Senshi & Spies United, Episode 4: "United They Stand"

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: As we all know, the great manga/anime that is Sailormoon is owned by the even more great Takeuchi Naoko, not I, Sokai. Nor do I own the very adorable anime styled FRENCH-ITALIAN cartoon (since I'd forgotten, and SimmyC beat it over my head to get right, sorry . . . well, the French aspect; dunno if he knows it's also an Italian production, as well. Pfft LoL), Totally Spies, which is owned by the cool people of TF1 Marathon Animation. However, the storyline, the character Princess Lenia and any other minor characters and/or attacks I will put into here (and anything else) IS owned by me (though obviously inspired by each series). So, please . . . REMEMBER that. LoL

Note: I'm baaaaaaack! I TOLD you I would be! GOSH, it's been so long since I updated (THIS story, at least)! Sorry! I told you it'd be a while though, but I WOULD be back. So, here I am! I must say, though, that I don't like this episode (though, I NEVER like my episodes LoL) and only like the blurb about Britney (see? I'm spelling it "correctly" now, so get off my back LoL). But, no, I don't. LoL And NOW, because I say that, SimmyC might come at me with massive criticisms about it, but hey. -Shrugs- Again, I say, bring it on, Daddy-O! ;)

This episode was created/written in September 2005.

Soon, several days quickly elapsed into several weeks to a month since any odd reports of impulsive citizens wreaking havoc upon their vicinity with their crazy shenanigans, thus resulting in less missions the WOOHP agency had to take on. It also simultaneously resulted in a little bit of well deserved downtime for WOOHP's agents, particular the star five superspies.

During this time did the quintet each allow better time to properly digest the new knowledge they had received about the group of inscrutable young women the spies had met after immediately returning with them to WOOHP headquarters once their mission had been completed.

The spies had, by that time, understood that clearly their new apparent comrades were not only immensely special, but perhaps not even of this world. However, regardless of their presumptions, no one hadn't any inclination of just how close to the truth they truly had been . . .

"I still can't get over the fact that Usagi and her friends are all from other planets -– which is where each of their innate powers derive from, respectfully -– and that one day soon, Usagi's gonna become queen of Tokyo," Alex mused, for what felt like the hundredth time that early afternoon, once again reflecting upon the startling revelation that she and her fellow spies had learned about their new senshi comrades.

Even though the weather had by then become increasingly cooler (as expected for that time of year), the infamous trio had often tried to take advantage of the rare occasions that it would be warm enough to catch a tan -– and today was no different.

As the three roommates all sat outside upon the veranda in the back of their luxiourious villa and enjoying the bright day sun's continuous rays, Sam smiled softly to herself while emitting a soft, relaxed yawn.

"Queen of Crystal Tokyo, Alex, they said, as well as the entire planet and universe, to boot . . . Talk about immense responsibilities –- and I thought I had it bad with juggling school, work, and extra curricular activities in addition to WOOHP missions," she commented thoughtfully, before rolling onto her stomach upon her recliner to carefully unhook her bikini top so that no unwanted tan lines would occur while tanning her back.

"Yeah, that's pretty amazing and everything, you guys, but it's also a total bummer, too! I mean, with Mina and the others also being princesses by birth of their own planets -- and Usagi being apparently the 'head honcho' whom they continue to protect -- that so totally leaves absolutely zero room for me to become an aspiring princess, myself!" Clover lightly pouted, lazily fanning herself with one hand while inhaling the fresh crisp December air of Beverly Hills.

Sam scoffed lightly at the same time Alex covered her mouth to hide her growing giggles, the two of them knowing full well of how serious their blonde friend was being at that moment.

"Since when were you ever aspiring to be a princess in the first place, Clover?"

Clover took off her heart shaped sunglasses to properly bestow the crimson beauty a scowling, indignant glance from where she sat.

"Um, hello? Only since I was seven years old, thank you, and got second place in that 'Little Miss Princess of Beverly Hills' pageant because of that uppity, no talentRebecca Robinson!

