Continuing Tales

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 4 of 30

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
The Ties that Bind

Jade and Nolan sat stiffly in the uncomfortable plastic chairs at the back room of the police station next to the American Embassy.

Both looked up as a haggard and very pale looking young man was thrust into the room with them and a policeman picked up his post by the door.

"Is everything alright, officer?" Jade asked, politely.

The officer gave a curt nod.

"We're waiting for the Consul," he replied, "We can't continue with the investigation until he's here."

"Ah," Jade leaned back against the chair with a long sigh.

After three hours of questions, which they technically weren't supposed to ask until the arrival of the American Consul, the Tokyo police had nearly come to the decision that both Jade and Nolan were not involved in the crime of which the suspected the other man of attempting to commit. But as there was precious little evidence against anyone, they were having a difficult time figuring anything out.

"So did you do it?" Jade asked the young man.

He looked up at them, dark circles under his green eyes, and a look of desperation on his face.


"You look like the type though," Jade went on, calmly, "Young kid, thin as a whip, kind of twitchy face. Are you a student?"

"I'm really tired of answering questions right now," the young man replied, a bit snarkily.

"Then how are we ever to become aquainted?" Jade pointed out.

He thought he heard Nolan give a soft chuckle beside him.

The young man's eyes flickered from Jade to Nolan, trying to figure out whether or not they were making fun of him.

"Look," he said, "I'm sorry I dragged you into this."

"Well, you can't do anything about it now, except for amusing me," Jade answered, "So you might as well tell us all about you."

"I'll find out eventually," he added.

The other man blinked.

"He will," Nolan murmured, "It's his job."

"Detective?" the young man gulped.


Jade smirked as the young man wrinkled his nose.

"I'm Jaden Parker-Izumi," he said, holding out a hand, "I would say 'pleasure to meet you' but at the moment..."

"Zoe Johnson," the young man said, taking his hand.

"Nice to meet you, Zoe, I'm Nolan. Connelley."

Zoe quirked an eyebrow.

"You're not Irish are you?"

Nolan smiled, wryly.

"Born there. Spent most of my life in the States, though."

"I wondered - you have," Zoe drew a squiggley wave in the air with his finger.

"A lilt?" Nolan asked, "Yeah, I get that a lot. Just can't seem to get rid of the darn thing."

Zoe chuckled, albiet in relief, for the first time, and both Nolan and Jade realized how young he seemed.

"So why are you both here in Tokyo?"

"I'm studying Eastern Religions for my Master's Thesis," Nolan explained, "And Jade is here because..."

"Because I have nothing better to do than follow you around," Jade answered.


Zoe smiled at the bantering affection between the two.

"You've been friends for a long time?" he guessed.

"About...thirteen years?"

"That is a long time."

"But what about you," Nolan interrupted, "Why are you here, Zoe? I assume, of course, that it has nothing to do with smuggling amphetamines to students?"

Zoe blushed hotly, but let the anger ebb out of him.

"No," he snipped, "I'm here for school. I'm a foreign exchange student at Tokyo University. I'm here to study Japanese architecture."


"Yeah," Zoe nodded, rubbing his hands together, "I want to design eco-friendly homes. Create new energy usage systems - that kind of thing."

"Tree-hugger," Jade shook his head sadly.

Before Zoe could retort, Nolan winked at him.

Jade shrugged, and smiled at Zoe to show him he was joking.

"It's alright if you're a fruity tree-hugger," he told the younger man, "This guy talks to stars and believes in fairies."

Nolan frowned.

"It's the Irish in him - big imagination."

"That's a stereotype, you ignorant American."

Zoe actually laughed out loud at them both, and Nolan and Jade exchanged a quick smile. They had succeeded in loosening the young man up.

"How old are you, Zoe?"

"Nineteen, almost twenty."

"Oh, to be young," Jade sighed, theatrically.

"How old are you?" Zoe asked, curiously.

"I'm twenty-four, and this old man is twenty-five."

"Yes, we're practically on the shelf." Nolan commented, dryly.

