*_* MARMALADE MERCURY *_*
EP 7b: TOWER TOUR TROUBLE. COMPLICATIONS CONTINUE.
<commercial break; Ami, Greg and Urawa skating, they trip over Ami’s computer>
“So, what’s the deal with you standing so close to Minako, Urawa?” Sewaya grilled, looking at his cousin.
Urawa turned to return the look and immediately burst out laughing. “Hey, nice cut Sewaya! Don’t you think they left it a little long in the back though?”
“Hmph!” Sewaya said. He ran a hand along the side of his head, smoothing his now incredibly short orange hair. “I’ll have you know my barber said this look was ‘in’.”
“How soon can we get it out?” Greg mused, allowing himself a small smile.
“Oh, and aren’t you just the height of fashion then?” Sewaya returned, wheeling to look at his new target. “You look no better than the tourists around here.”
“In a way, I am a tourist around here,” Greg noted.
“Yeah, well… you look it,” Sewaya finished, realizing he didn’t have a good comeback for that one. Frowning, he decided to return to face the easier opponent.
“So, Urawa, what…” He blinked. Urawa had disappeared back into the crowd. And so had Minako.
Sewaya bit back a curse and jabbed his finger at Greg. “That’s YOUR fault,” he accused, before dashing back into the crowd after what looked like a flash of red and blond.
Greg blinked for a moment. “Well. That was entertaining,” he said, turning back to Ami. But she seemed to be looking where Sewaya had disappeared. “Ami?” Greg said, leaning closer to her. Ami blinked.
“Oh! Er, yes…,” she said, turning back to face him.
It looked like the Greg/Urawa situation had resolved itself… Urawa had slipped off with Minako. Urawa and Minako…. Ami paused. Why did that make her feel so uneasy?
“Quick thinking,” Urawa praised, as he and Minako observed Sewaya hurrying in the wrong direction.
Minako shrugged. “With Sewaya, avoidance seems to be the best policy,” she sighed. “I have a feeling he’s been following me around all day. Hopefully he won’t recognize me without the bow in my hair now.” Minako tucked it away into the bag she’d brought with her.
Urawa nodded. “Shame, the bow adds something I think,” he commented.
Minako smiled. “So I’ve been told.”
She glanced back at the crowd to see if Greg or Ami were still about, but couldn’t spot them. She returned her gaze to Urawa.
“Incidently… did you see the way Ami was looking at us?” she inquired.
“What?” Urawa asked, surprised. “No, I was distracted by Sewaya… what do you mean?”
Minako shook her head. “I’m not sure. But knowing Ami it was almost like… I don’t know… like she thought there might be something going on between us.”
Urawa blinked. “What, you mean like conspiratorially?”
Minako nodded. “Or… even romantically. She can get carried away sometimes about love, and the situation probably isn’t helping.”
Urawa raised his eyebrows. “We’d better set her straight then!” he declared.
Minako slowly shook her head. “Wait, maybe we shouldn’t confirm or deny anything just yet,” she reflected.
Urawa stared. “What?”
“A week or so ago I mentioned to Ami that I had an interest in Greg,” Minako explained. “Since then she seems to be marginally rejecting you. Maybe if she thinks I have an interest in YOU, she’ll start to reject Greg. This could be what we need to get Ami to notice you more.”
Urawa paused to process that. “The logic seems a bit twisted,” he concluded uncertainly.
Minako shrugged. “Pfft, logic and love don’t always go together,” she pointed out. “I might be reading too much into her actions anyway… and if it’s not working, we just call it off.”
Urawa frowned. “So you think that if we act like the two of us are going out, Ami and Greg will realize they don’t want to lose us, reject each other and we all live happily ever after?” he clarified.
“Errrr, something like that,” Minako acknowledged. “Though I doubt Greg will be affected much by me seeing someone else.”
Urawa paused to look Minako up and down. ‘Then maybe Greg’s not as smart as I give him credit for, I can’t see anything wrong with you,’ Urawa mused to himself. Except of course, for the fact that she was not Ami.
“All right,” Urawa conceded. “It doesn’t sound so bad. But how should we go about this? I mean, no offence but I don’t want to get too overt with you…”
Minako smiled. “Just keep doing whatever we’re doing I think,” Minako commented. “No reason to go out of our way… after all, we don’t want things to get to the point where we’re really hurting Ami emotionally.”
Urawa nodded. “Definitely,” he agreed. He glanced around at the throng. “Er, well, while we seem to be stuck together, you want to go up to one of the lookout points on the tower?”
“Er, I… I suppose we could,” Ami agreed. “Which one, the higher one or the lower one?”
“Oh, the lower one would do I think,” Greg answered. “Extra charge to go up top, isn’t there?”
Ami nodded, and the two of them proceeded through the crowd of tourists and other school children towards the elevators. She and Greg had looked about briefly for Usagi or Makoto but the task hadn’t produced results.
You would have thought Usagi’s odangos would stick out but they must have wandered off in some other direction. Greg’s suggestion of looking down from and around the view points seemed to make sense.