And what kind of name is Rebecca for a princess, anyway? 'Princess Rebecca?' Tacky, much! 'Princess Clover' just . . . rolls off the tongue far much easier. I'm telling you, those judges clearly must have been blind to have chosen her over me!"

"Yeah, I'll bet, thanks to those braces you had to wear back then," playfully chided Alex, snickering a little louder, with Sam now in tow.

Clover's face instantly flushed red with embarrassment, while she unconsciously ran her tongue across her now perfectly aligned front teeth.

"Ugh! That fact was almost entirely blocked out of my memory, thanks! And, anyway, I told you a million times already: I didn't need to wear them for personal reasons!

I only did to make those less fortunate than I where style, grace, and better orthodontia are considered, feel less socially impaired!

It was a promotional thing for the pageant!" lied Clover, folding her arms defensively across her chest, while also trying to look beyond insulted (despite the fact that all three women were simultaneously aware of the feeble delusion).

Playfully tossing a slightly melted ice cube at the sunlit haired young woman from her glass of lemonade at her side, Sam turned her head towards Alex, and through uncontrolled giggles, asked,

"Hey, Alex! What did the kids in Miss Johnson's second grade class used to call Clover? Um . . . Oh, yeah! 'Clover the Chomper!'"

"Oh, that's right! Because of her massive overbite!" Alex gleefully contributed, nearly choking on her banana flavored smoothie from all the guffawing.

Groaning in unbridled disdain and "betrayal" of her supposed friends taking pleasure in her awkward preadolescence, Clover heatedly rose from her spot to head back inside for a refill of her own beverage of bottled mineral water, in addition to momentary solitude.

"What-EVVVER! I'm just gonna go inside to grab another bottle of water now, and -– oh, yeah! Maybe snag me two new best friends while I'm at it! Mina and I seem to share a lot in common, so maybe I'll just go give her a call, thanks to Jerry's 'Linguistics Liberator' pill he made us all swallow so our English will sound like their Japanese and vice versa"

Struggling to cease in their laughter and rising from their own seats and retying their bikini tops back on, both Sam and Alex quickly rushed over to their sulking blonde friend and each wrapped a comforting arm around her.

"Aww, c'mon, Clover! You know we love you! It was just a friendly joke about our 'yesteryears,'" said Sam, biting down hard onto her lip in attempts to squelch the fits of giggles that were still burning within her belly and aching to be released.

Alex swiftly nodded in agreement, sucking in her breath sharply to hold back any leftover chortles before speaking.

"Right! It's the same principle if I brought up how awful Sammy's hair used to be back in the fifth grade, and how everyone would call her, 'Sam the Frizzinator!'"

At this, it was then Clover's turn to at last partake in the laugh fest, while Sam regrettably found the "cure" to her formerly snickering state.

Clearing her throat, Sam lightly frowned while commenting through slightly clenched teeth,

"Sure, thing . . . Or, how Alex used to be referred to as 'The Unibrower' up until the eight grade, when she at last discovered a little thing called waxing and tweezers . . ."

Clover continued on with her rejoicing as Alex's almond tinted cheeks instantly took on a deep, rosy hue. Her now perfectly symmetrical and waxed dark eyebrows furrowed in abashed resentment.

". . . Exactly. Or, how Sam used to have that gas problem she thought no one knew about! Although, to be fair, it was kind of hard not to know, given that we all do have to breathe to continue living, after all," she countered tightly, placing her well manicured hands upon her slim waist.

"Well then, let's not forget to mention of how Alex had really horrible Halitosis during camp the summer before sixth grade, after choosing to eat only chili dogs every night for dinner with lots and lots of sauerkraut piled on!" propelled a very irritated Sam, who then folded her peaches and cream arms across her chest, as both she and Alex moved away from Clover and stood head to head in a verbal sparring match.

Meanwhile, the sky blue eyed teenager merely shook her head, while trying to catch her breath from all of the laughter, before turning her tanned back away from the two and continued to head back inside.

