Continuing Tales

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 3 of 30

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The Ties that Bind

Christmas holidays were in full swing in Tokyo. Shops were filled with Christmas apparel and decorations - mostly consisting of mistletoe and holly, as well as the tinkling of Christmas carols.

Mamoru found it slightly nauseating that even the airport was full of holiday cheer - or rather - commercialism in all it's glory. After battling his way through several employees trying to sell him special Christmas bunnies or chocolates, he stood firmly entrenched at the front of the welcoming area with a scowl so fierce that no one dared approach him.

Suddenly he heard a squeal and felt the breath whoosh out of him as another body collided with him, long arms wrapping around his neck like an octopus.

As he fought to breath and balance, he recognized the desperate figure clutching him tearfully.

"I missed you so much!" Makoto sobbed.

Several older ladies eyed Mamoru and Makoto askance, clucking to each other about how sweet the reunion between lovers could be. Mamoru flushed at their miscalculations and attempted to welcome Makoto properly.

"I missed you too," he said, patting her on the back, "We all did, Mako-chan."

Makoto pulled away from him, looking embarrassed and happy at the same time and Mamoru couldn't help smiling at her. He bent to take her bags and allowed her a moment to recover her composure.

"Did you have a good time in Italy?" he asked, as they began the long walk back to the parking deck.

"Oh, it was amazing!" Makoto sighed, "You have to take Usa-chan there - she would love Italy and France."

Mamoru chuckled.

"I'm sure she would, they are both renowned for their chocolate deserts."

Makoto hit him playfully on the shoulder - a gesture that seemed to vie with the mature and elegant clothing she wore - a loose green turtle neck sweater and a long, a-line skirt with strings of beads wrapped around her throat. Mamoru thought she looked positively cosmopolitan - and though she was the youngest of the Senshi, she definitely seemed the eldest at the moment.

"It's so romantic there," she went on, grinning happily to herself as she remembered, "I walked along the river and ate crepes at a little cafe by the water - it was so wonderful."

"You didn't happen to bring home any Frenchmen, did you?"

Makoto turned to stare at him.

"Of course not!"

"That's a shame," he sighed, shaking his head, "Because Usako was hoping you'd find someone we could borrow for the wedding."

"What? Borrow? Why would she want to borrow a Frenchman?" Makoto was utterly confused.

"Because," he said, pausing to lift her luggage into the trunk of his car, "That way we'll be closer to having an equal number of bridesmaids and grooms."

"Oooooh," Makoto laughed, "I see. Nope, sorry. Can't help you there."

Mamoru shrugged.

"It's alright, I'm sure Motoki can escort all of you," he replied with a smile, holding the door for her. He slipped into the sleek black car and swiftly shifted out of the parking lot.

Racing along the highway to her house, Makoto was full of stories of her experiences in Europe and Mamoru was content to let her talk, enjoying her enthusiasm. He reflected that of all Usagi's friends, he often felt most in tune with Makoto. They were both orphans, which almost automatically gave them an unspoken understanding of their shared reverence for family. And of all the Senshi, besides Ami, Makoto was the one he had the most interests in common with - she actually watched ballgames with him, and enjoyed the occasional game of football. Plus she was the best cook in the group - and he privately hoped this would rub off on his Usako, if only just a little bit.

"So Ami and Mina will be home soon?" Makoto asked.

"Mina's already finished and is staying with Rei," he answered, "But Ami still has one more exam."

"I bet UT's exams are really hard," she observed, watching the scenery passing by with an elated feeling of being home.

"That's what I hear," he agreed, "It sounds like Ami's program is really similar to what mine was like - pre-med's pretty much the same anywhere I guess."

"Yeah. Oh, can we stop at the market on the way to my house?"

"Of course -"

"I need to get the turkey - for Christmas dinner!" Makoto announced, excitedly.

Mamoru smiled.

"It's really good to have you home again," he observed, thinking about the coming feast with great anticipation.

Ami was trying to study for her final exam, but the thump of the bass to someone's music was so harsh that it made her head vibrate, not just the walls.

With a final sigh, she threw her pencil down - as close as she could ever remember being to losing her temper.

She pulled on another sweater, since the heat had suddenly decided to quit working last night, and made her way down the stairs to the boy's dorm below. The music thumped louder and louder in her head - and did nothing for her disposition.

As she entered the boy's dorm, she halted in her tracks. Nothing in her life - no battle with Beryl or fight with the Amazon Quartet, had ever prepared her for the horror in front of her. The hall was dimly lit, there were flashing lights everywhere and beer cans everywhere; dirty clothes, half-eaten pizza, scattered Christmas, New Year's and Halloween decorations, and half naked men dressed in bedsheets - everywhere.

