by Strawberry Moon Rose
Wow, ten chapters already! I'm actually pretty proud of my motivation X) Haha, actually I haven't had a lot of free time, I've just been working on this every chance I get (I've been writing some of it at school...lol). I had the most fun writing this chapter ;D
Everyone, thank you for writing reviews, every single one makes me happy =D
Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or any of the characters. They belong to Naoko Takeuchi.
Pitter patter. Rain fell in sprinkles from the foggy morning sky. Yaten watched the droplets run down the outside of the hallway window in silence. The weather seemed to be reflecting her mood. She turned away from the dreary sight and continued to the front of the palace where she met up with the others. The Princess had asked the Starlights to take the girls into town to shop.
"It's...not going to storm is it?" Yaten heard Usagi saying.
"No, it's only a light sleet. It's supposed to let up soon," Taiki informed her. Everyone was gathered at the main door, ready to leave.
"Good! Oh, I hate storms!" Usagi shuddered. She was wearing her clothes from yesterday and the rozamoku tied in her hair.
"Don't worry, Odango, I'll protect you." Seiya grinned and put her hand on Usagi's shoulder.
Makoto chuckled. "Good luck with that, Seiya. She's terrified of thunder."
"Well, we won't have anything to worry about, it'll be clear soon," Ami assured them, repeating Taiki's words.
Yaten silently joined the group. If the Princess hadn't asked her to do this, she would have objected. Yaten sighed and crossed her arms.
Rei was standing next to Minako and sensed her grow tense. She crinkled her forehead in confusion. Minako had been quiet all morning. I wonder what happened...could Yaten have anything to do with it?
"Okay everybody, let's go!" Seiya said, taking charge. She opened the big black umbrella she had under her arm. Everyone stepped outside into the chilly mist. Seiya grabbed Usagi's hand and pulled her under the umbrella.
"Ch-chotto!" Usagi opposed.
"What? You'd rather walk in this, than walk beside me?" Seiya asked, pretending to be offended.
"No, but... Whatever." Usagi sighed and joined Seiya under the umbrella. She grumbled to herself, "I don't see why we can't each have our own. This palace is so big, I'm sure you've got more than four umbrellas..."
Seiya smiled at that. "But they'd take up too much room when we walk," she told her. Seiya lowered her voice and gave the blonde a sly smile. "Besides, don't you think this is much more romantic?"
Usagi stared ahead, trying her best to ignore her questionable expression. "Y-you're a weird person, you know that?"
Seiya laughed. "Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment."
The two girls walked shoulder to shoulder under the black umbrella. Behind them, Taiki and Ami walked together under their own, followed by Minako and Rei together. Yaten shared one with Makoto. Their feet sloshed over the damp stone path as they approached the front gate. The morning air was crisp and smelt sweetly of fresh rain. The tinkling sound of the falling drops against the roof of the umbrellas was refreshing. Seiya nodded to one of the guards and they stepped outside of the palace's grounds.
Minako stared blankly ahead through the light, gray drizzle. She'd been super excited to go shopping yesterday, but after what happened last night with Yaten, she wasn't as pumped. She planned on staying by Rei's side for the rest of the time they were on Kinmoku. She hoped it wouldn't be too much longer.
"Where will we be going first?" Ami asked Taiki. She tucked a short, blue strand of hair behind her ear.
"There is this nice boutique not too far from here," the tall Starlight answered.
Yaten walked silently beside the curly brunette. Makoto tried to be polite and made small talk, but she quickly picked up on Yaten's mood and kept to herself. Yaten sighed and watched Minako walking in front of her. What have I done? I didn't want to hurt her, but what else was I supposed to tell her? Ugh, this is why I don't get involved with people.
The walk into the town was a short one. Taiki and Ami led everyone down the sidewalk and past various stores. There weren't many people outside because of the weather.
"I don't know if I'm okay with you guys paying for everything," Usagi told Seiya when they approached the store.
"Don't worry about it." Seiya's hair glistened from the rain, black bangs falling into her eyes.
Usagi shrugged. Even if she had money with her, she was positive they wouldn't take yen on Kinmoku. It looked like she had no choice but to let them pay.
"Okay everyone, this is it," Taiki announced. They stood outside a designer boutique with tall glass windows. It was well lit on the inside. Mannequins dressed in chic fashions were visible behind the glass.
Seiya shut their umbrella and pulled the door open, causing the bell to ring. She held it open for Usagi and the others.
Usagi stepped inside of the store and was immediately in awe. A beautiful chandelier hung from the ceiling, making everything glow and sparkle. The hardwood floor shined. Rows of racks held expensive-looking shirts and dresses.
"Uah, sugoi!" Minako said, amazed. Her baby-blue eyes lit up and she couldn't help but feel impressed.
