Once again, I've been bit with the one-shot bug and decided to give you folks this thing ^_^ Don't worry, I'm still working on Days and it should be coming soon… well, kind of… pretty soon… um, yeah…

Rated: M for adult content and language.

And I would like to extend my appreciation to Mikami for acting as my beta-reader for part of this story. ^_^ You're wonderful!

Thanks, enjoy and I love you all!

The Gift

"Hey Usagi, happy birthday!"

An odango-head beamed with graciousness and excitement. "Thank you, Mina. You're here early."

The bubbly flaxen formally known as Minako Aino—whose hair was garnished with a red bow—grinned as she stepped onto the elevator next to her friend, with hair color equally as golden. "I'm here early? This is the first time I've ever seen you before nine looking as good as you do!"

Usagi raised an eyebrow. "Thanks…?"

The doors completely closed and the elevating box started on its journey upward.

"So does Mamoru have any special plans for you tonight?" Minako continued, completely blowing off her friend's sideway glance, "Twenty-five is, after all, pretty deserving of some celebration. Just think: you've already lived through a whole quarter of a century."

"Wow, you're just full of those backhanded compliments this morning. Maybe it wasn't such a good thing that I forgot to take my bitch pills today." Usagi thrust her hand on her hip.

Sighing, Minako began wrapping a lock of her hair around her finger. "Forgive me. I had a biological wake-up call when I found Akio missing this morning. It had hit me that you're already five years deep in a marriage while I can't even find a guy to stay over for one whole night. And you're only four months older than me." She let herself sound sardonic and desperate about her early morning circumstances.

Usagi cocked her head. "Akio? I thought his name was Akira?"

She shrugged. "Does it matter?"

Both blonde beauties were completely unaware of the awkward stares and quiet snickers coming from the bystanders behind them.

"Well to answer your initial question," Usagi began, "Mamoru plans to take me to the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner. I've wanted to go back ever since then."

"Ooh, the place with the cosmos that totally knocked us on our asses?" Minako's animated light blue eyes sparked with curiosity.

"Mina, please, I don't need the recall." As much as she tried to, Usagi could never forget the tear-inducing headache that came along with the hangover the day after and doing everything in her power to get rid of it before having to walk down the aisle.

Minako snorted. "What's there to recall?" She accompanied her statement by reaching in her purse and taking out her cell phone to read an incoming e-mail.

"Anyway, I'll have you know I'll be sticking to wine tonight. And Mamoru even bought tickets for Madame Butterfly and the fireworks festival tonight so it'll be a classy evening." Usagi shook her shoulders in enthusiasm and smiled to herself.

"Oh shit. Boobalicous has called an emergency meeting. We're supposed to be in the conference room ASAP." The red-bowed woman paid no attention to the rest of her co-worker's statement and her voice trailed off into distress.

Finally feeling the lagged vibration throughout her shoulder, Usagi reached into her own purse and checked her own e-mail account on her smartphone. She had received the same message. She groaned. "I swear if it's another one of her "who's-the-food-rapist-who-stole-my-tofutti?" meetings, I will punch her right in her fake boob and laugh as I watch it deflate."

"Violent, aren't we? Are you sure someone didn't lace your coffee with those bitch pills?" Minako elbowed Usagi while giggling.

She sighed and shook her head in annoyance. "Y'know, when you're the editor-in-chief of a prominent magazine, you would think you would have some level of…" she tripped over her voice as she was having a hard time finding the right word to finish off her sentence.

"…Knowledge of where to find a good plastic surgeon?" Minako grinned widely.

"So you believe Rei's total incompetence and egotism is completely eclipsed by her bad boob job? Pervert!" Usagi held some laughter in her voice.

"Oh right, her name is Rei. No one's called her by her real name in three years and I thought I was losing my mind."

Usagi snorted. "It was an act of God that I even remembered it. Maybe I'm the one losing my mind."

The elevator finally came to a halt and the steel double-doors opened with the sound of a "ding." Both of the blondes walked onto the fifty-first floor in unison.

"Should I tell her that I hide her tofutti in the I.T. department's freezer every week?" Minako inquired sarcastically.

"Nah, it's still funny."


The two women briskly walked through the pristine sliding doors of Stargaze magazine and then basically into utter office frenzy. Minako and Usagi watched in amusement the lower-level assistants and interns scramble to prepare the conference room for the emergency meeting; while a few balanced trays of everyone else's water glasses and pitchers, others carried in Rei's demanded egg white sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin, earl grey tea and fruit cup. Other office workers were trying to finish up their prior businesses before attending another one of Rei's "urgent" gatherings. None were too happy or excited for it. The last one included her complaint, and ultimately ban, of listening to music during work.

