I hate these authors notes things. I read over my old stories and I'm like .@dork who wrote that. *deadpans at self* Anyway. Hope you enjoy this. It's not really that Christmassy (or so I keep telling myself to justify the early release) Ha ha! The idea just spurned from the Christmas season...of 2001 ^^;;; I know, I know. I'm a geek. Anyway. Hope you all enjoy. MUAH A THOUSAND TIMES TO MY DARLING WIVES AND SHAN! :D O.o Thanks to my beta readers...who were no one. O.o Unless you count Spikey who put it on his top 5 story list (*smirks at beating pussy out of her position*) I love it. Anyways. Hope you enjoy. O.o *hugs Mamo-chan* By the way...I know absolutely nothing about surgeons/doctors/medical terms *snickers* Is it obvious? *laughs*

Ah and I am no way affiliated with Sailor Moon and Naoko and Toenamieiaieaeraachanakiwama-chan. Sailor Moon is not mine nor is the idea that Mamo should be a womanising stud muffin. O.o well maybe it is. *shrugs* I'll get back to you on that :D

Author: Cher

Email: Usachi_10@hotmail.com

Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/mavercadaver/

Rating: R (language) O.o I think ^^;;

Stark White Christmas

"I hate Christmas." Usagi Tsukino slammed her apartment door shut and leant against it with a sigh. A Santa hat hung lopsided from her head. She yanked it off and tossed it on the floor along with her suitcase.

"I hate Christmas and I hate those damn Santa hats." She was beautiful. At 29 she was gorgeous. A beautiful figure, gorgeous blue eyes and a wondrous complexion. She was what every man wanted and every woman envied. She was single. Usagi was a highly acclaimed surgeon at New York's finest hospital, New York General. She was the envy of all those around her. Beautiful, healthy, successful, rich, alone. Her work life consumed most of her time, pushing the slightest spark of a love life out of the way.

Usagi yanked her blonde hair out of it's standard pony tail, running a hand through her knotted locks.

"I need to get a treatment."

She looked down at her torn and almost mangled finger nails. Her face dropped.

"I need to get a manicure."

Her legs ached, she hadn't gotten off her feet since 6am.

"I need to sit down."

Usagi looked down the hallway of her dark, empty apartment. The only response was a short meow from her black feline companion.

"Yes Luna yes let me just..." She was cut out by the shrill ring of the phone.

"...get the phone." Sighing, she scuffled over to her cordless phone and yanked it off it's recharger.

"Tsukino speaking."

"Honestly Usa, you need to start answering your phone a little warmer, you do have other people who phone here besides hospital staff."

"So nice to hear your voice too Rei, I'm fine thank you for asking."

"Usagi dry humor is not going to get you out of this mess. Your mother is furious. Why didn't you call?"

"I was busy Rei, I had an amputation to do in the morning, you know how I am with amputations."

"Usa can we please leave out the details of your work life. I hate missing legs and the such."

"Oh Rei put a lid on it. How mad is she?" Usagi rested the phone between her ear and her shoulder and scooped up Luna.

"She's fuming. You know how much she fusses over birthdays, she couldn't believe you didn't call. Let alone show up for the luncheon she put on."

"Alright what should I do and when?" Usagi dumped the cat on the floor, grabbed a tin of cat food and ripped the lid off.

"How does Monday sound?"

She poured the cat food out and scratched Luna's head affectionately.

"Can't, I've got the big Norton op. What about..." She scanned her calendar, "Wednesday, I'm working the night shift and I'll be on call so I should be able to slot in lunch somewhere."

"Alright done. Lunch at the manor. You're operating on Norton? Motoki Norton?"

"The one and only. The kid is an arrogant, rich, pompous..."

"28 year old stud. Usagi he's no kid, he's only a year younger than you."

"And as immature as a..."

"What are your plans for Christmas?"

"So far...nothing. I've got the hospital staff gala. Oh god I don't want to go Rei. I hate Christmas."

