About a month ago, as i watched the ending episodes of the third season again, i was wondering... Why the hell did Haruka and Michiru think they were so high and mighty?? I mean, yeah, they're older, they're a bit stronger, but still! What the hell! Weren't they newer to the senshi lifestyle than the others?(That's the impression that I got, anyway) What made them automatically think that they were better. I mean, besides the fact that they had that freaky dream... But Rei had that dream too! Well, this is what that thought spawned, despite the fact that my logic might be faulty. It was written quickly, so be kind.
Haruka grinned as she watched her princess finally finish off what had to be one of the ugliest youma she had seen in ages. Leave it to her koneko-chan to shriek and complain her way to victory. For the short time that she had known Usagi, and the even shorter time she had fought alongside her, the petite blonde had worked her way into the tomboy's heart.
Taking Michiru by the hand, she let her henshin fade back into her street clothes. Sighing in relief at yet another battle won, no matter how small, she let her usual cocky grin take over her features. "Well, that was fun."
Makoto scoffed as she helped an exhausted Ami up off of the ground. "Yeah. Fun. That's exactly the way I would describe it." Letting Ami rest against her, she shook her head at the tall blonde. "You're sick, you know that Ruka-chan?"
Michiru grinned. "If you only knew, Makoto."
Usagi, having attached herself to her precious Rei-chan's arm almost immediately after defeating the youma, grinned evilly. "Eh! Haruka's the kinky type!"
Ami blushed in the brunette's arms, and Makoto just shook her head again. A certain blonde Venusian senshi giggled. The rest just wisely ignored the comment.
Rei, having stayed silent no matter how many comments flew through her mind, finally decided to speak up. "Why don't we all go to the Jinja. Ojii-chan is away for a few days giving a seminar for smaller shrines, so the place is empty. We can celebrate our latest victory." She paused. "I also wouldn't mind the company." She added this last part with a meaningful glance at Usagi.
After all agreeing to the impromptu party, and after a brief argument about having a celebration about such an insignificant victory, they managed to make their way to the Hikawa Jinja.
Once there, they all settled in and the gossip began. As usual, Ami and Makoto held hands as they sat next to each other on the short couch that was against the side wall of the room. In the chair opposite of them cuddled Usagi and Rei, so utterly open with their affection that it made even hopeless romantics sick to their stomachs. Minako, alone for once since her significant other just happened to be working a shift at the gates of time, stretched out on her belly on the floor next to Ami and Makoto.
And, as usual, Haruka and Michiru were further away from the group, toward the back of the room, watching from their couch as the younger set of senshi talked and laughed.
The tomboy blonde leaned against her smaller lover, grinning as Michiru ran a hand through her short hair. Michiru giggled as she watched Minako sit up and do a rather good impression of the Fonz.
Haruka was in heaven. She was next to the love of her almost-immortal life, and she had a whole new family surrounding her. Nothing could be better than that. She closed her eyes and just listened to the conversations going on between the five talkative inner senshi.
"…and can you believe how pointless it was? Considering everything that's been thrown at us, you'd think that these stupid enemies would eventually understand that they're just wasting time by sending their minions!" Usagi flailed her arm around in the air to make her point.
Rei nodded as she ducked to avoid being hit with her girlfriend's flying appendage. "Very true. It'd be over so much faster that way, too. Get to the source of the problem and eliminate it. We could take care of it in a weekend instead of having to disappear from the house at all hours for months on end."
Makoto, Ami and Minako all nodded. The blonde on the floor sighed. "I don't think we've ever fought anyone who hasn't sent minions after us for at least a month before the final battle."
"That's not entirely true." Everyone turned to stare at Ami. Just by the looks on their faces, the bluenette knew they didn't believe her. "What about Fiore and the Kisenian? Yes, they sent those flower youma after us first, but they did fight us themselves the next day."
Rei shivered at the mention of that battle, unconsciously pulling Usagi closer to her protectively. "I never... think about that battle. I try to ignore the memory altogether." Shivering again, the senshi of Mars looked away to hide the pained look in her eyes.
Ami gave the raven haired girl a sympathetic smile. "I can imagine. That battle was one of the worst for all of us. Especially for you, Rei. But everyone's alright." She squeezed Makoto's hand for emphasis on her last statement.
Usagi smiled gently at her girlfriend and tugged on a bit of her raven hair to get her to look at the blonde. "Hey." Taking the miko's face in her hands, she smiled a bit wider. "I'm okay. We're all okay. Everything turned out just fine."
