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::Chapter One::

She walked, slightly more confidant than she felt, into the Redwood Office.

Or at least that's what her first impression of it was. A Cherry Redwood Office, because nearly all the furniture in the office was made of that expensive, beautiful wood. It was funny how right before a tragedy the smallest things caught your attention.

She had no idea why she'd been called into the office. She'd gotten the notice in her student box a few days ago, and discovered that she had an appointment with the Chairman and Headmistress. She'd been psyched of course, both her and Catherine, who was her roommate. Why would the chairman want to see her? Sure, back in her Jr. High days she used to get in trouble a lot, but it was mostly just tardiness and sleeping in class....nothing too severe; And she'd never been sent to the principals office before...much less the chairman of the SCHOOL. Or maybe she wasn't in trouble...she hadn't done anything wrong...atleast she didn't think so. Perhaps they just wanted to congratulate her on something.

She doubted it.

Catherine had put that idea in her head. Auburn haired Cathy, who was also a first year student. Bunny smiled. Cathy reminded her lots of Mina, who had moved back to England earlier that year. That morning had been hectic. Bunny had wanted to make a good impression. So good, that she was almost tempted to break one of the rules and use the Disguise pen.

Almost.

In the end however, she'd settled on the only professional garment she felt she'd had. A slim, two piece off-white suit that accented her newly developed figure. She'd worn it only once the year before to her graduation ceremony, and hadn't touched it since. She pinned her long streams of hair up into her buns, wanting to look professional and make a good impression. Now, she stood uncertainly before the huge redwood desk, small hands clasped respectfully in front of her. She made a small bow.

"No need for such royalties Miss Tsukino," a gentle, rich voice reprimended.

She blushed.

That voice did strange things to her. She'd never heard a voice like that before. So calm and serene... She sat in the seat offered to her, across from the chairman himself. She had never been this close to him before. Trieze Kushranada was the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen. He wore a simple two-piece grey suit. With a black tie. Simple, but most likely she guessed it cost more than it looked. Probably tailored too. His regal blue eyes had a gentle look to them, and something else...something vaguely dark and mysterious that-

She quickly looked away. Beside her, Miss Une frowned. She was a severe looking woman, with two braided buns of mousy brown hair pulled tightly into twin buns at the back of her head. They made her ears stick out severely. She had a sharp nose and chin, and her red lips turned down in a perpetually cold frown. Briskly, she picked up a folder and flipped through it's contents in such a way that told Bunny this woman didn't waste time.

She fidgeted nervously.

"Miss Bunny Tsukino. You started with us about 4 months ago as a first year Art Major, correct?" Her voice had a clipped edge to it.

Bunny nodded rather meekly and miss Une went on. "Are you aware, Miss Tsukino, that your college expenses are being almost solely covered by loans, and a Scholarship?" Bunny only nodded again, numbly. What was she getting at?

Une seemed not to notice and continued. "Overall highschool GPA, 2.5..," she stopped. "Miss Tsukino, I'm not even sure how it was that you were even considered for this school. We here at Oz Academy do NOT accept just any sort of student." Bunny shook her head, confused. What was it they were trying to say to her? Her deep blue eyes clouded with uncertainty. Treize remained silent, face blank.

"Ms. Une? What are you saying?," the girl asked, almost dreading the answer. Something wasn't right. As if to prove her theory, Une sighed, taking off her glasses and rubbing her temples. She suddenly looked very tired.

"I'm saying, that the government funds formally used to support your education here will no longer be funding you. You no longer have loans, nor your scholarship. It's all gone." Bunny paled. She felt the shock of what the woman had just said go through her. Gone? The money....her college funds..... were gone??? Her throat went dry. She shook her head and stared up helplessly at the two people. The headmistress Une only stared coolly back at her. She looked slightly amused at the girl's dramatic display.

"But.....how? Why?" Bunny choked out.

"It's quite simple," Miss Une began. "The students who arrived here on scholarships are being dismissed. Due to the war, the money is needed for military purposes, and the government will no longer be able to boot such funds as education." Though her sharp eyes were cold, one could almost sense a slight sadness. No matter how hard a woman Miss Une was, she was never one to forfeit education. But Bunny wasn't paying attention to this. The room had gone blurry with her tears. The young chairman, Treize Khushranada, watched the girl in a thoughtful silence.

Bunny took a deep breath and lifted her head. She refused to be a crybaby; at least in front of THESE two. "So what now?," she asked shakiliy of Miss Une. But instead, Mr. Khushranada himself cut in.

"Now you will gather your things and leave as soon as possible. We have very strict rules concerning trespassers here at OZ Academy."

He'd said it so smoothly, so matter-of-factly, all the while keeping his handsome face carefully devoid of any emotion. Bunny turned and ran from the room.

