I would first like to kick myself for posting this. I told myself I wouldn't before it was done, but that being said, I also really plan to update this story! I really, really do! (FwD, you say? *whistles*) Okay, at least I'll see what I can do. No more than a month until the next, I promise!
With that out of the way—hi! Welcome to my fourth dive into the world of fanfiction, and my intended first-completed chaptered fic. Glad to have you here! For all of you who have been awaiting this story's online publication, I hope the wait was worth it!
This story is a humorous/romantic first-season AU, revolving around our favorite obstinate would-be couple, Usagi and Mamoru! So what happens when Mamoru really ticks Usagi off, and she makes a wish that everyone in the world would hate him?
Well, you're about to find out!
I've taken liberties with Usagi's character, as you will soon see—her intelligence level has been…er, adjusted to give the story a hopefully more amusing narrator. But it will be explained later on in the story, so no worries!
Pearl, thanks for eyeballing my story! Other than that, I was pretty much on my own for this one, so here goes!
Disclaimer: If I owned it, I wouldn't be writing about it here. Sailor Moon, not mine, end of story. This story and all of its ideas, however, do belong to me. The fire-breathing dragon sitting next to me will turn you into a lump of charcoal that will be packaged in the stocking of a naughty child on Christmas if you attempt to steal it ("it" being the story, not the stocking—you can steal the stocking).
With that said, read on!
Notebooks, Not Love Notes
Mystical beings work in strange ways. Up high in the nighttime sky, on that glowing pearly orb we call the moon, is where our story begins. Of course, the ways of the spirits living on the moon have always been mysterious and inexplicable to the simple-minded mortals of Earth. But perhaps it would be simpler to start the tale by looking at two such worldly creatures, whose lives were anything but ordinary…
"I hate you!"
"Glad to hear it, Odango."
"Glad to…to say it, stupid!"
"And once again, ze-ro points for originality. How…original. Ding ding ding, looks like we have a loser, ladies and gentlemen!"
Welcome to my life. I'm Tsukino Usagi and…well, this is it. An ordinary, boring life to go with an ordinary, boring teenage girl. Fifteen, to be exact.
"Go buy a book to use as firewood like you usually do, Odango. Is that where all your precious schoolbooks go? Straight to the incinerator? Or would your brain fry from overuse if you even tried lighting a match?"
And this, this is Chiba Mamoru. Upperclassman extraordinaire, master of all trades, and loving it. I, on the other hand, absolutely loathe every moment that I'm reminded of his status. Eighteen years old, and hated by only one person in the entire universe: Me.
"I'd be able to do it if it meant lighting your head on fire, jerkwad!"
"If you can even reach that high, little girl."
Ooh, the nerve of that man!
"Here you go, Usagi-chan—" came a cheery voice from behind the counter. "One double-malt chocolate milkshake with whipped cream and a cherry on top, just like you like it! Enjoy!"
"Oooh!" I grabbed the delectable treat with both hands and took a nice, long sip. Nothing like sweets to wash down your troubles with! "Mmm—thanks, Motoki!"
That's Furuhata Motoki, owner of the arcade I come to every day after school. Talk about a heaven-sent angel compared to Satan sitting next to me! He knows exactly what I like—and that's consistency! But speaking of Satan…
"Can't you find somewhere else to sit, dummy?" I complained through my mouthful of creamy shake, eyeing the man on my left balefully. "There not enough room in this arcade for you, or are you just too fat to fit anywhere else?"
Every day, my good and faithful friend Motoki witnesses one chapter of the never-ending feud between my archenemy, Chiba Mamoru, and myself. I swear it's like trying to kill a hydra—every time you chop a head off, you have to wrestle with three more. Mamoru doesn't have multiple heads, but he sure as heck won't die, either.
