Hotaruís Lost Snack! Haruka Loses Her Cool
As you know, we were all supposed to be out hunting for jobs. Admittedly, I was bored hanging around the house all day, but I liked being able to do my own thing. I hated to be told what to do, and to have to sit and do the same thing all day when I could be doing what I wanted to do. I know Setsuna felt the same way too. But since we were broke, we decided to go into the city and try to find some work. Michiru suggested the library. "It would be a nice place to work, donít you think?"
"Ugh!" said Setsuna. She had worked at a library at one point in her very very long life, and she had hated it. "There were too many people and they all wanted me to do something for them, and they all had a problem, and some of them were mean, andÖ"
I sweatdropped. "No library job for Miss-Social-Anxiety over here."
Michiru was thoughtful. "Weíll see if we can find you a nice cushy computer job. Youíll like that."
Setsuna crossed her arms. "Maybe."
"At least youíve worked before," I pointed out. "Michi and I never have."
"I worked sporadically." Setsuna stared into space. "Come to think of it, I donít even remember what I did at those jobs. I mostly just felt strange twinges from the Time-Space Continuum, and then I never went back." *
"Whatever that isÖ" I blew air out through my nose. Setsuna and her odd Continuums. "Well, since we donít have a lot of options, letís go to the library."
The next day, we headed out to the Tomoe residence. Hotaru had wanted to come over to play for a long time, and we decided a trip into the city would be a good day for her to come out. We missed her, and she was good amusement for Setsuna, according to Michiru, who was terribly motherly to the both of them.
When we got to her house, Hotaru came flying out the door and hit me like a ton of bricks. "Ruka!!"
"Oof! Look how big you are!" The kid had grown about two feet since she lived with us. She had to be nearly five feet tall, and was at least twelve-years-old. I still managed to lift her to give her a big hug.
Hotaru giggled and wrapped her legs around my waist. "I know! Iím very glad to be big, even though itís confusing to my father. One day Iím Chibi-Usaís size, and then the next Iím nearly as tall as Michi and Suna! Someday, Iím going to be as tall and as strong as you, Ruka!"
I set her down. "I canít wait." She was so boisterous and healthy now. Such a change!
Hotaru then ran to Setsuna and threw her arms around her. Michiru smiled. "Theyíre so sweet." Then we were off again, destination: employment.
Once we were in the city, Setsuna walked behind us, her hand in Hotaruís. She was silent, but I could tell she dreaded this. She had stopped liking people all together, and the very thought of getting a job was something of a hell. "Do I have to do this?"
"Do you want to keep buying those expensive clothes at Hot Topic?" Michiru asked.
"Yes," she grumbled.
"Then yes, you have to."
Hotaru squeezed her hand. "I could get a job too, to keep you company."
Setsuna smiled at her. "You just enjoy your summer holiday. Youíll have to get a job when youíre older anyway."
"Besides, Setsuna will have Haruka to keep her company," Michiru said.
I snorted. "Great."
Everything went smoothly for awhile. We turned in resumes at the library, even though they didnít say a great deal. Setsuna was good at computers, but hadnít taken a lot of courses or anything, so we had no idea how we would fare. But it was a good start.
Michiru had found a book she was interested in, and had immediately settled down to look at it. "Canít we just take it home?" I asked, ready to blow out of there.
Michiru shook her head. "We donít have cards here. I just want to look for a minute."
Setsuna was standing around by the exit, and Hotaru was starting to wander around aimlessly. "Ruka, are you hungry?"
I figured that meant she was. "Are you?"
"A little bit."
I looked at Michiru. "Isn't it about time for lunch?"
"Soon, soon..." She was completely absorbed in her book.
I took Hotaru's hand. "Come on, girls. Let's go find you something to eat." We left Michi to her book and exited the library.
Luckily the recreation center was nearby, so I figured we could find a vending machine to get a snack. Michiru had planned on a nice lunch at a restaurant, but I could tell the girls were famished. A snack would tide them over.
Once we located a vending machine, I pulled out my wallet. "What do you want, Hotaru?"
"Chips!" she squeaked. "Thanks, Ruka!"
"Not a problem, sweetie. Setsuna?"
