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[RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
[RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Alright, so this happened in a chat in Discord where we were discussing Kino Makoto - how I dislike how people have been drawing her like a bodybuilder as of late.  Yes, she's tall as hell.  Yes, she strong as fuck.  But she's a healthy young lady who's undoubtedly impressive six-pack is covered in a soft layer of skin.

I then mentioned that I would totally date her if given the opportunity.

And then I got to thinking...  What would I be like in the Sailor Moon universe?

As a straight up SI, no real changes to what I am or who I am.

See, the thing is that a long time ago I had a wiccan girlfriend and lived with her and her wiccan roomies.  And they were all in agreement: i had the magic equivalent of ECM.  No one could ever sense me, and line of sight rendered me as magical static and white noise.  And good luck charms that were in my possession frequently either broke or became disappeared.

It can be turned off, but it's like a cat in this way: it only 'sleeps with its belly exposed' when I feel super-secure and at ease.

Now, apply that to Sailor Moon.

Has your jaw hit the floor yet?  Big Grin

So, here's how it would work.  We plug my birthdate directly into SM (Sep 28, 1980) and that makes me 11 years old.

To make this work, we'll say that dear old dad never got out of the Air Force.  And being the highly qualified cryptotech it would only have been a matter of time until he got sucked into a billet in Japan.

Right about then was when my younger brothers started to get REALLY troublesome - destroying models that I'd assembled, killing my pet fish, and generally causing problems for me.

And at some point Mom and Dad, with the help of a psychologist, would have figured out that I do very well in a fast-paced learning environment.  (Keep in mind I had a 12th grade reading level at this time.)

So, off I would go to a special boarding school for foreigners meant to prepare them for a Japanese high school.  Probably somewhere in Juuban.  I can still make regular visits home - it's not that far off - and I'd still get to have special learning experiences like helping dad work on the family car or mom with her work in the garden.  I'd also take classes for Okinawan Karate because I saw Karate Kid when I was small and wanted to be like Daniel LaRusso.

Given how seriously I'd take something like that, I'd advance pretty quickly and in just a few months I'd be a blue-belt.

Having the freedom to move about in Juuban, I would eventually find the Hikawa Shrine and run into the girls as they arrive for a study session.  I would know just enough Japanese to get by (barely) and they would immediately twig to the fact that I speak fluent English and OH MY GOD THAT ENGLISH TEST IS TOMORROW HEEEELLLP!

And so it would go.  11-year old me, bishi as all get out because I take strongly after my mom, and a bunch of girls three years older than me are practically fawning over me.  I'm being an energetic bundle of ADHD, excited to be helping out all these pretty girls and they think that I am absolutely the best and teaching me all kinds of things in return.  Not only just Japanese, but pop culture stuff that is 'cool' because as pretty as I am, I absolutely gotta be cool, too.

And then I accidentally find one of Rei's ofuda.  Which promptly incinerates itself the moment I pick it up.  Nobody knows what the hell just happened, but the cats do.... they're staying quiet for the moment.

And then later, after several days of meeting up with my new friends, I run into my first youma.

It does not go according to the youma's plans.  I no sale their macguffin-of-the-week and they take it personally.  At witch point I no sale their attacks and begin to beat down the bastard.

Cue the Senshi showing up.

"Ah... guys?  What's going on?  And why the costumes?"  Yeah, he'd see through their glamour.  At which point they bring him in (after dealing with the insensate youma) and after trying a few things at the Moon Cats direction, Artemis drops the bomb.

"He's a voider."


"He voids any and all magic he touches - complete dispelling of all thaumaturgical energies.  Pure magic attacks don't hurt him, healing spells don't work, and forget about altering his perceptions or controlling his mind.  And any malicious spirit that tries to possess him is in for a nasty surprise.  These guys were considered abominations by the Empire back in the day."


"Well, think about it.  Magic spells keeping all the air breathable... one little slip up from someone like him and suddenly everyone is sucking on Lunar vacuum.

"His kind were also the reason why we were in a sort of cold war with the Earth Kingdom.  While we were hunting them down, the Earth Kingdom was welcoming them with open arms.  Granted, most of them had to live in a state specially set aside for them.  They were damn good with machines since they couldn't use magic.  But one of them was able to control his ability.  The guy was like a boogeyman - scared the crap out of everyone because he could actually project his nullifying ability.  He was the reason why Earth remained habitable during the collapse of the Empire.  Not even Metalia wanted to take him on head-on.  Instead they dropped a small asteroid on their state in the opening salvos.

"Except he wasn't home at the time.  And he went out and got revenge.  It was not pretty.

"We're not sure what happened to him after that, but I'm pretty sure we're looking at one of his descendants right here."

Just imagine the horror that the Shitenyou would experience if they ever kidnapped me in my sleep... only to break out of my cell by touching the magical forcefield and just going around and fucking shit up everywhere until the Senshi show up - By then I've broken the geass that's been on the Four Heavenly Generals all this time and we're all like, "Welcome to the party!  Grab a weapon and let's finish clearing this hell hole out!"

Oh, and I would be a mere three months older than Hotaru.  Guess what's getting butterflied to hell and gone again?   Cool

So, thoughts?  Input?  Kvetching?
Oh, I like. Very different from the usual -- I've never seen an SI who would end up in the "kid brother" zone while at the same time maybe getting held at arm's length. You feel like throwing this idea in with all the other stuff you're working on, BA? I'd wait eagerly for installments that were few and far-between.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
I think I'd make this a project all on it's own. No crossovers or anything.

