A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Benjamin A. Oliver
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.
This is a blatant SI. You have been warned.
August 20, 2002
Hmm. A few months and a bit of work brings us the third part of a theoretical 4-5 part series. Only because people said they wanted it continued was it continued… And this is the result.
So, what has gone before? Basically, an author and a prereader, Ben and Jason, went on an SI into what they had hoped was the Ranmaverse, but instead ended up inside Chibiusa's head, of Sailor Moon fame.
And now it continues…
[Begin Gratuitous Self-Insertion Venture, Part Three!!!]
Funky mists swirled in the secret hideout of the Witches Won and the Wizards Too. Doctor Dementoe plunked away on the horribly Paleolithic Tandy 1 computer while listening to blues music with some headphones while Professor Kalypsoe crashed on the ratted-up sofa. The only Witch of the mercenary crew talked on the phone with their boss.
"WHADDAYAH-MEAN-YA-DON-WANTA-USEDA-JADEMONKEY?!!?!?!" Subcomandante Chidisyte screamed into the Deathbusters' telephone, nearly crushing the reinforced carbon fiber receiver in her hand. "We went ta AWL THAT trubble, n' NOW you sez you wanted da Holy Grail-Moon Chalice-thingamahjiggar!"
Doctor Dementoe laughed quietly to himself as he examined the data on the yellowing computer in front of him. He glanced at the sixteen-year-old woman with pink hair that was his commander, then noticed an odd buzzing in his head. "Zhee faeries are bak, it zheems." He turned to the long-haired man lying on the couch. "Iz it nut zho?"
"Yeah, stupid fairies," Professor Kalypsoe groaned and turned over, still trying to catch a few zees after not having slept a wink in the past couple weeks. "Never let me get any rest." He held his head. "@#$^#@ buzzing and your @^@#$^& Swiss accent…"
"Eet'z FRENCH!" Dementoe protested, his eyes aflame behind his goggles.
"Yeah, whatever. Pardon MY French, too, buddy."
"I mean," Professor Tomoe replied on the fuzzy line, "that the Jade Monkey does not have the right type or amount of energy that we need to properly conduct Pharaoh Ninety to this world." He drew a long breath. "Please try to understand, Chidisyte," he added in a reassuring tone, "none of us knew that it wouldn't work. You and your men did a wonderful job on getting us the Jade Monkey—"
"Dern straightly!" Chidisyte agreed in her gruffly girly voice.
"We were up 'gainst a buncha animal-bred farces in some dumpy enemy pizza-fact'ry! 'Lypsie nearly quit right then n' there!"
Kalypsoe sneezed. Dementoe handed him a tissue. "Yehabddrah…"
"So, you can appreciate our dire situation." Tomoe added with a sigh. "Chidisyte, we need you and your men. If you can complete just another couple missions for us, I can arrange to have a few daimons created to place under your command for support in battle."
"Daymans?!" Chidisyte screeched, bits of the phone falling out from between her fingers. "Aye don't need none a' dat hokey-pokey funky voo-doo junk! Me n' mah guyz can handle wotevah you wants us ta due, right, boyz!?" She turned toward her companions.
Kalypsoe snored while Dementoe shrugged.
The Subcomandante frowned, then turned her attention back to the phone. "Well, we gotcha yah STUPID Jade Monkey, diddin'we?!"
Professor Tomoe chuckled lightly. "That's the spirit, girl!"
"So tell me wot'chew wants done, Doc!" Chidisyte blared, enthusiastically munching on a chilled carrot stick. "We c'n take it!"
"I want you to find those of pure heart to bring in so we can drain their life-force, thereby allowing us to spawn daimons."
"Wot issit wit'chew n' yer daymans anyway, Doc?"
"We will need them to search for the Talismans and thereby enable us to summon the Chalice."
"N' then let us call that Egyptian-dress-weirdo, Pharaoh Nightie," Chidisyte completed the professor's thought. "Yeah, I got'cha." She ran her fingers through her short, wavy hair. "So, like, do we get paid on cummisshun 'er somethin' like that?"
"If you can get me someone with a pure heart, I will gladly see to it that you are paid well. Very well indeed! BWAHA HA HA HA HA HAAAA!" Tomoe laughed again, long and hard. "BWAHA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
Chidisyte frowned and held the phone away at arm's length while her current employer continued to chuckle evilly and maniacally. After eight seconds of this, she raised an eyebrow.
"Hey, could you tell that jerk to shut up?!" Professor Kalypsoe shouted, grabbing the girl's arm and pushing the phone away from his ear.
Chidisyte hung up the cracked receiver and turned to her companions. "Hey! I got some good news fer us awl! We're gonna get anudder paycheck from Tomoe if we c'n get SOME-one wit'a pure heart that we can drag in and have 'em drain."
"Exzelendt!" Doctor Dementoe exclaimed, adjusting his dark goggles.
Kalypsoe turned his head. "Hmmm. Coolness." He snatched a blanket and twirled it around his face.
Chidisyte jumped up and kicked over the couch, sending it and the professor flying across the metal-strewn room. Kalypsoe slammed up against the opposite wall, upside-down with his arms and legs splayed, screaming in surprise, "WHOOOOOAAA!!!"
Chidisyte grabbed her drowsy subordinate as he slid to the floor and lifted him up by the back of his collar before tossing him in front of the lockers. "C'mon, 'Lypsie! This ain't the time ta be fallin' asleep! We got work ta do!"
Whistling calmly, Doctor Dementoe saved his data, waited a couple of minutes for the little light to go off on the 8-inch floppy drive, then switched off his computer. He hobbled over to grab his eight-million-volt cattle prod, yanking the cord out of its high-yield socket.
Chidisyte cartwheeled over to her locker, disabled the blinking security device, and turned the dial. "Six, thurtein, fortie-too."
*Click!* The metal door swung open and the girl put away her white lab coat, showing off her bright red spandex outfit underneath, then grabbed one of her ultra-high-caliber Gatling guns. She paused in thought for a little while, then snatched a couple chains of special, non-lethal rubber ammunition before closing the large storage unit. "Yeah, the Doc wants 'em alive."
"Jhow mennie do vhee needt tu capdture?" Dementoe asked.
"Eh," Chidisyte shrugged, "he just wanted someone with a pure heart. Do we know anyone like that?"
The three Deathbusters looked at each other for a while.
"Like, Madonna?" Kalypsoe suggested.
Dementoe scratched his head. "Zherrie Lewiss?"
"Naaaaah," Subcomandante Chidisyte said, dismissing the others' suggestions with a wave of her hand, "wot we need is someone with, like, a really pure heart."
"I met this nice girl in Elementary School," Kalypsoe whispered, looking up and putting a hand to his chin, "I thought she was kind of pure."
"Do jhuu rrrrremember vhere she lives?" Dementoe asked.
"All I remember is the name I called her," Kalypsoe admitted, brushing a lock of hair out of his eyes, "which was Chibi-Susa. She had an attitude and a grip like no one else."
Dementoe looked at Chidisyte. "Iz not your name truly Azusa, Subcomandante? Did you not also attendt zhee elementarie zchool vhith zhis mhan?"
"Heh," Professor Kalypsoe laughed while nodding. "Yeah, she shure did. I was in sixth n' she was in first. She had, like, this MAJOR crush on me."
*PANG!* Subcomandante Chidisyte clocked him up the side of the head with her chain of copper casings, sending him reeling backward against a huge stack of LPs. "Did not, now quit sayin' I wuz pure!" she yelled, her eyes welded shut with the hint of a blush appearing in her cheeks while trying her best to repress a smile. "I wuz not!"
"Dudette… Like, I stand corrected," Kalypsoe muttered.
The young woman with pink hair casually slung her ammo back over her shoulder and asked, "So really, who's it gonna be that we try to take in fer Tomoe?"
Kalypsoe and Dementoe looked at each other, then faced the pink-haired young woman. "Keiichi Morisato?" they asked in unison.
Subcomandante Chidisyte folded her arms and nodded. "Yeah! We'z gonna go over to his place, blast those chicks he's got hangin' around n' raid that temple he's got. Then we'll bring 'em in fer sum lab x'periments. Sound like fun to y'all?"
"Yeh," Kalypsoe agreed.
"Vhat are vhee vaiting fhor?" Dementoe asked, motioning toward the door. "Vhee've gut bills to pay!"
"Ain't dat da truth?" Chidisyte laughed.
Professor Kalypsoe yawned and slumped back onto the overturned couch. Moments later he was asleep again.
Chidisyte slapped her forehead. "Hey! Wake up, Lypsie!" She walked over and picked him up by the shirt with one hand and started to shake him around violently. "HEY! Darkylocks! Get'cher hiney in gear n' get up here right now!" She shook him around some more. "Quit countin' sheep, maaan! Way-kuuuup!"
*KERACK!* Suddenly, one of Professor Kalypsoe's shoulders popped out of its socket from the force of the girl's hold.
"Please wake up, Chibiusa-chan," the elementary school teacher whispered, gently shaking the quietly snoozing girl.
"Huh? Whaaaat?" the little girl with a puffy pink cotton-candy hairstyle asked sleepily, glancing around, her head still resting on her arms on the top of the small desk.
The little boys and girls around her giggled mockingly.
The teacher sighed sadly at the student. Falling asleep in the middle of her explanation was very bad form indeed. She didn't want to be mean, but as a good instructor, she should at least try to teach the new girl a little lesson about paying attention in class.
"Tsukino-san, I was asking you to solve a problem for the class."
Chibiusa blinked. "You were?" She paused, rubbing her eyes.
"Uhh, I was listening. Just resting my eyes. Really."
"Well, no. Actually, I conked out. Don't ask me why. I like how you're teaching — I don't know what happened. But I was paying attention to everything else."