"Well, what are you guys waiting for?" Seiya asked when everyone filed in. She ran her fingers through her short bangs, shaking off the raindrops.
The girls split up and headed towards different sections of the store. There were some other people quietly shopping among themselves. Seiya stayed close to Usagi as she rummaged through a circular rack of clothing.
"Seiya, why did you pick such an expensive place? We're just hanging out at the palace. This is going to cost a fortune!" She snagged the price tag of the pink shirt she was looking at, but the numbers didn't mean anything to her. She had no idea if 789.99 was pricey or not, but considering how fancy the store was, she assumed it was expensive.
Seiya casually leaned against the rack. "Don't sweat it, Odango. You guys deserve the best."
Usagi sighed. She realized there was no point in trying to argue with her.
"Hey Odango, you'd look nice in this." Seiya pulled a ruffly purple dress from the rack behind her. She held it up in front of her. It was a halter-top and fell just above her knees.
Usagi gave her a doubtful look. "I was thinking something more casual..."
Seiya shook her head. "No, I meant to wear to the party."
Usagi had forgotten about the party in a few days. "Is that what people wear to it?" she asked.
Seiya nodded and handed her the dress. "Here, go try it on."
Usagi clasped the hanger. "What about you? Do you have something for the party?"
Seiya shook her head sheepishly. "No, not yet. I should really get on that, shouldn't I?"
Usagi grinned excitedly. She walked over to a mannequin wearing a long blue dress. "You should wear this," she said, motioning to it.
Seiya gave her a skeptical look. "I don't know Odango, it's not really my style..."
Usagi rubbed the material between her fingers. Tiny blue sparkles glistened when they hit the light. "Really? I think it'd look good on you." It reminded her of her Sailor Starlight fuku for some reason.
"Okay, then I'll try it on." Seiya pulled one off of the rack.
"But...I thought you just said it wasn't your style?" Usagi asked, confused.
Seiya grinned. "That was before you said I'd look good in it." She flirted with her eyes.
Usagi blushed. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Come on Odango, let's go try these on." Seiya grabbed Usagi by the hand and led her to the dressing rooms at the back of the store.
"Finding anything, Minako-chan?" Rei asked. She stood searching through different designer jeans.
"Ugh, I guess you could say that..." The blonde had her hands full of clothes stacked so high she could barely see over them.
"Wow, that was quick!" Rei looked over her shoulder and laughed.
Minako grinned. "I can't help it, everything in here is just so cool! I'm going to try these on before I drop them all." She turned and walked towards the dressing rooms. She was humming the song "Route Venus" cheerfully to herself. Shopping took her mind off of things and before she knew it, she was genuinely having a good time. She took a step around the corner and bumped into someone.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Minako apologized.
"Don't worry about-" The girl that she'd run into stopped in mid-sentence.
Minako peered around the stack of clothes in her arms. Eek! You've got to be kidding me!
Yaten looked at her and opened her mouth, but no words came out. Minako returned the stare, just as surprised. After a second, Yaten continued past her wordlessly. Her lime-green eyes had a faraway look in them.
Minako sighed and walked on to the dressing rooms. She stepped inside one of the stalls and slid the velvet curtain shut behind her. She dropped the pile of trendy clothes onto the cushioned bench. The dressing room was small, but decorative, and gave the same extravagant feeling as the rest of the boutique. She gazed at her reflection in the full-length mirror. Her long blonde hair was curly at the ends because of the rain's humidity. The light-blue eyes staring back at her were large and held a faint glimpse of sorrow in them.
She shook her head quickly. No, I'm shopping and I'm supposed to be having fun. I won't let anything bring me down from now on.
"Odango, what's it look like?" Seiya called. She leaned against the outside of one of the dressing rooms, waiting patiently for Usagi to emerge. She was currently changing into the purple dress Seiya had picked out for her.
The curtain slid to the side and Usagi stepped out. "Well? How do I look?" She walked in front of Seiya and did a little twirl. The violet dress ruffled out at the edges when she spun. Usagi examined herself in the three mirrors facing her. "Hmm, are you sure about this? I don't know..."
Seiya looked her up and down, stunned by her gorgeousness. The dress fit her perfectly, showing off her curves. Seiya couldn't help but stare.
"What?" Usagi asked, starting to feel self-conscious. She put her arms over her chest. "What is it?"
Seiya blushed and looked away. "You look beautiful, Odango," she said honestly.
Usagi laughed. "Ahaha! Thank you. So I should get it?"
"Alrighty then. Now it's your turn, Seiya." Usagi grinned and placed her hands on her hips.
Seiya cringed. "Odango, really? Do I have to?"
"Fine." Seiya stood up and took the silky blue dress with her into one of the small rooms.
Usagi turned back to the mirror while she waited for her. I do look pretty cute in this! I can't wait to wear it to the party. It's gonna be so much fun!
