I don't own Sailor Moon. Surprise, surprise.
Summary: Tsukino Kenji, better known as the best photographer this side of the Prime Meridian, or at least that's what his daughter thinks. When his career is on the line, Usagi knows the perfect way to help him. Happy late birthday, Usagi!
Please note that this is in the first season, after the battle at Starlight Tower and the trip to the Hot Springs, so Endo does exist in this.
Kenji let out a heavy sigh as he sat in front of his computer, trying to come up with some amazing article to write for the magazine. Yeah, you read right, article. As in not photographs, though he did have to come up with some of those to go along with his article. So far all he had was a big, fat nothing. He was told what to photograph most of the time. With this specific assignment, it was a free-for-all. The reporters and photographers with the best articles in my Friday got to keep their jobs. Stupid layoffs.
Sure, that was a very Usagi-like thing to say, but it was already Tuesday evening. If he planned on getting an interview with anyone, it had to be before Thursday afternoon, or else he wouldn't have time to write it up, and everyone knew the editor of the magazine liked having interviews with famous people. Then again, what magazine editor didn't? Interviews were an insight into the lives of people that others wished they could be, therefore magazines with interviews with famous people sold more copies than magazines without said interviews.
"You okay, Papa?" a confused voice asked behind him. Kenji looked up from his computer quickly due to his surprise and saw his daughter, Usagi, standing there in her pink PJs, a concerned expression on her face.
"I'm fine," Kenji lied. "I just need to find someone to interview before Thursday afternoon."
This only caused Usagi's confusion to grow, as she knew full-well that her father was a photographer, not a reporter. "They're laying people off, aren't they?" she asked, catching on. Kenji nodded in reply, and Usagi pursed her lips. "I can get you an interview with someone," she stated, rather sure of herself. When Kenji's eyebrows furrowed, she only grinned. "Just be right here tomorrow at eight p.m. I'll do the rest."
And so, with a giant smile on her face, Usagi left, a confused Kenji staring after her.
When Usagi told the girls her plan the next day, they were dead set against it.
"Usagi-chan, have you lost your mind?" Rei demanded, hitting her ever-so-lightly on the back of the head. "You're gonna blow our secret identities!"
"Oh, come on, I know better than that!" Usagi objected. "I'm not that stupid; I know better than to get caught."
"Really, though, Usagi-chan?" Minako asked. With all the trouble with Kunzite and Endymion, she was growing a bit paranoid. "You're letting your father interview you. If you fall into any of your usual habits as Usagi, he may recognize you!"
"That's what the glamour is for," Usagi reminded her. "It prevents anyone from being able to associate our behavior with our alter egos'."
"This could be some really good PR for the senshi," Ami stated, surprising everyone. They had all been expecting her to be dead-set against the idea, using logic and reason to try to talk Usagi out of it. "After all, people still aren't entirely sure they can trust the senshi, especially with Tuxedo Kamen going bad. An interview might help. We can explain why we're here, what we're fighting... why they can't trust Tuxedo Kamen anymore..."
Usagi went silent at that last comment, but she knew Ami was right. People who trusted the senshi often trusted Tuxedo Kamen, something they could no longer do. Much more time with people thinking Tuxedo Kamen was still one of the good guys, and someone was going to get seriously hurt, if not killed.
"Ami-chan's right," Makoto agreed. "Tuxedo Kamen knows people trust him, and he's going to start using that to his advantage. If anything... we need this interview. Just make sure to avoid any usual habits you do as Usagi, okay? For all we know, the glamour might be weaker around the people we're closest to."
"I'll be careful," Usagi promised.
Later that night, Usagi was practically shaking as she walked into her father's office. She cleared her throat, and the man looked up to see Sailor Moon standing just inside the doorway. "Hi," Sailor Moon began nervously. "Uh, Usagi-san told me to come here for an interview." She made sure to make it seem as though she and Usagi were just acquaintances, not close friends. Not only would that calm her father's worries that his little girl was somehow involved in senshi business, but if the way he got the first ever interview with a senshi got out, Usagi wouldn't be in as much danger- from the Dark Kingdom and the paparazzi.
