A.D.V. American Vacation Chapter 5

All Ranma characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi, first published by Shogakugan in Japan and brought over to North America by Viz Communications. Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Taeuchi.
 

            A Different Viewpoint: American Vacation pt 5

    Mamoru Chiba's car was silent for several long moments after Minako's revelation.

    Suddenly Makoto started laughing.  "Oh, good one, Mina!  You really had me going there for a minute."

    Minako blinked.  "No, really, it's Artemis!  Ever since he came back from the Tendo's cursed to turn into a girl...."

    Makoto looked incredulous.  "No way!  You're kidding!"

    Minako looked annoyed.  "Does this look like I'm kidding?"  She turned to Artemis and took the girl's face in her hands, then firmly kissed the transformed moon cat on the lips.

    Makoto's jaw dropped and Ami blushed, noting.  "Actually, that does look like you are pretty serious to me, Mina."

    Mamoru glanced into his rearview mirror.  Almost a few second later he tore his eyes back to the road and turned the steering wheel to the right quickly to get them back into the middle of the lane.  Minako and Artemis held the kiss for several long moments then separated.  Both girls looked slightly flushed.

    Makoto gasped.  "You... and Artemis?"

    Minako nodded firmly.  "Absolutely."

    Makoto blinked and edged imperceptibly away from the blond.  "I never know you liked... girls like that, Mina."

    Minako blushed.  "I don't!  Really....  Artemis is really a guy at heart, right?"

    Makoto looked dubious.  "A guy... cat."

    Minako looked uncomfortable.  "Artemis is special... I can't really explain it....":

    Mamoru spoke up.  "You don't have to, Mina.  Love isn't very logical sometimes.  Anyway, I'm happy for you two."

    Minako smiled gratefully.  "Thanks, Mamoru!"

    Ami hesitated, then nodded.  "I'm glad you two are getting along too.  Congratulations."

    Makoto frowned lightly.  "But.. what about Luna?"

    Artemis looked seriously at the tall girl.  "Luna's not interested. She never has been.  We were, are, friends, colleagues, nothing more."

    Makoto looked thoughtful.  "Well... heck, I'm happy for you guys too....  You surprised me, that's all."  The tall girl quirked her eyebrows.  "So, how far have you two gotten?"

    Minako frowned.  "Makoto!"

    Makoto raised her hands.  "Never mind.  None of my business, right?"

    Minako and Artemis both nodded.  "Right."

********************************

    At professor Tomoe's house, Hotaru got out her key and let everyone in.  "Poppa, I'm home!"

    Professor Tomoe came out of the kitchen to greet them.  "Welcome home daughter, how was practice?"  He stopped, spotting Sestuna, Usagi, Rei and the transformed Luna.  "Ah, I see you brought guests."  He bowed slightly to them.  "Welcome to my home.  May I get you anything?"

    Luna cleared her throat.  "Just some hot water please."

    Tomoe nodded.  "Certainly miss....  I'm sorry, I'm afraid we've never been properly introduced."  < Who's this?  The other girls are certainly Sailor senshi, but I've never seen her before.  Although the voice does sound familiar.>

    Luna gave a short bow.  "I am Luna, professor.  We haven't been formally introduced, but we have met.  Me appearance was rather different at the time."
 
    Tomoe blinked.  "As you say, my dear."  < Luna?  Where have I heard that name before?  Oh yes, wasn't that one of the senshi's two moon cats?>  He blinked again.  "Luna?  You do appear... rather different than I remember.  But where is my hospitality?  Let me get you that hot water."  He led them into the kitchen and turned on the faucet.  "What temperature do you require?"

    Luna nodded to a small pitcher.  "A little over a hundred degrees will be fine.  Not too hot to put you hand into."

    Professor Tomoe nodded, taking the pitcher and checking the water temperature.  When it was hot enough, he filled the pitcher and handed it to Luna.

    Luna turned to Rei.  "As I don't want to break the pitcher, Rei, could you...?"

    Rei took it with a nod and held it up over Luna's head, then drenched her.  Professor Tomoe blinked in surprise, which increased as Luna apparently vanished into her clothing, which dropped to the floor.

    When the black cat crawled into view, the professor  stared intently at her, looking contemplative.  "Fascinating.  I was unaware that your species had transformational abilities, Luna."

