I dont own Sailor Moon at all. Not even one DVD.
This is my first fanfic - sorry, I havent figured out how to make it into chapters yet.
I'm sorry for the full stops between paragraphs, for some reason it wont recognise the spaces between them.
Sailor Moon Exposed
CHAPTER 1: IDENTITY CONCEALED
"Watch out Sailor Moon!" Sailor Mars cried as the youma projected fiery missiles at the blonde super heroine.
Sailor Moon turned and gasped as she felt the heat of the missiles bearing down upon her – there was no time to dodge it! She suddenly felt two strong arms lifting her up and away into the air and away from danger. She looked up to see the masked face of Tuxedo Mask outlined against the Tokyo night sky.
"Now Sailor Moon!" he commanded, as he let her down on a nearby rooftop.
"Right," she replied. Calling her attack signale her voice rang out into the night, "Moon Tiara Magic!" She flung her weapon with all her might against the enemy. The youma dissipated into dust with a howl. The fight was over.
"Good work Sailor Moon, until we meet again," Tuxedo Mask said, tipping his top hat to her as he leapt from the rooftop.
Sailor Moon sighed, turning her eyes from the departing hero to the moondusted pile of ash. Another youma, another late night for Sailor Moon.
The Next Day
"Serena Tsukino wake up!" Luna said with her usual annoyance. "Wake up this instant! You're going to be late!"
"Ohhh 5 more minutes…"
"No NOW!" Luna said as she dug her claws into Serena's side.
"YEOOOWW," Serena cried as she flipped over and out of the bed, crashing heavily on the floor. Looking at her alarm radio she moaned, "I'm going to be late agaaaain!", leaping out of bed. Ten minutes later she was running at break-neck speed to school and muttering to herself in her sing-song voice, "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late! I'm going to get deten-"
BAM, WHACK, THUD.
"Ouch, hey watch it meatball head," a familiar voice said, causing Serena Tsukino to explode in fit of righteous rage.
"MY NAME IS SERENA!" she screamed at him.
"You are hardly serene, meatball head, and if you were as dedicated to school as you are every other morning crashing into me then maybe you wouldn't be late all the time."
"YOU should talk JERK, because that must mean YOU'RE ALWAYS LATE TOO!" she shouted at him, giving him one last evil glare before picking herself up and running in the direction of Juungan High School.
Darien watched the blonde pigtails fly away down the road before looking at his watch. He groaned, slapping himself on the forehead, "She's right! I AM late!"
Serena trudged out of school after her hour of detention, completely worn out.
"Stupid youma, cant they attack at a decent hour so I can get some sleep?" she muttered. She rounded a corner and found herself walking by Central Arcade.
"Maybe just one game…" she said to herself.
It was only 4:45, she could spare 15 minutes before she had to be home for dinner.
"Hey Serena," Andrew called, "You wanna chocolate shake?"
Serena brightened, "Sure Andrew, thanks!"
"Meatball head shouldn't you be at home studying or something?" Darien interrupted dryly, looking up from his coffee.
Andrew looked at Serena nervously. Serena's brightened countenance had fallen to unforgiving she-devil as she prepared to launch a verbal attack on the most annoying guy she had ever met. Andrew decided right now was a good time to do some dishes in the back kitchen, while Darien just smirked and waited for the fireworks. But as suddenly as her mood had shifted, it shifted again to panic.
"Bye Andrew! Can I get a rain check on that milkshake?" she yelled over her shoulder as she ran out of the Arcade.
"Wow Darien, you sure got lucky today. Something must be on her mind," Andrew noted, seeing the coast was clear and he could safely return to the front counter.
"Er yeah," Darien said, fidgeting in his seat. "Um sorry Andrew but I have to go too. Just remembered something important myself," Darien murmured, tossing some coins on the counter for his coffee as he left.
"Those two are weird," Andrew sighed, shaking his blonde head.
Serena raced some way down the street before finding a safe place to transform. "Moon Prism Power!" she cried, throwing her hand up in the air as she transformed from klutzy schoolgirl into super heroine Sailor Moon. Having transformed she checked her communicator, the screen blipped and Sailor Mercury's face came onto the screen.
"What is it Mercury? Trouble?"
"It's always trouble Sailor Moon. It's in the Taipan Fish Market District. A water youma is causing some serious damage."
"I'll be there in 15 minutes, I'm on the other side of town. Hold on till I get there!"
"Ok!" the screen blipped again and Sailor Mercury was gone.
Sailor Moon groaned in annoyance, "Now I'm going to be late for dinner!"
Darien found a quiet alleyway to transform into Tuxedo Mask. Standing there in his hero get-up, his senses turned his eyes upward to where he saw Sailor Moon leaping from rooftop to rooftop toward the eastern side of town. His breath caught slightly as she gracefully leapt, her face set with purpose and her hair blowing out into the night sky. Stealing himself for battle, he followed.
"Where IS Sailor Moon?" Sailor Mars cried out in frustration. Seeing the youma prepare to attack again she called out her battle cry, "Mars fire… IGNITE!" Flames tore through the youma, but did not finish it.
"She'd better get here quick! My water attacks are useless against a water monster," Ami said, dodging another attack from the monster.
"Hey you there with the dodgy blue hairdo! I am Sailor Moon and on behalf of the Moon I will punish you!"
"It's about time!" Sailor Jupiter muttered, thankful that Sailor Moon's usual speech had distracted the youma for the moment. Finally she could catch a breath!
The youma looked at Sailor Moon evilly as it flung a watery arm up at her. The arm extended the distance between them and would have knocked her flying had Tuxedo Mask not pulled her out of harm's way.
"Be careful Sailor Moon!" he said sternly.
Sailor Moon looked up at her hero with star-struck eyes, but mentally slapped herself out of it and turned to face the battle. She did have to be more careful.
The fight raged on, with the Sailor Scouts giving blow for blow to the youma. Finally, with the youma distracted by Sailor Venus, Sailor Moon took the opportunity to begin her Moon Tiara attack. She began the series of movements that would power-up the Tiara as her mouth began to form the attack signale - until she saw that the youma was headed straight for Tuxedo Mask! She froze, breaking the attack cycle.
"What are you doing Sailor Moon?! Hit it with all you have!" Sailor Mars screamed at her from the street.
But Sailor Moon wasn't listening; she was diving toward Tuxedo Mask as the youma attacked him with her water cannon. She pushed him out of the way as the water ball came hurtling toward them, only to be hit in the side herself. The injured Sailor Scout fell to the ground, unconscious.
"One down, four to… WHAT!" the youma shrieked as the remaining Sailor Scouts combined their attacks.
"Venus crescent V... SMASH!"
"Noooo!" cried the monster, as its form crumbled into a puddle on the street below.
Tuxedo Mask meanwhile looked in horror as Sailor Moon lay there silent and still. "Sailor Moon?" he gasped, dismayed she had been hurt protecting him. "I'm the one meant to protect you," he said more gently, taking the unconscious form of Sailor Moon into his arms and leaping away silently into the night as the the Sailor Scouts regrouped on the city street below, tired from battle.
"Sailor Moon, you're such an idiot!" Sailor Mars shouted at the rooftops.
There was no reply.
"Sailor Moon, what were you thinking!" Sailor Jupiter yelled out.
Again, no reply.
"Sailor Moon?" Sailor Venus called.
"Guys, she isn't here. My Mercury Computer says that she is travelling quite quickly toward Tokyo Garden," Mercury interjected.
"But why would she be going there?" Jupiter asked.
"Hey, where is Tuxedo Mask?" Sailor Venus suddenly asked.
The girls looked at each other with a sudden chill down their spines, realising Tuxedo Mask had kidnapped their leader.
CHAPTER 2: IDENTITY REVEALED
Tuxedo Mask stared at the unconscious heroine in his arms. Tearing his eyes from her, he took one final leap and landed neatly in the centre of Tokyo Garden, his cape billowing out around him. He couldn't believe what he had just done. What had possessed him to make off with the leader of the Sailor Scouts? Surely they could have taken care of their fallen leader? She stirred slightly in his arms. Standing, he easily held the slim weight of her and stepped beneath the privacy of a weeping willow. He sat against the trunk of the tree, Sailor Moon in his lap. For the first time, he was able to get a close look at the girl he had been instinctively protecting all this time.
Surely she must be only a child, no more than 14 or 15, he thought as he examined her pale face. His gaze travelled down her limp body. Even unconscious she radiated an unearthly beauty, her skin illuminated by the streaks of moonlight that managed to sneak between the willow's vines to caress her skin. Her legs were long and lean, though he knew they were strong. Her hands were pale and delicate.
Are you quite done? his conscience scolded him.
He blushed beneath his mask. Here he was, 18 years old, Tuxedo Mask, hero of Tokyo, underneath a weeping willow tree with Sailor Moon.
Why am I here with her? he thought to himself again, becoming agitated. There is no point in this. She is hurt but she is well, he told himself sternly.