"Thanks, you guys! I feel much better, now! I guess you do care! I'm still gonna give Mina a jingle, though, and see if she wouldn't want to --"

"-- Oooh! Is this some sort of impromptu roast? If so, let me go next, because have I got only about a billion things to say about all three of you losers! AHAHAHA!"

Immediately, all three roommates stopped talking and glared towards the sliding doorway at the unfortunately familiar sight that was Mandy, who was walking out onto the veranda with an apologetic looking Britney.

"Aack! What are you doing here, Mandy? We really ought to get a guard dog, you guys, to help us keep the trash away," quipped Clover, after being startled temporarily by their sudden presence (despite the fact that the front door was never in the habit of being routinely locked).

"I'm sorry, you guys! I was pulling into your driveway when Mandy saw me from her window next door -– said that she only sees me come over here usually when there's a new mission to take care of if we're not already WOOHP'ed beforehand, so she insisted on coming along," blushed Britney, smiling sheepishly while at the same time effortlessly holding Mandy astray by the back of her purple tank top and preventing her from reaching Clover for her snide remark.

Instantly forgetting about their tiff with one another, both Alex and Sam smiled softly at the half Japanese young woman before her (while Clover blew several raspberries at the very agitated Mandy).

It was true, now that it was brought up and the other girls actually thought about it, that Britney rarely did come over to their house for anything besides spy work.

In fact, if it didn't have to do with missions, shopping, or the occasional study sessions after school, the trio very rarely got to hang out with the evidently enigmatic Britney Day.

She never struck the girls (not even Mandy, when she actually bothered to reflect upon her fellow agents for more than a minute) as being secretive, especially since she always had come off as a very open and exuberant individual from the very first day she had joined the WOOHP team.

Not only was Britney each of their friends, but she was also practically their friendly rivals; what with frequently besting Alex in sports, indirectly threatening Clover's top popularity ranking, or continuously challenging Sam's vast intelligence by never being that far behind in smarts if not slightly ahead at times. With Mandy, even, did Britney manage to somehow find a bit of common ground between the two of them when it came to never having a shortage of potential boyfriends at their beck and call.

Still, despite all of her outside success, Britney's quartet of fellow spies virtually had no clue what truly made her tick on the inside -– what gave her that drive to be at the top of her game upon every mission. Was she really as happy as she perpetuated day by day? And how was her home life? Did she ever get scared while on any of the missions, solo or otherwise? And, more importantly, why was it that lately, her normally bright and welcoming indigo colored eyes seemed to resonate with a hint of sadness?

At last snapping out of their apparently conjoined thoughts, Sam and Alex both moved over to their Asian friend's side and simultaneously wrapped an arm around her, much like they had for Clover not moments before.

Seeing that Mandy had considerably calmed down, Britney at last relinquished her hold upon the back of her clothes and smiled warmly at each girl before her.

". . . I hope I didn't interrupt anything important, by coming over unannounced like this, you guys," she said, smoothing down the front of her baby blue t-shirt before comfortably clasping her hands together.

Shaking her head, a few stray blonde hairs from her bangs covering one of her blue eyes, Clover winked with the other before grinning at her.

"Not unless you'd call rehashing horrible childhood memories and almost losing a few choice limbs over it 'important,' I'd think it's safe to say that your presence is definitely welcomed right now, Brit! Although, then again, it always is! Now, Mandy, on the other hand --"

"-- Uh, right! Like Clover said, you're always welcome here, Britney -– both of you, actually, seeing as we are all on the same team," Sam tactfully interrupted before yet another onslaught of petty taunts erupted between the blonde and ebony haired women.

Like night and day, those two, she thought in slight amusement.

Even their hair shades and styles are in deep contrast to the other; I wonder if they'll ever get along. Heck! I wonder if Alex and I will ever get along with Mandy!

Come to think of it, though, I did just extend the invitation to opening up our house to her at any time as well, surprisingly . . . Might as well, considering she does live right next door, and is a fellow spy . . . We'd better resolve our differences soon for the good of the team . . .

