Hello everyone! I'm really excited. This is my first story and I have been working on it for ages. No one else has read this so my apologies if there are some mistakes I haven't caught; I have edited to the best of my ability. Hope you all enjoy the story!
(Standard disclaimer: I do not own any of the Sailor Moon characters of which I am writing about. This story is an original that I wrote for fun and without compensation. All characters belong to Naoko Takeuchi.)
Two Years is a Long Time
Usagi had just gotten out of school and decided to take a different route home. She couldn't believe that she'd gotten another thirty on her test. A thirty out of a hundred! How embarrassing! She needed to buy herself some time before going home to come up with a good excuse to tell her parents, but so far all of her ideas were terrible. 1-She had a debilitating stomach ache that day and couldn't concentrate. 2-She never learned any of the material covered on the exam. 3-The teacher hated her because she overheard her tell Naru that she looked fat in the dress she was wearing.
And while all of those were actually true, she knew her parents would only be more upset if she gave them another excuse. She'd always known that she wasn't the best student, but this was pretty bad. It was only the beginning of the year and yet she had already managed to screw up. Depressed, she walked without a purpose until the tinkling of automatic doors made her look up from the sidewalk.
She stood before the entrance of Crown Arcade, the supposedly 'totally fun and hip' place to spend your days after school, according to the flier Naru had given her yesterday. They were supposed to have checked it out together, but Naru had a doctor's appointment. Since Usagi was in no rush to get home, she decided that today would be as good a day as any to stop by.
Standing in front of the large windows, she could see very clearly inside the game center. To her amazement there were dozens of playing stations with the largest variety of games she'd never seen. There was a long food counter with booths toward the back that were cozy enough to use with friends or a date. She had hit the jackpot! How the existence of this place had eluded her for so long was beyond her, but she knew perfectly well where she would be spending her free time from now on.
As she took the step to enter, she hesitated. It wouldn't be a good idea to get her hopes up only to have them shattered later on when she got home. Should she torture herself by having the memory of this amazing place to think of as she sat grounded in her room for the next couple of weeks after her parents learned of her failed exam?
Probably not, but… oh the temptation! She had no doubt that within this game heaven she'd find entertainment for hours on end, but if she stepped inside this arcade right now who knew when she'd come back out. If only she weren't grounded she'd come here every day, but she was sure that there would be absolutely no way that she'd leave the house for at least another month after her father saw her sorry test score.
However… what her parents didn't know couldn't hurt her. And in that instant it was decided. She wouldn't tell them about the test! She promised herself to become friends with the new smart girl in her homeroom this year, Mizuno Ami. She was sure her smartness would eventually rub off on her if they hung out enough.
She crumpled up the stupid test and flung it over her shoulder, her worries gone right along with it. Good riddance! Sailor V, here she came!
"Really? A thirty? How more pathetic can you get?" She heard a snickering come from behind her and ignored it at first; it was no one that she knew. But as the meaning of the words slowly sunk in, she spun around. Who the hell was this busybody anyway?
She turned to find a tall, dark haired guy. He was a couple of years older than her and wore a crisp white shirt, a black blazer casually slung over his shoulder. His eyes were like the night sky, his skin perfectly tan, jaw wonderfully masculine… Had she not been ticked off at his comment, she might have just swooned at his raw perfection. Her wrinkled exam sheet was smoothed out in his hand and he was giving her a stunned look.
He was hands down the best-looking guy she'd ever seen, but who even walked around dressed like that in the shopping district? She stared at him for a moment, not sure if to believe that he was entirely real, but as she saw an infuriatingly condescending frown cross his features, she realized then that angels weren't capable of such sinful facial expressions. Anger bubbled up inside her at his pitying stare.
"Excuse me!" she screeched. "Mind you own business, you jerk!" She snatched her paper back from him.
"I'm the one who should be mad, you just threw this at my head!" He placed dark sunglasses on his face. "Next time warn people before you start throwing your crap around, Odango Atama!" and he walked away.
She was rooted to the spot. She could not believe that a complete stranger had just embarrassed her like that! Who did he think he was calling her names! She did not look like an odango! She couldn't believe the nerve of this creep—insulting an innocent schoolgirl!