"Cookies, I guess. Those lemon ones."
I smiled. "Done." I fished in my wallet for change and fed the machine. It cheerfully ate my money and waited for our selection. "Hotaru, do you want to push the buttons?"
She giggled. "I'm too big to be silly like that."
I laughed. "Okay, I'm sorry." I made the motion to push them, but she grabbed my hand.
"Wait! I didn't say I wouldn't, though." As I gave Setsuna an amused smirk, Hotaru pushed in the numbers that designated her chips. The little tongs holding them in the machine moved, and then stopped. "Bother!" cried Hotaru, and tapped the numbers again. Nothing happened. "Ruka, the machine ate my chips!"
Setsuna paled, looking at me. "Well, that's annoying."
"Very annoying." I gave the machine a dark look and moved closer to it.
"Oh no..." Setsuna reached forward and pulled Hotaru back by the hand. "Best stand back while Haruka...er...fixes it."
"I'll fix it, all right!" I took one of my fists and smacked it against the machine. "Give it up, Machine!" I barked.
Setsuna and Hotaru exchanged looks of fear. I knew they were thankful Michiru wasn't there. The whole thing was terribly embarrassing for them, but I couldn't just let the machine win, could I? It had taken my money and refused to cough up, and my little darlings were hungry, dammit!
Hotaru tentatively pulled on my sleeve. "Haruka-Papa..." She used her old name for me. "We're not all that hungry. You don't need to teach the machine manners."
"It's the principle of the thing, Hotaru. If you put money in it, you're supposed to have something to show for it! Plus, you just have to know the right buttons to push to get what you want. How do you think I got Michiru?" I covered my mouth. "Um...let's just not tell your old Michiru-Mama that I said that, okay?"
Setsuna raised an eyebrow.
"Nothing out of you, Your Crankiness!" I chucked Setsuna affectionately under the chin and returned to the machine. "Okay, machine, it's just you and me!" I rolled up my sleeves, took it by both sides and started to shake it. Setsuna and Hotaru stepped back even farther, and looked in different directions. It seemed they were pretending they weren't with me, even though there was no one around.
"I hope there aren't any video cameras here," Setsuna said, gazing at the ceiling.
I, meanwhile, was kicking the machine. "You can't win! I, Haruka, will stop your evil ways. I'll punish you, in the name of Hotaru and Setsuna!"
"Thanks, Ruka," said Hotaru. "But can we go now?"
I rested against the machine for a minute. "We wanted food, and we're going to get it! I just need another minute. All it really needs is a few more good kicks." I lifted my cute little foot and started to wallop the vending machine again. "Give it up! You'll never beat me!" I started to get more and more angry, and as I did, my voice rose in pitch until I was howling with rage. The girls could sense my volcano of a temper getting ready to erupt and pressed against the wall. "GIVE..."
Setsuna raised her hands. "Now, Haruka..."
"Haruka-Papa!" Hotaru clutched onto Setsuna.
"UP!!!!" I lost my temper completely. I threw my transformation pen up in the air. "URANUS PLANET POWER, MAKEUP!"
Setsuna cowered. "Uh oh...Hotaru, GET DOWN!"
"WORRRLD SHAKING!!!" As the girls fell to the floor, hanging onto each other for dear life, I blasted the offending vending machine to bits. Pieces of metal flew around me as I tried to get my breath back. "Well, that did it!" I lifted a bag of chips out of the rubble. "Look, Hotaru! I've got your chips. Just let me get Setsuna's cookies, and..." I looked at the girls. They were covered in dust and looking at me like I was crazed, although neither of them seemed too surprised. "Hey, I'm sorry. Are you two okay?"
"Y..Yes," said Hotaru. "I think so."
I helped them to their feet. "Help me collect this stuff, okay?"
I could suddenly hear voices in the distance. "This is when we leave. Come on!" I shoved the goodies into Setsuna's hands, picked up Hotaru, and ran like hell.
I arrived back in the library with Hotaru in my arms, panting and covered in dust. Hotaru was equally messy. Michiru jumped up. "What's going on, um...Sailor Uranus?" She gave me a pointed look, and I looked down at my sailor suit.
