Rewriting notes: Hello to readers old and new! I'm Chickay and welcome to my original brain baby. I started MAMC years ago when I was still in high school and, over time, my interest in the story and characters had waned so much that none of it looked or felt remotely like my own. Now that college is going to be a remote memory for me, I wanted to have one more crack at the original love of my life. After a looong while of deliberation, I figured out how I'm going to do it. And so: I'm rewriting MAMC from top to bottom, working my way through the chapters until the end, hopefully feeling my way back to the roots that I planted since Bush was president, and seeing if there's some life still left. The dialogue and plot will remain mostly the same (I'm shaving off unnecessary crap), but the writing will hopefully be an update from my old-old-(three hours later)old-old writing.
Of course, if you liked my ancient writing, I'll be posting the old chapters on my LJ account (accessible on my profile) as I upload the new versions of the chapters.
So: wish me luck. And I hope you fall in love. Or, that you fall in love again, as some of your cases may be.
Meus Amor et Mea Culpa: My Love and My Mistake
The Day's Only Half Done
Rei was the first to spot her.
She stood on the steps of the New Moon Academy, leaning against one of the panther statues that framed the broad, french doors of the school. She held a brown satchel in one hand, a muffin wrapped in bright pink cellophane in the other, a first-day muffin that her dear friend, Lita, had made for Rei and their other two best friends, Ami and Mina. At the moment, Rei watched on amused as Mina exhibited one of her many social talents, switching back and forth on two different topics between Ami and Lita while chomping down on her own first-day-muffin without choking. Deciding that engaging Mina in a third topic would likely lead to their blond friend asphyxiating, Rei chose to tune out the conversations and glance over the incoming crowd.
As an incoming junior like her friends, there were hordes of new faces intermixed with the familiar ones that she'd come to memorize. Private schools tended to have small classes, and Rei had learned the names of all her grade-mates at New Moon by the end of her sophmore year. As Rei was looking over the crowd, one certain face stood out to her...
She was slim and petite, probably shorter than Rei. Clad in the New Moon Academy uniform, she would've looked in place with the rest of the crowd if it wasn't for discerning qualities. First was what allowed Rei to pinpoint her in the first place, the shimmering, waist-length cascade of white-blond hair that was held back by a headband. Instead of making Rei think she needed to dye it a more age-appropriate color, the light shade gave the girl an exotic, almost mystical aura.
The other feature that struck out to the raven-haired young woman was her eyes. Rei had met others with blue eyes, Ami and Mina included, but hers... They were the brightest shade of blue Rei had ever seen. She'd venture to say that they were brighter than Mina's when she spotted a cute guy. And that's saying a lot.
At this point, Rei did something she didn't normally do. She pushed herself off the panther statue that was reared to pounce and sauntered over to the girl. In between passing students, Rei observed her as she approached, noting the tension in her shoulders and how the stranger bit her lip anxiously, clutching onto her bag tightly, looking...
Rei paused. 'Looking scared.'
The notion struck Rei and she crept up beside the blond.
"Hello." The girl jumped, startled at the newcomer. Rei raised an eyebrow in mild amusement. "Are you alright? You spaced out there for a moment."
"Uh-no!" The girl replied, shaking her head back to reality. She smiled goofily. "Yeah, I'm new here and I'm pretty nervous. Not to mention I totally skipped on breakfast since I woke up late...again."
She laughed at herself nervously and Rei smiled slightly. In actuality, Rei was usually never the one to attempt conversation first, but there was something about her, something that drew Rei in... As if on cue, the girl's stomach began to rumble and she turned into a bright shade of red. Rei chuckled slightly before a thought hit her. She held out her hand, revealing her pink-wrapped muffin.
"Here." She said, handing it to the girl. "My friend Lita made it. I haven't taken a bite of it yet but I know that whatever comes out of her kitchen tastes great."
The girl looked horrified at the idea. "Oh god, no!" She exclaimed. "I can't take this from you!"
Rei waved a dismissive hand. "Take it. My appetite's been down in the dumps lately. It'd be a shame to waste."