Like you said, this SI would be refreshingly different in that he's the kid brother figure with no real love interest... At least until Hotaru comes along. And then he accidentally purges Mistress 9 from Hotaru. At which point everyone pulls a flat WHAT.

The Inners all go gaga because they can see this two have a thing for each other. Chibi-usa is a bit jealous when Hotaru spends time with him... Until Hotaru starts letting her in on all the details.

The Outers are gonna be downright terrified. They haven't really gotten the memo that he's on their side, but the idea of a Voider hanging out with the Messiah of Silence practically has them panicking.

This should be fun(tm).

I'd also like to take a little more time in carefully crafting this fic. Storyboards, outlines, the whole nine yards.

I'm gonna try using Scrivner's 30 days of actual usage trial and probably buy it after that.
And I'm sure that Hotaru and not-Garack (gotta give this boy a name, BA) will make the cutest couple... until they grow up and become a hot couple, of course.

Come to think of it, Hotaru doesn't get too many boyfriends in fanfic, compared to the other Senshi who aren't in canon relationships. You might actually be able to chart some new ground here.
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
I've actually seen one before, but it dealt with Hotaru in Cystal Tokyo era, plus also Sailors Neptune and Uranus trying to find her and kill her before she could grow up.

Protagonist was some kind of slider I think?  And not terribly happy with the utopia Usagi had built.  He had knowledge of the Dark Moon Clan coming and made the mistake of making a shelter for himself and other people.  Didn't work out because after the initial freeze they were still mobile and so Dark Moons had fun tormenting them for a while before killing them.

Of course, they got resurrected by Usagi, but they're stuck with those memories.

Some years later he somehow comes across tiny little Hotaru and narrowly escapes with her.  Over the next week she grows up and then falls in love with the guy because he's going so far out of his way to protect her.

Somehow, he later takes the dark entity out of her and takes it on himself, but since he's not Sailor Saturn, the Senshi were able to exorcise it from him.


How the story arcs are gonna go will be interesting because everything is gonna be butterflied as fuck from the word go.

Season 1's primary conflict will get cut drastically short, but the rest of that will get filled with some nice fluff about the Four Heavenly Generals having to come to grips with living a more mundane life on Earth.  Also maybe some PTSD.  And then there's the whole lost romance from before... Can it be rekindled?  Do they even want to try?

Season 2.... Will probably be more of the same, only this time with the Ayakashi Sisters and even the Senior Members of the Dark Moon Family.
"Good grief, it's starting to turn into a refugee situation down here!"

Season 3 - HOTARU-CHAN!  Now this one is gonna have some interesting dynamics to it.  First of all, while My Character (Chara? :V ) may at first purge Mistress 9 from her...  The moment she gets back home Dear Old Dad is gonna work his old black magic once he realizes something is up, and then try to keep her home.

Of course, she gets out, gets to Chara and has another episode because Mistress 9 is really trying to fight her.  And of course he purges Mistress 9 from her again.

Only to have Michiru and Haruka show up and with little to no fanfare try to blast them both.

Fortunately by now, the others have figured out a means for Chara to summon help that is non-magical, so he hits the panic button and does everything he can to protect Hotaru.  (Bear in mind, neither of them are fully aware of what's going on yet.)  Chara gets roughed up pretty good, but Haruka makes the mistake of either getting too close to him or turning her back.

And all he needs to do is just clip her.

He does, and suddenly Haruka's transformation lets go and she can't transform back (for the time being anyhow), and our two little lovebirds cheese it.  Michiru, though, gives chase.

This is about when Tuxedo Kamen shows up.  He is not pleased that a Sailor Senshi is roughing up the young Knight of Void.  Michiru at first thinks she could take him...

But then the Ayakashi Sisters show up.

Michiru doesn't really waver, though.  They're only normal women, right?  (Wrong.  They're packing magitech weapons they made themselves.)

And then the Inner Senshi, Four Heavenly Generals, Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi-moon.

At which point Michiru realizes she's come to the wrong neighborhood and gets the hell out of dodge.

From here, lots of questions are asked.  Fortunately, with so many new faces with all kinds of new information, answers come readily: that they are Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus.  That Hotaru is a freaking dead-ringer for Sailor Saturn.  (A quick mind meld with Luna bears this out.)  And that her father did something to make her sick again when she got home and he kept her from leaving again.

From that point forward it's decided that until the situation is resolved, Hotaru and Chara should stay with Rei at her shrine.  (All the girls are squeeing at the idea of having to put a room together for the two - they are so ADORABLE together!  Even the men are talking quietly amongst themselves - that is gonna be a helluva power couple when they grow up.)

It's decided that the two should not be without any less than two escorts at any time. and they get straight to work on Hotaru's father.  Needless to say, this doesn't take terribly long.

The bigger issue is Michiru and Haruka - convincing them that everything is fine.  What really does the trick is that Chara convinces them to awaken Sailor Saturn - not only does Hotaru feel the need to do her part, but she feels that it's the only way to convince them otherwise as well.

Of course, they gotta survive the first encounter.