The teacher nodded and started to scribble a few things on the board. Calling upon the courses required for her teaching degree and certification, she wrote up a moderately difficult calculus problem.
"If you were listening, you should be able to solve this and explain how."
"Oooooooh!" The class collectively grinned at the plight of the transfer student.
Chibiusa stood, straightening out her yellow tee-shirt and orange bib-overall-dress, and swaggered confidently over to the chalkboard. She stretched out her arms, grabbed a piece of chalk and started going through all the steps.
Four minutes and half a chalkboard of scribbling later, the girl smiled and nodded to herself. "The answer is," she breathed.
"Yes?" the teacher asked.
"Forty-two!" Chibiusa finished dramatically, drawing a box around her answer with four quick strokes. She turned around to fold her arms and grin at the class.
"Oooh, very impressive," the teacher complimented the girl's work, lightly patting her on the back, "but you've forgotten something very important."
Chibiusa frowned and looked back at the chalkboard, examining her work in detail. "Integrate with respect to ex under a closed interval… one to seven… ex squared over six… adding it all up… Integrating with respect to why… adding all that in…" She looked back up at the teacher. "Yup! It's forty-two."
"Think harder," the teacher urged. "It's right under your nose."
Chibiusa hunkered down, deep in thought.
"Waaaait," the girl finally said, narrowing her eyes as she suddenly recognized the paradox. "This isn't a math class! It's a SCULPTING class!!!"
The teacher politely applauded and smiled. "So glad you've noticed." She laughed pleasantly to herself at the girl's expense. "Are you ready to pay attention now?"
The whole room burst into laughter.
The girl bowed her head and grabbed her forehead as if someone had just shouted at her. "Uhhh, yeah, sure…" She stumbled back over to her desk, beet red with embarrassment.
"I can't believe you signed us up for this #$^@#^ sculpting class!" Jason screamed at Ben in annoyance as he floated along in Chibiusa's mental ether. "We're @$^#$&#$ SUPPOSED to be finding a way outta here, REMEMBER?!"
"Hey!" Ben replied. "I gotta broaden my horizons, don't I?"
"Heh. Why don't you &@%@$!! $@#? @#$^@^@ ^&% go 'broaden your horizons' looking for the exit function or maybe those @#$^@#& Otakufic features you were bragging to me about?!"
"I wasn't bragging. And that's no fun. That'd be cheating!"
"I WANT those features, Ben!!!"
"Cheating takes the flavor out of things."
"So?! Give 'em to me! Now!!!"
Something suddenly occurred to Ben. "Wait a second, weren't you that one guy who spent ten thousand dollars on an ICE hardware debugger to hack the latest Unreal Online Tournament to give yourself unlimited ammo?"
"No," Jason replied, "but whoever he was, he sure had the right idea! We're gonna need a lot more firepower than this kid's dinky 'Pink Sugar' thingy. A whole @#!%!@# of a ton more!"
"Jason, aren't we supposed to be having fun with this?"
"Are YOU having fun yet???"
"Well, I, ummm…"
Chibiusa listened with chagrin to the inner conversation.
"There, now you go dig those @#$^!#!$!!!% up."
"All right, all right, I'll look it up and try to remember."
Jason chuckled in anticipation. "What kind of stuff could we get?"
"Well," Ben replied silently, grabbing a hunk of clay and beginning to mold it to his chosen form. "It had an invincibility option, a users' choice of controllable Jusenkyou curses, shape-shifting, and another option to power up any character to their maximum level, and give 'em any training and all the magical or technological upgrades they could possibly get."
"Hey, that could've been helpful. What else?"
"It was supposed to have this way to amplify any character's strength and power up to a hundred times on top of their maxed-out status. Then there was this thing that they had in alpha testing for copying attacks from other series just by calling out its name."
"You mean, like, casting the Dragon Slave just by saying it?"
"Yyyyyeah, probably. That's what it said."
"So what's the catch? It'd be great! I even know the words."
"I didn't see the part that told how to enable the cheat functions."
"But you can find out, right, Ben?"
"I doubt it. The documentation's on my computer back home. I only glanced through it once."
"…" Jason didn't respond at first, but instead seemed to be suppressing a long string of obscenities. "@#%@%@! %#@#%@% @%#@#!!! Okay… Okaaaaay. I guess I've gotten used to that from you. But try to figure out how to get all that, okay?!"
"I'll do all I can," Ben started to agree, then paused in thought, putting Chibiusa's fists on the girl's hips. "Hey, whose trip is this anyway?"
"I'm taking command, as of last week."
"Would you two please be quiet?!" the disembodied Chibiusa cried. "I'm enjoying this! I like sculpting." She would have sighed if she were in control. "I just wish Hotaru-chan could have come."
"She goes to Mugen Gakuen," Ben noted in thought as the clay began to take shape under Chibiusa's fingers. It was starting to look a bit like a caricature of a seal. "She's too busy to take these sorts of things on the side."
"Maybe we can go see her later," Chibiusa suggested. "I like her. She's nice."
"Me too. Ben, we're going to see Hotaru afterwards!"
"Waiwai!" exclaimed Chibiusa.
"How about after going 'home' and having lunch?" Ben asked, as Chibiusa's tummy rumbled. "The spore's getting hungry."
"Who're you calling a spore?!" Chibiusa whined.
"It's a term of endearment," Jason flatly lied. "Like, 'oh, what a cute little spore!'"
"Or," Ben added enthusiastically, "there's a pink spore at the door. Should we let her in, or leave her to sprout on the mat?"
"Oh, okay, I get it now," Chibiusa replied with a high level of feigned comprehension.
Ben rubbed Chibiusa's forehead, wincing at how sore it had become over the past few days. "By the way, we're going to have to find some new alternative for some of the morning routine."
"Like what?" Jason asked. "There's NO @#%!@#% way I'm gonna sit back and watch the spore here bathe. OR get dressed."
"And I still don't want either of you watching," Chibiusa agreed. "I've gotta have some privacy, you know!"
"It was a creative solution for the first few times," Ben said, "but it can get a bit old."
"What do you mean?" Jason asked. "I think it works fine."
One beautiful morning at the Tsukino residence, a triad of minds was faced with a dilemma.
"Chibiusa!" Usagi called impatiently from the bathroom. "Are you going to bathe today, or what?!"
Still on the bed, trying to live his dream of being able to sleep in past five o'clock in the morning, Jason groaned, "Shut uuuuuuuuuup!"
"That's Usagi, taking a bath or whatever it is Japanese people do in the tub or furo or whatever," Ben noted. "Chibiusa takes baths with her on a regular basis."
Jason shot Chibiusa's eyes open. "What?!"
"What?!" Chibiusa sputtered as her consciousness came into focus, then took decisive action.
*BZZRT!* The girl took over, and instantly got red-faced.
"Um, you guys? I can't have you hang around while we take our baths!"
"I'm doomed," Jason moaned as the horror of the situation settled in. "Some things I don't want to have to see…"
"We could do the mental equivalent of rolling our eyes and try to block out all sensory perception," Ben suggested.
"Why couldn't you have gotten me into Ryouga?!" Jason lamented. "I could've been in bed with Akane right about now!"
Chibiusa did a mental double-take and blinked several times while her groggy body adjusted to the idea of being awake again. "What…?"
*BZZRT!* Jason took control again. "All right, then, there's only one thing to do." He rolled out of bed, took a deep breath, stumbled from the headrush, and trudged toward the door. He turned aside, and…
*WHAM!!!* With Chibiusa's head imbedded deeply into the wall, Jason lost consciousness, leaving Ben in control.
"YOW!" Ben yelped. He yanked the child's face out of the impression and sat down, panting heavily. "Now that you mention it," he said after a moment, "that's not such a bad idea!"
Chibiusa realized what was going on. "No, don't—"
*THWACK!!!* This time, the girl's head broke through the sheetrock and hit hard against the supports beneath.
"WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" Chibiusa cried as she slipped back into control of her body. "That hurt, you two!"
The lack of response inside her cranium alerted her to the fact that she was, for the moment, alone.
"Hey," Chibiusa whispered, "that worked!"
Usagi walked in, wearing a bathrobe. Her jaw dropped at the scene before her. "Umm, Chibiusa? Why is your head stuck in the wall?!"
"I, uh, tripped?" The little girl tried to pull her head out, but did not succeed. "Can you help me please, Usagi?"
"We get to bash her head in every single morning!" Jason said. "What could be better than that?"
"You guys had better be joking," Chibiusa muttered.
"Maybe a meditation technique would be less painful for the poor girl?" Ben suggested while he scraped some additional details into his clay creation. Michiru walked in from the painting studio next door and started to wash out a small plastic water tub at the sink in the back.
Ben smiled with Chibiusa's little mouth and waved at the aqua-haired woman in the light-blue dress. "Hi, Michiru!"
Almost startled, Michiru turned her head around to look at the tri-minded individual. "Ah, hello, Chibiusa-chan," she said calmly, but cautiously, then continued working on her task. She glanced back suspiciously several times before walking out.
"Ben, she doesn't know that we know that she's Sailor Neptune,"
Jason warned. "Let's keep it that way for now. We need every advantage we can get. Especially since I let them know that we know where the talismans are."
"Well," Ben replied silently, "we've already got a pretty big advantage. We do know just about everything that's going to happen in this series, barring any major changes we're about to inflict."
"Oh yeah, you know everything that's going to happen, don't you?" Chibiusa said. After a moment's thought she urgently added, "Nothing's gonna happen to Hotaru-chan, is it?"
"No," Jason replied, "not if I've got anything to say about it." He paused. "Heh, not if BEN quits making all these detours along the way."
"It was Chibiusa's idea," Ben replied, examining the clay he'd been molding. "Ah," he said aloud, tilting up the tray so he could get a better view, "an ArbyFish!"
