Disclaimer: I scoff in the face of those who believe me worthy of Sailor Moon ownership!
Summary: First season. Fate seems determined to throw Usagi and Mamoru together when both unknowingly agree to babysit the same child. Add four nosy, boisterous, well-meaning girls intent on playing matchmaker and a serial killer on the loose, and you've got a Friday the 13th no one will ever forget!
A/N: Well... it's Friday the 13th! So... what better day to begin my story "Friday the Thirteenth", eh? Reviews are greatly appreciated and motivate lazy authors like me to update sooner. A note about where this fic falls in the timeline: imagine a gap between episode 33 (Venus' arrival) and 34 (Starlight Tower and the revelation of Usagi as Princess)... that's where this tale falls. It's rather AU in the fact that Rei never dated Mamoru; she crushed on him at first but has come to agree with the other Senshi that Usagi and Mamoru would make the perfect couple if they just. stopped. fighting. ;P So... that's about all you need to know. Onward, I say! ^^
P.S. Little Kotono is indeed named after Kotono Mitsuishi, voice actor for the original Sailor Moon. This is my little way of paying homage to an amazing actress :-)
Friday the Thirteenth
Chapter 1: "An Unlikely Partnership"
"You want me to babysit Koto-chan?" fourteen year old Tsukino Usagi squealed, mouth gaping in disbelief. The straw she'd been utilizing to scarf down her strawberry milkshake clattered noisily down into the nearly empty glass. A few Fruit Parlor Crown patrons glanced over interestedly, but quickly returned to their meals when realizing who was the source of the outburst. The teen with blonde odango was nothing if not infamous for her excitable and altogether loud attitude toward life, and such exclamations had become rather commonplace about the cafe. All regulars knew that if it wasn't her, it was always one of the four girls who generally accompanied Usagi. Today, however, a new female was seated across from the effervescent flaxen. The auburn headed woman- somewhere in her late twenties- giggled.
"I wouldn't ask unless I had complete faith in your abilities, Usagi-san."
"But, but... you'd pick me? Out of all the other more, well, responsible people out there?" Usagi spluttered. She flushed, then awkwardly bowed over her beverage. "Fumara-san, I'm... I'm honored!"
"It's the least I can do, considering how sweet you were to help Santo-kun and I move in last month... and without pay, nonetheless!" Fumara said. She held up a hand when Usagi started to object. "Now, now, Usagi-san... I know how teenagers can be! A little extra pocket change can certainly come in handy at the arcade." She winked, and Usagi couldn't refute that observation.
"Like I said, I really appreciate the sentiment, but... this will be my first time babysitting! Wouldn't you want someone with more experience?"
Here it was Fumara's turn to blush. "Um, actually, I did hire someone else. They sort of... backed out at the last minute for personal reasons, and I was pretty desperate to get someone to watch Kotono for tomorrow night. Her father's away on business, and I got called in fairly unexpectedly to do the night shift over at the hospital."
"Ah, so that's why," Usagi teased. "I'm not exactly most people's first choice when it comes to babysitting. I have a... erm... kinda ditzy reputation."
"So I've heard," Fumara chuckled. "But unlike those who spread such rumors, I've actually met you. I can look past that klutzy exterior and what I see is a warm, caring, and altogether altruistic individual. You will have no problem whatsoever in handling Kotono."
Usagi smiled, gazing fervently into her lap in a mixture of embarrassment and pride. "Thank you, Fumara-san."
"But, I talked to your mother before coming here. She did tell me it would be your first time, so I already made some arrangements for you to have a partner, just in case. Another pair of hands, if you will. I'm not sure if you've ever met, but he's a very sweet guy. I've known him for quite a few years at the hospital; he's a volunteer there."
"How old is he?" Usagi inquired, inwardly doing a jig. Wonder if he's my age? Ooh, I bet he's hot! Just you wait; Usa-chan will woo you over! She struggled to keep a lovesick grin off her features. Her and a man? Alone? At night? Wait until the Senshi heard about *this*!
"Eighteen, but don't you worry- he's the most gentle and chivalric being I've ever encountered... you should *see* him with the sick children! Never fails to bring a smile to their little faces..."
Wow... in college and sweet to boot? Usagi wondered where to score a man like that... ooh, if only Tuxedo Mask chanced upon her civilian form and fell in love for real! The teen was so lost in daydreams that she almost missed the catch.
Ah, there's always a catch.
"His name's Chiba Mamoru."
And suddenly, the dream world came crashing down, devolving into infinitesimally small pieces. Usagi choked, in the middle of slurping down the last of her milkshake. Fumara eyed her with concern, and Usagi seriously considered running for it. However, loathed as she was to admit it, bolting was cowardly... especially given that she'd already agreed and Fumara seemed to trust her. Damn, damn, damn! Not him!
Irony had a funny sense of humor. Truly hilarious.
"Do you know him?"
"M-me?" Usagi stuttered, trying to school the expression of horror she assumed had to be marring her face. Luckily, Fumara didn't seem that worried, so... outwardly, Usagi had to be calmer than she currently felt. Know Chiba Mamoru? The bane of her existence? The jerk who made her mornings and sometimes even afternoons a living hell? *No*, of course she didn't know Chiba Mamoru! "... no..."
Fumara beamed. "Good. You'll quite enjoy his company! Very intelligent boy. You two will do fantastically together!"
If we don't end up murdering the other in the process. Usagi dearly wished she could throw her head into her arms and wail about the unfairness of the situation. With a great deal of self-restraint, the blonde instead continued, "So... is there anything Mamoru-san (Mamoru-BAKA, her mind supplied fiendishly) and I will need to know?"
Fumara, still smiling, shook her head. "Not right now, other than the fact that you'll be babysitting until sometime around one in the morning. I'll show the pair of you around the house and talk about emergency phone numbers tomorrow."
"Oh, she's a very easygoing toddler. You'll have no real issues with her, other than maybe bedtime... but again, I want to discuss that with the both of you."
"Okay," Usagi nodded, still reeling from the fact that 'both of you' meant *her* and *Mamoru*. I'll be surprised if there's any house left for Fumara-san to come home to....
Fumara stood, fixing her skirt and touching up her bun. "I'm incredibly grateful for your babysitting Kotono, Usagi-san. Believe me, what you and Mamoru-san are doing is beyond helpful. I really need the over-time."
Hmm, nice guilt-kick. Right in the gut. Usagi suddenly felt very bad for ever wanting to decline Fumara's offer. After shaking the chestnut-haired mother's hand and watching Fumara's departure, Usagi remained staring into the dregs of her drink. She gulped, contemplating the predicament she'd just landed herself in.
We can do this... right?
Was it a worrisome thing that her brain sounded so un-reassuring?
Usagi went back to brooding, and decided that instead of gloating, she would tell the Senshi to plan her funeral. As soon as possible.
A/N: *Giggle* This story is going to be really fun, albeit action-packed and at times very angsty! I'm sure it will not disappoint!