Fanfic 13—protection

Welcome to my first finished insanity fic. Why is it an insanity fic? I wrote it during finals week. 'Nuff said, I think. That is, if my mind works at all... Enjoy!

Ladymage hopes you will have enough fun to tell her about it. ladymage@mailcity.com please!

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Commercial Break

by Ladymage Samiko ;)

As usual, it was another beautiful day in Juuban. Despite the fact it was January and supposed to be bitterly cold. But who said this was reality? Certainly not the youma. They felt they had as much right to exist as anybody, and if non-reality was what it took, well, then, the world would be plunged into non-reality. I'm not much of a fan of reality myself. In, fact, I have a few choice words for it, which will remain unsaid because this is supposed to be for a wide audience. I'm not taking responsibility for training you in all the things you're not supposed to know. That's what your friends are for.

Anyway, as I was saying, it was a nice day, children were playing in the park, couples were sitting together (it's none of your business what else they were doing!), and the youma were definitely wanting to get in on the action.

Tsukino Usagi was enjoying her day, which was, oddly enough, one of her days off. ("Excuse me." "Yes?" "This is one of your humorous fanfics." "And?" "And you're supposed to call me Serena or Bunny in these." "Oh, yeah. Sorry.") Ahem, Serena Tsukino (haven't they given that girl a last name yet?!) was enjoying her day, etc., etc. Her three friends were on a field trip to Kyoto, which she couldn't go to, since she still had failing grades in two classes. Molly had disappeared, mumbling something about milkshakes. Serena didn't want to press the issue. In spite of how cute the couple was, the thought of being hooked up with Melvin grossed her out. So she was enjoying herself with an ice cream cone and watching all the people walk by.

She had arrived at Tokyo Tower before anything happened. And, what do you know, she ran into someone hard enough to lose her ice cream all down that person's shirt front. I think we all know who it was.

"Odango!" he cried. When she looked at him quizzically, he cleared his throat. "Sorry. Meatball Head!"

"Darien! What in the he-- er-- heck are you doing here?!" The loss of her ice cream was making Serena somewhat cranky.

"This is my day off, Meatball Brains. What do you _think_ I'm doing here?" My, what a coincidence. The two having a day off at the same time and running into each other. I wonder how that could have happened? He scrubbed futilely at the damp patch on his shirt. Mentally, he was saying: "Da--rn. Da--rn. Da--rn." You get the idea. The fact that his thought patterns were being edited didn't help his mood, either. Do you have any idea how irritating it is to have to stop all of your swearing and edit it for the American public? Especially when you know that all of the kids know those words anyway?

Darien toyed with the idea of just taking his shirt off, just to irritate those da--rned censors. (See, they did it again! Grr. . . ) Besides, walking around in a damp, sticky shirt was not his idea of fun. But he knew that he would be stopped if he tried. So he just stood there, praying they would be nice enough to remove the stain when the day was over. Chocolate ice cream is not the easiest thing to wash out of clothes. In the meantime, Serena had started talking.

"I don't suppose I'd be lucky enough for that," she thought aloud.

"Lucky enough for what?" Darien asked suspiciously.

"Lucky enough for you to be here to throw yourself off the top of the Tower."

"Nope, sorry, Meatball Head. But I can throw you off if you want," he offered, hope shining in his voice.

"No, thanks. My week hasn't been that bad. But it's probably a good thing you don't want to jump. Think of what an awful mess you'd make. I'd feel sorry for the guy who had to clean you off the pavement."

"Could be worse, Meatball Head. He could have to clean _you_ off the pavement. With all those sweets you eat, you'd probably stick."

Realizing what adult situations' they had just let slip past them, the censors returned the argument to the usual babbling about shoes, tests, and general, overall jerkiness. Feel free to insert any inane (idiotic) dialogue here. Because I won't.

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By the time they finished their argument, the afternoon was well advanced. The youma were tired of waiting for their invitation to join the party, so, with a little urging from Zoisite (female), they began to rampage around in the nearby Shiba Park. Serena realised with a sinking feeling that she would have to fight the monsters alone (i.e. with Tuxedo Mask). Even the powers of the animators, non-reality, and the Sailor Scouts combined couldn't get them from Kyoto to Shibakouen in five seconds. It would be absurd.

