So this is an idea that's been swimming around in my head for years. What if Tuxedo Kamen had been a little bit later in episode 40 (First season, the episode where Usagi's family goes to the hot springs) and both he and Usagi's family saw her transform into Sailor Moon? I don't answer all of the questions, but I think I had a little bit of fun writing this. It's just been sitting there waiting to be written and I needed to do some writing today. Who knows, if I get enough of a response, maybe I'll write more.

A Little Late

Chapter 1/?

Usagi had really had a good feeling about this trip, really she had. Her family, alone in the mountains, no Luna, no Senshi business. How could this have been anything but a God send? She really should have known something was wrong when she spotted Mamoru-Endymion-standing at the edge of the lake, still not recognizing her, still acting as cold as the youma he would inevitably send to try and destroy her.

But the day was a good day. Usagi spent it with her family, enjoying the lake and the hot springs, joking and annoying Shingo, laughing with her mother, teasing her father a little. It was nice to get away from the stress of the everyday life she now led. Her worries were behind her, left back in Tokyo with a letter to Luna and some cat food. Hopefully the girls wouldn't mind too much that she was also skipping out on a meeting and some training for this.

So when the youma appeared, she really shouldn't have been as surprised as she was.

Kenji was trying so hard to protect them, but what could he do with a stick? Usagi watched, worried from the sidelines as the youma grabbed her father by the throat and held him to a nearby tree. She really only had one choice. There were no other Senshi around. There was only her and her family. Usagi warred with herself for only a second and in the end there was nothing that would stop her from doing what had to be done.

"Moon Prism Power! Make Up!"

Her family heard the unfamiliar English words and looked in fascination and growing horror as their daughter was bathed in light and ribbons. In front of their eyes the child Usagi was no more, their daughter was gone, and Sailor Moon replaced her.

Standing nearby, waiting to reel in his awakened monstrosity, was Tuxedo Kamen. He, too, was in awe of this slip of a girl's transformation and watched as she took her position of power between her family and the youma he had conjured. He was speechless, and waited patiently for her to start the dance, or to notice that he had seen her.

"Put him down!" Sailor Moon commanded, not seeing Tuxedo Kamen as she was too focused on her family.

The youma, who had also taken note of Sailor Moon's transformation, did as commanded and went back to looking at her original target. Kenji coughed a few times, grabbing at his throat. Seeing the opportunity, he scampered away from the monster, back to where his wife and son were, to the protection his daughter was offering. "Give him back!" it demanded, as it had been doing before.

"I don't know what you want, but for attacking my family, and ruining our vacation, you're going to pay! For love and justice, a pretty girl soldier in a sailor suit, Sailor Moon! In the name of the moon, I will punish you!" Sailor Moon finished with a flourish, anger clearly evident on her face.

And now, the hard part. Sailor Moon turned to her family, her family who looked so confused, so worried, and so frightened, but all Sailor Moon could do was yell to them. "Run! Get back up to the inn and lock the doors! I'll be back soon, I promise!"

"Usagi-" Ikuko started, but was cut off.

"You'll get hurt, mama! Please," Sailor Moon begged, "run!"

Seeing Sailor Moon with her back turned, the youma saw this as its chance. It gave a roar and lost patience with its target and lunged forward towards Sailor Moon, ready to destroy her for its imagined slight.

Taking his cue, Tuxedo Kamen flicked his wrist and unleashed a rose as dark as night between Sailor Moon and the awakened spirit, separating the two in a crackle of energy.

Sailor Moon turned quickly, her heart fluttering in the way that only he could make happen. As it did every time she saw him, such as earlier that day at the lake side. "Tuxedo Kamen…you saved me again."

"I won't let innocent people get hurt in my quest for the ginzuishou, Sailor Moon. You know this." His voice was smooth, but dead and emotionless, as it had been for some time now. There was an underlying threat in his words, too, that somehow if she were to get hurt that would be just another hazard of the job.

Sailor Moon, who noticed that her family was still hanging around just a little further back, tried to not look crushed. "Let's just beat this thing."

"Give him back!" the creature once again roared, swinging her mighty tail towards the newly arrived Tuxedo Kamen, who wasn't able to duck away in time, getting the full brunt of the thick appendage.

He slowly got up, and Sailor Moon ran forward, ducking as the tail came her way. She reached Tuxedo Kamen's side, but he waved her off and grit his teeth. "Just attack it, Sailor Moon!"

They dodged another swipe of the tail and Sailor Moon reached for her tiara. From behind her she heard her mother yell for her, but she had to push that to the back of her head. She couldn't concentrate on anyone else right now because if she did she'd only worry about them and if they were safe, not winning this battle and the world. She clenched her jaw and decided she was really mad at them for staying.

