Unkept Secrets – Chapter Two
by Dreams in Pink
|← Chapter One|
The following day brought sunlight to chase away the cloud lain skies. Makoto found herself enjoying a leisurely stroll as she made her way to the Crown Arcade. It had been two years since she had fought to save the world from destruction as one of the members of the Sailor Senshi. Two years since any hint of evil, aside from that created by humans themselves, had dared to tread through the Earth’s grassy fields, sandy beaches and snow topped mountains. She swelled with pride – this was the world she had helped protect, and despite the pain, suffering and hardships that they encountered along their path, they emerged triumphant, their friendship impenetrable.
She smiled as the fragrant autumn air wove through her chestnut locks. In just a few short months she and her friends would be graduating from high school and moving into a new era of their lives. Makoto had already been accepted to the most prestigious culinary school in Tokyo, and although she vaguely knew the ultimate outcome of her destiny, she intended to live her life without passing up opportunities in the present.
Finally reaching the arcade, Makoto found Motoki standing behind the counter with a Cheshire cat grin plastered eerily across his face. Noticing that she was the first of her group to arrive, she proceeded with extra caution.
“Hey Motoki,” she greeted him warily.
“Makoto! You’re just the girl I wanted to see,” he beamed, clasping his hands together with mischief.
“Why? What’s up?” Brow cocked, she took a seat at the counter folding her arms neatly on the marble surface. The blonde man leaned in, a devilish glint in his hazel eyes.
“I have a secret,” he whispered.
“It’s about one of your very dear friends,” he baited, nearly bursting with the news.
“Oh no, no way Motoki,” she shook her head, wagging her finger for emphasis. “You’re not dragging me into this one.” He had done this before, and she was unwilling to be pulled into the trap.
“But it’s a good one,” he whined, sounding like a spoiled child in a candy store. He had to tell someone; there was no way he could keep something like this solely to himself.
“No,” Makoto stated strongly, lips set in a firm line.
“You’ll regret it,” he sang, trying in earnest to break down her defences. Motoki stared at the girl with a small pout.
Her shoulders dropped in defeat, “Fine. But it better be good,” she warned.
“You can’t tell anyone,” he ordered in hushed tones.
“Just tell me what it is.” Motoki leaned in and Makoto’s emerald eyes grew wide as the words spilled from his lips into her ear. When he was through, he stood back, proudly crossing his arms over his chest. “Oh my god,” she mouthed, “I can’t believe it!”
“I know!” He shouted, shaking his hands emphatically.
“Do you think she knows?”
“I don’t think she has any idea.”
“How did you find out?”
“I was looking for a tie, and saw everything,” he recalled, his voice laden with a sense of disbelief – what a horrible hiding place.
“I can’t believe Usagi hasn’t figured it out,” she murmured, knowing her friend’s curious nature. “Does anyone else know?”
“Not that I know of,” Motoki replied.
“Know what?” A blonde girl interjected, overhearing the last of the conversation.
“Minako! Hi!” Motoki greeted her, a little too enthusiastically, signalling that something was definitely off.
“Hi Motoki!” she grinned, mocking his intensity as she plopped down beside her friend.
“So, what are we gossiping about?” she asked eagerly, baby blue eyes sparkling with anticipation. Motoki shot a silencing glare at his confidant.
“Nothing, I was just… ordering a milkshake!” Makoto lied, lips curving into an awkward smile.
Minako considered the response, and raised an eyebrow doubtfully, “why won’t you guys tell me?”
“There’s nothing to tell!” the man smiled in a wasted attempt to appear reassuring.
“Whatever,” Minako sulked, “can I at least get a cream soda?”
“Coming right up!” he complied, welcoming the change of subject, “and you wanted a strawberry milkshake, right?” Motoki turned to the brunette, continuing their charade and emphasizing the end of his question hoping she would play along.
“Yep, that’s what I ordered!” she nodded and Minako rolled her eyes at their unconvincing display.
The moment Motoki’s back was turned, the blonde leaned in, “Okay, what’s up?” she demanded, face narrowing.
“What do you mean?” Makoto continued to feign ignorance.
“I can tell, you have this… look on your face,” she explained, studying her friend’s pointed features.
“Nothing’s up. Everything is fine, and normal,” Makoto flashed another flimsy smile.
“Okay now I know something is definitely going on!” Frustrated, Minako crossed her arms in a huff – why couldn’t she know the secret too? Motoki shot the brunette another glare; Mamoru was his friend and he wanted to keep this secret, but it was just so big that he couldn’t keep it all to himself.
“Let’s grab a booth,” Makoto suggested, a sense of guilt nagging at the pit of her stomach. Minako wouldn’t tell anyone.
“No, tell me what’s going on!” she begged again, hoping to break down Makoto’s defences.
“… let’s grab a booth,” the brunette pressed through gritted teeth, implication laced in her voice. Catching on to her insinuation, Minako leapt from her seat, “great idea!” After a moment of searching, the two girls found a red vinyl covered booth in the corner of the room, and staked their claim.
“So!?” Minako asked excitedly, “spill!”
Makoto leaned down slightly, trying to avert Motoki’s gaze. Minako listened intently as Makoto repeated what she had been told, the blonde’s face twisting with surprise.
“Are you serious?” Minako whispered, her face wired with
“That’s what he said!” her companion insisted.
“Oh. My. God,” the girl emphasised, slouching back into the booth. “Does Usagi have any idea?”
“We’re not sure, but it doesn’t seem like it. I mean, we would have heard about it by now if she knew, right?” Makoto reasoned, her friend nodding in agreement.