However absurd it was, the Scouts still made it to the park before Sailor Moon. They exchanged the usual comments about Sailor Moon being late and proceeded to fight the youma in the usual fashion. The Scouts threw about their attacks one by one, either missing the youma entirely, or barely phasing it. Honestly, it thought, I made such an effort to bring non-reality here; I deserve my five minutes of screen time. How can the author object? Especially when it's such a handy plot device?

Since the author has noticed that the Scouts' presence is, as she said before, absurd, and they aren't doing anything except extend the youma's life-span, she has taken the liberty of removing them back to Kyoto, where they will wring their hands and worry that they can't make it back to Tokyo in time, being hundreds of miles away. (Wow, that sentence had 59 words in it. Count em for yourself!) So we are now left with a slightly puzzled Sailor Moon, a just as confused youma, and a Tuxedo Mask who's waiting to make a dramatic entrance.

It was about thirty-two seconds before the youma was able to maneuver Sailor Moon into a position that was sufficiently life-threatening for Tuxedo Mask. Down flew the red rose, and there was a crescendo of music.

"The simple pleasures of a walk in the park and sitting on a bench with a friend in the afternoon are among the greatest--" His speech, as he got a glimpse of a pair of "friends" who weren't exactly "sitting" on a bench, was choked for a second, but he managed to recover. "--are among the greatest pleasures in the world," he continued. As the youma glanced in the direction of Tuxedo Mask's gaze, it started guffawing heartily. Fortunately, since it was a youma, it couldn't really talk, and so it couldn't make any smart-mouth comments. Tuxedo Mask was relieved and finished his speech so rapidly, no one really knew what he said. It is safe to assume it was suitably corny/heroic. (Don't ask.)

Unfortunately, Tuxedo Mask was still rather embarassed, and desparately trying to avoid seeing what was going on two benches down. Therefore, he wasn't watching where he was going. He ended up off-balance on a metal fence, doing an odd hop to the ground, landing on the side of his foot, which wrenched it badly, and hitting his head on a nearby stone sculpture. Even more embarrassed and irritated, he managed to get several swear words out before they could be edited and before he blacked out. Both Sailor Moon and the youma stood there for several moments, blinking in surprise at the remarkable vocabulary the hero had just displayed.

Since Sailor Moon _was_ a teenager, she was able to recover first. Giving the fallen hero a silent ovation for his success in avoiding the censors, she took her tiara and moon wand and dusted' the youma. The youma disintigrated with quite a bit of grumbling. Sailor Moon thought she heard it say something about its contract.' Shrugging, she ran to where Tuxedo Mask still lay, unmoving.

She shook him, trying to wake him up, not realising (or maybe she did) that moving a man's head when he's just whacked it is not the best idea. His eyes (not that she could really see them) fluttered open, and he whispered something.

"What? What did you say?" Sailor Moon cried, leaning her ear closer to his lips. She could then clearly hear what he had to say:

"Mommy, why is Daddy wearing that awful yellow and purple shirt?"

Then he fainted again.

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Ten minutes later, he still hadn't moved and Sailor Moon was trying to figure out what she should do. He was still breathing, which was a good sign, but he was still unconscious, which was a bad sign. She knew he wasn't about to die, because having a superhero die because he tripped is just stupid. Not that that would stop anyone (especially me) but it is, in general, against the rules of romantic sub-plots. A hero can only die in some spectacular fashion, usually with much fanfare and at least two boxes of tissues for the audience. Besides, Tuxedo Kamen hadn't even gotten his B.A. (Bachelor of Angst) yet. For a bishounen, this is required before they can even _think_ of having their dramatic death or near-death scene. But that's enough lecturing for now. For more information, please e-mail ladymage@mailcity.com for a full paper on "Advice to Young Bishounen on Their Duties and Conduct in Life (and Afterlife)."

Well, Sailor Moon decided, she couldn't take him to his home, because she didn't know where it was. She couldn't leave him here because he could be unmasked by the Negaverse or the numurous media people that were gathering like the vultures they were. That would be a bad thing. That left, to her mind, only one option. Sighing, she threw the caped hero over her shoulder and began to stagger away.

