Back underground, Sark was beginning a revival process. He had about five lieutenants that were vital to him all those centuries ago, and they would be even more so now. From what he had come to discover, the continents had moved their places, and a great cataclysm had taken place has he had figured would have happened when the Queen unleashed the power of the Silver Crystal. However, the Earth was repopulated now, and there was much in the way of potential of turning them all into his minions and slaves. With the power he had access to, he was confident that he could win. Even their militaries were meek compared to what he and his best could conjure up. The only hope the people of Earth had was in the Sailor Scouts, and he knew that they were destroyed with everything else. Who would stop him now?
It was about 3:30 now, and the girls met at their favorite watering hole to have snacks and talk about their first day. They would normally start their homework as well, but that would not start until the next day, so they could concentrate on the things they normally discussed. As the bantered and approached, Mamoru came the other way. Even if one did not see him, the enthusiastic scream of, “MAMO-CHAN!” would let you know of his approach. He sighed, but smiled. She was old enough now, but still had childlike traits, and interestingly enough, was part of his attraction to her. She wasn’t perfect, but who was? She practically danced her way to him, burying her head into his chest, and he felt like she was trying to break his ribs with her embrace. Now everyone was together!
They took to their favorite corner booth that could accommodate all of them, and everyone settled in: Ami with her ever present book, Minako ever concerned about her looks, Rei seemingly concerned with some trivial thing, but yet tapping into the supernatural world on the watch, Makoto looking over the menu she had to have memorized by that point, and Mamoru with Usagi hanging off him like a growth. The talk, of course, was over the new boy in the class. Minako took a moment from her primping to say, “Boy, Rei, you sure don’t know what you’re missing at that all girl’s school! There’s a new boy in class!”
Rei just shrugged, and responded, “So what? I figured that you knew all the boys around, unless he was transferred from across town.”
Minako was a bit hurt by this, saying, “What makes you think I know ALL the boys?”
“You sure know who’s doing what and going where?” interjected Makoto.
“I just know how to keep my ear to the ground,” she said with her head up a bit, “You know what they say: the early bird keeps his ear to the ground.”
Everyone groaned and shook their heads as Ami corrected her, “That’s, ‘the early bird catches the worm.’”
“Who wants to catch those?” asked Minako, as she rolled her eyes.
Rei sneered and said, “If they were boys, you would tear the ground up for them!”
Everyone laughed, but Minako was not amused. However, as the door to the café opened they heard the sounds of a skateboard approaching. It came to an abrupt stop, followed by the sound of it being popped up, and in came Thomas. Usagi then said, “Hey, look, that’s him!”
“Well, speak, and it shall come!” said Minako, to which Rei sighed, and said, “That’s ‘speak of the Devil.’”
At that, Rei caught her first good look at the boy, and her expression changed like lightning. Her mouth hung open like a codfish, and she knew it was not just some boy. Makoto took time to look up from the menu long enough to see Rei stare, and waved her hand up and down before Rei’s eyes. Motoki’s sister, who still worked loyally for that café, greeted him, and began to lead him to the tables nearest to the girls. When Rei saw this, she snatched the mirror and compact out of the hand of Minako and began to do a bit of primping herself. Makoto then said, “What brought this on? I thought that you were not interested in boys right now.”
Rei’s eyes shifted around a bit, and she then said, “Well…um…I…ah…just wanted…you know…he’s new! I just want to look presentable, you know?”
Everyone just stared at Rei knowingly.
As Thomas was being led over, he recognized the people there, save for Mamoru, and warmly greeted them. When the waitress saw this, she was all happy. “Oh, so you know each other, eh? Well, that’s good you’re making friends so quickly! Would you like to sit with them?”