"Moon Tiara Action!"

With a flick of her wrist the tiara went sailing towards the youma, and it appeared to work. Sailor Moon was ready to do a victory lap, kiss Tuxedo Kamen, run from her parents, pat herself on the back. All these and more because she had done this almost solely on her own. But the youma, which had surely been dust just moments before reformed and was now, if possible, even madder.

"Oh. Shit," Sailor Moon said, dodging it's now frendizied attacks. "What do we do now?" she called out to Tuxedo Kamen, who was equally busy not being bludgeoned to death.

Before he had time to answer, a familiar voice rang through the forest.

"Crescent Beam!"

Sailor Moon decided that this was the second most opportune time she had ever heard Venus' voice. The first being when they had met her and she had saved them all at that point, too. The Crescent Beam cut the youma across the back, riling it up even more, but stopping it from attacking long enough for Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen to get out of its range.

Sailors Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus were all there, lined up and ready to fight. Sailor Moon rushed forward to join her sisters, glad to have them. Tuxedo Kamen hung back, knowing what awaited him if he got too close to any Senshi other than Sailor Moon. But, for the moment, they were cooperating.

Sailor Venus glanced over her shoulder and saw the Tsukinos hovering the background looking worried. She sent Sailor Moon a puzzled look and dropped her voice. "Sailor Moon, what are they still doing here?"

"I tried to get them to leave! It's a mess, V-chan," Sailor Moon whispered back.

"How big of a mess?"

"What do we have here?" Sailor Jupiter asked, sizing up her prey.

"I thought it was your standard youma, but when I just used my tiara it went to pieces and came back together," Sailor Moon explained. "I don't get it!" she half-wailed, half-whined. "Mercury, why did that happen?"

Sailor Mercury tapped her earring and opened her computer, analyzing the creature before her. "That's strange…I can find no weak point on it, but it's definitely a youma."

Sailor Mars stepped forward and narrowed her eyes. "Yes, it's a youma, and while there's ill will and malice, mostly jealousy, in it, I don't sense anything from the Dark Kingdom."

"That's because it isn't from the Dark Kingdom," Tuxedo Kamen said from the other side of the clearing.

"Want to run that by us again?" Jupiter asked.

"I tracked a dark energy source to the lake and awoke the power beneath it," he explained. "Clearly this is not a power I could control."

"Clearly," Venus clipped. "Sailor Moon, try the Moon Stick."

Dutifully, and with her heart beating a little too fast, Sailor Moon pulled out the Moon Stick from her sub-space pocket. It always made her nervous to have the ginzuishou so close to Tuxedo Kamen when she knew he wanted it. She was afraid one day he would go back on his gentle ways and simply kill her to get what he wanted. That the last shred of decency that was in him would fade. For now, she just had to hope.

"Moon Healing Escalation!"

After they watched the spirit of the young woman ascend to heaven as she should have so many years ago, a great weight came crashing down on to Sailor Moon.

"Sailor Moon…or is it Usagi?" Tuxedo Kamen said in his suave, dark voice with a little chuckle at the end. "Usagi, I like that." Everyone was rooted to their spot, unsure of how to react to this new information. Sailor Moon's eyes were wide in terror because he hadn't stepped in to the fight until later on, she was certain he hadn't seen her transform, but oh, how wrong she had been. "Usagi, are you going to give me the ginzuishou, or are we going to have to play games for it?"

The Senshi formed ranks around Sailor Moon, blocking her from his view.

"I don't know what you think you know, you sniveling traitor," Sailor Jupiter said, "but you aren't going to touch one hair on Sailor Moon's head."

"If she hands over the ginzuishou, I won't have to."

"Tuxedo Kamen, why? You weren't like this before," Sailor Moon pleaded. "You were like us, you fought with us, not against us. Please, can't you remember that time, that place? The Silver Millennium, the Starlight Tower? All of those times we fought at the arcade…"

But he sat, as stony faced as ever as tears began to roll down the princess' face. He took a step forward and each of the Senshi moved into attack stance. "I'm outnumbered, I'm not stupid, Sailor Senshi. I supposed soon enough I'll know who all of you are, too. I doubt you leave your princess unguarded when you aren't transformed, though you did today and look at what it got you? You'll have to leave her unguarded again sometime." He smiled cruelly, the way one does when they know a certainty. "I'll be waiting for that time."

With a flourish of his cape he disappeared back into the recesses of the Dark Kingdom.

"Usagi?"

