A/N: So, you dared me to write a happy story, huh, Meg-san? Well, I can never resist a challenge. Here it is, the first chapter of my happy mini-series, which will have a happy ending. Guaranteed non-depressing, or your money back. (Yeah, I wish I was getting paid for this.) You BETTER enjoy this. Do you know how LONG it took me to come up with a happy premise? Here's a hint: my trash can is FULL.)
Disclaimer: In a past life, I owned Sailor Moon. In fact, I was the Moon Princess. However, this reincarnation round, I was not so fortunate.
Subject to Change
Bunny spun, clenching her fists at the sound of the singsong voice. "How many times have I told you to stop calling me that?" she snapped at the black-haired boy leaning against the wall next to her locker. "Or are you too dumb to count!"
"Ouch, that pierced me deep, Odango." The junior clasped a hand against his chest in mock pain. He smirked, then, and looked at her lazily through one dark blue eye. "Of course, you're the one who's failing Geometry, so…"
"And you're the one who picks on an innocent tenth-grader every day because you have nothing better to do with your life!" Bunny slammed her locker shut and bent to retrieve her backpack. It was bright pink and covered with iron-on rabbit decals, the very epitome of girliness. "Now go crawl into a hole somewhere, jerk, I've got class."
"I know you do, 'cause I've got it with you," Darien drawled, following her as she stomped down the stairs.
She threw him a withering look. "I was trying to forget about that little fact, jerk."
"Well, with your memory, it shouldn't be hard."
"Not as hard as your thick skull!"
"At least I don't have dumplings on my head."
"No, you've just got them inside your head!"
"Again, Odango, I would like to point out that you're the one failing your math class."
"And I would like to point out that you're a jerk!" Bunny shouted, thumping his arm with her fist. "Someday, Shields, I'll be six feet tall and I'll beat you up so bad you won't be able to walk, let alone make fun of defenseless high school girls!"
"Someday in your dreams, Odango. You hit your max height when you were nine, I think." He grinned and leaned over her, emphasizing the near-foot-long difference in their heights.
"ARRRGGHHH!" Bunny screeched deafeningly. "YOOUUUUU!"
Darien laughed as she stomped away into the girls' locker room, her distinctive streams of hair jerking erratically behind her.
"Man, Shields, you really get under her skin," commented a voice from behind him. Darien looked over his shoulder to see Asanuma standing there with his gym bag sung over his shoulder. "She's an angel with anyone else, but put the two of you together, and, well…let's just say it gets kinda hot." He punched Darien on the shoulder. "Why are you always such a jerk to her, man? You got a crush on her or something?"
"I'm not a jerk," Darien protested. "It's just fun to tease her. And I DON'T have a crush on her." I like Sailor Moon.
A sly grin quirked Asanuma's lips. "Sounds like love to me." Then he darted into the locker room before Darien could strangle him.
"Okay, class, quiet down!" bellowed the coach, brandishing his whistle threateningly. " Do you wanna make me use this – Tonaki, get away from that fire extinguisher! And Daikonu, it doesn't take that long to get a drink of water. Haul your rear back over here!"
"But Coach, no water'll come out," protested the wiry youth. "It's like the water's frozen in the pipes or something!"
"Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever." The Coach rolled his eyes. "I can see right through you, Daikonu – and you still have to run the track. Now come on!"
"Aw, Coach…" The boy slunk over, muttering under his breath as he shoved his glasses up on his nose.
"Now that that's settled," rumbled Coach, shooting a pointed glance at Daikonu, "time for role call! Everyone get on your numbers, or I'm giving out zeroes!"
Bunny groaned as she jogged towards her number. Maybe if she was lucky, the Jerkwad would have tripped on a puddle in the locker room and broken his leg – nope. He was right there on his number, looking perfectly healthy as he smirked at her.
She groaned again as she took her place beside him. Her last name just had to come right after his, didn't it? Shields, Tuskino…was it possible for her to legally change her name, she wondered? Or maybe go by "Moon," instead, or "Sailor?"
Coach began to read off his clipboard.
"Onichirun?" (A/N: Bless you!)
Snickers began to rustle through the line of students. Coach looked up with knit eyebrows. "Where do you think you are, Seiko, America? Two laps!"
Seiko groaned. "Aw, Coach…"
"Make it three."
Bunny shot Seiko a sympathetic look. He rolled his eyes back at her, mouthing, "Me and my big mouth." Bunny giggled.