His senses prickled, informing him that that her senshei were near. Willing his arms to move her warm body from him, he placed her against the trunk of the tree and faded into the night.
Sailor Moon stirred.
"Sailor Moon!?" a voice cried out, calling her from her grogginess.
"Sailor Scouts?" she called softly, her throat parched from the cool night air.
"Sailor Moon!" Sailor Mars cried, rushing through the vines of the willow tree to her.
"Are you ok?" Sailor Jupiter asked as she followed behind Mars.
"I'm ok guys. I just took a nasty fall," Sailor Moon lied, knowing that the pain in her side meant she had broken ribs.
"I'm so glad. We were worried when Tuxedo Mask made off with you like that," Sailor Venus cried, throwing her arms around Sailor Moon.
"I... he..what?!" Sailor Moon squeaked, wincing slightly at the pressure of Sailor Venus' hug.
"Yeah, he just took off with you. It was really strange," Sailor Jupiter said with curiosity in her eyes.
"Well I'm fine now guys. He must have thought I was still in danger or something..." Sailor Moon's voice trailed off. She suddenly realised how late it was, and rose to her feet, again wincing slightly at the pain in her side, "Well guys, we had best be going. We super heroines do have school tomorrow," she said, managing to let out a soft giggle despite the pain in her side.
Tuxedo Mask watched the girls from the shadows. He saw every wince of Sailor Moon, and knew she had been badly hurt. His eyes narrowed, the need to protect her rising up in him. Why he felt this way he didn't know; but there it was, the driving force in his super hero career.
You'd think that maybe I would feel the need to save the world or something and not just one girl every other night, he thought wryly. He watched as the girls began to depart, each one going her separate way and resolved to follow Sailor Moon. Just in case, he reasoned with himself.
He stalked her quiet form in the night. She moved quickly and he saw that she was unafraid, but was definitely hurting. He observed the area around him. They were in a neighbourhood not far from his usual Arcade haunt.
Odd, he thought, Can Sailor Moon actually live here? He almost allowed himself to laugh out loud. Of COURSE she had to live somewhere! His mirth however fell into serious contemplation. She had been near the Arcade when he had first seen her today, Could he have ever passed her in the street when she was dressed normally and not as Sailor Moon? He almost laughed aloud again. No way, he would know her on sight.
He turned his attention back to Sailor Moon who had been carefully observing the area around her. For a moment he grew concerned. Had she seen him? He peered at her from his hiding place and saw that she had not seen him. Her eyes closed and he became worried she would faint. But she did not faint; instead she sighed as her fuka faded away to reveal Serena Tsukino.
CHAPTER 3: SURPRISE
Tuxedo Mask, aka Darien Chiba damn well nearly shouted his disbelief into the night. Somehow he managed to overcome the urge with his superhuman strength, thanking God that he, at the moment, did happen to possess superhuman strength in his hero form.
"Oh!" Serena's whimper broke the stillness of the night. He saw her sink to her knees, clutching at her side.
"Serena! Serena are you all right!?" a motherly voice called to the young girl.
Tuxedo Mask silently thanked God again; he had almost swept in there at the sound of her whimper.
"Come on Serena, they are all asleep. You don't have to worry," the unknown voice soothed.
Tuxedo Mask narrowed his eyes. His senses told him that there was no one there but Serena.
"Luna I'm ok, but I don't think my ribs are," Serena whispered through each painful breath.
Tuxedo Mask gaped as a small dark cat stepped into the moonlight next to Serena and began to speak, "You will be ok Serena. You always are. I know it hurts now but come on up to bed and tomorrow morning you will be ok."
"I know Luna," Serena replied TO THE CAT, "But it still hurts NOW."
Tuxedo Mask felt a headache coming on. Serena Meatball Head Tsukino was Sailor Moon AND had a talking cat.
"Luna, do you think it would be ok if I had a shower? Do you think it would wake them up?" Serena queried.
"I'm sure it won't if you are quick and quiet about it Serena," Luna replied. "I will stand watch."
"Thank you Luna."
Serena entered the bathroom and lit a small candle on the sink. Its soft light preferred to the bright light of the globe above her.
"My post-war ritual," she murmured to herself.
Slowly, painfully, she washed her aching body and massaged the tired muscles. Luna was right, her body would heal and she would be fine in the morning. It would be very difficult being Sailor Moon if she were always having to explain the various bruises and broken bones she sustained in her battles. Finishing her shower she slowly, painfully, dressed herself in her pyjamas and, utterly exhausted, crawled into bed. She moaned softly as her broken ribs cried out in pain at the weight of her body pressing them into the bed. Her eyes closed, and somewhere between sleep and consciousness she whispered, "Luna, I have a test tomorrow..." and promptly fell asleep.
Tuxedo Mask couldn't leave just yet. A part of him had to just look at her, Sailor Moon, Serena, one last time. He saw a soft light flicker on toward the back of the house.
Obviously Serena's room, he thought.
With all silence he leapt over the fence easily and into one of the trees near the window. He saw another softer light dancing in a second window to his right. Seeing the shadowy outline of Serena in the light, he modestly turned his face away. It was enough that he had discovered her identity! Eventually, the sound of running water ceased and the light was extinguished. Peering into Serena's bedroom, he saw her, small and fragile, crawl into bed. How long he sat in the tree and stared at her sleeping form he did not know.
I cannot believe she is Sailor Moon.
Serena is Sailor Moon.
No wonder she is always late to school in the mornings.
She's so young.
She's so brave.
She has a test tomorrow. No wonder she always does poorly in school. What time has she got to study when she's fighting youma all night?
She looks so peaceful.
Finally tearing himself from his thoughts, Tuxedo Mask knew it was time to leave. He leapt from the tree, his shadow momentarily passing by the window the only evidence he had ever been there.
CHAPTER 4: IS SHE REALLY?
The Next Day
Darien walked along the footpath toward Central Arcade, bracing himself for impact at any moment. But none came.
Where is she? he wondered.
An hour earlier Serena yawned, stretching her arms high above her head.
No pain, she thought.
Checking her sides, she was glad to see that she had fully healed, and that it was early in the morning.
"Early! Wow, must've healed up much better than I thought!" she smiled to herself.
"Good morning Serena, nice to see you up and early for a change," Luna said smartly as she leapt onto the bed.
"I know Luna, I think I might pop into Central Arcade and enjoy a hot breakfast this morning. Andrew will be so surprised!" she said with a giggle.
"Go on then Serena, you deserve it after last night's episode," Luna said kindly.
Dressing for school, Serena skipped down the stairs and toward Central Arcade.
At Central Arcade
"Hi Andrew! A banana milkshake and hot pancakes for breakfast please!" Serena said, smacking her lips together.
"Serena! Wow, it's really early to see you here," Andrew smiled.
"Yeah I know. COSMIC huh? But I woke up early and thought I would treat myself to a nice breakfast," Serena replied happily.
"Sure Serena, coming right up."
Serena opened her maths textbook on the counter. For once she got to study before a test! Maybe today she would pass! Happily entranced in her study, she did not here the chime of the bell as the Arcade doors slid open to reveal her worst enemy.
Darien froze. Serena was at the counter, READING some sort of book, and she looked... fine? He shook his head, maybe he was imagining things. Maybe he had imagined last night? He stood there dumbstruck at the girl before him.
"Hey Darien, grab a seat," Andrew called out to him.
Darien forced his legs to move, he sat beside the blonde girl who he knew last night had taken a beating but was now, it seemed, completely fine and actually up early. His eyes moved to the book she was reading. She was STUDYING!
Serena, meanwhile, had smelt the pancakes cooking in the kitchen and lifted her head at the welcome smell. She could almost taste them! She also now saw the dark figure seated beside her who was not there previously. She turned her head to see Darien THE WORLDS BIGGEST JERK Chiba staring at her with his eyes bugging out of his head.
"Whatcha want you annoying freak? Stop staring at me like that!" she demanded.
"Hey it's too early in the morning for that!" Andrew called from the kitchen.
Darien started to get a headache again. Maybe he had imagined last night. Maybe instead of Sailor Moon being the one hit by the youma's attack it had really been him and he'd hit his head. That would explain why Serena was fine.
"Andrew, can I please have my breakfast TO GO," Serena said pointedly, throwing a dirty look at Darien who was still staring at her.
Noticing himself still staring at her, Darien forced his face to turn to Andrew as he handed Serena her takeaway. Giving Andrew a smile, and Darien a you're-weirding-me-out-look, she hopped lightly from her stool and vanished through the doors of the Arcade.
"Darien, man, what's up? You are spaced out," Andrew queried his best friend.
"Oh... um... just surprised to see Meatball Head here, early, STUDYING."
"Oh yeah that," Andrew laughed. "Yeah it happens. Not often. But it happens every few weeks or so," Andrew said as he returned to the kitchen to do some washing up.