"I know sweetie. Love life?"

"Same old same old."

Usagi heard a sigh.

"Honestly Usagi I worry about you. You live alone in New York city and you're 29 years old. You should be running around enjoying yourself, having house parties, luncheons you know that sort of stuff."

"Rei you know I'm not like that. I'm so busy I don't have time and I prefer to just relax when I'm at home."

"But you're all alone in that apartment."

"At least it's a tidy apartment."

Another sigh.

"Usagi..."

"Rei..."

"I'm just worried about you. As a sister. The whole family is worried about you."

"I know I know. I'm fine really I am. Look I have to go. I'm on call and I need to sit down."

"But you were working all day."

"Yes I know but they may need me, one of my patients isn't doing so well."

"Oh god Usagi you need to find a new profession."

"Love you sweetie."

"You too Usa. See you on Wednesday."

She hung up and tossed the phone on the couch beside her where she'd curled up. Her head drifted closer and closer to the pillow, her eyes draping shut when the phone startled her back to life.

"Hello?"

"Usa. Mako. Turn on the television."

"Mako? Why? What for."

"Just do it Usagi." There was a warning tone in her voice.

"Fine. Fine. I thought friends were supposed to be nice to each other." She fumbled for the remote of her television and switched it on.

"I see a giant Christmas tree. God I hate Christmas."

"The news Usagi the news."

She changed channels. His face appeared before her.

"Oh god Mako what are you doing to me?"

"Isn't he gorgeous. He's talking about the hospital gala Usa. He's going to be there. This is the perfect chance to show him up. Show him how much better you are."

"Mako I'm 29 years old. I don't have the time or energy for these games. Besides he's just...a big goon. God I hate him. I hate him more than I hate Christmas. He makes life so..."

"Difficult I know."

"His bossy demands, always pushing us around. A hospital is no place for a..."

"Lawyer I know."

"And it's not like he even cares about his patients I mean that's..."

"Ridiculous. Usagi I know."

"When you finish my sentences like that, it really annoys me you know."

She heard a giggle.

"I know. Anyway I've got to get going. Just think about it ok. A flashy dress, a nice hair do. It'd be fun."

"For you."

"Ha ha. I'll see you tomorrow?"

"For sure."

"Bye Usagi. Take care of yourself."

"I'll try."

She hung up the phone and tossed it down again.

"God Luna why can't they just leave me alone."

She stared at the television again. He was still there, gorgeous as ever, snide as ever. From the moment the pair met they had been at odds about everything. Usagi firmly believed that a hospital was no place for a lawyer, pestering about legal issues while a patient is trying to recover was no help to her. Usagi wanted nothing to do with him. Besides he was arrogant, self centered, pompous, sleazy...

Usagi drifted off for a moment when the shriek of her beeper awoke her.

"I hate Christmas!"

Friday night. Her one free night from the hospital. All she wanted to do was go home to bed and sleep away her woes but her handful of close friends insisted she join them for drinks and dancing. Every Friday night. She had to admit, the bar that Makoto picked for their weekly gatherings was an adorable little find. The atmosphere was quaint and comfortable yet the d├ęcor was upbeat and modern. Usagi loved the place. They sat, Makoto, Usagi, Minako, Nephlyte and Kunzite, sharing a booth in the back corner. The young waiter knew them all by name. He also knew they were five of the most important faces in New York. Usagi, the renowned surgeon. Makoto and Nephlyte, the entrepreneurs. Minako, the cover girl and her agent Kunzite. All the staff at the Niche knew who they were. All of the staff treated them no different than the other customers. This, the reason that the five enjoyed it so much. Friday nights they could be the group of laid back, easy going adults simply enjoying an after work drink.

Usagi was sitting in the corner of the booth one leg resting on the length of the booth before her. Her elbow resting on her raised knee, carefully holding her drink. Kunzite sat, with his arm firmly around Minako, Makoto and Motoki were returning from fetching some drinks.

