To Give Warning
By Douglas Helm and "Tuxedo" Will Wolfshohl
Those characters that are original and the story "To Give Warning" are copyrighted ©2010-2011 ShoujoFiction .com domain by Douglas Helm and Will Wolfshohl.
This story and our other Sailor Moon stories reside at our Shoujo Fiction dot com website.
Chapter 2 "A Late Night Visit"
Sunday, May 8, 1994
Azuba-Juuban District, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tsukino Ikuko ascended the stairs and was more than a little thankful that her day was drawing to a close. Weekends tended to be more hectic with all the kids home from school. When she reached the second floor of her home, she made her way first to her son's room and tapped on the door. Hearing no response, she stuck her head in, sighed, and then entered. She stood there for a few moments. Still getting no reaction, she decided to flick the light switch off and on several times to get her son's attention.
Shingo immediately jerked around then snatched the headphones off his head. From them blared the sounds of some video game that he was playing on his Game Boy. "Come on, Shingo. You should be in bed by now."
"But Mo-om...!" he whined.
"It's a school night. Bed now!"
He grumbled but moved to comply; he knew that tone of voice. Still, he was a little putout though when his mother stood silently in the doorway to make sure he did. "Goodnight Mom," he finally uttered. The eleven year old was mortified when instead of leaving, his mother came over and then hugged him and gave him a kiss on the forehead.
"Oh hush, Shingo," Ikuko huffed gently when her son began to protest, "I'm your mother. You suckled from me and I powdered your bottom and burped you when you were tiny. You'll always be my little boy." That declaration just served to make him feel even more embarrassed. She loved it. Maybe he would think twice about staying up past his bedtime next time.
Softly chuckling, the raven-haired woman left her son's room and made her way down to Usagi's bedroom. She tapped on the door. "Come in!" Opening the door at the invitation, she smiled to see Usagi sitting in her pajamas with its traditional bunny head on the pocket brushing out her hair. Coming further into her room, Ikuko crossed to her daughter and hugged her. "I'm off to bed now, Usagi. Don't stay up too late. You have school tomorrow."
"I know, Mom," Usagi said and made a face.
"I'm very proud of you for sticking to your promise to do your homework. I hope you keep up that sort of effort."
"I just don't see why it's worth it," the teen grumbled unhappily. Ikuko chuckled and stroked her daughter's hair. Usagi looked up at her. "Mom... Do you..."
"Do you ever regret being a mom?"
"Never!" Ikuko stated firmly.
"Never?" her daughter asked dubiously.
The thirty-something woman shook her head and settled herself onto the bed beside the blonde. "Usagi-chan, you and Shingo can certainly drive me to distraction. You can cause me worry and make me angry on occasion but neither one of you has ever done anything to stop me from loving you any less than I did when you came into this world."
Usagi sighed. "I love you too, Mom, but... I mean didn't you ever worry that one of your kids wouldn't love you back?"
She regarded her petite teenage daughter for a long moment and then asked, "This is about Chibi-Usa, ne?" She got her answer when Usagi's head shot up and sad crystal blue eyes met her own.
"W-What do you mean?"
"Chibi-Usa loves you, Usagi-chan," Ikuko stated definitively, patting her daughter on the thigh, "You might not be able to see it, but she looks up to you. She is an only child and you are the onee she never had... The onee that she needs and loves."
"Then why does she argue with me all the time, Mom?"
"Why do you argue with me?"
Ikuko suppressed a laugh as the teenager gaped at her. "I do..." Usagi frowned and then her mother did laugh. "I... suppose I argue 'cause I want things a certain way and I get upset when they aren't." She blushed.
"That's right, Usagi, though sometimes I think you just do it on purpose to make sure I'm paying attention to you." Her daughter blushed even more. "But to get back to your problem. You want to know the best way to stop Chibi-Usa from arguing with you?" When Usagi nodded, she answered, "Ignore her. Keep her safe. If she speaks politely to you, then respond but if she starts yelling at you, ignore her."