She looked hesitatingly between Rei and the cellophane-wrapped muffin before she shrugged and pulled aside the wrapping and took a bite. Her eyes lit up and she gulped down the whole thing.
"Oh my god!" She exclaimed. "That was delicious!"
Rei smiled and held out her hand. "The name's Reina Hino. Call me Rei. I can't stand the whole thing."
The other girl giggled, smiling widely and accepted the outstretched hand.
"Serena Tsukino." Rei smiled just as wide.
"You know," She began, taking back her hand, "No offense or whatever, but you don't look as Japanese as your last name sounds."
To her surprise, the girl continued to smile. "None taken." She twirled a silvery blond strand as she responded, "My mother was originally from France, Daddy's the one from Japan."
Rei nodded in acknowledgment as she marveled at the quirks of genetics. As she was about to say something, a new voice interrupted.
"Hey Rei, who's your new buddy?" Rei turned around to greet her three best friends. Mina had been the one to ask the question. She stood in between Lita and Ami, one arm through each of the girls', having dragged them over. She winked at her best friend. "You're not planning on replacing us yet, are you?"
Rei laughed. "You wish." Turning to Serena, she said,
"Serena Tsukino, meet my best friends in the world. That's Amilia Mizuno, Minako Aino, and that's," She paused for dramatic effect and continued in an outrageously European accent, "Litonya Makoto Kino...the second." She added the last part after a good pause.
Serena laughed, surveying the odd-looking group.
Rei, the one that had first approached her, actually looked very severe and cold and very exotic, too, with raven-black hair with natural violet highlights and slightly slanted, wide violet eyes to match. This Minako girl looked the complete opposite of Rei. She was blond and bubbly with sparkling blue eyes and an easy smile. Then there was the small, silent one, Ami, was it? She was very petite, with a light blush on her cheeks contrasting with the bluish tint of her incredibly dark hair. But Litonya was the last person Serena would've guessed to have made that muffin. She was tall, with lean arms and toned legs beneath her standard-issue skirt. She could have looked almost boyish, but the sweet curls in her hair and laugh at her own last name spoke volumes of an inner femininity.
Turning to the others, she bowed her head slightly. "Good to meet you." To Lita, she said, "Your cooking was amazing, Litonya."
Lita rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Thanks for the compliment but please call me Lita. I don't know what possessed my mom to give me that name. Must've been those rain forest bugs." She shook her head. "You know they do some pretty weird things to the brain."
Serena laughed along with the others then looked over all of them. Something flashed in the bright blue eyes before she asked. "You're all Japanese?"
They stopped laughing and looked at each other, smiling, sharing some inside joke.
"Well," Minako began. "We've out a good amount of the blood in us. Ami's half Russian, Lita's part African, my mom's an England-native, and Rei here's got some Hispanic in her."
Serena tilted her head thoughtfully. "Reina." She muttered. She looked up at Rei. "Queen, right?"
Rei smiled, surprised. "Yeah. Tu hablas espanol?"
Serena nodded eagerly and the two began to join in on a Spanish conversation that left the others looking back and forth between the two, amused.
"So Serena," Ami spoke up. "Where did you just transfer from?"
"Japan." She automatically responded. "I just moved here with my older brother."
Lita quirked an eyebrow. "Your parents are still in Japan?"
At this, Serena shifted and replied hesitatingly, "Y-Yeah. My parents didn't get much of a say in the matter."
The other girls eyed each other understandably and changed the topic.
"So," Minako started, breaking the slight silence. "What're your classes? We usually have all our subjects on the first day."
Serena pulled out a schedule and began reading off of it.
"Hey!" Lita spoke up. "You've got gym with me and Ami."
"Yay!" Serena exclaimed happily. Then her face dropped. "Oh no! That's my last class of the day!"
The others laughed. Serena definitely wore her heart on her sleeve. And they were starting to like how it looked.
Rei skimmed over the new girl's schedule. "Hmm, hey! You've got Drama during third period with me and Minako. And you've got at least one of us in every class."
Serena smiled. "That sounds good to hear. I arrived here just last month. I haven't had much time to meet other people with the schedule I'm on."
"Well, we'll be glad to show you around." Ami piped up. As if on cue, the bell rang. Minako piped up.