I'll keep plugging away at this.  Please continue to comment.  Smile
BA -- You are probably remembering "Made of Stone" by Sean Gaffney.
"Some people are the apple of your eye. Others are just a pie in your face. Apples, maaan. Stick with them." -- Pascal (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)
(09-11-2017, 02:42 PM)Jenova_Silverstar Wrote: BA -- You are probably remembering "Made of Stone" by Sean Gaffney.

Yeah, that'd be the one.  Thanks!

Sooooooo, just had a thought.

What if his first 'meeting' with the Senshi did not go well?

I mean, his first few days with the girls doing study sessions at the Shrine go great.  The girls all love him.

But then they see him while they're in Senshi mode... what he's done to the Youma... and how they cannot detect his aura at all.

Static and white noise.

And suddenly they are afraid.

A deep fear that's crawling up their spines.

Even if they don't understand why, their ancient souls are screaming in outright terror.




Even the children among them can wreak havoc.

And one stands before them.  One they know.  One who shines like a morning star.  So awkward and yet so earnest and energetic.  A boy with the innocent desire to be cherished by others.

One who's already managed to worm his way into their hearts.

Cue the screams outrage and confusion.

He doesn't understand.  What did he do wrong?  Why are his friends dressed like that and why are they looking at him like they're afraid of him?

One thing leads to another.  Somehow the youma gets killed in the confusion.  And it's Usagi that stays them all before their fear can get the better of them.

Chara escapes.

And Queen Beryl senses an opportunity.  And a chance to put some old toys to work.  Toys that her soldiers never really had use for, but were too memorable to simple leave to rot.  And so she sets to work to recruit the Last Voider.

And this is how he gets into their base.  Smile

It sounds quite interesting to me at any rate. The only other specific Hotaru couple I can think of was dogbertcarroll's "A Boy in the Hand" where she takes "boy hunting" a little too literally and ends up pursuing Ranma with an unusual level of success IIRC.
Hah!  That looks utterly adorable!

Now, just something that I went and pulled out of my head in just one sit-down.

It's something of an epilogue, though.  So I'll spoiler it out if no one wants to be surprised.  Wink

RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Tweaked the thread title to reflect what I've decided on for the project's name.

Also, no love for Hotaru's Closing Testament?
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Well, you did mark it as a spoiler...
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
*Sighs* True.
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Okay, so this is coming along better than I'd hoped.  Have a nibble.

Oh, and Bob?  I've had a helluva time getting this thing to come out as something that is NOT a wall of text.  Is there any way we can get indents to work on here?  Tabs?  Or how about just giving us the option to attach files like PDFs?


Alone at last.

That’s what Benjamin thought to himself as he unpacked his things.

It isn’t that he didn’t love his family.  He did.  But his step-father was a very hard person - he had very little patience for dreamers like Benjamin.  Especially when they were as blazingly intelligent as he was.

It really was infuriating if you were someone like his stepfather.  At eleven years old Benjamin had a 12th-grade reading level as well as an intuitive grasp on mechanics that was the envy of some engineers.  He was also highly active - he couldn’t sit still for a minute and needed constant stimulation to keep his focus on any one thing.

Such a mind should be applying itself more diligently, his stepfather felt.

Instead, little Benjamin personified The Beatles’ The Fool on the Hill - day after day, alone on his own metaphorical hill, a smile on his face, and his eyes watching the world around him and sussing out how it all really, truly worked beyond the cliched facades.

Wheels within wheels.  Gears within gears.  All of them turning at a frenzied pace with seemingly little rhyme or reason.  If you put an electroencephalograph machine to his head, it would probably fry the poor machine’s delicate detection circuits.  He spurned homework in favor of fantasies and yet he always placed in the highest scores in his tests.

And on top of it all, like a maraschino cherry on a sundae, was how the boy related with his mother.

As far as his stepfather was concerned, it bordered on being obscene.  But it was simply something that his step-father could not wrap his head around.

Simply put, he and his mother were like soul mates.

Few people believe her, but Miranda Thames swore up and down that little Benjamin smiled at her the moment their eyes met - not even fifteen seconds after he was born.

The first four years of his life they were always together.  Benjamin and Miranda against the world, struggling through it all one step at a time.  Just the Two of Us by Bill Withers was Miranda’s theme song for them.

They could read each other like a book and were always able to engage each other in conversations with shocking depth and nuance for one involving a young child.

And yet, Benjamin was glad that he was alone.

Part of it was his step-father.  The other part were his utterly unbearable half-brothers.

Oh, he had a half-sister as well, but she was merely annoying at times.

His brothers on the other hand...  Well, Benjamin was glad that he wouldn’t have to dodge thrown objects - up to and including the good carving knife that was only brought out for events like Christmas and Thanks giving.

He was also glad that he would now have a safe place to keep his models.  And his fish.  This was the fourth beta his mother had bought for him - one with a beautiful red and blue sunburst pattern.  Because he’d gone and devoured his tank mates - a handful of neon tetras - his mother had dubbed this one ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’.

At least Hannibal was now safe from the predations of his siblings and the absolutely sociopathic fates they had in store for just anything Benjamin would call his own.

Alone at long last! he thought giddily to himself as he set the tank up on the desk.  Hannibal was still unsettled from the trip but was game enough to come out of hiding now that everything had stopped moving.

