Title: Two For The Money
Author: Moi Fah
Genre: Romance/ Adventure/ Humor/ General
Crossover: Sailor Moon and Naruto (pre-Akatsuki introduction)
Version: Anime and Manga (respectively)
Pairings/Characters: Kakuzu/Minako, Hidan/Hotaru, Deidara/Makoto, Sasori/Setsuna, Kisame/Ami, Itachi/Rei (only if I can find a place for them to fit in so don't get your hopes up)
Chapter One: Vacation
Minako Aino slammed her forehead tiredly into the wooden desk before her, her hair splaying out around her like a golden net. She was so tired that she just couldn't hold her head up any longer...this job was pure hell!
It was strange how all of this had happened. One day, she'd been bored out of mind sitting in a classroom in Juuban High, wanting nothing more than to be able to run outside, jump, maybe even smack around a few volleyballs. But no, she was stuck here until that infernal school bell chimed in her salvation. The rest of that day had been pretty boring as well, and when the senshi meeting came around, Minako certainly had the urge to ditch. Somehow, she managed to drag herself there, and vaguely listened to the conversations around her. When the senshi came to her, she passed up her turn to say anything. It wasn't until Setsuna's turn rolled around did things get interesting.
Setsuna was the wisest of all the senshi, so image the senshi's suprise when she suggested a vacation. The Usagi "twins" basically jumped for joy before the woman could even explain, but with the help of Rei, everything was quickly quiet once more. The grass-haired senshi explained that while what she spoke of was technically a vacation, it would take place in another dimension instead of on a beach or at an amusement park. A rally of groans were uttered by Usagi and Chibi-Usa, Minako almost following suit if she hadn't been so far off in her day dream. This 'vacation' most likely involved the senshi being transported to another dimension to help save it from destruction. Besides being the guardian of time, Setsuna also dealt with dimensional rifts and the like so the senshi were no strangers to these types of missions.
"I simply feel it would be the best for us to take some time off of our patrols. While we must always be ready to act on the behalf of the Queen and Crystal Tokyo here in this dimension, to ensure it's coming, there are always outside invaders to worry about as well."
Makoto's smile turned crooked, turning into a frown, "So what you're saying is that in some other dimension, you're feeling a rise of negative energy? And you want us to go and snuff it out before it becomes too great of a threat?"
Setsuna gave a mischievous smile, "Something like that." She slowly took a sip of tea from her cup.
"Setsuna, that's a mission, not a vacation. There's a world of difference between the two." came a voice from the floor next to Michiru. It was, of course, Haruka, who'd laid down in an attempt to get all the rest she could before they left. Michiru looked down at her lover in curiosity before mentally shrugging and returning her attention to the group. Usagi nodded seriously, "And then when the danger is all over, we have to immediately come back home! We never have time to try all those exquisite foods!"
Rei was quick to apprehend Usagi's silly remark with an ear pull, reminding the princess that food was not the reason for their journey. The two continued to bicker as Minako watched on, wondering just how loud the two of them planned to get. She didn't even feel like making a joke about the whole situation...maybe there was just something wrong with her personally? There was always that slim chance of hope that this time, things wouldn't be so bad. Maybe this trip would be over quickly? Or maybe, they'd make some good friends?
"Alright, that's enough," Setsuna interrupted, "We'll be leaving very shortly as it's best to put an end to this threat before it actually becomes. I'll give you all a few hours to prepare yourselves. We'll meet back here afterwards and teleport our way there."
That pretty much settled it for everybody, Minako recalled. Now why exactly did she recall this selection of words? It had been the last thing Setsuna had said to her. In light of the circumstances she was in, permanent senshi patrol for youma didn't sound terrible in the least right now. Maybe she could write a book about this one day, she wondered with her head still smashed against the desk. The summary would tell about how when the legendary senshi had begun their trek through the misty Time Gates, they'd had to perform a risky Sailor Teleport to save their lives when something went haywire during the dimension hop. And due to that risky Teleport, Minako had somehow become separated from the group and dropped off in some weird dimension. Who knows? Maybe, she actually was the lucky one and ended up in the right dimension and everyone else were the ones who were lost? A lot of comfort that was.
"Mina, you okay?" Minako quickly lifted her head, resisting the urge to call out the name of her lost friend by biting her tongue; the woman in question looked remarkly like Ami Mizuno, right down to the blue roots of her hair. The blond girl quickly shook her head in a positive manner with a smile, "You bet! I guess I must have just dozed off for a moment, but I promise I'll get right back to work." The short, blue-haired girl gave a sigh, smiling, "You don't have worry about me hounding you. I know things have been hard on you lately, so why don't you take the rest of the day off?"
Mina's face held confusion before it lit up with a smile, "Yuki-san, you are a life-saver!" she stressed, giving the Ami look-a-like a rib-crushing hug.
"You're welcome." the woman responded with a pat on the back of her new friend and worker.
Gathering her things together, Minako didn't waste a second of her time with leaving. Once outside, she couldn't help but turn around and look up at the monstrosity of the building. Located on the outskirts of a village called Konohagakure, the building was home to what some might call "debt-collectors." They did everything from managing people's finances to collecting the local taxes. Oh, and of course, a selected few were put up for the ever-dreaded field work. Minako hadn't received this 'privilege' yet, but from what she'd heard, the worker would be assigned to a client, track them down, and discover why said client had not being paying their taxes. Sometimes, this even involved a lengthy trip around and through the Hidden Villages. She supposed this was technically called being a 'bounty hunter', but in this strange dimension where the ninjutsu arts prevailed, that seemed too inappropriate.
