I nervously clutched the large, manila envelope. My grip was so tight, my fingers turned the palest white and the stiff paper began to crinkle under my touch.

Shaking my head, I forced my hand to release. This wasn't right.

I stared at the small metal box attached to the wall less than a foot away. In embossed letters, it was neatly labeled 'OUTGOING MAIL'. The dreaded thing was the cause of all my problems. Or was that the envelope?

I groaned. Too much thinking, Usagi.

Mustering my courage, I steadily moved the envelope towards its destination, but just as it was about to fall into the think opening, my hand stilled.

Did I write the addresses correctly? Did I even write a return address?

Panicked, I snatched my hand back and analyzed the front of the object within it. The addresses were perfectly printed in black pen. No mistakes were visible. I let out a gush of air.

Then I felt two taps on my shoulder. Surprised, I spun around to find a relatively elderly woman smiling softly.

"Sorry to interrupt you, dear," she said, "but I'm afraid a line's beginning to gather."

Curiously I peered around her figure. Sure enough, she was right. I blushed a deep crimson as I mumbled an apology. With a last deep breath, I quickly dropped the envelope in the box because my overworked conscience had a chance to think otherwise.

Then I immediately exited the post office through the old fashioned rotating, glad door. O was thankful that the event was over, but I still couldn't help wonder if I had made the rich decision.

Oh well, I would know within time. For now, it was out of my hands.

- - -

I nervously clutched the large, manila envelope. My grip was so tight, my fingers turned the palest white and the stiff paper began to crinkle under my touch.

"You know it's not going to eat you," a deep voice pointed out.

No, but the contents just might kill me.

It was now the moment of truth. Lame as it sounded, it truly was. A few months had passed since I secretly sent in my application to KO University during the filming of "Yumemiru." I know my father had wanted me to stay near Toya, but at the time I felt like it was a good choice. It was a good school after all. Only last month did I finally reveal what I had done. No one minded and oddly enough, no one seemed surprised. And now, here I was with the response clutched between my fists.

I jolted slightly when two strong arms came from behind to wrap themselves around my waist.

"Come on, Usako," Mamoru urged me. "You're only putting yourself through more agony by stalling."

I remained unmoving. His words barely registered in my mind.

"Fine, if you won't, I will."

Releasing my waist, he brought his hand up and removed the envelope from my grasp. His fingers moved to the long flap which sealed the object. My eyes instinctively shut, refusing to see what was coveted inside. Fear of rejection ripped through me.

I cringed as I heard the violent tears and a dreadful rustling of paper.

"Let's see now," Mamoru said. "It can't be that bad."

The noises ceased and I could feel Mamoru's deep concentration. He cleared his throat before beginning.

"Miss Usagi Tsukino. Due to an excessively abundant quantity of applicants received from the incoming class, we regret to inform you that we cannot accept your application."

My eyes flashed open. "What?"

Mamoru chuckled.

I glared at him. "What's funny?"

"Chill, Usa-chan," he said smiling. "I was just kidding. The letter's still inside."

I whirled back around to confirm his claim. Gosh darn it. He was telling the truth.

"Why'd you do that?" I questioned with a pout.

Mamoru shrugged. "Now you can be the one to see it first and put yourself out of misery. You've already experienced the worst that can happen. It can only get better from here."

I nodded and smiled thankfully. "Let's do it."

Mamoru's arms returned to my waist after he handed over the envelope. Taking a deep breath, I slipped my hand inside and recovered a typed letter. My eyes quickly roved over the words, and not a second later a loud scream of joy filled the spacious house.

- - -

"I'll miss you, baby!"

"I know, I'll miss you too, Oki-san," I said, hugging my balling auntie. Her endless tears seeped into my maroon t-shirt.

Minutes passed before she was able to pull herself together. She sniffled as she wiped her eyes carefully so as not to smear the remains of her makeup.

"Oh, I'm so sorry about your shirt, sweetie. It's just-" She abruptly grabbed a handful of tissues from a nearby Kleenex box and blew her nose. "Oh, I'm ruining your good-bye party. You should be having fun with the other kids."

