Chocolate Fixes Everything
Disclaimer: As should be painfully obvious, I do not own the characters or situations of Gundam Wing of Sailormoon. I do, however, own this plot and text, and ask you not to plagiarize it or use it without permission.
Warnings: AU, OOC, Usagi-centric, semi-Rei-centric, love-polygons, anti-Mamoru (though there will be very little bashing)
Author's Note: Well, it has certainly been a while since I last sat down to write, and during that time, I have been trying to increase my writing skills, hopefully successfully.
Many of those reading this fic will probably just skip down to the story. I ask you to please restrain yourself from doing so. What I have to say is important.
Though I am writing for your enjoyment, I am also writing for my own. Therefore, please do not ask me to pair up so-and-so with so-and-so. It will simply serve to annoy me and will not sway me whatsoever.
I do not require you to review this story, even though it is encouraging to know that people are reading this. I will not be a coward and balk at the slightest criticism. In fact, I could really use your judgment of my writing skills to help me fix whatever needs to be fixed. Flames, though not encouraged or sincerely appreciated, are tolerable.
In exchange, I will do my best to make this story interesting, enjoyable, and actually finish it.
That said, enjoy.
Perfectly manicured nails tapped a rhythm on the cherry wood desk. The owner of the nails' sapphire eyes that normally held a happy sparkle were currently sparkling with barely concealed fury as the stared at the newsprint before them.
Tsukino-Chiba Usagi calmly folded the newspaper, taking a deep breath and setting it on the desk. She folded her hands in front of her and focused her attention on her secretary, Aino Minako.
"How," she began calmly, making Minako flinch, "did this happen?" Minako made a few attempts at explaining, but was only able to stutter, possibly fearing the infamous wrath of the petite blonde-haired woman who sat at the desk. Usagi sighed, rubbing her temples. She felt a headache coming. "Never mind. I don't want to know. Send in Rei, we need to do some damage control." Minako nodded emphatically, seizing the chance to remove herself from her boss' presence.
Usagi, still massaging her temples, reclined in her desk chair and reached for a drawer. She pulled it open, smiling as her secret stash of chocolate came into view. She removed a chocolate bar from its place and closed the drawer, before peeling the wrapper and foil away and taking a bite. She closed her eyes and let her head rest against the crisp-smelling leather of the chair. She reveled in the warm, sweet taste of the chocolate, letting her troubles melt away as the candy melted in her mouth.
The sensation was ruined— and the troubles returned— when a sharp voice brought Usagi back to reality.
"That stuff will make you fat, you know," Hino Rei said, hands on her hips. Usagi pouted, letting her businesslike demeanor disappear in the presence of her old friend.
"Hidoi, Rei-chan!" she said, sitting up straight in her chair again, uncrossing her legs that she hadn't realized had been crossed. Rei rolled her eyes and took a seat in the visitor's chair on the opposite side of the desk.
"Honestly, you are such a child. Didn't I get rid of your stash?"
"You just got rid of the one hidden in the safe behind that painting by… uh…Monte?"
"That would be 'Monet'. Anyway, what's going on? Minako came rushing into my office babbling about you being on a warpath. You know that isn't good for your image," Rei asked conversationally, flipping her long black hair over her shoulder. Usagi's eyes darkened as she pushed the newspaper on the desk towards her friend. Rei picked it up, took one look at the headline, and slammed the paper back on the desk, amethyst eyes snapping with fury. "This is an outrage! We should sue!"
"On what grounds?" Usagi replied, not fazed by Rei's sudden flare of temper. "You know as well as I do that they are perfectly entitled to—"
"You don't understand! Yui Hiiro… he's one of my ex-boyfriend's best friends!" Usagi raised her eyebrows, eyes widening slightly.
"You mean… Chang Wufei?"
"The egotistical, chauvinistic asshole himself," Rei confirmed, attempting to calm herself slightly by taking a few deep breaths.
"Hey, none of that language in here! Do remember that I employ you," Usagi said, ignoring Rei's biting mutter of 'who ever would have even thought?' "What we need to do is… I don't know…retaliate? Challenge him?"