    Luna looked up at the scientist and sighed.  "We...."  A strange look passed over her face and she blinked.  "We don't... do we?"

    Tomoe hesitated.  "Then how, may I ask, did you transform?"

    Luna shook her head.  "I...."

    Rei broke in.  "It's a magical curse, Professor, from China.  You see, there's this cursed training ground...."

    As Rei tried to explain, Usagi knelt down next to her guardian cat. "What is it, Luna?  You sound like you are remembering something again. Something from the Silver Millennium?"

    Luna frowned.  "I... I'm not sure.  I seem to recall... transforming before.  I don't know why I didn't remember it earlier.  It's just... the Jusenkyo curse is so different.  I could, I think, I could transform before.  A human form, except... only at certain times, and the transformation... made it seem natural, there was no need to adjust to it.... I simply was... cat, then human, without noticing much of a difference."  She turned to Sestuna.  "You knew?"

    Pluto smiled enigmatically.  "Did it truly matter if I did?  You had to remember this yourself."

    Luna sighed.  "I knew you were going to say that."

    Professor Tomoe spoke up, having heard Rei's explanation, and part of Luna's.  "So, Luna, you are affected by a magical curse that turns you into a human female when you are splashed with cold water?  Hot water changes you back into your normal form?  Fascinating."

    Luna nodded distractedly.  "Professor, your question earlier may have caused me to remember something important... I believe I can transform on my own... I think."  Luna concentrated, trying to remember clearly.  < How was it?  How did I do it?>  She closed her eyes, trying to picture her original human appearance.  < Different than the Jusenkyo curse form, taller, slender....>  Luna heard a sudden gasp then opened her eyes.  She found herself standing upright.  Usagi was looking her in the eyes... was looking slightly up to look her in the eyes!  Luna blinked, then sagged a bit, feeling the drain suddenly, not from her body, but from her magical energies, the psychic abilities that allowed her to access subspace and use mind melds.  She looked down at herself. "I did it?  I... I did it!"

    Professor Tomoe was politely looking away, his face flushed slightly red.

    Hotaru giggled.  "Luna, you forgot your clothes!"

    Luna blushed in embarrassment at her gaff and quickly stooped over to gather up her clothing, borrowed from Usagi and Makoto.

    Luna quickly dressed, getting an idea of the differences between this body and her Jusenkyo cursed form.  < I'm a bit taller, and a bit thinner... definitely not as 'generously' endowed....>  Her attributes were, it fact rather average, but Luna didn't mind a bit.  < I remember this body!  I can't believe I forgot this!>  Luna finished dressing. The exercise clothes she had borrowed from Usagi still fit, although the sports bra she had gotten from Makoto was now too large, and her arms and legs were definitely longer then before.
 
    Usagi quirked her head sideways, looking at Luna's retransformed face, and smiled.  "This form is pretty too, Luna.  You look like you're around Nabiki's age too, or Kasumi's, instead of mine."

      Luna blinked in interest and smiled slightly.  "Thank you, Usagi."  She looked at her hands, then at the professor.  "Tomoe-san, can you show me to a mirror?"

    The professor nodded.  "Right this way, Luna.  I take it you have just figured out this ability?"

    Luna followed him, looking thoughtful.  "I'm not sure if I have figured it out completely.  I think there's more to this than I'm able to currently recall...."  Luna flashed on an image of a tall bishoten young man with extremely long white hair.  "We'll see.  For now I'll just have to experiment."

    Tomoe nodded.  "I understand.  If I may, I might have a suggestion or two."

    Before long, Luna was ready to head home to Usagi's house with her ward.  "I might as well change back to my cat form now."  Luna concentrated and there was a quick flash.  An instant later, she was in her cat form, her human forms clothing, however, had vanished.  The black cat nodded to herself, grinning.  "Good!  I managed to activate a subspace pocket for my clothing.  Next time I change to human I'll have it on."  She paused, and sighed.  "Unless the Jusenkyo curse activates."

    Professor Tomoe looked interested.  "Do you feel like you can manage more transformations today?"

    Luna hesitated.  "I'm not sure, but I don't think so.  The transformation to human is quite draining.  Going back is easier, although creating the subspace pocket was the last straw today.  I'm tapped out for several hours, if not for the rest of the day."

