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 7 "Making the Best of It"
Tuesday, May 10, 1994
Azuba-Juuban District, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Federal Republic of Japan
Kino Chiyo, still clad in her knee-length nightgown, came sleepily down the stairs and headed towards the kitchen. She'd go back up to her room after she'd managed to wake up a bit and in her mind, that took orange juice. The petite eleven (nearly twelve) year old came to a stop just inside the kitchen doorway that led into the hall when she found her sister there. "Wha...?" she croaked out as her still foggy brain tried to understand what her eyes were telling her.
Her sister was already dressed for the day in her blue-skirted Shiba Koen Junior High School uniform but was wearing an apron over it. She turned and smiled at her. "Ohayo, Chiyo-chan!" Chiyo shuddered. A chipper Makoto this early in the morning did not bode well for the world. "You okay?" She was now giving her a mildly concerned look.
"T-Ti..." Chiyo yawned. "Tired." She glanced around. "What are you doing, 'Nee-chan?"
"Breakfast," Makoto answered simply than supplied, "In ten more minutes anyway... And of course, lunch." She pointed to two neatly stacked bento boxes ready to go.
"Lunch?" the preteen asked dubiously. She thought that last night's cooking foray with her sister had been just a fluke. Even though she enjoyed it, there was no way that it could have carried over to today, could it? All the same, she knew her elder sister was only a mediocre cook especially compared to the prowess of their mother. Not that she herself was much better. 'Breakfast doesn't look too bad though.' One part of her mind pointed out, 'It smells good anyway.' Gingerly, she opened the top bento box and inspected its contents.
"Is it real?" Chiyo questioned. That got her an exasperated look. She decided to elaborate, "Um... I mean it looks like it's out of some food magazine or something, 'Nee-chan." The dirty look Makoto was giving her morphed into a huge grin.
"Well, Chiyo, I'm sure if you DON'T want it, Minako will," Makoto joked.
Bewildered, Chiyo vaguely wondered if there was anything stronger than orange juice she could drink. There was only one explanation. 'My sister's been possessed by a tanuki. That has to be it...'
# # # # #
"You're dumping me, Makoto?" Aino Minako was trying very hard not to laugh at the rather stunned look on Toya's face. She knew her friend planned to dump Taguchi Toya. Nevertheless, she just hadn't expected her to do it in such a public place. Other students entering the school building paused to gawk silently at the well-known senior year couple.
"Yes," Makoto said with firmness, "I'm simply not interested in you." Her task done, she started to push past the rejected beau but he grabbed her free wrist. Her other hand was still carrying her black school briefcase bookbag. She paused one foot slightly raised and she glanced down at his hand and then back up to him. "Yes?"
"You can't dump me," Toya growled noting the gathering crowd of students. Minako wondered what her brunette friend was going to do. "I mean you're just pissed about yesterday, ne? Things will get better."
"Taguchi-kun, please let go," the tall teen said simply. She didn't raise her voice; she didn't even glare at him. She just said it in a conversational tone with a neutral look on her face. Minako could see the boy's hand tense as if applying pressure.
"Mako-chan, can't we talk about this?" he almost whined.
"That's Kino-san..." She looked at her captive wrist again. "Will you hold this for me?" she asked Minako. Without waiting for a response from her friend, she tossed the blonde her school bookbag. The other students near the front doors continued watching the developing scene with growing interest. As Minako tried to field the bookbag, her ponytailed friend used her now free hand to grasp Toya's wrist that was holding hers. "Let go, Taguchi," she demanded in a stern tone. She still didn't raise her voice.
"Oh..." he began and then let out a gasp. Involuntarily, his fingers popped open and Makoto, smiling, lifted her now free hand and patted him gently on the cheek. "My type of guy is both a gentleman and good looking. I'm sorry to say, Taguchi-kun, you possess only one of those traits." Turning, the brown-haired teen retrieved her bookbag from a dumbstruck Minako and wandered inside to change into her school shoes. Even before the doors closed behind her, the crowd of students who'd witnessed the bizarre encounter was whispering to each other.
