Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon nor Shoujo Kakumei Utena nor the characters within.
Warning: This fic will eventually contain shoujo ai, Haruka and Michiru not withstanding, of course. :) C'mon, it's a fusion of Sailor Moon and Utena, and Juri's a main character. Of course there's shoujo ai! And I started this fic back in 2003, so writing style may change throughout, though I've tried to keep it constant. Enjoy!
Usagi peered over the edge of her table towards the counter. She was also currently hiding under the table she was peering over; only her eyes, the top of her head, her fingers where she gripped the edge and her two odangos showed over the top.
When Minako approached, sliding into the booth, leaning down to look at her friend, Usagi grabbed her hair, tugging her under with her. Minako yelped, holding a hand to her head. "Usagi-chan," she started, "WHAT are you doing!?"
Making a loud quieting sound, Usagi issued the other blonde closer, hissing, "Look over there! Who do you think she is?"
"Motoki's illegitimate daughter?" Minako joked, losing her smile when Usagi glared at her.
"Of course not! She's too old. But who is she? She must be new." Looking over to her friend, Usagi's eyes began to shine, and Minako, catching her mood, answered.
"Let's find out!" they both cried at the same time, surging up. They fell back down when their heads hit the underside of the table, forgetting it was there. Both of them rubbing their heads in unison, they jumped up again, hiding behind a fake green plant that offered them cover yet let them still see the counter.
The person at the counter, the object of their inspection, innocently wiped the top, totally oblivious to their gazes. She appeared to be the same age as the two blondes, maybe older, and the only reason that she had caught Usagi's eye in the first place was because Motoki usually hired people that he knew well. Usagi thought that she knew everyone that he knew well, but she had never seen the girl before.
"Maybe she's an alien that's brainwashed Motoki into letting her stay, ready to pray on our nubile, young flesh when she drugs us with our drinks…" Minako began.
Usagi sweatdropped. "Minako!" she whispered angrily, "Just because you like to read American novels DOESN'T mean that you have to turn everything into a trashy lesbian suspense."
Minako frowned at her, "But it could be true! Aliens always look like humans before they invade! Haven't you noticed anything when Airu and An came? And Jedite? Fish-Eye -"
Usagi cut her off, "Eep! She's looking! Duck!"
And they did, hiding behind the foliage as the girl looked up smiling, greeting a customer that approached her. Hurrying to get the man the Coke that he asked for, she accepted the payment, and, once the man was gone, began once again to wipe the table down.
"Jeez, does she do that all day?" a new voice asked from behind the girls, startling them. Usagi's hair jumped up from her head and sweatdrops erupted all over her face. Minako gasped, keeling over from the shock, her eyes two little circles and her mouth open. "Don't do that!" they both yelled, and then ducked again when the new girl looked up at the sound.
Makoto looked on, an amused smile on her face. Rei stood next to her with an exasperated expression, her arms crossed, one hand holding her sinuses as if they ached. Ami smiled sheepishly, her arms in front of her, holding a book between her and her body. She stood slightly behind Makoto, so used to Usagi and Minako's weird ideas of mysteries that she didn't even ask any more.
Makoto, the one who had spoken, slid into the seat that Minako had vacated a couple of minutes ago, Ami rushing to join her. "Don't look now," she said, "but the girl's heading this way. I suggest that you get yourselves over here so you don't look like fools."
"Like they haven't already," Rei snorted. Usagi glared at her, sticking out her tongue, but Rei just lifted her nose, pretending not to have noticed.
Shamefaced, the two blondes slowly took their seats, their shoulders slumped. And just in time, too, when the girl they had been shamelessly spying on walked up smiling brightly. Both Usagi and Minako giggled nervously when they saw just how right the tall brunette had been.
The woman reminded Usagi personally, of a little bit like Haruka. She had that aura around her, the kind of 'I'm older than you and I'm standoffish' look. And she was tall, too. Taller than Usagi had first expected. She also looked a little stern, but once you got closer, she appeared to be warmer than expected. Long orange curls framed her face, the rest of her long orange hair drawn up in a low ponytail that still seemed to end a long way down her back, and piercing green eyes lit up her face. She smiled at the group.
