Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Live for Today ❯ Worry and Guilt ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

I bet just about everyone who read this thought I'd never update. I mean it's been…damn nearly six years since I originally posted this. To all those who waited, I'm sorry this has taken so damn long! I always resolved to never start a story without finishing it and that's a resolution I intend to keep.
After rereading my notes at the beginning of the first chapter, I don't think I made it very clear, but in this Rei and Usagi are together already and they are living together. Usagi is in the early stages of pregnancy. I know it's a cop out, but I didn't want to devote much time and effort to them being together; I want this to focus on Hotaru and Chibi-Usa, sorry if that wasn't clear to anyone. Since that's all I have to say, I'll just finish by saying, here's chapter 2…
BTW, Chibi-Usa only goes by Usagi in school.
Chapter 2 - Worry and Guilt
“Hotaru, are you awake?” came a voice from other side of the door.
“Yes, Setsuna-mama.” Hotaru replied tiredly.
“Well, breakfast is ready dear.” Setsuna said and waited for the girl's response.
“Ok, I'll be down in a few minutes. I need to finish getting dressed.” Hotaru said.
“Alright, I'll see you downstairs.” Setsuna said and headed down to the kitchen.
Setsuna entered the kitchen to find Haruka sitting down at the table reading the newspaper and Michiru pouring out three cups of coffee. Feeling another presence in the room Haruka lowered her paper to address Setsuna. “How is she doing?”
“It's hard to say, but she did sound tired, like she didn't sleep too well last night.” Setsuna said worriedly.
“Is she going to at least come down and eat something?” Michiru asked.
“She said she would be down shortly. She just needs a little more time to finish getting dressed.” Setsuna responded.
Hotaru rubbed her eyes, `I wish today wasn't a school day.' She thought as she fixed the bow on the front of her uniform. Hotaru walked over to her dresser and picked up a brush and proceeded to brush the tangles out of her hair. Once she was satisfied she placed the brush back down. She paused for moment, looking her reflection in the mirror. Dark circles were visible under her eyes; she silently cursed her fair skin for making them all the more apparent. `I look like I haven't sleep in days.' She thought and reached for her makeup on the dresser. She rarely wore the stuff, but Chibi-Usa talked her into buying a lot of the makeup supplies she did have. `If I go to school looking like this, I'll only draw unwanted attention. Or more likely, concern from Chibi-Usa. And questions I'd rather not discuss.'
She sat down and applied some concealer to the darkened areas under her eyes.
Once done, Hotaru reached to the side her desk. She came up with her school bag and threw it over her shoulder before heading down stairs. When she arrived down stairs all three of her guardians were in the kitchen having breakfast. The dark haired girl looked at the three woman, “Good Morning…” She said and walked over the stove and grabbed a plate.
“Would you like for me to drive you to school today?” Haruka asked.
“No, that's ok. I want to walk.” Hotaru replied and scooped a small portion of eggs unto her plate.
“Are you sure?” Haruka asked again.
The younger girl gave a slight nod of her head, “I'm sure.” She said and grabbed a pair of tongs and picked up two sausage links before placing them on her plate.
The blond haired woman sighed quietly, “Alright, but the offer this stands if you change your mind.”
This time the younger girl didn't voice her response, instead she settled for simply nodding her head. She moved to the refrigerator next and poured herself a glass of orange juice. Afterward, she walked over the table where her three guardians sat.
The group sat silently for a short time, Hotaru nearly finished her breakfast and it was coming up on the time she'd need to leave for school. Michiru chose this time to talk, “So how are things at school?”
“Fine.” The dark haired teen said simply, `But sometimes I wish I could be home schooled again.'
“If you're unhappy or something is bothering you, you can tell us.” Setsuna said calmly from across the table.
Hotaru stood up and grabbed her schoolbag, “Things are fine, I don't know what else you want me to say.” With that the teenager, turned and left the kitchen. In a couple moments, the front door could be heard opening and shutting seconds afterward.
“You don't think we're pressuring her too much to open up to us, do you?” Michiru asked the other two women with her.
