Trunks was just starting to move around the small room when there was a knock at the door. The white cat leapt up on the table beside the door and called out, "Who's there?"
"Usagi," came the whispered reply.
"What's the password?"
Interesting system, Trunks couldn't help thinking. He and his mother'd had to use it a few time as well though.
"Open the door, Artemis, or I'll string you up by your tail and skin you."
The cat grinned, jumped down, and hit a small lever on the door with its paw. The door opened silently, and Usagi stepped in, loaded down with sacks. "Kami-sama, Usagi-chan! He probably doesn't eat like you."
"We'll see," she answered. She walked slowly into the room and shut the door behind her, setting the bags down on the table.
"What took you so long?"
"I had to go the long way to avoid Healer and Maker."
"What about StarFighter?"
Usagi glared at the little cat. "Are you hungry or not, Artemis?" The cat looked sheepish. "Ask too many questions, and I'll feed you dog food next time, little cat. Still hungry, Trunks?"
"And here I thought I was getting enough to last a couple of days!" Usagi complained, still laughing. Trunks looked up at her, and she laughed again. "You can eat more than even I do!"
"Sumimasen, Usagi-san," he apologized.
"Daijoubu." She frowned just slightly. "Demo, Trunks, no one calls me Usagi-san, okay?"
"Um. . . sure."
She smiled slightly then set down her bowl. "So how are you recovering, Trunks?"
"Aa," she agreed. "You do look like you're almost better." She stretched a bit and yawned heavily.
"You look like you haven't slept in a while," he cautiously remarked. "Why don't you go get some rest?"
There was a wistful look in her eyes as she glanced toward the back part of the room, where a door sat open, then she looked back at him. "Are you recovered enough to stand guard though, Trunks?"
She smiled again, fatigue finally seeping in. "I haven't had a decent night's sleep in months. Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu, Trunks."
"It's all right, Usagi-san... Usagi."
"Doomo again, Trunks. Good night." She stiffly stood up and walked to the back of the room and through the open door.
Only once she was out of the room did he let a scowl cross over his face. He hadn't known her very long, but he knew something was wrong with her, and she was keeping it a secret from even that talking cat. It bothered him a great deal.
"A time machine?" the cat muttered from the other side of the room, as it had been doing when Usagi wasn't around or when she wasn't listening. "Hope City? Hope City has been gone for eight hundred years."
Gone? "Repeat that part," Trunks asked.
"You can hear me?"
He shrugged. "I have very good hearing. What happened to Hope City?"
"Nothing really happened to it. It just dissolved in the 12th century."
The feline started. A second later, Trunks could sense what felt like a power going out - and close by. "Usagi!"
A second later, he was on his feet again and halfway to the back rooms, all before the cat could get to its feet. The door opened to a hallway with more doors, all but one of which were closed. He hadn't heard a door closing, so it must be the open one.
A figure appeared in that particular doorway. Blonde hair one in the same strange style, except with two thin braids in addition to the ponytails, hung down her back. She wore a pink and white plaid dress with a tanktop over it. "Nande, Trunks?"
The cat skidded to a stop beside him. "Usagi-chan!" it yelled. "Why the hell did you--"
"In the morning, little cat," she ordered. Though not too harshly put, it was clearly an order. Artemis turned and sulked back down the hall, tail lashing wildly from side to side. She fixed him with piercing blue eyes next. "Nande, Trunks?" she repeated.
27 March 2000
Well, I know it sucked, so just be nice in telling me how badly. I can only write on this one when I'm depressed, but don't worry about hurting my feelings, so let me know what YOU think!