Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon.
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
Once upon a time, in a land not that far away there was a beautiful princess, and she was waiting upon her stage for a handsome prince to come and sweep her off her feet. The thing was, the princess may have been beautiful but she was also a complete prima donna, a drama queen if you will, and no matter how many prince's wished for her hand, she simply wasn't interested. This princess name was Minako, and in actuality she wasn't even a princess, she just behaved as though she was.
In reality this 'princess' was called Aino Minako. She may have looked, with her hair of spun gold and eyes of sapphire, like a princess, but she the closest she got to actually being royalty was in any of the roles she played. You see Minako was the president of Juuban High's drama club: I suppose that might have been something to do with why she was such a drama queen, but her overly melodramatic attitude wasn't always a good thing.
Still there were two things that everyone agreed upon when it came to Minako: she was beautiful and she was a fantastic actoress, hence the fact she was already president of her club even though she was only in her second year of highschool. But not all princesses rule forever, and this is, in part, the story of the dethroning of 'princess Minako' when another actor, one with even more talent that Minako herself, claimed her crown, and in the end much else besides.
The day our story starts seemed, at first, to be much like any other day. The drama club had gathered together in the school's theatre, which Juuban High was lucky enough to have, as they did every Thursday after school. Another thing that was completely as usual was the fact that Minako was up on stage directing another of the sketches that they had come up with so far that term; seeing as the school year had only just begun they had not yet decided on the main play of the year.
They had perhaps twenty minutes left of their hour-long session when the door opened and someone entered. The person in question happened to be none other than Ten'oh Haruka, a second year and Juuban's resdent heart-throb. Haruka was attractive, intelligent and good at sports: there seemed to be nothing he couldn't do. The one flaw most girls would have seen in Ten'oh Haruka was that 'he' was actually female, but Haruka's androgynous looks passed her off so easily as male that no one suspected a thing, not even people like Tsukino Usagi, Minako's main rival, and even Aino Minako herself.
Needless to say that the room went silent when Haruka walked in. All eyes were fixed on her as she stode over to the stage, her teal eyes glimmering. Minako, who had had a crush on Haruka for months, which, seeing as it was Aino Minako, was an extremely long time, had to try her hardest to stop herself from swooning, though most others around her failed in their attempts not to do so. Haruka walked right up to where Minako was standing on stage and smiled at her, and the girl in question felt like she was about to melt away. Still no one, not even Minako, could ever have expected what was going to happen next.
"Is it too late for me to join?" Haruka asked, her voice echoing somewhat in the silent room.
Under normal circumstances it would have been too late for her to join, but this was Ten'oh Haruka, a star in Juuban high – it would never be to late for her to join anything.
"N… no, of course not," Minako smiled, stuttering slightly as she tried to speak. She couldn't believe that she was actually talking to Ten'oh Haruka; even though she knew they were at about the same level on the social scale, she rarely if ever saw the other girl – hence the fact she, like most of the rest of the school, still thought Haruka was male. "Here, let's see your acting skills." She handed a script to Haruka, who smiled slightly again in return.
Well if Ten'oh Haruka's appearance at the school's drama club had been unexpected, then it was nothing to the surprise they all got when they saw her act for the first time. She was a natural on stage, almost as if she had been acting her whole life; the tears that came from her eyes as she read seemed almost to be real. Minako especially was in schock, but this time the shock was not of a good kind; she had been known for just over a year to be the best actress in the school and in an instant she had been knocked from that throne by someone else, no matter that that someone was, as far as she knew, male. But then again that was probably the most humiliating part, to have the one whom you, and indeed everyone else in the school, loved beat you at your own game: indeed other than gymnastics and volleyball, acting was Minako's only game; well, those and messing with guy's hearts, but she would never mess with Haruka's, she knew that much… at least she thought she did.
And that was how the queen of Juuban high's drama club got knocked, in quite a humiliating way, from her golden throne.
"So you actually went in for it?" the astonished voice of Hino Rei echoed throughout the schoolyard. "I knew you would… it just took about a year longer than I guessed."