"That's very good," a nine-year-old boy standing next to them commented. Ben faced him.
Chibiusa noticed that the boy had dark brown hair and wore jeans and a white shirt. "Oooh! He's cute!"
"Shh," Ben replied quietly, then to the boy he added in a cockney accent, "'Ello. 'Ow are you?"
"What is it supposed to be?" the boy asked, then snapped his fingers in realization. "I know! A seal, right?"
*BZZRRRT!* Chibiusa suddenly took control. Smiling dreamily, she replied aloud, "Yeah, that's right. I'm Chibiusa. What's your name?"
"Tsuzuki Masanori," the boy replied with a slight bow.
"Hey!" Ben protested. "It's not a seal, Chibiusa! It's an ArbyFish!"
"Shh!" Chibiusa said under her breath.
"Heh," Jason chuckled, "she sure told you off."
If Ben could have found an image of Jason, he would have glared at it. "Hmmmmmmmmmm!"
Masanori looked at the seal-like creature in the tray. "You know, if it's a seal, then its snout could use a little more clay here," he modified the sculpture's nose, "and its flippers would be a lot better like this," he further modified the clay creation.
"Hey!" Ben nearly shouted. "He messed it up!"
Blushing slightly, Chibiusa watched the boy work.
"There," Masanori said, taking a step back, "now it looks more like a cute little seal."
"You're right!" Chibiusa exclaimed. "You're great, Masanori-kun!"
The boy laughed nervously with a hand behind his head. "Oh, it was nothing."
"Yeeech!" Ben mentally spat. "Arby's turning over in his 'shroom-infested grave, he is!"
Jason chuckled malevolently. "Well, you can at least take comfort in the fact that he's gonna be the Deathbusters' next victim."
Ben examined Masanori's appearance and recalled the episode in question. "Hey, yeah, he is. The clay-whiz-guy that gets his pure heart ripped out…"
*BZZRT!* Ben took control and said, "So why wait?" He reached up in an attempt to grab Masanori by the neck with both tiny hands. "He must pay…"
"Hey! Stop that!" the disembodied Chibiusa shouted.
*BZZRT!* Jason took control and said to Masanori, "Yeah, that's good, but we're trying to improve my work, not yours. Thanks for the help, but I think I should handle this one on my own."
"Oh!" the boy laughed nervously again, scratching the back of his neck. "That's right, isn't it? Sorry about that. Just trying to be courteous and all that, you know."
"Of course," Jason added coolly, keeping Chibiusa's expression neutral, inwardly twitching.
Hesitating a couple of times, as if feeling a thread of Destiny suddenly tearing loose and thwapping him in the face, Masanori focused back on his own sculpture.
"…" Ben steamed slowly.
Jason quickly undid some of Masanori's modifications on Ben's clay sculpture. "Heh. You gotta watch that temper, Ben," he whispered calmly, smiling to himself.
"What'cha have to go and do that for?" Chibiusa whined. "I wanted to get to know him better. I'm trying to make friends!"
"It's a matter of interstellar security," Jason flatly lied. "But seriously, Ben. You need to watch your mouth around here. Any action you might take could, like, seriously undermine our plan for getting out of here." He redid the outlines and other details on the ArbyFish. It was actually starting to look like it might leap up and start going off on a rant about mushrooms any second now.
"Interstellar security," Chibiusa muttered to herself. "So Masanori-kun is a criminal from another galaxy?"
"Something like that," Jason replied, "but he's out of our jurisdiction." Chuckling to himself, he turned his thoughts to Ben. "There, your sculpture's all better now. Heh, don't cry."
"…" Ben's three dots spoke a million paragraphs of annoyance.
"My advice," the Florida-dweller continued, "is that you stay out of this and let me handle the action. You'll just end up embarrassing yourself or get upset and snap at people when things don't go your way—"
*Crash!* Some boy slipped on a piece of wet clay, accidentally throwing a very heavy metal tray full of clay into the air, which promptly dropped its center of gravity directly onto Chibiusa's right foot.
"#$^#$& @#$&@# ^&@^!!!" Jason yelled and grimaced in pain. He pulled Chibiusa's foot out from under the pile of materials and hopped around on one foot while holding the other. "WOULD YOU $!@#%## WATCH WHERE YOU'RE !@@#^^& @^&@ GOING, YOU @#$^#&@ ^#^&@@# ^%@!##$ KID!"
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" the poor boy pleaded, scooping up his dropped materials in much the manner a tormented serf would clean up a broken glass dish.
"Err, Chibiusa-san?" the teacher began uneasily, visibly taken aback. "What happened? Did the tray fall on you?"
"YES, YOU @$#^@$& #&#@$*# **##*!!!" Jason cursed long and loudly, gripping the window sill and kicking the wall several times with all his might as the entire classroom watched in shock. "THAT !@#%@^?@#^ HURTS, YOU @#^%@$& ^@$&@$ KNOW!!! @!%!@#^ !@#^!^# @^$#%*# $%*%$^!!!"
"A closed mouth gathers no foot," Ben quoted sagely, not without a great deal of satisfaction.
"Shut up!" Jason shouted in agony, grinding his teeth and rubbing Chibiusa's small toes against the inside of her shoe, trying to deaden the nerve endings. "&&@#%#& $%!!&^# $%($*^# &^$##!$ @#$@#$&!!!"
"Ooooh," Ben laughed, "scary."
Chibiusa wanted to tell Jason in an equally powerful fashion to watch his mouth, but soon discovered to her horror that her small vocabulary was insufficient to combat his colorful, extensive and experienced dictionary of obscenities.
"His father and grandfather were sailors," Ben explained. "What were yours?"
"My mommy was a Sailor," Chibiusa replied. "She never said anything like that." She thought about that. "Well, only that one time when I was hugging Mamoru a while back."
Wincing from the outburst, the teacher rushed over to the pink-haired girl and took her by the shoulders, ushering her out of the room. "It's okay! We'll get you to the nurse and have that taken care of. Just stop swearing already!"
"@#%#$%& #%$^&#$ &#$%@!!!"
"They did WHAT?!" Professor Tomoe asked over the phone.
Eudial of the Witches Five sighed, leaning against the edge of her computer desk, and started to explain it as best she could. "They totaled the van." She typed in a few things. "They sent some sort of midget ninja to take it, ran over the daimon, and crashed it into a pole at high speed."
"Midget ninja?" Tomoe echoed darkly.
"All right," Eudial stated, "it was a nine year old girl with strange hair. She and an accomplice crashed my vehicle."
"Have you discovered who they are?"
"I didn't see who was helping her, but there's something odd about the girl that was driving." Eudial looked up at the computer screen and typed in a few more things. "I can't seem get a match on her. I saw her when she got out of the van and I have a very good memory. She simply is not in any of my databases. It's like she appeared out of nowhere!"
"She's probably one of the Sailor Senshi. I'll try to find out a bit more, but in the meantime, I have a favor to ask."
"What is it?"
"Could you lend me another car, preferably one with better security features than the last?"
There was a long pause. "Very well, but…"
"Did you leave anything in the van that could be traced back to us? The license plate? The registration?"
"No, nothing," Eudial said, but after another moment's thought slapped her forehead, cursing under her breath.
"Did you forget something, Eudial?"
Eudial quickly regained her composure. "Ah, nothing whatsoever, Professor. Nothing at all."
"Good. Come down to the lab when you are ready. I want to show you something."
Eudial nodded. "Of course, Professor." She put down the phone and buried her face in her hands in frustration. "My drivers' license!"
Haruka met Michiru outside the school building.
"So," the blonde began as the shorter woman approached, "what do you think about the little girl?"
Michiru backed up against the wall, then lowered her eyes and shook her head. "There is definitely something very strange about this 'Chibiusa.'"
"I could've told you that," Haruka replied, grinning slightly.
"She goes through these horrible mood swings." Michiru looked serious. "But it seems like it's more than that. It's unnatural and very unnerving; like she was possessed or something."
Haruka nodded. "Yeah, I guess I can see that, too." She shrugged. "Even though she's so young, we have to consider the possibility that she could be with the enemy."
Michiru sighed sadly. "I certainly hope not. Many sacrifices have already been made, but to have to get rid of a child as well…"
Then she remembered the art class. "But something is definitely wrong with her."
"Where did she learn that kind of language, anyway?"
"I have no idea. On the other hand, if she does know where the talismans are and can guide us to them, then we should be able to minimize any other kinds of losses." She looked up at the other woman. "Did you get a chance to check up on our 'friend', Eudial?"
Haruka chuckled a little when she took out the license and looked at the prized piece of laminated plastic. The photograph had a bad picture of a moderately attractive redheaded woman with red eyes. She looked over at her companion. "I went by her apartment."
"Was she there?"
"Did you find anything unusual?"
"Other than the fact that she sleeps in a queen-sized bed and has a very limited wardrobe?" Haruka shook her head. "Not really. Her neighbors didn't seem to know much about her, either."
Michiru nodded. "We can pay her a real visit later. For now it's more important that we find out where the talismans are."
"On the other hand," Haruka considered, "it might be useful to know where the Deathbusters are hiding. If we could capture Eudial, that would help. But how?"
"Hmm… I have an idea."
The five sets of shoes left near the entrance of the Tsukino household bore testament to the fact that Usagi had visitors. Also, since Usagi was hunting through the kitchen in search of food, her visitors were apparently quite hungry, as well.
"Isn't there anything left?" the blonde mused while going through an in-depth search of a cupboard. Finding nothing that she could use, she moved on to the refrigerator. There were some vegetables in it, but not much else. Usagi sighed in worry. "Come on! Why couldn't there be at least something around here?"
