Saturday Rose

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Author's Notes: I hope you're happy, my-friend-who-will-not-be-named. (She's paranoid of the Internet...not that I blame her. *.;*) A friend of mine in Virginia (I miss VA...) asked me to take a break from the eighteen running stories I have and write a short Weiß Kreuz/Sailor Moon fic. Of course, I know NOTHING about WK (and yet I read WK/SM crossovers like an obsessed demon on sugar...not that you needed to know that) and thusly there will be soooo much OOC-ness. I like OOC-ness. *&.^* This *is* a short story; if anyone wants it to become a multi-part story, just ask. This focuses on Usagi, like almost every crossover with SM, but I have a Minako/Weiß-member one on the burner for my-friend-who-will-not-be-named. I went to quite a few WK websites to dig out hopefully enough information to keep Aya/Ran in character! (And, of course, now I reeeeeeeally wanna see the series! Dang my inability to save up money! Dang my being thirteen! Dang the evil people that sell school supplies in late July just so you'll start counting the days 'til school starts!...Ignore that last one.) I have decided, after extensive researching of the characters (pictures), that I like Ken Hidaka. It doesn't hurt that he likes soccer. Soccer rules! ;} However, he isn't the lead male role in this. (*sadness*) Long and short: darn you, my-friend-who-will-not-be-named! I say that affectionately, of course. (I hope you're happy, though. *&.^*)

Ages: Usagi's fourteen in this and Shingo, instead of being 8-10 in this, is three or four. Not that it's incredibly important. I suppose Aya/Ran is...twenty. ? Heck if I know. Anywho, none of the other members of Weiß are in this, nor the 'Senshi'; the latter, I suppose, because this IS an AU fic for Sailor Moon.

My thoughts on flaming: I have tender self-esteem. And extensive knowledge of spelling. I'll check the spelling of your flame, correct mistakes, and send it right back with editor's notes. Me? Flame somebody? Never. Me? Edit a flame? Heck, yeah! Please, though, if I get extensively OOC with Aya/Ran, help me politely. I'm pretty sure this'll be edited over and over again as I learn more about the series and, hopefully, purchase OAVs and/or episodes of it.

Current State of My Sanity: What the heck is sanity?

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Ten o'clock, afternoon, an ice-cream parlor overrun by screaming children. Tsukino Usagi, a small, slender fourteen-year old woman, studied the lists of flavors with her innocent blue eyes and she felt her brother, Shingo, tug anxiously at her limp, dangling hand resting by her side. He must have found what he wanted. After a brief moment, he left to find Kenji-papa and Ikuko-mama, so he could get his desired treat. She still looked at the list of flavors posted on the wall, not really seeing the bold, five-inch high print. She knew what she wanted. Chocolate-vanilla swirl, two scoops, sugar cone, covered with the chocolate syrup that hardened into a shell. Still, she could hope that there would be a new flavor on this Saturday, but she doubted it. Every Saturday for the past three years, her family had come and gotten an ice-cream for each. Saturday tradition.

"Okaasan," she turned, golden trails of hair streaming out for a slow moment, falling quietly and lifelessly into their places, emerging out of the buns on either side of her head. "Okaasan," Usagi repeated and Ikuko moved to face her slim daughter, violet curls framing her plain, but glowing face, "may I go to the flower shop we passed?"

Ikuko hesitated, shifting her face to one side so as to converse swiftly with Kenji. Shingo was already happily engrossed with his ice-cream, face smeared with the confection. Barely a minute passed before she turned around again, sighing, "I suppose, dear. Be back in fifteen minutes!"

"Hai!" Usagi cried, running out the door, whirling on her heel to race along the sidewalk back to the flower shop. Cement, hard beneath her black slip-on shoes, wavered in the bitter summer heat pervading Japan. Outside there were few people, the majority of the missing were presumably inside, cooled by air conditioning systems. There was the whisper of a pale pink summer dress brushing her skin almost silently, and the rhythmic clicking of her heels against the pavement. Whisper; click. Again. Again. Again.

