IsadoraKayStone: Haha, no kidding. Unfortunately, Chibi-Usa's training is pushed back once again. :(
Moonlight Pheonix: No, I don't think so. They're both so young...
Bin82501: Thanks, but she's a bit too old.
rainediamond: Haha, not quite on the Chibi-Usa thing, but close(ish).
Blood of the Dawn: Thanks, but she's a bit too old.
BunnyLockhart: Thanks, and she might be good...
stickdonkey: What stinks is that my review-everything-I-read parade has been rained on. My computer is glitchy and won't allow the popup that lets you review. -.- And the way I see it, the facade is cracking, and people are starting to be able to see past the disguise. And yeah, he'd definitely freak out.
Mamoru stared at the blonde in his arms through half-lidded eyes, his hands gently pressing into the small of her bare back. It was about time for them to wake up, and he knew it. Still, it was hard to resist the urge to just stay in bed with the love of his life lying on his chest, never letting anyone know where they were.
He had teleported Usagi and himself back to the palace the previous night in a desperate attempt to spend one night together alone before things went haywire and Usagi's family moved in. After all, they hadn't given an address or told anyone where they were specifically, meaning they were free, if only for a moment.
Mamoru placed a kiss on Usagi's forehead, summoning her from her slumber. The blonde let out a small sigh before moving to kiss him on the lips. After a second, she pulled away, but Mamoru would have none of that. Mamoru gently pressed her back down to him, his lips coming into contact with hers. Moving slowly, he turned his body so that the blonde lay under him, her right leg sliding up next to his body and wrapping around his waist. Mamoru pressed his body against hers, and Usagi let out a soft, content sigh.
"Mamo-chan," she breathed, pulling at the silver, silk sheets on the round bed so they wrapped around the couple. Mamoru let out a small groan into her mouth as she grasped at his shoulders.
Then, a thought occurred to the moon princess. "Crap," she hissed, pushing Mamoru off her and getting out of bed, using the sheets as a wrap to hide her body, and walked over to the phone in the room. She dialed the familiar number, and a couple of moments later, a male voice came from the other end of the line.
"Hey, Artemis, how's Minako-chan?" Usagi asked worriedly.
"She's feeling much better," Artemis confirmed. "She's almost like a normal girl with a cold or some other minor disease. Her parents tried calling you yesterday, but the phone lines were dead, and Minako-chan's communicator died out."
"Okay," Usagi nodded, feeling only slightly less worried. "That means that Minako-chan's powers are diminishing further. We've gotta find a solution. Unfortunately, I've got to go to school, but..." she sent a pleading look to Mamoru, "Mamo-chan can come check on her."
Mamoru nodded, understanding the severity of the situation. He got up and began pulling on his clothes.
"He'll be there soon," the blonde promised the feline before hanging up.
"Let's get back before your parents realize we're gone," Mamoru suggested, tossing Usagi her underwear.
"Absolutely," Usagi agreed, working to put on her pajamas from the previous night before she and Mamoru disappeared. "We don't need my parents freaking out about us on top of all this senshi stuff that's been going on."
"I just hope Chibi-Usa doesn't notice. She's too smart for her own good," Mamoru chuckled, pulling his shirt on and buttoning it up. He couldn't help but wonder if Usagi had seen the tattoo on his back, right between his shoulder blades. The only times she had seen him shirtless were over the past two days, and in that time, she wasn't exactly in the position to be looking at his back. He always kept her close, holding onto her lovingly. The tattoo itself she would recognize right off the bat, though. It was Lunarian writing, the font looking Old English, like something out of a book from the middle ages. It was a simple sentence, reading:
Kan dozké hime re adolé
No human that he knew from this time would be able to read it unless he told them. Not that he ever had any intention to. The tattoo would likely be discovered somehow, some way by the paparazzi, and he would undoubtedly be questioned about it. But no one had to know the meaning behind it, or what it even said. If Usagi ever found out about the tattoo, he would show her, and she would know what it said. That was all that mattered.
"Ready to go?" he asked as Usagi finished putting on her silk nightgown.
"Yeah," the blonde nodded, taking ahold of his hand.