    Tomoe nodded.  "I see, very interesting.  Perhaps I might take some readings the next time you transform?  I may be able to figure out the mechanism... and the energy requirements for this talent."

    Luna shrugged.  "If it's not inconvenient to do so, I don't have a problem.  We'll stop by here after the next Martial arts class again, most likely."

    Tomoe nodded.  "I'll set up some monitors for then.  Nothing invasive, I assure you."

    Luna smiled shakily.  "That is reassuring.  Well, thank you professor, I'll see you then."

    Not long after, Sestuna had dropped Usagi and Luna off at home and was taking Rei on to the shrine.  Usagi carried her moon cat inside and was greeted by her little brother.

    Shingo cackled evilly and brought his supersoaker to bear.  "I've got you now!"

    Usagi shrieked and dodged wildly, evading her younger brother's attack.  Her long ponytails ended up slapping him in the face, distracting Shingo long enough for her to escape him.

    Usagi paused in the living room.  "I'll get you for that you little...."

    Shingo came into sight, aiming his supersoaker again and Usagi ran for the stairs, still carrying Luna.  Shingo fired and missed again, mostly, just getting Usagi's elbow wet.

    He taunted her as she fled for her room.  "Scared of a little water, sis?"

    Usagi crashed into her room and slammed the door.  "Darn that little monster!"  She ranted as she set Luna down.  "If I hadn't been carrying you, Luna, I'd have trashed him!"

    Luna sighed.  "I'm just as glad you didn't, Usagi.  You're in enough trouble with your mother as it is."

    Usagi sighed.  "I know, if she catches 'Diana' in here without permission once more, she'll probably ground me."

    Luna sighed in response.  "I'm sorry, Usagi-chan.  I will be more careful in the future."  She chuckled wryly.  "This is a switch.  You acting responsibly and protecting me, and me getting you in trouble."

    Usagi giggled.  "That is a switch, isn't it?"  Her face screwed up. "Still, I'm tired of Shingo getting away with ambushing me.  Time for some pay back."

    Usagi went to the door and flung it open.  "Shingo you little worm, prepare to die!"  The future queen of the earth went out in a rush, soaking wet vengeance on her mind.

    Several minutes later, Usagi slipped back into her room, a grin on her face and a water balloon in her hand.  "Ha!  I got him that time! Just you watch, Luna.  He'll try to get me back, but I'll be waiting!"

    Luna backed away from the blond girl nervously.  "Um, Usagi, must you bring that in here?"

    Usagi turned toward Luna questioningly, unconsciously bringing the water balloon closer.  "Why?  Oh... don't worry, Luna.  I won't get you wet, trust me!"  Usagi turned back to the door and waited for several minutes, then shrugged.  "I guess he's had enough."  She sat the water balloon down on her desk and started pulling her tea shirt over her head.  "I'm going to change.  I'm still all sweaty from class."  Usagi stripped quickly, tossing her clothes around haphazardly, then went over to her closet to pick out a change of clothing.  Just then Luna and Usagi both heard someone at the door.

    Usagi spun immediately.  "Shingo you brat, you'd better stay out there!"  Her pony tails whipped around with alarming speed, knocking the water balloon off the desk.  There was a splash and Usagi winced.  "Uh oh."

    Luna sighed, her voice slightly altered.  "Water falls in one part of the room, and where am I?"

    Just then the door opened fully and Usagi's mother looked in. "Usagi, what have you been doing to your brother...?  Oh my."  Usagi's eyes went just as wide as her mothers as she realized what her mother was seeing.

    Usagi yelped, covering up with her hands.  "I can explain!"

    At the same time Luna scrambled over to the bed and pulled the covers off to cover herself.  "It's not what it looks like Tsukino-san!"

    Ikuko Tsukino looked incredulously from her naked daughter to the equally unclothed girl that had been showing up uninvited so often of late.  Suddenly, an explanation for much of Usagi's recently strange behavior came to mind.

    Ikuko gasped.  "Usagi, don't tell me that you... and her... that you and this... Diana have been... for all this time?  Usagi, how could you?!?"

    Usagi blushed bright red at her mother's insinuation, which didn't make her look less guilty in the slightest.  "Mother!  No, that's not it!  You don't understand!"  Usagi gave up covering herself with her hands and with sudden aclarity, grabbed up her discarded tee-shirt and pulled it over her head.