She almost transformed into Sailor Mercury on the spot, but just held her fear and disgust in check as a figure approached her in the gloom and noise.

Was it a rational being? she wondered.

It was a young man, about Ami's age, with brown hair and black eyes. As soon as he spotted her, he smiled.

"Hey, baby - decide to join the party?" he slurred.

Eww - Ami thought. She took a decided step back, carefully trying not to tread on anything in the hall.

"Where you going?" he asked - his English was sadly deteriorating as the alcohol and who knew what else slowly perforated his mind.

"Do you think you could turn the music down?" Ami asked, politely.

"Huh?" He yelled, squinting. Suddenly his grin grew.

"You're that blue-haired chick who lives upstairs." He crowed.

Ami recoiled from his waving arm - there was no telling when he'd last bathed properly.

"The music," she repeated slowly, and twice as loud, "It's too loud."

"Hey, yeah, I like it too!" He shouted, and then threw in a whoop for good measure.

Ami had just about had enough when another young man came out of one of the many dorm rooms and caught sight of them.

"What's all the shouting about?" he asked.

With a shock, Ami recognized the voice of the young man who'd gotten rid of her would-be Romeo. He seemed exasperated with his friend, and with a lithe and sober pace he stalked toward them.

"I've told you to stay in the room when you're this pissed, you moron - oh," the young man stopped dead when he caught sight of her.

His pale green eyes blinked at Ami, taking in her petite stature, her doll's face with its miffed expression. He coughed apologetically.

"Excuse me," he said, tugging his drunk friend behind him, "I'm sorry if he bothered you - he's just drunk out of his mind right now."

"I can see that," she said, with a little more snippiness than she'd meant. He didn't seem like such a bad guy after all.

In fact, Ami thought he was altogether agreeable. In fact, she thought he might possibly be one of the most beautiful men she'd ever seen.

He was young, with a face that could have been a model's of either gender. His blond hair curled softly over his shoulders from where it escaped his pony tail tie. He was slender and lean, and the bed sheet he wore draped over him like a toga revealed the smooth muscles of his thin but well built chest and arms. Altogether he was as delicious looking as a strawberry.

Ami blushed.

"Uh, did you need something?" he asked, curiously.

"Why - why are you wearing that?" she asked, shyly.

"This?" He lifted the bed sheet off of him and stood before her in only his dark blue jeans. Ami's blush deepened considerably.

"We're having a toga party," he said.

Ami could tell by the way he said it that she should know what he was talking about. So she nodded as if she did.

"Want to join us?" he asked, coloring when someone behind him let out a loud belch.

"Uh, no," she said, "I'm studying, I have an exam tomorrow."

"Oh, me too," he answered, cheerfully. He ran a hand through his hair, admiring for a moment the way in which her brow puckered in thought.

"Cute," he murmured, but she didn't hear him.

"I'd better go," she said, feeling as though her face was going to catch on fire soon.

"Oh." He seemed a little disappointed.

"Well, ok, nice to meet you - I'm Zoe, by the way." He stuck out his hand, and then pulled it back, hitting himself in the head with the palm of his hand.

"Sorry," he muttered, and made a stiff and awkward bow.

Ami returned it.

"Ami," she said.

"Ok, see you around then, Ami," he said and smiled. When he smiled his entire face lit up and made it difficult for Ami to look at him.

Plus she had inadvertently told him her first name, as though they were old friends. Now she really never wanted to bump into him again.

"Oh, ok."

Ami turned as quickly as she could and bolted out of that den of dissipation like the proverbial bat out of hell. Reaching her room a mere two seconds later, she fell on her bed and lay there taking deep breaths to calm herself.

The music eventually pounded it's way into her head again with a regular thud.

Ami groaned and stuffed her pillow over her head.

"Stupid college boys!" she shouted into her pillow.

"Shit, you are so drunk," Zoe muttered as his roommate fell onto their futon sofa. The only answer he received was a belch and the bird before his roommate drifted into a peaceful slumber.

Kicking his way through the litter of cans and things he didn't even want to identify, he tried to locate his shirt.

He suddenly remembered the blush on the blue-haired girls' face when he'd taken off his toga. He allowed himself a small grin - at least she'd found him 'affecting'. Well, she was pretty cute herself. He found himself wondering, idly, what she would look like in a toga...

He finally glimpsed his shirt underneath the tv set, and with great effort he managed to silently extract it and put it on again.

