ROSE GARDEN @))~~~))~~~~
A memoir of Chiba Mamoru, as re-told to Pandora Diane Waldron
"Mystery glows in the rose bed, the secret is hidden in the rose." --Farid ud-din Attar, 12th Century Persian poet.
CHAPTER 9: My Odango Atama
A NOTE TO MY
The long-awaited Chapter 9 is dedicated to my wonderful friends in the Sailor Moon Net World, without whose support, encouragement and feedback, I never would have got this far. Procrastination is an even worse barrier than writer's block, but these dear friends have helped me through that. So a special thank you, and dedication to:
Jennifer Wand, Tim Nolan, "Tuxedo" Will Wolfshohl, Joanne Edison-Brown, Sue-Mei Cheah, Artemis & Luna of The Sailor Moon Romance site, Sean Bright, Dion Torraville and Mark Sprague.
And to everyone else who has written me and brightened my days, saying how much you've enjoyed The Rose Garden, and begging for Chapter 9, may I say, I think I was born on the wrong planet, even if it IS Prince Endymion's world. 24 hours in a day aren't enough to reply to you all, AND finish work on the fanfic, AND have a family life. So I muddle through as best I can. [Sweatdrop!] I hope this was worth waiting for, gang!
PREFACE TO THE NINTH CHAPTER:
Welcome to my place! Glad you made it here safely through the time portal to the 30th Century. This is my personal, comfy little den in one of the many rooms of the Crystal Palace. The person whose name is listed as my official biographer is sitting here on the couch with me while I re-tell some of my memories [or should I say, set the record straight?], and she's taking notes while I reminisce.
Please don't let that title I now hold, King Endymion, bother you any. I'm just Chiba Mamoru, the same guy...just have a very big job now, that's all. Anyway, there's lots of room here, it's a big couch, O.K.? And Makoto will be bringing us tea and some of her homemade cookies in a moment, so I invite you to make yourself at home. Thank you for saying that about my favourite picture that's on the wall here, the one that shows the solar system and the planets. Yes, I'm glad I brought it here from my apartment too.
Usako may wander into the room from time to time to give her perspective on things which are her memories alone, and knowing her, she'll also probably tease me about the way I choose to re-tell things. So please be prepared for the inevitable interruptions ....
Ah, the hazards of becoming a celebrity. Usako* and I are very well aware that is now what we have become, whether we like it or not. It's getting so these days, it's very hard just for the two of us to take a quiet stroll with Chibi Usa, without being mobbed by paparazzi, unless, that is, we stay within the palace grounds. Generally, though, we usually do stay within the palace grounds, except for the occasional vacation, far from the madding crowd, which I organize through Sailor Pluto. One way to escape who you are now is to go back to "then." And going back to the past, to a quiet place, is less likely to mess with future time lines.
[*O.K., O.K., I know her official name to the 30th Century world now is "Neo-Queen Serenity," but to me, she will always be my Usako, or just Usa. Oh yeah...when I feel like teasing her, I still call her Odango : P When I do, there are some ferocious pillow fights around here, amongst other things ;-) ]
Now, there are some of you who
probably think that Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion must be
well able to deal with paparazzi or any other kinds of youmas of
It is perfectly true that a well-placed steel-tipped rose can shatter an expensive camera lens very efficiently. It is also true that a well-aimed tiara can slice tires and slow down pursuers to a stop. The Holy Grail, one of Sailor Moon's most powerful weapons, is hardly needed for such petty annoyances as this. But let me say here, Usako and I don't believe in taking such aggressive measures to protect ourselves. Not when we have Haruka as Crystal Tokyo Security Chief. If Usako and I do need to make an official OR an un-official visit somewhere, we can certainly leave security in Haruka's capable hands.
Hmmmm. It's just occurred to me that I've called the paparazzi youmas. I guess that will be the next headline in The Crystal Tokyo Enquirer tomorrow morning. Michiru will be after my head tomorrow about that. She keeps telling me, avoid making public statements like this, that it's her job to be the Palace public relations spokesperson.
Perhaps she's right. But there are times when I really feel the need to speak my mind. And this is one of them.
Anyway, what I really wanted to say here, is that I'm about to discuss the parts of my life that are fairly public knowledge. And for that reason, some of what I now tell you here may be a little different than what you've heard. And depending on what you've read, in some cases, what I relate here may be a LOT different than what you've heard. If that's the case, I can only offer my apologies. I'm re-telling what happened, to the best of my recollection.
