Whoa... Time really does fly. This is the first fic I've actually managed to start and finish enough of to actually post, for several months! Oh, how I've missed the feeling.

I've barely had any inspiration at all these last couple of months. It has caused me some depression, let me tell you that! But, here I am again. With a new fic. Hopefully, my inspiration will hold out for a while so I can write (and finish!) many more.

I hope you enjoy this!


The Puppet Show

He gulped, straightening his dress shirt nervously. This was it. He, Hiroshi Yuuki, was going to meet with a beautiful, kind...all around wonderful girl. He'd caught sight of her in the arcade, playing with the Sailor V-game...and he'd been caught – hook, line and sinker. He'd struggled for several minutes, desperately trying to muster up enough courage to walk up and talk to her

And, when he had...she'd been even more wonderful than he'd imagined her to be. She was a lot he'd ever wished for in a girl – kind, compassionate, beautiful... So, she was a bit childish and clumsy. And perhaps not the brightest crayon in the box, but it only added to her charm, he thought. It had taken a bit of persuasion, but in the end, she'd agreed to a date.

So here he was...

He took a deep breath, trying to prepare himself, before entering the arcade. He counted the boots, mentally going over what they'd agreed upon – to meet at five o'clock in the third booth from the counter.

He sauntered over, stumbling over his own feet, in a rather failing attempt to hide how nervous he really was. "H-hi, Tsukino-sa—oh." He trailed off, realizing the person in the booth was most definitely not Tsukino Usagi. Far from it. Instead, it was a young man – around seventeen, or so, with ebony hair and a hard, calculating gaze – who was occupying the seat. "Sorry, I must have— the wrong boot —uhm..." he babbled, mindlessly counting the tables again. No, he hadn't made a mistake. Had he?

The dark haired man titled his head slightly, his eyes narrowing. "You're Hiroshi Yuuki? Here to see Tsukino Usagi?"

Hiroshi swallowed anxiously, feeling not only a little unnerved by the other's penetrating glare. "Y-yes?"


"E-excuse me?"


"Y-yes, sir!" he squeaked, oppressing the urge to salute the man as he scrambled into the seat in front of him.

The other man leaned back in his seat. "What are your intentions with Odango?"


"Odango. Usagi-chan," he replied slowly, as if he was explaining something to a three year old. "What. Are. Your. Intentions. With. Her?"

"Well, I was—" Hiroshi frowned, scrunching up his nose in the process. "Who are you and what's it to you, anyway?"

The man straightened in his seat, staring at him calmly. "My name is Chiba Mamoru."

Chiba Mamoru? Hiroshi blanched. He'd heard of him, of course – he was famous throughout Japan for his incredible grades and great athletic achievements. Brain, brawn, money and good looks – he had it all. In fact, as far as he'd heard, there was nothing Chiba Mamoru couldn't do.

But why on Earth was he sitting in front of him, having a conversation – no, an interrogation about Tsukino-san?

Of course, he'd heard the rumors about Chiba-senpai being a frequent guest to the arcade, not that he'd ever seen him before, but that still didn't explain the – incredibly awkward – situation he was stuck in.

"Now, back to Odango – what are your intentions with her?"

Hiroshi flinched back into reality. "Well, I— I just—a date..." he stammered.

"A date," Chiba-senpai repeated, his voice being so low Hiroshi feared he'd said something very, very wrong, "and what did you plan to do on this...date." His fingers drummed against the advanced physics book lying on the table.

Hiroshi's eyes flickered back-and-forth between the other man's cold gaze and his drumming fingers. "I-I just thought I'd take her out f-for a movie and d-dinner..." he managed.

"Movie and dinner? Your own idea, I suppose?"

"Uh, y-yes."

"So you didn't think of asking her what she wanted to do at all, now did you?"

"No... But, I just wanted to surprise her..."

"You should have asked," he continued, as if he hadn't been interrupted. "It's not very hard. Here. Let me demonstrate." He picked up his pencil, waving it in front of him. "Hi," he began, his voice high and squeaky, "my name is Hiroshi Yuuta and I'm going to ask you out on a date. What would you like to do, Tsukino-san?"

Hiroshi gaped, staring disbelievingly at the pencil bobbing up and down in Chiba-senpai's hand. He couldn't possibly be serious, could he? Hiroshi snuck a glance at him, trying to determine just that, but his face was blank, completely devoid of any emotion.

Chiba-senpai retrieved his reading-glasses from where they'd been resting in his breast pocket, before continuing, his voice even higher than earlier. "Hi, Hiroshi-san. I'm Tsukino Usagi, but Mamoru-sama calls me Odango Atama, even though he knows I hate it, because he thinks I'm pretty when I'm mad. In reality he really loves my hair and thinks it looks like a cascade of gold." He moved the glasses up and down as he spoke, while bringing it closer to the pencil. "I'd love to go on a date with you, but first there are things you need to know. My favorite colors are white and pink, but I also like blue. Mamoru-sama's eyes are a wonderful blue color – they remind me of the night sky. I'm fourteen years old and I'm in eight grade. When I'm not in school, I usually hang out in the arcade where Motoki-onii-san works. Motoki-onii-san is like a big brother to me and will probably knock your teeth out if you ever look at me the wrong way."