"No good. Yui might have poor taste in friends"— here Rei gave a snort and glared at nothing in particular— "but he's very skillful and inventive. If he played his cards right, he could put us out of business in no time flat. I'll think of something to reply with and boost our sales, and then I'll call a press conference. Meanwhile, you sit here and start turning those wheels in that head of yours."
Rei rose and began to walk to the door, but Usagi called for her to stop. The next thing Rei knew, something was flying toward her face. She caught it, arms raised, and stared at it.
"Chocolate?" she asked incredulously, raising an eyebrow at Usagi's grinning face.
Yui Hiiro stared emotionlessly down at the front page of the newspaper, and then gave his publicity manager, an American named Duo Maxwell, a long stare.
"You actually got them to print this on the front page?" Hiiro asked, a barely discernable note of skepticism in his voice. Duo smirked.
"I flirted with the editor a bit. Like cake," he said, crossing his ankles and lounging in the plush visitor's chair, he was currently sitting in. Chang Wufei, who was gazing out the window behind Hiiro's desk, snorted.
"Typical Maxwell," he murmured, turning back to the room and leaning against a wall. Duo immaturely stuck out his tongue at the Chinese man, jokingly making a rude gesture involving a certain finger.
"I haven't gotten a chance to read the entire thing yet," said Quatre Winner quietly from the chair next to Duo. "What does it say?"
"Basically that Wing Corp. is setting up business in direct opposition to Luna Inc., owned by the illustrious Mrs. Tsukino-Chiba Usagi," Duo replied, unable to keep a goofy grin off of his face. "It also implies that all of their products are inferior to ours. I had to take the writer out on a date for her to take that angle on it."
"And I'm sure that was a great ignominy for you, Maxwell," Wufei commented.
"Who asked you?" Duo retorted menacingly, though his chuckling ruined the effect.
"Anyway, they're bound to retaliate," Wufei continued, glancing out the window to the building across. The neon sign on the building read "Luna Inc." Wufei smirked.
"How do you know that?" Duo asked, a small frown inching onto his expression.
"I happen to know a certain high-end employee in Luna Inc. Very well, in fact, and if anyone knows the first thing about Hino Rei, it's that she always retaliates."
"Rei-san?" Quatre said, his normally soft features becoming stern. "Wufei, I hope you didn't get this idea just for revenge."
"Doesn't matter. What's done is done, and we will most likely gain from it. For the time being, take five. We'll wait to see what Luna Inc. comes up with, and then we will respond accordingly. Adjourned," Hiiro said. Quatre, Duo, and Wufei nodded simultaneously and slowly made their way out of the room, leaving behind two occupants. Hiiro stood up and turned to the window, staring at the opponents' lair for a few moments before acknowledging the person who had been silent for the entire meeting.
"What do you think, Trowa?" he asked. Trowa Barton, the fifth member of Wing Corp.'s executive team, was silent for a moment, and then, slowly, a small smile spread across his features.
"I think," he said, walking over to the window to gaze at the object of Hiiro's stare, "that we are going to have one interesting year." Without bothering to explain further, he nodded to Hiiro before departing from the room, leaving the CEO to stare at the building across the street, pondering the other's words.
Scarf wrapped cozily around her neck, Usagi walked out of the office building, bidding goodbye to the security guard, a young man named Urawa Ryo, and the head of her finance department, Mizuno Ami, who was talking with him. Her face was set in a contemplative frown, and she was currently munching on her fifth chocolate bar of the day— which, in spite of her adamant denials, did not fix much in this situation. She paused and glared at the building across the street. It was identical to her building in every way, apart from the logo at the top of the building that proclaimed it to be Wing Corp. headquarters. She mentally cursed the sign, which she had been forced to stare at all day as it was directly across her office window.
The frown was wiped off her face when a black BMW convertible drove around the corner and stopped in front of her. "Mamo-chan!" she squealed, vaulting over the door with the grace of a cat. The man at the wheel smiled charmingly and gave Usagi a warm kiss.
"Konbanwa, Usako! How was work?" Chiba Mamoru asked his wife, lowering the sunglasses perched on his nose to reveal steel-blue eyes. Usagi pouted and took another bite of chocolate as Mamoru drove off.
