NOTE: This chapter was rewritten. Nothing was deleted but a couple scenes were added so you might want to scan over them. I'm so glad that I am finally going to be able to 'enjoy' my summer since summer school finished a couple days ago! YAY! But that also means that I am going to be very bored and I might try to rewrite the story (again… I know it's pathetic).
Also, to those of you who are reading this because you love METEOR GARDEN, I personally think I deviated FAR of its plot that the only resemblance is the first few chapters and a few similar characteristics and scenes.
SUMMARY: AU Chiba Mamoru, King of Azabu, is a temperamental, stubborn rich brat who is loved and worshipped by all. UNTIL Usagi came along, and they start WWIII which results in Mamoru falling for Usagi. But, uh oh, don't tell me she likes his bestfriend! UM
Poor Little Rich Boy
Chapter 4: Why?
Usagi grinned to herself as she hummed the tune to 'Every Heart' under her breath. She was currently taking a 15 minutes break from work and was playing the old Sailor V games nobody ever touched – all the better for her.
Valentine's Day was coming up and the arcade was fully decked out in red, pink and white as they all waited anxiously for the day. Or, in Usagi's case, the day after when all the leftover candies and chocolates were sold at half price.
She turned giddy at the thought.
"Yo," a deep masculine voice whispered silkily into her ear, sending shivers down her spine.
Her hand twitched. The words 'GAME OVER' flashed before her dazzling blue eyes.
"Leave me alone, Chiba-baka." Her tone left no room for arguments.
She restarted her game, although it was harder to concentrate this time around.
"Aww, don't you love me anymore, Odango?" But then again, the word 'no' was not a part of Chiba Mamoru's broad vocabulary.
From the corner of her eyes, Usagi could she the formation of a boyish pout on the handsome heir's face.
A green blob hit Sailor V.
Usagi blew him a raspberry.
"I'm hurt!" he whined as he put his hand on his heart and pretended to feel faint.
Usagi groaned loudly, it just wasn't her day…
"Wow Odando Atama, you really suck at this!" he commented tauntingly.
Her free hand tried to swat him away. Needless to say, she wasn't much of a hand-peripheral-vision type of gal.
"Oh, yeah? Well I like to see you do better!" she challenged with a look of superiority.
He smirked. "Fine."
He drew closer.
She flinched at his presence.
He grinned at his success and gently put his hand on top of hers.
Usagi was surprised to say the least.
He was guiding Sailor V through the game with ease.
But, Usagi could have cared less. He was willingly touching her...
"Chiba-san, are you feeling well?"
"I'm fine, why?" he asked puzzled. His gorgeous dark locks were now mere centimeters from her face.
Usagi shrugged as she willed her heart to stop beating so fast. Suddenly all the red, white, and pink Valentine decorations became crystal bright to her.
"You really suck at this game..." she declared matching his taunting voice.
He shrugged and walked away.
Her confusion was clear on her face. But not much time was spent pondering as something started moving in one of her apron pockets.
She quickly withdrew the moving object.
It was furry.
She shrieked is horror. A MOUSE!
She threw it to the ground in panic. Then, she quickly stood on the seat and waited for the 'mouse' to escape.
In the background, she could hear Mamoru laughing loudly at her. Most of the customers were also giving her a look that they would also give to a person belonging in an asylum.
It didn't move. In fact, it wasn't even a mouse; unless mice were pink nowadays… it was just a tiny pink toy bunny that moved when its cord was pulled.
She released the breath she was holding and blushed.
How STUPID! Of course it wasn't a mouse; Mamoru would never willingly touch one…
And no wonder he touched her – all for a prank. And just when she was beginning to believe he wasn't all that bad.
Kami-sama, how stupid she felt!
Once her breathing stabilized, she collected herself and went back to work.
But not before giving a deep bow to the onlookers.
And not before she put the toy bunny safely back in her apron pocket.
"AHAHAHAHAA! Did you see that? AHAHAHAHAA!" the always calm and composed head of the E4 exclaimed in a booth not far away from Usagi.
Jadeite and Nathan exchanged a knowing look.
"On the scale of courtship, 1 to 10 let's say, what would you rate that heart-warming exchange, my esteem colleague?" Nathan asked pompously.
"Well, my good chum, I would have to rate that a 3. But only because our love-struck comrade received negative points for the moment of humiliation his beloved faced."
Mamoru's eye twitched. "What the hell are you two fools muttering about?"
"Our poor boy..." Nathan exclaimed as he slung an arm around Mamoru's shoulders.
"Oh?" the poor boy asked testily.