"So, what'll it be?"
Her voice was deep, too, a nice deepness that affected Usagi just as much as Haruka's had when she had first heard it. Looking out of the corner of her eye, she could see that it was affecting Minako as well, and there, completely on the spot, decided that with Minako or not, she was ready to start her snooping!
Makoto looked around the group, her gaze finally settling onto the two blondes who stared with shining eyes at the waitress, probably thinking that they weren't obvious in their inspection. Smiling and exchanging glances with Rei who rolled her eyes, she looked at the nametag that the girl wore.
"Well, Juri-san," she began, watching as Usagi and Minako both eagerly ingested the information, "We'd like the usual."
Juri raised an eyebrow, smiling with a bit of mirth. "And I suppose that Motoki would know what you were talking about?"
Rei nodded, sweeping black bangs away, "And don't forget to add more onion rings for Usagi-chan – she'd go hungry without them." She waited.
Usagi whipped her head to the side to glare at her friend, "I would NOT go hungry without them, Rei-baka! It's you who likes the onion rings! Don't try to blame them on someone else." Turning away from her, she humphed. Cracking open an eye to smile sheepishly at the waitress, she blushed when she saw the humorous gaze Juri shot her.
"Well," the tall girl began, "I'll be sure to tell Motoki that BOTH of you need more onion rings." Sliding her pencil behind her right ear, she walked off, looking over her shoulder to say, "And I'll be sure to memorize what your usual is as I imagine you come here a lot to warrant an 'usual'."
"I do NOT need onion rings!" Usagi called after her, rising out of her seat to call over the restaurant. Pouting, she slid back down, glaring at her dark-haired friend. "Great. You made her think I was a glutton."
"Oh, and like you're not?" Rei shot back. "Besides, what's the point? Why are you so concerned with her?"
"Because she's new! And maybe she needs a friend!"
"Usagi-chan does have a point, although her reasoning is slightly flawed," Ami spoke up. Shutting the book that she had been reading, she reached up to remove her reading glasses, continuing when everyone looked at her. Everyone, that is, except Minako, who stared at the place where the woman had left to talk to Motoki, breathing, "Kakoii…"
"Just because Juri-san's new here, at the restaurant, does not mean that she's new to the area."
"Well, why haven't I seen her around then?" Usagi asked petulantly, crossing her arms. The blonde was feeling a little bit miffed as her comeback to Rei was slowly but surely unraveling.
Rei rolled her eyes, cutting off the blue-haired girl's reply. "You can't expect to know EVERYONE in Tokyo, let alone the Juuban district, Usagi-chan," she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
Before an even huger fight could strike up, Makoto raised her hands, waving them up and down in a calming motion. Smiling soothingly, she said, "No fighting, alright? Can't we just eat in peace without you two squabbling?"
"Stay out of it, Mako-chan!" both Usagi and Rei yelled, getting ready for an all-out down-right tongue war.
Instead, platters of food were laid down in front of the girls before things could really get dirty (as if Rei and Usagi's fights really got dirty. They were now more for fun and appearance's sake). Pulling away from where they had been glaring at each other over the table, Makoto and Ami sweatdropping at each other, Minako still staring off into the corner, Usagi looked up to see Juri smiling at them all.
Her smile was a little detached. But when she saw Usagi looking, she smiled a real one, seemingly coming back from where she had been thinking about other things. "There," she said, "That should do it. Yell if you need me."
And this time, when she left, she had both Usagi and Minako staring after her, breathing "Kakoii…"
Instantly reminded of food when the delicious smell hit them, they began to eat, Usagi flicking a sprinkle from her dessert ice cream at Rei, who blew some soda back at her. Shrugging at each other, Makoto and Minako joined in, flicking small pieces of lettuce and tomato. Ami hid behind her glasses and book, occasionally venturing out to grab a french fry now and then.
