The Romance Thing

by Purple Mongoose/PallaPlease

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Crossover:  Naruto!  I'm focusing just a bit too strongly on One Piece, and that new Hall and Oates CD was giving me one too many ideas for Naruto fics (NarutoxHinata forever!  Ah, they're so cute!).  What better way to get rid of those ideas than by giving Makoto (a senshi I haven't written nearly enough for) a fun little romance with Kakashi?  I'm sure there actually are better ways, but this one seemed the most fun.

Kakashi:  Go read the manga being translated by Viz right now!  He's in it at this point (and I just know I'm writing him out-of-character) in the translation, so it won't take long to get acquainted with him.

Continuity:  Nonexistent for both series.  A bustling city known as Winchester, New York, home to Lita Camerone, one of the country's most popular historical romance writers.  *laughs*  No ninjas, demonic beings of evil (unless you count Al Gore as one), and little other than romantic hijinks.  Yay!

Other:  Sowwy – not much of a plot here.  Go elsewhere if you want plot!  *points haughtily in random direction* 

Summary:  [Naruto/Sailor Moon]  Love!  If there was anything romance writer Lita Camerone needed less of, it was certainly that!  Who could have predicted Kakashi Hatake would stroll into her life only after she swore off men?  But she can handle this curveball – right?

Chapter:  It's a prologue, silly!  Not much of anything happens other than the establishment of the female characters and the cliché central plotpoint.

Status:  I think this might actually be a teaser – I might continue this fic, but it depends on whether or not I get feedback.  I have too many other projects to work on right now, so a lot of it is dependent on if people like this.  (Siren and Requiem are falling a little dangerously close to the wayside.)

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"George!  Soapbox!"

-Tom, 'Even Stevens'

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        Rachel Harris – known by night and close friends as Ray, short for Ray of Sunshine, which was obviously some sort of sarcastic commentary so far as she could figure it – could count on one finger the number of times Lita 'recite to ten before you hit someone' Camerone had shown up after nine-thirty at the publishing offices of Love Story Magazine with mud on her crushed velvet dress.  Thusly, when their senior editor marched in to the third floor offices with her new purse grasped in a white-knuckled grip, the slender strap broken cleanly and unable to be worn properly, she thought it warranted a look. 

        "How did it go?" she asked in an absent voice, scribbling with a red pen over several editing mistakes in one of the articles a particularly inept secretary had typed up.  Glancing up, she flipped a loose tendril of raven black past her ear and observed that the tall woman with auburn hair was indeed spattered with mud over her favorite green dress, a minor speckle of blood on her free hand, and a more or less homicidal look on her face.  "Judging by your expression, I'm going to peg it as a horrible failure?" she suggested.

        "I am so sick of this!" the older woman exploded, drawing the attention of the few workers who had managed to stay attuned to their work up to this point.  To empathize her point, she tossed her purse to the side, resulting in the stained piece of cloth smacking the wall behind the front counter and tumbling quietly to the floor.  "What, exactly, makes every guy I ever date think that just because I write smutty romances, I'm an easy lay?"  She flicked at the mud on her skirt, shuffling her brown pumps over the sparkling tiled floor and bringing to notice the fact that her shoes were not brown, but black currently engulfed by a thick, pasty mud.  "Oh, but wait!  It gets even better!"  She whirled around, glaring in a manner that could be construed as very evilly at one of the male interns, who began hastily backing away, throwing desperate glances at the elevator in one of the far hallways leading to the copier rooms and whatnot.  "Men in general are complete assholes!" she snapped at the intern, who decided the multiple pounds of paper to be shredded could go to hell and dropped with a noisy thump the stacks of white as he turned on his heel and ran to the elevator. 

        "That's why I don't date anymore," said Rachel in wry comment, leaning over the partition wall of her cubicle and sipping at her tepid coffee, the red pen twirling absently between her fingers.  "The only thing men can give is genetic material and some pathetic marriage they don't really mean," and she moved back to her project, twisting the pen around a word and sketching an arrow to the part in the article it would better fit within.  Capping the pen, she slipped the cylinder into the penholder by her computer, currently sharing a standard cheesy screensaver with the confined world of her cubicle.  "Katherine, take this to the typist on four," she said to a worker strolling by, and the small redhead nodded, taking it and tucking it with her arm's-worth of other papers.

        "Men are fun for free things, too," a pretty blonde on the other side of the room defended, winking her blue eye and clipping her computer screen off with a practiced tap of her thumb.  She scooped up her hefty handbag and shifted out of her cubicle with some careful effort, her hand smoothing over her rounding belly, and she smiled sweetly, fingering the twin buns on either side of her head, thin trails of gold tumbling down her shoulders bared by the low cut of her cashmere sweater.  "Besides, true love is everywhere," she added, padding in her slippered feet over the tiles and toward the two editors near the front desk and Lita's expansive personal office.  "You just need to be patient and wait for it to arrive." 