    Just then, Mr. Tsukino walked up to the open door and looked in. "What's going on?"  He spotted his furiously blushing daughter, pulling the front of her tee-shirt down to cover herself, the girl, Diana, quite obviously cowering behind the bed sheets, and his wife's outraged posture.  In a matter of moments he had also come to the same, erroneous, conclusion.  "Usagi!  I can't believe this, how could you? Under my roof?"

    Shingo peered around the corner, wondering what could possibly have happened to get Usagi into so much trouble.

    He blinked incredulously at the spectacle.  "Whoa, sis....  I've always wondered about you...."  He ducked out again before anyone could respond to that.

    Mrs. Tsukino took a few deep breaths and considered the proper response to the situation before her.  "Diana, we've asked you before not to come by without warning... now I see why you've avoided informing us.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave."  Ikoko's frown was slight, but carried the weight of permanence.  "I'm really going to have to have a talk with your parents.  This sort of thing... you and Usagi are much too young.  I really cannot condone such behavior."  She turned to her daughter.  "I'm going to wait in the hall... and I expect you both dressed and in the living room in five minutes.  We need to have a talk."

    Kenji Tsukino, Usagi's father, nodded firmly and exited.  "A long talk, young lady."

    Ikuko Tsukino stepped back and closed the door, leaving the two girls momentarily alone.

    Usagi turned to her mentor with a wild look.  "Luna!  What are we going to do?  Mom and Dad think that we're... we're...."

    Luna put her finger to her lips.  "Hush, Usagi, and call me Diana, alright?  We'll figure something out."

    Usagi looked incredulous before starting to cry.  "They... they think we... that I am... a... a...."

    Luna sighed.  "A lesbian, and that we're... lovers.  It does make a lot of sense from their perspective.  Me showing up uninvited so often, you disappearing all the time....  This looks pretty bad."  Luna sighed.  "We'll work this out somehow, Usagi.  For now, we'd better do as your parents say."  She shook her head wryly.  "I just hope I can keep them from inquiring too heavily about my... parents."

    Five minutes later, Usagi and Luna came downstairs, both dressed in Usagi's clothing.  The only thing not Usagi's that Luna wore was another one of Makoto's sports bras.

    Mrs. Tsukino recognized this almost immediately.  "Diana, where is your clothing?"

    Luna swallowed.  "I'm borrowing Usagi's clothing right now... I... don't have any clothing of my own here."

    Ikuko Tsukino's eyes narrowed, and the interrogation began.

    Usagi's parents wanted answers, answers 'Diana' couldn't give.  Luna despaired as the lecture continued.  She had no parents she could call, no home she could go to, no phone numbers to give Ikuko and Kenji Tsukino.  She had no reasonable explanation for why she didn't have her own clothing, or why she was always found in Usagi's room or the bathroom of their house.  Usagi had nothing to add.  The only story they could prove, was the truth, and they had hidden that for so long.... The interrogation and lecture went on for over an hour, an hour that seemed like days.  Somehow, Usagi kept from breaking down completely, too shell shocked for the full reality of her situation to kick in, and then too numb from her parents accusations to respond emotionally.

    Finally, Mrs. Tsukino had heard enough.  "Diana, if you won't tell us the truth, there's nothing more I can do.  You may go, but I do not wish you to return, unless it is with your parents."

    Luna looked helplessly at Usagi, who was now crying softly.  Usagi shook her head helplessly.  Luna sighed and closed her eyes.  Slowly she stood and headed for the door.

    Luna reached the door, and looked back at her ward, her best friend.  < I'll be back, Usagi.>

    Usagi wiped her face and stared back, not trusting herself to speak.  < Luna!  Don't go!>

    Luna sighed and walked out the front door.

    Usagi began to cry again, sobbing hopelessly.  Her parents exchanging helpless looks.

    Luna walked aimlessly for several minutes, wondering where she could go.  Ami's house was closest, but not a very good idea, given Ami's mother might question her presence, especially for an extended duration.

