Fandom: Sailor Moon
Pairing: Kunzite x Minako
Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or its characters.
Theme: #6 - Wearing Away; Erosion
Summery: Mina finds herself with a stalker.
It started quietly. Minako was used to getting fan mail. She might only be a minor actress, but she did have her fair share of fans. Especially since she had gotten several minor roles in BBC shows. It was not that the letters had started off as being strange or threatening, but there had been some thing about them from the start that disconcerted Mina slightly. It might have been the phrasing and the language. From the start they had been rather possessive tone. And they go more so as time went by.
To be fair, she hadn't really noticed at first. There was maybe one letter a month. She could tell that they came from the same person because they looked the same and the language was similar. But Minako was just coming off of an insanely busy schedule, and she hadn't really paid that much attention to them. At least until they started coming every week. That was new, and it caught Minako's attention. There was nothing really wrong about the letters though. They just sounded like a really obsessed fan. Mina figured that they would get bored with her eventually. That was what usually happened.
She had mentioned it to her manager though, just to be on the safe side. He had just brushed it off though, so she figured it was nothing. After all, he had far more experience with this sort of thing than she did. Even so, the weekly letters bothered Minako more than a little, especially as the language in them began to change. Before the letters had been rather adoring if also a little bit possessive. Now there was a shift in their tone that was really starting to unnerve her. Between that and the frequency of the letters, she was a little creped out.
And that was when she began to notice the pattern in reactions as well. She'd taken the letters once again to her manager, and he had once again blown her off about them. Which hadn't made her feel any better. And the letters did bother her, so she took the matter to her mother. The reaction she got was not the one that she expected.
"Oh, wonderful. That's a sign that your career is really beginning to take off. People who play bit parts don't get crazy fan mail."
Minako blinked. She had never really thought of it that way. She wasn't entirely sure that she agreed with her mother's assessment of the situation. But it was rather clear that she wasn't going to get any sympathy from the woman. After that, Mina just tried to ignore the letters. Tried being the operative word. It was hard to ignore them when they kept coming every week and then twice a week. The tone of the letters had completely changed now too. They were still possessive, but now they were also more demanding and darker.
And they were beginning to creep her out more than just a little. Not that she could convince any one that it was an actual problem. She was used to people dismissing her concerns, but this time it was serious. Both her parents and her manager tended to take her ditziness as lack of intelligence. Mina just wasn't good at keep track of things like where she put her backpack or what time it was. She got caught up in things easily and often got distracted if she wasn't interested in the subject at hand. But she had never forgotten a line on stage, and she could translate the legalese in her contracts to real English with ease. She might be a teenage girl (well, she was almost twenty), but that didn't make her an idiot.
The letters were scaring her, and Minako was starting to jump at shadows. She had noticed just how personal they were. There were details in them now that shouldn't be there, not unless the writer was watching her. And she was beginning to think that that was a very real possibility, and since no one was listening to her concerns, she would have to deal with it herself the best she could. At least she had some resources at her disposal.
Sort of. Well, she was going to have to get Usagi's boyfriend to call in a favor with one of his friends, but at least it was some thing. Thankfully, Mamoru was more than willing to set up a meeting for her with his friend who was a police detective. Minako didn't really know what to expect from Kenzie MacLeod. She didn't really know anything about him except that he was a police detective and that he was Mamoru's friend.
Minako shivered and pulled her coat closer around her as she entered the coffee shop. Hopefully, this would work.
Kenzie wasn't sure what to expect from Mamoru's girlfriend's friend. Mamoru had been vague about what the young woman's problem was, but he had to admit that he was a little curious about it. In his experience, most teenagers did not seek help from law enforcement if they thought they were in trouble. Admittedly, if she was Usagi's age, she would just barely be a teenager, but nineteen really was not the most sensible age. He had to admit that he was rather surprised when the petite blond approached him.
Dressed in a navy blue peacock and will her hair pulled back in a thick braid, she looked more like a college student than an actress, and it took him a moment to place her, but when she smiled, it clicked into place. She'd been on Doctor Who recently.
"Sergeant MacLeod?" Her English was unaccented.
"Miss Aino," he smiled. "Would English or Japanese be easier for you? I'm fluent in both."
She shrugged slightly. "Same here. And Minako is fine."
She slid into the seat opposite him clutching her coffee with a white knuckled grip. Kenzie reevaluated his assumptions on how serious this was. Even if it was only a minor issue, the young woman was extremely tense and afraid. It couldn't be good for her.
