Marmalade Mercury: Ep 6b

Previous Chapter Links Next





<commercial break; Minako, Urawa and Sewaya skating, they trip over Ami’s computer>

Urawa rolled his own eyes at the timing. “I suppose you think this is funny?” he demanded.

Sewaya shrugged, still smiling. “It’s an interesting coincidence at least. I never thought I’d get the chance to trounce both you AND Greg at the same time.” He nodded to Greg. “I thought YOU were out of my hair.”

“Ditto,” Greg responded, inclining his head slightly. “What made you decide to return to Japan?”

“I was born here,” Sewaya reminded him. “Call it getting back to my roots, call it getting tired of spending time in Ottawa, Canada… call it my parents won an all expense paid trip and decided to make it permanent. What do you care? I could ask the same question of you anyway.”

“You could, but I doubt you’d be interested,” Greg said with a frown.

Sewaya hmphed and turned to Urawa.

“What about you? I haven’t heard from you since we flew in two weeks ago. Find that girl you were babbling about?”

Urawa flushed. “Put a sock in it,” he advised. “You came here to play chess, right?”

Sewaya snickered. “Getting defensive? It was you who were regretting how you left. And your father who asked if we wanted to take you with us. You’re just fortunate that there was an apartment for you near our place.”

~~~ When my uncle decided to come to live in Japan… and my dad offered me the option of moving back here with him… I couldn’t turn it down! ~~~

Ami gasped as the words Urawa had spoken upon his return took on a more complete meaning. Perhaps a natural reaction for her under the circumstances – but a bad one in retrospect. Sewaya turned at the noise, noticing her for the first time.

He looked her up and down momentarily. “Oh, you’re her, aren’t you?” he said, grinning again. “Yeah, I can see Urawa falling for you. So, you two going out again?”

Ami opened and closed her mouth. “I… that’s… no, we…”

“What’s your relation to Urawa anyway?” Greg interrupted, causing Sewaya to shift his gaze.

“Oh, we’re cousins,” Sewaya stated with a wave of his hand.

“Not by choice,” Urawa groused. “He bothered me in Japan, and when my dad got sent to Ottawa, he bothered me there too.”

“Huh. You’re just upset over her, aren’t you?” Sewaya answered with a thumb in Ami’s direction. “Not going out now? She hates you since you left I bet.”

“Shut UP,” Urawa glowered.

Ami twisted her hands together, not sure what she should say, yet feeling she should say something. A crowd of people was starting to pay closer attention to their conversation too. What to do? What to do?

“Hah!” Sewaya scoffed. “And to think you used to chastize me for not getting dates. Well, we’re in the same boat now, aren’t we?”

“No!” Urawa cried. “You don’t know anything.” In frustration, he whirled to face Ami. “Ami! T-Tell him you don’t hate me!” he blurted, with a pleading gaze.

Ami shook. “I… I…”

People were staring. All around now, people were staring. This was crazy, she couldn’t deal with this now, couldn’t make any decision now, not with so many others here, not without being sure what she felt… why was this happening?

“I… I can’t talk to you now,” she finally gasped out. Turning, she ran out of the library.

“You know Sewaya,” Minako put forth in the brief silence that ensued, “if you’re looking to impress me, upsetting my friend is NOT the way to go about it.”

Sewaya blinked as Minako pushed by him and headed after Ami. “M-Minako!” he cried out, lower lip quivering. “I didn’t realize that…”

“Oh, she’s the one YOU’RE in love with?” Urawa returned, trying to keep his tone even. But what had Ami meant by not being able to talk to him? “I’m not surprised at your success, the way you act.”

“Time out,” Greg said, somewhat exasperated. “I thought we came here to play chess.”

Sewaya, who had been about to say something in reply, stopped and nodded. “Right,” he concurred. “But how about we make this a little more interesting?” he added with a sly look.

Urawa frowned. “Not another of your stupid side bets,” he griped. Was Ami just embarrassed or did she really hate him?

“Scared of losing?” Sewaya said innocently.

Urawa narrowed his eyes. “Scared of nothing when you’re involved,” he replied. “What is it this time then? Some sort of tattoo? Wear a skirt?”

