The Professional
Alicia Blade

July 2005:

I'm SO EXCITED to be posting this! This is the story that started it all. I was just pacing in my room one day, minding my own business, when this idea came to me, and it completely took over my free time. For almost a week I couldn't stop writing! And here, almost a year later, I'm finally posting it. So I really, really hope you like it. Reviews and criticism are always welcome. I hope those who have been requesting it find it worth the wait!

It won't seem like it at first, but this is a first season Usa/Mamo.

As I know the question will arise, the answer is No, Emily is not me. She is, however, the embodiment of many of my closest author and moonie friends. My hope is that you'll even see a piece of yourself in her. (Also, I checked for a Sailor Ems and couldn't find one, so I hope I haven't stolen anyone's penname. Apologies if I have.)

An insanely huge thank you to Stormlight for pointing out typos and clichés.

Disclaimer: Emily and the plot belong to me. The rest does not.

Dedicated to all Sailormoon fanfiction authors, especially those with a knack for playing matchmaker with history's most difficult couple. You inspire me.


Chapter One: The Matchmaker

"Ladies, we have a problem," Sailorpluto said, setting a glass jar full of gray dust onto the table.

Haruka, stopping mid-darts game; Michiru, holding a book of music; and adolescent Hotaru, immersed in a game of solitaire, each looked up at Pluto's very serious face, then down at the unadorned jar.

"And what's that?" Hotaru asked disinterestedly, laying down a five of diamonds.

"That is the remains of Queen Beryl."

Haruka cocked an eyebrow as Michiru leaned forward to analyze the ashes, tapping the jar. "Okay, I'll take the bait. Why, exactly, do you have the remains of Queen Beryl in a jar?"

"And why is that such a problem?" Haruka added, throwing a dart.

Pluto sighed. Setting aside her staff and morphing quickly into civilian clothes, she sat down at the table. "Because she wasn't killed by Sailormoon."

Haruka laughed. "What do you mean she wasn't killed by Sailormoon? Of course she was."

Setsuna shook her head. "No, she was supposed to be. In the regular flow of time she would have been, by Sailormoon and the Imperial Crystal. But things didn't work out that way."

"Then who killed her?"

"General Nephlite."

"The redhead with the little girlfriend? You're kidding."

"No. I can't really explain it. His feelings for Usagi's friend, Naru, developed much faster than they should have. These new emotions somehow opened his memories, and he began to recall bits and pieces of the Silver Millennium and his loyalty to Prince Endymion. After that, he tried to refresh the memories of the other Generals, Malachite and Zoicite, but when they refused to listen to him, he killed them off and finally killed Beryl, as well. In her sleep, else he wouldn't have stood a chance against her powers. She never suspected his betrayal."

"So where is he now?"

"In Hawaii. With Naru. Probably eating chocolate parfait."

Michiru laughed. "I always thought they made a cute couple. Strange, but cute."

"So, let me get this straight," Haruka said, landing a dart in the second ring of the board, "a previous enemy turns into a good guy and kills one of our stronger enemy-bosses, letting Sailormoon and the Inners off the hook, then takes some girl on a romantic vacation?" Setsuna nodded.

"I see. And this is all bad because . . . ?"

Sighing, the Senshi of Time pulled the jar of ashes closer to her. "Ladies, how many enemies have the Senshi fought since the defeat of Queen Beryl?"

The girls traded glances, then shrugged. "A lot," declared Haruka.

"And what is the one weapon that has time and time again led to their demise and our victory?"

The girls were silent for a moment, before Hotaru finally piped up, "The Imperial Crystal."

"Yes, and how did we reclaim the Imperial Crystal?"

"When all seven Rainbow Crystals were collected and Sailormoon thought that Tuxedo Kamen was dying, the power of her love combined with the crystals formed into it," said Michiru.

"Yes. You see, if the other seven crystals aren't collected and, more importantly, if Sailormoon doesn't fall in love with Tuxedo Kamen—in all his many forms—we will never find the Imperial Crystal again, and there's no way we will be able to defeat all of the evils of the Negaverse. It will be the destruction of the whole world."

"Dramatic," Haruka mumbled, gathering her darts from the board.

