Cry-baby by Starsea


By Starsea

Rating: PG

A Tsukino Usagi Story

You think you know me
But you donít know my way around
Is just below me
And thatís why I keep falling down...


The tears are running down my face again.

Itís night. Itís silent. I look up through the sky to see the stars shining down upon me, the moon reflecting her pale light to soothe my skin.

My lips are wet. I wipe away the tears and continue to stare. Luna has long since fallen asleep. I remember those early days, when she used to stay up with me, nagging: ďDo your homework, Usagi... Go to bed, Usagi... Transform, Usagi...Ē She hasnít had to nag me in a long time. I smile, my lips trembling with the effort to be silent.

I wish that Luna would nag me again. But itís all different now. I look at her, curled up in her basket with Artemis and Diana. The wounds on their heads leak white pus. Luna canít talk. None of them can talk. All they can do is miaow at me,

Oh, these tears. Thereís no end to them. No matter how fast I rub them away, more come flowing down. Shingo used to call me a waterfall when he was younger.

To my friends, Iím a cry-baby.

I was a cry-baby.

They think I donít cry anymore. They think Iíve grown out of it. But itís not that easy. Itís not that simple.

Paradoxes are never simple.

Itís a paradox, apparently, to be a cry-baby and yet be so happy. Ami-chan mentioned it to me once, a long time ago now. At least, it feels like a long time ago, though it was only two years.

Two years...

God, Iím talking like an old woman.

But I am an old woman, though you wouldnít think it to look at me, or hear me speak. Iíve been reborn many times. I am an Old Soul. I have suffered pain and heartache and death. Itís why I donít like to focus on them; been there, done that, can we move onto something more interesting?

The contradiction of being a ĎPollyannaí and a cry-baby.

I tried to explain to her. Iím not used to explaining things to Ami-chan (itís usually the other way around, you see). Also, she likes logical explanations, and Iím not too good with logic. I donít think I succeeded. She wrote what I said down, and thanked me. I think she discussed it with the others when I wasnít there. When I was alone. And crying.

You want me to explain? Iíll try. I always try, though I rarely succeed. The moonís light is soothing and it clears my head. Funny: the full moon drives other people crazy with love or rage or pain, but it leaves me as calm as glass. Not a ripple.

Just these tears falling down my cheeks.

Tears... Iíve always cried. Ever since I was little. But when I hit my fourteenth birthday, I began to cry a lot more than I had before. And people began to be less tolerant. Grow up. Stop snivelling. Donít turn on those crocodile tears. Donít wail like that. Havenít you grown out of that by now? Big girls donít cry...

Big girls.

I wasnít a big girl. Iíve always been small for my age. Itís only now that Iíve started growing a little. Iíll never be Mako-chanís height, but I donít mind. Neither does Mamo-chan. If I grew too big, I wouldnít be his Usako anymore.

Even Mamo-chan doesnít truly understand my tears, though he tries, which is more than others do. He smiles, patiently, and wipes them away, patiently. He tells me not to be sad.

Itís not as simple as that. Itís not me thatís sad. Itís him. Heís so sad inside, I feel the pain, the hot burning scars.

How can I not cry?

The first time he told me of his childhood, his loneliness, I felt the pain burn inside me, burn in my eyes.

I managed to hold them back that time.

He often tells me Iím too sensitive.

Itís true. But at the same time, we both know that if I wasnít this sensitive, I wouldnít be able to reach him.

Itís not just my tears that reach inside Mamo-chan. Itís my smile as well. My laughter. The way I giggle when he tickles me. My smile lights the way for him in his dark world. I see all these things. The moon helps me to see. Moonlight blinds other people, but I see better at night than I do in the daytime. Itís why Iíve never tripped up in our senshi battles, not once. I wonder if anybodyís noticed that? Iím sure that Ami-chan has, and maybe Minako-chan. But they havenít said anything to me. They think Iíd take it as a criticism. I used to take a lot of things personally, you see. Maybe I still do.