Outside the flower shop, now, hand resting on the door. The sign said it was OPEN, but she couldn't see if anyone was there. Leaning against the door to try it, Usagi smiled to find it gave way, opening slowly in a swinging motion. "Hello?" she called, eyes flickering to the flowerpots hanging from ceilings, resting on shelves. Flowers of every sort lit the shadowed room serenely, thousands of new and old scents mingling together to form an exotic perfume. She loved it.

"Hello?" tried Usagi again. "Is there anybody here?" Again, there was no answer, and she shrugged lightly to herself, shuffling across the carpeted floor to a forlorn flowerpot in which rested a small, dark blue flower. Her body shifted directions before her face did and she was looking over her shoulder then. As she swiveled her head back around to the front, she blinked in surprise. Someone had come to stand behind the counter at some point or another. A young man of about twenty years, maybe less by his startlingly youthful appearance - a shock of red hair, infinitely sad and weary violet eyes, body lean, so very silent and intense.

"Oh, um," she stuttered, cheeks growing warm, "h-hello." He said nothing, did nothing, merely watched her. "I wanted to, um, buy some flowers." Mentally, she berated herself. Of course she wanted to buy some flowers! Why else would she be in a flower shop? Nothing. Helplessly, she averted her eyes from his dark gaze, ignoring her racing heart. "Do you have any roses?"

There was silence behind her, silky and deafening. She glanced back through the corner of her eye; she was disappointed to see the young man had vanished from sight. Usagi sighed and was moving to leave, feeling as if the entire shop had become hostile, when there was the sound of a hundred tiny sighs by the counter. She risked another look and opened her mouth, closing it after a moment. Roses covered the counter's surface, ranging from blood red to shadow black in their mingled, bruised shades. "Oh," she breathed, staring with wide eyes at the thorny creations. "Oh."

Silently, wordlessly, he deftly plucked out a delicate red one, holding it out at arm's length towards her.

"Oh," she repeated, feeling incredibly dull for her sudden inability to do nothing but repeat that simple syllable. "Thank-you..."

She took a hesitant step forward, taking more confident strides after that first one. Her fingertips trembled only a little when she accepted the rose, letting its sharp green thorns prick her skin delightfully, feeling the texture of his wrist on her fingertips for a brief moment before he pulled his hand away from the contact, touching her fingers with his own firmly, forcing her hand to close loosely about the rose's stem. She wouldn't notice it 'til later, but he had chosen one that had few thorns on it. It was an act of kindness that was imperceptible. Her hand felt as if he had burned her. "My name is Usagi," she heard herself say, cocking her round, but slender, face to one side, smiling brightly. "Who are you?"

Almost reluctantly, he said nearly emotionlessly, "Aya."

"Hello, Aya-san," she beamed even brighter, straightening her neck and holding the rose to the center of her chest like she would a Bible. She half-expected him to say hello back to her, but he, once more, said nothing, instead switching his attention down to the roses, stacking them in clumsy piles according to color. Red hair dangled in two thin groups of strands, one by each ear. The rest of his red hair was thick, if short. An idea struck Usagi at that moment, one that didn't involve the careful lack of any emotion on his face, but the curious sadness that dwelled along the edges of his perpetually violet eyes. "Why are you sad?" His shoulders stiffened just a little and she felt a small twinge of guilt at prying into what wasn't her business. She banished it quickly. If this man was sad, she was going to make him happy, whether or not he liked it. "I can see it in your eyes, you know. It isn't good to bottle up emotions. I have friend, Minako, who does that and she feels worse and worse every day. I think she might have depression, but I want to know why you're sad." Usagi paused, not for an answer, but to collect her scattered thoughts together. Aya glanced up through his red bangs, face still tilted downward as he continued his chore of sorting the roses again. "It'll make you feel better if you tell someone about why you're sad and I can keep a secret if you want me to. It's like part of a song I heard once, from the 1990's." She broke off, wrinkling her sunlight eyebrows together in an attempt to recover the tune of the song. Humming a few different notes, she found it. "It goes like, 'hitori de nayande inaide sa, arukidasou hikari mezashite*.' See?" she ended hopefully.