Jadeite nodded. "There is just so much we need to teach him..."
Mamoru popped a vein.
"It was cute, though..." Nathan offered good naturedly.
"What the HELL are you talking about?"
"You just gave Usagi-chan a gift! It's called courting, Mamoru old boy! You DO know what courting is, RIGHT?"
"Of course I know what courting is, nitwit! And I was NOT courting that bubble-headed ditz!"
Nathan and Jadeite rolled their eyes simultaneously.
"Then tell us..."
"Why did you give her a pink bunny?"
"I DID NOT GIVE IT TO HER!" The slight blush that was creeping onto his picture perfect face suggested differently.
Jadeite raised an eyebrow. "But she has it now, does she not?"
A hand twitched.
"And why was it pink?" Nathan was now stroking his non-existent goatee.
An eye flinched.
"Why was it a bunny in the first place?"
"I found it in a joke shop..." Mamoru managed to stutter out.
"A pink bunny?"
"There were no other colours but pink?"
Glare. "Of course there were..."
"So why did you buy the pink one?"
Another vein popped. "Because it was the ugliest!" he yelled convincingly – or so he liked to believe.
"Or, maybe it reminded you of Usagi-chan..."
The punches landed before they even saw them coming. The next thing they knew, Mamoru was stomping out of the arcade furiously.
"He is so predictable..." Nathan muttered.
"And so beyond help..."
The blonde odango-haired girl toppled over slightly as she was brought out of her reveille.
"Motoki-kun," she beamed at him, "what brings you to the meadow?"
"Actually, I wanted to have a word with you." He sat on the bridge so that he was facing her.
Usagi grinned. "Shouldn't you be helping Mamoru make an effigy of me or something?"
Motoki snorted. "Mamoru-kun would never make-"
"You're right. He would buy it or scare a first-year student into making one for him."
And Usagi could not help feel warm and giddy.
"I remember, when we were kids, Jay wanted a homemade Christmas. So we had to make all the presents, food, and decorations all by ourselves. But at the last minute, Mamoru changed his mind-"
Usagi rolled her eyes.
"Jay was so disappointed. But amazingly, Mamoru showed up the next day with all his homemade presents. But he wouldn't look at us… he just shoved them into our hands…"
"I hope you realize that whatever you say will not make me sympathize with that arrogant pigheaded-"
"We fight a lot, Mamoru and I." he continued, unfazed, and trying to make eye contact, "We don't agree on many things, but I think we understand each other. Or else we wouldn't be able to stand each other…"
"You must be glad Nishimura-san's back. I hear you're quite fond of her…" she stated as she willed him to deny it.
"Deep down, Mamoru is the same boy that I saw on that Christmas day. Scared and confused on how to act."
"You two look striking together, you know? Nishimura-san and you, I mean. She's very pretty, and sweet, and nice-"
"Usagi-chan, have you listened to a word I've said?"
"Have you?" she countered.
Motoki sighed softly. "You might not see it, but he changed a lot since he met you."
"Do you love her?" Her heart felt constricted as she waited for the answer.
"Never mind, Furuhata-san, it's rude to ask…"
"If you're talking about Reika-chan, then no. I like her a great deal, but I am unsure if I love her,"
Usagi tried to read his emotionless face for confirmation of her biggest fear denied.
"We were all brought up knowing we would have to make sacrifices for the sakes of our companies, romantic relationship being one of them. So we didn't really get a chance to think about love… She's engaged, did you know?"
"Oh." Pity was written clearly across her face.
He chuckled again. "Don't pity me too much, little rabbit. I do have the money to make up for it."
"That's a horrible thing to say! How can you think materialistic things can make up the yearning of your soul?"
"Yearning of my soul, huh? We'll we can't have everything, little rabbit." He explained patiently.
She smiled sadly. "I guess that's the difference between us then, I would pick love over money any day…"
"I never say I would pick money, silly rabbit."
"Wouldn't you, thought?"
He looked at her as if he expected her to know the answer.
She grinned. "I don't know about you, but I sure know what Mamoru would pick!" she exclaimed as she picked up her school bag.
"Don't assume, Usagi."
"Aren't you coming to English?" she asked, oblivious to his soft advice.
"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name..." Usagi read in very slow broken English.
Her classmates snickered at her poor accent and commented loudly at her lack of education.
Usagi continued unfazed.
Mamoru groaned. Was it just him or was she reading slower and slower? As if to torture the class with her poor English.
How in the world did she manage to skip one year's worth of English?
He winched. Her pronunciation was getting worse and worse, and she seemed to have taken the habit of coughing at the beginning of every line.
