A/N: Another of my vignettes. It can be read as a stand-alone or as a partner piece to "Never Been So Bright" (if you want).
Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon. But if I had a Luna P ball like Chibi-Usa, I could make everyone think that I did.
"Dust it, Sailor Moon!"
Sailor Moon whipped off her tiara and hurled it with all her might. A moment later, all that was left to show the youma had ever existed was a pile of gray dust.
Well, that and the excruciatingly painful cut on her leg.
She dropped into a squat on the fire escape to examine the wound. Her hair kept slipping over her shoulder and obscuring her vision; she kept shoving it back over her shoulder so she could see, but to no avail. She let out a little shriek of frustration mingled with pain. That cut burned, and her stupid hair wouldn't MOVE!
She felt a hand pulling her hair back with infinite gentleness, looping it behind her ear. She looked up to see Tuxedo Kamen crouched beside her, holding her hair in place. Her breath caught, all thoughts of the pain in her leg vanishing as she stared at his starlit profile.
His eyes – their color indiscernible behind the mask – were focused on her injury. "They gotcha nasty this time, didn't they?"
She let out a nervous laugh of agreement, then mentally cringed at how high-pitched and breathless she had sounded. Way to make him think you're mature!
These thoughts of mortification were yanked from her mind as his fingers probed the wound, sending forks of fire lancing down her nerves. She gasped and blinked back tears.
"Sorry about that." Tuxedo Kamen's voice was soft, breathy, like the night wind. "It's bruised, too – you're gonna be walking stiffly for a couple of days. You're just lucky it's not your hamstring – you wouldn't be walking for weeks, much less dodging youma."
"That's good. Sailor Senshi don't get sick leave." Sailor Moon forced a weak grin, glancing up at him.
His lips curved, too, sending her stomach into a series of flipflops. She stared at him for a moment, held captive by the perfection of his ebony hair, clear eyes, determined chin…
"Where are your friends?"
She jumped. "F-f-friends?"
His voice held a frown. "Yeah. You know – the others. Mercury and Mars."
"Oh…I didn't want to bother them if it wasn't really important. Am – I mean, Mercury has a huge microbiology final tomorrow, and Mars' grandpa is sick."
"Finals…that's right…" he breathed, eyes hazing. Then they snapped back to her. Could she discern a hint of blue, or was it just her imagination? The man in her dreams had blue eyes… "Don't you have to study, too?"
Sailor Moon laughed sheepishly, rubbing the back of her neck. "I'm not exactly a star student…I wasn't gonna pass anyway."
She shifted on her burning leg, wanting to get home so she could fall asleep and escape the feverish jolts of pain that kept throbbing up from the wound, but at the same time, she was loath to leave this intimate interlude with Tuxedo Kamen. How many times had she ever just stood and talked to him? She could count such instances on one hand – one finger, even.
"I see…" Silence fell again. His gloved hand moved up as though to run through his hair, and ended up knocking off his top hat. The dashing black accessory tumbled to the mesh wire floor of the fire escape, then over the edge and to the floor of the alley. He smiled ruefully, raked a hand through his hair. The gesture was familiar… "Oops. Keep forgetting about that stupid hat."
"I like it. It's dashing."
He flashed her a grin, the first one she had seen on his face, ever. Idly, she thought it was as though with the disappearance of the top hat, a bit of his restrain had vanished as well. This was the first time she'd seen him grin instead of just smile gently, condescendingly. "I don't. It's annoying."
"Yeah, I know how that can be." Sailor Moon tugged self-consciously at the short skirt that just barely skimmed her thighs. "These costumes don't seem to be tailored for efficiency, do they?"
"Not really." He grinned again, his mask falling to a jaunty angle as he tipped his head toward her. Was that his breath that she could feel brushing her lips? "But I like yours better than mine."
Her heart stopped.
A grin clawed at the corners of her mouth. Had he just flirted with her? Man, if this was what happened when she went out and fought youmas without Mars and Mercury, they were never coming with her ever again!
"And I always thought you got the better end of the deal," answered Sailor Moon shyly, reaching up and pushing his mask back to its proper resting place on his nose with a trembling finger. How easy would it have been for her to just rip away the mask and see who he was? His eyes glittered, seeming to sense this path her thoughts were taking, but he made no move to stop her.
She let out an inaudible sigh, and let her hands fall.
Hands wrapped around her wrists, catching her arms before they fell back to her sides. Her heart skipped again; she stared up at him, barely breathing. Yes, she was sure now; she could see flecks of blue in his gaze. And her own reflection, pale and breathless.
"I do. I get to stare at you."
Her lips parted in a gasp, her eyes flying wide open; his lips curved in yet another wonderful grin, and his hands squeezed her wrists. Then he was gone, with a flutter of his cape and a flutter of her heart.
Does it surprise anyone that as Tsukino Bunny drifted into slumber that night, she barely remembered the gash on her leg?
A/N: Ahhhh... I wish I had a guy like Tuxedo Kamen. And Sailor Moon's legs. I would give my whole Cardcaptor Sakura collection to have legs like Sailor Moon's. (sigh)
Anyways – how do you guys like short stories like this? I mean, like this one and like "Never Been So Bright," when there's a tiny, tiny, tiny little bit of Moon/Mask, but not enough to do anything but whet you appetite? Do you find it unsatisfying? I know I would! But I'm trying to think…if I can come up with more like this, I might post a bunch of these little shorts one-shots as one fic. It won't be until after I have four chapters of STC posted, though. But tell me what you think.
EightofSword's quote for the day: "Reviews are like steaks. They should be nice and juicy." Hint, hint!