Tsukino Usagi was not amused.
Being dragged out of bed at the crack of dawn-okay so it was nine AM, but it was a Saturday!-dressed hurriedly by her three Senshi friends, and then hustled downtown was not conducive to one's calm state of mind. The blonde seemed to be fighting falling back to sleep, but she made sure to keep her eyes in an irritated glare every time Rei glanced at her. Ami and Makoto had a hold of each of Usagi's arms and they shuffled her along at a steady pace.
"Where are we going?" The Senshi of the Moon moaned for the tenth time, stifling a yawn. The arm dragging was becoming old really quick, so she shook them lose and kept walking at their side. Where on earth were they taking her that they suspected she might bolt?
"Now, keep calm, Usagi," Ami murmured soothingly, hand twitching with the effort to not grasp Usagi's hand again. She was not going to be happy. "We have the best of intensions."
"Now I'm even more suspicious," The blonde girl said, frowning. Her steps faltered as they neared the mall. "I'm too tired for shopping right now. How do you three even have the energy for this after that battle in the middle of the night?" Her muscles ached and she had a headache. Her friends looked as chipper as-well, teenagers on a big caffeine boost. "Can we get some coffee?" She added as an after-thought.
"After we get there," Rei said, rolling her eyes skyward. Oh yes, Usagi was going to run away as fast as her legs could carry her when she found out. But Motoki had been setting this up for a week and they couldn't disappoint him. "You'll have fun."
"At this time of the morning?" Usagi said derisively. She stretched her arms over her head and tried to work out the kinks in her shoulder. A white ribbon brushed her cheek and it occurred to her that her friends had had entirely too much fun in dressing her. It was almost as if they had dolled her up, but she had been half asleep at the time and hadn't payed much attention. She glanced down at her white dress and smiled. It was a very nice dress with lace at the bodice and sleeves and one of her favourites.
The blonde's brows drew together suspiciously. The girls KNEW it was one of her favourites...and they had put lip gloss on her and ribbons. Her feet stopped moving and she stubbornly halted where she was, which happened to be directly outside of the Arcade. "Hang on just a darn minute," She said ominously. "This wouldn't be a blind date or something?"
The poleaxed look on their faces said it all. Usagi's mouth fell open in shock, as it had been a completely random accusation that she had never really believed might be true. "A blind DATE?" She squeaked out, legs falling into a sprinters pose. She was ready and willing to bolt.
"Don't be silly!" Ami said firmly, grabbing at her friend's hand and missing as it was jerked back.
The blonde backed up a few steps and looked about her hurriedly for an escape. Makoto and Rei were stepping towards her with determined looks on their faces. This was really too much! The last time they had tried to set their friend up, with a guy who was really good at game machines, it had ended in disaster. The Dark Kingdom type of disaster. Having your date turn into a really ugly youma after having his Rainbow Crystal extracted and then trying to kill her really had put a damper on their relationship.
"This one isn't cursed or being hunted by the Dark Kingdom," Rei said, reading her best friend's mind. The blonde scowled and she smiled pleasantly.
It was that smile that warned Usagi a split second before strong arms wrapped about her waist and she was tossed over someone's shoulder like a sack of potato's. A flash of blonde hair and a familiar white apron made Usagi's fight for freedom a little less violent. She thumped Motoki's back when she really wanted to knee him in the stomach. "Let me doooooown!" She yelled out, feeling all the blood rush to her face from her upside down position.
"Sorry, Usa, no can do," Motoki whistled cheerfully under his breath. He walked through the sliding doors of the Arcade and plonked her down on a table near the counter.
Usagi blinked rapidly to regain her senses, and then she gaped at the guy sitting across the table from her. He was wearing a black silk shirt, unbuttoned to low down his chest and nice slacks. Her companion for the day came complete with a rope tight about his arms, hog-tying him to the chair. Not to mention the lethal glare in his stunning blue eyes as he stared at Motoki and then at her.
"What is the meaning of this? Or are you going to gag me again?" Mamoru said icily, lips firming into an uncompromising line.
The blonde girl felt a chill at his baleful glare, even when it wasn't really her fault. "I'm leaving-" She blurted out, rushing to her feet. A firm hand on her shoulder shoved her back down and she levelled a burning look at Rei over her shoulder. "I won't be a prisoner!"