Looking around at his trashed room and trashed roommate, he ran a hand through his curls and sighed.

"It's not even eleven yet," he murmured, "And I'm sure as hell not doing any studying tonight."

He hunted a few more minutes for his jacket, keys and wallet. Thus attired he made his way out the door of the dorms and the side door of the building. As he walked out into the chill air he shivered and shoved his hands down deep into his pockets.

"So, Tokyo," he whispered, "Let's see how much fun you are in the dark."

"I'm tired of looking at the damn stars!" Jade shouted.

Nolan shushed him with an imperious finger.

"You can't yell like that," he frowned, "We're in a neighborhood."

"Nolan," Jade said, putting his hands in his pockets and giving his friend a very unmoved look.

"I have lived in this country for close to a third of my life - can you please let me vent my frustration without lecturing me about Japanese manners?"

Nolan merely sighed and returned to looking at the stars in the clear winter sky.

"Beautiful," he murmured to himself, "If only I could see."

"See what?" Jade huffed, "You can see just fine. Do you need a telescope?"

"No," Nolan whispered, "I wish I could see what the stars are saying."

"One - you can't see someone say something, you 'hear' it. And two - stars don't talk, Noles. They're just balls of gas."

Nolan was paying zero attention to him, so Jade took the opportunity to sit down on a bench.

"The Greeks could read their futures in the heavens," Nolan said, "Can you imagine being able to understand the signs?"

"No, I can't. And I don't want to. You sound as bad as that priestess, Hino-san."

Jade lay his head back against the back of the bench and let his eyes wander across the sky. The multitude of stars, like tiny pin pricks through a black sheet, seemed to fill him with an overbearing sense of loneliness. Even though Nolan was nearby, Jade still felt the utter smallness of his own existence and the insatiable loneliness for something he couldn't place.

"Do you ever think we were meant for something more?" he asked, quietly.

"Hm?" Nolan didn't look down, "Like what?"

"I don't know," Jade replied with a sigh, "Just...something. Like there's some part of life that we're missing out on..."

"Sometimes I do feel that way," Nolan admitted after a moment, his large dark eyes focusing on his companion.

"But what -"

His question was cut off by a shriek. He and Jade were instantly alert. Jade stood and together they began walking in the direction of the main street, away from the neighborhood and toward the metropolitan area.

"I don't see anything, do you?" he was about to ask Nolan when a body collided with him hard. He and the other person were knocked to the ground so forcefully that he lost the breath in his lungs.

"What the hell -" he gasped as soon as he was able. Nolan was already pulling the person off of Jade, holding the offender tightly by the elbow.

"Let go of me!" a thin voice demanded.

"Not until you apologize to my friend," Nolan warned him.

"Alright," the boy threw off Nolan's hand and stretched his own out to Jade, who took it hesitantly.

"I'm sorry," the young man said, panting, but helping Jade stand, under Nolan's watchful eye.

"No worries," Jade said, brushing himself off, "But why are you running around in the dark, if I may ask?"

The young man's face grew so confused and at the same time so desperate, that Jade had a hard time keeping a straight face himself.

"I -" he started.

"There he is!" a voice called, and Nolan and Jade looked around just in time to find two policemen bearing down on them.

Nolan still held the young man in a strong grip from which he wiggled in vain to escape. But as the policemen caught up with them they found themselves on the receiving end of two very angry stares.

"You are under arrest," the first man announced, laying a hand on the boy and ignoring his squawking protests.

"And you two as well, don't make us ask for back-up," the second man, very large and out of breath, informed them.

"Us?" Jade repeated, dumbstruck.

"That's right, until we get this mess sorted out."


"Now look, officer," Nolan began.

"Don't argue," Jade mumbled to Nolan. He saw that the policemen were already putting loving hands on their tazers.

"We'll come peacefully," he assured them - looking hard at Nolan who finally sighed and nodded. He was still taller than either of the policemen but he allowed them to grab his wrist and tug him along like a sedate St. Bernard.

The boy kept scrambling until the policeman gave him a little taste of the tazer. After this enlightening experience he was much calmer. He eventually smoothed his curly hair out of his face and straightened his jacket and attempted to look calmer.

"Where are you taking us?" Jade asked, after a moment, expecting to hear the name of a local police station.

"American Embassy," the first policeman said, shortly, arriving at the car and indicating that Jade enter.

"The Embassy?" Jade yelped as he was shoved between Nolan and the boy.

Turning to look at the boy:

"The American Embassy?" he repeated, his tone becoming silky and dangerously calm.

"What on Earth did you do?"

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 3 of 30

<< Previous     Home     Next >>