My Secret Identity

Naru Osaka finished packing up her books and turned to her friend. "Hey, are you ready to go home?"

Usagi Tsukino just continued staring out the window, notebook still open on her desk. Naru waved her hand in front of the girl's face.

"Hello? Anybody home?"

Usagi shook her head as if coming out of trance. "Oh, I'm sorry, Naru. Did you say something?"

"I asked you if you're ready to head on home."

"Yeah, sure. Let me get my things together."

Naru just snickered at her friend's reaction. She knew Usagi could be a bit of a flighty airhead sometimes, but something didn't seem quite right about the blonde with pigtails. Even as they were walking home, Usagi just didn't seem like her normal, talkative, jovial self, especially with it being the weekend. She seemed distracted, lost in another world.

"Hey, Usagi."

"Yeah, Naru?"

"Are you all right? You seem a little more out of it than usual."

"I do?" Naru nodded. "Well, maybe I am. I have been a bit stressed as of late."

"Does it have anything to do with the upcoming high school entrance exams?"

"No. You know me. I never stress about exams because I never study for them."

"Is it guy trouble?"

"No."

"Then for crying out loud, what is it?"

Silence was the only answer Naru got. It frustrated her that Usagi wasn't being honest and straightforward with her. So, instead of pressing the issue and possibly get even more upset for no reason, Naru came up with an idea.

"Hey, why don't you come over and spend the night at my place?"

"Spend the night? You mean like a sleepover?"

"Yeah! It's been a long time since we've had one together and with entrance exams coming soon, we may go to different high schools and not see much of each other. I figure it would be a good idea to get in as much hangout time together as possible."

"That's true."

"Plus, I think you could do with a little distraction and let loose some."

"I think you're right. Let's do it."

"Great! You go home and pack up your overnight things and we'll meet at my place in about an hour, okay?"

"Sure thing." On that note, the two girls went their separate ways.

Throughout the evening, Usagi and Naru gossiped, played games, sang karaoke, and ate tons of junk food. It warmed Naru's heart to see her friend smiling and having fun. "Are you feeling any better, Usagi?"

"Oh yes! Very much so!" Usagi said through a mouthful of homemade cookies.

Naru laughed. "I'm glad to hear that."

"What shall we do next?"

"How about we watch a movie?"

"Okay."

"Is there any particular title or mood you're in?"

"You know my tastes. Pick any one you want. Besides, we've got all night to watch as many as we want."

With a nod, Naru went to her bookcase to pick out a movie from her vast collection. As she did so, Usagi turned on the TV to set the DVD player up. The channel that came on had a news broadcast. The reporter relayed a tragic story of a robbery that went wrong where the owner of the store was killed. Naru came back to Usagi's side with movie in hand to see tears glittering in the blonde's baby blue eyes. "Usagi, what's wrong?"

"Why did that shop owner have to die? He was probably a kind-hearted old man who just wanted to provide a good life for his family. Yet, two thugs come into his store, rob him, and he gets killed over a matter of a hand full of money. What kind of justice is that?"

"I know. It's just not fair to have bad people do such bad things and make the good people of the world fear for their lives."

"I could have prevented that!"

"Are you nuts, Usagi? The robbers had guns! You could have gotten yourself killed!"

"Not if I used my tiara to knock them out of their hands!"
"Your tiara?"

It took Usagi a moment to realize what she had said. She gasped and covered her mouth. Seeing a stunned look on the redhead's face and feeling the wall around her heart crumbling, Usagi figured that she'd come clean.

"Naru, we have been friends for a long time, haven't we?"

"Ever since grade school."

"Then can I trust you with a secret I have?"

"Usagi, you know you can trust me with anything."

"Okay then, I have something special to show you," Usagi said standing up. Usagi went to her overnight bag and took out a special trinket.

"What's so special about that?" Naru asked. "That just the brooch you wear to school every day."

Usagi raised the brooch to the sky and shouted, "MOON CRYSTAL POWER MAKE UP!"

Naru yelped and shielded her eyes from the white light that Usagi was bathed in. When the brightness dissipated, Naru stared awestruck at the familiar, sailor-suited heroine that now stood before her.

"Usagi? You…you're…?"