Haruka shook her head, “I don't think so. I want her to know she can talk to us about anything.”
“Michiru has a point though. Stressing the point too much can have the opposite affect.” Setsuna stated somberly, causing everyone in the group to think about they could do next to help their daughter.
Hotaru walked down the block away from her house, `I know they mean well, but how can I tell them? I'm already disgusted with my own weakness; I don't need them to know.' The young teen kicked a small pebble in her way and continued her trek to school.
She wasn't too fond of school. That mostly steamed from her experiences at Mugen Gakuen. Of course, she knew that everything that happened around her wasn't technically her fault, but the other students' actions towards never really left her. She enjoyed the learning; it was the social traditions, especially between girls, that she couldn't stand. The only person she wanted to hang out with was Chibi-Usa. She wasn't as social as her pink haired friend. She would have been perfectly comfortable with only interacting with Chibi-Usa. She didn't much care for Ruruna and Naruru, but Chibi-Usa was friends with them, so she put up with them. They were far too interested in stupid stereotypical girl things, clothes, makeup, etc. as far she was concerned. Chibi-Usa gave them more of her attention than they deserved…
Hotaru shook her head, `I shouldn't think like that…it's not like I deserve to be the center of her attention.' She thought and looked up to see the school sign just a short distance from her. The dark haired girl sighed as she reached to entrance to school, `Another day of the same thing…' she thought and looked at the building for a moment, before someone collided with her, immediately hugging her.
Hotaru smiled at the other girl's cheerfulness, “Good morning, Chibi-Usa.” She said happily, but with much more restraint than the pink haired girl holding her.
“Guess what! Guess what!” Chibi-Usa yelled excitedly.
The dark haired girl craned her neck to look at the other girl, “What?”
Chibi-Usa released the other girl from her hug. Hotaru briefly frowned at the loss of her friend's arms around her, but her expression appeared too quickly to be noticed by the excited pink haired girl, “I got a picture me!”
Hotaru looked at her friend strangely, “Ooookkkaayy, I'm sure you have plenty of pictures of yourself…”
“No, silly.” Chibi-Usa said and produced a dark photograph from her pocket. She quickly showed the picture with a huge smile on her face, “It's me inside Usagi's belly.”
The dark haired senshi couldn't help allow her mood to be lifted at her friend's antics. She laughed and took the photo from Chibi's hands to get a closer look. She stared at it for while, it was very grainy and hard to make out, but she was there. She was so tiny… “Wow, you're like the size of a peanut.”
“Yeah! Aren't I cute?” Chibi-Usa asked, looking over the photo to Hotaru and flashed a bright smile. The darker haired girl was going to say something in response when they were interrupted.
“What do you have there, Hotaru-chan?” Naruru asked
Chibi-Usa blanched at the question and looked a little worried the other girl may have heard something she said.
“It's just an ultrasound of Usagi's cousin.” Hotaru said and handed the picture back to the pink haired girl. The other girl took the offered photo and held it against her chest. Naruru looked like she was going to say something else, when the school bell rang. “Let's head to class.” Hotaru suggested and reached out to grab the girl's hand in front of her, when her mind flashed back to her nightmare. She immediately froze mid-motion and without another word hurried past her friend, breaking her out of her dazed state.
The future princess was surprised by the sudden change in her friend and as watched her run away she whispered her friend name, “Hotaru-chan…”
Class was the usual fare and before everyone knew it, it was lunch time…
Chibi-Usa looked everywhere she could think of and yet she couldn't find her dark haired friend. Hotaru left the classroom as soon as she was able to without a word to her. `Where could she be? She's been avoiding me since this morning…' She thought to herself when her two other friends called her over to their table. She slowly made her way over while still looking for her other friend. As soon as she reached Ruruna and Naruru she asked, “Have you guys seen Hotaru?”
Ruruna shook her head and Naruru said, “Not since class.”
Afterwards, the two girls started up a conversation; Chibi-Usa only somewhat paid attention, her thought still on her raven haired friend. `Is she mad at me for some reason? She's been acting strange for about a week now…' The pink haired girl thought and closed her eyes, trying to think about what may be going on with her friend. She opened her eyes after a few seconds to see the two friends she was sitting with looking at her.