She stomped into the arcade and let herself breathe in the lovely smell of food, listening to the game sounds around her while soaking in the essence of fun to help calm her. Relax, Usagi. There was no reason for her to get so worked up over a guy—no, an asshole!—that she was never going to see again.
Mamoru had known Usagi for a year already and she still hadn't changed one bit. She kept telling Motoki that she was going to be more ladylike and poised, but it was all lies. Here she was once again throwing a tantrum because her teacher had given her class a pop quiz that morning and she had failed it—again. No surprise there.
"But we studied together, Ami-chan! How can this happen?!" she wailed to her friends, complaining on and on about how her teacher hated her.
He wasn't even sitting next to them and he could hear her from across the room. Goodness, did she ever shut up? No longer being able to take it, he stormed over to her, slamming his hands against the table and effectively ending her childish whining.
"Stop. Talking." She was interrupting his studying and he'd had enough. "Your fucking wailing is driving me crazy." Rei and Ami timidly shrunk back as he scolded Usagi but he ignored them. His fight was with Usagi and he was going to make sure that she listened to him. "Cut the crap and actually study next time if you don't want to be such a failure."
Usagi, opposite her friends, wasn't having any of his crap. The table nearly toppled over as stood up with a pointed finger to his chest, blowing up on him as fast as he'd done her. She repeatedly poked him every time she made a different point about why she believed he was such a jackass (with none of them being true, of course) and he stood there, soaking up her insults until she turned red in the face. He smacked her hand away as her nudges became more powerful towards the end of her rant.
"And if you weren't such an arrogant loser, maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't be so foul as to take your anger out on a young, blameless girl!" she yelled. He laughed in her face.
"Girl? HA! Child is more like it! You little brat, you better watch it before I put you back in line!"
His outburst must have impacted her because she just gaped at him, not believing that he had actually threatened her. Oh, he may be intimidating for show sometimes, but she better believe that this dog knew how to bite. Usagi quickly recovered from her shock and took a deep breath in, preparing for her next angry rave.
"Hey, keep it down!" Motoki shouted from across the room. Usagi promptly shut her mouth, but fixed him with a steely glare. Reaching them, Motoki shook his hand between them, telling them to back off. "What the hell did I tell you guys? If you can't act civilized, leave!" Motoki gave him a peculiar look, knowing that he was better than this.
And Motoki was right. In the end, Mamoru was the one that looked dumb arguing with a fifteen-year-old girl, but he couldn't help it. She did everything possible to get under his skin on purpose. He came to the arcade because it used to be a place where he could actually focus, but ever since Odango became a regular, he hasn't been able to finish a single thought without hearing her gripes in the background.
He did not know of a single good quality in her. She was loud and obnoxious, clumsy and stubborn—could a person get any worse than that? No, the answer was no. And to top it all off, she had taken to an immediate dislike to him ever since the day they'd met and even went purposely out of her way to annoy him. In the beginning he thought it was mildly cute, a tiny middle schooler trying to get his attention, but as her insults began to get harsher, he finally realized that she was just a snotty bitch.
Motoki always tried reminding him that she was just a kid, but even he understood that excuse wouldn't cover her forever. She had to grow up some time and when she did, he would be there to prove to Motoki that the beast never changes. He doubted that high school, or even college, would stop her from being the embodiment of immaturity. The only way that she'd change would be if she was forcefully taught a lesson about respect. Not that he wanted to hit her, but how he longed to ruff her up a bit! She just needed a good shaking to cure that despicable mouth of hers.
If she wasn't such a pain, he could possibly consider her cute. She had wide, bright blue eyes and her hair curiously gleamed like gold in the sun, but it was all that noise that came out when she opened her mouth that drowned out all of her redeemable features. Seriously, how could anyone deem her attractive when she yapped nonstop?
He went back to his booth and started packing up his things and shoving them into his bag. He had more than enough trash talk for one day. He left the arcade without saying good-bye to Motoki, but knew that he'd understand. He needed to get away from the girl that managed to ruin his afternoons with her nonsense and throw himself into the arms of a real woman that understood exactly how to treat a man the right way.
