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Miaka (miaka_kiri) wrote,
@ 2004-05-06 03:47:00
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    Current mood: accomplished
    Current music:Sailor Mercury - Only A Memory Away

    Chapter two!
    Ok, here is chapter two, which is also ready-to-publish, but I can't get anything TO publish! No author notes or anything included wit this, just the nicely done-up HTML version of the second chapter of my post-Stars story "Return of the Generals? Suprise for the Senshi!"

    Return of the Generals? Suprize for the Senshi!

    Chapter Two: Hello Again

    Luckily for Jedite, Hino-ji-san was an early riser. By the time the somewhat-nervous general reached the torii at the top of the stairs, the old man was busily sweeping the walkway. He stopped, though, as soon as he noticed the blonde man comming towards him. "Ohyo gozaimasu, young man. What can I do for you this morning?"

    "Actually, Ojisama, I was wondering if you knew of any good places to stay in this town? I just got here, and a friend of mine," 'I suppose I could call her a friend, she did help me, though she hasn't told me much,' "suggested that this fine temple would be a good first stop," Jedite explained.

    "Ah! Is your friend around? You seem to be by yourself. Do you have a job yet? Would you like to work here? My grandaughter chased away my last apprentice a year ago. Claimed he annoyed her."

    "I thank you for your kind offer, Ojisama, and if you are certain, then I would like to accept. My friend was able to guide me to the temple steps, but she had to be somewhere else. She assured me that you and your grandaughter could help me find my way fairly quickly."'That is, if Sailor Mars doesn't decide I'm still dangerous and roast me first.'

    "Ah....well, then, you're quite welcome to stay here, my boy, so long as you help out with a few things from time to time. Might want to stay outta my grandaughter's way for a bit, though, she has something of a temper," the old man whispered conspiratorily.

    "Thank you, Ojisama, for both the offer and the advice."

    "You can just call me ji-san, lad, everyone else does."

    "All right, then, Ji-san. I am Rikugun Jedite," he offered his hand to the small older gentleman, by way of introduction.

    "Nice to meet you, Rikugun-san," Ji-san smiled back. "Now then, we have perhaps a couple hours before my grandaughter wakes up...let's get you settled, shall we? You'll need temple robes and a place to stay."

    "Thank you so much for your kindness, Ji-san."

    "No problem, Rikugun-san, you're helping me as much as I'm helping you!"


    A few hours later, Rei came out, ready for the day and slightly irritated. Suya should've been there half an hour ago, since they'd agreed to walk to the Crown together to meet the other girls. It wasn't like Suya to be late, though, especially not this late. If Rei didn't leave now, however, she'd be late to the meeting, and Usagi would laugh at her. She'd hoped to have a chance to speak with Suya before meeting up with the other girls, to see if the shortest Inner Senshi had any insights about what might be going on. She wanted to be sure that there was no impending threat. Last year had been bad enough. First the mess with Nehelania, then the Sailor Wars--which she still didn't really understand--and then dieing again...not to mention Uranus and Neptune's betrayl. Rei wanted the senshi of truth's assurance that this year would go more smoothly.

    However, all of these thoughts fled from her mind when she saw the blonde man sweeping the walkway. 'That almost looks like...but it can't be. We defeated him, and we never saw him again. And Usagi totally dusted Beryl before she brought us back to life,' Rei thought, confused.

    Just then, the man noticed Rei. "Ohyo gozaimasu, miko-sama," he greeted her. How he knew she was a miko when she wasn't wearing her robes was beyond her, though.

    "Ohyo gozaimasu, sir. Ji-san didn't rope you into working here did he?" Rei asked, then continued without waiting for an answer. "I'll have to scold him again. He's always trying to get young people to come work here."

    "No, my lady, that's quite alright. I asked to work here," the man assured her.

    "Oh. In that case, it's nice to meet you. I'm Hino Rei, though I suppose you already figured that out."

    "It is a pleasure to meet you, Hino-sama," he returned, sounding quite serious, and Rei blushed. "I am called Rikugun Jedite." He smiled warmly at her, apparently not noticing that she paled at hearing the name.

    'Jedite?? But can't be! We beat him, at the airport, three years ago....he just can't be back!' "Ah....may I ask how you found this temple?"

    "An old friend of mine showed me the way here. She said it would be a good place to start my life anew in Juban."

    "This 'friend' of yours wouldn't happen to be named Beryl, would she?" Rei asked, still suspicious.

    "No, my old friend's name is..." but just then he was cut off by another voice.

