Hotaru and Minako: Agents of S.E.N.S.H.I. (Two of Two)
"I have to admit," Hotaru commented as she checked her appearance in the mirror and adjusted her black tuxedo, "you look good, partner."
"Why thank you," Minako answered, her pale rose dress swirling around her. Out of her usual work suit she looked surprisingly beautiful, the blonde haired woman wearing just a subtle touch of perfume and makeup. Her blue eyes gave Hotaru a admiring look, "You clean up pretty good, too."
Hotaru blushed slightly, her short black hair brushing her shoulders. "Thanks," she said, looking away shyly.
Minako had to fight back a smile, thinking of all the surprising things that you could discover about people in new circumstances. She and Hotaru had worked together for over a year, but it had mostly been purely professional, but now she was seeing an entirely different side to the reserved young woman. A side, she had to confess, that she was finding to be surprisingly attractive.
"Do you think we'll be able to blend into the wedding party?" Hotaru asked curiously, adding the cuff links smoothly.
Minako carefully put on a necklace as she added, "I think we'll do fine." There was a knock on the door and she called out, "Come in!"
Makoto Kino pushed open the door to the suite, the taller brown haired agent wearing another of the rose dresses. She was surprisingly beautiful, but that appearance hid a dangerously capable martial artist and warrior. "No updates from the Chief yet," she reported, "but from chatter on our operations frequency it sounds like they've found our missing Finance Minister."
"How many of our security staff were pulled away to deal with it?" Hotaru asked, the window outside showing the incredible views available from the Crystal Palace.
"About half," Makoto grimaced.
Minako swore softly at the horrible timing, adjusting the concealed radio she wore. Once she was sure the earpiece was sitting comfortably she said, "Discretely go around to our fellow agents and let them know, please."
"Yes ma'am," Makoto tossed off a military salute then was off.
"Well, we'd better get moving," Hotaru said seriously. She offered her suit clad arm politely and asked, "Shall we?"
"Thank you," Minako set a gloved hand on hers then they went out into the hall.
The Crystal Palace was a fine hotel, now bustling with guests and dignitaries and was a security nightmare for them. There were too many people, too many rooms to check and almost no way to make sure nothing dangerous or illegal got in. The only consolation was a state of the art security system, offering cameras and other surveillance over much of the building.
Dodging guests and nodding to guards stationed at stairways and elevators they made their way to the first floor and the security office, now temporarily drafted as their headquarters for the event. Natsuna Sakurada was standing in front of the screens, eyes flickering as the tall brown haired woman intently studied the goings on around them.
Sitting at the control panel Ami Mizuno adjusted a camera slightly, the blue haired woman's eyes focused intently. Their fellow agent handled the controls with the same surety she brought to almost anything electronic, as well as being a terrific nurse and emergency medic.
Natsuna turned at the sound of a door opening, her eyes narrowing just a bit as she saw them enter the room. "Ladies," she said to them frostily, "I can't say I appreciate my staff being bumped for your associate here."
"Agent Mizuno is extremely qualified," Minako answered shortly, "as I don't doubt you've already checked out." She scanned the monitors herself, checking out the reception hall, dining room and the main hall that would be hosting the wedding itself.
"Fair enough," Natsuna conceded.
Hotaru looked up at the taller woman a bit warily and asked her, "Are there any unexpected complications?"
Natsuna snorted as she said, "Well, both sets of parents are fighting, the caterers ran out of crackers, at least one brother-in-law is dead drunk and I understand the bridesmaid's outfits were miss-dyed a lovely violet."
"As I said, any unexpected complications?" Hotaru repeated with a small smile.
Surprisingly both Minako and Natsuna laughed at that. "No, not really," Natsuna said, "and so far at least, there's no sign of any terrorists or other crazies."
As Ami flipped through camera images she paused a moment on Makoto, her eyes lingering a moment, then she moved on. "As far as we know there's no one unauthorized on the premises, but I can't say it'll stay that way."
"The support staff?" Minako assumed.
Ami nodded as Natsuna said, "We've screened everyone we hired for this event, but that doesn't mean someone couldn't be bribed. The best that we can do is be vigilant and hope we catch anything unusual."
Hotaru checked her watch, "Should we check in on the brides?"
"Sounds like a plan," Minako agreed. They headed out into the hall as she looked at Hotaru curiously, "You're awfully stiff with Natsuna."
Hotaru shrugged a bit uncomfortably. "I don't like how she looks at you some times," she finally confessed as they quickly cut across the building, "like you still belong with her."
Minako looked at her in surprise, then smiled slightly. "You don't have to worry," she reached out to squeeze her hand, "I'm not interested in her at all, anymore." A fond smile touched Minako's lips, "I fact, there's someone else I like."
