Usagi squealed as she perused the flier she was holding in hand, causing the four girls near her to cover their ears in pain.
“Odango! What have I told you about squealing?!” fumed an angry Rei, her face turning red and her fists clenching.
“But Reeeeiiii,” Usagi whined, “It’s a carnival! How could I not be excited about a carnival? It’s this weekend too! And weren’t you just complaining that you had nothing to do this weekend except chores? This is perfect!”
Ami nodded, “I’ve got to admit, she has a point! It would be good for you guys to go, since I know you wouldn’t do your work anyway! Me, on the other hand, I’m going to stay home and finish that extra credit assignment, I’m only a few chapters ahead! You girls are too much of a bad influence on me!”
Minako grinned evilly at Ami, “No way girl! You’re coming with us! Didn’t you say only a few minutes ago that it wasn’t due for another month?”
“So it’s decided then?” Usagi said, grinning maniacally, “We’re all going?”
“Yes!” Chorused the other girls, and Usagi let out another squeal, causing Rei to become violent and hit the blonde, which of course resulted in a tongue war.
“Come on, Mamoru, buddy, you know you want to come with us,” Motoki cajoled, “I’ll… umm, I’ll… Oh I know! You can borrow one of my DVD sets for a month if you come!”
“Any of the DVD sets?” Mamoru said slyly, his eyes taking on an evil sheen.
“Err… any, but not my Futurama ones!” Motoki warned, knowing what reaction this comment would have.
“Uh-uh, No, ‘Toki, you said any!” Mamoru argued.
“Well, not that one!” Motoki fired back.
“Fine, then I’m not going to the carnival!” Mamoru retorted finally, glaring at his friend.
The weekend came, too slowly for some, and not slow enough for others, but it did come, and so did the carnival.
Usagi met the girls there, all of them excited at the fun possibilities of this Saturday evening; they entered the carnival and were greeted by another Usagi-squeal, which had been emitted when she’d seen all the fun rides and competitions.
“Odango! Seriously! What have I told you?” Rei yelped at her, “We need our ear drums! I have a concert to go to next week, and I need to be able to hear, even if I won’t be able to after it!”
The only response was another childish tongue stuck out at her by Usagi.
“Why am I here again?” Mamoru moaned to the air, as he walked beside his best friend and Reika.
“Because you’ve wanted to borrow those DVD’s for months now and because it’s a carnival!” Motoki retorted.
“I wasn’t talking to you!” Mamoru replied fiercely, walking ahead of the couple.
“Hey, look! It’s Usagi and the girls! Why don’t we go say hi?” Reika suggested, trying to get the tension from the air.
“Great. So not only are my weekdays tormented by her, but now my weekends are?” Mamoru said sarcastically, following Reika and Motoki over to the girls.
“…I can too beat you at ring toss!” they heard Usagi tell Rei as they approached warily.
"Rei's easy but you could never beat me, little girl!" Mamoru said, slyly.
"Oh, really? That sounds like a challenge. You up for it?" Usagi quickly retorted, watching as Mamoru hesitated, taking it as though Mamoru was chicken, when he was really trying not to laugh, “You’re not scared of a girl are you, baka?”
Mamoru gave a little chuckle, leaning in close to Usagi, watching in delight as she gulped, while trying to resist the urge she had to step away.
“I think the real question, Odango, is whether you’re afraid of me.”
Usagi and Mamoru handed over one of their game tickets to play ring toss; lining up next to each other, and taking their three rings, Mamoru and Usagi gave each other a glare and readied themselves.
“Prepare to lose, baka!” Usagi said, throwing her first ring. It hit the target and span around the top of it before falling neatly onto the spike.
“Hah!” Mamoru laughed, also throwing his ring – and missing by a mile.
“Round one: Usagi 1, Mamoru 0,” Usagi teased, giggling slightly, “My turn.”
Amazingly, her second shot also hit the target, this time perfectly, leaving Mamoru with a stunned look on his face.
“Bet you can’t do that three times in a row,” He challenged.
“Hah, says the man who hasn’t even gotten one yet! But you’re on!”
Usagi threw her third one, quickly, and it was also true to previous form, leaving Mamoru with an incredulous look on his face.
“Fine,” Mamoru said, “You win this round, but I bet you can’t beat me at balloon pop, you know, throwing darts at balloons.”
“Just try me, Mamoru! I think when I win; I'll make you do something humiliating. That is, if you want to make this little game interesting, Baka. A little wager perhaps?”
Mamoru leaned in close to her ear, and whispered: “You’re on Odango, but let’s give this little game a few rules. To start off with, we’re going to play 5 carnival games; whoever wins three games is the winner of our wager. The winner then gets to choose their prize, and the loser has to get or do it.”
Usagi shivered and stepped back, holding out her hand.
“Deal,” They said in unison, sealing the wager.
“Fine. So you’re better at me in balloon pop, but I did beat you at ring toss!” Usagi exclaimed after only hitting one balloon, while Mamoru had hit five in a row, winning a large stuffed toy.
“That’s one each then, jerk, three more to go,” Usagi said, pulling him towards the next booth, which happened to be one of those games where you have to shoot water into the clowns head and inflate the balloon on top.
“Yeah, and I’m so going to win this one,” Mamoru lorded over her, only making her laugh.
“Don’t be silly, Mamoru-baka, I’m a champion balloon inflate-r! I might not be much at hitting them, but I definitely can inflate them!” She hit him slightly, before running up to the booth person.
