Chapter 1: Taking down a Billionaire
In an eerily dark office, a large, flat screen, silver television monitor flickered open to the local news channel.
"This just in, no more than ten minutes ago Kaioh Akira, President of Tech World Enterprise, was shot upon entering Tokyo Tower. A celebration for the joining of TWE and major competitor Sony was under way inside the Tower and as President Kaioh and his entourage were nearing the entrance, a sniper, now believed to have hidden in one of the nearby hotels fired and successfully shot President Kaioh down. He was immediately taken to Ogikubo Hospital where his condition is still unknown. We'll give new information on the hour every hour regarding Kaioh-san's condition. Until then, this is Shuko Maya reporting for SNCW News Four."
"Thank you Shuko-san. For those of you just tuning in—
The television shortly cut off as a tall, dark figure entered the already dim office. Simultaneously, the executive chair in front of the TV swiveled away from it and towards a nearby office desk where the only source of light in the room, a reading lamp, was situated at the corner of the desk. Around the desk were cluttered pens, papers, and mundane things a work room would have. Most notably though was a silver Desert Eagle handgun atop a pile of papers comfortably near the right hand of the built, middle aged man behind the desk.
A smirk landed on his hard features as he got up from the black leather chair, took an envelope from the top of the desk, and walked, or moreover, limped to the tall man who'd just walked in.
"I must say," he began in a gruff voice, the smirk never leaving his mouth. "I didn't think you could do it at first. Not that I don't trust in your abilities or anything, but… this is a first for you isn't it?"
"I'd do anything to get this guy," was the short reply from the figure propped upon the doorway.
The man laughed, "That's just like you…no one messes with family right?"
He nodded and stretched his right hand forward. The built man twirled the white envelope in his fingers before properly giving it to the other, patiently waiting man.
"Your payment, for a job well done." The young man nodded, took the envelope and without even chancing a glance as to what's inside, turned around and left.
Soft classical music wafted around the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall where another sold out crowd listened to an aspiring, rising classical musician.
"Kaioh Michiru?" A man sitting on one of the balcony seats asked with a hint of amazement and jealousy in his voice. "Kaioh, as in—
"The one and only," an old woman next to him interrupted. She placed the opera binoculars over her eyes to take a better look at the girl currently standing on the center of the stage, hypnotizing everyone with ease, grace, and fluidity with every motion she made with her violin. "Kaioh, as in Kaioh Akira. That's her father, owner of TWE. It just shows how talented the whole family is. Her father's a rich businessman, her mother's a successful lawyer, and their only daughter, an all around overachiever. Not only can she play the violin mind you, she also knows how to paint. Not also a bad swimmer from the rumors I've heard. The Kaioh name by itself floats on talent."
"Mm," the man nodded in agreement and closed his eyes to savor the composition Kaioh Michiru had written. "And she's only seventeen."
As the piece dwindled to the end, the crowd roared their approval sending Michiru crashing back to reality. She slowly opened her blue eyes, a soft smile gracing her pink hued lips. She carefully brought her violin to her side and tucked her long, curly aquamarine tresses behind her ear with her dainty fingers, her alabaster arm glowing under the glare of the spotlights. Bowing politely, she smiled even wider as a man from backstage walked over to the stage to present her an expensively arranged bouquet of assorted flowers.
In the middle of this interaction, her eyes caught a glimpse of a tall man in the very right side of the first row seats near the entranceway to the backstage area. His built, muscular body was framed by a three piece black suit and a blood red tie adorned tightly around his neck. He easily towered over the nearest spectators still, standing and clapping for her, for he was at least a feet taller than the tallest person in the building presently. His eyes were covered by rectangular shaped sunglasses and his gelled back black hair glinted from the lighting. He looked almost like all the sharply dressed men in the room, only Michiru could see the little pin on the left side of his suit's collar that really told her who she already knew him to be. The pin held the emblem of the Japanese flag and the letters TWE engraved in gold in the red circular area where the sun is depicted.
What are father's men doing here?
A frown etched her beautiful face, but disappeared as soon as it came just as the man handed her the bouquet. She bowed a final time to the crowd now giving her standing ovations and walked out of the stage with her white silky dress trailing after her and the man who gave her the flowers at her side. The first thing she noticed as she walked away from the prying eyes of her league of fans didn't make her mood any lighter.
"Saiki-kun, may I ask what you're doing here?" her soft, yet commanding voice asked.
