A Week in the Life of a Senshi
seven brief glimpses by Dot
~ Getsuyoubi – Moon’s Day ~
Always the same thing. A monster shows up, we fight it, then I blast it to smithereens. Then we go back to our “normal” lives and wait for the next disaster.
And Mom wonders why my grades are so bad.
Okay, so I never was a great student in the first place, but now studying is just about impossible, not with all the world-saving I have to do. I’ll never understand how Ami makes it look so easy; she must have a second brain in that head of hers or something.
Luna says to think of all this as training, for when I become Queen. As if being the ruler of Crystal Tokyo did me a lot good—in the notes I get from myself, my handwriting is as bad as ever, and I still haven’t learned any big words. Maybe Neo Queen Serenity didn’t have her daughter come from the future to warn her, or maybe it was the very act of time travel that brought the danger in the first place—my head hurts just thinking about it, and this is the stuff Pluto has to deal with all the time. (Man, poor Setsuna. I’ll bet she had a fit when the news came out that her home was no longer considered a planet.)
Mamoru hugs me. “Penny for your thoughts, meatball head.” He croones, using the old insult that is now—or maybe it always was—his way telling me he loves me. “Are you pining for our little bunny again?”
“Why should I?” I ask, sticking out my tongue. “She can visit any time she wants, even if my future self tries to ground her.” But we both know that I miss her, annoying brat or not. I place his hand on my stomach and smile. “Besides, she’s going to be real soon enough, thanks to you.”
He blushes all the way to the tips of his ears.
~ Kayoubi – Tyr’s Day ~
It was stupid to be waiting in line to see this so-called fortune teller. Whether she was real or not wouldn’t affect me one way or the other. But I couldn’t help but feel a little bit curious—maybe even jealous—about this strange lady that was attracting so much business. I wanted to know what her methods were, and learn from them if I could.
Usagi would laugh at me if she saw me here: a shrine maiden whose specialty was reading omens going to a fortune teller for advice. But who’s to say I didn’t need a little guidance now and then? As much as I love my Queen and my fellow warriors, I’d rather let them enjoy the carefree adolescent life when we weren’t battling the forces of darkness.
At last, I was at the head of the line. The woman took my hand into hers, closed her eyes, and began to chant. Soon, she seemed to be in some sort of trance, her expression alternately vacant and intense. Her assistant passed her the sacred brush, and she scribbled the message of the gods onto the parchment before her.
“Algae grows in your sleep. Be careful.”
I blinked, not sure if I should feel disappointed, relieved, or amused. What in the world was that supposed to mean?
“I’m sorry,” the lady apologized, flustered. “This has never happened before.”
“No, that’s all right,” I said with a smile. “I’m sure there is truth hidden in your words.” If what you claim is real, I thought to myself.
I felt my danger sense kicking in as panicked screams broke out in the distance. Guidance could wait; right now, I had my duty to attend to.
I threw a wad of money on the table, not bothering to count it. “Keep the change,” I called over my shoulder as I ran to a more secluded spot to transform.
The pond sludge monster that we had to battle haunted my nightmares for two weeks.
After that, I became her best customer.
~ Suiyoubi – Woden’s Day ~
I put down the book and sigh, my head throbbing with groups, fields, and finite covers.
Umino looks up from his microbiology homework. “Would you like some coffee, Mizuno-san?”
“Yes, that would be nice.” I smile at him. “You read my mind, Umino-kun.”
As expected, he still flushes as he gets up. “You’re such a tease.”
I smile again. “Only you would say such a thing.”
This time, he flushes deeper. He’s so cute when he does that. “One lump or two?”
“Black, please.” My communicator goes off just as he finishes pouring me a mug, and I curse under my breath. “Nevermind, Umino-kun, I have to run.”
“It’s them again, isn’t it?” He asks. He doesn’t need to elaborate, and neither do I. It is, forever and always, our secret.
“It’s my duty.” We always go through this little ritual, both for him and for me. Despite being a Senshi for all this time, I still wrestle with my fair share of doubts.
“You’ll be killed someday.” It is not a question, but a certainty. It is, after all, just a matter of time.
“I won’t abandon my friends just because I’m scared of death.” And boy, am I scared. Every time we fight, I ask myself, is today the day?
“Are they truly your friends?” Umino’s voice is quiet, but his words stab into me like swords. This is always the question that takes me the longest to answer. I close my eyes and think back. Rei. Makoto. Minako. Hotaru. Haruka. Michiru. Setsuna.
I find my answer. “Yes. And my fellow warriors.”
Umino nods, approving. “Then go.” He gives me a quick hug. “And be careful.”
I hug back. “I will.”
~ Mokuyoubi – Thor’s Day ~
Usagi’s eyes danced with delight as she samples my latest masterpiece. “Ooh. Delicious.”
I puffed my chest out and held my ladle in the air as if it were my wand. “Another victory for the forces of Fine Dining.”
Minako cut herself another piece of cake. “Now there’s an idea—peace through food. Not even a youma would be able to resist Mako-chan’s cooking.”
I put a hand on my hip. “All right, now you’re making fun of me.”
“No, I think that’s a good idea!” Usagi declared, her eyes sincere.
Rei seemed on the verge of a sarcastic comment, but just snatched a bit of food from Usagi’s plate instead. “Less talk, more eating.”