"You, young lady, when you were little were the Queen of Tantrums," Ikuko told her daughter. "At least when you didn't get what you wanted. Your father and I tried everything and I was at my wits end. One of my friends from school just told me to ignore you. I thought that was a horrible idea but since I couldn't think of anything better to do..." She grinned. "So the next time you threw a tantrum, I let you scream yourself hoarse and pound on the floor with your fists and feet until you simply lay there. It took all my resolve not to run and comfort you. After a little bit, you got up yourself came over to me and asked for a hug. You asked nicely so I gave you one and helped blow your nose and wipe your tears away."
She didn't remember that episode. "I eventually stopped, ne?"
"Pretty much," Ikuko chirped with a grin then winked.
"But Chibi-Usa doesn't throw tantrums."
"No, but she does other stuff to get your attention." The woman got up, gave Usagi another hug, and suggested, "Just think about it, daughter of mine." She left the room and paused for a moment listening to the quietness of the house. Turning to her right, she walked the rest of the way down the hall and crept quietly up the stairs leading to her niece's bedroom. Much to her surprise, Chibi-Usa's bed was empty and her room looked as if a typhoon had hit it. 'Where is that girl?' Frowning, she turned and went back downstairs. She looked around the second floor as if the little girl would suddenly appear out of thin air and then strolled down the hall. She checked the bathroom but that was empty as well. Finally, she stuck her head into Usagi's room again.
"Have you seen Chibi-Usa?"
"No, Mom, I thought she was in bed already," Usagi replied.
"She's probably sneaking a cookie or something," Ikuko sighed. "I'll go chase her down. Goodnight, Usagi."
# # # # #
While Ikuko had been talking with her daughter, Chibi-Usa had snuck downstairs - not to pilfer a cookie but to use the telephone. It turns out that while she was getting ready for bed, she realized that her Time Key was missing. A very intensive search of her bedroom subsequently had turned up nothing.
The little girl began to panic at that point. She at first thought about contacting Sailor Pluto but she dismissed that idea almost immediately. After all, the Sailor Senshi of Time would definitely not take kindly to the idea of her having lost such an important and potentially dangerous device.
The eight year old had then decided to swallow some of her pride and ask Usagi for help only to discover that her grandmother was talking to her. The girl worried and waited out of sight for her grandmother to leave. Before Ikuko left though, it struck Chibi-Usa that the only place she could have lost it was (she hoped) in Makoto's apartment. This was too important to wait until morning so while everyone was upstairs, the little strawberry-blonde took the opportunity to go downstairs and make a phone call.
# # # # #
Kino Makoto was wrenched out of a sound sleep by the ringing of her telephone. She lay there for a moment wondering if she should simply ignore the late night caller. 'Who could it be?' She knew that it couldn't be Sailor Senshi business; they would have used their communicators. Deciding to answer it anyway, she sighed, rolled over, and lifted up the receiver. "Moshi moshi, Kino residence."
"Mako-chan!" came the hushed whisper.
"Oh for the sake of the Kami, Minako...!"
"It's not Minako. It's me Chibi-Usa!" That made the tall brunette sit up in bed and take notice.
"Chibi-Usa? Is Usagi all right? Why didn't you..." Again, the child cut her off.
"Listen, Mako-chan, is my Time Key there?"
"Nani?" At least, Usagi was fine.
"Is my Time Key there?" the child questioned again, although this time she drew each word out as if she was talking to a simpleton.
"I don't know."
"Well why don't you look..."
"Pardon me, young lady?" the brunette interrupted. "Would you care to rephrase that?"
Silence initially greeted her request and then the voice on the other end of the line asked, "Would you see if my Time Key is there... please Kino-san?"
"You lost it?"
"I can't find it anywhere. Maybe Usagi stole it." She didn't think that was very likely though. "I think I lost it there. Would you look please?" The desperation was back in the little girl's voice.
"Are you sure it's not in your room?"
"Please Kino-oneesan?" Makoto could tell that the girl was starting to tear up. "I looked all over my bedroom. Please! It's really really important and..."
"Oh all right, Chibi-Usa, give me a minute..." Makoto sighed, set the phone down, and got out of bed. Yawning and grumbling, she put some house slippers on and shuffled out into her dark living room. She flipped on a light and started hunting for the missing key.
