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Path's Divergence

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Chapter 10

Fall at the Mall 

"Usagi! Haruka and Michiru are here do you want to see them?" her mother asked popping her head in.

"No!" Usagi called back. She knew it wasn't the politest thing but at the moment she just wasn't ready to deal with talking with them. It had been a little over a week since the incident at the bridal shop and she was actively avoiding the other girls. Thankfully there hadn't been any youma plots in the meantime and she had used school as an excuse to avoid them. It did seem a bit odd that it was so quiet but she wasn't going to complain too much. For now, she had no reason to be with them though now that the school year was done she was running out of ways to avoid them.

"Usagi... you can't avoid them forever." Naru gently pointed out. She had come over earlier and brought Luna along just to hang out. Usagi had been trying to hole herself up in her room at her apartment since the incident at the wedding shop and to give her credit she had been mostly successful.

"Usagi. You are going to have to face them eventually." Luna said from her position next to the bed apparently deciding to toss her own two cents in the conversation.

Usagi let out a sigh before sitting up. "I know that." To be honest she was afraid of them rejecting her more now then ever before now that they knew about her legs. She had let them get close without knowing how they truly felt about her disability and the last time that had happened she had still been one of Yuki's 'friends'. She knew her Mom had said they hadn't seemed disappointed or disgusted by the situation when they had brought her home that night. She knew they'd talked with her mom even if her mother hadn't told her what had been said. She was afraid they were in shock at the time or something and would have rethought that reaction by now.

"Why are you so determined to avoid them?" Luna asked tilting her head. Right. Usagi and Naru had a tendency to dance around the whole Yuki subject so Luna only knew the bare bones of it.

Naru sighed and spoke. "Our classmates were not exactly kind to Usagi when they found out about her legs." Yeah, that was putting it mildly considering some of the comments she remembered overhearing.

Usagi snorted but obviously had decided to elaborate for Luna. "Most of my classmates gave me space or just ignored me when I first arrived at Juuban. After someone I thought was my friend found out about my legs-" She broke off here. She still didn't like talking about what had gone down at school.

"Usagi... I understand. I want to let you know that Uranus and Neptune would never be so cruel." Luna said with a sigh. She thought they had made some fairly decent progress in the area of getting Usagi to trust her teammates. Apparently not.

"Good luck I've been trying to tell her that for months now." Naru muttered under her breath. If Luna could actually convince Usagi of this she would give the cat a lot more credit than normal.

"That's part of the problem I think. I thought I knew that girl too." Usagi explained. She had known Yuki for about three, maybe four months before she had overheard them snickering behind her back and it all had come unraveled.

"Usagi. You are still Usagi and Sailor Moon. I am sure the senshi understand this as well." Luna pointed out finally seeming to accept that they weren't going to get anywhere with this conversation today.

"I need more time." Usagi explained. She had gotten lucky that there hadn't been any new plots from the Dark Kingdom. In fact, it had been strangely quiet for the most part. Eventually, she was going to have to either get her act together or have her own hand forced into the matter. Eventually, she was going to have to face their possible rejection.

 "I'm sorry. She's still not in the mood to talk." Ikuko said returning to the door where Haruka and Michiru were standing.

"Our apologies for bothering you. We will come by tomorrow and see if she's in a better mood." Michiru said bidding farewell for now. This had been a circular conversation they had been having with the Tsukinos since the bridal shop incident. They had been trying to get Usagi to come out and at least say something to them but Usagi had for whatever reason kept refusing too.

"She's not going to be able to avoid us forever. Eventually, the Dark Kingdom is going to make another move and she is going to have to face us. I just wish she would talk to us before the matter would become forced by circumstance." Haruka commented frowning looking back at the door that went into the apartment.

"For whatever reason, she is still very skittish about talking to us about the whole matter. I don't think her being knocked out when we found out helped." Michiru pointed out. She had her suspicions that the problems and concerns on Usagi's end ran far deeper than whatever physical scars the teen had. Until the girl was ready or made to talk about it with them there was no way to know for sure how deep they ran. She had been able to put a few things together based on what had been mentioned before and her application to Mugen Gaken. But there were so many holes in the story it was hard to see what the entire picture was.