“If our school wins, you two get your hair cut. Reaaallly short – like a monk,” Sewaya challenged. “Likewise for us if you win.”

“Hey, wait, when did I become involved in this?” Greg interjected.

“When I found out you’d dated Minako Aino,” Sewaya answered with a glare.

Greg sighed to himself… a prime example of why one shouldn’t talk about the past. Just his luck that Sewaya had ended up at the same school as him upon his return from England…

“Done!” Urawa acquiesced. Ami must have felt conspicuous… he shouldn’t have dragged her into it. Would she talk to him later or had he blown it?

Greg rolled his eyes as Sewaya and Urawa shook hands. Things did not look good.


“How are things?” asked Minako.

“Not good,” replied Usagi. “How’s Ami?”

“Better,” Minako answered.

Minako had almost run into Usagi in her pursuit of Ami, and had quickly apprised Usagi, assuring her she’d take care of it and that it might be a good idea to check Urawa’s reaction.

It was sort of weird, really… in a pressure situation involving school, or as Mercury, Ami could always pull through. But do something like give her a love letter and she’d almost go to pieces.

“How not good here?” Minako asked, looking towards the two games in progress. It looked like they were just beginning.

“Apparently they each play three games, all a half hour long,” Usagi explained. “Switching opponents each game. They’ve done two now. Greg has won once and drawn a game because they ran out of pieces. But Urawa’s lost both, one on mate and one on time. So your school is up 2.5 to 1.5 – we need two wins now.”

Usagi paused. “Actually, I guess that’s good for you,” she acknowledged.

Minako grimaced. “I wouldn’t say that,” she muttered.

Urawa had to be upset over how Ami ran out or something, he had a better reputation than that – according to both Ami and Sewaya. The Ami and Urawa romance was really looking a bit shaky at the moment. In her little talk with Ami to calm her, Ami had admitted that Urawa was getting too intense about the whole thing for her liking.

He seemed like a nice guy though… if Sewaya hadn’t gotten him riled… Minako wondered if she shouldn’t involve herself. But would it then look like she was trying to make Greg available? She paused. But wasn’t Greg already available?

Geez, this was making her own head hurt. “I wonder if we shouldn’t get Ami to encourage Urawa a bit,” she mused aloud to Usagi.

Usagi paused, then nodded. “Wouldn’t be a bad idea if that’s his problem,” she admitted. “I heard that the losers also have to shave their heads…”

“What??” Minako hissed.

That had to be Sewaya’s doing. For someone who admitted to wanting to date her… who was now annoying her friends and getting Greg, someone he KNEW she liked to cut off his hair… she scowled.

“Ami’s studying, I’ll get her to come back,” Minako whispered hurriedly. She rushed back out of the library.


Urawa winced as Sewaya captured his rook. A fork, he should have seen it coming! He had to concentrate, he needed to win this game. He had to stop thinking about Ami. But why hadn’t she come back?

He scanned the crowd quickly again and ran a hand through his hair. His hair… he rather wanted to keep it. Concentrate.

Urawa stared at the board. Now, what would Ami do in this situation? No, stop that, concentrate! Time was passing… he moved his knight uncertainly.

Sewaya snickered, countering with a knight move of his own. “Check,” Sewaya noted. “You’re playing even worse than you did in our first game.”

Urawa bit his tongue to hold back a response. He had to analyze this… his king was in danger and he was going down in pieces. Ok, how about… no, his bishop was pinned. Almost all his pawns were blocked too! When had that happened?

Urawa shook his head slowly. This was a terrible position… he’d lost this game too…

A familiar gasp intruded on his brooding and he looked up again. Ami was back and at the front of the observing crowd. And looking at him and the game with wide eyes. He’d let her down, hadn’t he… and Greg… and the school…

‘Urawa!’ Ami mouthed to him. ‘Urawa, we’re rooting for you! Now don’t give up yet!’

Urawa blinked as Ami blushed a bit. He looked back at the board quickly before anyone (especially Sewaya) could see the glance they’d exchanged. Don’t give up. Yes, how could he give up? Why give Sewaya the satisfaction?

