"For the record, state your name."
"Tsukino Serenity. What's this about anyway, if you don't mind me asking?"
"In a few minutes, please," the blond-haired man asked, sitting down in the chair across from her. "Tell me a little about yourself, please, Tsukino-san."
"Why?" she asked, cocking her head to the side slightly, blonde hair ending midway down her back flowing with the movement.
"There isn't that much to tell. I live with my best friend, and I'm really only around three years old."
Quatre blinked sharply. "Excuse me, Tsukino-san?"
"Technically, I'm a little less than three years old. That's how far back my memory goes. Why do you want to know all this, Winner-san?"
"We're - the Preventers are working on... a case. There's a good chance you might be able to help us with it."
"Me? How - You think it may have something to do with my past?" He nodded slightly. "What kind of case?"
He looked around and leaned closer to her. "It's about a woman. Everyone thought she died, but now she might be alive, and her... family would like her to home with them." He leaned back a bit. "So please, if you know anything, tell us. Tell us everything you know. All right, Tsukino-san?"
She was silent for a long moment. "I'll tell you whatever you want to know, Winner-san."
"Do you know how you lost your memory?"
She looked puzzled at this line of questioning but responded anyway. "Iie. I woke up in a hospital in Osaka with what the doctors called functional retroactive amnesia and signs of Disassociative Identity Disorder. They said I'd been unconscious for about three months, and that I'd been transferred from Tokyo to Osaka."
"Can you please tell me about when you first wake up?"
A true frown settled on her face this time. "When I first woke up, there were these... strange women in my room. They were the ones who told me my name is Tsukino Serenity."
"Do you know their names please?" Quatre pulled out a pen and scratchpad and looked at her expectantly.
"Of course. It was Mizuno Ami, Hino Rei, Aino Minako, and Kino Makoto in the beginning. They told me my name was Tsukino Serenity now, and I was better off not remembering the past."
Somewhere on the other side of the one-way mirror, Heero clenched a fist so tightly blood began to seep through his fingers. I'm going to kill them. I'm going to kill them.
"You said 'in the beginning,' Tsukino-san. What did you mean by that?" Quatre pressed on.
"Well, after I'd been released from the hospital and had lived with Hino-san for almost a month, some other people showed up. Tomoe Hotaru, Meiou Setsuna, Ten'ou Haruka, Kaiou Michiru, and Lina Inverse. They brought me away from Hino-san-tachi, and I haven't heard from those four since they called to try to set me up with some man named Chiba Mamoru. They always talked about destiny, and the reason I lost my memory was because I tried to escape destiny."
This time, it was Duo who reacted, muttering under his breath some of the foulest obscenities available in English, Japanese, and a few other choice languages.
"So now you live with Lina Inverse in Osaka?"
"Hai. I've lived with Lina-san the past two years. Before that, I live with Haruka-san and Michiru-san in America."
"Did you ever try to find anyone from your past?"
The woman shook her head gravely. "Haruka-san-tachi asked me to, but, no, I didn't. Hino-san-tachi told me I used to be a pretty big screw-up before I lost my memory and surely no one who knew me before would like to see me now; they were probably too busy counting their blessing to be rid of me. And after I left them, I just never looked."
"Because they were probably right."
Duo shoved his fist in his mouth and stepped outside the observation booth, closing the door behind him, before screaming out his fury, punching the wall yet again. Heero stayed where he was, refusing to let his eyes leave the woman in the cold room before him. Damn them, he thought heatedly to himself. Her self-esteem was already bad enough. Did they have to go and wreck it further?
"What did you think when the two Preventer agents called your house last night?" Quatre pushed on.
"That Lina-san had blown something up and gotten caught this time. She's a little bit of a pyromaniac," Serenity sheepishly admitted.
Quatre chuckled lightly. "That's not what I meant, Tsukino-san. The two Preventer agents, did they seem familiar to you?"
She bit her lip, smile fading quickly. "Well... their voices certainly did. The monitor on Lina-san's vidphone hasn't worked right for weeks. I couldn't see their faces well enough to know anything about them. And it was 2:30 in the morning," she added finally.
"Do the names 'Duo Maxwell' and 'Heero Yuy' mean anything to you?"
The frown grew larger, and she bit her knuckle in thought; Heero almost smiled at how Usagi-like that little gesture was. "I... I... don't really remember. They do... somehow." She shook her head and smiled serenely. "Aren't those the names of two of your fellow Gundam pilots, Winner-san?"
Outside the bare room, Duo sat on the cold tile floor, absently rubbing at his reddened fist. At the sound of running footsteps, he looked up in time to see Tsukiyono Omi come tearing around the corner, eventually skidding to a stop a few feet from him. "Duo-kun?"
The blond dropped to sit in a chair near him. "With Aya-chan. Duo-kun, is... this really Usagi-san? For real?"
"It looks that way." The American ran a tired hand through his hair for easily the thousandth time that day; the braid was suffering for it, barely even visible as such. "She looks just like Usagi would if she'd grown her hair out a bit. That's what Usagi was trying to do right before Yukiko was born."
"Hai, I remember, Duo-kun."
"When I get my hands on Rei and those other three, I'm going to kill them painfully."
Tired violet eyes stared up at him for a moment. "They deprived Yukiko of a mother, and they kept Usagi from us for three years. I'm not forgiving something like that."
"Neither of us are going to," Heero's voice finished. The Japanese man stood in the doorway to the observation room, arms crossed before his chest, a much less than pleased look on his face, Prussian blue eyes glowering. "Quatre's finishing up now, Duo. Ohayoo, Omi."
"Heero-kun, do you think that... she's really Usagi?"
"I think... I think she probably is." Heero paused for just a brief moment. "She doesn't act at all like Usagi or even talks like her or anything, but she keeps doing these little gestures and saying these little things that are so... Usagi."
"She has to be Usagi," Duo whispered. "I just hope she'll rememb-"
The door opened across where Duo sat, and Quatre stepped softly out. "Duo-kun?" The American lifted his head to look up at him. "I think she's her. I mean..." He broke off as the blonde woman slowly exited the room. "Tsukino-san?" She smiled over at him. "This is Tsukiyono Omi, D-"
"Duo Maxwell..." she finished, staring down at him where he still sat on the floor, before her brilliantly blue eyes skimmed over across the hall, "... and Heero Yuy." She bit down on her lower lip tightly. "I know you."
First Draft: 27 September 2001
Revision: 14 January 2009
This is definitely a case of the return of the Evil Plot Bunnies. Let's see: how else can I torture Usagi, Heero, and Duo? I think the Plot Bunny who found me this time was a giant 20-foot Plot Bunny of Doom and Angst.
By the way, this is my first post since I got back from Anime Weekend Atlanta 7. I have to say it was my best Mabon present ever! I got to meet some really nice people (*waves at Kat-san and Marie-san*), and Jade-chan and I had a great time hanging out. She said it best: it was heaven.
Anyway, I'm gonna be preoccupied with Butterfly Wings and lots of yaoi for a while, so it may be a while before I update this. I'm planning a chibi yaoi festival whenever Oyaji leaves town. I'm also searching for any Yami no Matsuei fics to put on the YYL Side of DarkMagick.net; if you have any, please help me out.
Coming soon, in Change the World, Arc Two: The Dolphin's
So is Serenity really Usagi, or is there something even deeper going on here? Did Usagi really die? How much deeper can this mystery get before it's solved?
As for the revisions, I am in the process of converting all my stories with Gundam Wing characters over to traditional spellings. So that means all my "Hiiro"s will become "Heero"s and all my "Ririna"s will become "Relena"s. For clarity's sake.