"It's been a week. It's only a matter of time before the Dark Kingdom acts again." Haruka pointed out. Leaving the obvious, they should talk before then, unsaid but understood in her meaning.

"We'll talk to Luna. She lives at Naru's house so we don't necessarily have to talk to Usagi to talk to her. I am sure this must be quite difficult for her." Michiru calmly pointed out. It wasn't the ideal solution but those two maybe the only ones able to actually get Usagi to talk to them. Though if she hadn't been convinced by now…

Usagi probably would have canceled going to see Ms. Setsuna too if her mother hadn't been the one in charge of her appointments. She really didn't want to run in to the others.

"It's not like you know them very well either." Usagi pointed out frowning. Ms. Setsuna had brought up the fact that she still hadn't gotten together with Haruka and Michiru almost from the get-go. "How do you even know about that anyway?" It's not like Ms. Setsuna had been around when the bridal shop incident had happened. And this was their first meeting since that had happened.

"Your mother mentioned it because she was concerned that the situation was causing you to regress in your progress." Setsuna answered. It was a legitimate concern from what she could see. Becoming Sailor Moon had started bringing Usagi out of the shell she had withdrawn into after the Tohoku quake from what she had seen. However, her fears when it came to Uranus and Neptune seemed to be causing her to withdraw again. "Usagi you need to have a bit more faith in people and how they view you. There isn't anything that would suggest that they would reject you over this. I would think you would know them well enough by now to realize that it would be out of character. If nothing else their loyalty to the crown and a couple of other things made it impossible for them to reject her, not that Usagi knew about that at this point.

Usagi let out a sigh. "Luna's said it at least fifty times already, as has Naru." She had tried to convince herself before that it wouldn't happen but so far it wasn't working.

"What is it that this Yuki did that made you so scared to begin with?" Setsuna asked wondering if she could maybe get some answers on that front, though she wasn't overly hopeful. Usagi had refused to talk about Yuki in the past outside of brief mentions. Setsuna had seen Yuki before not as her doctor but wanting to ID the girl who had caused her princess so many problems. She had been partly concerned that with the way Yuki behaved she may have had a connection to the Dark Kingdom, however, for all intents and purposes Yuki appeared to be a normal school girl. A schoolgirl with an apparent mean streak that Usagi had been unlucky enough to encounter, but normal.

Usagi debated talking about it for a moment. She knew she couldn't avoid the subject forever. Eventually that was a story that was going to be told one way or the other, whether it be from her or from Yuki and her groupies. She still hated talking about it. Yuki and her groupies had hurt her while she had been still very vulnerable from the quake. Even if it had been more mental than physical it still hurt. "She just got me when I was vulnerable. That's all."

"Usagi if that was the only problem then you wouldn't be actively avoiding Haruka and Michiru." Setsuna pointed out. "I am not asking you to talk about all of whatever went down but maybe just a bit."

Usagi blew out a breath in frustration. She really didn't like talking about Yuki. But could it hurt to talk about it a little. She didn't have to tell Setsuna everything or much of anything today. But maybe sharing a bit would help… "She seemed so nice in the beginning."

Setsuna was a bit surprised. She had been hoping that Usagi would eventually feel comfortable enough to talk about Yuki but even with her lightly pressuring Usagi she hadn't sure if the girl would say anything today. Especially since it seemed that she still had difficulties talking about Yuki.

"There were a couple of guys, who when I first transferred to Juuban, liked to make rude comments about my condition. Naru and then Yuki were the only ones to call them out on their behavior. I lost a lot of friends that day. Both because of the death and destruction and also from having to move here. So I was lonely and looking to make friends at first. They made it difficult." Funny she hadn't thought about those guys in a long time. They had bugged her a bit when Yuki had pushed her out of the group but that had been over a year ago now. "Funny enough after Yuki ditched me they didn't pay me much mind. Well not really they bugged me some but eventually like everyone else it seemed they stopped paying me much mind."

"So you over heard her saying something that hurt?" Setsuna asked trying to get an idea on where Usagi might be going with this.

"If it had been just words I think it would have been easier. As is-" Usagi broke off there not really wanting to talk about the other aspects of the bullying yet. "Sorry."