"Hey, you've got chemistry with me and Rei." She nodded her head towards the school. "C'mon. We'll show you the way."
Serena looked positively dismayed. "First period?"
The others laughed and moved on as Rei, Minako ("Call me Mina!" She insisted, opening the door for Serena and Rei), and Serena made their way to Chemistry. Their teacher was a portly man with a balding head and a twisting mustache. From the disapproving glare he gave each student, it was obvious to know what he thought of the new generation. As he passed out the syllabus, Mina turned to Serena. She sat in between her and Rei in the classroom. There was slight twinkle in her eye as she said,
"You know, I bet you've got some hidden talent in you, eh?" When Serena looked at her quizzically, Mina continued. "Rei over there?" She gestured to the brunette who was glaring at the syllabus so much that Serena could've sworn the paper itself seemed to crumple in her presence. Mina grinned. "Let's just say that she's not a people-person exactly. She hardly speaks to anyone, let alone be the first to approach a person." Mina paused. "Come to think of it, you're actually the first one she's made contact with that didn't involve a broom or insults."
Serena quirked an eyebrow. "Really? Well, she seemed pretty nice this morning."
"Oh don't get me wrong," Mina said hurriedly. "Rei's the best. It's just that it takes a while for other people to warm up to her. Me, Lita, and Ami being prime exceptions."
"Ladies?" They both looked up to see Mr. Leland looking at them over his horn-rimmed glasses, obviously not amused. "Something you care to share with the class?"
"You mean besides this adorable new belly-button ring I got over the summer?" Mina suggested cheekily. The class burst out with held-back laughter and even Mr. Leland smiled.
"Maybe some other time, Miss Aino." He replied dryly, a grin on his face. "In the meantime, please follow the examples of your classmates and pay attention to the notes I'm giving you."
"Aye-yiy, sir!" Minako said along with a mock-salute. Serena covered her mouth to hide her grin and caught sight of Rei on the other side of Minako, giggling. She had a feeling that it was going to be a good year. She smiled grimly in spite of herself. Yes, she would make sure of it.
Minako had given her detailed directions to her history class and Serena was glad to see Ami's familiar, friendly face and promptly took a seat by her. The petite girl looked somewhat exhausted. When Serena asked what was wrong, Ami brushed it off, smiling.
"Just a little tense, first day and all." She said. "Makes me a little anxious, that's all."
Serena gave a dismal smile as she said, "You're a smart girl. But a horrible liar."
Ami gave a surprised start at the girl's boldness, looking slightly offended. However, she smiled. "You're very observant, you know?"
Serena smiled widely. "My brother says the same thing. Then he teases me on if only I was just as observant with taking notes as I am in tune with people's emotions."
Ami returned the smile with one of her own. "Your brother, he's in college?"
Serena nodded. "We were on our own for a while until we moved here and I started living with my relatives and Kunthan started staying at the dorms of his college."
As Ami was about to say something, the teacher walked in and began the roll call.
"Mason? Mason?" Mrs. Esther called out, watching for hands to shoot up. "Hannah get off that phone. Masters? Good afternoon Kathy. McDaniels? Mister Gregory put away that CD player at once. Mizuno? Ah, hello there Ami. Miss Caitlin! Do you and Miss Kerri have something you'd like to share? Thought so. Let's see, where was I?" As she skimmed on her list, her eyes widened as she muttered what looked like an 'Oh dear' under her breath. "Uh...Monroe?"
Any noise that was being made in the classroom was immediately silenced and Serena glanced about the room, confused. She was about to ask Ami what was wrong while Mrs. Esther repeated the last name again. However, Serena sweat dropped slightly as she noticed that Ami had turned whiter than she her usual peachy pale complexion.
"...gotta be kidding me." Ami was muttering to herself. "He's in here too?"
Serena sweat dropped and nudged Ami until she looked over at Serena. Her eyes glinted with panic until Serena hastily whispered her name again. Sweat dropping, Ami raked a shaky hand through her hair.
"Eh-don't mind me." She said. "Like I said; I'm just a little tense about the first day." She grimaced and Serena heard the girl mutter as Serena backed aside, "It always seems to be the longest."