Mamoru let his powers flood through them, and the two closed their eyes, allowing themselves to be surrounded in golden light. When they opened their eyes, they were standing in Usagi's vacant living room, right in front of the couch.
"I'm going to go get ready," Usagi told him. "Why don't you make a quick trip back to your apartment to get some new clothes?" Despite the fact that there were clothes for him at the palace, he had only gotten something new for him to wear yesterday, not grabbing anything today.
"I'll be back soon," he promised, heading out the door quickly in an attempt to catch the paparazzi off guard, not giving them the chance to ready their cameras.
Usagi, on the other hand, being the first up for once, took a shower and got ready for school, being careful not to disturb Chibi-Usa when she went into her bedroom to retrieve her clothes. She was downstairs, practicing her cooking skills when Shingo came downstairs.
"Huh, the kids are up before the parents," he mused. "Weird. Where'd Mamoru-san go?"
"He went to get some clothes from his apartment," Usagi explained, putting the cinnamon rolls into the oven.
"Is he moving in?" Shingo asked warily, causing Usagi to turn around.
"Well, we were actually thinking about all of us moving into the palace here on Earth in Minamiboso," Usagi explained. "It's just that Mamo-chan and I want to spend some time together here without the paparazzi, since they'd be able to get into his apartment building."
"Oh." The boy sounded disappointed.
Usagi leaned down slightly, looking Shingo in the eyes. "Shingo, do you have a problem with Mamo-chan?" she asked, wondering how her brother felt.
"Well, no, but... ever since you started dating him, ever since you became Sailor Moon, we haven't spent any time together," he explained. "You're always off doing your senshi stuff or with Mamoru-san and Chibi-Usa."
"Oh, Shingo," Usagi said, pulling her brother into a hug. "I promise, I'll spend more time with you once things settle down."
"But will they ever?" Shingo asked doubtfully. "You're Sailor freaking Moon, and when it's revealed that you're a reincarnated Lunarian princess, this whole thing is just going to explode even more!"
"Well, how about this," Usagi offered. "I'll spend all day hanging out with you on Saturday, wherever you want to go."
"Really?" Shingo asked hopefully.
"Absolutely," Usagi nodded.
A slamming door caused them both to turn. "We've got a problem," Mamoru said as he walked into the kitchen. He pulled a magazine out from within his olive green jacket and dropped it on the counter for Usagi and Shingo to see. There, on the cover of the tabloid, was a picture from the day before, gotten right when Usagi had rested a hand on her stomach.
Is Sailor Moon Pregnant? the title read.
"You're pregnant?" Shingo asked in shock.
"No!" Usagi refuted. Okay, there was a slim possibility that she was pregnant, seeing as she and Mamoru never used protection, but there was no way she could have known it yesterday, when the photo was taken. "I was holding my stomach because-" she caught herself. "Because a youma hit me in the stomach pretty hard earlier, and it's still a little bruised." Yeah, Shingo'd buy that.
"Oh," Shingo replied, totally taking the bait.
"This is going to be fun to work out," Mamoru muttered sarcastically. "We could hide out in the palace-"
"No, no hiding," Usagi objected. "That will only make rumors worse."
"Then what do you propose we do about it?" Mamoru asked.
Usagi let out a small chuckle. "Looks like I'm going to Papa's office after school today," she sighed.
Usagi let out a hefty sigh as she made it into the Aera Magazine building. Sure, she was still in a building filled with reporters, but reporters from other magazines and TV stations were held outside the doors by a restraining order. It was rather interesting, Aera Magazine getting a restraining order eight years ago to keep competition away. Unfortunately, that did not prevent the receptionist from staring at her.
"Konnichiwa, Takaki-san," Usagi smiled lightly, choosing to ignore the fact that the man's eyes were glued to her stomach. "I'm here to see my father, Tsukino Kenji. Is he here?"
"Hai," the short man replied. "Eighteenth floor."
"Thanks!" Usagi smiled before rushing over to the elevator. She pressed the up button and walked inside, pressing the button that read '18' on it. She waited only semi-patiently for the elevator's ascension, tapping her foot on the ground. When the doors opened, it was like the reporters in the bullpen all expected her, turning to face her like hawks. Most of them remembered the girl as a small child, cute and innocent, not a pregnant superhero.