A man remembers only what he wants to, they say. And you must know by now, I've had my memories taken from me, more than once. So I have become somewhat selective about the recollections I choose to hold onto, which you may believe, are very precious to me, in a way not everyone could understand. Also, let's face it, for some reason, women tend to remember all these little details of what happened when, better than guys do. For instance, I can't remember very much about our actual wedding day, though Usako remembers and treasures every detail. I think I was just so happy, I was in a daze.
Now, I happen to know that SOME of the stories which have been written about us are so far from the truth, I don't know whether to laugh, or to get angry. There are a LOT of stories that you have probably already heard about us that are inaccurate, let me tell you. Some of them are not even close to being the truth about us! Well, Usako and I decided a long time ago, it just wasn't worth it to try and correct all the misinformation that's out there. They'll write what they like about us, anyway. The hazards of celebrity, as I've said.
But certain stories which have been written, I wouldn't even show Usako. Sometimes my Usako thinks she would like to read something romantic, and a couple of times, she was very shocked to read about, errrrr...things.... that she supposedly did, and with whom she's supposed to have done these ummmm...things. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
If you've read those things, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Suffice to say, such stories get burned by me before she ever sees them now. I don't like to see her shocked and upset like that, reading those things. And you may be very sure that those kinds of stories are not going to read by Chibi Usa, if I as her father have anything to say about it. A few servers are going to go off-line before that happens. Do I make myself clear?
Now don't get me wrong. It's O.K. with me if YOU want to read those things. Live and let live. But I would like you to know, they're mostly fiction. And I hope you don't expect us to read that stuff. If any of it arrives here at the Crystal Palace, it goes straight into the fire, along with that Dark Kingdom tabloid, The Crystal Tokyo Enquirer (it's kinda handy having Rei around when you need a nice, big bonfire).
So, I'm not going to even try to correct all the erroneous information that's been put out about how Usako and I met, and how our relationship developed. You can just read on, and make up your own mind whether you believe me or not.
But one thing I'd like to clear up right now. I did know that Usako was Sailor Moon, and she did know that I was Tuxedo Kamen, some time before I was captured by the Dark Kingdom. What we didn't know, or rather, remember, about each other, to that point, was that she had been Princess Serenity, and I had been Prince Endymion, in our former lives. And that revelation was quite enough for us to deal with, all on its own, just before I was captured.
You need to know that is the truth, otherwise, you will never understand why I always call her Usako, and why she always calls me Mamo-chan. And you certainly will have noticed that is our pet-names for each other, that no one else in the universe calls us. [Oh, except that Chibi Usa did get into the habit of calling me Mamo-chan too for a while there... I guess she spent too much time with her future mom for it not to rub off on her. But she calls me Dad, or Poppa, in Crystal Tokyo, and I like that.]
In my first encounters with Sailor Moon as Tuxedo Kamen, I had the frightening experience of blacking out several times. The telepathic link between us was, and is, very powerful. It didn't matter that I didn't know who she was at the time, and it didn't matter that I didn't understand at first how to use my own powers. Nevertheless, I was always brought there to her side, through the irresistible force of her telepathic cry for help, which I heard, at the subconscious level.
So perhaps you can understand the confusion I was feeling those first few times, and appreciate that I had to try to function, just the same. So is it any wonder that I often didn't say that much, and that often, I left without a word? Sometimes, I don't even now remember my coming there, OR leaving...those were the periods of blackout.
I had one thing going for me: my inner voice, which always seemed to know exactly what to do, and say. I would say this was a combination of my buried memories of my past, my extra-sensory powers, and even some telepathic messages from my future self, King Endymion. Well, hey, I needed some kind of help...nobody was kind enough to send ME a friendly mentor cat! I had to figure out everything as best I could. Ahhh, the mysterious Tuxedo Kamen, as much a mystery to himself in the beginning, as to anyone else. And that my, friends, is the ironic truth.
The memory of my actions as Tuxedo Kamen would come back to me later, in my dreams. By the time my feelings for a sweet girl named Tsukino Usagi had overtaken all other thoughts, it was then, at about that same time, that I realized that my encounters with Sailor Moon were not dreams, and that my mission was, in part, to help Sailor Moon. Once I accepted that mission consciously, and stopped fighting it, I had no more trouble with the blackouts.
But I still experienced nightmares about the past I could not remember, and the future. And as Mikata-chan had warned me, it would be a long time yet before I would find inner peace. A long and lonely time...but thank God, I finally found my way to my Princess at last.