That's my after-school life in a nutshell: I spend exactly one-and-a-half hours of my life five days a week this way, six times if I'm having a bad week. That's an average of seven-and-a-half hours a week, and, allowing room for unfortunate rencontres and the length of the school year, that means I spend approximately 375 hours a year with this man from the underworld who couldn't get across the Styx because he was deemed too black-hearted. To top it all off, I've known him for almost two years now, which makes it 750 hours that I've been exposed to his noxious aura, the equivalent of being trapped in a room with him without respite for 31 days. Ladies and gentlemen, that's a January, March, May, July, August, October, or December straight that I've had to stand him! Who said I couldn't do math when it really matters?
And yet, here I am. Sitting in the arcade next to a complete douchebag on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. I always come back for more only because, as I've mentioned, I like consistency. I do not, however, as I've also mentioned, like HIM. But all of this is useless talk if I can't apply it to the here and now. After all, there's no time like the present!
Presently, I looked up expectantly, twiddling my straw with my fingers. Mamoru was ignoring me. I huffed impatiently, glanced at the clock, and back at him out of the corner of my eye. He had out his latest vile textbook, a black-bound, dense-looking book on jean-tectic…something or other. Coupled with the glasses that appeared out of nowhere (I later learned that he only wore them for show) and a cup of steaming hot coffee, the man looked sophisticated.
I could just feel the hate-o-meter rise up a notch.
"I hate you," I said thickly, sucking up another gulp of milkshake.
He didn't look up from his reading. "The feelings are reciprocated with equal alacrity, I assure you."
Ouch. That one smarted. I think he could tell that I didn't understand—meant for me not to understand, more like—and smirked into the pages of the book.
"What's the matter, Odango? Head too filled with whipped cream to answer? Or did you not get that the first time?"
"Of—Of course I got that!" I lied angrily. Mamoru only grinned wider, and I felt tears well up in my eyes despite myself.
"Watch out, Bellagio," he laughed, finally putting down his book on the counter. "Looks like you've got some competition here! Better get your mop ready, Motoki, I think I hear the flashflood warnings sounding. Heck, bring the whole Navy!"
I bit my lip hard, pointing out shakily, "Japan d-doesn't…have a Navy!"
But nobody was listening. My one moment of intellectual glory, and everybody was too darn busy laughing at the jerk's latest slight. It wasn't fair! Through my watery eyes and the furious roaring in my ears, I could barely make out Motoki, leaning over the counter shaking his head at Mamoru. I watched the blonde say something softly and saw Mamoru chuckle, unrepentant.
That was it! I jumped to my feet. 31 straight days of this—750 hours of his taunting, his teasing, his insults…and to crown the whole ordeal: every, damn, person in the world loved him for being the king of all JERKS!
"I hate you!" I yelled, blinking back the threatening wave of tears in my eyes and clenching my fists. "I hate you, Chiba Mamoru, and I wish you'd know what it's like to have everyone hate you!"
Grabbing my bookbag, I stalked to the entrance and made sure I slammed the door behind me as hard as I could, choosing to ignore the bemused look on Mamoru's face as I swept past him. Of course, I forgot in my fury that this was the twentieth century, and that the glass sliding doors were automatic.
"WAGH!" My hand did an odd little twitch as it swung behind me like a pitcher's arm winding up for the throw, before my momentum carried me and—EEK! It was with a little shriek that I sent myself flying into the air. "Oomph!"
Thud. I kissed linoleum.
The sound of Motoki's hurrying, pattering feet to help me up…was drowned out by the roaring laughter of a devil at the counter. I swept myself up off the floor before anyone could help me and whipped out of the arcade. I was ushered out with a shout of laughter and a loud, "Nice one, Odango!"
Wringing my hair furiously all the way back home, only one thought ran through my head as I stomped down the sidewalk: 'I hate you, Chiba Mamoru!'
Seven and a half minutes' distance from the arcade later…
"I HATE him!"