The odango-head and red-bowed women found their usual seated places around the conference table as everyone else situated themselves there soon after. Usagi was fortunate enough to witness one of the interns drop Rei's English muffin on the floor; the top bun slipping away slightly to have half of the egg white touching the carpet. With one movement, he picked it back up and positioned the breakfast sandwich back to its perfect look, giving it a few light blows from his mouth to clear it of the floor's residue, and set it neatly at the head of the table. Usagi covered her mouth to hide her maniacal chuckle.

"Is everyone here?" A tall, slender raven-haired woman almost glided into the conference room. Her violet eyes told the story of that of a serious, career-oriented, arrogant sociopath and her attire exuded that of a woman proud of her curves and perky breasts. When the employees responded with silence or coughs and she made it to the head end of the table, Rei Hino took it upon herself to begin with business.

"Just ten minutes ago, I received a memo from Hito and Ryuka PR agency announcing that there is a last-minute celebrity fundraiser going on tonight starting at 6 PM. It is being held in Roppongi at the Hana Bar and 100 percent of your food and alcohol orders will go to this foundation as proceeds. The foundation for the fundraiser has extended an invitation to all of us at Stargaze and as my employees you are required to be there. It's not very often when we all are asked to rub shoulders with a-list celebrities so I do believe I should be met with no grievances."

Usagi was too mortified to laugh at the sight of Rei taking a bite out of her egg white sandwich. No… not tonight…

With a full mouth, the editor-in-chief nodded at someone who had their hand up.

"What is the fundraiser for?"

She swallowed her masticated food and took another glance at her printed memo before answering. "It's for the fight against leukemia… any other questions?"

"Isn't that place haunted?" came a female voice from the middle of the crowd.

Rei rolled her eyes and huffed. "Don't waste my time with that ghost bullshit. If you're so superstitious, you need to be out of your office by the end of the day… any more questions?"

When she was met with silence yet again she moved to dismiss everyone back to work. Though, Usagi took this moment to dare question the mighty Captain Tatas. Almost tip-toeing her way to her boss, the odango-head cleared her throat to get Rei's attention once she approached her.

"Um, Rei… Could I talk to you?"

The stern ebony-headed woman stared down the blonde with a look that told her she better say something interesting in the next two seconds or she would be fired.

"You see, it's my birthday today and… my husband and I have made dinner plans tonight and… well… you see he's a doctor—a surgeon actually—and we really haven't been out together in the last year and we really need this. We've already made reservations and have tickets to an opera…" The odango-head nervously giggled in between her words and began to sweat.

Rei did not wait another moment to respond to the timid Usagi. "Ma'am, it is required that you come to tonight's event. I will not budge on that issue. It doesn't happen often, if at all, that we are exclusively invited to a celebrity party. We all need to provide a good image of Stargaze and the more of us that show up the more it shows that we care and the better chances of us getting invited to something on this level again."

"Yes… I understand, but would they really notice the absence of little old me?" She was trying to play on Rei's superiority complex. "My husband's work is just so demanding and this is probably the only night in the whole year that I'll be able to spend time with him. Please, Ms. Hino…"

Her fierce lavender eyes penetrated questioningly through Usagi's blue hues. "If I make an exception for you, then everyone else will come up asking me for favors and turn this whole office into chaos." She then sighed, regrettably. Who really would notice her being gone? She looked around the room and windows for anyone close by before lowering her voice. "Fine, just stay there for at least an hour or so. Then you can sneak off… and I mean sneak off. Don't go telling all your gal pals I said you could leave." Rei really wanted to upkeep her fear-inducing reputation so as not to face disrespect from her subordinates.

Usagi sighed in relief. Even though it was not what she wanted, it was something. But she decided not to push her luck. "Thank you, thank you. I promise, not a word…"


"Hello?"

"Hey, Mamo-Chan…"

"Usako, how are you?"

"Eh, I'm okay."

"Why are you just okay?"

Usagi sighed. "Something came up at work today and I need to be at this fundraiser right now for about an hour or so. But don't worry, I've talked to my boss and I can still make it tonight. I'm going to have to meet you at the restaurant instead of you coming by to pick me up. I'm sorry, love…"

She heard a deep chuckle from the other end of the line. "That's fine. You sure you're allowed to leave?"

