Title: First Kiss

Author: Lisa

Rating: G

Website: http://hometown.aol.com/lisazumstories

Author's Notes:

Okay, I know it's been *forever* since I did a one-parter, but here it is! This is my 1st season WAFFy Valentines Day special! ^_^ It has a very unoriginal plot...so if you have written or have read a story like this, that wasn't intentional. ^^ Enjoy, and feedback please!

Disclaimers: Sailor Moon and the others don't belong to me, but this story does.

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The wind blew harshly that cold Tuesday in February. It swept trough Tokyo mercilessly, so hard that it howled. Down the deserted sidewalk, fighting against the wind was young blonde by the name of Tsukino Usagi. She hurriedly rushed into the arcade center, mumbling complaints of the unusually cold weather, and took a seat by the counter, setting her small school bag beside her. Usagi rubbed and blew on her hands in a desperate attempt to warm up, although it didn't help much. She shivered before adverting her gaze to a grinning Motoki, the man who worked at the arcade, staring at her from behind the counter.

"It's not funny," she said in mock anger. But before long, a smile had formed on her face as well.

"I didn't say it was now, did I?" His laughing green eyes studied the blonde.

Usagi blushed and looked down at her feet. She remembered a time when he had been her crush, and how she had come to the arcade every afternoon just to see him. Of course, Motoki was never aware of this fact. By the time he suspected anything, Usagi regarded him as a good friend, nothing more. She had her sights set for someone else...

Shaking herself from old memories and focusing on the topic at hand, she shot back, "Well...you were thinking that!" and watched happily as Motoki raised his hands in defeat.

"All right, you win," he stated with a light chuckle, letting his hands fall back to his side. Leaning casually across the counter, he asked, "What can I get you?"

The blonde brushed a strand of hair from her bright blue eyes.

"Oh, a cup of hot chocolate would be nice," she replied.

He grinned. As if he already didn't know. He had been around Usagi enough to know that she loved anything chocolate. And, he glanced outside, something warm was definitely good for the weather they were having this year.

"Sure thing."

"Arigato Motoki," Usagi called after him as he disappeared to get her order.

With a contented sigh, Usagi settled back in her seat, and glanced at all the people in the room, children and adults alike, intently playing the video games. The arcade was unbelievably crowded that particular afternoon.

A blast of cold wind rushed in and Usagi turned around just in time to see...him enter. Her eyes went wide. Her worst enemy, Motoki's best friend, and...not to mention her secret crush. The girl felt a light blush come to her cheeks, and her heart began to race in her chest. 'Oh, why did he have to come now?' She thought bitterly, and fought to regain her composure as he took the seat next to her by the counter. 'Take a deep breath and calm down,' Usagi mentally instructed herself, though her body would not comply. The blonde looked away when she felt his eyes on her, and waited for the first insult to come.

It had always been like that between Mamoru Chiba and she, ever since the fateful day Usagi dumped a failing test paper onto his head. Each time, the pair found new ways to insult each other, though Mamoru found it amusing to constantly tease her about her hair. It was the oddest hairstyle he had ever seen...but it seemed to suit her well. Her hair was twisted into two odango shaped buns atop her head. Upon first glance of her hair, Mamoru had coined the perfect nickname for her: Odango Atama. And, of course, she horribly despised. She was incredibly vocal about her hatred too, which only made him tease her more. Usagi sighed.

He eyed the young girl seated before him, and smiled. The girl's chin was raised slightly. Her eyes were staring behind the counter, as if waiting for Motoki to come out again. His heart skipped a beat. 'She is beautiful,' he thought, 'but stubborn too.'

It was true that Usagi was beautiful. With long, blonde hair that flew in a mass of golden silk down to her ankles, a slim figure, and bright sapphire blue eyes, she was a breathtaking sight. A fun-loving girl at the tender age of fourteen, Usagi was probably the last person Mamoru pictured himself being attracted to. But that was the charm of her, he supposed. Part of Usagi's beauty was her lively character. She was constantly cheerful even if things weren't all right. She showed care and compassion to her friends, and had a heart that Mamoru was sure was as big as an ocean. Of course, Usagi did have her stubborn moments. That side of her was often shown to Mamoru. But he had seen the other side of her as well...the one she had with her closest friends. Oh, what he wouldn't give if she could grace him with one of the same smiles he gave Motoki. In part, it was his fault. Mamoru refused to let her know that he liked her. He hid his feelings in fear of rejection, and used teasing her as a coverup.

He ran a hand through his black hair quickly, clearing his head of all those thoughts and discreetly cleared his throat. Satisfied that Usagi had turned around at the noise, Mamoru preceded to greet her...kindly this time.