"So what do you think of them?" Motoki asked, referring to the group of teenage girls that were flicking food back and forth in equal amounts as they ate, "Hard to imagine that they're in one year below you, in High School, isn't it?"
Juri, leaning against the side of the counter, Motoki venturing out from the kitchen as no one had ordered anything recently, shrugged. Motoki, after a couple of years in college, had decided that his major was actually in the culinary arts and had studied to be a chef. He had come back a half a year ago to manage all of the cooking of his father's arcade, the old chef having just quit over a problem with garlic. Ever since Motoki had come back, however, the business in the restaurant part of the arcade had tripled, and he loved his new job.
"Well, I wouldn't want to be the one who cleaned up after them," Juri deadpanned. Turning around to lean against the counter with her arms, she mused, "Seniors, huh? Must've been good friends for a long time, looking at them."
The sandy-blond haired man nodded. "See that blonde girl there? The one who's mainly fighting with the black-haired girl, sitting next to the other blonde?" he pointed, and Juri nodded. "Well, that's Tsukino Usagi. She's the one who pulled the group together. Uhm… Let's see. I was just starting College. Ah! About five years ago, when Usagi-chan was in 8th grade, she came here everyday to play video games." He smirked. "And lost. She's horrible at video games."
Juri smirked. "But she keeps on playing them, right?" she asked.
Motoki nodded. "Yep. Well, anyway, one by one the other girls started showing up with her. And they've been friends ever since. There're even more girls that join them sometimes, but they're older, around your age, and not around a lot." He shook his head.
"They're an eclectic bunch, I must say. Usagi's a lovable ditz, but she has a good heart and she doesn't trip as often as she once did. She's matured, too." Seeing Juri's look, he smiled, shaking his head. "Nope. Nothing there. She's like a younger sister to me. When she was younger, she DID have a crush on me, but that soon passed. I had a girlfriend anyway, so I wasn't available."
He leaned in close to Juri, lowering his voice, "We're getting married in July, actually."
"Congratulations," Juri murmured politely, the area around her eyes crinkling, "She must be a lucky girl. And you a lucky man."
"Nope. I'm the only lucky one, there." Smiling in recollection, Motoki coughed, turning slightly red. "Now, ah… Where was I?"
"Eclectic bunch…?" Juri urged.
"Ah yes." Motoki cleared his throat, his blue eyes wandering back over to the group. "Usagi DOES try a little bit too hard, but she truly has a pure heart. Just look at her friends. Would you really see them all together, normally?
"The blue-haired one? That's Mizuno Ami. She's the first one that Usagi started hanging out with. She's a true honest to God genius. And I mean that. Her IQ's one of the highest in Tokyo, maybe Japan, but she's decided to stay behind to stay with her friends instead of going off to Germany. Believe me, she's gotten a lot of offers there.
"The one sitting next to her is Kino Makoto. The brunette. She's…ah…" Looking Juri up and down, he mentally decided something in his head, "She's about three inches shorter than you, but the tallest in the group – currently. She used to be an outcast, a so-called 'bully' until Usagi got to know her. She's also an excellent cook and," he leaned in again, something he did often, "I happen to know that she's gotten some offers to work at the highest rated restaurants in town when she's graduated."
Taking a breath, getting some water to sip as he continued, he waited to see if Juri was actually listening. She was.
"The one that Usagi-chan's currently fighting with is the second of the group. Hino Rei. She's a Shinto Priestess at the shrine down the road, and HOW she became Usagi's friend, I don't know. They fight a lot, sure, but that's because of the clashing of their personalities. Rei's a spitfire girl who has to almost run the shrine herself, dedicated to her work, while Usagi's an easygoing, slightly lazy girl. But don't let that fool you. They really are the best of friends – and oh. Customer."
Juri turned around, immediately ready to serve the customer that had walked up to the counter. Greeting the young girl politely, she exchanged the paper money into yen coinage and wished her a nice day before coming back over to the young man.
