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 [Relaxed] Newlyweds

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   6th January 2017, 6:47 am



This time, their breakfast table looked much less like a disaster zone than it had previously indicated it would have been. The kitchen was mercifully saved from a similar fate; Mamoru's careful attention restored it to order. It was true that some of the smaller details of the breakfast spread were less-than-perfect, but those were immaterial. The eggs looked significantly more edible than their predecessors while the accompanying ham slices, salads, and fruit required no attention from anyone, as they had required no real effort from Usagi. A small glass of juice sat at each place alongside a mug of black coffee, perhaps sloppily poured.

Usagi didn't usually drink coffee, but she was a married adult now. Mama often relaxed with a cup of coffee or hot tea and her newspaper when Usagi and Shingo were on their way to school. Perhaps this was a tradition that she could embrace as well.

When the toaster oven rang its little bell, the toast was finished.

"Okay, Mamo-chan, I think we're ready!" she announced, flopping down very Usagi-like in one of the available chairs. "Look at how pretty it looks!"
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   23rd January 2017, 5:21 am


A small burst of pride exploded forth from Mamoru's heart as he fully took in what he had helped Usagi accomplish. Usagi had cooked breakfast. Although he had not tasted it, yet, he did not expect to suffer from food poisoning afterwards. He was proud of his little wife and it clearly showed on his face and in his eyes. With a little bit of extra luck, this would be much improved compared to the food she had cooked for him while she was in school.

"It looks wonderful, Usako. Thank you for making breakfast this morning," he said, taking a seat across the table from her. And, finally, he could enjoy his morning cup of coffee. He would have to make more later as fuel for his studies, but Mamoru had been waiting for this first cup since he had woken up.

And then the taste lingered on his tongue. With a suppressed squawk of surprise, Mamoru held his napkin over his mouth as he choked on the bitter taste of regret and burnt coffee. The napkin hid his grimace as he swallowed the cold coffee. Lowering the napkin, he smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, I must have swallowed the wrong way."

The eggs and toast would mask the taste. And, if he proportioned them correctly, he could drink just enough coffee that he would not hurt Usagi's feelings. Yes, he would definitely be making a fresh pot of coffee for his studies.

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   30th January 2017, 7:17 pm



How did Mama manage to drink this stuff?

Usagi awkwardly choked on the first sip of coffee, sputtering into her napkin. Her tongue would have resisted even the mildest roast barely steeped in hot water, so she didn't realize that this was poorly prepared... she just revolted immediately. The blonde's stubbornness took over almost instantly. She chuckled slightly, trying to laugh off her previous reaction, then smiled happily at her husband seated across the table and raised the mug to her lips again.

She kept the smile plastered there even as she set it down, hand trembling only slightly. Maybe if Mamo-chan turned around she could dump more sugar in there. More sugar and more cream. Mama drank it black, but Usagi felt like it might kill her if she attempted the same.

There had to be compromise somewhere in adulthood.
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   5th February 2017, 6:18 pm


After time had passed, Mamoru finished his meal and offered to take his plate and Usagi's plate into the kitchen. After placing all of the items in the dishwasher, he returned for his coffee mug. He wasn't sure if Usagi was finished with her coffee. She had not drank too much coffee, although he hadn't either. Perhaps all of that sugar and creamer had not been as palatable as her enthusiasm for adding them into the coffee had been. After setting a fresh pot of coffee and hoping that Usagi would not notice that he had quietly poured what she had made down the drain, he called into the dining room.

"Usagi, I am going to start studying." Placing the mug onto the counter as he waited for the coffee to finish, Mamoru then returned to the kitchen table. "I will take a break by lunch, but otherwise I will be occupied for several hours. I hope you don't mind," he said to his wife as he sat down at his desk and opened a book to his assigned reading. And then, he began his work and got up only to retrieve a new cup of coffee, pausing only to offer his sweet wife a kiss.

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   16th February 2017, 5:38 am



Usagi happily accepted the kiss, giggling again at the thought that yes, this was her life now—Mamo-chan's wife. It filled her with so much glee that she could have hugged herself and squealed with delight. So far their time at home seemed virtually no different to her than their wonderful honeymoon. The blonde practically floated back to the kitchen, barely registering that it was already tidied by her fastidious husband. She picked up a nearby dishrag and hummed to herself as she fluffed it across the counter tops. Cleaning: it was a thing, and she—Usagi—was doing it!