Kenji seemed more than a little shocked that his daughter had managed to get him an interview with a superhero- not to mention the first ever interview with one of the senshi or Tuxedo Kamen. He stood up, nearly falling over his chair as he did, and offered a polite bow. Kenji noticed that the heroine made it a point that she bowed lower than him in their introduction as a sign of respect. Kenji smiled slightly, glad to see that some people in Japan still had respect for their elders. Despite the fact that he did not know her age, he knew he was older than the blonde.
"Uh, I-I'm Tsukino Kenji," he said nervously. He made a gesture to the two chairs in front of his desk, and Sailor Moon sat down in the one on the right. Kenji sat back down in his chair across from her, closing his laptop and pulling out a tape recorder.
"I'm Sailor Moon," the blonde smiled slightly, rather relieved that her father was just as nervous as she was.
Kenji turned on the tape recorder and said, "Tsukino Kenji, Aera Magazine, face-to-face interview with Sailor Moon. So, Sailor Moon, do you have a name you're usually called by when you're not, well, Sailor Moon?"
Usagi smiled lightly. "Do I have a name? Yes. Can I tell you it? No," she explained.
Kenji let out a small laugh. "Should have expected that," he decided before getting on to the next question. "A big question that been on everyone in Tokyo's minds is: how old are you girls? There have been speculations that you're just out of college and speculations that you're all nearing your thirties. So how old are you all?"
Usagi was rather surprised by the question. Well, not so much the question as the speculation. "Um... we're-we're all in middle school," she explained.
Now it was Kenji's turn to be surprised, though he quickly caught himself. "By that you mean, you're all middle school teachers, right?" he asked. There was no way the senshi could be so young!
"No, sir, we're all middle school students," Usagi informed him.
Kenji gaped at the girl, unable to believe that the five girls were so young. "You're joking, right?"
"No, sir. I'm only fourteen."
Kenji fell back in his chair, amazed by the revelation. People were going to flip about this. He could already see comments about the senshi's age winding up on the news, in political talks. "What do your parents think of your little... after-school job?" he wondered. When he saw Sailor Moon was the one he would be interviewing, he quickly made a list of questions in his head to ask. This had not been one of them.
"They don't know who I am," Usagi explained, a single tear threatening to fall from her eye. She blinked, freeing her eyes of the liquid.
"Does anyone outside of the senshi know your secret identities?"
"Other than the advisers, one of my friends is close, but so far no."
"And this friend... are they also in middle school?" He just couldn't get past how young she was!
"No," Usagi replied, thinking of Motoki.
"Uh..." To be honest, Kenji's mind went blank upon hearing Sailor Moon's age. It was like his daughter sneaking out in the middle of the night to fight youma! He would never allow that. Never. "I, er, uh... how did you get your powers?"
"I was approached by my adviser, and she gave me my transformation brooch and told me how to use my powers," Usagi explained. There was an uncomfortable silence for a moment before:
"Tsukino-san, I know that you are uncomfortable with me and the senshi being so young. I know your daughter, and I know that you are likely comparing me to her at this very moment. You're wondering if she would have a scratch on her cheek when she came home one day. You're wondering if you and your wife would walk into the morgue, and when you saw your daughter lying on a slab and ask what happened, the person working there would say, 'Oh, I thought you knew. She was stabbed by a youma when she was trying to kill it as one of the senshi.'
"If I said that I understood, I'd be lying. I don't have a child, and I don't know what it's like to wonder about what that child does when you aren't watching them. As my age would suggest, there's a lot I don't know. But one thing I do know about is responsibility, and what it's like to feel as though you specifically are responsible for keeping someone alive. When someone is attacked by a youma, it is the responsibility of my senshi and me to keep not only that person alive, but everyone around them alive as well. And before you ask, that is why we do our jobs and risk our lives."
Kenji nodded slowly, suddenly understanding the teen. "How long have you been Sailor Moon?"
"Almost a year," Usagi confessed.
