"So, Ami, is there anything you'd like to tell me about?" Dr. 
Mizuno remarked casually after they settled Jadeite in the guest bedroom.  
She followed her daughter into the kitchen.

Ami puttered with a couple of mugs and some instant cocoa mix.  "Jadeite 
isn't from Latvia, and Kunzite isn't from Estonia," she began hesitantly.

"So I had gathered," her mother remarked.  

Ami chuckled, running water through the tap as she waited for it to turn 
hot.  "Jadeite and Kunzite are from the Negaverse."

"Negaverse?" Dr. Mizuno asked.

"Yes, well, it's a long story.  Do you remember when I first became 
friends with Usagi?" Ami asked.  Her mother nodded as she accepted a mug 
of hot cocoa.  "Usagi is Sailor Moon, and when I became friends with her 
was when I became Sailor Mercury."

Much to her credit, the good doctor barely blinked.  "You're Sailor 
Mercury." She took a seat at the kitchen table.

Ami sat across from her.  "I am Sailor Mercury," she affirmed quietly.  
"My mission is to serve and protect the princess of the Moon, and to fight 
the Negaverse which threatens to destroy the Universe."

"Who's the princess of the Moon?" 

Ami smiled.  "Usagi--It came as a shock to all of us, but lately she's 
begun to act more like herself than she used to.  She leads the Sailor 
Scouts, both as Sailor Moon and as Princess Serenity."

"The Sailor Scouts?  Who are they?" Dr. Mizuno pressed.

"I was the first to be revealed as Sailor Mercury.  Then Rei became Sailor 
Mars, and Makoto became Sailor Jupiter, and lastly Minako--Sailor 
Venus--joined us." Ami sipped her hot cocoa.  "A very long time ago, there 
as an era of peace called the Silver Millennium, when the Moon Kingdom 
governed the galaxy.  Queen Serenity ruled the Moon Kingdom, and Princess 
Serenity was her daughter, who loved a prince of Earth, Endymion.  The 
four of us, Rei, Makoto, Minako, and I, were the princesses of our planets 
and members of the princess's court.  However, a wave of darkness and evil 
arose and destroyed our world--The Negaverse.  Queen Serenity used the 
power of the Silver Imperium Crystal to save us and send us into the 
future, where we would have a chance to live happier lives.  But the 
Negaverse came again, and we were reawakened to our true selves so that we 
could fight evil again."

"Didn't you say that Jadeite was from the Negaverse?" her mother, 
confused, asked.  

"He is, or was... The leader of the Negaverse was Queen Beryl, and she had 
four generals to do her bidding.  Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite. 
 Jadeite failed in his missions to collect energy for Metallia, and she 
sealed him in a crystal in an eternal sleep.  Nephrite was killed by 
Zoisite while he protected Naru, and Queen Beryl killed Zoisite for 
attempting to kill Tuxedo Mask.  We all thought we had killed Kunzite in 
battle." Ami grinned.  "We went to the Negaverse a few weeks back, in 
order to make sure that there was nothing of harm left after Beryl died.  
While we were there, I accidentally freed Jadeite from his eternal sleep, 
and Makoto found Kunzite lurking in the shadows.  Jadeite has sworn 
undying loyalty to the Sailor Scouts, and Kunzite... just keeps showing up 
to help us instead of hurting us.  Makoto has an incredible crush on him, 
but, unfortunately, he's not that kind of guy--He and Zoisite had a real 
thing going for a while, or so Mamoru tells us."

"What does Mamoru have to do with all of this?" Dr. Mizuno, mildly 
confused, asked.

"Mamoru is the reincarnation of Prince Endymion, and he becomes Tuxedo 
Mask in order to protect Sailor Moon," Ami explained.  "Queen Beryl lusted 
after Prince Endymion, and had Kunzite kidnap him for herself.  She tried 
to brainwash him into becoming a servant of evil, but Usagi's love for him 
won through and Beryl failed."

Her mother seemed willing to accept all this. but still seemed confused.  
"So, Beryl--the bad lady--is dead?" she ventured cautiously.  Ami nodded.  
"And your former enemies are now your friends?" Ami nodded again.  "Then 
what happened this afternoon?"

"There's a new set of Negacreeps," Ami sighed.  "They say they're from the 
Dark Moon, and we have no clue where that is or why they're here--They say 
they're out to capture Chibu Usa, and we don't know why.  This afternoon, 
we fought five droids, Prizma, and Rubeus--I doubt we could have won if 
Jadeite and Kunzite hadn't helped us.  That's how they got to be 
injured--not because of an Estonian-Latvian feud."