"Cry me a river!" The handsome upperclassman across the table from her growled. He jerked his arms within the confines of the ropes pointedly, but was unable to free himself. She was complaining because she had to be carried in here, whereas he had been tricked in, tackled and tied to a chair. Their friends had finally lost their marbles.
Motoki sighed and took out a small sharp knife and he cut Mamoru loose. "Cut it out you two, it look a lot of scheming to get you here today."
"WHY?!" Mamoru and Usagi both demanded at the same time. They glanced at each other in mutual dislike and then glared at their friends.
"You two having been dancing around your relationship for two years now and it's annoying the hell out of us." Motoki advised them, an irritated look in his eyes. "So you're going to have a date. You'll eat and talk and work things out."
The dark-haired man's eyes narrowed. "What relationship are you talking about? The Odango and I argue, that's all."
Usagi waved a hand in Mamoru's direction, feeling as baffled as he apparently was. "What he said."
"Oh really?" Rei pulled up a chair from a nearby table and sat down, an intent look on her face. "Why do you two fight?"
"I can't stand jerks?" Her blonde friend said tentatively. What on earth were they all getting at? Mamoru and she did not get along, or even like each other.
"And I can't stand airheads," Mamoru said lazily. He rubbed at his arms where the rope had chaffed. "Is there a point to all this?"
Ami, Makoto, Rei and Motoki exchanged a long-suffering look and left without another word. It was only when Motoki pointedly put the key into the lock beside the sliding doors and turned it that Usagi realised the whole place was deserted but for them. She glanced about her, feeling a little panicked. When she looked back to Mamoru, he was wearing an amused look.
"I already tried to escape, but was er-lovingly convinced not to leave," In other words, they had overpowered him and tied him to a chair. Sure he had Tuxedo Kamen's strength, but man did those girls surprise him. They must have hidden muscles with the way they had almost easily overpowered the taller, stronger man and bound him.
"Your lunch is ready," Motoki said, heading to their table with a covered tray. He ignored Mamoru's incredulous look and placed it carefully on the table. He pulled off the lid to reveal some pasta with a delicate white sauce. "Alfredo," He said in answer to their silent query.
Usagi stared hungrily at the plate that was placed before her, and then in front of Mamoru. Rei pulled two wine glasses out of nowhere-possibly her sub space pocket-and Makoto popped a bottle of champagne. "I'm underage!" The blonde exclaimed, reaching out to cover her glass.
Mamoru frowned like a thundercloud. "She's underage." He said in the exact same tone.
"It's non-alcoholic imitation champagne," Ami said with a giggle.
Then their friends were withdrawing and Usagi and Mamoru stared at the table awkwardly, then at each other. "All that's missing is the candle-lit room and violin music." The upperclassman said dryly. He picked up a fork and began to eat.
Usagi watched for a moment, feeling really uneasy and then she dove into her food with gusto. After a few minutes she glanced up at Mamoru and saw him staring at her with raised brows. She flushed. "You know I like my food." Her tone was protesting.
"Yes, I'm fell aware. You also love anything chocolate," Mamoru said nonchalantly.
"And you like anything strawberry," She retorted, sticking her tongue out.
He nodded as if that had all the answers he needed. They were like oil and water and didn't even like the same things. Usagi's little friends were trouble-makers and deluded ones at that.
There was a long silence, in which the two enemies enjoyed the meal, but made no effort to communicate. They both realised with some surprise that it was a COMFORTABLE silence. Neither felt the need to make conversation and it wasn't totally awkward being in each other's company. They had met frequently over the last few years and so without even knowing it, they did sort of get along.
Motoki cleaned some dishes from earlier in the day, while Rei and the other girls perched on stools at the counter and tried not to stare.
Rei finally groaned and covered her face with her hand. "Plan one failed, guys. They aren't talking-they aren't even arguing!"
"Wait for it." Ami muttered knowingly.
Next up came a light salad, which Motoki delivered to their table with flourish. He stood slightly to the side and watched to see what happened.
"You're serving out of order," Mamoru said with a frown. Salad usually came before the main meal, what was Motoki up to? He quickly surveyed the meal and his eyes narrowed. "And you know I hate carrots."
"You know I hate tomato, Motoki," Usagi protested in confusion, looking at her own salad. "Even HE knows that." She pointed at Mamoru, who nodded. Motoki smiled evilly at them and sauntered away.
Mamoru knew his best friend was up to something, but couldn't think what. He deftly scooped the carrots off his plate and onto Odango's, noting that at the same time she was in the process of doing the same with her tomato's to his plate.