Motoki almost sighed in relief. He would be able to finish the introductions without getting interrupted, hopefully.
"Anyway, the other blonde is Aino Minako. And she really is the Child of Love. She goes out with a lot of boys, and likes to set all of her other friends up, even though she really doesn't have a steady boyfriend. I only know this because Minako was after me for a while before she saw that I was really dedicated to my girlfriend." He had the decency to blush, clearing his throat before he continued. "Oh, and she's a famous actress, by the way, if you've ever seen the Sailor V movies?"
Juri shook her head, "No. I haven't. I…ah…haven't been here long."
"Ah. I thought that Sailor V was popular everywhere in Japan. Funny." Motoki replied, curious. He thought for a second. "Okay. Maybe not as popular as Sailor Moon now, so maybe you've heard of her?"
Juri shook her head for the second time. "Remember, I was…out of Japan…for a while before I came here," she reminded gently. She crossed her arms as if daring him to ask any more questions, running a hand through some orange bangs.
"Hmm. Yeah. Anyway, so she went to a different school than Usagi, Ami and Makoto, Rei going to a private school, and I really don't know how she started hanging out with them before High School. But now you see is what you get." He paused. "It really makes you believe in lasting friendships, huh?"
Juri's green eyes darkened, and she stood up. "Lasting friendships, yeah. I'm going to take my break now." She untied the apron from around her waist, depositing it onto the counter that she had spent a long time cleaning, tossing over her shoulder, "Refreshments are on the house, I believe?"
Motoki nodded, wondering what he had said to close the girl up, only about three years younger than himself, in the first year of college. He didn't have time to fully think about it though, as Usagi raised up her head, her mouth stained with ketchup, and waved him over.
"Motoki-kun!" she yelled, "More ice cream!"
"Coming right up, Usagi-chan!" he yelled happily, instantly forgetting his thoughts, "Chocolate, I presume?"
"Of course!" Usagi's voice was apprehensive, as if he had dared to say something idiotic, "It's the only flavor that everyone likes!"
"It's the only flavor that YOU like!" Rei snipped in.
"REI NO BAKA!!!"
Juri, exiting out of the arcade, paused for a second as she could hear the blonde's voice from all the way on the other side of the building, shaking her head as a smile snaked across her normally sterner features. Motoki did seem to truly care for the bunch, and they all did look fairly normal if not, as he had said, eclectic. Sitting down on the curb in front of the building, she sighed, "Lasting friendship, huh?
"Oh Shiori, what happened to you back there, at Ohtori? When did you get so spiteful, obsessed with power?" she murmured, laying her head onto her arm slung over her knees. Her hand, although it almost physically ached to reach up for the locket that hung around neck, stayed where it was as she remembered everything that had happened to her.
It had been…odd. Slightly exhilarating you could say, Juri mused to herself, softly chuckling at how much she had already changed once she had gotten to the "Outside World". It had been a little strange, getting off at a ramp when the Rose Bride and her prince had continued on. But the Wakaba Mobile had wanted to go that way, and none of them – not Saionji, Miki, or Juri herself – had wanted to stop her. The old Prince didn't seem to be after them anyway.
Speeding down the freeway, the sky darkening behind them, Juri had begun to truly feel free. The wind had blown through her hair, and it seemed that she had finally begun to let go of all of the death that had surrounded her. She could see that calm pass onto the others as they left Ohtori behind, and even Wakaba's motor had sounded clearer.
Speaking of Wakaba, Juri smirked as she remembered that the second that the sky filled with rose petals and they had turned off onto a dirt road, something inside of them severing, the car under them had disappeared and Juri and company landed on a naked girl. Wakaba had squeaked, scrambling to hide behind Juri, the only other girl in the group.
And Saionji, surprising everyone, had taken off his Student Council coat and handed it to the shivering girl. The green-haired man had also appeared to change, becoming kinder and calmer. Last Juri had seen of Wakaba and Saionji were when they were walking away after coming to the nearest town and an excursion to a discount clothes store, Wakaba hanging shyly onto Saionji's arm. They really did make a cute couple, and Juri was sure that the genki girl would be a calming presence.