"...My favorite flowers are roses. Mamoru-sama once told me that he can actually throw roses like they were darts. He's very good at throwing darts and he rarely misses his targets, so if you'd ever hurt me, in any way, he will use you as a target and, trust me, he won't miss." Chiba-senpai's mouth twitched upwards for a brief moment before settling into the same stoic expression his face had bore throughout his little demonstration. "There. It doesn't seem that hard, now, does it?" he said, his voice back into his normal, dark timbre, as he placed the pencil and glasses on the table.

"N-no..." he squeaked.

"Good, that means we can continue."

Hiroshi squirmed in his seat. He didn't exactly feel entirely comfortable with the prospect of having to continue his...talk with the other man.

"Have you ever imagined Odango as your wife?"

He blinked, feeling utterly confused. Even more so than earlier. "E-excuse me?" He must have heard wrong. There could be no other explanation.

Chiba-senpai tilted his head slightly to the side as he slowly replied, "You. Odango. Married."

Hiroshi stared at him, his mouth hanging open. "M-ma-married?" he stuttered. What on Earth was going on? Was the man insane?!

"Yes, I do believe that was what I said," Chiba-senpai deadpanned. "If you plan on sitting there with your mouth wide open, repeating every word I say, we're going to have a very tedious conversation."


He tilted his head slightly to the side, his eyes narrowing slowly. "You do know what marriage is, don't you?" He retrieved his pencil and glasses yet again. "Do I need to demonstrate everything to you? Watch carefully now: We stand, gathered here today to witness this couple as they join into holy matrimony," he began, his voice taking on a rather monotonous note, as he waved both the both items in his hands.

Hiroshi squirmed in his seat yet again, his eyes darting back-and-forth through the arcade. Wasn't there anyone who could save him from this maniac? And where was Tsukino-san, anyway? It was well past five by now, wasn't it?

Chiba-senpai wiggled the pencil sharply, forcing his attention back to it, before continuing in the same monotonous voice. "Now do you, Hiroshi Yuuki, take this Tsukino Usagi to be your lawfully wedded wife, disregarding the fact that you don't even deserve breathing the same air as her, let alone marry her?" He paused for a moment, his eyes gazing at him intently. "Now, tell me again: What's your intentions with Odango?"

The man was mad, Hiroshi decided. Absolutely bonkers.

He rose wordlessly, mechanically striding out of the arcade. Tsukino Usagi was a wonderful girl, he was certain of that. But she was not, however, worth the price of having to go through the whole ordeal of Chiba Mamoru.

Mamoru sighed, giving his pen and glasses a short glance before replacing them on the table.

Moments later a pair of innocently blue eyes became visible over the plush couch Hiroshi had occupied only seconds earlier. "Is he gone yet?" The soft whisper came.

"Yes, Odango. He's all gone. I managed to scare him off."

Usagi giggled, leaping into the now vacant couch. "Scare him off?! You managed to freak him off, more likely!"

A light flush covered his cheeks. "Well, I'm sorry I didn't scare him off properly," he muttered sourly. "I'm not exactly used to scaring off potential boyfriends."

"No, you're more used to frightening small children!" she stuck out her tongue at him.

"Oi! Is that the way you treat the guy who just managed to save you from an unwanted date? See if I ever help you again." He crossed his arms with a pretended pout, causing her to giggle again.

"Sorry." She gripped his hand softly. "You won't have to do it again, I promise."

"Well, you better," he grumbled. "Because, unless I'm very much mistaken, you've agreed to be my girlfriend."

She sent him a brilliant smile, squeezing his hand. "Of course." She paused for a moment, glancing through the arcade window. "I hope he's okay. You might have been a bit cruel..."

He grunted. "What did you expect? He wanted a date with my girlfriend. I still don't get why you even accepted his offer."

She fiddled with an napkin. "Well...he's a nice guy and I really didn't have a reason to tell him no. I didn't exactly plan for you to blurt out your feelings for me two hours before my date with him!"

"Oh, well, I'm sorry," he deadpanned. "Next time, I'll check with your social calender before declaring my undying love for you. You know, you could just have told him no when you saw him just now. Why you chose to drag me into this is beyond me."

She flushed. "I can't just do that! What was I supposed to say?" she picked up his glasses, waving it them front of his face. "Oh, sorry, I can't go out with you. I received a better offer – that guy over there is much better than you! Do you know how cruel that would be?!"

"You forgot to say 'Mamoru-sama'."


"Well, at least it would have been the truth, Odango."

"Maaa!" she exclaimed, punching him playfully on the shoulder. "I thought you'd stop calling me that! I hate that name!"

"Well, I like it. It suits you, Odango Atama!" he said, rubbing her buns affectionately.

"Hmmm...maybe I'd be better off accepting Hiroshi-san's offer..."

"Fine, fine. I'll come up with another nickname." He pretended to ponder very hard. "I'm thinking something along the line of Bunny-Wobbles..."

She gave off an indignant shriek, causing him to laugh.

"Take it easy, Usako. I'm just joking."

"Usako?" She sent him a warm smile. "I like it! And, oooh...I can call you Mamo-chan! It matches together so nicely! Usako and Mamo-chan!"

Mamoru paled, his eyes widening slightly. "Mamo-chan?! It sounds so...frilly! I think I'll go back to calling you Odango again."