Strange Dreams, chapter 1
Age Rating: 7 +
Note: This loosely based on a series of dreams I have had that take place after the live-action Sailor Moon series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. If you haven't seen it, go get a torrent program and go get 'em! I'm seeding them right now myself! ^_^ I do not own any of the characters, places or thing I talk about! They are all property of the completely awesome Naoko Takeuchi, Bandai, and all of their other owners. I just want to borrow them to tell a story!!
"Ami-chan!" I called, "Wait up!" She was tearing down the street like she was late for class. But we were near the library, and school had ended for the day. She rounded a corner and stopped, regaining her composure. After sliding her glasses back up her nose, she turned to look at me.
"Tenoh-san, come on." She smiled that sweet, shy smile of hers and I strode up to her. I was considerably taller and more muscular, but she was just... cute. I smiled back at her and looked up. We were standing in front of the largest library I had ever seen. She nodded at me and indicated we were going inside. Silently I followed.
"I wanted to make sure I got the table I wanted," she whispered, setting a half a meter tall stack of books on the table in front of me. I gulped and looked at her like she had to be kidding. She wasn't. "You said that you needed a lot of help with writing Japanese, right? Here is a list of recommended books to help you out, complete with stroke order and cross-references." I gulped again and stared at the tower of knowledge. Then, shyly, I withdrew the first book. Looking at the cover, I blushed. It was designed for children.
"Geez," I muttered to myself as I withdrew my drawing tablet and a pen. "I have a lot of catching up to do." My father had been a ailor in the United States Navy when I was born, and had met my Mom here. I was born while he was stationed here. After about 2 years, we had moved to America, where I had lived for the last 16 years. My Mom said she was moving back (she was originally from here) and asked if I wanted to come, or stay with my Dad (they had split up). I whole-heartedly agreed I wanted to come back. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome however, was that I looked mostly like my father. About 175 cm tall (5 foot 9 inches) with long, wavy dark red hair and blue eyes, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Ami accepted me right off the bat though, and had even offered to help me with the language barrier I had to overcome. My mother had taught me how to speak and write roomaji, hiragana and katakana, but hadn't taught me anymore kanji than numbers. I had asked Mizuno-san (who insisted I be less formal) to help me after school today. She had heartily agreed.
"Ah, there they are!" She stood up and looked over my shoulder. Confused, I turned around. Two other girls from our class and one that I hadn't seen before walked up. I quickly buried my nose in my book and went back to studying characters. You know what a social butterfly is? I was the exact opposite, always a loner. In California, where I had spent most of my life, I wasn't excepted by anyone, my father being Irish and my mother being Japanese. I'd even had a different name then, half of both. When we got to Japan my mother changed her name back to her maiden, and I followed suit. Haruka O'Shea? Not anymore, and not by choice. Haruka Tenoh? Suited me much better.
The other girls from school I recognized were Tsukino Usagi and Kino Makoto. Ami reminded me as she personally introduced them. The third girl she introduced as Hino Rei, another of her friends. Usagi grabbed my hand and beamed at me. "Is it true that you're from America?" I nodded and grunted a reply. Man, was she friendly! She started carrying on about how she wanted to go there and see all of these things she had heard about. I only half-listened, wanting desperately to get in as many hours as I could with my studies before I had to go home and take care of chores and what-not. I could see that Ami understood, and pulled the other two to the side to talk. I heard a place called Crown referred to a number of times. After a while the extra voices died away and Ami came back to the table.
"There are three kanji here for 'forest' Ami-chan, which do I use??" She came to stand beside me and showed me. After about 2 hours of this, I had to go home. I thanked Ami profusely and she just smiled, saying it was no problem. I smiled back, bowed one last time and went outside. Once I hit the street, I took off at a sprint. It didn't take me long to get there. I opened the door, took off my shoes, and stared in confusion at my living room. 4 suitcases were opened and partially packed. I wandered down the hallway to my Mother's room and saw her tearing her closet apart.
"Ah, Haruka, I'm glad that you're home. Your Grandma is sick, and asked for me to stay with her in Saga for a while and help her out with her shop." She pulled a map off of her bed and pointed to a city on the Southern most island of the country. I watched her forlornly, but I nodded.
"How long Mama?" She shook her head and carried an armful out to the living room.
"I don't know. Not long I hope. I know you can take care of everything here. Oh, yes, and these are yours." She tossed me a keyring with 3 keys dangling from it. "One of those is for the front door. The one with the green top is for the garage center behind the building, and the red one..." she stopped in front of me and smiled, "Is for your belated birthday present." I looked at her quizzically, but she just winked at me and went back to packing.
I walked slowly to the garage and unlocked it steadily. I remembered what I had asked for... but... no way. I tore off the lock and turned on the light. I almost burst into tears. There, sitting before me, like a stately woman in a flowing ball gown, was exactly what I had asked for. A brand new yellow and blue Kawasaki motorcycle, with a new helmet glistening from the handlebars where it was perched. A big red bow was taped to the seat. I pulled off the bow gently, and sat on her. It was smooth and steady. Hesitantly I started it, then had to bite back a squeal of joy. It purred like a lap cat and moved ten times as gracefully. I put the helmet, a shiny black with blue and yellow flames on it, on my head and secured the strap. Slowly I walked it out of the garage. I climbed off real quick, turning off the light and shutting the garage (actually it was like a tiny metal and concrete shack, but it did the job) and climbed back aboard. After checking all of my systems, I urged the purr into a roar. Up with the kickstand, and I was off!