I smiled nervously, racking my brain for a way out of my uncomfortable situation. I was ready to kiss the ground when I saw Mamoru sauntering by. Immediately, I grabbed his arm and pulled him to my side. His look of surprise went unacknowledged.

"Oki-san, I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Chiba Mamoru. Mamo-chan, this is my aunt, Tsukino Oki."

The ebony-haired young man flashed a charming smile. He held out his hand to the older woman. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Tsukino-sama."

"Oh, don't be so formal, dear," Oki replied, engulfing Mamoru into a giant bear hug. "You'll be part of the family soon enough."

She stepped back to get a better look at him. Tucking a lock of chestnut hair back, she grinned approvingly. "I see my niece has very good taste. I suppose you'll be missing her too when she's gone."

"Actually," Mamoru began unsurely.

"I'll be rooming with him in Tokyo," I finished. "It'll be just like when we were working on the movie, Oki-san."

My aunt beamed knowingly. "Now I understand why you're moving."

I blushed profusely.

"You better take care of my only niece, Mamoru-san."

"I will."

"Well, you kids should run along now. Go and have some fun."

I laughed and we bid our farewells. Then we wandered off to find the others.

- - -

Two hours had flown by and still there was no luck on sighting the girls, Shiro, or Motoki. We had searched the entire school grounds which had been rented for the party. Indoors, the event had transformed into a gossip gathering for the older generations.

"You wanna just head back to my place and hang out there?" I asked Mamoru as we returned to the main building. "The party will probably get pretty boring."

"Won't they miss you?"

"Nah," I replied gazing through the bright windows filled with bubbly silhouettes, "I have a feeling they'll be just fine. I'll let my parents know first and then we can head off, okay?"

Mamoru nodded. "Sounds like a plan."

- - -

"Truth or dare?"


"Hmm. I dare you to stick your head down the toilet."

"Mamo-chan, that's gross!"

"But you wanted a dare."

I sighed and folded my arms across my chest. "Mamo-chan, that's just wrong. I'm not doing it."

"You can't back out. That's against the rules."

"I'd like to see you do the dare."

Mamoru shrugged. "I've already done it before."

My bottom jaw fell in shock. "You have?"

"Of course," he said smugly. "You don't actually have to make contact with anything down there. It's pretty easy actually."

"Yeah right," I replied unconvinced of the simplicity. "Prove it."

"Later, I'm too comfortable where I am right now."

I nodded in agreement. We were situated on one of the living room couches. I was leaning against the arm with Mamoru's head settled in my lap. Meanwhile, he was completely stretched out, but due to his tall height his feet were elevated by the opposite arm of the seating.

"I guess it's your turn again since you didn't do your dare," Mamoru stated. "So-"

He was interrupted by the shrill ringing of the telephone. I moved to pick it up, but Mamoru stopped me.

"Don't get up. Let the answering machine get it."

Understanding that he wouldn't budge, I opted for a quick surrender. We waited in silence for the machine to do its work.

"Hi!" I heard my voice play on the recording. "You've reached the Tsukino residence. Sorry, but we're unable to make it to the phone right now. You can sit there and keep calling (not recommended) or you can leave a message after the beep. BEEP! Just kidding! Don't forget to leave your name and number. Now here comes the real beep. Get ready." A loud note sounded.

"Hey, Usagi-chan, it's Seiya. I heard that."

I turned to Mamoru. "I have to get this."

"Go ahead," he replied.

Stretching my arm out to the side table as far as I could, I managed to reach the phone without compromising our seating positions. I clicked the talk button.

"Hey, Seiya."


"The one and only! What's up?"

"I just wanted to congratulate you on making it into KO. I guess I'll be seeing you around Tokyo more often."

"Yeah," I felt a poke in my side. Glancing down, I saw Mamoru mouth a few words. "By the way, Mamoru says 'hi' too."

I heard a chuckle from the other side of the line. "Tell him I said 'hi' and that he better take good care of you or I'll-"


"I'm just playing with you. Anyway, I've gotta go. Taiki and Yaten are calling me. We have another recording session in half an hour for the new CD."

