Story: Once Again (chapter 6)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 6


Love Hina: Once Again


The meeting up at the shinto shrine was quiet, the talk hesitant before Rei Hino finally took charge. "This isn't a wake everyone," the black haired woman said to them firmly, "hell, we aren't even going that far away."

"Maybe, but this is the first time one of us has left," Makoto Kino said wryly, the tall brown haired woman sitting by the table that was loaded with food and snacks she had cooked, "it's going to take some time to adjust."

"I'm sorry," Ami Mizuno said faintly, the blue haired woman sitting beside Rei, "if I hadn't been accepted in Tokyo University this never would have happened."

"Don't apologize, Ami," Usagi Tsukino said with a smile, the blonde wiping at teary eyes, "we're all happy for you."

"And if anyone here deserves to go to Tokyo U, it's you," Minako Aino said, the blonde bombshell reaching out to squeeze Ami's shoulder.

"Besides," Rei said after a moment, "we'll keep in touch. Ami and I have email, there's phones, and if there's an emergency we'll come running."

"Yes," Ami nodded, "Tokyo U is important to me, but not more important than all of you."

Usagi reached out to squeeze both their hands, "Thank you."

"So," Makoto asked after a moment, "what's this place you're staying at?"

"The Hinata Dorms and Inn," Rei answered promptly, "it's a combination of dorm in the main building an a inn using new building added to the property. It was also a hotspring resort at one time, so we'll have access to that, too."

"And you two are planning to share a room there?" Minako asked impishly.

Ami blushed faintly as she answered, "Yes. The manager, Kanako Urashima, seems to have no problem with it."

"Really?" Usagi blurted, "I wonder if that means she's..."

"Usagi," Rei gave her a look, "we've barely met her, meatball head."

"You're so mean," Usagi's eyes welled with tears.

Ami had to fight back a laugh, watching her friends falling back on their familiar patterns of behavior, a comforting thing knowing that they'd all be parted soon enough. Makoto busied herself with setting up more of the food, Minako casually flipped through a few of Rei's manga and Usagi and Rei argued affectionately.

"So how are your mother and Rei's grandfather taking news of your relationship?" Makoto asked softly after a few moments.

"Grandfather's taken it very well," Ami answered promptly, "he seems to be content if Rei's happy." A frown, "My mother on the other hand..."

"Not good?" Makoto asked sympathetically.

Ami smiled wryly as she sighed, "I'm hoping she'll respond to an email once I'm away from home for awhile."

"She'll come around," Makoto said firmly, "you're her only daughter, after all."

"And grandfather is working on her, too," Rei noted before adding, "though I can't quite decided if that's a good thing or not."

Everyone laughed at that.

Some weeks later and I another city Ami hummed to herself softly as she finished unpacking her clothes from the bags on the low table. "Your turn Rei," she called to her, "and do you mind if I do the email?"

Rei smiled from where she had finished setting up their household shrine. "No problem," she lugged her bag over, "I'm sure Usagi and the others are dying of curiosity at this point."

Setting up her laptop Ami sat by the window, her expression thoughtful as she tried to organize the impressions of the last few days. Opening up her email account she typed in the address "bunnycrystaltokyo.jpn" then began to write.

To Usagi, Makoto, Minako, Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna and Hotaru.

We've been at Hinata Inn for a day or so, and already we feel surprisingly at home. I think that Makoto was feeling a bit worried that a self-described medical nerd and a shinto priestess might not fit in well, but we blend in quite well with the unusual characters here. What follows are my initial impressions of them...

Motoko Aoyama is a tall young woman, rivaling Makoto, and she almost looks like she wandered out of a samurai drama with her archaic clothes. The black haired woman carries a sword and is remarkably skilled, I suspect she could even match Tuxedo Kamen. Yet she is pleasant and almost serene, though I suspect a temper lurks beneath that.

Ema Maeda and I may have a great deal in common, if the laptop she was carrying with her is ant indication. The brown haired girl appears quite shy, too, much like I was when I first met Usagi. The other residents here look out for her like a little sister, apparently.

Mitsune Konno has the nickname Kitsune, and from what I've seen calling her a trickster fits. She reminds me of Haruka in her looks as well as sharing Haruka's occasionally impish nature, and Kitsune appears to be quite reckless. Still, she runs a successful cafe and employs two of the residents here, so she can't be all that wild.

Anthy Himemiya is a harder one to read on several levels. The dusky skinned, violet haired girl stands slightly apart from the others, but there is a gentleness about her too. Oddly she flings roses much like Tuxedo Kamen, a gift I'm determined to ask her about. Rei has mentioned she feels power around Anthy, but not a dark force.

Su Koalla is the most energetic girl that I've met, rivaling even a sugar-filled Chibi-Usa, and she seems to be a technical genius if all the inventions I've seen around her are any indication. The dusky skinned blonde teen has been quite friendly, though she asked us some remarkably blunt questions about Rei and I.

Rei read that bit over her shoulder and chuckled. "I don't think I've seen you blush like that in a while," she purred into Ami's ear.

"Hush," Ami blushed faintly as she continued.

Kanako Urashima and Hotaru must both shop at the same stores, since the young lady has, so far, worn only a variety of black outfits. She's remarkably deadpan, calmly accepting details of my and Rei's relationship without a flicker in her expression. Still, I get the sense that there's amusement and compassion beneath her calm gaze.

Shinobu Maehara is the 'mother' of the inn, despite her relative youth. She cooks and cleans like a wizard, and the taste of her food rivals Makoto's. She, like many of the residents here, is a sophomore student at Tokyo U ad I hope to receive guidance from her.

"She sure doesn't look it, does she?" Rei remarked. "Still, I think you'd be asking the graduate student instead."

"Just getting to her," Ami agreed.

I only met Mutsumi Otohime a short while before she went over to her job at the Cafe Hinata next door, but she comes across as remarkably easy going.

"Not to mention having enormous melons," Rei commented.

She's quite statuesque, but seems largely unaware of her physical beauty. Her oddest habit seems to be kissing people when she's happy... she laid a good one on both Rei and I and no one else here seemed to bat an eye.

In conclusion it looks like we'll fit in here quite well, and we're settling in nicely. We miss you and home, and look forward to your next visit.

Love, Ami and Rei.

Rei read it over completely, hugging Ami from behind as she did so. "You didn't mention that ghost busting thing," she noted, "or that Kitsune wants to hire me for it."

"I think we'll save that for the next letter," Ami laughed. She turned, cuddling into Rei's arms, "you know, you haven't kissed me since we got here."

"Then I'd better fix that right now," Rei murmured before kissing her.

In another room Su reached out, turning off the monitor that she had been using to spy on them. She knew the others had forbidden her to do this, but she just couldn't resist... "Still," Su murmured, "I wasn't expecting them to really be lovers."

To be continued...

Notes: Ami, Rei and their friends are all from Sailor Moon, and this story also ties in with my ficcy "Ice on Fire." Anthy is from Revolutionary Girl Utena and this series of stories is set before "Echoes of a final Duel."

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