And Usagi, instead of crying about how mean Rei was, just stuck her tongue out and went back to attacking her food.
I turned my attention back to the pot still cooking on the stove, hiding a small smile. Although neither of them meant any real venom with their bickering any more—if ever—it was still good to see that they were starting to grow up, if only a little.
Then again, sometimes it wasn’t so bad to be a kid.
“You have something on your nose,” I told Usagi, then smeared a dollop of sauce on her as she looked up.
Usagi managed half a pathetic expression before dissolving into laughter.
The resulting food fight took us longer to clean up than the cooking did.
~ Kinyoubi – Freya’s Day ~
Artemis doesn’t blow a top any more when he sees me dressed up for one of my dates, but he still can’t help complaining. “Must you go out with such shallow boys? And in those outfits, no less!”
I kiss him on the forehead, knowing that he means well by his nagging. “How else will I find the real gems? And besides, even the most gallant of princes needs a little eye candy.”
Artemis seems to weigh several options before he just sighs and curls up into a fuzzy white ball. “You know the curfew. Don’t be late.”
I blow him another kiss. “I never am.”
I meet my date at the corner soda shop, kind of cute with a killer smile and a certain way with words that would make any girl’s heart flutter. Too bad I’m not just any girl, and while his attentions are flattering, I know that he’s not handing out free compliments for nothing. Still, it’s too soon to tell if he is interested in me or just wants to get into my pants.
Or turn out to be an enemy. That’s happened a few times, too. And even twice at the same time, once. It was a little disappointing to discover that my instincts were right about both of them.
We finish our sodas and head for the cinema. I suggest a movie that ends with plenty of time for me to go home, a safe bland documentary about penguins or somesuch. He offers up a chick flick as an alternative, and I answer, as half of a joke, that he shouldn’t have to suffer.
Sensing that I’m a big fish, he acquiesces and spends most of the movie drumming his fingers, tapping his toes, or rolling his eyes. Not that I’m sneaking side glances at him or anything. I just happen to have excellent peripheral vision, and he was kind of obvious.
Sigh. Maybe the good men are either taken, or gay, or evil after all. Or some combination thereof.
I decline to let him walk me home. After all, the night is still young if he’s that desperate to get laid.
Artemis hasn’t had time to pretend that he was asleep when I return. “That bad, huh?”
I make a face at him. “Shut up and get ready, Artemis.”
This makes him even more surprised. “What, starting the patrol already?”
“Why not? It’s not like I’ve got anything else lined up for tonight.” I wink at him. “We’ll make it a date.”
~ Doyoubi – Saturn’s Day ~
Hotaru peered up from her planner, the glasses she wore to make her look more grown-up slipping down her tiny nose. “Ah, welcome home, Setsuna-mama. How was school?”
“The usual start-of-school disease swap.” I set my bag onto the floor. “But thanks to that giant prop syringe you gave me last year, most of the fakers never made it past the waiting room.”
She smiled and pushed the glasses back up. “Glad I could help.”
We exchanged hugs. “And how was your day?”
“Michiru-mama and Haruka-papa had their first rehearsal with the orchestra. They were amazing!” She fished through her bags and produced a tape. “And the conductor let me record the session, too. You wanna watch?”
“That’d be nice.” I led the way into the living room. “So where are those two troublemakers now?”
She made a face. “Out doing ‘adult’ stuff again.”
I laughed. “Well, that’s what grownups do, honey.”
She popped the tape in and settled into my lap. “They’re so lucky to be together,” she murmured as the orchestra began to tune up.
“We all are.” I nuzzled her hair. “We’re a family now, Hotaru-chan.”
“I know. But I wish I could have someone the way they have each other.”
“What, is Small Lady not good enough for you?” I tease.
“Se. Tsu. Na!” Hotaru punctuated each syllable with a punch to my leg. “It’s not like that with Chibi-Usa at all!”
“Of course.” And then, because I couldn’t help myself, I added under my breath: “Not yet, anyway.”
~ Nichiyoubi – Sun’s Day ~
“Tenou-san!” The conductor makes a frantic motion and the rehersal once again grinds to a halt. “You’re supposed to be the accompanist. Please stop racing ahead.”
I fight the urge to roll my eyes. Doesn’t he notice that he’s set the tempo too slow and the rest of the orchestra kept up just fine? “Sorry, I keep getting carried away.”
“Haruka, not every song is to be played presto agitato.” Michiru keeps just enough of a playful lilt in her tone to let me know that she’s pretending to scold me to placate our slavedriver. “But I suppose I wouldn’t mind a faster pace.” She plays a few measures from her solo a pace or two faster than what the conductor had wanted. “How does that sound?”
“Hmm.” As expected, he has too much ego to take even a suggestion and taps out a faster beat. “Try this.”
Michiru goes even faster than that. “This?”
The conductor matches her, and then ramps it up. “This sounds better, I think.”
Michiru tries it. “Hm, so it does.”
I cough to hide a snicker. He doesn’t notice that we’re right back to the speed we’d been playing before he stopped us. “That’s perfect, sir! Which measure would you like us to start?”
He is now so puffed up that he looks ready to burst. “Top of the page, starting from Kaiou-san’s solo.”
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
Just a short practice ‘fic since I don’t write for Sailor Moon often.