Summary: Curious minds breed curious investigations. The senshi activity has acquired the attention of a determined male as he tries to unveil their identities. Of course the senshi in their high school age want nothing to do with being discovered. As the law digs up every piece of evidence they can to find the senshi, five nervous students do their best to stay hidden. Some secrets are better if kept secret but cold hard evidence doesn't always favor hiding the truth.
Curious azure eyes trailed after what looked to be a group of well-dressed police officials as she walked inside the walls of Juuban High School. Her mind raced with ideas of why they would be there, neither idea able to climb up to the top as she continued to think. Perhaps a fight had broken out and they were taking care of the aftermath? With a shrug, she dropped her silent inquisitions and walked leisurely through the familiar halls.
With a kind smile, the said girl nodded. "Morning!"
She turned a corner and froze, a shorter blue-haired girl staring morosely out a window. Minako peeked outside to see more police officials and with a worried brow joined the side of the blue-eyed genius.
"What's wrong Ami-chan?"
Ami's lips curved into a small frown, her eyes temporarily flitting from the scene outside.
"I heard rumors that they were here for an investigation," she said.
Slightly confused, Minako arched an eyebrow.
"What kind of investigation?" She asked.
Ami was a smart girl and for as long as Minako had known her, she had come to recognize that the young aspiring doctor never concerned herself with frivolous rumors unless she thought them to be important.
Ami hesitated a moment, her voice seemingly disappearing as she tried to formulate a response. She didn't want to believe it but there was no other reason for the police, and what looked to be higher task forces, to be at their school. With a sigh she looked back outside.
"They're trying to find the senshi."
The wail was enough to deafen everyone within a ten-mile radius, a blonde pigtailed youth sprinting through the streets, as she often did every school morning. As if expecting her to come rushing through, pedestrians parted to make a clear path for her so they could avoid getting tackled. She panted as she constantly ridiculed herself for being late once again, her eyes rejoicing as the school appeared closer and closer with every step. Even more exonerating, was the fact that she still had a chance to get to class on time if she just sprinted a tad bit faster. Closing her eyes, she urged her legs to move quicker, the wind whistling in her ears.
"Just…a bit…longer," she huffed as she forced her fatigue and protesting lungs to the back of her mind. Her heart started leaping as she felt her feet come in contact with the steps of the school, her body zooming across as fast as she could manage. Eyes open, she saw the second hand of the school's giant clock slowly inching, her body nearly making it to her classroom. She skid across the school grounds, turned a sharp corner and had her breath taken away instantaneously, her eyes widening larger than they had ever been in her lifetime.
Her body collided harshly into a group of suited men, toppling bodies muffled with groans and moans of obscenities filling the halls. The young blonde's eyes started to swirl in a haze her aching limbs numbing as she sat pained on the ground.
"Owww," she whined, rubbing her head in attempts to eliminate the spinning images.
Angry men lifted themselves indignantly from the floor, their scowling eyes darting to the girl responsible. Luckily, the girl didn't notice, as her impaired vision continued to swirl.
"Hey…" she muttered, pointing warily at the ceiling. "Since when did we have stars on the ceiling?"
Her body swayed dangerously, her pointed finger wobbling with her. She gasped.
"They change colors too!"
Unable to stay angry, the suited men started to feel sorry for her, two men lifting her from the ground. She smiled wryly at each of them, her speech slurred and worse than before.
"Thanks. I'm…Usa…giiiii,"' she said sounding as though she were stuck in a drunken stupor. "Uuuuusaaaaaagiiii," she droned louder dragging out the sound of each vowel trying to get the men to acknowledge her by name.
Shaking their heads, they led her to the classroom they had assumed she was headed for. To their fortune, the teacher quickly recognized her.
"Tsukino, Usagi!" She said sharply. "Late again!"
The teacher's lips were pressed in a tight frown, her eyes glaring menacingly at the disillusioned girl.
"Sensei," Usagi smiled with little laughs. "I feeeeeel so happy to be here!"
