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A bit of Senshi Sillyness

by Chris Jones

"So insensitive," Michiru complained in a
plaintive, mocking tone.

I smiled, sliding back over to the bed, wiping my
mouth on the sleeve of my short terry robe. "I can't help
it if I get thirsty after sex."

"So like a man," she sniped, turning her nose
playfully up into the air. "You could have stayed in bed
for just a second."

Usually, I wouldn't have even noticed the
statement, but I tend to feel just a *bit* kittenish
after lovemaking. I arched my back slightly, and lifted
one arm into the air. I bent it back behind me,
stretching my rather understated 'talent' to the fullest.

"And what's masculine about this?" I asked in my
most 'girlish' voice.

Michiru giggled and curled up in the satin sheet
draped over our bed.

God, she's sexy. I wish I could spend all day just
like this, staring at her body when it's just barely
concealed like this. I love her so much.... Still,
matters press.

"We probably don't have much more time before
afternoon classes start," I said. "I'd love to skip, but
my grades in calculus are slipping."

Michiru nodded sadly, and sat up in bed, pulling
the sheet along with her. "We should probably also meet
the girls at the temple this afternoon. They deserve to
know about the ghost attack yesterday, even if it wasn't
part of a pattern."

I nodded, careful to keep my feelings from showing
on my face.

As I dressed for class, I got more and more
depressed, thinking about meeting with the girls. It had
been about a year since the fiasco with Galaxia, and in
all that time, Setsuuna, Hotaru or even Usagi never asked
us about why we did... what we did.

It weighs horribly on the both of us. There have
been nights when Michiru stood up screaming in the bed,
reliving the events of that horrible night in her darkest

I look at it a little more pragmatically. We made a
choice that we thought would save the world and were
proven horribly, miserably wrong. It's a bitter pill to
swallow, but we *did* pay for our mistakes with our

Since, both Michiru and I have thrown ourselves
into our school and work to help take the edge off the
pain. We fight the occasional monster when it shows up
and... and...

...And we don't question Usagi's leadership
anymore. No matter how difficult it is for us, we've both
been made to see the truth of the matter. As much
responsibility as Michiru and I have for protecting the
world from invaders, we're just the soldiers. The front
line. Usagi is... The Princess. We are nothing. She is

Michiru, already into her school uniform, took a
second to make sure her light make-up is not *too*
horribly smudged. She turned toward me and cupped my chin
with her slender hand.

"It won't be that hard," she said.

I nodded and finished tying my shoes.

"Aren't you supposed to get that letter today?"

I blinked, not realizing what she was talking about
at first. "Oh.. Oh, *that* letter. It's supposed to
arrive today or tomorrow," I said.

"The post may already have been by today," Michiru
said. "Why don't you check. It will cheer you up!"

Smiling, I finished dressing and strode downstairs
to the front room. I stepped outside and checked the
mail. Sure enough, there was a letter from the Kageko
Institute. My breath caught for a second, but I pushed
the emotions down and did my best to stay calm.

"Back to school?" Michiru asked as she stepped
through the doorway.

Smiling, I flashed the unopened envelope at her and
strode off in the direction of Juuban High.

* * *

Haruka Ten'ou is not my real name. I don't know
*what* it is, but I do know that I was adopted.

As far as I know, I was born overseas to Japanese
parents. There was an accident on the ship that was
bringing them back to Japan when I was a newborn infant,
and they were both killed. Although I have no memory of
the situation, I and only three others survived a fire
that killed over a hundred people that day.

Because of the international fracas the accident
caused, my birth records and proof of my identity were
somehow lost in the overseas mix up. Only a few weeks
after the fire, I had no identity, and no hope of finding
my family's relatives. A foster family, the Ten'ous, took
me in while the search for my real family continued. They
renamed me 'Haruka' and formally adopted me when I was
three years old.

Since, I've looked for records of my real parents
off an on. I've never been *too* concerned about that
fact that I don't seem to have any heritage.