Saiki Kensuke sighed, but nevertheless smiled. "Kaioh-san, I'm sorry to disturb you at such an hour and event, but your presence is needed at the Kaioh Estate."
"It can wait 'til tomorrow," Michiru replied, her voice leaving no room for dispute.
Saiki scratched his black, gelled-spiked hair and straightened his black suit. "I'm sorry Kaioh-san, but it's an emergency. I really can't let you go tonight until I know you are headed to the estate."
"Then I will go," Michiru stated coldly as she placed her Stradivarius in her violin case, "after the charity event."
"If you won't let me go, then tell me what it is my father needs. Otherwise, I will not go with you."
If she's been counting correctly, this was the third time this month alone that Michiru had, had to deal with her father's bodyguards. The first was at school and the second, during a meeting with a friend. Ever since she's started living on her own, her father had continually kept tabs on the things she does, who she does what with, and why. Michiru was known as a patient and understanding girl. The first couple of times, she's dismissed them and curtly spoke to her father about how much she valued her privacy and independence. Apparently, that in itself wasn't enough, so unsurprisingly her patience and understanding had dwindled to an all time minimum.
"Please, Kaioh-san, I—
"Saiki, we have to hurry."
Michiru looked over Saiki's shoulder and saw the man she saw earlier; he was even taller up close. Nevertheless, she gave him an uncaring look and glared back at Saiki, a sign telling him to speak up or leave.
"S-something happened to Kaioh-sama during the celebratory party." His tone was clipped, brisk, and business like, and Michiru didn't like it at all.
Catching on to the panic in his voice behind the seemingly calm exterior, Michiru gulped down a growing panic within herself. "What? What happened to him?"
"We have the limo waiting outside. I'll explain everything there."
Michiru nodded solemnly and grabbed her violin case, the forgotten flowers lying abandoned on a nearby, steel folding chair.
She thought about the first few times that her father had made his men check up on her. In all of the cases, none of them ever came up to actually converse with her or show even the slightest hint that they were checking up on her. Her good intuition just outmatched all of their spying ability, which technically was the main reason why she knew she was being followed all those times. Furthermore, Saiki Kensuke was one of her father's own bodyguards. Just the fact that he went from one of the head bodyguards to a messenger boy was daunting. Something was definitely wrong.
As they stepped out of the concert hall and into the cold parking lot and sparkling moon light, Michiru felt the bigger bodyguard from earlier instantaneously step in front of her blocking her from any frontal view or movement until he himself would choose to move. Simultaneously, Saiki moved directly behind her and held her protectively by the waist.
She nervously looked around feeling the air get colder, more sinister. Despite the fact that two of her father's best bodyguards were closer to her than any human contact she's ever felt aside from her immediate family, she didn't feel any safer. In retrospect, their darting eyes and tense bodies only made her feel even more anxious.
In the closest parking spot in front of the concert hall stood a shiny black stretch limousine, no doubt the one Saiki had told her about. They slowly walked to it, their feet synchronized with one another. Only when she safely got inside the limo did Michiru's heart rate begin to go back to normal. There were two other bodyguards inside the limo and both sat next to her once she sat in the middle seat. Saiki and the other guard sat in front of them, continuously looking out the window towards waiting darkness. When the limo began moving, Saiki finally stopped looking apprehensively outside and focused on her once again.
"What's going on?" Michiru asked, worry clearly evident on her otherwise flawless face. She unconsciously picked on her blue silk dress, smoothing it over and wrinkling it again.
"As you know," Saiki began, "There was to be a celebratory party in the Tokyo Tower tonight—
"What about Otou-san?" Michiru cut off, grief stricken. She held her balled fist over her heart and stared down at him. "What happened? I don't care about the details. Just tell me what happened to him!"
Saiki gulped and nodded, his black brows furrowing deeply. "Your father has been shot." He had no better way of cushioning it.
Michiru's blue eyes widened in shock as her face paled and once again, the growing feeling of feeling vulnerability she felt outside came back.
Although her outward appearance seemed just slightly off, the inside of her mind wasn't as composed. No…No! That-that can't be right… He's my father! It's not possible for him to get hurt…he won't let anyone…
Yet she knew that all Saiki has said had been true. His morose features, saddened eyes. They spoke for him. She felt her heart clench tightly as the damned tears from her eyes finally broke through and streamed down her cheeks.