Looking down at Miki, Juri had smirked. Crossing her arms, she had asked, "So, where are you going now?"
The young boy had looked up at her, turning away to look out over the view of the city – Tokyo they had found out earlier – his blue bangs ruffling in front of his eyes. "I don't know," he said quietly, Juri only making him out with the help of a lone streetlight. She was leaning against the side of the rail that prevented people from jumping off the edge of the lookout. Sweeping back bangs that always managed to get in her way, she opened the top of her coat, letting cool air circulate through.
"Yeah…" she sighed, "I know what you mean." Pushing away from the railing, she suddenly said, "Here. Why don't we meet back here in a year and see where our lives have gone, huh?"
Miki stared at her for a second and then nodded. Turning to leave, he said, "Wonder where Utena and Anthy are…?"
Juri nodded. "Yeah… Me too."
And with one more sweet adolescent smile, Miki walked away, his blue hair blending into the night, heading in the same direction Wakaba and Saionji had gone.
And Juri, taking one last look at the town she was just about to venture in, mentally decided something. She was going to keep her ring, her locket, and head in the total opposite direction than the others had gone. Who knew if she was going to see Miki, Wakaba, Saionji, Utena or Anthy ever again. And Shiori.
But Shiori had said goodbye, hadn't she? She had used Juri to get to Anthy and Utena, and paid for it in the end. And Juri… Juri would try to get over her.
Suddenly coming back to the present, Juri stood up, brushing herself off. It was about time that her break was over, and her thoughts were depressing her.
She had been in the "Outside World" now for about two weeks, and it amazed her at how easy it was to find a job. She had shown up at the Crown Arcade, seeing the 'Help Wanted' sign. Motoki had evidentially seen something in her; she owed him for that. He had even helped her find an affordable apartment she could pay for with her wages. Still, she had taken a side job modeling again to get even more extra money so she didn't really have all that much free time.
But it was living, so she was happy. A veil had been removed from her eyes, and she was ready to find all that life had to give.
Reentering into the arcade, hearing the bells tinkle as the door opened, she smiled as the cold air struck her for a second, the air conditioner escaping into the outside. Walking back to the counter, she picked up her apron, grabbed herself a cool glass of water and ice, and settled down to wait and see if anyone needed help. Seeing that the arcade was more crowded than it had been, she checked the clock on the wall. It said fifteen minutes after twelve in the afternoon, so she figured that it was about the time that people had their lunch breaks. "Huh…" she mused to herself, "People must have walked past me when I was outside."
Suddenly, Motoki stuck out his head from the kitchen. "Hey, you hungry? Whaddya' want?" Ignoring her protests, he said, "One second," and reappeared, carrying a platter with food on it. Setting it in front of her, he said, "On me," and escaped back. Juri stared at the tray with wide eyes for a second, finally looking up to say, "You'd already prepared this for me before you asked, didn't you?"
The new chef poked out his head to say, "Mai-i-i-i-i-i-i-ibee…" and disappeared with a rakish grin.
Rolling her eyes, she hunkered down to eat, secretly delighted with Motoki's choice of a roast beef sandwich. Although the Crown Arcade had mostly American food, Motoki had included a side of curry for her, too, and she had just started eating that when a light voice cleared its throat. Looking up, the fork still stuck in her mouth, her green eyes widened when she saw who it was.
Tsukino Usagi stood there, looking up at her shyly, thrusting a yen note at her. "Uhm…tokens please," she giggled nervously.
Juri wasn't sure why she was so nervous, but she looked back at the table that the blonde's eyes kept returning to, only to see the other blonde – Minako, her brain clicked – giving Usagi thumbs up. When the girl saw Juri looking, however, she suddenly started whistling, acting as if she was innocent of something or other. The other girls in the group sweatdropped.
Returning her gaze back to the girl in front of her, Juri grinned and accepted the note, saying, "Video games, right? Which one are you interested in playing?"
