Turn in Events: Prologue

Glancing around, Mamoru noted the many familiar faces in the Crown Arcade, but he could not put names to nearly as many as used to be able to. For years his best friend, Fukaurta Motoki had worked here until he graduated university and took up a position as a doctor at the same hospital Mamoru worked at. Now his younger sister ran the cafe and most of the students Mamoru had seen there years before had moved on, it was a younger generation running the place now.

Pulling out his cell phone Mamoru dialled the number Usagi had given him when a sudden wave of nervousness washed over him. He had no time to ponder it however, when the phone was quickly answered at the other end.

"Tsukino and Osaka Law Firm, you're reached Tsukino Kenji's office, how may I help you?" a bored, nasal voice sounded in his ear. Just by the greeting he received Mamoru could tell Usagi was right about her father's temporary secretary. She certainly didn't seem to enjoy her job.

"I'd like to book an appointment with Tsukino-san as soon as possible, please," Mamoru responded.

"Well, let me see what we have. You must understand Tsukino-san is a very prominent attorney in extremely high demand, uh..." the woman paused waiting expectantly for a name.

"Chiba Mamoru," he supplied.

"Chiba-san," she finished.

"I understand, however, this is not about me hiring Tsukino-san as a lawyer."

"Well, then, if it isn't about hiring him, what is it? Or is this meeting just going to be a waste of time?" the receptionist seemed even less interested, trying to get rid of him.

"It's a private matter that is for Tsukino-san's ears only. And it certainly isn't a waste of his time. Now, when is he available?" Mamoru replied, quickly becoming irritated by her lack of interest. Thank goodness none of his nurses showed that little interest in their patients.

"He doesn't seem to have any openings this week, next week he is in court, he is taking Monday off. Tuesday is booked, but I think I can fit you on Wednesday, July second. Would that be alright?"

"Mamoru had been cringing since the receptionist stated that Kenji was booked for the next two weeks. Now how was he going to arrange Usagi's birthday present?

"I'm afraid that is far too long. Are you certain he doesn't have any openings this week? A lunch meeting possibly?" Mamoru tried. He had to work this out.

"Well, if I move his afternoon appointments up fifteen minutes, and his eleven thirty down, I think that I can work you in for the nineteenth. Will that work?" She was actually being helpful. Finally the lazy young woman seemed to be getting the picture.

Mamoru smiled as he answered, "That is perfect. Should I meet him in the lobby or at a restaurant?"

"Well, considering you have an hour and a half, you might as well meet him at the restaurant. Might I suggest the Mare Serenitatis?" The Mare was the local restaurant, know for its class and food. Mokoto had started her career as a chef there.

"Actually, that is exactly where I was planning on going, but thank you for the suggestion."

"Alright, I've got you down for noon with Tsukino-san on the nineteenth at the Mar, Chiba-san. Is there anything else I can do for you?" she added, though definitely sounding as though she didn't want to.

"No, this is more than enough, thank you." Mamoru turned off his cell and jotted down 'date with death' in his daytimer just as Usagi, his girlfriend, walked into the arcade. She was beautiful, as always. He long blond hair was done up in two balls on the top of her head with a flowing stream hanging down from each. Though the style was childish it suited the bubbly blond. She was typically happy, but today a trace of distress could be seen in her eyes. Glancing at the clock on the wall, Mamoru smiled. Usagi was fifteen minutes later than they had planned, likely the cause of her anxiety.

"Mamo-chan! Oh, I'm so sorry I'm late!" she started to explain. "Umino caught up with me on my way out of the building and..." she tried to explain but found the lips of her man for the last thousand years on her own, silencing her.

"It's alright, Usako," Mamoru said when he broke from the kiss. "I just got off the phone anyway. Now, what were you saying about Umino?"

Umino and Naru, his girlfriend, had been Usagi's classmates for as long as they could remember. Naru and Usagi had been friends all their lives, though in rent years they hadn't been as close as they were. The adorable red head and the geeky four-eyes were a cute couple who were definitely in love, though they showed it in different ways than most couples.

"Oh, he just wouldn't let me leave! I finally had to tell him that I was supposed to meet with you, and then he started in on gossip mode. Anyway, to get away from him I had to promise that we'd double with him and Naru sometime. I'm sorry, Mamo-chan. I know how much you hate double dates, but it was the only way out I could think of at the time," Usagi explained in a rush, obviously distressed at the prospect of upsetting Mamoru.

"Don't worry about it, Usako. I know you tried everything you could. Anyway, as long as we pick where we go this time it shouldn't be too bad. Howa bout the Mar for supper and then a movie with them?" Mamoru tried to calm his girlfriend, though she still seemed pretty distraught.

"Alright, but when? We can't put it off too long, but we have plans well into July."

"I'm sure Umino and Naru wouldn't mind waiting, besides, aren't they going to be at your birthday party?"

"I'd imagine so, but I don't think Umino would want to wait that long. He's desperate for gossip, nothing has been going on."

"And thank heavens for that. I'm glad for the break, even if it brings us into the gossip mill."

"Agreed. This is a well deserved hiatus."

"Now, shall we get to that movie? Or would you rather do something else?"

"Something else. I don't really feel like seeing anything that's showing tonight. A trip to the park sound good?"