This is a full transcript of Sailor Moon Revenge, Episode 2.
RPG Date: Thursday, July 16
Writing Dates: September 17, 2009 through January 22, 2010
Goals for Episode 2:
Inner Senshi and Mamoru: You start off the episode spending time together at the Crown Game Center (where Motoki Furuhata works); it is Thursday. You are all excited about Ami's math competition on Friday. You have also been invited to Michiru's formal concert on Saturday (you find this out on Thursday from Rei or Usagi). You should spend a lot of time interacting with each other and having fun on both days. On Saturday, you will be locked up in a cellar with the outer Senshi. This is when your identities will be revealed.
Outer Senshi: You are excited that you have found new Senshi but are still cautious. You spend Thursday at Haruka and Michiru's apartment where you will discuss your plans for locating the Senshi. You receive the invitation to attend Ami's math competition for Friday. You have also invited Usagi and her friends to Michiru's concert. On Saturday, Kunzite will navigate you all to the cellar with a clever plan and lock you up using his negative energy. The only way you will be able to escape is by transforming and using your Senshi powers.
Villains: On Thursday, you are all working in the salon as usual and following any orders that Peri gives you. On Friday, you will all attend the math competition (Peri and the Shitennou are working a food stand as community volunteers). Jadeite will be excused from working, so he can attend with Minako. On Saturday, Peri attends the musical concert to relax. Unbeknown to her, Nephrite and Jadeite have followed Zoicite and Kunzite to the concert where trouble is brewing.
Rei: You will be having fun and interacting with friends. You should sense that something is bothering Michiru on Friday at the math competition.
Makoto: You are also having fun and interacting with everyone. You are the most concerned about the arrival of the new Senshi.
Ami: You are nervous and excited about the math competition. You want to beat Ryo at the competition, but you don't want to ruin your chances for dating him. The outcome of the math competition is up to you.
Minako: You are desperately trying to get your mind off Mamoru. You see Ryu's (Jadeite) gifts and telephone number, which convinces you to call him for a date. You stop at the Kawaii Beauty Salon before going to the Crown Game Center. Anything else that happens during the three days is up to your character and the interaction with others.
Mamoru: You are awkward and a little withdrawn from all the Senshi because of the incident with Minako. You and Minako have not spoken with Usagi about what happened. You will join the group at the Crown Game Center but will be late.
Usagi: You are trying to ignore the insecurities you feel concerning Mamoru and Minako (why they are acting strange to you). You should be a bit distracted, but you are also still trying to have some fun.
Haruka: You should notice that Michiru is withdrawing from you a little bit, as if she is hiding something. You won't find out what is going on until Saturday at the concert when you rescue Michiru.
Michiru: You have been receiving stalking letters from one of your fans (Zoicite). They keep saying they will come for you and take all your musical secrets. You keep the threatening notes a secret because you think you can handle it.
Hotaru: You are a little shy at all the new friends you will meet at Friday's math competition, but you eagerly start to relax and have fun.
Setsuna: You start out at the Gates of Time. You are prompted to leave your post because Sailor Moon needs your help. The time has come to heal the Shitennou, so they can return to Prince Endymion's court. Once you arrive in Tokyo, you should not make your presence known to the inner Senshi until Friday at the math competition, where you are working as a math moderator. You are a community volunteer at the math competition. On Thursday, you can interact with the outer Senshi at their apartment, spend time at your home or your new business, run into Mamoru (who will wander about for a little bit before going to meet the others at the game center), or visit the Kawaii Beauty Salon, a place you might do business with in the future. You are welcome to run into Minako if she is there on Thursday. You should speak with the outer Senshi in private about what they have accomplished thus far, but you should not reveal the identities of the inner Senshi. You don't want to interfere with the eventual reveal that is fast approaching. You will attend the concert on Saturday and will also get locked up with the rest of the Senshi when Michiru is in trouble. You can be the one that encourages everyone to trust each other and "be themselves" (meaning transform).
Queen Perillia: Queen Perillia has been distracted because of the revelation that the Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen are alive. She is not as concerned about the new Senshi because she is getting stronger from the continuous collection of energies. Kawaii Beauty Salon will attend the Juuban Middle School math competition as community volunteers. All the Shitennou are working the food booth except Jadeite, who has requested time off.
Zoicite: You are obsessed with Kaioh Michiru. You watch her music capaibilities on television and are insanely jealous. You want to bring her down and steal all her talent. You want to be better than her. You are a stalker and should be sending her a few letters before Saturday's concert. You convince Kunzite to help you with your plan because he is your love; he would do anything for you. On Saturday, you are able to corner Michiru in her dressing room while Kunzite locks Michiru's friends in a cellar (he comes up with an excuse to get them down there). He uses dark energy to trap them before going to help Zoicite steal Michiru's energy. The only way the Senshi can escape is if they transform in front of each other (but Kunzite does not know this).
Kunzite: You unwillingly help Zoicite. He doesn't want either of them to get punished by Queen Perillia and is concerned about Zoi's random obsession. However, he stands by Zoicite's side because they are lovers.
Nephrite: You are distracted by the realization that Naru is alive. You are conflicted about your work for Queen Perillia, but you let Jadeite convince you to help him in order to keep your mind occupied.
Jadeite: Jadeite's relationship with Minako deepens as she invites him to the math competition. The other Shitennou attend as community volunteers. They are working the food booth. Jadeite also convinces Nephrite to spy on Zoicite with him because he knows Zoicite is up to no good. Jadeite wants to get Zoi in trouble with their queen and will use any means to come to that end.
Kunzite (Kuuya): Neck length, black colored wig
Zoicite (Zack): Short brown colored wig
Nephrite (Nao): Ear length, brown colored wig
Jadeite (Ryu): Bleach blond hair in a military buzz cut
Perillia (Peri): Shoulder length, curly, dark red hair with perfect white teeth
Length of Episode 2: Episode 2 will last about three months. This will depend on how frequently members post and how quickly our goals are met. If the RPG is moving too slow or too fast, I will interrupt the game to insert a GM post. If you have questions, post them in the appropriate OOC Thread.
REMEMBER: All role players are required to post at least once a week or indicate
in the Absences Thread if you will need more time
before you can post.
TsukinoUsagi (GM Episode Thread Starter)
It has been three days since the disaster at the Juuban Middle School festival on Monday July 13. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent cleaning the festival site as well as many of the nearby offices and businesses that were damaged during the tsunami. Students from different schools volunteered to help the community in between their busy testing schedules. Local businesses also donated many supplies to those who lost everything from the disaster. The business that stood out the most was Kawaii Beauty Salon. Peri graciously donated beauty supplies and even money from her own business to those who were devastated by the tsunami. Her hair stylists made equally impressive gestures when they visited some of the injured in the hospital. TheGuardianoftheMoon
Usagi and her friends were among the students who helped with the cleanup, although Ami made sure Usagi spent less time cleaning and more time studying. Ami had promised Usagi that she would pass her tests, and she took her promise seriously. Most of the Senshi were depressed about the sad ending to such a promising event. Their spirits were uplifted at the arrival of Haruka, Michiru, and Hotaru who wanted to make a difference too. Still, the friends spent less time chatting and more time grimly working. The only people who seemed to be enjoying themselves were the workers from Kawaii Beauty Salon, which was probably because of the amount of free advertising the company was receiving from all their charity work.
Spirits lifted for the senshi when they discovered that everyone passed their exams on Wednesday afternoon. Since most of the work from the disaster had been taken care of (there was a large amount of community support), they decided to celebrate their passing grades on Thursday at the Crown Game Center. Usagi, Rei, Makoto, Minako, Ami, and Mamoru would finally have some time to relax and enjoy each others company. Ami was not as enthused as her friends to spend time away from studying, especially before the big competition, but Usagi and the others convinced her that she needed a little break.
On Wednesday evening, Usagi and Rei received invitations from Haruka to attend Michiru's concert. They are encouraged to bring the rest of their friends to the formal concert. They are both excited to share the news with everyone else, two big events to attend, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Likewise, Haruka received the invitation from Ami to attend Juuban Middle School's math competition the same evening. The invitation is good for Haruka, Michiru, and Hotaru.
With the first term of the school year ending on a low note, Juuban Middle School hopes Friday's math competition will get the students mind off the tsunami and eerie red full moon that scientists still have not been able to explain. The math competition also signals summer break before the second term begins in September. The Senshi have an exciting weekend planned with the morning math competition on Friday and then the Saturday evening concert. It is unfortunate that the Shitennou have surprises in store for them that will leave everyone feeling a little flat.
“And that was the latest from Kaioh Michiru!” The announcer said on the television that sat in the corner of the break room in the back of Kawaii Beauty Salon.Empressnightstar
Zoicite couldn’t help but become enchanted by the music Kaioh played on her violin, and yet at the same time he felt the talented artist struck a nerve. Back in the days before he, his leader Queen Perillia, and his fellow coworkers Kunzite, Jadeite, and Nephrite had been imprisoned by the wretched brat Sailor Moon, it was Zoicite that had been the best musician the world had ever known. This Kaioh Michiru had just started popping up everywhere, and Zoicite couldn’t stand how she could be better than him.
He sighed to himself as he went back to work. The Kawaii Beauty Salon was even busier than before the Juuban Middle School Festival. Ever since that contest, they had been booming with business. He couldn’t count how many customers came in requesting haircuts, manicures, pedicures; the list went on and on. It had been like this for the past three days from nine to nine every day. Little did the humans know that the products they used on themselves were slowly but surely draining them of their energy.
The front bell rang as yet another customer walked into the salon. Right away Zoicite walked over to the woman who was brunette, short, and had blue eyes. She wore a nice blue blouse and a pair of blue jeans. She looked the age of a high schooler.
“Hello, miss. Welcome to Kawaii Beauty Salon. My name is Zack; what can I do for you today?” Zoicite asked. Zack was the name he used while he was in disguise; the other Shitennou had code names as well. The young lady blushed as she took in his appearance. “I was interested in a haircut,” She said speaking in a soft whisper.
Zoicite smiled and said, “Right this way miss.” He could feel the hateful eyes of Jadeite, otherwise as known as Ryu in the salon, but he didn’t let it bother him. Zoicite was only here to do his queen’s bidding. Zoicite led the young lady to an open chair and placed a smock around her, so she would not get hair all over her nice clothing.
“So, what are we doing today, a trim, full haircut?” Zoicite asked the girl.
The girl blushed again when he spoke to her. “Just a trim please,” she said again in a shy soft toned voice. Zoicite just nodded and lead the girl over to one of the sinks to wash out her hair. As he began to wash, he couldn’t help but continue to think about the new music artist Kaioh.
Perhaps later tonight I will speak to Kunzite about her. Maybe he will be able to sooth me, Zoicite thought to himself.
It was another quiet day at the Gates of Time when Sailor Pluto noticed something on the monitor. She had just seen the recent events of the Juuban Middle School Festival and its aftermath. Sailor Pluto had also been collecting data about the red moon.
'Something about that moon isn't right,' she thought.
She had just analyzed the data when Sailor Pluto saw something that troubled her. 'That red moon is distrubing the time flow. I must leave here at once and help Sailor Moon and the others or their lives will be lost too soon.'
Sailor Pluto teleported from the Gates of Time to Tokyo. Instead of her sailor fuku, Setsuna wore her dark green hair in a side french braid, had on a skin tight off shoulder blue shirt, dark blue jean shorts, and navy blue espadrilles. She also wore a fashionable pair of sunglasses to keep the afternoon sun from her eyes.
Setsuna decided to meet Haruka, Michiru and Hotaru in the early evening. To kill some time, she stopped in at the Kawaii Beauty Salon for a manicure and pedicure. Once she was inside she was greeted by a well dressed gentleman with ear length brown hair. He asked her if he could help her. "Yes, I would like a manicure and pedicure," Setsuna replied.
Nephrite was distracted when he finally arrived at the salon. He saw that Zoicite was obsessing over some woman on the television in the back room, which was odd considering his sexual preference. The more Nephrite thought about it, everyone was acting different, like they were distracted. If he cared, he would think about what was really going on and solve the "mysteries." But if he was being honest to himself, he didn't give a damn about any of them...even Queen Perillia. Of course, he would never admit this aloud. He would not show weakness in front of any of the Shitennou. He had wanted to be better than his former self. He didn't want to let some girl destroy him again. He had thought he was better, but his weakness had resurfaced its ugly head when he saw Naru at the festival.
'And she didn't even remember me,' he thought sadly. 'And that is why you should forget her and focus on the Dark Kingdom. You have a future here. The humans promise nothing, just failure...and even death,' he thought as his mind recalled his untimely end in his previous life.
Nephrite set his jaw tightly as he opened the doors to the salon. Morning customers were already lined up outside their establishment.
'I am resolved. I will not fail Queen Perillia. I will destroy the senshi...and even Naru if I have to.'
As usual, Nephrite was the only one who seemed to be enjoying the work at the salon. He was a natural people person, if you could believe it. He had a way about him that put people at ease. Plus, the work afforded him a natural escape from his betraying thoughts, which is really what he needed.
'I need to forget,' he thought as a woman with dark green hair in a fancy blue ensemble entered their establishment. She looked like a wealthy client, a potential regular customer. Queen Perillia would want them to treat her extra special to ensure that she would come back. Since the others were busy, Nephrite approached her first.
"Welcome to Kawaii Beauty Salong. My name is Nao. Do you need some help?"
"Yes, I would like a manicure and pedicure."
"Excellent. This must be your lucky day because I have a time slot free, an unfortunate cancellation."
Nephrite lead her back to his station.
"Is there any special nail polish or design you want after the manicure and pedicure?"
"Wake up, Usagi-chan!"
"Ugh...but moooommm, there is no school today. I want to sleep in..."
Usagi rolled onto her stomach and put her pillow over her head to drown out the whining noise that was trying to wake her up. She had been looking forward to sleeping in now that she had passed her exams. She deserved the break considering how Ami had pushed her with the studying. It was her worst nightmare come true, but she had to admit that she felt a lot better now that she had passed her exams. Her parents didn't usually give her that look of admiration, and she had basked in the glow of their approval. They had even taken her out last night for ice cream, which is why she was super tired. Usagi had been wired from all the sugar and had not been able to sleep.
"Usagi!" She felt something jump on her back. Claws gently dug into her skin. It wasn't her mom after all. It was Luna, her surrogate mother.
Usagi knew she was whining, but she deserved a break. She opened one eye and peeked out from under her pillow at her alarm clock. It was a little after 9am, still later than school, but not late enough for Usagi.
"Usagi-chan, get up this instant! You made plans to meet with everyone at the Crown Game Center, and I will not have you running late as usual. I know how long it takes you to get ready in the morning."
Luna jumped off Usagi's back and grabbed the edge of the pillow with her teeth. She pulled it away, and Usagi blinked. Bright sunlight was streaming in from her open window. There was no way she would be able to fall back asleep now, and chances were high that Luna would not let the matter rest.
"Ok, I'm up...I'm up..." Usagi grumbled as she sat up in bed and wiped the sleep from her tired eyes.
"Plus, you have to invite everyone to Michiru's concert."
Usagi glanced at the invitation next to her alarm clock. She was excited about this weekend because she would get to spend time with her friends. Ami was going to compete at a math competition, which Usagi was sure she would win, and now they were going to get to attend a fancy concert.
"I guess I can wake up early for friends and video games," Usagi winked at Luna who was looking up at Usagi from the right of the bed. "Are you going to come with us, Luna?"
Luna shook her head no. "Artemis and I have some catching up to do."
Usagi rolled her eyes. "You are almost as bad as Ami. You both work way too hard."
Usagi walked into the bathroom and closed the door partway. She splashed some water on her face and then looked into the mirror. Her happiness had disappeared in a manner of moments. She could try to hide it all she wanted to, but underneath her perky exterior she was sad.
'I haven't spoken with Minako or Mamoru. I wondered what happened between the two of them before we remembered our past lives...'
Usagi felt extremely lonely. She felt like both of them were avoiding her and hiding something.
'I wish they would talk to me...'
Usagi moved away from the mirror and turned on the shower. She didn't notice that Luna had been watching her from the ajar door. 'That is why I work so hard, Usagi. I want to protect you. I am going to get to the bottom of this mess, and Artemis is the key.' Luna walked away from the door before Usagi got undressed. She left the bedroom through the open window. It was almost time to meet Artemis.
Artemis was surprised that Minako was up so early. She was similar to Usagi because she liked to sleep in. Usually, Artemis had to wake her up, but as he stretched from his spot on her bed, he saw an empty space where Minako slept.
He immediately got to his feet and looked about the room. She was sitting at her dresser looking depressed.
'Luna and I are going to have to straighten this whole mess out between Minako, Usagi, and Mamoru. We don't have time for a love triangle.'
Artemis had failed as a guardian. He was supposed to be watching over Minako until it was time for her to awaken. He never should have let her go on that date with Mamoru. He really hadn't thought anything would come of the date. Perhaps she had been harboring a crush on Mamoru, and the date had given her a chance to live out some fantasy?
"Good morning, Minako." Artemis walked to the edge of the bed where Minako could see him reflected in the mirror.
"Eh," was her response.
'Ok, Artemis...think fast...how can you get her mind off guy troubles...'
Artemis was looking at Minako when he saw the jade hair clip and bracelets on the right side of the dresser. There was also a business card next to the items.
'Yes...I remember...there was some hair stylist that had hit on her at that beauty salon. Maybe if she gave him a chance, she would get over the whole Mamoru mess...'
"Wow, that is a beautiful hair and bracelet set, Minako. Where did you get it from?"
"Eh...?" Minako listlessly looked at the items Artemis was referencing. "Oh...um...they are gifts from a guy I met..." Minako blushed at the memory of the tall, buzz cut blond. "His name is Ryu, and he works at the Kawaii Beauty Salon."
"Is that his number on that card?"
"Yeah, I think it is for his cell phone..." Minako's voice trailed off as she began to think. 'I was supposed to call him...perhaps I can invite him to Ami's math competition as a date...then I would feel better about the whole Mamoru mess. After all, I did like Ryu at the same time I liked Mamoru...I just thought Mamoru and I were destined for each other, which obviously isn't the case.'
Artemis figured he would encourage Minako to call Ryu.
"Why don't you give him a call before you head out to meet the gang? Now that you are done with school, you could use a little fun in your life."
Artemis jumped off the bed and walked to the open door of the room. Minako was still debating about calling the guy when she noticed that Artemis was leaving.
"Where are you off to?" Minako eyed him suspiciously.
"I have to meet Luna. We have some catching up to do." And with that, Artemis left Minako to her own thoughts.
Minako looked at the precious gifts he had given her. She hadn't worn them since she walked out of the salon. She gently picked up the card and fingered it between her index and thumb.
'Should I call him...? He's probably at work though...and what if he says no...I mean...it has been days since he gave me this number. Maybe he has already forgotten about me. I bet he's found a girlfriend already, and I'm not sure I can handle the rejection.'
She was psyching herself out, and she knew it.
'Stop worrying! Just do it...you can always cry in the privacy of your own home, especially since Artemis already left. No one would know that you were so insecure...'
Minako's fingers were shaking as she set Ryu's card down and picked up her cordless phone. She had to use two hands to dial.
'It might just take me to his voice mail, and then I will have to leave a message.'
She was thinking of what she would say as she listened to his phone ring. She gritted her teeth in anticipation of hearing his voice.
As Nao (Nephrite) led Setsuna to his station he asked her a question: "Is there any special nail polish or design you want after the manicure and pedicure?"
"Yes, I brought the shade of nail polish I would like you to use," She replied. "I would like my finger and toe nails painted in that shade."
Setsuna pulled out of her black Prada purse a metalic dark red Channel nail polish and handed it to him. As Nao was doing her manicure, she noticed that he seemed to be a bit troubled.
"Is there anything that is bothering you? You seem a bit down," Setsuna asked him.
Makoto Kino strolled towards the Crown Game Center where Usagai had asked all of the Senshi to meet for a get together. For most of the walk, she reflected on the Senshi's heroic efforts to save the people who attended the Juuban Middle School Festival. She, along with the other Senshi, had survived the final battle against Metallia, but her memory was fuzzy as to what the outcome had been. That blur in her memory was not as important as the other women she saw helping the Senshi. Their presence gave off a familiarity to her; however, she was not certain as to why the familiarity existed.
Just as she was about to dive deeper into her thoughts, Makoto noticed a group of young men across the street following her. She had been accustomed to stares and whispers because of her height, but the young men appeared to be a little more interested than her normal on-lookers. What could these guys want? She asked herself.
A young man in jeans and a white-buttoned shirt crossed the street and approached Makoto and said, “Hi, I'm Cloud. Would you like to hang out with my friends and I? We could show you a good time.”
What nerve! Kino thought to herself. “I am sorry...Cloud, but I am on my wait to meet a few friends.”
The group of young men began to plead aloud, “Come on, Tifa. You know you want to.”
Tifa? Makoto took another look at the young men and noticed a face she had seen at the festival. Otaku! “Sorry,” she responded to the young man and his gang walking away from them.
Just at the young man was about to place his hands on her shoulder, Makoto reflexively grabbed his hand and flipped him to the ground.
The others took off running while the young man in jeans looked up at Makoto, staring at her voluptuous breasts, and said, “I love you,Tifa!”
“Hmmph!” Kino tossed her hair back and walked away. Pervert! That's the last time I do cosplay.
A few minutes later, the tall, slender girl arrived in front of the Crown Game Center. She had been the first of the Senshi to arrive at the game center. She had hoped she would not have to stand alone outside the game center with the otaku perverts on the loose. Luckily, a young man from within the game center came out to greet her.
“Irrashaimase,” the young man bowed. “Welcome to the Crown Game Center. May I help you?”
“I am waiting to meet up with a few friends of mine,” Kino answered.
“You wouldn't happen to be a friend of Tsukino Usagi?” Inquired the young man.
“Yes,” she responded in surprise, “how did you know?”
“Usagi tends to have her friends wait for her here when she wants to hang out,” the young man explained. “By the way, my name is Motoki Furuhata. Come in. If I know Usagi, she'll be running late.”
“Thank you,” Kino bowed.
“Don't mention it,” Furuhata said as he escorted the tall, athletic girl in to the game center. “By the way, what was your name again?”
Peri had attended to multiple customers early that Thursday morning. All of the advertisement from the clean up was starting to pay off. Hundreds of women had begun to visit the beauty salon and purchase various Kawaii Beauty Salon products. Most of the products had been tapered down so that little to no detection of energy loss would be noticed by the human females. Perillia wanted to keep the humans' life force level at a point where it could regenerate on its own offering her an endless supply of power.
Occupying her time with customers, however, gave Peri little time to manage the Shitennou. She had some concerns with them at first, but the slave earrings she had forced upon them provided some insurance that her and the Dark Kingdom's will would be served, especially now that she was aware that the Senshi had also survived the final battle. She was not about to let the Shitennou repeat past mistakes.
Even though she involved herself heavily in her work, Peri could not forget the sight of her Beloved. He too had survived, and she wanted so desperately to be with him—to hold him, caress him, and kiss him. She allowed herself short fantasies, of the two them being together, between customers. At one point, one of her fantasies brought her a tremendous smile.
“Looks like someone has been getting lucky,” a customer Peri was working with, stated, noticing her grin.
“Now, now,” Peri downplayed her reaction to an intimate fantasy. “I wouldn't want to pry into your private life.”
“Why not? This is a beauty parlor, is it not?” The customer responded with a smile.
Peri finished the woman up and sent her on her way.
Why not? She reflected before attending to the next customer. Images of her former lover's life being sacrificed to help and save Sailor Moon began to irritate her. Her version of their reality shattered in that instance, and she began to feel the pain of being alone and away from the one she truly loved. This is why, she told herself as she prepared for the next customer.
Mamoru was holding her so tight; it was as if they were one body. Her smaller frame was engulfed by his larger one. She felt fragile in his arms.
'I need to protect her,' he thought as his pulse quickened from the simple act of her pressing even more into him. Mamoru closed his eyes as he let other senses dance in pleasure at her nearness. His hands caressed her back, and she moaned. She was looking at him; he could feel her hot gaze. She wanted him now. She was reaching up for the fateful kiss that they both knew was destined to happen. Mamoru opened his eyes to behold his princess.
The magical moment shattered.
It was too late to react, too late to push away. She was kissing him, and she wouldn't let go. His mind cried out "no" as his treacherous body demanded more from her.
'Don't deny it...you long for Minako...'
Mamoru woke up screaming. His body was sweaty and the light bed sheet clung to his naked torso.
'What is happening to me?'
Mamoru ran his hand through his dark hair as he slowed his breathing.
'It was just a nightmare. I don't love Minako. I have always loved Usagi...'
Just the thought of his innocent and loving odango brought a smile to his face. She would forgive him for kissing Minako if he would just talk to her. He had never been scared to speak with her about his feelings before. What had changed between them?