    Luna sighed.  < That leaves out Rei, too, although her grandfather probably wouldn't object to a new temple girl.  Minako already has Artemis to handle....  I hope nothing like this happens to them... although knowing Artemis, he'll mess up sooner or later.>  Luna considered her other options.  < Makoto's living on her own, although her trust fund doesn't cover live in house guests....  Mamoru might put me up.  His place isn't too far away, either.>  Luna started walking toward Mamoru Chiba's apartment, hoping he'd be willing to put her up for the night.  < If it wasn't for the curse I could stay outdoors for a few nights as a cat.  It's still warm, and I've done it before, but I'm too likely to get wet and transform... and get arrested for indecent exposure.  The curse certainly doesn't make any provisions for clothing.>  Luna sighed.  < If it wasn't for this curse, I'd still be with Usagi, and it wouldn't matter.>  Luna reached Mamoru's apartment, and went to the door.  < I hope he's home.>

    Mamoru Chiba came to the door after a couple knocks.  "Hello, Luna! What are you doing here?  Come on in, you don't look so good."  He opened the door wider and Luna walked in slowly.  The tall young man closed the door and turned back to his guest.  < Luna looks really unhappy... and worried.  What could have happened?>  In a concerned tone, he spoke.  "Luna, what's the matter?  Is Usagi all right?"

    Luna scrunched up her face.  "Usagi is... as well as I, at the least....  It's a bit of a story."

    Mamoru frowned in concern and nodded toward the living room.  "Why don't we sit down and talk about it."  He glanced toward the kitchen. "Can I get you something to drink?"

    Luna hesitated, then nodded.  "A glass of milk would be wonderful, Mamoru-san."

    Half a minute later, Mamoru Chiba handed Luna her glass of milk and sat down next to her on the couch.  "OK, Luna, what exactly is going on?  I'm not going anywhere."

    Luna nodded and began to explain.  "... and so Mrs. Tsukino discovered the two of us like that.  She assumed the worst, what with 'Diana' showing up uninvited so often and Usagi's disappearances...." Luna sighed.  "Not that I really blame her, it looked really bad."

    Mamoru was trying not to picture exactly how it must have looked in his head, and wasn't doing so well.

    Looking at the floor to hide his slight blush, Mamoru nodded sadly. "That's awful, Luna.  That's why you're here?  You had to leave Usagi's house?"

    Luna nodded back.  "Yes, the Tsukino's lectured us for over an hour.  I couldn't explain anything.  They wanted to talk to my parents. What could I say?  In the end, they forbade me from ever returning without my parents, which is, of course, impossible."

    Mamoru's face was full of sympathy.  "You can stay here, Luna, till you work things out."

    Luna smiled gratefully, sniffing.  "Thank you, Mamoru-san.  I sincerely appreciate your kindness."

    He shook his head modestly.  "It's nothing, Luna.  You've taken care of Usagi for so long, it's time someone helped you out."

    Mamoru yawned slightly.  "Well, I've got to get up early tomorrow, so I'll get some blankets and a pillow, and sleep out here on the couch."

    Luna blinked.  "Oh no, Mamoru-san, there is no reason you can't sleep in your own bed.  Besides, I'll just change back into my normal form.  I'll be more comfortable that way."

    Mamoru blinked.  "Oh, right.  Hot water is all you need, right? I'll heat some up."

    Luna nodded.  "Thank you, that will do nicely."

    Mamoru stood and walked into the kitchen, Luna following.  He filled a kettle and put it on the stove.  Luna waited patiently and inquired about his job at the movie studio to pass the time.

    When some time had passed, Luna nodded at the kettle.  "That should be hot enough.  It doesn't need to be boiling, thankfully."  She promptly started to strip off her clothing.

    Mamoru blanched.  "Luna, what are you doing?!?"

    Luna laid her tee-shirt on the counter and blinked.  "What?  Oh... I forgot.  I'm so used to doing this with Usagi.  I don't want to get my clothes wet, they're all I have over here, after all."

    Mamoru was keeping his eyes on the kettle.  "Ah... well, I'll just wait out in the living room."

    Luna coughed, blushing slightly.  "Actually, I'd appreciate it if you could pour for me.  I hate having to dodge a falling kettle, and you'd have to mop the floor...."

    Mamoru sighed.  "Right, sorry, go ahead... tell me when you're ready."