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Despite how close her house was to the park, it still took Sailor Moon over half an hour to drag Tuxedo Mask from the park to her bedroom. (You try carrying a six-foot-something guy for a couple of miles!) Oh, and she did have to drag him a bit; her back felt like it was going to break. On the way, the two received a number of stares, almost as many shrugs, and several cheers from the young female population, who would have liked to drag their own personal bishounen home. (*innocent stare*) And, yes, Tuxedo Mask was unconcious the entire time. I don't know how or why, but it makes things easier on everyone. Including this twisted plot line.

Sailor Moon reached her neighborhood and stood, panting. She checked the sleeping hero to make sure he was still out like a light. He was. Glancing at the crowd of curious people, then at the hero, then back, she wondered how in the he--ck she was supposed to get him into her house without anyone noticing. Hmm. . . The author's wondering, too. . .

Sighing, Sailor Moon tugged her Moon Wand out of wherever she keeps that thing and began to chant. "Moon Healing Escalation!"

There was a bright flash of light before everything returned to normal and the bunch of people looked confused. Since they didn't need healing (presumably), nothing had happened. (Or, at least, we don't _think_ anything happened. With all that radiation, though . . .) Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask had disappeared.

Reaching her house (and puffing like a thirty-pack-a-day smoker), Sailor Moon looked at the balcony of her room, the front door, and Tuxedo Mask. Since she could imagine her father's reaction to the prone hero, even with the censors on the lookout, she grabbed Tuxedo Mask by the ankles. Using some of the strength that one would think she would get from being a Sailor Scout, she gave a one, two, three and hurled. . .

Okay, even I realise how ridiculous this is getting. Kids, this is what college finals do to a person's brain. Run while you still can. So we're going to have a slight change in plan. Instead of tossing Tuxedo Mask up to her balcony, she hid him in the bushes, transformed back into Serena Tsukino, and went into her house like a normal human being. She then went to the garage and opened the door. Keeping a close eye out for neighbors or inconvenient parents, she dragged the unconcious Cape Boy into the garage, closed the door, then managed to smuggle him upstairs without anyone getting too curious. Of course, if you prefer to have her throwing Tuxedo Mask around like a sack of potatoes, you're welcome to use that version of the story.

In any case, we somehow managed to get Serena, Tuxedo Mask, and Luna into Serena's bedroom with Tuxedo Mask on the bed (yes, please!), Serena kneeling beside him, and Luna prowling all over the place spouting advice at a mile a minute. Not that Serena was paying any attention. She was busy trying to figure out how in the world to get Tuxedo Mask's mask off.

Of course, it might have helped if she could figure out how it stayed on. It didn't have any strings or anything like that, yet no matter how hard she pulled, the damned thing wouldn't come off. Serena tried everything she could think of short of hurling her tiara at it. And since that might have damaged the rest of his face, she decided (but only after Luna pointed this out) that it wouldn't be a good idea. A good idea, Luna told her, would be to take the superhero down to Central Control and get him hooked up to a few brain pumping machines. Who knew what they could learn from him?

Serena told Luna flat-out that if she wanted to get Tuxedo Mask to Crown Arcade, she would jolly well have to do it herself. Even if this _was_ non-reality, she was exhausted and she'd be darned if she would drag him around again. Luna made what she thought was a witty comment about darned socks and was booted out the window. Serves her right for making such a bad joke. Grumbling just loud enough to be heard five centimeters away, Luna stalked off to the arcade. Maybe she could figure out how to hook those machines up to the internet and spend her afternoons looking at something interesting for once. (FYI, she succeeded and spent the next week at the arcade, stopping only once in a while for food and bathroom breaks. Eventually, Andrew had to call the pound, where Luna was dragged kicking and screaming. She was rescued just in time by Serena's mother, who was the only one who noticed that the cat was gone. In any case, consider Luna occupied for the rest of the story.)

Meanwhile, back in Serena's room, Tuxedo Mask was just beginning to wake up. Sailor Moon was delighted and remembered, just in time, to lock both her door and her window.

Why do I say just in time? Because as soon as Tuxedo Mask was barely conscious, he caught a glimpse of the blonde figure leaning over him. As quick as a panther, the man leapt up several feet from the bed and retreated to a corner, staring wildly.

"Your Majesty, I swear, I never touched her. You know I have only the deepest respect for your daughter. I would never insult the princess by even suggesting. . ." he babbled. He became even better acquainted with the wall as Sailor Moon stared at him slack-jawed. Suddenly, his eyebrows came together in a frown, he blinked, and said,

"Sailor Moon? What are you doing here?"

