Chapter Three

Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon or Gundam Wing, nor do I own The Phantom of the Opera. No money is being made from this fic. Please do not use this fanfiction without permission.

Long ago

It seems so long ago!

How young and

innocent we were...

She may

not remember

me, but

I remember


Usagi shuddered, glancing around Hiiro-the-phantom's underground lair with apprehension. After she had realized that Hiiro was not a ghost (although he knew everything about her and her friends anyway), she had allowed herself to be dragged back to the school. Hiiro had weaved his way through remarkably engineered passages and trap doors until they emerged in what appeared to be an abandoned basement.

"I didn't know the district built secret passages into their schools," Usagi said conversationally, as it became apparent that Hiiro wasn't paying much attention to her.

"They don't. I installed them myself," Hiiro said simply. Usagi blinked.

"Well… that's…" Usagi stuttered, not knowing exactly what to say. Hiiro Yui was an enigma if she ever saw one. She sighed. "Are you going to explain anything to me?" she asked nervously. Hiiro's eyes darted over to her, sizing her up.

"Sit down," he said flatly. Usagi jumped, and then sat down on the lumpy couch behind her. Hiiro moved away from the monitors he hand been inspecting and stood in front of her, arms crossed over his chest and an impassive expression on his face.

"You understand that this school has been occupied by a militant force?" Hiiro asked. Usagi stared blankly at him.

"You mean, I understand that we've been invaded by gun-toting maniacs?" Hiiro simply blinked.

"These people belong to a politcal faction currently fighting for domination in the UESA. This faction, the Ottana Foundation, must be stopped at all costs. At least one former Gundam Pilot has infiltrated the system, posing as a teacher in order to sabotage it."

"Gundam Pilot?" Usagi asked excitedly. "Like, Wing's pilot?" She had been caught up in the After Colony wars, anxious for the condition of the society she was to someday rule, and her attention was often captured by the heroic actions of the Gundam Pilots. Wing Gundam, in particular, was her favorite; the pilot must have been super-human to withstand the trials she had heard about.

"No. Deathscythe's pilot, Duo Maxwell. Maxwell has taken the name John Maxwell to avoid suspicion," Hiiro said. Usagi nodded, mentally wondering where she had heard the name Duo before. "Tsukino-san, I have enlisted you to help eliminate this faction."


"Why me?" Usagi asked after a moment, shocked. ""Why can't you do it yourself?"

"I'm retired. You're the only person around with the capacity to learn what I must teach you for this task."

"What if I don't want to?" Usagi said, pouting slightly.

"You have no choice, Sailor Moon," Hiiro replied, watching impassively as Usagi winced.

"I…" Usagi bit her lip, wondering how she could worm her way out of this one. "Wouldn't Ami-chan be a better choice? Even Minako! I'm too cowardly, I'm not good at anything…"

"As I said, you have the most capacity to learn." Usagi squirmed, while Hiiro mentally rolled his eyes. In a stroke of genius, Hiiro finally pulled out his ace. "You will be something akin to a Gundam Pilot, Tsukino."

Usagi whipped around to stare at him, blue eyes bright. "Honto ni?"

Duo pulled his motorcycle to a stop by the school as a guard by the front gate stopped him.

"Name and business," the guard said gruffly.

"Ensign John Maxwell," Duo said happily. "Teaching English, math, and science. Can I get through please?" Duo flashed his I.D. and the guard waved him through the gates.

It's like trying to visit Ririna-san, Duo thought ironically. Way more security than necessary.

He checked in at the front office, and directed himself to his new classroom. As he trudged down the halls, he glared blearily at the uniform, clinical layout of the inside of the school. It reminded him of the L2 Colony slums, where he had grown up. Che. Figures. Even on Earth I'm reminded of my past.

Shaking off the rebellious thought, Duo focused his attention at the problem at hand: in particular, how to bring the Ottana Foundation down before he had to teach a bunch of high school students differential calculus (which he was actually quite good at, in spite of constantly playing dumb).