I threw the dirtiest look I could manage at an innocent pedestrian on the sidewalk, who promptly crossed the street as fast as he could without running. I momentarily forgot my anger as I watched said victim weaving like the frog from the arcade game the entire way across, without once looking at the oncoming traffic—he was too busy keeping his eyes on me to make sure I wasn't preparing for a back attack. I think he thought I'd been bitten by a rabid rabbit or something.
In his defense, it was a perfectly legitimate assumption to make. I probably looked like I had been possessed by furies from hell.
Of course, good things never last long. He crossed the street safely and disappeared into the nearest shelter. Bye-bye, blissful forgetfulness. WHAM! Helloooo, reality check!
"ARGH! I HATE HIM!"
Meanwhile, up above…I mean, way, WAY, above all that was happening in my own miserable little world…
"What do you think?"
"What do I think what?"
"What do you think about having ourselves a little bit of fun?" The girl draped in a white, flowing gown looked down at the big blue orb below them and giggled mischievously. "Come on, Thoth, just think about it! Things'll be entertaining around here for a change!"
Thoth eyed the girl skeptically, watching as she ran her fingers through long, golden strands of cascading hair. "Oh…I don't know, Selene. What good ever comes out of your schemes?"
"Ah ah ah! Not so fast." She gingerly pulled a small book from out of thin air. It had strange markings on its black cover and a spine that glowed almost effulgent, despite the impenetrable darkness shrouding their home, the moon. "What do you think of this, hm?"
She handed Thoth the book, which he flipped through disinterestedly before looking back up at her, frowning. "It's just a notebook, Selene. A blank notebook."
Selene smiled mysteriously at him. No matter what anyone said about mortals not understanding the enigmatic ways of divine moon creatures, Thoth had yet to figure out the one sitting in front of him himself. For that, he couldn't blame the earth-dwellers for denying their existence; it only made things complicated!
"It's not just a notebook, Thoth, dear," she said silkily, taking the book back from him and stroking its spine tenderly. "It's an Alethian Spectacle. This Spectacle can assume the form of normal, everyday objects—in this case, I've asked it to disguise itself as a notebook."
Thoth eyed it warily. "Where did you get it?" he asked. Magical objects always made him cautious, ever since he had nearly blown an ear off with an Ifrit Torcher when he was five.
Selene laughed, a lilting, musical sound. "You think I would actually tell you that and get us both in trouble? No…" she smiled to herself, "We're going to send this…notebook down to Earth for a few days. Just to see what happens."
Her friend gulped. "And what is going to happen?"
"Oh," she replied loftily, "you'll see." And with a sly wink and knowing look at the mirror sitting in front of her, she let the book drop lightly from her fingers, into the boundless night sky beneath them.
Safely back at the Tsukino residence on Earth…
"ARGH! I hate him!" My bookbag felt my wrath as I flung it mercilessly onto the couch and stormed upstairs, taking satisfaction in successfully slamming my door shut behind me. I threw myself onto my bed.
"Jerk, jerk, jerk!" I shouted at nobody in particular. Vent, Usagi! Nobody's home! Rant to your heart's desire! "I hate him, I hate him!"
Why did I hate him?
"I'll tell you why I hate him!" I yelled, answering my thoughts aloud. "I hate him because he thinks he's so upstanding and—and cool! I hate the way he runs his hand through his hair when he's about to tease me! I hate how he gets this twinkle in his stupid blue eyes before an insult! I hate how—"
Ten minutes later found me still raving, slowly shredding the carpet beneath my feet as I paced the room in a flurry of fury.
"—and I hate, hate, hate how NOBODY hates him! Nobody! Everyone absolutely adores him, just because he's Chiba Mamoru, star student and a charming, dashing knight riding up on his white horse!" I spun on my heel and headed for the opposite wall. "And I just wish that—"
"Huh?" I slammed into the wall as I turned unwittingly to see my mother's head pop into my room. Wham! Ouch, that one was going to leave a bruise…
"I thought I heard you, honey," she said, pushing the door open once she saw that I wasn't busy committing homicide to match my angry shouting. She had gotten used to my controlled-environment freak accidents a long time ago, hence the lack of motherly haste to see if I had split my head open on the wall or not. "I just got home. How was your day?"
