Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon.
"I was always afraid that when you would run around, you'd break your pretty arms and legs."
-Immortal Rain, volume 3
Hotaru grew up running.
The first time she ran, actually ran, it was not long after she had come to live with Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna. A butterfly in the yard had caught her fancy, and being the young, innocent child she'd been back then she'd chased it with a determination that only a child could. She ran then—not any kind of run her track star father figure would know, but the kind of clumsy, tilting run of a learner, someone not yet experienced with the wind but eager to learn its ways.
While Michiru and Setsuna did their own thing in the kitchen, Haruka snagged a chocolate chip cookie and wandered to the back door, watching Hotaru through the glass as she nibbled on her stolen treat. Her eyes softened slightly, and a smile, almost sad smile curved her lips.
"Don't run too fast, hime-chan."
Hotaru raced the wind.
At fifteen she had matured into a lithe, muscular young woman who men lusted after and other women envied. At her freshman year only, she was already the rising star of the track team, and it was rumored that she was fast enough to match the legendary Tenoh Haruka.
She'd grown her hair out slightly over the years, but she kept it tied back half the time; she was tempted to cut it short again, but she knew doing so would break the hearts of both her mothers. Setsuna and Michiru loved her long hair. So for every race she ran, she tied her hair back, smiled, and waved to them in the stands.
She never waved to Haruka.
Hotaru never raced her competitors. Perhaps it sounded arrogant or cruel, but they didn't interest her. Usually, they bored her. They were a loud bunch that always talked about each other, challenging her and telling her they wouldn't lose. It was always the same story. She'd learned to tune them out long ago.
She never raced them on the track.
No, when she ran, Hotaru always raced the wind. She raced the wind because it was silent, because it didn't brag or challenge her loudly. She raced the wind because she could hear Haruka's voice carried within it.
"Don't run too fast, hime-chan."
So Hotaru raced the wind.
And she never waved to Haruka, sitting in the stands with that smile.
Because Hotaru knew that when she raced the wind Haruka was right there beside her, matching her step for step, breath for breath.
Hotaru raced the wind, and because of this, she also raced Haruka.
The only race Hotaru ever lost was the race of love.
No matter how fast she ran, how much she tuned out the murmurs in her head, she couldn't beat love. She couldn't outrun it, and for the first time, Hotaru lost a race. She wasn't fast enough to beat love, even when she ran with the wind at her heels.
Because love came in the form of a small, petite girl with her pink hair done up in an odango-style and eyes the same color as Setsuna's. And Hotaru found she was more than okay with losing this race.
She sat now in the same yard where she had run for the first time, clumsily chasing after a butterfly. She wasn't running now, though; no, she was resting back against the tree, quietly reading her textbook as Chibi-Usa—Hotaru still had a hard time thinking of her as Usagi, though she knew the girl was no longer so chibi—dozed next to her, her head nestled comfortably on the dark-haired girl, one hand gently tangled in long black locks.
Amused, Hotaru snuck a quiet look at her old friend and love before turning back to her book, inwardly grimacing. A soft yawn from Chibi-Usa told her the other girl was beginning to stir, and she smiled. "Morning, Chibi-Usa-chan."
"Hotaru-chan?" Still unwilling to be pulled from her dream world, Chibi-Usa nuzzled into the taller girl's neck. "Are we still studying?"
Hotaru gazed at the drowsy girl beside her; she smiled and closed her book, setting it on the grass beside her. "No. We're taking a break now."
"Good." Chibi-Usa's hand slowly freed itself from Hotaru's hair, going down instead to clasp her hand. "Sleep with me please? Maybe we can see each other in our dreams."
"Sounds like a plan."
Hotaru rested her cheek against Chibi-Usa's hair, closing her eyes with a soft sigh of contentment.
For the first time, she didn't mind the fact that she'd stopped running.
From her place at the glass door, Haruka smiled and slid her hands into her pockets, turning away so the girls could sleep in private, away from adult eyes.
"Don't run too fast, hime-chan," she murmured. "Never run too fast. You'll miss all the good things in life."
... I... have no idea what inspired this. It kind of just wrote itself, honestly.
Two SM fanfics in one day. That's got to be a record.
Read and review, please!