"No it's fine if you want to stop there. I believe that is the most you've talked about this Yuki." Setsuna commented. It was true Yuki hadn't even come up in conversation for almost two weeks when Setsuna had taken over. Even then that had been just an in passing mention. It had taken closer to a month to get anything resembling details on Yuki. This was the most she had gotten out of Usagi about the girl.

"From what you're saying, your worried about getting deceived in a similar manner again?" Setsuna said after a moment drawing a conclusion from what Usagi had told her. It made some sense. At Usagi's nod Setsuna sighed. "Usagi they wouldn't deceive you in that manner." Setsuna tried to reassure the girl.

Usagi chewed on her lip, "I think I know that I guess I'm just afraid that knowing about this will have changed their opinion of me. It's just hard because outside of Naru and Yuki I don't have much experience positively in people reacting to my condition."

"No between the amount of time you've probably spent in medical offices outside of school and Yuki's group being the popular girls you wouldn't have had much of a chance to see a different type of reaction." Setsuna realized. The more she thought about it, the more it made sense. That Usagi used Yuki as the gauge for how things might go. "If you want I can sit in if you think my opinion and knowledge would help." Setsuna offered after a moment. She didn't think Haruka and Michiru would change their view of Usagi before they knew. But if it made Usagi feel safer to have someone else who knew her medical background and medical knowledge…

"I don't know I need to think about it." Usagi admitted. Having Setsuna around wouldn't be a bad idea necessarily but the more factors that got added in the more overwhelming it got. Though there was another idea…. "If I don't ask you to come can I at least give them your number if they have questions?" Usagi asked after a moment. She knew it wasn't exactly typical protocol.

Setsuna thought for a moment. This would normally be going against everything she was supposed to do. But if it made Usagi feel more comfortable it might not be a bad idea. Plus it gave her another line to the Senshi besides Usagi since she still hadn't approached Luna outside of seeing each other in passing. "Go ahead just make sure they know to use the number only when needed." That shouldn't be a problem but still, to be sure, it was best left said.

"Did you get the letter in the mail?" Naru asked as soon as she picked up the phone. It was a day later and still no sign of the Dark Kingdom though the arrival of the mail had caused her to raise an eyebrow. What appeared to almost be a formal letter had come in from the Tuxedo Mask character she had only had one or two run-ins with apparently confessing his love to her.

"Hello to you too Naru. Yes, I did get the weird love letter in the mail." Usagi said turning to head back to her room. Trying to look for more details on the letter. No return address either yeah this stank of Dark Kingdom weirdness. She would have to ask Naru to ask Luna when she got back from patrol but this had to be a plot of Nephrite's. Though why he went the love letter route was a good question. Maybe a switch of tactics to throw them off?

"What's weird about it? It sounds romantic. Maybe he just saw you and love at first sight. That's a thing you know." Naru pointed out just about with hearts in her eyes.

"Yeah that's the thing. The weird thing isn't so much the fact that it is love letter." Usagi pointed out shifting her cell phone slightly so it was between her shoulder and ear before speaking again. "The weird thing is this guy has shown up a grand total of four times to help during the Senshi fights. The most infamous being Haneda where it would have looked really weird for him not to show up. Outside of the short encounters in the senshi fights I haven't had much contact with him. Then all of a sudden, he sends out love letters. This isn't romantic, it's just flat out weird. Then there's the fact that you and I aren't apparently the only people getting a letter from this 'Tuxedo Mask' judging by the radio announcement I heard…"

"So you're thinking it might be a trap." Naru said slowly with a slight pout.

"Most likely." Usagi sighed. "I mean it would be kind of cute if it was actually a love letter if a bit creepy. I have my serious doubts about that considering the nature of the situation. How did he find my address? Did he just start sending letters out to every middle school student in Juuban area because it sure seems like it."

"Maybe he had narrowed it down to our area but he couldn't figure out who it was?" Naru suggested but she sounded doubtful about it herself.

She paused for a second in thought. "That just seems creepy."

Naru made a non-committal noise at that comment before speaking, "So what are you going to do with it then?"

"I am not sure, to be honest." Usagi said putting the letter away. If things had been a bit different she might have just called the older girls…As it was with it being possibly a Dark Kingdom plot should she just go to the mall by herself?

"You're not going to consult the older girls?" Naru asked. Usagi could almost see her frowning slightly. "I still haven't talked to them since the bridal shop." She admitted playing with a loose strand of her hair. And this wasn't the way she wanted to start a conversation back with them after the fight.