He arrived at his classroom and sized up the door. Was it just him, or did all classroom doors give off auras of impending doom? He discarded this as a question to ponder on a rainy day and burst into the classroom, making the students inside the room flinch.

Well, that was interesting. Perhaps it was the machine guns all the officers carried around that made the teenagers so jumpy. Duo shrugged to himself and grinned at the students, who looked at him as though he was a madman about to pull an uzi on them.

"Hey guys, I'm John Maxwell, your math slash science slash English teacher. I'm replacing what's-his-name… that incompetent guy you had before," Duo said happily. The students were still petrefied. He rolled his eyes, sitting down in his swivel chair and putting his feet up on the desk. "Look, I don't have a gun, and I don't bite. Much. So relax, you're not gonna die in my presence."

The students exchanged uncomfortable glances and relaxed slightly. Duo sighed. At least they didn't have that "deer-in-headlights" look about them anymore.

"Any questions?" Duo prompted. A blonde girl at the back raised her hand tentatively. Duo nodded to her, hiding a frown of concentration. She looked vaguely familiar.

"W-What exactly is going on here?" she asked nervously.

"Well," Duo began, wondering how he could phrase this in case the room was bugged. "The Ottana Foundation, which is a rising faction in the UESA, is working on attaining more political power. This school is a… test, you could say, to see how well the OF would do running the field of politics." The girl nodded slightly, biting her lip. "What's your name, kid?"

"Usagi. Usagi Tsukino."

Duo froze.

Duo sighed, glancing at his fellow seven-year-olds with contempt. They avoided him, as if being an orphan was a terrible disease that they could catch. He hated it, being gossiped about, looked down upon…

The tapping of seven-year-old feet approached him quickly, but Duo ignored it, paying attention only when the hair tie on the end of his braid was snatched away as the owner of said seven-year-old feet continued past him.

Duo yelled in outrage and took off after the annoying child who dare defile the Great Duo's braid. He tackled the kid and pinned him down, his little seven-year-old fists raining down on the other kid in fury.

Strong, adult hands pulled him off of the kid, but Duo still struggled.

"That's enough, orphan!" the Adult admonished, ignoring the tears streaming from Duo's eyes.

"But he—"

"No excuses! Why the Maxwell Church puts up with a villian like you I'll never understand," the Adult interrupted. "Get out of my sight! And you see if I don't talk to Father Maxwell about this, you little demon!" The Adult knelt down to comfort the nose-bleeding seven-year-old, leaving Duo to trudge off on his own, holding his braid in place with his hand.

He made it to the park before breaking down into seven-year-old sobs. It wasn't fair at all! They didn't realize how difficult it was to try to fit in… After six years on the streets, a kid learns to trust only himself. It's impossible to rely on anyone after that — impossible to try to fit in. And the other kids… name-calling didn't seem to cover the constant torment he received at their hands and —

"Are you okay?" Duo looked up into blue eyes. A little girl of about six stood before him, bright blonde hair pulled into twin buns, with little tufts of hair sticking out from them. Duo was mesmerised.

"Yeah, I guess. I've never seen a blonde person before. Are you an angel?" The girl giggled.

"Nope. I'm a Usagi. Usagi Tsukino!" She held out a six-year-old hand for Duo to shake. "I've never seen a boy with a braid before. It's cool!" Duo broke out into a grin and shook Usagi's hand.

"I'm Duo."

"Nice to meet you! You wanna play?" Usagi asked, eyes sparkling with six-year-old innocence.

"Sure!" Duo replied. It was without a doubt the happiest hour of Duo's seven-year-old life, playing white knight and damsel-in-distress with the six-year-old angel named Usagi.

Then, Usagi's scarf flew away, carried by a puff of wind generated by the colony's weather-simulator. She giggled and ran after it, followed by Duo. They rounded a corner in the trees, and watched as the scarf settled in the middle of a pond.

