Moving Amid the Nocturnal
Cyn/Soo Min // July 20th 2030

Yoon Soo Min

Though the city had begun to calm down following the events of the explosion, things at the hospital remained busy, and Soo Min couldn't help but continue to offer working extra to help those in need. It the was the least she could do in the midst of such a tragedy, especially when some of her colleagues and friends at the hospital had lost people near and dear to them in that very explosion. Soo Min had remained lucky, as she often seemed to be, and her daughter continued to live and thrive, despite the great dangers that Iseul constantly put herself in.

Coming home late, the palace was an entirely different place at these late hours, and not many even knew. It wasn't like coming home to a regular house, dark and quiet, instead the palace remained lit, though the quiet settled eerily among the lighted hallways. You expected a place with lights on to be busy, to see people coming and going, but late at night there was practically no one, save for an occasional servant here or there, but they were scarce as well, most in bed. It wasn't unusual for Soo Min to be coming home at such an hour, she worked long hours, and she never finished a job early. Working hard had been a big theme her entire childhood, and Soo Min had tried to instill that very notion in her daughter as well, though Soo Min had realized that she had lost a lot of time with Iseul when the girl was younger, but it had given them a better life.

Now, their lives were insane, and Soo Min could still hardly believe that she lived here, within the palace. It had been too dangerous for the doctor to remain in her own home, once Iseul's identity had been revealed to the world, people sought out her family and Soo Min had been hounded by the media, both at work and at home. Iseul had insisted that Soo Min move into the palace, and so, the woman had agreed, though she refused to give up her job and would be damned if the media got in between her and her patients. Soo Min was short in stature, but she was not someone who could be intimidated or pushed around.

Passing by the larger foyer and turning down one of the corridors, Soo Min walked silently, trying not to disturb anyone, though knowing it was unlikely. The doors to the bedchambers were thick and hard to hear through unless you were literally pressed against the door, eavesdropping. Turning a corner, Soo Min hadn't expected to even see another person awake right now, but instead, Soo Min found herself literally colliding with another body.

Taking a step back to look at the other person, Soo Min immediately bowed her head. "Your majesty, I'm sorry. I wasn't expecting anyone else awake right now." It wasn't the first time that Soo Min had met the queen, of course not, they had been more formally introduced a few days before the identities of the guardians were revealed to the world, when Iseul told Soo Min to brace her mother for the shock in private. But before that, Soo Min had met the queen as Cynthia, a friend of Iseul's and someone that Iseul had often tutored.

Serenity quietly tiptoed through the Crystal Palace as she made her way towards the kitchen, intending to get a late midnight snack. She couldn’t sleep. She wanted to sleep beside Endymion and not alone tonight, but there was just so much going on that they each had their own different schedules. This wasn’t what Serenity had fully expected her married life to be like.
She would have expected to have a little time alone with Endymion before she became Queen, but their marriage sparked the universe to react differently. So much was happening at once too that they seemed to be dealing with different parts of the events. How was it possible that anyone was able to get any sleep with what was going on? Perhaps it was Serenity’s own anxieties keeping her awake, but right now she longed for the tub of ice cream in the kitchen.
Was this what a normal royal marriage was like?
Azure hues abruptly fluttered in surprise when she crashed into another figure unexpectedly, and she vaguely remembered the voice to be Soo Min before her azure hues darted towards her. Aside from their bodies, Serenity was grateful that she wasn’t carrying any food on her person when they collided!
“Eheh? Soo Min, is that you?” Serenity asked as she got a better look at the doctor. “Are you just coming home? I’m so sorry, I was um….”
Wait, what?
When Soo Min acted as if it was her fault, Serenity caught herself and refrained from mentioning her late night eating desires. “Are you okay?” She abruptly asked, hoping to alter her train of thought.

Yoon Soo Min

The queen was a busy woman, so it was a shock to Soo Min to see her up this late, but even more shocking to have literally run into her. Living in a palace was definitely nothing like what Soo Min would have ever anticipated, and having the Sailor Guardians running around made it all the more hectic at times. It didn't change that Soo Min was a hard worker herself, and still didn't spend a lot of time at home.