"By all means Usa, make yourself at home."

Usagi lifted the straw from her lime green coloured Midori.

"Damn right I will. I've worked my ass off all week. My god. Honestly I think my feet are going to drop off. I need a doctor."

Minako snorted.

"You've got the best one in New York right here at this table. What are you bitching about?"

Usagi feigned shock.

"I didn't know you were a doctor Minako."

The playful bantering continued, Makoto joining in for a minute or two. The two men laughed at the girls antics. They'd been dear friends since their early college years when they shared a room.

"So you're operating on the famous Mr. Norton?"

Usagi sighed.

"Yeah, you heard too huh?"

Kunzite smiled wearily.

"It's the latest thing going around New York. Dr. Tsukino, the young graduate surgeon operating on the mayors only nephew. And god forbid she's female."

Usagi rolled her eyes dramatically.

"Oh please. The fact that I don't have a pair of balls hanging between my legs does not change or effect my surgical abilities. The only reason people are gossiping about this op is because I am the first female surgeon who has had the guts to look those bastards in the surgery program in the eyes and say "Screw you. Screw New York. Screw tradition." You know. When I entered that surgery program I was the only female on the team. I was so intimidated but fuck them. I'm not going to let some arrogant boys club stand in my way of my dream. And besides who the hell stated that surgery was only suitable for men?"

Usagi tossed away the straw of her drink and downed the entire glass.

"I hate Christmas."

"And what do those little children you operate on daily think of that?"

Usagi spun around to see the smirking face of Mamoru Chiba.

"Oh here we go. As if pestering me at the hospital wasn't enough. Now you're following me out of hours time too?"

Usagi stared at the man before her in contempt. He rose from the crouching position. His face no longer just centimeters away from hers. She couldn't help but notice his crisp cologne wafting through the air. She looked him up and down. He was gorgeous she had to admit. You couldn't not admire his lithe form, his tanned skin. The way his jaw jutted out just that extra bit, defining his face to near perfection. She hated the way his blue eyes penetrated her own so often, but how she loved to stare into them.

Tonight however she was not in the mood to converse with Mamoru.

"I'm not following you Usagi. As it happens, I'm meeting a friend of mine here."

He looked at his watch and smiled at her. So suave. She hated him.

"Well go meet your friend away from our booth Mr. Chiba. If you didn't notice we're having a private gathering."

"Oh I noticed. I was wondering, you being a doctor and all. Have you seen Ami Mizuno around anywhere? We're meeting here."

"Ami Mizuno? The Ami Mizuno?"

Usagi stared at him incredulously. What was he doing associating with a doctor of such high rank.

"Ami Mizuno yes. We've been seeing each other on and off. Is that jealousy I hint in your voice Usagi?"

"It's Dr. Tsukino to you Mr. Chiba and no you've missed it by a mile. Why don't you go look for your friend else where. She's obviously not here."

Mamoru stared at Usagi for a moment longer before shrugging, gathering his belongings and striding away.

"Usagi are you crazy? That guy has it bad for you." Minako threw a cube of ice at Usagi.

"Don't be stupid Mina. He's a bum anyway."

"Hardly." Makoto snorted into her drink.

Usagi released a withered sigh. He was seeing Dr. Mizuno? She blinked in shock and stared at her drink. For years now, Usagi had been following the work of Ami Mizuno. She was the one surgeon who had the credentials, experience and recognition that left Usagi in awe. Not only that, she was female.

"I can't believe Mizuno is in New York. That woman is a killer surgeon. She absolutely cleaned up with the best in Japan. My gosh. She must be an amazon or something. I heard she's like stone when she operates. She never even flinches. Oh god. Here in New York? And seeing Mamoru Chiba of all pigs. My god how I pity the woman."

"Are you sure you're not jealous?"

Usagi shot a glare at Nephlyte.

"How many times must I tell you. The man is a selfish..."

