A/N: This is the first in a series I'm writing for each of the manga arcs called Phases of the Moon. This series seeks to explore the emotions and unexplained in-betweens of the manga chapters while showing how the senshi, particularly Usagi, grow and mature. This first story will mainly explore Usagi's maturing into Sailor Moon, but will also explore the born-again romance of Usagi and Mamoru, as well as the Inner Senshi's acceptance of the past and their new responsibilities.
A few chapters throughout the series will explore the Inner Senshi's pasts and attempt to take a bit of a closer look at their lives. As most fanfictions do, the series will take some creative liberties but I'll do my absolute best to stay true to manga canon in terms of plot and personality. While the stories will focus on the manga's emotionally packed moments, I hope to balance all that out with humor and just enough action.
I don't plan to rewrite large chunks of the manga into the story as I feel that would waste a good deal of time, so it's best if you're familiar with the manga, but not a necessity when reading this series. Before each story chapter I will let you know what acts in the manga it is between or corresponds with. This first chapter takes place after Act 1 and before Act 2.
Please leave a comment. I've been gone from fanfiction as a writer for a few years and I'd love to know what you think. I promise future author's notes won't be this long! But I'd rather explain the series upfront and spare a lot of confusion.
Without further ado, here's the first chapter of Running Away.
Usagi wasn't what you would call the most skillful person around. She was clumsy, forgetful, a poor student, a bit of a crybaby, and sometimes just lazy. But she was consistent. Usagi was consistently late for class and consistently on time for meals; consistent in her grades (straight D's the last three years) and consistently distracted; consistently clumsy and consistently consuming ice cream. That's a skill right? Oh, and she was good at keeping secrets. She was very good at that. After all, successfully hiding that you're a soldier of love and justice that lives with a talking cat isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to do.
As Sailor Moon, she may not have incredible fighting skills, but she could wail loud enough to burst the eardrums of any enemy. Usagi was also good at running. Not like in gym class where you get all sweaty and sticky and nasty and your lungs feel like they're on fire. But when it came to running away from something like a monster or a nerd with a crush, Usagi could high tale it out of there in the blink of an eye. Sailor Moon often found this skill quite useful on her nightly adventures.
"Aaaaahhhhhh!" Usagi screamed as she ran around dodging laser shots from a youma. "Luna, how do I stop this thing? Ah!" the blonde shouted at the nearby black cat, ducking as a shot went over her head.
"Aim your tiara at the youma's eye. That's the weak point," Luna replied, dodging a beam herself.
Usagi ducked behind a stack of boxes to avoid the attacks. She peered around long enough to focus on finding the youma's eye. This youma was a gardening experiment gone wrong. It had a giant flower for a head with the eye in the center. Overgrown leaves formed its hands and feet. Usagi would find its appearance comical, but the fact that it was bent on killing her made it a little less laughable.
"Ok," Usagi said taking a deep breath. "Get lost you overgrown weed! Moon Tiara Action!" Usagi threw her tiara like a boomerang at the monster, the weapon magically meeting its target. Laser beams stopped shooting from the youma's eye and the monster disintegrated with a cut-off scream. Sailor Moon's tiara returned to her hand.
"Whew," Usagi breathed, shoulders sagging in relief. She jumped as Luna landed on her shoulder.
"Good job, Usagi, but we'll have to train a lot more," Luna said solemnly. "These youma attacks are becoming more frequent and they're bound to get stronger."
"More monsters? I don't wanna do this anymore, Luna!" Sailor Moon said, stomping her foot like an impatient child. "I wanna go home. I'm sleepy and I'll get in trouble if my parents catch me out of bed. Why can't we just leave it to Sailor V and Tuxedo Kamen? Why do I have to fight these stupid youma?"
Luna sighed, trying her best to reign in her irritation with Usagi. How was this immature child ever going to become a proper senshi?
"You can't rely on Tuxedo Kamen to come save you, Sailor Moon. As for Sailor V, no one's seen her for weeks," Luna lectured. "You can't rely on others. You have to become stronger to protect the princess. It's your job."
"Well I wish this princess would hurry up and show herself so she can stay up late and sneak out and lose sleep to fight these youma," Usagi snapped as she made for the exit. "I'm sick of fighting these things by myself." Luna fell off her shoulder as Moon turned on her heel to head home. Luna followed behind, running to keep up with the blonde's fast pace.
"Usagi-chan," Luna called after her, dropping her scolding tone. The cat caught up and jumped on the teen's shoulder again to gain her attention. "Usagi-chan, I know it's hard," Luna said in a consoling tone. "But you have to be strong on your own until we find the other senshi."
"And how long will that be?" Usagi asked grumbling. "It's been weeks since I became Sailor Moon and we haven't heard anything about the other soldiers."
"I'm sure they'll show up soon," Luna said in an apprehensive tone. "With enemy activity on the rise, they're bound to start awakening. Then I'll be able to sense them."
Usagi sighed in exhaustion. "I hope they hurry up then. I can't fight all these enemies alone."
Luna nuzzled her head against the blonde's in a comforting manner. Usagi grinned and scratched the space cat behind the ears. As they approached the house, Sailor Moon climbed through her bedroom window quickly and quietly, an impressive feat for her clumsy self even in senshi form. She returned to her civilian form as she sat down on the bed with a yawn.
"Let's get some sleep, Usagi-chan," Luna advised, fighting a yawn of her own. "You'll need to be alert. The enemy could attack at any time."
"Ugh!" the teen groaned into her pillow. "Don't remind me."
She was out in an instant, sleeping being another of her skills. Her snores filled the room, thoughts of sailor scouts and youma temporarily pushed aside.