Time for more Mamoru abuse...we haven't had that in a while, have we? Also, I need to see a bit of psycho Senshi action.  This is a companion piece to "Misericordia", the artful attack on the stupidities of the DiC dub.  Instead of bashing the screw-ups and inconsistencies of the dubbed version, I've decided to mercilessly mock the minor character flaws of the original Sailor Senshi.  Yes, I know none of them are as twisted as I make them out to be, but what the hell, I'm having fun.  Alas, Chibiusa is not included in this installment, probably because other people could point out her flaws far better than I could.  This story is rated PG-13 for its demented nature and a few evil, bad, and nasty words thrown in, so whatever emotional problems you suffer after reading this are no one's fault but your own.

Standard disclaimers apply.  Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon isn't mine, and neither are the characters I plan to exploit.  Don't make me come over there.

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Rinse, Then Repeat
By: Gramarye

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There's no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There's no knowing where we're rowing
Or which way the river's flowing
Is it raining, is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a'blowing?

 --Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"
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    After much thought, and careful consideration, Tsukino Usagi had come to an important conclusion.

    Her boyfriend was far too vulnerable to brainwashing.

    Now, she realized that it wasn't really his fault.  Evil entities seemed to enjoy taking her hunka-hunka-burning-love and twisting his easily warped mind in knots.  Apparently their evil-entity logic dictated that in order to defeat the sailor-suited pretty soldier of love and justice, all they had to do was snatch her boyfriend. Which didn't make any sense to Usagi.  There was no faster route to pissing her off than having someone *else* have their hands or claws or tentacles or whatever all over her Mamo-chan.

    Usagi knew that drastic action needed to be taken.  But since she couldn't exactly tell anyone about her problem, her only recourse was to ask her fellow Senshi for advice.  *Someone* would surely have an answer.

    Her first problem: getting Mamoru to agree with her plan.

    That part wasn't difficult.  Mamoru wouldn't *have* to agree with her plan-that is, not if he was unconscious.

    She had taken a bottle of over-the-counter sleeping tablets from her parents' medicine cabinet.  After checking the label to make sure that the possibility of a fatal overdose was slim to none, she had crushed the pills and returned them to the bottle.  She didn't want to *kill* Mamoru, not after all the time and energy (among other things) she had put into saving
his sorry butt time and time again.

    The best place to put the drug, as far as she knew, was in Mamoru's coffee. Bitter enough to mask the taste of the drug, yet palatable.  Mamoru would put any discrepancies in the taste down to her poor culinary skill.

    She poured a little hot water over a spoonful of instant coffee grounds, then tapped a liberal amount of powder into the dissolving mixture.  A quick stir, and she held a cup of coffee in her hands.

 Simple, innocent coffee.

 "Oh, Mamo-chaaaan...."

   *   *   *

    Usagi stared with mild distaste at the drooling heap of Chiba Mamoru draped over the couch.  She was going to have to drag him around with her, since she couldn't seem to leave him alone for more than ten minutes without SOMETHING happening to him.

    Her second problem: conveying Mamoru with her while she visited the Senshi.

    She grabbed him by the ankles and pulled him off the couch.  His head hit the floor with a dull thump.  He was incredibly heavy, and every time she managed to get him free from one obstacle, he'd get stuck in another. If his head wasn't caught between the coffee table and the chair leg, then his socks were falling off as she tugged at his legs, or his green jacket was snagged on the vacuum cleaner.  Getting out of the apartment was a laborious process.

    Once out of the apartment, things weren't much better.  She had to get him outside and into his car.  Although she didn't have a driver's license, operating his car didn't look *that* difficult.  If *he* could drive it, so could she.

    Needless to say, it was easier said than done.

   *   *   *

    With a final shove, Usagi managed to wedge Mamoru into a position that would have been extremely uncomfortable for a conscious person.  She wrapped the seatbelt around him several times, determined to keep him relatively safe.

