Story: Simple and Clean (all chapters)

Authors: Anti-Sheep Era

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Chapter 1

Simple and Clean

Haruka crept silently through the house. Once again, she was unable to find sleep. She peeked in on her adoptive daughter’s bedroom, making sure to keep silent. She smiled when she spied Hotaru sleeping peacefully. Haruka knew how many restless nights Hotaru had. In fact, the whole house knew. When Hotaru was little, Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna would stay up with her. They all tried their best to help the little girl find sleep, but to no avail. These days, however, a lot less activity was going on. The evils of the universe seemed to be at rest and finally, Hotaru could grow up as a normal 16 year old girl. Well as normal as any senshi, especially the daughter of Saturn, the soldier of death and rebirth.

Haruka smirked when she caught a glimpse of pink hair. Chibiusa has been spending a lot of time here, she thought to herself. As far as Haruka could see, the girls were sleeping apart. Well, as apart as they could be with Chibiusa sprawled across the mattress. Once, when Haruka and Mamoru were striking up a random conversation, he mentioned how much Usagi moved in her sleep, seemingly unable to stay in one spot. Like mother, like daughter, Haruka thought. Haruka gave a start when the pink-haired girl moved, but she gave a loud snore and turned opposite of Hotaru.

Setsuna and Michiru both claimed the two were "just friends"; best friends, of course, but Haruka thought otherwise. She also had similar theories in regards to the inner senshi. Michiru scoffed at her, whilst Setsuna smiled her mysterious smile. Every time Haruka would mention the eventual pairing of their daughter with the future princess of the moon, Michiru would roll her eyes. She constantly reminded her partner that just because they were gay, it didn’t mean their daughter was. Setsuna would throw a look at Haruka, but Haruka was never the one to keep quiet, especially if she thought she was right. So bets were taken and Haruka never missed an opportunity to tease her daughter about her pink-haired “girlfriend”, winking at Michiru when Hotaru blushed. Just once, Haruka thought to herself, I’d love to win a bet against Michiru.

Haruka walked out of Hotaru’s room, tracing her steps back to the bedroom she shared with Michiru. She smiled at her sleeping, aqua-haired lover, giving her a kiss before slipping under the covers. Immediately, Michiru snuggled up to her and Haruka answered by wrapping an arm around her. She finally allowed sleep to take her, closing her eyes and pulling Michiru closer.


Chapter 2

Hotaru yawned, stretching, as sunshine filtered through her blinds. She blushed slightly when she noticed her friend’s left arm wrapped around her stomach. Hotaru was very used to Chibiusa moving about, but she couldn’t help but marvel at how her friend managed to stay on the bed. Hotaru laid there for a while longer, enjoying the weight of her friend’s arm slung across her belly. She wished it had been a conscious decision, but knowing her friend, it just wouldn’t happen that way. Hotaru slipped out of bed, yawning once more, and walked to the kitchen.

Haruka and Michiru were already up, sitting down at the table; Haruka reading the paper and Michiru sipping a cup of coffee.

“Good morning, hime-chan,” Michiru said, smiling at her daughter.

“Morning, Michiru-mama.” Hotaru smiled back at her mother, stifling yet another yawn.

Haruka peered over her newspaper.

“Rough night?” she asked, her eyes twinkling. Hotaru blushed, looking down at her feet. Michiru smacked her lover’s arm, causing Haruka to say “What?” and Hotaru to giggle.

“Pay no attention to this one,” Michiru told her giggling daughter. She threw Haruka a glare, but the blond-haired woman had disappeared behind her paper.

“Are you hungry?” Michiru asked Hotaru, gesturing her to sit down.


Hotaru grabbed a bowl, a spoon and a box of cereal. Michiru often chastised her lover over her eating habits, eating habits that their daughter had no problem picking up. Haruka, however, believed that everyone should have at least one bowl of sugary-sweet cereal and Hotaru readily agreed. Neither of them seemed to care that their “one bowl” quota had already been filled, years ago.

