Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Sailor Moon.
Lita slipped her feet into the heels she'd, or rather, Mina had chosen for this evening. They were simply gorgeous and when paired with the dress she'd splurged on for Rei's party, she knew she still looked a bit too tall and maybe a bit gawky. Yet, it was a much better version of her usual 'too tall and a bit gawky'. Perhaps her bank account wasn't thanking her, but her ego sure was. Besides, it wasn't as if Rei hadn't offered to help with the cost of the ensemble. Lita's pride simply wouldn't allow it.
Several weeks ago, Rei had come to her asking whether she could help a friend out for an evening. Lita, without thinking, immediately said yes. It was when Rei explained that Lita would be accompanying her to a really, really, really fancy party her father was throwing in Rei's honour. Lita had immediately tried to back out offering up the other girls as sacrifices and couldn't Jay go with her as her, you know, boyfriend? Rei had calmly answered that Lita was her only choice for this party and even if Jay could go, Rei wanted only Lita at her side.
Lita smiled. It was when Rei got too cool, too calm and too collected that one had to worry. Most people often thought that she burned brightest during her explosions of temper. Not so! Lita shrugged lightly to herself as the doorbell rang and she rose to answer it, gathering her purse and shawl to herself. Rei probably wanted her along as muscle to fend off her many unwanted suitors. Lita nodded to herself before opening the door. She could certainly do that. Just don't ask her to mingle or anything.
"Oh, Lita. You look divine!"
"You think?" Self-consciously, she imagined herself as Rei might be seeing her. A beautiful bronze-toned dress that flowed down her body, accentuating curves but sitting on her body in ways befitting a lady with class. She wore her auburn waves down, but on one side, her hair was held up with a matching hair accessory, a bronze rose barrette. Lita took in Rei and sighed.
"You, my dear will certainly be the belle of the ball!" Lita teased, admiring the simple, elegant manner in which Rei always dressed and carried herself. Effortlessly, she was all grace and femininity in her lavender dress. Lita hoped to herself that she was thinking these things without the tiny bit of envy she felt towards her friend.
A mischievous look entered Rei's eyes and she presented Lita with something she hadn't noticed had been in one of Rei's hands behind her back.
"A corsage?" Lita blurted out in surprise. Then, like a dam slowly releasing through little holes and cracks, the nervous self-consciousness eased out of her. This was Rei, a friend she'd known forever. Lita began laughing and Rei joined right in with her as she took the corsage out of it's box and placed it around Lita's wrist. Afterwards, Rei showed Lita her own corsage.
"I've got one too, so relax. We'll both be looking like we're going to prom."
Lita was busy admiring her own corsage, loving the choice of flowers and how the flowers cleverly accented each other as well as her own ensemble. She'd noticed that Rei's corsage did the same.
"Well, Lovely? Are you ready?" Rei held out an arm.
Lita stepped forward and linked her arm through Rei's. "Lead the way!"
The party was in full swing and Lita was surprised to find she was enjoying herself. Sure, everything stank of money, Lita wouldn't fault Rei for that. and it would've been intimidating if it hadn't been for the very stimulating company of a close friend of Rei's from her father's world that she'd introduced to Lita this evening.
Oh. The man was sweet, considerate, funny, charming and almost everything on her 'non-existent' list that she had for what her dream man needed to be.
He was too good to be true.
Several times throughout the evening, she'd tried to give him an excuse to escape her company. Either he hadn't noticed or he hadn't chosen to take advantage of what she offered. Eventually, she relaxed and set about enjoying the company of a very well-dressed, fine-looking man. Those brown eyes, were just, mmm. A girl could get lost so easily in those eyes, but she had to remember that she'd come here for Rei. As such, she'd made sure to keep an eye on her friend throughout the evening.
Rei, as the guest of honour, was duty-bound to float around the party greeting other guests and making the feel comfortable. Lita watched as Rei handled herself as only Rei could. With grace and pride. Nate captured her attention once more and then she was laughing at a joke he'd made and making one in response. By the time, she remembered to check for Rei's whereabouts, she turned in time to catch Rei being ushered outside the hall onto the balcony by some man she didn't recognize.