Their friends watched with wide eyes, wondering if the two even realised that they were acting like a couple.
They ate quietly and firmly ignored it when some cheesy slow music came on in the background.
"This is dumb." Usagi muttered, pushing the remains of her salad around the plate.
Mamoru drank the rest of his wine and scowled. He had forgotten it wasn't real and he really, really wanted to be drunk right now. "Don't you have anything stronger?" He demanded of their host.
"At eleven in the morning?" Motoki gave a mock-surprised expression. "Mamoru, I had no idea you were a closet drinker."
"I am so going to kill him for this one," The dark-haired man murmured, jabbing his fork into his lettuce viciously.
His blonde date pursed her lips and then smiled slightly. "We can talk about something and take our mind off this?" She suggested. "Umm-school?"
"My grades are doing great-and yours?" Mamoru responded cuttingly, a mocking light in his eyes.
"Not too badly, thank you," Usagi growled back, putting her cutlery on the side of her plate neatly.
His dark brows rose. "Liar."
"What do YOU want to talk about then?" She asked him coolly.
"Sport?" He threw out. Honestly, it didn't interest him either, but he knew she wasn't fond of football, or baseball, or cricket, so it would annoy her. Her eyes narrowed on his warningly and he sighed. "What could we possibly have in common?"
Motoki came over just then carrying a steaming hot pie and a cup with whipped cream for their desert. "Why don't you talk about the topic on everyone's lips?" He suggested slyly. "The Sailor Senshi?"
Rei gasped and everyone stared at Motoki, including Mamoru.
The Senshi? Mamoru was ready to throttle his friend, who was quiet aware that he was Tuxedo Kamen. "Let's not."
"The Senshi sounds okay," Usagi said readily, happy to have found a topic that she would be able to talk about knowledgably. "Did you know that they say the aliens that are attacking us are part a plot to take over the world?"
Ami was making choking noises and Makoto slapped a hand over her mouth to muffle her outburst before Mamoru noticed.
"I would say that was pretty obvious, Odango Atama," Mamoru said scathingly, frowning at the blonde. She looked entirely too eager to be discussing something that he would rather not talk about at all. He didn't like being a superhero, even if he felt proud that he was able to keep Sailor Moon safe in battle and had two Rainbow Crystals in his possession for the Princess in his dreams. "If you want to gossip, how about the rumour that Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen are married?"
Usagi had just cut herself a piece of the blueberry pie, but she froze in shock at his words and the hot desert slid right off the side of the pie cutter enroute to her plate. "WHAT?!"
He looked at her in a superior manner, both because she hadn't heard the rumour and because she had klutzed out and spilled her pie. "Oh yes, you wouldn't believe what they've been saying. Anything from Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen having a love-child, to how indecently short the Senshi's skirts are."
The blonde glowered at him. It wasn't true! She had never heard anything about this. "What about Tuxedo Kamen and the rumour that he is actually a thief?" It hurt her to say bad things about the guy she liked, so she switched topics. "And that flying freak, he's gay isn't he?"
Rather than be insulted by the 'thief' tag, because he really had been stealing crystals to find the Mystical Silver Crystal his Princess had been asking for, Mamoru decided to be amused on Zoisite's behalf. "Of course he is." He said, carefully wiping the pie from the table. "But the Senshi aren't much better. They're little girls trying to be heroes and people get hurt."
Usagi's hand flew to her mouth in shock. "You take that back! The Senshi keep people safe and the Dark Kingdom from taking over!"
"They're barely making it through the battles by the skin of their teeth! If Tuxedo Kamen wasn't there, the Generals would crush the Senshi."
"Ma-mo-ru!" Rei said warningly, face going red. She put a hand on Makoto's arm firmly as the girl made to charge the handsome upperclassman.
Motoki looked from Mamoru to Usagi, his expression dismayed. This wasn't what he had been planning at all.
"Jerk!" Usagi screeched in outrage. She quickly scooped up some whipped cream and flung it into Mamoru's face. It hit him squarely on his left cheek and slid downward over his neck and into his expensive shirt. She saw him freeze in disbelief and then anger flooded his eyes.
Mamoru picked up the cream cup and threw the remainder of the contents onto the blond, smearing the white goo all over her chest and into her hair. She gasped in shock and bolted to her feet, eyes blazing. "Dead meat!" She shouted, reaching for the pie. His hand beat her to it and they both gripped the plate, leaning over the table so that their faces were close. Whoever got the upper hand would be smearing the pie all over the other's face.
