AN: Somehow, I republished my first story under this title, instead of the story I had intended to publish. So I had the same story twice... I'm so, so sorry to anyone that I screwed up with that! I'm still trying to get used to how publishing works on here...
Disclaimer: Alas, Sailor Moon does not belong to me… but that doesn't mean I can't have a little fun with the characters, ne?
Mamoru rubbed the bridge of his nose as he readjusted the paper in front of him. As much as he liked keeping up on what was happening in the world, it didn't always make the best start to his day. In an effort not the massage his temples again, Mamoru distracted his hand by reaching for his coffee cup. He immediately regretted it.
While the hotel he was staying in was known throughout Tokyo for its comfort and hospitality, Mamoru would bet half his bank account (which was a lot) that they weren't known for their coffee.
Swallowing down a grimace, Mamoru briefly glanced around at his fellow guests. Normally, he wouldn't have eaten the free breakfast provided by the hotel, simply starting his day with a cup of coffee on the go, but his morning meeting had been cancelled and he thought, why not?
So far, the food and coffee had only increased his respect for his usual routine.
Every table in the small dining area was occupied, with a diverse group of families, adventure travelers, tourists, and businessmen and women like himself, looking either alert, bored, or incredibly tired. Mamoru noticed with amusement that the latter emotion was displayed mainly on the faces of the parents he could see.
With a small shake of his head, he decided to leave his fellow patrons to their mediocre breakfast and dove back into his newspaper.
He had just found a rather interesting article comparing the stock market of the US to that of China when he heard a small cough from behind his newspaper and a light voice saying, "Hello. May I join you?"
Looking up, Mamoru saw a quite pretty woman in a grey business suit leaning over the table next to his, addressing the elderly couple currently occupying two of its four seats.
He watched as they quickly assented and she smiled gratefully, taking a seat gracefully with a rather large plate of food. Her hair was the rather rare shade of blonde (though if that was normal anywhere in Japan, it would have been in Tokyo) and she had it twisted up in a bun, with a few small wisps falling out around her face. Under her jacket, she wore a light pink blouse, that brought out the rosy hue of her cheeks and beautifully complimented her sparkling blue eyes. In other words, she was quite enchanting. And, somehow, oddly familiar.
With a jolt, Mamoru realized he was staring and quickly adjusted his newspaper so that he could continue to read while still stealing glances at her over the top. Unfortunately, he had already missed their introductions and, consequently, her name, but he found himself concentrating more on the soft lilt of her voice than the words in front of him.
"Are you staying here on business?" the elderly man asked.
Mamoru saw the young woman blush and felt himself become oddly warm in response, and this only increased when she gave a small laugh, like the tinkling of a bell. "Actually, I live here in Tokyo. I'm only here to meet with a consultant who our company brought in and put up here, but something came up and he's handling other business on the phone right now. And, well, the food just smelled so good…"
The elderly couple laughed in response, and even Mamoru felt himself smile, though he was doubting her taste a bit if she thought this food smelled good.
"I paid for it, of course!" She stuttered out with a small smile, obviously a bit embarrassed, but the elderly couple seemed to just find it endearing. Something Mamoru agreed with, even if he was now seriously questioning her judgment. He couldn't imagine anyone paying for this food.
"Actually," she continued, "I asked to sit here because I saw your sweatshirts."
Pushing his newspaper down briefly, Mamoru saw that both the man and woman were sporting University of Tokyo sweatshirts.
"Did you attend there?" she asked sweetly.
Mamoru chuckled a bit when he saw she had obviously hit upon a good subject as the man immediately leaned forward enthusiastically.
"We arrived in town earlier this week for our fifty-year reunion!"
His wife chuckled and placed her hand on his arm. "Once we were here, though, we just couldn't leave and thought we'd extend our stay to take in the sights and reminisce a bit."
