Thứ Tư, ngày 08 tháng 5 năm 2013

7 Days in the Life of My Family by Hotaru Tomoe

Chapter Eight: Sunday. 

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.

Well, today turned out to be a lot more exciting than I could have ever imagined. It started out being really boring, and ended with a bit of excitement and a bit of personal redemption thrown in.

Today was the wedding anniversary of Mr. And Mrs. Kaioh, Michiru-mamas' parents and they were holding the party, as always, at a hotel in downtown Tokyo. We were in the grand ballroom of one of the best hotels in Japan, a real cause to celebrate right? You would think so, but then you don't know Michiru-mama's family. Unfortunately we do.

I have met the families of both Michiru-mama and Haruka-papa a few times. Haruka-papa's family is how should I put this, a bit strange. But I mean strange in a nice way, kind of like The Addams Family (do I watch too many American shows?). They are nice people, but completely whacko nonetheless. Michiru-mama's family on the other hand, well they make my (and Haruka-papa's, and Setsuna-mama's) skin crawl sometimes.

They are fairly wealthy businesspeople for the most part. And for the most part they all act like they're royalty. Kind of like Kimyo's ex-friends basically. Michiru-mama is one of the exceptions thankfully. I'll talk about a few of the others in a bit.

We got up fairly early in the morning to have time to prepare ourselves. We each put on our 'Sunday best' as it were. 

Michiru-mama tried to make a brave show of it, but wasn't doing a good job of it. Her parents didn't approve her relationship with Haruka-papa at all, and only tolerated her because of Michiru-mama. Setsuna-mama they kept pestering to see if she had found a husband yet, and occasionally would introduce her to some nephew or cousin, or whatever. Usually these guys were total jerks who, for the most part, were only interested in 'getting her in the sack' as Minako put it.

 Suffice it to say, if, by some miracle they went out on a date together, a rare occurrence, these jerks usually 
a) got slapped, 
b) got left in the restaurant, 
c) got the crap kicked out of them by Haruka-papa, Setsuna-mama, or, on two occasions, Michiru-mama, or 
d) all of the above. D only happened once and it's a long story with some pending legal issues attached.

Then, of course, there's me. They're favorite, if adopted, granddaughter, their only granddaughter in fact. Another little detail they hold against Haruka-papa.

They treat me well enough, nice presents on my birthday and at Christmas time, but on their last two anniversaries, they kept showing Michiru-mama and I off to the rest of their family and associates while snubbing poor Haruka-papa completely. 

Setsuna-mama was too busy fending of Michiru-mama's drunken Uncle to help us. I have never seen Michiru-mama get so mad before or since. I don't know exactly what she and Haruka-papa said to them after last year, but she did make them promise that this year would be different.

One thing that would be different was that I would at least be sitting at the same table with Haruka-papa, and Setsuna-mama, and not at the 'kiddie' table. And we would be seated at the front of the room, near the head table, where Michiru-mama would be sitting with her parents. Last year Haruka-papa was at the back with a gaggle of distant cousins, while Setsuna-mama got to sit with Uncle 'Lush' as she called him, and I was stuck at the kids table.

On the plus side, there were only a dozen kids ranging from 15 (the oldest boy), to 6 (a young girl). The problem was, they all treated me like dirt, well the 5 that actually talked to me anyway, because I was adopted. Then there were the 2, 13-year old boys who were making passes at me! Ignoring the fact that they were unattractive, pimple-faced, buck-toothed geeks, they were also the most obnoxious jerks I have ever met.

There was one other kid there, a girl my age, but she got to sit with her parents owing to the fact that she was blind. I talked to her and her folks, and they're all really nice people. Yuko Minaguchi has been blind since she was 6 years old, but she has learned to accept her blindness and compensate for it. She is a gifted writer and she has emailed me a few of her stories and poems. I read a few of mine to her and she really enjoyed them. I hoped she would be there at the hotel.

We tried to get out of going. Haruka-papa tried her 'going to the racetrack excuse', among other things. Michiru-mama whispered something to her about not getting something and Haruka-papa backed down. Setsuna-mama tried her 'going to the time gate' excuse, and backed down when Michiru-mama shot her a look that scared all of us. I just kept quiet and concentrated on my Game Boy.