Her initial examination didn't turn up anything. Pausing, she tried to think where Chibi-Usa had been. 'The couch,' she thought and pulled the cushions off. Finding nothing, except some crumbs, Makoto replaced the cushions. She tapped her lips wondering where it could be. Then she looked under the couch. She couldn't see anything. She wasn't about to get a flashlight, get on her hands and knees, and hunt for it in the middle of the night.
Returning to her bedroom, the brunette lifted up the receiver, and reported, "I'm sorry, kiddo. I couldn't find anything. Tell you what... I'll take another look in the morning before I head to school."
"WHAT?" Chibi-Usa squeaked, "But it HAS to be there!"
"I looked. It's getting late. Don't worry. If it's here, Chibi-Usa, it's not going anywhere," Makoto reasoned.
"Look harder!" Chibi-Usa whined.
"That's it!" the teen countered, "I'm calling your mother!"
The eight year old ignored the threat. "It has to be there. I wasn't over at Mamo..." The youngster was abruptly cut off by something and then Makoto heard her say, "But Ikuko-mama... I lost my..." There was some noise on the line and then Usagi's mother came on.
"Hello? Who is this?"
"Hello Tsukino-san," Makoto greeted. "It's Makoto here." Chibi-Usa phoned... She thinks she left something here at my place today." She paused for a moment before deciding to add, "She was rather... insistent."
"Gomen, I'm terribly sorry my niece disturbed you, Kino-san," Ikuko apologized. "If it is all right with you, may Chibi-Usa come by tomorrow after school and look? It's too late tonight."
"Yes, that would be okay," Makoto agreed even as she heard Chibi-Usa arguing with Mrs. Tsukino. The tall teen winced. She had seen firsthand that arguing with Usagi's mother was a losing proposition. "Goodnight, Tsukino-san."
"Goodnight, Kino-san," Ikuko finished. Makoto let out a long sigh as she heard Chibi-Usa's raise her voice in protest as the call ended.
# # # # #
"Enough Usagi!" Ikuko snapped at her young niece, "This toy of yours is not so important that you can't pick it up tomorrow! And when you do, you will apologize to Kino-san for disturbing her so late."
"But it's not a toy, Ikuko-mama!" Chibi-Usa yelped. "It's a..."
"I don't care what it is," her "aunt" countered, "What I care about is that it's way past your bedtime and you're not in your bed. Now upstairs, Chibi-Usa. March!"
Chibi-Usa opened her mouth to protest, closed it, and gave her a pleading look. Her future grandmother only pointed upstairs. Grumbling, she stomped up the stairs. Ikuko followed. 'It ain't fair! I'll just wait until they're all asleep and then I'll sneak over to Makoto's,' the youngster decided as she walked grumpily down the hallway up the other flight of steps into her bedroom. She wasn't going to wait until tomorrow afternoon.
"Pick up this mess. I don't want you tripping over something in the middle of the night," the mother of two ordered and stood there with her hands on her hips for the next few minutes as the eight year old reluctantly complied. Once the room was relatively tidy, she then commanded, "In bed, young lady! We'll discuss your punishment tomorrow." Chibi-Usa gave her one more pleading look and then got into bed. Ikuko gave her a final stern look and then left the room.
'Okay Chibi-Usa! Don't fall asleep!' She wanted to rush out right then but she was worried that her grandmother might come back and check on her.
# # # # #
Artemis yawned, stretched, and then settled back onto his belly on the roof of the dormer window that led into Chibi-Usa's bedroom. The white lunar cat turned his head and regarded his furry companion.
Luna settled beside him with a sigh, stretched out her forelegs, and flexed her claws. "This is very frustrating, Artemis," she commented, looking out over the nighttime Tokyo skyline. "There's something going on with the Tomoe's." She turned her head to gaze at him. "I just can't figure it out. First, I know the Professor is up to something but I don't have a clue as to what. Then Hotaru seems like a nice albeit sickly child. Chibi-Usa has even developed a friendship with her and yet the Outer Senshi have tried to kill her."
