By: Krys Bear
Note: This story depics two girls in love (Makoto and Minako). If you have a problem with that please evolve.
Disclaimer: The Sailor Moon characters are not mine. I'm just using them for my own romantic pleasure. I promise I'll put them back as soon as I'm done with them.
Authors Notes: This fic takes place approximately 8 months after Makoto and Minako have 'hooked up.' They are both seventeen years old.
I'd like to thank Chrono Cross for the one irrisistable line I just had to steal for my own. Kudos to those who know which one I'm talking about.
"What in Kami's name are we going to do?" Mars whispered, staring down at the sleeping toddler. "We have to find a way to change her back!"
Mercury pushed her way to the front, and kneeled down in front of little Makoto. "Just give me a minute, everybody. Move back and let me see just what happened." The scouts complied, and Ami pulled out her henshin wand. She then began to prod Makoto mindlessly with it. The little girl kicked out sleepily at the source of her discomfort.
"She's not a science experiment Mercury!" Sailor Mars pushed her way up to the front, and snatched Ami's henshin wand out of her hand. "How is poking her going to help anybody?"
Mercury shook her head, her clouded eyes clearing. She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry everybody. I just....I guess I just couldn't believe my eyes for a minute there. She really is a child!" Mars rolled her eyes while Mercury pulled out her supercomputer. "I'm going to scan her, and see what kind of readings I pick up. I'm sure there's a way to reverse this." Her fingers flew across the keys, and the compact wonder began making odd beeping noises. The genius senshi's brow furrowed as she absorbed all the information she was receiving, her geek brain in full throttle.
"Well?" Moon asked after a few moments of electronic noise. "Are you getting anything?"
Mercury nodded. "Yes. Physically she is five years and four months in age. Her strength is five times that of a normal little girl at the same age, but I was expecting to see that. What really bothers me is the fact that mentally, she's five years old as well. This whole thing would be a lot easier if it was only her body that was affected by this...thing. I've got a lot of data here, but I'm not seeing the direct cause for her transformation, and until I can pinpoint that, I can't find a way to reverse it."
Mars' left eyebrow twitched. "So what exactly is it that you're saying here, Mercury? That we can't fix her? That Sailor Jupiter is going to be running around fighting youmas in diapers?!"
Mercury scowled. "Of course not! She's five years old, Mars. She's been out of diapers for quite a while now!"
Moon and Mars stared at Mercury, and facefaulted. "Er...sorry." The blue senshi whispered. "But you have to understand that I just need a little more time with this. I won't rest until I find a way to reform her, but until then, you're all going to have to be patient. I have all of the data I need from her for now." She closed her computer with a snap. "I'm sure it won't take long. But in the meantime, we have to deal with the immediate problem this presents."
"How are we going to watch over her until we fix this? As far as I know, she doesn't have any family around here that could take care of her. And even if she did, how would we explain this to them? Her parents are dead, and she lives on her own. But she's far too young to be able to take care of herself now. Which means its up to us."
"You're right." Sailor Moon sat down beside Makoto, and cradled her in her arms. "We'll each take turns taking care of her. You know she'd be the first to do the same for us. When Mercury figures out what happened, we can change her back, and everything will go back to normal. It shouldn't be any trouble." The other two senshi nodded in agreement.
"My mother's usually gone all weekend, working at the hospital." Mercury said. "So I can keep her Saturday and most of Sunday."
"We're having a fund raiser at the temple tomarrow, " Mars spoke out. "Lots of things to do for kids. It might be best if I took her for tonight and tomarrow, so she wouldn't get bored. Then we can switch her over tomarrow night."
Sailor Moon nodded. "Alright then, its settled. Makoto will stay at the temple tonight. That's one of our problems taken care of. Now for the harder one."
"What are you talking about, odango-head?"
"Shut up Mars!" She turned to Mercury. "Just how are we going to break this to Minako?"
Minako paced around her bedroom, glancing at the clock. "Something must have gone wrong, Artemis. It's been almost two hours. Makoto would have been back by now." She stormed to her dresser to get her henshin pen. "I'm going out after them!"