Haruka-papa and Setsuna-mama even tried to contact Usagi and the others to bail us out. Her idea was that they would page us about a Yoma attack about two hours into the party and we would make an excuse and leave. Michiru-mama found out and, well she wasn't happy to put it mildly. I could hear her yelling at Setsuna-mama and Haruka-papa from outside, with the doors and windows shut. I just sat on a patio chair and played with my Game Boy.

But I digress. We put on our best clothes and went out to the car. Michiru-mama was happy and cheerful, at least on the outside, while Haruka-papa, Setsuna-mama, and I looked like we were being marched off to our executions. We piled in and drove off, but not at the normal speed that Haruka-papa drove at. Today she drove, well, like a normal person. The fact that it was raining heavily and would get worse as the day wore on didn't help things.

We went into town and made our way to the hotel. It's a really nice hotel, a four star hotel according to Setsuna-mama. I asked her how she knew that and she smiled and handed me a tour guide to the best hotels in Tokyo that was opened to that particular page. Silly me.

We arrived and Haruka-papa reluctantly handed the car keys over to the valet. She would only allow Michiru-mama, and, very rarely, Setsuna-mama to drive her 'baby'. People have accused her of loving her car more than me. I say its' not true, you can't give a car ice cream, or read to it for one thing.

The four of us signed in and made our way up to the grand ballroom. A few employees were outside the door, and a few assorted cousins were heading in. Michiru-mama greeted them warmly and they replied in kind. Well at least to Michiru-mama anyway. Sigh. Some things never change I guess.

The four of us went into the ballroom. It was fairly crowded with Michiru-mamas' family and her Dad's business associates. She was and greeting everyone warmly as we made our way towards her parents, while the rest of us did our best to try and fit in. I saw a few people point and make comments about us as we passed by. One of the cousins who tried going out with Setsuna-mama walked up and started making a pest of himself but moved on when he saw the look that Haruka-papa flashed him. He was one of the luckier ones; he only got ditched in the middle of dinner. A few of the unluckier ones saw us and stayed where they were.

Uncle 'Lush' was there as well, but he was preoccupied with wife #5 or 6, I think. She was just his type, beautiful, buxom, and brainless according to Haruka-papa. My two 'suitors' were there as well. They were still the same bucktoothed geeks I remember, only slightly taller. Oh well, I thought at the time, I could get some practice in from Makoto's martial arts training after all today. I walked past them ignoring them as much as I could, trying not to shudder as I realized the jerks were looking at my chest. Both Haruka-papa and Setsuna-mama noticed them and gave them menacing looks as well. They took the hint and scurried away. Then we finally reached Michiru-mama's parents.

"Michiru! Oh my baby girl, come and hug your mama!" Mrs. Kaioh cried as she came up with her arms outstretched, Mr. Kaioh behind her.

"Hello, Mom. Hello, Dad." Michiru-mama smiled warmly as she embraced her parents.

"Oh and you've brought your adorable little girl with you. How sweet." Grandma Kaioh as I called her smiled warmly and swept me up in a hug and planted a kiss on my cheek. Grandpa Kaioh did the same. They fawned over me saying how cute I looked, how I've grown, etc. I stood there smiling on the outside, and praying for a sudden Yoma attack on the inside.

Setsuna-mama they greeted warmly as well, asking her about her job, her love life, and weather or not they could set her up with yet another cousin/nephew/business associate's son. She answered all of their questions politely enough, and politely but firmly refused to be set up on another blind date, thank you very much. I could tell she was hoping for some monster to show up as well.

Haruka-papa they greeted warmly enough, but relations between them were still a bit strained. We all hoped that this day wouldn't end badly, like last year.

Michiru-mama went with her parents to the head table, while the rest of us were shown to our table. To my surprise and delight, we were seated with Yuko and her parents. I started to hope that this wouldn't be so bad after all. Silly me.

But I put a brave face on it as we went up to our table. "Yuko! It's me, Hotaru!" I said with a warm smile and a wave to her parents. Setsuna-mama and Haruka-papa did the same.

"Hotaru! Hello, great to have another friendly person here." Yuko smiled and turned in the direction of my voice as I sat down beside her. Her parents smiled at as we sat down with them, and soon we were all happily getting re-acquainted.

"Nice of you to come and join us Hotaru, along with at least two of your parents anyway." Mr. Minaguchi said warmly.

"I'm sure Michi would join us if she had a choice in the matter." Haruka-papa stated with a glance at Michiru-mama. She looked uncomfortable as she sat with her parents, but managed to smile warmly at us as we looked over at her. We waved back. She waved back and went back to talking to her parents and the others at the table.