    Luna nodded, then realized he couldn't see her.  "Alright.  I'm sorry, Mamoru, this is a bit awkward."  She continued to undress quietly.  Mamoru Chiba kept his eyes on the kettle, facing away from her.  He felt a small hand slip on top of his.  "I'll guide your hand. Stop pouring when I let go."  Luna's voice was quiet as she tried to hide her embarrassment.

    Mamoru just nodded and closed his eyes, letting Luna move the kettle.  He felt the kettle tip and pour, and an instant later Luna's hand disappeared.  Mamoru stopped pouring and opened his eyes.  Luna was  there on the floor, once again a small black cat.  Her clothing was neatly piled up on the counter.

    Mamoru picked it up in a bundle.  "Why don't I run these through the laundry tonight, seeing that it's all you've got right now."

    Luna nodded.  "Thank you.  I'm sorry to be so much trouble."

    Mamoru shook his head.  "Like I said, it's nothing, OK?  I'm glad to help out."  He carried Luna's clothing to his bedroom and piled them on top of his partially full basket of dirty clothes.  "I'll put these in, and be right back."

    Luna quirked her head.  "Show me.  If I'm going to be here for awhile, I might as well help out a bit."

    Mamoru nodded and led Luna out of his apartment and around to the laundry room.  He started loading the washing machine, putting Luna's clothes in first.  Mamoru noted her outfit being one Usagi had worn before, a high collared sleeveless tee-shirt and a short matching skirt to go with it, short white socks and a pair of Usagi's old tennis shoes.  He blushed slightly at the small white cotton panties, and even more at the generously sized sports bra.  Mamoru quickly stuffed the underwear in and followed it with his own dirty clothing, and detergent.

    Switching on the machine, the future king of the earth checked his watch.  "OK, it'll be done in just over thirty minutes.  I'm going to get some studying done while we wait."

    Luna nodded and followed him back to his apartment.  When it was time to move the laundry to the dryer, Mamoru noticed Luna yawning. "I'll finish up, Luna, you get some sleep.  You've had a bad day, that can take it out of you, I know."

    Luna yawned again and stretched.  "You're right, I am sleepy. Goodnight, Mamoru-san."

    He smiled slightly.  "Goodnight, Luna."

    Mamoru Chiba went out to the laundry room, bringing his text book. He moved the clothes into the dryer and started it, then sat down to read.

    A few minutes later, Yukasu, one of his fellow tenants at the apartment, and a student at the college with him, came in with a load of laundry.  "Ah, Mamoru-kun.  Almost done?"

    Mamoru shrugged.  "It'll be about an hour."

    Yukasu shrugged back.  "Ah, well such is life."  He came over, setting down his basket and putting his laundry into the washing machine.  "I see you've got your biology text.  Studying up for class next week?  I'm taking the same class myself, although I just missed picking up the book yesterday.  They said there will be more copies in a couple days."

    Mamoru closed the book and held it out.  "You can borrow this one, I've already read the first chapter."

    The two students began discussing the up coming class, and before they knew it, the dryer was done.  They both stood and walked over, still talking as Mamoru loaded his basket.  Mamoru suddenly noticed Yukasu stop talking, and his eyes go wide.  He followed his fellow student's gaze to the sports bra he had just placed on top of the pile.

    Yukasu whistled appreciatively.  "Nice... you have a girl over at your place?"

    Mamoru blinked.  "Oh... um... not exactly."  He scratched his head. "She's just a friend... she needed a place to stay for the night."

    Yukasu looked interested.  "Oh?  Nothing going on between you?"

    Mamoru shook his head.  "Nope, just a friend."

    Yukasu's face turned thoughtful.  "Hmm... if she's staying with you, I bet she doesn't have a boyfriend right now...."  He smiled.  "Hey, Mamoru-kun, Introduce me, huh?"

    Mamoru frowned.  "You don't even know a thing about her."

    Yukasu grinned, nodding at the basket.  "I know enough to want to meet her.  Come on, buddy, she's not seeing anyone, right?"

    Mamoru sighed, picturing for a moment the scene as he introduced Yukasu to either a black cat, or a naked girl, or almost as bad, Luna wearing his clothing.  "She's gone to sleep already, anyway.  Besides, she's too young for you."

    Yukasu looked dubiously at the bra, causing Mamoru to cover it up with the rest of his clothing.  "She can't be all that young.  I bet she's older than that blond girl I've seen you with."