Before Thomas could answer, there was a major shift in the booth to make room for him that it knocked Ami right off the end and onto the floor. However, Tom said, “Oh, don’t go through that fuss,” and grabbed a chair and just set it in front of the table and sat. Usagi looked for the briefest of moments, but remembered herself, and turned her gaze at Mamoru instead, and sat up straight. Mamoru had a feeling that this was a boy who was squared away and had a good head on his shoulders. Yet, when Makoto looked up, she found he was sitting right across from her. To break the tension, Ami, (who had retaken her seat,) said, “You didn’t mention skateboarding in class.”
“Well, I don’t think of it as a hobby,” said Tom, “So many boys in my neighborhood did this that it was natural for me to take it up. It’s almost second nature to me now.”
Mamoru, now interested in this man, said, “You speak Japanese well, but you do hint of an accent I am not familiar with. Where are you from?”
“I spent my first ten years in San Francisco,” answered Tom, “So I guess its Californian.”
“I hear they have an interesting dialect in that area of America,” said Ami, keeping it on mature terms, although internally she was also taken with the new boy. She just knew how to control it. Tom then answered, “It almost seems its own language: Californese. It seems there are only a handful of terms in that language: totally, dude, gnarly, like wow, awesome, cool, four sure, gag me with a spoon, bufu, skitchin!”
They had all been learning English in their classes, but they had not heard some of these terms, and they were all in stitches. He was a disarming person, but he made you forget his looks and somewhat force you to deal with the person, and not the face. This caught the attention of Makoto, who saw a maturity in him that she also had, which was a maturity that caused her to be ostracized a bit from the other kids. She then said, “I don’t know if I could even catch the meaning of some words.”
The waitress came back with his coffee and set some cream with it. “Its dark, just like you asked for,” she said, and Tom thanked her. Tom then said, “Well, the one word that you can learn and is useful is the word ‘dude.’”
He then went into all the different inflections that can be used for the word, and that got everyone laughing again. Makoto now found herself staring at him. It was not so much that he was becoming more attractive, but the sensation that she had had before that she had seen him before became greater. Her heart was racing, and it was not because of romance. As everyone calmed down, Usagi said, “We’re going to America on our honeymoon, right Mamo-chan?”
That caught Tom’s expression, and he said, “You two are engaged?”
“Well, its long term,” answered Mamoru, “I want her to graduate first.”
“Besides, the red thread of fate in marriage binds them, so that would never change,” said Minako as Usagi looked up at Mamoru with that look she could give him and make him like putty in her hands.
The rest of the girl’s orders came up, and they began to enjoy their orders, Usagi more than the others as she dove in with her normal relish. Mamoru hoped that she would not turn into a butterball before she finished maturing. He would have to put a leash on that when that happened, or she would balloon out. At that point, Minako pulled a red ribbon out of her hair to readjust it, and flipped it onto the table, next to the sugar, just as Tom and Makoto were reaching for it. Their hands touched on it, just as the ribbon flopped down on their wrists and partially wrapped around them. They both quickly pulled their hands back and apologized as they both asked for the other to go first, but the sight was not lost on Rei. She just smiled and nodded, and then contented herself on her snack. The two of them had this awkward moment where they just stared at each other for a few moments, and then shook it off as they joined the conversation.
To break the tension, Mamoru then said, “What brings you to Japan?”
Tom answered, “My father was stationed at Coronado Island, a naval training base.”
“He’s a sailor?” asked Usagi, and then she remembered what he had said in class, “Wait, you said he is a marine, right?”
“Yes,” Tom responded, “He used to train sailors who were becoming SEALs.”
“Wait,” interjected Minako, “I thought you said he was a marine.”
Ami looked up and said, “Technically, the marines are a part of any navy as a land attack force, security on ship, or as a body to fight if boarded.”
“Wow!” said Tom, “I didn’t know I could throw my voice that far!”
Ami looked down, a bit embarrassed, but Tom said, “Hey, don’t feel bad. If I’m messing with you, this means that I consider you a friend. If I’m not, then you worry.”
He then continued, “Anyway, he always wanted to be stationed her, and he jumped on it when the opening came up. I’ve been inundated with everything Japan since I’ve been here, but this is the first time I’ve been put in with you guys. It’s cool,” using the term that Makoto had taught him earlier. Usagi then said, “You said you sing. Do you like karaoke?”