Mrs. Minaguchi smiled. "Don't worry I'm sure she'll be able to get away from them long enough to drop by."

"I hope so." I replied. Setsuna-mama squeezed my shoulder.

"She will, don't worry." She smiled reassuringly as a waiter came by offering us drinks and giving us each a menu. I helped Yuko with hers as we sat there. On the plus side, the food here is great, not as good as Makoto's or Michiru-mama's cooking, but good enough. The choices were limited but the quality was good. Yuko and I both ordered the chicken dinner. The waiter offered me a glass of milk instead of the white or red wine that was being served. I passed on the milk and asked for a glass of ginger ale instead.

"I'd forgotten that you didn't like milk, Hotaru." Yuko said.

"I'm lactose intolerant actually." I replied. "It kind of limits what I can and can't eat."

"Could've fooled me. I swear she eats more than I do some days." Haruka-papa said with a smile and a wink.

"Can I help if I'm a growing girl?" I replied with mock indignation. 

"And I've seen you pack away enough of Michiru-mama's cooking."

"Hey! She loves to cook and I love to eat. One of the reasons I love her so much, other than the great…ouch! Setsuna!" Haruka-papa didn't finish what she was about to say, something to do with Setsuna-mama pinching her arm I think. She sat there looking innocent. I sighed. I can't take them anywhere.

Yuko leaned over and whispered in my ear. "Um, dare I ask what Haruka was about to say?" She and her parents knew about Haruka-papa and Michiru-mama's relationship.

I whispered back to her and she looked a bit embarrassed that Haruka-papa would be so forward and said so.

"Trust me, she's a laugh a minute sometimes." I replied. 

Haruka-papa glared at me for a moment, then laughed.

Dinner arrived as we talked about the report I was writing, and everything I had done this past week. (Well most of it anyway.) Yuko and her parents were surprised when I told them about Haruka-papa taking me for a ride in a racecar and laughed when I told them about what happened afterwards. I stared to talk about my day at the amusement park with Setsuna-mama and my friends. She even showed them the medallion I had won for her. I started to talk about what else happened that day, but paused and looked at Setsuna-mama. She looked a bit sad again but she picked up the story when I faltered a bit.

"I admitted to Hotaru and our friends that I can't have children." She admitted with a slightly sad look. Haruka-papa put a hand on her shoulder.

"Oh my poor dear, that's terrible." Mrs. Minaguchi said sadly.

"That's okay. She has every right to know. She is my daughter after all." I took Setsuna-mama's hand as she said this.

"Well, I think she was very brave to admit her problem in the first place." Yuko stated firmly.

"Thank you Yuko, that means a lot to me." Setsuna-mama stood and went over and embraced Yuko. Michiru-mama saw this from where she was sitting and looked at us with a what's going on? Expression. Haruka-papa scribbled a quick note and handed it to a waiter to hand to Michiru-mama. She read it and nodded in understanding as she stuck the note in her purse.

Dinner and desert were finished, and it was time for the speeches. There was one speaker who turned out to be quite funny but he was the only one alas. The last speaker before Grandpa Kaioh practically put everyone into a coma. I woke up near the end of his speech and tried to duck out to go to the bathroom. But Grandpa Kaioh got up to the podium along with Grandma Kaioh and insisted that Michiru-mama and I join him. Man, this wasn't my day.

Grandpa Kaioh started his speech. Did I mention that he could be a pretentious old windbag? Well I am now. I stood there feeling very, and as I was told afterwards, looking uncomfortable. Haruka-papa and Setsuna-mama saw my discomfort and signaled to Michiru-mama. She noticed and tried to tell Grandma Kaioh but was told to keep quiet. Great. This was worse than last year. I stood trying to project my thoughts into him. Hey you old windbag! Wrap it up will you? I gotta go!

Maybe he heard me, or Grandma Kaioh finally saw how uncomfortable I was, but Michiru-mama talked to her again and then whispered to me: "hurry back."

I tried not to sprint to the washroom, but I was almost running. I paused by the table long enough to get my purse from Setsuna-mama. "Death Ribbon Revolution." I growled quietly out of the corner of my mouth. She chuckled and patted me on the arm as I left.

"What did she say?" I heard Yuko ask. Oops, I keep forgetting how good her hearing is. But I didn't worry about it as I headed for the restroom.