"Exactly -– I think . . . A-anyway! We were just enjoying our day and good weather, is all, before you guys arrived. There isn't a new mission we weren't yet aware of, though, right? Please say no!" said Alex, letting go of Britney as she gave her a purposely exaggerated pleading look -– one that Mandy was beginning to mimic as well, although in a more serious capacity.

Britney giggled softly as she took in the dual sight, and lightly shook her currently pony tailed head.

"No worries, you two. I'll admit that Mandy was right to assume that there might have been a new mission on our hands, as I usually do come over just to announce such things more often than not . . ." she momentarily trailed off, the barely visible, however still ever present melancholy seeping through her eyes a bit more in that instant.

Almost within the same breath, however, did it diminish back into the background, as one of her patented jubilant simpers beamed across her otherwise flawless visage.

". . . But I just thought that I'd pop in to see how you guys were, and if you'd maybe wanna grab a quick manny/peddy before catching a movie," she finished, equally distributing her genuine smile upon each girl before her.

Before the traditional trio could react, Mandy was the first to speak, letting out a relieved, yet forcefully agitated scoff.

"Is that all? And here I was worried that my perfect day would be ruined by having to go on yet another one of Jerald's lame missions . . . Oh, wait! It already is ruined, thanks to coming over here and talking to you rejects! Later! AHAHAHA!"

And with that, the arrogant, spoiled socialite promptly turned on her heel and cantered out of the villa, leaving annoyed and resentful (although not at all surprised) girls in her wake.

Beginning to gather their things to bring back inside, Clover rolled her light blue eyes heavenward as she began to roll up her favorite beach towel.

"Y'know, I'm still going to continue to petition that Jere reassign that troll to another team A.S.A.P., before there's nothing left of her to reassign -– thanks to the long awaited butt kicking she has coming to her, courtesy of me!"

As both Britney and Sam began to giggle at their friend's expectant heated remark, Alex waved her hand towards the three before leading the way back inside.

"Yeah, well, let's just hurry up and get outta here, before Mandy's negative presence and attitude jinxes our mission-free day!"

The quartet happily left the veranda and, after a quick change of attire, all headed out to partake in a carefree and stress-less day, blissfully unaware of the danger that would soon be awaiting them . . .

YYYYYYYYYY

Aino Minako sat slightly lopsided while on the floor of Rei's bedroom, impatiently drumming her ruby red fingernails against the low table before her. She and the other senshi had collected into the raven haired beauty's spacious (although humbly decorated) sleeping quarters for the past hour and a half that late afternoon, discussing their latest senshi-related news -- and in Minako's opinion, getting no where fast. That is, where the issue of not only figuring out who their new apparent enemy might be was concerned, but also whether or not to fully trust and join sides with who could be considered their American counterparts, the quintet spies of WOOHP they had all met about a month ago.

Minako restlessly blew a stray strand of her long golden hair from out of her face as she continued to listen to her friends drone on about what active solution they should take next.

"All I am saying is, how do we not know for sure that these . . . WOOHP people aren't our new threat, if not secretly aiding whomever is really behind the sudden increase in youma attacks that we've had lately?" Ami posed from across from her, lightly chewing upon her pencil tip in extended thought.

Right, because our having told them our life's history -– past, present, and future -– wasn't the biggest mistake ever, if they really are our enemy, mused Minako to herself with inward sarcasm, feeling herself slightly roll her eyes for added effect.

"But the recent youma attacks haven't been the same as the one from that night we met them, or even the same looking youma, period, Ami-chan," said Usagi with a partially full orifice, before swallowing the last of her bag of potato chips.

"And besides, those girls didn't really seem bad to me, and neither did their boss, Jimmy. Not to mention that, even if they are evil, we could always use the information that they told us about themselves against them just as easily as they could in the reversal."

Ah, finally someone is making sense around here . . . Sort of ironic that it is Usagi, of all people . . . Minako thought once more, idly flexing her fingers in front of her to help further pass the time.

Rei (who had been at the forefront on the side of negative arguments the entire time) quickly snatched the empty bag of chips away from Usagi's still hungry grasp before she could begin to lick the stray crumbs from out of it, and carefully tossed it into the trash receptacle from behind them.