"Usagi-" Naru said exasperation leaking into her tone.

"We've had this discussion a dozen times." Usagi pointed out clearly wanting to drop the subject.

"You can't use Yuki and her friends to judge how most of our age group will react." Naru pointed out for what felt like the millionth time.

"I know I shouldn't but sometimes it's just harder to convince myself of that." Usagi admitted.

"So what are you going to do?" Naru asked after a slight pause.

"I guess go to the mall. If it turns out to be a really weird ploy by the real Tuxedo Mask I might give him an earful at the next opportunity." She admitted.

"Shouldn't you tell them about this...?" Now Usagi really could practically see the frown on Naru's face. "It wouldn't be the first youma plot I took on by myself." She pointed out. Though it would be the first one Usagi had investigated all by herself since she had met Haruka and Michiru. She guessed she could text Sestuna for advice but that situation still felt a bit weird so probably not.

"And Luna? How are you going to convince her?" Naru asked.

"I'll think of something." Usagi shrugged. Though that might be easier said than done.

Despite her hesitations and Luna and Naru's protests, she ended up not telling the girls and going to the mall alone. Well, mostly alone. She frowned looking at her watch, it was getting late and there was no sign so far of the apparent Tuxedo Mask.

"Maybe it was just a hoax." Naru suggested from her seat at the food court table sipping a milkshake. She had tagged along more out of curiosity then out of interest in Tuxedo Mask.

"If it is it sure is an elaborate one." Usagi pointed out. She had seen at least a dozen girls carrying what looked like that letter. There were probably more at the mall that she had missed but those were the ones she had seen. And those were just the ones that had decided to show up. For being only a handful of people who actually knew to an extent who Tuxedo Mask was he sure seemed to be drawing attention.

"Well the mall is going to be closing soon, if he doesn't actually show up then we're going to have to write it off as a hoax." Naru pointed out.

"True." Usagi agreed. "What's he like anyway?" Naru asked after a slight pause.Usagi frowned making a face going over the past run-ins she had had with him before shrugging and saying, "Mysterious I guess."

"You guess?" Naru asked raising an eyebrow.

"Give me a break it's not like I've had a ton of interaction with the guy. The only one on one interaction I've really had was more of an argument than anything." Usagi said shrugging. All the other incidents with him had been around Haruka and Michiru and he had never really gotten close to her when they were around. "I'm starting to understand why you think this is creepier than anything." Naru confessed after a moment.

"Yeah. If I had talked to him, and I mean really talked to him maybe this would be okay. Or maybe just odd. As it is…" Usagi trailed off there listening to an announcement stating that was reminding them that the mall would be closing shortly before continuing. "As it is it not only comes off as weird but an extremely creepy move. I'm honestly kind of hoping this either an elaborate hoax or someone posing as him. It could be extremely awkward to continue working with him if this is a genuine move."

"Yeah, to be honest, I kind of am glad that I am not in your position right now." Naru admitted.

"No kidding." Usagi agreed. She didn't like having to deal with this situation herself, "Well if he doesn't show up before this place closes for the night I think we can write it off as an extremely elaborate hoax."

"But what if for some reason he's waiting for closing?" Naru asked.

"Then this just got a lot weirder." Truth be told that would be the most probable explanation. There weren't that many people left at the mall and not one of them was wearing a tuxedo. The girls she had seen carrying those letters had left a while ago.

"You should probably go home. If this does turn out to be a plot of the Dark Kingdom the fewer people that are involved the better." Usagi pointed out after a moment. "Text me when you get home." Naru said after a brief moment of hesitation getting up from the table they had been sharing. "Will do." Usagi said giving her friend a smile and waving her off. It shouldn't be much longer before the window of knowing whether this was a hoax or real closed.

Naru had made it almost out of the mall when she had run into him. Literally. So, caught up in her worry about Usagi and possibly handling Nephrite on her own she hadn't been paying as much attention as normal and ran straight into someone. "Oh my god I'm so sorry!"