I only did a round around the block, but I still felt exhilarated and free. My own motorcycle! I was so happy! I put everything away, relocked the garage and hurried upstairs back to the apartment. Mama was beaming like she had won the lottery. "You like her?"
"Like her???" I dove over the couch and embraced my mother in a near-choke hold. "I love her! Thank you so very much!" She smiled and urged me gently to release her. I did, then looked around again. She was nearly done. "When do you leave?" I went to the kitchen and sat at the mini-bar, intently watching her finish.
"First thing in the morning, before you wake up for school. I'll be there helping her out before you even start your first class." She smiled sadly. We were very close, and this was going to be the first time we were going to be apart like this. I could handle it, but I sure was going to miss her. She saw the look on my face and walked to me. We wrapped our arms around one another and just held on for a while.
"I trust you and believe in you Ruka," she said in my ear. She had used that nickname for me a lot as a child. It comforted me to hear it now. "I know you can do it. I'll call everyday that I can, okay? Keep up in school, make lots of friends, and most of all, have fun." She pulled away from me and smiled a watery smile, tears flowing steadily down her face. "And of course, enjoy your motorcycle." She headed back into her room, and I started supper. I felt super nostalgic all of a sudden, so I fired up the oven for chicken nuggets and French fries.
After dinner I vacuumed, turned on the radio and did the rest of my homework. After I finished the last of my assignments and put them all back in my bag, I listenied to the end of the song playing before turning off the radio. It was time for bed. I crawled under the covers and closed my eyes, almost instantly falling asleep.
My dreams were wild and chaotic. I was in the middle of a battle wearing a tight outfit with a short skirt. I spun around and saw blurred faces that I knew to be comrades. One stood ahead of us all, with a strange hair style and holding some sort of wand. Energy crackled along the ground around me, and I tensed. The final hour was drawing near, and I screamed out, "Princess!". It was too late. A blinding white light had swallowed us all.
I trudged to school the next day with a sad step. I already missed my Mama, and hadn't slept well. Bits and pieces of my dream floated to me now and again as I neared the building. Shaking my head violently to clear it, I headed inside to change my shoes. "Time to focus," I muttered to myself. Out of nowhere, someone plowed into me, knocking me onto my back. I sat up angrily and burst into laughter after seeing the forlorn look on Tsukino-san's face. "Hey, you alright?"
She scrambled to her feet and helped me up, obviously embarrassed. "Yes, I'm fine, are you okay? I was talking to Naru-chan and turned my back and..." she fell silent, blushing. Instantly her face turned into a big smile and she shook my hand. "I know! Why don't you eat lunch today with me and my friends?" I blinked at her, then smiled slightly.
"Sounds good. We'd better get moving." I closed my shoe locker and headed to class. That Tsukino Usagi sure was funny. I already liked her a lot. I sensed a bond with her, like I had known her for a long time, but immediately dismissed it. Only person in Japan that I knew was Mama. But I was hoping that would quickly change.
Lunch time came and I found myself sitting in a small group of girls, all talking excitedly about an upcoming karaoke contest sponsored by someone they knew. I half way listened until Usagi turned to look at me. "Haruka-chan, do you sing karaoke?" I nodded and grunted, giving her another half-smile. "I like to, but I'm not very good at it." She smiled warmly at me. "Want to come with us after school? It's Friday you know." I nodded and turned my smile into a full one.
"I'd love to." She smiled, nodded her head once, and went back to yakking with Naru and Makoto about the contest. I looked at Ami and watched her for a bit. She was so quiet and reserved... I wondered how she fit in to this talkative bunch. She caught me staring and smiled politely. I blushed slightly and went back to eating. Soon lunch time was over, and a short time after that, it was time to go. I had gotten 100% on the quiz that day, so I didn't have to stay to clean. Usagi, on the other hand, did. Makoto came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.
"Hey, you're going to Crown right? For karaoke?" I nodded. "Come on, I can take you there. Usagi-chan should be along shortly." She looped her arm with mine and lead the way. I couldn't help but smile. End of the first week of school, and already have new friends! New motorcycle, new friends, now we're going to sing kareoke... life couldn't get much better.
It could, however, get a lot worse. I was about to find out how much worse. It started with noticing as we walked to the arcade that the sky was progressively turning a darker and darker shade of gray. A sudden rainstorm, today? I looked skyward and stopped dead in my tracks. Makoto jumped a little. "What is it?"
"The sky... it's... getting cloudy so fast. I could have sworn when we left that there wasn't a cloud in
the sky." Makoto also looked skyward.
"You're right, how strange..." Rei rounded a corner in front of us and jogged over.
"Excuse me," she said roughly, as she pulled Makoto to the side. She spoke in low tones to her, but never moved her eyes off of me. Makoto talked back, and their conversation continued, but her eyes never left mine. "I sense..." she whispered to Makoto. "There is something with that girl. It's not evil, but it's very strong." Makoto nodded.
"Usagi and Ami felt it too." Just then, a bolt of lightning tore out of the sky and struck somewhere only a few blocks away to the right of us. "I think we should go check it out," Makoto said softly, her body tensing. "I feel like there is something very wrong." She and Rei started jogging, and for some reason that I couldn't fathom, I followed.
That's it for part one! Hope you liked it! If you have any questions, feel free to email me. ^_^ Edit: Chapter 2 is also now available here on PnP.