"Do you... use your powers on a daily basis? For recreation?"
"No," Usagi quickly replied. "The girls and I view it as an abuse of our power."
Kenji smiled. "Polite and has morals," Kenji mused. "Not exactly common today."
Usagi cracked a small smile as well. "I like to look for the best in everyone... even our enemies," she stated, knowing what that comment would eventually branch to.
"And your enemy is known as..."
"The Dark Kingdom, led by Beryl. She employed the four Shitennou, known as Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoicite and Kunzite. All of the Shitennou excluding Kunzite are now dead. Unfortunately, Tuxedo Kamen was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Dark Kingdom. He is now working for them and is not to be trusted."
"I take it part of the reason you agreed to this interview is that people like Tuxedo Kamen and you needed a way to tell most of Japan that he is not to be trusted?"
"Correct. Now he would not hesitate to kill someone in his way, or even just because they are nearby. If anyone sees him, they need to get away as quickly and quietly as possible."
Kenji nodded in understanding. People were going to get hurt if people kept trusting Tuxedo Kamen, and this was the senshi's way of telling people not to. "Is it true that you and Tuxedo Kamen were in a relationship before he, well-"
"Turned evil?" Usagi asked, knowing the man was trying to spare her feelings. "Kind of. It was a bit of an odd relationship, to say the least. You may choose not to believe this, but the senshi and Tuxedo Kamen are reincarnated from a thousand years in the past. My past self and Tuxedo Kamen's past self were in love."
"Sailor Moon, do you honestly expect people to believe that you've been reincarnated from someone in the past?" he asked, slightly amused.
"Not really, but it's the truth," Usagi informed him. "I didn't believe in reincarnation myself until I got my memories back."
Kenji shrugged, not quite sure how to continue with the topic. So, instead, he asked, "People have reported hearing a melody at youma battles. Do you know what that is?"
Usagi smiled a melancholy smile and as tears came to her eyes, she explained, "The locket Tuxedo Kamen gave me." She pulled out the locket, and Kenji immediately noticed that it was identical to the locket Usagi had at the hot springs. He was too shocked to speak, and Sailor Moon clearly didn't realize Kenji had found her out, so she continued. "It plays a melody whenever it's opened. It can sense true love and plays accordingly, opening on its own whenever I am near Tuxedo Kamen."
"I see," Kenji replied, a bit speechless. Slowly, his hand moved to press the pause button on the tape recorder. Sailor Moon looked at him, a confused expression on her face. He took a deep breath and said, "You're grounded for a month, only allowed to go outside for youma battles. After any youma battle, you will inform your mother and me of any injuries and go to the hospital if any of them are bad enough.
"You will not speak to Tuxedo Kamen. True love be dammed, I am not letting my daughter see a college man, even if you get him back on the light side of the force or whatever you call it."
Usagi gaped at Kenji, unsure of what to say. She looked down at the locket and realized what caused him to discover her true identity. "Yes, sir," Usagi whispered, knowing she was getting off lightly punishment-wise. Kenji turned the tape recorder back on, resuming the interview.
"So what powers do you and the senshi have?" Kenji was an expert at getting back to his serious, interview voice.
"Mercury has power over ice and somewhat over water, Mars has power over fire, Jupiter has power over lightning, and Venus has power over love. I have power over..." It took Usagi a moment of thinking to realize the truth. "I have power over light and goodness."
Kenji raised an eyebrow. "That's quite a large order for a teenage girl to live up to," he commented.
Usagi nodded. "It is, but it's who I am. I have no more control over it than I do over the fact that I have blue eyes or that I was born Japanese."
"Do you regret ever becoming Sailor Moon?" This was what his interview was building up to, and now that he knew he was speaking with his daughter, he wanted to know the answer even more.
There was a good thirty seconds of silence as Usagi gazed off into nothing while she thought. Then, finally...