Masato was dazed for a moment and then out of nowhere before he could respond a memory hit. It was an older memory, something from before he had become one of Beryl's generals, that much he could tell. But beyond that, he couldn't tell much else. There was a girl almost a woman really, with long curly red hair and looking out onto a lake from where they were standing. They seemed to be standing in some gardens, to what he wasn't sure. Whatever the place's name was he forgot and yet somehow was just off the tip of his tongue. Masato blinked for a moment in confusion and just as quickly as the memory came it faded. A red-headed girl, one slightly younger but bearing an uncanny resemblance to the one in the memory, was looking at him rather apologetic. "I am so sorry I somehow missed ya-"

"It's fine we all get caught up in our own worlds sometimes." Masato reassured her. He wasn't really annoyed, to be honest. Just curious about what had just happened. The girl didn't seem to be affected it so he hedged that he was the only one who had seen it. Still, the fact that any memory had surfaced could be cause to investigate and look into her more so, "I wasn't paying much attention to where I was going either I must admit. May I ask your name?"

"Naru Osaka." Naru introduced herself. "Your Masato Sanjouin right? The millionaire."

"Correct. Do you usually go running into strangers?" Masato asked. He wasn't surprised that she recognized his civilian identity. He had been going out more in it now that Jadeite had been put into eternal sleep and he was the one put in charge of getting rid of a certain pest problem.

"No sorry. I just realized my curfew was coming up and I needed to get home. I got too busy talking with a friend and so I was rushing." Naru partially lied. She had been talking with a friend but her Mom really didn't have a curfew she just needed to get out of there before the possible Dark Kingdom plot started.

"Happens to the best of us." Masato commented. Well, it didn't happen that much to him to be honest with being able to teleport at will but he certainly couldn't tell that to some random human. "I'm a bit behind myself because I was looking for new clothes. My secretary isn't going to be very happy with me when I get back to the office."

"I would think someone like you would have someone to be able to buy certain things." Naru muttered. He certainly had the money from what she had read.

Masato let out a chuckle in spite of himself. "I do but sometimes I prefer to do my own shopping. Besides this lets me take a look at the competition for my company."

Naru blushed slightly at that, "Sorry-"

Masato held up a hand before she could continue. "It's fine you're not the first nor the last to make a comment about that."

"Still sorry." Naru apologized again for the comment and running into him. Hopefully, she could make it out without running into anyone else. She knew Usagi had said she didn't want to get Haruka and Michiru involved but she did have Michiru's number. Maybe she should just go ahead and send the two a text so they were aware of the situation.

"Hmm well I must get going I have things to attend too. Maybe I'll see you around." Masato suggested. Though truth be told it wasn't much of a suggestion he wanted to know more of what he saw and that tied into his past without drawing attention from Beryl. For as long he could remember he had been serving the Dark Kingdom and only the Dark Kingdom. Sure, he had wondered about a life before, he was pretty sure he wasn't native to the Dark Kingdom after all. But for a matter of self-preservation, he had never really thought about the fact that he couldn't remember life before it. Bringing that up risked Beryl's wrath, and while he and the others were powerful Beryl was on another level. Even the name he had created had been for the sake of the Dark Kingdom. But what he had just seen, that place, it definitely hadn't been somewhere in the Dark Kingdom. Too brightly lit for one thing. If anything, the Dark Kingdom did live up to its name quite literally sometimes. Either way, it was a mystery for another time, time to see if he had managed to lure any of the Sailor Senshi to the mall with those letters. However, if this girl could play a key in unlocking his true memories he may have to find her again.

"Ya maybe." Naru agreed. She wasn't sure why the millionaire would want something to do with her. But she had to admit he had always seemed oddly familiar to her even when she had just been looking him up. So she couldn't deny the fact she wouldn't be opposed to seeing him again.

For a few minutes, for a few very brief minutes, it had seemed like that it was an actual hoax. The mall had started to close and there had been no sign of the man who she had come to know Tuxedo Mask.

That had lasted for a grand total of five minutes. She had been almost to the mall exit when she heard an escalator that had just been shut off whir back to life. Life could never be that simple for her could it, she thought as she stepped off to find a covered spot to transform. It might be just a straggling mall worker, but it was better not to take her chances given just why she was here, to begin with.

Sure enough, a brunette dressed in a Tuxedo started coming down the escalator a few moments later with her having already slipped into her senshi uniform. He smirked saying. "So you have come Sailor Moon."