She had to get away. Away from the expensive cherry wood furniture, the endless encyclopedia's....the oriental rugs...Away from the pure Aristocracy that leaked from the room. She just couldn't stand to look at their cruel faces any longer.

She'd loved this school.

She'd first been admitted a few months ago, as a first year art student. Her parents had been so proud. She'd never been much of Academic scholar before, always slacking off. But Art....just when she'd began to discover it, she was being forced to leave because of Government fundings...something she had absolutely nothing to do with. She ran, not even bothering to stop by her dorm room. She didn't want to face Catherine, not right now anyway. She sat down on one of the stone steps leading to the art building. How she loved those steps, with their european design, they reminded her of her days in the moon kingdom, from so long ago.

She buried her face in her knees. She didn't remember much from that happy time. And anyway, the past didn't matter. Not in THIS day and age, atleast. People could care less if you were a reincarnated Moon Goddess, or if you held the power of the cosmos in a single crystal. No. Those things didn't matter at all right now. In this day and age, you had to PROVE yourself. She shook her once golden hair, hair that, as of late, had begun to lighten, becoming a pale yellow. The color of a freshly spun spider's web in the early morning dawn. Her tear's mingled with the light shower of rain that had begin to fall.

Rain. How ironic. It was as if nature itself was laughing in her face. She held her head up, closing her eyes tightly. Letting the rain mingle with her fallen tears.

What would she do now? She couldn't go back home. Her parents would be so disappointed. They'd been even happier than she when she'd told them she'd decided to attend college. No. It would break their hearts to know such a thing. But what would she do? What could she do? She didn't have many options. She clutched the area where her brooch would have been, had she been wearing it. These days a new kind of war was about. One that would make the late Sailor Moon's escapades seem mere child's play. She buried her face in her hands, calling out silently to her mother, the Moon Queen Selenity, born out of Chaos, along side the darkness. That ancient entity who had chosen the moon in the mysterious form of a woman. Even Bunny didn't know the full story behind her mother's origins.

She prayed.

Prayed to that Entity turned Goddess with all her might. Pleaded tearfully to the new Moon that was only half visible in the night sky. But the cold moon of this century only stared back at her silently. Her past home, which was now some sort of BASE for the military and surrounded by neighboring colonies, whom she heard only got to see the dark side of it. She suddenly clenched her fists.

It wasn't fair! Just when she'd found something she liked....something she could DO...it had to be taken away from her. Snatched. Just as her happy life on the moon had been snatched. Just as her wonderful relationship with Darian, of whom she hadn't heard from in more than 3 years. She had no idea how long she stayed there in the rain. No idea how long she'd cried, feeling sorry for herself. Infact, she had no perception of time whatsoever. Just sat there staring at the moon, letting the rain pound on her. There was comfort in the rain, in the steady rhythm of it.

A shadow fell across her, and she lifted her head slightly.

"Bunny." That voice.

She looked up nervously. It was Trieze. Still wearing that two piece grey suit. A large, blue umbrella shielded him from the light rainfall. Ofcourse. She couldn't picture the chairman getting wet. As it was, the rain seemed not to be touching him at all. She cringed. What did he want now? Probably to remind her to get off the campus.

She held her chin up shakily.

"You don't have to tell me. I'm leaving." And she gathered her dignity, got up to leave, not even knowing where she would go, but going non-the-less, but he stopped her, reaching out to touch her arm gently.

"Bunny. May I call you that? Alright. Miss Tsukino then." He smiled, that mysterious smile that fit him so well. But she only regarded him with tearful eyes. "I have a proposition for you."

Bunny stared at him warily. A part of her was telling her to go. You want nothing to do with this man!, it screamed. And yet-

Another part of her was intrigued. Mystified by this strange man and his voice. So, it was out of curiosity that she decided to stay and listen. Luna always did say that that, her curious nature, would get her in trouble one day. It was thus that sealed her fate.

"What do you mean?," she asked suspiciously. Was he going to call security?

"It's a shame for one such as yourself to be cheated out of an education. I personally feel responsible for each and every student here." He paused, blue eyes studying her momentarily. He leaned closer, kneeling beside her, his voice low. "Tell me Miss Tsukino...if there was a way....for you to remain on, would you consider it?"

Her eyes lit up. Was he saying, that, possibly she could stay?

"Ofcourse!," she began enthusiastically. "Yes! Anything!" He smiled, the umbrella still over him, yet he shifted, as if inviting her damp figure into it's shelter.

She didn't move.

"Alright then." Again that strange tone. Now Bunny began to get suspicious. She crossed her arm's self-consciously. "Wh-what was it that I'd have to do? In order to stay?" She watched him, his eyes hidden almost completely now by the shadow of the huge umbrella. Now he lifted it slightly, and she was shocked again by the beauty of his face. And although he made no move to come forward, his icy blue eyes seemed to draw her in completely as he whispered his next phrase.

"Marry me."

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