"I thought I told you to stop bringing food into my bedroom whenever you come over, Usagi? That's just extra chores around here for me to do, whenever I have to clean up the messes you make in here!

But, anyway, I definitely agree with you, though, that if they do try anything funny, we'll be ready to counterattack. Plus, I've been doing some ceremonial readings from off of the Sacred Fire, and haven't come up with anything negative about them just yet, so that's good . . . But, I also haven't been able to find out anything about who the new threat is, either . . ."

Knowing who would contribute next to the debate before anyone else did apparently, Minako's blue eyes were the first to lazily traveled over to the tall brunette to her left, who sat with a small frown gathered upon her face.

And here comes the mixed bag of emotion, ladies and gentleman: unwilling to trust completely, yet at the same time ready to offer the olive branch if the situation calls for it, she silently predicted, as she had been able -- after all these years -- to forecast her friend's emotions before they were even verbalized.

"No worries, Rei-chan. I'm sure that you'll find out something soon –- you always do, after all. In the meantime, though, I think we should just continue to handle things on our own for now, and see how things shape up," said Makoto, her bright emerald eyes shimmering with determined resolution.

"Hmph . . ." Minako suddenly heard herself emitting through pouty, pink glossed lips before she could stop herself, successfully turning the room's attention immediately upon her.

"Are you all right, Mina-chan?" Ami asked with natural concern, while Usagi lightly patted her back as though thinking she was simply gassy.

"Hey, yeah –- we haven't heard any sort of verbal contribution from you to this discussion, Mina, and you're usually always one for gossip," added Rei suspiciously, knowing her best friend like the back of her hand.

"So, let's hear it. And don't say that it isn't anything, because I can see it on your face that you're just dying to get something off your chest!"

Damn her, and her incessant intuitive abilities, thought Minako bitterly, before clearing her throat and outwardly responding.

". . . Well, if you must know, Rei-chan, I think that while it may have been the right choice at the time to turn down WOOHP's offer to join up with them when we went to their headquarters in the states that night, I think that it'd be pretty stupid to do so a second time!

I mean, if they wanted to attack us, they would have from the get-go! And if not, then like, while we were sleeping or something a few days after! It just seems really backwards that we continue to go it alone, when we finally have some back up –- from another country, even, which makes it all the more beneficial with the whole global aspect to it! Oh, and it's Jerry, not Jimmy, Usagi, " she began, at last revealing how she truly felt upon the ongoing matter, while also correcting Usagi on her earlier mispronunciation of the elderly British man's name who headed the WOOHP agency (which was quite new in her experience to do, given the countless times she herself had botched up different phrases or foreign languages).

Minako watched as the start of her outburst gathered mixed facial reactions: ranging from Usagi's fish look, with her widened eyes and open mouth, to Ami's polite clearing of her throat while coupled with a furrowed brow.

Rei, meanwhile, looked positively out of her element for a moment, appearing truly surprised that it had been Minako, of all of them, to come at her with such ferocity. And for once, she did not look at all in control as she always projected on a day to day basis.

The majority of the Goddess of Love felt guilty for having been so brash with her friends and fellow senshi, who only wanted to do what was best for not only themselves, but for the entire planet.

And even though she obviously had some clashing views with them on how to go about it, Minako no longer regretted having begun to say anything in the first place. She knew that, no matter how they all felt right then, a quick apology and explanation of it just having been a bad day for her would fix everything -– especially since she was never usually one to behave so callously, inward or outwardly.

And, besides, it's definitely most likely because of how busy we've been with senshi business lately around here that's just got me so grouchy today, anyway, Minako quietly reasoned to herself, while the others began to awkwardly shift in their places around her.

Between that and trying to deal with homework to finish over Winter break -- in addition to trying to squeeze in a solid night's sleep -- I'm entitled to a little vent session every now and then . . .

While it appeared that everyone else were more or less thinking the same thing, Rei, on the other hand, calmly placed her hands upon her lap and gave the blonde a neutral expression before responding, while her amethyst colored jems reflected a small, but growing fire within them.