So that's all I have to say for now. From here on in, I'm going to try to re-tell our story, as best as I can remember it....
Part 1:And so, it begins....
The secret of your beauty
And the mystery of your soul
I've been searching for in everyone I meet....
And if you wake up wondering
In the darkness, I'll be there
My arms will close around you
And protect you with the truth.
I know you're out there somewhere
I know I'll find you somehow
And somehow I'll return again to you.
FROM: "I Know You're Out There Somewhere"--Moody Blues
LYRICS: Justin Hayward
I don't know how in hell I got here. One minute I was minding my own business, strolling through the shopping district. Then suddenly, everything went black. And when I came to consciousness, it seemed I was already in the midst of something, at the OS . P Jewellery Boutique, dressed as Tuxedo Kamen. The first thought in my mind, was that SHE had summoned me. As you know, for me, there was only one person that could be. But when I looked around me, I did not see a princess in a shimmering white gown. What I did see was a girl in a short white sailor-suited costume with a big red bow on the front, wearing a gold tiara. The only thing that did look familiar to me somehow, was the tiara.
But I do know what had brought me back from whatever dimension my thoughts had been in. The girl was crying. Crying her eyes out, in fact, there was something on her forehead like a gold crescent moon, glowing with energy, and the noise.... my God! Supersonic, shattering waves of sound! I have never, never heard anyone cry like that before in my life...it was unearthly. That would have brought anyone back, from the dead, I think. In a way, I was grateful to her. I had no idea how long my blackout had lasted, and she had brought me out of it. Scary though, I'd apparently changed to Tuxedo Kamen, got here and become part whatever was going on here, without remembering any of my actions.
One of those actions I still can't remember doing, apparently, was to send a steel-tipped rose into the floor between the girl and whatever it was that was threatening her, obviously as a diversion, to buy time. My heart is still pounding...something has shaken me up badly. Have I just used one of those steel-tipped roses as a weapon, then? Must have, the evidence is before my eyes. To think I did that, and now I no longer remember it!
No time to deal with this right now. The girl in the sailor suit needs my help, fast. There's someone evil here, a woman, threatening us both--I can feel the black energy streaming from her, with some power inside me that I don't even yet understand. "Don't cry...you must believe in yourself...You can do it, Sailor Moon!" I hear myself yell.
Sailor Moon? Is that what I call her? Apparently, it seems, I already know her name..and that, that's her name. O.K.! Makes about as much sense as anything else that's happened so far! She's wearing a sailor suit, O.K., there's the Sailor part, and, at least, until she stops screaming, there is something that looks like the crescent moon on her forehead--so there's the Moon part. Yes, this is clear to me, perfectly. Clear as mud. Oh, how do I get myself into these situations, anyway?
I feel her fear and confusion hit me as hard as a physical blow, from where I am standing on the window sill. I am startled at how intensely I can feel her emotion, as though there is a newly-formed connection between us, not clear yet, but enough for me to be aware, this much. It's like hearing a foreign language for the first time, and I'm getting a word, or in this case, an emotion here and there from her.
The girl in the sailor suit is looking at me with hope in her eyes because of what I've just said to her, words I didn't even know I was going to say to her. God, if she only knew how much fear and confusion I am feeling at this moment, would she look at me with such trust? I don't know how I got here. I don't know how I can be so aware of what she's feeling, or how it is that I know what to say or do next. I'm at the top of the roller-coaster here, and my stomach can sense I'm about to drop...all I can do is hold on. I can't let on to her. I can't.
Now pull yourself together, Mamoru. SHE'S come unglued, obviously, but you can't afford for both of you to be like this. In that moment of clarity, as I realize, I've just GOT to be strong, for both our sakes, I can feel all the years of hard-won inner self-control settle over me like a mantle, covering my bewilderment with calm concentration and focus. I will get us through this. I don't need to understand why. I will just get us through this.
All those thoughts flash through me in fragments of a second; I speak, act, react instinctively. I can feel my body quivering like a race horse at the starting gate, as if it's been waiting a long time for just this moment. An inner voice speaks to me then, as my mind starts to clear. She is afraid, in danger and she needs you, the inner voice tells me. And you must be there for her. Well, hey, I can do that. If I can just get my own head together here, [minor miracle, that], pulling this Sailor Moon together ought to be a cinch.
So I shut my eyes for a moment and let the next thought surface. And surprisingly, I hear myself saying, "Look into your heart and find the warrior within you. It is your destiny." [It is? "Yes, it is," says my inner voice. "And you are part of it. So stop asking questions and keep talking to her!"]
