Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Crystal Tokyo, California ❯ Chapter 2
Crystal Tokyo, California
She was locking the office door when she felt someone coming up behind her. She turned, quickly, and startled the beautiful green hared girl. "Michiru?" Haruka said surprised. The younger woman seemed to look even better than when Haruka had first seen her, with the flush on her cheeks and the glitter of her angry eyes. Angry?
"Don't startle people like that!" Michiru said crossly.
"You snuck up behind me," Haruka answered her quite mildly. Michiru blinked a bit at that, then she blushed.
"Anyway," Michiru continued, looking a bit embarrassed "I wanted to apologize for running off when Setsuna introduced you." Her face flamed a bit brighter as she looked away from Haruka's searching gaze.
"It's all right." Haruka said smiling, and placed her hand lightly on Michiru's arm. Haruka smiled down at Michiru a bit sadly, "I've scared people away before."
"Then they didn't know you very well," Michiru found herself answering, even as she continued to look into Haruka's eyes.
Michiru smiled shyly up at Haruka for a moment, then shook herself. "Setsuna sent me," she said, "to let you know lunch is being served."
Haruka looked a bit perplexed, and Michiru suddenly smiled, astonishing Haruka with how it seemed to light up her beautiful face. "You haven't had one of Makoto's meals yet, have you?" she asked her with a cheeky grin. She laughed softly, "Trust me, once you eat her cooking, you don't want to miss it."
Haruka smiled and laughed. "Ok, I guess I can't miss it." Tentatively, she offered her arm, and with a warm smile, Michiru took it. They walked together slowly along the boardwalk, enjoying the sun and some envious glances.
"I was wondering, how did a small frontier town end up with a name like Crystal Tokyo?" Haruka asked smiling.
Michiru laughed. "You've seen the town's Asian population? Apparently, some ruffian got the bright idea of having a exclusive brothel filled with all sorts of sweet young Japanese things," Michiru said in biting tones. "Being an abusive fool as well, he mysteriously disappeared one night. The young women he imported decided to stay here and sent word to friends and family back east. They, along with some new arrivals, began to try to establish businesses and to prospect in the area."
"When the large veins of quartz and other crystals were found outside of town, they began to more seriously organize the place," Michiru continued, "and Crystal Tokyo was born."
Haruka nodded. "I noticed a photograph in the office, of Setsuna, Usagi and another woman. She was the sheriff, wasn't she?"
Michiru sighed softly, "Yes, she was. Serenity came here about a year ago, and helped get us all moving, really." She continued sadly, "She was mayor and sheriff, and everyone came to her with their problems."
"Big shoes to fill. And what did she have to do with Setsuna?" Haruka asked softly. She thought she knew, but it was best to be sure.
"She and Serenity came here together. They lived separately, because of their jobs and that Serenity was a very private person, but they planned to get married. Until Diamond and his goons came," Michiru said bitterly.
"Thanks for telling me," Haruka said with a sad smile as they reached the Palace together. They stopped outside for a moment, and Michiru looked up at Haruka's handsome face. The blond haired woman looked questioningly into Michiru's eyes.
"I'm glad you cared enough to ask," Michiru said softly. She looked torn for a moment, then went up on tiptoe to place a soft kiss right on Haruka's lips. Before the other girl could react, Michiru slowly smiled and sauntered into the building.
Haruka stepped in and found the front room of the Palace empty, but she heard the chatter of many voices from the kitchen. Walking in, Haruka came to a dead stop, even as her eyes widened in astonishment. A long, ten foot table was covered, from one end to the other, with delectable foods, western and Japanese.
"I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I've died and gone to heaven." Haruka said, grinning happily. The others were gathered around the table, smiling at her awed expression. As Haruka sat down, a silent signal seemed to have been sent, and everybody dug in!
After lunch, Haruka smiled at Setsuna, gesturing slightly towards the stairs with her head. Setsuna excused herself from the talking, and followed Haruka up to the parlor. They both sat, and Haruka leaned forward to speak.
She looked across at Setsuna, and she wondered what other secrets her Aunt now had. She was still a bit shaken, to learn about her and Serenity, to discover that there was a very large part of Setsuna's life that she knew absolutely nothing about.
"You have that serious look on your face," Setsuna said. She leaned back casually and asked "Is it good news or bad?"