"Believe me, even if I wasn't, I would find a way to sneak out. She probably doesn't even remember my name after three years so who's she gonna get mad at?"

"Alright, alright. I'll see you at seven."

"Bye, Mamo-Chan."

Usagi let out a sigh while ending her phone conversation with her husband.

"I can't believe you got out of it. How were you able to do it?" Minako asked as she focused her attention on her reflection in a compact mirror as she applied some touch-up to her face. Both women were in the back of a cab on their way to the club.

"Eh, I just played up on her arrogance. She doesn't know who the hell I am and if she sees me as this insignificant executive assistant, then who's gonna know I'm gone in a sea of celebrities? Anyway, I'll help you get out too if you need to…"

"Are you kidding? I hear Yaten Kou is going to be there. I've wanted to have his babies since I was sixteen. I'm staying there all night until I get a lock of his hair."

"What? Is a picture and autograph too amateur for your fandom?" Usagi cocked an eyebrow.

"Usagi, you disappoint me…" Minako shook her head. "Anyone can get those measly things anytime, anywhere and I'm not just anyone. It's always to the next level with Minako Aino." She flashed a peace sign and winked.

"…Or to jail cell for thirty days and a restraining order."

"Well, we all have to make sacrifices at some point in our lives." Usagi's sarcasm did not faze the vivacious blonde one bit as she comfortably applied gloss to her lips.

The odango-headed woman shook her head. Minako was all too perfect for this business.

After a few more moments, the two made it to their destination and it was no low-key event. A crowd of photographers and reporters lined the red-carpeted walkway on both sides as many celebrity guests strutted their way down the path, taking their sweet time basking in the flashes of the cameras and questions of the quick interviews.

Minako and Usagi grabbed for their press passes and made their way around to the back of the club in order to enter. There was a reason why Usagi went for the backstage work instead of the limelight: glamour looked like too much of a hassle. And anything—even charities—was used to their advantage for more publicity and good image.

Minako, on the other hand, was still a struggling entertainer and tried her luck at many singing and talent contests over the years. While she did win a few, it did not skyrocket her to stardom like she had hoped and recently decided to take the back door approach through working for a prominent celebrity magazine to aid in her quest for an iconic status. Three years later, she was still here.

The two separated as red-bowed woman bounced her way around to network with celebrities and Usagi mulled around to try to pass the time until she was to leave. So far, it was the longest half-hour of her life. While she nursed her champagne and mingled with everyone and no one, she caught herself looking at her watch every two seconds hoping that ten minutes had passed. At one point, she caught Minako throwing her head back in laughter with a silver-haired man. And a few times Usagi had come upon someone she had met before such as an obscure music producer or manager, but no one she had too much interest in on this night.

And of course it was the night of her birthday in which Mamoru promised her a romantic time on the town… finally. Becoming head of surgery sounded dignified at first; it meant high status, intelligence and money. Enough to where Usagi did not have to work. He attained the position the same year they were married and the double-dose of good news seemed too good to be true… and it was. For the first two years of marriage, the blonde beauty spent her time alone or shopping with close friends; she got to know her hairdresser more intimately than she did her significant other. It did not take too much courage to go out and find a job in order to pass time of long weeks she went without seeing Mamoru and put that communications minor to good use. She loved her husband in all the ways possible but still found herself lonely and grasping for any free time she could get with him. Well, only thirty more minutes of this and then freedom…

"Hey, Odango…"

Usagi's thoughts were interrupted by a firm grasp on her shoulder. The odango-head turned to see her scantily-clad boss, Rei Hino. Inwardly she was rolling her eyes. She had not been called that name since junior high and, of course, leave it to Rei of all people to resurrect the title. Even though she had only known the woman as long as she had worked for her, she swore "Odango" was a conspiracy between all her past and present enemies. When she and Mamoru first met, he would address her like so just to get her blood boiling. But after their relationship blossomed, so did the pet names.

She would consider a change of hairstyle after this.

"…do you still need to leave?" her boss finished.

"Uh, yeah…" Usagi answered with blue eyes wide in confusion and anticipation. "Why?"

"Yeah," Rei looked around the bar as if she were trying to evade someone or hide, "… well, I need to leave and I remember you had to as well. We can share a cab."

Usagi blinked. "You need to leave? Why?"

"Why do you keep asking why?!" Rei snarled as anger swept her gaze. "That doesn't matter. Are you coming or not?"

