The dreary weather matched Mike's foul mood as he stepped into the schoolyard, still a bit shocked from his sudden falling out with the Sailor Guardians two days ago. Most of the other students without umbrellas were scuttling past him, trying to avoid getting too wet before their first class of the day. Mike however, took his time. He couldn't be bothered to rush in the state of mind he was in. As he entered the main hallway of the school building soaked, he noticed Hikari, a girl he'd always admired but never was able to get up the nerve to ask out. She may not have been a Sailor Guardian, but Mike was desperate for someone to take his mind off of them.
"Hey Cutie," Mike greeted her as she was retrieving a book from her locker. "Interested in meeting me today after school for maybe a bite to eat and one of my ultimate foot rubs?"
"Umm, I'm kind of busy, Mike. Sorry," the girl replied curtly, closing her locker and proceeding to walk to class.
"Come on, don't give me that," Mike insisted, still dripping wet as he followed her. "Haven't you heard how amazing I am? Let me have a few minutes with your feet and you'll swear you've reached Nirvana. Then maybe we could go see a movie or something."
Before Hikari could respond, one of the jocks that Mike had had a recent altercation with stepped in from out of nowhere.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing talking to my girl, punk?" he growled, stepping between Mike and Hikari.
"Umm, excuse me, who are you?" Mike asked nonchalantly.
"I'm her boyfriend, asshole!"
"Oh, well in that case maybe she could use an upgrade," Mike taunted.
"You're really askin' to get your ass beat, aren't you?" the other young man responded, sounding even more aggressive.
Mike remained calm as he smirked back at him. "Am I? I don't remember that going too well for you and your friends last time."
"Wait a minute... You're that freak with the monkey tail who fights dirty! I almost didn't recognize you without it. What's the matter, you chop it off 'cause you get tired of being called Monkey Boy? Well guess what, you're always gonna be Monkey Boy to me, bitch!"
"Go ahead, call me Monkey Boy one more time and see what happens," Mike said in a provocative tone.
"Come on, Babe, we're going to be late for class! Just forget about him!" Hikari pleaded, grasping her boyfriend by the arm and trying in vain to pull him away.
"Naw, no way. I'm gonna teach this loser a lesson he ain't gonna forget!" the young man declared, taking a swing which Mike easily dodged, his fist crashing into a nearby locker instead.
"Owww, dammit!" he shouted.
Mike, seizing the opportunity while his foe was reeling from the pain in his hand, grabbed the young man and slammed his head into another locker so hard it left an indentation in the metal door.
"Oh my God!" Hikari shouted as her boyfriend collapsed to the ground unconscious. "Somebody call an ambulance!"
Mike sighed in disgust, wondering why she would show so much concern over a complete jerk like this guy, who totally deserved it. "Women..." he muttered as he casually walked away.
The commotion had attracted the attention of many other students and a few teachers as well. It didn't like long for Principal Takashiro to be made aware of the incident and within minutes, Mike found himself sitting in his office while the older man considered what disciplinary action he was going to take.
"Do you know what happened to that young man you assaulted in the hallway?" he asked, his stern gaze fixated on Mike who was seated on the other side of his desk, still soaking wet.
"I really couldn't care less, to be perfectly honest," Mike replied, crossing his arms and looking away in defiance.
"He's being taken to the hospital to be treated for a serious concussion," Takashiro informed him.
"Maybe he'll think twice next time before he takes a swing at me then."
"This is the fifth fight you've started in the past month."
"I don't start fights, I finish 'em," Mike countered, irritated he was always the one being blamed for defending himself against bullies and harassers.
"I don't care!" the principal yelled, quickly growing impatient with Mike's attitude. "I warned you before to stop using violence to settle your disagreements with other students, not to mention the damage to school property your rampages are costing us. I'm not sure what exactly passes for decent behavior where you're from, but it's not going to continue here anymore. I'm tired of going around in circles with you over this, I'm afraid I have no choice but to expel you."
"What?! You can't do that!" Mike shouted angrily as he slammed his hands down on the principal's desk, causing cracks in the wood and sending papers flying.
Takashiro was startled but remained firm. "I'm afraid I just did. Please excuse yourself now," he said calmly, not wanting to further agitate Mike but making it clear that his decision was final.
"Fine then, I hate this stupid-ass school and everyone here anyway! Good riddance!" Mike shouted as he stormed out of the Principal's office.
The rain was beginning to let up as Mike exited the school and flew off into the sky. He wasn't in the mood to go back home right away, so he decided to head towards the uninhabited island he often used as a training spot to try and calm his nerves. When he landed on the beach, he took off his still-damp uniform jacket and soggy shoes and did some light exercising. After a half-hour or so of punching and kicking the air and firing some energy blasts at the ocean, he was beginning to feel a bit less aggravated. Since it was a much more tranquil atmosphere than the city, he tried some meditation as well.
"Well at least I'm not quite in the mood to murder anyone now," he said to himself once he decided he'd had enough and grabbed his jacket and shoes, shook off the sand, put them back on and decided to head home.