"Right." I realized a billion people were staring at me. I addressed them. "It's all right, people of Tokyo! The world is safe again!"
There was a general murmur of relief, as Michiru sweatdropped. I ducked into a bathroom to de-transform, and when I came back out, Michiru wanted to know exactly what had happened.
"Ruka used World Shaking on a vending machine when it wouldn't give us chips," chirped Hotaru. She looked terribly excited by the whole ordeal.
I shot her a look. "Who's side are you on, kid?"
She giggled, but Michiru looked ready to blow a gasket. "Haruka! How many times have I told you not to do that?! One of these days, someone's going to catch you and it'll be the end of the Sailor Soldiers!"
I closed my eyes and waved my hand. "Sorry...sorry...I promise I won't do it again."
"Do you promise?" Michiru apparently wasn't surprised by my antics either.
"I promise." I grinned off to the side, and those little devil horns appeared in my hair. I secretly got a thrill out of watching inanimate objects meet their doom, especially if they denied my family of snacks.
Michiru looked around. "Where exactly is Setsuna?"
"Um..." I looked at Hotaru. "When was the last time you saw Sets?"
"Right before you picked me up and started to run."
"Oh no! She must be a casualty of war!" I pictured Setsuna in a dark room, with a bright spotlight over her head, her arms full of chips... 'Tell us who blew up the vending machine, Sailor Pluto! You know who did it!' Setsuna shakes her head dramatically, sweat standing out on her forehead. 'Never! I'll never betray her, no matter what you do to me!' 'Fine then!' thunders the loud voice. 'We will subject you to TORTURE........'
A poke from Michiru brought me out of my horrible daydream. "Well, let's go get her!"
We ran pell-mell out of the library, ignoring the irritated looks the library workers and patrons gave us, and almost tripped right over Setsuna who was sitting outside on the steps, peacefully munching on chips. She looked up at us. "Hi."
We stared at her. She smiled at us, the wind ruffling her skirt around her knees, her feet stuck straight out in front of her. She looked absolutely adorable and completely unaffected. She held up the chips to Michiru. "Are you hungry?"
Michiru knelt by her. "Are you okay?"
I looked at Hotaru and twirled my finger in front of my ear. "Died one too many times, you know."
Hotaru nodded. "I know."
Michiru pressed a hand to her head as she did so well and so often, and coaxed Setsuna up off the steps. "Lets...just call it a day?"
I tagged along behind, holding Hotaru's hand. "But Michi...aren't we going to eat?"
She glared daggers at me. "Oh, I think you've had plenty of food today already...."
* Ever notice this about the manga? Setsuna had at least two jobs, but never seemed to actually work.
Hi everyone! Hope you're enjoying the stories so far, and liked Hotaru's highly requested cameo. I'm sure she'll appear in another one soon for those who are fond of the child of death. ;)
Now it's time for "Question and Answer Fun!" To answer a question about Setsuna's age, I'm sorry that was confusing. Haruka didn't explain it very well in the first story, did she? Oh, who am I kidding...I didn't explain it.
Haruka: Thank you!
Me: Don't mention it!
Anyway, for those who are familiar with the anime (especially the dubbed S season, which I have), Setsuna tells the scouts that she came back from the future to help stop the Silence, but Haruka and Michiru were reborn on the planet. I believe Setsuna lives in a time all of her own, and she's basically ageless, so I never picture her getting any older than her 19 or 20 years, where Haruka and Michiru would keep aging until they make it to the Crystal Tokyo era in what, their late twenties? So I imagine their earth bodies would eventually pass Setsuna's in age. I picture them as being about 21 in this, and Setsuna is eternally 20, but you can picture them as whatever ages you want. All I know is that once Michiru's body passed Setsuna's in age, she became extremely motherly, which drives Setsuna nuts (not that she wasn't motherly before...it's a Michiru thing). I hope that clears it up a bit, although I'm really confused after writing this. It's just how I see their ages I guess, but everyone can pretty much form their own opinions. You don't have to take my word for it! :)
Next Time: Haruka wonders just what Setsuna does at the Time Gate all evening, and she and Michiru end up attending a party as Neptune and...Sailor Pluto? Hope to see you next time!
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