"I'm staying, and I'm willing to be the town's sheriff." Haruka said to her simply. Setsuna smiled, but noticed Haruka's serious expression hadn't gone away. Haruka started to speak, then she stopped and thought about something for a moment.
"If you want to know, just ask." Setsuna quoted herself with a smile, even as she looked across at her niece anxiously..
Haruka smiles a bit at that. "Why, in all those letters you wrote, did you never tell me about Serenity?" Haruka asked her sadly.
Setsuna looked at her in surprise, "I'm sorry, Haruka. I wanted to tell you about her so many times, but the opportunity never arose."
"You probably wanted to tell me in person, and I kept saying I'd be back for a visit. But I never found the time to go back home," Haruka said with a sad sigh. "I guess you would have told me if I had, huh?"
Setsuna nodded her agreement. "I met Serenity not long after you left home, Haruka. We were friends at first, and eventually we became lovers. She was a widower with a daughter to raise, so I felt I needed to keep her secret."
"I wish I had the chance to meet her." Haruka said sadly. "Anyway," Haruka brightened a bit, sitting up, "you've found your sheriff."
"Knowing my friends downstairs," Setsuna said with a laugh, "we'll probably have a big party to celebrate."
"As long as I don't have to wear a dress," Haruka quipped, rolling her eyes and shuddering. "So whom do I see to get sworn in?" Haruka asked, all business.
"You'll have to go see the mayor for that," Setsuna said, rising from her seat. She began to rifle around one of the nearby bookcases, looking for something mixed in with all the books and boxes resting there.
Haruka asked "Do I need to make an appointment?"
"Ah ha!" Setsuna exclaimed as she finally found whatever it was she was looking for. She held up the sheriff's badge proudly. "No, I'm pretty sure I can fit you in my schedule. We'll do a public ceremony later."
"You're the Mayor too?" Haruka asked, though somehow she wasn't really that surprised. Setsuna always was a take charge kind of person.
Setsuna actually blushed a bit as she explained to her modestly, "Well, nobody else wanted the job." She straightened Haruka's shirt a bit, then carefully pinned the shining tin star just over her breast pocket.
Haruka noticed immediately that the front of her shirt sagged from the weight. Setsuna began to laugh, before she unpinned the badge. "I always wondered by sheriffs wore those silly looking vests," Haruka sighed, "and now I know why."
Setsuna nodded in sympathy. "Serenity used to complain about it too," she sighed a bit sadly. She brightened a bit, "Hold on!" and got up to step into her bedroom. The sound of her rummaging in one of her closets could be heard.
She emerged with a tanned leather vest, colored a soft gold. "Try this on," Setsuna urged Haruka with a smile.
Haruka slipped it on, then looked in the long mirror before nodding to herself thoughtfully, "It looks good." She looked over at Setsuna curiously, "It's not something I would have thought you'd wear, though."
"Serenity had it made for her," Setsuna said, then she chuckled a bit, "but it was a bit too small across the chest." She mimed trying to pull a too small item across one's breasts, and they both shared a laugh.
Haruka picked up the badge, turning it gently in her fingers as she looked at it thoughtfully. She extended her hand to Setsuna, "Let's try it again."
The badge glinted on the golden vest, shining silver in the sunlight from the parlor window. "Let's take you down stairs," Setsuna said with a impish smile, "I'm sure you'll set all the ladies' hearts a flutter."
Haruka smiled a bit, "So far there's just one heart I'd like to get going." She grinned at Setsuna's soft laugh.
They came down the steps together, Haruka just behind Setsuna, so it took a moment for everyone to see the badge she was wearing. Makoto spoke up first, "Congratulations," and slapped her on the shoulder so hard Haruka staggered.
"Thanks," Haruka winced, rubbing her sore shoulder.
Ami smiled at her in sympathy, "We're ready to support you."
Rei and Minako stepped up, Rei saying "I'm sure the Diamond gang hasn't got a prayer." Minako nodded in agreement.
Michiru looked at Haruka, her eyes wide. She took a few steps forward, reaching out to gently touch the badge. "It's very becoming," she said softly, then looked up at Haruka. She was about to say something more when a loud, wailing cry could be heard.