'Too much time has passed since I have held her in my arms,' he thought as he threw the covers off his body. He began to get ready for the meeting at the Crown Game Center. 'I just remembered my past life and love with her. It is natural that things would feel awkward...and new...' He remembered the battle with Queen Perillia; how she had desired to make him her king. 'I will never betray Usagi again. She needs to know that I will be a stronger and better man for her.'
Mamoru looked at himself in the mirror. He was wearing black slacks and a green shirt. He put on some dark shades since it was sunny outside.
'Maybe I should walk around and gather my thoughts before meeting with everyone. It's not like Minako and I will have the opportunity to pull Usagi aside and speak to her...not with everyone there...'
Mamoru knew he was making excuses, that he was trying to avoid the confession.
'Perhaps I can make it up to Usagi by bringing her a gift,' he mused as he walked down the street from his condo.
Despite her beauty, Nephrite was only half paying attention to the new client. His mind was still focused on thoughts of Naru and other regrets. He was happy that she was considerate enough to have brought her own shade of nail polish. Some clients could get very picky if the stylists could not find the specific shade they desired.
'This woman must be made of money...'
Having been a millionaire in his former life, Nephrite was aware of the finer products and designers. Even her accessories were of high quality--a black Prada purse and Channel nail polish. The metallic red color would go well with her pale complexion and dark hair.
'Perhaps she is in the fashion business,' he wondered.
Nephrite began to work on her hands. He knew he was supposed to be flirting with her and asking lots of questions, but his heart wasn't in it.
"Is there anything that is bothering you? You seem a bit down."
Nephrite was surprised by her question.
'I didn't realize I was being that obvious...'
He smiled and shook his head no.
"I'm just thinking about you and your wonderful fashion sense. Please, tell me a little bit about yourself. This manicure and pedicure might take a bit. I like to pamper my clients, so they are sure to come back and request me as their stylist."
He flashed her a handsome smile and even winked at her. It actually felt good talking with another person. It kept his mind off old regrets.
Jadeite awoke to the smell of green tea coming from his kitchen. He slowly rolled over to his back. What a glorious night, he thought to himself. Aiko was great and more importantly, I was fantastic. He got out of bed and began walking to the kitchen. He didn’t bother putting clothes on since he didn’t care who admired his body. He gave a long stretch and saw a note hanging on his mirror. He walked over and grabbed it:
Ryu, I made you breakfast. Enjoy. Do call again. ~ Aiko
Jadeite tossed the note to the ground. She's good for more than one thing , he thought to himself. He opened the door and sunlight shone through his big glass windows.
After showering and dressing in a blue military style jacket with gold trim, Jadeite hopped on his motorcycle and headed toward the salon. It doesn’t get much better than this, he said to himself as he zoomed down the street. He made it to the shop well before opening; he parked his motorcycle out back. He did his normal routine of cleaning up his station and bringing in new supplies as needed. He was in a really good mood, and it didn’t matter how much Zoicite annoyed him today. It was his day. Zoicite was watching some crap on television, but Jadeite didn’t care. He was ready to work.
Once the salon opened, it was a normal day. The shop filled with customers, and Jadeite was enjoying flirting with all the pretty ladies. A girl had walked into the store and Zoicite, as usual, was at the door attempting to hog all of the customer. Ass kissing freak, Jadeite said to himself. Just then, his cell phone rang. He took his blackberry out of his pocket. He didn’t recognize the number. He looked up and saw Zoicite giving him a dirty look. He flipped Zoicite the bird and walked into the break room.
“Hello,” he said as he was walking down to the break room. There was silence on the other end; he was about to hang up when a shaky voice answered.
“Hi, is this Ryu?”
“Yes, this is Ryu? And whom am I speaking too?”
Just then Zoicite stormed into the room and begain yelling and throwing things at Jadeite. "Dude, I am on the phone. Get a grip!," Jadeite said dogging a couple of boxes. He decided that it would be better to leave the room. He walked outside while Zoicite continued to yell at him.
"Apparently someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I am sorry, but I didn't catch your name. With whom am I speaking?"
There was a little giggle on the other end of the phone. “Minako,” the voice said on the other line.
The girl from the salon, Jadeite thought to himself. Why is she calling me?
“Miss Minako, what a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?"
This day can't get any better, he thought, smilling to himself.
Haruka reached over to where Michiru was sleeping feeling nothing but air. Opening an eye, Haruka saw that Michiru was no longer in bed. She sat up groggily, tired from the long week of exam preparation, helping with the disaster cleanup at Juuban, as well as keeping up with their new friends, Usagi and the others.
“Michiru-san?” her voice croaked.
Stretching her arms over her head, Haruka looked at the alarm clock on her bed stand. It was almost ten-thirty.
Did I sleep in? Haruka thought as she threw one leg on the edge of the bed. She checked her nightstand for a note from Michiru…nothing. Standing to retrieve her cell phone on her dresser, Haruka checked to see if Michiru had perhaps sent a text.
Running a hand through her blond hair Haruka sighed. Where are you Michiru?
Heading downstairs to the kitchen, Haruka could smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee already waiting for her. I wonder when Michiru got up this morning, she thinks, opening the cupboard to pour herself a cup. Haruka took a long sip. “That’s good,” she says, looking at her cell phone again. She was hoping Michiru would be home so they could pick up Hotaru and make time to finally discuss important matters regarding the Senshi. She sent Hotaru a text: ‘R U UP YET? WE NEED TO HAVE A MEETING SOON.’
Haruka brought her cup of coffee back upstairs and turned on the shower. Laying her cell phone on her dresser, she turned on the television.
“…and that was the latest from Kaoih Michiru!”
Haruka poked her head in from the bathroom with her toothbrush sticking out at the mention of Michiru’s name. On the television a brunette announcer stated a concert date.
“This Saturday, Mugen’s own Kaoih Michiru will be performing at Azabu-Juuban Arena Hall at 8!” Haruka sat in front of the TV watching as a picture of Michiru was shown beside the announcer.
“Tickets will be sold at Mugen Gakuen. All profits will go to the school’s music and art program. So, show your support for Mugen Academy!”
The camera zoomed out, showing another announcer seated beside the one next to the brunette. The two engaged in witty banter discussing how one was actually a graduate from Mugen Gakuen. Haruka sighed and returned to the bathroom. Rinsing her mouth out with water, Haruka undressed and contemplated Michiru’s event.
Hmm, maybe she went to the school to practice. She always was a perfectionist.
Stepping into the shower, Haruka soaked her hair allowing the water pressure and steam to relax her. I wish she would’ve left a note…a text…or called to tell me where she was. Usually I’m the one that forgets to let her know where I am.
Haruka was relieved that today was her time to relax. She considered visiting Michiru at the school and possibly running a few laps. Sometimes that helped clear her head. Turning off the faucet, she grabbed the nearest towel on the rail and quickly dried herself. Checking her phone for what seemed like the fifth time, Haruka decided to leave Michiru a text: ‘CALL ME’ it said.
Now I’ll just wait, she thought, rummaging through her dresser to find something to wear.
I’m taking my bike out today.
Rei was asleep in her bed very late today. It seems that the other day when she was trying to aid in saving that girl, she had hurt herself very badly. The climb gave her some bumps and small bruises on her legs and arms. She was awakened by the constant ringing of the Temple bells outside by her grandfather.
“Wake up, Rei-chan! Rise and shine! GET OUT OF BED! What got into you now, GIRL? You are usually the first one to get up, and now you are the last one all the time!” Rei turned over and angrily threw her pillows out the window at him.
“You are being a pain today!” Rei dragged herself out of bed. She looked out her window, and, to her surprise, Grandpa was cleaning the temple and the chores was almost done for the day. “Wow…what’s wrong with me?”
Then, Rei thought back to the other day and what had happened to her life since then. She looked at the bandages on her legs and the one on her right arm. How long have I been living a lie? It was an invisible lie in a blinded life...Well..I know who...I am now. And I can do something about things even if it is just a little bit...to help this world now.”
Grand-pa yelled again at Rei from below her window. “REI!!!! What are you doing? Don’t you have somewhere to go today?” Rei then remembered that she had to go and meet with the others at the gaming arcade. Rei began to get frantic. “Oh my goodness! I really slept late today!”
“WE KNOW!” Grandpa and Yuichiro yelled from down below.
“Just hush, both of you!” Rei screamed as she got out of bed.
“I wonder if Makoto-chan will make some of her good cookies.They are always the best and so yummy! I really hope so.”
Rei took a quick shower and then got ready. As she walked outside, she made faces at Grandpa and Yuichiro. Yuichiro was giggling until he realized that Rei was very mad at him. He ran to her side and grabbed her arm in concern.
“What?” Rei said looking at him strangely and trying not to grimace. He had grabbed a spot on her arm that had a bruise.
He began to question her briefly about the other night. “What happened to you the other day? Also, when you came home you were injured. I need to know what is going on!” Rei looked at Yuichiro and pushed him away as she walked off.
“Go away...Yeah...I got a little hurt. However, I am fine...ok? I found my friends, and they were there with me. We helped each other out, and we saved a woman who was injured. I will always be okay with my friends watching my back. I'm still here, aren't I? I’m still kicking and breathing, okay? See you both later.” Rei was so quick to get away that she didn't see the hurt expression on Yuichiro's face. "Ok," he whispered as he went back to work. "I just wish I was considered a friend you could confide in...maybe something more..."
When Rei got to the arcade, she immediately went to her favorite fighting game. It was very crowded, and she did not see anyone she knew yet. Even though she knew she could be on the game for hours, she was still drawn to it. Her fingers caressed the buttons. It was the newest Street Fighter game, and it was calling to her. Plus, she needed something to help relieve her tension after the encounter with Yuichiro. She took out her money and let the coin drop into the machine.
Let the fun begin! she thought in excitement as she became immersed in the game.
Ami sat in her windowsill reviewing what had happened the other day. She was in shock about the tsunami and her past life. She was still running on adrenaline from the surprises. She was excited by this new opportunity but nervous about how it would effect her school work. She hoped that she could do both without the two interfering with each other. Speaking of school, Ami knew that she should be studying for the big math competition. However, part of her needed time to decompress from the events of last night. After another few minutes of sitting and contemplating, she went over to her desk and opened her math book to complete a couple of problems. Some time passed. She looked up at the clock and realized she only had an hour to meet the others at the arcade. Ami opened the bottom drawer of her desk and pulled out a stack of handmade invitations for the math competition. She was going to give them to her friends at the arcade. Each contestant was given 20 tickets to the competition. She hoped everyone could make it.
Before Ami left, her mom called to say that she would be late again tonight. Ami silently sighed on the phone and assured her mom that she would be fine warming up leftovers from the previous night's dinner. She thought about skipping the arcade meeting, but in the end she decided to go. Ami grabbed her mini backpack, math text, and her keys. Locking up the house, she quickly walked down the street. Ami thought about Ryo and how she was going to kick his butt in the math competition. The thought of winning made Ami smile.
Eventually, Ami arrived at the arcade and walked inside. She took a quick look around; no one had made it here yet.
I am early. I will just sit at a booth and study until everyone else comes, she said to herself.
Hotaru yawned as she turned on the TV in her living room. After the tsunami had hit, Hotaru exerted herself more then she had intended to during the restoration. As a result, she was exhausted. Her weariness did not go unnoticed. Her father wouldn't let her go out as much after the first day of tsunami cleanup. Her continual appearance in the house had upset Kaori, but Hotaru did not care. She was too tired to care.
Today, though, Hotaru could leave to meet up with Haruka and the others. She waited impatiently for the moment when she could escape. Her father had told Kaori to keep an eye on her. She was forced to sit in the living room, and open up a book to keep herself occupied. Lucky for her, world history was her favorite subject. She wasn't going to get bored reading a book about Fedual Japan anytime soon. As she was skimming through the book, an announcer with brown hair appeared on the screen.
“This Saturday, Mugen’s own Kaioh Michiru will be performing at Azabu-Juuban Arena Hall at 8! Tickets will be sold at Mugen Gakuen. All profits will go to the school’s music and art program. Show your support for Mugen Academy!”
Michiru-sempai will be performing this Saturday. I can’t wait to hear her perform.
The information then switched from Michiru to someone else.
“This just in! It appears that Tsukimori Len will be in the opening act of the concert!” the brunette announcer declared.
“Eh? You mean the son of the famous pianist Hamai-san?” the other female announcer questioned. “I heard that he doesn’t go to these concerts, especially playing in opening acts unless the star is really talented!”
“Yes, the Seiso student only does the opening act when he feels that he should honor those that are considered above him.”
“So you’re saying that Tsukimori-kun looks up to Michiru Kaioh?”
“Yes. We will defiantly have a memorable time at the concert with him there.”
“Hey, don’t forget who the real star is.”
“I know, I know, but he’s so attractive.”
The two announcers then started to ramble about attractive students. Hotaru sighed as she put her book down and turned off the TV. Women who rambled on about a person’s looks instead of their talent should just be ignored.
Still, I didn’t think Tsukimori Len would play at Michiru’s concert. Hotaru thought to herself as she laid down on the carpet.Saturday will really be a wonderful day to listen to the violin.
Hotaru finally noticed that there was a message on her cellphone. It was from Haruka. She sighed as she texted her: STILL UNDER SUPERVISION. MEET WITH U LATER. When she sent the message, she went back to her book. She did not notice eyes watching her from a distance.
'He hides his true feelings very well. I wonder why? He seems like an interesting person to get to know,' Setsuna thought.
She looks at the salon and notices three other gentleman. Setsuna also notices that two of the gentleman enter what appears to be the break room. She also sees a young woman at the receptionist desk that she believes to be the owner.
"Thank you for your consideration." She replied. "I'm opening a clothing boutique in the fashion district of Juuban and have done some modeling for different couture designers. I bought the building and started my business with some money I saved when I was a model. I have couture fashions for men and women. Most of it is from my own line and the rest are from designers that I have become very good friends with."
'In actuality, I had never modeled. I knew there would be a time when I would have to leave the Gates of Time and be on Earth. I saved money during the centuries of my lonely watch. The money I spent to obtain the buliding for my shop (which I got right before I left the Time Gate) did not even make a dent in my savings. My interest in fashion could be traced to the Moon Kingdom's reign. When I had time to spare, I would design outfits for the queen and princess. It was a hobby that I dearly loved. I decided that when I came to earth, I would use a successful fashion designer as my identity cover,' Setsuna thought while she told Nao her human cover story.
"Now that I have told you about myself, what about you? Why are you working at a beauty salon when you are not very passionate about it?" She asked Nao while he was filing her toes.
Sitting inside one of the many spacious music rooms of Mugen Gakuen, playing softly to the tune of Claire de Lune on her treasured violin, Kaioh Michiru closed her eyes. She swayed to the rhythm of the song. On the varnished black piano, a small basket of her favorite flowers, Forget-me-nots, rested. She had picked them up earlier from the florist needing inspiration on the tune she was to play that Saturday. She could not believe her luck; she was going to perform live in front of everyone at the Arena hall...at last her dream was coming true.
Michiru smiled softly to herself, her eyes still closed. She was going to meet up with the rest of the Outer Senshi back at her and Haruka's apartment to discuss the events that had occurred three days ago at the festival, including the other Sailor Senshi that appeared to aid them.
'What did this all mean? A new enemy perhaps?' she thought. Michiru paused in her song and opened her ocean blue eyes. She stared outside toward the track. 'When can we ever have peace from being warriors?' she wondered.
Her cell phone beside the basket of flowers on the piano suddenly vibrated and the digital version of Claire De lune rang softly throughout the music room. Placing her violin down into its rack, Michiru walked over to the piano and picked up her phone. She smiled lovingly as she read her love's text message: CALL ME.
Ringing Haruka's cell phone number, Michiru traced her slender fingers against the piano keys waiting as the phone rang once then twice. The cell phone's answering machine picked up and Haruka's tomboyish voice came through: "Hi! You've reached Tenoh Haruka. Please leave your name and number after the beep. Thanks!"
Michiru giggled as she said "Hi Haruka-chan. It's me, Michi. Sorry I left so early, love, but you might have noticed the ad for a concert. Yes, I'm at school practicing in the music room. Want to meet up once I'm done? Love you!" she ended the call and placed the phone down on the piano.
Walking back to her violin, she resumed playing her song.
When Minako heard his timbre voice, her own suddenly disappeared. She knew she should say something, but she was scared.
'I don't want to get hurt again,' she thought nervously as her gentle breathing was the only indication that she was on the line. 'Say something before he hangs up,' she thought, panicked.
'He doesn't recognize my voice. Not a good sign,' she fingered the gifts from him and decided that the best course of action was to return them. She didn't know him well enough to accept them, and it was obvious that he didn't remember her at all. Before she could respond to his inquiry, there was some loud noises, as if someone was yelling. It sounded like a guy.
'Perhaps a customer,' Minako thought as she waited a moment before speaking.
"Apparently someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I am sorry, but I didn't catch your name. With whom am I speaking?"
Minako laughed at Ryu's comment and easily let her name slip through her now chapped lips.
“Miss Minako, what a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?"
Minako tried to hide the quiver in her voice when she responded: "First, I have something to give you. I wanted to stop by the salon and drop it off. Second, I wanted to invite you on a date...nothing serious, just a math competition at Juuban Middle School for tomorrow, July 17. My friend is in the competition, and I thought it would be a good occasion for you and I to get to know each other...that is if you want to...?"
Ryu didn't say anything, and Minako got worried. "Since you are coming over to the salon anyways, we can discuss the details then. I have work on Friday, so I need to check with my boss to request the time off."
"Of course, I understand. I'll be there shortly."
The two quickly hung up and Minako fished around for a small box that she could put the hair piece and bracelets in. After arranging them carefully in the box, she took out some Hello Kitty stationary and wrote a small letter.
I cannot accept these gifts when I hardly know you. Give them to me again when I mean something to you.
Minako carefully folded the letter and slipped it in the box. Then, the package just needed her signature red bow.
'Looks beautiful,' she thought happily. 'I'll have to make sure I leave the salon before he opens it, or I'm sure he will argue that I should accept the gift.'
Minako grabbed some sparkle lip gloss and applied it to her lips. The scent of strawberries filled her nostrils. The slightly pink tint went with her pink tank top and blue jeans, the attire she had picked out for the arcade.
'Are things really starting to look brighter?' she wondered as she left the house and made her way to the bus stop that would take her first to the salon. Then, she would get on the same line to meet up with everyone at the Crown Game Center.
The feel of the hard wind rushing over my body. The engine growling beneath me…it felt good.
Haruka made a sharp turn around the corner stopping at the nearest stoplight. She paused, feeling her phone vibrate in her pocket. Checking it quickly, she saw that she had received a text from Hotaru. Flipping open her phone, Haruka quickly read the message: STILL UNDER SUPERVISION. MEET WITH U LATER.
She grinned, flipping her phone closed just as the light turned green. Revving her engine, Haruka sped past the vehicle in front of her. Supervision, huh? Hmm, guess we'll meet later this afternoon then, she thought.
Her cellphone vibrated a second time, but she ignored it giving into the adrenaline rush she was receiving.
Haruka turned a corner, passing Shibakaen Middle School. From a distance she could see a bus stop ahead and a familiar looking blond waiting; it looked like one of the girls who had helped clean up at Juuban. She looked deep in thought. Revving her engine to get the girl's attention, Haruka gradually decreased her speed. She turned her head toward Minako's direction her red helmet gleaming in the sunlight.
"Ohayou, Koneko (kitten)," Haruka said, lifting her visor. "Need a lift?"
After her shower, Usagi spent too much time trying to pick out an outfit. She was already 20 minutes late, so she decided to close her eyes and grab the first outfit her hand touched. Her fingers reached into the depths of her closet and emerged with a light pink baby doll dress. Then, it was a mad rush to get her accessories--a heart necklace and matching heart earrings. She quickly ran to the front door. The house was deadly quiet. Usagi's mom was out shopping, and her father was at work. Her brother was playing video games at a friend's house, and without Luna, there was no one to send Usagi on her way. She tried to shake off the morose feelings that still clung to her...it was going to be awkward around Minako and Mamoru.
'I'm going to talk to them and soon,' she decided as she slipped her feet into some white sandals.
"Oh no! I forgot the invitation from Haruka for the concert!"
Usagi slipped out of the sandals and ran back upstairs. She put the card into a small white purse. Slinging it over her shoulder, she was back downstairs in a flash. In moments, she was locking the door and running up the street.
Usagi sprinted to the Crown Game Center.
'Oh why did I wear sandals?' she thought.
Usagi had tripped multiple times in her haste to get to the arcade as quickly as possible. Luckily, she had been able to catch herself from completely falling on the sidewalk each time. Once, she had even grabbed some little old lady. Usagi was still smarting from the smack the woman had given Usagi's head.
"You almost took me down with you, impertinent youth!"
Usagi had apologize profusely, of course, but the old lady had just grumbled something under her breath and walked away.
Now, Usagi stood outside the Crown Game Center huffing and puffing. She saw Ami sitting in a window booth towards the back of the establishment. The poor girl was pouring over some books.
'Ami!!' Usagi thought in annoyance as she continued to try and catch her breath. The others had to be there already because Usagi was 45 minutes late. 'That girl studies way too much for her own good,' Usagi thought. She knew that Ami was nervous about the math competition tomorrow, but if she over studied, she might start to doubt her capabilities during the most important times.
As Usagi slowed her breathing, Furuhata came out and greeted her. Usagi remembered how she and her friends had all thought he was the cutest guy on the face of the planet. Now, he just paled in comparison to Mamoru.
"Are you alright, Usagi? Why don't you come inside and sit down. Two of your friends are already here playing a video game."
Usagi nodded and walked inside. Furuhata got her a soda, and Usagi sipped from it. She saw that Rei and Makoto were playing a fighting match and competiting with each other.
"Hey you two!"
Usagi tried to catch their attention, but they were engrossed in the game. Makoto grunted in response to Usagi's greeting as she tried to psych Rei out.
"There's no way you are going to beat me, Rei. I'm the master of this game."
Usagi knew they should meet Ami at the booth, but she wanted to let her other friends finish their game. Plus, they had come to have fun, and Usagi wanted to share the exciting news about the concert. Usagi was still catching her breath too and sipping from the soda. Her run had dehydrated her.
"Furuhata, can you tell my friend to stop studying and meet us here in the arcade? She's in the last booth near the front window."
"I've got you now, Makoto!"
"No, you don't!"
Usagi leaned in as things began to get interesting.
'This is just the sort of excitement I need to cheer me up,' she thought happily as she took another swing of her cola. She didn't even think to wonder about where Minako and Mamoru were at.
Zoicite had just finished with the young girl and sent her to pay the bill at Peri's desk. Zoicite couldn't help but catch a glimpse of Jadeite running into the back to take a phone call. Knowing Peri would not want this in her salon, he followed Jadeite to tell him to stop messing about.
"Hey Ryu," Zoicite said loudly as he followed Jadeite to the break room. "Get off the phone, and get back to work!" Jadeite pretended not to notice him.
'I am of higher rank than Jadeite. He should listen to me when I tell him something,' Zoicite thought to himself. Jadeite's attitude irritated him. To help get his attention, Zoicite tossed a few boxes at him. Jadeite easily dodged them.
"Dude, I am on the phone. Get a grip!" Jadeite said as a couple more boxes missed him. Seeming to be feed up with Zoicite tossing things at him, Jadeite left the room.
Zoicite didn’t know if he should follow or not. He decided not to because of the radio, which was on a station playing soothing, classical music. The song was Four Seasons by Vivaldi. The music calmed him, and he found himself forgetting everything but a field filled with wildflowers. A fresh breeze washed across his face. There was a bird fluttering about and butterflies dancing upon the flowers. The hot sun was beaming down on him softly and warming his skin. Spring was changing to summer in the song. Zoicite always felt that music took him to places outside of the Dark Kingdom and Peri’s grasp. The image, though, was shattered by the next song that came on the radio. Kaioh’s violin filled the break room. Zoicite couldn’t stand to be in the room any longer. He was about to leave when Jadeite came back inside.
"Ryu, you should leave you personal life at home, and get back to work," Zoicite told him as he walked into the salon once more.
Zoicite noticed that Kunizte was finishing up with a middle-aged woman. Nephrite was still working on his client, otherwise the place was actually quiet for a change. Zoicite walked over to Kunzite.
"It's almost lunch time; would you like to get some food together?" Zoicite asked him.
Nephrite listened to the young woman. It appeared she was doing very well for herself. She had the common sense to save a lot of her modeling money in order to afford the couture fashion store. The fact that she was able to stay friends with other fashion designers after she quit being a model was another smart business tactic. Those were the types of contacts that lasted for life and would keep her store in business until her own designs became popular. Overall, the woman had developed a great business venture because high fashion modeling only lasted while the young stayed young, which was an impossible feat to prevent unless one succumbed to plastic surgery.
