Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: Infinity
Act 6 – Taiki’s New Friend

“One minute he’s happy, the next he’s back to sulking,” Yaten sighed. “Sometimes I just don’t understand him.”

“I do,” Brett said quietly. “He’s perfectly justified in this sulk of his. I would be too.” When Taiki and Yaten looked at him questioningly, he explained. “I talked to Serena on the phone not to long ago. Apparently, that’s where Seiya went in such a hurry yesterday morning. Jen was alone when he got there and they talked. He still wants to be her boyfriend, but she didn’t feel the same. Essentially, he offered her his heart and she broke it.”

They looked stunned. After a bit, Taiki nodded. “I understand that. Poor guy,” he said. Yaten said nothing. His face was expressionless, so they didn’t know what he was thinking. “Oh, by the way, I have that poetry reading this evening I need to go to. Want to come?”

Yaten snorted. “No thanks, Taiki. I have better things to do.”

“I need to go over to the girls’ apartment tonight. Senshi meeting,” Brett added.

“Sailor or Guardian?” Yaten asked.

“Guardian, actually. Serena was rather insistent about it.”

“Oh. Ok, I’ll go alone. Seiya sure won’t want to go.”

“Don’t put words in my mouth, Taiki,” Seiya said, emerging from his room. “You should ask first before you make a decision for me.”

“Do, do you want to go?”

“No. Why would I want to?” he said, sadly.

“It’s better than spending all night moping about the apartment,” Taiki pointed out. “Besides, you don’t want to go, so what’s the problem with me saying you wouldn’t want to in the first place?”

“That’s not the point Taiki,” Seiya growled.

“Then what is?” Yaten growled back. “Are you going to let Jen’s decision ruin your life for you? If she really cared for you in the first place, she wouldn’t do this to you. If you really cared about her, you wouldn’t be moping like this. Get on with your life, Seiya!”

Seiya slapped him. Hard. “Don’t speak like that about Jen ever again. Do you hear me?”

Yaten rubbed the growing red mark on his face. “Yeah, Seiya, I hear you. But do you hear yourself?” With that, Yaten walked away, into his room. A few minutes later, faint sounds of music could be heard through the door.

“What about you, Taiki? Any philosophical words of advise from you?”

Taiki shook his head. “No. I’m letting you deal with this one on your own.”

“Brett?”

“The only thing I can suggest is talking to her, but you tried that.” He shrugged. “That’s all I can think of.”

Seiya sighed. “You guys are a lot of help.”

Brett shrugged. “You’re on your own in this one. I know Jen and I know what she’s like. Wolf saw this coming months ago. That’s why she was so opposed to the idea of the two of you going out, because Jen’s a Guardian. Guardians don’t normally associate with non-senshi.”

“But I am a senshi,” Seiya protested.

“Did we know that back then? There, you see? Even had we known, Wolf still would’ve been against it, because of who you are: Sailorstarfighter. In reality, you’re a woman, not the man that you pretend to be.”

“So, it’s better that you didn’t know? Is that what your saying? How would you have explained her disappearance had I not been there?”

“Simple. Jen likes to wander. She has a tendency to leave without giving any notice whatsoever. I’m serious Seiya! Ok, about a year ago she decided to go hiking in the mountains near where we were living at the time. We had no idea what had happened to her because she didn’t tell anyone about it. She thinks of doing something and she just goes.”

“Strange girl,” Taiki commented.

Brett shook his head. “Not really. If you understood her background, it makes perfect sense. Her father spoiled her and her mother smothered her, pretty much. The only way to escape was to pull one of her ‘disappearing acts’. On one of these trips into the desert around her family’s palace, she met a young Namida Tenshi, who became her best friend.”

“I see,” Seiya muttered thoughtfully. He walked over to the window and stared out. It had started to rain. The words to Jen’s song ‘Rain’ came to his mind. He smiled grimly. Would he ever hear her sing it again? Not that he wanted to, as it was a depressing song, but he just wanted to hear her sing something, anything.

“Seiya? You ok?” Brett asked walking over.

“I miss her, Brett. I really do. It’s worse than when she was gone. I can see her, but I can’t go near her. It’s maddening!”

Brett sighed. “I wish there was something I could do but there isn’t. Give her time. She’s probably still in shock from everything that’s happened to her.”

Taiki and Yaten looked doubtful. “I really don’t believe that,” Yaten commented. “With friends like hers, she should have come out of it by now. There’s more to it. I can feel it.”

“Oh, what do you guys know about it anyway?” Seiya yelled angrily and locked himself in his room again.

“Well, looks like I’m going alone.” Taiki shrugged. “See you two later. Bye Seiya.” Silence was his reply.

Taiki grabbed a seat in the small room of the hotel where the poetry reading was being held. There weren’t many people there, which suited him fine. After that talk with Brett, Yaten and Seiya, he was mildly depressed and the weather wasn’t helping. He took the leather folder out of his jacket and set it down on the table in front of him. A waiter came by and he ordered a hot chocolate, which the hotel’s restaurant was well known for.