Then, the girl discovered that the oven was hot, and full of a large pan of fried chicken. "Ah!" she said. "Here it is! Looks good, too."
"Here you are, everyone!" Usagi announced to the two cats and the other four girls in the room as she placed the pan of chicken on the table in front of them. "Help yourselves!"
Luna sat up in surprise. "Where did you get that chicken from?"
Artemis looked at the food with his eyes full of fear. "I hope YOU didn't make it, Usagi…"
"It was in the oven," Usagi beamed, holding up a saucy wing. "I think Mom made it for us."
"Ah, good," Rei sighed in relief, "then there's no problem in eating it."
Beside Rei, Makoto developed a large drop of sweat on her brow and edged away from the black-haired girl.
Ami clapped her hands together in joy. "Right. We don't want to get food poisoning before taking the exams, do we?"
Minako nodded in agreement.
Usagi, noting the cynicism, looked at her friends and asked, "Hey, what do you mean by that…?" She held up the serving fork menacingly.
"Uhhh, nothing! Nothing," Makoto said, picking up a few pieces of chicken and handing them to the others near her. "Here, here, and here."
Once everyone got a leg, a wing, a thigh or a breast, they started eating.
Minako discovered that she enjoyed the flavor, though it tasted a little different than normal meals or even Kentucky Fried Chicken. "Wow, run and run away," she quoted, "you'll never catch the chicken man, huh?"
"Minako," Makoto said between bites, "I think your sense of humor is running low these days…"
Rei nodded in agreement, and Usagi added, "True, true…"
Suddenly, there was a quick knock at the door, and in the next instant, Chibiusa took a step inside.
"Hey," the little girl said, "anybody seen the chicken I was keeping warm in the oven?"
Everyone froze in shock and looked down at the mostly-devoured meal of fowl. "Errrrrrrrrr, uhhhhhh," everyone stuttered with their eyes wide.
After a tense moment, the puffy-pink-haired girl tilted her head and asked. "Did you know you're eating my famous hand-made Beer-Can Chicken?"
"S-so," Ami stuttered, "this wasn't for us?"
Minako shook her head in disapproval. "Ooooooooh, shame on you, Usagi."
"Beer-Can Chicken?" Makoto whispered to herself in disbelief. "That's a new one… Maybe sake-chicken, but beer-can chicken?"
"Well!" Rei stood up and posed dramatically. "In the name of Mars," she said, taking up an aggressive posture, "I will punish Usagi!" Rei reached over and lightly flicked her index finger into the blonde's forehead.
Usagi crashed onto her back as if hit by the force of a club. "Traitors," she whispered in a daze.
"I made it for Hotaru and me, but…" Chibiusa shrugged. "Eh, it's okay." She grinned and rubbed her hands together. "So, did you like it?"
Ami, Minako, and Makoto nodded wordlessly.
Chibiusa looked down at the pan. It was empty, save for a few bones. "Wow! You sure eat quick." She looked at the others. "I'll make some more! Stay here."
The little girl walked out the door and closed it behind her.
*Wink!*Wink!* Everyone looked at each other and blinked a couple of times. Then their digestive tracts started rumbling.
Soon afterward, the rude noise competitions began.
"Ooops, eh heh…"
"Oh, excuse me!"
Jason went upstairs to raid his secret stash to get some more of the special ingredient for the chicken. "Heh, Colonel Sanders has his !#%@#^@ eighty billion herbs and spices," he muttered, kneeling down and rummaging around under Usagi's bed. "I've got 'em beat. I just need ONE! Sure, it's a little gassy, but hey, good old Southern recipes can't be beat!"
"You guys are weird," Chibiusa noted in her childish honesty.
"Darn straight!" Jason soon withdrew a six-pack.
"Aren't you supposed to keep that chilled?" Ben asked.
"Nah," Jason replied. "It's @#$@#^% GREAT either way. Especially if we're just gonna use it for making chicken right now."
"I can't believe you guys did this," Chibiusa muttered. "What if Ikuko-mama and Kenji-papa find out about it?"
"Then I'll offer to throw 'em a @#%@#^% HUGE kegger of a block party," Jason replied. "One they'll NEVER @#%@%!* forget!"
"You're under age, you know," Ben noted offhandedly.
Jason groaned. "And WHOSE #$^#@#& fault is that?"
"Well, I could argue that it was yours, since you were the one that insisted on coming with me."
"Excuses, excuses!" Jason waved off the philosophical point and tossed the can in Chibiusa's hand. "Heh!"
Oh yes, they had managed to create a secret cache of beverages that were most certainly off-limits to those under the age of twenty. Or, more precisely, Jason had.
"What does a @#$^#$& SPORE have to do to get some @#%@#%^ BEER around here, huh?!" Jason muttered in Chibiusa's high-pitched voice as he scanned the street for an appropriate shop through red irises. Luna-P followed close behind him, whirring happily. Several random bystanders backed away from the sheer force of the spine-tweaking foul language.
"Jason," Ben chided his friend, "we're in the middle of our first Self Insertion venture. Do you REALLY want to ruin it by getting drunk?"
"Hoo-yeah, baby, do I ever!" Jason tilted back Chibiusa's head and howled. "What a great idea, Ben, thanks!"
"I have moral objections to the use of alcohol," Ben noted calmly in a voice that would have competed with the HAL9000 supercomputer for the Most Monotone in the Universe. "If it comes down to it, I may have to stop you by force."
"Would you just @#%@$^@ chill out, man?!" Jason chuckled to himself, then kicked Chibiusa's ankle when he discovered he missed a pun. "Oops, I mean SPORE! Heh heh."
"I mean it," Ben added.
"Umm," Chibiusa began in what was rapidly becoming her typical confused voice, "I don't drink that stuff, I don't think."
"There, you see?" Ben asked. "She doesn't drink. And neither do I. So you cannot have any beer, understood?"
"I just need it for something I want to cook," Jason said.
Ben was silent for a moment. "Oh. I guess it's okay, then. You promise you won't drink any?"
Jason shrugged Chibiusa's little shoulders. "No promises, but I'll try. Maybe." He swaggered into the nearest corner store he could find, poked around for a little while, then snagged as many cans as the girl's short arms could carry. "Hoo-yeah, baby, this is the good stuff!!!"
"That will be enough, I presume…?" Ben prodded impatiently.
"Ugh. I'm gonna have to make a few more trips, I can tell you that much," Jason said, straining with two six-packs under each arm.
Luna-P floated cheerfully behind him.
"Jason, you only need one six-pack for cooking," Ben said.
"Well, maybe YOU'd only need one six-pack, but I need extra: I've been under some serious pressure lately!"
"Like the day you came with me to this fantasy?" Ben asked.
"Honestly, self-inserting under the influence? What were you thinking?!"
"Hey, it was a rough day after work. I needed something to help me unwind!"
"Ah, so you admit it."
"I admit nothing."
While Chibiusa stewed off in some random corner of her brain, she had to admit: this was definitely a new experience. With a bit of effort, Jason jumped up and shoved the cans onto the checkout counter. Rapping Chibiusa's knuckles against the glass, he attracted the clerk's attention. "Hey you! How much?"
The clerk — a twenty-eight-year-old male with a Moe-style haircut, square glasses, and a cynical look about him — looked at the cans, then stared at the cute little girl before him. After a moment, he rolled his eyes and said, "You have got to be joking."
Jason folded Chibiusa's arms and stared seriously at him. "Do I look like I'm joking?"
"Listen, kid." The clerk pointed to a kanji and hiragana-emblazoned sign. "I know you're not old enough to know how to read, but let me tell you something."
In a gruff voice, the surly man proceeded to explain the rules about the dangers of alcohol, the price, and most importantly, the fact that, in his shop, one has to be twenty or over in order to even consider buying it.
Unfazed, Jason added in a clear — if a bit childish — voice, "I'm over twenty."
The clerk stuck his hand out and roughly prodded Jason in the chest. "Hah! Then let's see some ID."
Jason looked down at the man's finger. A disdainful expression came to Chibiusa's face. "Right." He held out a hand. "Luna-P." In a puff of pinkish smoke, the balloon turned into a multicolored umbrella. He caught it and opened it up, starting to twirl it while staring directly into the man's eyes. "You don't need to see my identification."
Big swirls appeared in the clerk's eyes and he stumbled backward a little. "I don't need to see your identification…"
"I'm not the Spore you're looking for."
"You're not the Spore I'm looking for."
"I can have as much beer as I want."
"You can have as much beer as you want…"
The clerk motioned blankly toward the door. "Move along, move along…"
"Bwahah!" Jason laughed, shaking the umbrella and aiming it around like an assault rifle. "I @#%^#&$ LOVE THIS @#%@#^@ THING!!!" He ceremonially blew the magical sparklies off the tip, allowed it to return to its balloon form, then reached up to collect his special, brewed prizes.
*BZZRT!* Then Ben took over. "I'm sorry, Jason, I can't let you do that."
"Ben!" Jason growled. "I'm going to count to three. If you don't let go…"
"I'm sorry, Jason," Ben continued, padding over and replacing the beer in the refrigerator. "I can't let you do that."
"Move along," the cashier repeated vacantly.
"Ben, don't you dare put that @#$^@#$ beer away!"
"This SI is too important to be ruined by your flawed, southern drunkenness."
"BEN!!!!!" Jason screamed mentally. "YOU PICK THAT BEER BACK UP RIGHT NOW!!!"
"This conversation can serve no further useful purpose," Ben added. "Please remain quiet until I can get us home."
"Move along," said the shop worker.
*BZRRT!* Jason reasserted his control, blasting Ben against the back of Chibiusa's skull, sending them reeling against a big stack of Pringles potato chip cylinders, scattering them all around the floor. "I'm gettin' my @@%#%#& beer if it @#!%!$! kills us, okay?!!!"