It took longer than it should have for her to "finish" with various self-appointed tasks in the kitchen. Particularly when one considered that the room ought to have required very little attention. Still, the new housewife found ways to occupy herself for almost an hour—rearranging the cups and plates in the cupboards, nearly dropping some of them and hastily trying to cover up any noises that might distract Mamoru from his studies. She ineptly scrubbed already-clean surfaces and scattered dust on the floor with the broom. But eventually even these purposeless tasks were no longer necessary. She stood back, a satisfied smile on her face, and surveyed her handiwork.

Still humming to herself, Usagi headed into the bedroom. She had told Mamo-chan she would unpack today, hadn't she? That would be step two!
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   20th February 2017, 5:13 am


While his wife fluttered about the apartment, her husband focused his mind upon his studies. Each written page was a chance to dive deep into his academic interests and pursuits. Mamoru considered his studies to be an important step toward a fruitful life for his wife and himself. It was his duty to protect and provide for his wife and, one day in the future, their child.

While he was immersed in the work in front of him, Mamoru did not take much notice of what Usagi was doing to preoccupy herself. He tapped expressions of his thoughts and feelings, supported by examples from the text, onto his computer screen. And, he continually noted in the margins and on the notebook in front of him. The highlighters and colored pens created order in his reference books and within his notebook.

One noise, something being dropped onto the floor, did give him a moment to pause. Holding his pencil in the air mid-stroke, he waited to hear what followed, perhaps a squeal of apology or a cry for help. But, no such noise occurred, just the noise of... whatever Usagi was doing. Satisfied that she was alright, he finished his sentence and then stood up to retrieve a cup of water and to refill his coffee.

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   24th February 2017, 6:26 am



Unpacking was less successful than her attentions in the kitchen had been. She told herself that she was going to accomplish the task of putting everything away from her luggage. She told herself that it wasn't really a big deal—that even though she had purchased quite a few things during the honeymoon, that it would be easy to find a place for it to go. The blonde walked into the bedroom fully intending to methodically remove items from suitcases and bags and place them in the appropriate drawers, closets, or shelves as needed. After all, Mamoru had done it so quickly with this own things. She ignored one fatal flaw in the otherwise perfect plan:

Usagi was not Mamoru.

She managed to put a small number of items away in their proper place before the next thing grabbed her attention and distracted her from her goal. It was a small souvenir from a shrine they had visited, and with it were related postcards that she had meant to send to friends. Usagi's eyes lit up to find these treasures, forgotten until this moment, and she flopped down on the floor with the intention of writing them out to be mailed later. Finding a pen, however, proved to be slightly more challenging; she gave up quickly, instead thumbing through the small stack of postcards while reminiscing over the images and thinking about what she would have been writing on them. She didn't realize how much time had elapsed during this process.

Catching a glimpse of the clock on the nightstand, Usagi jumped back up, hastily shoving her belongings back into the pile. It looked a little bit smaller, if only because it wasn't really spread out anymore. Now it was a moderate, but dense, mountain of clothing and more.

"Errands!" she announced to herself. "I'll run out of time!"

The blonde immediately began bustling to get herself together.

"Mamo-chan~" she called out as she swung her purse over her shoulder, moments from bolting out the front door. "I'm going out! Did you need anything?"
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   2nd March 2017, 5:34 am



Every now and then, Mamoru felt the urge to check on Usagi and her 'progress' with the household chores she had assigned to herself. Usually this urge happened whenever he heard a loud or unusual noise. But, he repeated to himself that he trusted Usagi to learn from her own mistakes and she couldn't possibly do that much damage. Right?

After finishing with her last task, she wandered into the bedroom. Hopefully, Mamoru silently thought, to unpack and put away her belongings from their honeymoon. If not, he would do it later when he had the time. Although, he did not really have the time. Mamoru sighed as he thought about the impending internship and the work he needed to do for the semester. He'd have to rely on Usagi to do more chores around the house.

And then, his wife called to him from the front door. Oh, yes! Mamoru did need for his wife to do something for him. "Yes, honey, one minute," he said, raising from the chair to meet her at the door. "If you could," he said when he arrived, "my dry-cleaning should be ready." And then he fished around in his wallet for a card and handed it to her. "That's their business card with the address. At the moment, I don't think I need anything else for my internship or classes, but you can text me if you think of something I might need."