Later that evening when his mother had returned from work and found him in his room playing video games as usual, he braced himself for an earful. He was surprised however, when she calmly asked him what he wanted for dinner and didn't act as if anything was wrong. Apparently the school hadn't even bothered to call her, so Mike figured there was no reason to tell her anything for the time being. He could simply pretend to leave in the morning and then turn around head back once she'd left for work and the coast was clear.
He'd begun to think getting expelled might've actually been a blessing in disguise. After all, he'd have a lot more time to train and increase his power, and eventually not even 1,000 foot tall Sailor Guardians would be able to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Someday maybe he'd even end up conquering the whole world and keeping all the women with the prettiest feet for himself. It was a silly idea, but anything would be better than squandering his abilities on going back to school and getting a boring job like everyone else.
Usagi meanwhile was going through a rough patch of her own. Not only had a new group of enemies recently appeared that were causing the Sailor Guardians more trouble, but she was also contending with the mysterious pink-haired little girl she was calling Chibiusa that had appeared from out of nowhere and moved into her home. If that wasn't enough, Mamoru had also spontaneously decided to end their relationship for no apparent reason.
It had been a few weeks since her and Mike's big falling out, and Usagi had meant to reach to him sooner, but she'd been too distracted by everything else going on. She'd heard he'd quit working at the shrine, and Luna had warned her to keep tabs on him lest he become an additional threat. Usagi didn't believe Mike was dangerous though. He seemed like too nice a guy, albeit with a bit of a temper. They'd just had a misunderstanding that she hoped to patch up so everyone could be friends again.
When she finally had some time to herself one night, she decided it was as good a time as any to contact Mike via text."Hi Mike, I understand if you're still mad at me, but I was thinking about you and just wanted to check in and see how you were doing. I hope you're well "
she wrote and clicked send."I've been better but I'm managing. Got kicked out of school,"
Mike replied a few minutes later."Oh no! What happened?"
"It doesn't matter. I hated it there anyway. How are you and your dickhead boyfriend?"
"Actually Mamoru decided to break up with me. I have no idea why "
Mike smiled to himself when he read that. After all, it served her right, although he felt a bit insulted that she'd only chosen to contact him now that she was single again."I see. What a shame. So is that why you're texting me? Am I your backup plan?"
"Of course not, Mike. I've just been busy, but I do feel bad about how we left things. I was hoping we could be friends again.""I guess, but what if I still wanted to be more than just friends, would you give me a chance?"
"I don't think so, Mike. I'm sorry. It's not anything against you, now's honestly not a good time for me to be dating anyone else."
Mike sighed in frustration as he read the response."Yeah, I get it. You're only interested in jerks like most girls I know. It's a shame, I really thought you were better than that. Guess I was wrong."
"It's not that at all! There's a lot of things you don't know. I truly believe him and I are meant to be together. I can't just give up without a fight."
"That's nice. You can keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, but if you'd still rather keep chasing after him I'd prefer you just leave me the hell alone."
"Ok then. Sorry to bother you If you change your mind you know where to reach me."
Mike responded, and the conversation was over. He knew he was being an asshole, but the thought of a girl he liked being hopelessly obsessed with a guy that had scoffed at his appreciation for her feet still infuriated him to no end.
Several days later, Chibiusa found herself on her way back to Hikawa Shrine, hoping to borrow another manga from Rei's collection. Once she'd made it there, she walked over to where Rei's room was and knocked on the door.
"Rei! Rei!" she shouted. "Are you here? I wanted to ask you if I could find a new manga to read!"
Rei however, was in another part of the shrine tidying things up, but could still hear the young girl calling for her.
"Hang on a minute, Chibiusa, I'll be right there!" she shouted back, but after a couple minutes had passed, Chibiusa was growing impatient. She decided to go inside Rei's room and start browsing by herself. She figured Rei wouldn't mind, but when she stepped inside her room a black lock box she didn't remember seeing before caught her eye. It was sitting conspicuously on top of Rei's desk and had piqued the little girl's curiosity."I wonder what's in there,"
Chibiusa thought. "I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to just take a quick peek and make sure it's not the Silver Crystal."
Grabbing the box off the desk, she attempted to pry it open but it was no use. It had been locked up tight and the key was nowhere in sight. Luckily Chibiusa had her trusty Luna P ball with her and, commanding it to transform into a lock pick, she was able to quickly get the box open. Inside she did indeed find a crystal, but not the one she'd been desperately searching for. Instead, this crystal was black like the ones she'd always seen the bad guys using. She was startled at first to discover that Rei could be in possession of such a terrible thing, but as she nervously took a closer look, something about this particular crystal seemed different. As it started to emit a faint red glow, Chibiusa's curiosity got the better of her and she plucked it from the box and held it up close to her face to inspect it further. As she did, she began to feel a strange vibrating sensation in the hand she was holding the crystal with that quickly spread throughout her entire body. She then started to feel a little dizzy, and as she took a look around, it seemed as though everything in Rei's room, even the room itself, was getting smaller...