Usagi ran right at Setsuna, and began to punch at her wildly with both hands, "How could you?" the sobbing girl demanded. "Mother was the sheriff, not her..." she broke down into shuddering sobs. Setsuna reached out to try and grab her, but Usagi pulled away, running from the room and out the front entrance.
The other young women ran after her, leaving Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna standing there stunned. Haruka put her hand gently on Setsuna's shoulder, and when she turned her head saw that her Aunt was crying.
"Go after her," Haruka urged her quietly. At Setsuna's confused look, Haruka elaborated, "You're the closest thing to a mother she has, now."
Setsuna took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders. "You're right," she conceded, and headed out after Usagi.
Michiru looked torn between staying with her new friend Haruka and chasing her old friend Usagi. After a few minutes she looked up at Haruka with a little frown and asked her, "Why aren't you going after her?"
"I'd probably make her more upset being there," Haruka said softly in reply, "being the cause of the trouble and all," and only adding in her mind, 'and I can't stand women crying.' She shook her head, "I wish that had gone better."
"Usagi's a good kid," Michiru said softly, "but I guess she misses her mother, and doesn't want someone else's legend to eclipse hers."
Haruka was about to ask what that might mean, when the others trooped right back in, Usagi in the lead. The girl walked right by and up the stairs without saying a word. She had stopped crying, thankfully, though it did look like she had taken quite a fall out there. She looked very dignified, still, even covered with a layer of brown dust.
Several of the girls followed her upstairs trying to reason with her, and getting the cold shoulder in reply. Setsuna stopped by Haruka and Michiru and heaved a weary sigh.
"What happened?" Michiru asked her quietly, sneaking glances as the dust covered girl went into her room, slamming the door behind her.
"She tripped on the sidewalk and fell face first on the road," Setsuna said, fighting the urge to smile at Usagi's clumsiness.
Haruka chuckled a bit, getting a glare from the other two. "Sorry," she shrugged.
"That cut the crying off," Setsuna continued, "and after a bit of talking we got her back inside to clean up. She's still pissed with me, though."
"She'll get over it," Michiru said confidently. She added, "Once she realizes that Haruka isn't trying to take her mom's place, she should calm down."
"I hope so," Haruka sighed softly. She didn't need anyone else angry with her right now, she had enough to worry about with the Diamond gang.
A rough camp was set up high in the hills, well concealed in the many twists and turns of the canyons. Several tents are arranged carefully around a campfire, where four pretty young women were trying to cook, while a short distance away, three figures are seen sitting around a small fire, talking quietly amongst themselves.
"It seems that Rubius wasn't up to the challenge," the lime green hared girl said with a cheery smile. Without warning, she broke into loud peals of laughter that made the two young men around her visibly wince in pain.
"I think we noticed, Emerald," the white haired man said to her dryly. He looked at her, then at the blue hared man sitting beside him, as he coldly asked "But do you really think you and Sapphire could do any better?"
Sapphire pushed his hair back from his face in a coolly arrogant gesture as he said, "Of course I could, Diamond. Rubius was a fool to shoot Serenity in the back, and a even greater one for losing to this Tenoh Haruka."
"She has quite a reputation, Sapphire," Emerald said to him archly, "do you really think you might be faster than her?" She shook her head mournfully, "I wouldn't want you to end up like poor Rubius, dead on the street."
"And how would you handle her, then?" Sapphire shot back, obviously angered by her teasing words. Diamond let them fight onward as he watched them with a great deal of amusement. If one killed the other, it would merely prove the victor was stronger.
"I'd let her handle me instead, " she answered him with a slow, sexy smile. She suddenly produced a slim, wicked looking knife, seemingly from nowhere as she added coldly, "And then I'd give her this."
Diamond held up his hands, stopping their fighting for a moment. "Lets do both, then," he said to the two of them calmly. He turned to Emerald first, "Get into the town and into this Tenoh Haruka's heart. You can do to her whatever you wish." She smiled broadly at that, a bloodthirsty glimmer in her eye.
Diamond addressed Sapphire next, "While she tries guile, I want you and the girls," he nodded to the four around the nearby fire, "to prepare to attack the next stagecoach. The new sheriff will surely be along to guard it."
Diamond got up to look at the hills around them thoughtfully. "The people in the town don't know about the riches concealed in these hills," he said softly, "and we must drive them away before they stumble upon it."