* Chapter 3 – Earth
Prof. Mamoru Chiba flashed the barcode of his ID at the machine and then pressed his forefinger in the biometrics taking instrument. He's finally free after standing up for six hours straight, he thought. And just in time he realized as he peeked at his watch for it says 4:30pm; he still has thirty minutes to pick up his daughter from school and pass by his wife's office.
He got his keys from the guard on duty and then went to the parking slot designated to him by the university. He drove out of the campus complex and took the route that'll lead him to Chibiusa's school.
Chibiusa's elementary school… He pondered as he stopped because of traffic congestion. There's only one possible reason he can think of as to why nobody in the registrar's office noticed that the same girl is enrolling in the same grade after fifteen years: Magic. He is sure that the previous Chibiusa would have been out of college by now; whereas their Chibiusa is just nine years old and is still in elementary. He wondered what the previous Chibiusa's friends will think when they see his daughter right now. They'd most probably be confused and just think that they're two different individuals. Maybe she is two different people, he reasoned with himself, because the Chibiusa that travelled back to them was just seven and she was already a crowned princess.
He reached his destination without him realizing until he saw the familiar sign 'Classes On-Going, Do Not Honk Your Horns'. He parked beside a sidewalk and went out of his car to stand outside so he could spot easily the very peculiar rabbit hairdo of his daughter. He leaned against the side of his vehicle and waited patiently.
"Uncle!" a cheery young voice shouted and he spun around to the direction of the other side of the street where he heard the greeting coming from. He waved when he recognized her: Yuko Furuhata, the daughter of his very best friend.
And then time seemed to slow down for him as his 'gift' was activated. He saw a scooter that will hit soon the little girl who was running towards him from across the street. He jumped up at the roof of his car, took a single leap towards the seven year old, and then successfully scooped her up into his arms and they both landed on the opposite sidewalk unharmed.
"Uncle Mamo-chan? How…?" the little girl wondered, wide eyed.
"You should look before crossing a street!" He answered her sternly.
Yuko looked down as soon as her 'uncle' placed her on her feet.
"Mamoru! Oh thank heavens you caught her!" Motoki Furuhata told him breathless and it was obvious that he had just run from where his little girl had come from. "She just ran away from me…"
The professor knelt down in front of the little girl and then lifted her chin to face him. "Yuko-chan… You shouldn't be running off like that. Your mom and dad would have been very worried if you got hit by that scooter earlier. You understand me?"
"Sorry…" the little girl mumbled apologetically. "I was just hoping to catch Chibiusa-chan."
"Man, how'd you do that?" a male voice asked; and that's the only time that Mamoru noticed that they were surrounded by people he presumed all saw what he did.
"Yeah man, are you a stunt man or something?" Another one asked.
Motoki looked baffled, having not witnessed the heroic act of his best friend. "What did you do?" he asked him.
"He took that street and scooped up that girl with a single leap!" A bystander answered him while pointing and acting out what Mamoru did.
The blonde man's eyes widened. "You did?" he asked him.
Mamoru nodded. "Reflex I think…" he lied, "Yuko was about to be hit by a scooter so I had to do something…"
"No, it's not like that! It's like he's got some magical powers or extreme kung fu training!" An onlooker contradicted him.
"Yes! Imagine a twelve meters horizontal jump!" a second one added.
Mamoru shook his head to disagree with everything said; he did not want to get too much attention.
"Papa?" The pink haired nine years old pushed in between the people and got to the very center of the crowd.
Her father had never felt more relieved to see her. He took her hand and then led her out towards their car.
"We'll see you in a bit then, okay?" Motoki called.
"Yes, we'll drop by for dinner sometime. Bye Yuko-chan!" The black haired man waved once more and felt for the keys in his pocket when he and his daughter reached his car.
Chibiusa looked pensive and she was saying nothing even though they have passed many of her classmates.
"Papa…" she began, when they slowed down due to traffic.
"Hmmm?" her father answered without looking.
She faltered for a second before actually speaking up her mind. "How did you do that?"
Mamoru glanced at her daughter sideways, inhaled and then breathed out. "Natural reflex I guess…"
"That's not how it looks like from our room… You were amazing! And you saved Yuko-chan! And you crossed that street with one leap! And… And…" The nine years old girl shared excitedly and lost her train of thought, simply at loss of what to say more to what she witnessed.
Her father however, decided to stay quiet, because honestly; how can he tell her daughter? 'Chibiusa, your mom is Sailor Moon and your dad is Tuxedo Mask' just doesn't sound right, even though it answers her questions he thought. 'You're supposed to be the world's princess by now but our kingdom simply had not risen yet.' He thought further and he somehow felt that maybe, it is better this way; especially when he remembers how much of a spoiled brat the tiny girl that visited them before was.
The sight of a certain blond woman waiting for them in a bus stop however pulled his thoughts back to reality. He pulled up beside her and Chibiusa opened the window on her side.
"Mama!" she greeted happily and Usagi smiled widely. She collected her stuff and then got in the backseat. Her husband drove again afterwards.
"How's school?" she asked her daughter first.
"It was okay, but papa was the highlight of the day!" The pink-haired girl answered and Mamoru cast a meaningful glance to his wife thru the hind mirror.
"You see, Yuko-chan ran up to him from across the street and she almost was hit by a scooter. But papa jumped above the roof of this car and then he leaped towards Yuko-chan and he caught her and then they landed safely without a scratch on the other side! You should have seen him mama! He was like an action star!" she conveyed excitedly to her mother.
She patted her daughter's head affectionately. "You have no idea…" she mumbled silently but it was loud enough for Mamoru to hear.
"So? Where are we eating out tonight?" Usagi Chiba asked to change the topic after sensing her husband's discomfort.
"At Jovian, I was able to book a reservation for us." He answered, thankful for his wife's tact.
"Yey!" Chibiusa cheered upon hearing where they would be eating. "I hope aunt Mako-chan greets our table."
Usagi smiled. "I'm sure she would, if she saw our name on her guest list." She assured her daughter.
"So mama, when's the new Sailor V manga coming out?" Chibiusa asked.
"Within next week, we're just tying the loose ends."
"And does Sailor V catch Tuxedo Mask mama?"
"You'll have to find out!"
On and on the chitchat about Sailor V went between mother and daughter.
Mamoru glanced up at the back mirror again to look at his wife and then he looked at his daughter momentarily also afterwards. Who needs Crystal Tokyo? He asked himself; he's got everything he needs right inside his car to complete his own planet.