The girl threw her hands in the air, and lunged forward. In her highly ungraceful leap, she had managed to trip over her own feet, her face planting itself unceremoniously into the ground. In a speed unnatural for any normal human, she got back up still grinning intently despite her now bloody nose.
The teacher's eye twitched, her body stiff with uncertainty. What kind of drug were these kids on these days?
"Uhh," the teacher said cautiously. "What's wrong with her?"
"She ran into us in the hallway, took a pretty bad fall."
The students in the classroom did their best to keep from laughing, hands slapped across their mouths to muffle the sound. Usagi had then started twirling, staring at her skirt as it bloomed out around her.
"Weeeeee," she chimed with the biggest smile on her face. "Woah," she would then grumble, her face turning a bit green. "Too fast."
The police men looked at her strangely, no one yet able to decide how to approach her. Finally, with much humility, a tall brunette went up to the blonde to direct her gently to her seat.
"Com'on Usagi-chan," she said with an arm around the shorter girl's shoulders. "Let's go find your seat."
"Mako-chan!" the girl squealed, peering gratefully at the green-eyed Amazon. "Did you get taller?"
Makoto laughed, scratching the back of her head. "No," she said. "I'm still the same height."
She slowly settled Usagi into her seat.
"You're as tall as a skyscraper! Coooool!"
She yanked on Makoto's arm, her body caught by surprise.
"Geez Usagi-chan," Makoto muttered. "Take it easy."
"Let me have some of your height!" Usagi bellowed, swinging her hands aimlessly at Makoto legs. "I want long sexy legs like you Mako-chan!" She whined with a pout.
Makoto blushed furiously, trying to take back her arm as carefully as she could. After what seemed like an eternity of tug-a-war (the rope being her poor arm), she finally broke loose, Usagi sitting dazed in her seat while Makoto rushed away.
"Makooooooo-chan!" She bellowed. "Come baaack!"
Ms. Haruna rubbed her head in disapproval as small snickers sounded across the room. This surely wasn't the start of a very productive day. She glared daggers at the suited men who had unconsciously taken a cautionary step backward and threw her hands up.
"Well, there's only one way to salvage the wasted time due to our lovely law-enforcers and unfortunate classmate's incident," Ms. Haruna declared sarcastically with a degrading look in the direction of the men. "Pop quiz!"
The class unanimously sounded in groans, Usagi suddenly blinking out of her haze. Anxiety-ridden she perked in her seat with fear.
"Quiz?" She panicked. "I didn't even study!"
"I guess I know what you're getting as a grade then," Ms. Haruna stated nonchalantly.
The students' hearts dropped at the sight of the premade quizzes. Somehow they imagined Ms. Haruna took delight in springing these quizzes on them when they least expected it, else why would she do it so often? With a troubled sigh and stress, Usagi buried her head in her hands. This was definitely the worse day yet.
There were too many finely dressed people flocking around the school, noted a particular student as she tried to discreetly weave her way through the traffic to reach her classroom. Fellow students were bustling in the common area, glancing occasionally at the law-enforcement which seemed to be the subject of their conversation. With narrowed eyes, the raven-haired female curiously reexamined the suited officials and found her way to a familiar group of girls that seemed to be the most engaged in the topic.
"Hey," she stated casually. "What's going on over there?"
The green-haired responder turned quickly to face her.
"They're interviewing all of the students for a secret investigation," she informed. "But there's a rumor going around that they're really trying to find the senshi."
The young miko arched an inquisitive eyebrow, eyes undoubtedly fleeting once again to the swarming suits.
"Not much of a secret if everyone knows about it," she accused with a scoff.
"I know!" The girl squealed. "But honestly, Rei-chan, do you think they'll actually find them?"
Rei frowned, eyes still glued to the police officials until she pried them away to observe the eager face of her classmate. With a 'hmph', Rei shook her head.
"The senshi are a joke," she replied bitterly. "It's very disappointing to see our law enforcement wasting precious citizens' money on the search for these imagined characters and it would do you well not to buy into their stupid theories too."