Unfortunately, "Nice seeing you again, Odango Atama," was what came out of his mouth. Mamoru cringed when she saw her usually happy face frown, eyes darkening and shooting daggers at him.

"Oh, you just won't stop, will you?" Usagi shouted, shaking her head and pointing an accusing finger at him. "My name is Usagi, all right? Not Odango Atama!" By this time, the blonde blushed bright red as the people in the arcade stopped what they were doing and eyed her strangely. Usagi ducked her head down, and glared at the young man before him. Mamoru chuckled, and Usagi flushed a crimson color.

Her heart began to pound and she had trouble breathing. Every time she coincidentally met with him, her emotions ran wild. It was as if he had some kind of spell over her. When his stormy eyes met hers, she could hardly remember to breathe, let alone think straight. She looked down at her shoes to hide her tomato red face, and silently prayed that Motoki would come soon. She couldn't take much more of this. Looking up, she saw Mamoru grinning at her.

"Sure, go ahead and laugh at me," she said quietly, hiding the shudder in her voice when she spoke, and turned her back to him. The blonde exhaled a deep breath of air. She scooted her stool further from him, hoping more distance would help her gain control of herself. 'Can't he see that I am attracted to him?' Her mind mentally shouted. Clearly, he couldn't. Their every encounter ended with a smug Mamoru and a beet red and fuming Usagi. Mamoru only liked her when he was teasing him, of that she was sure of. She exhaled quickly. She still liked seeing him, even if he didn't feel the same way. Just being near him made it worth the trip to the arcade every single afternoon.

He just couldn't leave it like that, as he had every other time before. Seeing her face, so angry (even though she looked terribly beautiful) and knowing that he had been the cause of it was something he couldn't bear. He swallowed nervously.

Usagi felt a light tap on her arm and turned around to be face to face with Mamoru.

"Gomen, if I hurt your feelings," he whispered to her, and Usagi shivered, not of the cold, but by Mamoru being so close to her. The girl bit her lip nervously. He was so close...

"It's okay," she answered, and closed her eyes. They opened after a few seconds, when Usagi realized that Mamoru had just apologized to her. There was definitely something wrong about that.

"Nani?" she asked dazedly. "Did you just...say that you were sorry?"

"Hai," he laughed, "I am allowed to say I'm sorry, aren't I?"

Usagi nodded, confused. She shook her head, and watched as Motoki appeared, bringing with him Mamoru's cup of coffee. Then she remembered that cup of hot chocolate before her, and began to drink it, secretly sneaking a glance at Mamoru when he wasn't looking. Had something changed? Maybe...maybe he was feeling something too...she hardly dared to hope.

Her good humor restored, he felt better, and resorted to familiar territory.

"Fail another test today, Odango?" the deep voice interrupted. It stirred her from her contemplations once more. She loved his smooth voice. Then, the actual words registered, and the blonde shrank from her seat. It was true, after all. Usagi did fail another math test today... The crumbled math paper was tucked deep inside the pocket of her school bag.

He was so nice to her for a brief second, though that was gone, and the teasing side of Mamoru, the one Usagi, in a way, despised, had come back. 'Was it only wishful thinking that Mamoru could ever like me?' She felt her heart slowly begin to break. To hide the pain, gave him the best imitation of a glare she could muster.

"So what?" She asked, trying for a calm, casual tone while twirling the handle of her cup, not daring to meet his blue eyes, "I mean, it's none of your business!" Silence filled the air at that moment between the couple, and Mamoru simply shook his head.

"It's not, but you fail tests seemingly on a daily basis." Mamoru's eyes sparkled. "So did you?"

With a sigh, Usagi flung her arms in the air. "Yes." Usagi waited for Mamoru to laugh out loud, to comment on her inability to even get a passing mark.

"Usagi-chan!"

The fourteen-year-old turned around when she heard her name being called, and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her friends Ami, Makoto, and Rei walk into the arcade, all shivering.

"Hi Minna-chan," she hollered over to the three girls, and placing money for her drink on the counter, rushed over to them. Anything was better than being next to Mamoru. She went to their booth and slid in beside Ami, who had a thick literature book at hand.

"Ami, busy studying as usual," the blonde remarked, and took the book from the blue-haired girl. She dangled it above her head as Ami struggled unsuccessfully to get it back. "Come on, have some fun once in a while, will you? I mean, it's not like it's gonna hurt."

Ami looked down, her face a delightful pinkish color. "I like reading. It's fun for me," she commented, receiving looks at her from the other girls. She promptly stopped.

Makoto grinned, patting Ami on the back. "Well, we're here to make sure you'll have some real fun today. But speaking of all things to do with school, I passed that test today in math," she stated, a touch of pride in her voice. "It was kind of easy. How about you, Usagi-chan?"