It all started with the school therapist who noticed Benjamin’s tendencies - particularly a pronounced tendency to flinch when people got close to him.  One discovery led to another.  Specialists were called in.  His step-father’s security clearance in the Air Force came into the picture.

And now everyone was in therapy.

His mother, his step-father, and all of his brothers.  Him as well, but it was decided that some... space was needed between himself and his family.  Such was the grievous emotional scars that time as well as distance was needed to heal the wounds.  Put that together with his incredibly capacity for learning (if it was approached properly) and a perfect idea was hatched.

A boarding school.

Specifically, one that prepared American children to enter a Japanese high school and later, college as well.

So it was that Benjamin now had his very own room.  It was tiny, but cozy, with plenty of shelves for him to put his books and models.  He was even allowed to have his fish as well.

He had classes that were high-intensity and thoroughly engaging.  There was homework, but it was bearable.  The fact that it was all in work books just like in Japanese schools helped.

He didn’t really have friends yet, even though he’d been at the school for several months now.  He was shy that way.  And he didn’t know it himself, but he was intensely hetero-romantic - he’d only ever form strong emotional bonds with members of the opposite gender and and few others if any at all.

But the students were encouraged to go outside and play like other Japanese children.  This helped with the immersive experience in learning Japanese and got them to socialize as well.  Each of them had an ID card on a lanyard that they were told to NEVER take off when they were outside.  It also had a card they were to show to a police officer if they ever got lost.

Alone at last...

It felt so refreshing and liberating to think that.

...But someone to talk to might be nice.


Benjamin’s days started out sluggishly.  He had an alarm clock, sure.  But there was also Dorm Parents that made sure everyone was awake and, in the case of children like Benjamin, had taken their medication.

It had been discovered over the course of Benjamin’s psychological evaluation by a very sharp-eyed medical student, had something known as Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.  It was nothing terrible, but it does make life inconvenient.  Simply put, he got his best sleep between the hours of four in the morning to noon time, and there was nothing that could be done except to enforce a strict sleep schedule and provide whatever assistance was needed.

In his case, since he was already diagnosed with ADHD, that assistance came in the form of Adderall.

“Ben-kun, you can’t sleep in today.  You have classes,” said the Dorm Mother in Japanese - a very nice Japanese lady named Kaori.  She and her American husband worked at the school as Dorm Parents and Teachers.  Kaori had just had a daughter who had taken a liking to Benjamin - whenever the infant was particularly upset over something, Benjamin had the peculiar knack for settling the tiny girl.  But then, after having to take care of so many brothers, it only stood to reason.

Simply put, after one month the young boy had quickly occupied a spot of fondness in Kaori’s heart.

That still didn’t make waking up all that wonderful of an experience.

Ben groaned as he stretched, pulling his blankets down.  “Ohaiyo Kaori-sensei,” he mumbled dully.

The woman chuckled at the boy’s grudging.  “I have your pills here, Ben-kun.  Come over here so you can take them.”  It was an old tactic, but an effective one.  Give them a reason that they could not refuse to get out of bed.  In this case, Benjamin had it made abundantly clear to him that he absolutely had to take his pills every morning.

So, heaving a great put-upon sigh that only eleven-year-old boys are capable of, Ben slowly levered himself out of bed, trudged to his desk where the Dorm Mother had set the pills and a disposable cup full of water, and made the pills disappear down the hatch along with the water.

Kaori patted his head as she collected the cup.  “Breakfast is almost ready, Ben-kun.  And I think Nanami-chan wanted to say good morning to her onii-san.  So hurry up, get dressed.”


Ben sluggishly got dressed.  The Academy demanded that students wear a uniform for classes because the same would be expected of them when they made it into a Japanese high school.  And this despite most elementary schools not having the same requirement.  The administrators simply felt it was best to start developing the habit as early as possible.

Before Ben could sit down in the dorm’s dining room, Kaori came and plunked little Nanami in his arms, who cooed and squealed happily the moment she recognized Ben’s face.

It never failed to put a smile on Ben’s face to see how affectionate the newborn was towards him.

The infant’s father, Vincent, watched with a small smile of his own.

“The boy’s gonna be a heckuva father when he grows up,” he said quietly to Kaori as she sidled up to him.

“The girl that goes for him is going to be one lucky girl,” she countered.  “Let’s get them fed, Vin-kun.”


Classes were…  Well, not quite boring.

Everything moved quickly because there was so much to learn.  Japanese schools are so far ahead of American schools, and on top of that there was the language itself to learn.  Japanese was relatively simple, but the writing system put the lie to that.

There was a lot of interaction.  In addition to Kaori-sensei, there were several teaching assistants helping students that were having trouble.  Which was a necessity because they only spent twenty minutes on any particular topic.  And rather than focus solely on that topic, the lessons were designed to build on to things already learned.  They incorporated new knowledge into what was learned in previous lessons, keeping the older material fresh in their minds.

Two hours of school work, then recess, another two hours, then lunch, another two hours, final recess, and then the last two hours as a study hall period do do homework and review.

After all that, Benjamin had two extracurricular activities.  For one, his family had found him a dojo that taught Okinawan Karate.  Benjamin was well liked by the Sensei and his Senpai for the zeal he took the to the mat and how seriously he took the philosophies.  He advanced rather quickly and in a few months he had already earned his blue-belt.