    Before she put the key in the ignition, Mamoru's head fell onto her shoulder and a thin thread of saliva ran out of the corner of his mouth. With a squeak of disgust, she elbowed his head off of her shoulder.  It hit the window of the passenger side.  She quickly propped his head in between the headrest and the passenger door, and pulled the seatbelt to fit more closely around him.

    First stop: Minako and Artemis.  Whoever had the brain that day would be sure to have some decent advice.

   *   *   *

    "Now, you just sit right there, and don't move.  No, not you, Usagi-chan, I'm talking to Keiko."

    "Keiko?"

    "Her doll," Artemis said with a long, drawn-out sigh, pointing a paw at the blonde doll in the white gown.

    Usagi stared at the doll, then at Minako, who was wearing her spotless white nurse's outfit and was poking through a black doctor's bag.  "Can you help Mamo-chan?  I don't know what to do."

    "Have you tried drugs?" Minako asked as she turned on an electric razor and began to cut the doll's long blonde hair very close to the plastic scalp.

    "Like what?" Usagi asked, pulling out a scrap of paper and a gnawed pencil.

    "Thorazine, for starters.  75 to 100 milligrams a day might help. Or Stelazine, but that's only 6 milligrams as day.  Olanzapine could be useful, too.  Just 10 milligrams daily will do wonders.  Check the hall closet, and take whatever you want."  Minako pointed down the hall.

    "You...you really take that stuff, Minako-chan?" Usagi asked worriedly.

    "Oh, I haven't taken that for a long time.  I don't need it anymore. Right, Artemis?"

    The white cat nodded quickly, and gritted his teeth in a smile.  He turned to look at Usagi with eyes that clearly begged: *HELP ME. IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT'S MERCIFUL, HELP ME!*

    Usagi swallowed to dispel the lump in her throat.  "I don't think Mamo-chan needs more any more medication, Minako-chan.  I really should be going-"

    "*I* know!" Minako cried suddenly.  She rummaged in her black bag, and yanked out an ice pick and a small handsaw.  "Lobotomy!"

    "What did you say!?!" Usagi shouted, leaping up from her seated position.

    Minako jabbed the tip of the ice pick through the doll's left eye, and began to saw cheerfully away at the doll's forehead.  "Just the thing to fix you up!" she sang happily, a not entirely sane light gleaming in her eyes.

    Usagi sprinted out of the room, with Artemis on her heels.

    "Take me with you!" he cried.  "Please!  I'll be good!  I won't harass Luna!  I'll sleep outside!  JUST GET ME AWAY FROM--*hurk*!"

    Minako grabbed her feline guardian by the back legs, and flung him over her shoulder.  She scolded him softly as she walked back to her operating theater.

    "Naughty Artemis, you know better than that.  Nurse Minako's going to have to punish you, you bad cat."

    The last sight Usagi had of Artemis was of his terrified face peeping over the top of Minako's white-clad shoulder.  She shuddered, and got back in the car.

   *   *   *

    Rei would be slightly more difficult to approach.  After all, she *had* dated Mamoru once, and if she had any inkling that something was amiss she'd be onto it like a shot.

    Puffing hard, Usagi climbed the last of the steps that lead to the Hikawa Shrine.  Everything was quiet.  The solitary chirp of a small bird occasionally broke the stillness.

    Usagi rocked back on her heels, breathing in the refreshing air.  The grounds of the shrine were so peaceful and calm.  It was the perfect place for prayer, for studying, for meditation.  She felt relaxed, at one with herself, entirely tranquil--

    Until she felt the back of her skirt being lifted up.

    She whirled around, fist clenched to deliver a painful deterrent to whatever hentai had his eye set on her.  Her hand breezed through empty air.

    "Down here."

    Usagi looked down.  Rei's grandfather leered up at her, a lurid grin on his round, wrinkled monkey face.

    "K-konbanwa, Hino-san," she stuttered.

    "What are you doing sneaking around here, Usagi-chan?" the old man said. Usagi was amazed that the man could make even the simplest of questions sound like a proposition to a discount prostitute.