"Yes, I just got back. I hope I didn't wake you, or anyone else. Sleep is very important to stay alert during the day." It was always funny, if you asked any doctor, they would always tell you to get plenty of sleep and to stay hydrated and get enough food. However, anyone who actually watched a doctor throughout their own day would see that they never followed their own advice. It was what made medicine such a calling. People literally gave up their 20s to the schooling, and then gave up the rest of their lives to practicing what they learned, to better the world. The Guardians were not so different, though Soo Min still found herself shocked that her daughter and friends could be the guardians, and Soo Min never noticed it at all.

"Yes of course, I am just fine. I get so used to these corridors being vacant when I come home, I forgot to even look where I was going." It was embarrassing to admit, especially to the woman who was now the world's queen, but Soo Min had overcome several embarrassing events in her life that she was now simply matter-of-fact about the situations and accepting of her faults.

“You don’t need to tell me about sleep, Soo Min!” Serenity teased her gently, doing her best to keep her tone low. If Soo Min had remembered from when she was a child, Serenity loved to take naps, and whenever she could spare a moment to do so she’d try her hardest to take one during the day.
“But no, you didn’t wake me. I was….um….” Serenity trailed off, wondering how to go about her desire to obtain a midnight snack. Iseul had always scolded her about those bad habits, so when she was face to face with her mother, it was a little awkward.
“I was on my way to the kitchen. Want to join me? When was the last time you ate?” Deciding to be honest with Soo Min, Serenity placed a palm gently against the back of her head as she smiled sheepishly. She’d known she hadn’t had to go into full detail with her, it was obvious what she’d wanted.
Gazing around at her surroundings, Serenity understood where Soo Min was coming from. It was easy to get lost in the palace or not meet nobody for a few minutes. At night, the hallways were often vacant, as they should be. But they also weren’t a stranger to Serenity’s own mischief.  “Really, you’re fine, Soo Min. I wasn’t paying attention either. I had my mind on food, I guess!”

Yoon Soo Min

As the days leading up to the reveal of the guardians, not much had changed between Soo Min and Iseul. Their relationship stayed the same, and they put their work first, even on the day of the reveals. Soo Min hadn't moved into the palace until after that day, when media had followed her home, trying to hound her every move the second she was outside her house. It was for her protection that she was moved to the palace, at Iseul's insistence, and it wasn't worth the argument from Soo Min. As long as the doctor was able to keep her job, and help her patients, it didn't matter where she called home.

"This is a fine time for going to the kitchen." Smiling to the queen, Soo Min reached out and lightly touched Cynthia's shoulder, squeezing it gently. Turning on her heel to accompany the queen to the kitchen, Soo Min could be reminded of her life many years ago, with a much younger girl at her side.

"How about some waffles? I used to make them for Iseul about this time of night when she was little. Of course, in those cases, my coming home was actually what woke her up. We had a much smaller house than a palace." Opening and closing doors in a palace was nothing like doing so in a smaller house, even if they were above middle class, even after her ex-husband's betrayal. "In Korea, waffles are considered a dessert, so it was like Iseul was getting a special treat."

Soo Min wasn't proud of her parenting when Iseul was young. Leaving her daughter home alone a lot, communicating through notes and texts, but it was what Soo Min needed to do to raise her daughter as a single mother fresh out of medical school. Soo Min wasn't an established specialist like she was these days, she didn't make near the same amount of money back then, and times were harder. Woman needed to work harder and more hours to be taken seriously when Soo Min was first graduating. Now, however, things were much better, especially being ruled primarily by a queen, rather than a king.