Dr. Mizuno laughed.  "I really don't know how you managed to put that one 
past me, Ami."

"You were sleep-deprived.  If it helps, I felt really bad about doing it.  
It was just that I needed to keep Jadeite out of trouble for a little 
while, since he was kind of my responsibility."

"Apology accepted... Now, run this Moon Kingdom bit past me one more 


With no small difficulty, Rei eventually persuaded her grandfather that he 
needed to rest and recuperate from the strenuous activities to which he 
was unaccustomed (banishing evil demons can be hot, thirsty work).  
Somewhat reluctantly, he allowed her to fetch water and a tray of 
nourishing delicacies for him to eat as he lay propped up among the plump 
pillows of his bed.  All the while Rei chattered about her role as Sailor 
Mars, deeply relieved in a way to be able to finally unburden herself of 
her great secret.  Grandpa Hino listened to his granddaughter proudly, 
deeply impressed by her accomplishments.

"There's just one thing I don't understand, Grandpa," Rei confessed, 
sitting on the side of his bed.  "Yuichirou knew that I'm Sailor Mars... I 
can understand why you would attack one of those droids, but he knew that 
I could take care of myself.  Why did he attack it anyway?"

Grandpa Hino smiled, his old eyes full of understanding.  "Perhaps you 
should ask him, Rei."

"I guess you're right... I need to check on him anyway," Rei agreed.  
"Will you be all right if I leave you alone for a little while?"

"Go on, go on... He's hurt worse than me," her grandfather grumbled.  "You 
should be fussing over him, not me."

Guilt flashed across Rei's face; she couldn't deny that Yuichirou did need 
to be seen to, since he had had a nasty run-in with Prizma's death droid.  
"You're right," she said humbly.  "I'll go take care of him right now."

Grandpa Hino smiled secretly as she went. 


That hangover from Los Angeles had been bad--the damn thing had lasted for 
a week, or so it had felt like--but this was worse.  Much worse, and 
Yuichirou couldn't even explain why.  Lying on his bed where he had 
flopped down after staggering inside, Yuichirou sighed wearily.  He ought 
to be sweeping, or mopping, or dusting... or something, but somehow he 
couldn't quite muster to willpower to even sit up.  

/Dude, they could have asked if I was all right,/ he thought mournfully, 
unconsciously expressing the reason for much of his pain.  /I mean, I did 
help them beat those monsters... Even if the master did do most of the 

A soft rapping on the door interrupted his gloomy thoughts.  "Hello?  

"Oh, Rei, is that you?" he called back.

"Yeah... Is it okay if I come in?"

"Sure.  Make yourself at home." Yuichirou began the struggle of trying to 
sit up as Rei came into the room.  "Sorry it's such a mess.  I've been 
meaning to clean up in here."

Rei barely noticed the piles of dirty laundry and dirtier dishes.  "Are 
you all right?" she asked instead, seeing the expression of pain on his 
face.  "Here, lie back down, you don't look like you need to be up." She 
gently forced Yuichirou back down.

Yuichirou grinned up at her.  "I'll be okay," he told her, only too glad 
to let her stroke his hair back from his face.  "I'm just a little sore 
and have a headache."

Rei frowned at him, able to feel the lump on the side of his head.  He 
winced at even her delicate touch.  "Only a little sore?" she said 
skeptically.  "I might be able to believe a lot sore, but not a little 
sore.  You really took a beating, Yuichirou."

"Aw, it was nothing," he said modestly, turning slightly pink. 

"Actually, it was something," Rei contradicted.  "Attacking one of the 
Negaverse's monsters is a pretty awesome thing, Yuichirou.  It took a lot 
of courage to do what you and Grandpa did today.  I'm a seasoned Sailor 
Scout, and even I sometimes would much rather not fight those things."

Yuichirou turned a darker red at her praise.  "I didn't do that much," he 

Rei smiled at him, slightly sad.  "If you hadn't done what you did, we 
might not have won today," she told him.  "You may have helped save the 
Universe today."

Abashed, Yuichirou turned his face away so that she wouldn't see his acute 
embarrassment.  "I hit a monster with a broom," he said quietly.  "It 
wasn't that big a deal..."

"Why did you do it, Yuichirou?" Rei asked quietly.  "You knew I was Sailor 
Mars--dealing with the Negaverse is what I do for fun, so why did you rush 
in like that?"

He was silent for such a long time that Rei wondered if he had gone to 
sleep.  "I couldn't help it, Rei," he said at last, so softly that she 
could barely hear his voice.  "I saw that you were in danger, and I knew I 
had to do something to help.  I didn't stop to think about it, I just did 
it.  What happened to me didn't matter any more."