    "Is Rei-chan around, Hino-san?"

    "I think she's inside.  You know, you could see a lot more of my granddaughter if you'd take my offer to work here after school."  Usagi opened her mouth to politely decline, but Rei's grandfather quickly continued.  "Oh, I know it might seem boring around here, but I promise you that there's n--"

    A girl's horrified cry rang out from the direction of the shrine. Not half a second later, one of the doors to the living quarters of the shrine flew open and blur of white and light blue flashed past Usagi and Grandfather Hino. The girl's scream exploded again, filled with anger this time, and Usagi turned to see a furious Rei, broom in hand, sprinting after
the blur.

    "Kumada Yuuichirou, if I *EVER* catch you poking through my dirty laundry again...!" she screamed, her face bright red with rage and exertion. She sped right past her grandfather and Usagi, in pursuit of the guilty culprit.

    The old man nudged Usagi.  "Never a dull moment around here, really," he finished with a lascivious smirk.

    Usagi nodded dumbly.

   *   *   *

    The bustling streets of Juubangai were a welcome change of scene for a nerve-wracked Usagi.  Everything appeared to be entirely normal, with people going about their business and not a youma in sight.  Of course, the latter wasn't exactly *normal*, but then again even Tokyo had to take a breather in between the waves of carnage and chaos.

    Usagi soon discovered Makoto standing outside the clock shop, glaring at a dark-haired young man who was several feet off the ground, hanging onto a lamppost.

    "Mako-chan!" she called out.

    "Not now, Usagi-chan," her friend said.  "Can't you see that I'm busy?" She returned her attention to the crying man clinging desperately to the lamppost.

    "The next time I see you around here looking like sempai again, you'll need surgery to return your voice to normal.  Now get out of here!"  She cracked her knuckles for emphasis.

    The man sprang off the lamppost and fled.

    Usagi carefully approached Makoto, who was dusting off her hands with a satisfied look on her face.

    "What was that all about?" Usagi asked.

    "I don't understand it!" Makoto growled.  "All of the guys in Juuban must have decided to look like sempai today.  Bastards--that's the fifth one so far."

    "And you chased all of them up lampposts?"

    "No, not all of them.  One climbed up a fire escape and I lost him.  But most of the others don't *dare* to run."

    "I see," Usagi replied slowly.  "Hey, Mako-chan?  Do you have any suggestions that I could use to keep Mamo-chan from being brainwashed again?"

    "Is he around?  Because if he is, he better not look like sempai. Prince or no prince, he can't get away with it."  She tossed her long ponytail over her shoulder, and shot the cuffs on her school fuku.

    Usagi momentarily sent a prayer of thanks to whatever deity had told her to park the car around the corner.

    "You didn't answer my question.  WHERE IS HE?"  Makoto seemed to grow bigger by the minute, towering over a nervous Usagi.  She folded her arms over her ample chest.

    "Hey," Usagi said quickly, pointing over Makoto's shoulder, "isn't that your sempai?"

    "Nice try," Makoto sneered.  "You won't get me to fall for--SEMPAI!"  Makoto swerved around Usagi and dashed off.  Usagi, following her friend's sudden departure, turned around and saw a very handsome man leaning against a soda machine.

    "SEMPAI!!" Makoto screamed again, running headlong at the strange man--who quite understandably panicked once he saw the powerful-looking woman charging at him.

    Usagi steeled herself for the worst, closing her eyes tightly.  But there was no crash, no sounds of fist hitting flesh or cries of agony.  She opened her eyes.

    The handsome man was running down the street, shouting that a maniac was after him.  Makoto, on the other hand, had trapped the unfortunate soda machine in a passionate embrace.

    "I've missed you *so* much!  Promise you'll never, ever, EVER leave me alone again!" she cooed, stroking the painted metal feverishly and pressing her flushed face against the coin return slot.

    Usagi, only mildly nauseated, walked away.