"NOW, Seiko!" Coach bellowed, then turned back to his clipboard and grinned. "Ah, Mr. Shields!" He clapped Darien on the back. Bunny smirked at the discomfited look on the junior's face. "Thought anymore about that proposal of mine?"
"I'm really sorry, Coach, but my answer's the same as last time."
Bunny watched in interest, wondering what they were talking about. When Coach had first said proposal, her first thought had been that he had asked Darien to marry him – which was wrong in so many ways, not the least of which being that no one in their right mind would want to marry that jerk – but she had quickly realized the idiocy of this assumption.
Coach's mustache drooped, but he persisted. "You'd be a great addition to the team, Shield – you've got the height, the build, the speed – "
"I really don't think I can fit basketball into my schedule right now, Coach," Darien declined firmly. "I have too much to do, schoolwork and all – "
"But Shields, think of the scholarship! Surely your parents would agree with me, how about we set up a conference – "
Darien's lips set in a tight line. Something had iced over in his eyes. Bunny reached out for him before she even thought about it – it wasn't until her trembling hand brushed the fabric of his jacket that she realized what she was doing and jerked her hand away as though she'd been burned.
Darien shot her a strange look before opening his mouth. His voice was studiously blank and oddly commanding. "The answer is no, Coach Etoukou, and I don't want to talk about this anymore."
The Coach blinked, taking a step back. Bunny frowned, tilting her head as she stared at Darien
"F-fine." Coach turned away from Darien, lifting his clipboard clumsily and quickly. "Uh – where was I – Tsukino?" His voice was a tense bark.
"Huh – oh!" Bunny exclaimed, startled out of her fervent study of Darien's inscrutable face. "Here!"
The coach grunted at her. "You're coming to Discus tryouts after school on Wednesday, right, Tsukino?"
Bunny blinked. "Uh – yeah, I guess so. If I don't get detention," she added under her breath. And if a youma doesn't show up like it did last Wednesday.
She heard Darien's stifled laugh beside her and turned to glare up at him indignantly, hands planted on her regulation red physical education skort. (A/N: Yes, I said skort. Not skirt.)
"Stop laughing at me!"
"Or you'll do what?" Darien's teeth shone as he laughed. "Trip and fall on top of me? You already do that twice a day anyways."
"Can I help it if you're so fat you take up the whole sidewalk?"
"Now you're calling obese? Yesterday you called me a scrawny mathlete nerd!"
"OOH!" Bunny stomped a foot in impotent rage. Touche, jerk. "Your ego needs to go on a diet, that's for sure."
"Shields! Tsukino!" Bunny and Darien whipped around to see the Coach standing a few feet away, holding his whistle a few inches from his mouth. "Save the lovers' spat for your own time! You're supposed to be doing laps!"
"Lovers' – spat – HIM!" Bunny shrieked, face exploding with red. "NEVER!"
"Ditto that, Odango," said Darien from behind her, folding his arms over his chest. "Like I'd ever go out with someone as blonde as you." Well…maybe Sailor Moon…
"ARRGH!" Bunny whirled around and pounded him on the chest with her small fists. "That's it! Tomorrow, Shields, I'm wearing high heels!"
The color drained from Darien's face. "You wouldn't."
"I would," retorted Bunny smugly.
"Odango, if you – "
"AHEM." Coach cleared his throat with a phlegmy sound and pointed at the tack, where the majority of the P.E. class had already traversed three-quarters of the track. "I'm sure Seiko would enjoy some company – "
"NO!" Darien and Bunny burst out at the same time. Simultaneously, they turned to glare at each other and yelled, "JINX!" Scowls settled on their faces when they realized that they had spoken at the exact same time. They had opened their mouths to try again, but were cut off by Coach thundering, "TWO LAPS! NOW!"
The two teenagers took off like bullets.
"This is all your fault, you know," huffed Bunny as they pounded down the cement. "Now he hates me and I'm gonna fail ANOTHER class!"
"Oh, shut up, Odango," panted Darien, watching her carefully to make sure she didn't pull ahead of him. "You were the one who started it."
"Did not! pant YOU pant were laughing at pant ME!"
"You puff called ME puff fat!"
"Cause you pant are! Listen to you pant you're huffing pant and puffing pant like the big pant bad pant wolf!"
"And you puff aren't!"
"Not as pant much pant as you! pant" (A/N: These asterisks are getting really annoying.)
Darien growled low in his throat and pushed himself to pick up the speed. He'd show that Odango Atama…but to his dismay, Bunny matched his pace easily – of course, all those early-morning sprints to school must have built up her stamina and speed.