"It was absolutely horrible," she groaned, securing her seatbelt. Mamoru nodded in sympathy.
"I saw the headline. And to set up shop directly across from you? That's harsh," he said. Usagi beamed at him, a grateful look in her eyes.
"I knew you'd understand, Mamo-chan," she cooed, turning the radio on low. Christmas tunes rang out from the speakers. Usagi smiled, heartened by the reminder that her favorite holiday was not far away. Mamoru gave the radio a skeptic look.
"It's only November, and they're already starting that?"
"Don't be such a stick in the mud, Mamo-chan!" Usagi said, poking her tongue out at him.
"Put that away unless you plan on using it," Mamoru chuckled. Usagi sulked, but did so. She then started massaging her temples (a habit she had been developing a lot lately) and leaned back against the beige leather seats. She glanced at Mamoru, who was staring levelly at the road, and smiled.
They soon approached theur house, a relatively large house in the suburbs of Juuban. Usagi smiled, glad to be home.
She and Mamoru had gone house-hunting as soon as their honeymoon ended two years ago. After six months of finding nothing that satisfied their needs, they had begun to get desperate. Luckily, Rei's neighbors, an elderly couple, had moved out of the area, vacating a house that fit Usagi's specifications and Mamoru's taste.
As an added bonus, Rei was just next door, so if Usagi ever wanted to talk, she needn't run up the phone bill or drive halfway across Tokyo.
Mamoru pulled into the driveway, and Usagi let herself in the house while he covered the car with a tarp to keep the elements away. She took a deep breath as she walked through the door, inhaling the pine scent with pleasure. She had demanded Mamoru bring the Christmas decorations down, and had discovered among the boxes of cherished ornaments a long-forgotten pine garland that went over the door.
Sighing blissfully, she entered the kitchen and industriously began making dinner, hoping very much that she would not burn it this time. She had gotten some cooking pointers from her friend Makoto before the chef moved to France, but she was far from an expert, and still had a teenage tendency to drift into a daydream and forget about everything else.
The phone rang. Usagi stared at it, for a moment wondering what it was and why it was making that obnoxious noise. Then she blinked, mentally berating herself for falling into a reverie again. She picked the phone up.
"Moshi-moshi, Tsukino-Chiba residence!" she chirped happily, stirring the spaghetti sauce she was making to go with the angel hair pasta she was serving for dinner.
"Hello? Um, can I speak to Chiba Mamoru-san, please? It's regarding the new program he wrote." It was a woman's voice, average in pitch. Usagi frowned. She knew all of Mamoru's coworkers, didn't she?
"May I ask who's calling?"
"This is Sakamoto Jun. It's rather urgent."
"All— all right, just a second," Usagi said, confused and slightly suspiscious. She shook the suspiscion off, rolling her eyes at the shrewd business woman side of her personality that developed over the years. "Mamo-chan, there's a Sakamoto Jun-san calling, regarding a program you wrote for work."
"I've got the cordless!" he called from the living room. Usagi nodded and set the phone back down on the cradle, before walking to the kitchen island and sitting down on a barstool. A few moments passed, and then Mamoru came into the kitchen, cordless phone in hand. He had a regretful look on his face. Usagi rose, worried.
"Mamo-chan? Daijoubu ka?"
"Hai, daijoubu. They need me at the office to help set up the new system to accommodate my program. It could take anywhere from an hour to all night," he said, looking pained. Usagi nodded slowly, dejected. Mamoru gave a small smile, though it was more like a grimace. "Hey, cheer up, I'll be home by tomorrow evening, at most. Save some of that spaghetti for me?" Usagi nodded, holding back tears. Mamoru grinned and left the room. Usagi heard the front door slam, and the car engine start up a few moments later.
Usagi let the tears falls. This was the third time this week that Mamoru had been called in to work overtime, usually into the next day. He had also forgotten a certain important date: the next day was their second anniversary.
Usagi let the spaghetti sauce burn, that night.
Author's Note: I'm starting to rather like this fic. ^_^ Thanks to Usa-neechan for reading parts through for me. Until next time, all.