Somehow, her small voice found a way to speak as her body crumbled off of the limo seat and fell into the rumbling car floor unceremoniously. She didn't care who saw or what the bodyguards thought of her, the always seemingly perfect, elegant, and refined girl. The only thing that crossed her mind were flashes of her father's kind face, his warm smile, and the twinkling his eyes gave when he'd spoil her and her mother was imploring him what he's done this time. A choked sob escaped from her lips as she felt a warm hand envelop her small shaking shoulders. She looked up from her tear drenched eyes in surprise into hazel ones that were staring at her levelly.
"Kaioh-san," Saiki called, his voice soft and caring. "Your father's alright."
Michiru's eyes widened in shock and hope as she silently begged him to continue regardless if what he's saying would give her false hope.
"I was with him when it happened," Saiki continued, keeping his eyes even with hers. "We were about to go through the entrance when he got a phone call. I believe it was from Vice President Morimoto. He-he just stopped walking for ten seconds to talk to him, and I don't know what happened. It was just so fast. One second he's sharing a joke with Morimoto-sama and the next second, he was down on the ground in pain…"
Michiru sniffed and waited for his continuation.
"I noticed the bullet hole fixed on his left upper shoulder blade. It was about an inch or so away from his clavicle and very far from any of his vital organs. We lucked out tonight. The sniper either had very bad aim or the huge amount of guards around Kaioh-sama couldn't give him the opportunity to shoot for the spot he wanted."
"What about blood loss?" Michiru cried out. She wanted to be completely sure that her father was as safe as the bodyguard in front of her claimed him to be. She dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief he quickly handed out and waited for his answer.
"We made complete sure that he was taken to the nearest and best hospital. We also contacted Aoyama-Sensei. Blood loss doesn't seem to be a problem. Kaioh-sama actually sent us to get you and your mother fearing more for your lives than his."
Michiru smiled, laden with relief. That was so like her father, to not care about his current condition and care more of her and her mother's well being. She looked up at Saiki shortly and smiled gratefully, her eyes sparkling in appreciation. "Thank you…Kensuke-kun."
Saiki's smile widened into a grin as he realized that Kaioh Michiru had just called him by his first name. Lost in thoughts of replaying the way the beautiful girl had just called him, he finally noticed that the limo had stopped when he felt Muro, the other bodyguard, tapping his shoulders. When he looked up from his kneeling position, he saw a faint blush creeping on Michiru's cheeks as she was getting out of the limo following the other bodyguard that had seated next to the window.
"Shouldn't we be following them?" Muro's gruff voice asked from behind him.
Saiki's body went rigid as his bodyguard mode was immediately turned on again. He and Muro got out of the limo and once again protected Michiru in the same way they did when they came out of the concert hall, the two extra bodyguards walking beside her.
When they entered the emergency wing of Ogikubo Hospital, Michiru quickly caught sight of her mother, broke free from her bodyguards and ran to her. Kaioh Yuriko, when she saw Michiru, followed suit and both met in the middle of the carpeted, white hall, crying, hugging, and comforting one another. The elder Kaioh led Michiru by the waiting room where Kaioh Akira's entourage waited in deep silence and sat next to her on two vacant seats.
"How long has Otou-san been in there?" Michiru asked as she gave her mother a look over.
Yuriko's thirty-seven year old face normally had the feel and look of someone ten years younger, but this night, much to Michiru's chagrin, she looked much older than her perceived age. Her dark blue hair, much like Michiru's, cascaded down to her shoulders, but the normally hidden wrinkles on her forehead and crow's feet around her eyes were clear to see. Her sparkling deep blue eyes were bloodshot from all the crying and in the light of the situation, Michiru felt as if she saw a ton of weights sitting on her mother's shoulders. She unconsciously gathered her mother and embraced her tightly. Yuriko responded in a dependent manner.
"Kaioh-sama has been in for about forty five minutes," one of the bodyguards answered her shortly.
A flurry of footsteps echoed down the hall and in about ten seconds, a distressed Vice President Morimoto Kenro appeared in the doorway of the waiting room, ten to fifteen bodyguards surrounding him. He easily looked like one of them with a built, tall figure and broad shoulders and a black suit adorning his body luxuriously. His very short jet black hair was in disarray, sticking out in places it wouldn't normally be in and a displeased frown was evident on the sour look on his face.
