Hotaru Tomoe took a drink from her glass, her hat pulled down a bit to try and hide her violet eyes. She didn't want to be seen mooning over the singer currently performing up on stage, despite her having visited here nearly every night for the past few days.
"Your refill, miss," the bartender said, his black hair falling into his eyes.
"I didn't order this, mister...," Hotaru blinked, the business suit clad woman sitting up unconsciously.
"Mamoru," he introduced himself. He nodded towards where the singer continued to serenade the audience, "Miss Aino asked me to, if you showed up again."
"Oh?" Hotaru asked.
"Minako doesn't buy drink for people very often," Mamoru added, turning back to cleaning out some of the glasses.
Hotaru turned back to the stage, looking at Minako singing so beautifully. She raised the glass in a toast to Minako and felt warm as Minako flashed her a smile. The woman in the slinky red gown finished up her tune then slid the microphone into it's metal stand, her blue eyes twinkling merrily. "I hope you'll be back later on tonight for the second half," Minako said with a purr, "but for now, I have a very important date."
'She's seeing someone, figures,' Hotaru thought glumly as she saw Minako disappear off stage and a DJ start up some background music. She tried not to feel disappointed, reminding herself she didn't really know anything about this woman.
Wandering by a few days ago Hotaru had heard the voice of an angel coming from the nightclub and wandered inside, quickly becoming enraptured by the blonde beauty standing on stage. Even more stunning was her cheerful banter and stage presence, a warm way about her that drew Hotaru in almost instantly.
"Is this seat taken?" the voice asked sweetly, pulling Hotaru back from her happy memories to a disappointing present.
"No, that's fine," Hotaru started to say as she turned on her stool to look at her, only to trail off in stunned surprise.
Minako Aino looked as beautiful up close as she did on stage, her friendly smile lighting up her face. She took the seat gracefully, eyes faintly amused as she offered her hand, "I don't think we've been introduced. I'm Minako Aino, and you are...?"
Hotaru took the hand, debating the impulse, then kissed the back of her had. "Hotaru Tomoe, ma'am," she answered, looking up to meet her eyes.
A blush colored Minako's cheeks but she seemed charmed by the old fashioned gesture. "Very nice to meet you, Ms. Tomoe," Minako gave a flirtatious smile.
"Hotaru, please," she urged with a half smile.
"It's a nice name," Minako nodded as she leaned a little closer to Hotaru, "and you can call me Minako, if you like."
"I'd be honored," Hotaru said honestly. She gave Minako a searching glance, "I thought you said you had a date...?"
"I do," Minako agreed as she gazed into Hotaru's eyes meaningfully, "why do you think I'm here?" She smiled as Hotaru blushed, realizing what Minako meant. "I'd ask if you come here often, but I've seen you in the audience the last four nights."
"I didn't think I was being that noticeable," Hotaru sighed as she took her hat off, setting it on the bar. Freed of it's confines her short black hair flowed free, shimmering a little like a raven's wing in the bar lights. She waved down Mamoru and said, "A drink for the lady, please."
"Your regular?" Mamoru asked Minako curiously.
"Please," Minako flashed him a grin then looked at Hotaru thoughtfully. "I think I felt your eyes on me the first night, then I began to look for you." With a wry smile she then asked, "So an I being stalked, or...?"
"I'm no stalker," Hotaru said quickly in her own defense, "I just... well, I guess I just was drawn in here by your singing." The younger woman blushed as she admitted, "I've never heard anything so beautiful."
"Thank you," Minako purred. She looked at Hotaru curiously, "You know what I do, of course, but what about you?"
"Nothing as exciting as being a lounge singer," Hotaru drew a card from her pocket and passed it over, "I'm just a antique dealer here in town." She sipped her drink and asked, "So how did you become a singer?"
Minako gave a impish smile, "I've always wanted to be famous, ever since I was a little girl. I haven't made it yet, but I'm working on it."
"Having seen you perform," Hotaru said with simple honesty, "I don't doubt it."
Minako reached out to gently trail a finger over Hotaru's cheek, "You're quite the charmer." She smiled, pleased to see Hotaru blushed faintly, then looked at her watch with a sigh. "I'm sorry," she got up, "the second set starts soon."
"I wish we could keep talking," Hotaru said softly, meeting Minako's eyes.
"My night's over after this," Minako said after a moment, "if you stick around, I wouldn't mind having some company this evening."
Hotaru nodded firmly, "I'd be honored."
Minako fought back a smile as she headed for the dressing room, swiftly pulling off her earrings first as she shut the door behind her. Her sedate heels were kicked off and the dress was pulled up and over her head, then she set it aside carefully to be washed out later. Her red satin dress gleamed on it's hanger, a sinful looking sheath that showed every curve and she had to wiggle her body a bit just to get into it.
'I can't believe I invited her out,' Minako thought as she picked up a brush and touched up her makeup in the well lit mirror, 'I barely even know her.' Still, something in the girl's soulful violet eyes seemed to draw her to Hotaru, and if her years of performing had taught her anything at all it was to go with her instincts. She pursed her lips, taking her blood red lipstick and gliding it on, smiling a little as she grabbed a pair of fresh earrings too. Sliding on spike heels she was ready to perform the second set, her favorite torch songs.
After the show was over and the club was running down Hotaru was standing outside, her jacket slung over her shoulder. "I'm here," Minako said from behind her.
Hotaru turned, then blinked in surprise at the transformed young woman. Gone was the stylish gown, replaced with casual but fine clothes, a short skirt and blouse in blue and white. Her blonde hair shimmered beautifully but a different, subdued style of makeup gave her a different aura. "Wow," Hotaru breathed as Minako reached her side.
"Surprised?' Minako asked.
"You look wonderful," Hotaru said honestly, "but why so different than on stage?"
"I get approached by fans too often, otherwise," Minako took Hotaru's arm, stroking the white cotton of her shirt clad arm. "You look yummy, too, by the way," she said softly.
Hotaru blushed, but her smile was pleased. "Have you had any dinner?" she asked, looking up at the slightly taller woman.
"I didn't," Minako admitted, "or lunch, either." At Hotaru's worried look she smiled, "Not intentionally, but I got busy."
"Then let's get you fed," Hotaru said firmly.
They walked together for a few moments, then Minako smiled softly, "Is something wrong?"
Hotaru smiled wryly, "I guess I was trying to think of a way to tell you that my intentions towards you are honorable."
"My intentions aren't honorable at all," Minako purred and Hotaru blushed. "I'm sorry," she softened her tone, "I kind of find that sweet, really." She looked at Hotaru, "Did I startle you?"
Hotaru was still blushing. "A little," she admitted, "are you always this impulsive?"
"I am when I find something I want," Minako squeezed Hotaru's arm.
Hotaru looked up at her shyly but she was smiling. "Thank you," she said, "I don't think I would have imagined this happening when I walked in the club a few days ago."
Taking the hint of how short of a time they knew each other Minako smiled. "Let's start with dinner then," she said, "and see where things go from there."
"I'd like that," Hotaru agreed.
Notes: Minako as a nightclub singer was an easy fit, and making Hotaru a antique dealer was almost as simple. I wanted to write a love at first sight story with a touch of realism, though the ending almost had to be a bit undefined.