Artemis stood up and stretched. "Just give them a few more minutes Mina. If something had come up and they needed you, they would have called you by now. Usagi probably just needed an ice cream cone or something, so they're taking a little longer. Do you know what your mother will do if she catches you sneaking out again?"
Minako sighed. "I KNOW Artemis. I can't help it though. I feel like something's terribly, terribly wrong."
"Minako," Artemis started, "you know, you might just be paran-"
He was cut off by the sound of Minako's communicator beeping. The blond lept to it, opening it before it was even fully in her hand. "What's wrong?" She asked. "Is everyone ok?"
Usagi's face grinned awkwardly back at her. "Well, er...umm...nobody is hurt, so you don't have to worry about that, Mina. But we do have something real important like to discuss, so we're going to meet at the Shinto shrine in a half hour. I hate to ask you to come, because I know how much trouble you're already in, but there's no way around it." Minako heard her sigh. "You just have to be here."
Minako nodded. "Don't worry about it Usagi. I'll handle my mother. I'll meet you all there in half an hour." The communicator clicked off, leaving Minako only partially relieved.
"There's something they're not telling me, Artemis." She slipped her Senshi gear into her coat pocket. "Usagi looked pretty flipped out. We have to meet at the temple in half an hour." She pulled her backpack out of her closet and opened it. "I have to climb out the window again, so you're going to have to ride in here for a while, kitty."
Artemis groaned. The only thing worse than riding in Minako's backpack with all her disorganized belongings slamming into his little body was the thought of Mrs. Aino's loving arms. "I heard, Mina. I'll get in when I absolutely have to."
"Ok." The blond took a deep breath, and pulled a small packet of powder from underneath her bed. "I'm not allowed out of my room, so I need you to take care of mom this time, Artemis. Luckily enough I got her to unlock the door for me earlier when I had to go to the bathroom." She measured out a small portion of the powder and poured it into a vial. "Do you think you can handle it?"
The cat did a little spin. "I've done just fine before. No reason I shouldn't be able to this time." He took the tiny vial from her and held it between his teeth.
"Alright." Mina quietly slipped the door open, and let the stealth cat out. "Get back here as soon as you can. We have to move fast."
The cat grunted, and flew down the hall. He loved it when he got to be the one to drug Mrs. Aino's nightcap. It was a small revenge for all the odd abuses he suffered at the woman's hand.
Not to mention the fact he was just a sick little kitty sometimes.
As soon as he hit the stairway, Artemis slipped into Navy Seal mode. He sniffed the air, trying to determine his target's exact location in the downstairs living quarters. Soundlessly he crept down the stairs, taking every care in making sure he kept his jaw closed around the precious vial.
He heard the television blaring, and knew Mrs. Aino was watching one of her evening sitcoms before going to bed. The woman was a witch, in every sense of the word, but at least she had the decency to be a predictable one. It made this whole mission a lot simpler.
Mrs. Aino's nightcap rested on the coffee table, only three paces away from the woman herself. Shit, the cat thought to himself. There's no way I can slip anything in there without getting her attention.
He crouched behind a plant in the corner of the room, and waited. Mrs. Aino was a midnight snacker, and her bowl of cheezy poofs were almost empty. Chances are she'd go refill it on the next commercial, giving him a golden opportunity.
The next commercial came, and just as predicted, Mrs. Aino picked up her bowl and made her way into the kitchen. As soon as she was out of the room, Artemis lept up onto the table and tilted his head, pouring the powder out of the vial and into her drink. It blended in with the rich liquid perfectly, and had no flavor that could give its presence away. It would take effect within minutes, and Mrs. Aino would be out cold for the night. Chances are she'd fall asleep right on the couch, and not even make it into her bedroom. It was a potent drug, but harmless. Minako'd used it a fair number of times on her mother, in situations like this.
Senshi business comes first.
Artemis jumped down off of the table and spit the vial out of his mouth, and batted it under the couch. Minako would take care of it as soon as things were stable again. He heard heavy footsteps coming out of the kitchen, and he high tailed it, running as fast as his little legs could carry him for the stairs.
He turned around to see if Mrs. Aino had seen him. He looked a little longer than he should have, however, and before he could right himself, he sailed head first into the plant he'd been hiding behind just moments ago.