“Here’s one for both of us,” Usagi chirped, eager to play.
“Alright,” the attendant said when they were both in position, “Ready, set, aaaaand fire!”
Usagi and Mamoru both aimed at their clown, and were both fairly on target, but Usagi just got that advantage, and managed to be him by only a second.
“Ohhhh! 2 – 1 Usagi’s way, we can’t have that!” teased Mamoru, reaching out and tickling her a little.
Usagi giggled, arching out of his way, “Stop that! You’ll ruin my concentration!”
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t realise that you were so serious about this!” Mamoru joked, leading her to the next closest skill games booth – ball toss.
Mamoru was up first, and Usagi did all she could to stop him from hitting the glass bottles; making funny faces, waving her hands around, even stooping so low as to unbutton her over-shirt, showing her cleavage in a tight singlet top.
Not surprisingly, he missed the first shot.
“Usagi! That’s cheating!” he yelped after he missed.
“You never said diversionary tactics weren’t allowed.”
“Fine. Let the real games begin then.” Mamoru then aimed his second ball, and, in quick succession, threw that, and then the next ball, both hitting their targets, and causing the bottles to fall.
“Awww… no fair,” Usagi pouted, hesitantly picking up her first ball. She jumped when she felt a hand around her waist.
“Mamoru!” She yelped, swatting his arm away, disturbed by the comfortable feeling it had given her.
“You said we could use diversionary tactics,” he whispered in her ear.
“Do you have some perverse need to always whisper in my ear?!” Usagi retorted, throwing her first ball, knocking the top bottle off the pyramid.
Usagi threw her second ball, hitting a few more bottles and causing them to come tumbling down, but two still stood. She picked up the third ball, aimed, pulled her arm back, released…
… and missed completely.
“Bother,” Usagi spat, sighing at her predicament, “Seems that we’re even, baka.”
“Seems that we are, Odango. What about the test of strength for our final challenge?” Mamoru suggested, pointing to the tall strength meter, with an oversized hammer next to it.
“Sure,” Usagi accepted, moving towards the game in the centre of the carnival, totally ready to kick Mamoru’s butt at this game, “I’m going to beat the pants off of you!”
“Pfft, yeah right Usagi, and I’m the Queen of England,” Mamoru taunted as they reached the hammer.
“Get ready to start wearing a dress and crown then, buddy. Ladies first,” Usagi insisted, motioning for him to have his go.
“Yeah, whatever Odango,” Mamoru said, handing over a ticket and picking up the hammer, throwing it over his shoulder and pulling it back over, hitting the target – hard. The meter reached almost the top, but not quite.
“Pathetic,” Usagi giggled, taking the hammer from Mamoru and taking a deep breath.
She, too, threw it over her shoulder and pulled it back over, hitting the target. Mamoru watched in horror as the indicator reached ever higher.
“No. Way.” He breathed, staring at the glittering lights above them – she had reached the top.
Usagi squealed, accepting the grand prize from the carnie, “I won! Yay!”
Mamoru groaned, “I lost…”
“Oh, you sure did, baka! Wait til you see what you have to do for me!”
“No way. There is no way on earth I will do that for an entire day!” Mamoru protested.
“It’s not like I’m asking for a whole week – just one day! I promise!”
“No way! I knew I should have set more terms on this wager…” Mamoru grumbled.
“Nuh-uh, but you didn’t so you have to pay. Now! Carry me around all day! That’s the deal!” Usagi retorted, sticking her tongue out.
“What about if I…”
“Or if I?”
“I said no Mamoru!”
“Fine,” he pouted, picking her up and holding her there for a minute, just staring at her.
“Err, Mamoru? Earth to baka? You there?” she said, waving her hands in front of his face.
“Oh, I’m here,” he said, smiling evilly.
“Good, now get to it.”
“Oh, not just yet, I don’t think.”
“Mamoru? What are you doing? Mamoru?! Mamoru?! Stop! No! No no no no! Stop!” She squealed, giggling un controllably as he flung her over his shoulder and carried her out of the Arcade where the girls and Motoki were watching in amusement.
“… Mamooooruuuuuu…” A high pitched squeal came echoing up the street from the direction of the park.
Mamoru reached his intended target – the lake. Usagi, being thrown over his shoulder, couldn’t see where they were headed, and only felt herself being thrown through the air, then the icy chill of the water as she landed.
“M-m-amo-r-ru,” she chattered, trying to warm herself as she stood in the water. He reached down a hand to pull her out, but she did the opposite and pulled him in.
Mamoru resurfaced, spluttering, with an evil grin as Usagi giggled.
“You liked that, did you?” he asked, slyly.
She nodded eagerly, splashing him a little. Watching warily as Mamoru came closer, she found that he was getting entirely too close for comfort.
“Mamoru? What are you doing?” the drenched blonde asked, backing away slightly.
“This.” He stated, and pulled her to him, enfolding Usagi in his arms. She gasped, not expecting this reaction, and leaned into him, awaiting his next move. His head moved closer to hers and just as she expected him to kiss her, he –
“You jerk!” She yelped when she came up for air after having been ducked underwater, “You absolute jerk!”
“I know, and you love me for it.” Mamoru grinned, pulling her close for real this time, and kissing her.
“That’s not enough penance,” she said when they broke apart, “You owe me.”
“And I’ll be very happy to pay.”