"Arrogant." Minako cut in.

"Chauvinistic." Makoto added.

"Pushy." Nephlyte grinned.

"Pig." Kunzite finished.

Usagi rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, yeah. I get the picture. I think I'm done for the night. My feet are killing me."

"Sure it's not Mamoru's presence that's killing you?"

"Whatever Minako. You cling to that false pretense while I go home and soak in a hot tub. Oh yeah. The life of a single woman. Aren't you jealous?"

Minako and Makoto looked at each other before bursting out into a fit of giggles.

"Sure we are Usa sure we are. You just cling to that false pretense..."

"I get the point. Honestly. You people will be the death of me."

Usagi smiled, threw some money on the table and strode out of the club and towards the elevator. She was tying her scarf tightly around her neck, hardly watching where her feet were leading her when she bumped straight into another woman, wrapped in a tight woolen coat, a huge fluffy beanie on her head and a scarf almost the size of her body, hanging from her neck. The woman was a tiny, mousy little thing with huge glasses perched on her nose.

"Oh gosh I'm sorry."

Usagi smiled wearily. The woman smiled back.

"Long day at work?" Her voice was timid and she offered a shy smile to Usagi. Usagi returned the gesture.

"Too long. Looks like you're not used to the New York weather."

A giggle escaped the woman's lips as she held up the edge of her scarf.

"Hardly."

Usagi laughed.

"Well I'm off. Have a nice night."

"You too."

Usagi stood with her head cocked and her coat dangling from her arm. She couldn't help but think of how nice that woman was. She sighed.

"If only all New York people were as nice as foreigners."

The young face before her was beautiful. A sleeping child in the body of a grown man. Innocence. Usagi smiled softly. If only people acted the way they looked when they slept. This man before her looked the perfect angel. His blonde bangs fell carelessly across his face in the manner of a robust child who had just returned from countless hours frolicking in the garden.

Usagi flipped the statistics board for patient Motoki Norton closed and hung it on the end of his bed. She busied herself with checking his drip and vital statistics. A hurried glance over her shoulder was all she needed to prompt her to brush a lock of hair from his forehead. Innocent. She turned away from the sleeping man and checked her patient list. Four more check ups before she could grab a cup of coffee. Heaven.

She was taking her first step to leave when she felt a feather light touch on her thigh, creeping up beneath her skirt. Usagi spun around with a scowl planted firmly on her face.

"What the hell do you think you're doing Mr. Norton?"

He smiled lazily at her, his eyes filled with mirth.

"I was thinking doc, when this operations over would you like to have dinner at my place some time?"

She rolled her eyes.

"I'd rather die than spend a night with you."

"That can be arranged."

Usagi scoffed in disbelief.

"Are you threatening my life? Is that a threat. My god you are pathetic."

"I think hospital rules state that you must under any circumstance hold all patients with the highest respect."

Usagi walked briskly to the door.

"I think you're kidding yourself."

"Sweet dreams loverwoman."

She smiled, a huge, false, sickeningly sweet smile and batted her long thick eyelashes.

"Oh indeed Mr. Norton. The same for you. Hopefully you'll die a thousand painful deaths...in your dreams of course."

"Doctor Tsukino you do realise I will file a complaint about this. I did not..."

She left the room. He had threatened her with complaints from the moment his fast little red car slammed into the tree and he was wheeled into intensive care. God she hated him.

"Doctor Tsukino?"

Usagi spun around, her white doctors coat fluttering behind her.

"Yes Doctor Ashgrove?"

"Your Santa hat?"

Her smile fell.

"Of course."

She yanked the hat out of her pocket and slammed it onto her head.

"Must keep up the festive spirit." Usagi forced a smile.

"Of course Doctor Tsukino."

Her superior strode down the hall way and out of view. She dramatically rolled her eyes.

"Not like this blasted cheesy music isn't doing the job just fine."

She swatted at the white pom-pom hanging before her eyes.