"Sounds fun. I'll talk to you later then."

"Yeah. I'll call you. Ja!"

"Ja matta, Seiya-kun!"

I clicked the phone off and returned it to its stand. "See, that wasn't so bad."

Mamoru grinned. "Yeah, but back to the game." His face was half hidden by night's cloak while the other half was illuminated by the moonlight streaming through the large windows. No man-made lights lit the area.

I considered the choices of his newest proposal. Having recently refused an outrageous dare, I decided that it was best to go with 'truth.'

"Hmm. Let me think about this one." His eyebrows knitted in deep thought. "Okay, here we go. What's your favourite movie?"

"My favourite movie? Well that's a toughie." Staring down at my companion's face, I realized what answer he was expecting and smirked. "Well, I really liked the 'Sandlot.' It was a cute movie for kids and the family. 'Gettysburg' and 'The Castle' were pretty good action/drama flicks too. Hmm. I'm not quite sure. I just know I'm forgetting something."

Mamoru darted into sitting position. "You can't really mean that."

"Of course, I do," I answered, feigning ignorance.

"What about 'Yumemiru'?"

"'Yumemiru'? Well I guess that was okay, but the leading actor-what was his name. Anyways, I just don't see what the lead actress sees in him."

The young man let out a deep, resonating, laugh. "You tease!"

"Only for you," I grinned.

Leaning over, Mamoru covered my mouth with his. All thought dissipated in the bliss. I turned so that my back was supported by the couch's arm. My arms hung loosely around his heck while his sat on my hip.

Then suddenly the moment was shattered by a chorus of cheers and an abrupt flood of lights. Mamoru and I broke apart, but we didn't move away from each other.

"We figured you two were here."

I swung my head towards the doorway and glared at the newcomers. There stood Yuki, Kuri, Kioko, Motoki, and Shiro. Each complete with beaming faces.

My glare morphed into an expression of shock. "How did you get in here?"

"Kitchen window," Shiro replied casually.

"Yeah," Motoki quipped. "You should really talk to your parent about that. The lock on the window really... well, it really sucks."

Mamoru shifted his arm to rest on top of my shoulders. "You guys could have at least knocked first or something. We were busy."

"Yeah, we noticed," Kioko said with a quirky smile.

I shook my head. "Where were you guys? We looked all around the school grounds."

"Uh, actually Shiro forgot to get you a good-bye present so we all ended up at the nearest gas station," Kuri explained.

"It was the only place open this late," Yuri added.

Shiro stepped forwards and present me with the most adorable classic teddy bear. I received the gift graciously thanking my friend.

"They also got this for the both of you," he said cautiously, handing me a magazine. "I told them not to, but I guess they got bored in the magazine isle."

I looked over the latter offering. It was yet another issue of the stargazer, but this time the cover was a full sized picture of Mamoru and me at the premiere party.

Mamoru chucked and grabbed the tabloid. "Hey, the photo actually turned out really good. I think I'll add it to my collection."

"Your collection?"

"Of course, I have a box at home with all sorts of photo and newspaper clippings of my career."

I swear I could have felt a sweatdrop glide down my check right at that very moment.

"You're insane, Mamo-chan."

I always knew the guy was egotistical. From the first day I took a good look at him on that television screen. How long ago was that exactly?

"Hey, Usa-chan," he called as he flipped through the pages. "Check this out. That sorry excuse for a talk show host, Akane, got fired."

I smiled inwardly. Then I frowned. It wasn't right to be happy from other people's misfortunes. but this was Akane!

"Mamoru-kun," Kioko said, "don't forget to take a look at page eight."

Mamoru did as he was told. A gleeful expression spread over his features. "We're number one at the box office!" he jumped from his seat and pulled me into a hug. I was a little surprised at first, but it soon faded and I returned the hug. "I told you everything would work out. You did great."

"No, Mamo-chan. We did great."

My embrace tightened as I lay my head against his chest. Everything did turn out great. The movie was great, life was great, and even Mamoru was great.

Sure, he still had an ego, but now he was my complete egotistical jerk. And guess what? I wouldn't have him any other way.