“Sure,” Tom answered, but then he looked down a bit, and said, “but many don’t like my singing.”
“It isn’t all that bad, is it?” asked Mamoru.
“Well, its not that,” Tom conceded, “It’s just that…well…you hear how high pitched my voice is. I am what is called a countertenor. I can sing into the alto range if I want, although I can sing tenor as well. Yet, many people want to laugh at me because of that, and because I do ballet.”
“Oh, I think that’s wonderful that you can do that,” said Rei, “We in Japan don’t see men dancing like that as any loss of manhood. Dancing is a part of our storytelling culture, and everyone learns some kind of folk dances here and there.”
“Thank you for understanding,” Tom said, “Although, if someone has tried to confront me about it physically, they learn that I am not what they think.”
“How so?” asked Usagi.
“Well, let me put it like this,” said Tom frankly, “They only do it once!”
“You can fight?” Makoto said, seeing that she was an expert in Kung Fu herself.
“Dad taught me a long time ago,” said Tom, “What he taught me is what they teach the SEALs. It’s a special kind of military hand-to-hand, designed to end a fight quickly and with minimal contact. It’s very efficient—so much so, that I have never had to do anything above what might get me in trouble.”
“You’ll have to show me that at some point,” said Makoto, to which Tom said, “Well, if you know the folk dances, them maybe that can be payment.”
“That’s more Rei-chan’s department,” said Makoto, looking at her. Suddenly, she began to get red and bleed at the nose a bit as she imagined herself in close quarters with Tom. Yes, she caught the hint from earlier, but that did not make him any less handsome. Mamoru, wanting him to fit in with his classmates said, “Sing us something. Give us an example of the countertenor.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, and then went into Handel’s “Largo,” and you never heard the sweetest high notes sung before. Because he was a male, Tom’s timbre made the notes rich, and now the whole table was entranced. Minako looked at him and said, “You should go to one of the next singing competitions I enter. I bet you could do well.”
“You sing?” asked Tom.
“She tries,” Rei teased.
Offended, she began to sing a few bars, and Tom said, “Wow, that’s good. I wish I could play guitar, we could have a sing-along.”
“I play,” said Rei, “And all of us are having a get together at Hirawaka Shrine where I live on Friday. Maybe we could do it then?”
“I don’t have plans, so that would work,” Tom said smiling.
However, Minako noticed how Makoto was looking at Tom, and she had to ask.
As they all left, they went in a group, and walked together for a time, considering they were going the same way for a spell. As they walked, Minako came up to Makoto, and said, “What was with all the staring, Mako-chan? I know he’s handsome, but…”
“It wasn’t so much that,” Makoto said as she cut off Minako, “I keep having a feeling that I’ve met him somewhere, and I’m racking my brains trying to figure out where.”
“It sounds like a case of day-of-you,” said Minako, to which Usagi said, “I think that’s ‘déjà-vu.’ Even I know that!”
Minako just stuck out her tongue as she lowered her lower eyelid. Yet, all conversation was cut off when they were coming by one of Usagi’s favorite sweet shops, and found a bunch of cop cars around, with the area taped off, and a man on a bull horn. He seemed to be trying to negotiate with those inside, and it seemed that, for whatever reason this was happening, there were children inside. The girls looked at each other, and they were not sure if they should intervene, but Usagi said, “He’s holding kids hostage? That is so wrong! Besides, he shot up the gummi bears!”
That was enough for Usagi. She slipped off, as did the others. Tom said, “You know, we should just leave this to…”
He looked around, and it turns out that he was alone. He then scratched his head trying to figure out what was going on.
The girls found an alley, and Usagi called out, “Moon Eternal—MAKE UP!”