    "Rei-chan! If you don't hurry up we'll be late! We have about five minutes to get to the Crown! Ohyo, Jedite-san!" Suya shouted offhandedly, as though she'd expected him to be there. "C'mon Rei-chan, we have to go! Ja matte ne, Jedite-san, gomen!"

    Rei tried to form a protest as the small blonde whirlwind raced up the steps and accross the yard to grab her hand. "Suya-chan! You're late! You were supposed to be here half an hour ago!!"

    "Gomen, Rei-chan, I slept through the alarm!"

    Rei stopped in her tracks, causing the smaller girl to fall on her butt, blonde ponytail flipping over her face. "You did what???"

    "Rei-chan, ittai desu! What was that for? If we're not there in ten minutes, Usa-chan will be laughing at us for being late! And I told you, I'm late because I slept through my alarm! I suspect you didn't, though..."

    "If we're late, I can lay the blame on you, and you won't be able to refuse it!"

    "You could've left without me!"

    "I needed to talk to you!"

    "I would've met you there!"

    "Alone, baka!"

    "Huh? Why?"


    Suya seemed to realize that Rei wasn't going to tell her until they were away from the temple. "Well, talk, then...but only if you can do so while running, 'cause if we don't run, we'll be late! Ja ne, Jedite-san!"

    "Ja matte ne, Suya-san!" he answered as the smaller girl tugged the raven-haired priestess down the stairs to the street.

    "Alright, Suya-chan, first off how come you're on a first-name basis with Ji-san's newest help already? He must've only arrived this morning."

    "About quarter after five this morning, actually. I know Jedite-san from long ago, and I brought him here. Somehow, I don't think that's what you orginally wanted to talk to me about, though, is it? Ne, Rei-chan, hayaku, we'll be late!"

    "You're avoiding something," Rei accused, stopping.

    "Huh?" Suya paused, then walked back to her taller friend. "What makes you say that?"

    "Because you keep telling me to hurry. I think this is good enough info that I can afford to be a little late, even if it means letting Usagi laugh at me," Rei answered, starting off again, this time at a much slower pace.

    "Alright, then. What is it that you want to know?" Suya kept pace with her friend easily.

    "How do you know that guy?"

    "I brought him here."

    "You said that already. Why did you bring him here?"

    "Why are you asking that?"

    Rei shot her a sharp look. "Why are you avoiding the question?"

    "Because I'd like to know what you think before I answer."

    It was too early in the morning still for Rei to think of a good comeback for that. She wasn't used to arguing with Suya. "He looks like one of Beryl's generals."

    "And you asked him if he knew her, didn't you?" Suya replied without delay, having heard that part of the conversation on her way up the temple stairs. "Rei-chan, he's not evil, I can assure you of that. I would not have brought him if there was any evil intent that I could find. Beryl and Metallia are dead, Rei-chan, they have been for three years," her voice was reassuring as she explained.

    "You're sure?" the fire senshi was still wary.

    "Absolutely. I went over the area that housed the Dark Kingdom's base with a fine-toothed comb and the TruthCrystal less than a week after you returned from the fight. There is no trace of them left."

    "And what of her generals? I know we didn't kill Jedite, though after the battle at the airport, we never saw him again." The girls had told Suya about the battles with the Dark Kingdom and the aliens Ail and Ann shortly after they defeated the Black Moon Clan, figuring that the newest member of their group had a right to know their history.

    What the girls had never found out was that Suya already knew a good portion of these things, having observed from afar, ready to leap in and help her sister Senshi if they truly needed it, but forbidden to actually speak to them, as it was not yet time for them to meet. She had watched all the key battles--the last one with Jedite, Nephrite's death, the discovery of the Princess' identity and Zoicite's subsequent death, the battle that resulted in Kunzite's death...all of these and more. She had almost jumped in to aid the senshi when the cherry-tree cardian had broken Sailor Moon's broach. Only the timely intervention of Queen Serenity had stopped her. But again, this was not the time to muse on the past. Rei-chan was waiting for an answer. "The generals you fought were not originally Beryl's servents. If you look into your memories from the Silver Millenium, you'll realize that. Now, what was it you originally wanted to talk to me about?"

    Rei was annoyed at being thwarted, but she knew Suya well enough to realize that the other girl would tell her nothing more until she had thought on the subject herself for a while. "Will we actually get some peace and quiet for once this year? I mean, last year was a nightmare, and so was the year before..."

    "Yes, I know, three years of nightmares. They take their toll on one. Remember that Minako and I have been at this longer than you have."