She looked down at her hands, feeling very little. Had everyone except her passed with flying colors? "I..I failed it..."

The group became quiet, before Rei spoke, her dark eyes looking at Usagi sympathetically.

"It's all right Usagi-chan," Rei said, and reaching over from across the table, put a comforting hand on the girl's slumped shoulder. "You'll ace the next one, right?"

"You know Mamoru, if you were nicer to Usagi, she could be friendlier."

He sighed, eyeing Motoki and not bothering to hide his annoyance.

"Sure, like that's going to happen..."

"It could," Motoki replied.

Mamoru exhaled another breath of air and averted his gaze to her once more. Usagi's back was to him, yet those 'odangos' of hers were in view. The odangos that had started it all.

Only somewhere in that couple of months since their first meeting, Mamoru felt himself growing fond of the young girl. Usagi had an aura of innocence surrounding her, a mere reason in the pile of why he liked her. 'I wonder what it would be like to embrace her,' he wondered to himself, 'what it would be like to gently kiss those soft pink lips of hers...' A smile formed on his face at those thoughts.

"Mamoru, you still there?"

"What?"

Motoki eyed his best friend strangely, and saw the faraway look in Mamoru's eyes, that unmistakable look of desire...but for whom? His gaze landed to whom Mamoru was staring at, and almost began to laugh out loud. 'So, Mamoru,' Motoki thought to himself with a wicked grin, 'you like Usagi...who would've known...'

"Nothing." He was silent for a few seconds before asking Mamoru, "You like her, don't you?"

Caught off guard at the question, and knowing very well who the 'she' he was referring to, Mamoru shook his head immediately, and raised his hands in the air. "Iie, of course not!" However his quick refusal made Motoki even more sure that his friend had fallen for Usagi.

"Now I know why you tease her like you do," he remarked, "because you want to hide your feelings for her, am I right?"

"I'm not answering that!" Mamoru stated firmly, however true they were. Motoki had gotten him there. The young man threw down a few coins on the counter to pay for his half drunken cup of coffee. "See you later Motoki."

"Ja ne."

Motoki watched his friend leave, shaking his head in amusement.

Usagi watched as Mamoru got up from his seat at the counter and turn to leave. Her eyes followed his every movement before the door closed. The blonde watched as he walked down the sidewalk, past her booth, the only thing separating them being that thin glass wall. She pressed her hand against the surprisingly cold glass, and mentally whispered a goodbye. USAFI wondered if she and Mamoru would ever really get along, so these feelings she felt for him could be revealed. That seemed almost impossible, to her.

"Usagi-chan...you and Mamoru...?" a voice broke Usagi from her thoughts. Usagi turned around to face Makoto, and began to stutter to what she was suggesting.

"No, of course not...why would I like...such a jerk?" Her friends weren't convinced.

"You do, don't you?" Rei inquired.

Usagi looked away, and concentrated on the people in front of her, intently playing their games instead at her interested friends. "Rei-chan..." she sighed, "I don't know..."

The girl watched as couples walked down the streets of Tokyo, hand in hand. It reminded her of the holiday that was soon to come-Valentines Day. 'Valentines Day...' For many, it was a wonderful holiday, full of love, and of course chocolate. Only for Usagi, the holiday never ceased to remind her about how no one liked her before...truly, anyway. The blonde vaguely remembered how Umino had a small crush on her a few months back.. It went away when he realized that Naru was the right one for him. She sighed. 'How could anyone like me, a big klutz who can't get a passing grade on anything?'

Makoto eyed her now quiet friend. "Usagi-chan, what's wrong?" she asked, though not receiving a response.

"I have to go," Usagi said quietly after a long period of silence, "I have to finish my homework."

"Demo..." Rei didn't get to finish as Usagi walked out of the arcade, leaving behind three confused and worried friends. The initial silence gone, Rei's uncertain voice asked aloud the question on everyone's minds.

"Since when did Usagi-chan like doing homework?"

The person in question walked dejectedly down the streets to her house with her head down to avoid the oncoming wind. She knew that bailing out on her friends would only lead to more questions. They were concerned with her. Usagi felt lucky to have just compassionate friends. They would be there for her no matter what...but...this was something that only she could deal with. She didn't want them to worry to much about her; they had their own problems to contend with.

A couple walked past her, the girl smiling brightly as the boy whispered something in her ear.

"Valentines Day is coming up," Usagi heard the girl say before they became out of hearing range.