"God I hate Christmas!"

"You seem to be saying that more and more each time I see you."

He was right behind her. His face beside hers. His breath tickling her neck. She spun around to face him and took a firm step back.

"Mr. Chiba. What a surprise." The sarcasm practically dripped from her voice.

"A pleasant one I hope."

She smiled, that sickeningly sweet false smile.

"Oh of course. What is it today? Your sick grandmother suing for emotional distress?"

Mamoru chuckled. She noticed how deep his timbre voice sounded. She would love to hear any other man chuckle that chuckle. Any but Mamoru Chiba.

"Actually I'm visiting a friend whose having an operation done on Monday."

She snorted.

"Lets hope it's not Motoki Norton. Lord that kid..."

He was grinning. She could see the laughter ready to spill from his mouth.

"Oh god. God. I hate Christmas!"

She brushed past him.

"Usagi?"

Usagi turned and frowned.

"I thought I told you to call me Doctor Tsukino. And what?"

The grin on his face was what drove her over the edge.

"Merry Christmas!"

The hat was yanked off her head. A groan escaped her lips as she stormed down the halls of the hospital. She hated Christmas.

Motoki was flipping through a magazine when Mamoru peeked his head through the door.

"You must be bored out of your pea sized little brain."

"Fuck off."

"Glad to see you too. Here."

Mamoru tossed the box on the bed, smirked at Motoki and finally sprawled into the chair beside his bed. He watched as Motoki tore the wrapping off the box and practically ripped the thing open.

"My play station. Mamoru what good is this thing I have no TV to hook it up to. You're such a shit head."

Mamoru simply smiled and looked at his watch. Any minute now the nurse would arrive. Sure enough she burst through the doors with a trolley, housing a generous sized TV.

Motoki chuckled heartily.

"Son of a bitch."

"Your welcome." Mamoru snorted.

The nurse smiled, that hint of shyness washing over her. The two men were used to this reaction. It was either shyness or confidence. After all. They were gorgeous.

"I hope you know how to hook this thing up. I wouldn't have the slightest idea." The nurse fiddled carelessly with the hem of her skirt.

Motoki cracked a roguish grin.

"All you have to do nurse is plug this cord into the back of the VCR down there."

She knew what he wanted her to do. Her face flushed beet red. With trembling hands the nurse reached for the cord Motoki was holding, bent over and slotted it into place.

"There you go sir. I hope you enjoy." She all but scampered out of the room.

Mamoru let loose. His laughter booming throughout the small hospital room.

"You are such a slut Motoki."

"Hey. I've been coped up in this room for almost a week. What do you expect. How'd you fucking organise this Mamoru. This is crazy."

Mamoru smirked again.

"I talked to the nurses in the children's ward."

Motoki blinked, staring at Mamoru incredulously.

"No fucking way. Take this back. I've been called heartless but taking a TV from sick children. Man you're a coward."

Another smirk.

"Relax. Geez who turned you into Peter Brady. Honestly Motoki. It was a spare you fuck."

Motoki grinned.

"Good cause I like the idea of having my own TV. And you have to admit that nurse was hot. Even if she was shy."

They both rolled their eyes.

"Like you're not used to shyness. I'm surprised she didn't throw herself at you though. She looked like the type."

"Heh. Yeah well you know. I've never once met a girl whose treated me as an equal you know. Why can't they get the hint."

The boys sunk into their own thoughts. Motoki setting up the play station while Mamoru fiddled with his suit tie.

"I've got it."

Mamoru looked up.

"Got what?"

"One girl that has treated me different."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. The doctor. She's a fucking babe. Legs up to her eyeballs. Killer legs too. Man when she wears high heels her calves look so good. I would love to be between those legs. And her hair. Blonde. Not trashy blonde either. Like gold and it smells good. Two blue eyes that just stare at you and you just want to bury yourself to the hilt in her. She's every man's dream. Copped myself a feel of her legs too."

