Title: Roses

Author: Lisa

Chapter: Prologue

Rating: G

Website: hometown.aol.com/lisazumstories/myhomepage/index.html

Author's Notes:

Here's another multi-part story I decided to write. It is based on Mamoru's p.o.v. To be fair, I'm going to warn you this is the first time I've tried to write in someone's p.o.v., so if it's horrible, you've been warned. This story covers the episodes about the ball, and the Rainbow Crystals. Warning, this may act like a spoiler fic, so be cautious when reading. I won't use direct quotes, but only use those episodes as a guide. The first few chapters take place in the first season where they-didn't-know-each-others-identity kind, and the last chapter takes place in R season. Hope you will enjoy!

Disclaimers: Sailor Moon and the others don't belong to me, but this story does.

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Roses. Roses everywhere. Sometimes I wonder...wonder what meaning that delicate flower has in my life. I wonder why my alter ego, Tuxedo Kamen, uses them to protect the champion of justice herself, the one and only Sailor Moon. I know they have a meaning in my life, but what? Does the answer lie in my past? The very thought of the past brought a sigh to my lips. My childhood was a blur. I could hardly remember anything from my first eight years. Once in a while, I get glimpses in the forms of dreams. Of the small, sad, helpless little boy I once was. Of the utter loneliness I felt. I recalled all the times when I cried out in my sleep at the orphanage after a dream about my parents. How I missed them... Over the years, the pain lessened. I seldom dreamed of them nowadays, and when I did, it didn't affect me as it once had. More than a decade of living alone can do that to a person, I guess. I was used to the feeling of desolation.

My life is so confusing, like a jigsaw puzzle missing many pieces. That's how I felt...incomplete. A piece of me was missing...only...what? In deep contemplation, I barely acknowledged another sigh as it escaped my lips. I go to my balcony and look down at the empty, deserted streets beneath me. A blast of damp air streams my face and I breathe in deeply. The night was dark and cold, the sky strangely clear of clouds. The stars twinkled like jewels in the heavens. I stare at the moon, shining in all its glory. The pale beams of light warm my being, and I smile, shaking my head in wonder. The moon always manages to calm me down whenever I look at it.

It reminded me of a person...three actually. My dream princess...so mysterious yet captivating. She lived in my dreams only, but I knew she was real. Somehow...I just knew. Her face was always in the shadows, disabling me to see it. Though her features are hidden in a mask of darkness, she was beautiful. The princess's voice is sad, desperate, pleading even as she begs me to bring her the Imperial Silver Crystal. I want nothing more than to grab her small frame and embrace her, to take away her pain every time she appears. She told me that the only way to free her was to get the crystal, yet I knew nothing about the crystal, or how to get it.

Sailor Moon, a little clumsy but strong warrior. She reminds of me of my dream princess. Their hairstyle was alike in every way: long tresses of golden blonde flowed down past their knees, with two meatball-shaped buns twisted atop their heads. The first time I met Sailor Moon, I was instantly attracted to her. She possessed a sense of childlike innocence, a loving heart, and most of all, fierce determination to protect the helpless citizens of Tokyo. She means to me, as a source of internal strength and the determination to continue fighting. Sailor Moon would never give up, even against impossible odds. As long as she was to remain fighting, I would be there, aiding her until the very end.

The third person the moon reminds me of Tsukino Usagi. The name alone brings a smile to my face. Usagi, the bubbly, happy, always cheerful blonde meatball-headed girl, my earth angel. She was undoubtably the most real of the three. Sailor Moon is real, but I hardly see her, except when I save her. Even then, I can only catch a glimpse of her. Usagi, on the other hand, I bump into her every day. We have had our share of insults. Whenever we meet each other, my heart races just seeing her lovely face. My heart screams at me to tell her how I really feel, but I settle for a good round of name-calling, which Usagi almost always had a great comeback to. Her face would turn tomato red in anger, her lips would tremble, and she would shout at how much she hated me, and our constant "meetings." I would smirk and push away the hurt I felt at her words. I would go inside the arcade, where Motoki, my only trusted friend, would have a cup of black coffee waiting for me. Once inside, I would proceed to bang my head on the counter for being such a jerk to Usagi. I would vow to someday tell her how I truly felt.

It was the same routine every day. I soon grew tired of it, and I knew Usagi was too. I had no idea what was stopping me from telling her the truth. Was I scared that she would not return the same feelings? Could I suffer a broken heart at her rejection?

I suddenly felt extremely tired. Probably thinking too much about everything, I thought miserably. I had so much going on in my life these days that thinking about it made me unbelievably weary. I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes, knowing that the princess would come to me again, imploring me to find the crystal. Then I would wake up, drenched in perspiration and gasping for breath. It was worth it, though, to see the princess once again.

Sleep quickly claimed me, and before long, I saw her again. I found myself standing beside a magnificent palace clothed in heavy armor. She was there, hiding behind a pillar in the shadows.