Although it had been almost two years since Mamoru and Usagi had known each other, Motoki couldn't say that much had changed, at least not fundamentally. They still argued when they saw each other (though the insults had toned down a bit), but rarely would either one raise their voice. He couldn't tell which had settled down more, but only wished that it'd be a continuing phenomenon. Whether it was that their phase of aversion that had finally passed, or that they had grown out of their obnoxious bickering, he was just happy to have a quieter environment to be in, as were, no doubt, the rest of the arcade's patrons.
Usagi hadn't physically changed all that much. She hadn't grown much taller and still ate like a pig without gaining any weight. She still talked and goofed around just as much as before, constantly joking around with her friends in their favorite booth in the back of the arcade. But, he had to admit that she had matured substantially. She was no longer the crybaby she had been when they'd first met and she didn't whine nearly as much as she had just last year. Yes, she did fight with Mamoru, but for the most part she won every round.
It seemed that Mamoru was losing his touch with her (or maybe he too had grown tired of arguing about every little thing) and was actually dropping perfect opportunities to bother her about sensitive issues. Just last month a tampon had rolled out of Usagi's purse and he'd handed it back silently. Sure, it had been after he'd poked her with it a few times in her forearm, but it could have been worse. She thanked him quietly, completely mortified, but didn't argue with him for the next couple of days. Or when they had heard through Ami that Usagi's father had been injured at work, Mamoru just let her pick on him without a single retort for the entire time her father was in the hospital.
They had reached a level of civility that they seemed to mutually accept and rarely, if ever, defied. Not even Usagi went as deep as she once had. When Mamoru had unintentionally hinted at his parentless childhood in the middle of an argument, Usagi pretended to not have heard him. She ended the topic early by saying that their reasons for arguing were dumb and promptly left the arcade.
But days like today, for example, left his mind boggled and further questioned the relationship forming between those two. Currently, he and Mamoru were in the arcade waiting to meet the rest of their friends for a weekend snowboarding trip. He worked on finishing up some paperwork behind the cash register while Mamoru sat with someone they'd recently met through mutual acquaintances and who was also coming on the trip with them.
Usagi had walked in just a couple of minutes ago and scanned the place for her friends who were surprisingly not here. She'd immediately spotted Mamoru and company, eying the couple curiously before making her way to him. First thing she did was ask him if she was Mamoru's girlfriend.
"Trust me, that word is not part of his vocabulary," he said simply. She nodded in agreement and sat pensively on the stool across from him.
And she had been sitting there for the past ten minutes without muttering a word. Personally he was glad for it because once Usagi chatted up a storm, it was impossible to get her to quit. Besides, he really wanted to hurry and finish his work so that he didn't have to think about it during the trip and could have a good time at the slopes.
Usagi nonchalantly watched over Mamoru's table and he was as curious as to know what was on her mind. He followed her gaze. Mamoru and that girl (whose name was not important enough for him to remember) were getting quite cozy indeed, currently kissing none too modestly. He turned back to Usagi. Her face was perfectly neutral with the exception of a nearly unnoticeable worried crease on her brow.
"What are your plans for the weekend?" she asked him casually.
"Mamoru and I are going skiing with some friends," he answered and her gaze briefly went back to the couple. He knew that she was probably wondering if the girl was coming along, too. She nodded along to his answer and suddenly got up off the stool, making her way to Mamoru's table. "What are you going to do?" he called after realizing her destination. She ignored him.
He watched Usagi carefully slide into the seat opposite the couple with blank looks directed her way. Not even half a second passed after Usagi had said something when he saw Mamoru's jaw clench and the girl's eyes widen. All three of them looked incredibly tense and after Usagi said a few more things, the girl excused herself before practically running out of the arcade alone.
Incredibly worried for Usagi's safety, he quickly made his way over to them. Mamoru's look was sinister. However, before he was able to reach their table, Mamoru was making his way through the opposite exit, tense and tight-lipped. He looked at Usagi bewildered. What in the world did she do?
"Usa, what happened?" he asked, ready to call after Mamoru.
"Crabs is like, an STD, right?" There was a tiny smile on her lips as he nodded slowly.
"Yeah…" he said slowly, getting a clue as to what might have transpired. Usagi beamed before skipping away happily.
"Okay! Just wanted to make sure! See you later, Motoki-kun! Have fun skiing!" and Usagi went to meet up with her friends that had just conveniently arrived, leaving him to go after one incredibly pissed Mamoru all on his own.
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