The girls dropped their guard when they heard the tentative, trembling sound come from Ikuko's mouth. She was pale and shaking, as though she had just been in a serious car accident or and equal trauma. Though finding out that your daughter was the hero and protector of Tokyo might certainly be classified as a trauma. Kenji had bruising around his throat and was looking around rather uncomfortably, not sure how to handle the situation. Shingo looked shocked, as though the coolest girl in the world being his sister was not only not supposed to happen, it was quite possibly a sign of Armageddon.

"Usagi, is that really you? My little Usagi?"

The Moon Stick disappeared and the Senshi took several steps back in realization of what had transpired. They had all known that this could happen at some point, they had all prepared for it to some length. But now that it was occurring, and had also occurred in regards to their enemy, they could safely say they weren't prepared for it at all.

Ikuko walked forward and took Usagi's gloved hand in her own, checking to see if she was real. She touched her bow, her locket, even the little barrettes in her odango's before she cupped Usagi's cheek and stared into her eyes.

"Mama, I'm sorry," Usagi whispered as tears filled her eyes. "I couldn't…I couldn't tell you. I wasn't supposed to. But it had papa. It was going to kill papa. I couldn't let it hurt any of you!" And now, she started babbling. "I just did what I had to do. I think any of the other Senshi would have done it, right guys? I'm right, aren't I? I just wanted to protect you is all. I know I'm in trouble, I don't know how Tuxedo Kamen saw me, but he did, and now I'm in so much trouble. I'm sorry, I know I'm not the perfect daughter, but can you at least understand that I try to be? And-"

Ikuko laughed, cutting Usagi off. She threw her arms around Usagi and laughed at her daughter's babbling apology. Kenji came up behind them and put his arms around both of them. Even Shingo stood next to them, being far too cool to join in on the hug himself, of course.

"Usagi," Kenji said with a bit of a rasp, "you saved my life. You saved your papa's life and I don't even know how to thank you. But…this is dangerous. What you're doing is very dangerous and I don't think you should be doing it."

The Senshi, who while they had given the Tsukinos space could still hear every word, exchanged glances. They had expected this. Too dangerous. Too young. Lots of excuses, but there was no one else.

"No way, papa!" Shingo exclaimed. "Usagi's super cool!"

Sailor Venus cleared her throat and stepped forward. "This isn't the place to have this discussion. Let's go inside." She shimmered out of her transformation, leaving just plain Aino Minako in her wake.

Mars grabbed her arm and hissed, "What are you doing? The Dark Kingdom could be watching!"

"And they'd figure it out soon anyway, Mars. I'm not going to stay transformed for the rest of my life," Minako huffed, flipping her hair over her shoulder.

Mercury shrugged and detransformed. "She's right, Mars."

Jupiter followed suit.

Steaming, and unwilling, Mars turned back into Rei and together the eight of them made their way towards the inn that the family was staying in. The girls had managed to use Rei's father's name to book a room for the night as well, so they were staying there too. As soon as they got to the top they went into the Tsukino's room, locked the door, contacted Luna for advice, and then everything began to come undone.

"I guess," Usagi said as she fiddled with her pig tails, "I should start at the beginning."

"Duh, baka-Usagi," Shingo said under his breath.

"I just don't know which beginning."

Ikuko patted her daughter's hand. "Why don't you tell the story how you found out, okay?"

"Okay, mama." A deep breath. You can do this, Usagi. You can do this. "One day on my way to school I saw some boys tormenting a cat…"

And so it all came out. Sailor Moon, the Silver Millennium, the Sailor Senshi, talking cats, The Dark Kingdom, Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, Mamoru's brainwashing, all of it. It spilled out of Usagi's mouth like water from a broken dam as she told of the times she barely escaped death, the countless nights she'd fought. How relieved she'd been that there were others, and how they'd become friends while also becoming a team. It was a great catharsis for Usagi to finally be telling her family what had happened in these recent months. The other Senshi added their bits and pieces but left the majority of the story telling to their leader.

When she got to the part about her being a reincarnated princess from a dead kingdom, Shingo had snorted and laughed until an icy glare from Ami had caused him to pause. The Silver Millennium was not something to joke about. The many times that Usagi fell down and tripped even as Sailor Moon apparently were, though, and were brought up multiple times to reassure Shingo that his sister was still his sister.

Somehow, they got around to the subject of Tuxedo Kamen, Mamoru, and Usagi managed to choke out how he was no longer their ally.

"He's an enemy," Rei said firmly while Usagi quietly sipped on tea that had long gone to ice. "We have to treat him like one."

"So, even though he helped you, he's only out to get that ginzuishou thing?" Shingo asked, mouth full of cookies.

"Basically," Makoto agreed while rubbing at where her arm had fallen asleep. "I mean, he hasn't out right tried to kill us, that's left up to Kunzite, but he pretty much has said he'll do whatever it takes to get the ginzuishou."