After doing my thing, I washed up and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked as tired as I felt. I looked at my watch and groaned. It was only 2:30 P.M. I splashed some cold water in my face and touched up my make-up. "This is going to be a long day." I muttered out loud to no one in particular.

Suddenly, I heard a lot of loud noises from the direction of the ballroom. There were several loud pops and people screaming. My first thought was that the brats were even more bored than I had thought and were setting off firecrackers. Then I realized that those weren't firecrackers, they were gunshots!

As quietly as I could I opened the door a crack and peeked out. I could see several armed people running around waving guns and making everyone lie on the floor. Then a man and a woman, each carrying pistols, came out and closed the doors. I quickly retreated into the bathroom, and into a stall. I closed the door behind me and sat on the toilet and pulled my feet off the floor.

I'll admit it I was scared to death. What do I do? I have to help them somehow. What do I do? I was nearly hyperventilating at this point. I calmed myself down, just like Rei taught me. Then it hit me, I needed help from the others. But how was I going to do it without blowing my identity? I couldn't worry about that now, I had to help my family. Digging through my purse, I found my Transformation Wand.

"Saturn Planet Power, Make-Up!" I said as quietly as I could. In a flash that I hoped couldn't be noticed, I transformed into Sailor Saturn. Now I could call the others, but I needed to get out of the restroom first.

I peeked out the door and noticed that the one guard, the woman, was gone. The man was still there by the door, pistol in one hand cigarette in the other. He was seated on a chair by the door and facing the other way. He then got a call on his radio and he got up and went back into the ballroom.

Thanking every deity I could think of, I exited the restroom and looked for the exit. I saw the door behind me and went upstairs. We were on the floor that was second from the top, and I headed for the top floor. The stairwell I was in went up to the roof I noticed. I exited onto the top floor and looked around seeing no one. The hotel was in the middle of renovating a few of the suites up here and I managed to get into an unoccupied suite that had been freshly painted and had no furniture. I thanked the deities again and called the others, remembering that all of them were at Rei's.

Usagi answered as soon as I called. "Hotaru! How are you?" She noticed I was in my Senshi uniform. "Is something wrong?" She asked, starting to get alarmed.

I quickly told her and the others that a bunch of armed gunmen had invaded the hotel and had taken several hostages, including my parents. They all gasped in shock, and told me that they would transform immediately, and teleport to my location as soon as possible.

"Hurry, Usagi, please!" I begged her.

"Don't worry, Hotaru. We'll be there soon." Usagi assured me.

"Just keep your channel open and we'll teleport to your location." Ami added.

"Be strong Hotaru!" Makoto added.

"Thanks, just hurry!" I said. As I was waiting, I looked around the room and saw a bunch of paint and other stuff. I also saw a phone there, and it was still working. I immediately called the police. After telling them my name and location they told me that they were already on their way after hearing reports of gunfire. Most of the hotel had already been evacuated except for the top two floors. I begged for them to hurry for my families' sake. They assured me that they would and told me to keep myself hidden.

"You're a very brave girl." The operator told me before we hung up.

 The others weren't there yet and I looked at the painter's stuff again. Finally an idea to protect our secret identities came to me. I remembered from last year that this hotel had several spotlights on the roof that they turned on at night. I found a big piece of cardboard and a felt pen and started drawing. I rummaged through the stuff for a few other things and found some duct tape, but no scissors or a knife. 

I sat there scratching my head for a minute then I looked at my Silence Glaive. It was awkward cutting, and I had to draw a second time, but I managed to get what I wanted without cutting myself. This Glaive of mine does come in handy sometimes.

Usagi and the others finally arrived, as I was finishing up. I told them the situation and gave them an idea how many goons there were. Ami used her computer to find the plans of the hotel and we studied them intently.

"Best thing we can do is draw them outside the ballroom one or two at a time and take them out." Ami stated.

"That sounds good to me." Makoto said, cracking her knuckles.

"We can't just come crashing in and blast them?" Minako asked.

"No we can't. These goons aren't Yoma. We can't just blast them because they are human beings. We can't kill them." Usagi firmly stated.

"Besides, if we do they'll start shooting people, including Hotaru's family." Rei added, putting her hand on my shoulder. I looked at her and nodded.

"Ok, that makes sense." Minako looked over at the object I had finished cutting out. "What's that for?" She asked, pointing at the object. I quickly explained my plan to them and they all smiled.