Guess I was wrong, Darien thought to himself, I must be going crazy, no way klutzy Serena is Sailor Moon. I must've dreamt the entire fight or something like that. No way could Sailor Moon be ok after taking a beating the way she did last night... if last night had even happened. Darien frowned and turned to follow her, determined to find out once and for all. Throwing Andrew a 'see-ya', he stalked out of the Arcade after the blonde girl.
"HEY MEATBALL HEAD!"
Rack off Darien, she thought, quickening her pace.
That made her stop in her tracks. She turned slowly around to see Darien oh-so-casually approaching her with an unusual look on his face.
"What do you want Darien?" she asked through clenched teeth. She'll be damned if she let him get to her today!
"Wasn't it a little late last night to be out in the Tokyo Gardens?" he inquired silkily.
Her mouth decided at that moment to go completely dry.
"Uh, HAHAHAHA Darien," she managed to choke out, one arm behind her head, sweat dropping, "What.. er.. makes you think I was at the Gardens?"
"I was there late last night. I thought I saw you. I think I could recognise those meat balls anywhere you know."
Not bloody likely, she thought derisively. She had been Sailor Moon for months now and no one had ever come close to guessing it was her. Not even smarty pants Darien Chiba!
"Um no Darien," she said, sticking her tongue out at him, "I was at home and in bed, not that it's any of YOUR business!"
She spun around on her heal, fully intending to storm off in a most spectacular fashion. Unfortunately her shoe caught on a crack and all she did was make a spectacular ass of herself as she started to fall face first toward the ground. She squealed with dread, waiting for the hard landing that was to come - but it never did. Strong arms caught her, and her small frame was lifted up into the air. She looked up, disoriented, and caught herself staring into dark blue eyes. Suddenly, she felt very uncomfortable.
"DARIEN JERKWAD CHIBA PUT ME DOWN!" she screamed, turning into a hellcat as she struggled against him, trying to get away. Darien, infuriatingly, only laughed at her useless struggling. He was so much stronger than her.
"Ok, ok meatball head. You're very welcome."
"Shut up you jerk! It's all your fault you know!"
"What's all my fault?"
"That I've spilt my breakfast everywhere!"
He sighed and put her down. Harrumphing, she turned her nose up at him and marched away to school.
Darien watched Serena go, a calculating look on his face. She hadn't winced once today. She looked... well fine. As if she hadn't even a scratch on her. He was so sure she was Sailor Moon, he didn't doubt what his eyes had witnessed last night. But her miraculous healing was curious.
I'll bide my time. Sailor Moon will show up again, and when she does I will find out who the girl is behind the heroine, he thought darkly.
CHAPTER 5: EXPOSED
A Few Weeks Later
Darien sighed roughly as he walked along the footpath toward Central Arcade, scowling slightly. He hadn't seen Sailor Moon or the scouts for a few weeks now. The NegaForce had scaled down its attacks, but he knew that they were only regrouping and gathering strength for another attack. He knew with every fibre of his being that there would be another attack, and soon.
The blonde girl ran as fast as she could. She was late again for her meeting with the girls in Central Arcade.
"Raye's going to kill me!" she muttered under her breath.
Her heart pounding she raced toward the doors of Central Arcade. Her eyes caught sight of a familiar annoying person ahead of her. A wicked thought rose up in her mind as an evil smile curled upon her lips. He was too lost in his own thoughts when a small foot caught his ankle and its owner rushed by. Darien felt himself losing balance, falling forward and finally felt his chin hit pavement followed shortly thereafter by the rest of his body.
"Who's the meatball head now?!" Serena called mockingly over her shoulder, having thoroughly enjoyed seeing the great Darien fall from his high and lofty perch.
Darien cursed, his chin pulsating with pain. He picked himself up from the pavement, and stalked angrily toward the Arcade.
"Stupid idiot!" Serena smiled, very satisfied as she took her place next to Raye.
"Serena, glad to see you could make it," Raye said, rolling her eyes at her late friend.
"Yeah Serena, are you ready to go shopping?" Mina asked, her blonde hair bouncing around her face.
"Yup! All ready t-"Serena stopped midsentence as the doors of the Arcade slid open to reveal an incredibly ticked off Darien.
"Darien he-" Andrew began, also stopping when he saw the dark cloud of anger on his friend's face. Anger, he saw, directed straight at Serena. Looking to Serena Andrew only saw her smiling sweetly at Darien, her blue eyes full of innocence and yet sparkling with malicious joy.
"You..." Darien said, stalking toward her, finger pointed.
"Now Darien, I'm sure Serena-"
"Didn't mean to trip me?" Darien finished for his friend Andrew, still glaring at the blonde girl in front of him.
Sweat dropped on Andrew, Raye and Mina.
"Uh Serena look at the time! We HAVE to go! Sorry Andrew, later!" Mina quipped quickly, grabbing hold of Serena's arm.
"Yeah Andrew, off shopping! See ya!" Raye said tightly, helping Mina pull Serena out of the Arcade as quickly as humanly possible.
Serena only continued smiling that same smile, even daring to wink at Darien as the doors to the Arcade closed behind her. Darien, meanwhile, was going a very nice shade of blood red.
"Darien, mate, chill out, she's just a kid, you know?" Andrew suggested amiably.
"Oh I know alright," Darien said darkly.
"Hey Darien where are you going?" Andrew said with surprise as he saw his friend abruptly begin to follow the girls out of the Arcade.
"I'm going... to kill... no, torture and then kill her," Darien said icily under his breath, leaving his bewildered friend to stare after his disappearing figure.
Outside, Mina was giving Serena the third degree. "Serena, that was really mean," Mina admonished her friend as they headed in the direction of the Mall.
"But satisfying!" Serena replied jovially.
Suddenly they heard a scream, and then a dozen more cries as a purple cloud rose above the glass dome of the mall in front of them.
"NegaForce trouble!" Raye cried. "We had better transform and get in touch with the others!"
Darien had heard the screams too, having followed the girls as they headed to the Mall. He saw Serena duck off in one direction as her two friends left in another.
They mustn't suspect her, he thought to himself.
He looked around for a quiet place where he could transform into Tuxedo Mask. Transformed, he heard a small child scream from inside the mall and his instincts kicked him. He ran into the mall.
"I am Sailor Moon and I will punish you!" Sailor Moon declared to the huge green and purple snake-like monster hovering above her.
"Sailor Venus here!"
"Sailor Mercury too!"
"Don't forget me, Jupiter!"
"And me, Sailor Mars!"
The Sailor Scouts cried, joining their leader.
"I'll kill you all!" shrieked the fiend, shooting red pulsating energy from her fingertips.
The girls dived as the energy ball exploded the floor in front of them as concrete and marble rained down on them.
"Jupiter Thunder BLAST!" Jupiter cried, sending out shockwaves of electricity to the youma.
The youma cried out in anger as the electricity painfully ripped through her body. She turned her head to gaze evilly upon Sailor Jupiter before letting out a howl of rage and diving for the Sailor Scout. Jupiter was too quick, and ducked the attack before it could strike her.
"I want my mummy!" a child's voice cried out behind them.
The youma and the Sailor Scouts turned their heads toward a young boy hiding under a bench. The youma gave an evil hiss and leapt for the child.
"NO!" cried the Sailor Scouts.
I have to save him! Serena's mind and heart cried as she saw the youma go after the child. Gathering all her strength, she shot forward with a speed she had never known. The youma charged the boy from the front as Serena ran with all she had toward the boy from his side. Her eyes widened as she saw the youma fling out green energy toward the child from her mouth. All she could see was the boy as she leapt toward him, grasping him in her arms...
Tuxedo Mask saw Sailor Moon racing toward the boy. He watched her with a sense of pride in her courage and tenacity as she leapt toward the child. He suddenly realised that she would not be able to get out of the way in time. His hand reached out toward her as the green energy hit her body with great force. Her back arched, her eyes rolled back in her head. She fell to the ground, the child safe in her arms.
"NOOOO!" Tuxedo Mask ran to where Sailor Moon had fallen. Her body fell against his.
WHY does she do this! Risk her life this way! he thought angrily as the youma cackled in front of him.
"I knew she would do it. Stupid girl." The fiend spat. She turned to the other Scouts and laughed evilly, "I got one little pretty, now I will kill her little dogs too!"
Tuxedo Mask felt a hand on his should. Sailor Mercury was looking down at the fallen form of Sailor Moon. She could she Sailor Moon was seriously injured.
"Tuxedo Mask, can you take Sailor Moon and the boy somewhere safe. I would but this youma is strong and we need all the Sailor Scout power we have!" Sailor Mercury beseeched him.
Tuxedo Mask nodded. Lifting the unconscious form of Sailor Moon with the young boy hanging onto his back for dear life, he strode out of the Mall.
"Where is he taking her Mercury!" Sailor Mars cried angrily, watching Tuxedo Mask take Sailor Moon away.