"So, what can we do? Is there any way we can set back time and keep Nephlite from turning against Beryl so early?"

"I'm afraid not. What's done is done. I can't believe I let this all slip through my grasp."

"Really. How did this all slip through your grasp, anyway?"

"I wasn't watching as closely as I should have been. I should have recognized the turn Nephlite's thoughts and feelings were taking, but I was blind to them, so focused on how the Inners were coming along in training and camaraderie. But that's no excuse. I should have left that all up to Luna, but it's too late now."

"Then what? There must be some other way we can get that crystal."

"Yes, but I'm afraid it's going to be difficult."


"First of all, we need to travel into the past and find the seven Rainbow Crystals. That'll be the easy part."

"Then what?"

"Then . . . we need to make Usagi and Mamoru fall in love."

The other girls exchanged glances.

"But, Setsuna, they're already in love," Haruka pointed out.

"They're soul mates. They're more in love than any couple I've ever known. What could be so hard about that?" Michiru added.

"You say that," Setsuna said with a sarcastic smile, grabbing her time staff, "because you didn't know them before they were a couple." Standing, she drew a circle in the air with her staff, creating a whirlpool that slowly shifted into a shimmering image.


A tall, handsome, black-haired man stood glaring down on a much shorter, pretty blonde with two buns and pig tails atop her head. They were both glaring cruelly at each other, the man with his arms folded over his chest, the girl with both hands on her hips as her face turned steadily pinker.

"It isn't my fault we can't be in the same room without you throwing something at me," the man said.

"Well it isn't MY fault that your head is so big it makes for such an easy target!" the girl spat.

"And it isn't my fault that your brain is so small you can't tell the difference between a human being and a trash can!"

"Human being? More like creature from the blue lagoon!"

"It's BLACK lagoon," he snorted. "You can't even get your clichés right!"

"Well unlike SOME people, I have better things to do with my time than come up with tacky insults."

"Yeah, like read manga and play video games? How productive."

"Ooh, you are a jerk and a half!"

"And you are a ditz and a half!"

"Why do you have to be so MEAN?" she whined, her lip quivering as her eyes began to fill up with tears.

"Oh, gods, not the human sprinkler again. Honestly, Odango Atama, can't you go five minutes without wailing about something?"

"Obviously not when you're around!" she hissed, before breaking into ear-numbing howls and shuddering sobs.

The man groaned, rolling his eyes in annoyance. "Never mind! I don't have time for this! Why Motoki ever puts up with you is completely beyond me!" he growled, turning on his feet and beginning to walk away.

Between her cries, the girl managed to yell after him. "He likes me, you baka! Because he has taste! Unlike some people." Her anger overcoming the tears momentarily, she too turned and stormed away.


The image faded. Setsuna turned to the other scouts. "See?"

"What a jerk."

"What a brat."

"This is going to be harder than I thought."

"Do you have any ideas on how to play cupid with those two?"

"Yes, actually, I do."


"We're going to bring in a professional."


Emily set her backpack on the ground of her bedroom with a loud sigh. "Thank goodness for Fridays," she mumbled, crouching and digging through the bag. She smiled at the pin collection on the front pocket, displaying all her favorite characters—Kenshin, Tasuki, Edward, and, of course, Sailormoon and Tuxedo Kamen-sama. Her hand found what it was searching for and she pulled out her "science" notebook. Although, only about half of it was ever used for taking notes. The other half had become home to a very happy collection of scenes, ideas, and brainstorming clusters, along with mindless anime sketches. Though she knew her art was much better centered on the written word, she prided herself on her anime eyes. Just like Naoko's, she thought, flipping to a page near the back.

She'd had a major burst of inspiration in second period (math, who could blame her for not paying attention? It was one of her muse's favorite times to visit her). She'd managed to get down nearly eight pages before the bell rang without Mr. Blankers noticing—a task that was much easier said than done. Now, with most of her friends heading out of town for the weekend, she set about the task of typing it up. She made sure to keep as many of her stories on the computer as possible, so that when it came to Submission Saturdays, as she'd happily termed them, she was ready to post.