"Yeah right I know that's you Nephrite you and your general buddies can dress up all you want. I'm still going to recognize you. Though I don't know how you know about him in particular." Sailor Moon said slightly rolling the eyes. She had no clue what the newest Dark Kingdom general was getting at but apparently, he was as bad at illusions as Jadeite had been from what the others had said if he hadn't been able to even look convincingly like Tuxedo Mask.

"So, you were able to pick up on my deception. Smarter then I pegged you." he said raising an eyebrow. Apparently deciding to ignore her comment about knowing Tuxedo Mask.

"It's not that hard really. You don't look that much like him. Wrong hair color and length just to start with." Sailor Moon mumbled under her breath. She stopped for a moment wondering just how she knew so many details about a man she had only interacted with a few times and for very brief periods for that matter. It made no sense, at best she should really have been able to realize they had two different lengths of hair yet the hair color and length were only a couple of details that had tipped her off to it being the wrong person. So why was she remembering so much more than that?

"Well, now that you're here I will take care of you." He said summoning some sort of weird lion youma in what seemed like a blink of an eye. That, that was definitely new. The only youma she had dealt with so far had been already working various jobs and her only encounters with Jadeite definitely had not involved summoning youmas. Oh, crap now the thing was lunging at her. Time to get out of here.

"How dare you use my name to summon Sailor Moon?" Never had she been so grateful to see Tuxedo Mask in her life. She didn't even register the youma had stopped chasing her briefly at first though she wasn't sure why. Maybe it got one of Tuxedo Mask's rose to the face? Or maybe it was confused at suddenly having two targets. Either way, she wasn't really complaining.

Nephrite growled. "Don't stop you foolish beast after them!" The youma decided to lunge after her again sending her running in the direction of Tuxedo Mask who was currently hanging outside a pair of elevator doors. Sailor Moon pushed Tuxedo Mask into it hoping that if they got in they could at least get away from the youma by closing the elevator doors. Only to lose her balance and instead stumble into the elevator after him hitting the floor as she lost her balance. She heard the doors slam shut behind them and the elevator whir to life. That wasn't good though she was distracted momentarily by Tuxedo Mask asking if she was all right.

"I'm fine thank you for the assistance." Sailor Moon said taking the offered hand getting to her feet before continuing. "What now?" She asked worryingly. They were trapped inside the elevator that seemed to be moving on its own free will and now that she was actually paying attention she could hear Nephrite rambling off that he was going to pancake them with the elevator. That was just quiet the lovely thought. Was she really going to die in an elevator after surviving the Tohoku Earthquake?

"There should be a door on top of the elevator that we can use as an escape route." Tuxedo Mask said eying the roof of the elevator. He seemed to find what he was looking for using a cane she hadn't even been really aware he had to begin with to create an opening before jumping out and then helping her out of it.

"So now what? Yeah, we escaped certain death but if we don't get off this crazy thing we might still die." Sailor Moon said looking around with worry. She wasn't sure how tall the mall was but they couldn't have much time left…

"We're going to have to jump for it." He said frowning looking up above them. She looked in the same direction spotting what he must be seeing a ledge. That seemed like quite the jump to reach, what if they missed and fell? She guessed it couldn't be any worse than being pancaked to death by an elevator but both thoughts were scary.

"Does the elevator go all the way up there?" Sailor Moon asked frowning slightly. "Probably not that is most likely a maintenance shaft. There should be enough of a pause though that we can jump and at least grab hold of the ledge and hopefully hoist ourselves out of this place." The unspoken what could happen if they missed or if the elevator stopped too soon was too obvious.

"Well, there's no other solution so on your count then?" Sailor Moon asked. He probably had a better idea of when they should jump then she did. She never did have great coordination.

He nodded as they could both feel the elevator starting to slow as they began to reach the top of the shaft. "One, two, three!"

Even with the help of an out loud count she still somehow managed to get off a beat sooner then he did and missed the edge of the ledge. Thankfully he had better reflexes and grabbed a hold of her before she fell to her death. Today just wasn't her day apparently.

"Wherever your partners are we could use a hand right about now." Tuxedo Mask commented trying to adjust his grip to better hold the ledge."Yeah well, you see…I didn't exactly tell them I was coming here." Sailor Moon confessed trying to find somewhere to look that wasn't him. For once she was actually hoping that Luna went behind her back and told the other girls about her plan.