"Huh? What?" Usagi started, obviously not expecting her to talk. She shook her head to center herself and said, "Oh, right. Hee hee. Uhm…probably the Sailor V game."
"Hmm. Haven't played that yet. Looks fun, though."
Suddenly, Usagi's eyes lit up and she stood up straight, saying eagerly, "Oh really? How long have you been here?"
"Here? Working here?" Juri asked, handing her the tokens.
Usagi accepted them, not really paying attention as she nodded.
"Well…" Juri started, mentally asking herself why it was so easy to talk to the smaller girl. Noticing her hairstyle and also noting that it suited her, making her extremely cute and classically beautiful, her gaze wandered to her blue eyes, and she mentally gasped. Motoki's statement that she was pure was so true that Juri couldn't bear it. Her eyes reminded her of Shiori's. Shiori's before she had started babbling about someone named Touga and taken into the clutch of the Headmaster, Anthy's brother. But Usagi's eyes were also wise, wiser than they should have been at her age.
Usagi's eyes troubled her so much that she had to avert her gaze, grabbing her fork to busy herself and took a bite of curry, chewing before she faced Usagi again.
As Juri turned away to take a bite of her food, oddly disturbed by something Usagi couldn't explain even if she tried to, the blonde decided to study the older woman. Noting the strong planes of her face and the almost masculine aura that surrounded the woman, confined by her beauty, she noticed that her orange hair perfectly curled around her face, adding gentleness to the softness of her neck. She was as tall as Haruka, and there was something about her that reminded Usagi of Haruka, too, but she couldn't put her finger on it. Her green eyes were piercing, and whenever they looked at Usagi, they captivated her whole attention, something pained in their depths. Her hands were strong and calloused, graceful.
Usagi found herself oddly poetic around the older woman, and she quickly glanced back at the table of the other senshi to see if they noticed just how nervous Usagi actually was. There was just something about her voice…
Speaking of her voice, Juri had turned back to her as she was looking at the others for help, and was patiently waiting. "Uhm, I've been working here for about a week. Getting to know everyone, you know. Learn the ropes."
"I see," Usagi nodded, although she really didn't, never having held a job herself. Nervously twirling a straw that she had grabbed earlier, which had been sitting in a container on the counter, she suddenly asked, "Do you need someone to show you around Juuban?"
Juri blinked at her outburst, but then smiled. "Sure," she said happily, leaning forward, resting on her elbows, distractedly running a hand through an unruly bang that swung in front of her eyes with the motion.
Looking up into her eyes, Usagi blushed. "Uhm… What time do you get off today?"
"Well, if it's no problem. I mean, if you have something to do, then it could be later, and…" Usagi shut her mouth, realizing that she was babbling, and wondering why she was doing that anyway.
Juri surprised her by laughing. "No! Not at all. I don't have anything I need to do today," she said, seeing Usagi's puzzled expression. Smiling, and still seeing that Usagi didn't really understand why she had been laughing, she continued, "I'm sorry, but you reminded me of a fish. You know, gasping for something to say…?"
Usagi finally got it, nodding bashfully, feeling more than a little embarrassed. "I'm sorry, it's just…"
But the other girl cut her off. "No need. No need. I get off at five, if that isn't too late…?"
Instantly gratified, Usagi nodded eagerly, "No! That's fine. When should I meet you so you can have time to get ready after working?"
"Hey, hey, what do you think they're doing?" Minako excitedly whispered, tugging Rei's hair, who had the better vantage point.
Shooting an annoyed glance at the blonde, the Miko reclaimed her tresses and said, "I don't know. I can't hear them. What do you think I am, psychic?" Seeing everyone look at her, she amended, "Okay, I am, but I can't read minds and hear from that far away, alright? It seems to me that Usagi's making a fool of herself. Look! She's blushing!"
"Doesn't she always blush?" Makoto asked dryly.
Rei and Minako paused, looked at each other, and then nodded. "Yes," they said in unison.