Since the mess last year, however, I've found
myself a little more drawn into the search, if for no
other reason than to occupy my time. I've found myself
drawn into genealogy books and public records. I now know
of at least three other young women in almost exactly the
same situation I'm in.

The Kageko institute is the organization from which
my parents adopted me. They usually deal with abandoned
children, but also see after the welfare of children
whose parents have died. When my parents started asking
about adoption options, the institute never gave any
indication of wether or not they had found my real
parents. They just said that I was 'suitable for

I've often wondered if it was just another clerical
screw-up, or if they actually found my real family and
decided I would be better off with the Ten'ous.
(Secretly, I've also wondered if my father, who is an
investment banker, didn't spread a little dosh around and
grease the right palms to make the adoption happen.)

Once I turned eighteen, I gained the right to find
out for myself. I called the institute, and they promised
to mail me records of their findings to the apartment I
share with Michiru.

* * *

Savoring the nervous rush of anticipation, I waited
until we were actually in class to open the letter.

Michiru sat one seat over and back from me. So we
could chat through class without disturbing the teacher,
I bought a pair of palm-top computers with wireless
messaging features. After the boring calculus teacher
began to drone, I brought out my 'PDA' and turned on the
secure chat program.

S.Neptune: What does it say?

S.Uranus: Hold on. I haven't even opened it yet.

I took a second to work my pencil into the envelope
and tear the flap off. behind the enclosed letter, there
was a yellowed sheet of paper with English text and a
pair of tiny footprints. Breathlessly, I scanned over my
own birth certificate.

S.Neptue: Well?

I blinked for a second, not quite believing what I
was seeing.

S.Uranus: My real name is 'Ariel'????

S.Neptune: You're joking, right?

S.Uranus: No, my birth certificate is labeled
'Ariel Ohkawa'. It's my real name.

I heard a titter of muffled laughter behind me.

The cranky teacher turned around and glared at
Michiru and myself, certain that we were up to our usual
misdeeds. Redfaced, I stared right back at him, silently
daring him to say something.

S.Neptune: I'm sorry I laughed. I certainly wasn't
expecting 'Ariel'.

S.Uranus: It's okay. Neither was I. It says that
my parents' names were Mahito and Akari.

S.Neptune: They sound like beautiful people.

I touched my fingers to the yellowed names,
wondering if the hollow, empty feeling in my chest was
the normal thing to be feeling at such a time. I suddenly
wished I had any memory at all of my biological mother or

What kind of parents would name their kid 'Ariel'?

Turning the certificate face down on my desk so
that I didn't have to look at 'Ariel' any more, I
unfolded the letter and began to read.

It was a bit more painful than I expected to read
about my real parents' deaths. I usually don't cry, not
even at the sappy 'chick-flicks' Michiru likes. This got
me, though. Even a warrior like myself couldn't hold back
all emotion before the onslaught of such a tragedy. I
probably would have cried even if I wasn't the main

The next part of the letter detailed the Ten'ous'
adoption proceedings and what Mom and Dad had to go
through to get me. The last part of the letter contained
what little research they had done on my parents extended
family. It turned out that my mother's maiden name was...

The bottom fell out of my stomach.

"Kaiou," I said out loud.

"Do you have a problem, Miss Ten'ou?" the
instructor demanded, just hoping for a chance to throw me
out of class.

I did him the favor of running out, the letter
clutched in one hand.

A few minutes later, Michiru came running after,
and found me hiding in the girl's bathroom.

"What on earth did--"

I thrust the letter at her, not trusting myself to

She scanned over it, and then re-read, careful to
make sure she understood what had upset me so badly.

"I see," she said. "It's... rather ironic."

"Ironic, hell," I quipped. "More like a Greek

"It could be worse, I suppose," she stated quietly.
"We could actually be sisters... or brother and sister."

I shook my head. According to the letter, my
closest relative was one Mitsuru Kaiou. He was my
mother's brother and lived with his darling wife and
their teenaged daughter, Michiru.