"Just outside Mars. I asked him to. We need all the strength we have just to kill this thing!"
"Alright, but if he hurts her..." Mars warned, remembering the last time he had disappeared with Sailor Moon.
"Hurry up little girls! I haven't got all day!" the youma snapped angrily.
Turning back to the youma, the girls attacked.
"Mum! Mum!" the little boy cried, instantly releasing Tuxedo Mask from his tiny choke hold.
"Billy! I'm so glad you're safe!" his mother cried. "Thank you." She said to Tuxedo Mask.
He nodded at her as the woman's eyes drifted to Sailor Moon.
"Is that?!" she gasped.
Tuxedo Mask nodded again, "She was protecting your son."
"Oh, thank you Sailor Moon," the woman said gratefully, "She will be ok, won't she?" she asked him.
"She will. She's strong," he replied.
He watched the woman walk away with her child then turned his attention to the girl in his arms.
Sailor Moon you fool. You could have died, he silently berated her.
She moaned, opening her eyes slightly, "Tuxedo...?" she whispered, falling into unconsciousness as her head fell back and her body went limp. Tuxedo Mask looked around. They were too exposed. He had to take her somewhere safe and private. But where could they go in the middle of the day in Tokyo?
Sailor Moon awoke in a bed that wasn't her own, in a room she didn't recognise. She started to get up, but pain ripped through her body. She cried out, falling back to the bed.
"Hey, hey, you took a nasty blow there Sailor Moon. Stay still," a familiar voice soothed her.
Turning her eyes toward the voice, she saw none other than Tuxedo Mask. She began to panic and struggled to get up.
What am I doing here!? she thought wildly. She caught sight of herself in a mirror on dark drawers. Thank goodness my fuka is still intact, she thought, still struggling.
Strong hands pushed her back onto the bed and her eyes, full of fear, connected with his.
"What am I doing here?" she rasped.
"You were hit by an attack at the Mall. Sailor Mercury asked me to take you somewhere safe," he explained. "It was the middle of the day in Tokyo. This place belongs to a friend of a friend," he then lied, seeing her wariness.
"Well I have to go now," she said, again struggling to rise from the bed.
"You can't, you are seriously injured," Tuxedo Mask insisted.
"I've copped worse."
Forcing her limbs to carry her, she limped as far as the lounge room as Tuxedo Mask worriedly followed her. She fell to her knees, her strength leaving her.
That fiend must have really packed a punch, she groaned inwardly.
"Sailor Moon!" she heard Jupiter's voice cry outside the balcony.
The Scouts must have followed me here! she thought, relieved.
She tried to get up but she couldn't. The effort of maintaining her glamour became too much, and her fuka faded away to reveal Serena. She looked down in horror at the disappearing uniform. She turned her head to see him staring at her. Her identity was exposed!
"JUPITER!" she screamed.
Without the effort of maintaining her fuka her limbs found new strength, and she ran across the lounge room and launched herself from the balcony outside.
"SERENA!" Jupiter screamed, seeing her friend leaping from the balcony without her disguise.
"SERENA!" Tuxedo Mask cried after the falling girl.
Jupiter leapt from the window ledge she was standing on after her friend, catching her easily in mid air. She landed neatly on the street below, thankful Serena was safe.
"Serena!" the three other scouts gasped, having rushed to their friend's side.
"Jupiter, he... he knows," Serena whispered in her friends arms.
The scouts looked up to see Tuxedo Mask's retreating form as he leapt away and out of sight/
CHAPTER 6: SCARED
The girls sat quietly in the temple, looking at eachother pensively. Serena felt tears come to her eyes. She was exposed, and to someone who they did not know was an enemy or a friend. She dropped her head to her chest, her tears overwhelming her. She desperately wanted to believe that Tuxedo Mask was good, but there was always the chance he wasn't.
"Serena, we'll figure this out," Ami said compassionately, placing a hand on her friend's shoulder.
"Yeah. We can find him and beat the life out of him," Lita said with dark enthusiasm.
"I'm with you on that one Lita," Raye added, her gaze murderous.
"Serena?" Mina enquired of her silent friend.
"Oh guys, I'm just so scared!" Serena said softly, her tears falling from her eyes. "He knows who I am. Not just what I look like. He knows my name too. He could know where I live, my family..." her voice cracked and she broke into sobs.
"It's ok Serena, we'll protect you," Raye said, hugging her friend tightly.
"How?" Serena moaned.
"We'll have sleepovers," Ami said smartly, "Today is Friday so we have the weekend. We can all stay at Serena's tonight. We can use the time to check out the perimeter and see if we can put some sort of security in place."
"That's a great idea Ami," Lita nodded.
"What about tomorrow night?" Serena whined, "And the night after that?"
"Don't worry. We'll figure it out," Mina said softly to her friend.
"Until then, let's go get something to eat. I'm STARVING." Lita said suggestively.
Serena noticeably brightened and smiled at her friend. "Thanks Lita, thanks guys." She whispered.
Darien sat in the Arcade, brooding over his coffee.
She IS Sailor Moon.
SHE is Sailor Moon.
She is SAILOR MOON.
The same thought expressed itself over and over again in his mind.
"Hey Darien, you're coffee will be cold if you don't drink it," Andrew said light-heartedly, noticing that his friend was broodier than usual today.
"Yeah," Darien mumbled, gulping the coffee down.
"Hey Mina," Andrew said as he saw the pretty blonde walk through the door, followed by her four friends.
"Hey Andrew," the girls replied.
Darien just barely fought the urge to whirl around to the girl who he now knew was Sailor Moon. Instead he slowly straightened his back and casually swivelled around in his chair.
"Lay off Darien," Raye's curt voice cut him off.
"Yeah Darien, not today," The normally quiet Ami shot at him.
"Wow, something is up," Andrew noted, surprise in his voice.
Darien's gaze found the petite blonde. She sat there, devoid of her usual liveliness. She looked defeated and was gazing ahead in a zombie-like trance. She winced as she attempted to relax against the side of the booth, and he could tell that she was still hurt from the battle a few hours ago.
"Serena?" Andrew asked gently, concern lacing his voice, "Is something wrong? Can I help?"
She was silent for a moment, but slowly turned her sad face toward him and replied ever-so-softly, "No. It's not something I want to talk about or that can be helped."
Andrew looked at the girls. Did they know what was wrong? He caught Mina's eye and she nodded at him. He breathed a soft sigh of relief, knowing with that one look the girls knew and Serena wasn't alone.
"Well, if you ever need my help I'll do what I can," Andrew offered.
"Thanks Andrew," Lita replied for Serena, "We'll take care of you girl. Come on, have something to eat Ser," she encouraged.
Serena let out a sigh and let her gaze wander around the room. She found herself looking into deep blue eyes that seemed to know all the secrets of her soul.
Darien's heart lurched at the look in Serena's eyes as he registered all of her emotions. He saw things he never thought he would ever see in those bright blue eyes. He saw defeat, hopelessness, despair. The last thing he saw... was raw fear.
CHAPTER 7: CONTACT
Looking into those pale eyes, Darien's heart wrenched painfully in his chest, She looks like that because of me, he shamefully acknowledged.
He looked away from her, as if she could read his thoughts. He couldn't breathe. He needed to get out of there. Standing abruptly, he nodded curtly to the five girls and Andrew and strode out the Arcade doors.
Serena. She wouldn't leave his thoughts, even as he increased the distance between them. Somehow the annoying, ditzy girl who managed to crash into him had come to mean so much more to him in the few hours than anyone had in his life. His felt sick in his heart for her. His mind was confused. She and her senshei stood between him and the crystals he was searching for. But...
But what, Darien? a curious little voice asked.
But... I don't know?
I think you do Darien, the voice replied.
Shaking his head free of the little voice, he wondered what he should do. He snapped his fingers! He would go to her as Tuxedo Mask and assure her that her secret was safe! He smiled, that's exactly what he would do.
A couple hours later at the slumber party...
"AHHH! You think HE'S CUTE? MINA!" the girls giggled.
"Yah," Mina laughed, slightly embarrassed. Her arm went up behind her head and she sweat dropped. So what if she thought Andrew was cute?
"Ok Serena, YOUR turn!" Lita declared, "TRUTH or DARE?"
"Um... truth," Serena picked. Surely they couldn't ask her anything too bad.
"Ok, do you think Darien is gorgeous or what!?" Raye asked, drooling unashamedly.
Serena sweat-dropped big time, "EWWW!" she cried, "No WAY that big-jerk-who-does-he-think-he-is! He's SO MEAN to me!"
"Well you ARE a meatball head sometimes Serena," Raye laughed at her.
"Shut up Raye!"
"Aw calm down Serena..."
Tuxedo Mask, hidden in the Tsukina garden, sighed in frustration and amusement at the slumber party. This was going to be a problem. How could he talk to her with her friends all there? He rubbed his hand down his face and tapped his fingers against his chin thoughtfully. He had to talk to her.