“Where’s Setsuna-mama?” Hotaru asked as she munched her sugary breakfast.

“Not sure, actually. She left kind of early,” Michiru said, taking another sip from her coffee.

“She’s been doing that a lot lately,” Haruka added, her daughter nodding her head in agreement. She continued to eat, her thoughts drifting back to her sleeping friend. How exactly did she feel about her? On one hand, they had practically grown up together, having been best friends for so long. Many people commented on how the two were as close as sisters. But Hotaru, never having a sister herself, wasn’t too keen on calling her feelings “sisterly”.


Hotaru tore herself away from her thoughts, noticing that her spoon was halfway to her mouth and, by the look her mom was giving her; it had probably been there for awhile. Grinning sheepishly, Hotaru stuffed the spoon in her mouth.

“Hotaru-chan, do you and Chibiusa-chan have any plans for today? I mean, when or if she wakes up?” Michiru asked, grinning.

“Well, if she wakes up, we’re supposed to go to a movie. I have a feeling we might have to go to an afternoon showing,” Hotaru answered as she finished up her meal.

“Sounds good. Your papa and I are going shopping; I need some new clothes for the summer,” Michiru informed her, her eyes resting on the newspaper that had conspicuously moved up an inch or two.

“Isn’t that right, Haruka?” Michiru asked sweetly. Haruka grunted, apparently in approval, and Michiru smiled as she leaned behind the paper to give her wife a kiss. Hotaru, having been too used to this kind of thing, was about to stand up but she stopped, suddenly very curious. Could she be in love with Chibiusa, like her mama and papa were? She continued to stare at the paper, until she could hear light whispers as well as more kissing. Taking this as her cue, she stood up, taking her bowl and spoon to the sink. She was about to put up the cereal, when a slightly disheveled, pink-haired girl shuffled in. Chibiusa stood in the doorway, stretching and yawning.

“Good-morning, Princess,” Haruka said. Hotaru was relieved to see that her parents had stopped kissing. She grabbed another bowl and spoon, setting it on the table for her friend.

“Thanks, Hotaru-chan and good morning everyone!” the pink-haired girl said, suddenly very energetic. She sat at the table, pouring herself a huge bowl of cereal. Michiru, Haruka and Hotaru all three looked at each other, still unable to fathom the depths of her appetite.

“So, Chibiusa-chan, what movie did you want to see?” Hotaru asked her friend as she sat down beside her. Chibiusa bit her bottom lip, not looking at the older girl.

“Uhm, it’s sort of a chick—“

“Nope.” Hotaru crossed her arms across her chest, shaking her head.

“Ah, a lover’s quarrel,” Haruka said quietly. Michiru smacked her arm again, but neither of the girls had heard her.

“Chibiusa-chan, you know I don’t like chick-flicks,” Hotaru said, her arms still crossed. The girls were only about a year apart, 16 and 15, but their interests were very different. Where Chibiusa liked sappy romance, Hotaru would rather battle an army of youmas then have to sit through that “mushy crap”; she never really understood girls her age.

“Please, Taru-chan?” the younger girl pleaded. She tried to make her best “puppy-dog” eyes, but Hotaru wouldn’t look at her. She placed her hand on the other girl’s thigh, not noticing the flinch she caused. Dark purple eyes finally met shining maroon and Hotaru was unable to resist any longer. She gave a defeated sigh.


“Yay!!!” Chibiusa jumped out of her chair and gave her friend a big hug. Over her shoulder, Hotaru glared at her papa. Both her and Michiru were watching the pair, an amused expression on Michiru’s face; a smug-grin on her papa’s.