The scared blonde then nodded vigorously. For this moment in time, she considered Rei a saint. "Okay." With one huge gulp, her half-full flute of champagne flowed effortlessly down her throat.

The two women pushed lightly through the crowd. They were careful as to not upset any celebrities and get Stargaze blacklisted for any reason. Some of them could be quite the prima donnas.

Rei led Usagi through the backdoor and proceeded to yell and wave for a cab. The raven-headed woman was on a mission and Usagi ended up lagging behind for a bit, having to avoid a black-haired young man walking in the opposite direction on her same path. As the odango-head stormed out the doorway after her boss, somehow the man's full glass of alcohol landed on her bust. Half of the drink spilled all over her blouse while the rest ended their fall onto her shoes.

"Oh my God, miss, I am so sorry. Are you okay?" the man asked in astonishment.

Jesus, was that drink ever cold. Usagi swore a couple of ice cubes fell down her bra. That moment happened so fast that it submitted her to complete speechlessness and all she could do was look down herself while gasping heavily.

"Odango, what are you doing? Let's go!" Rei demanded while she leaned on an open door of a yellow cab.

"Um, Rei, I'm sorry. I… I have a bit of a problem. I had kind of an accident…" Usagi tried to wipe off some of the drink.

Her boss raised her lip and dark eyebrow and shrugged. "What?"

"Yeah… I'm sorry. I need to go to the bathroom. I'll be right out."

She wasted no time. Rolling her eyes, Rei stepped into the cab, closed the door and was down the street no more than five seconds later. Usagi sighed in annoyance as she watched the editor-in-chief pull away without her and soon stomped her right foot hard on the pavement.

"Shit!"

"Miss, I sincerely apologize. You were moving quite fast and I tried to get out of your way." The man made light of the situation by chuckling and handing her a handkerchief.

Oh… he was still here. Usagi shook her head and accepted the cloth tissue by basically snatching it out of his hand. "You're fine. Don't worry about it. Thanks." She began wiping off her arms and neck before dabbing at her blouse.

"That's… not looking like it's gonna come out."

She knew he was just trying to make lighthearted conversation; she knew he was trying to be funny; she knew he was trying to make it all better. But this day could not have gotten any worse. Not only was she forced into this party, but was abandoned and spilled on in the same minute. It was hard to appreciate his attempts.

"You think? I was hoping it was just disappearing ink in your crystal glass." She barked.

His eyes widened in fear. "Hey, calm down, Odango. It's not the end of the world."

Oh no he did NOT. "Excuse me, my name is not Odango!"

"Could have fooled me; you let Tits Mcgee call you that."

Usagi growled. "She's my boss and you're just some scotch-drinking stranger. She has somewhat more of a right."

"She's your boss?" He was startled. "Sorry about that. She seems like a bitch."

"Can you just stop talking now and leave me alone?" Usagi busted through the back door to leave behind the dark-headed man with his sarcastic apologies. Once again pushed her way through the a-list crowd only this time she was not taking any prima donna tendencies into consideration and ignored a few remarks; by the time they were even made, she was halfway across the room. She approached the bar to request some club soda before taking it to the bathroom.

Only a few minutes into cleaning herself and some other task had to come up: her phone began ringing. Usagi was somewhat calmed by reading Mamoru's name on the caller ID.

"Oi, Mamo-Chan," she sighed.

"Hey, Usako, are you at the restaurant yet?"

"No, no. Not yet. Are you there?"

She heard him sigh heavily and her ears perked, knowing what that meant…

"Usako, I can't make it tonight."

…And she lost it. "What? Why not?!"

"There's been a horrible car accident just a few minutes ago and these people are in critical condition. They haven't come in yet but… they need me. It's that bad. I'm sorry, Usako. I know how much you were looking forward to this…"

She fervently ran her hand through her bangs and tried her hardest to keep from ripping them out. Of course this happened… why did she expect this night to be so special?

"Alright… you better go then. Don't want those people to die on your watch." And with that, Usagi hanged up her phone without any 'goodbye' or 'I love you' to her husband of five years. Even though she would feel twice as terrible if she were to pull her husband away from saving lives, it was the perfect cherry on the top of her bad night. And no matter what, she was not allowed to be selfish.

So she cried. What else could she do? She covered her face in a failed attempt to keep in her sobs and tears but it seemed like it only made her blubbering worse. She missed her husband dearly and thoughts of separation or divorce had crossed her mind recently. She hated the thought of even thinking about it and would curse herself vastly every time it invaded her mind. But could anyone really blame her? She was lonely and in love, she was human.