"I'm sure am glad I ran into you two," Zoe chuckled, with a smile. Then he opened his eyes wide and amended:

"I mean not literally -"

"Yeah, that's alright, kid," Jade answered, "I only broke a few ribs. Nothing too serious."

"But this thing they think you're involved in," he continued, soberly, "That is serious. The Japanese police don't look very highly on people who smuggle their kids drugs..."

"I didn't - " Zoe began, angry again.

"I'm not saying you did!" Jade soothed, "But you need to be more careful about where you are and who you talk to here. Especially at your age."

Zoe calmed down a bit and shook his head.

"This so messed up," he sighed, "I was just trying to find out where the night-life was."

"It's alright," Nolan leaned over and patted Zoe on his thin shoulder, "If you haven't done anything wrong, then you don't have anything to worry about."

"Theoretically," Jade couldn't keep himself from adding. Nolan gave him a displeased look.

The policeman suddenly straightened and opened the door. After a brief exchange with another officer, he motioned for all three of them to stand and follow him to the interrogation room.

"So this Consul guy," Zoe stammered as they walked along, "He's an American too, right?"

"Not necessarily," Jade explained, "He could be a native Japanese working for the American Consulate. But don't worry, part of his job is impartiality."

"He's sure to be -"

Jade cut off as they entered the room. Across from them, seated with his arms crossed over his chest, was the single most intimidating man any of them had ever seen.

"One scary-looking bastard," Nolan finished under his breath.

The Consul gave them a small, rock-hard smile; his eyes glinting with anticipation as he eyed the three young men.

"So, gentlemen," he said, in a charming, easy voice, "Tell me why I'm sitting at this table at three in the morning."

Mamoru lay awake on his bed, looking up at the night sky through his bay windows.

He knew he was going to be dead tired for his date with Usagi tomorrow (or today) but he just couldn't seem to get to sleep. He turned over and looked at the desk drawer across the room.

The top drawer on the right seemed to beckon to him. He stared at it for a long moment.

Finally, he slipped out of bed and walked silently across the room to the desk, slowly opening the drawer. Though he couldn't see, he knew what was inside and carefully, he brushed his fingers over the smooth, cool, hard surfaces of the four objects.

As if in reaction to his touch, the stones began to shiver and emit a faint shimmer of light. In the darkness Mamoru could catch glimpses of faces in the light - illuminated like pale ghosts - but they weren't at all frightening.

With a sigh he sat down at his desk.

"What happened to all of you?" he wondered aloud, though only in a whisper. The vague shapes swirled in the dark, but didn't make a sound.

"How did we all end up like this? How did you end up like this?"

The darkness seemed to watch him, offering no answers.

"Why," he murmured to himself for perhaps the hundredth time, "Why am I the only one who was saved?"

The images of faces became clearer for a moment, but then dissipated into the dark.

Mamoru smiled ruefully. It wasn't that he wanted them back, these men he no longer remembered, but he often wondered...if things had been different.

'You can't fight fate,' a voice echoed in his head - it sounded like Kunzite's. He always experienced more memories of his past life when he touched the stones than at any other time.

"You can't fight the moonlight," he joked with the memory. The darkness didn't answer him.

"No," he said, after a moment, "You can't fight fate. Which is why it seems so unfair in the end. If you can't help yourself, then why should you be punished?"

"Why should you be punished?" he repeated, staring at the stones. He thought about calling them to come out, but he knew it only caused them pain to see him. Or rather, he assumed it did - from the looks on their transparent faces. Looks of such deep remorse and regret that they seemed bottomless wells of pain.

"Perhaps it's my punishment," he answered himself. He lifted his hands from the stones and closed the drawer once more.

"Or Beryl's last joke."

He lay down in his bed once more - it was now cold and he crept under the sheets to warm himself.

But of all of them, he reasoned, surely it was himself who deserved the most blame? The most punishment. Hadn't he betrayed the Senshi in the worst ways - betrayed his Princess in the worst way? He hadn't been himself, but if that were true it was doubly so for the Shitennou.