Sailor Moon facevaulted.

Tuxedo Mask rushed over to pick her up, able to do something useful for once without a rose in his hand. "You know," he said conversationally, "you really ought to be more careful. The way you fall over your own two feet, one would start confusing you for Serena! And wouldn't that . . . just . . . be . . ." His voice died as he caught a glimpse of the cluttered desk.

"Tell me," he squeaked, reverting to one of his higher pitched dub voices, "do you live here?" The caped hero eyed Sailor Moon apprehensively.

As innocent as a youma is short-lived, Sailor Moon answered, "Sure. Why?"

"Suh-- Suh-- Suh--" was all Tuxedo Mask was able to get out before he ended up in a heap on the plush pink carpeting.

Sailor Moon blinked at him from her 4' 8'' vantage point. "Don't you _dare_ think I'm going to drag you somewhere else now," she declared darkly.

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"Ow" was Tuxedo Mask's first word the second time he awoke, now finding himself facing a field of pink.

"It's about time you woke up," came a very annoyed voice from somewhere behind him.

"Aw, bugger off, Serena," he answered, the term making it past the censors because it's British English. Once more, as consciousness thwacked him in the face, our masked hero shot up. "Serena!" Slowly, he turned to face the still sailor-suited heroine. ("What can I say? The thing actually _is_ comfortable." SM) Tux's thoughts?

She really is Serena; I can't believe it.

The girl was startled. "How do you know I'm Serena?" she demanded. Mutely, Tuxedo pointed to her cluttered desk. On top was a homework paper neatly labeled: Serena Tsukino.

"Drat it," she muttered. "The one time the writers actually let me fit in some homework time. What a stinky way to be found out."

"Hey," offered Tuxedo Mask, "Would you rather have my part? I'm going to get my mask blown off with a bunch of petals after I've been stabbed in the back."

*sweatdrop* "Uh, no thanks." Returning to the essentials, she asked, "How do you get that da--rned thing off, anyway? I couldn't budge it."

He shrugged, his cape rippling behind him. "Ask them." He pointed to the script writers, who were watching everything from behind the mirror. The fanfic author was ignored since she was peeking in the window.

"Don't look at us!" they cried in Japanese. "Ask _her_! She's the one who's writing this one!" Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask turned to the peeping fanfic writer, who waved nervously.

"Okay," Sailor Moon demanded, "How do I get his mask off?"

The author took some time to answer this, pondering the non-limits of non-reality and her own hentai imagination as she climbed in the window. (It _was_ locked, but, eh, she's the author after all.)

"Well," she commented. "This is a family fic as well as an American-edited dub, so any 'interesting' methods will have to wait until we're all off camera. My suggestion, dear, is to take this and blow them straight at him." Tuxedo Mask watched the pair dubiously as the author handed the super heroine a handful of something. Sailor Moon looked dubiously at what she now held.

"Shouldn't it be more dramatic? Like a storm wind or something? With some effectual lightning?"

"Not unless you want Lita around after the story's over. I ain't bringin' her here unless she stays here for the rest of it."

Sailor Moon glanced at the author, the hero, and then her handful. She glanced back at the author, who gave a small jerk of her head and lifted her eyebrow. Sailor Moon looked at what the author had nodded her head at.

"Got it," she said firmly and, before anyone else could move (except for the author, who high-tailed it out of there) opened her palm and blew a fistful of sakura petals into the masked face. And, lo and behold, the mask blew off, leaving a somewhat red-faced Darien in its wake.

"Darien?" the girl squeaked. He nodded. "Darien?" she squeaked again. He looked at her. "Yes," he said.

"DARIEN?" she squeaked a third time.

"YES, IT'S ME! FOR PITY'S SAKE, SERENA! YES, I, DARIEN SHIELDS, AM TUXEDO MASK! GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?" he roared.

"Nope!" answered Sailor Moon gleefully, and glomped him. Tux's ankle gave out and he landed on the floor, Sailor Moon about a foot away from him. Sailor Moon rubbed her rear, muttered "Ow," and glomped him again.

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We now return to our regularly scheduled reality. Please ignore the cheering of the screenwriters.

Owari ;)