He straightened his back, towering over her small 4'11" frame. "Has anybody ever told you," Aya spoke, finally, voice carrying a hint of sardonic amusement, "that you talk too much?"

She flushed, half from the all-too-familiar words, half from the intense scrutiny of his violet eyes. "A lot of people do," Usagi answered meekly, shuffling her feet nervously. "But I make people laugh, so I guess it's okay," she stuck her chin out. As he tied the bundles with twine, silent again, she leaned forward, the rose lightly grasped in one hand, elbows landing on the countertop to prop herself up. "Really," she asked, curiosity getting the best of her and interest shining in her eyes, "why are you sad? And please don't lie to me; I hate liars."

Aya looked up sharply, face-to-face with her, noses almost touching. Red hair tickled her face and she bit her tongue, blue eyes as wide as they could get, locked on his now-smoldering violet ones. "My sister is in a coma," he told her quietly, voice like a whip.

When he pulled away, she touched the tip of her nose with her fingers, closing her eyes so that her eyelashes brushed against her cheeks, swallowing hard. Proximity had been breached and guilt had filled her. "Gomen nasai, Aya-san," she apologized, wondering how she could have been so horribly prying.

He lay the bundles down beside the cash register, focusing his eyes on her again.

"But," Usagi added carefully, kicking herself over and over in her mind, "do you feel better now?"

To her surprise, Aya smiled a small smile, clean and real. "Yes," he told her softly. "I do."

She grinned foolishly, tucking some loose strands of her blonde hair behind an ear. "Sugoi," she blushed. "And I really am sorry abou-"

He lifted a hand, cutting her off effectively.

She unconsciously tightened her grip around the rose and the biting pain that lanced from nerve ending to nerve ending, finally reaching her brain, brought to her attention the fact that she had forgotten to pay for the rose. "Oh, I can't believe I forgot!" she gasped, fumbling for the purse she had slung over her shoulder. "How much for the rose?"

"Free," Aya uttered simply.

Usagi blinked, smiling shyly at him. He didn't give her another smile, just a slight nod of his head that might have just been her imagination. "Arigatou," she bowed.

He inclined his head just a little bit more visibly in response.

Before she completely left the florist shop, though, she looked over her shoulder, smiling sweetly. "See you next Saturday, Aya-san!" And then, like a Shakespearean sprite, she was gone, the door swinging shut behind her.

Aya picked up the bundles and vanished into the back foyer.

Outside the shop, Usagi smiled through the main window, bringing the rose to her lips and softly kissing one of the petals, not minding the thorns piercing her palm anymore.

The moment she arrived at the Tsukino house with her family, she dug out a crystal vase of enigmatic red and placed her rose in it amidst a pool of shimmering water.

Her Saturday rose.

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Oh, don't you just love OOC WAFF? (Out-Of-Character Warm-And-Fuzzy-Feeling, just so you know. *&.^*) Even if this isn't completely accurate for the WK universe, I'm still rather happy with it. I fear I've become addicted to the series without having seen a single episode. 0.o;

Girl-chama, if, for some reason, you're reading this, please write more on your WK/SM fanfic! I absolutely adored it! And I like the (supposed) Makoto/Yohji direction. *&.^*

And, again, if for some reason Chibi Tenshi-san is reading this, please update your WK/SM fic!

Behold: I write OOC. ;}

*'Hitori de nayande inaide sa, arukidasou hikari mezashite' is from 'Knockin' Down Hesitation,' a song from the Sailor Moon Stars series. The lyrics were obtained from www.lyricmoon.org and, translated into English, mean, 'Don't keep suffering alone, walk out towards the light.' The song was sung by Usagi and the Three Lights and the romanization/translation was done by Valerie Yoza. Off the 'Memorial Album of The Musical 4.' ;}