"Great idea!" Usagi smiled.

"That's almost crazy enough to work. Where did you get that idea from?" Ami asked.

"Um, from an old American TV show." I replied. They all laughed.

"Okay here's what we'll do: Ami and Rei head to the roof to work on Hotaru's plan, and the rest of us will head downstairs to start taking out some goons. Let's go!" Usagi commanded.

"Right!" We all chorused. We moved to the stairwell and split up. Rei and Ami both smiled and gave me a thumbs-up sign as they went to the roof. The rest of us went downstairs, Makoto in the lead.

Creeping quietly down to the ballroom level, Makoto reached out to open the door, but it opened by itself! The goon with the cigarette from earlier stepped in and came face-to-face with Makoto. Well, not exactly, as she stood several inches taller than he did. His cigarette dropped out of his mouth as he opened it in surprise. 

As his eyes started roaming over Makoto's chest, she grabbed his pistol and drove a knee into his groin. As he bent forward, she slammed her knee into his face snapping him upright again. She hit him again to make sure and then eased him quietly to the ground after handing Minako his gun. She held the gun in between two fingers as she looked out the door to see if anyone was coming. Seeing no one, she signaled us that we were clear and we jogged into the nearest washroom, the men's room.

We tied up our new friend with one of the rolls of duct tape we borrowed from upstairs and tossed him into a stall, after we frisked him. We found a handful of cash, keys, two extra clips of ammo for his pistol, a soggy hankie (yuck!), and a walkie-talkie. The pistol, ammo, and hankie went into the garbage can. The cash we, reluctantly (hey we are supposed to be heroes) left on the counter. Someone has to pay for damages right?

Ami and Rei came back and told us that they had completed their assignment. We all smiled and waited. Ami listened to the confiscated radio while we waited. As much as we could tell, these goons were here to rob the 'rich pigs in the ballroom' as one of them put it. Ami heard at least 7 different voices, including two females, one of which appeared to be in charge. They weren't calling for our new friend yet, so we had time.

Minako, who had discovered the wet hankie, much to her disgust, went next door to the ladies to clean up. Rei went with her as we agreed to travel in pairs only while the rest of us had a chat with our friend who was starting to wake up.

With Makoto holding him, and me occasionally poking him with my Glaive, Ami and Usagi got him to tell us a few things. There were only 8 goons all together, lead by a husband and wife team of robbers. They wanted to steal from the 'fat cats' to fund further operations of some sort. They only had a pistol or two each, three shotguns, and the husband and wife each had an MP-5, whatever those were. * None of them had any explosives.

We gagged him again as we heard a commotion from down the hall. Minako called us on her communicator. "Two goons are coming out, a man and a woman. The man is bringing someone else out, a hostage I think." She paused. "Kami-sama no! It's Michiru!" She gasped.

"Michiru-mama!" I nearly cried aloud before Ami put her hand over my mouth and Makoto stopped me from running out of the room. "They're coming our way!" Minako added.

"Hide!" Usagi whispered harshly as she hit the lights. Makoto dragged me into a stall and kicked it shut. I could hear Usagi get into another stall while Ami went into the stall with our friend. We waited for what seemed like an eternity until the man dragging Michiru-mama came in and turned on the lights. She was resisting a bit, but he had a shotgun.

"Ok, bitch. Let's you and I get to know one another." The pig growled. Makoto let me go a bit. I gripped my Silence Glaive a bit tighter as I peered through the crack. He had tossed Michiru-mama to the floor and had put his shotgun down on the counter. He then started unzipping his pants. I couldn't stand it anymore! I raised my Glaive up with one hand and opened the door with the other. I charged out with a cry of "Leave my mama alone!"

He managed to say "Huh?" before Michiru-mama drove her heel into his crotch. Ouch! That's got to hurt! I slugged him in the head with my Glaive. He staggered around, reaching for his shotgun, when he ran into Usagi and her version of what her favorite American wrestler calls 'Sweet Chin Music.' ** He landed on the floor in a heap, unconscious.

"Michiru-mama!" I cried as I ran up and hugged her after Ami helped her up. Makoto and Usagi tied up our newest friend and put him next to the first.

"Hotaru! Usagi, Ami, Makoto! What are you doing here?" She exclaimed in surprise as she hugged me.