"My pie!" Motoki said angrily, snatching at it with his bare hands. It crumbled into mush and fell with a plop to the table. Before he could yell at the two enemies, they were both moving with astonishing speed towards the kitchen for more ammo. Rei tried to stop them and was bowled over.
The two enemies yelled insults that made Ami blush, and there were a lot of shrieks and bellows.
Usagi grabbed a couple of tea spoons from the counter and flung them at Mamoru's face. He dodged and they hit the wall behind him. Then he was flinging carrots at her. The two grabbed various objects, including food items and began a war. Motoki and the other girls took cover, as Mamoru and Usagi shouted insults at each other, really getting into the swing of their war. They didn't reach for anything that could be smashed and that was the only reason Motoki wasn't screaming at them to get the hell out.
"Ha!" The blonde told Mamoru, diving in close behind the counter to try and trip Mamoru up. He leapt over her swinging leg and grabbed at her hair, which was so smooth it slid from his fingers like silk. The blonde grabbed up the whipped cream, and then she ripped up his shirt and sprayed underneath. Her expression became gleeful when Mamoru yelped and fell backwards.
The dark-haired man snagged Usagi's wrist as he fell and with a shriek, they tumbled to the floor with her on top. He immediately wrapped his arms about her and rubbed their bodies together so that the cream smeared all over her as well.
"Argh! Let go, it's sticky!" She said, struggling to be lose. Her lips brushed his stick chin and then suddenly they both stopped dead and took stock of the situation. They were face to face, plastered from hips to chest together, her legs laying between his. Their eyes went huge and then locked together in shock and more. The two had never been this close together before and it was startling to discover that they were feeling aroused by their fight.
"Umm-I..." The blonde flushed and wiggled about, trying to get free of his arms, which were about her like clamps. She was feeling very overwhelmed to be this close to him, very intimately pressed together. The cream just made it more erotic!
"Don't move, for pity sake!" Mamoru moaned at her, holding on tighter to get her to stop the wiggling. She was killing him! She glared at him and ignored the order, muttering things beneath her breath that he couldn't quite catch. One thing was clear though, somehow, the two of them WERE actually attracted to each other. It was a shock. "Usagi," He told her, removing one hand from her waist and cupping her chin to stop her squirming. "Cut it out. Stop panicking."
"But this is wrong!" She wailed at him, eyes huge in her face. "We fight and we argue and we don't do THIS."
'This' pretty much summed it all up. Mamoru frowned at the blonde's face so close to his and then he gave a mental shrug. Only one way to find out if they had a thing for each other and hadn't realised it. Before she could protest, he wrapped his hand about the back of her neck and tugged her face down to his. Their lips met awkwardly, with the taste of cream. They both stopped, mouths pressed together and then both pulled back.
"Anything?" He queried rather humorously.
She blinked at him, a little stunned. "I'm not sure."
"Hmm, me neither." Mamoru pulled her lips to his again, this time making it a deeper kiss, with their lips parted. Her tongue brushed his and he groaned, startled when she answered him breathily. He felt her small hands going to his hair and her she sucked lightly on his bottom lip. "Much better." The upperclassman agreed.
"Wow, this turned out better than I thought it would," Motoki said in wonder from somewhere behind them. He was disappointed when the two enemies sprung apart, looking an absolute mess of cream and other vegetable and what looked like black pepper. The expression on their faces was priceless!
Rei leaned in over the counter, her eyebrows raised. "Are you two done yet? We have a lot of cleaning to do, thanks to your tantrum."
Usagi stood up, looking sheepishly at her friends. When she glanced sideways at Mamoru, her face went red. Good god, had she really kissed him?
Mamoru ran a hand through his hair, grimacing when his fingers became all sticky. He didn't even want to know what he looked like right then. More importantly, he had initiated a kiss with Odango Atama, which she had definitely responded to. Enthusiastically even. Well, that answered the question about their constant fighting. It had been sexual tension! "I'll get the mop."
"I'll umm, start the dishes." His blonde date muttered, looking about her in a distracted manner.
Makoto, Ami and Rei stared at her expectantly as she approached them. Usagi met their eyes and smiled. "Thanks guys, now Mamoru and I know why we fight so much." They smiled back and she suddenly glowered. "But you're still all dead when this mess is cleaned up!"