“So did you want to come?” Ruruna asked.
“Wh-what?” Chibi-Usa asked confusedly.
“Did you want to go to the mall with us after school?” Naruru asked.
“Umm…sure.” Chibi-Usa responded without really thinking about it.
“Great! It'll be fun, there's this new line from Guccicci I've been dying to try on!” Ruruna exclaimed.
Ruruna and Naruru spent the rest of their lunch period discussing their upcoming trip to the mall, while Chibi-Usa spent the remainder thinking about what her other friend…
When they returned to class from lunch Hotaru was already sitting her seat. Chibi-Usa was going over to talk to her when the teacher stepped into the room and told everyone to take their seats and open their textbooks. Chibi-Usa was a little annoyed because the rest of the school day past without her being able to talk to Hotaru. Every time she tried to talk to the other girl something always seemed to prevent it. Now she stood outside the school near the entrance, hoping to finally talk to Hotaru…
“Come on Usagi, let's go…”
Chibi-Usa looked at her two friends when she saw the girl she'd been waiting for walk out of the school and head into the opposite of her. She looked at her two friends and to Hotaru and back again before saying, “I'm sorry guys, I forgot I promised I'd do something for my cousin. We'll hang out another time.” As soon as she finished, she hurried after her dark haired friend. It took her few minutes, but soon she caught up to the other girl. “Taru-chan!”
Hotaru immediately stopped when she her name being called. She looked over her shoulder, “I thought you were going shopping with…Naruru and Ruruna.” She had to stop herself before she called the other girl's friends by her nickname for them, `the bimbos'.
“How did you…?” Chibi-Usa started to ask, when the other girl cut her off.
“I overheard them talking about it in class.” Hotaru stated calmly.
“I can always to that some other time. I wanted to talk to you about something.” Chibi-Usa said and walked up beside the other girl. She looked over to the girl next to her and could see how tired she looked and it worried her. She didn't like that something was clearly bothering her, but she wasn't telling her about it. “I care about you a lot…” Chibi-Usa started off saying, causing the other girl to look at her, somewhat surprised. “But I'm worried about you.”
“You don't have anything…” Hotaru began, but was quickly cut off.
“Please, let me finish.” The future Princess said seriously, effectively stopping any further interruptions. “I've noticed it for some time, but I could always come up with some excuse to explain it away. I can't do that anymore…I know something is bothering you and I want you to tell me what it is.”
Hotaru looked down, “Nothing's wrong. I've just had a lot of my mind…”
“And you can't talk to me about it?” Chibi-Usa asked, clearly sounding hurt. “I thought we could talk to each other about a-anything?” She asked trying to remain calm, but seemed to be losing that battle.
The senshi of death and rebirth had to swallow back a lump that had stubbornly formed in her throat to say, “I-I'm sorry…I-I don't want you to hurt because of me…” Hotaru said and closed her eyes tightly, allowing a few tears to escape her purple eyes. In a flash, she pulled out her henshin stick and called out her transformation phrase.
“Saturn Planet Power, Make-up!”
Saturn opened her eyes and looked at the pink haired princess sadly for a moment before hardening her expression, “I'll deal with this on my own, so I don't hurt you anymore.” Saturn said resolutely.
“Wait!” Chibi-Usa yelled, but before she could even get up, the other girl was gone.
End Ch.2
I only expect there to be one more chapter for this story, which I plan on working on soon. I work for like the next five days in a row, so I don't know if I'll get much done during that time, but I will try. I intend to finish this story before returning to my longer running story, `Our Future', which if you are reading this and haven't read that it is also a story that will have many Hotaru/Chibi-Usa moments. They are not the main characters, that title belongs to Rei/Usagi. It's a sequel to my first story, `Her Battle', so it would recommend reading that first though. They are both long, `Her Battle' much more so because it is complete.
I'll shut up now and say thank you to anyone that takes the time to read this especially if you are someone that's been waiting all or most of the six years since this story was initially posted.