// October 22nd, 2030

In the months since the bistro was bombed, it's become Luci's personal mission to rebuild and reopen the bistro, but between her time spent as Sailor Jupiter and given everything going on lately, it's been slow going. But Luci is determined not to be stopped or further slowed down." writingsample="The Cafe del Jardín de Rosas had seen better days; much better days, but it was recovering. It wasn't long ago that the entire place had been blown to bits by members of the Black Moon, all due to the fact that this was her place. But Luciana Del Rosario was not the type to be known to give up. Some people might have called her stubborn, and perhaps attached to lost causes, but Luci preferred to look at it like she was determined. This place was hers, entirely hers. She wasn't going to shy away from raising it from its ashes.

Paint was smeared on Luci's face, and she held a paint brush in her dominant hand. With a satisfied smirk on her face, she stepped back and measured up the frame of what she had just painted; it was part of the new sign that she was going to hang above the door outside the diner. It was green and pink, with numerous different and colorful flowers surrounding the name of the cafe. It was the border that Luci just finished. "Not half bad," Luci said - to herself more than to anyone else. There were workers around, but they were all busy.

"It looks really nice, Ms Luci." A young woman - younger than Luci even appeared - said as she approached the Sailor Guardian from behind. She was one of the hostesses that wanted to stay with the bistro when it reopened, a young woman by the name of Maria. Luci turned slightly to face her. "It does, doesn't it? Maybe things are starting to look up." Maria nodded slowly, but it was clear that there was something the matter. Or, at the least, that she wasn't entirely convinced. Luciana's lips pursed.

"What's wrong?" Luci asked, and Maria rubbed her arm nervously. "It's just... what if something happens again? This place is so... so... public. It's such a good target." Luci shut her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, inhaling and holding it for a few moments. And then, as she exhaled, her eyes snapped open and she crossed her arms over her chest. "It won't. Because I won't let it." The confidence in her voice was sure - and she was sure in what she said herself.

"Listen, Maria - come with me." Luci motioned for the girl to follow her, and stepped over to a pair of chairs. The chairs were covered with sheets in order to avoid getting paint on them. Luci sat in one, and Maria sat in the other. "I'm not afraid of the Black Moon. Or anyone else, for that matter. I'm not going to bother with their scare tactics." Luci said, pushing her bangs out of her face and leaning back in the chair. "The moment that I decide to permanently close this place is the moment that they win."

"What do you mean?" Maria asks, almost nervously.

"They want to scare us. They want us to go back to hiding. I can't help who I am, Maria. And I'm always going to be that person." Maria nods slowly, and Luci continues, "and I appreciate you for sticking with me through this. You've been a champ this entire time, mi novia. But if you want to stop, if you want to leave... the door is right there. I'm not going to stop you. If you stay, I can't promise that it's going to be safe. But I can promise you that I'm going to do my damnedest to keep this place and everyone here safe."

Luci was looking directly at Maria, resolve burning in her eyes. Slowly, her hand reached out and gripped Maria's own.

"So. Whattaya say? Still in it for the long haul?"

Maria nodded her head quickly, and Luci patted her on the shoulder, taking a deep breath and standing up. As Maria got back to work, Luci took a glance around the bistro. A sigh escaped her lips, and she brushed her bangs somewhat behind her ears, satisfied with her work for now. And with that, she stepped outside, stopping right in front of the bistro itself.

(This post was last modified: 23 Oct 2019, 07:26 PM by Luciana Del Rosario.)

- Knight

Giving the place one finally survey from across the street, Trent always thought, for all of his Dark Kingdom leanings, that it was a shame The Cafe del Jardín had been bombed. Chicks loved the place. And the cherry on top? For a change, his camp wasn’t responsible for the inverted black crescent that had been explosively charred into the ground.

Given the resilient nature of cities, the downtown area had bounced back in the space of months: the police tape was gone, the street had been repaved, new panes of glass installed. Businesses, including The Cafe del Jardín, were springing up anew towards their grand reopenings. 

Trent had business of his own. He was always looking for a side gig; for the last five years he had been limited to what he could get. Did Halite have business here? Maybe. Maybe not. But his method was always stealth over flash, particularly in light of Chaos-driven antics.

Go time. Trent crossed to the other side of the street once traffic cleared, planning to stick his head in and gauge which way the wind was blowing. Contrary to his expectation, the proprietor, Guardian Jupiter herself, strolled outside as he stepped onto the curb.

So much for the approach, he thought distantly.

But there was no reason for a perfectly good jolt of shock to go to waste. “It looks good,“ Trent remarked at first, letting the surprise wash over him. It was amplified by the simple fact that up until recently, Sailor Guardian encounters were not the norm. Seen their images in various magical, print, or digital media? Sure. But rarely one in person.

He gestured at the bistro with a short nod of his head. “Your place, it’s coming back together faster any other business on this block,” he observed. “What’s the secret?” he asked, though it was clear a lot of the secret was daubed in shades of pink and green on Luciana’s clothes, skin, and hair.

Did it reduce the curb appeal? Hardly.

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