“A-ano. Is this seat taken?” a timid, female voice asked from beside him.

Taiki turned to see the cutest little girl he’d ever seen. He guessed her age to be about 14 or so. She had long blond hair and huge blue eyes. “Not at all. Please have a seat.”

She sat down and removed her jacket. “Arigato gozaimasu…”

“Taiki Kou.”

She looked startled. “So that’s where I recognized you from. We met briefly at the Crown. I’m Hizashi Shinami.”

He squinted. “Did we really? How old are you?”

She sighed and shook her head. “I’m 17. I do look younger than I am and it tends to confuse people.”

“So you’re really her, huh? I didn’t recognize you out of your school uniform. I loved your last movie. It was extremely well done, even if Yaten grumbled during the whole production.”

Shinami hid a giggle. “He is rather grumpy, isn’t he?”

“So, what are you doing here?”

“I came to listen, maybe read some of my stuff. Why else?”

“You just don’t strike me as the type who would come here to one of these things.” He cleared his throat. “May I read some of your poems?”

“Only if I can read yours.”

They sat and read each other’s poems in silence for a while. Taiki looked up at her, eyes wide. “These are incredible! Where do you get such passion from?”

“From Tsukino-sama’s teachings. She inspires me to do so much.”

“I’ve never met her. I’ve heard of her though.”

“Would you like to meet her? She’ll be home all night. She said something about baking pie. Her pies are the best ever!”

Taiki chuckled. “I’ll take your word for it.”

“Ah, so desu. Want to come over for pie afterwards? I’ll introduce you to Miocci-chan, too.”

Taiki looked at her puzzled, then shrugged. “Sounds good to me. It’s definitely better than going home right now.”

She frowned, still managing to look cute. “What’s wrong?”

“Seiya’s all moody because his girlfriend, or, should I say, ex-girlfriend now, doesn’t like him anymore.”

“Ah. I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.”

“She vanished about three months ago. She got back not to long ago and refuses to speak with him, let alone continue their relationship, what there was of one anyway. She was against dating him from the start.”

“So why did she?” Shinami asked, leaning forward on the table.

Taiki explained about the duel they fought and Seiya winning, about how she agreed to date him if he won and he’d leave her alone if she won.

“That’s horrible. How could he do that to her?”

Taiki shrugged. “I really don’t know. From what her friends tell me, there’s no way he could have won under normal circumstances. You she, she’d been in an accident a week before the fight and doesn’t deal with extreme blood loss very well. She made him fight her, if you were wondering.” He shook his head. “Jen always was a weird girl.”

“Jen? She’s American?” He nodded again. “Canadian, actually.”

“Huh. Why didn’t I ever hear mention of her on the news or anything?”

“That was something they’d talked extensively about after he won. She refused to be put on display, or known as ‘his girl’. Funny thing is, before she disappeared, I was almost positive she was starting to like him. Right now I’d like nothing more that to give her a good slap.”

Shinami stared at him. “This coming from the gentler of the Three Lights? I don’t quite believe I heard that just now.”

Taiki shook his head. “I don’t normally say stuff like that, but she makes me so angry these days for what she’s doing to him.”

“Maybe something happened to her while she was gone that she’s ashamed of and doesn’t want anyone, let alone him, know about it. Maybe she’s hiding something.” Shinami shrugged. “I’m not very good at these sort of things. Himitsu-sama always tells me to let people do things on their own time. She’ll tell someone what’s going on sooner or later, I’m sure of it!”

Taiki shook his head. “You sure are a genki little thing aren’t you.”

Shinami sighed in resignation. “Tsukino-sama says that, too.”

Taiki laughed. “Hearing you speak of her, I have to meet her. Is that offer of pie still open?”

“Hai. Demo, don’t you want to wait for this to be over?”

“It almost is.”

Startled, she looked at her watch. It was almost 11:30 at night. “I guess we should head out relatively soon. Did you drive here, or take the bus?”

“I drove. You?”

“I drove.” Shinami giggled. Let’s take my car so I don’t have to give you directions and you won’t have to follow me. I drive kinda funny.”

“Aren’t you a little young to have a license?”

“I got it in Canada when I was over there shooting a movie last year. Shall we?”

Taiki nodded. “Let’s.” He shrugged into his jacket and escorted her outside. It hadn’t stopped raining, but at least it had slowed down. Her car was a tiny little yellow Volkswagen beetle, one of the old ones. “Cute car.”

“Thanks,” she said as she unlocked the doors. They got in and she drove towards home.

“You live really close to Haruka-san, Michiru-san, and Hotaru-chan, don’t you?” Taiki asked as they neared her house.