Indeed, it was. Out of all the holidays in the year, Valentines Day had to be the worst for Usagi. Every year, the entire school made substantial efforts to decorate in anticipation of the day. The tiny pink and red hearts, the colorful ribbons, and the cardboard Cupids hanging on every classroom door only caused her heartache, a consistent reminder that she was alone.

The blonde stopped at her house, and walked up the steps slowly. She shook her head. "This time," she whispered to herself determinedly, "I want something special to happen..." It rang in empty ears. 'Like that was ever going to happen,' a nasty little voice in the back of her head said. Trying her best to ignore the nagging voice, and her own doubts that it might be right, she turned the doorknob slowly and walked inside.

The blue-haired woman flung back her hair and smiled warmly as her daughter trudged into the kitchen, a depressed look on her face. Ikuko shook her head, and without saying a word, embraced Usagi tightly. She gently stroked Usagi's hair, and the two stayed like that for a few moments before Ikuko spoke.

"Usagi, what's wrong?" she asked kindly.

Usagi only shook her head. "I don't know..."

"Is it school?"

"Hai, I...failed my math test...again," Usagi admitted, though something else was bothering her. Not that she had failed another test...that was nothing new. Usagi would be surprised if she get high marks on just one of her exams.

"Usagi!" The woman gave her daughter a stern look. "Another one?"

"I tried my best Mom, really I did!"

Ikuko's expression softened, and a light smile played on her lips. "That's all that matters then."

Usagi smiled weakly at her mother before taking out the test paper. She shoved it into the startled woman's hands, and without waiting for a response, ran up the stairs to her room. Ikuko's eyes filled with tears as she stared at the empty stairway. The look in her eyes just then were ones of pain, a new sense of maturity. The vibrant Usagi she loved with all her heart was instead replaced with a hurting young woman. Usagi had changed so much these last few months...around the time Luna had appeared. She seemed to take on more responsibility now, and, Ikuko cringed at the twenty-eight percent on the paper, despite her failed efforts to do better in school, she really seemed to be trying. The woman sighed, wiping at the corner of her eyes with her apron.

"My little girl's growing up so fast..."

"Luna, why is it that my secret crush is also my worst enemy?" Usagi turned to look at her feline companion stretched out on the bed beside her.

"I don't know," the cat answered after a while of serious contemplation, "perhaps it's just the way it is." Luna began to grow thoughtful, her gaze hardening. "But Usagi-chan, you've never confronted Mamoru about your feelings."

Usagi shot her black cat a look. "Sure," she replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes, "like that's ever going to happen." She could just see it now: walking up to Mamoru, putting up with another storm of insults, somehow gathering enough courage to say how she felt, and running away in tears when he laughed in her face and asked if it was a joke.

Luna frowned and sat up on the bed. "Besides Usagi-chan, now's not the time to think about Mamoru," she stated. "We have to be alert. The enemy is on the move again, I know it!"

"Not again..."

Ever since Luna discovered Usagi to be the heroine Sailor Moon, life had never been the same. Going to school like a normal teenager every day, and fighting disgusting youmas at night. Usagi didn't like being Sailor Moon that much, to be honest. It was a whole other responsibility she had to take on by herself...even with the other senshi to help. Yet...saving innocent citizens of Tokyo always brought some sort of happiness to the young girl. And of course, a certain masked man would always be there to protect and cheer her up. His name was Tuxedo Kamen, a mysterious man who always seemed to come at the right second to save Sailor Moon from whatever danger she was in. Usagi always felt close to him for some unknown reason, yet she knew very little about him. He would always disappear right after the youma was defeated, and Usagi would never have the chance to say thank you.

Usagi rolled around, and began unconsciously fingering the transformation brooch attached to the front ribbon to her school uniform. "I don't like fighting evil that much Luna," she spoke quietly.

Luna's nod was with understanding. Over the months she had come to know her charge, it was unmistakable how caring she was. It hurt Usagi to see people injured, and she often put the blame on herself. The other senshi tried to convince her otherwise, though the guilt would always be there. Usagi had always wanted to be a normal girl. Facing death and killing monsters every night was not in her ideal world, and Luna often felt bad for being the one to call Usagi to her duty, taking away any chance she had at being ordinary. The feline tried her best to comfort her friend.

"I know you don't, but you're getting better at it." Her words were carefully chosen, spoken in a soft tone.

Usagi smiled, feeling a little bit better. She had to admit; she was getting stronger with each youma she killed. At least...she didn't feel as scared when confronted by one as she did her first time. The blonde would never forget that night, all those months ago.

"Maybe..."