Ten'oh Haruka, Rei's only companion in the deserted schoolyard, chuckled slightly at her friend's surprise, "You could have fooled me; you sound almost as astonished as most of the girls in this school would if they found out I'm not atually a guy."
"Yeah, well you like girls anyway so it's hardly a problem," Rei replied.
Haruka rolled her eyes at that, "Yeah right; insofar as we know we're the only lesbians in this school."
Rei sighed, "And therein lies my problem."
"Problem?" Haruka raised an eyebrow and leant back on the wall behind her.
"Yeah, my problem," Rei blushed slightly. "Darnit, I shouldn't have mentioned anything about this to you…"
"What's the problem?" Haruka pryed, wanting to know the whole story now that Rei had let slip that she had some sort of secret or problem: she wanted to see if she could help out at all.
"Well… erm… I…"
"Yeah, I can really help you with your problem if you continue stuttering like that," Haruka rolled her eyes. "So spit it out."
"Well my problem is," Rei took a deep breath. "Well, I'm in love with the most beautiful girl in the school… no, in the entire world."
"It's not Aino Minako, is it?" Haruka's teal eyes flashed dangerously at that.
Rei laughed, "No, I know how you feel about her. Anyways sorry to disappoint you but I don't generally go after leggy blondes."
Haruka feigned an expression of hurt, "You mean you don't love me? Send me to my grave now, my dear, for your words have fatally wounded me."
Rei rolled her eyes, "Don't kid like that, Haruka, you know I find it annoying. Besides you've got half the school lusting after you even if they do think that…"
"Yeah, I know, I know," Haruka laughed. "So anyways, who's the 'most beautiful girl in the school if it's not Aino Minako?"
Rei muttered something inaudible under her breath.
"Sure, I can hear you fine when you're whispering so quietly. Heck I think half of Tokyo could probably…"
"Shut up, Haruka," Rei muttered. "I said that it's… it's…"
"Who is it then?"
"It's Kai'oh Michiru, okay?" Rei replied, looking away as blood rushed to her cheeks.
"Kai'oh Michiru?" whatever Haruka had been expecting, that certainly hadn't been it, Rei could tell immedeatley. "Well you've got taste, I'll give you that."
"Yeah, just don't go announcing it to the entire school," Rei muttered.
"Since when have I done that?" Haruka asked.
"Remember the time when…"
"Oh now come on, Rei; that was in third grade!" Haruka laughed.
"It was still embarassing."
"So what, all I did was…"
"Haruka, shut up."
"Okay, okay," Haruka held up her hands in mock-defeat. "Well, Hino Rei, I shall wish you good luck on your quest to woo the most beautiful girl in the school.
"As for more urgent matters, want to go get some tacos? I'm starving."
With that the two left the school-grounds. What neither of them knew was that they had been overheard; Tsukino Usagi, Minako's archrival, had heard the last part of their conversation. So, Rei was after Minako? After all, who was more beautiful than Minako at their school – other than herself of course? Well maybe she would just let something slip; after all it was time Minako got knocked from her throne as the school's queen, and she was sure she would be the one to do it.
The next began as normal for Minako; she got up slightly later than she was supposed to, spent nearly an hour on her makeup and somehow still managed to get to school just before the first bell rang. Still, when she got to school Minako immedeately knew that something was up. People were looking at her as she strode down the corridor to her homeroom, and there was nothing at all unusual about this considering, but that day those looks were rather different… looks of suspicion, of… revoltion?
Minako's confusion deepened further when she saw one Tsukino Usagi looking far happier than usual, though she was still clinging to some guy's arm in a limpit-like fashion. It wasn't until Minako finally reached her homeroom that she got any sort of answer as to what on Earth was going on.
Minako's best friend, Kai'oh Michiru, was sitting at the back of the class, a book in one hand and an eyeliner pencil in the other. She looked up when Minako entered and sat down, then opened her mouth to speak.