Nephrite had finishing prepping her hands and began the manicure. Her fingers were very soft. He figured it was best she had become a business woman. It didn't look like she had worked a day of manual labor in her life. He smiled at her. Her enthusiasm and passion for her career were evident in everything she said and didn't say. He knew she was thinking about something else because her eyes took on a faraway look. She suddenly looked older than what Nephrite had presumed. The look only lasted a minute before she returned to the present conversation and smiled at him. He was glad she wasn't in a rush to leave the salon. He was enjoying their conversation, and it felt nice to let the others do some work in the salon. Nephrite turned away from her to check on the Shitennou and was surprised that hardly anyone was on the floor. Kunzite and Peri were the only ones working with him.
'Seems Jadeite and Zoicite are slacking off as usual,' he thought as he focused on the manicure. He filed her nails before applying the first layer of paint. He would work on her feet next.
"Now that I have told you about myself, what about you? Why are you working at a beauty salon when you are not so passionate about it?"
Nephrite was massaging her feet and toes. He had already painted her finger nails the attractive color she had brought in, and he was letting them dry before applying a dual coat. He was surprised at her inquiry as well as her attention to details. She had picked up on his boredom and distaste for the salon work in just a short period of time.
"Although you are very perceptive, you have not told me all about yourself. In fact, I do not know the woman's name whom I am servicing." He smiled at the double innuendo implied by his words.
Mamoru knew he was wasting time. It was nearing noon, and he was very late for the meeting at the arcade. Even with his good intentions, he couldn't find something for Usagi at any of the shops he browsed through. He was either wasting time or being unusually picky. He knew that Usagi would adore any gift from him, and yet he still hesitated. He was crossing a street and saw a salon. He recognized the name from the Juuban Middle School Festival.
'Perhaps Usagi will enjoy a gift certificate to Kawaii Beauty Salon. It can't hurt to check out the store, at least, even if I am just killing time.'
The morning was very busy, and Kunzite was doing his best to stay out of Zoicite's way, who was in another of his moods. Kunzite couldn't understand what had happened since the Juuban festival, but he was obsessed with a musician named Kaioh Michiru. He watched helplessly as his lover watched her on the news, listened to her music on the radio, even researched her on their home computer. Every time Zoicite did this, he was instantly put into a fool mood. Kunzite had tried talking to him about his feelings, but Zoicite was unusually quiet about the whole obsession. Kunzite knew he had no fear of losing Zoicite to this woman. Zoicite had never been attracted to a female, and why would he begin crushing on the opposite sex with a person he so obviously loathed? However, Kunzite couldn't help the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that made him feel nauseous all that morning. Something big was going to happen, and he was not going to be able to prevent it.
Everything in the salon seemed backwards. Jadeite had arrived in high spirits, which was unusual for the young Shitennou. Peri was distracted, which was definitely not the usual attitude of their queen. When Jadeite walked into the back room to answer a cell phone call, he watched as Zoicite stormed off to give Jadeite a piece of his mind. Kunzite wanted to run after him, to remind Zoicite not to be too loud. However, Kunzite was chained to a customer who would not stop chattering. She was obviously crushing on him and wanted to tell "Kuuya" her entire life story.
"That is so fascinating, but I really must..."
Too late. There was some yelling, a couple of bangs, and then silence. The girl wasn't perturbed by any of the noises being emitted from the back room. She was practically melting under Kunzite's humoring smile as she continued her story about spring break.
"And then...you wouldn't believe what the guy asked me to do next..."
'I have an inkling of where this story is going,' Kunzite hopelessly thought as he nodded and smiled, just like a bobble head doll. He quickly finished her manicure, pedicure, and haircut before he had to listen to anymore of her drivel. She looked very disappointed until Kunzite gave her a half off coupon for her next visit to the salon.
"I'll be sure to come back...and request you specifically!"
'Not if I can help it,' he thought as he smiled back and waved. It was almost lunch time, but there was one middle aged woman waiting for a trim. Kunzite decided he could work her in before getting some food. Luckily, the woman didn't have much to say. She seemed to be in a rush, and Kunzite was happy to oblige her a quick cut.
As he was finishing, Zoicite walked out from the back room. Kunzite ushered the customer over to Peri who was at the cash register. He wanted to keep as many customers away from Zoicite as possible. Zoicite looked ready to rip someone's head off.
'I wonder who upset him now...Jadeite or that woman...Michiru...'
Kunzite was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery around this high school student, hopefully today. He wanted to help his lover, no matter what.
Kunzite smiled at Zoicite, and he tried to hide his surprise at the invitation to lunch.
'Perfect opportunity to have some one-on-one time away from the others...and to talk...'
"Of course. You know I want to do everything with you...and then some..." Kunzite slyly took Zoicite's hand and kissed the back of his palm. "However, we need to get approval to leave the salon. That will only leave two people here, Jadeite and Nephrite...and you know how Jadeite is when it comes to work."
The bell on the door to the salon rang as another customer walked in. Kunzite eyed the tall, dark, and handsome man suspiciously. He quickly ushered Zoicite to Peri. They needed to get that permission to leave for lunch and quick before she asked one of them to help the new customer.
"Hey you two!"
Rei heard Usagi softly calling to her even though she was immersed in the world of Street Fighter. "Hey, Odango!!! Me and Chung Li are about to show Makoto how it's done!! Hahahaha! Makoto, get ready for your tail to get kicked...street fighter style! Cha!!!"
Rei was overly excited about the game. She did not want to lose.
"There's no way you are going to beat me, Rei. I'm the master of this game."
"Whatever!! Victory is mine!!! hahahaha! POW!!! Take that!!! Ahahahahahaha! Eat my dust!!! You are gonna have to cook me a full dinner for this one!!! Remeber, that's the bet!!"
Then with some fast quick moves, Rei was coming close to winning the game. She was hitting buttons like a mad woman. She was very excited.
"I've got you now, Makoto!" "YES!! YES!! Rei shouted. "VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!"
Suddenly, something bad happened. Rei got mad that Makoto was winning, so she raised her hands up in anger. As she did, Rei knocked Usagi's soda out of her hands. It landed all over Rei's lap.
"OH MY GOODNESS! AHHHHHH!! I got soda all over me!! I am wet!!! I am wet!! ODANGO!! Watch yourself and your drinks, ok?"
Rei got up to get her bag and some napkins. While she was distracted, Makoto and her game character hit Rei's character with the final blow.
"That beats it all! I lost...I just lost...and I have to clean Makato's room for a week!"
Rei starts to whine like a baby at this point becuse she is wet She then checks the bandages on her arm to see if it got wet. It turned out to be fine.
"This is your fault Usagi-chan!" Rei made a teasing face at her. "I have to find some dry clothes. It would suck being wet all day, and what if I see that cute Mamoru." Rei grins at Usagi. "Usagi, you might want to brush up on your guy skills if I were you. Hehehe! Because if he likes Minako, then I might have a chance."
Rei enjoyed picking on Usagi. She loved seeing Usagi get so irritated at her. Usually they would argue like kids or sisters fighting over a valued item. Rei reached in her bag and grabbed a shirt to change into while she waited for Usagi's response.
"Meioh Setsuna," She replied with a smile. "Now that I have answered your question, would you care to answer mine?" She asked Nao.
'He is just as perceptive as I am. He is the first guy that has fascinated me in a long time. He has good looks and great fashion sense. He would make an excellent model for my first fashion show. If he has any good business sense, I could eventually leave my store in his capable hands when I have to serve my Princess.' Setsuna thought while Nao was thoughly massaging her feet.
While Nao worked on her pedicure, Setsuna saw a tall gentleman walk into the salon. He had short black hair and dark blue eyes with facial features that she recognized as someone she had known durring the Sliver Millennium. She noticed that he was going to the receptionist desk.
"Wonder if he is here for an appointment?" Setsuna thought to herself.
While her eyes were in that gentleman's direction, she was still focused on her conversation with Nao.
Motoki Furuhata had brought Makoto deep into the Crown Game Center to introduce one of the center's newest games—Street Fighter XZ. Furuhata spoke highly of the game, informing the tall, slender girl of how this newest version of Street Fighter was the best yet, keeping most of the original characters while introducing a few new ones. Makoto enjoyed watching the battles between a few of the characters that Furuhata had fought. Confident, she decided to try out the game against Furuhata.
Round One lasted only a few seconds. Kino had decided to use the famous Ryu character from the series, seeing as how he was from Japan. With a few fire balls, spin kicks, and round houses, she knocked out Furuhata's Ken character.
“Looks like it's beginner's luck,” the game keeper said with a sad smile.
Makoto smile as Round Two was under way. This time Mokoti was able to last 60 of the 90 seconds in the fight. Unfortunately, Ryu's newest combo sent Ken flying across the screen in a ball of fire giving Kino a perfect K.O..
“So much for beginner's luck,” the tall brown-haired girl stated.
Just as Furuhata was about to ask for a rematch, Rei popped in on the two, “Good morning, Makoto. I see you are checking out the new Street Fighter XZ game.”
“Furuhata was showing me how to play,” she replied while Furuhata smiled.
“I should be getting back to work, Ladies,” Mokoti informed Makoto and Rei. “Enjoy yourselves.”
“Thank you for the game, Furuhata,” Makoto bowed.
“So...are you up for another fight?” Rei asked with a sly smile.
“I guess so,” answered Kino.
“Great!” Rei popped in a few coins and chose her favorite character—Chun Li. Makoto, once again, chose Ryu.
From the speakers of the coin-op, the narrator's voice stated, “Round One...Fight!”
Rei had Chun Li jumping all over the place, attempting to catch Makoto's Ryu character with a jump kick. Kino, on the other hand, started firing fireballs at the Chinese fighter. Unfortunately, Chun Li's moves were a bit faster and had Ryu off guard. Ryu's life bar dropped heavily as Rei sent her character into a combo attack. In a surprise move, Makoto sent Ryu into his combo attack and continued the offensive. Fireballs, spin kicks, uppercut punches, she was using all of Ryu's famous moves against Rei and her character.
“There's no way you are going to beat me, Rei. I'm the master of this game.”
Little did Furuhata and Rei know, Kino had participated in the testing of the new Street Fighter XZ game. She had studied all the moves of each character and practiced when she was not busy cooking or doing some other girlie activity.
“Whatever!! Victory is mine!!” Rei continued to banter Makoto. “I've got you now, Makoto!”
Just as Rei was about to finalize Chun Li's signature move on Ryu, she knocked a soda bottle out of Usagi's hand, which split soda all over her. With Rei's broken concentration, Makoto K.O.ed Chun Li winning the round.
Makoto smiled. "That beats it all! I lost...I just lost...and I have to clean Makato's room for a week!"
“Next time you will learn not to wager bets against me,” Kino spoke directly at Rei, smiling.
Makoto watched Usagi and Rei chat as the two attempted to clean each other up. She never really understood how a leader of the Senshi could be such a clutz, but regardless of her lack in motor skills, she was loyal to her friends; the friend who had saved them all from utter destruction.
Minako waited impatiently for the bus. She wished she had brought a purse for the box of Ryu's gifts. She wanted to slip it into her pocket, but she was afraid she was going to smash the bow. Minako was still contemplating what to do with the box when she heard a loud motor.
'Is it the bus,' she wondered as she glanced down the street. To her surprise, it was someone on a motorcycle, and the person was pulling right up to her! 'Who could that be,' she wondered in excitement. 'I don't think I know anyone that owns a bike...'
When the person lifted her helmet, Minako recognized one of the new friends she had met at the Juuban Middle School Festival. Usagi had introduced her to the girl as well as the girl's partner.
'What was her name...,' Minako thought quickly.
"Ohayou Koneko. Need a lift?"
"Haruka!" Minako shouted as she remembered. Then, she blushed at her loud voice. "Yes, please, a ride would be very nice. My name is Minako, in case you forgot. I'm one of Usagi's friends."
Before getting on the bike, Minako looked at the gift one more time.
'Aw, who cares!' With that, she stuffed the box in her jean's pocket. Luckily, she was wearing a loose fitting pair, so it was able to slide right in.
"I've never ridden on a motorcycle before. What should I do? Do I need a helmet?" Minako wasn't sure if she should just hop onto the back, and she didn't see the spare helmet, if there was one. Also, where was she supposed to put her hands?
'This is all so exciting. Wait till I tell the others I rode on a motorcycle!'
"Of course. You know I want to do everything with you...and then some..." Kunzite took Zoicite's hand in his and gentely kissed it. Zoicite felt a shock go through his body; it happened every time his lover touched him.
"However, we need to get approval to leave the salon. That will only leave two people here, Jadeite and Nephrite...and you know how Jadeite is when it comes to work." Zoicite just nodded.
Zoicite turned his head in the direction of a bell ringing. It let the salon know that they had a new customer. Kunzite seemed to go all ridged as he eyed the tall, dark, and good looking man with suspicion. Kunzite was quick to guide Zoicite towards Peri's desk and away from the handsome stranger. Zoicite knew that he wanted to get permission to leave quickly before she forced one of them to take care of the young man. Though for some reason, Zoicite didn't think that it would be a problem to get permission to leave the salon. Peri was focused on this human more than any other guy that had come into the salon in the past few days. Zoicite and Kunzite both waited until Peri was done dealing with the middle-aged woman before interrupting her.
"Peri, would it be ok if Kuuya and I took our lunch hour now?"
Peri looked at them like she was irritated that they were bothering her. Zoicite tried not to let the look get to him, but it always did when he was in the presence of his leader. He didn't want to look weak in front of the other Shitennou, so Zoicite just leaned into Kunzite slightly without it being too obvious. Just then, Jadeite reappeared from the back looking happy, which was really not like him at all. Zoicite couldn't help but wonder what the youngest Shitennou was up to, but then again he wasn't about to stick his nose into Jadeite's business. That would just encourage him to peak into Zoicite's private life, and Zoicite defentily did not want anyone other than Kunzite to snoop into his business.
Peri had just finished working with a customer when she eyed a tall, dark, handsome man enter the Kawaii Beauty Salon. The beat of her heart began to increase. Her face became flushed as she gazed upon him as the door to the salon closed behind him. As she was about to approach the young man, Zoicite and Kunzite came up to her. She did not want to miss this opportunity to be with this man who she felt so connected to. She gave off an angry vibe to her two subjects.
"Peri, would it ok if Kuuya and I took our lunch hour now?"
Lunch? Her love was a few steps away, and these two had brought up a ridiculous, according to her, question. “Yes, yes,” her tone was harsh. “Take your lunch.” She shoved the two aside and glided over to the gentlemen who caught her eye.
“Excuse me,” Peri softened her voice and gently smiled at the handsome man. “May I help you?”
The young man looked at her for a few seconds—a time, for Perillia, that seemed like eternity. “I was hoping to get a gift certificate for a friend of mine.”
“I see,” Peri politely responded. “How much were you willing to spend?”
He took out his wallet and walked through the few bills he had. “Would 2000 yen be enough for a make-over and beauty products?”
“Certainly,” Peri moved closer, continuing to smile. “What really matters is that you were being thoughtful. Plus, I have just the treatment for her.” She pulled out a shiny bronze card. “This is our Bronze Level Gift Card. It entitles the recipient to a shampoo, style, and manicure. And the best thing is, it is only 2000 yen.” Actually, it was 5000 yen, but she didn't mind lowering the price for him.
“I will take it,” the young man responded. He handed Peri the money, and she gave him the card. In placing the card in his hand, she slipped one of her fingers on to the young man's hand. For that instant, she was happy and didn't understand why.
“Thank you,” she looked into his eyes, “for coming to Kawaii Beauty Salon.”
“Thank you,” he replied, “for helping me out.” He smiled back at her and left with the bronze card in his wallet.
Peri stood at the shop's opening for a few minutes, fantasizing about this new gentleman, before being interrupted by another customer who was eager to get her manicure done.
With one leg crossed over the other, Michiru leaned against the cherry blossom tree with a troubled sigh checking her cell phone for the fifth time during her lunch break. Michiru pouted because she still had not received a text or call back from her girlfriend. Twiddling her thumbs, the aquamarine hair girl looked heavenward
'Where is she...'
"Konnichiwa (Good afternoon or Hello) Kaioh-san, you seem distressed"
Opening her eyes, Michiru smiled at her fellow classmate and another musician like herself. Sakurabata Ayame stood over Michiru, her long waves of silver hair shining brightly in the afternoon sunlight "I'm fine Sakurabata-san. I hear you'll be playing at the concert too."
Ayame giggled, shaking her head as she sat down beside Michiru "Oh, just in the orchestra, like back up as you would say...I won't be in the spotlight like you'll be Kaioh-san"
Michiru blushed and her smile grew bigger. "Perhaps I am overstressed about performing in front of such a large crowd, and I wish to perfect this score so well"
Ayame tapped her chin thoughtfully asking gently, "What is the song may I ask?"
Michiru replied with a soft sigh as she remembered the lovely song still playing over in her head. "Claire de lune"
Ayame clapped her hands together in an appreciative gesture "Oh, that song suits you well, Kaioh-san. It is definitely one of elegance and beauty...but what is the problem?"
Michiru sat up straight against the trunk of the tree. "Trying to bring out its beauty for everyone to hear; I can't seem to play it right."
Ayame smiled warmly and gently took Michiru's hands. "You are a swimmer, correct? Play the song like you do with swimming...just flow with the water. Don't go against it." Releasing her hands, Ayame winked with an assured smile. "I guarantee the music from your violin will come out more easily if you go with that idea in your mind"
Michiru looked up at Ayame, her ocean blue eyes shining hopefully as she smiled. "Sakurabata-san, arigato gozaimasu (thank you)."
Ayame grinned, nodding back as she stood up. "Ganbatta ne (good luck), Kaioh-san," she said before leaving Michiru to her thoughts. Michiru nodded, clasping her hands together in quiet determination. She was the Warrior of the Ocean god's planet; she should know how to flow with the water. It was part of her soul already.
“Yes, yes,” her tone was harsh, “Take your lunch.” She shoved both Kunzite and Zoicite out of the way quickly. She was in a hurry to deal with the new customer, but at least she had given them permission to leave the salon. Zoicite didn’t hesitate as the two left. He was happy to finally be outside with his love Kunzite.
“Kun,” Zoicite used his special nickname for Kunzite, “Have you noticed all the publicity that Kaioh Michriu has been getting lately in the news?” Zoicite asked as they walked toward a little cafe not far from the salon.
Kunzite gave Zoicite a wary look but answered,” Yes, I have.” Kunzite’s voice had a jealous twinge to it.
Kunzite didn't understand why Zoicite spent so much time in front of the television or always listening to Kaioh’s music on the radio. For some reason, Kaioh irritated the hell out of Zoicite. Zoicite really couldn’t stand anyone being better than he at music, and what also irritated him was that he could not show the world how great his music was. He was too busy trying to help his Queen take over the world. Zoicite wanted to say more, but they were already in the cafe. The two sat down and right away a waitress came to take their drinks' order. Zoicite smiled to himself. The waitress was trying a little too hard. He wanted to tell the waitress that she was wasting her time with the two of them but decided against it. It would be way more fun to let her think that he and Kunzite were both straight rather than gay. After they both told the waitress what they wanted and she left to get them their drinks, it gave Zoicite a few minutes to say a little more to Kunzite about what he wanted to do. Zoicite cleared his throat. He was very nervous about what he wanted to do, but he felt it was something he had to do to prove he was still the best musician in the world.
“I want to capture Kaioh Michriu and take her power over music away from her,” Zoicite told Kunzite in a hushed tone.
When Kunzite heard these words his eyes went wide. “Do you know what you are thinking Zoi? You will be going against everything that Perillia has told us not to do. Do you want to get yourself punished for something totally selfish?” Kunzite wouldn’t look up at Zoicite when he said these words.
Zoicite knew what he wanted to do was a risk, but if he could pull it off, he knew he could serve his Queen that much better. Zoicite was just about to explain this when the waitress came back with their drinks and took their order.
“I will have the chicken Cesar salad, please,” Zoicite told her and Kunzite had the soup of the day, clam chowder. The lady walked away once more with their orders.
“Kunzite, imagine if I captured Kaioh’s music. Then, I could serve our Queen even better than I do now,” Zoicite explained to his lover. Zoicite could tell that Kunzite was torn between helping his love, and his loyalty to his Queen. Well if Kunzite wouldn’t help him, then he would go about his plan alone. It would just be a lot easier if he had someone else on the inside helping him out.
Finally, Kunzite looked up with a not a so happy look on his face and said, “I will help you. Now, tell me what it is you are planning.”
And just like magic, the waitress showed up with their order. Zoicite told Kunzite he would tell him more after lunch. Zoicite couldn’t help but notice that across the street there was one of the best florists in the city. Zoicite began to develop a plan as the wheels in his head started turning.
“Haruka!” the pretty blond exclaimed happily blushing. “Yes, please, a ride would be very nice.”
Haruka briefly shut off her engine as Minako approached, taking off her helmet. “My name is Minako, in case you forgot. I'm one of Usagi's friends,” she said while stuffing a box into her jean pocket.
Haruka chuckled. “I remember. Can’t forget a pretty face like yours,” she replied with a wink.
“I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle before,” Minako stated contemplatively. She looked as if she didn’t know where to sit. “What should I do? Do I need a helmet?”
“Here,” Haruka said, handing Minako Michiru’s spare helmet. “I was on my way to pick Michiru up at Mugen Gakuen, but until then, you can wear it. I’m sure she won’t mind.” She motioned for Minako to sit behind her. “Where were you headed again Minako-chan?”
“Kawaii Beauty Salon,” she replied, lifting one leg over the bike carefully. “I hope it’s not too much trouble Haruka-san.”
Kawaii Beauty Salon? The one from the Juuban Festival? “Eii chigiamasu (No it isn’t),” Haruka answered assuredly, replacing her own helmet. She kick-started her engine again; the low growl of the engine sent vibrations through them. Looking over her shoulder towards Minako, she couldn’t gage whether her expression was one of anticipation or anxiousness. “Don’t worry; I’ll get you there safely.”
Engaging the clutch and pressing the shifter down to first gear, Haruka slowly released the clutch. The bike moved forward slowly at first. She waited a beat before merging back into traffic. “Hang on tight,” Haruka instructed as they quickly picked up momentum. She chuckled to herself as she felt Minako grip her waist tightly. Placing both her feet on the pegs, in one swift motion the two were back on the main street towards the Juuban District.
It didn’t take long to reach the Juuban District with how quickly Haruka merged in and out of the lanes. I hope I don’t seem like a careless driver, she wondered, noticing how quiet Minako had been. She had a tendency to forget how fast she was driving when on her bike, especially when she had a passenger. Passing a jewelry store, Haruka made a mental note that they were soon at their destination. Her speed gradually decreased as they approached a red light. “How’re you doing back there?” she asked, glancing over at Minako.
The light turned green quickly, and before Minako could respond, Haruka made a quick right turn, picking up momentum again. Up ahead she could see a sign that read Kawaii Beauty Salon. Haruka’s speed decreased once more, as they stopped in front of the salon. Haruka could tell business was booming for this salon. It looked very busy.
Her loud engine, however, had drawn some attention. A familiar sensation traveled through her body. What is this feeling?
Turning to Minako, Haruka smiled. “We made it.”
Shutting off her engine and setting her rear break, she helped Minako off of the bike. “Careful,” Haruka said as she held Minako’s hand, while Minako lifted her leg over the bike again. “So,” Haruka said looking up at the salon sign entrance. “Getting a make-over or something?” As she waited for Minako’s response, Haruka nonchalantly eyed the workers and customers from the distance. Nothing out of the ordinary...so why am I feeling uneasy...?
Her thoughts were interrupted when she felt a vibration in her pocket. Checking her phone, she read the screen: 1 MISSED CALL. There was also a voicemail.
"Ah, shitsurei shimasu,” Haruka said to Minako. “I missed a phone call.” She quickly listened to her message, turning her back to the salon entrance: “ Hi Haruka-chan it’s me Michi, sorry I left so early love, but you might have noticed the ad for a concert. Yes, I'm at school practicing in the music room; want to meet up once I'm done? Love you!”
Haruka gave a sigh of relief to hear from Michiru. Quickly dialing her lover’s number, she sent a brief text: ON MY WAY LOVE.
When she turned to face Minako, she smiled apologetically. “Sorry to leave you so soon Minako-chan. I made plans to meet with Michiru.”
Retrieving Michiru’s helmet from Minako, she straddled her bike once more. “Ja Matte Ne!” Starting her engine, Haruka kicked back the breaks and sped off in the opposite direction towards Mugen Gakuen. One quick stop first...
When she found Michiru, she was sitting contemplatively beneath a cherry blossom tree. Haruka recognized one of Michiru’s classmates walking away from where she was sitting.
Haruka sighed. I hope I didn’t’ keep her waiting too long.
Walking silently behind Michiru, she dangled a bouquet of fresh daffodils over her head. A surprised Michiru looked up. When she did, Haruka smiled widely. “Ohayou Utsukushii (Beautiful).” Not waiting for a response, Haruka placed her lips over Michiru’s.