That night, she had a dream. Not a bad dream, more like one she never wanted to awaken from. In Usagi's dream, Mamoru didn't tease her like he did. Instead, it was quite the contrary. They were standing in the park, by the lake. The sun was setting, its golden rays shining down upon the twosome. He had his arm wrapped around her small shoulders. She fit perfectly into his arms, as if she was meant to be there. A cold breeze blew, and Usagi shivered, going deeper into Mamoru's embrace. She watched with half-closed eyes as Mamoru leaned closer to her, whispering sweet nothings into her ear. His lips met hers in a brief kiss, one that left Usagi breathless...

"Usagi-chan, wake up!"

"Ahh!" The blonde jumped straight up in bed and pulled the covers over her body. "Luna, are you trying to give me a heart attack?" She all but shouted at her feline friend.

Luna shot a dirty look toward her charge, and pointed one of her paws over to the bunny alarm clock sitting on the desk beside her bed.

"You're going to be late again if you don't get up right now."

Usagi's eyes widened as she eyed the clock. "It can't be that late!"

"It can, and it is."

Usagi shivered in her pajamas as she scrambled out of bed and quickly dressed in her school uniform. Nearly flying out the door of her bedroom, the girl managed to make it into the bathroom to brush her teeth and comb her hair. The brush ran through the long masses of golden hair, and Usagi stopped to view her reflection in the mirror. Her bright eyes shone, and her silky hair glistened in the dim light of the room.

Grabbing her lunch and school bags in a hurry, she quickly greeted her mother and father before running out the door.

On her way to school, Usagi began to think about the dream she had last night. An unconscious smile tugged at her lips, lifting the corners of her mouth. She remembered how momentary the kiss was, yet even now, it was as if Mamoru had actually kissed her. Her lips tingled at the memory. Realizing that she was already late for school, Usagi gasped out loud and ran down the sidewalk, trying hard not to bump into any people.

But, of course, that could not be avoided. She felt herself come into rough contact with a person, and before Usagi knew it, she was falling fast to the ground. Strong arms caught her, and held her in midair. The girl blushed when she realized whom it was. "Gomen," she breathed out. For a second, their eyes met, blue against blue. Usagi found herself drowning in his eyes.

Mamoru, mouth suddenly dry and hard to breathe, let go of her arms, and watched as Usagi tried to regain her composure as well.

"Late again, Odango?" It was a usual comment, a safety net for him when things got to be too awkward, though Mamoru could see evident disappointment in her eyes. They had a flicker of sadness in them before annoyance took over.

"Of course not!" Usagi shot back, however anyone could see that was an out loud lie. "I have to go." She pushed away from him, and began walking down the street once more, slower this time, not caring if she was going to be late.

"So are you...going to kiss him?"

"I don't know...you think I should...?"

The conversation caught Usagi's undivided attention. With short breathes, Usagi listened intently to the two girls in her class discuss their matters. The blonde was aware that she was eavesdropping, yet she couldn't help herself. Her mind wavered off from her current language lesson as she tried desperately to hear every word they uttered. It was clear what they were talking about.

"It'll be my first," the girl stated quietly.

"Then it makes it even better!"

The conversation ended abruptly when the teacher dropping her book on the ground, surprising the unsuspecting students. The two, giggling, went back to their books, scrambling to find their spot in the book. Still, their words rang in her ears. 'First kiss...' She thought mentally. 'I wonder what that's like...' At the thought, the girl licked her pink lips, and closed her eyes for a brief moment. One word in particular came to mind: magical. Usagi let out a breath of air, and fumbled to turn to the page her language teacher had instructed earlier. Once on that page, Usagi found that she could not concentrate. Instead, she began wondering what it would be like to kiss a particular someone on Valentines Day. 'That would make my dream come true!' she thought happily, and that smile on her face proved her happiness. Though the girl had to ponder how it would affect their relationship...whatever relationship what was, anyway.

'Mamoru would probably despise me even more.' The thought hurt Usagi. She remembered that dream from last night again, and silently wished that one day, it would be like that...when her dreams could really come true.

"Is there something you would like to share with the class, Miss Tsukino?" the voice brought Usagi back from her daydreaming, and she began to stutter.

"No," she answered quietly, eyes downcast.

"Good. Then I suggest you pay more attention."

"Yes ma'am."

Usagi looked up slowly to make sure that her teacher had gone back to her desk. Breathing a sigh of relief that she didn't get a detention, the fourteen-year-old glanced at her bunny wristwatch to find that she still had four more hours of school left. 'This is going to be a long day...'

Mamoru looked at the golden-haired angel presently playing a video game. 'Usagi...' it was Wednesday, the 13 of February, and the young man realized that Valentines Day was tomorrow. He cringed just thinking of that dreaded holiday. Chocolate, now that wasn't a problem, for Mamoru loved chocolate. But...never in his lifetime had he ever spent Valentines Day with someone before. Mamoru's eyes traveled down to land on Usagi lips, and mentally chuckled at the way they were when she pouted. Mamoru had to face it; he was somewhat in love with her. Although he was convinced that the blonde felt nowhere near to what he felt for her, the dark-haired student still could not help it.