"Oh that's wonderful!" the blonde exclaimed, and Mamoru was a bit surprised to see that she meant it. She was obviously what he would classify as a people person. Something he definitely was not. Even his appearance right now, he realized, was rather off-putting. He had placed his briefcase on the seat next to him and spread his newspaper out so as to cover the entire table, perhaps subconsciously indicating he was not looking for company.
With a small twinge of disappointment, he wondered if perhaps the perky blonde would have sat with him if he had looked a bit more…approachable.
He didn't brood for long though, as he got caught up in the young woman's excited chatter once more. "Isn't the campus just beautiful? I'm a recent graduate myself." She exclaimed, smiling proudly.
Mamoru perked up a bit at this. He himself had considered attending Tokyo University, but had decided to study abroad at Harvard, originally with the intent of becoming a doctor. For some odd reason, though, he couldn't force himself to stay away from Japan long enough to consider this seriously, and decided not to continue his medical training back home, instead opting to pursue his interest in economics. Now he was a top executive at one of the most prestigious banks in Kyoto, though he was currently hoping to become the CEO of their Tokyo branch, the reason he was in the city now.
If this girl had attended the University of Tokyo, that meant she wasn't only beautiful, but intelligent. Mamoru's interest was definitely peeked. A little odd since he didn't often consider taking the time out of his schedule to date, but what was it Motoki was always telling him? Everyone should take the time to be happy.
Of course, he had always replied that his job made him happy, but he had heard that one should try new things. Maybe he should give dating another shot.
When he focused back on the conversation, he realized they had moved from discussion of the University to talking about the sights of the city itself. Though her suggestion wasn't quite what he would have expected…
"…and you must try his milkshakes. They are to die for!" the blonde was bubbling. "I haven't been to the arcade myself in a while, but my old friends and I are planning to have a little reunion there later this week! I can't wait to see everyone!"
"Well I must say, I've always been a fan of milkshakes." The older man chuckled.
The young woman nodded, "And I'm sure if you mention my name he'll give you a discount."
Mamoru shook his head. That sounded like something Motoki would do at the arcade he now owned. Even when he was only a worker there, he had always had a soft spot for certain costumers. For instance, Mamoru remembered him consistently giving free or discounted milkshakes to a certain young high school girl simply because, as he had told Mamoru then, he loved to see her smile. Mamoru snorted a bit in remembrance. Motoki had always been overly kind to her, treating her like an older brother would his kid sister. Mamoru, on the other hand, had loved seeing her angry. He couldn't remember much about their fights now, just that they had always been so darn hilarious. A brief respite from his otherwise rather hectic days spent studying.
And he had had a nickname for her, that much he knew for sure. Something having to do with her face, or perhaps her hair… what was it? What was her name? Mamoru wondered to himself, his eyes inexplicably drawn to the bright-eyed blonde who was just now putting away her cellphone and apologizing to her breakfast companions.
"It looks like he's done with his phone call now, so I'd better go, but it was so nice meeting you both!" She said, as she gathered up her trash from the table. Mamoru was surprised she had had the time to eat the enormous amount of food she had sat down with, especially with all her chatter, but her plate was completely clean.
"It was a pleasure to meet you Usagi-san." The woman said.
"Perhaps we'll meet you again before we leave." Her husband added.
The woman, Usagi, probably replied with something equally cheerful, but Mamoru couldn't concentrate on her words. No, now he was blatantly staring at the young woman he had, only a moment ago, found so completely alluring. Usagi. Usagi…Tsukino Usagi? She couldn't be – and yet so many things now fit into place. Her love of food, her affinity for the milkshakes made by a man at an arcade. But no, she doesn't even look like – but she did. Now he understood why she had seemed so familiar. Those same bright, blue eyes. That oh so similar tinkling laugh, brought down a bit and made more mature, but still as captivating as ever. Her smile, her cheeriness, her general aura of good-will. Her blonde hair, which Mamoru could now clearly see was the same beautiful shade as before, though no longer up in those… odangos.
AN: Please review :)