An interesting development, Jadeite said after saving Minako’s number in his phone. Who would have thought that things good get this good? He walked back into the break room and was about to enter the salon's front parlor when Zoicite said something to him, which he ignored. He could care less what Zoicite thought of him. He went to his station to check to see when his next appointment was. Nothing until 2:30. I wonder if I should take a lunch, and I need to ask my queen about having Friday off. Before he went to ask, he decided to clean his station and help a couple of walk-in customers.
Once his station was pristine, he decided to talk to Peri about Friday night. Before he could get there, a customer walked in and Peri was preoccupied. It was never a good thing when Peri was preoccupied, especially when Zoicite and Kunzite were in the picture. Jadeite shivered and touched his ear remembering what had occurred a couple of weeks earlier.
What are those two up to, and what is going on with Peri? Jadeite decided that now would not be the time to ask Peri anything.
Jadeite looked at the customer who had just walked in; he looked vaguely familiar. He remembered what Minako had said about her festival date, and this guy fit the bill to a T. Jadeite decided to take a chance. The man left, and Jadeite followed him out the door.
“Excuse me sir. My name is Ryu.”
“Hello,” the confused man said. “My name is Mamoru. What can I do for you?”
“By any chance do you know a Minako?”
Ami sat at her booth studying her trig book. She had been studying since she got to the arcade. She had ordered some snacks while she was waiting for her friends. She had not eaten most of the day and decided that she deserved a mini-break for her nonstop studying. While she ate, she decided she would read one of the romance books she had secretly brought along with her. No one knew that she was an avid romance book reader. She laughed silently to herself at that thought.
However, her thoughts were interrupted by some commotion near the arcade. Ami went back to studying, but the noise level coming from the arcade made her wonder what was going on.
‘Sheesh, she said to herself, ‘What is going on, and why cant they keep it down?’
Ami tried to go back to studying but she was curious to find out what was going on, so she gathered her stuff and started to walk over to the other side of the arcade. While she was walking, Motoki came up to her and told her that her friends were looking for her. He pointed out where they were at and then left. Ami looked where he pointed.
‘Of course,’ Ami said to herself.
Rei and Makoto were playing an arcade game, and Usagi was watching them. There was also a large crowd of people. Ami made her way through the crowd just in time to see a drink spill all over Rei and some on Usagi.
Lost in her own world and contemplating what Sakurabata-san had suggested to her, Michiru did not feel the presence suddenly reach her left side. However, she did see a bunch of daffodils hang in front of her ocean blue eyes. Tilting her head up, Michiru's surprised reaction turned to one of smiling delight as she recognised her beloved standing over her.
Haruka whispered "Ohayou Utsukushii" before capturing Michiru's lips with her own. Sighing contently and feeling an instant rush of calm surround her slender body, Michiru smiled sweetly against their liplock, her violinist hands reaching up to hold Haruka's cheeks as she deepened the kiss before pulling away.
"Osoiyo, (you're late)" Michiru whispered teasingly, her left hand's fingers idly stroking Haruka's face as the other woman sat beside her girlfriend and leaned against her, giving her the bouquet of daffodils. "Arigato, aijin-chan (Thanks, lover)." Michiru hugged Haruka's waist appreciatively, leaning her head against her love's shoulder.
Haruka smiled fondly and rubbed her chin against Michiru's aquamarine hair, reveling in the scented smell wafting upwards from her waves of hair "Gomen ne, aijin-chan (sorry), but I heard you are studiously perfecting the song for this upcoming concert, I sure would love to hear it"
Michiru raised her head from Haruka's shoulders, her eyes sparkling at her love's suggestion. "Oh please! I would love to play it for you, but don't be biased when I finish...try and critique for me if you can." Michiru stood up and clasped both both of Haruka's hands within her own, helping her girlfriend onto her feet.
"I need to continue practicing it anyway" Michiru giggled as she tugged for Haruka to follow her back to the music room where her violin was securely locked away in the cupboard, awaiting Michiru's return.
Hotaru finally saw an opportunity to escape from the house. After what seemed like forever, Kaori was no longer in sight even though her presence still lingered in the hallway.
Probably bringing dad his lunch...Hotaru thought to herself.
While it was good that Kaori wasn't focused on her, it annoyed Hotaru to no end knowing full well that the only reason Kaori was looking after her was because she wanted to get into a relationship with her dad.
But she can't replace mother. Hotaru told herself as she slowly made her way to the front door.
"Hotaru, where do you think you're going."
She stopped in her tracks and glared at the one person she truly despised. "I'm going out."
"You know your father hasn't given you his approval yet and you still wish to disobey his orders?"
"I'm fine," Hotaru said firmly threatening to lose her composure. "I'm hanging out with my sempai as always."
"Unless I met them I can't--"
"You're not my mother..." Hotaru mumbled
"You're just the housekeeper. I wish you would just mind your own business."
Kaori couldn't say anything else because Hotaru left the house slamming the door behind her.
Haruka sighed heavily after taking in the light floral scent of Michiru. She was overcome with tenderness as Michiru’s calming hands reached up to cup her face.
“Osoiyo,” Michiru whispered teasingly as her fingers idly stroked Haruka’s face.
Haruka grinned playfully, seating herself beside Michiru. “Oi, oi, I brought flowers didn’t I?”
Michiru smiled sweetly. “Arigato, aijin-chan…” she said, gracefully wrapping her arms around Haruka’s waist.
As Michiru leaned her head against her lover’s shoulder, Haruka took in her scent again. With a sigh, Haruka quietly murmured, “Gomen ne, aijin-chan.” She placed another kiss on Michiru’s head. “I heard you were studiously perfecting the song for the upcoming concert. I sure would love to hear it.”
Drawing light circles on Michiru’s back, Haruka’s lover raised her head from her shoulders, with excited eager eyes. “Oh please! I would love to play it for you, but don’t be biased when I finish. I need to continue practicing it, anyway,” Michiru said with a giggle as the two walked back to the music room.
Haruka smiled silently, trailing behind Michiru. She seems very excited, Haruka thought, taking in the wide smile on Michiru's pretty face. Music is her passion, and she plays very well…
When they reached the music room, Haruka couldn't help but chuckle. She watched as Michiru reached for her violin ready to play.
I want her to do well.
Turning a page, Michiru found the song she wanted to play. Haruka seated herself across from her girlfriend in a nearby chair, watching as she inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. Michiru’s motions were fluid, as she placed the violin beneath her chin, using her left shoulder as support.
She began playing.
The music was soft…almost a whisper. Soothing…comforting…gentle, so much like Michiru.
Although she was playing Clair de Lune well, Haruka could sense she was holding back. Uncrossing her legs, Haruka leaned forward; folding her hands together…listening.
She’d heard this song played many times before, yet Michiru emphasized just the right notes. The crescendo of the violin would be more powerful with a piano, Haruka thought. Standing up, she walked to the piano behind Michiru. I want to push her.
She seated herself quietly as Michiru continued playing. Waiting a beat before joining her, Haruka touched the keys softly, allowing Michiru to lead. Michiru’s fingers skillfully glided over her instrument, her right arm moving just as swiftly. Haruka looked to Michiru; her fingers matching her lover’s pace. The faint sound of the piano playing could be heard behind the violin. The tempo picked up again, then slowly, gradually decreased, until the piano was no more than a twinkle in the background.
When Michiru finished, she opened her eyes and turned in her seat to Haruka. “What do you think?”
Haruka grinned. “Mm, iito omoimasu (I think it’s good).” Folding her fingers together, she stretched them out in front of her. “Why were you holding back?”
“Nani? Holding back?” she replied with a blink.
Haruka nodded. “At first when you were playing.”
Michiru giggled. “I was just getting started.”
“Sou ne,” Haruka said standing up. “Just be sure to give it your all. Push yourself Michiru. When you play, everyone will be lulled by the soft music because of your graceful skill.” She placed a gentle hand on Michiru’s shoulder. “You’ll perform well, aijin-chan.” Squatting down to meet Michiru’s gaze, Haruka planted a kiss on her forehead.
Regaining composure, Haruka asked, “Want to take a quick break? We could get lunch before you continue practicing?”
Michiru scoffed. “Hontou Haruka-san, didn’t you say I need to push myself more?”
Haruka’s smile widened. “Yeah…but not on an empty stomach.” She took Michiru’s hand in hers. “Shinpai shinaide (Don’t worry). I’ll take you right back here. I promise.” Haruka winked.
Michiru turned away teasing. “I suppose it will be your fault if I don’t get enough practice then.”
A sweat drop appeared on Haruka’s forehead as she chuckled nervously. “Nani? Don’t joke like that Michiru-chan.”
Usagi couldn't believe how competitive Rei and Makoto were with the video game. Usagi was usually just happy to be playing a game; she didn't always care whether she won or lost. It was about having fun. Speaking of fun, this game looked amazing. The fighting techniques looked a bit complex, but the characters themselves were engaging. Usagi edged closer to the machine to get a better look at some of the fancy combo moves that Rei and Makoto were performing on each other's fighter. It looked like Rei was about to win. She was punching furiously at the buttons.
In a flash, Rei's arm had flown in the air and knocked Usagi's soda from her hands. A few drops spilled on her blouse but most of it flew into Rei's lap, who jumped up in anger and surprise. Rei's shirt and parts of her bottom were soaking wet. Rei started yelling at Usagi and calling her a hated nick-name: Odango. Usagi felt horrible. She grabbed some napkins and gave them to Rei, who was grabbing a clean shirt from the bag off to the side of the machine. A lot of the crowd who had been standing around watching the game were dispersing in boredom. Rei had lost a pretty high bet with Makoto, and she was going to have to clean Makoto's room for the next week. Usagi turned toward Makoto.
"It's my fault...maybe you should cut Rei a break on the wager...maybe like two days of cleaning?"
The rest of Rei's fury, and teasing, was turned on Usagi. Usagi's eyes widened in shock and embarrassment. She couldn't believe Rei was teasing her about liking Mamoru. Rei knew that it especially irked her to know that she had tried on numerous occasions to hook up with Usagi's soul mate. It was a time of their past that she liked to forget. After all, Usagi was only human, and in hindsight, Usagi was jealous of all the attention Rei had stolen. It was bad enough that Rei teased her about Mamoru being cute...but to mention something about Minako...? Usagi's heart was crushed. She didn't know what was really happening between her boyfriend and Minako, and things were even worse because the two were going to such extremes to avoid her. Rei knew something.
'She must have seen them at the festival when she was working the fortune telling booth. Mamoru and Minako...were they dating before everyone's memories came back?'
Usagi turned her face away in shame. She didn't want Rei to see how much the jokes had hurt her feelings.
'Maybe Rei is right. Maybe Mamoru would be better off with someone else...'
Usagi felt her eyes tear up. She hated doubting herself, and she hated crying.
"Ohayo," a soft voice broke Usagi's reverie. Ami was standing slightly behind Makoto holding her backpack. It was probably overloaded with textbooks.
"Rei, why don't you go to the bathroom and change? We can all sit at the back booth and talk. I brought some tickets for the math competition."
Ami had noticed that Usagi was on the verge of tears, and she was trying to avoid anymore of a scene then the group had already made. Motoki flashed her a smile of thanks as he walked over to clean the soda off the machine and the floor. Ami and Makoto walked to the other side of the arcade to Ami's booth near the window, which was still vacant. Rei stormed off to the bathroom to clean off, seemingly oblivious to the amount of pain she had caused Usagi. Usagi moved away from the machine into the shadow of another one. She quickly dried her eyes.
'Don't let them see that your heart is breaking,' she thought to herself as she pulled out the invitation from Haruka and plastered a fake smile on her normally chipper face. As she got closer to her friends at the booth, she waved the invitation at them. "Guess where we have been invited to," she said as she took a seat next to Ami.
Nephrite stopped working for a minute when he heard the woman's name.
"Meioh Setsuna...it is a beautiful name. It suits you."
He smiled as he put on her first coat of paint for her toenails. He moved swiftly back to her fingernails to add the final layer. He would still need to wait before he could apply the clear coat.
'She is persistent,' he thought as she asked him to answer her question. 'What am I supposed to tell her? That I not only work at a salon, but I have an even more difficult job as a Shitennou who is constantly trying to please his queen, which I might add, is never happy at anything I do?'
Nephrite recalled the diamond stud in his left ear, a constant and painful reminder of his queen's hold over him. Involuntarily, his left hand went up to touch it, almost like a nervous gesture. He quickly dropped his hand not wanting to draw too much attention to the stud. Setsuna's toes were ready for their second layer of polish.
"I do think this, as a career, is something I could become passionate about. I enjoy working with people. Often, though, I find myself overly tired, like I have to be in too many places at once. Do you know what I'm talking about? I think that my life and job would be much easier if there were two or three of me."
Nephrite smiled. If there were three of him, he could have one work at the salon, one work solely as a Shitennou, and the final one could pursue his former love...
'Don't think like that. You need to let her go.'
His heart felt like it was breaking at the thought, but he would not make the same mistake twice. Maybe he was always meant to be alone.
"How much work do you have left regarding your boutique? I hear that starting your own business can be very difficult and tricky work."
He moved back to her fingernails to apply the clear polish.
Once Mamoru was inside the salon, her immediately walked over to a rack of hair products. He had no idea what Usagi would like, and his confusion was frustrating him.
'Maybe I should just slink away before I make a fool of myself.'
Before he could make his grand escape, a soft voice spoke to him. Turning around, he saw a fiery red-head smiling up at him pleasantly. He paused as he contemplated her face. She seemed like someone he knew, or maybe should know. He shrugged off the deja vu feeling and thought about how to phrase what he was looking for. He wanted to call Usagi his girlfriend, but he was afraid that was only wishful thinking. He didn't know what they were at the moment, so he settled on calling her a friend. The woman quickly got down to business and asked him how much he was willing to spend. He slipped his wallet from his pocket and counted the amount.
'2000 yen...I thought I had more...'
The woman moved closer to him and her smile got brighter. He couldn't help but smile in return. She had an air about her that at first put him at ease. He looked down into her crimson eyes. They seemed to burn into the core of his being. He fought the urge to back up and create some space between them. Luckily, the Bronze Level Gift Card distracted him from her eyes. It was a very attractive card, and it would let Usagi try a variety of the features at the salon. It was better than nothing.
"I will take it," he quickly responded.
He handed her the money from his wallet. When she gave him the card, one of her fingers brushed his inner palm. He couldn't tell if it was intentional or not, but that one finger caressed him ever so gently. It sent a shiver down his spine. The woman, on the other hand, looked extremely happy.
'This is getting a little weird...'
They exchanged final pleasantries when he slipped the card into his wallet. He quickly exited the shop.
'I better get to Usagi before anything else happens...'
Mamoru felt shaken for some reason. He didn't know the woman's name, and he didn't know why that little bit of interaction made him feel so many emotions at once. It was a mystery. He was about to walk away from the salon when someone followed him out.
“Excuse me sir. My name is Ryu."
Mamoru turned around. He recognized the man as one of the salon workers. Mamoru quickly introduced himself. The next comment caught him by surprise.
"Yes, I know Minako. How did you know we were friends?"
Kunzite let Zoicite lead them out of the salon and to a nearby cafe. He wanted him to begin the conversation, so he waited until he was ready. Zoicite took a while to speak up. It was as if he was thinking about his own feelings, working them out in his head first. Finally, he mentioned the obvious: his obsession. Kunzite tried not to be bothered by the admission of guilt. At least he knew that he wasn't imgaining the obsession. Unfortunately, Zoicite took so long to get to the point that the couple were already at the cafe. They were being seated by a waitress who was eyeing them as if they were juicy candies. Kunzite ignored her wishful eyes. His concentration was focused solely on Zoi. He would continue to wait patiently until they could continue their conversation. The pair quickly ordered their drinks. Once the waitress was away, Zoicite cleared his throat and continued. He finally confessed what he wanted to do with the musician Michiru, and it was worse than Kunzite had imagined.
'Is he crazy? Why would Zoi want to steal the musician's powers? That is suicide! It could expose us to the Senshi, who don't know that we even exist. Queen Perillia will punish him greatly!'
Kunzite did not say anything that he was thinking. Instead, his eyes widened at Zoi's confession, and his throat became tight and dry. He took a moment to calm down before responding.
“Do you know what you are thinking Zoi? You will be going against everything that Perillia has told us not to do. Do you want to get yourself punished for something totally selfish?”
Kunzite looked away as he thought about the implications of Zoicite's actions. He would not let Zoi try this dangerous stunt alone...even if it would take Kunzite down with him. Again, the waitress interrupted them at an inopportune moment. Kunzite took a swing of his drink to quench his parched mouth. He ordered something random off the menu, the first thing his eyes alighted on. After the waitress left, Kunzite focused on Zoicite. He was explaining more of his feelings--why he felt compelled to take such a major risk. The response was a simple one. Kunzite reflected on it.
'Zoicite constantly feels unappreciated and weak in his role as a Shitennou. He feels that if he can pull off this plan successfully, he will have the self-confidence and power to be a better warrior.'
Kunzite wanted to give Zoicite all the self-confidence he needed. Kunzite wanted to be enough for his love, but he knew that this was a matter Zoicite had to work out alone. Sooner or later, Zoicite would discover that the strength and power he always sought had been inside him in the first place. Kunzite made a decision.
“I will help you. Now, tell me what it is you are planning.”
Before Zoicite could explain his plan, the waitress brought their food. Zoicite asked that they wait until after lunch to discuss their plans. Kunzite tried not to appear too anxious. He ate his soup and drank his soda, but he couldn't taste anything. Strangely, he felt numb and cold at the same time. He shrugged off the ominious feelings and tried to enjoy his time with Zoicite.
Setsuna could empathize with him. She knew how difficult it was to have so many duties and no one to help you. "Yes I do. Often, I have also wished I could clone myself, so I can get all my work done," Setsuna told Nao with a chuckle. "Have you considered leaving your job here and putting your talents to better use?" She asked him. "I have a job at my shop waiting for you if you ever want to leave. Your salary will be much more than you are making now. My shop is nearly ready to open, but I am seriously understaffed. If you cannot work for me now, you can always model just for an upcoming fashion show. The first fashion show is in a few weeks for my fall collection, and I need models for it. I need female models that are 'real sized,' not size 0. My male models to have realistic male sizes of different healthy builds and of course attractive facial features."
Trying to make the offer even more enticing, Setsuna emphasized the appeal of the deal again: "If you cannot work for me now, you can always model just for this show."
Setsuna continued to explain her fashion store. "Harajuku Couture is for men and women who desire to be fashionable. My clientèle will be people who are very knowledgeable about fashion. My clothing and acessories are what your customers would refer as high end."
She had noticed that while she was talking with him Nao touched his earring for a second. Then, he appeared to be in some pain, but in an instant, it was gone.
'His eyes look like there is some sadness in them. I wonder why?' Setsuna thought while Nao put the top coat on her toenails.She knew now would not be the time to find out the answer. Setsuna would wait until she got to know him better and gained his full trust.
After her nails and toes were done, Setsuna thanked Nao for his services. She tipped him well, gave him her business card, and a gift card to Harajuku Couture.
Then Setsuna walked over the receptionist desk. She paid for her pedicure and manicure with her platinum Visa card. Setsuna made sure to give high compliments of Nao's services to the recetionist/owner as she made another appointment to have a manicure and pedicure with him.
Zoicite and Kunzite finished their meals and paid for them. Zoicite noticed that they still had time before their lunch hour was up, so he suggested that the two of them take a walk around the shopping center. He was still eying the florist shop that was across the way. He was steering them in that direction without trying to make it obvious.
“So now that it’s just the two of us, I shall explain everything to you, at least all that I have planned. Then perhaps you can help me work out the details,” Zoicite said. “Haven’t really thought it all the way through because I didn’t know that girl irritated me so much till now.”
Kunzite stayed quiet as Zoicite began telling him what he was planning. This was extremely difficult for Zoicite. He normally told his lover everything, but maybe it had been best to leave him in the dark.
“Here is what I have so far. On Saturday evening, Kaioh Michiru performs, and that’s the night we should capture her. Before the show, I will send Kaioh some threatening letters and gifts to let her know that someone is coming for her. I won’t tell her my name; I will just give her the warnings. Finally, just before the show is going to start, we capture her. We can force her to give me her powers...or something along that line.”
Kunzite had been silent the entire time, and Zoicite didn’t blame him. It was asking a lot from Kunzite to agree to the plan since he never went against his Queen’s wishes. Zoicite didn’t want to go against his leader’s wishes either, but he could almost feel the power of Kaioh’s music. It would help him be an even better servant to her. Perillia would be very pleased with them both. She would reward them for their initiative. They were now just a few short spaces from the florist shop.
“Could you wait for me out here for just a second?” Zoicite asked Kunzite. Kunzite nodded as he was still contemplating everything Zoicite had just told him. Zoicite knew that he could count on him. In the back of his mind he knew that if this went badly, it would be his fault and his fault alone. He wouldn't think about the negative consequences, not now. Zoicite entered the florist shop. Luckily, it wasn't too busy. Zoicite began to look around at all the special arrangements that were on display.
“Can I help you with something?” The florist asked as she looked up from the arrangement that she was putting together. Zoicite flashed her his charming smile, the one he normally used for costumers at the salon.
“Yes. I was wondering if I could have a special arrangement sent out by this afternoon no later than two,” Zoicite asked
The woman nodded her head. “Well, it depends on how big of an arrangement you wish to send out, sir.
Zoicite nodded his head in understanding. “I assure you, it will not be that big. How about two dozen of your finest long stemmed Pink ‘Jasmine’ Rose sent to Kaioh Michriu at the Mugen Gakuen high school.”
The woman smiled. “I can do that for you, sir. What kind of vase would you like?” She pulled out an order form and started filling out the paperwork.
“Something simple that doesn’t distract from the roses, and I’d like to add a personalized note to it.” Zoicite told her as he pulled one of the mini cards that went in the floral arrangements.
Zoicite quickly wrote the letter: I am coming to take what should be mine. Be prepared. I will take from you what I desire.
Zoicite sealed the letter and handed it to the lady. He also picked out two dozen red roses from a display for Kunzite. Zoicite paid and left the florist. Zoicite rejoined Kunzite outside the building who was thrilled for the roses but looked puzzled as to why Zoicite had wanted to stop by a florist shop to begin with.
“Shinpai shinaide (Don’t worry). I’ll take you right back here. I promise.” Michiru's heart fluttered as she took in Haruka's playful wink as she tightened her hold around her delicate hand. Michiru giggled as she looked away from her girlfriend, her tone of voice instantly becoming teasing, a habit that happened when in the security and comfort of Haruka “I suppose it will be your fault if I don’t get enough practice then.”
Michiru looked back at Haruka, her gentle smile broadening as she noticed the sweat drop appear on her forehead
“Nani? Don’t joke like that, Michiru-chan.” The aquamarine-hair girl giggled, leaning up to kiss Haruka serenely before leading her out of the music room.
"How about we have lunch outside campus and try to find your new friends from the other day's school festival at Juuban Junior High, ne?" Michiru offered as the couple headed towards the school gates where Haruka's motorbike was parked when suddenly...
"Kaioh Michiru, can you please come to the school office...Kaioh Michiru."
The PA system boomed randomly, sounding around the buildings of Mugen Gakuen. Pausing in her stride, Michiru exchanged a surprised look with Haruka before shrugging and releasing her entwined fingers from Haruka's grasp.
"How odd. Don't worry, love, this shouldn't take too long...I hope." Michiru smiled as she hurried back into the centre of the campus where the main office existed. Michiru was glad that the office was not busy and approached the front desk
"Ano, you called for me about two minutes ago? Is something wrong?" she asked softly to the lady at the front desk. The lady looked up and smiled nodding at her. "Yes, we recieved an anonymous bouquet of Pink Jasmine Roses. The florist said it's for your eyes only."
"Anonymous...for me??" Michiru frowned slightly, stepping forward as the lady went into the back and came back out carrying a small vase of rather dazzling long-stemmed pink roses. "Perhaps an admirer who saw your performance on the television this morning, Miss Kaioh," the lady smiled gently handing the vase to Michiru.
Michiru thanked her, a puzzled look still present on her face, as she left the main office carrying the vase close to her chest. Pausing in her walk, Michiru sat down on the nearest bench and opened up the envelope that had her full name printed in beautiful calligraphy.
Reading the short note, her puzzled look became one of anxiety as she read over the note again: I am coming to take what should be mine. Be prepared. I will take from you what I desire.
Standing up, Michiru clutched at her chest before shaking off her nerves. She remembered Haruka was waiting for her at the school gate. Picking up the vase and tucking the threatening short note into her school skirt pocket, Michiru quickened her pace back to her girlfriend.
"Michi, are you alright? You look pale all of a sudden?" Haruka asked worried, placing a warm hand against Michiru's left cheek. Michiru's face felt clammy and cool against her touch. Michiru laughed awkwardly, nodding twice in an attempt to ease Haruka's concern "Oh, I'm just hungry dear. It's alright...we might need to drop by our apartment first. It seems I got roses from an admirer".