"Lucky man. Sounds like someone I know. Names Usagi..."

"Tsukino. That's her alright. What I wouldn't give to get her between the sheets."

"Yeah? The girl has an attitude that could chill an ice queen."

Motoki chuckled.

"Believe me I know."

The second controller was thrown to Mamoru as Motoki started up the game.

"What time do you get back to work?"

"1.00pm. An hour."

"Fifty bucks says I kick your ass."

"You're on cowboy."

Usagi was tired. Very tired. She checked her watch again while standing impatiently in the elevator. She would be off in half an hour. Then she could go home and relax. Finally relax. She couldn't believe the hospital had given her the afternoon off. As well as the evening. How generous of them, Usagi scowled. Generous. Hardly. The doors of the elevator slid open silently, the noise of the hospital at once filled her ears. Christmas was such a busy time. How Usagi hated it. Sighing loudly she stepped out of the elevator and into the hallway. She was making her way to the main desk for the ward when she heard her name being called. Usagi spun and stared at her superior.

"I thought I told you to keep that Santa hat on Dr. Tsukino."

Her shoulders slumped forward.

"I realise this Sir, and I apologise, however it was interfering with patient check ups so I removed it for the time being. I only have another check up before I..."

"Two more. If it's not any trouble could you please check up on Mr. Norton?"

She creased her brow.

"Oh but sir, I've already done his statistic check up, only half an hour ago."

"I'm aware of this Doctor but some nurses made comments that there is a fair ruckus of noise coming from his room. I'd like you to check it out."

"But sir I have far more important things to do then babysit Mr. Norton."

"Dr. Tsukino, I will be the one to decide if you have more important things to do. Now go and suss out why Mr. Norton is making a fuss in his room. Then you can get back to your patient check ups. And you shall wear that Santa hat until you are off your shift."

Usagi closed her eyes. A nod of defeat was all Dr. Spike Ashgrove needed before he was on his way again. The hat was slammed onto her head once again followed by a stream of colourful curses and the heavy sound of Dr. Tsukino stomping towards the direction of Motoki Norton's hospital room.

Usagi walked with a scowl set in place the whole way to his room. When she arrived, she did indeed hear the yells, groans, cheers and laughter of two men.

She glared.

The door was thrown open.

"Why am I not surprised?"

Mamoru and Motoki looked up with lopsided grins on their faces.

Mamoru's tie had been loosened around his neck, his jacket flung carelessly at the foot of the bed and his shoes kicked off, lay under the bed.

The men were clearly fighting to suppress their laughter.

"Mr. Norton what in the hell is going on here?"

She was furious.

"Why Dr. Tsukino, I'm just enjoying a little bit of rest and relaxation with my friend Mamoru here."

"I can see that," She yanked the controller out of his hand and slammed it on top of the VCR. "You're aware, are you not, that in order for this operation to be a success we need you to rest as much as you can. I hardly believe that fooling around like a child with your buddies is appropriate rest."

Motoki glared at her.

"If there is so much as a scratch on that controller I'll..."

"You'll what? Sue me for the damage? I'm sure you pal over there can help you. He probably deals with that sort of thing every day."

Mamoru stood up, his face dark.

"Listen Usagi, I was just offering my friend some support during his trying time. I'm sure you can understand that."

Usagi spun around, scowling at the taller man.

"What I understand is that you are jeopardising this man's health by disrupting his rest."

Both men were wearing a glare now.

"I don't know what your problem is Dr. Tsukino but someone needs to remove that icicle that is wedged so far up your ass it's probably frozen your heart by now."

Her scowl fell. The colour drained from her face. She didn't hear Mamoru's warning to his friend. All she could hear were the sleigh bells that were continuously ringing through the speakers placed in the hallway. God she hated Christmas. And she hated the fact that Motoki's harsh words had easily destroyed her hard exterior. Her insides were churning. How had this man hurt her feelings? How? She couldn't comprehend it.