Chapter 3

Chibiusa loved Hotaru’s room. Hotaru enjoyed collecting lamps, usually only lighting a few at a time, creating a perfect, peaceful ambience. Chibiusa had situated herself on Hotaru’s bed, sprawled out, but with her hands behind her head. She closed her eyes, loving the feel of the satin sheets beneath her. In the background she could hear water running, as Hotaru took a shower. Chibiusa glanced at the closed door of the bathroom, smiling to herself.

Only moments before, Michiru had dragged off a very reluctant wind senshi out of the house. As Hotaru and Chibiusa were giggling, Michiru invited the pink-haired girl to stay over again (if she wanted to), told them to be careful and that they’d be back in awhile. She waved good bye to the girls and then focused all her attention on her partner (who, upon the word “awhile” gave a rather loud snort, which she hastily tried turning into a cough). Both girls ran upstairs, laughing at the guilty look on Haruka’s face. It was barely noon, so they decided to catch an afternoon showing around 1:30, or so. After that, Hotaru jumped in the shower, leaving Chibiusa to her thoughts.

Now, Chibiusa began to think about the circumstances that brought her here. Of course, it all started with the meeting at the park, but now that she remembered it, it was before then. Her mother had sent her back, telling her to meet new friends because those special encounters would help her later in life. Was her friendship with Hotaru that special encounter? The pink haired girl frowned. Also, she never remembered seeing any of the outer senshi (besides Puu) in her timeline. Would her going back to the past draw them out when she returned? Chibiusa rubbed her temple in confusion. Perhaps she was thinking a bit too much about the whole thing. She turned her thoughts on her friend, which, she thought, could be just as baffling. Once again, her eyes came to rest on the bathroom door. She absolutely adored her.

Even now, she could here herself ramble. Her mother always smiled at her as she listened, as if she knew something the young girl didn’t. But Chibiusa never paid attention. She begged her mom to go back to the past, in order for her to be with her new friend. In so many ways, Hotaru was her opposite. Where she was out going and tended to be loud, Hotaru was calm and quiet. Because of her reserved attitude, many of her classmates teased her. Chibiusa never quite understood why Hotaru never stood up for herself, but whenever she had the chance, the pink haired girl was always defending her. They had been through many things together, the latest thing being Chibiusa taking care of a baby Hotaru and then coming back every so often to watch her grow up. It had been very upsetting for the pink haired girl to see her friend like that but thankfully, because of Hotaru’s role as a senshi, she grew up rather quickly.

The bathroom door flew open, causing Chibiusa to jolt upright. She didn’t even hear the shower turn off. I couldn’t have been thinking that hard, she thought. But the next thing she saw wiped any and all thoughts far from mind. Hotaru had run into the room, in nothing but a towel.

Chibiusa blushed, averting her eyes quickly.

Hotaru, however, didn’t seem to notice.

“I’m sorry, Chibiusa-chan, I forgot something, I’ll hurry,” Hotaru said quickly, as she ran to her dresser.

No rush, Chibiusa thought. Now that Hotaru seemed busy, Chibiusa had no problem looking at her partially covered friend. Hotaru had her towel bunched up at the front so that every curve was showing. Why can’t the towel just fall, she thought. She bit her bottom lip at the thought and then quickly covered her face with her hands. What was she thinking? That’s not a normal thought one should have about their best friend!

Hotaru was doing her best to hurry. She chanced a glance at her friend, somewhat perplexed as to why she had her face buried in her hands. She didn’t want to make her friend uncomfortable, but it seemed to be happening anyway. It was very silent and although Hotaru enjoyed silences, somehow she figured that this was what they called “awkward”.

“Uhm, Chibiusa-chan, I’ll be ready in a sec. If you’re bored or something, you can go downstairs,” she said as Chibiusa berated herself silenly.

Oh great, Chibiusa thought, panicking, she must’ve caught me looking at her. This is almost more embarrassing than the time I fell into the pond back home. At least I have my clothes on this time. Hmm…well, if I didn’t have my clothes on now…Gah! What is wrong with me?!