Usagi rummaged through her pockets to find them empty; she had spent all the money on the video game. Getting up from the seat slowly, she caught Mamoru staring at her...in an unusual way. Avoiding his gaze, Usagi shook off that tingling sensation in her body, and began to walk out of the arcade.

"Usagi..."

She stopped dead in her tracks, not daring to move a muscle. The girl felt him come closer.

"You called me...Usagi..." she whispered, barely audible.

Mamoru smiled. "Odango Atama gets old sometimes. Can I talk with you?"

"About what?"

He opened his mouth to say something, though no sound came out. 'What do I want to say to her?' He asked himself. "I-"

Before Mamoru could finish speaking, Usagi interrupted. "I have to go," she stated simply, and left the arcade. Once outside, she began to run, not caring if she bumped into anyone. 'What is happening to me?' She asked herself. 'Am I falling in love with him?' Usagi finally stopped to catch her breath, rubbing her numb hands together in an attempt to warm them up. "Oh Mamoru, what are you doing to me?"

Mamoru stared at the place where Usagi had stood a few moments ago, unmoving. A hand was laid on his should, and he turned around stiffly to see Motoki smiling.

"You do like Usagi, don't you? Come on now, admit it."

Mamoru didn't answer, instead asking a question of his own.

"Do you think Usagi hates me?"

"What do you think, Mamoru?" the young man simply inquired his friend, who gave him a look. Shaking his head, the blond-haired man walked away whistling, leaving Mamoru to fret over his question. Truthfully, he didn't know what to think; Usagi was such an unpredictable girl. With a sigh, Mamoru walked out of the arcade, and headed home.

Usagi found Luna sitting on the porch when she got home, and stopped at the steps, arms crossed around her chest. "Please don't tell me there's been another attack."

The black cat laughed and ran to greet her master.

"No, Usagi-chan, not today."

She watched as Usagi breathed a sigh of relief, and followed her in the doorway.

***

The girl awoke to a freezing, gloomy Thursday morning. Gray clouds covered the sky, and robbed the city of the much needed sunlight. "Great," Usagi commented dryly, staring blankly out her bedroom window. The weather today matched what how she felt: depressed and terribly lonely. Giving her hair another brush, she preceded to put her hair up in those 'odangos' of hers. Luna jumped up and watched as she fiddled with the long strands of blonde hair, occasionally peering into her handheld mirror to make sure that her hair looked presentable. Once the fourteen-year-old was satisfied with the outcome, she stood up from her seat by the window, and walked out of the room. Yawning, Usagi brushed her teeth hurriedly and washed up before making her way to the kitchen.

"Another day in the life of Tsukino Usagi," she muttered to herself when she found her family already seated around the table. She sat down, giving her mother a small smile when she put the plate of food in front of her. Slowly taking small bites from her toast, Usagi hardly seemed like the girl who usually wolfed down her plate in minutes' time. And for once, to the shock of the family, she was early. Something was definitely wrong. Ikuko had sensed her daughter's depression almost immediately. With growing concern, the kind woman watched as she halfheartedly took a gulp of milk from the glass and wiped her mouth on a napkin.

"Usagi...is there something wrong?"

Usagi looked at her mom, half ready to answer that nothing was wrong. One look at Ikuko stopped her from doing so. Her eyes bore into Usagi's, and she knew she couldn't lie.

"I don't feel well today, Mom," was her reply. It was somewhat the truth. She hadn't been feeling well the past week, as a matter of fact.

"I don't think so Usagi. It must be that today's Valentines Day." The blonde cringed. Ikuko knew her too well. Of course, it had everything to do with the dreaded holiday...or...rather, a dreaded someone. Kenji, Usagi's father, cleared his throat. He didn't like the way this was headed one bit. Frowning at his wife, he pried, "There isn't a..boy involved with all this...is there?"

The question had been asked one too many times. "Dad..." She groaned, putting a hand over her forehead as a sign of annoyance. "Please don't start with the 'you're too young to have a boyfriend' lecture again."

Kenji took a sip from his coffee mug and eyed his daughter sternly.

"Well, you are." He made sure to leave no room for argument.

"Yes, Dad."

The conversation ended at that.

School dragged on as usual, one agonizing class after another. When the bell finally rang to dismiss the last class, Usagi nearly shouted out loud with glee. The school day was over, and she could get on with what she had planned. During the long hours of the school day, Usagi had made a decision, instead of listening to her teachers like she was supposed to do. Her decision was this-that she was going to get her first kiss...today.