History went off once more without a hitch though Serena noticed that Ami looked very disconcerted throughout the class. At the end of class, Ami walked Serena to the Drama room on her way to Chemistry. Soon, Mina and Rei entered the Drama classroom and all three girls sat down together, making small talk before their teacher, Ms. Tawny, clearly an ex-hippie, walked in. She had long, stringy blonde hair and hazel eyes hidden behind rose-colored glasses. Her bell-bottom pants swept the floor and the colorful sash wrapped around her waist swished as she bounded into the class in her brightly-colored, oversized T-shirt.
"Oh boy," Rei muttered as Ms. Tawny practically floated to the front of the class in a surreal manner. "It's gonna be a long year."
"Good morning class," she said in a whispery voice so low that the others had to lean in to hear her properly. "As my past students should know, I don't believe in much in discipline so here's how it's going to go. I want you to gather in up in groups of three to five and make a skit for you to perform in this class by next week. It can be on anything you want and you may use props as well as play music if you please. As for the rest of today's class," she waved her bony hands dismissively. "Do what you will."
And so, the three teens spent the rest of the class time chatting up. Serena found out that Mina and Rei both had older brothers. Mina's brother had been in Europe, studying for some time and Rei's owned a local club. Ami had an older sister and Lita was an only child living with her aunt and cousin since her parents were both archaeologists and traveled often.
"Alright!" Mina cheered as they made their way out of the classroom at the sound of the lunch bell that ended third period. "This is so cool. Fun assignment with two buddies!"
Serena smiled as Rei rolled her eyes, smiling. "Didn't we ask you to tone down on the sugar intake like years ago?"
Mina tapped a finger against her chin, looking mockingly thoughtful. "Eighth grade if I recall correctly."
"Can we really trust mental recollection from the girl that can't remember what happened during first period?" Lita sneered jokingly, coming up from behind them. She smiled widely. "Hey guys. What's up?"
Serena returned the smile and launched into a narrative of her first day as the four walked on the outside courtyard of the school. Lita suddenly stopped laughing over something Serena was telling her and frowned grimly. She let out a low growl that caught the attention of the others.
"Lita?" The tall brunette narrowed her eyes to angry emerald slits.
"Bimbo brigade at two o'clock." Lita muttered through clenched teeth. The others turned in the number of degrees Lita had instructed and frowned, too. Serena didn't know what was going on, but what she saw upset her just as well.
Ami was kneeling on the floor, gathering up scattered papers and books that had fallen looking, not embarrassed, but pissed. In front of her was the epicenter of her anger.
A tall, menacing redhead was in front of her, arms crossed with a satisfied smirk gracing her not-so-graceful features. Her posse stood behind her, wearing similar expressions. A growl emitted from Lita's throat as she took a step further in the girl's direction. However, a slim hand stopped her before she could do anything too...drastic.
"Lita," Rei started warningly. "Breathe, okay? The bitch isn't worth it."
Rei didn't look like the type to swear, but her vulgarity seemed to calm Lita down, even if it was to a miniscule degree. Serena observed that she had unclenched her fists and her body seemed to loosen up a bit. Mina looked like she was bracing herself and then sauntered over to the other girls, looking considerably colder.
"-Oh, poor thing." The fiery antagonizer was saying sarcastically. Ami pointedly continued to ignore her and pick up her things. She stood up, dusting herself off. Her normally bright blue eyes glared darkly into the girl's dark violet ones. "You know, you really shouldn't carry so many books, dorkette. You're practically begging for random trippings and falls."
"Fuck off, Sinclair." Mina called out as she intentionally bumped shoulders against the posse, pushing them aside as she walked over to Ami's side.
The redhead looked on at Mina angrily. "Well hello there, Mina-ko." She said with obvious false cheeriness, clicking out the last syllable. She looked back and forth from Mina to Ami before snarling nastily,
"Wow. When you fall from the social ladder, you really take a dive, don't you?"
Mina growled lowly and seriously contemplated tackling the redhead to the ground. Mina could take her and if Beryl's cronies decided to jump in they'd have Lita to deal with...