    "I know, I know, you've been a senshi since you were twelve, and Sailor V was born when we were all only thirteen, whereas the rest of us have only been senshi since the age of fourteen."

    "I did not mean to offend you. It's simply the truth."

    "You didn't, I'm just not in the best of moods today. How would you like it if you walked out of your room and the first person you met was someone who looked exactly like an enemy you thought long-gone?"

    "I thought we were going to speak of something else?"

    Rei shot her a glare. "Would you check your crystal and see if there's any danger coming?"

    "I suppose I should've been expecting that. Maybe I was, too. As of last night, there is no impending danger. I can check again later if you want, though I doubt much will change before school starts. You don't trust the Sacred Fire?"

    "I trust it. I just want your opinion as well. And I'm gonna ask the fire who that new guy is. I told you about how I found out I was a senshi, didn't I?"

    "You did. You each told me the story of how you discovered your destiny as senshi."

    "Then you understand why I feel like I have to ask."

    "I have not heard any strange rumors lately. Not from any reliable source, at any rate. And even the ones I have heard don't sound like senshi business, just Umino-san's overactive imagination."

    Rei rolled her eyes at this. "Why do you even bother listening to that guy anyhow?"

    "Because Naru-chan and I are the only ones who do. And listening does no harm, so long as I do not believe every word that comes out of his mouth. Though you're right, much of what he says is either unimportant or exaggerated. Or simply wrong."

    "So what's his latest big scoop?"

    "According to Umino-san, Three Lights perished in a plane crash."

    Rei almost fell over laughing. "Are you sure he has his head screwed on correctly?"

    "He never has to take make-up exams. It's gossip that he gets mixed-up, Rei. He's a good kid, really, or Naru-chan wouldn't get anywhere near him."

    "Yeah, I know. He's just a bit mixed-up," Rei had calmed down now. "Hey, who's got the top score on the Sailor V game now? I haven't played it lately..."

    "Neither have I, actually, been too busy with school and soccer and such things. Shingo-kun has been getting better and better at it lately, though."

    "So maybe he has the top score now?"

    "I don't know. I haven't checked. Should we stop by there today? See what Motoki-ne-san is up to?"

    "Sure! Oh, look, there's Usagi, maybe we can beat her if we run!" with that, Rei took off at top speed.

    Suya, on the other hand, didn't bother running. They were already too late to beat Usagi. Rei hadn't seen Usagi come out of the arcade and glance around in confusion. Still...she could probably beat Rei, and then she wouldn't get yelled at quite as much for being late. With that thought in mind, she took off, and was opening the door by the time Rei reached the stairs up to the Crown Fruit Parlor.

    "No fair! You weren't even running top-speed!" Rei complained.

    "Hey, you guys are late! Rei-chan, did you sleep through your alarm?" called a familiar voice from behind him.

    "Iie, Usa-chan, she got distracted on the way here," Suya called back, waiting for the other two to reach her.

    "Su-chan, it's not like you to be late either, something wrong?"

    "Oh, sure, if I'm late it's 'cause I sleep too much, and if she's late, there's something wrong," Rei grumbled, marching past Suya and over to the table where the other girls were sitting, along with both cats.

    A moment later, Usagi and Suya joined them. "Gomen nasai, minna-chan, I slept through my alarm and was late arriving at Rei-chan's temple," Suya appologized to all of them, bowing.

    "Did your nightmare come back again, Suya-chan?" asked Luna, figuring that was the only thing that would really make Suya late.

    "Iie, Luna-chan."

    "So you went wandering around Juban at five am and then went home and took a nap, but you didn't get up on time?" Rei asked, slightly incredulous.

    This got a somewhat mixed reaction from the others."You were up at five but didn't get here until after Usagi?" "What were you doing wandering around that early?" "How do you know she was up that early?" "Why did you get up before the sun?" "Were you checking on the other girls?" "You shouldn't wander the city by yourself at odd hours!"

    "Whoa, you guys, one at a time!" Suya scolded. "And first off, I'm hungry, because I didn't get a chance to eat. By the time I woke up from my nap I didn't have time to grab anything before running to Rei's! Ne, Unazuki-chan!"

    Furuhata Unazuki wandered over to their table, notepad in hand to take their orders, though the four senshi who'd been there already had their lunches in front of them. "There you two are! I was wondering when you would show up, even Usagi-chan beat you here! Did you run into bad traffic or something? What can I get for you?"

    "Is everyone going to pick on me for being late? I'd like a slice of pizza and a cherry Coke, please, Unazuki-chan," Rei answered.