# # # # #
"Mako-chan, is it true you dumped Taguchi-kun?" Makoto had to stop herself from rolling her eyes. She'd been getting peppered with that question all morning. Now that it was lunchtime and there were fewer restrictions on the movement of students, she found herself surrounded by girls (mostly ninth-graders like herself) inside the school cafeteria. Since her arrival, she had quickly discovered that this timeline's Makoto was a more social animal than she was. Therefore, she had to say something. "Minna, why should I be interested in a guy that gropes me?" The circle of girls around her exchanged looks. "I mean without my permission." That got some giggles and even made her blush.
A few minutes later, she ate her lunch from her bento box at the table as she listened to her friends (including Minako) prattle on about who might ask the now available star basketball forward out. She nearly choked when one of them asked whom she had her sights set on. "Nobody," she squawked. "I think I'll fly solo for a while... See what turns up along the way." That atypical statement set off even more speculation by the gathered group.
'Kami-sama...' Makoto moaned as she went back to her lunch, 'I wish I was eating lunch with Usagi and Ami. Things were a lot simpler. Usagi only talked about Mamoru, food, or how annoying Chibi-Usa was while Ami read a book.'
The thought of her Sailor Senshi friends made the brunette frown. 'They're the same but different here. Is it for the better though?' She mulled that thought over but hadn't construed a satisfactory answer by the end of the lunch period. As she pulled out the textbooks for her the next period, she pushed the question away. 'Not my concern,' she told herself, 'Everything seems to be going all right so far.'
Her initial confusion of this new timeline was wearing off bit by bit and while she still felt a little unbalanced at times, waking up to her own family was something that made Makoto very happy.
# # # # #
When Makoto met Minako after school, she noticed the blonde was looking a little sour. "What's wrong, Minako-chan?" she asked as she was putting on her street shoes, "Someone turn you down?"
"I wish," Minako replied with a huff. "I just have a lot of homework." She regarded her friend as they left the school building, "Ne Mako-chan...?"
"Hai?" the brunette responded while glancing at her friend. She was dreading that Minako was going to ask for her permission to date Toya.
"Mako-chan, I know..." The beribboned teen paused for a moment and then continued, "I know you normally aren't much into sports."
"I have a distinct disadvantage," the tall teen agreed ruefully while looking down at her buxom chest, "But yes, I'm not much of an athlete but somehow, Minako, I get the feeling that you're gonna ask me to sign up for something."
Minako blushed a little but pressed ahead. "Listen... Will you at least hear me out, Mako-chan?"
"Sure," was the response. 'I am so glad it isn't about Toya!'
"Okay, Mako-chan, it's like this. The girls' softball team wants me to come to tryouts next week..."
Makoto had to wait until they had skirted a knot of students on the sidewalk outside the main gate before she could ask, "But...?"
"Well," the ribbon-wearing teen admitted. "I can't play softball. It runs the same time volleyball does." The blonde paused. "Plus I rarely ever play softball."
'Then why did they ask her?' Makoto mused but didn't ask it. She rubbed her temples for a moment and then inquired, "So what does this have to do with me, Minako-chan?"
"Mako-chan, I can't play cause of my schedule but you majorly could. I mean you're strong and could probably knock the ball clear to Pluto if you hit it right." The tall teen opened her mouth to disagree but Minako hurried on, "Listen, please? Not only would this be a great chance for you to get on a team... which looks good but... Well, boys are more into softball than volleyball unless it involves beaches and bikinis. We'll get you a good sports bra and..." She trailed off.
'She thinks I'm on the rebound from Toya!' She didn't bother to confirm that assumption. Instead, she said, "I was actually going to look into joining the Home Ec Club." Makoto had been a respected member of the Home Economics Club at Juuban Junior High School.
"I don't think turning the school into a charred cinder will do much for your school record, Mako-chan. It's already looking grim with the Go Home Club on it." Makoto stiffened and opened her mouth to argue but Minako was saved by Chiyo.