Usagi approached then, absently playing with a straw at her side, a faraway look on her face. Instantly squealing up, Minako grabbed her hands, dragging her into the booth. "Spill!" she demanded, her blue eyes boring into the darker blue of the other blonde's.
"Spill what?" Usagi asked, looking clueless.
Rei sweatdropped. "About the waitress, baka! Wasn't that the whole point of you going over there?"
Usagi laughed sheepishly. "Oh yeah," she said nervously, "I forgot. She seemed nice."
"Nice? Nice? Yeah? What else? Where is she from? How old is she? Why's she working here? Does she want to feed on our nubile young flesh-ack!" Minako cut off when Makoto hit her on the back of the head with the book Ami had been reading, the blue-headed young girl blinking as it suddenly disappeared from her grasp. Rubbing her head, Minako shot her friend a glare. "Why'd you do that?" she demanded.
Makoto rolled her eyes. "Isn't it obvious?" she asked, "Not everyone's like Haruka and Michiru."
"They wanted to feed on our nubile young flesh?" Minako asked curiously.
"NO!!" everyone shouted. Shaking her head exasperatedly, Rei admonished, "Jeez, what's with you and your 'nubile young flesh'? Is that the only thing that's on your mind?"
Behind her, Usagi nodded, a creepy expression coming onto her face. "Is there something you want to tell us, Minako-chan?"
"No! Of course not!" Minako shouted heatedly, twin red spots appearing on her face.
"I don't know about that…" Makoto mused, the brunette's eyes shimmering with suppressed laughter, "You seemed pretty interested in Haruka…"
"That was before I knew she was a GIRL!" Minako protested, forcing her hands onto her hips. "Besides, Mako-chan," she said snidely, "You seemed pretty interested in her yourself. Who was it that actually went on a 'date' with her and Michiru-san?"
Makoto had the grace to look embarrassed, "That wasn't a date, and you know it!" She glared at Minako, her green eyes boring into blue. They started growling at each other.
Behind them, Usagi sidled up to where Rei and Ami sat, Ami trying to ignore everything around her, burying herself into the book she had retrieved from Makoto, while the priestess was trying to appear as if she wasn't with the group. "Jeez, if they're acting like that just because Juri's new, what would they say if they knew that I was going on a date with her?" she mused. She missed Rei's wide eyed expression as Ami dropped her book with a splat, and shook her head, absently sipping the soda that was left unattended on the table.
"D-d-d-d-d-d-d-date?" Rei babbled, her violet eyes centered uncomprehending on the blonde's face.
"D-d-d-d-d-d-d-date?" Ami echoed, her face even redder than Rei's. Her reading glasses teetered awkwardly from one ear.
"Date?" Minako piped curiously up, instantly forgetting her argument with Makoto, her ears immediately catching onto the 'D' word. Grabbing Usagi's neck, she started to strangle her, shouting at the top of her lungs, "Spill! Inquiring minds want to know!"
"Aren't we back at the beginning?" Rei asked, one hand to her sinuses.
Ami nodded next to her, sighing, her eyes closed in tiredness.
Makoto squared her shoulders, took a deep breath, and ventured into the cloud that the two blondes kicked up with their fray, trying with all her strength to disconnect Minako's grasp from Usagi's neck, the blonde rapidly turning the color blue.
"Tell me tell me tell me tell me!!!"
Juri smirked, watching the commotion in the middle of the arcade. Resting her chin onto the back of her hand, she leaned onto the counter, finding it more comfortable than sitting up straight. Feeling a presence at her back, she turned her head just enough to catch Motoki out of the corner of her eye, and returned her gaze to the ensemble of girls. "Hmm," she mused, "Interesting companionship. I see what you mean."
Motoki grinned. "Yep," he agreed. And, if he wasn't mistaken, Juri was shortly going to be a part of the group. He had seen Usagi already reaching out towards the quieter woman. It's only a matter of time, he observed mentally. My God, Usagi can work fast.
For some reason, both of them were glad that they couldn't exactly hear what the group was talking about.