"Princess...let me see you..." She seemed to think about my request for a moment before stepping out. The princess walked toward me and for the first time, I can see her vividly. Even then, her face is hidden away. She seemed so real, dressed in a flowing white dress. She held up a hand, letting the pearl bracelet dangle around her small wrist, as if to touch me. My dream princess quickly drew back the hand, clutching it into a fist before she spoke.

"Tuxedo Kamen..." Her voice was so gentle, like the soft whispering of the wind. "Find the Imperium Silver Crystal...it is the key to everything. Find it quickly. Please..." I had to strain to hear her plea before she disappeared without a trace.

"No, please wait!" I called to her. "What is the crystal? How can I find it?"

There was no answer.

I wake up instantly, breathing deeply. I wondered how much I can take before it would get to be too much. I longed to touch her, to hold her, to take all her fear away. The impossibility of the situation hit me then. She lived in a dreamworld and therefore existed only in my dreams...or does she exist in another world...a world I had no clue to? I laid down on the bed again, and looked up at the white ceiling above me. I felt my eyelids getting heavy as they forced my eyes shut. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep.

The next day, the newspaper revealed something about a ball hosted by a Princess Diamond person. From the article, the princess's family held possession to an ancient gem that had been in her family for generations. She was going to display it at the party tonight. A thought suddenly struck me....could this gem be the crystal, the one my princess wants? It was worth a try, I decided. Anxious to see this gem of hers, it didn't take me long to realize that I needed to get to that party. With a new resolve, I spent the day getting ready.

I arrived at the ball as Tuxedo Kamen, dressed in my signature tuxedo and mask. I was fortunate to learn that it was a mask ball. Going through two strong, well-built guards weren't exactly in my plans, but I had to deal with them to get the crystal. I was secretly making plans to pass the men when I see her. A girl of exquisite beauty; a girl that looked exactly like my princess. Her dress was beautiful, a snowy white in color with red roses adorning her neckline. An umbrella complimented her dress. My mind and heart alike race. Who was she? I follow her, anxious to find out.

I stood in the shadows, trying to get a glance at her. She was standing in the middle of the dance floor without a dance partner. How could such a beautiful angel be without a partner? I bravely walked over to her and asked her to dance. Her eyes light up at my offer, and she gave a heartwarming smile. I shivered at the joy of seeing her smile. We start to dance, oblivious to the world around us. It felt good to have her in my arms. It felt...right. I was drawn to her warmth, the light that radiated from her being. A weird sensation washed over me. Had we danced before this night? No, I thought, we had never met before. Then..why did it feel so familiar? People start to gather around us, but we keep dancing. That is, until screams corrupted the ballroom.

A black feline jumps onto my angel's back, and she excused herself easily, apologizing about something she had to do, much to my dismay. I remembered that I too had a mission to do. To see if the ancient gem the princess had was indeed the crystal I needed.

A scream on the balcony broke into my thoughts. I rushed outside to see what was wrong. Pushing myself through the mass of people watching from the balcony, I registered a girl hanging onto the railing for dear life. The girl...the one I had danced with. A rush of panic strengthened my determination to save her. I caught her hand just in time, but it slipped and she fell down. I could hear her hysterical shrieks as she fell. Not thinking about anything but to save her, I jumped down after her. Her body is suddenly pressed against my own. I breathed in the light fragrance of vanilla, felt the warm touch of her skin. An umbrella appears out of nowhere, and we are both saved.

Seeing her safe and sound, I go trying to seek out the crystal, only to be stopped by Sailor Mercury. I listened with half an ear to her protests. Even she couldn't stop me then. I was determined to fulfill my mission. But the crystal was not the one I sought. I see my angel again. This time, she had a little too much to drink, and looked a little tipsy. Chuckling at her nonsense blabbing, I take her out to the balcony. A soft breeze blew strands of her hair into her eyes, and I tucked them gently under her ear.

"Who are you?" I whispered into her ear, but she didn't answer. Either she didn't hear me, or she refused to respond. Shaking my head, I study her fair face. Under the moonlight, she looked even more radiant than when I first saw her, if possible. Her luscious, sweet lips were slightly open. I stared at her pink lips. They looked so soft, too much for me to resist. Like a hummingbird attracted to pollen, I couldn't resist any longer. Leaning down, my lips meet hers in a gentle caress. That felt feeling of remembrance stirred once more. The kiss felt good, like I had done it before. But that wasn't possible...was it?

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There goes the end to my very short prologue. Hope you've enjoyed. Do you think I should keep writing and finish this story, or stop writing in people's p.o.v.? Since Valentines Day is only a month and some odd days away, I'm now starting on a couple of Valentines Day fics. Chapter 1 will be out soon, and it will be longer, I promise. Please send me all comments and suggestions to LisaZUMstories@aol.com or Lisafics@sailormoon.com.Thanks!

This story written and posted January 2001, edited/revised May 2003.