A/N: Hey guys! I'm sure you're all aware that school started last week. Due to this, I won't have as much time to write, so I'll only be updating every other week from now on. Sorry for the inconvenience, and I will do my very best not to miss an update!

"Yoo-hoo! Anyone home?" A voice yelled in Lena's ear, and she woke with a start, nearly falling out of her chair.

"Sea cucumber!" She burst out, looking from side to side, gathering her bearings. From the looks of it, she had fallen asleep in the cafeteria. People were turning around in their seats to stare at her, but she ignored them, looking for the source of her rude awakening.

"Sounds like one heck of a dream you were having." Someone sat down next to her. Lena turned around and saw James giving her a questioning look.

"Oh. Yeah. It was the strangest thing. I was at the grocery store when the checkout lady turned into a yoma and started shooting sea cucumbers out of her hands." She explained.

"Wow. Oh, hey, where's Sharon?" He asked, suddenly noticing her absence.

Lena cast her gaze around the cafeteria and spoke in a low voice. "Officially, she's home with a cold. Come over to Marie...Sharon's place later. I'll explain when there aren't so many people around." He looked worried, and she waved away his unasked question. "She's fine. It's just...like I said, I'll explain later."

James still looked uneasy, but seeing he wouldn't get any more information out of her, nodded and took a bite out of his sandwich. Lena planted her elbows on the table and rested her head in her hands, recalling last night's events.

Shortly after getting home, Sharon had fallen asleep where she was sitting at the table, exhausted. Lena had carried her into her room and laid her down on her bed, then called her parents to let them know she'd be spending the night at a friend's house. When morning came, Lena had tried to get Sharon up, but she refused to go to school. Lena made a point of telling Sharon's teachers that Sharon had a cold, but that excuse wouldn't last long.

The next bell rang, breaking into Lena's thoughts. "Better get to class. See ya later, James."

...

"Mom, Dad, I'm home." Lena called. She dropped her backpack by the front door and, dodging and weaving around her siblings, headed towards her room. She grabbed a couple suitcases and stuffed them with clothes, stuck her laptop in it's bag, and grabbed her purse. As an afterthought, she grabbed a duffel bag, planning to raid the fridge before leaving. She hauled everything downstairs, ignoring the herd of children following her.

"Mom? Dad?" Lena started, peeking into the kitchen. Her mom was at the stove, cooking something.

"Your father's in the living room, watching TV. What's up?" Her mom asked, turning away from the stove.

"I need to talk to you guys." Lena said. "Dad!" She yelled.

Lena's dad walked into the kitchen. "Someone call me?"

Lena nodded. "I need to tell you guys something. I'm moving out."

Her parents exchanged glances. "Moving out?" Her mother asked, raising an eyebrow. "You're only 16. And where do you think you're going to stay? You don't even have a job."

Lena sighed. "I know. I can get a job, and I know exactly where I'm going to stay. I'm moving in with a friend."

"A friend? And who would that be?" Her mother asked.

"I'm moving in with Sharon. Her parents died and she has no one else."

"Sharon? Isn't she 14?" Her father questioned. "If she really has no other family, she could move in with us. I'm sure we could-"

Lena groaned inwardly. "Dad, we barely have enough room for us. Sharon's been living with Marie, but she's gone, and she needs someone to-"

"Marie's gone?" Her mother asked.

Crap. How am I going to explain this one? Lena's parents had gotten to know Marie well since Lena had become a Senshi, Lena had told them that Marie was a tutor at her school who offered free sessions at her house.

"Sharon's been living with your tutor?" Her father asked quizzically.

"She's an old friend of Sharon's parents." Lena explained, hoping they'd buy it.

"If you say so, but where'd Marie go?" Her mother pressed.

"Um..." Lena racked her brain. "She..." Moved? Got kidnapped? Got turned into a super intelligent, super powerful monster by our former-ally-turned-arch-nemesis? "Um...she's away on business." She improvised.

"Tutoring business?" Her mother asked skeptically.

Sorry, guys. It's for your own good. "Look. Marie's house is already paid off, so the two of us can survive if I get a job. I'm not leaving Sharon alone. I gotta learn responsibility sometime, and now is as good a time as any."

"Lena, I don't-"

"I'm not asking for permission!" Lena said firmly. "It's not like you'll never see me again." I hope. She added mentally. "This is just something I have to do."

Her parents looked at each other for what seemed like forever, then back at her. Her mother sighed.

"If this is really what you want, then I guess we can't stop you. But if you ever need a meal, or a place to stay..." She trailed off.

Lena smiled. "I'll be less then half an hour away. Don't worry." Her parents walked her to the garage, and along the way, explained the situation the her siblings. 15 minutes and a dozen hugs later, Lena was in her car on the way to her new home.

...

"Sharon! You better not still be in bed!" Lena shouted as she dragged her things through the front door. She dropped them off in Marie's old room on the way to Sharon's. She pushed open the door and saw Sharon, still lying where she was before school. Before Lena could do anything, she was distracted by the doorbell. "I'll go get that. You really do need to get up though."

Lena made her way back to the front door and opened it up. "Hey, James. C'mon in." She let James in and he sat down on the couch. "Sharon, you have a visitor!" Lena yelled. Turning her attention back to James, she began to explain what was going on. "Okay, so...in a nutshell, Marie got possessed by a yoma. Now she's out to kill us."

"What?"

"Yeah And now Sharon's super depressed, 'cuz – oh, hey Sharon."

While Lena was talking, Sharon had come out of her room and was standing at the end of the hallway. Her clothes were wrinkled from sleeping in them, and she hadn't brushed her hair. "Hey." Sharon replied and sat down next to Lena on the couch.

"Look, you're going to have to snap out of this. Emo people don't make good roomies."

"Huh?" Sharon asked, puzzled.

"I'm moving in with you, now that Marie's gone."

"You don't have to do that."

"Yeah, I do. It's safer for both of us, not to mention my family. Marie and Karen never went to my house, and the longer I stayed there, the more likely they would find out where it was and target my family."

Sharon shook her head. "It doesn't matter, anyway. We can't do this with just the two of us."

Lena stood up, fed up with Sharon's pessimism. "Stop being like that! If you give up now, of course we can't do this. No matter what happens, we can't give up."

"And besides, it's not just the two of you." James put in.

"What?" Sharon and Lena asked simultaneously.

"I may not have super powers or anything, but you have me. That's gotta count for something, right?"

Sharon cracked a smile. "I guess so."

"So, in that case...you wanna catch a movie...or something?" He asked.

Lena stifled a laugh, and Sharon nodded. "Yeah, sure." She looked down at her clothes. "I'll just go change." She ran down the hall to her room.

"You sure know how to cheer her up." Lena commented.

"Yeah, I guess. We've known each other for years, and-"

"I'm ready!" Sharon announced, walking back into the living room in clean clothes.

James stood up. "Let's go, then."

The two waved good-bye to Lena and left.

"Ah, to be young again." Lena sighed, sprawling out across the couch and turning on the TV. "Those kids have it so easy."

A/N: And so, chapter 8 comes to an end! Lemme know what you guys thought!