But I canít help it!

I canít help thinking that this is all because of me... my crystal...

The moon is blank. Her face tells me nothing tonight.

I should go to bed.

I donít want to be late in the morning.

It would not be a good idea to be late when youíre trying to save the world and all you hold dear. No, definitely not a good idea.

I donít think Galaxia appreciates tardiness, either. Sheís getting impatient with me. Just this evening, she tried to kill me when we were going home. She asked me if I believed in the future...

ďWill your friendsí bodies really return to normal?Ē

They have to come back. They have to be alright. The future will come. I believe in it... I smile to myself, fighting back the tears. Thatís all it needs: a little bit of faith. A little bit of faith in the girls, Mamo-chan and myself.

How can they have such faith in a cry-baby?

Don't care for me, don't cry
Let's say goodbye,
It's time to say goodbye...


Itís morning. Iím lying in bed. Itís early. Okaa-san will be worried if I go down now. Maybe I can just lie here... maybe itís just another day...

Maybe pigs will start flying any minute.

I move, and Chibi Chibi wakes up. She jumps down from the bed Ė sheís so tiny Ė and gets herself dressed, humming happily. Just like Chibi Usa used to in the morning. Iíd hear her as I went to the bathroom, the latest pop tune, or a lullaby that Neo-Queen Serenity sung to her as a baby. I miss Chibi Usa so much, like I miss Mamo-chan. Vital parts of me have disappeared.

Oh gods, I canít think like this now, Iíll start crying Ė be strong, Usagi! For okaa-sanís sake, for otou-sanís sake... just like I have these past two years, protecting them from my double life. Iíll have to tell them someday... about Sailor Moon; about being the heir to a long-lost kingdom, and how this means Iím responsible for an entire planet...

But for now Ė I have a favour to ask. Okaa-sanís stunned that Iím up this early, I can see her checking me out automatically Ė Iím not too flushed, my voice is fine... Iím not ill. No, I canít be ill, not today.

She seems to take the favour well, probably because Diana is so cute and fluffy, and Artemis is handsome. They lie quietly in my arms.

ďWhat can I do? I guess we can talk about it. Are they friends of Luna-chan?Ē

ďHusband and child,Ē I correct her, and explain. I only falter once. ďSomething happened... itíll just be for a little while.Ē

ďOkay, then.Ē

Thank-you, okaa-san. Thank-you so much. Youíll never know just how much I love you, how grateful I am to you and otou-san for raising me, for teaching me right and wrong. A kiss on your cheek, a kiss on his, and weíre off to the park.

ďGive them lots of food! Sayonara!Ē

Sayonara Ė not itte kimasu. Iím leaving and I probably wonít be coming back.

I smile at them. I run out of the door smiling. Not a tear in my eye.

Itís important that their last memory of me is a smile. So many times theyíve seen me wailing, complaining, whining about such insignificant things... schoolwork... the weather... hunger pains... I donít want them to remember me like that. I want them to remember me as a happy child.

There are tears in my eyes again, but I wonít let them fall.

I have work to do.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters, they were created by Naoko Takeuchi. English translation comes from Alex Glover on First set of lyrics is from ĎNo Connectioní by Sophie B. Hawkins. The second set is from ĎAdieuí by Brian Richy, from Cowboy Bebop.

AUTHORíS NOTES: I spent a lot of time on this one. Itís set in the manga Stars, mainly the night before Usagiís meeting with the Starlights and Kakyuu to go and see the Outer Senshi... The cats canít talk because theyíve been injured by Sailor Tin Nyanko. Galaxia has already taken all the senshiís crystals.

There arenít many Usagi-centred stories, and I havenít ever found a story that focuses on Usagi in Stars, especially manga Usagi, who by this time is a far cry from the girl we meet in the first episode. I wanted to write a thoughtful Usagi story, not too angsty, but not happy either. I hope I accomplished it.


Starsea xxx

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