And fate had rewarded him with everlasting happiness?

"It can't end like that," he murmured, suddenly so tired that he hardly knew what he was saying.

"She wouldn't have wished it like the end."

"And you have found no trace of drugs on Mr. Johnson's person?" the low voice, with a metallic edge, asked.

The police inspector shook his head.

Zoe was having a hard time keeping up with the rapid flow of Japanese between the American Consul and the Japanese policemen. Fortunately Jade was translating for him as fast as he could under his breath.

"I see."

The Consul pinned Zoe with his molten gaze.

"And did you enter this country with intent to distribute illegal drugs?" he asked.

"No, sir."

"What was your intent?"

"I just wanted to go to school, sir," Zoe gulped.

"Admirable," the Consul smiled.

Had the iron figure just made a joke? Jade and Zoe exchanged a glance.

"Not many people your age seem to want to study so badly," the Consul continued, putting his hands behind his back as he paced slowly toward them.

"It speaks well of you, Mr. Johnson."

"Thank you -"

"But I'm curious, and I'm sure Inspector Himura is as well - if you were so intent on studying, then what were you doing in the Red Light district so late at night, speaking with persons who have known yakuza connections?"

Zoe turned several shades of green before replying:

"I didn't know that, sir, I just - I was trying to -"

"He wanted a break from school, sir," Jade put in, straightening his shoulders to look the tall Consul in the eye. It was a daunting task, even for Jade's invicible will.

"You are so quick to defend Mr. Johnson," the Consul observed, dispassionately, "It would seem he is worthy of your friendship?"

"Yes, sir," Jade answered, his brows snapping into a frown. He put an extra hint of sarcasm on the last word. This Consul might be scarier than the Godfather, but he was one arrogant bastard as well.

"Really?" The Consul lifted one elegant eyebrow, as if he hadn't noticed the sarcasm at all.

"I'm glad to hear that."

He then turned to Nolan, who'd made an effort to remain quiet through-out the interrogation.

"And you would speak for this young man as well?" he prodded.

Nolan nodded his assent, his calm, dark eyes meeting the Consul's without hesitation or embarrassment.

The Consul smiled slightly as though well pleased. It was hard to tell when he had a face like wooden board - showing almost nothing of what he was thinking.

'Good poker face,' Jade thought.

"If you'll excuse me then," the man said. The three of them waited with baited breath as the Consul and the two policmen exited the room. After what seemed like an hour, but which really took only ten minutes, the Consul and the policemen returned. The Consul noted Zoe's petrified expression and allowed himself a small smile which was intended to set the young man at ease.

"Well, before Inspector Himura allows you to leave I'd like to have a few words with the three of you in private," the Consul announced.

Zoe let out a huge sigh of relief which caused the Consul's lips to twitch.

"We can go?" he asked, absurdly hopeful. Nolan thought the poor kid looked dead on his feet.

"That's right, as soon as I say a few words," the Consul assented.

The policemen filed out of the room, including the Inspector after a bow was exchanged bewteen him and the Consul. As the door shut the three men standing slumped their postures just a bit.

"Gentlemen, please, sit."

They did as asked, Jade warily, Nolan easily, and Zoe with great relief.

The Consul linked his long fingers together and gazed at them for a moment. Jade controlled the urge to shift his legs. He knew the Consul was a man who could read body language - the type who enjoyed the affect his presence had on other people.

"I've been in this country for almost three years, and have served the American Consul for two of those years. How old would you say I am?"

The question took them all off guard. The Consul merely watched them with studied calm.

After a moment, Zoe gave a slight cough.

"Thirty-five?" he venture timidly.

The Consul made a slight shake of the head.

Nolan was puzzled - the man was nearly gray-headed, even with premature graying he couldn't be terribly young to be a Consul.

"I'd say...twenty-six." Jade answered.

Zoe and Nolan turned to look at him as though he were crazy. Jade simply watched the Consul's face - a sudden understanding flowing between the two.

"Very good, Mr. Izumi, I am twenty-seven years old this May."