At that moment, a black cat jumps onto Sailor Moon's head. Seconds after the cat jumps off, I see Sailor Moon grab her tiara and she begins to spin, holding it aloft, as if she were about to throw a discus. Her release is perfectly timed, and I can't help but notice her awesome balance and grace. She not only cries spectacularly, she throws spectacularly, I think. The tiara hits the witch dead-on, slicing right through her, and she crumbles into dust.
But the girl with the awesome throwing arm, this Sailor Moon, is still looking at ME in wonder, hanging on my every word, staring at me so hard that I can feel myself blushing [and I hope she hasn't noticed!]. I am amazed at the reaction I'm getting from her. I've done nothing so very special or wonderful. I sense now that I could have actively used some of my own powers on this witch from the Dark Kingdom*, but I haven't. All I've done so far, is create a diversion by throwing a steel-tipped rose into the floor, to give Sailor Moon a chance to come to terms with what's going on and do what she has to do.
[*Dark Kingdom, whazzat, you say? At this point, all I could have told you, is that's it's a chink, a fragment of memory, suddenly surfacing to me now...the rest of it, still buried. Yes, I really had to try to function like that, at the time.]
And yes, I've talked to her. Sent her reassurance, confidence, strength. But somehow, it's not just my words that are reaching her. It's as if I'm sending some of my own energy across the room to her. I've no idea how I'm doing this, or how I even know I'm doing this. Yet, I feel the connection between us, like a electric current.
Now, she's sending [telepathing] something back to me. Gone is that fear and confusion that was inside her before. I sense a different set of emotions being transmitted from her to me: an indescribable warmth, a sense of her absolute confidence in me [which I've done nothing much to deserve, so far], and her gratitude that I'm just there, somewhere in that radiant smile she is giving me. With those sensations she's sending to me, I can feel my head getting clearer and clearer.
So, even though she was afraid at first, this hasn't been just a one-way transfer, from me to Sailor Moon . It is as if she is somehow telepathing strength back to me, too. Yes, Sailor Moon is steadying ME too. Yet I'll swear she doesn't even know she's doing it. I'm feeling a lot calmer now, even though I still can't remember how I got here in the first place. The next time we meet, I'll be able to find my feet mentally a little sooner. [Good grief, WHAT did I just say? What next time? Is my subconscious making plans for me now? Oh, never mind. *Sigh*]
I say a little more to her, and remarkably, just the right words to say to her seem to be welling up from my all-knowing inner voice. [The Mysterious Tuxedo Kamen? More like, the Mystified Tuxedo Kamen, truthfully. Yes, I know I've just ruined my reputation. Sorry to disillusion you.]
"You have done well, Sailor Moon." [Certainly, I mean every word of that...you were afraid, very afraid, and yet, you still found your way.] "Others will test you." [How the hell do I know that? Oh, another flash of premonition, I guess... These premonitions are hitting me fast and furious now, coming so fast, that I hardly have to assimilate them in my mind before I've said the words aloud! It's no wonder I have that roller-coaster feeling.] "Do not be afraid...I will fight WITH you!" [So, I'm coming back sometime soon, am I? Nice to know!]
I jump to the high-up window sill, my feet light as air, my head giddy with everything I'm feeling, which, as I sort it all out, is mostly a feeling of elation. How is just seeing her making me feel THIS good?
"Well, I didn't find the Silver Crystal here," I call down to her, "But I've enjoyed the show!" [Now why do I know she knows about the Crystal? But the inner voice tells me she does, she's somehow part of my quest. And yes, watching this Sailor Moon in action has been...marvellous.]
The last thing I think, as I leave, and everything goes black again, is what a lovely smile she has, this Sailor Moon. "I won't forget you, Sailor Moon," I call to her, as I leap from the window sill, and my heart is soaring.
It will be such a pleasure to be of service to her again. I hope maybe next time, I'll do something more concrete than just creating a diversion for her, and talking to her. And as I get more familiar with these powers I seem to have, both the physical and mental ones, then I ought to be able to do more. I'm going to work on that. For another one of those smiles, I would be willing to do a lot.
PLEASE GO ON TO: Chapter
9, Part 2: Into The Fog
Final note: The title The Rose Garden in relation to Sailor Moon, and the fan fiction of this title, is legally copyright of Pandora Diane Waldron. If you wish to use it or quote from it on a web site, please e-mail the author for permission at email@example.com. Use of the material without the author's permission constitutes copyright infringement. I have never said no to anyone yet, OK?
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