Taking a deep breath, Rei tried to calm her nerves. Bringing her gaze back up to her princess's blue eyes, she gave a shaky smile. "I know. And I thank the Kami every day for it, believe me. But…" She took another breath. "When you died… I couldn't…"
Everyone in the room turned to stare openmouthed at the blonde tomboy who was now standing with the most disbelieving look on her face. Obviously, the outburst had come from her. And, even though Michiru looked just as disbelieving as Haruka, she was also somewhat startled by her lover's violent reaction.
Silence filled the room for a long moment before anyone dared to even break it. And, when Usagi did manage to find her voice, it was hesitant. "Um… Ruka-chan… Wh-what do you mean by… well, 'what'?"
Running a hand roughly through her hair, she managed to make herself look even more crazed and confused than before. "What do I mean? What do I mean?! I mean, what did you mean when YOU said--" She pointed a finger at Rei. "--that SHE--" The finger then moved to point at a startled Usagi. "--DIED!?"
Minako, having sat up and scooted as far away from the obviously unbalanced tomboy, glanced from behind her shelter of the arm of the couch. "That's exactly what she meant. Usagi died, and…"
Michiru finally stood up and put a hand on Haruka's shoulder. "Haruka, calm down. Shouting will get us nowhere." Turning to the seriously confused girls in the room, she frowned gently. "What she is trying to say is that we did not realize that your battles before the daimon and Pharaoh 90 were so, if I'm assuming correctly from what you're implying, involved and, well… violent."
Haruka gave a grunt of agreement as her hand once again reached up to muss her hair. "Yeah! What she said!"
Makoto frowned. "Well, of course they were violent! And there were tons of those little bastards." She gestured to the inner senshi around her. "We're senshi. When aren't the battles violent? We've all fought and died at least once already."
Haruka's mouth dropped open and she stared at the brunette.
Usagi nodded, and started counting on her fingers. "First there was Beryl and the Generals, then there were Ail and Ann, then there was the entire Black Moon Clan and Wise Man. Not to mention Fiore and Kisenian…" She added this last one with a concerned glace at her girlfriend who winced when she was reminded again of things she'd rather forget.
Minako popped up from behind her barrier. "Yeah. With Beryl we were all killed. Then Usagi died while trying to save us with Kisenian."
Ami waved a hand in the air, having seen the looks on both Michiru's and Haruka's faces. "But everything turned out okay!" She gave a somewhat pained smile as she tried desperately to bring an end to the conversation that she had unknowingly started. "With Beryl, Usagi's final wish brought us all back. And with Kisenian, Fiore brought her back at the end."
Makoto held up a finger. "But she did die."
Minako was now sitting on the arm of the couch. "Can't forget us! We were all killed off one by one!" She let loose a growl and glared into nothing at enemies long dead. "Those stupid Doom and Gloom Girls… or whatever they called themselves."
Rei, having had the memories of final battles and Usagi's death brought up again and again, whimpered and buried her face in the blonde hair of the Champion of Justice.
Pulling the miko closer to her, the blonde rubbed a soothing hand up and down her back. "Minna! Can we stop all the death talk? I don't think Rei can take much more. We all know what happened."
A tiny 'eep' erupted from Minako's throat as a sheepish smile formed on her lips. Slowly ducking behind the arm of the couch again, she pointed at the two almost forgotten figures in the room. "Uhm… I don't think that they knew."
Haruka sat slouched on the floor, her legs having given out on her some time before. Her usually animated face was blank with shock. And Michiru wasn't much better. Although, she, at least, was still standing. But she had given up all attempts to keep her emotions hidden. Eyes wide, she stared without blinking at the group of five before her, with her mouth hanging just slightly open.
Obviously neither of the outer senshi knew of the past exploits of the inners.
Blinking a couple of times, Makoto frowned. "...they didn't know? How could they not know?"
Ami sat shaking her head, her hand covering her eyes. She had tried to do damage control. She really had. But the density of some of the senshi's skulls amazed her at times, her own Makoto's skull especially. Her voice sounded weary. "Mako… They weren't there. How would they know?"
Minako peeked up just long enough to ask. "But, what about Sets-chan? She knows all about those battles! She was there for at least one of them. Didn't she tell you guys? I mean, you live together."
Michiru popped out of her daze enough to close her mouth. "She never mentioned anything about your past to us… Or hers, for that matter."
Haruka shook her head, waking up out of whatever catatonic state she was in, and shifted until she sat cross-legged in front of the others. "So. Let me get this strait. All of you have… died before. But were brought back. Then Usagi died again, but was brought back. Do I have that right?"
Rei pulled her face out of Usagi's hair just long enough to mutter an affirmative before burying her face in the blonde's neck again.
Haruka frowned, scratching her head. "So… But… How…"
Michiru, who had managed to look dignified even when she was shocked and confused, sat next to her stuttering lover. "What I think she's trying to ask is, just how long have you five been senshi?"