    *Note to self,* she thought.  *Do not drink carbonated beverages again. EVER.*

   *   *   *

    Luckily, Usagi found Setsuna in a tea shop close by, with a pot of her usual green tea in front of her.

    "Setsuna-san, I need your help."

    "Yes?"

    "I need you to tell me how I can keep Mamo-chan from getting brainwashed."

    "I can't tell you that."

    "Why not?"

    "Because I can't."

    "But why not?"

    "Because I can't."

    "BUT WHY NOT!?"

    "Because I can't."

    Five minutes later, the conversation hadn't altered.

    "WHY NOT!?"

    "Because I can't."

    "Fine!  I give up!"  Usagi stomped away to the car, and roughly shoved the unconscious Mamoru aside so she could get into the driver's seat.

    Setsuna watched them drive away, then slowly poured herself another cup of the steaming hot brew.

    "I don't know why I drink this stuff.  I don't even *like* green tea." She reached into her pocket, and pulled out a small bottle of amber liquid. She unscrewed the cap, and added the liquid to the tea.

    "But with a little bit of Johnnie Walker-san, it's almost drinkable." With a little giggle, she drained the cup.

   *   *   *

    Usagi knocked on the door to Haruka and Michiru's house. She cast an anxious glance back at the car, checking to see if Mamoru was still with her.

    Her eternal love, the man who had been destined for her throughout time and space, and who had battled numerous monsters with varying degrees of horrible fashion sense, was sleeping peacefully in the passenger's seat.

    And sucking his thumb.

    With a slight sigh, she turned away.

    The door opened partially, and Michiru peered out.

    "Usagi-chan?  What are you doing here?" she asked.

    "I need some advice.  Can I speak to you and Haruka-san?"

    Michiru hesitated.  "Well...all right.  Just give me a moment, would you?"  She shut the door.  After a minute or two had passed, Michiru returned and opened the door all the way.  "Come in."

    Usagi walked inside, looking around uncertainly.

    "Sorry for taking so long.  I was just...I was in the shower," Michiru said as she adjusted her bathrobe around her.  She led Usagi into the living room.  Haruka was sitting on the couch, wearing a white shirt and shorts. Her face was slightly flushed, as if she had been exercising.

    "Eh, Usagi-chan!  What brings you here?" she said.  Neither she nor Michiru invited Usagi to sit down.

    "Well, I wanted to ask you both a question," she said, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot.  "How can I keep Mamo-chan from being brainwashed?"

    The two women blinked.

    "Why has this come up so suddenly, Usagi-chan?" asked Michiru, a slightly vacant look on her face.

    "I don't know.  It just came to me, I guess."  Usagi smiled, but her smile quickly turned to a frown.  Neither Haruka nor Michiru seemed to be paying attention to her.  Instead, they were gazing at each other with a look that could have melted steel.

    Haruka licked her lips, and tore her gaze away from the aqua-haired woman.  "I don't think there's anything we can do, Usagi-chan," she said flatly.

    "Oh.  That's okay."  Usagi felt uneasy for some reason.  "Can I...can I use your bathroom?"

    "Sure," Michiru said, not looking at Usagi.  She waved a dismissing hand in the direction of the hallway. "It's that way."

    "I...I'll just let myself out, then," Usagi said, backing away.  Once she reached the hall entrance, she turned and fled for the bathroom.  Just before she reached the bathroom door, however, a hand shot out from a partially open doorway and yanked her into a darkened room.

    She opened her mouth to yell, but the same hand that had snatched her quickly clapped over her lips, effectively silencing her.

    "Shut up!  Don't scream.  I'll remove my hand if you promise not to scream...all right?" a familiar voice hissed.

    Usagi nodded once, quickly.  The hand was removed, and Usagi expelled her tightly held breath.  Hotaru dashed over to the door and shut it, locking the both of them in.

    "H-H-Hotaru-ch-chan?  Nani...?" Usagi stammered.