"Artemis?" A grating voice called out. "Is that you?"
The kitty in question lay, dazed under a pile of dirt and roots. The plant pot was thrown clear across the room, and there was green leaves and mess strewn everywhere. Oh no. Please no. Kami, don't let her get me.
Mrs. Aino stood up, and finished off her drink, making Artemis sigh with relief. At least she had the drugs in her system. The wonderful, beautiful drugs. "It was you!" She squawked, rushing over to clean up the mess. "Bad kitty!" She waved her finger in his face. "Very very bad! Now mommy has to clean up all this mess. And look what you did to poor Mr. Plant!" She pulled the plant off of his head, and did her best to place it back into the pot.
Artemis shook himself off and tried to slink away, before the woman noticed. No such luck.
"You come here you silly kitty," she cooed, and picked him up. "You were just so excited you needed to run and play, didn't you? Yes you did, frisky little kitty." She began to make kissy noises at him and stroke his head. "Now you sit down here with mommy and watch the nice movie. And you settle down!" She poked his nose. "You know that kind of thing is for outside play."
Artemis cringed as Mrs. Aino carried him to the couch, all the while talking to him in that silly little voice that made his ears bleed.
Come on drugs! He prayed. Hurry up and knock the bitch down!
"STRANGERS!" The fiesty little girl shouted, kicking out with all her might. "You're bad people! Bad people!" she snarled, biting Ami's elbow. "Now you let me go, or I'll kick your arses so hard you'll kiss the moons!"
Crying out in pain, Ami let go of little Makoto, who promptly sprinted for the temple door. Rei lept forward and tackled her down before she could reach it, causing the toddler to roar and begin pounding on the priestess with her tiny fists. Rei held fast throughout the rain of blows, desperate to calm the girl down. "Usagi!" She yelled. "Lock the doors and give me a hand here!"
Usagi ran and secured the doors, making sure Makoto couldn't escape. Then she rushed over to check on Ami, who was holding a cloth to her elbow and wincing. "Are you ok Ami?" she asked, concerned.
The blue haired geek nodded. "I'll be fine." She pointed to Rei and Makoto. The little girl had two handfuls of Rei's hair in her fists, and was tugging for all she was worth. "Go and help them!"
"Let me go! Makoto shouted, red faced and livid. "You let me go right now or my mom and dad are going to be really mad!" Rei strugged to free her raven locks from the child's clenched fists.
Usagi kneeled down beside the two and put her hands on top of Makoto's much smaller ones. "Mako-chan...Makoto. Please, stop and listen for a minute. We're not bad people, and we're not going to hurt you."
Under Usagi's gentle touch, the little girl's hands loosened their death grip. Even as a child, there was something in her that simple wouldn't allow her to try to hurt her princess. She looked up at the senshi leader, uncertainty reflected in her eyes. "Where's my mom and dad?" she asked, looking around the room.
Usagi nearly broke into tears at that point. Makoto's was back at a point in her life before the plane crash, when her parents were still alive. How could she be the one to tell the girl her parents were dead, for a second time? It just wasn't possible.
"Makoto," Usagi said, her voice almost catching. "You're parents are gone...for a little while. They had to go away on a business trip. Do you know what that is?"
The brunette scampered out from underneath Rei and nodded. "Yeah. Daddy has to go on those lots. He always brings me back a present when he comes home."
Ok. I made a good choice there. She knows what I'm saying. Now if I can just get her to trust us. "Right, so that's where your daddy is. Your mommy went with him this time, and she put us in charge of taking care of you until they get back.
"So you're my babysitter?" The girl asked, still a little skeptical.
"That's right. Now, if you come over here, " she motioned to the large tatami mat that sat in the middle of Rei's room, "we can all tell you our names, so we won't be strangers anymore."
Makoto nodded, and toddled over to the mat and sat down with her legs crossed.
Ami and Rei followed, sitting directly across from the girl. "Sorry I bited your arm off," Makoto said to Ami, as she looked down at the floor.
"It's alright," the small senshi replied, ruffling Mako's already very mussed bangs. "You just didn't know what was going on."