"Okay, you ready for this?" Seiya called from behind the curtain. There was a faint zipping sound.
"Yes." She waited for the taller girl to emerge.
"Just don't laugh," Seiya warned her. The velvet curtain slid to the side and she stepped out.
Usagi was shocked when she saw her. The long dress looked gorgeous on the mannequin, but did no justice for how breathtakingly stunning it looked on Seiya. The glittery mermaid dress was navy blue and matched the color of her eyes. It was tight and accented her figure. Seiya's large chest held up the tube front of it up effortlessly.
"Wow..." she breathed. Usagi always had thought of Seiya as being handsomely beautiful. But right now, she looked downright charming. There was no use in trying to deny it.
"What? Do I look that sexy it has left you speechless?" Seiya joked.
Usagi's face flushed light pink. "Shut up," she mumbled and crossed her arms. "You look really...good," she said to her for a lack of a better word.
"You think so?" Seiya eyed her reflection. She flipped her ebony ponytail over her shoulder and tilted her head to the side. "Oh, I guess you're right. I do look pretty hot."
Usagi rolled her eyes at her enlarged ego. "Yeah, hot..."
Seiya walked over to the blonde. "I can see it now; us dressed like this at the party, dancing the night away." She took Usagi's hands and placed them on her own shoulders. She slid hers to Usagi's waist. The Starlight pulled the girl close to her and gently swayed back and forth as if they were dancing.
"S-Seiya! What are you doing?!" Usagi whispered. She nervously looked around. Luckily, there weren't any other customers back in the dressing rooms with them.
Seiya laughed into her ear. "What does it look like I'm doing, Odango? We're dancing."
"Outside a dressing room? And there isn't even any music..."
"Shh." Seiya held her even closer. They were pressed up against each other tightly. "We don't need music, just follow me..."
Usagi's heart began to thump louder. Seiya was so close to her, it made her feel dizzy. She's always so cool and collected, it makes me mad that I'm the only one who gets flustered when she acts like this. Usagi looked up into Seiya's blue eyes.
Seiya smiled at her shyly.
Usagi glanced away. She rested her head on Seiya's shoulder as they danced so she didn't have to look at her. She could feel her face growing hotter with each passing second. She was sure her heart was trying to take off and fly. Seiya's words from last night suddenly rang through her mind. 'You know what I mean, don't you? That feeling of falling for someone so naturally that before you know what happened, you realize that you're in love with them.'
Usagi flinched. Wait, why did I just recall that? Huh? Eh? What? No!
"Something wrong, Odango?" Seiya whispered in her ear. She ran her hands from Usagi's hips up to the small of her back.
"Eh? N-no, nothing," Usagi mumbled quickly. What's going on? Why...why am I letting this go on? I have someone special to me, don't I? A normal person would push her away. Why am I not objecting? Tell her to stop! It's not like I like this right now. I don't like being so close to her.
But if that's true, why am I going along with it? What's wrong with me? I couldn't...possibly...like this, right? No way! But, maybe just a little bit...she smells so good...and her skin is so soft...but I shouldn't...
Usagi brought her gaze back to meet Seiya's again. Seiya smiled that sweet smile of hers when their eyes met. She brought her face closer to Usagi's. This is bad! Do something, Usagi told herself. But she couldn't move. She was a deer in the headlights. With each second, the distance between their lips grew smaller and smaller. Usagi felt her eyelids slowly begin to close...
"Usagi-chan! Seiya!" Minako stepped out of her dressing room to see the two of them standing very close. They were staring into each others eyes like they were holding some sort of secret conversation.
"Ah! Minako-chan!" Usagi pushed Seiya away. She crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Ahaha, so what brings you here?" she laughed uneasily.
"Oh you know, just trying on these clothes!" Minako motioned to the skirts and tops in her arms. She flitted her gaze back and forth between the two of them. "What about you two? What...were you guys doing?"
Usagi's face was bright red. "Well, I was trying on a dress to wear to the party and Seiya..." She shot the Starlight a look. "She was..."
Seiya took a step forward. "I was showing her the dance we're gonna do at the party," she saved her.
Usagi sighed in relief. She didn't want Minako to get any wrong ideas.
Minako nodded. "I see. That makes sense, I guess..." She looked at both of their dresses. "By the way, you both look fantastic!"
Usagi did a small curtsy. "You really think so? You need to go find one too, Minako-chan!"
Minako smiled nervously. "Uh huh, well I think I'm going to go do just that." She took a step back. "I'll let you get back to your, um...dancing. Later, Usagi-chan." She hurried away.
Usagi watched her go. She couldn't believe the bad timing. She knew Minako well and could see her imagining something crazy.
Seiya grinned and turned back to Usagi. "Shall we continue, Odango?"