Usagi heard many times from her close friend, Minako, that alcohol is only a temporary solution if you stop. Maybe another drink or five would cure her blues if only for the night. With one last sniffle, she dried her face of the fallen tears and gave herself one last look in the mirror. The stranger was right: the stains were not going to come out. She'll just have to wear them with pride.

And on her way out to beeline it for the bar, she was greeted by that scotch-drinking stranger. He held two full glasses of white wine in his hand.

"Are you doing okay?" Sarcasm turned into sincerity.

Even if it was really only a few seconds, Usagi took the time to stare at him because of his striking resemblance to her husband. But though there was a similarity, there was a difference and something about him that felt unearthly. His messy black bangs fell over pools of dark blue that could hypnotize any woman into his arms. In height, he had a few inches over the odango-head and it was accented well with dark, sleek slacks and a fitting black shirt that greatly pronounced his thin frame. Literally, she shook her head to disrupt her staring and had hoped he did not notice.

"Yeah, I'm okay. Sorry, I'm not having a good night."

"I can tell…" he smirked, "I bought you a drink." he extended one of the glasses to her.

She chuckled. "No, really it's okay. You don't have to do anything. I'm sorry I was so rude back there."

"Please, I won't be able to sleep tonight if I don't do something for you. It's very apparent you've seen better days and why not let a stranger help out?" He grinned to show a perfectly stunning smile.

Sighing, she looked around. She did not socialize with any of her co-workers on an informal basis so how was Mamoru going to find out? Hell, Minako is the only one who knows she is even married. And it was all to be innocent anyway.

"Okay. One drink," She complied while accepting the glass. Hey, it was for charity, was it not? She noticed that he did not hide the fact that he was fairly pleased that she agreed to his offer. After taking the wine, Usagi hugged herself tightly to stay warm after feeling a sudden coldness.

"So do you often run into people with full glasses of alcohol?" he winked.

"Run into you?! I saw you practically hurl that drink onto me. I never even touched you," Usagi defended.

"Well I gotta say it looks better on you than it did in the glass."

She sent a confused glare his way. "I never knew someone to pay more attention to the look of scotch versus its taste."

"Well I can tell you about its taste if you would just follow me into the unisex bathroom." His cobalt eyes glinted in a mischievous sensuousness.

"Do you do this all the time to pick up women?" Glare was now a grin.

The man was in the midst of sipping on his wine before her inquiry made him almost choke. He coughed a few times and wiped his chin of the dribbling alcohol. "What?"

"Spill on them and then buy them drinks in order to blatantly hit on them?"

He smirked. "What makes you think I'm picking you up?"

Usagi could not have felt anymore shot down. "Uh… um, I mean… aren't you?" She really felt like disappearing.

"Well you do look like my type. But I'd have to be blind to miss that big, shining rock on your left hand." With the hand holding his wine glass, the young man pointed toward Usagi's wedding ring. "Lemme guess: a lawyer?"

She looked down at her ring finger as if it was news to her she wore her wedding band. Blushing, Usagi chuckled nervously. "Close, he's a doctor."

"So what's a doctor's wife doing at a celebrity event?"

The blonde could not help but sigh. "This doctor's wife works for a magazine. And I came here unwillingly if you can believe it."

"I can believe it. This thing is too stuffy for my tastes." He made a sour face to accompany his disdainful feeling.

"Well then what's a scotch-drinking klutz doing here?" Usagi giggled and sipped on her wine.

"You don't know who I am?" The man blinked his dark blue eyes in bewilderment.

The odango-head shifted her eyes and shrugged apologetically. "Am I supposed to?"

He returned the shrug and went for another sip of wine. "For a working at a magazine, you're sure rusty on your celebrities."

"I know the ones that matter," Usagi cocked a brow. "I can't help it if you're a has-been."

"Oh God!" He humorously grabbed at his chest. "That hurt. That really hurt deep down, Odango. That was low! Is that the way you treat all strangers?"

"Excuse you! But I told you not to call me that." While still being a tad irked, Usagi did have playfulness in her voice.

"Why not? I'm hell of a lot nicer than Big Boobs Magoo."

"C'mon, Satan's nicer than her!"

"Is she that bad?"

"Did you not just see her ride off in a cab—which we were supposed to share—without me back there?" The blonde woman asked, trying to convince the stranger. "I was supposed to go meet my husband."

"Well, it just wasn't meant to be…" He calmly retorted.