Usagi came and sat down beside her as she was giving Rei a similar apology. The priestess had come out of it in worse shape than Ami, with a small bruise forming on her cheek, and a trickle of blood coming down from her ear, where Makoto had tugged it. The dark haired senshi grunted in response, and snatched Ami's towel out of her hands to clean herself up with. It wasn't that she was angry at Makoto for attacking her, it was just that her pride was injured due to the fact the little girl gave her so much trouble.
"Alright Makoto," Usagi started, "I'll introduce myself first. My name is Tsukino Usagi." She let the girl pratice pronouncing her name a few times before she continued. "That girl who's 'arm you bit off' ...her name is Mizuno Ami. And that grouchy one beside Ami," she pointed at the fire senshi, "is Hino Rei. She works with her grandfather to run this shrine. You'll be staying here with her tonight."
Makoto's eyes grew wide and she shuffled behind Usagi. "Don't wanna stay here tonight," the little girl mumbled. "Wanna stay with you."
Ami quirked an eyebrow, and Rei sighed. Maybe this wasn't going to be as easy as they thought. "Do you like ice cream, Makoto?" Rei asked, hoping she could score the way Usagi did.
Makoto's eyes lit up. "Yeah! I like ice cream, and candies and cookies!"
"Well I don't know about cookies and candies, but I do know we have some ice cream with sprinkles in the kitchen." Rei stood up, and held out her hand. "Do you want to come with me and get some?"
Makoto looked up at Usagi, who nodded and motioned for her to follow. She lept to her feet, and snagged Rei's hand, successfully bribed. Ami gave Rei the thumbs up sign, and let out a sigh of relief. "It might be a good idea to keep her in there until after we've talked to Minako, Rei. I don't think it would do at all to have her just walk in and see you-know-who like that."
Makoto looked up at Rei, puzzled. "Who's Minako? Is she gonna watch me too?"
Rei shuffled out of the room, giving a nod of affirmation. She'd keep Makoto busy with ice cream long enough for the others to explain everything to Minako. In all honesty, she was glad she wasn't the one who had to tell the blond.
"Speaking of Minako," Usagi started with a giggle, "it looks like she's picking up my lovely habits. I wonder, what's taking her so long?"
Artemis yeowled in pain as Minako's heavy math book struck him in the head. "Mina, are we far enough away yet? Let me out of here!"
"Sorry Artemis," the blond said and stopped, letting him out of his canvas prison. "I forgot."
The duo picked up the pace and continued speeding towards the Hikawa shrine. "We're almost there," Artemis huffed as the monstrous staircase came into view. "About how late do you think we are?"
"Oh, I don't know," Minako replied sarcastically. "You're little 'fun time' with my mom put us behind about twenty minutes. I'd have to say we're at least a half hour late now."
Artemis scowled. "Don't you dare start acting like it was my fault, Minako! Do you have any idea what it was like, stuck there in the arms of that horrible beast who gave birth to you? 'Fun time', you call it? Molestation is a much better word!"
They bounded up the stairs, taking them two at a time. "Well if you had been a little more careful, instead of playing spy cat, you never would have knocked over her stupid plant! Then we could have been out of there right away, instead of waiting for her to pass out from the dope so you could get away!"
They were still bickering when they reached the entrance to the temple. Minako knew it wasn't the cat's fault. He always did the best he could, but she couldn't shake the worried feeling she had. Not to mention the fact she prided herself on being the leader of the senshi, aside from Usagi, and it made her look bad to be showing up at important meetings late.
She stood in front of the door to Rei's room, and knocked three times. Artemis jumped up and took his usual place on her shoulder, still sore about the whole incident.
Ami opened the door, a plastic smile plastered across her face. "Minako, come in. We were just wondering where you were."
"Yeah!" Usagi agreed, the same cheesy smile on her own face. "Did you have a hard time getting away from your mom?"
Minako looked at Artemis, and then back at her fellow senshi. "A little. But don't worry, it's all taken care of now." Her mind flashed back to the last image she had of her mother before she'd snuck out - laying with her bathrobe half hanging open and a trail of drool making its way down her chin as an old episode of some Japanese soap opera blared from the television set. She shuddered at the recollection.