Slowly the laughter died down, and one by one the girls fell asleep. Serena closed her eyes, but found herself unable to succumb to the warmth of slumber. She sighed and quietly crept from the lounge room to her room upstairs. Her body was healing and it was not so much of an effort now to climb the stairs. Entering her room, her fingers drummed along her chest of drawers, eventually finding the golden musical locket. Her fingers absently opened the locked as she leant against her open window, and sweet music began to play. Her eyes wandered over the object, reading the all too familiar words engraved inside the lid.
Together again someday.
Serena closed her eyes and let the music wash over her. She half remembered a time when a prince and a princess had pledged their everlasting love to one another.
Tuxedo Mask eyed the girl in the window nervously. He chuckled softly to himself, Tuxedo Mask, nervous? he marvelled. He breathed in deeply; it was now or never.
"Serena... Sailor Moon," he called softly. He leapt carefully onto the first floor roof that ran alongside the house under her window, revealing his presence to her. He saw her stiffen and gasp as she backed away from the window. He followed her inside, watching her swiftly turn her head to the door and knew her thoughts.
"Do not worry. I won't harm you. I only came to talk," He said softly and gently.
"Then what do you want?"
He sensed her alarm as if it were his own. Her arms were folded around her stomach and she shifted uncomfortably on her feet.
"I only wanted..." he began, trailing off.
"... us to meet," he finally finished.
Good grief did he just SAY that? This was not going according to plan.
"Meet? You are here now."
"I meant elsewhere. So we can talk about... this," he said, waving his hand in front of him as if it spoke to everything he wanted to say.
"I'll... think about it," she said softly.
It was all he could ask. He nodded his reply. He went to the window, but turned back to her one last time.
"Sailor Moon... your secret is safe with me," he promised.
She nodded awkwardly at him before backing away and fleeing from the room. He didn't stay to watch her go, but slid silently out through the window and into the night.
The next morning...
"He was HERE?" Luna gasped at Serena.
"Yes Luna," Serena replied worriedly, "He knows where I live now too."
It was mid-morning, and the Sailor Scouts were meant to be enjoying their brunch at the temple. Instead, they found themselves with an even greater problem on their hands.
"What should we do?" Raye worried, upset she hadn't been there to protect her friend.
"We need to be more vigilant than ever. Tuxedo Mask might say he will keep silent but we don't know whose side he is on yet!" Artemis piped up.
"He wants to meet with me," Serena muttered dejectedly.
"MEET with you now?" Luna cried, "WHY?"
"To talk," Serena said simply.
Luna frowned. This Tuxedo Mask fellow was a real worry. An idea suddenly came to mind.
"Serena. There is maybe something we can do," Luna said thoughtfully.
"What's that Luna?" Lita interrupted.
"Serena, I can teach you a new attack to protect yourself," Luna said slightly cryptically.
"Great. Now all we need to do is put Serena on a silver platter with some garnish for Tuxedo Mask to make off with her again," Raye said sarcastically.
"Serena, I will teach you a new attack tomorrow. I hope you can master it quickly because if you don't then we may have a long-term problem on our hands." Luna bit out, giving Raye a dirty look.
"Great, what do I do until then?" Serena said, worry reflected in her clear eyes, "Because it gives me the heebie-jeebies that he could just find me at any time!"
CHAPTER 8: ECHOES OF THE PAST
"Tuxedo Mask... the crystal!" she called to him.
"Tell me who you are!" Tuxedo Mask cried.
"The crystal... then we'll be together again, I promise..." her voice fading.
Darien woke with a start. Sweat dripped from his forehead. He groaned, hating his dreams but addicted to the intensity he felt emanating from the mysterious woman. He suddenly remembered last night and cursed. He banged his head against his pillow.
Fool. Fool. Idiot. Baka! his thoughts assailed him with malicious delight. Darien banged his head against his pillow one last time.
"I can't believe I said I wanted to meet her," he moaned to himself. His alarm clock sounded right then, reminding him of his waiting life outside his apartment. Mumbling, he showered, changed, and headed toward the library.
"I'm late again!" Serena shrieked, flying around the last corner to her school, only to crash face first into the well-muscled chest of none other than Darien.
"Ow," she said, rubbing her nose.
Two hands caught her shoulders, "Serena, are you ok?" Darien's voice invaded her ears.
She started to get angry at him – force of habit – but stopped. She actually thought she heard CONCERN in his voice. She looked up at him and was further surprised to find concern in his EYES.
She smiled gratefully, "I'm fine Darien thanks. Um, see you later. I'm late for a study meeting at my school," she said brightly.
"Are you sure? The other day at the Arcade you didn't –"
"Oh that. That's all taken care of. Sorry but I have to go. I'm late," She said, racing away.
Darien was very surprised. First, she was Serena again. Happy, smiling Serena. Second she was completely fine. Not 24 hours ago she had been in his apartment, too weak to hold her disguise and now she nary had a bruise.
Well, she is a super hero. She has to heal quickly. I do, he rationalised.
The fact that her mood had changed so dramatically was however a puzzle he had yet to work out. He frowned, disconcerted. Pushing the nagging feeling aside, he turned to walk the rest of the way to the library. His thoughts turned to the princess in his dreams, always calling him but always just out of reach, "We'll be together again, yeah right," he muttered, utterly frustrated. He wondered when he would see Sailor Moon again. What he would do. What her senshei would do to him. He groaned and pushed all these worrisome thoughts aside. He had to focus for now. He would think about the other stuff later.
Several hours later, Darien still didn't know what to do.
That afternoon Serena found herself at the temple with Luna, practising the new move.
"Serena, you must practice this new attack!" Luna commanded.
"Oh Luna I'm so tired," Serena complained. First she had the study session at the school and now she had to study some more. It really didn't agree with her.
"Come ON Serena, we have to get this right. You will only get one chance to do this and if you screw up then Tuxedo Mask will not be so easily dealt with again!" Luna commanded her mercilessly.
"Alright, alright," she whined. Gathering her focus she said the simple words and was rewarded with a burst of white light from her wand. Luna nodded, satisfied.
"So how is practice with Luna going Serena?" Raye asked, joining them.
"Ok. I think I'm getting the hang of it," Serena replied without confidence. It was true that she was getting the hang of the new attack, but something kept nagging at her. She didn't feel completely ok with using her powers against Tuxedo Mask.
"That's good Serena, keep up the practice," Lita said, appearing at the temple door, "You'll need to be prepared when you meet Tuxedo Mask."
"When will that be exactly?" Ami asked.
"I don't know, I suppose he will turn up sometime to let me know," Serena sighed.
"What should we do if he does turn up?" Mina asked, wide eyed and worried for her friend.
"We'll have to do nothing," Artemis surmised. "Serena, keep your wand with you at all times. If he tries something, you'll need to become Sailor Moon."
"Yes Serena. We won't be able to be the Sailor Scouts to protect you because he will sense our presence," Ami said sensibly, "At the first sign of trouble we will transform and rush to you, but those first few moments we won't able to help."
"This really sucks," Serena sobbed as she cried out all her fear and frustration.
"Hi Andrew," Darien said amicably, taking a seat at the bar in the Arcade.
"Hey Darien. What's up?" Andrew replied.
"Not much. Hey, how is Serena since you last saw her?" Darien enquired.
"Why do you ask Darien?" Andrew queried.
"Well she was so upset yesterday, but today I ran – I mean she ran into me and she was just fine."
"Yeah I noticed that. She and the girls were in here today giggling madly. I suppose whatever trouble there was its ok now," Andrew remarked.
"Yeah," Darien mumbled back.
"The girls are all having a sleep over at Raye's tonight too. But I expect them to come by for some pizza later," Andrew continued.
Darien suddenly perked right up.
The girls tumbled into the Arcade an hour later, giggling and shoving eachother.
"Hey Andrew, one pizza with the lot," Serena smiled at the blonde guy.
"That's all?" Andrew asked, raising an eyebrow comically.
"That's all FOR ME," Serena laughed. She turned to the others, hand on hip and eyebrow raised, "So what are you guys having?"
Sweet heaven she's beautiful, Tuxedo Mask thought under the cover of shadow as he gazed into the diner. How could he not have noticed it before; her smile, her laugh, everything? He watched the happy scene before him. Envy rose in him at her easy friendship with Andrew and the girls. Everyone around her couldn't help but love her.
What about you? said the annoying little voice.
Shut. UP, Tuxedo Mask replied in gritty tones.
He settled his body back onto his heels into a comfortable position.
Now to wait for the perfect opportunity, he thought.
He waited an hour for that opportunity. Finally the girls had paid for their meal and left the Arcade, all giggles and smiles. Tuxedo Mask sighed as he stepped in front of the Arcade window, frustrated that this was taking so long. His eyes absently looked to the table where the girls had sat only moments go and caught a glimmer of gold. Tuxedo Mask smiled. The perfect opportunity.