"Look!" Bunny forced out in a gasp of breath. "Everyone else gasp is inside already!"
It was true. The track was now deserted except for them; even Seiko had proceeded inside. However, they were now nearing the end of the track.
"So?" Darien panted.
"We're doing gymnastics today!"
"We always do gymnastics in pairs!"
"And everyone else is inside!" Bunny wailed.
"Oh, come on! You're supposed to be the school genius! Why can't you figure this out!" Bunny yanked at her ponytails in distress. "We always work in pairs, but everyone is already inside, while we're still out here!"
"That means…" Darien's eyes widened. "…we have to be partners?"
Bunny's eyes filled with tears. "YEEEEEEES!" she shrieked. "IT'S NOT FAIR! WHY DO I HAVE TO BE PARTNERS WITH THE JERKWAAAAAAAAAAAA
"How come I get stuck with the Blonde Banshee?" Darien implored of the blue sky above them. "Why me? Why me?"
"Tsukino and Shields, over here!" The coach beckoned to them as they unwillingly dragged themselves to the entrance of the gym. The building echoed with the sounds of feet hitting mats. "As anyone with eyes can see, we're doing gymnastics today, and everyone else is already paired up, so you two'll have to be partners. There's a mat in that corner over there. And no kissing!"
Too exhausted from their run, neither Bunny nor Darien had the energy to express their vexation at that last comment. They merely trudged over to the mat and flopped down on it.
"You go first," said Bunny.
"Oh, no, I wouldn't dream of it," replied Darien. "You go."
"No, really, I must insist."
"Chivalry is not yet dead. A gentleman like me always lets ladies go first."
"In that case, be my guest."
There was silence for a moment. Then Darien propped himself up on an elbow and looked at her. "Did you just call me a girl?"
Bunny grinned, thrilled at finally being one-up on the smug upperclassman. "You bet your suspenders I did."
"Please." Darien snorted. "Like I wear suspenders."
Darien glanced at her, suspicious of this easy capitulation.
"After all, girls don't wear suspenders."
Darien groaned, dropping his head down on the mat. He didn't want to move ever again –
"TSUKINO! SHIELDS! GET YOUR LAZY BUMS OFF THE FLOOR!"
"Oh, if I had a sledgehammer right now," Bunny muttered, scrambling hastily to her feet. She shrieked suddenly and fell back down on the mat in an untidy pile of pale limbs and golden hair. "OW!"
"What happened now, Odango?" Darien drawled out in annoyance, nudging her with the tip of his sneaker.
"GET YOUR FEET OFF OF ME, SHIELDS!" Immediately, Bunny was on her feet, glaring at him as if there were no tomorrow. "Geez, you are such a rude, egotistical, pompous – " She broke off in mid-rant under his expectant stare. "Oh, fine." She folded her arms defiantly over her chest. "I stepped on my hair, okay?"
The laughter that erupted from the corner of the gym caught the attention of everyone in the gym, it was so loud. Unfortunately for our two rivals, "everyone" included Coach Etoukou.
"LOVEBIRDS!" He yelled.
That shut Darien up.
"See what you did?" Bunny hissed to the black-haired boy. "He's gonna kill us now!"
"Aw, are you scared, Odango?" Darien's eyes were guilty as he watched Coach stalk towards them, but he could never resist a chance to tease the Odango. Some sort of genetic defect of his, or something. He really needed to get it checked out. It could be a serious disorder…mustteaseodangoatamaitis. "Don't worry, I'll protect you."
Coach was only a few meters away now, and the whole gym was silent, but Bunny jumped up on her tiptoes and whispered in Darien's ear: "High heels, Shields.."
His face paled again.
"Okay, you two," began the Coach, a frighteningly docile smile pasted on his face. Bunny and Darien both backed away a couple of steps, bumping into the wall. "Since you seem so confident of your gymnastic abilities that you don't have to practice them at all, how about giving us a little demonstration, hmm?"
Darien and Bunny exchanged glances.
Bunny knew that after all of Luna's nightmare training sessions, she could do practically any acrobatic routine on Earth – providing she didn't klutz out in the middle – from somersaults to triple flips in midair, but Darien didn't exactly strike her as the type of guy who practiced his handstand every morning.
Darien eyed Bunny reluctantly. They were so dead. After all his midnight escapades as Tuxedo Mask, dodging youma and traversing rooftops, he himself was a formidable gymnast, but Bunny, the city-renowned klutz? She hadn't been christened the "Tsukino Tornado" for nothing. The snickers from the crowd of spectators informed him that the rest of the student population was clearly thinking the same thing. However, she was now nodding at him, jerking her head towards the mat.