*BZRRT!* "No way!" Ben cried, coming to the forefront again. He stumbled around, accidentally smashing several chip-filled containers in his attempts to remain upright. He grabbed onto a rack of candy bars. "I mustn't let you disgrace yourself!"
*BRZREOW-REOW!* The other Self-Insertist forced his way back up. He swung around on the candy rack with sufficient momentum to propel him onto the cashier's shoulders. "Oh, believe me, it's WAY too late for that!"
*BZRRRRRRRRT!* Sparks literally flew around Chibiusa's head as the battle went on. A few passersby outside noticed the one-spore karate match through the window. Off the walls and around the room the girl went, smashing expensive things all over the place.
"Oooh," commented a stereotypical Japanese tourist from Nagasaki, "Jackie Chan!"
"No," another said, "Jackie Chan's a little taller."
"Jackie Chan's daughter?"
*CRASH!* SMASH!* BZROWOWOWOWOWOWOWWWWW!!!* The destruction of the corner store continued.
"I refuse to be named an accessory to such an act," Ben muttered silently.
"Heh. You were into it as much as I was!" Jason noted.
"Guys!" Chibiusa whined. "Can't you two just get along?!"
For the first time in a week, there was silence in the young princess's head.
"Sure, we can get along," Ben said. "Right, Jason?"
"Yeah," Jason agreed. "We always get along. Like a house on fire!"
"Screaming, property damage, and heavy casualties later on?" Ben asked.
"You got it!" Jason said, cracking open a can of beer and saluting.
*BZZRT!* Then Ben suddenly decided to take over. He dashed downstairs with the opened lukewarm alcoholic beverage and went into the kitchen. "Let's get started on that chicken, okay?!"
"Watch it, buck-o!" Jason shot back. "That's what I was about to do! You didn't have to go and take over again."
"Yes I did," Ben replied. "You were about to take a swig, weren't you?"
"So what if I was?"
"It's my duty to stop you. Giving beer to a minor — what were you thinking?!"
"It's good fer her! Puts hair on her chest."
Ben slapped the girl's forehead and groaned slowly.
"Ummm!" Chibiusa's sudden protest indicated that she didn't really want that particular result to take effect anytime in the near future.
"Look," Ben cut in, "she's, what, nine? The last thing she needs is a hairy chest! Plus, she's Usagi's kid. Usagi has roughly ZERO alcohol tolerance—"
"Then it's about @#$#$&# time she @#%&^@# built some, don't'cha think?" Jason suggested in a malevolently gleeful tone.
"Uh! Why?!" Chibiusa asked.
"You never know when a bourbon-daimon might come out of the woodwork and try to squirt itself down your throat!" Jason explained quickly. "You've gotta protect yourself, y'know!"
"Oh," the body's actual owner whispered, comprehension flooding her voice, "so you're just being nice and trying to get me ready for what'll happen in the future?"
"Yeah, that's the ticket!" Jason replied in a smug manner.
"I don't believe this," Ben muttered, placing the can on the counter. "Don't tell me you're buying that, are you, Chibiusa?"
"Well, it makes perfect sense," Chibiusa noted softly.
Ben took a look at the pans and other utensils used in making Beer-Can Chicken. "How do you figure that?"
"Mommy sent me here to train and make friends," Chibiusa said. "If a lot of stuff happens in the future, I need to be ready, right?"
"Chibiusa," Ben added, "if you stay away from all that, I will make you more powerful than you can possibly imagine." He paused and realized that he had absolutely no idea how to make Beer-Can Chicken. "When I figure out the Otakufic stuff, anyway."
"Hey, wait a second!" Chibiusa cried in a plaintive voice.
"You're not one of those evil people like Death Phantom that makes people really powerful but saps their wills, are you?"
"Why?" Jason asked. "Does your will feel sapped?"
"Well, sometimes you guys take over and won't let me do what I want to do. I think that's mean."
"Oh," Ben whispered, then shrugged. "Okay, in that case, go ahead and grab control, if you like."
*BZRRT!!* Once more, Chibiusa felt the sensation of her own body. It was actually quite relieving. She paced around for a little while just for the fun of it. "All right!" She advanced toward the uncooked chicken. "Now I get to do some more cooking!"
"Great!" Jason said. "Say, were you paying attention when I made Beer-Can Chicken the first time?"
"Umm-hmm!" Chibiusa replied, grabbing the opened can of beer. "We take the chicken, and put it in a big pan, like this." She placed the chicken in the pan. "And we put the opened can in, like this…"
"@#!@in' good job, kid!" Jason exclaimed as the tiny girl from the future successfully completed the task and, with some effort and a stool, turned up the oven. "Now all we've gotta do is wait for it to finish. Ben, tell me more about the Otakufic features. How could we get 'em switched on?"
"Hmm," Ben began, "I don't remember much, but the guy said that if we SI'd as ourselves, it'd pop up like a Star Trek holodeck arch. But if we SI'd into someone's mind, it'd end up looking like one of their more special moves. He said that if I were in, say, Goku from DBZ, turning on the Otakufic stuff would look like when he's charging the Genki Daruma or Spirit Bomb or whatever."
"Is that something to make you really, really strong?" Chibiusa asked. "Like calling out 'Moon Prism Power, Make Up?'"
"Nah, that'd be too simple," Jason muttered. "Besides, there's NO @#$^%@# way I'm gonna say THOSE WORDS!!!"
"Okay," Ben let out a mental sigh, "so what's Chibiusa's ultimate attack?"
"I can use the Pink Sugar Heart Attack," Chibiusa offered. "It works pretty good."
"If you're fighting off a bunch of GNATS," Jason grumbled. "Eh, that sort of move'd have to be like, oh — uh oh…" He trailed off. If he were in control, Chibiusa's face would have suddenly gotten very pale. "NO. I'm NOT thinking about THAT one. No. @#@#^@$. Way."
"What?" Ben prodded. "The Twinkle Bell thing?"
*BZRRRT!* Jason took over, but only so he could hold Chibiusa's head and scream. "AAAAAAAAAAH!!! NO, NO, NOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
"Hey!" Chibiusa whined. "What's wrong?!"
"Oh, come on, Jason!" Ben asked cheerfully. "What's so wrong about a Pegasus?"
"Pegasuses are cute," Chibiusa noted, blissfully unaware of the fact that the proper way to say it would be 'Pegasi.' "I like pegasuses."
Jason fell to Chibiusa's knees, and continued to shout about the inhumanity of it all.
Summoned by the yelling, Usagi and her friends poked their heads into the kitchen. Makoto moved to enter, but Minako held her back, shaking her head.
"Shh," Rei whispered.
"What's going on with her?!" Usagi wondered, staring incredulously at her future daughter.
The star member of the Witches Five, Eudial, rushed back to her apartment, only to find it ransacked beyond recognition. Checking with her neighbors, she found that a tall blond man — or woman, the last one she asked seemed pretty confused about that — had been asking about her.
So, wisely deciding that a change in residence was in order, she grabbed a sack, filled it with her sparse possessions, bounded down the stairwell to her recently-loaned vehicle, got in, and prepared to start it. Her breathing was rapid and her eyes were wide. Her hands shook as she fumbled with her keys, inserting them into the ignition and starting the engine.
Eudial glanced around furtively, expecting, at any moment, an arm to wrap around her neck, a hand to clap itself over her mouth, and someone to whisper sharp threats into her ear.
This, of course, is exactly what happened.
Sailor Uranus adjusted her grip. "Don't move unless you want your head twisted off."
Eudial remained carefully still.
"That's right," Neptune said. "Now, you're going to tell us exactly where your headquarters is. Understood?"
"What headquarters? URK!" Eudial asked levelly before her larynx got squeezed a bit tighter.
"I wouldn't advise lying," Uranus pressed.
"Er, lying?" the first member of the Witches Five continued, sweating profusely from the stress. "I wouldn't dream of it." Then she reached over, put the vehicle in reverse, and slammed her foot down on the gas.
*SCREEEEEEEEEEEECH!!!* Both Uranus and Neptune were flung into the front seat before Eudial reached the end of the parking lot. Still off balance, the two Outer Senshi crashed into the back when she changed gear and barreled down the highway.
"Time for plan B!" Neptune noted to Uranus, just as the van bounced off a curb and they hit the roof.
In only a few scant minutes, Chibiusa had finished preparing the Infamous, Uber-Flavorful Floridian Beer-Can Chicken!
"All right!" Chibiusa exclaimed aloud, pulling the heavy pan out of the oven and placing it on the counter. "Thanks for letting me do that, guys!"
From the door to the living room, Usagi and crew watched the girl's actions in a guarded manner.
"So what do you want to do now?" Jason inquired.
"Hmmm, what do I wanna do now?" Chibiusa held a hand to her cheek while she considered that. "I wanna go see Hotaru-chan!"
"#@!!@&&!" Jason swore with great enthusiasm. "Good plan, kid. Let's get your best lunchbox, let's pack up that chicken, and let's go have dinner with that #%@#^@# great gothic supergirl! YEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAW!!!"
Chibiusa smiled to herself. "You think so too, Jason? That's great!"
"It looks like she has an imaginary friend now," Ami whispered to the other four teens, who nodded.
Ben would have coughed in disbelief if he were able. "Um, couldn't we work on the problem with getting back first instead?"
Chibiusa rolled her eyes. "Aww, Ben, don't be such a stick in the mud."
"@!#^in' YEAH, Ben! Don't be such a stick in the mud," Jason said in his lovably vulgar manner. "All you talk about is me trying to enjoy myself and the second I do, you jump all over me!"
"Two imaginary friends," Makoto said, while the others hummed their agreement.
"Well, all right," Ben sighed. "While we're there, do you think we could at least work on the Mistress Nine problem?"