He could only do that two days out of the week, so the others he spent in the music club learning the Viola.  He had at first wanted to learn the Violin, but once he heard the range of the Viola he changed his mind pretty quickly.

Then there was dinner, and he was free to spend the rest of the evening doing as he pleased until bedtime.  Usually this involved working on a model kit that his mother bought for him, practicing either Karate or his Viola, or spending time playing with Nanami-chan while Vincent-sensei and Kaori-sensei graded their work books.

Then he would take a Melatonin tablet to help him sleep, take his turn in the bath, and then go to bed.

This was the pattern for five days a week, with Saturday being a half day - just like Japanese schools - where they had a review of the week’s lesson and several tests.  After lunch, they were turned loose into Juuban, carefully advised that they should stay in the ward unless accompanied by a Dorm Parent or one of their own parents.  The security guards at all the rail stations, as well as all the bus operators and taxi drivers all knew to watch for the young foreign students, and they did so vigilantly because they didn’t want anything to befall the young children.  Juuban was well known as a safe place where children could wander freely.

True freedom would come once they turned thirteen, and then they were given the special ID cards that let them wander wherever they pleased.

Benjamin had no problems with that as he had plenty in Juuban to explore.  There was one place in particular that he wanted to see - something called the Hikawa Shrine…


Benjamin loved being in Japan.

He felt every bit of being a stranger in a strange land, and his adventurous spirit simply ate it all up.

He wanted to try all the strange but delicious smelling foods.

He wanted to breathe in all the smells of the mountains and the beaches.

And he wanted to see all the beautiful temples and shrines.

He blushed as he noticed a couple of high school girls were looking at him as they passed by each other.  They giggled - not in a mean way.  It was just that the boy, obviously one of those Americans who are so famous for their confidence, was blushing bashfully at the two older girls.

They thought he was adorable and found it pitiable he wasn’t older - more than a few girls at their school fantasized about being swept off their feet by a handsome American transfer student.

Benjamin amended his previous thought: And meet as many of these girls as possible.  Maybe I’ll meet my own ‘Yuki’.

Ben sighed at the thought.  When you got right down to it, The Karate Kid - Part II was an incredibly romantic film.

Miyagi-sensei getting the letter about his father, He and his student going to his old village in Okinawa, the reunions between his old rival and his old love.  And then there was Daniel LaRuso, along for the ride and, like Benjamin right now, a stranger in a strange land.  He met a beautiful Japanese girl named Yuki, the niece to Miyagi-sensei’s wife, and they fell hopelessly in love with each other.

What a wonderful dream that would be.

Benjamin didn’t think it strange at all to have thoughts like these at the age of eleven.  He was a dreamer, encouraged by his mother to always dream, and that was that.

He then spied a sign.  It was mostly in Kanji and he quickly reached into his messenger bag to retrieve his map - he was not bad at all with orientation and navigation.

The map, of course, was entirely in Hiragana - all part and parcel of the immersive learning experience.  In fact, English was discouraged from being used at the Academy as much as possible.  It was difficult, but it meant that Benjamin was making strides towards adopting Nihongo as a second language.

Quickly, Ben found where he was on the map, verified that the Kanji on the sign where the ones for his destination, and double-checked the tiny Hiragana characters printed over the Kanji.

Yes, the Hikawa shrine was definitely up these stairs.

With the irrepressible energy and exuberance that are the hallmarks of ADHD, Benjamin practically flew up the stone steps, neatly avoiding slower moving adults and teenagers, and eliciting a startled yelp from one out of four passers by.

To which Ben would toss a quick “Gomen!” over his shoulder.

It was fine, though.  Benjamin was still by and large considered a child, and children had a lot of leeway in Japan.

In less time that it took most people to even trudge up ten of those steps, Ben was already at the top, barely even winded from the exertion, and looking around eagerly.

The shrine grounds were of a modest size.  Barely more than a quarter of an acre.  Dominating the center was the shrine itself, all heavy wood timbers, rustic and distinctly Japanese in its architecture. Behind that were several smaller buildings of a traditional Japanese style.  If Benjamin was reading his map of the shrine correctly, these were the restricted buildings - the living quarters, the bath house and the storage shed for the people that lived here and maintained the shrine.

Benjamin got his camera out.  It was nothing special - a basic 35mm Nikon.  But it did its job well so long as Ben was being mindful of the shutter speed and light levels.  He began to work the camera - the only electrical component to it was the flash.  Everything else he worked himself - the focus, the winding of the film, and most importantly, the timing of the shot.

Benjamin had burned through half a roll of film when suddenly someone spilled over him from behind, knocking him down with a yelp of surprise and getting tangled up in their limbs.

As he quickly got himself untangled from his impromptu dance partner, he made several quick observations.

Skirt!  It’s a girl!  Be careful about where my hands and eyes go!

Seifuku from the middle school nearby - she’s older than me!

Oh wow.  I never knew a Japanese girl could have blond hair like that and make it work for her… she’s pretty.

The girl stood over him, but not by much.  Tsukino Usagi was short, even for her age.  But she had the petite and athletic dancer’s build to go with her height.  Her luxuriously long blond hair was gathered into two buns on either side of her head with twin-tails left to stream down from each one.  And she had beautiful vividly blue eyes, that gave a person the impression of looking down into the deep sea.

Gomen nasai!” said Benjamin hurriedly as he bowed to the girl.  “I should be more careful!”