Bunny saw the incredulity in Darien's expression and heard the sniggers, and indignation kindled within her. Her eyes flashed and hardened: she would show him. She would show all of them. She wasn't just the ditzy blonde they all thought she was. She was more than that.
"Well?" said Coach, but Bunny had already blurred into motion.
Gasps sounded from all around the room as Bunny executed three perfect backflips consecutively, then launched into a somersault in midair. She landed and flowed immediately into a series of cartwheels that were so seamlessly performed that no one could tell where they stopped and where they began.
The cartwheels melted into a single somersault, and Bunny rose to her feet in front of the Coach and Darien, her cheeks flushed with exertion, and her hair mussed. Belatedly, Bunny realized that her hair could have completely ruined her routine – if it had gotten caught under her hand or tangled in her legs even once, she could easily have become a laughingstock – or worse, a laughingstock with a broken bone.
But she hadn't. And applause shook the gymnasium, mingled with shrill whistles and delighted squeals of "Sugoi!"
Coach was rubbing his hands together. He stepped forward and clapped a meaty paw on Bunny's slender shoulder, not unlike the move he had used on Darien a half hour earlier. "Tsukino! Where have you been hiding your skills all this time? Let me tell you, does the gymnastics team ever have a spot for you! Practices Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays after school, four o'clock – "
Bunny's eyes widened. Oh, no – he was trying to recruit her! She didn't have time for extracurriculars, not between homework and being Sailor Moon. She already didn't have enough time to sleep at night!
"Coach, I can't," she interrupted his extols of her impeccable technique. "I'm really sorry, but I don't have time to be on the gymnastics team."
Coach stared at her in horror from beneath his baseball cap. "But with a form like that, you could be in the 2008 Olympics!" He protested. "Why not!"
"I just – don't have the time," Bunny answered weakly, looking wildly about for escape like a cornered rabbit. It was much to her shock and slight discomfort and relief, also, when an arm slung itself over her shoulders and a voice spoke firmly.
"She said no, Coach. Let her be."
Coach stared from her to Darien, mouth working soundlessly. "Shields and Tsukino…why must you be so cruel?" He dropped to his knees and clasped his hands. "Please, I'm begging you! Both of you! Join my teams!"
"Uhh…" Bunny and Darien sweatdropped.
"AH! SAVED BY THE BELL!" They shouted, and hot-footed off, leaving the Coach behind choking in their dust. When it cleared, he watched their shapes quickly receding in the distance and yelled, "AHHHH! JOIN MY TRACK TEAM!"
"Is he…gone?" Bunny panted, bending over and placing her hands on her knees as she attempted to regain her breath.
"I…think so…" Darien's position mirrored hers. "Man, that guy is scary…I think he's on drugs…"
"Yeah…" Bunny straightened up and glanced up at him tentatively. "Ah – Darien?"
"Um – thanks. For, you know, saving me from the Coach and everything."
"Well, I guess it was the least I could do…after all, he cornered me, too, so I know how scary he is." Darien scratched the back of his head.
"Um, yeah." Bunny cleared her throat, then jutted her chin up. "But don't think that just because you helped me out that this changes anything between us! I still think you're a conceited jerkwad!"
"And you're still a dumpling-headed, noodle-brained little ingrate – "
The two teens froze.
"Uh oh," said Bunny. "that wasn't the…tardy bell….was it?"
They looked at each other. Then sprinted into their respective locker rooms.
"WE'RE GONNA BE SO LAAAAAAATE! JINX! STOP TALKING AT THE SAME TIME AS ME! DOUBLE JINX! ARGH! TRIPLE JINX – STOP DOING THAT! ARGH! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"
A/N: Ah. At last Part One is finally done! (rhyme!) For those of you who didn't pick up on it (I'm not sure if you could or not, I wrote it kind of weird) at the end just there, that was Bunny and Darien both shouting at the same time. They kept saying the same thing as each other and kept getting mad because they'd "jinx!" each other at the same time.
As always, review. Since this is my first cheerful story, I expect juicy ones! (stares around sternly, slapping a yardstick against her palm) What I really need you guys to tell me is if this chapter is funny or not. If all the jokes I try to make are really bad, then I don't want to make them anymore because it'll make me look stupid…uh, do you get what I'm saying?
P.S. Meg-san, I especially want your opinion, since I wouldn't have written this without your insistence. Do you like?