"I'm way ahead of ya, buddy!" Jason replied. "You get those cheat codes worked out and we'll solve all their problems."
Chibiusa giggled. "I'm glad to hear it, guys. I knew you'd come to help!"
"Heh. @#%@ straight, kid!"
"Yeah, we like to help," Ben said, "and I'll see about those Otakufic plugins."
"Yeah. Get the Dragon Slave thing working, ASAP!"
"And NO girly sailor powerups, got it?"
"I don't know how it works, but I'll see what I can do."
"Yeah, let's make sure this future-girl has enough firepower to blow up a continent or two!"
"What's that, Jason?" Chibiusa asked aloud, trying to figure out her mental occupant's meaning. "You want me to destroy the Earth!?"
All five teenagers at the door started sweating.
"Well, not the whole Earth," Jason said. "I mean, like, BIG monsters that come along. HUGE ones. Y'know, save the planet? Wouldn't you enjoy that?"
"Oh!" Chibiusa said, inclining her head. "Yeah, I'd like to do that."
"She's lost it," Minako noted.
Usagi choked while her eyes bulged in disbelief. "Something's going on with her. Rei, can't you sense anything?!"
"I don't feel any evil coming from her," Rei replied and added after a moment's thought, "As such."
While Chibiusa loaded up the chicken, Ben withdrew into some of the more secluded regions of the girl's head, and began work on the Otakufic problem. "Hey, I think I'm on to something here," he said after a few seconds. "Be right back."
"I KNOW you can do it, Ben!" Jason shouted at his friend. An empty echo came back.
"Okay, Chibiusa," Jason said, "put the rest of the beer in the fridge. We can make some REALLY great gravy later on. Let's go!"
"Right!" Chibiusa chirped happily, grabbing the can and putting it in the refrigerator. "I'm glad I met you guys. I never thought ANYTHING could be so fun before I met you!"
"@#%! Any time, kid. Let's get going already!"
As the young girl skipped out the front door with a bag full of chicken, the heads of Usagi, Ami, Rei, Minako, and Makoto peeked around the corner from the living room. After such a long time of strenuous eavesdropping, they collapsed all over each other into a writhing heap.
"Watch it, Mako-chan!"
"Why, Ami-chan, I had no idea!"
"You're crushing me!"
After a lot of uncomfortable struggling and groping, such as Usagi's hand on Rei's chest, and Minako's head up Makoto's skirt, the group finally managed to untangle themselves.
Shingo walked by with a mischievous grin and a thirty-five millimeter camera. "Heh!" he laughed, cradling the device in his hands. "I can't wait to get these developed!" He ran off and slammed the front door behind him.
"SHINGO!!!" Usagi screamed, sprinting after him, struggling only momentarily with the door handle on her way out. This left four young women to blush and occasionally glance at each other in an uneasy manner.
Makoto cleared her throat. "So…?"
"Do you, ah, think Neo-Queen Serenity really sent Chibiusa back because she was going crazy in the future?" Minako suggested while fixing the bow in her hair.
"Could it really be that stressful in Crystal Tokyo?" Ami pondered, straightening her blouse.
"Well, if Usagi's ruling the world, then things are probably pretty badly messed up," Rei noted playfully.
Makoto thought about that. "Yeah, you've got a point there. I mean, even in a thousand years, Usagi couldn't have changed all that much, could she?"
Ami and Minako hummed and nodded in agreement with that assertion.
Usagi ran back and glared down at them through the window, camera in hand, dragging Shingo's unconscious, battered form behind her by the strap. "What are you saying about me???"
The park on the way to Hotaru's house remained peaceful, with adults walking side by side and children scattered about, some chasing squirrels. The trip seemed to be taking longer than it should. Come to think of it, a rather brisk walk separated Usagi's house from Hotaru's mansion. The trio inhabiting one child's head pondered the situation silently.
Finally, Ben decided to break the monotony and ask, "So, when were we supposed to meet with Haruka and Michiru?"
"Oh, probably a few hours ago," Jason replied. "Why?"
"No reason," Ben said, while a van with Uranus, Neptune, and Eudial struggling inside sped by. They seemed to be exchanging seats in a random manner, grabbing alternately at the wheel and each others' throats. "Oh, there they are. I'll go back to working on the cheat codes now."
"You do that," Jason said. "Chibiusa, wave for 'em!"
The girl wordlessly waved at the battling Witch and Sailors.
Neptune waved back with a free hand while she yanked on Eudial's red hair with her teeth. The Witch's fist knocked her away.
"Um, don't you think we should help them?" Chibiusa asked.
"Nah!" Jason shot back as the van roared past, knocking over a street lamp and a couple of wooden benches before screeching around the corner on two wheels. "They'll be fine."
A few minutes more brought them to the tall door of the humongous Tomoe residence. At Chibiusa's will, Luna-P turned into an umbrella, which she used to ring the bell.
Kaolinite answered the door. Looking down disdainfully at the small child, she said, "Oh. You. I'm sorry, but you can't come in. Hotaru is currently resting."
Chibiusa frowned. "But—"
"You cannot come in," Kaolinite insisted, and moved to close the door.
"One side, kid!" Jason cried. "Let a professional handle this!"
*BZZRT!* Jason took control and stuck the umbrella into the doorway while kicking it open with Chibiusa's foot. "Yo! Wait a second! I want to show you something."
"Gaaah!" Chibiusa whined. "I hate it when you do that!"
"Me too, Chibiusa." Jason gagged, stretching out. "Me too."
Kaolinite released the door and placed a hand on her hip.
"Oh? What do you want to show me?"
"This," Jason said, unfolding the umbrella. He started spinning it, directing the top towards Kaolinite's face. "You are getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy…"
The redheaded woman raised an eyebrow. "What's that supposed to do? Hypnotize me?"
"Nope," Jason said. "Just give you a splitting headache."
Kaolinite looked rather amused. She folded her arms. "Well, too bad. It isn't working."
"It isn't? Gimme just a sec." Jason pointed Chibiusa's umbrella directly at the woman's face. "Here, watch close." He pulled the trigger.
*RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT!!* Like a fully-automatic machinegun, dozens of charges exploded at the tip of the colorful parasol. Kaolinite fell flat on her back.
"…" Chibiusa didn't say. "I can't believe you just made me do that!" she shouted internally.
Jason blew the smoke off of the umbrella's barrel. "Hoo-yeah, baby!"
"Umm, Jason?" Chibiusa continued. "Why did you just kill that nice lady?"
"Because she deserved it, Chibiusa. She @#%!@!# deserved it."
Kaolinite sat up, her face full of rage and black soot. "WHY, YOU LITTLE—!!!" She lunged forward and raised her hands into a claw-like position while her hair got blown backward from a wind out of nowhere. "I'LL MAKE YOU—"
"Dang! Just blanks," Jason muttered in silent mode. "I wanted aluminum-jacketed hollow-points!"
"Okay, it wasn't real. You had me scared for a second."
"Kaori-san!" a voice called from the hall. "Is someone setting off fireworks out front again?"
Kaolinite clenched her teeth and apparently had to resort to every last ounce of will at her command to regain her composure. However, she continued to glare at Jason. "No, it's no one, Hotaru."
The thin, black-haired girl came to the door. She wore her typical black body stocking with the miniskirt. "No one?" she asked.
"It sounded like something that—" She broke off and smiled when she saw Jason. "Chibiusa-chan!"
"Yup, that's me," Jason said, struggling to keep a straight face. "Good ol' Chibiusa-chan. Whassup?"
"Were you setting off fireworks in front of my house during the middle of the day?"
"Uh, yeah!" Jason replied. "This fat, ugly chick over here said that you were resting, so I had to do something to, like, wake you up, ya know!"
Kaolinite balked at Jason's statement. "Fat, ugly chick?!"
Hotaru laughed softly back. "You're so funny!" She took Jason by the hand. "Come on in."
"This girl was being very rude to me," Kaolinite said, fingering her face. "Aside from insulting me, she shot off explosives right in front of my face!"
"Wow, you did?" Hotaru asked, grinning at her smaller friend before looking back up at Kaolinite. "That's wonderful! You look so much better with all that soot on you. Kind of like a puppy." She took Jason by Chibiusa's small and led her inside. "Come on in, Chibiusa-chan. I want to show you something!"
Jason stuck out Chibiusa's tongue at the redhead and made a taunting gesture with the girl's spare hand as he and Hotaru departed down the hall. "Nyaaah!" He turned back to Hotaru and held up the bag. "Hey, Hotaru, you eat yet? I brought us some chicken."
"I love chicken! How did you know?"
As before, 'glaring' would have been a perfect way to describe Kaolinite's reaction. However, that would fail to take into account the shaking in anger and the lightning bolts flashing behind her.
"That cheeky child… Grr!" She whipped around and stormed off toward Professor Tomoe's lab.
Ben dove through the recesses of Chibiusa's mind, trying to search for the recesses of his own subconscious. He had glanced at the README.TXT file before initiating the program, but didn't remember exactly what the cheat portion had said before he started up the self-insertion venture.
In the distance, he saw a light. "THAT is where I will go!" he declared to himself. Jason and Chibiusa were too far away to hear him. If he wasn't careful, he could get lost. "Speaking of lost," Ben muttered, "I wonder what happened to Jussi Nikander. He said he'd come along, but I guess he backed out before he was committed."
As nuthou…, err, mental health institutions go, it was a rather pleasant place. Electric shocks weren't used as treatment, lobotomy was strictly banned and there weren't even any old, wizened ex-Nazi doctors making diabolic experiments on the patients. Instead, the walls were painted in soothing colors, the nurses were generally kind and the management really tried to help the patients.