"MINAKO-'NEECHAN!" Chiyo called and waved as she spotted the two ninth-graders coming down the sidewalk. "ONEE-CHAN!" She gave Makoto a hug when her sister was close enough. "That lunch was awesome!"
"Lunch?" Minako asked curiously.
"Yeah, 'Nee-chan made my lunch today," Chiyo replied, "I was sorta dubious..." The fifth-grader blushed. "But after I tasted it, it was majorly good... almost as good as Mom... 'Though you made too much."
Makoto shrugged but smiled. 'Not like I can tell them I normally make that amount because Usagi is usually staving by lunchtime and I wouldn't have any left for myself otherwise.' As they started across the road, she asked her sister, "So what did you do with the rest then, Chiyo-chan?"
"Shared it out. They loved it too, Onee-chan. Arigato," Chiyo gushed. There was almost a riot once they got a taste. "We're going to the shrine, ne?"
"Yeah, Mom said it was okay if I wanted to," Makoto said with a shrug. "I don't see why we shouldn't go and study with the rest of the girls."
# # # # #
Hino Usagi entered her bedroom in the private quarters of the Hikawa Shrine and found Luna staring out the window. "See a tasty bird out there?" The black lunar cat turned her head and gave the Moon Princess a dirty look. The blonde only giggled before pushing the door closed with her foot and starting to undress.
"Yuuichiro-kun was here earlier, Usagi." That made Usagi pause pulling off her uniform top. "He's looking quite good."
"That's nice," Usagi said neutrally.
"He's gotten over the crush he had on you last year," Luna informed her charge while turning around, "Cleaned up too."
"So why was he here, Luna?" Usagi wondered.
"Seems he wanted some advice from your grandfather." That made the pigtailed priestess roll her eyes. Her grandfather's advice could sometimes lead people astray if she wasn't around to moderate him. She knew too that Kumada Yuuichiro had always been an impressionable young man. "I see... What else is new?" she asked as she changed into some more comfortable clothing.
"Artemis and I have been picking up some odd signals from the Infinity Academy."
"Where Serenity's friend Hotaru goes to school?"
"Would that have anything to do with why Sailor Pluto and the other two Outer Senshi wanting to kill her, Luna?"
"I don't know, Usagi. The signals we're getting are diffuse so it's hard to tell exactly what's happening." The feline shrugged. "And we're not sure if sneaking inside that place would be a good idea."
"Maybe the Sailor Senshi should have a look some night," the blond priestess offered.
"We can discuss it this weekend," Luna agreed. "That'll give Artemis and me more time to sniff around."
# # # # #
Makoto headed up the stairs to complete the homework that she hadn't finished at the shrine. As she made her way to her room, she thought about the new bits of information she'd picked up that afternoon. Upon arriving at the shrine, she, Minako, and Chiyo had encountered Furuhata Unazuki, a girl about a year older than they were. She worked part-time at the Crown Fruit Parlor where her older brother Motoki (and one-time love interest of both she and Usagi) worked.
In their brief conversation, Makoto had been relieved to find out that Motoki was fine. While she'd gotten over her crush, she still liked the young man. It had been a surprise to find out that he was attending K.O. University; this was not the same university that Mamoru was in. 'I wonder how he feels NOT going to Azabu Institute of Technology?' She mentally shook her head. 'I guess it doesn't really matter.'
Unazuki had come to the shrine to buy a good luck charm for Motoki's new apartment located closer to the university. 'I wonder why Rei never said that she and Unazuki go to the same school?' Makoto had to smile as she finished mounting the stairs and turned down the hall towards her room. 'Then again, Rei's such a firebrand, poor Unazuki might have flown under the radar.' She had just entered her bedroom and crossed to the desk when Chiyo came slouching in.
"Hey, something wrong?"
"No," the twelve year old said as she flopped onto her sister's bed. "Are you done your homework, 'Nee-chan?"
"Almost, Chiyo-chan. I just have to finish up a couple of things I didn't get done at the shrine." She paused. "Why? Need help?"
"No, 'Nee-chan. I thought we'd walk out and rent a tape."