Mamoru was saying something. She had no idea what he was talking about but both men now stared at her expectantly. She swallowed.

"Very well."

She had no idea what he had said. She also had no idea how her voice had broken, or why the tears were threatening to fall.

She pulled the Santa hat slowly off her head. Stared at the two men before her and finally turned, flung the door open and stumbled away.

Her vision was blurred by the tears. Was she really as cold as Motoki had said? An icicle? She had to find somewhere to be alone. She was crumbling and she was crumbling quickly.

The words STORAGE appeared on the door to her right. She flung that door open and stumbled inside. Her hands grasping the trolley of medicines, some of them scattering on the floor and rolling away due to the force of her shaking hands.

The room was dark. For that she was thankful. Tears began to trickle from her eyes. How had he hurt her like that? She felt like trash. She wasn't that rude was she? The sobs racked her body. The trolley still trembled from her shaking hands.

She didn't hear the door open. Or see the crack of light fill the room when someone entered. Her eyes were full of tears. She had stopped sobbing and was breathing deeply. She'd hate for one of her co-workers to find her in this state.

"Usagi?"

Her body visibly stiffened. She closed her eyes. Anyone but him. Her silent prayer went unheard.

"What are you doing here?" Mamoru's voice still had it's strength yet it was softer, she heard a hint of caring in the deepness of it.

Usagi took a deep breath.

"I'm just getting some medicine. I have other patients besides Mr. Norton you know."

He heard the slight hitch in her voice at the end of the sentence. He couldn't miss it. As much as the thought of Usagi chilled his bones, his heart burst with sympathy as he heard her obviously distressed voice.

"Usagi look at me."

The tears wouldn't stop. She was fighting an emotional battle.

"Mr. Chiba, I'm busy please this is a restricted access area. If someone finds you here..."

"I don't give a damn. What's wrong?" His voice seemed to fill her every inch. She all at once crumbled again. Trying to fight the sobs.

"Nothing is wrong."

It was a lie. She knew it. He knew it.

He reached out and rested his hand on her shoulders, they were surprisingly soft as he spun her around to face him. Urgent but soft.

Usagi glued her eyes to the floor. She would not let him see her cry.

"Usagi...look at me."

She closed her eyes. Surely he could feel her body trembling. Sobbing.

He sighed. His hand grabbed her chin roughly and jerked it upwards.

Usagi gasped. Why was he being so cruel to her.

He sighed again.

"You're crying. It's because of Motoki."

She closed her eyes and shook her head. Yanking her body out of his grip, almost slamming herself against the medicine trolley.

"I'm fine. I'm just...tired. Christmas is a stressing time for me here."

"My ass it is. Look at yourself Usagi, you're crumbling. Anyone can see."

Usagi scowled once again.

"It is not your place to tell me if I'm crumbling or not."

"Hey. There is no need to get snappy. I'm just trying to help you. Don't beat yourself up about Motoki. He's an asshole who wouldn't know how to treat a lady if his life depended on it."

Usagi fell to her knees and collected the spilled tablets and containers.

"I don't need your help Mr. Chiba. And I wouldn't waste my tears on an imbecile like Motoki. Don't you have some work to do or something."

She was desperate to get him out of there. The tears had stopped for now. She was angry now. Angry at him. Angry at Motoki. Angry at her work.

"I took the afternoon off. Listen if you're going to be stubborn about this then that's fine. But I just want you to know that I was trying to be friendly."

Usagi chuckled.

"Friendly. How alien it is to hear you refer to yourself as friendly. Listen to me. I'm fine. Thank you for your concern but next time, why don't you save it for someone who cares."

She slammed the container of tablets onto the trolley and brushed past him. Unaware that her Santa hat had fluttered to the floor at his feet.

He sighed and snatched up the hat.

"Motoki was right. She really is an ice bitch."

*~MUAH~*

When everything is gone, there should be nothing to fear. This world will not bring me down, because I'm already here.