Disclaimer: All rights belong to Wolf Films and Toei.
Author's Note: This is a shortie to get myself re-accustomed to writing (expect a few of those in the near future). I had the mental image of picturing Jack as Tuxedo Kamen/Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, and I decided to go with it. It's quite belated, I know, but consider it as a Halloween fic, anyway. It's double bonus if you actually know/like Sailor Moon.
Nota bene: Depending on reader reaction, I may write a prequel fic to alleviate any possible confusion. After all, not everyone is familiar with Sailor Moon.
Timeline: Between Seasons 9-10, if that helps any.
Jack McCoy approached an apartment door, clutching a duffel bag. He tapped on it with his free hand. "Hey, it's me."
"It's open." A muffled, female voice hollered.
He entered inside and plopped the pack onto the floor. "I almost didn't make it, courtesy of New York City's patented gridlock. Maybe I should have walked it, instead."
"And, get mugged along the way? I don't think so. Lucky for you that I live in a safe neighborhood," the occupant echoed from a nearby hallway.
"It wouldn't be worth much; it's just a cheap tuxedo."
"Jack, didn't you used to tell me that people have been killed for their sneakers?"
He snorted. "Yeah, I did. So, you ready?"
"Just about. What about you, or did you already get dressed?"
"Traipsing through the West Side isn't exactly a cakewalk, especially in a tuxedo. If Adam didn't say attendance was mandatory, I wouldn't bother going, at all." He performed a headshake.
"It's a Halloween party, not a secret cabal meeting. Here I come."
Abbie Carmichael emerged and faced her visitor. She was in a short-sleeved white blouse and a hemmed, pleated red skirt. He then eyed the other components of her costume: the frontal purple ribbon, the golden tiara on her forehead and the cherry sailor-style collar. "What do you think?"
"When you first showed me that image in that comic book, I didn't think you could pull it off. I now retract my previous comments."
She squinted. "As I keep telling you — it's not a comic book, it's a manga. Secondly, are you saying that to be nice?"
He veered off. "When am I ever nice?"
"Hardly ever, but thanks for the compliment. Now, go change into yours."
"Why couldn't you have chosen something more mainstream? Hell, Abbie, everyone's around my age, so they aren't likely to grasp the concept of 'Sarah Moon.'" He trudged into the corridor with his carryall.
She tightened her lips. "Okay, now, you're deliberately misspelling to provoke me. How many times am I going to have to say 'Sailor Moon' for you?"
"As many times as I have to explain to Adam the concepts of Annie May."
She folded her forearms close to her body. "You're doing it, again. And, it's anime — one word. If you're having this difficult a time with Sailor Moon, imagine if I treated you with obscure titles."
"At least, I understood Astro Boy and Ultraman."
"Hey, I wasn't even alive when they first showed up."
Several minutes later, Jack returned in a basic black tuxedo/cape combination. He was pressing a pallid eye-mask onto his face. "Well, I don't appear too embarrassing, do I? I couldn't find the right cape in time, so I'm sorry if I failed to complete the look for you."
"It's the thought that counts. If it makes you feel any better, the dress gloves I planned on using make me itch. Oh, for the record, I think you look dashing." Her nostrils flared.
"Hm, I was right — I do look like an evil Mr. Peanut. Now, where's the hat and cane I stored here?"
"Hold on." She headed for her closet, delving the contents within.
He accompanied her, his Adam's apple springing. "What's the expression — 'in for a dime, in for a dollar'?"
"That's the spirit, Jack." Abbie offered him the analogous top hat and cane. "Since I'll be the one doing the explaining, you should be fine."
He fixed his head covering into position. "That's true, for I can always lie, and claim that I'm someone else."
"Yeah, but you won't."
"Let's not get too maudlin, here; we better get going." He marched toward the doorway.
She slipped on a pair of ruby high heels. "I just have to put these on, and I'm set. By the way, thank you for dressing up for me."
"What are friends for? However, Abbie, you've been a tad vague on why you wanted to do the Sailor Moon theme. I think I understand why, but you're the expert, here." His brow furrowed.
She peered downward. "It's time for me to get embarrassed."
"Okay, forget I broached the subject."
"No, it's fine, as you ought to know. It's a fantasy I've had in my head for a while, based on the series' female empowerment. I know I've acted upon it subtly over the past year, yet I wanted to be overt, for a change.
"Besides, I always found Sailor Mars similar to myself: a strong woman who does things on her terms. It also would be a good theme for a costume party — and I can execute the look — so it's win-win. I just didn't want to admit any vulnerability on my part, and I'm sorry if I slighted you in any way." Her palms were upturned.
Jack nodded. "You didn't slight me, but I was left twisting for a bit. I suppose it served me right, as I need to perfect my… growing sense of self-awareness. It's not an excuse, by any means."
"Honestly, I didn't think you'd do it, so we're even on everything, McCoy. On your end, be grateful I picked a costume where you won't confuse the average partygoer too much. So, shall we go?" They gaited out of the room together.
"I have to admit, this isn't so bad. From what I read, this Tuxedo guy is pretty lucky."
She locked her deadbolts. "He would be, being surrounded by all those beautiful women — sound familiar with you and your assistants, Jack?"
His posture slumped. "You know how to cut me to the quick, don't you?"
Abbie's arms were akimbo. "Sorry, but you walked into that one. And, it's Mars, now."
The duo ventured downstairs, side-by-side. "Fine, Mars. So, I call myself Tuxedo Mask, or Tuxedo Car-man or…?"
"Tuxedo Mask is perfectly fine, as that is the translation."
"Yeah, well, if Adam has another party for next year, I'm selecting the costumes." He elevated his chin.
"I'm not going to be dressed as a hippie."
"C'mon, you owe me for this."
She cocked her skull. "Well, if you say the line, I'll consider it."
He pulled backward. "Abbie, no."
"Of the two of us, your character is more connected to Sailor Moon. Therefore, it would make sense coming from you."
"You're good at arguing, Counselor, but the answer is still no."
She clenched her jaw. "Fine, I will dress like a hippie for you."
He sighed. "Very well. 'In the name of the moon, I shall prosecute you.' Happy?"
"This is why I need to buy a tape recorder."
"And, this is why I need to perfect my willpower and ability to scream 'no.'"
"You wouldn't have as much fun in your life, otherwise. I've been there, myself, so you know I'm ultimately right."
"Apparently, you are, or I wouldn't be dressed like this. Alright, I concede the matter to you…, Sailor Mars." He bowed to her.
She smiled. "C'mon, my self-aware Tuxedo Mask, we have a party to get to."
Leave me a review if you wish, and see you in the funny papers.