Codename Sailor V: The Bodyguard. (One of Two)
"So what's the problem?" Minako Aino asked her agent, the lovely blonde raising her eyebrow. The star of a popular television series called Codename: Sailor V, along with being a singer and dancer, she was an idol of growing popularity.
"The threats are picking up in frequency," Setsuna Meiou said crisply, her long greenish black hair flowing like a wave around her. She waved a plastic bagged sheet of paper as she calmly said, "I'm getting worried."
Minako frowned, "What did the police say?"
"They've taken the letters and will look into it," Setsuna said, "but they don't sound hopeful. They did make an interesting suggestion, however."
"Oh?" Minako looked curious.
"Temporarily hiring on a bodyguard, at least until they catch up with whoever is doing this," Setsuna said calmly.
"Oh no," Minako said quickly, "I am not having some man following me around, supposedly for my own protection."
"Then why not a woman?" Setsuna offered.
"Huh?" Minako blinked.
Several hours later a young woman bowed slightly, her short, almost purple-black hair going well with her violet eyes. "My name is Hotaru Tomoe," she said serenely, "it's good to meet you both." Wearing a simple black dress she looked gently elegant, yet she also seemed very sure of herself despite her youth.
"You were recommended by the police," Setsuna said thoughtfully, "but I was wondering how much experience you had?"
"I'm older than I look," Hotaru calmly reassured her, "and I've had my private investigator's license for almost a year now."
"I checked into your references," Setsuna conceded, "they're very good."
Minako had to smile, thinking that despite her age Hotaru looked like about the right age to be a member of her fan club. "Do you understand what the job is to be?" she asked Hotaru curiously.
Hotaru looked at her, her eyes almost like pools of purest violet. "It sounds fairly straight forward," she answered, "I'm to shadow you in case this stalker tries to take a shot at you."
"I should warn you that there are going to be some pretty long days involved," Minako pointed out calmly, "I act, sing and make public appearances."
"You might want to hold off on appearing in public," Hotaru said reasonably, "it would make protecting you somewhat easier."
"Sorry," Minako shook her head, "I committed to these appearances months ago, and I can't easily back out now."
"Then we'll just have to figure out a way to have me keep an eye on you without standing out too much," Hotaru shrugged.
"Considering she'll be in full Sailor V costume it'll be hard to stay close and not stand out," Setsuna calmly noted.
Minako was looking at Hotaru thoughtfully, checking her out from head to toe. "You know," she finally murmured, "I think I have an idea."
Hotaru blinked at Minako, looking over at her warily. "I don't think I like the look on your face," she finally said.
Minako chuckled, "We'll see."
The next week was interesting for the two women, to say the least. Minako went to the studio, worked on ads and held her personal appearances, and in the background Hotaru quietly followed. Remarkably she blended in very well; carrying Minako's personal planner and looking much like a professional assistant, not a bodyguard. They talked together, forced to spend their time side by side, and quickly discovered they enjoyed each other's company.
"I don't think I appreciated how busy an idol is," Hotaru murmured as they drove to the studio to record an ad for the Sailor V special.
"Out at four in the morning most days and back home by ten at night if I'm lucky," Minako agreed. She looked stylish and elegant, but then again she almost always did, due to good personal taste and fine clothes. She looked at Hotaru thoughtfully, "You've been keeping up fine, I notice."
"Thank you," Hotaru flashed a rare smile. Normally the young woman looked professionally grave, so it gave Minako a flash of pleasure to see amusement on her face. "Private Eyes tend to work long hours too, so I’m used to it."
"So what's up next?" Minako asked.
Just like a real assistant Hotaru checked through the schedule, "We're going to see Setsuna-san first, then there's a costume fitting." She frowned and asked, "I thought you already had several Sailor V costumes?"
"The costume isn’t for me, it's for you," Minako explained.
"Ehh!" Hotaru looked at Minako in confusion.
'She's so cute when she's clueless,' Minako realized. She looked at Hotaru with amusement, "Remember, we need a way for you not to stand out when I appear in costume."
"But..." Hotaru said weakly.
"Don't worry," Minako reassured her, "it'll be tasteful."
"This from a woman who wears a schoolgirl sailor fuku as part of her costume," Hotaru said wryly. "So I get put through this after we meet with Setsuna-san?" she asked.
"Yup," Minako agreed cheerfully.
"I'm doomed," Hotaru sighed.
The meeting with Setsuna showed that no new threats had come in from the stalker, and then the three of them were off for the costume fitting. With a feeling of dread Hotaru followed the costumer, a tall woman named Makoto, into the changing rooms where she helped fit the young woman into her new outfit.
"Are you ready?" Makoto asked her quietly, the brown haired woman giving Hotaru a comforting smile.
"No," Hotaru shrugged as she paused before the curtain, "but that's never stopped me."
Minako turned as she heard Hotaru step out, and then froze. The sailor fuku was white and purple rather than orange like hers and the boots were styled different... but it was the cool reserve and intensity in Hoare’s eyes that carried it off. Deep down she was a warrior, no matter how oddly she was dressed, and it shone through.
"Perfect," Setsuna murmured, studying Hotaru intently.
"You haven't said anything," Hotaru finally looked over at Minako wryly, "does it really look that bad on me?"
"You look great," Minako managed, looking at Hotaru in admiration, "It's perfect for the look we were thinking of, too."
"So I'm wearing this to your performance tomorrow?" Hotaru asked.
"Not just wearing," Setsuna grinned, "you're participating, too."
"Oh no," Hotaru protested.
The next afternoon the sun beat down at the park, Sailor V posing dramatically as the band of monsters gathered around her warily. "There are too many for me," Minako dramatically declared her white and orange sailor fuku gleaming "is there no one who can help me?"
The dramatic music swelled, and she arose as a concealed lift brought the costume clad woman to the top of a platform. Hotaru held the pole arm in one slightly sweaty hand as the murmurs of the crowd rose in surprise wondering who this new figure could be.
"When evil threatens the innocent I will be there," Hotaru declared, "I, Sailor S!" She leapt spinning the wooden prop weapon as she dropped beside Sailor V, the two going back to back against the enemies.
"Nice entrance," Sailor V said dramatically.
"Thanks," Hotaru sweatdropped.
To be continued...