The girl looked like she might complain at first, but then relaxed once she realized he was being completely earnest.

Besides, she reflected, if Minako hadn’t distracted me just then, I might have actually seen him.

Daijobu, daijobu,” replied the girl in an easy-going tone as she waved it off.  “Really, it’s okay…”  Usagi trailed off as something occurred to her.  “Wait a minute… are you an American?”

“Yes yes!” replied Ben.  “I am American.  I am from Texas.”

“Texas!” cried out one of the other girls.

Rumors had abound about the strange and dusty place called Texas that was like America, only distilled and concentrated.  New York had its great city.  California had its cliffs and coastlines.  But Texas was everything that America stood for and then some.

“So cooooooooool!” said Usagi, drawing out the last syllable.  “My name is Tsukino Usagi, and I’m in class 2-D of Juuban Municipal Middle School.  How about you?”

“My name is Rodes’ Benjamin.  I’m in Class 6-C of Juuban Preparatory Academy for Foreigners.”

“Heeeee-eeeeeeh!?” said all the girls at once, for it was well known that the school was an elite-level academy, one intended only for the brightest of the natively English-speaking children in Juuban.

Suddenly, Usagi pulled all her friends together in a huddle.  Benjamin looked on, puzzled as the girls all murmured unintelligibly to each other.  Soon enough, though, they came out of their huddle and the one with blue hair stepped forward.

Ben gulped a little.  With that small smile she was so pretty and it was making him a bit nervous no matter how much he liked being around girls.

She then hunkered down a bit so she wasn’t looking down at him, and Ben automatically felt a bit better.

“Neh, Rodes-san.  Usagi-chan has a big English quiz tomorrow, and we all could use a little extra help.  Would you mind helping us with our study session?”

He couldn’t believe it!  They wanted his help!?  This was more than he could have dreamed of!  The only way this could be better was if one of them had a little sister - he didn’t even imagine that he’d have a chance with one of these girls, but he wasn’t gonna turn this down.  Not in a million years!

“Sure!  I’d love to!”

“YATAAAAA!” cheered Usagi as she suddenly grabbed his hand and started dragging him at speed over to the Shrine’s living quarters.  “C’mon Rodes-kun!  We got a lotta work to do!”


Soooooo.... thoughts?
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Great start, BA!  I'm a little disappointed that it ended there, but I have no grounds for complaint.  <grin>

Sorry about the wall-of-text thing -- I suppose it's because you need to separate paragraphs with blank lines?  As for attachments, I thought I turned those on for everyone, but looking at the new reply page, I can't find the way to do that.  Time to go digging through the control panels.

ETA:  As it happens, I did not in fact have attachments turned on.  They are turned on now.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Thanks. I'll be able to upload these as pdf's now...

...if you think pdf is acceptable? I'll probably use epubs for the finished product.
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
I wouldn't've left PDF among the acceptable file types if I didn't. Don't worry.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
It's a nice start, BA. Looking forward to it almost as much as the Macross fic Wink
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
So, the muse bit and I put down about 2k words yesterday. And HOLY HELL THE FEELS.

I'm gonna need an honest opinion on it when I post it up - I'm worried it may be over the top.
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Alright, here we go.  Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times, CAUSE THIS IS THE FEELS COASTER!!!

Text here, but a very nice and easy to read PDF is attached, and also includes the previous bits with some added polish.

.pdf   Part.pdf (Size: 91.46 KB / Downloads: 7)

“So yeah.  That is all for noun and verb stresses.  For the noun you stress the first syllable and for the verb you stress the second syllable.”

“Wow, that really is simple!”

For the next two hours, Benjamin sat with the girls and coached them through the English part of their homework.  He couldn’t do much for them in the subjects that pertained to Nihongo, and in mathematics he was only able to help so much - their Algebra was much more advanced than he’d ever seen.  However, once the blue-haired girl, named Mizuno Ami, began to show Benjamin how the rules worked, he began to pick it up at a lightning pace.

“You certainly seem to belong at that school of yours, Ben-kun,” said Ami with a warm smile that made Ben blush a bit.  “I’ll look forward to seeing you in college sometime soon.”

“Aww, I’m not that good.  I mean I don’t think I will skip grades.”

“Smart, handsome and modest!” said Aino Minako, the other blonde haired girl who wore her hair straight.  “Hey girls!  We should teach him things he needs to know!”

“Things like what?” asked the gorgeous and astonishingly tall Kino Makoto.  Ben kept finding himself distracted by her hair pulled into a ponytail that was like a waterfall of lustrous brown waves.

“The things he’s gonna need to know to flirt with the girls here!  He’s not used to Japanese girls, you know!” replied Minako with a wink.

“Mina, how could you say something like that?” said Hino Rei primly from her spot at the table.  She then favored Ben with a warm look that made him feel like he was sitting by a nice fire.  “He’s such a sweet little gentleman as is.  All he needs to do is tell a girl how pretty he thinks she is and she’ll be at his mercy.”  But then, Rei’s face grew somewhat dark as she began to admonish him.  “Though you better use that power of yours for good, kiddo.  I won’t put up with you breaking hearts left and right.”  Suddenly that cheerful fire had become a forge.

Hai Ojou-sama!” squeaked Benjamin with fear that wasn’t entirely feigned.

