Just a little transition between the R arcs. Focusing on how Usagi and Mamoru's relationship begins, because they are the cuteness.
It started with dawn.
Six people (and two cats) stood on the rooftop of a half-demolished building on the outskirts of Juuban. Rather than silent reverence or shock over the events that had taken place over the past few hours, the air was light with shrieks, giggles and shouts.
The senshi were operating on pure adrenaline, having spent all night facing off with Ail, An and the Makaiju. They felt refreshed, having emerged from battle with both sides victorious - a rare and treasured occurrence.
Besides which, they were delightedly torturing their leader and princess, who stood in unusual embarrassed silence next to a slightly overwhemled looking young man.
"I'm going to get a cool boyfriend, too!" "Yeah, one like Mamoru-san!" More giggles.
"Are they seriously standing there talking about boys?" a white cat leaned over, to ask a black one who stood next to him beside the girls.
"Yes," she answered, sighing. "Yes, they are."
They shook their heads.
Sailor Moon glanced at the rising sun with muted panic. She had been out all night. What would her mother say? Her head was starting to feel fuzzy.
"Are you okay?" Mamoru asked her, when she started to wilt beside him. She looked up at him in confusion.
"Mamoru-san?" And then she passed out.
The girls were on her in seconds, Sailor Mercury taking her vitals and announcing she was fine - just exhausted.
"Probably because she used the ginzuishou during the Moon Princess Halation, to purify the Makaiju," Sailor Mercury said.
Because the ginzuishou drains the princess's own energy, Mamoru thought. He remembered that, but not from last year - this knowledge was older. It was still so confusing.
His worry must have shown on his face because Sailor Venus sent him a sympathetic smile. "She'll be just fine. Could you look away for a moment?"
He complied and saw a flash of light out of the corner of his eye. When he turned back, Sailor Moon was gone and Tsukino Usagi was in her place. "It'll be easier on her not to have to maintain the transformation right now," Sailor Mercury explained.
Usagi opened her eyes and murmured, "Mama's gonna kill me-"
"Relax, your mom thinks you are at Rei's," Sailor Venus pushed blonde bangs back from Usagi's face tenderly.
She shot everyone a grin, "You don't superhero for years without learning a trick or two. The thirty seconds it takes to make a quick phone call on the way to battle could keep a girl from being grounded and fighting the next time. Well worth it."
It was at that moment that the building upon which they were standing began to shimmer and blink.
"The false dimension is collapsing in on itself," Sailor Mercury assessed quickly, her blue visor down over her eyes, "Now that Ail and An are gone, this building they created will disappear."
"Jeeze, what else could go wrong?" Sailor Jupiter cried, peering over the side of the roof, to the ground so far below. She knew the senshi could jump no problem, with the cats, too. But what about Mamoru, and now Usagi?
Just then, they all heard the sound of sirens, heralding the arrival of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police force - impeccable timing as always.
"You just had to ask what else could go wrong?" Sailor Mars demanded. Usagi sat up, putting a hand to her head.
Mamoru felt a little like he was in a movie. He had two lifetimes worth of memories to sort through, had just reconnected with Usagi and now they'd have to run from the police. Through a collapsing inter-dimensional building. After being nearly beaten to death by a sentient tree. Hell of a first day back.
"We'll have to go down what's left of the stairs," Luna said, "Let's go. Usagi-chan, can you walk?"
"She has trouble with walking on a good day, Luna," Sailor Mars smirked.
Jumping in before Usagi could waste precious energy on a scream-fit with Mars, Mamoru offered her his hand, and she accepted with a deep red stain to her face. Then they all started down what was left of the stairs after the tree's giant roots had receded.
The building seemed to shimmer away floor by floor, which actually made running down the stairs less dangerous than it seemed at the time. Mamoru was reminded of the virtual reality theater - something about the walls flickering made everything seem surreal. That, and Usagi's hand in his. All of it was some sort of shade of completely unreal.
The police arrived to nothing but an empty lot. The building was gone, the senshi were gone. They were left scratching their heads and wondering about the calls they had received. Oh, well. That was life in Tokyo.
Usagi was leaning heavily on Makoto, her eyes closing. Minako stood, leaning against a lamppost on the street outside the park. Rei and Ami held Luna and Artemis respectively. Mamoru looked at them all.
"Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Mercury," he said, looking at them each in turn. He had never officially been informed of their alter-egos, but it was obvious now. They smiled in return. He looked at Minako.
"Sailor Venus," Mamoru said. He didn't know her as well as the others.
"Previously known as Sailor V," Minako struck a pose, flashing the victory-sign with her right hand. Usagi gave a weak cheer for her favorite heroine.
"We should all get home," Ami said after a moment. "We need to get rest today and tonight so we are all ready to do our very best in school tomorrow."
"There is something wrong with you, seriously," Rei said.
"I'll take Usagi home," Makoto volunteered. Suddenly six pairs of eyes (two feline) were back on Mamoru and Usagi. Mamoru realized they were waiting to see how they'd say good-bye to each other.
What did they want with everyone staring at them?
"Bye everyone!" Usagi said, sleepily but with a smile, "I'll see you tomorrow after school, at the arcade!"
"I'll be there, too," Mamoru told her. "See you later, Odango atama." He smiled at her.
"It's U-sa-gi," she dazedly reminded him, as Makoto walked away with her. Luna padded along behind them.
The other girls dispersed as well. Ami wanted to stay and take Mamoru's vitals but he insisted he was fine. He promised if he felt strange at all, he'd go to the doctor's.
He was starting toward home when he noticed Minako and Artemis walking along side him.
"We're heading the same direction for a few blocks," she said.
There were only a few moments of silence, since Minako liked to talk.
"I figure you have a lot of stuff to sort out, so if you have any questions, you can ask me."
"Well, I take it we won against the Dark Kingdom," Mamoru said with a small smile.
"Oh yes," Minako waved her hands in a little cheer, "go good guys! We won."
Mamoru paused. Some memories were dark, blurry and difficult to decipher- he knew he was captured by the Dark Kingdom. And he knew for a while he worked with them - against the senshi-
"Stop." Her voice was sharp. She must have read the look on his face.
"Word of advice, don't touch on those memories. If we ever need them, I'm sure Rei or someone can try to access them for you but all you need to know is - we won. She won. And in the end - you saved her life so she could go on to defeat Beryl and save the world. And we all came back to live another day." Minako's gaze was clear.
"Oh, also - Princess Serenity made one last wish before the crystal killed her. She wished to come back and be a normal girl. So, we all came back with no memories of that past year. So if she ever tries to make you feel guilty about forgetting her - don't. In the end, it's her fault after all." Here Minako winked and waved. "Well, this is where I catch my bus. Later, Mamoru-san!"
And she left him to the strange quiet of the early morning. Mamoru went home and spent most of the day and night trying - and failing - to sleep.
To be continued in chapter 2: Monday