Third First Breaths


Makoto Kino wakes with a start. It's pitch black? Did something go wrong in the Cauldron? Is she lost in space? No, no that's not right. She's lying in bed – a familiar bed. The electricity is off. She stumbles upright and paws at the wall until she reaches the light switch. Nothing happens. "Ah, Crap!" She breathes in slow, calming breaths as her vision adjusts to nighttime. She's back in her flat in Tokyo. The electricity's been turned off…not the heat. Thank the universe for old heating systems. If one's on, all of them are.

Once she can see, Makoto walks out into the hall. The shadows of her plants hanging from the ceiling and lining the side tables and floor are all withered and black. She feels her throat close up and moves on. They shouldn't really be anything to cry about considering... well everything else that's happened.

She walks though her dark apartment noting that everything is still there. The stove, she notes, is dusty but still working, and no one has bothered to shut her water off. So she can have hot water at least. She grabs a school uniform from the drying rack in the corner and pulls it on, then grabs a kerchief from where it hangs next to the dishtowels and ties up her hair. The broom, duster, and cleaning solution are all in the bucket in the pantry where she keeps them with a sponge and her gloves. She grabs them and a trash bag for the food she's sure is rotting in the fridge… and for the dead plants. She sighs. The light in the window suggests it might be close to 06:00.

Maybe when this was done she'd find whatever was still good in the pantry and go over Usagi's to bake. Her mother never minds Makoto using the kitchen and she'll buy her own ingredients. Besides, Usagi loves her cookies.

"Humming in place of a radio, Makoto goes to work.

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