The amount of magic is comparable to the earth’s heat. The dragon roars in their heartbeat, as they brandish the sword of stars. If that holy sword is the strongest, then the king who wields it must be the strongest as well.
When I was a kid I loved watching older movies with my dad. I remember the very first time I ever saw Mad Max: Road Warrior. It was awesome. I wanted to watch it over and over again.
Recently, however I realized something.
Remember these two?
They were the very first gay couple I ever saw.
Like, I remember asking my dad if the blond on the bike was a girl or boy. Then when he said boy, I just shrugged and accepted it. They were boyfriends. The only thing that confused me was The Golden Youths gender and why they wore leather in the desert.
So it goes to show how young children can be more accepting of homosexuals than most adults.
Kate had brought her picture along across the hall. She had been back at school for five days, and Max, Brooke, Warren, and Alyssa had seemed to be the only people comfortable enough to try and talk to her in that time. While Victoria had been able to visit her in the hospital, some motivation had failed her, and she settled for not so much as meeting the bright-eyed Christian girl’s gaze, which was in a way an improvement. In the hospital, though, on Saturday, just before Kate got out, Max had come to her with a proposal. A fantastical one, and if it hadn’t been for a very display from the brunette herself, Kate would not have believed a word of it possible. Max offered her the possibility of going back in time. She said she could not undo what had happened to Kate, but she could give Kate the possibility of creating her own version of things. It was an extraordinary idea, but Max had demonstrated an ability to read minds, teleport, and otherwise accomplish the impossible, and Kate was willing to believe in her strange genie of a friend.
“You just need to focus on the photograph as hard as you can. When you think you’ve got it - not just the photograph, but the memory, as clear as you can - I’ll push you back in time, into this variable point. All you’ve got to do is remember; I’ll handle the rest.” Max was too busy brushing Kate’s forearm as they sat across each other, closely placed between Max’s couch and her chair pulled up against the couch - she didn’t really take the time to take a look at the photograph.
Kate nodded briefly, trying to wrap her mind around what would happen. Perhaps this was all some incredibly elaborate prank and she was being filmed right now? It would just be some gag to laugh at for a few days? … no, no, Max was not like that, she was a friend. “Okay … okay. I’ll try.”
Kate lifted the photograph close to her face, and concentrated as hard as she could. It was a selfie - an early form of selfie, actually taken by Max Caulfield herself. It featured Maxie (as she had been affectionately called at the time), Katie, and Alyssa at a sleep over. Twizzlers, goldfish, decorated crosses all over the place (it had taken place at Alyssa’s house, whose family was highly catholic). Kate just seeped in the memory … and then, there was a flash.
She blinked her eyes for a moment, adjusting to the dim, artificial lighting of the room after the brief flash, and looked around her. Maxie sat back from supporting herself on Kate’s shoulder, leaning back against one of those large beanie bag chair thingies so popular among young teenagers while she drew out the fresh photograph. Alyssa sat back down flat after her brief lunge to photobomb, grinning wide as she had to show off her braces while placing a peace sign obnoxiously close to the camera’s lens, cutting off about half of Maxie’s face in the process. Kate was in a daze, but neither of the girls seemed to immediately notice, so Kate tried to redirect her attention to the source of artificial light: a 90s anime by the name of Sailor Moon in its original English dub. God the voice acting was terrible - Kate had discovered she preferred the original Japanese some years later, when Max had been off in Seattle. However, now that she thought about it, she had missed the Sailor Says portions at the end of episodes …
Oh, goodness, now she could see why they were having a sleep over! They had just started the second-to-last episode of season 1; you know, the one where everyone is brutally murdered in a style completely inconsistent with the rest of the show. Although, the English dub officially counted them in the ‘dark kingdom’ or whatever, but they were totally dead. The Japanese version was a lot more hard core and a loooot gayer.
Kate tried to speak up a little, to integrate herself back into this memory. She cleared her throat, a little surprised at the pitch and timbre of her voice, “Jupiter is my favorite,” she confessed, in preparation of her imminent demise. Oh god, she remembered this now - they were all going to freak out and cry so loud by the end of this episode that Alyssa’s parents would ask them to turn it off but they couldn’t because there was only one more episode left in the season well then they’d have to try and keep it down people were sleeping some people still had to work on Saturday mornings …
Maxie was waving her polaroid avidly, hoping to see the shot developed as soon as possible - “Well, she’s kind of the mom of the sailors, isn’t she? And you’re kinda like the mom, so that makes sense. She’s so sweet.”
Alyssa seemed to concur pretty quickly, but she had rather different priorities: “Yeah, totally - plus she’s super strong and cool. I still think Serena’s my favorite, though.”
Maxie quickly agreed, “Me too. She feels, I don’t know, real, but also incredible.”
Kate was briefly confused on multiple levels, turning around to look at the even-more-freckled Max, the girl who once kept her hair all pulled back out of her face because she was ever so serious but her parents wouldn’t let her cut her hair short like a boy, and that made her get sun burn after sun burn on her face and ears. Her first confusion was resolved when she remembered that Serena was the original English dub’s interpretation of Usagi, so she was left with the much bigger one: “I’m like … the mom?”
Maxie nodded, though she was still looking at the TV instead of Kate. “Of course! You’re always taking care of us, you know? That’s what moms do.”
Kate was stunned, and at first blathered out a little confused, quiet nonsense that successfully drew Alyssa’s attention, but not Max’s. But then, she swallowed, and tried again, “I take care of you guys?”
Finally, Maxie looked away from the screen as well, but it was clear to Kate she was focusing at some little detail on the shoulder of Kate’s pajamas, not Kate’s face. Max had gotten a lot better at hiding her aversion to eye contact since she came back to Arcadia Bay, Kate realized. You had to be pretty close to realize she stared at your lips instead of your eyes, if she was forced to look at you at all. “Of course you do. You’re on top of things and look after us. We’re Sailor Moons. You’re Sailor Jupiter.”
That cracked a grin on Kate’s face like … like she couldn’t believe. Like she hadn’t had in a long time, even that day when Max had rescued her from that bully of a security guard. Kate lurched forward a little, and wrapped her arms around Maxie’s shoulders. “Thank you so much, Max. I just want to take care of you … like you take care of me.”
Maxie physically squirmed in Kate’s embrace. “Hey, ah, you know I don’t like hugs like this unannounced. C’mon, get off - and it’s Maxie, not Max.”
Kate laughed, delighted at all these little nuances, but she heard it as if from another room. The edges of her vision turned white and everything began to brighten and shrink, sort of like she was having a panic attack. But, at the moment she thought the attack, or whatever it was, was going to overwhelm her, she found herself back in Max’s room, her arms now wrapped around the photographer, the single polaroid photograph still in her hand.
“Kate … you didn’t change anything. This is the same reality …” Max seemed concerned, but she was holding an enthusiastic Kate Marsh in her arms, and that was a rare treat for her, so she was going with it.
Kate nodded, her cheek almost against the back of Max’s neck. “Yeah … I. I don’t think I could trade this all away. I couldn’t forget. I just wanted to remember.”
Max’s breath entered sharply. “Oh, Kate,” she murmured, and squeezed Kate’s sides a little, providing a little sigh of delight from the bun-headed blonde.