Artemis nodded. "I've been trying to remember if they were even around in the Silver Millennium and I can't."
Luna shook her head. "Don't feel bad, Artemis. The Outers were seldom at Court. Sailor Pluto spent her time at the Gates of Time. Sailors Neptune and Uranus guarded the solar system from outside threats."
"And Saturn?" the white cat wondered. "Was there really one?"
"I can't remember for sure but Usagi does. But when I ask her what Sailor Saturn did, she gets very vague and changes the subject."
"Luna, sometimes Usagi can't even remember things that happened last week let alone that far back." He winced as the black cat batted him on the ear with a paw. "Well it's true, ne?"
"Yes," she agreed, "But... I was listening to something Ikuko was saying to Kenji this afternoon."
"And?" Artemis prompted when the black cat fell silent for several seconds.
"And the idea is that if we expect Usagi to be lazy and dumb and irresponsible, and keep telling her that, then she's just going to be that because she knows that we love her despite those flaws. Even worse, she might be afraid to change because she's afraid people won't love her."
"She told you this?"
"No, Artemis, but her mom was making the point to Kenji that maybe if they praised Usagi for accomplishments and toned down the nagging on the negative ones, they might get more positive results."
The white cat looked dubious but didn't say anything. Changing the subject, he said, "Well, we've tried the indirect approach and we can't watch Hotaru all the time. I think we'll just have to wait and see what happens next." He regarded her. "But do you think Professor Tomoe, Hotaru, and the new enemy are connected?"
"They have to be, and the Outers' actions seem to confirm that."
"Do you think we'll have trouble with them? They don't seem to like the girls much."
"No, in fact, Mamoru was telling me when he met..." Luna broke off and cocked her head. Artemis started to speak but she hastily hushed him. Then both cat's eyes widened as Sailor Chibi-Moon came sailing out of her bedroom window. She landed gracefully and then raced across the distance to the wall surrounding the Tsukino home. With another leap, she was heading off down the street at a rapid pace.
"Where is she going this time of night?" Luna asked. "Did you sense anything?"
"I don't sense anything and I don't know where she's going but I'll follow her. You go get Usagi. This might be important." The two lunar cats regarded each other and the nodded before going about their tasks.
# # # # #
Chiba Mamoru sat back, away from his laptop, closed his eyes, and squeezed the bridge of his nose. He was lucky enough to get to use the new Windows 3.11 operating system. He was working on his engineering class project. 'Sometimes, I'm as bad as Usagi for procrastinating,' he thought with a sigh as he let his hand drop to his lap. 'I always seem to leave the big papers until the last minute.'
"Mamoru?" His eyes snapped open and his neck kinked as he turned his face upwards and to the left. His eyes widened as he saw Sailor Moon standing beside him,
"Sailor Moon?" he asked, getting up and staring at her, "What's wrong?"
"I saw your light, Mamo-chan, and I thought I'd check here first."
"For what?" Mamoru asked, "I don't think you left anything here the last time you were over."
"It's not that," Sailor Moon begun, "I'm looking for OUR daughter."
"Our... daughter?" The man was puzzled for a moment and then his brain stopped thinking about his looming deadline and refocused on the pretty blond Sailor Senshi before him. "Chibi-Usa?" A nod. "Did she go missing?"
"According to Luna, she took off out of the house like a demon carrot was after her. She was transformed." Sailor Moon shook her head. "Well if she isn't here, maybe she dropped by Hotaru-chan's for a late night visit."
'I'm glad it wasn't the enemy.' "I'll come help," he volunteered.
"No." She smiled at him. "That's all right. You have a paper due tomorrow, mister, and you're in no position to be parental towards her at the moment." Sailor Moon then smiled, gave him a victory sign, and declared, "But I, Sailor Moon, am more than capable of squashing the naughtiness out of her like a 200 kilogram sumo bunny!"
Mamoru went rather red as his brain suddenly presented him with an image of his girlfriend dressed in an inflatable sumo outfit wearing bunny ears. By the time he recovered, the petite blonde was gone. 'Damn,' he thought as he summoned a rose, 'Now I won't be able to concentrate until I know they're both safe.'