Startled, Serenity would have expected a retort from Soo Min about how it was far too late to go to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Many people had told her it was unhealthy to eat past a certain time, but Serenity didn’t care tonight. There were many things on her mind and she needed some ice cream!
A bright, warm smile formed on her features at Soo Min’s acceptance, followed by her own offer to even cook something! It wasn’t what she’d intended, but Serenity could deal with it. Actually, what better way to combine both ice cream AND waffles!?
“Waffles sound yummy!” Serenity bounced, though she was surprised to learn that waffles were considered a dessert in Korea. “No way, waffles are just an everyday breakfast food! So you’re telling me that I would be eating dessert in Korea?”
Serenity was intrigued to learn more about Soo Min’s culture and the different types of desserts that they had, she wondered more about their own meals. “Sometimes I miss the home I grew up in too.” Serenity pouted a little, her gaze downcast. “It was a two story home, but it was a nice size for our family…. I miss all the times Mama used to bake delicious cakes and snacks for us whenever we were doing studying sessions with Iseul and everyone.”  
There were times when Serenity even felt like visiting her old family home, but she’d known that it wasn’t possible. Mama and Papa moved in, and while they’d kept their home, it wasn’t safe with the current circumstances. As long as people had known that the royal family still lived in the Crystal Palace, Serenity believed that it’d keep her home unharmed.
“The Crystal Palace is so big, it’s so easy to feel so lonely here. You and Iseul can always have an apartment together at the palace if you’d like.” That was of course if they currently weren’t doing that.  Serenity hadn’t seen them nearly that often together to remember their current living situations inside the palace. She felt bad, but Serenity had so much on her mind. “I don’t mind personal décor either! Sometimes the crystal walls can get really boring and scary.”

Yoon Soo Min

Soo Min could recognize that the queen still seemed to retain the eagerness that she had when Soo Min first met her, as a high school girl who needed a lot of tutoring, or rather, that was what Soo Min thought. Learning the truth from her daughter, that Cynthia was actually Sailor Moon, and even more unbelievably, that Iseul was Sailor Mercury, Soo Min still found herself shocked and thinking of the girls like the high school girls they used to be.

"Waffles are much too sweet to be eaten for breakfast in Korea. In Korea, breakfast is still very much like other meals. We eat rice with short ribs or stewed fish or cucumber soup, and usually kimchi. And if there was any food leftover from the previous night, then that is always breakfast the next day. Korea does not like to waste food, so we do not keep a wide variety of food at any one time for different types of meals."

It wasn't often that Soo Min was able to talk about Korea, with her constantly being at work, or some more important conversation going on, Soo Min hardly spoke of her homeland. She missed it at times, and still enjoyed cooking for herself and eating more traditional Korean meals when she had the opportunity, but sharing her homeland with other people was just as meaningful.

"I appreciate very much that your mother did those things for Iseul as well. I regret that I couldn't be around more when she was younger, and that it took late nights to spend time together. I sometimes wonder if I did enough for her." Speaking softly, Soo Min had a lot of regrets about how Iseul was raised, but having just finished her schooling, she didn't have a choice what hours she worked when Iseul was born. It wasn't until high school that Soo Min had ever met a friend of Iseul's, and all of a sudden, her daughter seemed to be engulfed by her new friends and out with them. Hearing that Cynthia's mother could be there to do the things that Soo Min couldn't, made her feel a little better.

"Thank you. Unfortunately, I find that I am still not home very often to warrant needing a change, but my job is rewarding enough to make up for that." Smiling to Cynthia, Soo Min began walking towards the kitchen. "Now about those waffles, what would you like on them?"

Rice for breakfast? Fish for breakfast? That sounded gross. Serenity didn’t like the sound of where the rest of Soo Min’s meals were headed. Then what did they eat for lunch or dinner? Serenity knew that breakfast was always the most important meal of the day, but it wasn’t meant to be that heavy….was it?
“E-Eh. I don’t think I’d like to have rice for breakfast….cereal works just fine, so do pancakes and french toast with eggs!” Serenity nodded her head in confidence. It just didn’t seem right to have rice for breakfast aside from having it as a lunch or dinner side dish.
Serenity smiled when Soo Min shared her appreciation for her Mama. She loved her Mama, she was such a caring person and she cared deeply for her and her friends. But there were times when her Mama had also put a lot of pressure on her, such as with her studies. Serenity was older now, so she appreciated it looking back. If she’d known before she became Sailor Moon that she was to become Queen of the Earth one day, Serenity believed that she would have tried harder during her elementary and middle school days.
But she couldn’t change the past. Fortunately, Serenity was able to study really hard with her friends enough to pass High School. She hadn’t expected that her marriage with Endymion would have led to an immediate coronation; otherwise she would have probably tried her hardest and gone to Harvard University with Endymion to study politics.
Not that she wanted to. She really, really didn’t want to, but she wanted to prove to everyone that she could be a good queen….on her own terms.
“Mama was really grateful to Iseul, she got me to study! I don’t think she minded at all spending time with her. Besides, I think Mama also knew that you were busy.” Serenity smiled reassuringly.  “She looked forward to cooking big meals, too!”
The last remark from Soo Min came to Serenity by surprise. She tilted her head gently, before her features softened with her smile. “I think Iseul understands that you had to do what you had to do. I think you encouraged her to become a doctor, it was always her dream. I think she admired you a lot and everything that you did.”
Serenity placed an index finger against her chin as she thought about what to put on her waffles. “Strawberries!”

