Summary: A twist of fate leaves Usagi with all of the memories of her past life while the reincarnations of her friends remain oblivious. Determined to keep them from suffering the same ends they met on the Moon, Usagi sets out to keep the peace on her own...
Disclaimer: I own nothing! I am merely playing with other people's toys, using them in my own twisted games. Anything you recognize most probably belongs to somebody else, except the plots, those are mine.
"Blah…" – Talking in Japanese
"Blah…" – Talking over radio/telephone/communicators
Blah… - Thoughts, emphasis, writing/e-mails, flashbacks/dreams, spells
Additional Notes: The story will follow parts of the anime and manga but there will be changes to certain aspects of the canon story that will be pointed out as they pop up.
Light fell across the city like a warm blanket as the sun peaked over the horizon. For most the sun's ascent was the start of the new morning. As the welcomed rays pushed past windows and curtains to urge those it fell across to awaken the city seemed to come alive in a way the night life could never hope to compare to.
Of course, where most got up with the sun, there were a few who rose long before light began to dye the night sky with different shades of pink and yellow. Furuhata Motoki was one of those early risers. It was a habit born of necessity thanks in part to his part-time jobs and hectic college life.
While he didn't like the early hours he woke up by he used it to its fullest to get ahead of the game. As seven rolled around Motoki's tasks included sweeping the front, drying the last of the dishware, and checking over the inventory one last time.
"Why didn't you call me when you got up?"
Stifling a yelp of surprise, Motoki turned to the Fruit Parlor where the voice had drifted from. Leaning against the open back door was his younger sister in all but blood, smirking as she watched him try to calm his pounding heart.
"Don't do that, Usagi!" He chided, still gripping his chest.
She smiled with an air of innocence but the glint of humor in her eyes told him she had enjoyed every second of it.
"It wasn't intentional," Usagi informed him as she slipped further into the room, allowing the door to close behind her. "Unazuki's already left for school."
Motoki shot her a Look, taking in her uniform and school bag. "Why aren't you doing the same?" He queried as he grabbed the broom from the utility closet.
"Well," She snatched the drying rag from the side of the sink and wiped at the still damp counter-top, "I thought you would like to know I'm going to be late today." When she spotted his brow, quirked up in question, she elaborated, "Umino wants me to come with him to help find a birthday present for Naru."
Ignoring his sudden fit of snickers, Usagi tossed the cloth back to the sink and grabbed her bag. "I shouldn't be more than an hour or two." She walked towards the front door, "If you really need me," She tilted her head to the side before allowing a playful grin to slip passed her mask of exhaustion, "give me a call. See ya!"
With that she was gone.
Still chuckling at Usagi's impending misadventure, Motoki stepped outside looking forward to hearing about the latest drama the blond teenager could bring him in regards to her two friends.
Pausing momentarily in his sweeping Motoki pondered how sad it was that he enjoyed listening about the love life (or lack thereof) of two teenagers. He sighed; as long as he didn't show Usagi he cared he might just avoid being mocked by her.
For fifteen year old Tsukino Usagi, time seemed to crawl at a snail's pace when class was in session. It was unbearable!
Glaring at the clock had proved to be more than useless but that didn't stop her from doing it. She was sure that somewhere a certain someone was laughing at her misfortune.
Usagi resisted the urge to pout. Not only was it unbecoming it would alert Haruna-sensei to her inattention.
Not like it would matter! Usagi scoffed, momentarily shifting her glare to her latest test paper lying in a crumpled ball on her desk.
Before she could resume her mental sulk, Usagi was disturbed by a gentle prodding of her back.
Curious, Usagi let her hand drop casually from her desk to accept the scrap of paper being offered to her.
Making sure the teacher's attention was on the board; she unfolded the note and read the message inside.
What's got you so agitated?
It was from Naru. She was tempted to spill the beans but Umino would get mad at her, and that was never fun.
Rubbing at her face tiredly, Usagi settled for another (still honest) answer.
I didn't get much sleep last night and I have work to do today.
True but vague enough that Naru wouldn't get the real meaning behind it. Passing it back with her blank notebook she returned her attention to the clock only to have the bell ring, announcing the end of school.
For a brief moment she scowled at the clock before she gathered her things together and stormed out of the room, streamers swaying gently behind her.
Baffled, Naru read the note hoping to get some insight on her friend's attitude only to end up with nothing. Any hope she had of Umino knowing went down the drain when she noticed his puzzled frown. Deciding to drop it for now she resigned herself to grilling Usagi later when there were fewer ears to listen to her prying.
Rolling her eyes to the sky, she snatched her satchel and marched out of the classroom without a backwards glance to Umino.
Pushing his glasses up higher onto the bridge of his nose, Umino leaned back in his chair as he stared, confused at the door. "What's got them in a huff?"
Ten minutes later Umino found her waiting at the gate, basking in the sun like a lazing cat with all of the previous annoyance that seemed to hover around her in a heavy cloud gone.
Considering the almost foul mood she held in class that morning, he was reluctant to disturb her. As it turns out though, he didn't have to worry about it.
When he looked up from his shoes he found her watching him in vague amusement. Realizing she finally had his attention she gestured towards the commercial district.
"Shall we get going then?"
Four stores later Usagi was about to call it quits. It didn't matter what she found, according to Umino nothing was perfect.
Releasing a heavy sigh, she abandoned the rack of clothes she had been perusing and was about to find Umino when a sudden vibration began to shake her whole frame. Digging through her bag, Usagi removed a slim silver flip phone from the pocket and accepted the call.
"Motoki? Is everything okay?"
She could hear loud chatter in the background, enough of it that it actually made her ear ache just a little bit.