She flipped on her antique computer and settled into her rolling office chair, waiting for it to boot up. The familiar beeps and hums filled her ears as her eyes wandered over the walls of her room. They were covered in plastic posters and cloth wallscrolls. It was a decorating theme her mom couldn't stand. Emily solved that problem by keeping the door closed.

Her favorite wallscroll hung over her headboard, a place of high honor. It was one of the first Sailormoon memorabilia pieces she had ever bought, and she considered it a treasure. The image was a screenshot from a rainbow crystal episode of Tuxedo Kamen holding a love-struck Sailormoon in his arms, perched, and perfectly balanced, on top of a gravestone.

Emily sighed longingly. No matter what anyone said, two-dimensional or not, Mamoru was gorgeous. She could almost imagine the touch of his hair, the feel of his lips, his strong arms wrapped around her. . . . Of course, she envied Usagi. But really, even more than the lust aspect, she envied the much more important part. The love part. The endless, perfect, eternal, soul mate, true love part. That was what compelled Emily to write, more than anything else. In her stories, it was as if she became one of the characters, and she could feel every emotion and every touch as the pen scrawled across the paper. It was her way of living out the fantasies she craved.

The computer settled into a dull roar and Emily tore her eyes from the beloved picture to be met with an ultra sexy manga image of Mamoru (with an earring and a sexy, white, button-down shirt) holding Usagi possessively. Grinning, Emily's eyes glanced over the image as a little box popped up in the corner of the monitor.

"You have four new message(s)."

She clicked the link, always opting to read emails before beginning the tedious transcribing process. The first two made her blush, both containing praise of her newest work. Emily replied to each of them gratefully. It was a great feeling, knowing that there were others who shared her same fantasies, especially when all her other friends liked to tease her about being in love with a two-dimensional character.

"Four two-dimensional characters, actually," she would remind them proudly, gesturing to the pins on her backpack, and they would laugh.

The third email was a request to post her stories on a new website, which she gladly consented to.

The fourth email caught her by surprise, though. The subject read, "We need your help," sent from a "Setsuna Meiou." At first, Emily expected it to be from an author asking for writing tips, or perhaps requesting a brief copyediting on a story, but the body of the email didn't mention fanfiction at all.

"Dear Miss Sailor Ems," it began, addressing her by her alias. "Your services are direly needed. Please click on this link immediately."

It was followed by an html link, italic and underlined, twenty-four point font, and completely unfamiliar.

Emily frowned. She was not used to being told what to do by anyone, even a fan. Well, except for every time they begged for a sequel. Then she usually complied. But never had one so outright commanded something of her. Plus, she didn't like clicking on strange links without any background info. There was simply too much hentai on the web and one could never be too careful.

"What does that mean, anyway?" she wondered out loud, reading the strange URL. Shaking her head, she pointed her mouse at the red "x" in the corner, prepared to delete the email, when the box popped up in the corner of the screen again.

"You have 1 new message(s)."

Curious, she clicked there instead, and her inbox once again met her view. She saw that the message was from "Setsuna Meiou" again, with no subject line. She opened it.

"It means click on the stupid link!"

Below it was the same URL, bolded, now, too. Raising her eyebrows, Emily looked curiously around the room. Her posters smiled back at her. Shaking her head, she mumbled, "Okay..." and pointed the mouse at the glowing blue text.

By the second click, the whole world had gone black.


"Is she alright?"

"She'll be fine. Stand back. Give her some room."

Emily groaned, reaching a hand up to cradle her forehead. Slowly, she opened one eye, then the other, as a pale and non-threatening light flooded her gaze.

"Good morning, sunshine," she heard a voice, familiar and not at the same time, say. The room steadily came into focus and Emily could see two women hovering above her. She felt like she should recognize them, but couldn't quite put her finger on their names or where she knew them from.

"Girls, don't hover like that. You'll scare her."

Slowly, the two stepped away. One sat on the coffee table at Emily's side—the blonde one.

Emily sat up, noticing she was on a black leather couch in a completely unfamiliar apartment.

"Where am I?"

The other girl who had been standing by her grinned. She had shoulder-length black hair and was pretty, though Emily thought she couldn't be more than twelve or thirteen years old. "Welcome to Tokyo!"