Rei gently picked up his hand, cradling it in her left hand and gently 
stroking it with her right.  "You threw yourself into that fight without 
even thinking about what might happen to you?" 

"Only you mattered... Don't you know that you're all that really matters 
to me, Rei?" Yuichirou asked, his voice husky as he turned his head back 
to look at her.  "Sailor Scout or not, every time you're in danger, I'll 
throw everything I have into defending you, whether you need me or not." 
Yuichirou took a deep breath and plunged on, determined to finish what he 
had to say, now that there was no turning back.  "I know you don't see me 
as anything more than an empty-headed errand boy and a nuisance, Rei, but 
the truth is I care for you a lot.  I've been over my stage fright for the 
longest time now, but I don't want to leave this place because you're 
here, and I'll stay just to be near you as long as I'm able."

Rei stared at him, her only coherent thought running through her head 
repeatedly.  /Grandpa did say I should ask him about his reasons./ She 
found her voice eventually as Yuichirou looked at her with vulnerable 
eyes. "Yuichirou, I don't know what to say..."

"It's just the truth, Rei." Yuichirou tentatively squeezed her hand.  "And 
I can't tell you how much it means to me that you haven't slapped me yet, 
or told me to get lost, or anything like that."


"You never seemed to warm up to me after I came here." Yuichirou's voice 
wasn't accusing; he merely stated a fact.  "I just assumed that you didn't 
like me."

"That's not true, Yuichirou," Rei said, her eyes stinging with tears of 
shame.  "I never meant--I mean, sometimes I can be--"

"It's all right, Rei, you don't need to make up a story just to make me 
feel better," Yuichirou said placidly.  He smiled at her.  "But, if it's 
not too much to ask, could you just stay and talk to me for a while?"

"Oh, Yuichirou..." Rei's voice trailed off helplessly.  She stared at him, 
not knowing how to say what was in her heart to tell him.  She loved him, 
yes, but not like that!  Yet she felt so horribly guilty for what he had 
tried to do for her sake... And there were all the many times she had 
behaved terribly to him, treating him as little more than a slave...  She 
really owed it to him to try to be nice to him.  /Maybe, if I try hard 
enough,/ she though weakly, /this can work.../  "I know I've treated you 
badly, Yuichirou, but--I do care about you, really--I just--"

The smile on his face was like the sun coming up.


Emerald flicked her fan, lifted her tiny nose a little higher, and 
sniffed.  "Rubeus was inept.  I say that it's to our advantage that he 
saved us the trouble of removing him from his commission by getting 
himself killed.  I, for one, will not miss him--I never did like him, 
anyway." She smiled at Prince Diamond, hoping that he would favor her 

Prince Diamond swirled his wine glass reflectively, hardly noticing that 
Emerald had spoken.  "Rubeus's failure was spectacular," he commented in 
his velvet voice.  "Not only did he allow the Sailor Scouts to destroy 
him, he also permitted the four sisters to die, and expended a great deal 
of wasted energy on useless droids.  In his dying effort to please us, he 
certainly spared no expense.   One hardly knows whether to be amused or 
outraged." He smiled faintly, pleased by his wit.  "However, I fear that I 
shall not miss his presence as much as I should.  A pity, I'm sure."

"Indeed, Your Highness, the inept Rubeus did nothing to further your 
glorious plan to conquer the earth," Wise Man added unctuously.  

Standing a little apart from Emerald, Wise Man, and his brother's throne, 
Sapphire frowned.  He had not been overly fond of the brash, overbearing 
Rubeus, but it felt wrong to deride him so harshly.  After all, for all 
his faults, the man had been a loyal servant of the Negamoon family, and 
he had truly tried to fulfill his mission.  That the twentieth-century 
Sailor Scouts were unexpectedly powerful--and that they had previously 
unknown allies--was not his fault.  

"However, Rubeus has left a dilemma for us to remember him by," Diamond 
continued.  "Small Lady and the Silver Imperium Crystal continue to elude 
us, and we do not possess a single Crystal Point."

"Your Highness, please, allow me to succeed where poor, poor Rubeus was 
utterly helpless," Emerald purred.  "Sapphire has made Dark Crystal Wedges 
that I can use to corrupt the Crystal Points--I will make that my primary 
mission, because the Sailor Scouts will almost certainly show up to stop 
me, and Small Lady is never far from the Sailor Scouts.  I will defeat 
them and capture Small Lady, and I will make her take me to the Silver 
Imperium Crystal."