# # # # #
Kino Makoto was roused from sleep for the second time that evening. This time by a thumping sound. "Oh Kami-sama, what now?" At first, she thought it was a neighbor doing something. But as she collected her wits and considered the direction of the sound, she realized it was coming from her balcony. Getting up, she left her bedroom cautiously and crossed to the balcony door.
Pulling aside the drapes, she was startled to discover Chibi-Moon standing there. "LEMME IN!" the eight year old pleaded.
"I'll let you in all right, young lady," Makoto grumbled and pulled the glass door aside. She took a quick look for Sailor Moon or the others but the child was apparently alone. "What are you doing here so late?" she demanded. She was even more annoyed when the younger girl stepped into her apartment and past her without uttering a word. Reaching out a hand, she caught her arm. "Well?"
"I came for MY key!"
"I told you it's not here!"
The strawberry-blonde frowned, yanked her arm free, and reiterated, "I think MY key is!" Makoto opened her mouth but Chibi-Moon continued, "Look, I thought about it and thought about it. This is the only place that it could be!" The pink Sailor Senshi turned and regarded the scowling tall teen before her. "This is very important. Please Mak-Kino-oneesan? Can't we look?"
"Kami-sama, I looked already. It's late. Can't this wait until tomorrow?" Makoto exploded.
"Please? If I can't find it tonight, Kino-oneesan, I'll have to tell Puu and she'll be REALLY mad." Chibi-Moon looked pleadingly up at the bleary-eyed brunette.
"Okay fine, but let's do this smartly!" Makoto said in a huff, "While I get a robe on, you can turn on the lights." She was not impressed when the youngster hugged her.
# # # # #
"Nothing," Luna admitted as she came back from the Tomoe house. Sailor Moon scooped up her friend and frowned. "I looked in the window. Hotaru-chan was sound asleep. Well... if Chibi-Moon didn't come here, or Mamoru's..."
"Perhaps," Tuxedo Kamen interjected, "We should call out the others to help search." He looked down at the pigtailed Senshi beside him. "Normally, you can tell where Chibi-Moon is."
"It's... like you," Sailor Moon replied while smiling up at her fiancé, "It only works if she's in danger. That's likely a good thing." She turned back to stare at the Tomoe house, which was dark and silent, and according to Luna devoid of any sort of magic. "Of course when I catch her..." She broke off as her communicator drew her attention. Pulling it out of her subspace pocket, Sailor Moon flipped the cover up and saw that Jupiter's sigil was glowing. Depressing it, she answered, "Moon here. What's up, Jupiter?"
"Moon? Why..." She quickly guessed why she was transformed. "Sailor Moon, Chibi-Moon is here and..."
"SHE'S WHAT?" Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen both screeched. This made the brunette's eyebrows rise and her eyes widen.
"Did I catch you two out on a date?"
"Never mind that, Makoto," the Leader of the Senshi huffed, "What is Chibi-Moon doing at your place?"
"Looking for her Time Key."
Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen looked at each other, sighed, and then started towards Makoto's apartment. "Keep her there, Kino-san," Tuxedo Kamen requested, "We'll be right there."
Luna squirmed free of her charge and announced, "I'll find Artemis and let him know that we've found her."
"Okay, but don't stay out too late."
"I won't," Luna promised and watched as the two future parents dashed off to apprehend their wayward future daughter. Alone, she was about to set off for her companion when her fur bristled. Slowly, the lunar cat turned and her eyes narrowed at the sight she found behind her. It was Sailor Pluto.
"We need to talk," the Sailor Senshi of Time told the feline.
# # # # #
Makoto came out of her bedroom dressed in a housecoat and watched patiently as Chibi-Moon conducted a thorough search of her living room. When the little girl requested a flashlight, the teen got her one. "There's just problem with your logic, Chibi-Moon," Makoto commented as the child looked behind the couch using the flashlight to illuminate the floor.
"Why did you notice the Key missing so late? You left here hours ago."