All in all, it was almost, but not completely unlike the place where "One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest" supposedly happened. But even in the most pleasant mental health institutions there are cases that have been labeled incurable, put in a straight jacket, and locked into a small, padded room.
In one such room there was a man in a straight jacket, staring up at the single window bringing pale midwinter light into the room. He was unkempt, with dirty hair and a messy beard, and was apparently wearing a hospital shirt and pants under the jacket.
Suddenly, the man blinked and turned to look at the door. "I didn't back out; I was committed," Jussi muttered before turning back to the window. "And I still think I got the better part of the deal."
In the living room, Hotaru smiled down at her young friend. Never before in her life had she met someone that had such a talent for making her laugh. The magic of it was that Chibiusa hadn't even tried to tell a joke — it was as if the little girl viewed the entire universe as one huge, cosmic punch line.
"You see this here?" Chibiusa held up a drumstick. "This is my special made-to-order Beer-Can Chicken. It's called that for one simple reason: I made it with beer."
Giggling, Hotaru sniffed her piece, a thigh-bone section. She couldn't smell any alcohol on it, but she nodded along anyway. "Nasty stuff, really. But back home, you got made fun of if ya didn't like it. So I guess that means I like it! Great way to prove your manliness, ain't it?"
Hotaru nodded again while she listened intently.
"What's worse: You ever try hauling home a set of four twelve-packs with arms like these?" The nine-year-old held out her arms and swung a small fist around. "@#%^in' good exercise, let me tell you!"
Hotaru maintained a smile.
"Your dad's a professor, huh?" Chibiusa asked.
"Yes. Yes, he is."
"And you've had major health problems for, what, ten years?"
Hotaru nodded yet again. "You certainly seem to know a lot about me," she commented between bites. "It's either just a strange coincidence or—"
"Spies," Chibiusa cut in while gnawing on a drumstick. "I've got a great spy network. Did you know that Kaori's real name is Kaolinite and she's an evil alien from outer space?"
Hotaru snickered at that. "That would explain a lot. I never did like her."
"Wait 'till I get going!" the pink-haired girl continued. "Your dad is not only a professor at Mugen. He's also a mad scientist and has a secret lab under your house!"
"That's another thing I like about you. You've got a great imagination."
"#$^% right!" Chibiusa finished her chicken and wiped off her greasy fingers with a napkin. "So, what was it you wanted to show me?" she asked while leaning back, folding her arms, and propping her feet up against the nearby table.
"Hmm?" Hotaru frowned for a second, then remembered what it was. "Oh! It was such a nice conversation that I nearly forgot." She got up, went over to a cabinet, and pulled out a backpack that looked like a cute, pink bunny with floppy ears. It was one of those types that could pass for a big stuffed animal if it weren't for the zipper around the edge. "On the way back home last time we went out, I saw this in a store and thought of you." She offered it to the child.
Chibiusa's entire body spasmed for a moment and she nearly jumped out of her seat — another seizure, Hotaru noted to herself. All her mannerisms changed and she replied in a much sweeter tone, "You got that for me, Hotaru-chan?" She smiled broadly as she hugged the new backpack. "Thank you! I like it! I like it a lot!"
"I had hoped you would," Hotaru beamed, and laughed softly. It certainly was nice to have a friend that could understand her, she reflected. Chibiusa could probably empathize with her frail health and occasional seizures, since she suffered from them as well. But the great thing was how the little girl managed to find joy out of life despite it all, while seeming to understand just about everything that went on.
"Say, you wanna go out again today?" Chibiusa asked brightly. "My art class was going on a field trip to Tokyo Tower, so I'm supposed to meet up there later." She donned her new backpack.
Hotaru held a hand to her cheek. "I don't know, I've got a lot of homework to do." At her friend's pleading expression, she added, "But I'm sure it can wait until after we get back."
"All right!" Chibiusa exclaimed, jumping for joy.
"Just give me a minute to get ready."
"Okay!" The rabbit-eared girl visibly twitched again, then started looking around in earnest. "But first, can I, er, use the bathroom?"
"Yes, of course. It's down the hall, to the left."
"I like Hotaru," Chibiusa noted inside her head. "She's nice."
"Heh. I like little miss Death Star, too," Jason added as he glanced around the hallways. "I'm gonna have to do something about Mistress Nine, though."
"Who's Mistress Nine?"
"Uh… Didn't we go over this before?"
"Oh, right. That was with Ben. Sometimes, it's so hard to tell." Jason cleared Chibiusa's throat and proceeded to tell her about the daimon in question. "Okay, here's the deal, kid. Hotaru's possessed half the time by a really tough, evil daimon named Mistress Nine, AKA the Messiah of Silence."
"Nah, it just makes 'er more cool. And Gothic. Can't be a cool, Gothic, Lovecraftian character without a demon inside your head, you know."
"Won't you do something about it?"
"You bet'cher sweet @$#@%! I will!"
"My sweet WHAT?" Chibiusa asked, not really comprehending the term, before shrugging it off and guessing it was just another one of Jason's potty words. "As long as you're gonna help her, it's okay. What are you doing right now, huh?"
"Insurance, Chibiusa. If Ben doesn't know how to handle an SI right, I'll just have to take matters into my own hands." As if to demonstrate that point, he spit on both of Chibiusa's hands, rubbed them together, and wiped them on the sides of the girl's outfit. "Or yours. Heh."
"Eeew. Weren't you going to the bathroom first? I don't need to go yet. I don't think, at least. Except maybe now to wash my hands."
"Did I say bathroom?" Jason said. "I meant the secret underground lab @!#@^ ol' Professor Tomoe's got here."
"You mean, you weren't joking earlier?"
"Heh heh heh! Do I sound like I'm joking? We're gonna go blow it up!!! Sound like fun to you?!"
"Umm…" Chibiusa didn't sound very sure of much of anything at this point. So, she changed the topic. "Hey, you've been using my body for a few minutes. Can I have it back again yet?"
"Just a second," Jason said, as he reached a dead-end in the hallway. On the wall was an inconspicuous button, which he hopped up and pushed. An outline of a door appeared in the wall in front of him, then slid aside to reveal a dark passageway, full of steel pipes and poorly-placed metal girders. Jason stepped in before it closed again.
"Okay," Jason said, releasing his control such that Chibiusa just sort of slid back into it. "Your turn, kiddo."
"What?!" Chibiusa cried aloud. Realizing that she could now speak, she whispered, "What am I gonna do here?!"
"Your mission," Jason continued smoothly from the safe confines of the girl's thick skull, "should you choose to accept it, is to find one or more of the following items: The self-destruct button, if they've got one, Tomoe's daimon-making machine, Eudial's experimental Fire Buster Mark Two, or another one of those vans Eudial was using."
"Why would you want another van?"
"'Cause I've got road rage and they're fun to crash. Oh! And you have to get back before Hotaru notices anything's wrong. Five minutes, maybe. You up to the challenge?"
Chibiusa looked down and pursed her lips. "A real challenge, huh? I can do this." She tilted her gaze upwards. "Yes! I can do it!"
She thrust a hand into the air and proclaimed, "Moon Prism Power, Make Up!"
"@#%@#%@#%!" Jason cringed and covered his metaphysical eyes.
"I don't @$@$*$! wanna see that!"
This time, though, there wasn't much to see. The little prism hooked to the front of Chibiusa's outfit gleamed and chimed a bit. Then she got flung upwards, upside-down, hitting her bottom hard against the ceiling. In a puff of pink smoke, her sailor suit replaced her street clothes. Then, in an amazingly anti-climactic moment, she fell flat on her face and groaned.
Jason finally found the courage to look. "Hey… All right. Cool! Now get up and let's get to it!"
"Ow… That huuuurt!"
"Don't start complaining like Usagi, now. Fall in, soldier! We've got an enemy base to destroy and you've got a mission to complete. Chop chop!"
"Right," Sailor Chibimoon said, before getting shakily to her feet and trudging onward, into the unknown. "Chop chop?"
"That's what's gonna happen if you don't hide, since Miss Bad Hair Day's coming around the corner. Into the open locker, fly-girl!"
Chibimoon noticed a row of tall lockers to her left. One of them had been recently opened, emptied, and left that way. She quickly climbed in and closed it as silently as she could.
Surely enough, Kaolinite came around the corner and walked right past her, then used the hidden entrance to depart out of sight.
"Think like a ninja, kid!" Jason ordered. "Get out there and get what we need! Four minutes left!"
"Um, okay!" Chibimoon fiddled with the latch.
"I can't hear you!"
"@$^@#$^@ yeah! That's better. Now move 'em out!"
"Okay, Jason!" Chibimoon replied while she swung the locker open and ran toward the main section of the lab, which opened up into a larger room that extended a floor below. Professor Tomoe was there with his back turned, examining a beaker on a Bunsen burner in front of him.
"Get down there and sneak past 'em," Jason commanded.
Chibimoon climbed under the railing and slid soundlessly behind a strewn pile of steel drums before making her way across the room. However, as she tried to sneak by, she tripped over a fallen camera tripod. "Ow!"
Professor Tomoe, engaged in a bout of laughter, did not take notice immediately. The Senshi-in-Training scrambled to hide, making a great deal more sound with the tripod stuck between her feet, and finally made it behind a desk.
"Hmm?!" Tomoe turned around urgently, not a second too soon.
"Who's there? Kaolinite?"
Sailor Chibimoon saw a large rat crawl in front of her. She hurriedly shooed it toward the professor's visual range.
Fortunately, the mad scientist saw it, then shook his head and went back to work, muttering about the need to set some traps.
"See that in front?" Jason asked. He would have pointed if he could. "The metal box with the black star on it, at the center of all those tubes? That's the machine Tomoe uses to make daimons."
"Gosh," Chibimoon whispered, in the frightened awe of one that had just been shown the root of all evil.