The odango-head blinked in confusion before she opened her mouth to speak. But nothing would come out as she was cut off from being bumped by a line of people. Not even an hour into the party and the club was already packed. A bit of her wine spilled over the cusp of her glass, but luckily it missed her and instead splattered on the floor.

"It's getting more crowded." The man exclaimed with a smile. He then leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "Do you want to go somewhere else?"

A sudden chill raced down the blonde's spine from his murmuring. And then the coldness spread all over her body. She could not help it; her husband had canceled on her for the millionth time and the only attention she was receiving was from this handsome stranger. Doubt, confusion and anger consumed her mind for the night and this man had something about him to calm her down. It was not anything lustful…

She just felt safe.

Breaking out of her reverie, Usagi turned to her left after feeling a hand on her shoulder.

"Usagi, why are you still here? I thought you were supposed to have left by now." Minako was surprised and perplexed.

"Oh he had an emergency at the hospital. There was a really bad car accident tonight."

The flaxen gasped. "I'm so sorry, Usagi. I can't believe he had to cancel again." She pouted in sympathy before immediately perking up. "Well, Yaten is taking me to the VIP room. You're more than welcome to come if you want!"

The odango-head smiled. "No, that's okay. I'm actually talking to someone…" Usagi turned her head to face the black-haired stranger to find out he disappeared.

Minako looked around the bar and then back at her friend. "Who?"

Furrowing her brow, Usagi kept looking all over the club for her temporary knight in shining armor. "He was just here. He must have gone to the restroom or something." She had to silently admit to herself she was a bit disappointed to find him gone… as well as a little embarrassed.

"He…?" Minako's golden brow raised in suspicion and curiosity.

Realizing her slip up, Usagi's cheeks turned rosy and shook her head in denial. "No! Not like that. We're just talking!"

"As long as you're having a good time," Minako winked and gave her odango-headed companion's shoulder a squeeze. "I'm sorry again about Mamoru. Lemme know when you change your mind and I can let you in the room." She waved as she walked away.

Usagi gave a slight wave herself and sighed in her loneliness. In a futile attempt, she stood on her tiptoes to once again look for her blue-eyed acquaintance but all the tops of the heads looked the same. Though their conversation was lighthearted, it was nice to have someone make her forget her bad night—if only for a little bit. His smile just lit up the room and the spark in his eyes danced with playfulness. Just like that of Mamoru's when she and him first starting dating…

Oh Mamoru. As bad as she felt, she almost forgot about her anger with him because the stranger was able to let her. And suddenly thinking about her busy husband made her think of the nonexistent goodbye from earlier, since she hanged up on the conversation before another word could be spoken. Maybe she was overreacting. But is wanting to spend one romantic night with your husband really too much to ask? Her birthday only came once a year… Jesus, just thinking about all the events almost brought tears to Usagi's eyes. Maybe she should have stayed on a few seconds longer to hear, 'I'm sorry, Usako. I'll call you when I can. I love you.' She just did not want to understand the demands of his job after five years of fighting it.

Sighing, she took her phone out and stared into the wallpaper display that was a photo of her and Mamoru at the beach last year. The brightness of the screen lit up her desperate and gloomy face as she stared at the momentary happiness that was the picture. It reminded her that even though they were not together often, when they were, it was bliss.

Usagi's blue eyes wondered all over the room until her focus landed on a single door placed in the middle of the wall. Letters that spelled out, "roof access," were painted in metallic silver across it.

"Hey Mamo-Chan. I just called to tell you that… I hope everything's going okay at the hospital and… that I'm sorry for hanging up on you. I've just been stressed and it was wrong of me to get upset. I miss you and was really looking forward to tonight and when I found out that it wouldn't happen, I took it out on you. But, I really only called to tell you that I'm sorry and I hope we can reschedule and try again. I promise I'll make it up to you and make you some cookies this weekend. I'll see you at home… I love you, Mamo-Chan."

Slowly, Usagi lowered her cell phone and pressed the 'end' button after finishing with leaving a message on her husband's voicemail. She knew that Mamoru was not the one to ever get completely livid but leaving the message made her feel better about herself. With one huge swig, she let the last bit of wine spill down her throat without so much as feeling the chardonnay's bite. The bright lights lit up the city as if it was manmade daytime and it echoed with the sounds of car horns and nightlife. Her eyes closed slowly as a warm wind blew against her body and she sniffed the summer air filled with the scent of the metropolis and fireworks. Any moment now, the festival will begin…

"There you are."


That's all for now. :3 Stay tuned!