She was now pronouncing the Romeo like a cat would, Remewww. A headache was beginning to form, he could feel it.
"Yes, well..." the teacher cut in as he began to drone on about themes and so on for the rest of the class.
Mamoru let out a breath of relief.
Why did he even bother to come to class? He would perhaps never understand…
"And do not forget to be at the theater at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning for Romeo and Juliet. Do not be late or you will not get your ticket. That will be all."
"Crap..." Usagi muttered.
"Aww... is little Odango too poor to have a car?" Mamoru taunted childishly.
Mamoru stood still, shocked at her careless admittance of her lack of financial resources.
Rule #7: One did not admit one was poor if one wanted to succeed at Azabu.
Mamoru laughed softly as he poked her forehead gently. "You are so stupid, Odango..."
"What? Well, you're stupider!" she cried indignantly.
Mamoru starred at her. Nobody at Azabu dared to insult him, and yet the moneyless-wonder was nearing the average of 14 indults a day (not that he was counting or anything).
Rule #3: Staying out of the E4's way would get them through Azabu unharmed.
"Yes, I am so stupid and somehow I manage to pass at the top of my year..."
"You or your money?" she pondered loudly, as she stomped away and leaving Mamoru in another daze.
"Gosh Ami-chan, isn't Valentines Day the best?" Usagi exclaimed as she starred into a candy store windows from her seat on the bus.
"Ah..." was Ami's reply, nothing better was expect since her head was stuck to her book.
Usagi drooled on. "I mean, just imagine all the chocolates you can get on sale afterwards"
Ami sweatdropped – Usagi's drooling was rather excessive.
"And today is so wonderful because it's a field trip day, and that means no school!" she gushed on.
Much of the trip to the theatre was spent that way, unfortunately for Ami.
Fortunately for her, it was short lived. Although purchasing pres-show merchandise was another story…
She stood in line, deep in concentration.
"Usa, hurry or we'll miss the show!" Ami pleaded as her patience was at its end.
"But I can't decide on whether to buy gummy bears or sour keys!" Usagi whined.
"Why not both, fluff-for-brains?"
"Well Mr. I-need-a-breath-mint, not everyone has rich parents, ne?"
"And not everyone has common sense..." he lashed back.
"Chiba-san, do try to stop talking about yourself so much."
She didn't know what happened. All she remembered was that she was greeting Reika one moment (along with the miserable members of E4) and the next, she ended sitting beside Mr. King-of-the-World himself.
She pouted angrily and bit of the head off the gummy bear rather menacingly. Ami edged away from her slightly.
"Odango, I realize you had a miserable up-bringing but that's no reason to eat like a pig." boy-wonder leaned down and whispered in her ear.
She accidentally stepped on his closest foot. Hard.
He winced in pain.
She gave her most innocent look and went back to chewing on her candy, loudly.
Ami winced beside her.
Usagi glared at the actors and tried to telepathically sent them a message to hurry and finish the play.
"At least I don't act like a pig!" she whispered back.
"I beg to differ," he drawled.
She scoffed. "Oh please, you don't know how to beg..."
"What can I say? I'm sorry I have so much money?" he asked with heavy sarcasm.
"And how much of that money did you earn yourself?"
"Stop fighting, love birds!" Reika, the only one that dared, shushed them as she stole one of Mamoru's sour keys.
They both sent her a nasty glare, but uttered no more words to each other.
Although, Usagi did mutter to herself about murder and redheads.
And Mamoru planned a very unfortunate accident Reika would coincidently be in the middle of.
"Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow."
Usagi swooned. "Wow... Romeo is such a great actor, ne Ami-chan?"
Her friend nodded, totally soaked into the Shakespearean tragedy.
"And amazingly cute!" she gushed like a crazy star stuck teenager that she was.
"Odango, I know it may be hard to believe but other people don't want to hear your commentaries!" Mamoru snapped.
Usagi didn't even bat an eyelash his way.
Since Azabu was for the best of the best, it wasn't enough that they went to a sold out play on opening day but also backstage to the opening day cast party.
Usagi's eyes glittered as she and Ami were being introduced to half the actors by Nishimura Reika.
"You were great, and you put so much passion into your performance. I truly believed you were Juliet!" Usagi gushed to the leading lady, Hamajimi Sakura.
"Thank you, it's great to meet fans." the renowned actress responded with a pretty smile.
"It must have taken you long to memorize all those lines, especially in English." Ami commented.
"Not at all actually, I've loved this play since I was a child and I watched the movie versions so much I knew the lines as well as the actors in the movie." The captivating actress replied with a smile that could match Reika's.