"We're rescuing you, Haruka-papa, and Setsuna-mama, as well as the rest of your family." I replied, looking up at her surprised face. She stared at me dumbfounded for a moment then her eyes filled with tears as she smiled and kissed me on the forehead.

"Oh, my brave little princess, thank you. All of you." She smiled through her tears as she hugged Usagi, Ami, and Makoto. Rei and Minako came in with the female goon, tied up and unconscious. We tossed several more guns into the trash, and the goons into the stall. Michiru-mama hugged them as well.

"Three down, five to go." Rei declared as she shut the stall door.

"Their leaders are starting to get antsy as well." Ami added as she held up one of the confiscated radios. Their leaders were calling the three captured goons back because the SWAT team was on the way.

"We should turn these guys over to the police when they get here. Then work with them to save the others." Makoto declared.

"I agree. But let's see if we can't reduce the odds any further first." Usagi said.

"I'm coming with you!" Michiru-mama growled angrily as she brandished the captured shotgun.

"No you are not! You don't have your Senshi uniform on, and the police may mistake you for a thug and shoot you by mistake, especially if you are holding that thing!" Usagi snapped back, pointing at the shotgun Michiru-mama carried.

Michiru-mama looked ready to argue the point. "But that's my family in there." She said quietly.

Usagi put her hands on her shoulders. "We know Michiru, and we will do everything we can to save them. But we need you to stay safe for their sake. Think about Haruka and Setsuna." She paused then drew me in closer and placed Michiru-mama and my hands together. "Think about Hotaru." She added.

Michiru-mama looked at the two of us, then down at the floor. "You're right, I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize. We would all do the same in your place." Rei said. The others nodded.

"Thank you again, all of you. Especially you, my little firefly." Michiru-mama and I embraced each other again.

"I love you Michiru-mama. We'll rescue Haruka-papa and Setsuna-mama along with everyone else, I promise you." I told her. She grinned at me and ruffled my hair a bit.

"I love you too Hotaru and I know you will." She said. We stood there holding each other for a while. Usagi stayed to watch us while the others dealt with a commotion outside. They returned with two more goons.

"Gotta catch 'em all." Minako giggled as they tossed them into another stall. We all laughed. It eased the tension a bit.

"We have to go now Michiru. Stay here and guard these thugs. We'll send the police here when we catch up to them." Usagi told Michiru-mama as we headed for the door.

"Usagi?" Michiru-mama asked as she canted a captured shotgun on each shoulder.

"Yes?"

"Keep my baby safe."

"Like she was my own daughter." Usagi and I smiled to her and dashed out. She smiled back.

We caught up to the police a few minutes later. We had a tenuous working relationship with the police at best, but they didn't shoot us when they saw our uniforms and recognized us. The six of us were immediately taken to see the officers in charge.

They looked a bit annoyed to see us, but were slowly becoming impressed as we told them we had already incapacitated over half of the thugs for them.

"The goons are in a women's restroom on the same floor of the Grand Ballroom. They are being guarded by one of the former hostages, Michiru Kaioh, the daughter of the couple celebrating their anniversary." Usagi told them.

The Officer in Charge sent a team to investigate, and they soon returned with 5 thugs and Michiru-mama in tow. She made a show of thanking all of us for rescuing her and begged us to rescue her family and find her daughter, me.

"Your daughter's name is Hotaru?" The Officer asked.

"Yes it is." Michiru-mama replied.

"She's the one who called us, and managed to signal the Sailor Senshi as well." He grinned and pointed up at the sky. One of the spotlights was on and shining a crude crescent moon into the cloudy sky. My 'Sailor Senshi Signal' was working!

"Your daughter is a very clever, and very brave young girl. You should be proud of her Miss. Kaioh." The Officer told her.
"I already am." Michiru-mama replied with a smile and a wink in my direction. I could feel my heart swelling with pride.

There was a call on the radio. "We are ready to initiate takedown." A voice declared.


"By all means do so." The OIC replied.

"Can we go back up and back up your team, just in case?" Usagi asked.

The OIC pondered her request for a moment. "All right, since you have helped us out so much already, I suppose I can bend the rules a bit. But stay out of the team's way and only assist if you are attacked directly. Do you understand?"

"Yes sir!" We said in unison. He gave each of us a radio headset tuned to their channel, and saluted us. We saluted back.

He smiled and radioed up that we were coming and ordered them to hold on. We rushed back to the floor and saw that they were ready to go in. We stayed away as ordered and waited.

