A Safe Walk Home
January 28th, 2018
Tag Chibiusa
Written by Harlow
It had been a bit more of an eventful trip to Crown's Fruit Parlor. He had been intending on getting a cake for Chibiusa to celebrate. What was the celebration? Well, so far they had managed to live on Earth right under the noses of the Black Moon Clan. It might not seem like much, but he knew that they were both wanted dead. Or perhaps in Chibiusa's case, they wanted her alive. Either way, they had managed to last another long bout of time in this hostile world without being caught. That was something to celebrate, even if it might not seem like it. The other reason was that he wanted to lift Chibiusa's spirits. He didn't want her to be sad. He was trying his best to provide for the both of them and keep her safe.

Some days it was easier said than done. Thankfully, he had managed to shake off his previous encounter with the mysterious girl that had run into him and he was going to head to the school. Chibiusa would be getting out soon, and he made it a point to meet her as often as he could so that he could walk home with her. She was thirteen years old now, and he knew he should give her some space, but he couldn't help but worry about her. The world was too dangerous now!

He'd managed to make it onto the bus just in time. He was sat in the back, thinking back to the odd girl that he'd run into. He'd been so angry that she hadn't been watching where she was going, but now that the event was over, he could actually think about what had happened. He should have been kinder. That was what Usako would have wanted, right?

His heart clenched painfully at the thought of his lost love and he lifted his chin to look out the windows. No. He wasn't going to think of her right now. He often spared himself the pain until he was alone in his bedroom where he could weep in privacy. He tried to keep his heartache hidden from the world, including Chibiusa. He needed to be strong for her and if she realized just how much he was hurting, he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to keep her safe. If she realized he was in so much pain, she would want to help him. That could be dangerous.

So he turned his attention to look outside as the buildings went by. It was another dark day. More people had been killed and more bodies were being burned or dumped in the water. He was disgusted that the Black Moon could commit so many murders and not a single one of them felt any sort of guilt. They were monsters and he wanted to make them pay. Of course, getting angry now wouldn't help him any more than being in pain over Usako would help him. He needed to pull himself together!

The bus finally came to a stop in front of the junior high school and he walked down the steps in silence, stopping in front of the school gate as the bus began to lumber off. He had his briefcase in one hand and the other was holding the box with the cake in it. He could hear the bell ring in the school. Good. He wasn't late. He'd already sent her a text that he would be waiting for her to walk her home.

Mamoru stood in relative silence as the students began to pour out of the building and through the gates. They were used to him by now. He dropped by often to walk his "little sister" home. He glanced at his watch. For a moment, he was worried that maybe she was staying after school for a club. Of course, that changed when he glanced up and saw her. She was the only one that ever got to see a genuine smile from him anymore, and his smile was warmer than usual. He held up the box with the cake inside so that she could see it.

"You've been doing well on your tests, Yumi-chan. I thought it would be good to celebrate with some cake after dinner." He knew she would love it. She loved sweets, just like Usako always did. He didn't let the pain show on his face, just that kind smile as Chibiusa came closer.

Written by Second
School had been, like, super-boring again, but it hadn't even been the fun kind of super boring. It wasn't the kind of super boring that was like, oh, say these phrases in English so you can go to business school or something later. No, it was the infuriating kind of boring, the kind where they sat in history class and the teacher uncomfortably read them a list of Black Moon lies and Nezumi sat there and clenched her fist and tried not to say "they killed my family, they're trying to kill me, they're the other people who ruined everything, how dare you".

She doesn't, because while she can sneak out of detention, she already gets in enough trouble at school 'cause she hates crowds.

It didn't help that she thinks the only reason she knows the teacher is uncomfortable is that she's resolutely listening as careful as she can every time they spout that stupid propaganda at her, so that when they throw more propaganda at her later, she's able to know exactly what the people who are stuck always listening to this stuff believe. So she can pick out the stuff that she needs to know from it. So that she doesn't give herself away and fail school and also die. (Death was generally not an option.)

She would have preferred calculus to this, and she barely knew calculus. Calculus sucked. She'd pretended she was only as smart as a nine-year-old for like a century when her tutors thought they could rope her into learning that kind of math (if no one was gonna let her grow up back then, she wasn't gonna act grown up) (if she'd known being hurt was how she'd start to grow up maybe she'd have stood on her own longer) (she hated magic sometimes). As much as math could suck, it didn't make her irrationally angry like trying to spout out lies at murderers and cowards did-

-the bell. Right. She got out of there fast, because if she got caught in the crush of the crowd on a day like this she was gonna do something dumb. She did a half-skipping, half-running thing out of the building, checking her phone for messages as she went. Nii-san was picking her up today. "Excuse me," she said, expertly shoving people aside. Some days, she really hated civilian school- civilian, when had she started using, it wasn't like she was a princess anymore anyway- she hated propaganda days, her head always got twisted around all wrong.

She darted out, right at Mamoru. "Nii-san!" she said, before pausing. "A cake? For me? Oh, thank you!" She grinned. "That's good because school sucked today, Nii-san, like really sucked, but this definitely makes it better!" A thumbs-up. She was ready to go home and pretend that things weren't awful. That would be great.

Written by Harlow
"Of course, I did. You've managed to behave yourself for a few days. I thought that we should celebrate that feat. But we'll have some when we get home." Mamoru said in a stern tone of voice. He worked very hard to make sure that he could give her what she needed. He had never really seen her as a daughter before but he knew that she was the only link he had to Usako anymore. Besides, she was an innocent girl and he wanted to protect her from the worst of what this world had to throw at them. A cake wasn't going to fix the world. It wasn't going to bring back the people that they had lost. But it could make them feel a little bit better, even if for just a short while.

Though he wasn't going to allow her to see what was on the cake just yet. Rabbits were a common theme in the world, but they had become a little more taboo since the Black Moon had taken over. Technically, they couldn't really outlaw anything and everything to do with rabbits, but it was still something that could draw attention to them. But he hoped she might like seeing it, because for just one night he wanted to be Mamoru and he wanted her to just be able to be Chibiusa.'

"What did you do today in class?" He asked. He asked this everyday because while he hated what the Black Moon had done to the schooling system, he still wanted to know that she was still learning new things. They did at least still teach the important subjects. Though he also knew that they tried to feed the children propaganda so that they would be raised to think that the White Moon and Sailor Senshi were evil. It was their faults that the world was in the state it was in.

It was a load of bullshit and he wondered how anyone could ever truly believe that.

"Come. You can tell me on the walk back to the apartment." He offered her another smile. He was glad that he was able to spend time with her, even if it was as mundane as them just walking home. The weather wasn't terrible today and for once, his health didn't feel as bad as it had been more recently. He was happy to spend even just a little bit of time with her.

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