"So," the perky blond sat down and took off her coat and shoes. "Where's Rei and Mako-chan?"
"Oh!" Usagi let out a high pitched laugh and nervously scratched her neck. "Don't you worry, they'll be out in a few minutes! But before they do...umm...there's something Ami needs to tell you."
Ami paled and threw up her hands. "No, no, I have NOTHING to say at all. Usagi, I thought we agreed you'd be the one to tell her?" she scowled.
"Oh, no we didn't," Usagi quicly picked up. "You told me you wanted to do it, remember?" She elbowed Ami and waggled her eyebrows. "Since _you're_ the one who knows all the technical terms and all."
"No way!" Ami stood up and backed away from the very confused Minako and Usagi. "You're the princess, so she's not allowed to hurt you! I don't have that kind of protection! Now you tell her about Makoto!"
"What's wrong with Makoto?!" Minako stood up, eyes filled with panic. "I thought you said no one was hurt!" She started to run to the door. "Mako-chan!"
"No!" Usagi imitated the tackle Rei'd used on Mako earlier, and brought Minako down by the ankles. "You can't go in there!"
Minako throw Usagi off and scrambled up, trying to open the door with Ami now tugging at her as well. "Let me go see her!" She cried out, pushing the nerd away. "Makoto!"
Suddenly Rei's voice was heard from the other side of the door. "Did you guys tell her what's going on yet? I can't keep her cooped up in here much longer...she's going ballistic!" In the background a muffled child's voice could be heard, along with a large amount of banging and clashing.
Ami swallowed hard. Not only did they have a five year old Makoto to deal with, now they had a sugar high five year old Makoto to deal with. Dear Kami, what could they have done to deserve that?
"Rei!" Usagi yelled. "Hold the door closed! Minako doesn't know yet!"
Muffled curses and the sound of Rei slumping against the door. "You idiot! You've had plenty of time! Hurry up and just spit it out!"
Knowing that this task really did fall upon her shoulders, Usagi grabbed Minako and looked her in the eyes. "Mina-chan, Makoto isn't hurt. Now just listen to me, and stay calm. She's just a little bit...smaller now, than she was earlier. And she likes ice cream a little more. But Ami is going to fix her, so she should only be this way for a few days, tops. So, no worries, and-"
"Geez Usagi!" Ami growled. "Just shut up. I'll tell her myself!" She turned to Minako. "Mina, we found this strange youma in the abandoned warehouse. It's like nothing we ever faced before, and Makoto, well, you know Mako-chan. She was the first to take it on. There was this blinding flash of light, and then...Makoto was suddenly five years old, and we don't know why. But I promise, I swear, I will get her back to her normal self!"
A thud was heard from Rei's side of the door. "I wanna go back and see Usagi now! Move out of the way, or I'll have ta get rough with ya!"
"What?" Minako whispered in disbelief. "You're joking, right Ami?" She began to laugh hysterically. "That was good, you really had me going you three! Makoto...five years old...for no real reason at all..." tears of laughter formed at the corners of her eyes. "Thanks you guys, I really needed a laugh." She faced the door. "You can come out not Mako-chan...wow, you really had me going for a minute. You get an 'A' for effort."
The sound of Rei sighing was heard as the door unlocked. "Alright Makoto...you heard Minako. Come on out so she can see you now."
A few scuffles were heard as Makoto bounded through the doorway, a bit of chocolate sauce and a sprinkle stuck to her cheek. "Hullo," she said, giving Minako a toothy grin. "My name is Kino Makoto. I just ate three whole bowls of ice cream."
Minako looked at Makoto, then to Rei, and Usagi.
Then she fainted.
More Notes: My muse is crazy, but I am a slave to her whims. I decided to try and see if I could capture Minako a little more in this fic, and give her some much needed character development. I'm tired of her being represented as an eternally happy airhead. Maybe it's me, but I just think she's a little bit deeper than that. ;)
Althought it may not seem so now, this fic is going to be very lighthearted, in contrast to my other current fic, Purgatory. I hope that this satisfies all of my readers who don't like my darker work as much. =)
This fic is dedicated to everyone who took the time to e-mail me and let me know what they thought of my writing, and give helpful suggestions. You all know who you are.