A deeper darkness than usual was beginning to cover Tokyo when Usagi's voice was finally heard again from the temple store room instead all the horrible racket of her moving things around. "Yatta!" she yelled, completely out of the blue, and startling Trunks, who was leaning against the wall next to the door.
"Find them?" he asked reflexively.
A pair of kendo swords appeared though the doorway. As he took them, she answered, "I knew Rei had them hidden in here from Yuuichirou. He could beat himself senseless with anything." She paused, and he could almost see her frowning. "Now how do I get out of here?"
"Blocked in?" He could barely keep the amusement out of his voice. Her enthusiasm was catching. She was so very excited to her old feline mentor back, despite the horrible condition the cat was in.
She laughed, and while it wasn't completely a happy sound, it was much less bitter than anything else he'd heard from her. "I'm two feet from the door, but I'll have to totally re-arrange the room to get back out. I think I'll just stay in here a little while."
He shook his head, fighting the urge to laugh. "Usagi, you're," he started to say before she cut him off.
"Insane? Crazy? A baka?" She was laughing again. "Yes, I already knew that, Trunks. At least I don't act like an odango atama anymore. You got to meet the smarter me." She seemed to be finding it easier to talk to him with a wall between them.
"To have had as many friends as you did, you couldn't have been too much of a baka," he answered slowly. "I only had one friend when I was young. He trained me to be a fighter, then the Jinzouningen killed him."
He started. "How did you know that?"
"I heard you say that name while you were unconscious from the crash. Gomen nasai, Trunks. I -"
"Don't worry about it, Usagi. We need to concentrate on defeating this Galaxia person.
She appeared in the store room's doorway. "Arigatoo, Trunks. You're everything I prayed for." A sudden twinkle entered her eyes. "Even if you do blush easier than even I do." Which prompted another blush. "It is good to have another human around here for a change." She frowned, a bare down-turning of her mouth, and turned away from him. "I want to believe that my world can be saved, Trunks, but it's too late for it, isn't it?"
"Usagi," he began, not even really knowing what he was about to say. She slowly looked back at him. "If your world can't be saved, we'll find a way to bring you back to mine. It's not perfect, but. . ." He trailed off, completely at a loss of words, as well as why he was even saying what he was.
"Arigatoo again, Trunks. I appreciate that." She leaned up and kissed his cheek then quickly backed away once more. "I'm going to go check on Luna again, all right? I'll be back in a little while." She took off running down the hall, taking the corner into the room she was sharing with the injured black cat at a breakneck speed. And then everything got very quiet around the temple for the next five minutes.
Five minutes later, the white cat stepped out of the same room Usagi had just entered, very human-like tears in its eyes. This couldn't be good at all. He knelt down in order to be closer to the cat's level. "What's happened?" he asked softly.
"Luna died," Artemis answered; he could barely hear him.
"She said she needed to be alone for a few minutes. I think she went outside, Trunks-san. Sumimasen; I need to be alone myself."
He nodded, stood, and let the white cat move past him. The feeling that something just wasn't right plagued him, and he wandered down the hall to Usagi's room. Something was missing there, but he couldn't place it.
As he stepped out into the hall and glanced at the kendo swords they had retrieved, it dawned on him what was missing in Usagi's room: that huge sword.
She'd gone after Galaxia and the Animates alone.
28 July 2000
Okay, I'd actually like to dedicate this chapter. Since my muses are out on summer vacation, I've been having to write completely on my own. Anyway, I don't want to get into a long discussion of what muses do while on vacation, so I'll simply say a new muse has come to visit me. Don't ask me how, but she came out of too much caffeine and a music video I was watching on my computer.
So to make a long story short (too late), I'd like to dedicate this chapter to Meri at the Temple O' Trunks.
This is also dedicated to the usual suspects, my partners-in-crime: Kuriyamimizu, Morgan Le Fey, Chibi712, and Sailor Eternity.
Love you all!!!! (And yes, I am a very happy person today! Duet, my new muse, spiked my tea.)