"Horrible," I groaned, pushing myself off the floor and, upon seeing that my skull was still perfectly intact, flopping down instead onto my bed. "I hate weekdays."
"Anything you want to talk about, Usa?" Mom said, sitting down on the bed next to me. Her hand came up to my forehead and stroked me gently. It made me feel a little bit better—not good enough to talk about the test I had failed in Math, mind you, but enough to open me up just a tad.
"I don't know," I sighed, letting my eyes drift close as her hand worked its way soothingly across my forehead. "Sometimes I wonder…I mean, some people are just so—so—"
"Yeah…Yeah, that. And tedious. And annoying. I get tired of it sometimes, that's all."
"I know," she said softly, bringing comfort with her words that only mothers know how to bring. "I know how it is, but we live, we keep going, we move on…"
A comfortable silence settled between us for a while, and pretty soon I felt myself drifting off to sleep, nestled against the warmth of my mother's body. I always did say that woman was a miracle-worker from another life. Just before I dozed off, however, my mom shifted slightly on the bed.
"I got something for you, honey. I picked it up from the store on the way home. You might like it."
I may be a moody, pubescent teenage girl, but I love presents. On second thought, maybe it was because I'm a hormonal female teen that I flew up right away with an eager smile and proffered my empty hands expectantly.
My mom just raised an eyebrow at me. "Weren't you feeling inconsolably depressed just a second ago, dear?"
"Anyway, here you go, Usa."
Have I mentioned how much I love my all-accepting mom?
She reached into a bag I hadn't seen her carry in and pulled out…
"A diary!" I snatched the black-covered book out of her very fingers, thumbing through its wonderfully blank pages before turning to my mom and adding belatedly, "Oops, Mom—uhhh…heh! Thanks for the diary!" I tossed in a winning smile and a hug in for good measure.
"You're welcome, dear."
Bull's eye! Now if I could just get her to leave before she got a chance to ask me about my—
"Sooo, Usa-chan, now that I see you're feeling better—how did that math test go today?"
"Oops, gotta run, Mom—I mean, you've got to run and I've got to stay here and cry my eyes out because that's what teenagers do best! Oh would you look at that, I feel the tears coming already!" And ushering my protesting mom out into the hallway with a dramatic sob, I slammed the door shut after her, shouting to the empty room, "Yes, I think I'll write all my grief and sorrow into this neat little, er, notebook!"
A moment's pause with my ear pressed to the door to make sure she was really gone, then…
"Yes!" I punched the diary into the air jubilantly, celebrating over my narrow escape. Okay, so I'd just delayed the volcano that was bound to erupt sooner or later, so to speak…but if that meant I was getting dinner tonight, hey, I wasn't one to complain!
When my euphoria finally died down (which admittedly took a while), I looked down once more at the notebook still clutched in my hands, turning it over to examine it more closely. Its fine, gold-embossed edges contrasted starkly with the black (and expensive-looking) leather covering, and my fingers unconsciously traced over the beautiful designs emblazoned on the front. Even as my fingertips made contact with the strange symbols, I felt an inexplicable energy surge from my hands down to the very tips of my toes, an unknown but familiar warmth surrounding my entire body and soul. Something lost, something precious…
Then the feeling faded away as quickly as it had come, leaving behind only a tingling sensation in my hands and, I swear (although it could have been a trick of the light) a slight glow in the golden symbols.
I stared at notebook for a moment…
And plunked it down on my desk with a heavy thunk.