Haruka noted the vase in Michiru's hand and nodded keeping back a slightly jealous remark. "Ok, sure." The couple left the campus and slid onto Haruka's motorbike. Michiru strapped on her own usual helmet, letting out a soft sigh as Haruka started up the engine of her bike. Her thoughts immediately drifted away from the present.
'I'm sorry to keep this from you, Haruka-chan...'
Makoto thought on it. "Mmmmm, three days," she said with a grin as the game began to go into tournament mode. The brunette ignored it though as she was walked over to a booth with Ami. Rei went to the bathroom to clean up. Usagi trailed after Makoto and Rei a few minutes later. Makoto slid into the booth with Ami and leaned back against the minor cushioning. Usagi walked up to the booth and sat down at the table with Ami and Makoto a few minutes later with tickets in her hand.
"Guess where we have been invited to," asked Usagi as she took a seat next to Ami.
Makoto blinked and looked at the tickets in the blonde's hand. "What are those to Usagi-chan?" she asked as she slid a hand into her pocket and idly counted her remaining coins with her finger.
Minako tried not to blush at Haruka's compliment about her pretty face. She gingerly took Michiru's helmet and strapped it to her head. She was happy that Haruka had the time to take her to the salon. She tried not to look too nervous as she got on behind Haruka. Minako's hands wrapped tightly around the driver's. In a flash, they were off. Minako closed her eyes and grabbed Haruka's mid-section harder. She was scared about falling off. It was quite a different experience to be driving down the road with nothing protecting her.
'It appears the metal frame of a car brings more comfort than I would have thought,' Minako reflected.
Eventually, she coaxed herself into opening her left eye.
'Just a peek,' she kept telling herself.
It didn't look too scary with one eye opened, so Minako opened her right eye as well. The familiar scenes of the Juuban district rushed by her. Everything looked different even though she knew the area like the back of her hand. The wind caressed her exposed skin. Minako's face began to change as she smiled at the world around her.
'I feel free, like I could fly away. This is amazing! I'm fearless!'
Minako slowly loosened her grip on Haruka's waist as she enjoyed her ride.
'I'll have to convince Haruka to let me try this again!'
At a stoplight, Haruka asked Minako how she was doing. Before the blonde could reply, the pair were already speeding off down the street.
"Yippie!" Minako screamed.
The next time the bike slowed, they were approaching the beauty salon. Minako was sad for their ride to end, but, at the same time, she was excited to see Ryu.
'I wonder what Ryu will think when he sees me on this bike.'
Minako was scanning the front of the salon hoping to see him through the windows. However, a small crowd had gathered near the street as Haruka pulled over. Haruka helped Minako off the bike and inquired about the visit. Again, before Minako could respond, Haruka was interrupted by a distraction. Someone had tried to call on her cell phone. Haruka excused herself for a moment to listen to the voice mail. Minako noticed two men standing off to the side of the salon. She narrowed her eyes as she focused on their features.
Before she could make a positive identification, Haruka was back. The woman stood between Minako and the two men. Minako shrugged off the feeling of recognition as she listened to Haruka apologize for having to leave. Her girlfriend, Michiru, was waiting for her. Minako waved Haruka off, a little sad that the two of them did not have more time together.
'Oh well,' she thought as she entered the salon. Her eyes scanned the floor for Ryu, but she didn't see him anywhere. The place was pretty quiet.
'Must be the lunch hour,' she thought as she took a seat and pulled out her phone. She thought about sending him a text message in case he was in the back room.
Michiru giggled playfully, lightly kissing Haruka. “How about we have lunch outside campus and try to find your new friends from the other day's school festival at Juuban Junior High, ne?"
Haruka smiled, following her girlfriend outside the music room. “Ii desu ne (Sounds good).”
Before they reached the school gate where she had parked her bike, a voice was heard over the intercom. “Kaoi Michiru, could you please come to the school office…” They paused in their tracks; Michiru turning in the direction the voice was coming from. “…Kaoih Michiru.”
“Hm? Nani?” Haruka said as Michiru’s soft fingers released her own.
“How odd,” Michiru began, looking up at her tall girlfriend. “Don’t worry, love. This shouldn’t take too long…I hope.” She smiled before leaving Haruka’s side toward the center of campus.
Placing a hand in her pocket and carrying the daffodils she had brought, Haruka continued walking toward the school gate contemplating why the office would make an announcement for Michiru. Haruka knew Michiru had gained much publicity since it was publicized that she would be performing live, representing her class and school. Haruka smiled. I’m proud of you Michiru-san. The addition of being seen on television had added to her notoriety no doubt.
When her bike was in sight, Haruka leaned against the gate waiting for Michiru. She let out a sigh, wondering what was taking her so long. Maybe they were giving her some last minute preparations, she thought, twirling her keys around her index finger.
When Michiru returned, Haruka was surprised to see she no longer had the same excited smile on her face. “Michi, are you alright?” She placed a warm hand against her lover’s cheek, acknowledging how clammy it felt. “You look pale all of a sudden.” Haruka’s face turned to one of concern.
Michiru gave an awkward laugh. “Oh, I’m just hungry dear. It’s alright…”
Haruka took note of the vase she carried with her. Before she could ask, Michiru added, “We might need to drop by our apartment first. It seems I got roses from an admirer.”
An admirer? Haruka thought, trying to hide the fleeting emotion of jealousy. “Ii yo,” Haruka said with a nod, reaching for her helmet.
Haruka waited as Michiru strapped on her helmet and seated behind her. When she wrapped her arms around Haruka’s waist, she started her engine; picking up speed before heading in the direction of the apartment.
It didn’t take long for the two to reach their destination. Haruka had been driving faster than usual, but she was careful when making turns so to not cause the vase to drop from Michiru’s grasp.
Haruka stopped in front of their apartment complex, pulling into their parking space. Shutting off her engine, she kicked the brake and removed her helmet. Helping her girlfriend, Haruka took the vase while Michiru removed her own helmet. Haruka nonchalantly inspected the vase taking in the beautiful long stems and pink petals. They were fresh, as if recently purchased.
Pink roses were symbolic of admiration and friendship, she thought. Perhaps poetic romance…should I be worried?They certainly put her daffodils to shame. She looked up at Michiru, unable to read the expression on her face, yet Haruka knew that she was uneasy when they left the school.
Michiru took the vase and flowers from her hands and smiled. “I’ll be right back after I take these inside.”
“Alright,” she replied, looking after her as she opened the apartment door. When she was no longer in sight, Haruka took her helmet and sat on the pavement in front of the parking lot. Maybe I should be concerned, she thought running a hand over the back of her neck. Haruka attempted to keep any negative thoughts regarding the unusual gift from an anonymous admirer from getting the best of her, but she couldn’t help it. She began thinking of how shocked Michiru looked after receiving the flowers before leaving the school…how Michiru had left early this morning with late notice…how quiet she had seemed during the ride home…
Haruka shook her head again. Dame desu (No way)! No sense in thinking that way. Michiru has been busy practicing for the performance. It’s only natural that she would have admirers that would send her gifts. She grinned. We both do, especially at Mugen Gaken. She shook feelings of denial with false bravado. Reaching for her cellphone, she decided to send Hotaru another text, taking her mind momentarily off her present feelings: MEET YOU AT CROWN GAME CENTER @ JUUBAN DISTRICT. TRAVEL SAFELY HOTARU. While sending the text, a shadow stood over Haruka.
“Hmm? Not interrupting anything am I?” Michiru asked, the same teasing tone in her voice that delighted Haruka. The blonde scoffed, standing up from the curb.
“Not likely. Just telling Hotaru where to meet us,” she replied, placing her phone back into her pocket. “Ready?”
Michiru nodded, replacing her helmet again. The pair seated themselves on the bike, ready for their next destination.
Walking into the main foyer carrying the vase of Pink Jasmine Roses and Haruka's bouquet of Daffodils close to her chest, Michiru went to the last of the four lifts and pressed the 'Up' button. She knew she had been awfully quiet during the ride here. She just hoped that Haruka didn't take it the wrong way. Sighing out loud, Michiru shook her head while eyeing herself in the full-length mirror beside the lift. She knew Haruka was thinking over it; Michiru had caught sight of Haruka scrutinizing the lovely bouquet of roses. She just hoped that Haruka had found her more simple daffodils better than these fancy flowers...then again, she did not know about the threatening letter that was in Michiru's skirt pocket. The lift bell dinged and the doors slid open. Stepping inside, Michiru pressed level 15. The doors slid shut and moved up at a calm pace. The orchestral music flowing through the speakers allowed Michiru to lean against the wall and enjoy the symphonies that obviously were Beethoven. The lift dinged once more and stopped. The doors slid open as Michiru entered the hallway of the fifteenth floor.
Walking toward her and Haruka's apartment, number twenty six, Michiru pulled out the key from around her neck and unlocked the door. Stepping into the apartment, she closed the door behind her. She smiled taking in her surroundings. Home.
Placing the vase of pink roses in the centre of the dinner table, Michiru poured tap water making sure the roses would stay fresh before entering the master bedroom. She giggled fondly about how Haruka forgot to make their bed and did it herself. Going to the vanity, Michiru opened the second drawer of her medium sized jewelery box. Lifting up the paper bottom, she pulled the threatening note from her skirt pocket and placed it under the paper.
Haruka must not concern herself with trivial notes like these, Michiru thought. Michiru was a young woman now and couldn't always rely on her beloved but oh so protective girlfriend. She could handle this herself. Before leaving the apartment, Michiru placed the Daffodils in a vase which she set on the dresser in their bedroom. She wanted to be able to look at the beautiful flowers before going to bed. Looking at the jewelry box one more time, Michiru confirmed her inner desire to keep the threatening note a secret from Haruka. Michiru hastily left the apartment knowing she was keeping her lover waiting downstairs. She re-entered the lift and walked out into the foyer.
She noticed, with interest, Haruka texting on her cellphone. Walking up to her, Michiru asked in her usual teasing tone, “Hmm? Not interrupting anything am I?” Haruka slipped the phone back into her pocket shaking her head. “Not likely. Just telling Hotaru where to meet us. Ready?" she asked with a charming grin as she hopped back onto her motorbike slipping on her helmet.
Michiru smiled back nodding as Haruka turned on the engine. Michiru strapped her helmet back on as the motorbike took off for the Juuban district.
Over the roar of the engine, Michiru yelled from the back, "How about we hit that little cafe near the Crown Game Center. I heard they make excellent milkshakes." Haruka nodded
"Good idea, love," as they continued avoiding the traffic, heading towards the town center.
Pulling up in front of the cafe, Haruka parked their motorbike and turned off the engine. Taking off her helmet, Michiru fixed her hair as her ocean blue eyes caught sight of a familiar blonde haired girl inside the game arcade.
"Ano Haruka-chan...isn't that one of your friends from the other high school?" Michiru nudged her girlfriend with a sweet smile pulling her towards the Crown Game Center.
Rei was a bit steamed. It embarrassed her that people were watching an awesomely good game only to have soda get spilled all over her. So, in her mind at the time, Usagi had been asking for it. However, her thoughts changed a bit by the reaction she got from Usagi.
"It's my fault...maybe you should cut Rei a break on the wager...maybe like two days of cleaning?"
Rei then looked at Makoto. She held her breath a moment because she was hoping to get off scotch free because of what happened. Unfortunately, it was not going to be that easy because Makoto suggested three days.
“OK! OK! I will take the three days! But just you wait, Makoto! Hahahahaha! I want a rematch!!! Hahahahahaha! Maybe we can have a cooking contest or something! Hahaha! I will beat you in something, darn it!!”
Rei looked back at Usagi before she left to the bathroom. She was still pissed off at her for the accident, but Usagi had tried to make things better. Plus, she looked so sad and remorseful. Rei felt guilty and sorry for what she had just said. She turned around before going to the bathroom and caught Usagi before she reached the booth with everyone else.
“Usagi-chan! Look, it's ok...I will let you slide this time, Odango! It was an accident, anyway. I was too fired up about the game. I get carried away like that with all my contests, especially when it's between Makoto-chan and I! So, cheer up and stop that tearing up. All that crying gets on my nerves!”
Rei patted Usagi on the back and then picked up her bag to go to the bathroom as Ami suggested. She hated being wet and sticky from the soda and people was whispering and giggling at her and that made her madder.
While securing her bike, Haruka felt Michiru nudge her side. “Ano Haruka-chan…isn’t that one of your friends from the other high school?”
“Hmm? Doko? (Where),” she asked as Michiru pulled her towards the Crown Game Center entrance.
“Welcome to the Crown Game Center,” a handsome brunette behind the front desk greeted them with a smile. Haruka nodded her head, noticing a familiar pair of blonde buns sticking out from the center booth from the corner of her eye. Her face brightened as the pair of lovers eased their way to their table.
“Guess where we have been invited to…” Haruka overheard Usagi say as the pig-tailed girl seated herself next to Ami.
“Michiru’s performance,” Haruka interjected as the group of girls looked in her direction. Usagi was last to look over her shoulder, noticing Haruka and her girlfriend Michiru. Haruka’s eyes softened. “Ohayou kawaikochan (cutie),” she said coolly.
“Haruka-san! Michiru-san!” Usagi exclaimed.
Michiru smiled gently. “Ohayou, minna,” she said with a wave. “Please excuse us for interrupting. We just wanted to say hello.”
Haruka nodded in agreement. “I hope you all don’t mind.”
Usagi shook her head. “You’re always welcome!” she answered smiling.
“Would you like to sit with us?” Ami asked politely. Haruka exchanged looks with Michiru.
“Arigatou,” Haruka said gently. “But we cannot stay long. Michiru is still practicing for her performance.”
“We can sit for a little while,” Michiru piped in, hooking her arm with Haruka’s. “At least until I get my milkshake.” Haruka grinned.
“Alright,” she said, giving in as Makoto and Rei scooted closer to Usagi and Ami. Michiru seated herself directly across Usagi and Ami, while Haruka took a chair from the nearest table to seat herself close to Michiru.
A green-eyed, red-head approached their table setting down several glasses of water. “Irashaimase,” she said with a bow to the older women seated at the booth. She greeted her familiar friends with smiles and a wave. “What would you like?” she asked, pen and notepad ready in hand.
Michiru ordered her milkshake, while the other girls placed their orders as well. The red-head girl turned to Haruka. “I’ll have a salad,” she said as the waitress took down her order.
”I’ll be back with your orders,” she said, turning her heel.
While waiting for the waitress' return, the girls exchanged conversation regarding Michiru’s performance. Every now and then, Haruka would pipe in agreeing with something Michiru had said or chuckling at something Usagi or one of her friends had commented on. Ami’s math competition had also been brought up, which caught Michiru's attention. The two were able to relate to the tension and pressure they felt about their performances; they both wanted to do extremely well. Ami made sure to give Haruka and Michiru an invitation to the math competition. She also encouraged them to bring other friends; the more the merrier, after all.
Haruka’s thoughts began to wander. I wonder when Hotaru will get here. She might miss us if she doesn’t leave soon. Maybe it’s best if she meets us at the apartment…
“Shinpai shinaide Michiru-san,” Usagi began. “I have complete faith you will do well. I saw your performance on TV!”
Ami nodded. “You are, without doubt, a dedicated musician.”
“Thank you for inviting us, Michiru-san. It sounds like an exciting event,” commented Makoto.
Rei, who had joined them after changing, let out a sigh. “You’re so talented, Michiru-san. I’m sure you have many admirers at your school.”
Those words struck a nerve with Haruka. Joudan deshou (No kidding). She looked towards a modest Michiru, holding back the urge to mention the roses her girlfriend had received. Without realizing it, Haruka was demonstrating one of her bad habits: sulking. The blonde crossed her legs, resting her chin on her left palm. She was growing impatient for her food to arrive suddenly. Michiru picked up on it pretty quickly.
“Haruka-chan,” she whispered as the girls continued talking about how excited they were for Ami and Michiru. “Daijoubu? (Are you ok?)”
Haruka replied with one word, casually taking a sip of her water. “Un.”
Mamoru looked perplexed by Jadiete’s question. I better make this fast; Minako is supposed to be on her way over, he thought to himself. He didn’t want to seem too nosy about their relationship, but he wanted to get some information as to why Minako would be coming to visit him.
“Why do you ask,” Mamoru said.
Jadiete shrugged. “I did her hair a while back for the festival, and I just wanted to she how she was doing? She said that she would be going to the festival with a guy that matched your description,” he said. “I just wanted to wish you guys the best of luck. He smiled his charming smile.
Mamoru looked down at his feet. Jadeite noticed that Mamoru was holding a gift card to the salon. Jadeite pulled out his card and handed it to him. “I see you have a gift card. Here is my card. Tell Miss Minako that if she should need her hair done again, just ask for me.”
What’s up with him? Why does he look so flustered? Jadiete thought. She probably did not put out. He chuckled to himself.
“Did I say something to offend you, Mamoru?” he questioned, “If I did, I am sorry.”
“It isn’t that…It's that I'm with someone else now,” Mamoru said.
An interesting development. Jadeite reflected.
“I am sorry to hear that,” he said half-heartedly. “My offer is still good for you new girlfriend. May I ask what happened?”
Nephrite was happy to discover a kindred spirit in Setsuna. He didn't know how perfectionists were able to handle the pressures of being perfect, or at least trying to achieve perfection. Luckily, the only thing he really needed to ace was serving his queen, which was easy if he stayed out of her way when she was in one of those moods.
Nephrite patiently listened to Setsuna's offer about the modeling job. It was definitely an appealing idea. He knew he was a handsome man, even more so when he didn't have to disguise himself with a wig. The idea of strutting around on a catwalk and having hundreds of women ogling him made him warm all over. In fact, just thinking about it excited his nether regions. After all, he did enjoy being watched. The higher salary, which would have encouraged most human males to leave a job at a salon, did little to persuade him. He still had a lot of money saved away in his bank account from his previous life as a millionaire. In fact, he still retained his original mansion; his neighbors had assumed that Masato Sanjouin was in a foreign country on business trips the entire time he was "dead." Either way, Nephrite's interest in modeling was purely speculative. There was no way his queen would ever let him model in a show, not even if it was a one-time offer. He might be able to convince her, but he would have to make it worth her while, or at least for Kawaii Beauty Salon, since it was constantly her number one priority.
"Harajuku Couture sounds like a wonderful opportunity for someone like me, with little to no modeling experience. I shall be sure to call you if I am able to accept your offer for either the opening fashion show or the new employment opportunity. I have much to think about."
He graciously accepted the generous tip as well as her business card and a gift card to her store. He was surprised that she would already have gift cards ready to hand out when she had just bought the lease on the building a few days ago. He shrugged and shoved the information in his pocket. He didn't want Peri asking him any questions. He was about to walk into the break room to relax and enjoy a sandwich he had brought from home when Peri walked over to him.
'You must have made quite an impression on that woman. She gave you a lot of praise and scheduled a future manicure and pedicure with you."
Nephrite was happy that Queen Perillia seemed pleased. "What can I say? I am a ladies' man...and I know how important it is to have repeat customers..." Queen Perillia nodded before she walked away.
Kunzite wasn't happy to hear that Zoicite was rushing into the next phase of his plans without having thought it through. Everything was too spontaneous for comfort. The stalking plan was a good idea. It would make Michiru nervous and careless. She would be on edge...as long as she did not tell anyone she was receiving the threatening letters and gifts. Kunzite thought about the young woman's personality and figured that Michiru was arrogant enough to think she could handle the issue on her own. Kunzite did not agree with the time of abduction, though. Before the show started, the security would be heaviest. There would be too many potential witnesses as well. The pathetic humans would get in the way. He should convince Zoicite to steal her powers after the show when most people were leaving or distracted. Michiru would feel safe because everything would be over. She would assume that the notes and gifts were just meant to make her mess up at the concert. She would be in her dressing room, changing, and that is when they would surprise her. Kunzite could take care of any of her friends who might be lurking backstage. It would be simple. Before he could suggest his plan, Zoicite had already left him and entered a florist shop.
'Looks like he is beginning phase one of the plan,' Kunzite thought as he worked out the details of the new plan he wanted to present to Zoicite. When Zoicite emerged, he was carrying two dozen red roses, which he presented to Kunzite. Kunzite looked puzzled.
'Why is he giving me roses? I presumed he was buying some for Michiru...hm...perhaps he is having them delivered? That makes the most sense.'
Kunzite graciously accepted the roses and leaned into Zoicite to give him a kiss. His lips lingered over Zoicite's longer than necessary, his tongue gently caressing Zoi's lower lip. He pulled away slowly and was amused at the dreamy look in his lover's eyes. He wondered if they had time for a quickie in a back alley. Then he remembered that he needed to explain his idea about when they should capture Michiru's powers.
"I was thinking we should take Michiru's powers when her guard is down...at the end of the show..."
Mamoru was surprised that Minako had told someone else about their first date, even more surprised to find out it was a complete stranger at a beauty salon. Obviously, the guy thought they were still together. Talk about awkward moments. Mamoru was going to edge away when Ryu mentioned the gift card Mamoru had bought at the salon. He glanced down at his hand in surprise. He had forgotten that he was holding it. When he exited Kawaii Beauty Salon, Mamoru had pulled out the card from his wallet to examine the gift. He hadn't put it away before the worker came up to him and started talking. Mamoru took the Ryu's card and put both away in his wallet. Mamoru had to fight the urge to run away from Ryu. He didn't want to talk about his feelings with anyone, especially not some guy he had just met.
“It isn’t that…It's that I'm with someone else now.”
Unfortunately, Ryu continued to inquire into what happened between the two of them.
'Why is this guy so interested in my private life with Minako...could he also like her?'
Instantly, Mamoru became defensive. He didn't trust this guy. In fact, he wasn't quite sure he trusted anyone with Minako other than himself.
'Jealousy is not a good sign. Obviously, I am not over her.'
Mamoru brushed a hand through his dark locks and tried to ignore the question.
"It just wasn't a good time for us...but who knows what the future might hold..."
Mamoru hoped that his response would convince the man to not try anything funny with Minako. If he knew Mamoru was still interested, he might back down a bit. That was when Mamoru noticed Minako inside the shop. Their eyes locked. Minako blushed. Mamoru's heart skipped a beat. She looked beautiful and uncomfortable.
'Why is she here at the shop?'
Mamoru glared at the conceited man before him. There was no way she had come for another appointment. She had come to see him, specifically. He wanted to march into the salon and extract Minako from this man's grasp. He wanted to rescue her from something that he couldn't quite define. This whole salon was rubbing him the wrong way. He moved closer to Ryu and looked down at him with a threatening expression.
"If you do anything to hurt her...anything...I will hunt you down and make you pay."
With that, he turned and walked to his car that was parked down the street. He needed to get to the arcade and quick. He was already really late, and he didn't want Usagi worrying that he was with Minako, who was obviously late as well.
Usagi felt a little better when Makoto agreed to reduce the number of days that Rei had to clean.
"I'll even try and help, Rei-chan!" Usagi knew that she would probably hinder Rei more than anything. She was not the best person at cleaning, but it was the thought that counted. Plus, Rei was obviously happy for the reduced sentance as well as Usagi's offer to assist. She went back to her usual cheery and confident self as she threatened Makoto with a rematch. She even went so far as to apologize, in her own way, before walking to the bathroom to clean off.
"Thanks, Rei!" Usagi said. She quickly wiped at her eyes and continued to flash the tickets for Michiru's concert at her friends. She was excited that she was going to be the first to tell everyone the surprise since Rei was busy in the bathroom. She slid in next to Ami and was about to say where when a familiar voice interjected the answer.
“Michiru’s performance. Ohayou, kawaikochan (cutie).”
'Aw! Haruka spoiled the surprise,' Usagi thought.
She wasn't really upset, though. She was excited to have her new friends with them. Now, they could all relax and have a bit of fun. Usagi quickly assured the couple that they were not interrupting anything. Her eyes lit in happiness as for a brief span of time she completely forgot Mamoru and Minako who were both still missing from the group.
'Haruka is so dreamy...and Michiru...wow...she always looks like such a princess. I wish I could be more like her.'
By this time, Rei had returned to the booth. The group squished in around the semi-circle booth. Ami was on the far right with Usagi next to her. Then it was Rei and Makoto. Michiru sat at the left end and was facing Usagi and Ami. Haruka pulled up a chair and scooted closer to her girlfriend.
"There! We all fit," Usagi exclaimed happily as she thought about ordering a milkshake too.
Unazuki, Motoki's younger sister, came over to take their orders. When she looked at Usagi, she ordered a milkshake and cheeseburger. She was in the mood for some American cuisine. After Unazuki left, Usagi passed out the invitations for Michiru's concert. She gave each girl a ticket for Saturday. After she was done, she still had three tickets left.
'One for me...Minako...and Mamoru...'
Unfortunately, the tickets reminded her about the pair. She couldn't help that a part of her mind was wondering if the two were out together.
