When the Senshi Are Away, the Cats Will Play
Mamoru sat on the uncomfortable chair sitting just outside customs, while considering Luna's admonition not to tell the girls about their "Adventure". She thought it would make the girls loose respect for the advisors. Mamoru thought the opposite would be the case, but the cat was adamant.
Artemis, happily, had healed quickly from his injuries. Partly this was due to a Moon Cat's nature, but partly it was thanks to Mrs. Hibuki, who the white cat had to admit was the best Vet he had ever had, though he still didn't trust her with a needle. She didn't take that personally.
And thoughts of the injuries summoned up memories of "Nurse" Luna. The black cat had been personally watching over Artemis and, while stern, was also gentle. Her behavior had been such that Artemis had commented on feeling like Usagi.
Mamoru was there for that argument, actually, and it still brought a chuckle (Partly because he had been thinking the same thing). Luna had berated the white cat soundly, then stormed out of the room angry. When Artemis had asked him what that was all about, Mamoru had just said. "I don't know why Usagi does it to me, either!"
'Thinking of the devil' Mamoru stood up, spotting Usagi's rather distinctive hairstyle. Soon he was greeting all the inner Senshi, along with Mr. and Mrs. Aino, with smiles.
"What are you doing here, Mamo-chan?" Usagi asked, hugging her boyfriend. "Not that I am complaining, mind you!"
"Well, one, I wanted to see my little Meatball head!" He dodged the halfhearted slap with a chuckle. "The second reason is out in my car, if you girls want to see it."
Mr. Aino chuckled. "I know this five when curiosity grabs them. Good Luck, Chiba!" With that he disappeared after the rental van, while Minako's mother went after the luggage, waving the girls to follow Mamoru.
Mamoru told Mrs. Aino he was parked in the Yellow lot, near the doors, then led the girls out to his car. Luna and Artemis were sitting in the passenger seat when they arrived.
"Luna!" Usagi cried, happily.
"Artemis!" The Minako cried, just as happily. Both cats were soon being hugged by their respective blond. "Why didn't you call us more often?" Minako asked, not noticing Artemis wince as she crushed his bruised ribs.
"They have been busy." Mamoru said, with a grin at Luna. "They had been playing with kids in the park. Artemis actually ended up on the wrong end of a dog pile, so you might want to hold him more gently."
Luna sighed in relief. It wasn't the story they were planning on using, but it worked. Minako cried out "Pour Artemis!" And soon had him settled comfortably in her arms.
"He was playing Super Hero." Luna said, though there was softness to her voice the girls missed.
"Yeah! In the Name of Venus... I was punished well!" They all laughed.
Soon after, Minako's parents pulled up with the van, and Mamoru said good bye, on his way to work. The two Senshi with cats holding them settled into the vans seats, and whispered to the cats about all the nice stuff they bought or saw in England (Okay, Minako it was bought, Usagi it was both, but still!)
The trip was suddenly interrupted by a police siren and flashing lights behind them. Mr. Aino cursed softly as he pulled over to the side, rolling down the window. "Stupid sticky gas pedals." He muttered.
The officer stepped up, and both Artemis and Luna froze when they heard the voice of the cop say "Do you know how fast you were going?"
Sgt. Hibuki leaned back to look into the van, and his eyes met Artemis's. He blinked then chuckled, and waved off Mr. Aino's excuse and license. "I'll give you a warning, this time, since I am guessing you're tired from a trip. Tell me something though...
"Yes officer?" Mr. Aino said, willing to say anything to such a FINE officer.
"Where do you get cats like those? I've been thinking about getting one for myself."
Mr. Aino glanced back at the cats, then returned his gaze to the officer. "They where both strays I think. I don't know what breed they are, sorry."
"No problem... Just that a cat saved my life once, so to speak. Get on your way, and drive carefully." He winked to the girls. "Don't wanna risk a car load of girls like these.
"No officer, and thank you."
Glancing at Artemis. "No problem, Sir. Have a nice day."
Haruka walked into the Kitchen, in search of a soda. She stopped in her tracks when she found Sailor Pluto preparing a tray with a large Tea water thermos, and two teacups. The sound and smell of popping kettle corn came from the background.
"Setsuna?" The sometimes Senshi of Uranus asked. "Wha'cha up to?"
"Just going to sit back tonight. The time gate has its entertainment uses, after all." The normally serious Pluto said with a smile.
"Um... Sure. Have fun!" The girl retrieved her coke, and fled.
Setsuna just chuckled, and poured the popcorn into a big bowl. Summoning her staff, she disappeared, reappearing in front of the time gates. She quickly settled into a big beanbag chair, which she would NEVER allow the other girls to see her in, and waved the staff and orb at the gate, causing it to show the time she was looking for.
("I still don't see why all you girls have to go. What if something happens here?" Luna said, frowning.
Usagi looked down at the cat, after closing her suitcase. "Oh come on, Luna. Setsuna says there isn't going to be any more trouble for a while, so don't worry." Setting the case next to her door, she sat down and patted the black cat, which didn't seem to be cheering up, even with the attention. )
"The Senshi are almost ready." A very familiar voice said to the sitting Sailor Pluto.
Turning her head, Setsuna looked at the future version of herself. "I know. Now it is the Cats time to learn, and grow. Any advice?"
"Keep the Senshi in the dark about what they are up to for a while. The girls would help too much." The future Pluto said, managing to somehow elegantly settle into a beanbag chair, her self.
The younger Pluto poured them both cups of green tea. "I had figured that would be best. Would you care to stay and watch?"
"Of course! This is one of my favorite moments in history!"
"Up there with Usagi and Mamoru's first meeting?" Both giggled, as no one would expect they could, cheerfully.
"I will give Luna credit. She does know how to KISS!"
This is not the end. Nor, is it the beginning of the end. It is merely the end of the beginning!