Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or any of the characters.
Time Period: Mid-volume two of the manga reprint. Keywords here being manga reprint.
Usagi had been experiencing the same rush of emotions as of late: sorrow, penitence, anger. They suffocated her like a linen that covered her body during a humid summer night. They gnawed at her cruelly without chance of relenting.
The thoughts that spawned from these emotions were equally as troubling. The guilt made her nauseous. The how could you why did you let them take him those monsters was enough to uproot and shake her ability to function in the days following the attack.
The attack. The logical part of Usagi's brain didn't want the memories to rise. But the emotional, feral, uncontrollable part of her psyche let them wash over her like frigid shower water that had yet to warm.
Images of him swarmed her mind. Her Mamo-chan, her Endymion. She relived his fall, the one that he took to shield her. She recalled the tears that leaked from her eyes, the scream that burst from her as that man took him from her. The pain that rattled her from scalp to toe as she realized she was too late. That she and her friends would have to wait until it was safe to rescue him from the Dark Kingdom.
Everything that plagued her continued to do so until her friends visited after a few days of being cooped up in her room. Their appearance brought light to her mood. Minako tied her now Rapunzel-length hair in buns, her touch gentle and soothing. Usagi's four friends looked at her with eyes that shone with concern. They made her feel alright and almost normal, if only for a few minutes.
The sensation of borderline okay lasted until the girls and Luna began talking business, and Usagi broached the subject of the Legendary Silver Crystal. That was when the thoughts the sorrow the unrelenting anxiety swept into her mind once more.
And then they triggered another wave of tears, another bout of blurred vision. Usagi blocked out everything but the storm, not caring if her friends witnessed the breakdown.
After no more than a minute of crying, Minako shattered that careless indifference with reassuring but matter-of-fact remarks. The girl pleaded with Usagi to stop her sobbing. Minako desired nothing more than to see her happy again, acting bubbly, free, unburdened by trauma. More importantly, Minako's words spoke of the group's dedication to serve and protect Usagi. Their happy princess. Their comrade.
Usagi had them. She had her friends. And they would continue to support her and trigger her smile, no matter the circumstances, no matter the hardships or mystical battles.
This realization was enough to lift her from the onslaught of emotions. Her focus snapped back into place. She listened as Luna brought up the topic of a trip to the moon to obtain more information about the girls' past lives and the secrets of their ancient kingdom.
That very knowledge was something that Usagi craved. She hungered for it so she could find her Mamo-chan and return him to his home on earth. The sooner she and her team discovered what they needed to, the sooner they could seek out and confront Mamo-chan's captors.
This solid goal and her determination to achieve it kept her stable until the day they departed for the moon. As the five girls joined hands in a circle, she felt the same way they probably did: jittery with excitement, curious, intrigued by the oncoming journey.
Her high persisted until they soared through the air, above the night sky and the park, and touched down on their planet. The quilt of black that suddenly encompassed her and the silence on the air felt eerie. It shook Usagi more than she cared to show to her companions. She didn't want to earn another lecture from Minako, or worse yet, the ever-temperamental Rei, so she kept quiet.
But the distress continued to prod at her like needles. Desperate for comfort, she clung to Makoto's arm, only looking up when the Lightning Guardian said, "Say, Usagi.... Here's a true moon bunny!"
Raising an eyebrow, Usagi eyed the animal that Makoto held in front of her. Sure enough, it was a stuffed rabbit. Her stuffed rabbit. Makoto must have brought it with them for some reason.
The notion was so absurd that she giggled. Catching sight of the indignant and exasperated look that Minako gave Makoto only made it worse. Usagi's giggle morphed into a full-fledged laugh. Then, as Makoto made the toy dance in front of her face, her mirth escalated into hysterics.
As she reveled in Makoto's juvenile antics, Usagi felt herself regain a sense of normality. She achieved what Minako had hoped for a few days earlier: she was her cheerful, bubbly self again. Thanks to her friend, her stresses were temporarily squelched. Thanks to Makoto and her kindness, Usagi felt alive and free.