"No. Sailor Moon is who I am now. She is a part of me just as much as my civilian form. If I, all of a sudden, wasn't Sailor Moon, I don't know what I'd do. I'd probably go and buy some costume from a Halloween store and still go out and fight youma." Kenji let out a small laugh at that. Usagi was smiling and laughing as well at her last comment and continued, "I do not regret becoming Sailor Moon. The only thing I regret is not starting the fight against the Dark Kingdom earlier."
Kenji smiled and said, "Well, it was nice talking to you, Sailor Moon. You've most certainly surprised me and changed my mind about the senshi. It's good to know there's someone out there protecting Tokyo." Usagi smiled with pride as Kenji turned off the tape recorder. "I'm proud of you, Usagi," he informed her, walking around to give her a hug.
Kenji checked his watch, and his eyebrows went up in surprise. "Happy birthday, Usagi," he told his daughter, showing her the time:
Usagi couldn't help but grin ear to ear. "Thanks, Papa. Any chance of you un-grounding me as a birthday present?" she asked hopefully.
Kenji burst into laughter, and Usagi smiled, thinking she was off the hook. Then, after a few seconds, he grew silent. "No," he said with dead seriousness. "Nice try, though." Usagi, despite still being grounded, smiled and laughed a bit.
Suddenly, a beeping came from Usagi's skirt pocket. She pulled out her communicator and answered it. "Moon here," she said, like she had done it hundreds of times before.
"We could use your help!" Venus said quickly, and Usagi saw the blonde dodge an attack from Kunzite. "At the park."
"Be right there," Usagi promised before hanging up the communicator. She turned to Kenji. "I'll be back soon, Papa." And with that, the heroine was gone.
Sailor Moon arrived at the park in record time, only to be cut at the cheek by a sharp, black rose. She looked to her attacker and gasped when she saw Tuxedo Kamen, now standing right in front of her. "Hand over the Ginzuishou," he commanded.
"Really?" Usagi asked, an eyebrow raised. "I don't even get a 'hello'? Not even a 'hey, Moon, having a nice night?'"
She was making Tuxedo Kamen angry; she could sense it. "Hand. Over. The Ginzuishou," he growled, towering over her.
"Make me," Usagi whispered before darting around him and approaching the battle. She pulled out the crescent moon wand and healed the youma with ease. She smiled, but a voice cut into her happiness.
"Sailor Moon! Behind you!" Jupiter called, a moment too late. Usagi was grabbed from behind by Tuxedo Kamen, and the way he held her virtually immobilized her. She let out a small scream of pain as Tuxedo Kamen hit her at a pressure point. She felt her body go limp, her muscles now uncooperative. She was suddenly dropped to the ground, and Usagi rolled over to see her father standing there with a car jack in his hands, Tuxedo Kamen lying near-unconscious a few inches away from her.
"Stay the hell away from my daughter," Kenji commanded angrily. With that, Usagi's eyes flittered shut.
When Usagi woke up, she was lying in the back of Kenji's car. She let out a weak moan, and Kenji checked on his daughter in the rear view mirror. "You okay, kiddo?" he asked.
"Ugh... yeah, I'm fine," Usagi replied, sitting up slowly. "Did you seriously hit Tuxedo Kamen with a car jack?"
Kenji chuckled lightly and nodded. "So how bad are you hurt?" he asked, quickly regaining a serious face.
"Just the scratch on my cheek, and he hit a pressure point, but nothing serious," Usagi assured her father. "Some sleep will get rid of it completely. Gotta love those advanced healing powers." As she said that, they pulled into the driveway. Usagi de-transformed and slowly got out of the car, her legs still a bit shaky.
"Good night, Papa," Usagi smiled, kissing her father on the cheek before heading up to her room.
Hello, everybody! It's Squirrel here with a late-birthday one shot for Usagi!
And everyone, I have some bad news. Well, I think it's good news, but my account says it's bad news. I'm moving! In other words, I won't be able to get on much due to packing. However, I have no intentions of packing up my laptop, so I will update occasionally.
As for the fic, I think it was relatively okay, up until the fight. It kind of went downhill from there. But I really wanted Kenji defending Usagi from a Dark Kingdom baddie!
Either way, it'd be awesome if you'd review please! Thanks!