He leaned forward to offer his wife a kiss, "enjoy your day out."

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   14th March 2017, 5:44 am



After receiving the business card and carefully tucking it into her own wallet, and their subsequent embrace, the new "Mrs." of the house headed out into the busy streets of Tokyo. Having independence felt exhilarating. She hadn't quite concentrated on it when she had picked up groceries the other day, but now that she was out and about with daytime shoppers without the risk of being picked up for truancy, Usagi felt that surge of excitement related to having achieved adulthood. She belonged here, with all these other people, able to plan her day exactly the way she wanted to. Studying no longer occupied her hours, and she was finally free from exams! Ah, it was so wonderful!

This sense of delight buoyed her along on her errands. The blonde housewife flitted from shop to shop, examining and pondering the purchase of a variety of things that—quite honestly—seemed to have little relationship to each other. She sat on massage chairs in the department store, wondering if they could fit one in the living room. (Perhaps it would help Mamo-chan relax after a long day at work!) In the basement's luxury food fair, she mulled over the virtues of 2000¥ versus 4000¥ cabbage. Trying on dresses at a newly opened boutique ate up at least half an hour. Despite all of this activity, her shopping bag remained empty. In fact, the only purchase she had made was a 200¥ soft-serve ice cream cone from the nearby convenience store. (Just to tide her over until lunch, of course.)

As her interest waned and her stomach suddenly growled, Usagi realized it was probably time to head back home. She was at the door of the apartment building when she remembered it: the dry-cleaning! In her haste to retrieve the business card she nearly dumped out her entire purse right there on the front steps.

When she was sure she had misplaced the small rectangle of paper, almost ready to burst into tears, the recollection of the exact location of the thing shot through her mind. In seconds, she triumphantly held it aloft.

It wasn't far from here, if she was reading the address correctly, but it wasn't an area she was very familiar with. That was fine, though! She had her phone and she was a capable, confident wife now! Picking up the laundry would be no problem at all. Usagi turned on her heel, accidentally leaving her handkerchief discarded on those front steps, and marched off towards her destination.

Unfortunately, she would not immediately learn that she was not reading the address correctly.
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   24th March 2017, 5:15 am


The silence within the apartment renewed Mamoru's focus upon his studies. His mind was no longer momentarily distracted by the noises that prompted him to wonder what exactly Usagi was doing in other parts of the apartment they shared. His focus allowed him to progress far in his studies. And so, it was with shock when he looked upon the clock hanging above his desk that he realized several hours had passed. With a confident smile, Mamoru stood up from his desk and stretched. And then, he walked into the kitchen to prepare a healthy snack of fruits and vegetables.

While he ate his snack at the table, he idly flipped through his phone to see if he had received any messages. Although Mamoru had received a few emails from school and the internship, he had not received any messages from his wife. Glancing at the clock again, he decided to send her a text message. "Hello, my lovely wife. How are you doing?"

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   24th March 2017, 6:53 am



The reply popped up on his screen almost instantly.



The woman holding onto the phone, however, didn't seem to be as "okay" as her message may have indicated. People passing her by on the sidewalk exchanged concerned glances, although no one stopped to ask if she needed any help. Usagi had yet to actually cry—something she felt a fair bit of pride about—but she had a lump of teary frustration in her chest, choking her. In a way, she was glad no one had talked to her. If she had to speak aloud, she might not be able to hold it in.

Usagi was lost. Extremely lost. Although she had lived in Tokyo all her life, and she had been visiting Mamo-chan's apartment and the area around it for years now, it was still a big city. Normally the bustle of city life excited her, but today she felt like a tiny ant adrift in an ocean. No matter how many times she retraced her steps, or consulted the map on her phone, she just couldn't find the dry cleaner Mamoru had asked her to pick up his cleaning from.

Her feet were sore from having walked so long in rather impractical shoes (her favourite style, after all). At this point the blonde was so turned around that she couldn't confidently say she knew her way back to the building she now lived in. But she really didn't want to admit that. She felt like she couldn't go home without finishing the one thing her new husband had asked of her.
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   5th April 2017, 5:05 am


A text message from his wife appeared on his phone while he was eating his snack. Good, she was doing alright. Mamoru had been a little worried about her once he realized he had not received any text messages from her. But, it was good to know she was doing fine on her own. He wiped his hands on a napkin before he began to type a reply.

