Continuing Tales


A Sailor Moon Story
by LovelyLytton

Part 30 of 42

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"So please help with this, I am confused. You are not talking to Rei because she didn't want to come to the pledging ceremony due to my alleged evilness?"

Makoto nodded with furrowed brows, while sorting through her cookbooks.

"And Minako is not talking to Rei because she knew about Takeshi and didn't tell her?"

Another nod, but the brunette's face was carefully devoid of judgement.

"And Rei tried not talking to Ami because she's been in cahoots with Minako about searching for Ando, but that didn't work because it is physically impossible to remain angry with Ami?"

The nod now came in the company of a smile, and one stack of books was pushed to the side.

"Rei is not talking to any of us shitennou because she is convinced that we are going to do something terrible to you all?"

Makoto's pink lips became a thin line as she again moved her head in that assertive motion.

"Takeshi and Minako are not talking because she and Ando are friends?"

The fifth nod was followed by a derogatory snort, one that made sure that Hiromasa knew exactly where his girlfriend stood on this matter.

"And Ando and Takeshi are not talking because Takeshi blames Ando for not being able to talk to Minako?"

A final nod.

"Oh boy, what a mess."

Makoto and Hiromasa stood in her flat and were filling one box after another with all of her cherished belongings. She carefully wrapped a delicate vase in an old newspaper, praying that it would survive the transport without breaking. It had belonged to her mother, and she held it dear. They had decided to move in with each other about three weeks after meeting again, and signed the lease on their flat a few days ago.

"You're right, it is a mess. At least Umino and Ami are getting along. By the way, they offered their help for the move. I wanted to check with you before accepting, but I think it is a very nice idea and I'd love to have someone help us."

Looking at the countless boxes in the room, Hiromasa grinned. "Please, tell them to come as soon as they can. But I wonder if Umino has realised that lifting boxes as heavy as yours might cause him to sweat."

His snicker was punished by a painful swat of hers. "Oh shush, it's not nice that you always tease him about his vanity. I seriously don't think it's that bad."

Hiro raised a brow in response. "He studies philosophy, Makoto, philosophy! He sits around with fake glasses and reads Descartes!"

Makoto snickered and wrapped the vase in yet another layer of paper.

Usagi had been delirious to see one of her friends this happy, and had offered to paint the walls of their new place while the two of them packed up Makoto's things.

Naturally, Usagi had no intention of doing this alone and had immediately asked Minako to come and join her, which the other girl promptly did. It was only a little over seven weeks ago that she had hidden herself from the world in her flat and soaked up the treacherous peace the silence afforded her, but things were different now. Even a minute spend without company drove her up the walls and she had almost considered to ask Artemis to move in with her for a few days. The guardian from Mau was something of a father figure to her, albeit annoying her to death half of the time they spend together. Either way, he was family and his company would do her some good, but Luna wouldn't like that, so she came home to an empty flat every night. It was now devoid of the man whose solemn presence had filled it so well and the difference almost made her cave and seek him out. Valentine's Day had passed without so much as a note, but she pretended to be fine and dived into the challenges her neglected studies provided her with.

Ando and her met almost every other day, both feeling treated unfairly by those who should know better. They had long conversations about how much he disliked the city and her worries as to what to do once she earned her degree, but whatever thoughts were expressed, none were acted upon. He stayed in Tokyo, and she didn't look for intern-ships or job offers. They floundered, and both were waiting to be found.

"Hmm, this doesn't look right, does it, Usa?"

Usagi fumbled with the paper hat she put on top of her odangos, smudging it and her hair with the pale green colour. The upper part of the wall was considerably darker than the lower one.

"I don't get it, we did use the same colour and yet it looks so wrong."

The deep amused sound of Mamoru's voice interrupted their musings, as he entered baring some highly anticipated pizza for the busy bees. "You've applied different amounts of paint. Just add another layer to the bottom part and you should be fine."

Winking, he added: "And if it doesn't work, we'll just put their wardrobe in front of this wall."

The three of them sat down on the floor, and the girls hastily began to devour the hot pizza. The clever man had brought more than enough, so there was no battle between the girls as to who would get the last piece. Munching, Minako looked out of the window, seeing the empty crowns of the trees shaking in the wind. "This place is so pretty. How on earth did they manage to find it and so quickly at that? House hunting in Tokyo is a nightmare."

Usagi immediately shoved another bite into her mouth, successfully preventing herself from having to answer the question. Mamoru had no such luck and accepting the ungrateful task, spoke up hesitantly.

"This is one of the buildings Takeshi designed. He asked around a bit, and found out that there was a free flat here and secured it for them. It's a small thank you to Makoto for welcoming him without any reservations and introducing him to Hiromasa, I suppose."