"What will you do when the two warriors show up to aid the Scouts?" 
Sapphire inquired sarcastically.  

"The two warriors were badly injured in battle with Rubeus," Emerald 
sneered.  "I will attack before they can recover--They can't harm me if 
they're decommissioned by their wounds."

"Go, then, Emerald, and see to it that you do not fail me as Rubeus did," 
Diamond ordered, sounding slightly bored.  

Emerald bowed, smiling triumphantly, and vanished.  "Soon, Your Highness, 
the earth will be yours," Wise Man crooned, stroking his crystal ball 
lovingly.  "Soon the Dark Moon shall have its revenge..."

"Yes, Wise Man, I know," Diamond said gravely.  "Now, I would like to have 
a word with my brother."

Understanding the dismissal, the Wise Man disappeared.

"You have been very quiet, Sapphire," Diamond observed.  "Is something 

"It's nothing, Diamond," Sapphire answered, hoping that the lie was not 
too obvious. 

Diamond let it pass, knowing that his little brother would talk 
eventually.  "Do you believe that Emerald will be more competent than 

Sapphire frowned.  "Only if she strikes quickly and does not let vanity 
stand in her way."

Diamond nodded.  "I agree.  That monstrous ego of hers is her most 
crippling flaw.  I believe, though, that her desire to please me will 
outweigh all other considerations in her mind."

Sapphire ordered himself to ignore this facet of his brother's 
personality--the side of Diamond that allowed him to ruthlessly exploit 
anything or anyone while in pursuit of his goals.  Diamond hadn't always 
been like that, or so Sapphire liked to tell himself, and it would only be 
for a little longer... "Revenge will be ours," he said quietly.

Diamond smiled.  "Yes... Soon it will be ours.  Leave me, brother.  I wish 
to reflect upon the coming glory."

Sapphire bowed briefly and departed.  When certain that he was alone, 
Diamond activated the projected image of Neo-Queen Serenity.  "Revenge 
will be ours," he whispered, "and we will have all we ever desired..."


Where was that damnable light coming from?  What fool had left the power 

Kunzite groaned and rolled over, trying to escape the annoyingly 
persistent light that hammered through his tightly-shut eyes.   Trying to 
escape the light only led to worse difficulties as he fell off the narrow, 
though soft, surface on which he had been reclining.  The fall was brief, 
culminating in a less-than-gentle landing on the floor.  

Kunzite cursed and begrudgingly opened his eyes, wondering how he could 
possibly fallen out of bed.  The answer was immediately obvious; he had 
not been sleeping in his own bed.  He had actually been sleeping on a 
couch, which also explained the unusual levels of light flooding the room. 
 Kunzite blinked and rubbed his forehead, trying to soothe the dull ache 
that the blinding morning sun only exacerbated. /Where the hell am I, and 
how in the name of Beryl the Mad did I get here?/

A soft snore to his left distracted him from his own puzzles.  Glancing 
over, Kunzite saw Mamoru, soundly asleep on the floor, apparently 
undisturbed by Kunzite's rude awakening.  More details about the room 
became familiar, and Kunzite shook his head, wondering why he had been 
sleeping on Mamoru's couch.  

Trying to sit up provided an annoying reminder as every sore muscle in his 
body protested violently against the action.  "Oh, hell," Kunzite grunted, 
remembering why he should hurt so much--the battle with Rubeus--and 
remembering also his almost giddy behavior afterwards.  

Mamoru, a lighter sleeper than Kunzite would have believed, jerked awake, 
sitting up.  "Huh?  What?"

/He even covered me with a blanket,/ Kunzite thought grumpily.  /He's 
definitely too damn noble for his own good./  "Go back to sleep, Mamoru."

Mamoru rubbed his eyes.  "Oh, it's you."

"You needn't sound so thrilled," Kunzite remarked, trying to disentangle 
himself from his blanket.  

"Sorry, it didn't come out quite right," Mamoru apologized.  "For some 
reason, I had thought that there was a problem.  Didn't mean to offend 

/Is he trying to be nice to me?/ Kunzite wondered, slightly taken aback.  
"It's okay," he mumbled.

"Feeling better?" Mamoru asked, trying to be a good host.

Kunzite shrugged.  "I think I've felt worse... Don't know for sure, things 
are a touch blurry."

"*You* were a touch blurry," Mamoru chuckled.  "By the way, welcome to my 

"What am I doing here?" Kunzite, out of respect for Mamoru's attempt to be 
civil, tried to avoid sounding confrontational.

