Tsukino Kenji considered himself to be a reasonable man. He would admit, if asked directly, that he was a little overprotective of his daughter. But that was, after all, a father's right. And of all the little girls in the world, his needed protection more than most.

True, she wasn't really a 'little girl' anymore. At twenty Tsukino Usagi was a glowing example of young womanhood, but she was still his little girl. No matter what anyone said.

And it just might be that she was capable of protecting herself - or failing that had friends to do it for her - but logic wasn't about to stop Tsukino Kenji when it came to his daughter.

This, of course, was why he now found himself blocking the door. His little girl was holding her birthday party inside his home and he was not going to allow anything to happen. And that included shifty looking strangers trying to gain entrance. Particularly male shifty looking strangers.

Some part of his mind was telling him that he ought to recognize the young man who was arguing with him, but Kenji was not in the mood to listen. He'd already had to let his daughter's fiancé in (and at this thought Kenji shuddered, her having a boyfriend has been bad enough, but a fiancé? That was just a little much for the poor salaryman).

He'd also had to let in a very odd group of woman (one of whom he would have sworn was a man if Usagi hadn't corrected him), and that wasn't even getting into the fact that there were three cats (well, one of them was Luna, and that was fine, but really, why the other two? And why was no one else disturbed by cats taking part in a party?) and a girl claiming to be his wife's niece at the party.

Letting Naru and Umino in had made the harassed man feel much better, these two, at least, he knew. And, of course, there were 'the four girls' as he tended to think of Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako.

But this man standing in front of him right now was definitely not stepping foot inside his house. Kenji just wasn't having it.

"You have to let me in! I want to see Oda..." the young man trailed off at the look on Kenji's face, "I mean, I need to see Tsukino-san to wish her happy birthday. Please!"

The please, Kenji noted with some pleasure, was added quickly. Apparently the upstart was beginning to think demands weren't the way to go.

"I've come a really long way, and I can't stay long. May I please come in?"

"No. You are not on the list of guests," Tsukino Kenji replied with some satisfaction. He didn't even need to check the list to be sure this was true, everyone was here already.

"Just tell her I'm here! She'll want to see me."

"I'm not interrupting my daughter's birthday party. And I'm not letting you do it either."

"Papa?" asked the voice of the birthday girl in question, "what's going ... Seiya!"

Tsukino Kenji fond himself being moved aside as his daughter squealed with delight and dragged the stranger inside.

Kenji stared out into the night through the still open door, before sighing and closing the door with a soft click.

Life had been a lot easier when his little girl had let him protect her.