"I have accomplished a lot, although I stay have more left to finish. But, I am taking a break for a few minutes to eat and rest." Afterwards, he hit the send button on his phone. Maybe he should rest for a few more minutes by reading a chapter from the book he was reading. It would be a well-deserved moment of relaxation before he resumed his studies.

Placing the plate in the sink and resolving to wash it later, Mamoru sat in his reading chair, turned on the light, and opened his book to the last page he had read. And then, he had a thought. Placing the book aside, he opened his phone and his last text message to Usagi. "I am not rushing you, so do whatever you need to do. But, I was wondering when I might expect you home? If you tell me when, then I can have a snack ready for you when you come back."

He sent he text message, and then picked up his book again.

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   17th April 2017, 6:21 am



The mention of a snack was very, very appealing. Her stomach emitted a soft, strange, strangled noise only moments after she read the message, as if it supported her initial position on the issue. Usagi thought about her home with Mamoru—the cozy apartment that had felt like "home" for her for so many years now—and wished very much that she was there, instead of standing out here and feeling so confused and lost. So many people had walked past Usagi, all with a sense of purpose and direction that she lacked.

But could she admit it? She stared at the screen long enough to watch the already-low remaining battery percentage fall another two points.

Her mouth settled into a determined little line, and she locked the screen without typing a reply. She'd give it a little bit longer, and then she'd say something. Usagi nodded her head as she continued her hunt, ignoring the pain of her feet with sheer willpower. She only had to do one thing—find this particular dry cleaners. Could it really be that hard? Maybe if she concentrated on it, she could do it.

A half-hour later she was no closer to her goal. In fact, she was feeling somewhat dizzy and disoriented from circling through so many streets and blocks. Having grown up here, she had never noticed how haphazard the layout of Tokyo was... but at the moment, she wondered how so many places could simultaneously look both the same and completely different.

With a small sigh of defeat, accompanied by a wince about the state of her poor feet, she pulled out her phone and started typing a reply: Mamo-chan, I can't find the dry cleaners.

But before she could add in that next sentence, the screen briefly flashed her phone's logo and then went dark. The battery was dead.
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   20th April 2017, 4:36 pm



Mamoru was a fast reader and he finished the chapter quickly. He did read for pleasure, but he also had developed a reading style that emphasized efficiency over an immersive experience. So, he was not too worried that Usagi had not responded to his text by the time he had finished reading the chapter of his book. He placed the book on the table, stretched, and then the scholar resumed his studies.

The words from his readings and the writing in his notebook temporarily consumed his focus. But, then Mamoru received a notification on his phone. He reached for the phone to silencing the buzzing, and then he remembered that he never received a text message back from his wife. And, no, there still wasn't a message from her on his phone. Glancing at the clock, he sighed as he realized how much time had passed.

Was he worrying too much? Usagi was a strong and capable woman, so she should be alright, even if he hadn't heard back from her. ... Right? Maybe, maybe not. Mamoru touched the phone and idly searched on social media for an update from Usagi. No, not there either, at least not in awhile. Well, maybe he should call, just to check in to see if she was alright.

He picked up the phone, dialed her cell phone number, and waited for a response. But, it went to voicemail rather quickly. That was odd. It was almost as if her phone was off. Something didn't feel right. Standing up from his chair, Mamoru grabbed his jacket and keys, and left to find his wife. He always managed to find her, eventually, if he felt like this.

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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   31st May 2017, 9:36 am



Her first reaction was to burst into tears, and she almost let herself. After all, she had tried so hard. She had gone out with the full intention of being a strong and capable of adult, but right now... Usagi felt completely defeated. No longer could she ignore the pain from her blistered feet. If only she were a few years younger... she would have unbuckled their awful little straps and simply gone barefoot, paying no heed to stares or whispers from disapproving other pedestrians. Her fingers reached down and she bent her knee to move the shoes closer...

No. No, she couldn't. She would just have to suffer through what she had wrought upon herself. Perhaps this was what the Little Mermaid from that childhood fairy tale had felt like.

If she could stop herself from giving in to taking off her shoes, she could swallow her tears, as well.

So she did.