Andrew heard the Arcade doors slide open and shut, and felt the burst of cold night air on his back. Turning to greet the customer, he was met with only a delicate red rose that had been placed on the counter.
Serena had not walked 200 metres before she realised she had left the musical locket at the Arcade.
"Girls, you go on ahead. I'll be right behind you. I just forgot something," Serena said as she turned to spring back to the Arcade.
Racing as fast as she could she rounded the corner only to be pulled into an alley by strong arms all too familiar to her. She reacted immediately.
"Moon Prism Power!"
Her body lit up with an unearthly light that forced the arms that held her away. Her body glowed technicolour as her fuka appeared and Sailor Moon presented herself to the man standing before her. Taking her battle stance she faced him.
"What do you want!" she said defiantly, daring him to take her on.
"You forgot this," The gorgeous man in the tuxedo said, flashing an impossibly sexy smile. He dangled the musical locket before her and she made a grab for it. Laughing at her he pulled away at the last moment and she fell off balance and into his arms.
"Well, well, falling for me already huh?" he murmured, his breath caressing her cheek.
She blushed and tore away, putting her hands on her hips and giving him her most annoyed look, "Well you wanted to meet and here we are. Now what?" she demanded.
"I do want to meet you. I am here to arrange a time."
"Well, when and where then?" she snapped, becoming more and more annoyed with the infuriating hero.
"Sunday night. At the Tokyo Gardens, shall we say midnight? Senshei NOT invited," He said pointedly, "Or I'll know."
She blanched but steeled herself.
"Fine. Tomorrow then. Can I have the locket back?"
"No," he smiled. "I think I'll keep it as insurance. To make sure you turn up. I'll give it back then," he said with a grin.
She stamped her foot but nodded. Knowing she was safe until at least tomorrow night she allowed her glamour to fade and she was Serena again. She glared at him. He stared back.
"You would be defenceless before me?" he said with a hint of surprise in his voice.
She tilted her head to the side, smiled and replied, "I'm not afraid of you. If you try anything, you'll be moondusted."
Having said her piece she turned heel on him and walked out of the alley throwing him one last defiant glance as she went.
Tuxedo Mask smiled at the sassy blonde. He had never expected her to feel so good in his arms or her hair to smell like a field of flowers.
Or the urge to kiss her, a little voice insisted.
He grudgingly agreed with that voice. He frowned. His mission was for his princess, so why was he feeling this way about Sailor Moon? About Serena? Slightly frustrated he looked at the locket in his hands. He realised had never really looked at it before. He decided that now was as good a time as any to inspect the object and opened it. Sweet music began to play and he watched as a crescent shaped light made slow circles within the gold casing. His eyes wandered to an inscription on the lid.
Together again someday.
His mind reeled in shock. The princess in his dreams had lured him with that promise. An echo of long ago stirred in his memory. A girl with long flowing hair and alabaster skin and a young man his own age with dark hair; a promise made; a love shared. The girl's face cleared in his mind's eye for only a moment and then it was gone as if it were never there. She felt so familiar. He concentrated with all his strength on everything he could remember. The man, his own age with dark hair like his. The girl, young, with flowing long hair done up in...
"Meatballs!" he gasped. He fell back against the alley wall in shock, Could Serena be MY princess? he wondered. Was the princess ever mine? he added thoughtfully and with longing. Fatigue suddenly overcame him, causing him to yawn. He steadied himself and leapt toward his apartment. He would see what tomorrow night's meeting would bring.
CHAPTER 9: WORLDS COLLIDE
Serena woke up to Raye's arm flopped over her on the floor of the temple, popcorn and empty lolly packets strewn around her. She sat up quietly, seeing that the rest of the girls were still asleep. They'd had a long night giggling and chatting.
I can't believe I woke up early again! All this stress isn't good for me, she thought humorously, glad not to have lost her sense of humour - yet. Deciding not to waste the morning, she thought she would change and go for a walk around the Tokyo Gardens. Tonight she was to meet Tuxedo Mask there and she wanted to know the place inside out and gain a strategic advantage. She smiled at her cunning. Tonight, Tuxedo Mask wouldn't know what hit him. She quickly dressed and scribbled a note for her friends. With a wicked grin she sticky-taped it to Raye's forehead, then giggling she strolled casually out the temple doors and across the road into the Tokyo Gardens.
Darien rose early from bed as was his usual ritual. It was 6am on a crisp Sunday morning and he usually enjoyed a quiet stroll through the Tokyo Gardens. He grabbed his study pack, took the elevator to the lobby and stepped out into the bright morning. He walked briskly, whistling softly under his breath. His thoughts wandered to Sailor Moon – Serena. He smiled at the thought of her. It had not been 48 hours since he had discovered she was Sailor Moon and she was strangely growing on him. He thought back to all the times he had teased her, and marvelled that he had found her so annoying. Now he found her rather intriguing, not to mention her uncanny likeness to the princess of his dreams had only further fuelled the flames of mystery.
Serena you meatball head, what are you doing to me? his thoughts groaned.
He suddenly felt thoroughly annoyed. How had she managed to keep her identity secret from him for so long? She was meant to be an idle fifteen-year-old ignorant girl, and he was eighteen going on nineteen; a college student; Tuxedo Mask! He frowned, she was certainly turning out to be one of the most interesting people he had ever known. His thoughts were interrupted by the smell of roses, thousands of roses. A hint of a smile played at his lips as he delicately inspected various buds that presented their beauty to him. Finishing his inspection he found his favourite seat. He particularly liked that it was hidden behind a hedge and was relatively secluded. Settling back, his fingers found the locket that he had kept on him since finding it and suddenly felt the urge to hear that sweet song again. He lifted its lid, and the music began to play.
Serena surveyed her surroundings with a warrior's mind, identifying potential places of advantage or disadvantage. Stalking the Gardens, her eyes soaked in every detail. She frowned as she assessed the scenery around her, This is going to be difficult. There are so many small gardens and no many open spaces. If I don't keep my wits about me I could be outmanoeuvred, she thought. She was broken out of her deliberations by the sound of sweet music reaching her ears. Her head snapped to her right. The music was coming from the hedge a few metres away and it sounded just like her locket. She turned and took a step toward the sound... SNAP. She had stepped on a twig.
"Damn," she cursed. She had wanted to surprise whoever was there. She shrugged. It was no use being quiet now and walked around the hedge and to her dismay saw Darien sitting on a bench looking up at her.
"Hey meatball head," he grinned.
She ignored the jibe. "What was that music?" she asked him flatly.
He raised an eyebrow, "What music?"
Serena realised at that moment the music had stopped playing. She looked at him suspiciously, but decided it was just her imagination playing tricks on her.
"Serena. Why don't you come have a seat?" Darien asked her. Her jaw dropped. Darien was being pleasant to her? Something wasn't right.
"Why? Are you gonna glue me to the seat or something equally evil?"
"No. You've just been acting strange the past few days and I thought I would play nice until you are back to your normal meat ball self."
She glared at him.
"Aw come on Serena. I won't bite," he said playfully.
I might, she thought darkly, but outwardly she shrugged. "Alright, if you insist."
Darien had immediately snapped the locket shut and returned it to his pocket at the sound of the twig snapping. He was surprised to see Serena when she walked around the corner, and was glad she hadn't caught him with the locket. That would have been awkward to explain!
"So Serena, what was this music you were hearing?" he teased when she sat down. He may as well take advantage of the situation to have some fun with her.
"Oh. I had a musical locket that... a friend... at least I thought he was a friend... gave me. But I lost it. I thought I heard the melody playing."
"Really? What does it sound like?" he queried, all innocence.
"Um, well like this," she said, beginning to hum the tune of the locket.
"It must mean a lot to you," he teased, "So who is this friend who might not be a friend then? Is it a boy?"
She flushed slightly and looked toward the path. He smiled widely at her reaction. He was enjoying this little encounter.
"It was a boy who gave it to me yes. But I don't know if he is uh..." she trailed off.
"Interested?" Darien finished. His smile widened. If she knew he was Tuxedo Mask he was quite sure she'd probably damage him right at that moment. It made him smile all the more.
"Um, I'm not quite sure that's the word," she said, her eyes briefly narrowing for a moment.
"Oh?" he said, surprised. He studied her, seeing her eyes flash with an intelligence he had never noticed was there. He realised that she wasn't the idle ignorant girl he thought she was. She was Sailor Moon, and with that came the responsibility and wisdom to fight the battles she did. He realised she was looking at him so he quickly said mockingly "I suppose you've never had a boyfriend anyway huh? Too busy studying hard and saving the world one test at a time."
"Yeah Darien, I thought you were being nice to me today?" she managed to reply equitably.
"What, no retort meatball head?" Darien goaded.
"No," she smiled, "And to answer your question, no I have never had a boyfriend."
"Oh? Never been kissed either huh?" he said with much amusement.
"Really! Why not? Andrew unavailable?"