As convincingly as she could, she marched off with her nose in the air as if insulted by the fact that her peers were actually entertaining the idea that the senshi were real. And yet, her insides secretly churned with anxiety, a concerned look trying to cross on her features more than once. Why would they be investigating the senshi? Better yet, would she and her friends be able to evade them?
She looked crossly into the front office noticing the principal beckoning for her to come. Cursing mentally to herself she reluctantly complied.
"Chairo-san," she bowed curtly upon entrance. "You want to see me?"
"Hai, Hino-san, this officer here would like to have a word with you. Now don't worry, you're not in trouble but you do have the right to refuse speaking with him if you wish…"
Rei briefly looked over the officer and nodded.
"I may as well speak with you now. I hear you plan on interviewing the whole school so no point in trying to avoid you," she replied with distaste pleasantly protruding from her tone.
The principal laughed in amusement bobbing his head.
"That's Hino-san for you," he beamed. "Always sensible and never afraid to speak her mind. We expect great things from her in the future!"
The officer did not at all seem interested in the principal's words and made whatever gestures he could to convince the principal that he cared. Finally after the principal had finished bragging about the school's sharp-tongued and sharp-minded Rei Hino, the officer managed to pull the student into a vacant counselor's office.
"Please, take a seat," the officer said pointing to a chair.
Rei did so and awaited the questions. In annoyance she observed as the man shuffled through stacks of paper nearly giving off the look that he had absolutely no idea what he was doing.
"So, Rei Hino," he spoke, finally breaking the awkward silence.
"That's me," Rei muttered frigidly as she tried to remain patient despite her rising dissatisfaction with this officer's poor organizational skills.
"You live with your grandfather at the Hikawa shrine?"
"Yes," Rei confirmed.
"And I understand you work there as a miko?"
"Yes, I do," Rei again confirmed.
"Interesting," he said, scribbling notes on a paper Rei couldn't get a clear view of. "How do you like it?"
Rei's patience was dissolving, her jaw tightening as the pointless questions progressed. Why couldn't he just get to the point?
"Look," she started completely ignoring his question. "Why don't you do us both a favor and get to the point? I've got plenty of other more important things I could be doing instead of chatting about work at the Hikawa shrine with you," she stated bluntly.
"Hn," the officer grunted in response and nodded. "Alright then," he said placing his hands neatly on the table. "People say that you are psychic."
"I am a miko that has been taught ancient art forms by my grandfather that allow me to see what other's cannot. I wouldn't necessarily equate that to being psychic."
"But these things you see that others can't…" he drifted. "Is it of the future?"
"If it was then I'd be called a fortune teller," she remarked coldly.
The officer rolled his eyes, now realizing just how much trouble she would be. Perhaps he should have started with a student that wasn't so bold.
"Three years ago groups of students were reported missing, a nonexistent bus line was said to have taken them captive and then surrendered them back to the stop as if nothing happened. Do you remember that story?"
"Of course I do," Rei frowned. "It happened in front of the shrine and people blamed us for their missing children. How could I forget?"
"Well a witness claims you knew who was responsible for these strange disappearances."
"Yeah?" Rei scoffed. "Well witnesses also claimed that I chopped their young children into little pieces and fed them to my two crows who supposedly have the power to make me beautiful. So witnesses are definitely the best sources of information for every situation!"
The officer looked pointedly at her in discontent as she glared daggers.
"Look, I'm just trying to do my job," he stated plainly. "I'm not looking to offend you."
"Then why don't you just get to the point?"
The officer heft a deep breath and steadily agreed.
"The senshi. What do you know about them?"
Rei could not ignore the smile that wiped across her lips as small laughs of disbelief chorused through her.
"Are you serious?" She questioned. "That's what this is about? And all this time I had thought the rumors were false!"
The officer did not look amused as he silently waited for her to stop laughing.
"This is a serious investigation," he informed. "If you do not tell us what you know people might die."