Chuckling at the joke, Emily accepted a cup of tea that was held out to her and looked up to see a beautiful woman with wavy sea green hair standing behind her. Emily's jaw dropped.

"Do you know who you look like?"

"Yes, I think I do."

"What brand of hair dye do you use? I've been to a lot of anime conventions, and never seen such a realistic coloring! Do you cosplay?"

The woman exchanged looks with the short-haired blonde, then sat on the couch beside Emily.


"How do you feel?" a fourth voice asked. Emily turned to see another woman with long, dark green hair walking into the room. She left the cup of tea hanging by her lips as her jaw dropped again.

"And you look like Sailorpluto!" Realization dawned on her and she turned to the others. "Wow, Saturn and Uranus, too! You guys must win tons of awards! You look just like them! Only, three-dimensional, and all."

"Please use our civilian names when we're not transformed," Setsuna said, sitting on a recliner across from her. Hotaru sat down on the floor.

"Oh. Um, right," Emily said, smiling and winking. "So, really, where am I? And who are you?"

"You already know the answers to both those questions, but for politeness, I am Meioh Setsuna, and this is Tenoh Haruka, Tomoe Hotaru, and Kaioh Michiru. And you are Sailor Ems-san. Or would you prefer jut Emily? We know all about you."

"And like Hotaru said," chimed in Michiru, "you're in Tokyo. See for yourself."

She gestured to a window. Emily nervously stood and walked to it. They were, she would guess, nine or ten stories high, looking out at a sea of unfamiliar buildings and city streets, most with Japanese characters on their sides—many with English translations.

She tried to wet her mouth and gulped uncertainly. "I didn't know we had an international district."

"We don't," said Haruka. "You don't either, for that matter."

Emily tried to gather her thoughts, staring down onto the street. "Hey!" she exclaimed suddenly, pointing. "There's a girl down there with Sailormoon hair! And she's about to run into a . . . a . . . Oh my, he's gorgeous!" The other four girls watched silently as Emily flinched. "That looked like it hurt." She continued to watch as the blonde-haired girl picked herself off the ground. The man said something Emily couldn't hear, laughing, and caused the girl to turn bright red—Emily could tell even from that height. Then the girl yelled something back, turned on her heel, and stormed off. The man only laughed and strutted off in the other direction. Emily watched until his green jacket disappeared around the corner before turning away from the window. Her face had paled noticeably and she raised her hand to her forehead. "I'm in the twilight zone."

"No, still Tokyo," corrected Hotaru.

Emily looked at each of the women in turn, beginning to shake. "You're actors, right? And this is some elaborate prank. Was it my mom? Or did my friends set you up to this? They're always trying to tell me I watch too much anime. I'm starting to think maybe they're right."

Setsuna smiled kindly, crossing her legs. "This isn't a prank, I'm afraid. We brought you here because we need your help."

Emily hesitated. "Okay, I'll take the bait. What do you need my help for?"

Gesturing at the couch, Setsuna leaned back comfortably. "Perhaps you should sit down."


Emily stared into her teacup as Setsuna finished telling her about Nephlite, Beryl, the Rainbow Crystals, and the problems facing the future of their world. Slowly, she sat back. All of the women were watching her as she finished her tea in a single gulp and set the cup down on the table.

"So, let's pretend for a minute that I believe all of this. You have just sucked me into the pretend world of Naoko Takeuchi so I can play matchmaker with the cutest couple in history, correct?"

Setsuna looked at her companions and shrugged. "Calling it a 'pretend world' may be a little harsh, but yes, that sounds about right."

"And . . . why me?"

"Because you're the best. And we need a professional."

"The best what? A professional what?"


"We all read your stories," interjected Hotaru. "What do you call them?"

"Fanfiction," said Michiru.

"Right. We read a whole bunch from many different authors, but yours were the best."

Emily fought down a blush. "Well, thank you, but I don't think I understand."

"How many stories have you written on Usagi and Mamoru falling in love?"

Emily shrugged. "Over forty. But a lot of them were shorts. Less then twenty pages."