Minako just got up, gripped the paintbrush again and started resolutely on the upper part of the wall. Neither Usagi nor Mamoru alerted her to her mistake.

A loud knock on her front door sounded through the almost empty place. Umino's and Ami's helping hands had been a wonderful addition to their task, so most of her stuff was already in the moving van downstairs. The girls and Mamoru had finished painting yesterday and even volunteered to build up some of their furniture, including their extremely heavy wardrobe.

Today would be the day of the big move; she was ecstatic, and he no less so.

Her face fell when she noticed who had entered the room, and she felt Hiromasa stiffen beside her.

"Hello Rei", she managed to get out, sincerely hoping that her friend had come with good intentions, with congratulations on their new home or best wishes for their future as a couple.

The raven-haired girl inclined her head in greeting, but there was something about her stance that made Makoto realize that she was still angry with the world and not quite ready to make nice.

"Nephrite, I need to speak to Jadeite. Can you tell me where to find him?"

She followed the tall man's directions and indeed found him in second place of the small list Nephrite had readily made for her in an attempt to placate the most difficult of the senshi. The café of the Museum of Modern Art was brimming, and he sat perched on a comfortable armchair in the middle of the noise, a laptop computer balanced carefully on his knees while he was writing something on a small notepad in his hand. The table in front of him was filled with sticky notes, an empty plate and a cup of what she supposed was coffee.

He didn't notice her coming, so concentrated was he on the article he was writing. Her movements were almost noiseless and she approached him like a panther would its prey. Seeing his curly bend head tore at her, feelings demanded to be recognized, but she was a woman on a mission, one in which there was no place for whatever those feelings were. Only when she had positioned herself directly in front of him, did she speak, but her voice sounded more like an angry hiss.

"How dare you use Minako to get to me? I shouldn't expect anything else from you, but this was despicable."

He finished the sentence he was jotting down before facing her, clinging to the familiarity of writing like a lifeline. She did give him a grudging credit for not jumping at the sudden noise, but that was it. His heart threatened to burst through his skin, but controlling himself had been the first lesson Kunzite had taught him, and he was glad to have this knowledge to fall back on. Of course, there was still a lot that could be read from his face, but he was able to restrict the urge to kiss her then and there in a doomed attempt to make her forget his treason. He was sure Takeshi would be proud, if he could get over that teeny-tiny Minako thing.

"She wasn't used at all, I wouldn't do that to her. Minako was very much aware of what my intentions were and acted on her own accord. And you have to agree that keeping this from her was quite cruel."

"Cruel? You dare to call me cruel? You of all people? She would have never verbally attacked me like this on her own accord!" The people at the neighbouring tables had started to take notice of the doubtlessly interesting events and began to listen in.

He placed the computer on the table, but kept the notepad in his hand.

A long forgotten mischievous gleam took up residence in his blue eyes, and they sparkled with opportunity.

"Really? Then you and I must have very different memories of the Silver Millennium. I wonder whose are right."

Her response was a hard slap across his handsome face and he stared after her for a long time after she had stormed away, holding his fingers to his stinging cheek, grinning from ear to ear. She would come back for more and slowly, he would assuage her hatred and mould it into a feeling no less strong, but more benevolent in its nature. It had worked once before, after all.

Hanging up clothes in their newly erected wardrobe, a grinning Hiromasa addressed the girl next to him.

"So you and Rei are talking again, because even though she didn't apologize, she was polite."

"Yes. An apology from Rei is unheard of, she doesn't to them. So her asking for help and not getting upset over the idea of us moving in together is actually quite good."

"I see. And she did talk to me. Three whole sentences, quite good, huh?"

Makoto chuckled and placed a kiss on his lips, before taking the shirt he was folding out of his hand and putting it on a hanger instead.


"And then she talked to, well shouted at is probably more appropriate, Ando, which means that some sort of dangerous contact has been established."

"Someone should tell him not to taunt her too much, or she will probably set him on fire then and there." No it was his turn to laugh, and he picked up a large sun hat adorned with flowers and put it on top of his unruly hair.

"Do you seriously wear that?", he askes before dissolving into laughter.

After a day spend in the presence of her friends, her flat seemed lonelier than ever. She turned the TV on as soon as she entered in an attempt to fill it with voices and sounds to smooth over the eerie silence. With him, silence wasn't eerie, it was something to be filled with touch instead.

Standing in front of her empty fridge, she realized how hungry she was. But all her pantry provided was a pack of cornflakes, and she didn't have any milk. Checking her watch, she cursed.

The shops were already closed and she was so accustomed to Makoto's or Takeshi's cooking that most fast food didn't meet her taste any more. She could always ring Mamoru and ask him where he got that excellent pizza, but he and Usa were still very much acting like newly-weds and she didn't want to interrupt whatever they were doing after having had to restrain themselves all day long because of the company they had been in. She could go to a restaurant, but the prospect of sitting alone at a table for two was not an inviting one. Ando had an article to finish, so he wasn't available to keep her entertained either. Ami had reluctantly accepted a dinner invitation from Umino earlier, it was their first proper date and the shy girl had been so nervous that she almost went in the clothes she had worn during the move.