All the girl’s jaws nearly hit the table, and then everyone, except for Rei, exploded into laughter and scandalized squeals of delight.

Rei recovered her wits and gave the boy a look that clearly stated that it was on now.

“Oh you’re gonna get it!” she growled playfully as she made a go at Ben.  “C’mere you little brat!”

Ben didn’t fight too hard - he knew he was gonna  wind up getting his medicine one way or another - so he only made a token struggle as Rei pinched his cheeks and tugged on them, causing the girls to laugh even more.

Benjamin noted that she didn’t really tug all that hard.

Unnoticed by everyone, though, one of Rei’s purifying spell tags had slipped out of her pocket.  Without even seeing it, Ben brushed his hand over it.

Laughter suddenly turned to panicked shouts when the spell tag ignited in a tall plume of flames, burning into ash quickly enough that nothing else had a chance to catch fire.

“What did you do!?” cried out Rei in alarm.

“I don’t know!” replied Ben quickly.  “I just felt a piece of paper there and suddenly, POOF!”

“No way!” said Minako.  “You gotta have a lighter or something on you.”

“No, I don’t!  Honest!” cried out Ben, fearful that he might suddenly be ostracized for something he didn’t do.  He then hurriedly turned his pockets all inside out.  “Here, look!”

All he had on his person was a few hundred yen in coins, and nothing more.

The girls all looked at each other.  They had no idea what had happened, but it was obvious to them that Benjamin was just as shocked as they were.

Usagi, being the girl with such a huge heart that it was out of proportion to her tiny frame, smiled at Ben.

“It’s okay, Ben-kun.  I think we’re all pretty sure you didn’t do it.”

Ben looked around the table nervously, but saw that all their faces were now stating to melt into comforting smiles.  He sighed and relaxed, seeming to sag in on himself.

“Sorry,” he said quietly.  “I was really worried.  You’re the first friends I’ve made here.”

Usagi couldn’t help herself.  She darted around the table and grabbed the young boy up into a big hug, surprising her friends and Benjamin as well in the process.  Ben froze up as he saw Usagi coming, but after she wrapped her arms around him, burying his face in her shoulder, he relaxed and hugged her back.

It was the first time Benjamin had ever hugged a girl other than his mother and his sister.  Usagi was warm and soft, and Ben could smell her through her clothes - a bit of her natural smell combined with faint hints of the soap and shampoo that she uses.

Usagi herself found that she liked the feel of the boy.  Not that she still didn’t have a thing for that tuxedo guy - HUBBA HUBBA!  But she felt how truly small Benjamin was just then.  And the way he had stiffened…  Usagi instinctively realized that the boy had been terribly hurt before.  She suddenly felt a nearly overwhelming urge to protect him from the world.

“I want to be your friend forever, Ben-kun.  Actually, I kinda wish you were my brother instead.”

Her friends all tittered - it was no secret that Usagi constantly quarreled with her younger brother.  And admittedly, he tended to start a lot of their arguments.

“Maybe you can trade him to my family in exchange for me?”

Usagi laughed and held Ben out at arm’s length as she asked, “Your family can’t possibly be that bad.”

Benjamin looked down.  He didn’t want them to see the tears that were starting to form in his eyes.

Suddenly, the girls were all around him.  Rei was the first one to lift his face and look into his eyes.

It was like staring into a mirror for her.

She was certain that the reasons were different from her own circumstances, but she knew a what it looked like when someone who was supposed to be close to you committed a terrible act of treachery.

Rei could not help herself.  Despite her usual disdain for men, she pulled him into her arms and held the boy tightly to her shoulder, her own heart aching as she felt him force sobs into sniffles.

“You’re safe here,” said the older girl.  “Your onee-samas will protect you.”

Ami was the next to approach, steadying the boy and dabbing at his face gently with a handkerchief.  She knew that what she was about to do would be painful for the boy, but she also knew from her advanced placement pre-medical courses that something like this could not be left to fester.  The boil had to be lanced.

“Ben-kun,” said Ami in her gentlest tone.  “Please.  Tell us what happened.”

He swallowed.  He didn’t like talking about it.  He didn’t like having to think about those things.  But his therapist had told him that talking about it with people he can trust was the best thing for him to do - it was unhealthy to keep these things bottled up.

And with Usagi, Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako, Ben felt like he had found his tribe.

And so he told them about his father.  The horrific emotional whiplash from the times the man had cried over his shoulder to when he would send him skidding across the kitchen floor for spilling milk.

And his brothers.  Unable to respect him because their father seemed to take every opportunity to belittle him in front of everyone else, and then turn around and demand that Ben be a leader to his brothers.  A Sisyphean task if there ever was one.  The acts of cruelty - utterly ruining his things and killing his pets.  For Usagi, her tribulations with her own brother paled in comparison.  He might tease her and mess up her room.  But he never went out of his way to actively find and destroy something precious of hers, let alone try to do any harm to Luna!

And then the fights!  It was horrifying to hear about such young children finding the kitchen knives to threaten and menace their older brother with over a disagreement.  They all began to marvel at how someone so kind and energetic and generous could have come from something like that!

They all took turns holding him, telling him that everything would be alright.  That his big sisters were there for him.

Ami spotted the cards on his lanyard and realized that someone was going to need to call the academy.  She took that upon herself to borrow the ID and emergency contact cards from him and make the phone call.