A waft of intoxicating cologne filled the air as a tall blond moved into place, effectively ending Mina's plans to break Beryl's new nose. He gave the redhead a lazy-eyed expression as he stood between her, and Mina and Ami.
"Really, Beryl," He drawled. "Don't you have anything better to do than pick on the lower classes?"
The violet in her eyes lit up almost automatically. "Zachy!" She gushed. Serena thought she was going to lose that muffin Rei had presented her with that morning and the others had similar looks of disgusts on her their faces at Beryl's high-pitch shrilling. "Oh my gosh you're back!"
He watched her group follow her overly-enthusiastic antics and replied, deathly slowly,
"How observant of you."
"Mr. Monroe," A silky voice called out. The students that had gathered around to see a potential fight pulled away, letting through a tall man impeccably dressed in a white suit, obviously a teacher. He had severe blue eyes and dead straight white hair that fell at his elbows. "I didn't expect to see you for quite a while."
The blond brushed back several wavy golden strands that had escaped his loose ponytail and the girls noticed that his back stiffened up in attention considerably. He played off a very cool demeanor and replied, almost too-carelessly,
"Good afternoon, Mr. Cartier. As for my return," He smiled forcibly, making it look like a grimace. "Europe wasn't really as fun as being back home." He shrugged stiffly, "I guess you can say that the abroad life just wasn't for me. And I suppose I should apologize for my tardiness, too."
"Hmm," The man called Mr. Cartier mused and began to make his way towards the tall blond. Serena watched the tension in "Zachy"s body amplify. He then waved dismissively. "No need for apologies, Mr. Monroe. First days are very...hectic. Well, yes, I do suppose that, with your," Here the teacher seemed to chuckle. "Lively attitude, it'd be hard not to be bored of the abroad." The man moved about, semi-circling the student, a sly grin playing on his lips.
"Well, I do hope that this year will prove to be more fun than your shortened trip."
People around them winced at the tone of voice the teacher had used. He sounded...eerily all-knowing. Zachary seemed to feel the exact same way and his frowned deepened. Serena noticed this and leaned over to Lita,
"What's going on?"
"Zachary Monroe," Lita hastily whispered. "He has a tendency to have a little too much fun and he crossed over the line last year with one of his infamous pranks." She frowned slightly. "I would've expected him to be long gone by now."
"And that's Mr. Cartier." Rei put in. "He seems to be the only one that wasn't intimidated by Zachary's attitude. Zachary seemed more scared of him if anything. You, me, and the others have English with him next period."
Serena's eyes unexpectedly lit up. "Really?"
Rei shook her head. "Don't be so happy. He's supposed to be really strict."
Serena laughed. "Uncle Arty? Strict?"
Green and violet eyes widened considerably. "Uncle?"
Their sudden outburst attracted the attention of Mr. Cartier's keen ears. He spun in their direction and a smile lit up his face. He turned back to Zachary, azure eyes narrowed dominantly into the offended green eyes of the younger male.
"Well, hurry along now, Mr. Monroe. And I'll be expecting you in my class first thing next period." He grinned maliciously and said with a tone of finality, "Good day, Mr. Monroe."
Zachary looked like he was about to pee in his pants as the Beryl girl suddenly snaked an arm through his and promptly began chattering her head off, her posse trailing behind them. As Lita, Serena, and Rei moved in to place with their friends, they caught Zachary looking over his shoulder at the group, a strange expression on his face.
"That was strange." Mina murmured, watching him leave.
"Indeed." Mr. Cartier piped in. He turned to Ami. "Miss Mizuno, are you alright?"
The blue-haired girl looked surprise at his sincere concern and nodded rapidly, blushing at the attention. Mr. Cartier nodded approvingly then turned his attention to Serena. He smiled and inclined his head slightly. "Usagi. I hope you're adjusting well to the school?"
Serena blushed slightly at the name but nodded, smiling. "Yes, I am, Uncle. And I'm looking forward to seeing you next period."
He smiled just the same. "As am I. But don't think I'm going to go easy on you just because you're family."
Serena giggled as he ruffled her hair. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
The man laughed and nodded his goodbyes to the rest of the group and was on his way. Minako and Ami looked at Serena disbelievingly.
