Okay, yeah, it's been forever since I updated. Sorry, even though it's summer I've been really busy, please don't hold it against me. Anyways, enough talk, on with the chapter!


Chapter 8 – A Night on the Town

"So Rini, you like Hiroko then?"
"Of course!" Rini piped, "She's really nice, but she's kind of shy too"
"She seems like a nice girl", Will put in, "Or from what I've seen of her anyway, she is"
"She's is, trust me", Rini said, "But…"
"What?"
"Well, there's something about her…" she paused, "I dunno, there's something about her that just doesn't seem…right"
"What do you mean?"
"I'm not sure, it's like…" she tried to figure it out, "Like walking into your room where everything is where it's supposed to be, but something still doesn't seem right"
"I know that feeling", Will said, "It's a weird feeling"
"That's how I feel about Hiroko", Rini said, "But she's still really nice, and she hasn't done anything to make me think there's something wrong with her, but still…"
"She seems nice though", Serena broke in, "If you ask me, you're being paranoid"
"Maybe I am", she shrugged, "What do you think Luna?"
"For once I actually agree with Serena", Luna said, "Maybe you're just thinking a little too hard"
"Yeah, you're right", Rini nodded and jumped up, "Hey, I have an idea, lets go downtown and get something to eat"
Serena's parents were out for the night. "Sounds great!" Serena jumped up, "I'm so there, lets go!"
"Will?" Rini asked.

"Sure, I'm in", Will agreed, standing up. The girls made their way out of the house together and were half way down the street before…

"Uh oh", Serena said, coming to a stop.

"What?" Rini and Will asked at the same time.

"I just remembered", Serena said, smiling, "I'm broke"
"Serena!"

"I have some money", Will cut in, "I'll pay"
"I'll pay you back", Serena promised as they continued down the street.

"What in the world did you spend all your money on Serena?" Rini asked, annoyed.

"The arcade", Luna said before Serena could answer.

"Not just the arcade", Serena cut in, defending herself.

"Oh yeah, she also went shopping"
"Thank you"

"Serena…"
"Do you have any money left Rini?"
"Er…"
"That's what I thought"

Will laughed pleasantly. It was nice to be out of the Guardian scene for a bit and just being normal.

"Hiroko!" Rini's yelling pulled her out of her thoughts, "Hiroko, hi!"
"Rini!" Hiroko ran over to them, "Hi! What are you doing here?"
"We came down to get something to eat", Rini said with a shrug, "Serena can't cook for her life, so we figured it'd be safer to go out"

"Brat", Serena snapped while Hiroko laughed.

Hiroko!" the girls looked around; a man was making his way towards them.

"Hi Dad!" she rushed over to him, "Rini, this is my father, Kinjo Hishiama. Dad, this is my new friend, Rini, her cousin Serena, and their friend Will"
"Hello", Rini, Serena, and Will said at the same time.

"It's nice to meet you", Mr. Hishiama said, "Hiroko hasn't been able to stop talking about you since she met you, Rini"

"Really?"
"Don't sound surprised Rini", Serena said, "You haven't stopped talking her either"
"Serena!"

"Hey, would you like to come eat with us?" Serena asked, changing the subject.

"Well, I have some stuff to take care of at home", Hiroko's dad said, "But if Hiroko wants to go that's fine"
"Yay!" Rini cheered, "Please say you'll come Hiroko!"
"Sure, why not?" she said with a shrug, "Thanks Dad"
"No problem, just make sure you're home for curfew", he said, giving her a kiss on the head, "Have fun"
"So where do you girls want to go?" Will asked.

"Pizza!" Rini said.

"No way, lets go to that new place downtown", Serena cut in.

"Pizza!"
"No way!"
"What about you Hiroko?" Will asked the quiet girl.

"Oh, whatever you guys decide is fine", she said quickly.

"No, you have to be part of this decision too", Will pushed.

"Well…" she thought about it, "Pizza does sound good…"
"Yay!" Rini said, "In your face Serena!"
"Wait, what about you Will?" Serena was determined not to lose.

