.

"Do you want to go to the arcade with me, Hotaru-chan?"

Hotaru-chan? Where did that come from?

"I don't really like the arcade…"

"Then would you rather go to Crowne Café? It's really nice in there."

"So I've heard," Hotaru replied, but before she could say 'no' her, her stomach growled in reply.

"Come on, let's go and get something to eat," Usagi exclaimed as she dragged Hotaru after her out of the cramschool and onto the street. "You remind me of a firefly, you know," Usagi mused, surprising Hotaru somewhat.

"I do?"

"Yeah; it's your eyes, they're so bright and shining, kind of like fireflies at night…"

"Well you really remind me of a rabbit."

"I remind everyone of a rabbit," Usagi laughed. "Or maybe something like a dog because they're really hyper and stuff… but yeah, I'm a rabbit. I like riceballs too actually…"

"You mean like the rabbit on the Moon?" Hotaru asked.

Usagi nodded, "Yep. Ah-hah! We're here."

They walked into Crowne and sat down at a table, Hotaru staring round absentmindendly while they waited for someone to return with the food they'd ordered. It was obvious to Hotaru that Usagi came here a lot; she seemed so natural in this kind of environment, while Hotaru felt quite out of place: she supposed that was from too many years of trawling round posh, snooty establishments with her father.

Soon Usagi's ice cream and Hotaru's black coffee arrived, Usagi seeming somewhat surprised by the fact that the other girl had no sweettooth whatsoever. They talked for a while over this snack: Hotaru mostly listened while Usagi talked to her, but she soon found her initial opinons of the blonde girl changing; she seemed so friendly even if she was rather a ditz. Most people kept away from her, so Hotaru wasn't used this kind of attitude towards her. Maybe that was what friendship was… yes, that was friendship and a new one had just begun. There was a reason she had moved back here after all…