* Chapter 11 – Isolated Rain Showers and Thunderstorms
"Mako-chan?" The black cat asked and the blue haired woman shook her head sadly.
"Mina-chan?" Luna turned to Artemis and he shook his head also in response.
The guardian cat resumed her pacing back and forth in front of the six senshis who were sitting in a circle around her.
Setsuna stood up, left their circle and leaned against the door frame to watch the five year old Kumada-boy with the four year old Taiki-boy running around the shrine's grounds. "I'm trying to save their future, can't they see that?" She asked without turning around, appearing to be engrossed with the two boys playing outside.
Everyone of course turned towards her nonetheless.
"It's nothing like that, Mina-chan's just really not in control of her schedule." The white cat defended.
The eldest senshi turned around slowly and looked at the three inners present. "We've let you live your lives, let you do what you dreamed of doing, let you be as 'normal' as you've wished; but this ordeal isn't about destiny or Crystal Tokyo anymore, so what's so hard about attending a senshi meeting again?" she asked calmly, but the calmness of her voice penetrated their skins more.
"Setsuna-chan…" Usagi began. "I know Mako-chan and Mina-chan must have valid reasons. After all we've been through, and after all these years we've stayed as friends, it is simply impossible to believe that they don't want to be a part of us anymore." She said slowly, and in full conviction.
The long silence that followed her speech however was broken by the happy squeals of the two kids outside. "Aunt Taru-chan!" They shouted and ran towards the person who appeared on top of the shrine stairs.
"Ryu-chan! Akoumi-chan!" she greeted happily and bent down to give a tight hug to the two that met with her.
All those inside the house went out also to greet the youngest of their group, momentarily forgetting the tension between them as the happiness of seeing Hotaru once more took hold of each of them.
"Mama, Papa…" she greeted as Michiru and Haruka approached her and both gave her a tight hug.
The guy carrying Hotaru's stuff finally reached the top of the stairs and complained immediately not noticing everyone surrounding her. "You could have waited for me you know!" he huffed and started putting the bags in front of her. "You owe me big time! And of all places, a shrine! If you didn't want to be alone in a hotel, I would have accompanied you! It's not like I haven't seen you in…"
"Kyusuke-chan!" Hotaru shouted wide-eyed in warning before he continues his litany.
"What?" he asked irritated then looked around. The bags all fell from his hands and toppled onto the ground when he saw her friend's adoptive parents' eyes on him. Hotaru shouldered him on the ribs and he looked at her.
"This is my Haruka-papa and my Michiru-mama." She introduced and the guy beside her bowed not hoping to look in their eyes once more.
Hotaru was only answered with raised eyebrows from both Haruka and Michiru.
"Kyusuke-kun, how are you?" Usagi asked, as the inners present recognized the childhood friend of the Chibiusa that visited them.
He smiled uneasily then scratched the back of his head involuntarily. "Fine, fine, I'll go now." He said politely enough then picked up his luggage that tumbled along with Hotaru's bags.
"Inform me when you're returning." Hotaru called out to him as he went down the shrine steps.
"Who is he?" Haruka asked instantly as soon as her adoptive daughter turned around at them again.
"Chibiusa-chan's friend." Ami answered for Hotaru. "I mean, the Chibiusa that visited us before." She clarified upon seeing Haruka and Michiru's confused looks.
"I thought I'll see all of you here." Hotaru said.
Setsuna raised both eyebrows and glanced at the inners first before answering. "Supposed to be… I see you're watching the news?" She presumed because no one had told Hotaru about the meeting.
"Yes and No." She answered and all her pretense earlier of a nonchalant girl with her best friend dropped from her face. "Yes, I've heard the news about a doctor carrying her baby jumping off a building because of fright. And no, I'm here because I am Eternal Sailor Saturn."
A fierce wind blew as soon as she had finished her statement and it seemed to take their voices with it.
The sudden cry of an infant broke the silence and Rei and Ami both turned instantly and started walking towards the house to check individually their babies lying on separate cribs.
Everyone else followed them and the youngest sidled beside the eldest and they both took their time in returning inside. "Those two inside are confirmed?" Hotaru inquired and Setsuna nodded.
She looked around and spotted the two boys still playing outside. "And those two?" she furthered and the guardian of time paused in her walking to look at the two also.
"We will see…" she answered and then resumed making way towards the shrine.
Yuko Furuhata is quite a famous or well-liked girl at such a young age. She has leadership qualities, is relatively doing well at her academics, and is quite good looking too. She is blond, tall and has an athletic built even though she's a bit chubby because of her mom's cooking.
As usual, her father waits for her everyday in front of the school gates and she happily bounces her way towards him as she knows where he always parks his car. Half-way through the school grounds though, she stopped as she saw some weird icky stuff scattered all over the floor that seemed to start moving when she drew near. Other students noticed it too and there were differing reactions from the kids. Some ran away, some bent down and poked the stuff with sticks, and some simply ignored them and went their merry way.