"GO! GO! GO!" A voice roared.

The doors were knocked in as we heard the sounds of shattering glass and explosions inside. The SWAT team charged into the room. We heard a lot of screaming and gunfire. Suddenly a female with a gun attempted to run out. She ran towards us.

"Suspect attempting to escape!" A voice shouted.
"She's mine!" I shouted and charged at her. I was about to run her through but at the last moment I sidestepped and tripped her instead. She landed on the ground, and her gun popped from her grasp. She rolled over onto her back as I walked up, looking every bit like the angel of death Ami told me later, and stuck the business end of my Silence Glaive in her face. Her eyes went wide.

"Go ahead. Make my day." I said in my best low, menacing voice

Yes I definitely watch too many American movies. She got the hint and surrendered.

"Suspect apprehended." An officer said from behind me. The female goon was placed into custody as several officers shouted 'clear!' from inside the room.

We went into the room as the officers went about their business. A tablecloth was draped over the body of one goon while the other was escorted out. We would find out later that the dead goon was the only fatality in this incident.

Then I saw Haruka-papa and Setsuna-mama along with Yuko and her parents. They were supporting each other and crying. I was so happy that they were alive that I wanted to go over and hug them all, but instead I just went over and asked them if they were all right.

"We're fine, Sailor Saturn, thanks to you and the other Senshi." Setsuna-mama told me with a warm smile.

"Yeah, great work kiddo, thanks." Haruka-papa grinned. It was a major effort for me not to cry out and hug them both.

"Thank you Sailor Saturn." Yuko came over and hugged me, much to my surprise.

"You're welcome Miss." I replied, hugging her back. She looked a bit puzzled at this point.

"Do I know you? Your voice sounds familiar…"

"Um, I get that a lot. This officer will look after you. Be well." I dropped my voice down a few octaves and handed her over to a police officer that helped her out of the room. Thankfully she was blind so she couldn't see me blush.

The OIC and the SWAT team leader both came up and thanked us personally for our help in taking down the criminals. "You all did a great job, and we are proud to have you working with us." The OIC said as he shook each of our hands. A few flashbulbs went off. This time I didn't mind.

"Saturn, right?" The SWAT leader asked me. I nodded. "Great takedown on the lady there. We've wanted to nab her for a long time. Her and her husband were wanted for several robberies and murders. Thanks to you she's going away forever. Nice job, hero." He added. I could feel my heart nearly bursting with pride at this point as Usagi and the others came over to congratulate me. The battle with the Centaur seemed a distant memory.

"Excuse me, Sailor Senshi?" Setsuna-mama and Haruka-papa came up to us tentatively. "We were looking for our daughter Hotaru. Have you seen her?"

"Brunette, about so tall?" Haruka-papa held her hand about 4' 9" above the floor. I thanked them silently for helping me cover my identity, even though Haruka-papa got my height wrong by 3 inches. Gee thanks.

"Don't worry, we'll find her. C'mon guys." Usagi said as we sprinted out of the room past several cheering ex-hostages and police officers. We ran back upstairs to the empty room.

We stood there quietly for a few moments then we all started clapping and cheering and slapping each other on the back.

"WE DID IT!" We all screamed. We danced around for a bit and then embraced each other.

"Thank you all for rescuing my family." I told them as I changed back to my normal self.

"You're welcome. That's what we're here for…little sister." Usagi replied. I cried out and hugged my big sister and Princess. Then I hugged the rest of my sisters. Finally, I allowed Makoto to pick me up and carry me downstairs to rejoin the rest of my family.

The rain had finally stopped when we got outside. I spotted my parents talking to the OIC.

"Michiru-mama! Haruka-papa! Setsuna-mama!" I shouted out joyfully. Makoto put me down and I ran towards them.

"Hotaru!" They all shouted as they ran towards me. We met halfway and collapsed into each other's arms crying and laughing. Usagi and the others walked up behind us.

"Oh thank Kami you're all right!" Michiru-mama wailed as she held me.

"Our little Princess is okay!" Setsuna-mama cried.

"Nice to have you back with us Firefly!" Haruka-papa grinned through her tears.

"I love you, all of you!" I wailed. We huddled together like that for a while. I never wanted this moment to end.

"Thank you Sailor Senshi, officers, for bringing our beloved Hotaru back to us." Michiru-mama told them as we hugged each of my sisters as well as the OIC.