Minako's sparkling blue eyes dissolved into an evil glare, and she flicked her tongue out at it before blowing a raspberry. Giggling to herself, she happily skipped away back towards the apartment in Konohagakure she was currently renting out. As to why she had even become associated with that horrible establishment was due to her lack of finances...obviously. Setsuna hadn't told them to bring any money or other accommodations, so what other choice did she have when Yuki appeared one day and offered her a job to save her life? The apartment had also been Yuki's doing as well...something about her "connections." It didn't matter to Minako though, as long as she had something over her head and food in her belly, then she would be satisfied. The void from the disappearance of her friends, however, was a bit harder to fill than her belly. Her skipping stopped immediately at thought and simply walked the rest of the way home. She traveled down unpaved roads, most lined with regular wooden fences to separate the properties. A handful of signs gave directions about where to go and where certain establishments were locating. It felt like only a short time had past yet she knew she could walk the path back to her apartment blind-folded.
Plopping her stuff down onto the apartment's floor, Mina made a b-line for her shower; maybe a nice hot shower would do her some good. She wasn't nodding off at work simply because it was boring, she'd also been having a hard time getting to sleep at night...it was weird not sleeping in her own bed back in her own room. True, this was her bed now but she still couldn't get used to it.
When she finished, the blond princess dried herself off, dressed for bed, and pounced right into it despite that it was barely after noon. Mina lay there, suddenly no longer tired from her exertions at the office, letting her mind wonder from topic to topic. How on Earth was she ever going to get home again? Were the rest of the senshi alive and well? What about Artemis? Where was he at?
It was a tiring process, almost as tiring as living in this century. Yep, just another annoyance to add to her list about this place. Mina had either landed in some time in the dark, dark ages or inside of her worst nightmare. They barely had televisions and computers for goodness sakes, and those she could live without! Luckily, indoor plumbing was on their list. Mina sighed and tossed in her bed once more until she landed on her stomach, burying her face into her semi-soft pillow. She hated her life right now...this turn of events was totally unfair. Moaning into the pillow, she smacked the empty space beside her on the bed.
Tragically, unknown to the poor blond princess, her coworkers back at the office were scheming up a plan most sinister.
"It's not fair she gets to leave early...what makes her so special?" one female asked with a snotty attitude, her typewriter laying cold as she rested her chin on her hand. One of the male workers turned to address her, "Don't you know? She's practically Yuki's pet! Yuki found her penniless in the streets, starving and all, and offered the chick a job." he explained, the remainder of the workers who had been listening were now crowding around into a little gossip group. Finally, someone stated what had been on all their minds, "Yuki's too nice."
"I disagree." one man announced, "Yuki's too nice...to her. Who knows why, but I have a hunch that something fishy is going down. What if she's going to a get a promotion or something? We have the seniority here!" the entire group nodded in agreement. "But what could we do to stop that? Get rid of her?" a ditzy sounding female piped in, probably saying the smartest thing she would ever say in her lifetime. A light bulb practically appeared over the ringleader male's head, "You know...that might not be too bad of an idea."
"We're not going to kill her, are we?" Kenichi had always had a soft spot for the girl.
"No, stupid. I'm not that eager to end my life in prison...or waste money on one of those ninja people." he laughed, "No, what we could do is send her away."
"How would we do that? Say it directly to her face?" the snarky female asked.
"Ha, not quite. I say, we send her out on fieldwork with the most hopeless client we can find. Kenichi, go and check the archives for the most hopeless case you can find." the ringleader ordered causing a sigh from Kenichi. He didn't want to do this to her, not when she was so sweet to everybody, but he just supposed that bad things happened to good people. And he dare not risk going against the entire office by bringing back anything less than what they wanted. Minako was doomed either way. The group of workers had made up their minds and they could not be dissuaded.
The archives room was unsurprisingly locked, but he had easily discovered the hiding place of the key not too long ago and helped himself inside. Kenichi quickly headed to back of the room, back to the row of black cabinets that were reserved for either the deceased who owed money (meaning that eventually, their living relatives would have to pay it off) or the really tough cases. Gulping, he absentmindedly reached into the first cabinet on the last row after pulling it out to its fullest. Once his hand landed on a file, he grabbed it, kicked the cabinet close, and made a run for it. The group was still waiting for him when he returned, and Kenichi angrily slammed the file onto the desk they'd mainly huddled around.
"Whoa Kenichi, you sure went all out on this one!" someone marveled. Kenichi didn't care to turn around and look at them...at this point, he was just too disgusted to do anything. A round of agreements went up then as various papers from inside the file were scattered for easier viewing access by the group members.
"Heh, well Kakuzu of Takigakure, I hope you can give this girl a run for her money, so to speak." Despite the lame nature of the joke, a round of laughter went up anyway.
This is probably the most boring pilot chapter I've ever written and the one with the most mistakes. However, I've been in love with this idea ever since I first thought it up about...hm...4 months ago? I know, another story...