“Yes, I do. Hotaru-chan is my friend. We both go to Mugen Gakuen with Tenno-san and Kaiou-san, but they’re in a higher grade than we are.” She pulled into the driveway. “Well, here we are.”

Taiki got out of the car. “Whoa. Nice house!”

“It’s not mine, it belongs to Himitsu-sama. I just live here.”

“It’s still a nice house. Tsukino-san must be rolling in it.”

“In a manner of peaking, yes,” Shinami said, leading him inside. “Himitsu-sama? Tadaima!”

A purple haired woman turned the corner. “Ah, Shin-chan, okairinasai! You brought company with you?”

“Hai. This is my new friend, Taiki Kou of the Three Lights.”

Himitsu frowned. “You look familiar from somewhere else. Ah well. Come on in. My guess is she lured you here with talk of those pies I’ve been baking?”

Shinami blushed and Taiki laughed. “Indeed she has.”

Himitsu smiled slightly. “Then you won’t be disappointed, young man. Come on in.”

They took their shoes off and walked into the kitchen. Taiki sniffed the air appreciatively. They sat down at the table as Himitsu served them a slice of pie each.

“Looks tasty,” he said, cutting of a piece with his fork and eating it. His eyes lit up. “It’s wonderful! Are you sure you’re an actress and not some famous chef? This is as good or better than Makoto-san’s pies.”

“Makoto? Kino Makoto, Hotaru-chan’s friend?” Taiki nodded. “I didn’t know she could cook,” Shinami said, eating her pie as slowly as she could to make it last longer.

“She’s very good at it.”

“I should really get to know those other friends of yours better. They seem like very fascinating people.”

Taiki nodded. “Come out to the crown every now and then. That’s where they usually hang out after school. We’re sometimes with them. Seiya used to hit on Usagi-san there all the time, but since dating Jen…”

“That’s where I recognized you from!” Himitsu said suddenly. “Before you go, I’d like to talk to you. It’s rather important.”

Taiki looked puzzled, as did Shinami, but he agreed.

Shinami yawned. “I really should be getting you back to the hotel. I need to get some sleep.”

“Don’t worry about it, Shinami-chan. I’ll take him back,” Himitsu said, seizing the opportunity. “You head up to bed.”

She nodded. “See you around Taiki-san.”

He smiled. “I’ll be seeing you. Thank you for the pie. It was delicious.”

After Shinami had gone upstairs, Himitsu turned to him. “I know who you are, Taiki Kou, or should I say, Sailorstarmaker.”

Taiki jumped. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Himitsu glowed bright purple and then Guardian StarInfinity appeared in front of him where Himitsu was standing. “Don’t play games with me. I can see through disguises like yours. Admittedly, turning yourself and your friends into boys was a stroke of genius.”

“We did it ourselves. It was the best way to find our princess. Kakyuu is her name.”

“Anyway, I need to talk to you about your friend Seiya and his relationship with StarFire. He can’t keep chasing her like he has been. I know all about that fight they had just before they started going out. Admittedly, that was a bit of foolishness on her part, especially after what happened to her before that. Fire senshi have this pride thing where if, they agree to something, then they have to carry it out.”

“Sounds like Jen alright.”

“I don’t know how long it will take for her to recover from the dark energies that are present in her body in unusually high amounts. Tell Seiya to watch out for her in secret. Diamond could use those energies to track her. If or when that happens, he needs to be there for her. She can’t take Diamond on her own in her present condition. I doubt she could even take on Quartzite or the Triplets on. And, knowing Diamond, he’ll challenge her one her own in a one on one dual.”

“She won’t appreciate that.”

“Let me deal with Jen’s wounded pride when it happens. Just tell Seiya what I just told you.”

“Just one more question before you take me back to the hotel. Is Hizashi Shinami Guardian StarLove?”

StarInfinity gave him a peculiar gaze. “What makes you think that? The fact that she’s living with me?”

“Sorry. I just naturally assume things. I guess you must have other protégés that don’t live with you. I’m sorry. It was silly of me to assume that just because she’s the only one living with you that she’d be StarLove.”

StarInfinity smiled knowingly. “Don’t worry about it.” She returned to Tsukino Himitsu. “Come on. I’ll take you back to the Hotel.”

Brett leaned back in his chair. “That’s what she told you? She does have a valid point.”

Seiya frowned. “I don’t get it. First of all, we know that these retired senshi are watching us carefully, and then they tell me to stalk Jen? I don’t get it.”

“Secondly, why did StarInfinity choose you specifically to talk to?” Yaten asked.

“Do I look like I know?” Taiki shrugged. He didn’t; really, it just happened that he bumped into her first. “So, what are you going to do about it, Seiya?”

He sighed and leaned back, staring at the ceiling. “From what Brett’s told me about her, she has her reasons for doing things like this. I guess I have to do what I’m told.”

“Good,” Yaten said approvingly. “Now stop moping about the house, ok?”