Once again, Ando sauntered right into Takeshi's office, but the plump secretary had long since gone home to her cat and to her knitting, so nobody stood in his way this time.

"It is a bit late to be working, when you have a beautiful girl waiting for, you know."

The pencil Takeshi was holding snapped.

"Your pulling my leg!", exclaimed an on the counter leaning Usagi the next day. Ami had stopped to look at the cakes on display and focused her attention on Makoto.

"No, I swear it's true. Ando came in this morning, all smiles, despite the huge black eye he was sporting. When Hiro quizzed him about it, he just grinned and said that he and Takeshi had resolved their differences."

Ami put a finger to her lips and tapped it against them, before asking with a perfectly serious face: "Do you think we should ask Umino to take a picture for Rei?"

The three girls exchanged one look and promptly burst into giggles.

Leaning on the wall that hid the Tsukino house from view, Minako waited for Artemis to arrive.

"Shouldn't you be in a lecture?", the familiar voice sounded next to her ear.

Grinning, the girl turned around and winked at the cat perched high up on the wall. "Shouldn't you have fathered a couple of cute kittens by now?" If a cat would be able to frown, Artemis would have done so.

They walked to the park in companionable silence and only when there were hidden from view behind some trees, did they begin to speak again. Artemis was the first to do so.

"What do you make of the shitennous' return? Thank you for telling me by the way, it was so good that I knew all about it before I ran into Nephrite in Makoto's shop and shouted that an enemy was eating her cake."

The blonde chuckled. "I assumed that you heard it from Luna, who I thought would have been notified by Usagi."

Pouting, her guardian responded. "Well, you thought wrong. And don't think that I haven't noticed you not answering my question."

Eyeing her mud crusted shoes with more attention than they deserved, she mumbled something among the lines of " opinion, really...great for Mako and Ami,...bit difficult though...arguing...", but what it was precisely she was saying Artemis couldn't make out, for her scarf swallowed most of her words.

It was enough to make his fur stand on end.

"Minako, I cannot believe I of all people am actually saying this, but you should try to resolve whatever is standing between you and Kunzite. This has gone on for centuriesand I simply cannot stand to hear more of this he-is-treating-me-like-a-child and we-are-arguing-all-the-time nonsense that we both know you were going to bring up once you were sure that I wasn't going to interfere."

Artemis was pounding his tail on the floor in a gesture of desperation. He imitated her voice while speaking, and the effect was quite remarkable. "Ohhhh Artemis, I am the senshi of love and yet all we ever do is argue. Why oh why don't things work out for us? He is soooo jealous."

Dumbfounded, the senshi looked at the irate white cat in front of her, before bursting into laughter a second later.

Looking up to the heavens, Artemis grumbled.

"If I had known that my only reward for helping this girl would be her silly laughter and complete and utter ignorance of everything I say, I would have at least fought harder to be allowed to use my human form whenever it pleases me."

When she got home that night, her fridge was still empty, the rooms were still silent and the sheets still carried his smell. Thinking of Makoto and Hiromasa in their new flat, Usagi and Mamoru in their marriage and Ami and Umino in their lively conversations, her heart constricted painfully in her chest. Throwing her pride in the wind, she left.

It took her almost forty minutes to reach his building. The concierge waved at her, as he had already wondered where the pretty girl had been over the past two weeks.

Standing in the lift, she nervously tapped her feet on the floor, leaving muddy prints on the pristine carpeting. When it finally arrived on the top floor, she escaped with one big step and stood in the hall for a minute. What if he didn't want to see her? Gathering her courage around her like a cloak, she closed the distance to his door and knocked. She could hear the sound of Schubert through the walls, and gulped. After a waiting for a bit, she concluded that either he hadn't heard her knock or decided not to act on it. She lifted her fist again, bringing it down heavily on the white-painted wood.

Their argument had been bad, granted, and that they hadn't been in contact with each other for almost fifteen days didn't make things any easier, but just shutting her out like this was not an option! She began to bang on his door in earnest now, trying to fight the tears that were forming in her eyes at the same time. She had been fine before, living alone hadn't bothered her then. But he was able to give her something that her friends couldn't. Her world had been rearranged and just when she had accepted this, he chose not to respond to her attempt to make an apolo-

The door was ripped open before she could finish her thought.

Looking into a pair of stormy green eyes, she stood her ground, hoping that the rug wouldn't be pulled from under feet yet again.


A Sailor Moon Story
by LovelyLytton

Part 30 of 42

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