At last I get to the next part of this story. It's really a very short story, and I hope to have it all written up and posted before Christmas (yes I know that's some time away but I've got exam's and a trip to Japan that take priority… besides considering how long it's taken so far it's really not so long).
Hope you all enjoy!
Serena was trepiditious as she entered the arcade. She was wearing a long sleaved top to hide her upper arm and a short skirt because it was hot outside. She knew she looked odd, usually she would be in a Singlet top or something else equally complementary to the heat outside, but she would not risk it.
She had bandaged her arm up like an injury in a vain attempt to hide what lay beneath. But scared even to show that, she had gotten the most concealing top she could. She only had to hide her upper arm, but overcaution seemed much more sensible then the chance of even a single person knowing what she hid.
"Serena!" Lita waved from her place at the booth. It looked like Mina was not doing as well as the Amazon because her head was buried in her arms against the table. Their two other friends seemed unfazed except by their amusement at Mina's expense.
"Hey Lita." Serena managed in a calm voice despite the fear of the next outburst from her friends. She was half expecting Lita to ask her if she still loved the jerk as much as she had proclaimed to the night before, and she would never live that down. A glance told her she certainly wouldn't since he was sitting in his usual place at the counter talking to Andrew. At least he would have been talking to Andrew, if his attention hadn't been on her at that moment.
"Girl what did we do last night?" Lita demeaned in great humour but a sheepish look on her face. "Last thing I can remember is opening that bottle of vodka."
"You girls where drinking!" Rei shrieked in shock, and it looked like she felt left out as well.
"Yeah well-" Lita waved it off, "-we where bored."
"Never again." Was mumbled from the buddle of blonde hair that was Mina. A groan followed it.
Lita scoffed a laugh. "If I remember correctly Mina, we where at your house, with your alcohol, and it was your idea."
Serena cautiously took up her seat and gave Mina a compassionate pat on the back.
Mina mumbled something else that might have been 'go away' but none of them could really tell. As far as Serena was concerned Lita was being way too happy and awake considering she had taken down more then half the bottle herself.
"Why aren't you hung over then?" Rei demanded of the tall girl.
"Great metabolism and lots of water." Lita replied smugly.
"If you know that why don't you know what we did last night?" Serena asked rather on edge. She was still waiting for one of the two to spring their memory on her and tell the world. She flinched as her arm gave off a tinge but no one seemed to notice.
"Eh." Lita shrugged indifferently. "I've been drunk before, call it common knowledge."
They all stared at Lita for a moment in shock, at least, all except for Mina who still cradled her head protectively against the table.
"Oh god. I'm going to be sick." Mina declared and Serena automatically jumped out her way in response but Mina moved no where, only sat up clenching her stomach.
The girls opposite her looked ready to dive at the slightest movement and Lita remained seemingly unfazed.
"You probably need liquids and sugars." Ami informed helpfully after a tense silence waiting for Mina to decide if she was indeed going to vomit as proclaimed.
Still jitterish and already standing Serena decided to get out of the way for a few minutes and instantly volunteered to help.
"Do you want some Coke?" Serena asked quickly and took the moaned response from her friend as a yes. The others all made a motion that they too wanted a drink and Serena realising her fate grumpily set about her task as waitress.
Approaching the counter which separated Andrew from the rest of the world was a task she wasn't ready for, but she faced it bravely all the same. It was funny how she could face off a monster one minute and find the simple task of walking up to an arcade counter the most horrible experience of her life.
There was of course a reason for it, but that was besides the point.
"What can I get you Serena?" Andrew asked, turning his attention from his raven haired friend.
"Umm…" She shifted, wanted to cover up her arm in an odd fear that the men could see through the material and would know what she'd done. Rather rattled she stammered off the girls order and too shaken to think she sat down to wait, as she always did.
She regretted it and wanted to take it back immediately but that would be suspicious so instead she stared across the counter with fixation, refusing to acknowledge the situation she was in.
Just as a tease her arm decided to make itself painful and she cringed at the dull throb it was jarring her with.
"What up with you?" Darien asked.