"Eh! Must be the heat wave," I shrugged, shaking off the feeling and rummaging through my drawers for a pen before plopping down in my seat to write. "Might as well make good on my word to Mom!" I said to myself, rolling up my sleeves and stretching out my long-unexercised writing hand. "Now, what to write…"
Tapping my pencil again my lip, I tried to imagine what sort of things could possibly go into as lovely a notebook as this one. Love notes to Tuxedo Kamen? But I had tons of notebooks full of those already…A story about my favorite heroine and hero—you guessed it—Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Moon? But no…I had plenty of those, too…
Then, as if by called forth by some unbidden force, the face of the man who had been the source of unadulterated misery that afternoon floated once more across my mind. Chiba Mamoru! With a sudden sense of determination, I realized what had to be done, and this tool in my hands would be the deliverer of the task.
My hand skated across the paper, sweeping a big, bold heading all the way across the top of the first page, ink practically spattering my entire desk with the fervor I was writing in. Grinding my teeth, I muttered the words aloud as I wrote them… "Chiba…Mamoru…Reasons Why…I…Hate…Him…"
When I had finished what I proudly deemed the title page to a fine masterpiece in the making, I sat back proudly to admire my work. It read as follows:
CHIBA MAMORU alias "Jerk Extraordinaire," "Devil of the Middle-World," "His Royal Weenie-ness," etcetera etcetera.
A Good, Justified List of Reasons As To Why I Hate Him
By Tsukino Usagi
Objective: To pore over, examine, and moon morbidly over the shortcomings of aforementioned subject, Chiba Mamoru, and determine how these fallacies reasonably contribute to his evident and unprecedented hate-ability levels. Also, in order to conduct research in as detailed and thorough a manner possible, to explore the presumed "attributes" and "likeability factors" of the subject, who will henceforth be named only as C.M. in order to preserve some semblance of sanity in researcher. In addition, to make a list of rules concerning conduct in the event that direct contact with the target is absolutely unavoidable. Finally, to delve into the possibilities that would stem from living in a utopian state of affairs where C.M. did not exist, and to name the wishes of scientist, Tsukino Usagi, for the subject, who unfortunately does exist and must be dealt with (wish-wise) accordingly.
I set my pen down, satisfied and feeling justifiably exhausted from the exertion I had just been put through. Hearing my stomach rumbling, I was just about to head downstairs to sneak a triple-chocolate fudge brownie when I tossed one final glance at the diary. It was lying there open to the first page, the still-wet ink catching the light's reflection and twinkling innocently up at me. I couldn't resist; grabbing my pen once more, I scribbled near the bottom of the page, to be re-inscribed later when the ink dried:
I wish that, just for one day, everyone in the world would hate Chiba Mamoru C.M. I wish that somebody would show him that love isn't always right around the corner, and that it can't be taken for granted like he takes it every day. I wish that, for once, nobody loved the stupid, arrogant, witty, intelligent, handsome C.M.
Casting a last contemptuous look at the words on the paper, I shoved my pen back into its drawer and headed for the stairs, although I no longer felt hungry. With angry tears welling up in my eyes, I threw the door open and trudged downstairs, determined not to let the persistently stubborn man get the best of my appetite in my own home. Behind me, in my room, the notebook was left open to the last words I had written. I felt safe, at least, knowing that nobody else would ever lay eyes on it.
What I didn't know, of course, was that I wasn't the only one to read those fateful last words. And a very fateful wish it soon became.
Whew! So what did you think? I hope the read was worth it! Most of that was just set-up for what's to come, but I hope you can bear with it. Let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas, criticism, or good old feedback in general!
Oh, and for any of you who have read The Golden Compass (also known as Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman), I know they use the Alethia-o-meter, but I promise that the use of the same name wasn't in any way meant to infringe on the author's copyright.
A bit of shameless self-promotion—if you haven't already, check out my first "completed" fanfiction titled "Down the Rabbit Hole (And Back Again)" at Aria's Ink! It's going to be undergoing heavy revisions during the next few months, so now would be a really great time to hear all of your feedback and suggestions! Next installment coming up! Stay tuned!