"I don't suppose you or your dad knows any other
Mitsuru Kaious does he?" I asked.

Michiru scanned the letter "Who works as a law
partner with Kurata and Kurata? And has a wife named
Nanako? And has a daughter named Michiru?"

"I'm grasping at straws," I admitted. "So..."

"This doesn't change anything, you know," She told
me. "We were lovers long before either of us were born in
this life. I'd like to think we'd be lovers in the next
life, even if we *were* brother and sister."

"But... geez... Cousins? First cousins?" I asked

"Kissing cousins," Michiru corrected me with a
straight face. "It's not *quite* incest."

"I mean... being openly lesbian can be a drag
sometimes--" I said.

"Shall I play a rimshot for you, *Ariel*?" Michiru
asked. She pulled out her palmtop and hit a button that
made it play a short drum-solo.

I reddened, embarrassed by the accidental pun.

"If you think about it, we now have an excuse for
our closeness that will be accepted by some of our
less... hmm... accepting acquaintances," Michiru said. "I
know that my father is not comfortable with our
relationship. If we emphasize the fact that you're his
long-lost niece, he's going to be a lot more willing to
accept you into the family."

"Yeah, but..."

"No buts," Michiru said, a bitter-sweet smile on
her face. "It's not like we're going to have inbred

"That's true," I admit somberly. "But what about
the people who *do* know we're lovers? We don't make any
secret of it."

"You've never worried about what people thought of
you before," Michiru noted. "Most of the people who
really care about us will understand," she said quietly.
"I know seven or eight of our closest friends who knew us
both in this life and the last. Even if everyone else in
the world rejects us, *they* will not. *She* will
understand our love."

I nodded, secure in the knowledge that if anyone
had a less appropriate relationship than I suddenly found
myself in, it was 22-year-old college boy and our just-
freshly-turned sixteen-year-old Princess.

* * *

Rei hung up the phone in shock.

"What was it, Rei-chan?" Usagi asked as she stared
blankly at her math workbook.

"I'm not sure. I think... I think Haruka-san just
tried to give me a message in code."

"Really?" Ami asked from across the table. "What
kind of code. Morse code? Was there computer encryption
on the line?"

"Well," Rei said, scratching her head in thought.
"First of all, she introduced herself as 'Ariel'."

"Like the Little Mermaid?" Makoto asked, not really
paying attention to her own studying.

Rei shrugged. "She said she was going to her
uncle's house with her cousin," she said. "And she was
laughing the whole time."

"If it was a coded message, 'cousin' could mean
Michiru-san," Ami said. "And 'Uncle' could mean...
perhaps a dark general? There has been a slight upswing
in monster attacks lately. Perhaps a new enemy is
organizing against us."

"Well, she gave me an address," Rei said. "It's in
Minato ward. She told us that we were invited to come to

"The enemy's headquarters!" Usagi said, seeing a
chance to evade her homework. Standing up and sending her
math book flying, she struck a dramatic pose.

"An enemy is attacking?" Luna said, waking from her
cat nap.

"A dark general is holding Setsuuna and Hotaru-chan
hostage and Michiru and Haruka have asked for our help,"
Minako explained in quite her usual manner. "They told us
in a coded message that Ami decoded. It's up to us to
save the day!"

"I'm not certain at all that that's--"

Startled, but ready for her duty, Luna hopped up
onto the short table and cut Ami off.

"Henshin, Minna! Let's hurry before it's too late!"

After five Sailor Suited Senshi determined to fight
for love and justice ran pell-mell out of the Hikawa
temple, Artemis awoke and wondered what the hell was
going on. He would find out somewhat later that evening.

Michiru's father, on the other hand, would never
know what hit him.



They're cousins, you know....

Yes, I know that Haruka's NA dub name is 'Amara'. It just
doesn't sound... *right* for this story. FYI, I beleive
that 'Ariel' is her Deutsch dub-name. Maybe Francais?

* * *

C. Jones