"You're Mr. Cartier's niece?" Ami demanded.
Serena blushed, looking very uncomfortable underneath the girls' scrutinizing looks. "Well, yeah. I'm living with him and my aunt while my older brother is staying over at the dorms of his college."
"I thought you looked familiar." Rei murmured, wondering why she didn't realize that Mr. Cartier had that same platinum-shaded hair like Serena's.
"I had no idea he was that old." Mina commented aloud.
"He's not that old." Serena countered laughingly. "In fact, he's relatively young. Can't say what his real age is though, he'd kill me."
"'Usagi'." Lita repeated thoughtfully. She looked at Serena. "That's what Mr. Cartier called you back there. Is that some type of nickname?"
There was a short wave of silence as something dark flickered in the girl's eyes before she replied, strangely coolly, "Yeah, you could say something like that."
"Well, c'mon then!" Mina called, breaking the moment as easily as it came. "Let's go eat before we meet up with your uncle again."
"Not to pry or anything," Serena began as they all sat down in a grassy area and they brought their lunches out. "But that confrontation back there looked more personal than the usual random bully rounds."
The girls around her smiled a bit. Mina took a sip of her drink before she said,
"You are observant aren't you?" Serena nodded and Mina continued. "Beryl Sinclair's the school bitch." She put out bluntly. "She's got it in especially for us four since we're the only ones that won't stand to follow the orders of her clique clones." For the first time that Serena had met the bubbly girl, Mina looked angry. "Well, not exactly all of us."
"Puh-lease!" Rei exclaimed, dragging out the word. "It's in the past Mina." She said endearingly. "I thought we told you to forget about that."
Mina gave a small smile. "Sorry. It's just that I get reminded of it every time I see or talk to that bitch.
"I was stupid enough to fall into Beryl's social trap last year," Mina explained to Serena. Her frowned eased into a smile as she glanced at the other three girls. "But I figured out who were my real friends just in time and bailed on the bimbo brigade."
"And ever since then, Beryl's been more heinous to us." Rei concluded. She swung an arm around Mina's shoulder. "But it's worth getting occasionally harassed if it means getting our best girl back."
Mina gave a weak and grateful smile at her friend and Serena leaned back and realized that Lita and Ami were smiling lightly at the blond as well. She smiled and leaned back, basking in the sunlight and the glow of what appeared to be a wonderful group of close friends. It was then that something struck her.
"Monroe." She murmured. The other girls suddenly looked at her.
"What'd you say?" Serena glanced over the other girls.
"Well, it's just that you guys said that the blond guy's name was Zachary." She half explained. "Zachary Monroe, right?"
The other girls nodded and Serena noticed that Ami paled (once again). She continued. "Well, it's just that he was supposed to be in my history class last period."
"Well, you already heard your uncle excuse him for his tardiness," Minako said thoughtfully. "And it wouldn't be the first time he's gotten into trouble. Take it from someone who knows. He and my older brother used to hang together a lot." She let out an unladylike snort. "I love Jaden to death but he can be such an ass-"
"Amen!" Rei abruptly interrupted. Mina smirked and continued,
"But having those two together?" She threw her hands up expressively. "Just give up. Neither are worth spending money to try reforming."
The other girls laughed though, once more, Serena noticed that Ami looked very uncomfortable. Her hunch was confirmed as Rei said,
"Hey, Ames. Don't you have the same history class with Serena?"
Ami grimaced but took a bite out of her sandwich before nodding.
"Hey, Ami," Lita began. "What's wrong? You look depressed."
Ami gave a small smile and shook her head. "I'm fine guys, really. I'm just a little stressed out, that's all."
Lita shrugged. "Don't really see what's there to be stressed about on the first day of classes..."
The rest of the lunchtime, the girls made small talk though Serena was still wondering about Ami's strange reaction to Zachary. What she and the others didn't completely comprehend, however, was that the day was only half-done and fourth period English with Artemis Cartier was going to be...interesting.
rewrite posted: Aug 8 2010
chickay: Phew! One down, 22 to go. (dies) Oooh boy! Stay tuned readers. We've got a long way to go.
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