“Hi, sorry we’re late,” Ami interrupted the momentary silence as she and Rei slid into the booth.
“Why are you guys hiding in the corner?” Rei asked, shedding her jacket and setting her purse beside her.
“You will not believe what Makoto just told me,” the blonde said, unable to control herself.
“Minako!” Makoto yelled, covering her hand with her face.
“They’re her friends too, they have the right to know,” she stated, defending her decision. “Besides, who are they going to tell? We’ll all know.” Rei and Ami nodded for emphasis. “And without monsters around, gossip is all I have,” Minako finished dramatically, placing a hand on her chest and batting her long eyelashes.
“Fine,” Makoto sighed, rolling her eyes. She knew that her friend was right and deep down she knew this is exactly what was going to happen. Minako sat with her elbows pressed to the table, leaning in and waving to Ami and Rei to do the same. In a hushed tone she relayed what she had learned from Makoto.
“No way,” Rei replied, shaking her head.
Motoki approached the table, carrying the cream soda and strawberry milkshake on a circular tray. Knowing that she had betrayed his trust, Makoto refused to make eye contact with him. Noticing her sudden interest in the table, Motoki in turn stared down each of the girls, waiting for one of them to break. One by one the girls averted his gaze.
“They all already know, don’t they,” he said flatly, placing the drinks in front of their respective owners.
“Sorry,” Makoto smiled apologetically, biting her bottom lip.
“I should have expected that,” he sighed. “Do you ladies want anything?” he pulled
out a pad of paper, and directed his attention to the new arrivals.
“I’ll have a vanilla shake, please,” Ami ordered, feeling guilty for knowing the secret.
“And I’ll just have some hot tea.”
“Coming right up!” Motoki began to turn, but paused, “Hey, remember, you didn’t hear anything from me,” he said quietly. “Okay?” he confirmed, raising his brow as the girls mumbled their compliance.
“I guess we all kind of knew this would happen someday,” Rei stated.
“Does this change what happens… you know, in our futures?” Minako wondered, playing with the straw in her drink.
“I wouldn’t think so,” Ami replied, as she calculated the possibilities.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Makoto shrugged, knowing that whatever the future brought, they could handle it.
“Maybe we should talk to Mamoru, and get him to explain what he’s going to do…” the blonde suggested, already formulating the questions in her mind.
“That’s not a bad idea,” Rei agreed, pushing aside a stray tendril of dark hair.
“She might know by now,” Ami said, convinced that not even Mamoru could keep that secret for too long.
As if on cue, the arcade doors opened to reveal the petite blonde, who was searching for her friends. Motoki’s head popped up like a puppet on a string when he saw her pass, and he hurried to finish preparing the drinks.
“It took me forever to find you guys!” Usagi said breathlessly, her face flushed pink from the wind. She grabbed an empty chair, and sat at the end of the table.
“USAGI,” her friends yelled in unison; a reaction that did not go unnoticed.
“How are you?” Makoto asked, a little too eagerly.
“Are you feeling better?” Ami tried pushing the secret from her memory; it wasn’t something that was her place to tell.
“Better?” Usagi questioned, furrowing her brow.
“Weren’t you sick yesterday? You missed school…”
“Oh yeah, I was sick…” she replied, hoping that her lie was convincing. “I’m better now,” she smiled, hanging her purse behind her.
“So… how are you and Mamoru?” Minako jumped right to the chase – she had to know.
“Minako!” Makoto hissed, shooting daggers in her direction.
“That’s good…” the honey blonde answered, hoping for more. “Anything new?”
“Anything at all you want to talk about?” Rei prodded, joining in on Minako’s sly inquisition.
“Why are you guys acting so weird?” Usagi wondered, feeling as if four pairs of eyes were boring into her mind, trying to find the answer to an unasked question.
“We’re not acting weird,” Minako replied defensively, sitting back in her seat.
“What’s Mamoru up to today?” the ebony haired girl pressed on, causing Makoto to roll her eyes. She really never should have told them.
“He has some work for school to take care of,” Usagi said, eyeing her friends curiously.
“Work for school, huh,” Minako repeated doubtfully.
“Seriously, is there something you guys aren’t telling me?” she was beginning to feel genuinely worried. Her friends had always been honest with her, and she knew something was going on.
“Hey Usagi, is there anything I can get you?” Motoki came as a welcome interruption, as he placed Ami and Rei’s drinks before them.
“Sure, can I get a chocolate milkshake?”
“Coming right up,” he replied, but instead of running to prepare the order, Motoki leaned against the side of the booth. “So… what’s new with you?”
“Nothing, what’s new with you?”
“Nothing…” An awkward silence passed over the group, as they all stared at the pigtailed blonde.
“Motoki, why don’t you get Usagi’s shake?” Makoto suggested with a glare, hoping to send him on his way – he was the worst of them all.
“Oh, right,” he flashed a toothy grin, before continuing his work.
“Did something happen? Are there monsters again?” Usagi whispered, panic rising to her throat. These past few years had been so peaceful that she couldn’t bear the thought of taking form as Sailor Moon once again.
“No!” Minako said, surprised at the question.
“I guess we’re just getting a little stir crazy,” Ami explained, emphasizing ‘crazy’ in hopes that her friends would back down. Catching the insinuation in Ami’s tone, the girls decided to end their tirade of questions; it was clear that Usagi knew nothing. As the topics changed to more light hearted chatter, through subtle gestures and mouthed words Minako and Rei had reached a mutual understanding – they were going to pay Mamoru a visit.
|← Chapter One|