"Kenro Oji-san," Michiru greeted and she and Yuriko got up from their seat only to be wholeheartedly embraced by the burly man.
"How's Akira doing?" he asked, his usual businessman tone gone and in its place, the compassionate and caring voice Michiru had known ever since she's met him.
"We don't know of his condition as of yet," Yuriko answered heavily.
Kenro frowned and hugged both of them tighter.
As if on cue, the Kaioh family doctor, Dr. Aoyama appeared with a smile upon his old, wrinkly face. That alone gave each person in the room a sigh of relief.
"How's Akira doing, Aoyama-sensei?" Yuriko asked, breaking the silence.
"Kaioh-san, I'm glad to say, is in stable condition," Dr. Aoyama replied.
Simultaneously, most people present who held their breath at the question, released it upon getting the answer.
"He was shot along his upper shoulder line. The bullet traveled atop the clavicle and shoulder blade, missing the bones completely. None of the vital tendons or tissues were harmed either. The extent of his injuries is very far from life threatening and the bullet actually went through his shoulder so there was no bullet to dislodge. We fixed the wound so it wouldn't bleed as much and stitched his skin together to take care of the hole the bullet made upon impact.
"Seeing that this is a public hospital, I'll be clearing Kaioh-san tomorrow and take further care of him, if necessary, in your residence, where we all know, is a much safer place. I understand that this is a very shady time for your whole family and Kaioh-san's company as well. I've spoken to the director of the hospital and he's allowed as many people as you wish to stay in the perimeter of Kaioh-san's room as well as the inside. He's still under the influence of the sleeping drug we gave him during surgery, so he's still asleep. Other than that, you're free to go and see him."
"Thank you." With a last bow of gratitude, Michiru and her mother walked to Akira's room while Kenro brought the whole unit of bodyguards together to tell them how the shifts will change and who'll be staying with which member of the family for the night.
As Michiru accompanied her mother to her father's room, she couldn't help, but feel vulnerable. Really vulnerable. Her father always struck her as someone who was invincible, untouchable. But that belief was shattered so easily with one bullet. If this maniac trying to get her father could crumple him so easily, what of everyone else? She was scared of her well being, but was even more terrified of the well-being of who she considered family.
When her mother opened the door to the spacious white painted room, Michiru felt her breath catch in her throat. Before her eyes, Kaioh Akira the most powerful man in TWE and the Japanese economy as a whole, laid in a supine position across a clean bed, white sheets covering him from his waist down. His upper body was bare and triangular white gauze was wrapped around his shoulder tightly. His aquamarine, perfectly-sculpted-every-morning hair looked grey from the hospital's bright lighting and the trace of power one can see surging through his piercing blue eyes was gone, replaced by eyelids that refused to open. His shallow breathing was weaker than average; the rise and fall of his chest a little slower and aged as he inhaled and exhaled. A beeping noise emitted every two seconds in a machine next to his bed providing the only real sound coming from the otherwise empty and lifeless room.
Yuriko pulled a chair beside her husband as Michiru pushed back some of his aqua locks and kissed him on his warm cheeks. She heard her mother softly speaking to him grasping his hands in hers as she sat down on a seat at the foot of the bed. As she sat there, the stress and tension from the night's events finally washed over her. Her eyes drifted back to her father's sleeping figure as she covered her mouth to stifle a yawn. She felt a hand place over her shoulder and as she looked up, saw Kenro's grim, but smiling face.
"You seem tired Michiru-chan," he voiced his concern.
"I'm okay," she answered, but was betrayed quickly as the yawn she stifled earlier came back with a vengeance.
Kenro smiled to her as a father would to his child. "Everything's being taken care of here. I don't think your father would appreciate you not getting any sleep tonight on account of this incident."
Michiru sighed, but nevertheless nodded in agreement.
"There is a favor I'd like to ask of you though," Kenro stated as he beckoned someone from the door. Saiki walked into the room and waited to be placed on duty patiently.
"What's that Oji-san?" Michiru asked while giving Saiki a glance.
"Well, two favors actually. First, I'd like you, just for the night, to let Saiki and Muro, his partner, be your bodyguard and let them stay in close quarters with you."
Michiru's discomfort showed immediately.
"Second, I'd really, really appreciate it if you spent the night at your father's estate."