Her body froze, what movement she had allowed herself a second before stopped, the breath in her lungs trapped, her heart pausing and even the shaking that she had experienced since entering the arcade took a pause. Then it all tumbled back in at full force. Her breathing accelerated in fear, her heart thumping with a staccato rhythm and the shaking came back in a cursed attempt to give her away.
She must have taken too long because she felt him turn to face her and she was still staring across the counter hoping to god it was all a bad dream.
"Meatball Head?" He tested, sounding a little amused but with just enough of a tinge of concern to make her fear quadruple. Still she didn't reply, she just couldn't get herself to move, to reply, to interact, too scared by all the things that could happen. "Hey Andrew." Darien called across the counter, amusement in his voice now. "I think Meatball Head finally fried her brain." He paused then added rather amused with himself. "Fried Meatballs." He snorted and Serena found herself again.
She turned to him sharply, rage in her eyes which she threw at him easily.
"What did you just say?" She demanded, her voice nearly deadly in a whisper but he met her eyes without concern and faced off her wrath as if there wasn't a care in the world.
"Nothing." He replied, all innocence's but the teasing still in his eyes. "Well," he continued "nothing you'd understand anyway Meatball Head."
She couldn't get over the anger to talk now, too many emotions not enough ventilation. "You-you-" She stuttered, tried, couldn't get her brain to work and then glared at him with pure detestation. He seemed more amused by that.
"Cat got your tongue Meatball Head?"
And that didn't help because then she was thinking about Luna, and all her witty comebacks would mean nothing to anyone who didn't know her cat could talk even the best of them under a bench.
"I don't know." She replied evenly, then pushed before he could say whatever the twinkle in his eyes suggested he was going to say. "It seems it got your brain, but that wouldn't feed an ant…" she trailed off not sure where she was going with it and from his expression he wasn't quite sure either. So she decided she had stayed long enough for decorum and without another word pushed herself up from the stool and went back to her friends.
There was no expressing how glad she was when they finally left the Arcade, giggling and talking about shopping. Even Mina perked up after some food and the idea of shopping seemed to set her back onto the track of bubbly blonde. Serena did her part to keep up the appearance but she couldn't shake the morbid fear that had settled in her gut since waking that morning.
Nobody seemed to notice, which was a good thing. Besides after her ordeal with having to sit next to and even talk with Darien (if it could be called talking) she was just as happy as the rest of them to throw herself into the world of shopping.
Even if she refused to try any of the shirts on in front of her friends, even if they noticed she was acting a little odd, and even if she was constantly nagged with trying to find a way to deal with her problem it was still a highly enjoyable shopping trip.
She wasn't as happy when it became a unanimous decision to return to the Arcade for lunch. She tried to talk them out of it even, which they seemed to assume was her wanting to avoid Darien but nothing came of it and at lunch they where back in the Arcade.
She was looking at the counter to see if Darien was there, expecting him be and happily surprised to not find him sitting there.
"His over there." Mina chirped by her ear and confused she looked to where Mina was indicating only to find Darien sitting in one of the booths a pile of books about him. Her stomach dropped at the sight, then fell through the floor when she realised that Mina had just made it clear she knew what she was looking for.
She looked to her friend but Mina was already following the others across the linoleum floor a bounce in her step as if she hadn't been furiously hung over just that morning. Serena followed quickly, refusing to be noticed any more then she had been and once more took the seat beside the blonde.
"I'll order!" Lita chirped and bounced to the fore, ready to go and chat (or more likely flirt) with Andrew at the counter.
Everyone accepted it, quickly rattling off their orders and the next second Lita was gone and they where all talking about the shopping they had just done. There where bags at their feet below the table, a bundle of new clothes for each of them and not one of them was unhappy with their purchases.
Serena began to relax in the atmosphere of her friends talking, the sounds of the Arcade oddly soothing in the background. After all, as long as she had these girls, her friends, what could go wrong.
Obviously she had jinxed herself, because somewhere in the midst of her dreaming about nothing, listening to the chatter of her friends and relaxing Andrew slipped and her milkshake order ended up being worn rather than drunk.
Please review heaps! You never know I might just update before the promised date! (positive encouragement is the greatest encouragement and inspiration an author can receive.