    "Sorry. Double-cheeseburger, fries, and a vanilla milkshake for me, please and thanks, Unazuki-chan," Suya told her. "I slept through breakfast."

    Unazuki laughed at the comment, and jotted down the girl's orders. "Ok, be right up! Have fun!"


    The three girls who'd just walked in found their seats, and Suya started explaining herself. "See, I couldn't sleep much last night, so I got up early to do something, only when I got back from my errand I was really tired, so I took a nap. I guess I didn't hear my alarm go off--or maybe one of the girls snuck in and turned it off on me. So when I woke up, it was only about ten minutes before we were all supposed to be here, and I had to meet Rei at her place first. When I got there, she looked like she was arguing with this blonde guy, and I knew we were gonna be late if we didn't hurry, so I kinda pulled her away from the argument, but she made me stop for a bit, and then she wouldn't hurry...."

    "You never told me how you knew the guy," Rei scolded. Suya ignored her, though, sorting through the various questions she'd been asked all in a rush.

    "Anyhow, that's why we're late. I went to run an errand really early, had to check on something, and then I got stopped by the Asteroids, so I talked to them until Ceres pointed out that it was almost five and I better get going. Rei-chan knows because I stopped by the train station and brought an old friend who'd just arrived in Juuban to the temple so he could find a place to stay, but I couldn't go with him 'cause I forgot to leave a note saying where I'd gone."

    "So the blonde guy Rei-chan was arguing with is your old friend?" Makoto asked.

    "Hai, Mako-chan. She thought he looked like somebody she knew and got mad."

    "He said his name was Jedite! Of course I got mad!" Rei argued.

    "Not so loud, Rei-chan, you'll attract too much attention," Ami scolded.

    "Is he cute?" Minako wanted to know.

    "Did he look like Jedite?" Usagi asked.

    "Did you sense any evil from him?" Luna demanded.

    "Sorry, very, yes, and no," Rei told them.

    "Ooo! Rei-chan just admited a guy was cute!" Makoto teased. "So what's he look like? Nobody ever really told me about the generals I didn't meet."

    Minako looked as though she were about to answer the question, and then she suddenly shut her mouth and looked thoughtful. 'I remember how he looked in Silver Millenium, because he was one of the Prince's generals...but I don't know if they were reborn looking the same way they did back then, like we were. And I never met Jedite this time around.'

    "Short blonde hair, bright blue'll meet him next time you go to the temple, Mako-chan," Suya cut in. "I don't think we came here to talk about Hino-ji-san's new assistant."

    "Nope!" chirped Minako. "We came here to hang out and have fun and enjoy peace at last!"

    "Not so loud, Minako!" scolded Artemis.

    "I think it would be fun to meet Rei-chan's new boyfriend!" Makoto put in.

    "I thought we were going to the mall?" asked Ami.

    "He's not my boyfriend!!" yelled Rei. "I only just met him this morning, for goodness sake!!"

    "Who's not your boyfriend Rei-chan? Is he cute?" Unazuki asked, bringing Rei's and Suya's orders to the table. "Anybody need refills? Here, Usagi-chan, another soda for you."

    "Arigatou, Unazuki-chan!" chimed Usagi and Suya.

    "Thanks. Ji-chan hired a new assistant at the temple, who happens to be kinda cute, and the girls all think he's my new boyfriend. However, I only just met him this morning, shortly before comming here," Rei explained.

    "Do you like him?" Unazuki wanted to know.

    "I don't know! I told you, I only just met him less than an hour ago!" Rei yelled, frustrated.

    "Sorry, sorry, I was just wondering. But do you want to know him?"

    "Do I have a choice in weather I get to know him or not? He's working for Ji-chan! He'll probably be living at the temple, too! So I'll see him a lot weather I want to or not!"

    "Mou, Rei-chan, calm down!" Suya scolded. "Eat your lunch before it gets cold," and she stuffed her face with cheeseburger, looking a lot like her 'sister' in that moment, which caused Unazuki and the rest of the girls to laugh. She gave them a curious look, while Rei just glared and picked up her pizza.

    "You're not helping, odango atama."

    Usagi took offense to this. "I didn't say anything, Rei! And I haven't even seen this guy you're complaining about yet!"

    "Not you, Usagi!" Rei cut her off. "This odango atama!" she pointed at Suya, who was still stuffing her face, obviously quite hungry.

    "Mmu re? Mmad mie ru?" {"Who me? What'd I do?"}

    Somehow, this made perfect sense to Rei (neither senshi realized it, but part of Suya's powers as senshi of truth allowed her to be understood when she wanted to be, though she only knew about part of that--her ability with languages). "You brought him there!" she yelled at her friend.