". . . And, I suppose that that Carey-san girl told you all of this -- to trust them, seeing as you two seemed to have really hit it off enough to exchange phone numbers?" she interrogated collectively, although the tone in her voice was starting to become a bit icy.

Now it was Minako's turn to be honestly surprised, as Rei never struck her as the jealous type. She might have found this newly discovered trait within her best friend to be flattering, had not her own rage begun to flare up right then.

"Hardly! I trust Clover-san -– all of them –- because of the genuine character they each projected! If you bothered to give them a chance and talk to Clover as I do, you would know that!" Minako countered a bit too vehemently for her taste, although the meaning was still ever present.

"Um, minna, maybe we should just call it a day, ne? Look, the sun has already set, and we have been in here a very long while, racking our brains about this whole situation," chimed in Usagi carefully, hesitating before gently reaching out to touch the fuming women in both a physical as well as emotional effort to soothe them.

However, the Moon Princess's words fell upon deaf ears, as Rei immediately stood from her spot and loomed over Minako, glaring down at her with resentful eyes.

"You wouldn't even be able to talk to 'Clover-san' had it not been for that little pill Lewis-san had you swallow, that would allow the both of you to understand the other from now on!

I mean, talk about taking the being blonde thing to a whole new level! You spent all those years in London, England, before you met us, and therefore had to speak English on a daily basis, and look at how easily you'd forgotten it!"

"Hey! I resent that . . ." softly murmured Usagi, absentmindedly beginning to stroke her silky sun-golden tresses, while slightly cowering behind Makoto, as it became painfully obvious that this was one argument that could not be derailed by any form of gentle coaxing.

Minako mimicked the raven haired miku-san's previous actions and instantly rose from her own place, making a tight fist in a fleeting, desperate attempt to control her anger.

"You're just jealous that I've made a new friend and have a lot in common with her, that's all! Oh! And, at least I don't have to consult with some stupid burning flame every time a new person pops into my life, to be able to know for sure if they're trustworthy or not!

Are you sure that you truly are clairvoyant? Because it seems to me that maybe you're the one in need of the proper dye job if you always need an instruction manual on how to read people after all this time! I wish you would just lighten up, already, Rei!" spat Minako, knowing that she had, in that instant, won the verbal thrashing, yet another occurrence uncommon to her whenever it came to debating against the fiery young woman before her.

However, the victory was also shortlived, as she knew that, no matter how upset Rei sometimes made her, Minako had never taken things that far or so personal. They had always managed to find common ground between themselves that would help in preventing any of their spats from escalating to cataclysmic proportions, as it had this time.

And even worse, now that she was finally calming down at that moment, after letting all of her frustrations out and began to replay everything within her formerly brooding mind, Minako now regretted having said virtually every word to the one who, despite their contrasting traits (both physically and personality-wise), had always been regarded to her as a sister .

No longer able to look at her out of sheer embarrassment, Minako gazed down at her still clenched hand as she attempted to apologize to her best friend.

". . . Rei-chan, I-I'm really sorry . . . I didn't mean --"

"-- Iie, Minako; you did. Otherwise, you would have never have said it if it wasn't always something you honestly felt against me," said Rei in an eerily quiet tone, unlike her usually strong, and projective voice. Even though she couldn't see her face, just by her voice could Minako hear and be aware of the surprised hurt and anger riddled within it.

"No, it's true, Rei-chan. You know Mina-chan as well as the rest of us, and know that she'd never mean what she said. Ne, minna?" Makoto desperately offered, she and the rest of the sailorsenshi standing from their seats and trying to console both sides.

"H-hai, Mako-chan! That's exactly right, and . . . Uh . . ." Ami regrettably trailed off, for once at a loss for explanatory words.

Minako could hear footsteps moving towards the door to Rei's bedroom as she kept her shameful eyes downcast, every anguished emotion imaginable now currently swimming within her veins.

". . . No, minna. She did mean it, like I said. She really does wish that I would be less uptight and 'lighten up,' as she put it," said Rei with the same small voice that now suddenly sounded not only smaller, but a bit tired as well.