The eight year old paused in her hunt and turned to face Makoto. "The Key's very light. It's... it's like a watch or something you wear all the time. You don't even notice it. I didn't miss it until I went to take my bath. Ikuko-mama was majorly grumpy and wouldn't let me look for it until after my bath. And I did look! And I couldn't find it anywhere and Usagi didn't let me go to Mamo-chan's today. So it has to be here."
"Well, what are you gonna do if you don't find it?"
Chibi-Moon who'd gotten off the couch made a sour face. "Fess up to Sailor Pluto. Not something I really wanna do." The teen watched as her young guest dropped to her knees and shown the flashlight under it. "Ha!"
"I found it!" the strawberry-blond Sailor Senshi declared and stood up lifting the key in triumph. "Told ya. See, Mako-chan, the chain broke," she said, pointing at the broken chain that dangled from the key.
"There you are, young lady!" The new voice made both Chibi-Moon and Makoto start. They turned towards the balcony door that Makoto had left open and found Sailor Moon standing there with her arms crossed. Before either could speak, the petite blond Senshi marched across the room to stand before her future daughter with her hands on her hips. "I want you to explain yourself, now!"
"I don't have to..."
"Chibi-Moon, why are you out so late?" The other voice as even more of a shock to the little girl.
"Tuxedo Kamen-sama!" Chibi-Moon squealed as she moved to hug him but he stepped out of her reach.
"Why are you out so late? Was it the enemy?" he repeated. He wanted to give his daughter the chance to provide a legitimate alibi before Sailor Moon went off half-cocked.
"Chibi-Usa left her Time Key here," Makoto explained. That earned her a dirty look from the little girl. "She thought she lost it and couldn't wait until tomorrow to pick it up like Tsukino-san said."
"So instead of waiting like Mom said you should, you snuck out?" Sailor Moon was incredulous. "Kami-sama, I might be irresponsible sometimes, but I never sneak out unless it's for Sailor Senshi business!"
"What's the problem?" Chibi-Moon asked.
"THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOU SNUCK OUT!" the golden-haired Sailor Senshi yelled.
"BUT I HAD TO GET IT!" the strawberry-blond-haired Sailor Senshi yelled back.
"It wouldn't've gone anywhere, Chibi-Moon," Makoto pointed out. "You or I would've found it tomorrow." She hoped this would defuse the ensuing battle.
"This is a dangerous artifact. I just can't leave it lying around anywhere!"
"DON'T BE RUDE, YOUNG LADY," Sailor Moon commanded as she sprang to her friend's defense.
"Kino-san is Sailor Jupiter. I doubt she'd just let anybody walk off with it," Chibi-Moon's future father argued.
"Why are you guys making such a big deal over it?" the little girl demanded as she threw up her hands in disgust. "I've got it now. Can we just go home?"
"Because what you did was foolish. You should have listened to Tsukino-san."
"But Mamo-Tuxedo Kamen-sama, it's mine and... HEY!" The young Sailor Senshi let out a squawk as Sailor Moon plucked the magical key from her hand and held it out to her ponytailed friend. "GIVE THAT BACK!"
"IT'S MINE! GIVE IT BACK!"
"BE QUIET!" the tall brunette hissed. All three stared at her. In a more normal voice, she explained, "It's late and my neighbors might complain to the manager if you start arguing. How about us calling it a night? We can talk about it at school tomorrow."
"You're right and I'm sorry," her pigtailed friend agreed then bowed. "Gomen nasai, Makoto-san. Now would you keep this for Chibi-Moon please?" She held the Time Key out.
"Yes, this is about your butt," Sailor Moon indicated to Chibi-Moon. "You can either let Mako-chan keep your key until tomorrow or... We can go home and I'll tell Mom you snuck out of the house and I had to go after you."
"That's not fair!" Was the little girl's protest.
"Maybe not... but what are you going to do, young lady? Mom will phone Makoto tomorrow and see if you went by and got whatever you left here, ne?"
"I can use Luna-P," Chibi-Moon pointed out sulkily.
"NO!" Makoto winced as Sailor Moon's voice rose in a shout. The blonde gave her a guilty look and then continued in a quieter voice, "Listen, you have two choices, Chibi-Moon. Leave the Time Key here and pick it up tomorrow like Mom wanted, or you can take it now and I'll tell Mom that you snuck over here and disturbed Makoto AGAIN." She waited a heartbeat and added, "And if you even think about using Luna-P on Mom, I'll spank you myself!"