"Do you think he would hurt Usagi?" Ikuko whispered.

Minako looked at Usagi, who was looking out the window. "We aren't taking that chance."

"Absolutely not!" Kenji yelled while getting to his feet. "I won't allow this to happen!"

"Papa!"

"Kenji!"

The Senshi exchanged glances, having figured this was coming long before they got to the part about Mamoru.

"You're talking about someone who now knows my daughter's secret identity wanting to probably kill her for some gem stone? Give it to him! Her life isn't worth it! I won't have you fighting these battles anymore either, Usagi. You're going to give them that broach thing and that's going to be all I want to hear on the matter. That's it. And you four, how could you do this? I'm going to call your parents!"

They let him go on. It seemed to help as he slowly deflated and ran out of steam before coming back to reality, where everyone was staring up at him, some wide-eyed, some angry. Usagi refused to meet his gaze.

Usagi cleared her throat and stepped into her role as leader. "Are you done, papa?" She didn't wait for him to answer. "That 'gem stone' has enough energy to destroy the entire planet. If the Dark Kingdom gets their hands on it this planet will die. Everyone you know will be killed. Mama, Shingo, me. Everyone. The five of us are fighting to stop that from happening. You think we like fighting these battles? Getting up at two in the morning, being late for school, missing time with our families? We hate it! But who else is going to do it? Can you do it, papa?"

"Usagi-chan," Makoto whispered, having never seen Usagi so angry before.

But Usagi wasn't done yet. "We've given our lives before to do this, in another life time, as I understand it. I'm not going to stop because you don't like it. I can't stop because you don't like it. If I could just stop because I didn't like it, I would have a long time ago. I hate fighting. But I do love protecting this planet and its people. Knowing that there's someone there who will never fail at keeping them safe. And that's me. That's who I am, papa."

In a huff, Usagi sat back, arms crossed and looking more like a disgruntled teenager than a fierce warrior, but her message was clear. She would not be swayed.

"You can't tell my parents, I don't have any," Makoto said with a grin. "And I actually like being a Senshi."

"Eh, who cares if my mom gets mad at me about being a Senshi, that's what you guys are for, right?" Minako asked with a wink.

Ami smiled softly. "Tsukino-san, we'll protect Usagi-chan. Nothing will happen to her."

Rei blew out her bangs and leaned forward. "Ami-chan's right, we'll always be there for Usagi."

Usagi's eyes teared up and she all but jumped over the table to hug her friends, who laughed when she knocked over a plate of food and several glasses of tea.

Ikuko smiled at her daughter while Kenji, defeated, sat on the ground next to his wife. She touched his hand turned to face him.

"Can't you see how happy she is?" Ikuko asked him.

"What if she gets hurt?" Kenji pleaded, worry clearly evident on his face. "What do we do then?"

"The same thing all parents do with new things. We wait and see what happens."

XxXxXxXxX

Endymion had delivered his report to Queen Beryl, and without knowing why he had left out one very important detail to his queen.

Sailor Moon's identity.

He had kept that tidbit of information to himself, seeking to keep it hidden from Kunzite, who would undoubtedly try and kill the girl instantly, and to stop what would be an order to attack her and her family until she relinquished the ginzuishou. It wasn't his way, it didn't seem fair somehow to take advantage of his new information. But he was going to have to eventually, he needed to get the ginzuishou.

And Sailor Moon would give it to him if she thought her family was in danger.

No, she would fight him. She would fight him until she died to protect her family, he had seen that today. For some reason that made him smile as he recalled the way the moonlight shimmered against her hair and how she had made that face, the one that showed she wouldn't back down, as soon as the youma made a grab for her family.

Endymion couldn't stop thinking about her.

"Usagi," he whispered, trying the name on his tongue again, without the mocking tone behind it. "Usagi." He smirked and waved a hand before him, willing the image of the young girl to appear.

She was still awake, and to his shock she was alone and outside the inn that she was staying at. He was about to create a portal when someone else entered the vision and he realized it was her mother. He stopped, hesitated, and then banished the image away.

There would be plenty of time to get her alone later.

Yay, nay? Please review! Thank you very much for reading!

EDIT: Wow, so, uh, within a few hours I got what I consider a pretty decent response and I'll be continuing this. I might end up going darker so the rating might go up to T, but we'll see what happens there. While I was going through my computer and archiving this story today I found a couple of stories that I had never published from long, long ago. I'm going to edit them and get around to posting them in the next few weeks. They're comedies, not drama so take that as you will.

Thank you to everyone who has already reviewed, favorite, and followed the story. 3

-Ginzuishou