Daring a peek, Minako quickly glanced up to see that Rei was no longer across from her, but standing at the door, pulling it slowly open.

". . . Who knows, Mina? Maybe you'll get your wish, ne? Now, if you guys will pardon me, I'm suddenly not in the spirits to entertain any longer, so if you'll please . . ."

Not needing a second invitation to vacate the premises, the four women immediately began to gather their belongings and head out of the door, with Ami and Makoto at the helm.

Pausing just within the doorway, having taken Minako's arm in comfort and support as they were both leaving, Usagi turned to look at her onyx haired friend with glistening, heartbroken eyes as she spoke.

". . . Onegai . . . Feel better, Rei-chan, ne? We should not be fighting like this ever, but especially now, with a new enemy on our hands," she said, turning her head to redirect the comment onto Minako, who averted her gaze by looking down the dark hallway.

"I know how much the two of you care for one another, and so am confident that by tomorrow, everything will be back to normal. For now, let's just all try to get some sleep, all right? Good night, Rei-chan . . ."

Even though she wanted to add her own two cents to Usagi's mini-pep talk, Minako suddenly found that she had lost her voice. Although, even if she hadn't, Rei had already sealed herself back inside of her room to either privately sulk, cry, or promptly block the entire confrontation out of her mind through meditation.

. . . I didn't mean any of those hurtful things I said to her –- I know in my heart that I didn't, thought Minako as she and Usagi exited the Hikawa Jinja and began their descent down the numerous stone steps that led from the temple and back out into the city.

Rei's my absolute best friend. Despite our differences, we understand one another. We both know what it's like to have an unfortunately lousy relationship with our parents –- she with her father, and me with my mother . . .

So, then . . . Why is it that a small part of me can't help but believe that what she said was true? That maybe I really do mean my wish that she would just loosen up and not take everything so seriously?

YYYYYYYYYY

". . . I do so love it whenever my enemies believe that they have gained the upper hand . . . And then, when they least expect it, I always swoop in and crush them like the vile little ants they truly are . . ."

Tim Scam merely partially listened to his Mistress go on about her supposed superior strength over her foes -– namely, the magically inherit Sailorsenshi from Japan he was not familiar with but she seemed to be, and the incessantly annoying (not to mention air headed) WOOHP agents that he regrettably was.

Even though he had only been under her service for a mere several weeks to a month at best (and despite the fact that he knew that she could very well turn his worst fear against him as she had promised him when the two had first met, and seen her do so to the few random victims they had managed to target lately), Tim was beginning to wonder just how powerful the mysterious temptress truly was, if she needed to enlist his aid in the first place.

After all, he had only seen her display a few slights of hand so far -– mere parlor tricks, really -- and yet always managed to boast about her immense superiority over all (something that was quite honestly beginning to get under his skin, given that that was usually a favorite pass time that he himself would frequently partake in against all others).

And then, especially now, with a month's time having passed and still nothing dramatic had been accomplished, was everything becoming quite a tedious nuisance, to say the least –- one that Tim planned to voice to his Mistress . . . That is, had she not beat him to the punch at that moment.

"Aww, is my faithful steward beginning to sway on his loyalty to his princess? Remember that I am the one who liberated you from a thankless life without achievement . . . I would hate to think of what would happen if you one day decided to turn your back on me, thus joining the rest of your pitiful human race . . ." the suddenly threatening young woman beside Tim mockingly cooed into his ear, before rolling on top of him within her lavish, onyx colored, queen sized bed.

She felt his body tense up ever so slightly as she did so, gently straddling him while absentmindedly raking her long black fingernails against his moderately toned chest.

They both knew that Tim was now regretting having pondered ill-mannered thoughts against her, although he continued to try his best to hide his involuntary and uncharacteristic nervousness that was beginning to build up inside of him.

Hesitating for a brief moment, inwardly scolding himself for being rattled to begin with, Tim slowly reached out and began to strategically caress the small of his Mistress's bare back before responding.