Chibi-Moon looked like she might explode. She stood there breathing hard for several seconds before turning to Tuxedo Kamen. "Tuxedo Kam... Father..." the child began in her best cute little girl voice as she clasped her hands together before her, "Please stop Sailor Moon from being so stupid!"
The young man rapidly considered his options and then decided to play a bluff. "Usagi Serenity, you are to listen to your mother. Now stop arguing, apologize to Kino-san, and then come along. It's time to go home."
The two older girls simply gaped at the tuxedo-clad man while the younger girl's shoulders slumped. She looked up hopefully at her hero in top hat and tails but he just looked sternly back. That sternness was only a facade. If Chibi-Moon didn't give in...
But she did. Sighing, the strawberry-blond child turned and said contritely, "Gomen. I am very sorry for disturbing you, Kino-oneesan. Please forgive me." She swallowed hard and bowed before adding, "Also, please keep my precious Time Key safe until I'm able to come again get it."
"Arigato, Chibi-Usa-chan. I promise to keep it safe for you."
Sailor Moon nodded in satisfaction and gave the magical object to her brown-haired friend. She then turned, took Chibi-Moon by the arm, and marched her to the balcony door. "Goodnight, Mako-chan. Sorry for all this."
"Safe trip home!"
Makoto breathed a sigh of relief when Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi-Moon, and Tuxedo Kamen finally left her apartment. 'Great, I'm wide-awake now.' She looked down at the sparkling Time Key in her hand. 'I'll make some tea and see if that'll settle me.'
# # # # #
Kino Makoto sat in her apartment curled on her couch, a mug of tea in one hand, and using the other to slowly turn the pages of the photo album that she'd shown Usagi and Chibi-Usa earlier that day. The brunette let out a long sigh and closed her eyes as she took another sip.
The headache that had developed during the fight between mother and daughter just a little while ago was easing but that just allowed her mind to wander. 'I cannot believe Chibi-Usa.' She reflected further, 'Why can't she appreciate being able to be so close to Usagi?' She knew a queen can't just be mother of her child but must also be mother of her realm. Makoto could not help but admire the woman that her ditzy friend would someday become. That woman was willing to sacrifice her present happiness in Crystal Tokyo by sending her only daughter into the past so that her daughter could enjoy a life of anonymity and love. 'It was a wonderful gift that Neo-Queen Serenity gave Chibi-Usa. She doesn't see it. A chance at a normal life like Usagi always wanted. To be almost sisters. And what does that girl do? She squanders it on pettiness!'
The adolescent washed the bitter feeling she got with another sip of her green tea. She opened her eyes and looked down at the page before her. It was a photo of her parents and grandparents. It was taken not long after her parents had married.
She gently traced her parents' features and then her grandparents' on the photograph. 'If I had a Time Key of my own, I'd go back and tell them how much I appreciated them.' Makoto had done a poor job, or she felt she had. She loved her parents dearly. Nevertheless, at the time of their tragic deaths, she had a boundless spirit and was something of a tomboy, sometimes to her parents' distress. 'I was too young then to understand... If I had a key, I...'
Then it struck her. 'I do have one!' Her hand went to the breast pocket of her housecoat where she had placed the key that Usagi gave her to hold. Taking it out, she looked down at it in her hand. 'Do I dare?' Her last trip through the Gate of Time to say the least hadn't been much fun. 'But then, we had Chibi-Usa leading the way and a time traveling enemy...'
She gave it a moment more thought, staring at the photo. 'To go back and see them... I wouldn't interfere. I wouldn't tell them who I really was...' she promised herself as tempting as it would be. 'But to see them...' She took another sip of tea. 'It's decided.'
She gripped the Time Key tightly, closed the album gently, and put it aside. 'I'll do this... To see my parents one last time alive.'
She viewed this as the Fates gift to her and she wasn't going to waste it.
End of Chapter 2
Coming next in Chapter 3 "Arriving Via Time Gate..."
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