The blonde had realized how much she wanted to feel his lips against hers, and today was as good of a day as any to make her fantasy come true. Ever since Usagi had that dream...she could not shake off the effects of it. A first kiss...would be as magical as people say it was? Yet her plan had a problem–Mamoru, she knew, would in no way, for any reason, want to kiss her. 'Then I guess this will ruin any chance of being with him in the future,' she thought sadly. However, Usagi realized that there wasn't much of a chance of Mamoru liking her in the first place. And, to add on to everything, the idea of kissing him burned in her mind with such fierce intensity that she could not take it anymore. It plagued her thoughts, haunted her in her dreams. She had to kiss him, no matter what the consequences.

Walking down the surprising empty streets of Tokyo, Usagi made her way to the arcade her center, silently praying that Mamoru would be there. Sure enough, when she walked into the warm arcade room, he was seated by the counter, in deep conversation with Motoki. Judging from the solemn looks on their faces, their topic of discussion was pretty serious. The arcade was startlingly empty, save for a few people who took to video games since they didn't have a loved one to spend it with. Which, for Usagi, was good news. She didn't need a crowd of witnesses for what she was prepared to do. Quietly, Usagi made her way towards the unsuspecting men and took a seat beside him at the counter, her usual spot. Motoki smiled when seeing the blonde. She returned the gesture tentatively, almost nervously shooting a glance at him that asked him to leave. He understood the implied message, gave a wink, and walked off to check on the other customers. With any luck, the two would be together by the end of the day. That brought a smile to his face.

He turned around to see who Motoki was winking at, and found Usagi seated next to him. And...she looked amazing. Not that she wasn't gorgeous every time he laid eyes on her...but today, her hair was slightly tossed by the wind, strands falling softly about her face, and her sapphire blue eyes were glassy...and hopeful? Mamoru shivered upon seeing the look Usagi had given him. That look of yearn...he couldn't stand it.

"Usagi, I-" He stopped, not knowing how to continue. Motoki had plainly told him to follow his heart, that the words would come naturally. Apparently, he was mistaken. Mamoru never felt more tongue-tied than at that instant. He sighed, his frustration unnoticed by the blonde. She had her own agenda in mind.

'Three,' Usagi silently counted in her head, preparing for the moment when she should catch his lips by surprise, 'two...'

"I-"

'One,' she thought mentally, and hoped that she would be able to pull away before he could respond.

In an instant, she leaned over, and pressed her soft lips against his. A tingling sensation ran all throughout her body; Usagi enjoyed it greatly. She pressed herself to him, grabbing the back of his neck for as much contact that was possible as the kiss deepened. She melted into his arms, giving herself this moment. It was worth never being able to come ten feet within Mamoru again. 'Such a wonderful feeling,' she thought happily, 'a first kiss is truly magical...' Savoring the sweetness of his lips against hers for a few seconds longer, Usagi began to slowly, reluctantly pull away from him. But instead, Mamoru pulled her closer to him, and kissed her back passionately. The young girl was scared at first, then responded by kissing him with all the passion she could muster.

After what seemed like an eternity, the two came up for air, both dazed and somewhat disoriented. Cheers and whistles were heard from the onlookers who had stopped playing their games to see the heated kiss. Motoki walked beside the couple, smiling widely. "Finally," he said, "you two admit your feelings for one another."

Usagi felt her face grow hot, and refused to look into Mamoru's stormy blue eyes. She let out a shaky breath of air, and licked her still tingling lips. The kiss, that long kiss, was not what she had expected. Usagi wanted to just kiss him quickly and then make her leave when Mamoru was still more or less in shock. Yet that didn't happen. Usagi would've never expected Mamoru to kiss her back. He had no reason to. She unconsciously straightened her rumpled shirt and touched her hair where he had tangled his hands in a moment before. 'Still, the kiss was perfect...' But one look at the confusion on Mamoru's face brought her to reality once more. Realizing that she had to leave before matters became more complicated, as if they weren't already, Usagi quickly stood up from her seat, and turned to leave.

Mamoru caught her wrist before she could go, and watched as the girl unwillingly turned around to face him. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Instead, his eyes implored for her to stay, to not leave him. They seriously needed to talk. The young man still could not believe what had happened. Did Usagi just kiss him? And if so, why? Maybe she had found out about his feelings for her, and that was some joke she had devised as a means to torture him. Then again, maybe she was so upset that she just grabbed the first guy in sight, him, to take comfort in. He didn't like either situations.