"You're the one who called us and made up that signal?" The OIC asked me. My 'Sailor Senshi Signal' was still on.

"Yes sir."

"Clever girl! I'll see to it that the Mayor gives you some kind of medal for your bravery. Your courage and ingenuity saved a lot of lives today and for that I salute you." He stood at attention and saluted me. I stood there speechless. Haruka-papa prodded me and I returned his salute. He laughed and hugged me.

"We have to go now. We have other duties to perform and more evil to fight." Usagi said with a big smile.

Setsuna-mama scrawled a quick note and handed it to me and nudged me towards Usagi. "Thank you for rescuing me and my family Sailor Moon." I cried as I hugged her, passing along the note, an invitation to come by later.

My sisters all smiled at me and disappeared into the night.
I looked up at my smiling parents. "Let's go home."

The four of us went home after assuring the rest of Michiru-mama's family that we were okay. Grandpa and Grandma Kaioh promised to buy me a big present soon. I was actually looking forward to it. Yuko and her parents were relieved that I was okay and invited us to dinner next week. I made a compromise by inviting them to our place when Kimyo and her mama were coming over. They all said yes. I figured they would get along well.

We rode home in silence, we were tired but happy to be alive, and with each other. Once we got in the door though it was a different story.

I barely had my jacket off when they all grabbed me and started hugging me fiercely, whopping and crying with joy.

"Our baby girl is a hero!" All three of them shouted. And you know what? For the first time in what felt like forever, I actually felt like one as well. I laughed and hugged each of them back.

"Setsuna-mama, Haruka-papa, Michiru-mama. I love you." I told them.

"And we love you, our little Princess." They said together. We held each other for a bit longer, then went and changed clothes. Then we got ready for Usagi and the others to arrive.

Two hours later, Usagi, Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako arrived. They all hugged my parents and I, and we were all happy to be together again, safe and sound.

We popped a ton of popcorn and a few gallons of soda and sat to watch the news together. We all cheered when we were mentioned and praised by both the police and the media for our efforts in rescuing the hostages. There was talk about making the 'Sailor Senshi Signal' a permanent method of summoning us in times of need. We weren't sure if we should laugh or be flattered, so we did both. The Chief of Police thanked us for our help, and then a picture of me in my normal clothes being thanked by the OIC was shown.

"On behalf of the citizens of Tokyo, as well as the Mayor and the Tokyo Police Department, I would like to commend the young woman in this photo, Hotaru Tomoe. Her remarkable ingenuity and courage helped us save many lives and apprehend several dangerous criminals. Her selfless acts are an inspiration to us all. We thank you, and we should all be able to sleep easier tonight because of her actions. Your family should be proud of you. Thank you."

Everyone hugged and kissed me as I sat there stunned at what the Chief had said.

"Well, this will make one hell of an ending for your report." Haruka-papa remarked, laughing. I stared at her dumbly then I laughed as well. Would it ever!

In Conclusion:
My name is Hotaru Tomoe and this is my report on seven days in the life of my family.

Well, I did say that it was never dull around here didn't I? Although I seem to have a huge gift for understatement, don't I?

It has been an amazing week, full of joy and tears, but then that's life for you. You can't predict what can happen next with any degree of certainty. Except maybe Setsuna-mama of course, and if she did see any of this, she's not saying anything.

All I can say with absolute certainty though is that as I look at my family, which consists of two mamas, Michiru and Setsuna, one papa, Haruka, and five sisters, Usagi, Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako, that I Hotaru Tomoe, am indeed the luckiest girl in the whole, wide world to have a family like mine.

The End.
* The Heckler & Koch MP-5 sub machine gun is a common weapon among Police SWAT teams and Special Forces units' worldwide. Although I doubt a 14-year old girl like Hotaru would know about that. At least I hope not.

** The wrestler in question is the Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels. I could imagine why Usagi and the others would like him.
AN: Finished! Whew! Thank you all for your reviews. I hope to have another new, and hopefully different story up in the near future. As I said at the beginning, this was an experiment to see if I could actually write in the first person. I tried a few times in school years ago, and it didn't turn out well, let's just say.

Thanks to everyone who said that this was new and unique. I was really surprised by this statement until I started looking back several pages. You guys were right. I just did this because I was tired of the plethora of 'betrayal' stories among other things. So if there is something I have learned, and hopefully you all have as well, it's this: Dare to be Different! Thank you and live well.

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