    Mamoru coughed, slightly embarrassed.  "OK, OK, I'll introduce you to her... later, if I can."

    Yukasu clapped him on the shoulder.  "Thanks, buddy.  I'll hold you to it."

    Mamoru sighed and left.  < Luna's going to kill me!  What do I tell her?  'Hey Luna, there's a guy I know who'd like to meet you because he's impressed with your bra size?>  He chuckled sarcastically.  < Oh yeah, that'll do the trick.>  Mamoru got to his apartment and yawned deeply.  < Man, I'm beat.  I'll just leave putting these away till tomorrow and go to sleep.>  He put a hand to his head.  < I feel a headache coming on, I'd better take some aspirin before I go to bed.> Mamoru yawned again.  < I am really tired.  Time to hit the sack.>  He wandered into his room and started to undress.

    Not bothering to turn on the lights, Mamoru striped to his boxers and got into bed.  He reached over to the night stand where he had left a bottle of aspirin and a half full glass of water from the previous night.

    Mamoru picked up the water and got out two aspirin.  < I wonder where Luna is?  I didn't see her in the livingroom.>

    Just then, a sleepy female voice spoke to him from close to his left shoulder.  "Usagi-chan, is that you?"

    Mamoru started and nearly dropped the glass of water, spilling it's contents to his left.  His eyes turned to follow the splash and sudden surprised yelp.  Suddenly he was face to face, mouth to mouth really, with a buxom, naked girl, who had been a small black cat an instant earlier.  Luna and Mamoru both froze as they realized their situation. Luna's right hand had slipped behind him as she had grown, her left had pushed back the covers and was resting in his lap, her breasts just touched his left arm, and her mouth was pressed against his.  For several horrified seconds they remained petrified, until Luna noticed something twitch and grow under her left hand.

    Simultaneously they parted, Mamoru scooting back and pulling up the covers, and Luna rolling right out of the bed to the floor with a thump.  Both of them started speaking at once.

    Luna gasped.  "What... what... what were you doing bringing water into the bed?"

    Mamoru was protesting.  "Why were you in bed with me?"

    Luna protested in response.  "I am... I was, a cat!  There's nothing wrong with me sleeping on you bed, unless you decide to change me into a human!"

    Mamoru shook his head.  "It was an accident!  I didn't know you were there!  Besides, you're a girl, I didn't expect you to be there!"

    Luna grabbed the edge of the covers and pulled at them, trying to cover up.  "I'm a girl cat, not a human!  I didn't see a problem! Artemis sleeps on Minako's bed, and you don't think there's anything wrong with that, do you?"

    Mamoru pulled back on the covers, trying to cover his arousal with anger.  "Artemis and Minako are lovers!  Not that they seem to have a problem with sleeping together!"

    Luna's eyes went wide.  "What did you say?"

    Mamoru's eyes were equally wide.  "Oh no...."  < How could I say that?  What was I thinking.>  He released the blanket, letting Luna cover up and he rolled out of bed on the other side.  Mamoru grabbed his pants and started quickly pulling them on.

    Luna sat stunned.  "No... you're lying... he wouldn't...."

    Mamoru lowered his head in self disgust.  < Damn it!  That was not what to say, at all!  What an idiot I am!>  "Luna, I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have blurted that out like that."

    Luna shook her head, not noticing that she was still mostly naked, the bed sheets forgotten draped across her lap.  "No, you're mistaken, there's nothing like that between them...."

    Mamoru sighed.  "I may be exaggerating a bit, but I don't think so. Minako told us today that she wasn't interested in dating any new guys right now, because she was already involved in a relationship with Artemis."  He winced.  < And I promised not to tell.  What kind of man am I?  How could I have broken my word so easily?>

    Luna's eyes were blank in shock.  "How... how long."

    Mamoru sighed.  < It's to late now to lie, the damage has been done.>  "Since the Jusenkyo curse, she said."

    Luna began to frown, animation coming back into her eyes.  "That little letch.  I should have guessed!  Back in the Silver Millennium, he used to chase anything on four legs... and now that I recall, anything on two legs as well!  That... that, Casanova!  He remembered how to change into a human on his own, and never told me!  I bet he seduced poor Minako-chan the first night!"  Luna stood up quickly.  "I'm going to kill the little bastard!"