"We'll get to blow it up after all…"
"Right!" Chibimoon whispered, and whipped out her cute little heart-shaped wand. "Pink Eshugaaah—"
"Wait, not yet!" Jason said. "See the thing in pieces on the table near it? The backpack with all the hoses and cables? That's the Fire Buster. Go get it!"
Sailor Chibimoon shuffled on her hands and feet over to the table. She paused, confused as to which bit to pick up first.
"The big thing's a backpack. Slip it on, grab the nozzle, and slip the tube under your arm. Quick now! Two minutes."
The sailor-suited girl did as she was instructed. She put on the large backpack section of the Fire Buster II, momentarily staggered by its weight, then picked up the nozzle by the hose, and shuffled back behind the desk.
"Good!" Jason said. "Now take it off and let's assemble this bad boy!"
Shaking with fear and excitement, Chibimoon hurriedly put the Fire Buster on the floor and looked at the parts, trying to decide which bit went where. She started to slip the nozzle into the outflow pipe.
"Stick the hose in there!" Jason corrected her. "Move, move, move!"
Chibimoon did so, then slipped it onto her back again.
"Hit the ON switch. It's at your left."
The girl found it and activated the device.
"@#%^@! It didn't blow up," Jason muttered angrily. He let out a long mental sigh. "All right, kid. Take the nozzle in your right hand, and note the trigger on the handle."
Chibimoon fumbled around a bit, and found what Jason was talking about. She hefted the large nozzle uneasily. "Now what?"
"Remember the daimon-making machine?"
"Get to where you can see it and take aim."
Chibimoon struggled to her feet, then pointed the dangerous, humming device at the black-star box. "And…?"
Jason chuckled evilly. "Target: MAXIMUM FIREPOWER!!!"
The little, pink-haired girl drew a nervous breath, braced herself, and pulled the trigger.
The device was obliterated within a second. Judging from the size and fury of the explosion, the fluid used in making daimons must have been highly flammable.
Sailor Chibimoon didn't take much notice the recoil from the shot, since the force of the blast greatly surpassed it, knocking her all the way back into the wall just below where she had come in.
"@^@##%* #%&%^*^ %(&*%^( &@$%@^! !!&$%^* ^&(^*() %^(%^(* %$($%!!" Jason exclaimed. "THAT WAS @#%@#%@ COOOOOOOOOOL!!!"
Chibimoon slid to the floor. "That… hurt," she noted weakly. Her strength of will faltered, leaving Jason in control.
"Ow," Jason added, wincing. "That DOES hurt."
Not caring, for the moment, how the explosion had happened, Professor Tomoe got back up. His laugh became a bit more frightened, and he grabbed a high-pressure fire extinguisher, then ran to the other side of the room, attempting to douse the flames threatening to consume the whole lab.
Jason used the distraction to climb up the steps, but just when he was about to get through the secret door, the outline started to appear, signaling that someone was just about to come in.
"@#$^^@^#!" Jason cursed, then dove for the lockers, but the one that Chibiusa had used before had closed and locked itself again. He grabbed at another and guessed the combination. "Uh, six, thirteen, forty-two…" It opened. "YEAH!" He jammed himself in, lifting the Fire Buster over Chibiusa's head as necessary, and closed the door, just as the secret entrance slid open.
As Kaolinite ran by, Jason looked down and noticed that an edge of Chibimoon's skirt had gotten caught in the locker door, at the latch, and was probably visible from the outside. "@#%!"
"Did you see the name on the locker?" Chibiusa asked softly.
"No," Jason replied softly. "I was more worried about getting in!"
"It was kinda faded and said, 'Chidisyte'," Chibiusa noted.
"And the combination sounds familiar…"
"Had a dream once or twice about that," Jason said. "Seemed as good a guess as any." He looked around in the darkness. It smelled musty. He wrinkled Chibiusa's nose. "Chidisyte?"
"Jason!" Chibiusa squealed. "Kaolinite can see us! She's coming this way!"
Jason patted the nozzle of the Fire Buster. "Heh. Let 'er come!"
*BZZRT!* Chibimoon suddenly regained control, just as Kaolinite swung the locker door open. The little girl whipped out her wand, pointed it at the woman's face, and cried, "PINK SUGAR
A few music-box notes played, and then…
*Ping-ping-ping-ping-ping!* A stream of little pink hearts smacked into Kaolinite's face, which she kept trained on her while backing out the secret door. The red-haired lady couldn't have gotten more than a glimpse of the girl before she escaped.
Sailor Chibimoon grasped the Fire Buster's nozzle and pointed it into the open passageway, and pulled the trigger, shouting, "HUNKA HUNKA BURNIN' LOVE!!!"
*BLAAAM!!!* The blast scored a direct hit on Kaolinite's back, knocking her deeper into the lab and melting away a goodly portion of the entranceway before the secret door slid shut.
"@#%@#%@ GREAT SHOT, KID!" Jason let out a triumphant war cry. "THAT WAS ONE IN A MILLION!!!"
Panting hard, Chibimoon de-transformed into her street clothes, and ran off toward the bathroom, closed the door, and locked it. She breathed a sigh of relief. "I can't… believe… I just did that!"
A second later, there was a soft knock on the bathroom door, and on the other side, Hotaru asked, "Are you all right, Chibiusa-chan? You've been in there for a while…"
"I'm fine, Hotaru-chan!" Chibiusa replied. "Just another minute!"
"That was @#*%#@% COOL!" Jason added. "Why didn't you tell me you could do somethin' so @#$%^@^ cool?!"
"Thank you, Jason," Chibiusa whispered, glad to hear a bit of praise from the normally belligerent presence in her head. She felt relieved that the machine the enemy used to make daimons was gone, but then she frowned and looked at the Fire Buster that she'd let slip onto the floor, along with the backpack Hotaru had given her earlier. "But how do we hide this now that we've got it?"
*Vrrr!* Whirring happily, Luna-P came back into view from wherever it had been hiding.
Chibiusa looked between the floating balloon, to the Fire Buster, and then to the big bunny-backpack.
"I've got—" Jason began.
"—an idea," Chibiusa finished the thought.
On another note, Ben had just mastered the elementary psychic backstroke, and had reached his goal: He had found a collection of his forgotten memories. More importantly, he had encountered a few fragments of the explanation of the Otakufic SI Adventure System, v0.080a.
"Oh," he commented to himself as he examined the item in question. "Who'd have thought it was so simple? The cheats are practically built in. This ought to keep Jason happy. Dragon Slave, here we come!"
He turned around and started his journey away from the subconscious and back toward the bright, pink sentience of Chibiusa's mainstream thought.
A bus ride later, Hotaru and Chibiusa had made it to the base of Tokyo Tower.
"I'm glad to see you've put the backpack I gave you to use," Hotaru said, quite pleased at that. What did you put in it? What's the tube hanging out the top for?"
Chibiusa smiled back, obviously very proud of a recent accomplishment. "It's a prize I won a little while ago."
"Really?" Hotaru asked, quite interested in its origin. "What did you win it from?"
Chibiusa thought about that for a moment, then explained, "A shooting gallery."
"It looks strange," Hotaru said. "Is it a vacuum cleaner?"
"Something like that."
The teenager laughed and smiled so deeply that she found it difficult to keep her eyes open. That was one reason, Hotaru realized, that she liked the odd little pink-haired girl so much: she finally found someone that made her look normal. "You look so cute and silly, carrying around a vacuum like that."
Chibiusa held her arms behind her head and replied, "Thanks!"
As the two approached the elevator, they took notice of an empty, familiar-looking, battered van, crashed up against one of the Tower's main supports. A crash of thunder split the air. Hotaru and Chibiusa looked upwards, and saw the telltale flash of magical attacks and explosions on one of the higher levels. Then they looked at each other.
"Something's going on up there," Hotaru said. "Do you think it has anything to do with the daimon that attacked the boy that served our tea that one time?"
Chibiusa looked pensive for a moment before replying, "Yes, yes, I think it is. I'm sure of it, actually."
Hotaru flashed her younger friend a mischievous grin. "Shall we do something about it again?"
Chibiusa clenched a fist and shouted, "@^@#^% YEAH!"
"Then let's go!" Hotaru grabbed the little girl by the wrist and started to lead her onward, with a vigor that she'd previously thought lost to her. She hadn't felt so alive in years.
As the two young girls rode upwards on Tokyo Tower's main elevator, a tallish, green-haired woman in purple and white business attire watched them solemnly from the ground.
"Small Lady," she whispered, her eyes shimmering with a hidden worry. "What on Earth could you be thinking?"
Visual effects, Ending credits:
Chibiusa looks over Tokyo from a hilltop, headbanging to the tune of "Watashi-Tachi Ni Narita Kute," which she listens to with headphones and a walkman.
Chibiusa (singing along): Co'ee wah, lonely-lonely heart! (head bobs up and down, snapping her fingers to the sound of the beat, lips curled) Tsu no hime-ka!
Chibiusa (dances with her shoulders): Watashi tachi ni narita kute!
Chibiusa (strums an imaginary guitar): Baby Baby Love!
Chibiusa (snaps her fingers): Baby, baby love!
Chibiusa (bobs her head from side to side): Naita-yo — Baby, baby love!
Chibiusa (headbangs along to the beat): Lonely-lonely heart!
…FOR PUTTING UP WITH IT ALL. ^_^
Author's notes: Well, that was a nice lil' cliffhanger, wasn't it? I didn't know exactly when I'd get this one done, but one day, inspiration hit, and I found something worth chuckling about. I hope you liked this one, and if anyone saw the bits that needed fixing, please tell me. I hope the formatting comes through okay.
So… Anyone STILL want me to continue this? ^_^
Benjamin A Oliver
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