"Oh right," Rei sarcastically added. "Because the girls dressed in miniskirts and heels might come slaughter people with their corny attack phrases. Oh wait no!" She shouted. "The monsters that the girls in miniskirts fight will hurt us! I'm shaking in my seat, I swear!"
Again the officer stood without an ounce of amusement, eyes glaring as if he was tempted to resort to violence. It was bad enough he had to interview these students for any clues they could get on the senshi, but this girl was really trying his patience. Face stern and dangerously twitching, he slammed his fist impulsively into the table earning silence from Rei as she no longer was grinning.
"You don't want to get on my bad side," he warned, Rei's eyebrow raised.
She wasn't afraid. If anything, she almost invited him to lose his temper to further show how crazy he was for even trying such a task like seeking out the senshi who may or may not have existed.
"Now tell me, what do you know about the senshi? Three years ago that bus came floating back with the aid of the senshi right outside your temple walls. I know you saw something."
"The only thing I saw that night was the back of my eyelids just like every other sensible person in the neighborhood."
The officer was increasingly angry, his breathing ragged as Rei continued to be uncooperative. She watched as he started pacing the room and took notice of the gold band on his left hand. Her lips curved perpetually upward in a devious grin. She was getting tired of this interview and wanted more than anything to get out.
"You're married?" She queried.
The officer eyed her suspiciously before nodding.
"I'm surprised," she said with her nose in the air. "Especially since you appear to have an unhealthy obsession with finding a mythical group of underage girls prancing around in miniskirts trying to save the world. Does your wife know about this? Would she be happy to know that her perverse husband has been trying to seek out other girls to fulfill his strange fantasies?"
The officer's face was burning red, his temper unleashed by her insulting assumptions. As if expecting to suddenly explode, he hastily shot his arm up with a finger pointing towards the door.
"Out!" He seethed through grit teeth.
Rei looked falsely surprised and pretended to stutter.
"But we were having such a wonderful conversation," she said mockingly. "Must we really end it so soon?"
Again Rei acted as though she were hurt, bowing before rushing out the door. A snide smirk crossed her features as she nodded in approval.
"Well that was easy."
A tinge of guilt poked at her conscience but she shook it off as she reasoned it was for the better. Some things were better unknown and the mystery of the senshi was definitely one of them. Rushing to a secluded corner of her school grounds, she flipped open her watch to contact one of her friends.
"Minako-chan," Rei whispered. "Tell the others to meet at the temple after school. There's something important we gotta talk about. Minako-chan?"
Supposedly her interview with the officer had temporarily clogged her observatory skills as she suddenly noticed the distressed look marring her friend's eyes.
"I'm fine Rei," Minako reassured on the watch. "Just got finished talking with Ami about a problem we're having over here. I assume it's the same one you're probably wanting to talk about at the shrine after school…"
"Probably," Rei muttered, looking concerned. "Are you sure you're alright?"
"Yeah," Minako insisted. "I'm just letting the stress get to me too much. I'm sure I can manage though."
Rei frowned but said nothing more as she heard students marching from their classrooms. With a rushed farewell, she shut her watch and casually joined the crowd of students. The senshi would have to be careful especially since the police were looking for them. Their intentions had yet to be announced but Rei was certain it could not be a good thing.
"Do you really think we'll need them?"
"You don't believe that the senshi will just show themselves, do you?" The other asked.
"No," he mumbled in response. "But they're just teenagers. How are they supposed to find the senshi's true identities?"
The other man chuckled. "These aren't any ordinary teenagers. You'd be surprised by what they've accomplished long before they were even this age."
"What could have possibly done before the tender age of seventeen?" The man replied in disbelief.
"Things you wouldn't believe," was the response earned.
The five Polaroids of young teenage boys lay strewn across the table, a folder that had previously held the pictures lying open alongside them. While the police were interviewing the students and gathering as much information as they could on the senshi, these five would be enrolling into high school as undercover agents. Though many questioned the qualifications of these five, the head of the investigation knew they were the best option. The senshi would be found and that was a fact.
Thank you for reading.