“Uh, I think that’s a pretty good idea, I’m just gonna go get something to drink.” Chibiusa slid off the bed and walked out. She stopped at the doorway as if to say something, but nothing came out. Instead, she closed the door, leaving a very puzzled Hotaru by herself.


Chapter 4

Hotaru was bored.


All the sappy, romance movies all seemed alike to her. The boy always gets the girl. The boy. Stupid boy, she thought darkly. She glanced at Chibiusa and was amused to see tears in her eyes. Shaking her head, she looked at the movie screen, but her thoughts were elsewhere.


What exactly happened at the house, she thought to herself. After she had gotten out of the shower (and had properly dressed herself) she went downstairs to find her friend in the kitchen, with her head in the freezer. Completely baffled, Hotaru had tapped Chibiusa on the shoulder, startling her (which, in turn, startled Hotaru). The pink haired girl blushed at the look of puzzlement her friend was giving her and she started mumbling about needing ice for her water. This statement further confused the older girl, seeing as how there was not a glass of water in sight. She decided to let it go, however, and when she asked if her friend was ready to go, Chibiusa more or less yelled “Hai!”


As they walked to the movies, Chibiusa kept talking about one thing or another, as if nothing happened. Hotaru stayed silent, as if in compliance.


She wasn’t really sure what was happening between them but Hotaru was determined to resolve it. Everything seemed to go wrong when she walked into her room with naught but a towel. Maybe she really made her friend uncomfortable. The senshi of silence furrowed her eyebrows deep in concentration. She had to make this right, she couldn’t lose her best friend over something this trivial…it’s a good thing she never mentioned her true feelings to the princess…


Hotaru continued looking at the screen, unaware that she had gained an audience. Chibiusa had been stealing glances at her brooding friend, suddenly very conscious of the panic that had settled itself in her stomach. She’s thinking about earlier, Chibiusa thought, quite suddenly. She knows, maybe she knows…does she know? The younger girl considered the possibilities. After the freezer stunt, she couldn’t see how Hotaru didn’t confront her right then and there. The pink haired princess smacked herself, thinking about her I-need-ice-for-my-non-existent-cup-of-water-lie.


“What an idiot,” she whispered. Hotaru, after watching her friend smack herself, grew slightly concerned. She leaned over.


“Chibiusa-chan,” Hotaru breathed in her friend’s ear. Chibiusa jumped slightly upon hearing her name, blushing profusely when she felt the older girl’s breath on her ear. She felt butterflies in her stomach and a very unfamiliar burning below her waist. This all happened in a matter of seconds and she could only muster a “Hmm?” for a response.


“Chibiusa-chan, are you ok? Do we need to leave?” Hotaru’s voice was incredibly low and Chibiusa found herself unable to form a coherent thought. She did realize, however, that if she turned slightly to the right, their lips would be touching. Somehow, this newly acquired knowledge did nothing to calm the future princess down.


As for Hotaru, she could feel her resolve slowly slipping. She knew she shouldn’t have gotten so close to the other girl, but she was genuinely concerned. The older girl closed her eyes as she waited for her friend’s response. What was this need she felt? Why did she feel so good, being so close to her? She inhaled the pink haired girl’s scent, finding it completely intoxicating. This was not good…


Chibiusa still couldn’t talk, so she tried shaking her head to say “No, we don’t need to leave” but she had barely moved when Hotaru jerked herself upright. Both girls took deep breaths then turned to each other as if to say something, but people begin getting up and leaving. The movie was over.

 The pink haired girl stood up, laughing nervously. She stretched her arms upward, the hem of her shirt moving up slightly to reveal pale skin. She was pleased to see Hotaru’s eyes lingering on the exposed spot and she subconsciously stretched a little higher. The dark haired girl quickly glanced away, a small blush gracing her features. Chibiusa smiled, glad that she wasn’t the one blushing for a change. What does that mean? she thought to herself.

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