The violinist pulled her fingers to her temple and massaged the throbbing ache away. She was about to object wholeheartedly when she caught sight of her father's figure on the too white sheets. She knew her godfather was doing this only because of safety reasons, so slowly, just to let him know that she didn't like the idea, she nodded in cooperation.
Kenro smiled at his goddaughter and hugged her.
"Do you know…who could've done this?" she asked giving him an inquiring look.
He only shook his head, a determined look washing over an angry one. "Whoever it is, when I find him, I'll dispose of him myself."
She could only give a nod at her godfather's grim words.
After sharing a couple more seconds with him, she walked to her mother, debriefed her of her plans, said her goodnight with a kiss, and gave another kiss to her unresponsive father as well. As she walked over to Saiki, she looked back at her godfather walking to her mother and frowned.
"Oji-san?" she called.
Kenro looked at her and sat down on her seat.
"What's wrong with your leg? You seem to be limping."
He gave a boyish smile and shrugged. "Sprained it when I was going down some stairs."
Michiru stifled a laugh, bowed a final time, and left with Saiki.
They wordlessly exited the hospital with Muro in tow and walked to the limo in the same manner that they've been doing all night. On the limo drive to her father's estate, Michiru didn't bother with useless conversation. She was tired and was using all her remaining strength to keep herself from sleeping.
When they finally reached the estate, Michiru took notice of the guards protecting the entranceway and perimeter of the entire land; each guard placed at least twenty feet from another. As she walked out of the limo, this time thankful that neither of the bodyguards on her charge tonight were doing the same defensive stance, she looked over at the white stone mansion and gave a nostalgic smile.
Of course it still looked the same—she only moved out two months ago. A guard stationed at the front door opened up for her immediately and she paid no mind to the lavishly luxurious items decorating the entranceway. Instead, she walked up the spiral staircase of the west wing towards her original bedroom. As she touched the doorknob, Saiki stuck his hand near hers making her look up at him imploringly.
"I'm sorry Kaioh-san, but it's procedure. We need to double check your room before you can step foot in it," Saiki explained.
Michiru gave an exasperated sigh, but nonetheless nodded. Saiki and Muro diligently searched through every nook and cranny of her room with their guns in front of them. When they deemed it safe, they bowed from the doorway of the room, bid Michiru goodnight, and closed it for her.
The main thing she noticed as she discarded her violin case on the side next to a stand was that the room, although clean and dust-free looked to be the same room she left. A big king sized bed with white goose down sheets was rooted in the middle of two entranceways to the balconies leading outside. The curtains covering the entranceways fell gracefully from their original position as the lithe girl pulled them close, freeing herself from any prying eyes. Her favorite art pieces she herself painted still decorated the walls and a music stand and a study was further to her left. She padded to an adjoining room, a walk in closet, and picked out a camisole to wear for the night, and changed in the private bath next the closet. When she got back to her room, she drew back the cold sheets and gently laid herself down.
Finally, after a tiring day, all was silent. This silence though held no comfort. It was thick and suffocating, like a calm before a storm. She curled up in a fetal position and firmly closed her eyes, forcing herself to drift off into an uneasy sleep.
AN: Just a word of warning (or a lot actually, but if you do get bored reading them, you're not subjected to):
This story will be completely AU so don't expect either outer to suddenly transform…they're completely human.
None of the other senshi will make an appearance.
Any other character who's not H&M will be an original character and trust me…there's a lot of them.
This is Haruka and Michiru we're talking about… of course there's going to be shoujo-ai (girl love), so if you're not up to it just click that back button.
First finished H&M fic so it might not be as good as half of what's out there, but I'll take reviews as well as criticizes (just make it a good argument). If I get a flame for something I've written here in the AN… . ;; I'll do that face and then ignore it. If anything else though, I will answer questions regarding the storyline as long as it doesn't mean giving out what's going to happen in the future.
Last, but not least… Sailor Moon and all its characters belong to Takeuchi Naoko-san…not me.
On another note, Japanese culture's big on honorifics (using –chan, -san, -kun after a name). I've made it so in this story so I'll say I'm sorry in advance if it bothers you to read them. Also, I'll only be using a couple Japanese words like titles (sensei, oji, otou, okaa…). Using as little as possible to none makes for a better flowing storyline, but it felt weird for Michiru to say their English equivalents (teacher/doctor, uncle, father, mother) so I just let it stay the way I originally wrote it. Haruka will show in the next chapter so…I'll see you then. Reading and reviewing will be much appreciated.