"A movie?" Chiyo asked sarcastically while giving her sister annoyed look, "You know rectangular boxes with magnetic tape inside that you stick into a VCR?"
"No need to be grumpy," the teen retorted while glaring at her sister.
"You'd be grumpy too if you had to draw a map of the DPRJ for Geography!"
"Come again?" the tall teen asked as she started hunting in her schoolbag for the books she needed.
"DPRJ," Chiyo said mournfully. "You know... the Democratic People's Republic of Japan." The younger girl rolled to her stomach, propped her chin in her hands, and snorted. "Like anyone would care what it looks like."
Makoto was blinking. She tried to grasp what her little sister was saying but she couldn't 'So... when Grandpa Hino was reading the newspaper and Chiyo mentioned the DPRJ before... But what exactly does that mean? Are they like the Chinese?' She couldn't ask Chiyo without it looking suspicious. 'But I should know at least so I won't look stupid.' She grimaced. 'I guess I'd better visit the library over the lunch break.'
"Being snarky to me does not inspire me to coax Mom into letting us get a movie," she reminded the younger girl.
Chiyo blushed. "Gomen!" She looked depressed. "I could always just take a `F´ on it I s'ppose."
"Hey! I'm improving my grades so you don't get to flunk anything, Imouto. You're my role model after all." That got a giggle out of the preteen.
"So, about going to get a movie?"
"I'm grounded," the teen pointed out. Besides, she wanted to hunt through her history textbook. 'That might save me a trip to the library.'
"Yeah but I'm not. You'd just be chaperoning me, Onee-chan." The younger girl gave her sister a pleading look. "Please?"
Makoto smiled. "All right, Chiyo. Go ask Mom or Dad if it's okay, and I'll be down in a second."
"HAI!" Chiyo shouted. She bounced from the bed and fled the room at top speed. It reminded Makoto of Usagi.
# # # # #
Wednesday, May 11, 1994
Azuba-Juuban District, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Federal Republic of Japan
The next day was overcast. It had rained on and off for most of the morning and the current pattering of rain against the school library windows was a backdrop for Makoto's research. It was a larger library than the one at her old school. She was standing before a shelf of a large bookcase considering what book she should select when someone approached her.
"What are you doing?" the voice from behind Makoto asked. The tall brunette nearly jumped out of her skin. She whipped around and found Minako regarding her critically. "Are you feeling all right, girlfriend?"
"Minako," Makoto hissed while trying to slow her heart down, "What are you doing here?"
"That's what I wanted to know, Mako-chan," her friend countered. "I showed up at lunch. The girls didn't know where you were so I came looking." Minako looked about her. "And found you here in the library of all places." The look on the blonde's face suggested the room was potentially lethal. "Did you take a blow to the head this morning?"
"No," Makoto said with a huff, "They assigned my class a history project." Her fib had taken inspiration from Chiyo's essay assignment as a way to explain her sudden interest in the subject. "So I thought I'd come and grab a couple books before all the good ones were checked out."
"Oh dear, it's worse than I thought," the blonde remarked sorrowfully noticing the non-fiction texts she was near.
"Listen, Minako, I need good grades 'cause I'm thinking of asking my parents if I could get a part-time job," the brunette explained. "'Sides, aren't your parents after you about your grades too?"
"True..." Minako remarked, "But I just hate wasting potential boy-hunting time, Mako-chan."
"I'm going solo from now on. It's much easier."
"You're swearing off boys?" Minako sounded scandalized.
"For now... Considering my luck lately, I think it's prudent." Makoto turned back to the bookshelf and reaching up took a book. "Let me find two more, Minako-chan, and I'll come to lunch with you."
"All right, Mako, but I still say this studying thing is unnatural."
# # # # #
"Mako-chan!" the voice of Makoto's mother floated up the stairs, "Chiyo should be done soon. Can you go meet her?"
"Okay Mom!" Makoto called back. Using her pencil as a bookmark, she closed her textbook, stretched, and then stood up. Instead of going to the shrine for a study session, she had stayed home so that she could more easily walk to Chiyo's school to meet her after her Drama Club meeting had finished. While it might have been a good opportunity to do the research that she had been planning, her other homework took priority.