        "Serene," sighed Lita, "I know you found your soulmate and that you really believe all we need to do is wait, but I'm twenty-nine.  If Prince Charming was going to swoop into my life and whisk me away on his white steed, it would have happened by now."  She smiled affectionately and ruffled the smaller woman's light gold hair, momentarily snagging a green fingernail in the locks but tugging it free before the unintentional transgression could be discovered. 

        "On a different hand," she said in a bright tone, switching topics as Serene laughed, adjusting her thin silver necklace, the cross twirling from an awkward position on her breast to her collar, "when are you and Darren expecting baby to come?"  She motioned to the small roundness on the youngest one of the three's torso, and Rachel nodded in joint interest whilst the blonde paused for thought, tapping her nibbled fingernail to her chin.

        "About three months," she spoke with serious introspection, tilting her head to the side cutely.  "We're very excited, and even Naruto is starting to show some interest in what the baby will be like," she continued, a pleased look on her face as she mentioned the foster son she and Darren had taken on the year before.  "Actually, he's been very helpful for the past few months; we think he's finally starting to settle into the idea of a family and all.  Did you know he got an A in Physics on his last report card?" she persisted breathlessly, her very air all but radiating a maternally proud glow. 

        "Have you thought about, you know, adopting him, you and Darren?" Rachel questioned, her lips moving around the ceramic plain red of her coffee mug as she sipped distastefully at her cold, murky drink.  "Wait, don't answer, surprise me in a month when you do," she waved her hand dismissively.  "Anyway, be careful what you eat with the baby coming: too much and you'll never get rid of all the fat."

        "Rachel!" Lita scolded as the blonde turned a horrified look to her.  "Don't worry, she's only being a bitch again," she turned to Serene, her tone comforting in spite of the callous wording she had chosen to use in regards to their dark-haired friend.  The Italian woman laughed, pushing her coffee to the side carelessly and wiggling the mouse in order to turn the computer off by way of the protected manual form.  It took a moment and by the time she looked up again, the pregnant woman was waving cheerfully at them both from the elevator as the doors swung shut, engulfing her in the fluorescent depths to bring her down to the main floor and closer to her car.

        "I see blood," Rachel pointed out after a moment, gesturing to the faint speckling of red on the otherwise muddy hand Lita was drumming her fingers with against her own thigh, the wettened velvet molded uncomfortably to her leg.

        "I broke his nose," she said congenially and the lithe woman facing her raised an eyebrow.  "Could you excuse me for a minute?"

        Striding over the floor, Lita propped her foot on the polished wood of the meeting table erected in the strict center of the third floor office space, bending her body backwards a little and hefting herself into a standing position on the vast table.  She smoothed her hand over the wrinkles of her clumped dress, tufts of the soaked velvet pulled into spiky ruffled formations by her fingertips, and she clapped her hands over her hips, surveying with a critical eye that would spark a medical condition involving the bladder in most men.  "Attention, people!" she bellowed in her most quelling voice, lifting her hands from her hips and crossing her arms over her breasts, glowering sinisterly at all until the one woman in the back studiously plucking at her keyboard wavered and sheepishly twisted about to observe.  "I have an announcement to make!"  She paused and then added with a chuckle, "As if you couldn't tell."

        A wave of polite laughter followed as most studied her fondly, all attached to their motherly senior editor, and she sighed, solemnly intoning, "I am done with romance."  This was followed by several seconds of horrified silence, ensued promptly by protests, gasps, and demands to know why she was quitting, and she reversed hastily, whipping her hands to the front and shaking them in a dissuasive manner.  "No, I meant love!  I'm done dating and so forth!  No more men!"  Relieved sighs came in response to her quick covering, and she groaned into her hand, muddy hair tossed forward slightly.

        Rachel reached for her coffee and, distantly, sipped at it as she considered this latest turn in life.  She shrugged, who was to say?  Maybe she could pull it off, in the event that all the men on Earth dropped dead sometime in the next five hours.  "Welcome to my philosophy," she murmured to the coffee and blanched, pushing the mug aside for the second time and shaking her head in forgetful marveling.

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Notes:  Merf.  Ah, well – at least it's fun to write, no?

Feedback:  What say you?  This is my first Makoto project, so any comments from any and all Makoto writers/fans would be very welcome (even if you don't know anything about the series Naruto). 

Disclaimer:  If I said I owned them, I would be lying, and my mum says lying is a bad thing.  Yessiree.

Other:  Please, Dear Merciful God in Heaven!  Make the Lisa-Marie Presley songs stop!  I beg of you, O Holy One!