"Is it true?" Michiru asked, her question catching Minako off guard.
"Is what true?" Minako asked.
"Are you dating Hino Rei?" Michiru asked. "I mean it's not that I've got anything against homosexuality… it's just I didn't think Hino would be you're type, that's all…"
Minako's eyes widened in shock, "Say what?"
"So she is your type after all. How long have you two been dating?"
Minako was aghast at this; "Hino? Me? Dating? Michiru! I'm not dating Hino, she isn't my type and for crying out loud I'm not a lesbian!"
"I didn't think so. You're bi then, right?"
Minako shook her head, "Michi, you're the smartest girl in the entire year. You're smarter than Mizuno Ami for goodness sake…"
"I wouldn't go that far…"
"Don't interrupt me. Anyway what I'm trying to tell you is no. I am not dating Hino Rei. I don't even like her, you know that."
"Phase one: denial."
"Michiru for someone with your I.K. you really are pretty dense at times."
"You mean I.Q." Michiru corrected her. "And if you aren't dating Hino Rei, why's it going round school that you two are an item?"
"What?" Minako jumped up from her seat. "You mean someone's started a rumour about me?"
"Well apparently Hino was spotted telling one of her freak friends that she loves you, and apparently you're together so…"
"Who came up with this?" Minako asked. "Because if Hino really did say that then she'd dellusional. Oh, and when I find out whose behind this, they are so…"
"Aino sit down," their homeroom teacher's voice echoed through the room. "You do know class started five minutes ago, don't you?"
"I don't believe this, I really can't believe this," Rei paniced as she wandered back and forth. She and Haruka were in the park near the school at that time, even though both knew that they should have been in some completely uninteresting class or other then. All morning Rei had been the target of snide comments from classmates and she had, quite frankly, had enough. Haruka had decided to come with her; there was no knowing what Hino Rei would do when she was in this kind of mood; it usually ended up in something getting set on fire.
"Look, Rei, it's just a rumour, it's nothing to be panicing about," Haruka said as she leaned leasurely against a tree.
"What do you mean 'nothing to be panicing about'?" Rei snapped. "This is coming from someone who got kicked out of her last school for fighting when…"
"Yeah, I clobbered him, so what?" Haruka shrugged. "The bastard outed me to the entire school, he deserved it."
Rei shook her head in exasperation; the one flaw of Haruka's was that she could be somewhat hypocritical at times. She and Haruka had gone to the same Elementary but then to different junior highs, until Haruka was kicked out for fighting and ended up in the same school as Rei again. They were now in highschool together as well as in the same class, but as far as the rest of the school was concerned they were at opposite ends of the social scale and thus had nothing to do with eachother.
"Look, Rei, if it bothers you that much then I'll personally give the next person to say anything to you a beating, okay?"
Rei growled under her breath, "What I want to know is who is behind this; when I find them I swear I'll…"
"Cool it, Rei," Haruka sighed. "Besides, the best way to cope with this is to ignore it, right?"
It was driving her insane. Minako had been putting up with this idiotic rumour for almost a week and she was already considering moving schools; her reputation had been completely and utterly ruined. It was alright for Hino, she thought, as Hino had no reputation in the first place. But she, Minako, had been knocked from her throne and she couldn't stand it.
She was hardly even paying attention to the teacher who had come to their club to announce the play they had decided on: all she knew so far was that the play was Romeo and Juliet. At any other time she would have been positive that she would have been cast as Juliet, but now that her reputation was in shreds she had no idea.
"Aino Minako," she jumped as she heard her name called, "Juliet."
She sighed in relief as she realised she still had the main part, no matter what else was going on. Still this relief didn't last long when she heard the next name called.
"Ten'oh Haruka: Romeo."
Haruka smiled over at her and Minako felt like her heart was about to burst. At any other time she would have seen this as a golden chance to get to know, and possibley even date, the king of Juuban high, but by then he probably thought she was a lesbian. Could anything get so messed up? Minako definitely didn't think so, but boy was she wrong.