    Hotaru stared at Usagi coldly.  "Do you know why they are so anxious to get rid of you?" she said.

    "No, why?"

    Hotaru rolled her eyes.  "Because they want to get back to bed."

    "Back to bed?"  Usagi said.  "But it's three in the after...oh. *Oh.* I see."

    Hotaru cocked her head knowingly at the wall next to her. "They've been at it since five o'clock this morning.   You know, having it off.  Enjoying a little horizontal gymnastics.  Doing the mattress mambo."

    "I get the picture," Usagi said testily.

    "Sorry.  But it's just been going on for far too long."  She pointed to an untidy pile of black shoes lying on the floor next to the bedroom wall.

    "Every fifteen minutes, I throw a shoe at the wall to shut them up. Then they quiet down.  For about thirty seconds."

    Hotaru gathered up the shoes and placed them on her bed.  "It's a good thing you came, Usagi-san," she said.  "Otherwise, I would have run out of shoes."

    A loud thump came from the other side of the wall, followed by the squeaking of unoiled bedsprings.  Hotaru sighed gustily, and put her head in her hands.

    "Hotaru-chan," Usagi began cautiously, speaking slightly louder to be heard over the sounds from the next room, "do you have any ideas that might help keep Mamo-chan from being brainwashed again?"

    Hotaru massaged her temples delicately, as if her head was made of glass.  After a moment, she looked up.

    "Speaking as a former brainwashee, if there is such a thing, there's not much you can do.  Of course, at the time I was possessed by an evil creature from another plane of space, forced to live in a house with a mad scientist daimon vessel for a father, five or six backstabbing witches, and that oversexed Kaori-whore.  Not to mention the Twister games--but we won't go there now.  Gomen, Usagi-san, I can't help you."

    "That's okay, Hotaru-chan.  I still haven't see Ami-chan, and I'm sure she'll have something I can use.  Now...er...could you let me out?"

    Hotaru stood and trudged over to the door, dragging her feet.  She drew back the bolt with a heavy hand.  Usagi quietly crept out, and waved goodbye, but the young girl stared back dully and didn't respond.

    Hotaru heard the front door shut, and hurried to the window to watch Usagi run down the sidewalk and jump in the car, kicking Mamoru in the face in the process.  She turned away.

    Sitting down on her bed, she picked up a shoe and considered beating herself to death with it.  Then she considered beating *them* to death with it, a far more enjoyable mental picture.  Then she considered using her Glaive for the task.  There were enough plastic garbage bags in the house, in any case. She lay back on the pile of shoes and closed her eyes.

    Happy thoughts.

    Think happy thoughts.

   *   *   *
 

    Usagi dragged Mamoru by the little loop on the back of his collar to the front door of Ami's place.  She knocked once, then twice.  There was no answer, and she was about to leave and give up her mission as a hopelessly lost cause when the door opened.

    Ami was standing in the center of the doorway, wearing a spotless white lab coat. One hand on her hip, and the other was twirling a small wrench.

    She was wearing her glasses.

    Usagi backed away, a nervous laugh escaping her lips.  "Ah...heh heh...Ami-chan!  I see you are busy so I'll suppose I'll just come back another time and we can talk about some stuff so see you later bye!"

    Ami lifted a finger, and Usagi froze.

    "I know exactly what you need, Usagi-chan.  Come."

    Usagi dutifully followed Ami inside, the unconscious Mamoru trailing on the floor behind her.

    Ami guided Usagi into a large white-painted room.  Lab equipment was placed on every available surface--Bunsen burners heating unidentifiable bubbling liquids in beakers, test tubes and jars stacked in neatly kept racks, and piles of textbooks scattered wherever there was room.  An immense framed portrait of Albert Einstein held a place of honor on the wall, between a poster of the Periodic Table of Elements and a biohazard sign in migraine-inducing neon orange.

    "Ami-chan...isn't this your bedroom?" Usagi said, depositing Mamoru on the floor next to the wastebasket.