"Who?" Hotaru asked softly.
"I'll tell you later," Minako said as they reached the room the three women were waiting in. She knocked once then opened the door, "Excuse me, we just wanted..."
Both Hotaru and Minako froze in surprise even as Michiru, Setsuna and Haruka leapt apart, blushing faintly. "Next time," Haruka complained good naturedly as the sandy haired woman did up her white dress shirt, "give us a bit more warning before coming in."
Hotaru was blushing redly as she scolded them, "Aren't you supposed to save that for after the wedding?"
"Sorry," Michiru said, her white bridal dress just a bit rumpled, "we got bored waiting and it just sort of happened."
"Would you like us to leave you alone for awhile?" Minako asked with a impish look. A bit more seriously, "It's all clear so far, but we'll be shadowing the event for your safety."
Setsuna smiled, "Thank you very much, I've been very impressed with all the work you've done in the past few weeks."
"Just doing our jobs," Hotaru said a bit gruffly.
Noting her partner's cute blush Minako said, "We'll see you at the ceremony, then." She took Hotaru's hand and tugged, "Excuse us, we should get back to it."
As the door closed they could hear Haruka purr to her future brides, "Now, where were we?"
A few hours later the main hall was filled to bursting, rows of chairs all occupied by family, friends and notables. The abundance of famous faces made Minako even more nervous as she sat in a center aisle seat, Hotaru up ahead of her near the altar. 'If someone does hit the wedding with a bomb it's going to be a disaster,' she thought.
Haruka looked fairly calm standing up by the altar, apparently the earlier quickie had helped calm her nerves. The wedding march began and after a moment Michiru and Setsuna were escorted to the altar by their fathers, then the nervous female priest began the ceremony.
"Anything?" Hotaru's voice came over the radios.
"Not yet," Minako murmured back, feeling her eyes circling the room. Over by one wall a group of men and women prepared a buffet for the party, drinks of various types being laid out. Flower girls had laid out petals on the route, and stiff ushers were waiting along the aisle. She switched over to the security office as she saw a very nervous usher fidget and asked, "Ami, were the ushers cleared by security?"
"They're friends of Haruka apparently," Ami answered, "no, they weren't checked out."
"Crap," Minako murmured, easing out of her seat to make her way cautiously towards the young man. "Hotaru, possible suspect confirmed," she cued her silently.
Apparently whomever the man was he wasn't totally stupid, for he saw them coming. Reaching into his dress jacket he pulled a gun, turning to point it towards the altar even as the ceremony finally began to wind down. Then it was suddenly yanked out of his hand by a flash of gold and he cried out in alarm.
Gracefully Minako had flicked her wrist out and released the spring loaded metal chain she wore disguised as a bracelet, then with a twist yanked it back to get the gun from his hand. "No," he cried out as Hotaru tacked him, "I won't let perverts like you continue to corrupt the innocent!" A blow to his head shut him up, swiftly rendering him unconscious.
"Carry on, please," Hotaru waved as they grabbed him and dragged him out of the hall, "we're done, I think."
They found out the young man's story, eventually, though it took some time. His name was Mamoru, and up until a few years ago he had been happily involved with a younger woman named Usagi Tsukino. Sometime after she met Rei Hino she had eloped, leaving him deeply heartbroken and angry, a rage that eventually fixated on Haruka. He befriended her, intending to do some harm to her, then when he heard about the wedding he saw his chance.
A little while later Hotaru and Minako stood in the corner, watching the couples moving out onto the dance floor together. The chief had given them a break, letting their team remain for the party before returning to base and writing the endless series of reports.
"Is that Ami and Makoto?" Hotaru blinked, faintly surprised.
"You didn't know about them?" Minako smiled, sipping her drink. "You know," she added, "I think I like your occasional moments pure innocence."
"I sort of wish I wasn't so innocent," Hotaru confessed. She looked at Minako curiously, "I thought you'd tell me who you liked?"
Minako ignored the question, "Would you care to dance?"
Hotaru blinked, "I suppose so." They went out to the dancers hand in hand, Minako drawing her close as they swayed together. "You didn't answer my question," Hotaru murmured, feeling a rush from being so near her.
Minako pushed Hotaru's hair back then bent forward to kiss her, "Oh, I think I just did.
Notes: I know "Supreme Enforcement Network and Special Headquarters of Investigations" sounds a bit odd, but it was pretty hard to come up with something that fit "S.E.N.S.H.I.." I've been batting around a Mina/Hotaru as agents fic for awhile, but I couldn't come up with something that fit it. Then a theme of "weddings" was suggested at the Stars in Love yahoo group and it occurred to me I could fit them together pretty well...