"Mamoru didn't give me any details. How about you start from the beginning and tell me everything you can remember abut this?"
She nodded, sipping her coffee. "I can do that."
Slow but surely, she began to relate the entire story from the beginning with far more detail than Kenzie would have expected from a civilian. She included her own reactions to events, and Kenzie found his eyebrows climbing. This was a very sensible young woman, and the fact that her concerns had consistently been dismissed worried him. She was right that it was some thing to be concerned with.
"Do you still have all of the letters and their envelopes?" he asked. "I'd like to have some one take a look at them."
"You believe me? That it is serious I mean." Her relief was palpable.
"It is some thing to be concerned about. Given what we have right now, it would be hard to take any action other than increase whatever security you currently have and take more precautions in your daily routine. Still, I'll look into the letters, and I want you not to hesitate to call the police if your stalker escalates again."
Minako let out a deep sigh and slumped back in her seat. "Thank you. I've got the letters with me. Everything is in individual ziplock bags."
Kenzie nodded. "Good. I'll keep you updated. And don't hesitate to call for help if you think you needed. In cases like these, it is far better to be safe than to be sorry."
She smiled at him. "Thank you. You don't know how good that is to hear."
Minako handed over the letters as well as her contact information. Kenzie gave her his card with his personal cell phone number scrawled on the back. He had the feeling that she would need it. Given what she had told him so far, it would take an actual assault before her parents or her manager actually involved law enforcement. So it would probably be up to Minako to keep the ball rolling.
Once the young woman had left, Kenzie headed immediately for his office. He wanted to take a closer look at the letters and try and get a better feel for the stalker. This would not be the first time that he'd worked on a stalking case, and typically the more they knew about the stalker and their motivations, the easier it was to find them.
Reading the letters, it quickly became easy to see why Minako had quickly become concerned. What Kenzie didn't like was just how quickly her stalker was escalating or the fact that it was pretty clear this person was watching Minako on a regular basis. At this rate, he was going to be escalating in more and more dangerous ways very quickly. Kenzie would not at all be surprised if Minako started getting photos of herself in the letters soon. At least that would allow them to better figure out just how close to Minako this guy was.
Unfortunately, whoever this was, he had been careful. There were no fingerprints that were able to be lifted, no DNA on the envelopes, and no useful trace materials. It wasn't much to go on. Which was frustrating. Kenzie hated being reduced to waiting for the criminal to make the next move, but it was what he was stuck with right now. He had filed the paperwork to make this an official case at least. That was progress. It meant that when the criminal made his next move, they would be able to act immediately.
He was concerned about Minako though. When he'd met her she'd already been tense and strung out, in part because no one was taking her concerns seriously, but Kenzie was also pretty sure that the situation in general was getting to her as well. Having to play the waiting game with the stalker was not going to be easy on her nerves, and the fact that she had very little support from those around her would not make things any easier.
Minako kept him updated on what was going on and sent on any other letters she received. Things kept up with their typical pattern for another three weeks. Then the pattern changed. Kenzie knew something had happened as soon as he walked in to his office to find Minako waiting for him. She looked far more like a teenager than the self-composed starlet Kenzie was used to seeing, and she was close to hysteria.
"We've gotten to the photo stage," her voice was flat and emotionless. "I showed them to both to my parents and my manager. My manager was pleased. He thought it would be a good idea to release pictures of me in my underwear taken by a creepy stalker to the public. He thought it could generate buzz around me and attract some attention."
Not really knowing what to say in response to that, Kenzie just wrapped her in a warm hug. After a few moments, Minako relaxed in to the embrace with a soft sigh. She dropped her head on to his shoulder and shut her eyes.
"There are days when I just want to quit and run away. Go to college and live a normal life. I mean as much as I love acting this whole business is slowly eroding any pleasure I get out of it. Things were tense with both my parents and my manager before, but now it's like we don't even speak the same language. But it feels too much like letting the stalker win if I do that."
"You could always get yourself a new manager," he suggested. "You are old enough now that you don't need your parents to sign off on your contracts any more."
Mina just shrugged. "Trust me. I'm thinking about it."
