August Third 2018 (Mamoru Chiba)

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August Third 2018 (Mamoru Chiba)
Date of Cutscene: 03 August 2018
Location: Tokyo Prefecture, a cemetery in the countryside.
Synopsis: This year there's a lot of compensating for depression with trying to remember the good things.
Cast of Characters: Mamoru Chiba

"I'm officially an adult for the first time," Mamoru said, absently watching the incense rise in the too-hot morning air. "I can't feel the planet, I can't henshin, I can't even feel where Usagi and my Shitennou are-- but I'm an adult for the first time."

He fell silent for a long moment, not pulling up the grass this year, and let his gaze drop to his hands. "I can't heal anyone, not even myself, but I'm in my second year of university and the guys still live with me and Usagi still loves me, and she's doing pretty well in high school because she's studying and applying herself."

He looked at the carved stone in front of him: Hinata and Chiyoko Chiba. "This time last year I thought that girl might really be me from another timeline, you know? And she's claiming the name Mamoru Chiba is hers, too. But she's a fake. I don't even think she's mistaken anymore, I think she's just a liar. I can't imagine the two of you-- the real you or the versions I made up all those years-- having had anything to do with her, and you were the ones who gave me this name to use in this world. She's ridiculous."

He played with the hem of his cargo shorts and fell silent again, letting himself zone out and watch the smoke spiral slowly upwards.

Finally, "But I'm in danger from her, coming here. She knows things. She has to have a handler. And they undoubtedly know about this place. I didn't want to bring Eiszapfen here, which is why Kunzite's giving me some alone-time with you but isn't far away-- like Zoisite snuck after me last year, to make sure I was safe, when I ran here to tell you about her in the first place. I really think she wants me gone. Not just to give up everything I am for her, but dead, out of this world, out of this life. I just don't understand why."

Leaning over, Mamoru reached for the basket of snacks and little cakes and actual protein and coffee he'd brought, and he slid it toward him, then took out one each of the cutest things Mako had prepared for him, and one of the bunny cookies that Usagi had managed not to burn when she made them for him, and he lined them all up on the edge of the stone.

"I've basically spent the year being a burden, so I don't have much to tell you, really," he said in a low voice. "But I think-- I think it's coming to an end. I'll come back and give you a proper visit once it's sorted. But I think I should cut this year's official visit short, and maybe-- maybe let my friends distract me on my birthday for the first time."

He picked up his picnic basket, and he stood there for a long, long moment, concentrating, hand open in front of him, eyes closed.

Just one. Just one rose to lay on their grave.

Just one.

Five minutes and a splitting headache later, Mamoru heard Kunzite's footsteps approaching, and he let his empty hand fall.

"Let's go," he whispered.