Usagi stopped short and began to cry, her six-year-old-angel-blue-eyes filling with tears as she watched her scarf drift in the middle of the pond, which seemed like an ocean to her six-year-old eyes.

Duo, watched, heartbroken, as his new friend started to sob, as he had been sobbing mere hours ago.

"Don't worry Usagi," he said, putting a seven-year-old hand on his six-year-old angel's shoulder. "I'll get it for you!" Duo rushed over to the pond and waded in, ignoring the darting tadpoles that would have normally captured his seven-year-old attention. Chest-deep in pond water, he triumphantly grabbed Usagi's scarf, and made his way back to shore, where Usagi was watching him with wide and hopeful six-year-old eyes.

He emerged from the pond, a proud grin on his face as he held the scarf out towards Usagi's quivering hands. She took it gently, inspecting in, and then looked back up at Duo.

"Thank you!" she said fervently, pulling Duo into a big hug, even though he was soaking wet and his already half-undone braid had fallen out of it's style. And then, Usagi gave him an innocent, six-year-old-blonde-angel-with-a-scarf kiss on the cheek.

And in AC 197, Duo suddenly realized why the blonde girl looked so familiar.

A/N: Okay, so… no more arguing, Transcendent-chan and I have worked this all out… a BIG misunderstanding, so don't bug her about it, okay:sweatdrop: I myself made a big mistake by misinterpreting her intentions. And now she's my beta, go figure. :sweatdrop again: Ehehe…

Samisweet (:wince: Yeah, well, the chapters are short because I'm trying not to write myself into a corner by putting too much in one chapter… the trick is to always have something else to say.); Flame Ivy Moon; Saris Yui (At first, Usagi will be ditzy and stupid, but only as much as she is in the anime/manga. But remember, she's under Hiiro's wing now, so that's either going to change her or break her.); Hoshiko Megami; LostTenshi (I appreciate your support, but as I've said, Transcendent and I have worked it all out… please don't be mad at her!); Angelight (:teary eyes: I knew there was a reason I loved you :glomp: Yes, it is tedious… And thankfully, over. Duo-kun's personality shining yet?); jojo (Stars has not taken place…At least I don't think it has… XD Anyway, Usagi is not Cosmos, so no maturity for her at the moment.) ; blackrosebunny; serenity77; Vera-Sama; Dark Universe; Kiki Smythe; eternalmoonprincess ( :'D Really? I do so like using those types of endings on chapters. Although, I would hope that readers would want to continue reading anyway. :grin:)

Addressing concerns:

Usagi's ditzyness: Yes, Usagi is a ditz. This is a known fact. No, she will not remain a ditz. Much. She's being trained by Hiiro, for crying out loud! He's going to squish some of the ditzyness out of her, but she will still be the kindhearted klutz we all know and love. Just less of the klutz and way more insightful. (Note: this may take a while to show.)


Gundam Wing: After the Eve Wars. Gundams are destroyed. Preventers in effect, but Hiiro (aka Preventer Zero) is missing, last seen in Tokyo. Duo lives on L2 Colony, Trowa is with the circus but visits Quatre a lot, Quatre lives in his l4 Colony mansion with his Maguanacs, and Wufei spends most of his time working with the Preventers under Lady Une's direction. Ririna Dorlian-Peacecraft is the Vice-Foreign Minister in the UESA, one of the higher-ups. Pilots are seventeen, everyone else's ages are relative.

Sailor Moon: Between Mamoru's departure for Harvard and the first Starseed attack in Stars. Chibi-usa is back in the 30th century. The Starlights have not made an appearance. Inners are 16, outers are aged in relation.

Chapter length: The chapters are short for two reasons: 1) so I don't write myself into a corner. If I always have something left to say, there will always be another chapter. 2) I can get the chapters out more quickly. It takes less time to write if it's shorter.

Ottana Foundation: Ottana is Italian for eighty. Why? Because the leader of the faction is name Dicotto, which is Italian for eighteen. Why? Because Transcendent thinks it's a hot name. XD