Yoon Soo Min

Coming to America had meant that Soo Min had to do a lot to fit in with the new culture she was embracing, though there were certain practices that Soo Min never did adopt. Some of the food choices that Americans made were one of them, and for many years, her house contained staples of a Korean diet, until Iseul was old enough to request different foods she liked. It was like a blended culture then, as Iseul got older and could introduce new things she had experienced with her friends.

"I have never had cereal, but eggs can be good." Even with the weight of being a queen on her shoulders, Soo Min still saw Cynthia as such an innocent child. If she didn't know that Cynthia was the queen, if they weren't literally standing in the palace, Soo Min wasn't sure she would have ever believed that this kind, energetic girl, was really their new queen.

It was obvious that Iseul had grown up well, she had accomplished her schooling and was a doctor just like Soo Min was, and it made Soo Min very proud of her daughter. That didn't erase some of the struggles that the pair went through as Iseul grew up, especially when the truth about her father came out, but Soo Min had tried to do better once Iseul was an adult herself. She hoped that she was making good on that, except it was difficult as both women were engrossed in their careers and their responsibilities felt endless at times.

"I am glad that Iseul was able to help you out, she truly valued your friendship. You were the first friend of hers I ever met." Now it was more clear, Iseul was destined for something great and that had brought her and Cynthia together, but it still meant a lot that Cynthia was a friend to her daughter.

Stepping into the kitchen, Soo Min walked straight to the pantry, removing flour, oil, sugar, salt and some vanilla. Grabbing eggs and milk from the fridge, Soo Min set the ingredients down on the counter as she found a bowl and a whisk, as well as measuring tools and a waffle maker. Plugging in the waffle maker, Soo Min worked to bring all the ingredients together, whisking them by hand.

"Do you often awake at night and cannot go back to sleep?"

She never had cereal? Startled, azure hues gazed at Soo Min with shock. She couldn’t believe it, what person hadn’t tried cereal at least once!? There were so many different types to choose from, too—they had some right in the Crystal Palace kitchen!
“No way! Then you have to try some!” Serenity bounced, moving towards the pantry and opening it up. She’d gesture towards all of the cereal boxes, pulling out her most favorite: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But Serenity wondered if this was something that Soo Min would have considered ‘too sweet’, so she decided to pull out some Cheerios instead. “Everyone at least likes Cheerios, they have a really simple taste but they’re still yummy.”
Serenity tilted her head gently when Soo Min talked about how much Iseul valued her friendship. She did, too. She was the first Sailor Guardian that she’d ever met, she’d encouraged her so much more than most of her friends did as far as academics went. Whereas Serenity was more encouraging of Iseul to be more outgoing than she was.
“Iseul and I helped each other, I think.” Serenity informed her. “I thought it was always so mean of everyone to tease Iseul, but I don’t think Isuel realized just how nice she was and how many friends she could make if she tried!”
Soo Min’s question about her sleeping habits came to her as a surprise. She wasn’t sure if she liked it, and she’d place the cereal boxes onto the table. “I do.” Serenity confessed. “I’ve always had a hard time sleeping…. Not by choice. It’s just that….my dreams aren’t always so kind. I’ve found it easiest to sleep when Endymion’s with me, but we’ve both been so busy.”

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