'Maybe they are still secretly dating or something...'
Usagi brushed the feelings aside in order to enjoy her time with the others. They all had a lot to talk about. She made a couple of comments about Michiru's concert or Ami's math competition. As the conversation turned to Ami, the blue-haired girl passed out her homemade math competition tickets.
"These are beautiful, Ami! You did a fantastic job on the invitations. I know you are going to win! You've been working so hard. Your only real competition is Ryo, and he's nothing compared to you."
Ami still looked a little worried and concerned as did Michiru.
'They are both so wonderful. Why do they have insecurities about their upcoming perfomances?'
Usagi also said some kind words to Michiru. She wanted the lovely aquamarine haired woman to have confidence like the princess Usagi imagined she was. Plus, the earlier performance on the television had been amazing. If that was any indication of Saturday's concert, Michiru was sure to blow the public away.
"And by the way," Michiru started, "Your tickets will give you all backstage access at the concert. You are all my V.I.P. guests."
"Wow! Ii desu ne! (How nice!)" Usagi had never been a V.I.P. guest at a concert. Things were really starting to brighten for the upcoming weekend.
Even though Usagi was in a good mood, she did notice that Haruka seemed a little out of sorts.
'I wonder what is wrong...'
Usagi watched as Michiru whispered something to the girl. She decided it wasn't exactly proper to spy on the couple and instead glanced out the window. That was when she saw Mamoru drive up to the arcade and park across the street.
'He's finally here!' Usagi felt her spirits soar as she watched him walk over. Her good feelings dampened a bit at the look on his face. Even from far away Usagi could tell that he was annoyed, or at least upset about something. He pulled out his wallet, looked at something, and the shoved it back in his pants.
'Why is he so upset? What is he hiding from me?'
At this point, Unazuki brought over some drinks for the friends.
"I brought the milkshakes early. I hope that was ok. The rest of your food will be coming shortly." Everyone thanked her as she walked back to the kitchen. Usagi hid her distress about Mamoru by sipping her shake. From the corner of her eye, she saw him enter the shop. He exchanged some words with Motoki, who pointed him to the back of the arcade. As he approached, he gave the group a soft smile.
"Ohayo, minna. I apologize for being late. I had to pick something up before I could arrive."
He grabbed an extra chair and moved it to the other side of Haruka.
"Koko kakete mo ii desu ka? (May I sit here?)" Haruka nodded that it was ok for him to sit next to her. Luckily, they had chosen the largest booth at the arcade.
'It looks like Haruka and Michiru aren't the only couple with secrets,' Usagi thought as she tried to greet Mamoru as if she was happy to see him. She wanted to ask him why he was late. No, she wanted to demand an answer. She was tempted to ask him if he had seen Minako anywhere, but she didn't want to cause another scene, especially with Haruka and Michiru there. She sipped a little more of her vanilla shake before glancing at Mamoru.
"Sorry, Mamoru, but we already ordered our food. You can share some of my cheesburger and milkshake if you want."
Mamoru's face looked a little strained. He probably noticed that she had called him Mamoru instead of her usual pet name for him: Mamo-chan.
"Arigatou, that is very kind of you Usako."
She passed him the milkshake and tried to get distracted by what the others were saying. Usagi had been feeling optimistic about this weekend. She still thought Ami was going to win her math competition, and that Michiru was going to perform beautifully at her concert. However, she couldn't feel that optimistic about her boyfriend Mamoru and her friend Minako.
'I guess I will just have to wait till this evening to talk to him...'
OOC: TIME CHANGE--it's from about 2pm till early evening. The main things we need to wrap up before moving to Friday's math competition are:
1. The Outer Senshi meeting at Haruka's apartment this evening. It doesn't need to happen anytime soon if you all want to finish relaxing and spend a little more time interacting. I can allow one final shift of time from early evening to late evening, and you all can meet then.
2. If you want to send anothe threatening gift, Guardian, you also have time. Otherwise, send at least two more by the end of Friday.
3. Prince: Give your gift to Usagi and maybe talk a little bit about the Minako drama.
4. Empress: Have a post where you are at your shop by yourself developing some of the back story about Harajuku Couture. We'll have the grand opening of your store in episode 4 or 5. The fashion show will signal the grand opening.
Everyone is doing an amazing job in the RPG! I am so proud of you all. I am really enjoying this episode! Keep up the great posting.
BTW: Peri does not have any big tasks for the villains Thursday evening, so you can spend some free time doing what you want, either together or alone.
Luna and Artemis had met early in the morning and reacquainted themselves with each other. After snuggling and giving each other kitty kisses, the pair had rested against each other and talked for a couple of hours about the Senshi. They were not as concerned about the new Senshi that had arrived on the scene. In fact, their discussions focused on the Inner Senshi's morale. Everyone seemed a little on edge, especially Mamoru, Minako, and Usagi.
"We cannot have this love triangle happening, Artemis. Mamoru and Minako are not destined to be together. They never should have kissed."
Artemis got up from his spot next to Luna and began to pace in frustration. "I know. It was my fault. I messed up. I was not keeping a close enough eye on the pair. I really thought it was harmless, especially since their memories were not returned. I didn't even think they would have to remember so soon. I presumed that Mamoru would see Usagi at the festival and fall in love with her upon first sight."
Luna sighed. She knew that Artemis had no idea about Usagi's and Mamoru's past. The two had practically been at each other's throats bickering in the past. That was not how their love worked. It was always gradual.
"Don't blame yourself. I should have been helping you more. We should have been collaborating." Luna got up and walked to Artemis. She nuzzled his neck. "Now, we just need to worry about fixing things now. We need to go after Minako and encourage her to find someone else."
"Yes, I know. She is already on her way to some salon where there is a worker she likes. We can meet her there."
Artemis and Luna hurried on their way.
Once outside the salon, Luna was not pleased with what she saw. Mamoru and Minako were there. Mamoru was outside the salon trying to intimidate one of the workers.
"I presume that is the individual that Minako crushes on?"
Artermis narrowed his eyes. "Should we intervene?"
"No, I think he is leaving," Luna responded. Mamoru hurried away and a few minutes later they saw him peel out of the district. "We need to do something about him and Usagi. They need some alone time to rekindle their romance."
Artemis was quiet as he was thinking. "Perhaps they all need a little break after the math competition...why don't we plan an outing to the beach. We can arrange it so Mamoru and Usagi are separated from the main group. That'll give them some time for romance."
Luna laughed. "What an ingenious plan."
The pair wandered off to discuss the details of the outing which would occur early mid-week.
Minako was so embarrassed to have been seen by Mamoru at the salon. Her face was beet red. He must know that she was there to see someone, and that someone was talking to him outside. It didn't look like Mamoru was being very nice to Ryu either.
'I need to get out of here,' she thought. 'I don't want to speak with Ryu anymore.'
She rushed to the woman at the counter with bright red hair. "Please give this to one of your employees. His name is Ryu. It's a gift I need to return." Just as quickly, she was out the door walking in the opposite direction of where Mamoru and Ryu had been standing.
'Please don't see me. Please don't see me.'
After leaving the salon, Setsuna went to her boutique. It was in the most fashionable part of Juuban. The building she had purchased was the size of a small department store. It had a pearl white exterior with a teal 3-D sign in the front with Harajuku Couture written in gold with an eye catching font. The doors also had the name of boutique in the same font but in platinum. On the left sides of them, there was a very beautiful ornate key that was the length of the door. They opened automaticly when Setsuna faced them. The security system she had placed was state of the art. She had created the system with future-proof technology. Only someone from the very distant future could breach it. Inside of the boutique, it was light and airy. The clothing was displayed in an attractive and noticeable manner. Cash registers were placed in the center of the women's and men's section.
Setsuna had everything in place shortly after she purchased the building. The only thing that was left to do was the display. The life-like mannequins were placed right where she wanted them to be. They were created by an artist she was friends with in the Silver Millennium. When she was at the Time Gate acting as guardian, she had them stored where time would not damage them for her anticpated stay on Earth.
While she was dressing the mannequins, Setsuna thought about Nao. 'He reminds me of someone I knew of long ago.'
Before the fall of the Moon Kingdom, Pluto had the great pleasure of designing gowns for Queen Serentity and her daughter. Princess Serenity had told her of a raven haired prince that she had met durring her visits to the Earth Kingdom. She knew Pluto could keep secerts well. During her fittings, she told Pluto how handsome and kind hearted he was. Princess Serenity's talks enticed Pluto to visit the Earth Kingdom to see if this prince was worthy of her princess' love.
One day Pluto had teleported to the Earth Kingdom. She had hidden herself well and secretly observed the prince when she had spotted him.
'He is as handsome as my princess has told me,' She thought to herself.
After a time of observing him, Pluto had found Princess Serenity's true love worthy of her. She was about to teleport back to the Moon Kingdom when a sudden storm approached that prevented her from doing so. Looking for some shelter during the storm, Pluto bumped into someone. When she had looked up, Pluto saw it was one of the gentleman that the Earth Prince was with. He had long brown, wavy reddish hair and very beautiful eyes. For a brief moment, her heart skipped a beat.
"I'm sorry. I did not see where I was going," Pluto told him.
The mysterious gentleman had also apologized for bumping into her as well. They introduced themselves. While the storm ran its course, they found some shelter and spent time getting to know each other.
She found that he was a friend and companion of the Earth Prince. He had a personality and manners that were identical to hers. Shortly after she had told him of herself and of life in the Moon Kingdom, the storm stopped. Pluto told him that she had to return to the Moon Kingdom before she was really missed. She told him goodbye and hoped that they would meet again.
After she had finished dressing the mannequins, Setsuna had placed the sceneary in a very stylish manner. The display was a sight to behold when she was done. It was of a man and woman dancing under stars.
Setsuna had the floor designed so it appeared that the mannequins were dancing. The female mannequin was dressed in a short white halston dress with a beautiful purple pattern on the bottom and white sandals on her feet. The male mannequin was dressed in a purple open polo shirt and khaki pants (made out of a lightweight durable material) and dark brown sandals that complemented his outfit.
After she was finished with the display, Setsuna looked at her watch. She just had enough time to go to her penthouse apartment (which she had obtained the same time she had bought her boutique), change her clothes, and head over to Michiru's place to meet up with the Outer Senshi. Before she left the boutique, Setsuna placed the dress that she had made for Michiru inside one of her boutque's garment bags. The bag was teal with the name of the boutique in gold lettering. The materal of the bag was made of a fabric (of Setsuna's own invention) that was very durable and environmentally friendly. The boutique's bags were also made of the very same fabric.
With the bag folded in her arm, Setsuna got her purse. After stepping outside of the boutique the doors automaticly locked, and the lights were turned off. She then got a cab that took Setsuna to her penthouse.
Hotaru checked her phone and sighed. She was going to be late meeting up with everyone. She wouldn't have been surprised if they all had already left.
It wasn't her fault though. The bus that she took had to make multiple stops which included stopping for gas and picking up people who were not from the original bus route.
Fortunately for her, she had a seat that she didn't need to give up to anyone. If she had to sacrifice her seat to one of the elderly due to politeness, she wouldn't have been able to stand for a long time as the bus driver was taking his sweet time to stop in front of the arcade.
Please hurry up. I don't want to worry Haruka and Michiru-sempai, Hotaru thought to herself as she let out a low sigh.
The bus stopped again and let on another passenger. Hotaru could tell that he wasn't from around here by his appearance and the fact he looked lost. The passenger was a short male with short blonde hair and pretty green eyes. He took a seat next to her and closed his eyes.
He must be tired. Hotaru thought as she took a closer glance at him.
"Excuse me," he began in a soft tone.
Hotaru was caught off guard as she found herself scooting away from him. "Y-Yes?"
"Do you know where Azabu-Juuban Arena Hall is?" he questioned. There will be a performance on Saturday and I wanted to know where it was beforehand..."
Hotaru couldn't help but gasp. Was he going to watch Michiru-sempai perform?
"You see...my friend is going to participate in the performance before Kaioh-san and I wanted to know..."
"Who is your friend?" Hotaru couldn't help but asking.
"Tsukimori Len...he's my sempai." the boy explained.
"Oh, you two go to the same school. I should have known by your uniform."
Hotaru thought for a moment. She tried to recall where the performance hall was but she couldn't remember the location at the moment. "Let's see...it's uh..."
"You don't have to tell me if you don't know."
"It's not that. I think the Azabu-Juuban Arena Hall is in..."
The bus came to a stop. The blonde kid got up from his seat and prepared to leave before Hotaru could answer his question. "W-Wait! I haven't told you where it is yet!"
"I'll find it one way or another," the boy said with an angelic smile. "I usually find anything music related."
Hotaru frowned as he prepared to get off the bus, but he stopped again. "Shimizu Keiichi."
"That's my name. I think we'll see each other at the Arena Hall on Saturday."
Before Hotaru could give her name to him, he was off the bus and the door behind him closed.
NEXT STOP IS THE CROWN GAME CENTER! IF YOU ARE GOING TO GET OFF HERE, PRESS THE BUTTON.
Hotaru shook her head in annoyance as she pressed the button. The bus stopped in front of the arcade. Slowly, she made her way into the Crown Game Center hoping to find some familiar faces. However, she would not notice them as her mind wondered to the cute blonde boy who called himself Keiichi.
Makoto felt a little spaced out all of a sudden and smiled at Rei as she suggested a cooking contest. "You sure on that?" she asked, above all feeling confident that she could outdo a shrine maiden when it came to cooking. When the blonde girl from the other day and her friend came to join them, she gave a polite nod to them, and thanked Michiru for her invitation to the concert. When they began making their orders, Makoto asked for just a soda and some fries since she wasn't very hungry at the moment.
She then nodded in agreement with Usagi, "She's right Ami, there's no way you can lose."
Kunzite was kind and accepted the roses and then leaned in to give Zoicite a kiss. The kiss sent a gentle shiver through Zoicite’s entire body. Kunzite’s lips lingered over Zoicite’s and gently caressed Zoicite’s lower lip. Zoicite wanted more, but they were in a public place and oh too soon Kunzite pulled away. It was then that his love brought him back to reality and spoke of his idea to capture Michiru’s powers.
“I was thinking we should take Michiru’s powers when her guard is down…at the end of the show…”
Zoicite took Kunzite’s hand in his as they walked back to the salon. Their lunch hour was almost up, and Peri would not be too happy if they were not back on time. Luckily the walk was not a long one and they were drawing near the Salon.
Zoicite nodded his head in agreement, “Yes, that sounds perfect. She will have her guard down. She will not be expecting anything to happen after the show. Kun, you are such a brilliant man. I will corner Michiru in her dressing room while you lock up her friends in a cellar,” Zoi gently kissed his lover on the check as they came closer to the Salon.
As the two came closer to the Kawaii Beauty Salon, Zoicite happened to notice that Jadeite and the guy that had come into the Salon before they had left for lunch were outside having some kind of discussion.
“Why don’t we go around the back?” Zoicite said to Kunzite not wanting to get involved with whatever Jadeite was up to. Kunzite nodded his head in agreement; besides, it was better for business if the customers didn’t see the help using the front entrance. This would please Queen Perillia that her subjects were devoted to their work and to her.
Rei come back from the bathroom and sat down with the others. She looked at the menu and was in awe of what they had. When the orders were placed, she ordered a triple sundae because she had eaten before she got there. She listened to the conversations about Michiru's concert and Ami's math competition. She thanked them for her tickets as well. However, she noticed that something was different about Haruka as well.
I still have to find out what she wanted with me that day.
The waiter brought over the sweet tea she had ordered along with everyone's drinks and shakes.
“Woo! The drinks are here! I am rather thirsty. Oh yeah, for the cooking contest, what should we make Makoto? Hehehe. The judges will be everyone here! They will all taste it and see what dish they like this best!”
With Odango as a judge, I might just win! Hahaha!
As she was talking Mamoru walked into the Crown Game Center. He spotted them, and quickly came over to sit down with them. Rei put her head down and looked at the table. She started to think about what she had said to Usagi earlier. The whole thing seemed awkward now.
“Hey, Senpi! How are you today? I hope you are well.”
I’m not going to let Usagi bother me. She needs to grow up a bit.
'Time has really flown by’ Ami thought as she looked down at her watch. ’It is almost time to go practice for the competition.’ She blushed slightly as she thought about seeing Ryo and working with him again. ‘I hope no one saw that I was blushing.’ She was having a good time with her new found friends. She had worked herself up over nothing. Everyone loved the invitations she had made and they all wanted to come, which had surprised Ami. She thought that they wouldn’t want to come to a boring math competition, but she was thrilled that her earlier thoughts had been wrong.
Michru invited everyone to her big music recital too, which happened to be the day after the math competition! Ami was so excited; she loved music. She contemplated inviting Ryo to go with her. She started to blush as she thought about him again. ‘I am going to invite him,’ she said to herself. ‘I hope he says yes.’
Ami’s cell phone buzzed alerting her that it was time to head to practice. She bid everyone good-bye and started to walk toward the school. She walked out of the arcade and ran into Minako, who was going to meet the others. She was walking as quickly as she could because she wanted to be the first one there, especially since it was her idea to have the practice before the big meet. She had finally made it to school when she heard voices coming from the math room. Ami was a little scared but decided to face her fears.
Obviously I struck a nerve, Jadiete said to himself as Mamoru walked away. “ I have nothing but good intentions for Minako,” he shouted after Mamoru. "Don’t worry.” I will not hurt her like you did, he said to himself.
He saw a flash of blonde and red out of the corner of his eye. “Hmm...Well if it isn’t Miss Minako,” he whispered to himself. I wonder where she is off too? He looked down at his watch. I still have time on lunch; I better go see what is going on.
He started to follow Minako as she hustled down the street. After a few short blocks, Minako entered the arcade. Jadeite walked in and took a seat at the table closest to the door. Minako was with her friends; Jadeite interests peeked as he looked at all of the girls. He decided to order some lunch while he waited for the best opportunity to strike. After about twenty minutes, give or take, the party looked like it was wrapping up. Jadeite decided it would be best for him to wait outside since Mamoru was there. He took a casual position near a magazine stand.
Once he saw Minako leave, he grabbed her arm and engulfed her. “Miss Minako, what a pleasure to see you again!” he said releasing her and putting her at arms length. The girl looked a little startled.
“Hiii, Ryu, you scared me,” she said with a shaky voice.
Ryu looked down at the girl and took a single strand of her hair and pushed it behind her ear. He let his hand linger as he gently stroked her check.
“You said you had something for me?”
“I…I left it for you at the salon,” she whispered as Ryu continued to hold her check in the palm of his hand. “Did you get it?
“No, beautiful. I had an errand to run, but I will get it as soon as I get back.” She seems nervous, I should do something to fix this.
He moved his hand so that it was not under the girl’s chin. “Come with me to ice cream tonight,” he said. “I can pick you up around 7. If your not busy?”
OOC: Time for Thursday's final time shift. It's evening to late evening. Most members can just post one more time and then wait for me to switch us to Friday's math competition. If you want to keep interacting with someone in the evening, like how Jadeite and Minako are going for ice cream, that's fine as well. I will be going out of town for a business conference, so I won't be able to switch the day/time until next week. So, members can have fun until then. Ame: You might need to temp as Haruka or Hotaru because both Lovely and Gintax have been busy with school. Empress: Feel free to help out with Haruka and Hotaru since your final scenes will be at Haruka and Michiru's apartment. While I'm gone, Rose will be in charge. Happy role playing, members!
Minako rushed down the street. She was so late for the meeting at the Crown Game Center. Right outside the arcade, she ran into Hotaru who looked like she was day-dreaming about someone. She wasn't paying attention to where she was going, and she almost bumped into Ami who was leaving the center.
Minako pulled Hotaru aside, so she wasn't mulled by Ami.
"Where are you off to, Ami?"
"I have math practice for tomorrow's competition. Sorry I can't stay longer. Here's your tickets for tomorrow. I'll see you both then!"
Minako and Hotaru took the tickets as Ami rushed off. "She looks stressed. I hope she remembers to go to sleep early tonight, or she will find herself falling asleep at the competition." Hotaru nodded in agreement as the two walked inside and searched for their friends who were toward the back of the center. They were eating and Rei and Makoto were laughing.
"Hi, everyone! Sorry I'm late! I had to run a quick errand before meeting you all here. But look who I ran into..."
Minako moved aside so everyone could see Hotaru. There were lots of exclaims of happiness and excitement. Motoki came over to make sure they had enough room to squeeze in two more people. One more chair was brought over, and Minako stationed it next to Haruka on the outside. She wanted to stay away from Mamoru. Things were still awkward, and Usagi was glancing at the two of them intently. Hotaru was able to squeeze into the booth.
It wasn't long before Motoki's sister came over to take the newcomer's orders, but Minako wasn't hungry. She kept thinking of how she was acting like a coward--avoiding a confrontation with Mamoru and Usagi and even running away from Ryu at the salon. She laughed at the appropriate moments, especially when she heard about the cooking contest between Makoto and Rei. There was no way Rei could win that contest. Other than that, she spent most of the time lost in her own thoughts.
As the light slowly disappeared, everyone began to exclaim about how tired they were.
"Yeah, we will all have an early morning to attend Ami's math competition."
Usagi whined about waking up that early when school was out. Haruka playfully tugged on one of her odangos. Hugs were exchanged as people began to go their own way. Mamoru scooted closer to Usagi to ask her if she wanted a ride home. Usagi hesitated and then agreed to it. Minako knew this was the moment to pull them aside and talk to them, but, again, she hesitated. When she finally moved to catch up with them, they were already driving away in Mamoru's car. Minako moved back into the shadow of the arcade center. She didn't want them seeing her. When she turned around to leave and go home, someone grabbed her arm.
'Oh my goodness!' Minako thought. Her heart was racing fast. She was on the verge of screaming when she recognized Ryu from the salon. He was very kind with his greeting as his hand gently brushed her cheek. She felt herself go warm all over. Maybe her day was about to get ten times better. When he invited her to ice cream, she knew things were going to be alright between Usagi and her. Usagi would see that Minako liked Ryu. However, she wasn't sure how Mamoru would feel.
'I'm sure Usagi will remind him of their love and romance,' she thought as she quickly agreed to Ryu's invitation. She gave him directions to her place and hurried home to catch a quick supper before dessert.
Once home, she saw Artemis had returned. She smiled at her dear friend and told him all about her upcoming date while she ate a quick meal. Artemis was very interested, and even helped her pick out a warm outfit for tonight. It was getting a little nippy.
"Thanks, Artemis. I'm so glad I have you as a friend."
Minako gave her cat a hug as they waited for Ryu to pick her up.
Kunzite was happy that Zoicite readily agreed with the change of plans. They would attack Michiru at the end of her concert. All would go well, and Zoicite would have the power and self-confidence he needed to succeed as a Shitennou for the Dark Kingdom. Kunzite would do anything for Zoicite, even destroy himself.
"I will lock up any strangers that are lingering around the backstage. I'm not sure I will be able to identify all her friends, but it's always better to play it safe. With the powers of the Dark Kingdom sealing them in, there will be no way any petty humans can escape from the cellar that will become their cage. By the time they emerge, they will be too late. Michiru will be gone."
Kunzite got excited at the opportunity of taking someone's life force. It had been too long since their queen had allowed them to hunt the humans like the pathetic animals they really were. Kunzite wanted blood. Of course, this was primarily Zoicite's kill, so he would have to let him enjoy the thrill of the hunt first. There would be time for more if they succeeded. Maybe Queen Perillia will let them have a bit of sport with the humans rather than always have to work behind the counter at a boring beauty salon. As the pair approached the salon, Kunzite saw that Jadeite was slacking off as usual. He was speaking with some guy outside the shop.
'I need to teach him some discipline,' Kunzite thought in annoyance as Zoicite suggested they enter through the back. Kunzite nodded in agreement and followed him inside. Kunzite picked up a vase from the break room and brought the roses to his work station. He knew the ladies who came to the salon, and even the occasional gentleman, would enjoy the fragrant blossoms. Zoicite wasted no time getting to work, but Kunzite wanted to speak with his queen about the Shitennou. He approached her carefully as she seemed distracted. She was holding a small box which she was looking at distastefully.
"My queen," he said in a soft voice, "I feel that we should discuss the discipline of the Shitennou and their role as workers for The Kawaii Beauty Salon. There has been disruptions in the ranks because some feel they work harder than others."
Kunzite hoped he was diplomatically addressing the issue. He knew that Jadeite needed to be taught some discipline, but his queen had taken a more active role in matters concerning the Shitennou, which left Kunzite feeling a little off-balance. He was used to be in charge, not being treated so much like a servant. He thought angrily of the earring.
Nephrite skipped his lunch. He wasn't in the mood to eat, and with everyone leaving the salon at the same time for lunch, he was feeling overwhelmed. He was confused as to why their queen was allowing the Shitennou to dilly-dally at will. She was usually stricter about these matters.