"Geez Darien, go for the throat why don't ya?" she laughed, strangely enjoying their playful banter. "I did have a crush on Andrew but not anymore," she said more seriously.
"Oh, and why is that?"
"For the same reason I haven't had a boyfriend and I haven't been kissed," she said simply with a faraway look on her face.
"Care to share?"
She looked directly at him and he was surprised to see a maturity well beyond her years in her face.
"Because, I just have this feeling in my heart that I'm only ever meant for one person, and when I meet him then we will be together forever," she smiled.
"Sappy," Darien said, sticking out his tongue. But inside he was a sea of emotion. He felt the same way. No girl he had ever dated had ever given him the slightest impression that she was the one for him forever. Noone except the princess of his dreams who called out to him every night...
Serena shrugged, still smiling, "I know. That's why my locket is important to me. Whenever I hear the music it's like I'm already there with him. I don't know who he is or when I'll meet him. But we will be together again."
Serena laughed, "I can't believe I just said that. Together again. How ridiculous when I haven't even met him." She pursed her lips and looked quizzically at the immobile Darien, "What's wrong Darien? Tired of playing nice?"
"Erm, uh, no," Darien choked out. He suddenly felt the need to get out of there. "Uh, look at the time!" he said desperately, sweat dropping, "Well, I hope you feel better soon Serena, then maybe we can go back to normal!"
Darien turned and walked as quickly as possible away from Serena as she watched him high-tailed it out of there.
He's so weird, she thought, chewing on her lip. Ah well, back to the temple to talk strategy.
Darien couldn't get away from the ache that welled up in his chest, Together again! his mind screamed. He stumbled back to his apartment and fell onto the bed, deeply confused and conflicted. He rubbed his hands roughly through his hair and over his face. Things had gotten so much more complicated, but he couldn't explain how or why. He still didn't know who the princess was meant to be, or why she was important, or how Serena might be – or was – her. He gripped his hair tightly in his hands and fell to the floor.
"WHY DO YOU HAUNT ME!" he cried brokenly to the ceiling.
CHAPTER 10: MOON KISSES
"THANKS for the note SERENA!" Raye yelled at her friend, pegging the crumpled up paper at her as hard as she could. The paper hit Serena and fell lightly to the ground. Serena grinned.
"Glad you got it."
"Ok girls, that's enough we have a lot of preparation to do," Luna interjected as Raye stuck her tongue out at Serena. Serena just continued to grin back at Raye.
"Yeah I know Luna, I went to the Gardens this morning. This is going to be difficult, the layout of the gardens is tight and the open areas where we could move around more freely are visible to the street," Serena said with a frown.
"You're right Serena. It doesn't help that the Gardens aren't set out well, but I'm glad you took the initiative to have a look around. You can at least have the advantage of knowing your surroundings," Artemis said approvingly.
"Yes, so let's talk strategy," Luna added as the girls gathered around.
Half an hour later...
"... So that's the plan," Luna said with pride. The girls and Artemis nodded. It was a good plan. Simple, but effective.
"We will meet at Serena's at 11:30pm and get to the Garden's early to position ourselves. Remember, don't transform until you get the signal, or else Tuxedo Mask will sense you," Luna warned.
Serena nodded, "I have to go home for lunch and then do my chores. I'll be ready for you guys at 11:30pm, right?"
"Right," the four girls replied simultaneously.
It was 10:13pm, Darien was restless. He paced his apartment back and forth before stepping out onto the balcony. He couldn't wait any longer. He needed to see her now. He spun around and suddenly a black cape billowed around his body before settling behind him to reveal Tuxedo Mask. He placed a foot on the railing and leapt from the balcony to the roof of the building across the street.
Serena sighed, it was 10:36pm and she couldn't stop pacing her room. Her heart beat wildly in anticipation of what was to happen. She sighed again and looked out of her window and into the dark night. She frowned and sighed again, turning away from the window, fiddling with her wand. She instantly regretted turning her back when a strong arm locked around her waist and a hand muffled her cry of surprise. She was drawn backward and out the window. She looked up to see the familiar eyes of Tuxedo Mask looking down on her.
"Sailor Moon," he said gently, "I'm sorry, I couldn't wait."
With that, he leapt with her away into the night. She gasped as she realised her dire predicament. She had dropped her wand.
Tuxedo Mask landed lightly in the Tokyo Gardens, but did not let Serena go. She shivered from fear, but he mistook it for chill.
"Here," he said softly. He stood in front of her and placed his arms around her shoulders, drawing her into the warm cocoon of his cape. They stood centimetres apart. He looked down at her small frame, her hair golden in the moonlight.
"Well, here we are. Seeing as you made the date you should start the conversation," she said, attempting light humour to ease her discomfort.
He frowned at her, "Why have you not transformed?"
She thanked God silently that he had not figured THAT out. "Oh, no need yet I'm sure," she said lightly.
"Oh," he replied.
They stood silent for a moment.
"Sailor Moon," he broke the silence, "Do you believe in destiny?"
"Um, I suppose," she said, confused.
"I wish I didn't," he said sadly.
"Because..." he trailed off. How could he bare his soul to her? That she unknowingly called to him every time she was Sailor Moon? That he was compelled to save her without rhyme or reason to tell him why. He looked down into her pale blue eyes that were set in perfect porcelain skin, staring up at him. He felt mixed emotions. He was so drawn to her, but at the same time he felt incredibly conflicted.
"Tuxedo Mask, what's wrong?" Serena breathed.
"Would you dance with me?" he said abruptly, surprising himself and her by the request.
"Oh. Um. We have no music?" she ventured.
He pulled out the golden locket and opened its delicate lid. Sweet music began to play. He looked at her, his heart flip-flopping with a thousand emotions. A ghost of something remembered barely registered, but it was there. He searched her eyes, desperate for answers.
"Well you think of everything don'tcha?" she smiled.
Tuxedo Mask smiled back. Taking her hand in his and placing his hand on her waist, they danced slowly to the music in the pale moonlight. The music held them hypnotized in eachother's arms, and neither of them knew why or how they had come to be this way. It seemed as though they had always been dancing and always would. Slowly their bodies inched closer together until she found her head resting on his shoulder and he rested his chin at her temple, his arms wrapped around her small waist. Their eyes met. Driven by a force of longing in his heart he bent his dark head and captured her lips in a kiss.
CHAPTER 11: FINAL CONFRONTATION
"Serena! Serena!" Raye whispered furiously at Serena's bedroom window.
"She's probably asleep," said Lita.
"She better no be," Raye replied smartly.
With a single leap Raye found herself on the roof next to Serena's window. She peered into the dark room. Silence.
"What?" Luna yawned, stepping into the room. She had been sleeping downstairs next to the heater; her favourite spot.
"Where's Serena Luna?"
"What!" Luna cried.
Raye at that moment tripped on Serena's wand. Luna gasped, realising the gravity of the situation.
"Get this broach to Serena and get it to her NOW!" she hissed.
Rayed nodded, "Ok!"
Raye took the broach and slid out the window, then jumped to the ground to face the girls.
"He came early. He has Serena and she can't transform," Raye informed them. "Lets go."
A heavy silence descended on the group and they immediately leapt away toward the Tokyo Gardens, hoping that Serena was alright.
Serena had never expected her first kiss to be like this or with him. His lips gently caressed hers as his thumb traced her jaw to her ear while his other arm curled around her waist. He gently begged entry to her mouth, running his tongue lightly across her lips and she willingly parted them for him, welcoming the warm invasion. The whole world could have ended and she wouldn't have known it wrapped in his warm embrace. The kiss slowly ended as he drew away, gazing into her eyes. She stared at him, her lips tingling.
"Serena..." he said softly, his voice husky.
"HEY GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF HER!" Jupiter's voice rang out angrily.
Serena gasped and stepped back from Tuxedo Mask and out of his embrace.
"YEAH! You into kidnapping young girls now creep?" Raye shouted.
Damn, Tuxedo Mask thought. He looked at Serena. Of course she would tell her scouts. Tuxedo Mask whirled around, hurling roses in the Sailor Scout's direction. He didn't aim to hurt them, only to scare them so he could make his escape. Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury leapt out of the way of roses.
Where is Sailor Venus? he wondered.
"VENUS LOVE CHAIN... ENCIRCLE!" her voice cried out from behind him. The chain encircled him before he could dodge it. It wrapped around him, pinning his arms to his waist. Like a hunter, Venus had caught her prey. He cursed himself his stupidity. He had let this happen. He had let his guard down.
"Sailor Moon, transform!" Mars called, tossing Serena the wand.
Serena nodded, "MOON CRYSTAL POWER!" she cried, and in an instant was Sailor Moon. Looking at Tuxedo Mask, she hesitated.
"What are you waiting for Sailor Moon?" Mercury frowned, "You know what you have to do."
Sailor Moon nodded dejectedly. It had to be done, she couldn't be assured of her safety so long as he knew.