"I remember a few years back when I was still a freshman at Azabu, our yearly play was Romeo and Juliet, and Sakura here was so concentrated on becoming Juliet she came to the audition dressed out in full costume and was intent on reciting every line Juliet had without a script." Reika recalled with a dazzling smile.
A laugh was shared in the small group.
"O! Ladies, you doth teach the torches to burn bright!" declared the handsome leading actor.
Usagi blushed under his intense gaze.
"Demando, you are too much!" Sakura exclaimed as she laughed off the proclamation.
"How do you do? I'm Matzumori Demando. May I have the pleasure of knowing thy fair maidens names'?" he continued charmingly with a smile that could melt ice faster than fire.
"Demando-kun, it is such a pleasure seeing you again. These are my friends, Aino Usagi, and Mizuno Ami." She introduced, her smile brightening the room.
"The pleasure is all mine, M'lady." He assured the trio as he took each of their hands and placed a gentle kiss upon it.
Usagi smiled slightly as he finally reached for hers. She was red, but she didn't care - he was so gorgeous. It made her knees weak.
His light kiss almost made her swoon.
"You were wonderful, I was so mesmerized by your performance Matzumori-san." She told him with huge smile.
"Why thank you, Usagi-chan. It's not everyday I'm complimented by a woman of such beauty as yourself. And please, call me Demando."
Usagi giggled. His eyes were so warm and compassionate. She couldn't help liking him.
"I'm so please to meet you, Demando-san..."
"YO, Demando, don't waste your time on this Odango. She's not worth it." Mamoru told him arrogantly as he joined their circle.
"Get lost, Chiba-baka." She responded menacingly, with a glare.
Demando laughed softly. "I can't speak for you, dear cousin, but I think she's well worth my time."
Usagi smiled pleasantly as she heard Demando coming to her defense.
Mamoru snorted. "You are making a huge mistake." He walked away swiftly, dragging poor Reika with her.
"I'm sorry about that. Chiba-baka is not an agreeable person. I mean to me anyways. He's nice enough to his friends, I guess. I mean if Reika likes him, he can't be that bad. But then again, she likes everyone. Anyways, I think all that money just goes to his head. He really needs help. Although it probably won't do much good. But you should know, you're his cousin after all... I mean no disrespect." Usagi babbled on.
"I take it you're not the best of friends?" he asked with his perfect smile back on his face.
Usagi grinned sheepishly.
Usagi looked at him questioningly afraid he would be just like Mamoru.
"I don't like him that much, either." He grinned at her.
She massaged her temple slowly as she wandered for the 27th time why Mamoru was there, in the hospital, 'volunteering'.
"Get away from me you big meanie!" cried a little boy as he hugged his stuffed animal closer.
"WHAT did you do now?" Usagi asked exasperatedly, desperately trying to keep her cool.
Mamoru looked at her innocently. "I told him to go to sleep. He refused, so I told him he had too. He still wouldn't, so I told him I would make him if he kept on whining."
Usagi groaned. "You can't order children around, Mamoru. They don't care about your money. It's just paper to them. If you want them to like you, you have to earn their trust. Children are very sensitive."
"Who said anything about me wanting them to like me?"
She sighed in frustration. Chiba Mamoru was so beyond help!
"Ano, Mikado-kun, please take a nap? Ignore Chiba-baka, I do! After that, you will feel all better and we can play cards later, alright?" she asked sweetly, completely ignoring the angered Mamoru.
"I'll try to get keep Chiba away from you…"
"Hm…" Obviously, the kid knew how to bargaing.
"For me?" So Usagi brought out her trump card, she begged with the biggest puppy eyes she could muster.
"Well...okay, Usa-chan." Mikado conceded with a blush.
Usagi grinned and kissed him sloppily on both cheeks.
Mamoru was enraged. For the first time in a long while, he was being ignored – ignored by a puny little boy and a poor peasant girl. Normally, he would have brushed it off, but this wasn't normally, and it was infuriating him to no end.
"Come on, Chiba-baka. He's asleep..." Usagi whispered as they left the room quietly.
He was brooding, although he would never admit it. Why was it that Mikado wouldn't give in to his demand and yet agreed so readily when Usagi asked.
What did she have that he didn't?
Meh... she wasn't better than him. The boy just had bad taste, he assured himself.
"Ano, Chiba-baka, if you think too much, I'm afraid your head will explode..."
"It's nice to know that you care for me, Odango Atama."
"You wish, and will you please stop calling me that?"
He gazed at her for a while.
Hope bubbled through her.
But then he smirked oh-so-charmingly. "Not a chance."
