July 2004

Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor moon and am making no money off this... etc. etc. etc.

Author's Note: I had this idea hit me for a scene and can't use it anywhere, so it's a one shot Minako viggie. Hope you like it!

Of Gossip and Heroines

by JadeMax

She moved into the room with a swish of her hips, the full gown whispering softly across the polished wooden floors. Her corset was tight, accenting her waist, even as the lace about her shoulders brought out the creamy tone of her skin. The peach gown was in fashion, as was the white and red lace bow holding back blonde hair which fell to her waist straight down her back.

Aino Minako curtsied to the lady of the house as she entered the room. "Thank you for your invitation, Lady Gushim."

"Come in, my dear. I couldn't have tea with friends without having my niece over, could I? Sit sit, there will be no sutiors to bother you today!"

The ladies in the room tittered, and Minako smiled. "Thank you Aunty. I look forward to the reprieve."

Minako was introduced to the ladies around the room, most of which she knew, and most of which were married. She took a seat with the youngest of the two, friends she'd only known for a short period of time.

"Anna, Lucy." she greated both young women.

Lucy was a diminutive brunette who was entertaining the fancy of the local lord, or so the rumors went. "Mina! I'm so glad you could come. I was afraid that dreadful business last night might have kept you away."

"Dreadful business? Are you calling Drake Ash's party deadful?"

Lucy laughed pretilly, "My goodness no!"

Anna, who was slightly taller, about average height, with a shock of red hair and freckles she tried despretly to hide, echoed the laugh. "Drake Ash dreadful?" The green eyes fairly danced, "Mina, you know Lucy is trying her best to catch his eye, why ever would she call him dreadful?"

Minako unfolded her fan and snapped it open. "Then whatever are you two talking about?"

Lucy and Anna shared a look. Lucy finally looked back to Mina. "Why, Anna'a abduction attempt that was foiled by that strangely dressed harlot of course!"

"Harlot?" Minako blinked. "What harlot?"

"You didn't see Aaron try to steal Anna away?"

"I heard a cry, but I didn't see what was happening. Anna, are you alright, lovely?"

Anna waved it away. "I'm perfectly fine. I just wish my rescuer could have been Ashton Mansto instead of that fallen woman!"

"I'm lost." Minako looked from one to the other, wondering if Anna had been abducted a second time that night. She'd managed to foil the first attempt by Aaron Mason, only barely, by changing into Sailor V.

Unknown to her, Minako's alter ego of Sailor V, had been activated by accident. Yet she was doing her best to help protect the naieve and innocent women she happened to know from arrogant and lustful men.

Anna shook her head. "I don't see how you're lost, Mina. Aaron grabbed me, right in the middle of the dance floor, and presumed to carry me off!"

Mina swallowed a grimace, putting on instead a mask of appaled surprise. "He didn't!"

"He did!" Anna nodded to emphasize the point. "I thought I was going to be ruined in society's eyes as he dragged me towards the garden. Can you imagine the gall? I was so shocked I couldn't find my voice until we were on the terrace and by then I believed I was ruined! Alone with a man - without an escort!"

Minako patted her friend's hand. "It's not your fault, Anna. Aaron is a dispicable excuse for a man. I can't believe you agreed to dance with him in the first place."

Anna pouted. "He's very rich. But anyway..."

Minako listened to her friend tell her side of the tale, wanting to correct her when she stated Aaron went unchallenged. Minako had seen the whole thing. From Aaron grabbing her friend, to their struggle across the floor, with Anna pleading for him not to follow through. Finally their exit to the balcony, where Anna had screamed. Something inside of her had snapped and she'd darted to a secluded corner, turning into a heroine for the first time, using transformation words she'd never heard.

Sailor V had arrived just in time to foil Aaron's lustful advances and kick him clear across the yard. She'd never felt so powerful in her life, so righteous, knowing what she was doing had been right.

Yet here Anna was, telling a story of being victimized and brutalized not only by Aaron's advances, but by the sudden appearance of her rescuer!

Lucy patted Mina's knee. "I know you didn't see it, Mina, but you should have. This woman appeared out of no where and told Aaron she wouldn't stand to have innocent woman violated. I couldn't believe it! This... you should have seen her!" Lucy opened her own fan and began to quickly fan herself. "She was showing her... her ankles!"

"Her ankles?" Mina fought to cover a laugh. Their society's rules made for some funny rules. Her urge to laugh died at Anna's next words.

"Not just her ankles," Anna covered her mouth, agast, "but her knees too! I've never been more humiliated! I mean, at least my rescuer could have had the decency to be properly dressed - and male!"

Lucy nodded once. "I know what you mean! To be rescued by a woman, a -fallen- woman, has got to be one of the biggest insults!"

Anna's skin went red as she bowed her head. "I almost wish Aaron had been left to do what he wanted. At least I'd still have my pride!"

Minako couldn't help it; she laughed.

Lucy and Anna turned to look at her, Lucy turning indignant. "How is this funny? Do you realize that could have been you? Some harlot could have saved you and ruined your credibility? She called herself Sailor V, I mean, that's like being Madame Vitrueless!"

Minako covered her face with her fan, her eyes dancing. "At least I'd still have my virture and a chance at a good marriage. I'd be thankful to Sailor V for sparing her from becoming an outcast in society. Who knows, maybe this... harlot really wants to be accepted and not let other young women face her fate."

Lucy shook her head. "You read too much Mina."

"What else was she dressed in?"

"What else?" Anna fairly snapped the words. "She worse a mask across her face like some kind of preformer. Her skirt couldn't have passed her backside and her top... at least that was semi presentable. But her shoes proclaimed harlot with straps across the top of the ankle and everything!"

"Poor Anna." Mina patted her friend on the shoulder. "You've been traumatized by such an indecent person. Come, let's go out, the three of us, and go shopping. Perhaps that will calm your nerves."

Anna and Lucy were quick to comply and Mina said her goodbyes to her Aunt, idly noting that Sailor V hadn't been just the talk between Anna and Lucy but among the older women as well. She hid a smile.

Well, everyone seemed to think her alter-ego was a harlot and fallen woman. If nothing else, she'd just found the perfect disguise.

Shaking her head, she collected her shawl and parasol, along with one of her aunt's friends for a chaperone for herself and her friends, before calling the carriage. This was going to be one wild season.

Fin

Author's note: Don't ask me why that came to mind, I just had to write it. Hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a semi-funny topic. As I'm currently writing another, longer fic, if I get inspired, I might turn this one into a Minako centered fic and explain the rest. We'll see.

Please let me know what you think! or just leave a review!

JadeMax