The blond girl in a high ponytail however doesn't have that much liberty for the creatures were all moving towards her and she's now trapped right in the middle of their circle. She began to get scared for she cannot even take a step back for she was surrounded and the organisms looked to be getting excited as they drew nearer to her.
And then, she screamed in fright when the organisms coagulated together and she now looks to be in a center of a crowd of gel-men drawing ever closer. She heard several other students shrieking in fear also and panic was instantly started as they all ran away from the horde of gel creatures.
Her father, hearing the commotion, tried to go inside the school gates but was unsuccessful as multitudes of students scampered to get out. He feared for the safety of her daughter as he doesn't see her among those going out. But as he was thinking of other means to get inside the school, he saw a caped man in a black tuxedo jumping overhead and heading towards inside the school.
"Yuko-chan!" Chibiusa shouted to let her presence be known to her young friend and Yuko looked at her trying to convey her fear in her eyes. The older girl looked around, looking for something to hit the gel people to rescue the scared girl in their midst. She didn't know where her courage is coming from but she's sure that she cannot let anything happen to her friend.
But then, the pink-haired girl froze in her place when majority of the creatures turned and ran towards her direction instead with cavities in their faces wide open.
Chibiusa screamed as she felt intense pain as the gel creatures surrounded her closely while a pinkish-white glow started to escape from her.
"Nooo!" Yuko shouted in defiance when she saw the horde of creatures suck on hungrily at the air around her friend who tried to rescue her.
And then, something unexpected happened and she wasn't sure if it actually came from her. A ball of lighting formed in her hand and she threw it at the crowd surrounding her friend and the transparent creatures hit seemed to have evaporated like water.
Chibiusa fell on her knees and she was staring at her friend wide eyed, especially on the brilliantly shining symbol on her forehead, momentarily forgetting the bigger crowd of creatures surrounding them two. She saw that Yuko was also staring at her wide eyed, as the crescent moon symbol appeared on her forehead without her knowing.
Just as when they thought that the monsters will come at them two again, a pair of strong arms scooped Chibiusa up and carried her into the air. She stared up at her rescuer and saw the masked face of a man whose features seems strangely very familiar to her. "Yuko-chan…" she told him, imploring him to rescue her friend also. But then again, when she peeked at his back, she saw golden beams raining on the area they had just left.
The nine year old girl looked up. "Sailor V!" she exclaimed happily and then looked again at the guy who rescued her. "And Tuxedo Mask!" she suddenly felt giddy to be rescued by her comics idols.
Tuxedo Mask smiled at her before putting her down on her feet on the part of the field relatively far from the action taking place. And then, with a small wave to the girl, returned to where the winged sailor was fighting alone the monsters.
Chibiusa watched from afar, and she cannot define it but she somehow feels that the two heroes are connected to her somehow. And then, she saw a streak of white; a pair of wings that dove fast towards the ground to pick up her friend who was safe but is still on the battle ground as Sailor Venus and Tuxedo Mask were too preoccupied with fighting the monsters.
The newly arrived senshi wrapped her arms tightly and protectively around Yuko as she took her to the air and landed beside Chibiusa. The girl looked at her friend's rescuer and then her jaw dropped. The symbol on the forehead of the senshi is the same symbol she saw on Yuko's forehead earlier.
Sailor Jupiter bent down so her eyes and Chibiusa's are on the same level. "Thank you for looking after her." She said, smiled warmly and then took off again to help Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Venus.
The two young girls looked at each other and then hugged. "Oh thank heavens you're safe!" The elder of the two breathed out as she's used to looking after all her friends, her being the oldest among them.
"Sorry you got into trouble because of me." Yuko apologized as they parted to look into each other once more.
"It's no one's fault…" she assured.
And then, as if their attentions were pulled, they stared at each other's forehead.
"You know, your forehead is shining the same symbol as that senshi that rescued you…" Chibiusa began, touching the said symbol still shimmering slightly, and gave a sideways glance at the tall senshi currently calling lightning from the sky.
"And you know…" Yuko touched also the symbol on her friend. "That looks a lot like a crescent moon."
After saying this, their attention was caught by the on-going battle once more because several winged people had landed altogether.
The battle went on for several more minutes.
"Just like that, on that woman…" Yuko furthered with awe after watching intently and noticed the same symbol on the woman calling forth a strong white light that seemed to have finished the struggle.
And then, all the winged women and the caped man looked at them two. Some have amused expressions, some have no expressions at all; but their symbol counterparts have nothing but deep worry etched on their faces.
A/N: Sorry, so sorry this took so long; my laptop broke down (No Lie there)... And sorry if it is still a bit vague. I'm still trying to develop further the conflict. You'll find out more about the 'enemy' in the following chapters after the next. Thanks all for reading. And I appreciate all the messages, suggestions, reviews and comments. c=