'It must be that man who caught her fancy,' Nephrite thought. He had seen the way that Queen Perillia looked at him. He might be alone, but he was still perceptive. 'Love is in the air, and I am the only one getting left out.'
He tried to not let that realization bother him as we watched the clock tick-tock down to closing. He was ready to call it an early night. They had a long day or work tomorrow at the math competition at the Juuban Middle School. They would be working the food booth as community volunteers.
'At least it will give me a break from hair stuff,' he thought as he prepared to close the shop. He made sure to hang the signs up that said where the staff would be and why they were closed. It also stated that if anyone came to the math competition and bought a food item, they would receive a discount coupon for the salon.
'I'm sure that will appease anyone who's mad about us being closed on a Friday night.'
After all the preparations were done, and Queen Perillia gave them leave to go home, Nephrite got into his silver Mercedes Benz and hurried to his mansion. Once there, he went straight to his bedroom and fell on the King size mattress. He closed his eyes and quickly fell into a dreamless sleep.
Setsuna had arrived at her penthouse. The interior of the penthouse was light and airy like her store. Like a page from Elle decore, it had a huge master bedroom with a very large bed and headboard made of soild mahogany. The bedroom had wood floors made of bamboo, a walk in closet, and a private bath. There was also two guest bedrooms, a well equipped kitchen that Makoto would envy, a small greenhouse with vegetable plants, a dining room with a beautiful view, and a living room with a 42 inch Sony LCD HDTV that had a blue ray dvd player under it.
Once inside, she placed her purse and Michiru's dress on the pink marble table by the door. Setsuna then headed to the master bedroom. She sat on the bed to take off her shoes. After massaging her feet a little, Setsuna went to the master bath. The master bath had a place where you could undress and put on your makeup. It had a seperate shower, whirlpool marble bath tub, and a separate area for scrubbing up. There was also a separate section for the toilet.
While the tub was being filled with jasmine scented water, Setsuna scubbed and rinsed herself off. She turned on the jets and sat in the tub for 25 minutes. A towel clad Setsuna headed back to the bedroom. She opened her closet to select a comfortable outfit to wear at Haruka's place. Setsuna choose a Tiffany blue square necked peasant shirt with denium capri pants and a pair of matching sandals. She did her hair in a simple but elegant ponytail. After getting dressed, Setsuna went back to the marble table by the door. Just before heading out again, she grabbed her purse and Michiru's dress. She caught another cab and headed over to Haruka's place. Setsuna had also texted her fellow Outer Senshi on her iPhone that she was on her way over there.
Zoicite threw himself into work with ease now that he had his love helping him. He felt so much better. He felt as light as air. This plan was going to work and his Queen would see how great he was once and for all! That musician would not stand against him.
It wasn't long before Peri ordered all her workers to go home for the night. Out of the corner of his eye, Zoicite noticed that Kunizte went off to talk to Perillia about something. This gave him the perfect chance to send another threating note to Michiru. Quickly taking out his blackberry storm and stepping outside, Zoicite called the local choclate shop.
Someone answered on the first ring, "Hello this is..." Zoicite didn't really listen to the girl's voice on the other end as she greeted him on the phone.
"Yes I would like to place an order for a two pound box of your assorited chocolates please," Zoicite asked the woman.
"Ah, yes, of course, and will this be for yourself, sir?" the sales lady asked.
"No. I would like you to send the box to a dear friend of mine, Kaioh Michiru," Zoicite said without hesitating. "And can you please have it sent to her apartment. That would be a great help."
"Yes, of course. Would you like to add a special note to that, sir?" She asked him. Zoicite thought about it for a moment before responding.
"Please, put in exact wording, I'll be coming for what I desire. Be prepared. All that you love will be taken from you."
"Very well, sir, and will there be anything else?"
"No, that is all. Thank you very much," Zoicite said and hung up before reentering the salon. Kunizite was still talking in the back with Perillia, so he sat down on one of the chairs and turned on the radio. A Kaioh Michiru song came on, and for the first time since hearing it, Zoicite felt at ease. He would take her down, and he would be the best!
When Hotaru approached the door, she almost found herself colliding with Ami. Minako, who she did not notice, pulled her out of the way just in time to avoid being hit.
"Where are you off to, Ami?" Minako questioned the blue-haired teen.
"I have math practice for tomorrow's competition. Sorry I can't stay longer. Here's your tickets for tomorrow. I'll see you both then!"
Ami gave the girls tickets to her competition before leaving.
I hope she wins. Hotaru thought to herself. She managed to catch what Minako said and nodded her head in agreement. Ami needed to be in top condition if she wanted to win.
They both walked inside to see everyone having fun. Hotaru caught a glimpse of Haruka and Michiru and proceeded to greet them but Minako beat her to it.
"Hi, everyone! Sorry I'm late! I had to run a quick errand before meeting you all here. But look who I ran into..."
Hotaru was rather nervous when she was getting all the attention for a short time. She wasn't used to people staring at her with delighted expressions. When a group of people stared of her, they were usually scorns or looks of resentment.
Motoki came over and helped them find room to sit. While Minako ended up sitting next to Haruka, Hotaru found herself sitting on the booth. She wasn't that far away from the group, but she wished she could sit with them. In this position, she couldn't talk to either Haruka or Michiru directly about what they needed to do when they got back as it was of total importance. She was also not as hungry as she thought she would be, so she just ordered a glass of water. The entire time, she sat in silence and only spoke when spoken too (mainly by Haruka) or laughed softly when everyone else was coming up with ridiculous ideas like Makoto and Rei competing in a cooking contest. While Hotaru did not know how good of a cook Makoto was, she seemed to get the picture that she was an excellent chief.
"Makoto," Hotaru began, "Are you going to bring a lunch for everyone for the math competition?" Hotaru questioned.
Makoto nodded her head. "It's the only way to get Usagi-chan out of bed and the perfect reward for Ami-chan when she wins tomorrow."
Everyone laughed except Usagi.
"You guys are so mean! I don't see why I have to wake up early when school's out!" she complained.
Haruka smirked as she playfully pulled on one of Usagi's odangos saying something about how "The early bird gets the worm" or something among those lines. At that point, Hotaru zoned out from the group. She couldn't stop thinking about the boy she encountered on the bus.
His name was Shimizu Keiichi...I wonder if I'll meet him again. Hotaru thought to herself. She wondered if Keiichi found what he was looking for. He didn't seem the type of person to know his surroundings. He was like...a walking zombie to her. A cute walking zombie she might add...
"Hotaru," Haruka called out causing her to snap out of her thoughts. "We should be going now."
Hotaru nodded her head. She felt the need to go back and rest. These unfamiliar thoughts were getting at her.
The trio gave their hugs to the others before going separate ways.
"Hotaru, are you going to make it back okay?" Haruka questioned as she and Michiru got on her motorcycle. "It's dark and I don't think it's safe for a little girl like you to go back to your place alone."
"I'm heading over to your apartment," Hotaru responded as she held out her cellphone. It had a text message from a certain someone. "We have an important issue to discuss."
After the meeting, Rei got a taxi from the Crown Game Center to her home. She was very happy to talk to her frineds again. She missed all the good times, and even the bad ones, she had with them. She twirled a strand of hair that was still sticky with soda and started to laugh.
At least I know now what my life was missing. Come to think of it, I sorta took everything for granted a bit. One never knows what one has lost untill one has really lost it. And I have got to make sure I never lose them again, my friends. Even you, Usagi, as much as I'm hard on you. No matter how much I pick on you, you are still very important to me Usagi...
Rei got out of the cab and went though the front gates walking up the temple steps. The afternoon air was very crisp and it was relaxing to her. She quickly when inside and was greated by her Grand-pa. Rei quicky talked with him a lil while and then went to take a shower before having dinner and settling in for the night.
Since the group was breaking apart, Usagi figured she ought to go home too. If she didn't go to bed early tonight, she would sleep in and miss Ami's math competition. She knew her best friend would never forgive her if she did that.
'Plus, now would be a perfect time to speak with Mamo-chan,' Usagi thought as she waited for him to pull his sports car around to the front of the game center. She saw Minako looking at her, like she wanted to come over and talk. Usagi decided to try and play it cool...act like she didn't see her friend eying her all funny.
'I wonder why things have been so complicated since we were awakened,' Usagi wondered. Her thoughts were pulled to another nearby conversation between Hotaru, Haruka, and Michiru. Haruka and Michiru were getting on a motorcycle that only fit two people.
'How is Hotaru going to get home? She shouldn't be walking home this late at night,' Usagi thought. 'I know Mamo-chan won't mind if we give Hotaru a ride to where she is going...although it means we won't get to talk tonight.'
In an instant, Usagi made up her mind. It was more important to give her new, young friend a ride home rather than force her to walk or catch the bus. Usagi walked over to the trio.
"Gomen ne, but I couldn't help overhearing your predicament. Mamoru and I would be happy to give you a ride, Hotaru."
Hotaru hesitated to accept the invitation. She was obviously a shy and insecure young girl. Usagi smiled hoping to encourage her to accept the invitation. She didn't need to try too hard, though, because Haruka thought it was the best course of action too.
"That is a wonderful idea, Odango. Hotaru is coming over to mine and Michiru's apartment, so your boyfriend can follow us there...if he can keep up. If you get lost, Hotaru know the way."
Usagi giggled at Haruka's competitiveness. Right about this time, Mamoru pulled to the curb. Usagi went over first and explained the situation to Mamoru. He was nonplussed about it and readily agreed to Usagi's suggestion. Usagi went back and told the others the good news.
"Actually, we won't be able to race you, Haruka. I need to get home as soon as possible. If I don't get to bed soon, I won't wake up for Ami's math competition."
"Maybe another time, Odango..." And with that, Haruka and Michiru sped away.
Usagi turned back to Hotaru. "You can sit in the passenger seat up front."
The two got in the car. As they drove away, Usagi noticed Minako come out and try to catch them. Before they rounded the corner, Usagi saw a young man with a blonde buzz-cut hairstyle approach her friend. Minako's whole demeanor changed from disappointment to excitement once she recognized the person.
'I wonder who he is...maybe I should have made more of an effort to speak with Minako,' Usagi wondered. She turned back to the others in the car and entered into some small talk. Usagi found herself holding up most of the conversations because both Mamoru and Hotaru were shy. It didn't matter to her, though, because she didn't want to think about the conversation that her and Mamoru should be having, should being the operative word.
"I'm so glad we are friends, Hotaru. If you ever need anything, here's my number so you can call me. I don't have a cell phone yet, so this is my home number."
Usagi watched as Hotaru punched it into her phone. Mamoru pulled up to Usagi's house.
"This is my stop," she announced as she quickly hopped out of the car. She didn't want Mamoru helping her out or walking her to the door. She didn't feel comfortable giving him a goodnight kiss right now.
"I'll see you both tomorrow."
Usagi hurried up to her house and escaped inside. She let out a sigh of relief as she smelled dinner cooking.
'That's what I need to take my mind off this whole mess,' she thought happily as she bounded into the kitchen. There were two things that always stayed consistent in her life: food and her family.
'Thanks goodness for some stability,' she thought as she called out a greeting to her family. OOC: Oh yeah, feel free to play mine and Mitsu's character as needed, Gintax (especially concerning the conversations in the car). I'm not sure when Mitsu is going to post, so you might want to speed things along to get yourself to Haruka's for your meeting.
OOC: Hi everyone! I know it has been a while, but life has been a bit busy for me. I have written about Peri on Thrusday evening. I wait for Friday to add more stuff. Enjoy! The day had quickly come to an end for Perillia. Her encounter with the tall dark-haired gentleman had taken most of her attention away from the realities of the world of her servants and customers. All she could think of was the young man's looks, features, and that perfect smile. It had intoxicated her enough that she sent her servants home without question. She didn't care about their meaningless squabble for higher rank. She had only two things on her agenda: (1.) strengthening the Dark Kingdom's power to control the Earth and (2.) finding and capturing her one true love. However, the encounter with this young gentleman found itself on her short to-do list.
The dimmed orange light from the partially set Sun darkened the redhead's body, creating a moving silhouette against the windows of the Kawaii Beauty Salon. Peri, unlike other times, had decided to leave the salon from the front of the building. Deep within soul, she took a simple leap of faith. By walking out on to the sidewalk, she had hoped to encounter her true love or the man who had captivated her attention. But all that she found was a small Calico kitten crying from a nearby tree.
A cool breeze lifted a few fallen leaves off the ground as it brushed against Perillia's body. Feeling the coolness, she put on her black wool coat and preceded to walk over to the crying kitten. She wasn't sure why she had decided to heed the kitten's cry, but something deep within her felt compelled to help the tiny little kitten.
“You know,” Peri began to speak to meowing kitten, “once I have accomplished my mission, this world will be mine.”
The innocent kitten, looking back at the red-headed woman, jumped from the branch of the tree, landing on Peri's dark wool coat while digging its little claws as it held on for dear life.
“Persistent,” Peri noticed the kitten's plight, “I am impressed.” She took the kitten into her cupped hands and smiled as the Calico feline began to curl up into a ball of black-white-yellow fur. “You rest. We have a big day tomorrow. Actually...everyday is a big day for us.” Peri held the kitten close to her body as the two left the tree behind and moved toward fate's destiny.
Having said her farewells to everyone, Makoto quietly left the arcade center and took a short bus trip back to her section of town. She felt a little confused still, her restored memories were a bit out of sequence. It was why she had been so quiet at the arcade, but she knew things would settle into place in time. Stepping off the bus three blacks from her apartment, the brunette looked up at a pair of passing cats as she walked along the sidewalk. She knew something bad was on the horizon, just like before. It was like a storm gathering in the distance that she could only just barely see.
OOC: That's it for me until the next episode. Hopefully I'll be more productive then.
Mamoru pulled his car up to and saw Usagi as she came over to where he had parked to pick her up. Though he was at first confused, but he agreed to give Hotaru a ride to Haruka and Michiru’s apartment. When they got in the car, he wasn’t too surprised that Usagi had opted to sit in the backseat rather than her usual seat upfront. Nothing could repair the damage he and Minako had caused between themselves and Usagi and he felt lower than the lowest life form on Earth that he’d hurt the one he loved the most. He fasted his seat belt and started the car heading in the direction of Usagi’s home. When they arrived at her house and she quickly jumped out of his car announcing that it was her stop and then darted inside, he didn’t blame her for doing so. If he were in her shoes, he’d probably act kind of the same way if she’d betrayed him like he did her. Pulling away from her house, he started to make his way to Haruka and Michiru’s apartment to drop off Hotaru, thinking about he could make this up to Usagi.
OOC: just gettin back in. I hope this is okay for a return post
While Setsuna was still inside the taxi, she saw Haruka and Michiru whizz by her. She arrived at their appartment not too long after Haruka and Michiru had taken off their helmets. "I see that you two are doing well." Setsuna replied.
"So are you." Haruka replied hiding her shock of seeing Setsuna.
"What brings you here?" Michiru asks Setsuna.
"To have a friendly little chat and to give Michiru her dress for the concert on Saturday." Setsuna replied.
Not too long after they greeted each other, Hotaru arrived. After exchanging greetings with her, they went inside the appartment.
Shortly after they were inside the appartment, Setsuna handed Michiru the dress. Michiru went to her bedroom to try the dress on. She stepped out into the living room with the dress on. It was a cobalt blue dress that went down to Michiru's knees; had a wide ruffle going from her right shoulder to the bodice of the dress. The ruffle also covered her right shoulder. The left side was sleaveless. The dress was an A line and complimented Michiru's figure. Everyone admired the dress.
"In case you're wondering, I designed that while I was at the Time Gate." Setsuna told Haruka and Hotaru the question they were thinking.
When Michiru had returned to the living room; she was in some comfortable clothing. She sat next to Haruka on the loveseat.
"Now I will tell you why I am here. It is because there is a strange red moon that is disturbing the flow of time. I need to know what you have observed since this moon has appeared." Setsuna told the three of them.
OCC: This was a very challenging post since I have to temp Haruka and Michiru when Pluto needs to interact with them. Sorry if Haruka and Michiru were out of character. I tried to be basic with them as possible. Hopefully the GM will let the one who ususally does Michiru let her know what her dress (that Setsuna designed for her) looks like. Hopefully everyone liked it.
OOC: No problem Empress, thanks for doing that...I'm figuring how to portray Haruka as good as Lovely >.< Anyway *ahem* here I go roleplaying both Haruka and Michiru for now...
Running a hand through her hair thoughtfully, Michiru answered "I'm not sure, but that red moon...to me it just feels foreboding something dark is going to happen but I'm not sure...shall I consult the mirror". She tried not to show the anxiety across her features, it was earlier on in that day that she had recieved a box of chocolates with yet another threatening note and it concerned her greatly with the increase of gifts and disturbing notes.
I'll be coming for what I desire, be prepared for I am coming and all that you love will be taken from you.
What did the message mean and why was she given them. Of course she would not tell Haruka, it would concern her love way too much. Casting the said woman a side glance, Michiru watched as Haruka rubbed her left shoulder tenderly while hugging her and spoke up her thoughts "I do agree with Michi, we should look into her mirror and see if it presents any theories". Her navy blue eyes turned to ocean blue filled with love and Michiru felt the warmth overcome her fears again.
Still she could not tell Haruka about her dilemna, it was her problem to solve and she was no damsel in distress. Smiling back, Michiru pushed back the threatening notes at the back of her head as she stood up, offering "Shall I get the mirror then Setsuna-san?"
Haruka knew Michiru was unsettled about something, she could feel it in her stomach that her girlfriend was holding back something and anxious...anxious but would not tell and be the tough girl. Letting out a sigh, she listened to why Setsuna returned from the Gates of Time and recalled the red moon they saw a week ago.
Watching Michiru speak up, Haruka leaned over hugging her shoulders tenderly in an attempt to ease the concern that Michiru was so desperately trying to cover from her facial expression 'Why won't you tell me Michi...what is going on?' Haruka thought sadly piping up in agreeance with her girlfriend "I do agree with Michi, we should look into her mirror and see if it presents any theories".
Haruka turned her head, strands of her sandy blonde hair covering her navy blue eyes and they connected, she smiled at Michiru and felt her heart lift with ease as the anxiety washed away from Michiru's face and joy and warmth returned to her face. She continued to watch her only to release her arm around her shoulders as Michiru stood up offering to grab her mirror from their bedroom.
It wasn't until Haruka realised someone was missing "Where is Hotaru-chan?"
Setsuna nodded her head. While Michiru was getting the mirror, Setsuna saw the worried look on Haruka's face. "You seemed very troubled Haurka-san. May I ask what is bothering you?" She asked.
"Thanks for the concern. Just worried about Michi." Haruka replied.
She knew could not hide anything from Setsuna and told Setsuna about her recent concerns with Michiru.
Setsuna listened carefully. She knew of Michiru's problem with a stalker and decided not to tell Haruka about it; since it would only worry her friend even more. Also, it was a neccessary event to make the first part of her mission succeed.
"It will be alright Haruka-san. After the concert everything will right as rain." She replied in a comforting tone.
Ami opened the door to the math room. She looked around but no one was in site. Ami gasped and looked down at her watch. 'I am not late... I am actually early. I wonder who is here.'
"Hello?" Ami said. There was a sudden crash coming from the closet. Ami walked in to get a closer look. Ryo jumped out of the closet, which made Ami scream. Once she saw it was Ryo she started blushing.
"Er.. Sorry I just wanted to get things ready for you and everyone...." said Ryo.
"You scared me!" Ami said punching him in the arm.
Ryo rubbing his arm, started walking closer to Ami. "I am so sorry.." He said gazing into Ami's eyes. They quietly stood starting into each others eyes, slowly leaning closer to each other. They were close to closing the distance between them when.. someone walked in. The both jumped back, still looking at each other.
"Um.. Ryo ... yeah.. Can you pull out some more tables..." Ami said flustered. She knew she was still blushing, the other student gave her a weird look and went to help Ryo. After that everyone came piling in. Ami and Ryo didn't have another chance to be alone, though they gave each other a smile whenever their eyes met.
'Wow,' Ami thought to her self walking home. 'I almost had my first kiss!' Ami reached her house and walked up the stairs. 'I can't think about Ryo tonight. I have to focus on studying!' With that thought in mind Ami studied until she went to bed.
OOC: Ok the gamemaster asked if I would temp as Hotaru and so here I am I hope I do her justice lol
I know its a short post but I hope this will do.
"Where is Hotaru-chan?" Hotaru heard her name from the other room and quickly joined the others in the living room. She sat upon one of the couches next to Setsuna. She eyed everyone with curious wide eyes. She really didn't understand about the red moon that appeared a week ago. Though she remembered the woman Peri and the odd feeling that she had gotten from her, but other than that she really didn't know much about it. And the other Sailor Scouts that had appeared the one that called herself Sailor Moon Hotaru had sensed a strong power coming from her.
Hotaru was brought out of her own thoughts when Michiru came back with her mirror, it would tell them a clue of what was to come. Hotaru also new that Setsuna was coming to the meeting but why she was here Hotaru had no idea.
Tsukinousagi and Drake Aiden
OOC: I know it's been a while since my last post, but I am just getting over my cold! It really took its toll on me this holiday/winter. I'm happy to "get back into the action." To start off, I'm posting a long dual post written by Drake and I, our handsome and sinister Jadeite. I hope everyone enjoys our writing! We switch between calling him Ryu or Jadeite, depending upon which one of us was writing. Hopefully, that is not too confusing for the readers. To confirm, neither Minako nor Aiko know that Jadeite's real identity. They simply know him as Ryu.
Jadeite made it back to the salon after his extended lunch break. He was cursing himself for asking Minako out. He knew that he had other plans for tonight, but he would just have to push those plans back later than expected. He also needed to talk to Nephrite about Zoicite, who was acting particularly strange of late. He headed over to his station and noticed a box with a red ribbon wrapped around it. He picked it up, shook it, and then placed it back on his station.
I will deal with this later.
The day dragged on and Jadeite was ready to get out of the salon. The customers had been particularly needy today.
Jadeite took off to get ready for his date. Since the salon was so busy, he didn’t get a chance to talk to Nephrite. He decided to call and leave a message on his phone saying that he wanted to talk with Nephrite about an important matter. Once home, he changed into a sweater and some dark jeans. Just as he was leaving, he saw the box hanging out of his backpack. He walked over, picked it up, and opened it. He saw the charms that he had given Minako. He picked up the gems and crushed them in his hands. He threw the remaining parts at the wall and walked outside. Unbeknown to him, a letter that Minako had written fell to the floor with the crumbled remains of the gift.
He hopped on his bike and headed to Minako’s house. He got off his bike and walked up the path to the door and knocked.
Minako had been anxiously waiting for Ryu. With Artemis' help, she had dressed in warm clothes: tight blue jeans and a long black sweater. Her hair was tied back with her traditional bow. As she was applying some light pink lipstick, there was a loud knock on the door.
"It's him, Artemis!"
Artemis smiled back and waved her off. "Remember to have fun!" 'And keep your mind off Mamoru,' he thought privately.
She nodded and hurried out the door. She had put some money in her back jeans pocket earlier. She didn't want to drag a purse along. When she opened the door, she was glad that she had dressed warmly and left the purse behind. On the street was parked a motorcycle. Minako remembered the thrilling experience she had when she rode on a bike with Haruka. She was bound to have more fun with Ryu. She locked the door and followed him to his bike.
"I didn't know you owned a motorcycle." She gingerly felt the bike as she complimented its beauty.
“There is a lot that you don’t know about me,” he said smugly. "Hop on. You look beautiful tonight.” He handed her his spare helmet. Once Minako was on he slowly pull away from the curb.
Minako was surprised at his comment. She guessed it was true. She didn't know much about Ryu, but in her heart and soul she hoped he was a good man...her true love. Plus, they had plenty of time to get to know each other.
"Thank you," she responded to his compliment about her looks. She warmed under the appraising glances he gave her body.
“Hold on tight,” he said.
She took the helmet from him and held on tightly as he pulled away from the curb. She wasn't scared to ride a motorcycle, not since her last encounter with Haruka. She gripped him firmly merely because she wanted to feel his muscles underneath her hands. He was well-built for having such a small frame.
Ryu drove to a Benihana restaurant. He was hungry and desired more than just ice cream. He pulled into a stall and parked. He got off the bike and helped Minako. He took her helmet and his in one arm and reached for Minako’s hand as they entered the restaurant. The waitress greeted them and then seated them at a table in the back.
They arrived at their final destination in no time. Ryu collected their helmets and held Minako's hand. She felt like they were boyfriend and girlfriend as they approached the restaurant. Minako was surprised at the new location, but Ryu explained how he really needed some food once they were inside.
“Order whatever you like,” he said. “I hope this is okay. I haven’t eaten dinner and ice cream is not a good substitute for dinner.”