As they rode up, Ami found herself pondering her situation once again. It no longer looked like this was a simple case of being admired by two guys. As if the odds on that happening hadn’t been questionable to start, the events at the chess tournament as well as those of a few minutes ago seemed to show that Minako and Sewaya were getting involved in this too.
Actually, Minako seemed to be at the heart of it all… she knew Greg, that Sewaya guy seemed to have a thing for her, and now she seemed to be hooking up with Urawa for some reason. The Senshi of Love certainly got around! Ami wondered if it would help to sit down with Minako, get some assistance and work all this out between the two of them…
The door opened and Ami stepped out of the elevator.
Then she stopped so quickly that Greg almost ran right into her. Urawa and Minako were at it again… they were over on the right, talking – even laughing – as if they were old friends or something. What was going ON with those two?
“Wonder what’s going on with those two?” Greg wondered, as if reading her thoughts.
Ami just shook her head slightly. She had half a mind to go over and find out, ask why they seemed to be making things even more complicated for her, why there seemed to be so many secrets all of a sudden…
“Maybe we should just leave them be,” Greg suggested. “They seem to be enjoying themselves.”
Ami paused, her foot in motion towards the others… then she turned. “All right,” she said. She quickly moved off in the opposite direction. After all, who was SHE to intrude on their obvious enjoyment? She could have just as much fun with Greg, right? Right. So why did she suddenly feel so… left out?
Ami stopped. Her behaviour was starting to get… irrational. There was certainly a reasonable explanation to all of this! She’d just ask Minako, they’d work everything out and the problem would be solved.
“Um, are we waiting for something…?” Greg wondered.
Ami glanced back up at Greg and realized he was looking at her with an unusually concerned expression on his face. “No…,” Ami started. “I just think –” she stopped and blinked.
Amidst the others in the area she was positive she saw someone with short orange hair move back towards the elevators. “I think I saw Sewaya!” she realized.
Ami quickly turned and headed back the way they’d just come. It might at least provide a reason to talk… assuming he didn’t notice Minako and Urawa right away…
“Are we planning on avoiding him?” Ami heard Greg mutter quietly behind her, following her nonetheless.
Unfortunately, Sewaya’s eyes had proven just as sharp as Ami’s had before, and they arrived just in time to hear what sounded like the beginning of an argument.
“… haven’t even KNOWN her as long as I have!” Sewaya declared, pointing a finger at Urawa. “I knew her from before she left for England!”
“Talking is not a crime these days, cousin,” Urawa glared back, putting his hands on his hips. “What I do isn’t any of your business.”
“It is when you resort to sneaking around with Minako,” Sewaya noted. “How would you feel if I hung around with that… that blue haired girl?”
“Leave her out of this!” Urawa glowered.
“Oh, don’t want her to know you’ve found someone else?” Sewaya queried.
Greg glanced over at Ami, neither of them having been noticed yet. She seemed to be watching the scene with a rather pained expression, like she wanted to help, but wasn’t sure how – or perhaps if – she could. When she noticed him looking at her, she paused then inclined her head towards the elevator.
Greg glanced back at the duelling relatives with a frown. It didn’t look like he or Ami would be able to improve things… but Minako seemed rather uncomfortable about the whole conversation. Greg noticed her tug slightly on Urawa’s sleeve.
Urawa moved back. “Can’t you see you’re embarrassing Minako now?” Urawa questioned.
“Sorry, I’m trying to embarrass you,” Sewaya justified.
Urawa grimaced. “Well, do it some other way then. And stop prying into personal affairs of which you have no comprehension! This public feud you’re generating is going to harm others.”
Greg’s frown deepened and he glanced back at Ami… but she’d already left. He raised an eyebrow.
“Is that a challenge?” Sewaya inquired. “Should we step outside?”
‘Oh brother,’ Greg thought. ‘This has gone far enough.’
“Oh, look! Free ice cream!” Greg shouted.
He quickly ducked behind a taller person with a briefcase as everyone’s eyes swivelled to where he’d pointed. Including Sewaya’s. And, as Greg had hoped, Urawa and Minako took the opportunity to flee once more.
Sewaya blinked a couple of times when he realized they’d eluded him again. But then, to Greg’s surprise, Sewaya started to sniffle.
“Damn, I didn’t mean anything by that… oh Minako, what does it take to impress you?” Sewaya muttered, barely audible. His eyes started to fill with tears and Greg decided to slip off… he hated to see a person like that crying.
Ami stepped off the elevator, letting out a breath that was a half sigh. She wondered if she shouldn’t have stayed up above, but really, what could she have done but add to Urawa’s problems? It would be better to talk when his cousin wasn’t around… because what Sewaya was saying just COULDN’T have a basis in fact…
“Ami! There you are!” Makoto’s voice cut through the crowd. Ami looked around then smiled as Usagi and Makoto hurried up.
‘Well at least now it looks like things are returning to normal,’ Ami thought. Or as normal as they got.
As Usagi asked where she’d been and Makoto mentioned a cute guy she’d seen, Ami made a decision. She’d phone Minako tonight. That should take care of a few things. And as to the rest…
Ami paused to brush her hand over the medallion in her pocket. ‘Well, hopefully I’ll be able to make a decision on that too,’ she affirmed.