". . . O-of course not, your highness -– parish the thought! You know that I now only live to serve you and your cause. It is just that . . . maybe it's being a bit premature in declaring those girls as 'vile, little ants,' as you so called them . . ."

Tim watched in surprise as the woman on top of him stopped touching him and merely raised a calm, curious dark eyebrow up at him, the complete opposite of the reaction he had been expecting for his moderate insolence.

Rolling off of him and out of the bed, Tim watched the sorceress lift her long since forgotten night robe from off of the floor and pulled it on before walking towards the dark, extravagant window in her equally dark, extravagant bedchamber.

". . . My, my, my! Aren't you one for words this morning? Nevertheless, I am intrigued: just exactly what do you mean by it being 'premature' of me to berate them as I do?" she said in her usual low, almost toneless voice.

Tim sat up in the bed, briefly reflecting on how the hearing her voice continue to be void of any sort of caring emotion used to give him the chills when he was first graced with her presence, thinking to himself of how anyone could carry themselves that way.

Then again, I'm one to talk; I have the same ruthless and cruel nature as she apparently holds within herself -– probably why we're so attracted to one another, he mused to himself, running a cool hand through his currently unruly, short brown hair that was usually well groomed (although, given the previous night's "activities," he was not at all that surprised by its new nature).

Sensing her patience was beginning to wear thin, Tim quickly sprung out of the bed, not bothering to seize any article of his own clothing before approaching the Dark Maiden from behind.

"I mean no disrespect, of course, your highness, when I said that. I meant only that perhaps we're going about our plans the wrong way," he began, tearing his cold brown eyes away from the back of the evil temptress's long and glossy ebony colored head to gaze lazily outside of the window.

For a moment he stupidly wondered how she was so certain that it was morning, given that it had been perpetually dark since the first day he had arrived. However, he quickly dismissed the thought and merely concluded that he imagined had he resided here for as long as she reportedly had, he would eventually learn the difference between day and night (if there was such a thing, given the environmental circumstances), himself.

I don't think she really seems to mind though, seeing that darkness seems to be her thing, Tim idly noted, looking about the bedchamber and at last bothering to notice that were was not an ounce of color having been introduced into the room's décor.

Absentmindedly shaking his head as though to jostle the random, senseless thoughts away, Tim returned his attention firmly upon the situation at hand and continued.

"Let's think for a moment, shall we? Before they all met, what was the common factor between both sides of annoyances? They were always together -– a team. A firm stronghold. And now that they've indirectly united forces against our plans, it seems, I'm quite certain that that notion will only grow stronger with time.

However, if we backtrack for a moment, and redirect our efforts in not only continuing to try to bring our plans to fruition, but also to utilize this strength of theirs against them, I am almost positive that we –- er, you, that is, will be able to take over the world in no time at all," he finished, allowing himself to smirk in satisfaction at the obvious ingenius of his new proposal.

Although her face currently reflected excessive boredom when he moved to her side to gaze upon her reaction, Tim knew that deep down he had captured her full attention by that point.

He watched her tap a thoughtful fingertip upon the broad windowpane in front of her before responding.

". . . I see . . . Interesting proposition, indeed. Actually, not bad at all, my dear Timothy . . . What is that age old proverb that you humans love to say before going into difficult situations? Ah, yes: 'United, we stand; divided, we fall . . .'"

-- End of episode four

(A.N. Yep. It's a short episode. A kind of weird one too, with Mina butting heads with Rei like that. Kind of. Not really. Although, then again, now that I think on it, I don't honestly know where that whole verbal cat fight came from when I rewrote this episode. LoL When I first started writing it WAAAAAAAAY back in September, that scene was NOTHING like how it came out now. But since I also decided to divide episode four and make the second half episode five –- hence, why this one's so "short" -- I figured it was a nice, appropriate change for what I have planned next. What is it, you ask? You're just gonna have to wait and see. Which honestly won't be anywhere NEAR as long as it was for this one to come out, since I've already written episode five and just need to maybe move things around, etc. So, yeah! Review, please!)