"Um… not really?"
Usagi paused in her search for her near-genius friend to actually focus on her conversation with the older blond. "Motoki…?"
"I could really use some help right now, Usagi-chan. The after –school crowd is a lot larger than I thought it would be today."
Humming thoughtfully, Usagi turned down the perfume aisle where she had last seen Umino browsing, "I'll be there soon then; can you hold them off for a little bit longer?"
She could practically feel his relief from her end and it had her grinning even as he thanked her and hung up.
Sliding her phone back in her bag, Usagi turned to face Umino who had a small box with a necklace and earring set and a bottle of perfume in hand.
His expression said he already knew what she was going to say but Usagi didn't let that faze her, "Turns out work is pretty busy today, do you mind if I give you my share of the money and let you buy it?"
Before he could even agree, she had slipped a few notes in his hand and was moving towards the exit with a quick wave goodbye and a loud "thank you!"
Ten minutes later found Usagi standing at a crossroads, staring down the two roads contemplatively.
Down one road, Usagi would be able to slip by her house and change out of her uniform, the other would lead her directly to the Crown Game Center and the waiting Motoki.
Do I even have enough time to change?
Suddenly the image of her mother, waiting expectantly at the door with her hands on her hips, came to mind and left Usagi cringing in its wake.
The stern frown she called to mind was not encouraging in the least; actually it was more of a deterrent than anything. Especially when she considered what would be expected of her at home.
Almost subconsciously, Usagi pulled out the crumpled ball that her test paper had become and glared at it with a petulant frown. It just wasn't fair!
With an irritated huff she tossed the ball behind her, choosing to face her mother and her ire later and save Motoki instead. At least that was the plan until she heard a low grunt and felt the paper ball hit the small of her back on its inevitable descent. A heavy hand landed on her shoulder as a tall figure leaned forward to peer at her with an exasperated frown. "You should watch where you throw your trash." He informed her stoically, paying no mind to her face as it began to rapidly pale.
Releasing a squeak Usagi sketched a quick bow and apologized profusely before she darted away, bag swinging against her leg as she shot down the road without a backward glance.
Rolling his eyes skyward, Chiba Mamoru was about to walk on when he kicked the object that had hit him in the face earlier. Brow raising in slight interest, he bent down to pick it up before pulling the paper open, his curiosity getting the better of him.
Tsukino Usagi, he read ignoring the chuckle in the back of his mind in favor of finding out why she tossed her test paper. It was there that his interest was really piqued. Looking up at the trail of dust that still hadn't settled he traced her path with a frown.
Why would someone with a score of 102 want to toss their test paper?
"Aw man, that could have gone so much better…" Usagi panted out with a groan, leaning against the wall as she brushed sweaty bangs from her eyes. "Now I really do need to go home and change."
Unbidden, the image of her mother appeared once more, this time with a spatula in hand.
This is just not my day, is it?
Giving it up as a lost cause, she gathered her bag once more and walked resignedly to her house, a slight hunch in her shoulders.
The moment the door opened she was cornered. If she wasn't the subject of that blue eyed stare she would have found it amusing that her mother appeared just as she had imagined: hands on her hips, one of them wielding a spatula, and an expectant look in her eyes.
"Ah, Usagi, you're finally home! Just in time too…" Suddenly the spatula was sitting under her nose, dripping some unnamed batter on the wood floor, "You can help with the cooking!"
Eyes wide, she backed away with her hands raised in a peace gesture, "Actually Mama, I have work today…" She would never admit to anyone alive that the look her mother held at the moment scared her witless, nevertheless she forged on, "I just came to change my clothes real quick."
Arms folded across her chest, Ikuko lessened her glare, choosing instead to look at her daughter with concern.
"Usagi, aren't they working you too hard? That arcade center seems to work you over all hours of the night, even when they're closed!"
She had to suppress a wince when she thought of all of those late nights… It wasn't really Motoki's fault but she couldn't tell her mother that. If her mother ever found out the truth she would never be let out of the house again.
"There's a lot of clean up involved after closing Mom…" She lied, trying to keep herself from fidgeting with her hair and letting Ikuko know she wasn't getting any measure of the truth.
The dissatisfied frown was more than enough to tell Usagi that her mother wasn't buying it, at least not completely…
She had to give her something; the question is what could she tell her to get her to back off?
Ikuko watched in veiled amusement as Usagi, mouth half-way open to say something, began to shake with the vibrations of her cell phone. Fishing absent-mindedly in her pocket, she pulled the phone out and answered with a terse greeting only to freeze at the loud plea for help that seemed to come over the other end.
"I'll be there in just a couple of minutes…" Usagi soothed, already moving passed her mother and towards the stairs, quietly ending the interrogation before it even started.
It didn't take a genius to figure out who was on the other end.
Two minutes later Usagi was charging down the stairs in jeans and a light sweater, her phone still to her ear as she listened to the situation with a grimace. She left without even saying goodbye to her mother.
Slumping in defeat, Ikuko stalked back into her kitchen with a frown, this wasn't over yet.
"Motoki, thank you, you just saved me from a load of trouble…"
"Great! Now, do you think you can save me?"
With a roll of her eyes she pushed through the door to the Crown Game Corner, looked to the haggard Motoki and hung up the phone.
"Let's get started then, shall we?"
She watched with a large grin growing on her face as his own began to pale rapidly.
Now, I know Usagi seems out of character but there's a very good reason behind that, one which should become clear within the next two chapters if it hasn't already… I'd really appreciate some feedback, constructive criticism would be much appreciated and if you catch a typo that KlutzyKat and I missed, send me a PM! Thanks for reading!
Chapter 2: Fly