Giving a slightly nervous laugh, Ami took the question. "Well… That would depend on who you asked." She pointed to Makoto. "She's only been fighting for… two years?"
The brunette shook her head. "Exactly two and a half years just last week."
Ami nodded. "Then that means that Rei has been fighting for two years and eight months, I've been fighting for at least two years and eleven months, and Usagi…?"
The blonde odango-atama looked up from her comforting of the still upset miko. "Just over three years. But Mina-chan's been doing stuff like this for a lot longer."
Minako's voice could be heard, but the girl refused to show herself. "I first henshined only two months before you, Usagi."
"No way." Haruka's speechless phase had passed, and now she just couldn't believe what she was hearing. "That would mean that you first transformed when you were…"
Usagi smiled. "Fourteen."
Ami, Rei and Minako all spoke. "Fourteen."
Makoto gave a nervous smile. "Fifteen."
Frowning, the bluenette on the couch tilted her head to the side. "How long have you two been fighting? I would imagine a bit longer than us, since you are older."
Haruka just shook her head silently, so Michiru decided to answer. But her voice was small and she stuttered for the first time any of the inners had ever heard. "J-just over one year."
Silence filled the room as both of the outer senshi shifted nervously under the intense gaze of their fellow warriors.
To the surprise of all of them, it was Rei's roaring laughter that broke the silence.
The raven haired girl was bent over double, one arm wrapped around her stomach. The other hand was gesturing at the two uncomfortable older women. "Y-you…" Her sentence was cut off by another bout of laughter. "You're… You're just rookies!!!"
An embarrassed blush overcame Haruka and Michiru's faces. The aqua haired woman just looked at her lap uncomfortably, while Haruka coughed into her hand, trying to look nonchalant.
Minako leapt up from her hiding spot, her hand over her mouth as she gasped theatrically. "You mean that… that… We are YOUR seniors? We ARE, aren't we?! SUGOI!!" With that, the bubbly blonde started doing what they could only assume was a victory dance.
Makoto scratched her nose. "Wait a minute. You had only been fighting for under a year when you first showed up?" She started scowling as she got angry. "And you were telling us what to do! As if you knew more about what was best for the world than we did! What the hell?!"
Michiru, never having faced the anger of the usually gentle brunette before, backed up just a little. "I… We thought we were more experienced. We had been fighting for so long already… and you all were so young." She glanced at Ami for help. "When we first encountered you, you were having such trouble. It seemed like you were new to fighting."
The bluenette grabbed onto Makoto's hand, making sure she stayed sitting down. "We just have weaker attacks than you. And that was our first experience with that particular enemy and we were unprepared. We did just fine after that, even when we fought without your help."
Haruka looked helplessly up at Usagi. "We thought that you were naïve. That you didn't know what was best." She blinked. "But you knew all along didn't you?"
Rei huffed, having gained some semblance of control over her laughter. "Of course she knew! She's our princess, for Kami's sake. Her heart tells her what she must do, and it's always right!" She nodded once, decisively, as if confirming that her words had been truth.
Haruka lowered her head. "We never should have doubted…"
Michiru, who still stood next to the kneeling tomboy, bowed her head as well. "Gomenasai. We should have trusted you from the beginning."
After considering them for a moment, Usagi shrugged. "You know what? It doesn't matter. You didn't know that we had been senshi for so long. And we didn't know you had been senshi for such a short time." Frowning slightly, she added. "Although a year of what we do is very tiring. I can understand why you didn't think I had much experience."
Biting her lip, Haruka nodded. "You do act a bit… silly during battles."
The blonde laughed a bit. "Understatement. I guess that, after a while of fighting, I needed to find a way to not take each battle to heart. I started making a game out of it, protecting and keeping my loved ones safe while seeing how many tentacles I could dodge before one managed to hit me."
Rei glared at her, and she laughed nervously as she tried to avoid the verbal lashing she saw coming. "I don't do it anymore! I like to get it over with as quickly as possible now." A gentle smile came over her face, and she pressed her lips lightly against Rei's jaw. "Because I have you to come home to."
After Rei gave a deliriously happy smile, Usagi continued. "Now, I think we should change the subject." She looked at Minako, a spark of mischief lighting up her eyes. "Since they're newer to the senshi lifestyle, they have yet to be initiated, don't you agree Mina-chan?"
The blonde perked up, giving an evil smile. "We must remedy that!"
Now flustered and a tad bit scared, the two present outer senshi were disappointed to see that Makoto, Ami and Rei not only agreed, but were the first ones to stand and start advancing on the two.
Before being dragged off to suffer whatever fate the five younger senshi had in mind for them, Haruka and Michiru looked nervously at each other, and smiled.