Usagi narrowed her eyes and started mumbling to herself.
"Did you know that the first sign of insanity is talking to yourself?" Mamoru drawled, leaning against the wall with his arm crossed. He looked like a Greek stature, but Usagi was oblivious as always.
"Did you know that Chiba Enterprise terminated over 120,000 employees in the last year alone?" she asked, looking right into his eyes, and Mamoru feared, right into his soul.
The statistics did not surprise him. His parents were powerful people after all.
"More than 68 of those employees declared bankruptcy. Around 34 were a single-wage earner family who thought they had a steady income. A little more than 23 of them had more than one children and wife to support." Her eyes became watery as she drowned on.
He frowned. He didn't doubt the information. His parents' life revolved around company mergers. What surprised him was how such a naïve girl got her hands on such information.
And why she cared so much.
"How do you know all this?" his tone was cold and unpleasant. It was a wonder she was unfazed, and even more amazing that she had a wistful smile on her angelic face.
"You would be surprised at the amazing ability of the internet. You know… one of those programs on the computer…" she couldn't help but add, childishly.
"I know what the internet is, thank you." he snapped back dryly, obviously angered and controlling his rage.
She ignored his out-blow and turned her back to him to face Mikado. Her words were now soft and weak, "He has diabetes. His father used to work for yours but was laid off a few months back. Before, the insurance covered his medical needs. But now… his father had to work three jobs just to support their family. He has two little sisters and his mother died when he was 4."
Mamoru suddenly felt a little remorseful for his forceful treatment.
"They couldn't afford the insulin anymore, so Mikado-kun got sick. Of course his father can't afford to pay for the treatments… he has…" her voice broke off as her emotions got the best of her.
A single lone tear left her eye. Mamoru unconsciously clenched his hand.
"He has a 1 in 120 chance of living if he is treated now. His chance will diminish the longer he stays here."
"What do you expect me to do? Give him money to make it all better?" he asked sarcastically as he finally realized what Usagi wanted from him.
It was so obvious –
He raised an eyebrow.
"I don't expect anything from you… I know you could care less about what happens to him… I just felt like sharing… make you a little wiser to the world you live in; to the world around you. So that one day, when you have all the power that comes along with being born a Chiba, and you use it for personal gain rather than trying to make the world a better place for your children, I want you to feel a tug in your chest – I want you to remember there is so much more you could have done with all your money, but you didn't."
"I – "
"Don't make silly excuses. And don't make yourself look like the victim. I don't have the mind to hear it."
Mamoru was never very good at expressing his feelings - other than anger and deeper anger and hate. So it wasn't unusual for him to use his highly developed evasive techniques:
"How is Demando?"
She raised an eyebrow. "How should I know?"
Mamoru shrugged nonchalantly. "You seemed to be friendly."
"So? OH, right! Please excuse me for staining your family name, I am truly unworthy!" she exclaimed with a bow.
"Just don't talk with him again." Mamoru grunted.
"I'm not. He's the one talking to me."
"That makes me feel so much better." His voice was heavily laced with sarcasm.
Usagi did not reply, which of course did know sit well with Mamoru.
"Yo, Odango! Stop spacing off!"
She looked at him with pity and innocence, her giant blue eyes mesmerizing his.
"Why are you so awful, Chiba-baka?"
Hm… this chapter seems fuller this way… I would love to hear what you think.
Ramblings (only read if you have nothing to do and want a detailed explanation of why I am most likely not finishing this story in the near future – notice how smart I was to put this at the bottom so you had to read the story and hear this delightful news that will make you hate me and perhaps not read the story if you knew): Again, I am very sorry it took so long to repost this and I don't even have the next chapter… soon though, hopefully because as you all know – I am dreadfully lazy, and have no mind-over-matter skills… which is very unfortunate for me (and subsequently my dear readers) because if I don't finish this story by the end of this awful summer (most likely) I can guarantee I will not update for a long while due to my need (meaning my parents) of high marks thus entering a good university and living a long and prosperous future with a decent career. Basically – I need to study very very very hard or I will fail ergo not completing the chain above and create havoc to my life. (Yes, I do pray for my insane self in very desperate moments). So… I am very sorry. I hope to finish it one day – I have it all planned out and everything… it would be a shame if I didn't finish… I just need the will!
Next Chapter: It's Valentines Day! And Usagi has secret admires (Oh-la-la)? Mamoru is not so happy about that… or about the new boy at Azabu…
Should be out by the end of summer… hopefully… refer to the beginning of my ramblings.
Anyways, reviews are deeply appreciated.