"And do you know what I would like for my birthday?" he asked.

Nolan and Zoe stared at the man, wondering if they had lost their reason due to sleep deprivation.

"I would like to become the youngest Deputy-General Consul in the world," he answered, with a small, happy smile.

"Uh -" Zoe began.

"So, you see, Mr. Johnson," the Consul continued, effectively freezing Zoe in his seat with a glance, "In order for me to get what I want, I have to ensure that relations between America and Japan remain...spotlessly amiable. Now, what do you think will happen if another such incident as this occurs?"

Zoe's mouth went dry.

"You won't get to be deputy- uh -"

"I won't get to be Deputy-General, that's right. Very good." The Consul nodded.

"So, would you like to help me get my wish?"

"Yes?" Zoe answered, helplessly. The Consul's real smile was so frightening that Zoe suddenly understood why the man hardly used it.

"Wonderful. Then we understand each other perfectly, don't we, Mr. Johnson?"


The Consul stood, and Zoe jumped out of his chair. Jade and Nolan stood more sedately, both moving to stand a bit closer to Zoe, almost protectively.

"I can see that both Mr. Izumi and Mr. Connelley have taken it on themsevles to help you, Mr. Johnson, at great risk. I hope you endeavor to deserve that."

Zoe nodded, a bit humbled.

"It would also seem that I will be seeing much more of the three of you as I have volunteered myself as your guardian, as it were, for the duration of your stay."

"You have?" Zoe yelped. The Consul's lips twitched again, but he remained stoic.

"Yes. Not being the actual Consul, but rather her assistant, I do not have the power to request that the Inspector go easy on you, so I have arranged that I will personally be responsible for you while you're here. Consider me your newest friend."

He smiled again and Zoe gulped. Jade and Nolan were too surprised to respond.

"So, until we meet again, Mr. Johnson. A pleasure Mr. Izumi, Mr. Connelley."

Jade and Nolan shook hands with the Consul's assistant, their grips firm and measuring. This wasn't a man who simply sat in an office all day long, Nolan realized from the strength of his handshake.

"By the way, should you need any information about Japanese culture or manners while you are here," the man added, pulling out a business card and handing it to Zoe, "You may feel free to contact me."

"Konnor Sterling, Assistant to the American Consul and Honorary Consul. " Zoe read.

"That's right," Mr. Sterling nodded, his silver eyes glittering in amusement, though his chiseled face remained as placid as marble. He patted Zoe on the shoulder as he walked past all of them.

"Have a pleasant Christmas, gentlemen."

The door shut behind his tall, imposing figure.

Jade and Nolan looked at one another and then down at Zoe who was still clutching the business card in his whitened hands.

"Well, at least we have friends in high places now," Jade commented, at last.

"This a friend I think I could have done without," Zoe gulped, "This card says he's a retired Sergeant Major. "

"Well that explains a lot." Jade answered.

"I like him."

Jade and Zoe turned surprised eyes to Nolan who looked thoughtful. He shrugged at them.

"He's very..."



"Admirable." Nolan answered, and turned to walk out the door.

Jade shook his head.

"He's a man I wouldn't want to cross."

"Lucky he's on our side." Zoe said.

Jade looked down at the younger man in some amusement.

"'Our' side," he repeated with a smile, "I guess it is 'our' side now, isn't it?"

Zoe blinked as Jade tugged on his shoulder.

"As long as we're committing felonies tonight," he told Nolan, "Let's get a drink. Compared to international drug smuggling, a drink with a minor can't be that bad, right?"

Nolan shook his head but smiled at Zoe in a welcoming way.

"Careful," he murmured to the kid, "I think Jade's just adopted you."

Zoe laughed, realizing that he wouldn't mind being adopted by these two.

"Can I call you big brother?" he asked, Jade, jokingly.

"Hell, no. Unless you want to call Nolan 'uncle'."

Nolan frowned in exasperation at both of them as they both laughed at his expression.

He had a feeling that it was the beginning of an interesting friendship.

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 4 of 30

<< Previous     Home     Next >>