"Usagi, we need to talk," he stated firmly, waiting for her to reply. He had to get the truth from her, no matter how much it would hurt. She was quiet before slowly nodding her agreement. Mamoru stood up, and together the two walked out of the arcade doors and from the prying eyes of the customers.

The air was cold outside as they walked down the street in a tense silence. Seeing that she would not speak, Mamoru decided to start the conversation.

"Usagi...what happened?"

Her shoulders were slumped, and she shook her head, like she had done something wrong.

"I..."

"Why did you kiss me?"

"Gomen," she whispered quickly, her head still down. "I'll understand if you'll hate me forever."

Mamoru stopped walked abruptly, and placed his hands on her shoulders, forcing her tear-filled eyes to look at his face. "And what makes you think I'll do that?"

"Because," she answered as a silent tear rolled down her cheek, "you already hate me."

At that very moment, Mamoru wished he could take back any insult he had ever directed toward her. He watched sadly as the girl continued to shed salty tears, feeling extremely guilty knowing that he was the cause of those tears. Oh, how he wanted to slap himself then and there! 'I've been stupid,' he thought bitterly. Gently, Mamoru lifted up her chin, wiping away stray tears from her cheeks.

"I don't hate you."

Usagi looked up, shocked. He didn't hate her?

"Mamoru...really? I thought, I mean...with all the teasing and such...that you..."

The young man shook his head, smiling at the girl. "I could never hate you, Odango," he replied, using her hated nickname. "I'm sorry I made you think that way...I do it because–" He stopped, not daring to go further. Someday, he would be able to tell her everything, about why he teased her all the time. Of his lonely past, his tendency to push others away, his fear of letting others be close to him. One day, all his secrets would be disclosed to her, and, he hoped, she would still be able to see him the same way she did now. He wasn't ready, though, to say so. Mamoru looked into her eyes, pleading with her to understand.

Usagi simply smiled, as if to say that it was enough, and they continued their walk.

"Usagi...do you hate me?"

Usagi looked up at him, and smiled. "No, of course not, silly. Would I have kissed you if I did?"

She paused. Maybe that wasn't the best answer she could've come up with. She hesitantly added, "But you do annoy me sometimes."

He smiled back, feeling as if a great weight was lifted from his shoulders. "Well, that's okay."

"Would you mind if I told you something? I mean, this is Valentines Day, after all." Usagi swallowed nervously when she felt his eyes staring at her. 'No time like the present,' she thought silently. It was hard to actually say that she liked him, especially with those piercing eyes staring at her intensely. It was like he could see beneath the surface, into her soul. A rush of warmth washed over her, giving her the courage to speak.

"I...I like you...a lot," she finally managed to say, and held her breath.

Mamoru stopped walking once more, mouth dropping open in pleasant surprise.

"You...do?" He found that quite hard to believe. After everything...how had all his dreams come true just hearing those words?

"Hai," she muttered, suddenly finding the need to stare at her shoes.

"I feel the same way, Usagi, my Odango Atama."

"Mamoru..."

Usagi hoped that she wasn't dreaming. Mamoru liked her! She had a feeling this would mark the start of a beautiful, insult free, relationship. What more could a girl ask for on Valentines Day? She didn't even mind the once hated nickname anymore. As long as she was 'his' Odango, he could call her that whenever he wanted

They arrived at Usagi's house, both happier than they had ever remembered being. The blonde looked at Mamoru shyly from underneath her long eyelashes.

"I guess I'll see you tomorrow, Mamoru."

He nodded. "I'll be waiting."

Before she turned to go up the steps, Mamoru caught her lips once more in a sweet kiss, albeit shorter, to Usagi's disappointment. "Happy Valentines Day," he breathed into her ear, and then left, looking back at the blonde every once in a while with a grin on his face.

Usagi let out a small squeal once she had closed the front door, leaning against the wooden frame. Her legs felt wobbly and her heart was beating a million times a minute, but it didn't matter. Her Valentines Day wish had come true! Her first kiss was perfect in every way. She had shared it with the only man she ever dreamt of being with. And now that she knew he returned her feelings, no longer did she have hide her feelings. Nor did she find the need to sigh dreamily when someone mentioned about a kiss, because she had already experienced its magical feeling. She couldn't wait to see him again... She took one last look at his disappearing form from the front window, beaming.

Today was indeed the best day of her life.

*********************

Wow...did I write that? *blinks* Okay, this was my *longest* one-part fic ever, not intentionally though! It was supposed to be a short, five paged ficcy, but, as you can see, it's much longer than that! I hope you enjoyed my story minna, and if it was confusing in any way, I apologize. *Please* e-mail me at LisaZUMstories@aol.com or Lisafics@sailormoon.com. Please? ^_^

This story written January-February, posted February 2002, edited/revised July 2003.