"You were out cold, and you needed a place to bunk for the night," Mamoru 
said casually.  "Thus, you got my couch."

"And you took the floor, which leads me to wonder why you don't have a 
bed," Kunzite pressed.

"Mamoru, why am I at your apartment?" asked a confused female voice.

"She had the bed for the night," Mamoru said quietly.  "Sorry, Makoto, you 
fell asleep in my car, and I couldn't wake you up so that you could tell 
me how to find your apartment."

Makoto ventured further into the room, her hair tousled charmingly and her 
eyes still sleepy.  "Oh, all right," she muttered.  

"I personally believe that Mamoru just has aspirations of becoming a 
kidnapper, and he's practicing with us," Kunzite observed, wondering 
silently what twist of fate had placed Makoto in the same place, and 
cursing it.

Makoto's eyes went wide, and she stopped short, staring at the man who was 
still trying to figure out how he had gotten so tangled in his blanket.


/Thank goodness that it's a weekend and I don't have to go to school,/ Ami 
thought, glancing up from her homework to check on Jadeite.  /It would be 
very difficult to catch up on my schoolwork if I missed any of my 
classes./  Seeing that he was still asleep, Ami went back to her physics.  
/At least he looks much better than he did before./  He was nearly four 
hours short of having slept a whole day.  Her mother had been slightly 
worried about that, since the shot she had administered should have worn 
off long since.  Still, there was nothing they could do but let him sleep. 

Ami looked up from her textbook again to watch Jadeite sleep.  His face 
was so relaxed and peaceful that it made her smile to see him.  Seeing him 
like that made it difficult to remember that he had ever been a servant of 
the Negaverse, or that he had tired at various points to destroy the 
Sailor Scouts.  It also contrasted sharply with the other time that she 
had watched him asleep, in Beryl's eternal sleep...

Jadeite stirred and stretched, opening his eyes.  "I'm still alive.  What 
an amazing thing."

Ami giggled, which startled him.  "Congratulations, I guess--You kind of 
had us all worried."

"Ami?" Jadeite asked.  "What are you doing here?"

She smiled at him.  "I live here, and I'm doing my homework."

"You study too much, has anyone ever told you that?  I mean, here I am, 
possibly on my deathbed, and there you are, studying..." He peered closer. 

Ami smiled.  "I hear that a lot."

"What, that you're always studying while somebody is dying?"

"No, that I study too much." Ami shrugged.  "I have to really work, 
though, if I want to keep my grades as high as they are.  Besides, if 
you're able to make smart comments like that, I can be pretty sure that 
you aren't dying.  When you turn serious, *then* I'll get worried."

Jadeite looked indignant.  "I can be serious!  I just don't like it.  Too 
boring.  Reminds me of Kunzite." He looked nervous.  "He isn't here, is 

"No, he's at Mamoru's apartment."

"Poor Mamoru," Jadeite observed, deciding to attempt sitting up.  "I can't 
imagine that Kunzite would be the world's most cheerful houseguest."

Ami giggled.  "Well, add Makoto to the mix."

Jadeite made a face as he gingerly pushed himself up.  "Something about 
that entire situation strikes me as being wrong.  Kunzite just isn't that 
kind of guy--" He gulped and looked at Ami cautiously.  "Um, you did know 
about that, didn't you?"

She nodded.  "We all know.  It's no big surprise or anything, especially 
to Makoto."

Relief crossed Jadeite's face.  "That's good... I'd hate to have to break 
that to her; I mean, really, how to tell someone about that sort of 

Ami pursed her lips in thought.  "Write a note," she suggested.  "Write a 
note and run away.   Being around Makoto when she's upset isn't always 

Jadeite laughed.  "I'll keep that in mind.  But, are you telling me that 
Makoto knows and doesn't care?"

"Hope springs eternal, I guess." Ami looked sad.  "She has a real problem 
with unrequited love."

/She isn't the only one,/ Jadeite mused.  He covered his own personal 
problems smoothly, though, and eyed the physics text.  "So, is that stuff 
really interesting?"

"If you like science, then it's fascinating." Ami looked at him hopefully. 
 "I guess you aren't into science, though."

Jadeite shrugged.  "I don't know.  I've never looked into it.  Tell me 
about it."

Ami stared at him, amazed.  No one not of the intellectual elite had ever 
asked about her studies and seemed so sincere about it.  "You really want 
to listen to me talk about physics?"

"Sure, I'd like to hear about physics," Jadeite told her.  "Go ahead, 
knock me out."

/Wow, this is too... what does Usagi call it?  Wicked cool.../



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