The blonde hung her head, closed her eyes, and took a few deep breaths. Usagi knew that she couldn't really be too far from the apartment, even if it felt like she had traveled all day. If her phone was dead, she'd have to find it through other methods. People survived all the time without phones—she remembered what it had been like when she was in school, after all, and a cell phone was a rarity.

She paused in front of a shop window, checking her appearance in the reflection. Her puffy red eyes really did give her a look like a rabbit. It wasn't exactly flattering. Usagi sighed, smoothed her hair, and made an attempt to look less like someone who wanted to cry. Mamoru would have rescued her in a heartbeat if she had been able to send that text message, but she would have to trust in herself right now.

The doorbell on the shop jingled familiarly when she pushed open the door. Had she been here before? The shopkeeper glanced up from helping another customer, repeating the customary welcome. Usagi stood timidly to the side until he was no longer occupied, pretending to browse through the dishware for sale. When he finally turned towards her, she tried not to think about how embarrassing this was going to feel.

"Um, excuse me," she began...

The petite young woman stood outside the door of the dry cleaners, so still that some others walking by on the sidewalk wondered if she was a mannequin or part of some kind of advertisement. Her neatly-manicured hands clutched at a small hand-drawn map. If the map were expanded to life-size, it was clear that she had followed the directions. She stood exactly where a small curly arrow indicated the word "here".

She stood right in front of a sign that read "Sorry, We're Closed!"

Usagi sighed. Now this... this was defeat. She hadn't missed them by more than ten minutes, but the lights were off and the door was securely locked. She couldn't manage to run the errand after all.

And she still would have to figure out how to get home.

Eventually the arms relaxed and the hands fell to her sides, one still holding the scrap of paper.

"Oh, Mamo-chan," she whispered. "I just wish you were here."

Almost as soon as the words left her mouth, she felt a strange fluttering in her chest. Usagi looked up, almost expecting to see him there as if by magic... but of course, that wasn't what happened in real life. She had been reading too many romantic manga. She sighed and turned to head back, wincing at a fresh wave of discomfort from her poor footwear choices. Maybe she'd have to ask in a convenience store, to get pointed in the right direction to go home. Most of the other shops along this street were closed, except for a few restaurants.

When she looked up, adjusting her purse on her shoulder, the blue eyes widened. A young man had just walked across the intersection, and he looked extremely familiar.

Despite her poor feet, Usagi quickened her pace, hobbling along at a speed just slower than a jog. Was it really...? If she spoke up, would he hear her? Was she just imagining things?

"Mamo...-chan?"
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PostSubject: Re: [Relaxed] Newlyweds   16th June 2017, 4:30 am



As he had done for years since Sailor Moon first adopted her role as a defender of love and justice, Mamoru relied on that feeling in his gut to lead him to his wife. His soul was intertwined with her soul. She led him to her without ever trying. For as long as they would live, a piece of him would always know if she was in need of her lover and protector. And, as shown by this life, Mamoru would probably be able to find her again in their next life together after they had passed from this one.

He used his knowledge of the streets and his surroundings to navigate Tokyo. That thread of fate connecting him to Usagi guided the protector of Earth through the crowds of people and cars. A sense of urgency propelled his feet forward as he scanned the crowds for a glimpse of blonde hair and, perhaps, a high-pitched wail or the sounds of a fight. It had been awhile since a villain had threatened Tokyo, but once it happened he knew that he would find Sailor Moon there defending the people of Earth and all she loved.

A fluttering in his chest subtely told him that he was near to her. Mamoru paused at a street corner and looked around the area. A small smile came upon his lips as he knew which direction to proceed. He saw his wife when he crossed the intersection and sighed in relief when he saw that she was not transformed. His steps quickened until he could open his arms to his wife.

"Usagi! I was worried when you stopped answering my messages. Are you okay?" He asked, quickly glancing her over for injuries. She was obviously distressed and he felt a strong urge to soothe her.

"I know of a little place nearby where we can talk over an ice-cream sundae," Mamoru said, hoping that a cold, sweet treat may be exactly what his wife needed to perk herself up. And, he could find out what could have possibly kept her occupied for so long. Sure, it would spoil their dinner, but he did enjoy spoiling his wife. All he needed was to see her smile, and then he would know she was alright.

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[Relaxed] Newlyweds

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