    "*Was* my bedroom.  I don't sleep more than two or three hours a night anyway, so it was going to waste until I decided to set up shop in here." She pointed to a small scarred leather couch gouged with scuff marks and innumerable chemical spills.  "Have a seat. Want something to drink?"

    Usagi looked at the row of bottles above what had once been the bookshelf. Arsenic, hydrochloric acid, trichloroethylene, chloroform, mercury salts.  "No, thanks."

    "You want to stabilize Mamoru-san's synapse patterns, ne, Usagi-chan?"

    "Come again?"

    "Keep youma from turning his brain to jelly."

    "Hai."

    "Good."  Ami pushed aside a table covered with unwashed petri dishes, and opened the door to what had once been her closet.  "Give me a hand with this, Usagi-chan."

    The two of them pulled out a large, unwieldy contraption covered with a white sheet.  Once it was positioned more or less in the center of the room, Ami whipped off the sheet.

    "Voila!  My greatest project!" she crowed.

    Usagi gaped in shock.  Ami's greatest project looked like a jumbled stack of old, rusty car and refrigerator parts, with a television antenna welded to the top and a small wooden chair attached to the bottom with leather straps.  A metal colander hung from a spring over the top of the chair, and a thick extension cord snaked away from the entire mess.

    "What is this, Ami-chan?" Usagi managed to croak out.

    "Something I've been working on in my spare time.  Don't forget, Usagi-chan, that I'm twenty chapters ahead of my advanced biochemistry class. I decided to work with some of the knowledge I accumulated.  I think I can promise you that Mamoru-san won't loose his memory again when *I'm* through with him."

    Usagi didn't quite trust that look in Ami's eyes.  "Really, Ami-chan, I don't think you need to...."

    "Strap him in."

    What could Usagi do but comply?

    A few minutes later, Mamoru was firmly strapped into the chair with the leather restraints.  Ami lowered the colander onto his head, carefully adjusting it to set just so.

    "Now, put on these goggles," she said, handing a pair of scratched plastic eyeshields to Usagi.  Usagi quickly followed her instructions.

    Ami plugged the machine into a bulky surge protector, and spun around, resting both hands on the controlling switch.

    "Are you ready?" she asked.

    Usagi nodded.

    Using all of her body weight, Ami threw the switch.

    There was a brilliant flash of light, and the machine roared to life with a loud series of explosions.  Mamoru's body jerked and spasmed as several thousand volts surged through his body.  Usagi screamed, or thought she screamed, but her cry was drowned by the deafening drone of the machine.

    Ami, on the other hand, clapped her hands and giggled.  Her glasses reflected the light, making her eyes look round and frighteningly empty.

    "HE SHALL RISE!  MAMORU-SAN SHALL BE FREE FROM HIS CURSE FOR ALL TIME!" Ami cackled, a frenzied, maniacal laugh that would have made Professor Tomoe proud.  Either that, or sent him screaming from the room.  Usagi ducked, trying to avoid the shooting sparks and random flying bits of metal that sprayed across the room like shrapnel.

    Suddenly, the choking smell of burning rubber and singed human hair permeated the air.

    "SHUT IT OFF!"

    "WHAT'D YOU SAY?"

    "*SHUT IT OFF!!!*"  Usagi launched herself at the switch.

    And tripped over the extension cord.

    The plug popped out of the wall.

    All was quiet.

    Usagi rose, rather unsteadily, from the floor.

    Ami stood in the center of the room, swaying ever so slightly back and forth.

    Mamoru opened his eyes, and looked around the room.  His slightly dazed gaze rested on Ami in her white lab coat and glasses, then on Usagi in her bunny slippers and charred clothing.

    "Chibi chibi?" he said.

    Usagi turned to her blue-haired friend, whose eyes had grown to the approximate size of dinner plates, and spoke the two words that will be remembered for millennia to come....

    "Ah, shit."

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That felt nice.  I should write this kind of story more often.

Gramarye
gramarye@rochester.rr.com
March 3, 2000