"Seriously?" He asked finding a foothold stand on and pulling her up so she wasn't dangling so much.

"It's a long story." Was all she was going to say on the matter for now.

"Yeah well, you really shouldn't be alone. Seems like you in need of assistance with the youma attacks." He pointed out as he helped her get better leverage on his back.

"Hey, I don't need assistance every time." She argued. "You weren't there during the pet shop incident among other things and Nephrite's weird star youma summon thing took me by surprise."

"There was a pet shop youma?" Apparently, he had missed that plot entirely. "Yeah, you remember those wildly popular chinchellas weeks back now? That was another Dark Kingdom plot." Sailor Moon explained. "Why didn't you come with your fellow Senshi anyway?" Tuxedo Mask asked after a slight pause apparently choosing to ignore the missed plot.

"After the wedding shop last week they found out something I wasn't ready to talk about yet so I've been avoiding them since then. It feels stupid now but…at the time I guess I was afraid they wouldn't like me if they knew about it." She trailed off there. "That seems silly." she could practically see him raising an eyebrow even if he was facing the wrong direction.

"I guess it kind of is. But it's not like that I haven't had issues with making friends for what I feel is that reason." Sailor Moon confessed. "So you had something happen before that made you reluctant to open up to people. I'm not sure how this applies to your senshi you seem to have known them for a while now." Tuxedo Mask commented.

"Why do I have to keep saying this: the person I thought was a friend I had known for three months. Excuse me for having a slight trust issue with two people I've known barely for a month." Sailor Moon retorted. She was really getting tired of having this particular argument with everyone under the sun.

"Please tell me you have a way to reach them I'm not sure how much longer we can last up here." Tuxedo Mask commented apparently deciding not to push that particular topic. "I do." Sailor Moon said eternally thanking anyone who was listening up there for Luna having finally finished the communicators as she tried to adjust herself to access her wristwatch. "Not sure how easily or safely I can access it though."

"Of course." She heard him mutter.

"Hey, I didn't say I wasn't going to try. Only that it's not easy to access." Sailor Moon quipped.

Before she could really think about how easily she could open her wristwatch she heard the scraping of doors from in front of them. Hopefully, that was Haruka and Michiru and not Nephrite. Much to her relief, she felt them being pulled up and onto the floor of the maintenance shaft a few minutes later.

"Thanks." She muttered taking the offered hand and getting to her feet trying not to make eye contact with what she knew had to be two angry senshi.

"Uranus lets at least let our captive audience take off before we start this." Neptune said. Usagi glanced up in time to see Uranus shut her mouth with a click. Well, at least they gave her a minute before she had to deal with all of this.

"I'll let you three sort out whatever issues your having." Tuxedo Mask commented having apparently decided that backing away from the two mad older senshi was the best course of action. Before they could say anything, he backed away slowly and then rounded a corner and was gone.

"Okay now that he's gone- what were you thinking? If Luna hadn't called us because she was getting worried-" Uranus hissed before cutting off apparently not wanting to continue that thought. But the tone drove the point home and caused her to involuntarily flinch backwards. They had every right to be mad, she knew that but she couldn't help the reaction.

"I kind of freaked out." Sailor Moon said after a short silence suddenly finding the ground very interesting. Was that a piece of dried gum there? Ew.

She heard Uranus mutter. "More than kind of."

"Stop dodging things and have a little faith." Neptune said grabbing a hold of her chin so that she had to look at both of them.

"Sorry." Moon said still refusing to really make eye contact while indirectly apologizing for both tonight and the other secrets she had kept again.

Neptune sighed seeming to realize they weren't going to get anywhere tonight and decided to shift topics. "It's pretty late as is it. Maybe we should continue this discussion after we've all had a good night's sleep? Would you be available to get together to talk about this or are you busy tomorrow?"

"No, I'm good to get together." Moon admitted. She was still nervous about having the conversation but it seemed like they were more mad that she hid it from them then anything else- Which was a good thing, in a way. She wondered to herself if Luna would let Naru come over for moral support if she asked. So far they seemed to be handling it okay but she wasn't sure if she could handle telling the story to be honest.

End Chapter 10