She glanced at the menu and the chefs who were putting on shows for the customers. She had heard of this type of dining experience, where dinner became a show, but she had never had the pleasure to eat at one before. She could barely contain her excitement as she ordered some soda from the waitress. Ryu assured her that she could purchase anything she wanted, which she was glad about. All the meal options were really expensive. She felt honored that Ryu would take her here. Her only regret was that she was not dressed fancier.
"Thank you so much for taking me here, Ryu. I've never dined at such a place. Are you a frequent customer?"
She ordered a chicken teriyaki meal when the waitress reappeared.
Jadeite ordered the Benihana Yakisoba Dinner and a Strawberry Passion Delight to drink. He took Minako’s menu and handed it to the waitress with a smile. “Thank you,” he said with a smile. The waitress smiled in return and sashayed off.
“I have been here before,” he said. “I usually bring someone special with me when I come.” He reached across the table and gently stroked Minako’s cheek. He withdrew his hand when the waitress returned with the drinks. He didn’t even look at the waitress even though she was giving him sexy looks. She even leaned in close to expose her nice cleavage, trying to draw his attention away from his date. However, he kept his eyes on Minako though the waitress kept flirting with him.
Minako smiled happily. He considered her someone special. Why else would he invite her to come here? The gentle caress of his hand on her cheek only furthered her suspicions that he really had strong feelings for her, nay maybe even loved her. She closed her eyes while he touched her. She felt warm all over, especially in her nether regions. It was an odd sensation; she had never lusted after someone before. He slowly withdrew his hand, and she let out a little sigh of excitement and frustration as she opened her beautiful blue eyes to stare into the depths of his. She saw smoky hunger in his depths. He desired her as a man desired any woman. Could she handle such an intense relationship? She was so much younger than him. Minako quickly averted her eyes and took a sip of her soda when the waitress brought their drinks. Her throat had suddenly felt very parched.
“Have you been on a bike before? You seem to have the 'holding on' technique down,” he said slyly, hoping that she would catch the undertone of his comment.
“Yes, I rode on my friend Haruka’s bike just today. At first I was really scared. I wouldn’t even open my eyes. Eventually, the thrill of the whole experience got to me. I feel like I’m flying when I’m on the bike. I think someday I will buy one.”
Minako had carefully chosen to ignore his double innuendo and kept her eyes averted.
She has great looking boobs, he thought to himself. I wonder if she looks just as good undressed. He started smiling at the thought.
“A girl who enjoys an exciting bike ride is always good in my book. Perhaps we can go for another ride after dinner, that is unless you need to get home early?” Jadeite asked.
Minako shook her head. "We can go for a short ride. I have to get up early for a math competition that my friend is in at Juuban Middle School. If I stay out too late, I probably won't get up, and then she would be mad at me."
For some strange reason, Minako felt like Ryu was undressing her at the restaurant. He was gazing too intently at her with hungry eyes. Luckily, Minako was kept from further conversation by the arrival of the chef and their appetizers. The show was about to begin. She sipped at her Miso soup as the chef began slicing and dicing the ingredients. She clapped with the other patrons at their table, who had joined Ryu and Minako at some point when they were talking. She got nervous when the chef started throwing the knives and spices in the air, but he seemed to know what he was doing. He handled everything with a finesse sharpened by experience and practice. After soup, she started eating her salad. At this point, the chef was already cooking shrimp appetizers. He even threw some into the eager mouths of the diners. Minako was nervous when her turn came up, but she caught the grilled shrimp easily enough. In fact, no one at their table dropped a shrimp. Everything the chef did enthralled her. She particularly liked the onion volcano.
During the dinner show, Jadeite’s phone began to buzz in his pocket. He pulled it out and glanced at the caller id. It was one of his female friends that he had postponed on. He sent the call to his voicemail. He looked up and Minako was looking at him. He held her gaze.
Turning away from the show, Minako smiled deeply into Jadeite’s eyes. “I’m having the time of my life!”
‘How could I have ever thought that Mamoru and I had a future together with Ryu being as amazing as he is? Usagi can have her prince. I think I have finally found mine.’
Jadeite smiled in response to Minako's happy comment.
You haven’t seen anything yet. Their meal was served and conversation was limited while they ate. He was glad that he had chosen this place to eat. He was very hungry.
“Dessert?” the waitress said.
“Always. Dessert is the best part,” he said eying the waitress before turning to Minako with his charming smile. “I would like Yummi -Taki,” he said to the waitress.
“Please order what you would like, babe. “
When the waitress finally asked if she wanted dessert, Minako shook her head vigorously in the negative. She hadn't failed to notice that the woman definitely wanted Ryu's attention.
'What a hussy! Flirting with someone else's date,' Minako thought in annoyance.
"I am too stuffed to eat another morsel. I hope you enjoy your dessert, though, Ryu."
Ryu ate his desert in silence. He listened to the other restaurant patrons talk. His phone began to vibrate again while he was eating. He took his phone out of his pocket and checked to see what was happening. He had missed a call from Nephrite, who had obviously gotten Jadeite’s call regarding Zoicite.
Things look like they are getting back on track.
Minako noticed that Ryu's phone kept distracting him. She was curious as to who was calling and whether he needed to leave. However, she didn't want to ask him annoying questions. After all, this was their first real date.
He looked up at Minako. He could tell that she wanted to ask him something, but he didn’t want to seem nosy. Instead, he let the issue drop.
Jadeite flagged down the waitress and handed her 160 dollars to cover the meal and a business card, which he hoped the waitress would use either for the salon or for more personal matters.
Minako waited patiently for Ryu to pay for the dinner and bowed deeply to thank him.
He helped Minako from her seat and escorted her out to the bike.
“Let’s ride,” he said handing her a helmet.
She strapped on the helmet, wrapped her arms tightly around his chest, and leaned her head against his back. Her blonde hair flew out behind her as they took a scenic route by the ocean. The saltiness in the air tickled Minako's nose. Everything smelled clean and fresh. She didn't want the night to end. She also couldn't help wondering why Ryu wasn't mad that she had returned the gifts he gave her. He hadn't mentioned them yet, and she was worried that he had taken her out on this date without even opening the box.
'What if his boss had not given him the box? I will be so embarrassed. I really hope he is not mad when he opens it. Maybe I should ask him about it...'
Jadeite drove the scenic route down near the ocean. He knew that Minako would like seeing the ocean cause girls were into that sort of thing. He enjoyed the feel of the bike and having Minako clinging to him and rubbing his chest. They drove around for another twenty minutes. It had been a while since Jadeite had taken a ride on his bike just for enjoyment. Eventually, he took Minako home. He helped her off of the bike. Minako’s beautiful lips began to quiver as she contemplated asking him a question.
“So what is this Math competition all about?” he said leaning against his bike.
Her lips were moving slightly as she tried to get the courage to ask him her question. Instead, Ryu asked her a question about the math competition. She had invited him to attend the competition earlier that morning on the phone, but he hadn't agreed as to whether he would attend with her. She was hoping that would be their first date. She never dreamed that they would spend dinner together and ride his bike.
"My friend Ami is competing. I don't go to the same school, but I promised her I would attend to show my support. I was hoping you would want to come as my date. I thought it could be our first 'official' date, that was until you invited me to dinner. I'm not sure you can get time off from the salon this late, though. It is practically all day Friday."
Jadeite really wasn’t paying attention to the words that Minako was saying; he was watching her lips and thinking about all of the other things she could be doing with them.
“I will see what I can do about getting the day off,” he said standing up and leaning closer to Minako. His intent was to kiss her. He placed his hand behind her head, guiding her and her lips closer to him. He was eager to feel her soft lips against his and to know if they were as soft as they looked. Before he could act on his fantasy, his phone buzzed again.
Shit! he said to himself letting his hand slowly slip from the back of Minako’s head. He could tell that she was enjoying the sensation of him running his hand through her hair. He didn’t bother looking at his phone; he knew who it was and what it was about.
Minako felt guilty. It wasn't fair to want to kiss him. She knew she should mention the gift she has returned and ask him if he had opened it. Instead, she hoped desperately that he could the day off from work. As he came closer, her heart picked up. She was nervous. This would be their first kiss. It had to be perfect. She closed her eyes and let him guide her closer. The loud buzzing of his phone interrupted their moment. Minako felt awkward and disappointed.
'Why does his phone keep going off?'
“I am sorry...I didn’t mean to rush things...I will text you tomorrow about the competition...I am sure it will not be a problem,” he said smiling. He walked Minako up to her door. He took her hand and placed a gentle kiss on the back of it.
“Until tomorrow, gorgeous.”
She was frustrated that he walked her to the door without an explanation regarding his phone. She knew he was right about moving too fast, but her body wanted him in ways it had never desired another person.
He walked back to his bike, he could feel Minako’s eyes watching him as he left. Before he hoped on his bike, he sent a text message to Peri asking for the day off.
Time for a little adult fun, he said to himself as he drove to his apartment.
Minako felt like saying a bad word as she watched him drive away. She was angry at his hasty exit as well as at herself for not stepping up to the plate and asking him her question. She walked inside and ignored Artemis who looked at her with questioning eyes. She knew Ryu would not answer his phone because he was on his bike, but she wanted to leave a message about the gift.
"Ryu, I didn't get to ask you about the gift I returned to you or if you had even opened the box. Please make sure you read the note I put with it. I hope you understand how I feel...or at least felt at the time I gave it to you. We hadn't even gone out on a first date, and it seemed wrong to accept such an expensive gift. I look forward to your call tomorrow, and I hope you can come to the math competition as my date. Good night."
Artemis raised one of his kitty eyebrows. "Well...?"
"It was almost perfect...I reminded him about the math competition; I had invited him earlier this morning. He said he would call me tomorrow if he can go." Minako yawned. "I guess I should get to bed, or I won't wake up."
Artemis readily agreed and the pair quickly got ready for bed and fell asleep.
Jadeite made it home quickly by taking the back streets. He felt a little annoyed for letting Minako's lips seduce him. He shrugged off the feelings because he knew he couldn’t help but look for an easy score when it came to women. As he walked up to his apartment, Jadeite listened to Minako’s message. He remembered he had crushed the returned gift out of anger. He wasn’t going to tell Minako that. He was just going to tell her that he had received her gift and understood where she was coming from tomorrow morning at the math competition.
Aiko was waiting for him at his apartment door.
“Your late...did you have some fun with your little school girl?” she asked.
Jadeite laughed. “Jealous?”
“Of her? Of course not. She could never do the things we do together,” she replied. As Jadeite walked inside, he saw the crumpled piece of paper lying on the floor. He picked it up, read it, and then trashed it. Walking to Aiko, he kissed her roughly. Tonight they would have wild and rough sex. He wanted to make her feel all his frustrations over Minako. He knew she liked it rough anyways. She quickly led him to the bedroom. The door closed just as Jadeite picked up some silk ropes.
“You seem troubled Haruka-san. May I ask what is bothering you?”
Haruka blinked momentarily, replying in her usual cool tone, “Thanks for the concern. I’m just worried about Michi...”
I know she’s hiding something from me, Haruka thought, feeling torn. She couldn’t tell if her disconcerting feeling was from jealousy from the anonymous admirer Michiru had gained or if she was in fact in more serious trouble. Only time would tell. I just don’t want to wait to find out...
Upon realizing Hotaru’s absence, the petite senshi joined them in the living room.
“Oy, Hotaru-chan,” Haruka called. “What took you so long?”
”Gomenasai Haruka-sempai,” She replied, sitting beside Setsuna. “Mamoru-sempai just dropped me off. What’s going on?”
Haruka put her ankle across her knee. “Setsuna has brought news of a lunar disturbance. A foreboding event it about to take place.”
Hotaru nodded, listening carefully.
”Setsuna,” Haruka began again, breaking the small silence. “The blood red moon...we saw it appear right before the tsunami hit the festival at Juuban.” She cast her eyes down. “Luckily no one was seriously hurt, but the damages to the school may take months to repair.” She looked up at Setsuna again. “During the tsunami, Sailor Senshi appeared, not too long after we arrived.”
Hotaru nodded. “Sailor Moon...”
Haruka nodded in agreement. “She was the leader. Four other senshi accompanied her. Along with a male senshi.”
“Tuxedo Kamen,” Michiru piped on with a grin. Both Haruka and Michiru exchanged knowing glances.
”They were definitely fighting on our side.” Haruka paused for a moment, reflecting on other observations she had made during the festival. She recalled a strange sensation when approaching a booth. What was the name of the booth again? She looked over at Hotaru who had a distant look in her eyes. “Hotaru-chan,” she asked. “Do you remember seeing anything suspicious or strange during the festival?”
“Suspicious or strange?” Hotaru repeated.
“I had an odd sensation come over me when we arrived at Juuban,” Haruka admitted.
“Was it possibly the tsunami you sensed approaching?” Michiru asked.
”Tabune (Maybe), but I also felt a strange presence when we approached a particular vendor. The name escapes me at the moment.”
“Suspicious booth?” Hotaru repeated again, recalling a vendor she had visited that did seem odd.
“Doushita no (What’s the matter) Hotaru-chan?” Haruka asked.
“Hmm...there was a booth with a strange woman I remembered. I believe it was Kawaii Beauty Salon.”
“Hai! That was it!” Haruka exclaimed. When we approached the booth I felt a very dark energy there. Very strong. Two men were helping at the booth. I felt a similar sensation after dropping off Minako-chan in front of the same salon... Her thoughts trailed as she tried to put pieces together.
“A woman from the salon booth gave me a sample when I first arrived at the festival,” Hotaru said.
“The workers at the booths are supposed to give samples to encourage more visitors and customers to go to their booths,” Haruka concluded.
“Doesn’t seem out of the ordinary,” Michiru agreed.
“Demo...she seemed almost too eager for me to take it,” Hotaru continued. “Before then, a man from the booth had introduced me to her.”
“What about the woman who gave you the samples?” Setsuna asked.
“She was tall, pretty, with red hair.”
The guest speaker at the festival, Haruka thought recalling the crowd of women shouting her name during the contest drawing. “What about the man who introduced you to her?”
“Hmm...” Hotaru thought carefully. “I don’t really remember. He was a in a worker’s uniform though.”
”Honestly Haruka, is it necessary to build suspicion on everyone at the booth?” Michiru asked. “Especially with little proof?”
“Just a hunch I have. I don’t believe it to be a coincidence. Something was ‘off’ at the festival. A presence that shouldn’t have been there. And I’m not referring to the sailor senshi or the tsunami. This was an unnatural, dark force.” She looked at Hotaru. “I’d like to look at the samples that were given to you later if you don’t mind.”
Hotaru nodded. Haruka glanced over at a quiet Michiru. She looked deep in thought. Reaching over to touch her cheek, she said “Michiru-san, what does your mirror show? What do you see?” And what are you thinking love?...
OOC: Hey everyone! Sorry for the delayed post. I finally found time to read what everyone had posted and write a hint of a plot..I'm hoping its not too redundant. But at least the outer senshi can do some investigating on their own. And since Haruka had several experiences where she felt dark energy, I figured it was time for her to address it with the other scouts. At least so they could look into it together.
To Setsuna & Guardian: Thanks for temporary playing me during my long absence. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things.
To Michiru!—I didn’t want to describe any of the visions you might see in the mirror, so I left it open for you to address it before cutting out for the math competition.
Alrighty...that’s it for now.
OOC: I was not planning to post again, but the phone call in Selena's and Drake's post made me want to address that point before we move to the next day. I'm taking Nephrite's character into a darker place in the next couple of episodes. This post is a little intense.
Welcome back, Lovely. The RPG wasn't the same when you were gone. There was a buzzing and vibrating noise that irritated Nephrite as he slept. It kept going off, as if it were a reminder. He picked his head up slightly from the California King size mattress and looked to the right. His cell phone was flashing a neon white color. Someone had left a message. It would not stop buzzing and vibrating until he acknowledged it.
'Might as well listen to it too,' he thought as he sat all the way up on the bed. His neck and back were stiff from the angle he had slept in. He felt disorientated. Instead of his usual dreams about Naru, he had thought of the woman from the salon.
"Setsuna," he whispered as he stared at the business card that was next to the phone. She was lovely, so perhaps his infatuation was merely a sexual one. He could never betray Naru with another woman, no matter how enticing. He picked up the card and put it away in the dresser next to his bed. Then, he checked the voice mail. Jadeite had called about an "important matter" but had failed to describe what the problem was.
'Typical Jadeite. He prefers to leave you in the dark until the last moment. That way, he maintains the power. Knowing him, it has something to do with Zoicite. Their rivalry is childish.'
He stood up and walked over to the window. He looked into the darkness, at the empty street outside. It mirrored the emotions in his own heart and soul. He listened to the ringing idly, and then left Jadeite a message.
"Let's talk about this 'important matter' at the Juuban math competition tomorrow. I'll arrive early, before our Queen and the rest of the Shitennou. That way, we can talk in private."
Setting the phone down on top of the dresser, he started to strip off his clothes which he had slept in.
'Jadeite is off chasing some skirt. She's probably taking all of him right now.'
Nephrite got hard thinking about sex. At first, he visualized the inexperienced Naru. He would be able to control and dominate her. He walked into the bathroom as he rubbed himself. Just as suddenly, his thoughts switched to Setsuna, to being helpless under her more experienced hands. That was all it too. He lost the urge to masturbate. He didn't want to be under someone else's control. He had Queen Perillia for that.
Turning toward the mirror, he stared at his reflection. His long brown hair flowed freely as he ripped the annoying neck-length wig off. His hair tumbled around his shoulders like a lion's mane. But he didn't feel like a lion. He felt like a lost cub. He was too concerned with love and his past life. These gentle emotions were making him weak. Getting angry, he punched the mirror. It shattered around him with a couple of shards hitting his chest. The glass sparkled like little pieces of jewels as they dropped to the tile floor. His hand bleed, but he felt good. He felt better. Nephrite was in control again.
"Anger is the answer," he said out loud. He stepped on the glass, let it dig deeply into his bare feet, as he made his way to the shower. The pain took away the other emotions, the ones he should not have. He felt like the lion he so desperately wanted to be.
"Maybe I will even go hunting tomorrow." His mind wandered to thoughts of Naru who was surely to be at the festival, even to thoughts of the new woman he met. These were not friendly thoughts, though. He wanted to hurt them and others. He wanted them all to feel the pain he felt.
As he got into the shower, he contemplated this animal urge he was cultivating. He hungered for the pain of the humans. He hungered for Naru's pain.
"I will break her heart. Then I will take her life. No one will stop me."
As the Outer Senshi spoke of the red moon and the Inner Senshi, Hotaru's mind wondered from time to time. She was definitely trying to focus on the matter but she found it impossible when she still could only think about the boy on the bus. This wasn't the time to be thinking about boys though when the fate of the world is at stake by this new evil.
It was when Haruka turned her attention to her that she was forced to recall the odd vendor machine that she came upon.
"“Hmm...there was a booth with a strange woman I remembered. I believe it was Kawaii Beauty Salon.”
Haruka was then able to recall that she felt a suspicious aura coming from the booth and the people working at it. Hotaru could say that Haruka was just being suspicious about everything just because of this little detail. Although, they couldn't be to careful. That thought made Hotaru agree to let Haruka borrow a sample of Kawaii Beauty Salon's hair product that she received from the industrious women.
Once Haruka turned her attention back to her girlfriend, Hotaru found herself zoning out again.
I need to stop this. Hotaru thought to herself. This is probably the only time I'll see him. Although, if I look really hard during the concert, then I might see him. She shook her head. I must be tired...
"Hotaru, are you okay?"
Setsuna's voice snapped her out of her thoughts. "Yes, just a little tired."
What shocked the youngest senshi member was that Haruka and Michiru were already finished their small target as their attention was on her.
"Hotaru, you need me to take you home?" Haruka questioned. "It wouldn't be nice if you collapsed on the way home."
"Thank you." She thanked. Indeed, she had overexerted herself today but it was worth it to meet Usagi and her friends. "Is there something else we need go over before Haruka takes me home?"
OOC: So sorry for not being online. Well, chemistry + evil teacher = hell I'm just not doing well in that class with a B+ and I find myself opening that stupid packet about the elements. My sister printed out everything since my last post and I feel bad for missing out. -sweatdrop-
Well, Nee-chan made it look like Hotaru was distracted by something and she is by Keiichi-kun. I left the thing open for any of the Outer Senshi to make one last important statement before Haruka takes Hotaru home.
Thanks GuardianoftheMoon for tempting me while I was gone with my sister. Hopefully this post is good enough...never mind, it can't make up the month and promise I said I would be on Winter Break...Pokemon Platinum was just awesome. -_- So was my birthday in general. -sweatdrop- I'm rambling now so...I'll be making my leave.
OOC: I'm sorry it took me so long to post this. I re-caught my old cold. Can you believe that!?! I'm also a little rusty as Michiru. Hopefully, I can still do her character justice.Michiru retrieved the mirror from her's and Haruka's bedroom. When it was not in use, she kept it stored in the back of their closet in a decorative box. She pulled it out and caressed the cold glass. In it's reflection, she saw the pink Jasmine roses that her "admirer" had left her. She shivered as she recalled the second gift: a box of chocolates. Both gifts had to be from the same admirer, right? She had crumpled the message and thrown it away with the chocolates in the dumpster outside their apartment. But why had she chosen to keep these flowers? Suddenly, Michiru was angry. She would not let some deranged fan scare her in her own home. She had more important things to deal with. Michiru picked up the roses and dumped them in the bathroom trashcan. Then, she hurried to the others who were waiting in the living room. She was still surprised to see Sailor Pluto sitting in their living room. The Guardian of Time never showed up unless there were extremely dangerous matters afoot.
'What is going on?' she wondered for the tenth time that day. 'Hopefully, when we connect with these new Senshi, we will be able to deal with the evil force that threatens Earth and the universe.'
"Silence, please, while I focus my energies on the mirror."
Michiru held the mirror facing her. She closed her eyes and let the power of Sailor Neptune flow from her to the mirror. She asked for the meaning behind the red moon. She asked for a sign about their foe. Would the gods answer her request? The mirror fogged. The room darkened as the lights flickered. Michiru didn't have to open her eyes to see what the mirror beheld. There was a woman...or was it a man...that was chasing her. She was in human form. She tripped. The person reached for her, and a searing pain crept from where the hand touched. She felt so tired.
'No! Show me the red moon!'
Michiru refused to let the exhaustion take over. The mirror cleared. Everyone saw the red moon in its reflection. Standing directly behind it were five shadows with one standing in front of the other four. There was a dark energy around them all. It was their dark presence that had caused the red moon. She tried to focus more of her powers to reveal their faces, but she was too exhausted from her last vision. The mirror fogged up again and eventually turned back to its original glass. Michiru tightly held its handle as she felt herself falling.
'It's not like me to faint,' she mused as the world around her turned black.
"Michiru! Michiru! My love, wake up!"
She felt herself cradled in someone's arms. Her eyes slowly blinked open to reveal her lover's worried face.
"Thank the gods! You were out for over an hour! I already sent Setuna and Hotaru home. I didn't want Hotaru to get in trouble waiting for you. It didn't seem like you were going to wake up anytime soon. Plus, Setsuna mentioned she was a mediator at that math competition we were all invited to at Juuban Middle School."
Michiru still felt tired, but she had enough energy to smile at her lover. Haruka was worried that Michiru would think the others hadn't cared enough to stay around until she awoke. Of course, Ruka was wrong. Michiru knew that they cared, and unknowingly, Haruka had done the right thing by sending them away. Michiru hated to appear weak in front of others.
"Now, really, I'm fine..." Michiru tried to sit up. Haruka gently pushed her back down.
"Don't you even try to get up." Haruka caressed Michiru's forehead. "So, it looks like the mirror showed us who our foes are, even if it didn't disclose their faces."
Michiru wondered if anyone else had seen the other vision. There was only one way to find out; she would have to ask.
"Was there anything else the mirror showed that we might have missed?"
Haruka was quick to respond. "No. It actually took a long time for us to even see that much. I don't know, Michi, you might be getting rusty with that old mirror of yours." Haruka kissed Michiru on the forehead.
'Why was I the only one to see that vision? What does it mean? Is that my immediate future...?'
Michiru wanted to consider the meaning of her private vision even more, but Haruka's kisses were distracting her. Haruka had moved her lips from Michiru's forehead, and she was now kissing around her ear. She was ever so slowly moving to Michiru's neck.
"I can't help it, my love. You look so ravishing lying in my arms half naked."
That was when Michiru noticed that she was in her bra and panties.
"At first I thought you might have fainted from all the energy you were using. You were hot to the touch."
Michiru laughed as she let Haruka kiss her. They were in for a playful night. All of Michiru's fears vanished as quickly as the images in the mirror had. For now, she was safe in Haruka's arms. She would not let any premonition ruin their Thursday night.
The group decided to call it a night and continue their investigations later on. They were all exhausted, and Hotaru needed to get home. For the moment, they had time on their side, or at least that was what most of the group assumed. Michiru knew the truth.
'Will I be safe? When will my vision occur? Do I have time to change the future?'
These thoughts and many more kept her awake that night.