Right away, Kaori came to the shrine.

With only a whisper she pardoned herself as she entered Rei’s room and immediately went to Benjamin, who was latched onto Makoto at that moment.  He was no longer sobbing.  But the feelings of newfound belonging warred intensely with his horrifically mauled sense of self-worth, carrying back and forth in waves.  He wouldn’t sob, but fresh tears would come and stain his face again.

Kaori cooed comfortingly at him and dabbed at his face with a tissue as she pushed his tousled bangs out of his eyes.  She had never seen the poor child like this before and it tore at her heart strings to see it.

She spoke briefly with the other girls as well as the old priest that kept the shrine.  There was no doubt about it - Benjamin felt safe here in the company of the other girls.  Therefore, Kaori felt safe in letting the boy stay the night at the shrine.

Rei would stay with him for the moment.  The others would all make mad dashes back to their homes and return with pajamas, provisions, toiletries, and changes of clothes.  Kaori did the same on Benjamin’s behalf, pausing only to drop a few tiny pellets into Hannibal’s tank.  She smiled as the colorful little fish took to it with gusto, and then left with an overnight bag for Benjamin.

After she dropped off the bag (as well as his medicine and a firm reminder that he needs to take his pills in the morning), she departed for the Academy once more to be with her daughter and husband and to make sure their young boarders got into their beds as well.

Makoto made dinner for them, and Benjamin perked up somewhat once her stellar food crossed his lips.  The girls all cycled through the bath - not enough time for a proper soak - and Ben had to reassure them all that he would be alright on his own.  The blush on his face said everything else and the girls all smiled at this.

They arranged the futons in the spare room next to Rei’s.  It was very crowded, so Rei offered to let Usagi sleep in her room.

Benjamin was already worn out from his emotional roller coaster ride.  He had no trouble falling asleep while Minako sang a ballad softly next to his futon.

“What are we going to do?” said Makoto as they gathered in Rei’s room once Ben had nodded off.  “I feel like we just adopted him!”

“We practically did just that,” said Ami.  “We said we’re his big sisters now.  And in his emotional state he latched onto that.  If we were to simply abandon him now…  I can’t even imagine what it would do to his heart.”

“He needs us,” said Rei quietly.  “This is so strange.  I know that we serve a purpose and a duty as Sailor Senshi… but I have never thought I would feel the need to protect a single person like this so strongly.  For good or ill, he is our brother now.”

“Does that mean we’re family?” asked Usagi.  “Because that sounds like that makes us a family.”

“Yes.  We are a family now,” said Minako with a quiet sort of conviction.

“But what is that gonna mean for us?” wondered Usagi.  “I mean, I know it’s not like he’s gonna be living with us now.”

“No, he has his own life,” said Ami.  “But that doesn’t mean we can’t be a part of it.  And I think that this means that we’re probably going to have to get to know his real family.”

There was a short moment of silence as they all mulled that over.  Meeting a family composed mainly of what sounded like raving lunatics was a foreboding proposition.

“His mother sounded pretty nice,” said Makoto in an attempt to break the ice.

“And he does have a half-sister,” added Minako.  “I’m sure she’s not real bad since he said she’s just a annoying sometimes.”

“We shouldn’t dwell on that now,” said Rei.  “His family can wait.  Besides, he said they’re all getting therapy now, right?  Let’s just leave that part to the professionals and worry about things we can do to better his life now.”

“Well, I think that’s enough for today,” said Minako.  “I don’t know about you girls, but Venus needs her beauty sleep.”

“Bwwaaagghh,” groaned Usagi.  “Best. Idea.  Ever.  Girls, lets get to sleep.  Ben-kun’s already zoned out, and so should we.”

With that, everyone agreed and Minako, Makoto, and Ami all began to shuffle there way to the next room where Ben was sleeping.

As Usagi laid down in her futon just after turning the lights out, she felt the anxiety well up inside her heart.


“Yes Usagi?”

“Did we do the right thing?”

“It won’t be easy,” said Rei.  “But I think it was the right thing to do.  Get some sleep, Usa-chan.  Ben-kun will be there in the morning, and so will we.”

“Good thinking,” said Usagi just as another yawn took her.  “Goodnight Rei.”

“Goodnight Usagi.”

So, give it to me straight.  How bad is it?
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Quote:So, give it to me straight.  How bad is it?

I'm not crying, you're crying.

That was beautiful and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream

That was a rollercoaster of emotions BA. which means yeah, ya did good.
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to rock the sky?
Thats' every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry!

No Quarter by Echo's Children
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Thanks guys.

I spoke with someone and I've decided that I'm going to run this story en media res before coming back to this part.

Also, to make it seem less sudden, I'm going to have it so he's spent a week helping them out before he has his meltdown.

More to come later, along with appropriately reworked WIP.pdf

BTW, what did you guys think of the format for the pdf? If you guys liked that, I'll use use it for the 'publishing' version.
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream

Really. Guys. Curious to know about how you like the look of the pdf I made.
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
I looked at it last over a week and a half ago; I'd rather go back and look at it again before commenting, but I do recall thinking the font looked a bit... overlarge.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
RE: [RFC][Sailor Moon][SI] The Final Dream
Can't comment, just read the txt posted here so far.
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to rock the sky?
Thats' every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry!

No Quarter by Echo's Children

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