With a soft sigh, she extricated herself from his embrace and produced a sealed bag with several photos inside. Kenzie took the bag, and the two of them got down to business. It was a fairly familiar routine at this point. Mina tended to bring in any new letters herself and go over any pertinent details with him. He had gotten to know the young woman fairly well over the past couple of weeks, and he'd found he rather like the person behind the public persona. And he was well aware that she was deeply unhappy with more than just the situation with the stalker and how it was being handled by her parents and her manager.
"Remember, call me if you even just think that some thing is wrong," he smiled at her. "I'd rather have false alarms than you getting hurt."
She gave him a half smile. "I know."
Her room wasn't the sanctuary it used to be but at the very least it did give her some alone space. Plus she had her own bathroom, and that did not have any windows. Mina groaned as she turned on the shower. Her back was killing her. Today's photo shoot had been ridiculous, and she was definitely feeling a number of the poses she'd held. Hopefully, the hot shower would make her feel human again.
It did make her feel a little bit better, and she had to admit there really was something comforting about slipping into clothes that you knew you would never wear in public. Her leggings were just about threadbare, her tank top wasn't in much better condition, and the oversized cashmere sweater she pulled on over that had holes in it. The sweater was probably the most comfortable thing that she owned, and Minako adored it even if it was falling apart. Wrapped up in her comfort clothes, Mina was finally beginning to feel herself again.
To be honest, she rather hated most photo shoots. On the rare occasion they could a lot of fun, but most of the time any more they were a chore more than anything else. Reaching for a battered paperback, Mina curled up on her bed and dove back into the world of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. It was hours before she came up for air.
It was still pouring rain out, and as much as Minako didn't want to get up, she was really craving a cup of tea. It was one of the habits she'd picked up in England that she'd never really shaken. Her mother might tease her about the habit, but Mina found it soothing. She headed downstairs to find that she was the only one home. That was actually a relief. Minako went through the motions of making herself a nice strong pot of tea and perched on one of the bar stools as she waited for the tea to steep. The tattoo of the rain on the windows was almost soothing.
She was enjoying the peace and quiet up until the point she realized that she was very visible where she was sitting given the kitchen's large plate glass windows. And it felt like she was being watched. She stared out into the grey, misty evening trying to find her unseen watcher. She clutched her mug tightly, biting her lip. She did not want to be here any more. Any feeling of safety and comfort she'd had earlier was gone. Frowning, Mina tried to remember where her parents were.
The phone rang before she could come up with the answer. With a sigh, she grabbed the handset.
"Hi, this is Minako."
There was no response. Just breathing on the other end. Minako bit her lip.
She hung up. Minako stared at the phone for a moment, and then it started ringing again. Her instinct was to pick up. But instead she picked up her half full mug and dumped it in the sink. Then she pulled the curtains shut. As much as that made her feel closed in and trapped, she preferred that to the feeling of being watched. For a moment she just stood in the kitchen, listening to the ringing phone and trying not to panic. Her parents would gone overnight. They were attending some party out of town hosted by some one her father worked with. There was no way she was staying here on her own. And she wasn't bringing her stalker any closer to her friends than she had to.
Which didn't really leave her with many options. The phone stopped ringing. There was silence for a few moments, and then it started again. Minako made her decision. Grabbing her cell phone and her purse, she called a cab. Then she grabbed an old pair of tennis shoes and a raincoat. Thirty minutes later she was slipping quietly in to a police station. It said something that none of the officers took much note of her presence. A couple of them even offered her a friendly smile and wave as she head for Kenzie's office.
He looked up from his paperwork and offered her a smile which almost immediately turned in to a worried frown.
"I think he was calling the house. No one answered on the other end, but I could hear breathing. My parents won't be back until tomorrow night, and I couldn't stay in the house knowing that he was watching me."
Kenzie frowned at her, getting up out of his chair to take her coat. "Are you all right?"
She nodded. "Shaken more than anything else. I just couldn't stay there any longer."
Kenzie smiled gently at her. "I've got another hour before I'm off. We can pick up curry from that place you like on our way to my place. You can crash there until your parents get back."
The knot of tension in her chest loosened, and Minako could finally breath easily again. "Thank you."
"It's not a problem, sweetheart." He kissed her forehead.
Minako curled up in the extra chair in his office, snagging the battered paperback copy of The Eyre Affair that she knew Kenzie kept hidden underneath the paperwork in his inbox. They might not have solved the problems with her stalker yet, but at least she wasn't alone in this any more. And for the first time in ages, she finally felt safe.