The others joined in with their own calls, and a transformation took place. Uniforms formed around the girls, those that marked them of the Sailor Scouts, with Sailor Moon in the lead. They slipped around to the back of the store unseen, and made their way in. Inside, there were about six gang members with small arms holding the kids hostage. It was just supposed to be a hold-up, but they botched it, and underestimated the time it would take for the police to react. The one that seemed in charge was shouting back to the police, saying, “You’d better back off, or these kids have had it!”
“More like you’ve had it,” said a voice from behind. They wheeled around seeing the windows in had let in four girls in odd looking sailor suits, and fifth one in the light of the door with what looked like angel’s wings on her back, and she was the source of the voice. She continued, “Despoiling the sweets that give people joy, and then trying to hurt the ones that give sweetness to the future of Japan. I will not stand for it—I the pretty girl in the sailor suit, defender of love and justice: Sailor Moon. In the name of the moon, we will punish you!”
“Whatever,” they said; rolling their eyes after the initial shock of surprise had worn off. They then tried to raise their pistols, but suddenly they found them all on the ground, each one holding their hands that had been cut by the roses that flew past each pistol. “You call yourselves brave? You cannot take on mere girls without them?”
Everyone looked up as they saw Tuxedo Mask standing in the window. At this, the girls swung to action as Mask jumped into the fray. Mercury exclaimed, “BUBBLE SPRAY!” and the whole room filled with a dense mist. As the men stumbled around lost, Mercury dropped her visor and found the children. She gathered them up and brought them out. The police were shocked to see, first the mist spilling out, and then the kids coming behind. That was when they saw Sailor Mercury, and they then all holstered their pistols and smiled. They knew those punks were in for it now.
As the mist lifted, one of them regained enough faculties to try for his pistol, but found a green boot to his face. As he stood up, he found the handle of a cane across the back of his head as he crumbled into a heap. Another went for a two-by-four, but turned around to find Sailor Mars facing him, who said, “FIRE SOUL!” and let it fly. The board burst into flames, and the man screamed as he flung it at her. She ducked as it flew out to the street, and followed it up with a clothesline. One tried for the back door, but he then heard, “VENUS ‘LOVE ME’ CHAIN!”
A golden chain with heart shaped links whipped around his waist, and she flung him into the wall. He went out like a light. The last two made a break for it with the money, but Sailor Moon was hot on his trail. She no longer had her scepter, but she still had a few old tricks up her sleeve. She grabbed her tiara and yelled, “MOON TIARA ATTACK!” and let it fly. It took out his legs from under him and he went tail over teakettle, landing hard in front of the police. The last one was making a break for it in the confusion and saw a blond haired boy not paying attention. He pulled out a derringer that he had hidden and pointed it at the boy saying, “Get your hands up!”
However, like a flash, the boy whipped his left hand up and grabbed the barrel tight as he twisted downward and leaned back. The action stripped the pistol from the man, and now he found himself with his own pistol pointed at him! It was not a good day to be a crook.
Once statements had been taken, the scouts came over and to Tom with Tuxedo Mask, and Sailor Moon said, “Thank you for your help—that was quick thinking!”
“Actually, I don’t know how I did that!” said Tom, still a bit shaken, “I mean, my dad teaches that to the SEALs, but he never taught that to me. I didn’t think I was paying that close attention.”
As they finished their talk and dispersed, two observers could not help but make careful note of what they had seen. The cats had come to meet the girls and walked into this. They were glad that the girls now knew to do these kinds of things without being provoked by them, but the young man they saw act surprised them. He could not be the average person, or else he would not have done that. Artemis then said, “It’s odd, but I cannot help but think I’ve seen him before!”
“So do I,” said Luna, “Pluto thinks the same way. Could he be another scout?”
“I thought we found them all,” said Artemis.
“Maybe not,” said Luna, “Remember: some of the more remote memories are coming back to us now, and there have been others showing up that we never knew existed until those memories came back to us.”
Luna paced for a bit, and then she said, “Look, you catch up with the others, and I’m going to follow that American boy for a bit. Let me see what I can find out.”