"Actually, I could go for pizza myself…"
"YES!" Rini yelled, "Pizza wins all! Lets go!"
Serena sulked the whole way to the pizza place. "Come on, cheer up Serena!" Will said, trying to talk the blonde girl out of her funk.

"She always gets what she wants", it didn't take a genius to figure out she was talking about Rini. "She's such a brat", she added, annoyed, "A spoiled cry baby brat"
"But you love her anyway", Will said, winking.

"She's still a brat"
"You know", Will changed the subject, looking around to face Hiroko and Rini, who were walking in front of them, "I'm beginning to see what Rini meant by there was something off about Hiroko"
"What do you mean?"
"She seems really nice and all", she said slowly, "But there's something…weird about her, different, not quite all there"
"Yeah", Serena agreed, "Her dad gave me the creeps"
"Yeah?"
"Uh huh", she nodded, "He seemed really nice, and it was obvious he cared about his daughter, but still, there was something…missing"
"You mean like feeling?" Will asked, "Love, caring, compassion, the kind of thing you would expect from a parent?"
"You noticed it too then?"
"Yeah", Will nodded, "Plus, you know, he looked sort of familiar…"

In the end, they decided not to voice their suspicions to Rini, who was thrilled about having a new friend. They spent a joyful night out on the town, and Serena and Rini each ended up about twenty dollars apiece in Will's debt.

"We'll mail you your money", Serena promised, "Leave us your address before you leave"

They got Hiroko home right before her curfew. "See you later Rini!" she yelled over her shoulder, waving,

"Bye!" Rini yelled back. Serena and Will exchanged smiles. They still had small suspicions, but it was nice to see Rini so happy.

Wham!

The girls whirled around. Moment short-lived. "I don't suppose you brought your communicator?" Rini asked Serena.

"Nope"

"Aw man…"
"Should we go check it out?" Will asked.

"I don't wanna", Serena muttered, "Lets go girls. Something tells me we'd better be ready for trouble"


"What's that?" Rini asked, shocked. They were facing another one of those shadow creature things they had fought before.

"Good thing we transformed", Will muttered, looking down at her guardian body. They hadn't had time to call the others, so they were on their own.

"Am I the only one that thinks that thing is a lot bigger than the last one we fought?" Serena asked.

"No, it's definitely bigger", Rini grabbed her wand, "Pink Sugar Heart Attack!"

She pointed it at the creature, but nothing happened. "What?" she squeaked, "Come on, work, Pink Sugar Heart Attack!"

Again, nothing happened. "Stand aside Mini Moon", Serena said, grabbing her tiara, "Moon Tiara Magic!"

The tiara flew at the creature and sliced it's arm. "Come on, work", Rini said, hitting her wand on her hand, "Stupid wand, Pink Sugar Heart Attack!"

This time little pink hearts flew out of it. She pulled back and they flew by her face. "All right!" she cheered, pointing it at the monster.

"Nice", Will said, "I don't think that stopped it though, duck!"

The two girls dove and hit the ground right as a car flew at them. "That thing is strong for nothing but a shadow", Rini commented, pulling herself up.

"Shadow?" Will repeated, "That's it!"
"What is?"

She didn't answer. Instead she jumped up, held her hands up, and focused on the creature. Pink energy shot out of her hands and slammed into the creature. "Bulls-eye", Rini said, watching, "But what good is it?"
"If that thing is a shadow", Will said, not taking her gaze off the creature, which was writhing in agony, "Then maybe we should show it the light"

"Huh?" she was more confused then ever. Will's plan became apparent a second later though, when the creature suddenly exploded. "Cool!" Rini yelled.

"I get it", Serena said, "It couldn't handle the light"

"Yeah", Will said, changing back into her regular form. Rini and Serena quickly followed suit. "What was that thing though?"


Okay, there was a big clue in this chapter about Hiroko. Hope you paid close attention to this and other chapters, because it might help you figure something out…