"Uh... hi," the blonde said nervously before rushing into her father's office. She had managed to hustle Mamoru, Shingo, Chibi-Usa and herself out of the house before her parents woke up, but the group had forgotten the tabloid on in the kitchen counter. Her father had undoubtedly seen it and was likely in a rage about his little girl possibly being pregnant.
"Hi, Papa," said Usagi in a sheepish manner as she closed the office door behind her.
"Tsukino Serenity Usagi, you are in so much trouble, when I am finished, you are going to need that Ginzuishou to bring you back to life, you-"
"I'm not pregnant!" Usagi interrupted his father's rage. "That's just a rumor. My hand was on my stomach because it was bruised by a youma. I promise you, I'm not pregnant."
Kenji calmed instantly. "Okay," he replied warily. "What are you doing here today? I thought you'd avoid this place at all costs."
"Well, I thought that with the latest rumor going around, I'd strike it down ASAP," Usagi confessed. "Besides, I'm sure getting an interview with a senshi will do wonders for the number of magazines sold."
Kenji let out a small chuckle and sat down at his desk. "I'm going to have Nakamori Hina interview you," he stated. "If I do the interview, people will be suspicious and cry foul play."
"Okay, I think I remember Nakamori-san," Usagi nodded. "Do you want the interview to be done at her desk or in an interview room, or-"
"Interview room," Kenji confirmed. "I don't want everyone crowded around you." He stood up again and led Usagi out of his office, only to find virtually all of the reporters and photographers waiting for them right outside the door. "Nakamori-san!" Kenji called, resulting in a brunette woman, one of the few actually working at their desk, turning to face them. "Interview Usagi, will you?"
"Hai," Hina nodded, getting up and leading Usagi off to the interview room.
"Minna, back to work!" Kenji ordered, causing the bullpen to once again turn into the usual busy workplace.
"Usagi-san, I haven't seen you since you were this big," Hina said, placing her hand at her hip as a reference. "Everyone here was taken by surprise when we found out you're Sailor Moon."
"Yeah, well it was called a secret identity for a reason," Usagi laughed. "Obviously, it's not much of a secret anymore."
"Okay, Usagi-san," Hina said as she turned on her recorder. "When did you first become Sailor Moon?"
"When I was fourteen," Usagi stated. "My cat, Luna, wound up talking, telling me that I had to protect the planet from youma, demons from the Dark Kingdom."
"Your cat can talk?" Hina asked doubtfully.
"Yeah, it took me some time to get used to," Usagi confessed. "She's my guide in all this senshi stuff. She also manages to make time to nag me about my grades and lack of sleep."
"Okay, who's this Tuxedo Kamen, Chiba Mamoru guy? How did you meet him?"
"Chiba Mamoru is my boyfriend," Usagi explained. "We met at my first youma battle. He saved me from being killed. He is also from the Silver Millennium; he was the prince of Earth."
"The Silver Millennium?" Hina asked, her voice again filled with doubt. "You actually believe in those fairy tales?"
Usagi only smiled with the allure she had been gradually gaining since discovering she was the moon princess so many years ago. "They are true," Usagi informed her in a calm, collected voice. "The so-called 'characters' of the story- Serenity Lunaria, Endymion Terra, Serenity's guards and Endymion's guards- are all real. My senshi are my guards, Endymion my fiance, and the Shitennou his guards."
"So... that means that you're..."
"Serenity Lunaria," Usagi confirmed with a nod.
"Okay then," Hina nodded slowly. "What powers do you have?"
"I can heal youma and sometimes others' wounds, I can see auras and what planet people are from just by looking at them, and there are a few others," Usagi explained. "I'm not big on letting everyone know all that I can do."
"Understandable," Hina agreed. "Now, as to the rumors about your pregnancy-"
"I'm not pregnant," Usagi promised. "A youma just hit me in the stomach, and it kind of bruised."
Ugh. Can't handle writing any more of the interview. You can probably guess what the rest of the interview consists of, so...
P.S. What did you think of Mamoru's tattoo?