Ami was rooting for him. And he wanted to keep his hair. Ok, but what to do with this board position?

Urawa moved his king. Sewaya paused for a moment, contemplating his next move, and Urawa took a quick look at the other game.

Greg made a move and leaned back in his chair. He gave Urawa a small thumbs up when he noticed Urawa’s stare. That game was going well, then. Urawa looked back at his board. Not good. He was down too much already! Well then… he’d just have to gamble.

Sewaya moved and he responded. Sewaya took his queen.

“Must you make this so easy?” Sewaya sighed.

Urawa shrugged. This would work, it had to. He moved again, and Sewaya took another piece without hesitation, rolling his eyes. “Dumb,” was his only comment this time.

Glancing around, the crowd didn’t seem too thrilled with his play either. Ami looked disappointed. But he knew his opponent…

Another couple of moves. Urawa watched his situation worsen. And then it was time for the prayer play. Urawa forced himself to look defeated as he moved his bishop.

Sewaya immediately captured it with his queen. “That was idiotic. You can’t win now!” he pointed out.

Urawa allowed himself a small smile as he sat back in his chair. “I don’t have to,” he disclosed.

Sewaya blinked. “You resign?” he asked, surprised.

Urawa shook his head. “Look at the board. My king isn’t in check, but as soon as I move it, it will be. My other pieces are blocked. It’s stalemate! Half points to each of us. So if Greg won his game, as I think he did, our schools are tied at 3 – and in this case, there will have to be one more game.”

Which I won’t screw up, Urawa finished to himself.

Sewaya’s jaw dropped as he looked at the board. “That’s… hey!”

Urawa shook his head. “I figured you wouldn’t be able to resist capturing as many of my pieces as you could before going for the kill.”

“Well then, prepare to be trounced in the tie breaker game,” Sewaya growled.

The last game was almost anti-climatic though; each school picked a player (Greg gaving Urawa the benefit of the doubt), and the match between Urawa and Sewaya was over ten minutes after it started.

“Checkmate,” Urawa commented. “You should really stay calm when you play,” he added as Sewaya glowered at the board.

Urawa stood. “You might want to buy a hat too,” he finished with a smile as he turned away.


“Well, that was interesting,” Greg confessed as he walked out of the library.

“You could say that,” Urawa admitted, following him out. “Sorry about screwing up the start there…” Urawa let his voice trail off and blinked as Greg simply shrugged back. Not a very talkative – or forgiving guy, it seemed.

Shaking it off he shifted attention to Ami, who was following the both of them. “So, Ami, why did you… come back?” he asked.

Ami blushed slightly. “Minako said you were losing badly… I couldn’t believe it! I had to see for myself,” she answered. “I guess it was fortunate juku was cancelled… did… did my walking out really rattle you that much?”

Urawa pursed his lips. “Well… kinda,” he said uncertainly. “I mean… I wasn’t sure what you meant wh– hey!” Urawa cried as he was suddenly tugged from behind.

“Er, Minako?” Ami inquired in amazement.

Minako smiled back, continuing to pull Urawa away by the arm. “Hi! Don’t mind me, I just want to have a chat with Urawa,” she excused herself.

“H-huh?” Urawa faltered. Greg raised an eyebrow and Ami just looked confused.

“Er, the chess match interested me,” Minako offered as an explanation. “Come on Urawa, please?”

It was time to take some direct action to help out, she’d decided. Whatever love triangle this was, it looked to be in a worse stalemate than that chess game! As the Senshi of Love, and Ami’s friend, she couldn’t just stand back, could she?

Ami stared as Minako linked arms with Urawa and pulled him away.

The chess match had interested Minako? In what, chess? Then why not talk to her instead? She looked at Greg who was just staring at the spot where the other two had been. Or… surely Minako hadn’t meant it had interested her… in Urawa? Because she thought that Ami had picked Greg?

Ami had spoken of Urawa a little less favourably in their earlier chat perhaps… but… no, it was a silly thought. Minako and Urawa? It was absurd.

Ami shuddered. …wasn’t it?

<closing theme>


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.