"I'm sorry," she whispered to Tuxedo Mask.
He looked at her with wide eyes. Surely she wouldn't destroy him, but Sailor Moon began a series of graceful movements he had never seen her do before.
A new attack, he thought grimly.
She spoke the signale, "Moon Memory Kiss!" as a white light shone from her wand, lighting him with its glow.
"Sailor Moon?!" he cried. He saw a single tear fall down her cheek, but she held onto the attack. All of his memories of Sailor Moon the past three days flashed before his eyes as his mind was completely opened by the light. Everything fresh in his mind about her and every hidden unconscious image bubbled to the surface. Sailor Moon fading back to Serena, Sailor Moon hurt, her in his apartment, his dream of the Moon Princess. His head suddenly snapped back. The MOON PRINCESS, he knew now who she was. She was his princess, he had found her.
"Serena..." he pleaded with her.
As suddenly as the memories had flickered before his mind's eye they began to quickly fade. His eyes widened as he realised what was happening. "SERENA!" he screamed. He KNEW now. Serenity, his princess, his eternal love, was Sailor Moon. He couldn't forget now! Not now he had found her. "NO!" he shouted, "Sailor Moon! Serena! Please. You don't know what you're doing!" he begged.
"I'm sorry," Serena whispered.
"SERENA!" he cried as blackness began to descend upon him. He fell to his knees. "Princess..." he whispered, falling headfirst into unconscious oblivion.
CHAPTER 12: AFTERMATH
"Is he ok?" Sailor Moon asked.
Mercury fiddled with her computer. "Yes he is fine. His vital signs are strong. He is just passed out," she stated matter-of-factly.
"So, did it work?" Sailor Mars asked.
"Luna said that the attack would work, all I had to do was think about the exact things I wanted him to forget. So I made him forget everything to do with Sailor Moon and her senshei this weekend. All his memories of Sailor Moon and any connected to them were the ones I erased," Sailor Moon replied.
"What if you missed something?" Jupiter said, biting her lip.
"I didn't," Sailor Moon replied softly, but with certainty.
"What are we going to do with him now?" Mars asked, looking at the unconscious form of Tuxedo Mask.
"We should take that mask off!" Jupiter suggested.
"No," Sailor Moon commanded quietly, "It's not right and look at the trouble it caused us. We are Sailor Scouts, we must behave honourably. Jupiter, help me take him back to that apartment. He said it belonged to a friend of a friend. You girls go tell Luna I'm ok," Sailor Moon said, reaching down to help Jupiter lift Tuxedo Mask and holding Tuxedo Mask between them and leapt off into the night.
"Should have unmasked him," Sailor Mars muttered, watching them go.
At the apartment
"Sailor Moon I can't leave you here with him alone," Jupiter said pleadingly. "The last time you and he were alone he figured out-"
"No Jupiter. I will be fine. I just need to see if he is ok," Sailor Moon replied, cutting Jupiter off. Jupiter just nodded and left via the balcony. Sailor Moon turned her attention back to Tuxedo Mask. He stirred, and opening his eyes slightly. His hand went to his head.
"Ugh, what happened?"
"Shh," she cooed, "You were hit by a youma. Pretty hard," she lied.
"Oh. Where am I?"
"You are at an apartment that belongs to a friend of a friend. They aren't here right now," she lied again. "You'll be safe here till morning. Rest."
"Shh. Rest. I have to go," Sailor Moon replied. "Take care of yourself, ok?" She turned and walked out to the balcony before leaping into the night.
Tuxedo Mask rubbed his sore head again, Must've been a hard hit, he thought. He surveyed his surroundings. The room looked strangely familiar.
"This is my apartment," he said, shocked.
He looked to the balcony where Sailor Moon had made her exit. She said that this apartment belonged to a friend of a friend. Does she know someone that I know? he wondered. Sighing, he allowed his disguise to fade and he was Darien again. His head still hurt. I'll think about it tomorrow, he decided, descending into a deep sleep.
CHAPTER 13: A SHADOW REMAINS
Darien woke up with a start. Sailor Moon had been in his apartment! He couldn't believe it. Thankfully he had been disguised as Tuxedo Mask at the time. She couldn't know who he was. But she had said this apartment belonged to a friend of a friend. He growled, frustrated.
Just who is this friend that links us? he wondered.
He lay back into the pillow, trying to remember the events of last night. He found he couldn't and grew more frustrated. He got up out of bed and tossed some fresh clothes on. He needed some fresh air.
Serena smiled, welcoming the day. So what if it was Monday? She had protected herself last night, preventing a catastrophe AND on top of that it was a student free day! It couldn't get any better than that. For the third time in a row she realised she had woken early in the morning. She squealed with delight when she remembered the kiss she and Tuxedo Mask had shared last night! She blushed, remembering the grilling she got from the girls when they asked what Tuxedo Mask had wanted with her when she had returned home to find them waiting for her and how she had stuttered some lie – she'd NEVER tell what really happened. Her skin flushed – her first kiss! She sighed happily and a thought crept into her mind. She quickly dressed and danced down the stairs and out the door.
Arriving at the Tokyo Gardens she stopped in the spot where IT had happened. Opening her locket she let the music wash over her as she swayed slowly to its rhythm.
"Meatball head, what are you doing?" a voice interrupted her reminiscing.
"Hi Darien!" she laughed. She flung her arms out wide and spun around in a lazy circle.
"What is WRONG with you?" Darien asked. Man she is acting weird, he thought.
"I got my first kiss..." she sighed, her eyes half closed in the memory of it.
Darien half-remembered talking to her yesterday morning, but the memory was foggy. He remembered she hadn't had a boyfriend yet... his thoughts trailed off and he shook his head. Something was just out of his reach, and he couldn't put his finger on what it was.
"...and it was wonderful."
Darien felt something akin to jealousy at the moment, but would forever deny its presence.
"Oh really? Did you get a boyfriend so quickly Serena?" he said, his eyebrow arched.
She stopped twirling, "Uh, no."
"So you kissed a strange guy?" he half-exclaimed, both eyebrows raised now.
"Well, he wasn't quite strange. We have known each other for a little while," she said softly, her eyes sparkling. "Besides, he kissed me first!" she squealed with delight and resumed twirling. Darien laughed at her innocent joy.
"So I suppose I will see him at the Arcade. I'll have to warn him of your klutzy ways," Darien chided her, teasing.
She stopped spinning again, her smile fell.
"What's wrong?" he asked, seeing the change.
"You can't tell anyone I just told you this stuff." she said, looking into the distance.
"Because uh... its complicated. The girls don't even know," she admitted.
He suddenly heard soft music playing, the tune sounding familiar to him.
"Complicated huh? I know all about that. What's that music?" he asked.
"Oh its just my locket. I found it," Serena said.
"Oh, it sounds really familiar," Darien said absently as memories of a princess and a kiss under the moonlit Tokyo Sky stirred in his conciousness. He suddenly broke into a wide grin.
"Darien, are you ok?" Serena asked, seeing his smile.
"Yeah Serena, I'm ok. Are you?"
"Good so things are back to normal? Whatever was bugging you this past weekend is ok now?"
"Great, then I can stop the nice act. Well see you later meatball head. I suppose I'll see you klutzing up again soon," he mocked, back to his usual teasing ways.
"You're such a jerk Darien," Serena said lightly, sticking her tongue out at him.
He shrugged and walked away from the still giggling smiling girl. He couldn't help but smile himself. He remembered. His princess had been with him last night. He could still taste her kiss on his lips and her warmth in his arms. The memory was barely there, that youma must have hit me really hard, but he knew with all his being that she was real.
"We will be together again princess, just like you said. I'll free you," he whispered.
Serena continued to twirl to the music of the locket, a secret smile playing on her lips. So she hadn't told the entire truth to the Scouts. Yes she had wanted Tuxedo Mask's memories of her being Sailor Moon erased, but she had also specifically wanted him to remember their kiss. She had allowed just a shadow of the encounter to remain. It made her heart glad to think that a little piece of him would always remember her. She giggled again and fell down on the grass to stare up at the wide blue sky. Maybe one day she'd be so lucky as to have a second "first kiss" with him.
To everyone who has responded: I KNOW! I am so frikken evil! Mwahaha. But that's the ending I wanted. I love their star-crossed love, and I also wanted to stay true to the first season where they don't find out until the end who each other is. It broke my heart to write the ending but its such a perfect perfect way to finish the story. I just love cliff hangers and endings that make you want more!
With regard to making a sequel - watch this space. I have decided to call it "Remember me this way". I expect to have the full version up in the next two weeks (I hate unfinished stories).
Thank you all for your reviews. I am delighted that you liked it and I know I just loved writing it. I was really sad to find out only a few weeks ago that the anime had finished (I have only just gotten back into Sailor Moon after many years), but fanfiction well and truly keeps it alive in our hearts!
The sequel is now up.