    Mamoru blushed and dropped his eyes.  "Luna, please...."

    Luna glanced down at herself and blushed.  "Oops...."  She frowned in concentration.  "Damn!  This curse is keeping me from being able to transform, or summon anything from subspace!"  Luna frowned.  "I think...."  She grabbed the bed covers quickly and wrapped them around herself.  "My apologies, Mamoru-san.  I've not been much of a guest. I'll go."

    Mamoru Chiba looked at the short, dark haired girl in his bed sheets and her long black hair and sighed.  "Where?  Listen, this was all just a misunderstanding, an accident.  It's dark out, and there's really nowhere you can go right now.  This is as much my fault as yours, anyway."

    Luna sighed heavily.  "You're right, Mamoru-san.  I really don't have anywhere else to go.  I don't blame you... it was just an accident.  That and the damn curse.  Johnathon said it made him a water magnet.  We'll just... have to be more careful in the future."

    Mamoru nodded.  "Right, listen, I'll go out and sleep on the couch...."

    Luna shook her head.  "Don't be silly.  It's much too short for you.  I'll go change back to normal again.  I'll be perfectly comfortable."

    Mamoru hesitated, then blinked in realization.  "Wait, Luna.  What did you mean when you said that Artemis had figured out how to turn human?"

    Luna hissed softly.  "He must have remembered how because of the Jusenkyo curse.  I don't know why I didn't remember until now.  We were able to take on human forms back in the Silver Millennium."

    Mamoru blinked again.  "You mean, like your Jusenkyo curses?"

    Luna shook her head.  "Not quite.  My normal human form is a bit taller, and a bit older, and not quite as... voluptuous.  Artemis, naturally, was male."

    Mamoru broke in.  "I have the feeling that he hasn't figured that out yet.  I mean, why stay a girl all the time if he can become a guy? That doesn't make any sense."

    Luna started to look confused.  "But you said... he and Minako...."

    Mamoru blushed and looked away.  "I shouldn't have said anything... but I got the impression that Minako was OK with Artemis being female."

    Luna blinked.  "You're kidding!"  She put a hand on her forehead, holding up the sheets with her other arm.  "That makes too much sense...."  She sighed wryly.  "Minako, and Artemis... and both of them girls... somehow I believe it."  Luna sat down heavily on the bed.  "I was going to go and tear that little letch in half, but I've changed my mind.  Knowing him, and knowing Minako, they wouldn't stop if I tried to interfere... so I won't.  In fact, I won't tell them anything.  Let lover boy figure out how to become human again on his own.""

    Mamoru snorted wryly.  "Something tells me I don't want to get involved."

    Luna sniffed imperiously.  "That's your self preservation instinct, Mamoru-san.  You've always had good instincts."

    There was a laugh, and they both laughed, starting to chuckle softly.

    When the last chuckle died, Mamoru stood.  "Let's try this again. I'll go get you some hot water, and we can both get some sleep.  There's no need for you to sleep on the couch."

    Luna peered at him, then nodded.  "Well, the bed is much softer. Just make sure there's no more cold water in here, OK?"

    Mamoru chuckled.  "Absolutely, we've had enough excitement for one night."  He walked out and came back in a minute later with the kettle. Luna slipped out of the covers and he poured quickly over her head, not reacting to the quick glimpse of her body he got.

    Luna shook herself off and jumped back up on the bed.  "I really could sleep on the couch, it's not that bad."

    Mamoru shrugged.  "It's not important, Luna.  Make yourself comfortable, I don't mind."  He went and picked up the covers, placing them back on the bed.

    Luna found a comfortable spot on the bottom left hand corner and curled up.  < I guess I really got used to sleeping with Usagi.  It doesn't feel right sleeping by myself.>

    Mamoru slipped under the covers, leaving his pants on.  "Luna?  One thing, though."

    Luna looked up.  "What is it?"

    Mamoru chuckled quietly.  "When Usagi and I get married... you're getting your own room."

    Luna blushed and hid her head, forgetting Mamoru couldn't see her blush as a cat.  Despite their protests to the contrary, neither Mamoru Chiba or Luna found it easy to get to sleep that night.  Mamoru found solace in thoughts of Usagi, while Luna drowned out images of Artemis and Minako by picturing his being stuck in female form for a few more years.

            End pt 5

 

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