"Yes, Naru. I am the pretty Sailor Soldier that fights for love and justice, Sailor Moon."

"That is so cool!"

"Cool?!" Moon yelled. "What's so cool about it? All the time I go about fighting off evil, saving the world from complete destruction, anticipating every single day that a new monster or psycho will come about and annihilate the peace we enjoy so much…and for what? I put my life and my friends' lives on the line to right wrongs and triumph over evil…and do I get any thanks for it? Do I get any recognition? Do I get any special award symbolizing my heroism? NO! NO WAY! NO HOW! NEVER! Why do I even bother to keep doing this? Why do I risk my life for nothing? WHY CAN'T I JUST HAVE A NORMAL LIFE AND BE A NORMAL TEENAGE GIRL?"

After her tirade, Sailor Moon fell to her knees and put her face in her hands. Naru sat down beside her, watching the breakdown of the super heroine. It took a moment to process all that her blonde friend just now revealed. Finding great compassion and sympathy for Sailor Moon, Naru put her arms about the shoulders of the Sailor Soldier and let her cry into her shoulder.

"Thank you, Sailor Moon…no. Thank you, Usagi."

This halted the Sailor Soldier's cries. She looked up at her friend. "You're thanking me? For what?"

"For being such a brave person to come out and share your secret with a civilian like me. I can only assume that the life of a heroine is not an easy one, having to handle two lives at the same time. First, a secret life in which you have to put your life on the line to protect strangers…and do it without anybody knowing who you really are. And second, a personal life in which you have friends and loved ones you interact with and enjoy being around…and yet they could never understand the secret life you also lead. I assume that you're friends with the other Sailor Soldiers outside of your battles."

"Yes."

"And they have secret identities as well?"

"Yes."

"I could probably guess who they are, but that's not the issue here. The issue is that you love these friends and care about them very deeply. But although they are friends that you can confide in with your secret lives because they are similar to yours, you can't fully confide in them because they are just like you. You said so yourself that you wished to have a normal life and be a normal girl. Unfortunately, you can't have that because you will never be normal. You are Sailor Moon, a champion of justice, a heroine who has enough love in her heart to go into battle and not be afraid to die for everyone, friend and stranger alike. On the same end, your friends that are Sailor Soldiers are not normal as well. So, they wouldn't be able to truly understand what a normal life is.

"Whereas for me, I am normal and I am your friend. I may not fully be able to understand what it is like to be a heroine, but I can understand what it is like to be a normal girl leading a normal life. Plus, we have been friends since before you became Sailor Moon and have built a great trust between us. You do trust me, don't you?"

"Of course I do."

"Since you have now trusted me with your secret identity, I want you to completely trust and confide in me. If you ever have to vent about a bad day at school or a rough fight against a monster, do not ever hesitate to call me. I love you. Whether you are Usagi Tsukino or Sailor Moon, it doesn't matter. I love YOU, the person that you are inside, the beautiful person that is the same regardless of which identity you put forth." Naru raised her right hand. "I, Naru Osaka, do solemnly swear to be Sailor Moon's friend from now to till the end of time and keep any and all secrets she may divulge in the utmost and strictest of confidence."

With tears in her eyes, Sailor Moon threw her arms around her best friend giving her the biggest hug she ever gave. Naru returned the embrace in kind. After a few moments, Naru suggested they call it a night. They changed into their pajamas and turned out the lights. Naru slid under the covers of her bed and Usagi lay upon her futon.

"Usagi?"

"Hmm?"

"Do you want to sleep up here with me?"

Naru lifted up her blanket and Usagi welcomed the invitation, sliding in beside her friend.

"Thank you, Naru."

"For what?"

"For being a good and trustworthy friend."

"No problem, Usagi. That will be a forever thing." After hugging each other one more time, the two friends fell asleep.

Many years in the future…

"Ah, Neo-Queen Serenity! Welcome back!" the lady-in-waiting exclaimed. How was your trip?"

Serenity remained silent as she walked into her chambers and closed the door behind her.

"Is something wrong, you majesty?"

The queen ran to her servant and began bawling into her shoulder. After holding and calming the teary-eyed monarch, the lady led her to the bed for them to sit down.

"Tell me what is wrong, my lady."

"Oh, Naru…"