Trotting downstairs, the brown-haired teen got her jacket, pulled on her shoes, and called, "Leaving now, Mom. Back in a few!"
"All right, dear," her mother said, "Dinner's almost ready." Makoto nodded and left the house. She had just reached the sidewalk and turned right headed for Chiyo's school when a familiar voice pulled her up short.
"Usagi-chan!" she greeted the petite blond priestess, "What brings you over?"
Usagi waved but didn't answer until she was closer to her. The pigtailed teen was dressed casually in a set of pink overalls and a red sweater against the oncoming evening chill. "Hi Mako-chan. Did I catch you at a bad time?"
"No, I was just on my way to pick up Chiyo," Makoto informed her. "What's up?" She glanced around and lowered her voice, "Something come up at the meeting?"
Usagi shook her head. "Mind if I tag along?" As they started walking together, Usagi confided, "I was just feeling restless and with you and Minako missing..."
"Hai," she said. "I was wondering where you might be so I thought I'd come over and see how things were going."
"I think I know where Minako is, Usagi-chan," the brunette commented with a smirk. "Asia-kun was practicing volleyball. Minako said she'd head over there and tell you that I had to skip today's meeting after saying a quick hello to him. I guess she got distracted."
Usagi giggled. "Ah, well that solves the mystery. I wonder if she'd ever tell him that she likes him?"
"I think he's already dating someone," Makoto ventured. "I don't think Minako wouldn't chase after him if he wasn't."
"So did anything come up at the meeting anyway?"
"Nothing much," Usagi admitted with a sigh. "Artemis fells frustrated that he and Luna haven't been able to pinpoint a potential location." Usagi shrugged. "I mean Eudial drives a distinctive car so they've been concentrating on potential locations where a car could be stored."
"With no luck, ne?" Makoto surmised. "Well, look at where the Dark Kingdom had their secret entrance. Who would've thought it was behind a garage door?"
The blonde nodded. "Those were some of the first places they checked, Mako-chan."
The pair fell silent for a few minutes as they crossed the train tracks and then turned down the block containing Chiyo's elementary school. "So, if I'm not prying... How are you handling things after breaking up with Toya?"
Makoto grinned. "Sugoi! It's the best thing to have happened to me." She reached up and brushed a bit of hair out of her green eyes. "You know Minako figured I should join the softball team." That got a disbelieving look from her friend. "Yeah, I know, Usagi-chan... Can you see me running around the bases with these?" She glanced down at her chest. This produced a quick flash of envy and rather unladylike snort from Usagi before she started laughing. Giving her friend a rueful look, the brunette announced, "But I've decided to join the Home Ec club."
"Good for you, Makoto!" Usagi applauded with a smile. "A club is certainly a good thing."
"Oh, and what clubs are you in?" Makoto retorted. 'My Usagi was the poster child for the Go Home Club.'
"The art club," Usagi offered. "I might not be the best member but..." She broke off as they heard the squeal of tires as a car came around the corner at high speed. By the time they had turned their heads, the white station wagon was already alongside them. Makoto's eyes widened as she caught the flash of red hair. 'That's... no way!' The station wagon flew passed them and turned right sharply into Chiyo's school.
"That was Eudial!" Usagi exclaimed while immediately reaching for her communicator.
"Are you sure?" Makoto asked even as she was reaching for her transformation pen.
"That station wagon looks like the one she uses plus the the woman driving it was on the wrong side and she had red hair!" Usagi supplied before she turned her attention to calling the others.
Makoto paused for a brief moment. 'When did Usagi become so observant?' Shrugging it off, she glanced around, saw the street was empty, and lifting her pen into the air called out, "JUPITER STAR POWER, MAKE-UP!"
Usagi flipped her communicator compact closed, grabbed her own transformation broach, and spoke the words, "MOON COSMIC POWER, MAKE-UP!"
End of Chapter 7
Coming next in Chapter 8 "A Knock at the Door"
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