"That doesn't matter. You have come up with over forty ways to hook those two up. We figure at least one of them has to work in real life."

Emily held back a laugh. Real life indeed. "The problem is," she said, "I'm a writer. I'm not a matchmaker. In all of my stories, the characters do, say, and think what I want them to. Well, usually, anyway. It's a lot different working with . . . er . . . real people. I can't control them. Besides, I actually make a really bad cupid. The only time I ever tried turned into a disaster."

"What happened?"

"He cheated on her."

"Well," said Setsuna, "no one here is worried about Mamoru's fidelity. Or Usagi's, for that matter. We just need to get them together, then let nature take its course."

Emily rubbed her temples, staring up at the ceiling.

"What are our assets?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean. . . has there been any tragic or dramatic occurrences lately that we could use to our advantage? Maybe an old friend from Mamoru's orphanage passed away or something?"

The Senshi shook their heads.

"How about any dances or parties we could stage a meeting?"

"No, none coming up."

She thought a moment. "Would it be possible to lock them in a closet for a few hours? That's always been a popular tactic."

The women looked at her strangely. "Unlikely," answered Haruka.

"Well," sighed Emily in frustration, "Has either of them told anyone?"

"Told anyone what?"

"How they feel!"

"Oh, sure!" laughed Setsuna. "They tell their friends all the time how much they hate each other."

Emily rolled her eyes. "Not those feelings. The deeper ones. The real ones. Has either of them admitted that they love each other?"

The four women stared at her silently.

Finally, after a long and awkward moment, Haruka asked, "She is kidding, right?"

"Emily-chan," Setsuna began softly, "if they were already in love, we wouldn't need your help."

"But of course they're already in love," Emily interrupted. "They're soul mates."

"Soul mates, yes. In love, no."

"Maybe they don't know it yet, or maybe they're really good at hiding it, but they are in love," Emily pressed.

"No, we're, uh... pretty sure they hate each other," corrected Haruka.

"They can't hate each other! How can two people who are so obviously meant to be together hate each other?"

"You know, that's an excellent question, but they actually make it look pretty easy."

Emily stared from one woman to another. "You're serious? They truly dislike each other?"

"Dislike doesn't really do it justice."

Emily moaned, running a hand through her hair. "I can't. I can't do it."

"What do you mean?"

"The thing that all my stories have in common, other than the sappy love confession, of course, is that Usagi and Mamoru are in love. Sometimes they're aware of it, sometimes they aren't, but it doesn't really matter because the feelings are there. All they need is some extraordinary circumstance to force them into admitting it. Now, an extraordinary circumstance I can handle. But making them fall in love? I can't do it!"

Setsuna sighed. "Emily, listen. All the factors are there. We know they belong together. We know once they are together they'll be happy and in love forever. We just need to get them to that point. Please."

Emily pondered a moment, her hands clasped in her lap. "What's in it for me?"

The women exchanged looks again.

"Well..." thought Setsuna. "You know Motoki-kun?"

"Yeah, Apron Boy, of course."

"He's pretty cute, right?"

"I guess so."

"How'd you like to go on a date with him?"

Emily laughed. "Um... hello, episode 29, 'Too Many Girlfriends'? He has a girlfriend, remember?"

"True, true. But he didn't three years ago." Setsuna grinned mischievously and her time staff suddenly appeared in her hand.

Emily gasped at the use of magic, and the sudden realization that this was REAL sent her head spinning. Regaining her composure, she shook her head. "Thanks for the offer, but there's only one man in this story ... er, city that I have a crush on, and a date with him might defeat the purpose."

"Then how about the peace of mind it will bring knowing that you helped true love find its rightful course?" asked Michiru.

Emily considered her words for a moment, then sighed. She was had on that one. "True love: my biggest weakness," she muttered. "Fine, I'll help. You've found yourself a matchmaker."

After the girls had celebrated with cheers and hugs, Emily held up both hands for silence. "But I'm going to need paper, gel pens, and a lot of chick flicks."


Hope the opening chapter hasn't been too slow. Things will definitely pick up when Usa and Mamo are brought into the scene. Meanwhile, reviewers, I'd love to know what you think of Emily! Thanks much.