    Suya swallowed her bite and stopped eating to respond. "What does that have to do with anything?"

    "Ah, sorry girls, I have to get back to work. Have fun!" Unazuki chirped before scuttling off to take another order. The senshi didn't seem to notice her exit, more focused on the impending argument between Astaria and Mars. Such an argument was a rarity. Usually Rei argued with Usagi, and Suya rarely argued with anyone. When she did, though, it was bound to be a good one--unless she was arguing with Mercury over the validity of something.

    Rei, however, was unprepared for her smaller friend's question. "What do you mean, 'what has it got to do with anything?' It has everything to do with it!"

    "How so? I told you, I brought him here. I have my reasons."


    Suya didn't answer that right away, and Usagi jumped in, possibly attempting to defend her sister. "Maybe she just took pity on him 'cause he was out of a job."

    "Then how come he looks exactly like Jedite??"

    "Perhaps we should meet this guy, it might help us come to a proper conclusion," Ami suggested.

    "I am not going back there right now!" Rei yelled, then stuffed her face with pizza, hoping to escape the impeding argument. She knew full well that arguing with the Senshi of Truth was pretty useless. There had been little enough point to trying to convince her that she liked Keishu back in ninth grade. She kept insisting that the only man she'd ever love was Emydain, who had been Edymion's adopted younger brother. Rei smiled in her thoughts, recalling how utterly shocked Suya'd been when they discovered that the man who annoyed her to no end, Tsuba Keishu, was in reality her protector and her prince! But that really had nothing to do with now, and she shook the thoughts off to concentrate on her lunch again.

    "What kind of proper conclusion are you thinking of, Ami-chan?" Suya asked, before digging into her fries.

    "I want to do a scan on him, since Rei-chan is so worried that he might be an enemy."

    "I can assure you that he is no enemy. Beryl's generals all perished before she did, and she is well and truely dusted. I spent a week up at D Point after your battle making absolutely certain that our oldest enemy would no longer be a threat to anyone."

    "Ever?" asked Usagi, hopefully.

    "There is no remaining trace of Beryl or Metallia, Usa-chan. We will never again face a threat from the Dark Kingdom."

    "Good! Then let's celebrate peace and having survived the first year of high school with a nice trip to the mall!" Makoto suggested.

    "I'd rather celebrate by going on a date with Mamo-chan..." Usagi muttered, thinking no one would hear her.

    "You have a date with him tomorrow, don't you, Usagi-chan?" asked Luna. "And today he and Keishu are helping Motoki with something."

    "A guy's project? Any chance I could go help them?" Artemis asked. "The mall really isn't my thing, no offence, girls..."

    Minako gave him an odd look. "Artemis, you're a cat! How much can you help with whatever they're doing? Motoki-oniisan doesn't know you can talk, remember?"

    "Oh, right. Maybe I'll just go watch the soccer game."

    Usgai shook her head. "If you mean my otouto's group, they aren't playing today."

    "Why not?" Ami, Makoto, and Minako wanted to know.

    "They aren't?" asked Artemis at the same time.

    "But...I thought that was where Shingo was off to this morning?" wondered Luna on the heels of the others' questions. Rei and Suya were both silent, their mouths full of food.

    "No," Usagi answered. "I don't know why, I just know that they aren't. Shingo said he was going to the arcade this morning. And Motoki-nii-san isn't there today."

    Rei gave her a funny look, then swallowed her bite of pizza to ask, "How do you know that?"

    "When you and Su-chan were late, I went to see if you'd gone to the arcade instead, and Motoki-oniisan wasn't there."

    "But you got here after us!" Rei argued.

    "No she didn't. She came out of the arcade a moment before you spotted her." Suya had finished her lunch and was downing her shake.

    "Don't drink that too fast, Suya-chan, you'll give yourself a headache," cautioned Ami.

    "Daijoubu, Ami-chan."

    "Ne, minna, are we ready to get going?" Minako asked. "I'll bet there's lots of cute guys at the mall!"

    "Hai, hai, Minako-chan!" smiled Suya. "Rei-chan?"

    "Let's go!" Usagi, Makoto, and Ami chorused.

    "Gimme a sec to finish my drink, OK?"

    "Luna, would you come to the park with me? Please?"

    "Sure. I'm not usually allowed in the mall anyway. Let's go, Artemis-kun." With that, the two cats took off, soon followed by the six girls.

    And there you have it. All of the story that's actually written so far. Please enjoy it! Arigatou gozaimasu! *bows*

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