Immediately, Lita excused herself from Nate's company, ignoring the disappointment she felt and made her way through the crowd towards the doors she'd seen the pair disappear through. Just as she stepped outside, she heard someone talking to another person nearby.
"...And you know? I looked at this place and thought I could afford this. I could afford a girl like you. So, tell me, how much do you cost? How much would it take to make you mine?"
Lita's lip curled in disgust. The man was obviously drunk or crazy, speaking to a woman like that.
"Let go of my arm."
Those words, said with a biting cold, stopped Lita in her tracks. That was Rei! The little prat was speaking to Rei! Without thinking, she rushed forward into the situation and with a neat little move had the man's offending arm twisted behind his back, in a position couldn't be anything less than painful.
"Step back, Rei," Lita warned. The click of heels told her Rei was doing as she'd asked. She leaned forward, close to his ear, in order to ensure he would hear her words clearly. "Leave. We don't want trouble and you're obviously looking for it." With that warning, she released him and stepped away, turning to make sure that Rei was all right. When Rei looked up at her like that, she felt like a hulking giant, especially after her display of physical aggression. The self-consciousness was back. Lita opened her mouth to say something, but Rei's eyes widened in alarm just before she cried out.
By the time, Lita whirled around, she bumped right into someone that she swore hadn't been behind her a moment before. She took in the blonde man who was standing in a defensive position in front of her. When she looked over his shoulder, she saw the man who had been disrespecting Rei from moments before was now being held back by Nate. Nate looked disgusted as he held the struggling man easily. Just beyond Nate, was Rei's father, looking on in frank disapproval.
Lita flushed deeply. Had they seen all that? What was she doing here? In this place? With these people? Before she could beat up on herself anymore, the man standing in front of her turned and she realized it was Jay.
"Jay!" she exclaimed, hearing Rei say the same behind her.
He smiled and his blue eyes crinkled at the corners as he looked her over before placing his hands on her arms. "Are you all right? He didn't touch you?"
Lita looked dumbly up at him. "No, I-I'm fine. He only touched Rei. Are you all right?"
Jay blinked at her before he began chuckling. In between chuckles, he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Only you, Lita. Only you."
Lita smiled, albeit confusedly, as Rei stepped up to her side for Jay's inspection. When he was satisfied, she dismissed Jay with a kiss, letting him deal with the offender along with her father and Nate. They stood in silence for a moment, watching the proceedings.
"You know I could've taken care of him myself, right?" Rei teased, knowing exactly what Lita knew.
"I knew it, but I couldn't let the guest of honour get her hands dirty tonight." Lita answered, not quite feeling like laughing at the moment.
They both went silent once more. "Thank you, Lita."
"You know I got you, girl." Lita sighed. "But, I think that's the end of my fairy tale evening with Mr. Carter over there."
Rei immediately narrowed her eyes. "Why do you say that?"
"He saw me man-handle a man. How attractive can that be?" Lita moaned, resisting the urge to look in Nate's direction. Rei pursed her lips before taking a deep breath.
"First off, you are not that girl. You are a treasure. Second, he's a man with a brain, he knows a good thing when he sees it. Third, look at him. I mean it! Look at him!" Rei gently pushed her so that she faced Nate. She prepared herself for rejection but found herself captive once again, in his intense gaze. He looked her over slowly, ending at her face, making sure she knew that he was looking at one thing only. Then, he smiled at her.
"Oh." she sighed.
"Oh, is right!" Rei agreed, a sly smile on her face. "Still think you're not feminine enough?"
AN: Umm, yes. Imagine the dress as you will, I didn't really have one in mind...haha...Fail.
Vchanny! You're awesome for reviewing/keeping me motivated...and you're correct! The Fairy/Folk Tale mash-up for Lita and Nate is Cinderella and Robin Hood! Yaay!
Please enjoy and review!