Summary: Inspired by the fact that the third Twilight movie came out on Usagi's 32nd birthday. Usagi feels overlooked in the hype of Eclipse's release.
A/N: To just put it plainly, I loved Twilight (the books) when they all came out, and enjoyed all the movies (they're getting better). Please respect my opinions, and I will respect yours.
Happy 32nd birthday to Usagi! (written on time, posted belatedly.) This came to me, as the summary says, as a sudden inspiration when I found out the Eclipse movie release date. Now, I realize that the US release date is different from the Japan release date (apparently it's way later, but I found that out AFTER I decided to write this), but for the sake of the story can we please pretend that it's being released worldwide on June 30th?
On the AU: I'm imagining this story to take place in the same one (more or less) as 14 Going on 30… (children included). The only difference will be in Kunzite/Malachite's name, because I STILL haven't decided which one I like using better. Therefore in this story he'll be Kunzite. But for all intents and purposes, he's the same character.
I would greatly appreciate any sort of feedback if you have some to give. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
"USAGIIII!" Minako squealed and threw herself at her fellow blonde, who had stood up the moment Minako had walked in the door. The attacked woman shrieked with laughter and returned the enthusiastic hug in like turn. The other three women watched with open amusement from the orange leather booth of Crown Café; Rei guffawed from behind her "adult beverage."
"It's so good to see you!" Usagi smiled widely, pushing her friend back to see her face. "Look at you! How are you? How was England, and the modeling gig? Are you happy to be home? Tell us everything!"
"All in good time!" Minako laughed. "I'm sorry I'm so late! I had to make sure lunch was on the table for the kids and that none of my bags were in the way because we're having our carpets cleaned and Kunz has been after me for days to make sure the house doesn't turn into a "disaster area" since I've been back, and then something was wrong with the car but I realized I had just forgotten to release the parking brake, and–"
"Slow down Mina, we can barely understand you," Makoto was laughing.
"The parking brake Minako, really?" Rei rolled her eyes. "And I thought Usagi was bad!"
"Usagi's gotten a lot better at driving since the children were born," Ami protested, coming to the defense. Usagi threw her a grateful glance.
"Yeah, Rei!" she said, and stuck her tongue out at her friend who, sitting cross legged, clad in a flowing sundress and sipping a glass of wine, looked to be the epitome of sophistication. The image was promptly ruined when Rei stuck out her own tongue.
Ami shook her head. Some things truly never change…
In the following hubbub more hugs were exchanged and another round of drinks ordered: a milkshake for Usagi, more wine for Rei, a fruit smoothie for Ami and Makoto, and some fruity alcoholic drink for Minako ("I love what Unazuki-san has done with the beverage selection," Minako said blissfully). Once all drinks had arrived, the five clinked glasses in a toast.
"To friendship," Minako declared. "May we always be close and never forget our inner teenager."
"Amen," Rei murmured, and all swallowed. There was a moment of comfortable silence, during which the typical café sounds of laughter and utensil clinking filtered through the bubble that had arisen with their joyous reunion.
"OH!" Minako abruptly slammed her glass down and simultaneously slapped her hand against the table. Usagi choked on her milkshake. "HUGE NEWS. It is officially only THREE. DAYS. AWAY."
"What's only three days away?" Ami asked, patting Usagi on the back as she hacked milkshake from her lungs.
Minako's head whipped from right to left, scrutinizing the confused faces across and beside her. Shock colored her cheeks. "You mean… you don't know?"
"Know what?" Usagi croaked, borrowing a gulp from Rei's wine glass. Rei's hands twitched, but she didn't protest. I mean, my birthday's in three days, but could that be what she's referring to…? Usagi frowned.
"Oh, you're KILLING me!" Minako cried. "Wednesday! June 30th! ECLIPSE COMES OUT?!"
Again her head swung from left to right, seeking verification that this was indeed, huge news. The reaction was disappointing.
"Minako… what are you talking about?" Makoto's eyebrows quirked. "What is 'Eclipse'?"
Minako slapped her hands to her forehead, and then let her head thud against the table. "I don't believe it," she moaned. "My friends don't even know about Eclipse! About Twilight! What is this world coming to?!"
"Wait…" Ami said slowly. "Twilight – do you mean that huge cult phenomenon? Something about vampires?"
Minako lunged towards Ami – or rather, lunged as much as she could while sitting next to her. She settled for clutching Ami's sleeve. "Yes! Or, sort of! The Twilight series, people! Twilight? Hot vampires, hotter werewolves, true love…" her question hung and died on the confused air.
"Vampires and werewolves?" Rei raised an eyebrow. "Sounds like some trashy fantasy-romance."
"Noooo!" Minako shook her head vigorously. "It's a series, a book series! It–"
"Wait, when you say book, do you mean the kind you read? Did I know you read? Or that you know how to read? What–"
"The series has been made into two movies so far, and the third one comes out on Wednesday!" Minako continued, stubbornly ignoring Rei's jibes. "I can't BELIEVE you guys haven't read them! Or at least seen the movies! It's only the biggest romance series of the past, I don't know – five years!"
She turned to Usagi, eyes pleading. "Even you, Usagi? How could you never have read or seen them? You'd LOVE the series, I know it!"
Usagi tried to smile through the lump in her throat. Perhaps Minako had forgotten in the excitement of this new movie's release… but surely she'd remember in a few minutes…
"Okay, so this big vampire-romance movie comes out on Wednesday," Makoto summarized. "Why is this such a big deal, again?"
"UGH," Minako groaned, throwing up her hands in frustration. Then she abruptly brightened. "Oh, I know! You all shall watch the first two movies so you can understand what I'm talking about! And then we can all go see 'Eclipse' together on opening day!" She clapped her hands together.
"Um, Minako?" said Rei, glancing towards Ami, who shrugged. "Not all of us have time to be watching vampire movies… especially with 1½-year-olds… and three other children on top of that…"
"Incidentally, what did you guys do with the kids?" Makoto interrupted curiously. Minako wisely took the opportunity to take a break from her ranting and gulp her drink. She would continue after this short interlude.
"Zoicite took the girls to the library this morning, so they're probably reading," Ami replied first, "And Kaito was taking a nap when I left. Zoicite's home, though."
Makoto nodded, and looked at Rei expectantly.
"My husband swore, under pain of a fiery death, that the house and children would be in the exact same condition I left them in when I return," Rei said, lips fighting a smile. "Souta's been up and running around since seven this morning, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's also napping. Ren and Hideki were attempting to cook dinner, so Jade's probably still overseeing that… I made Kiyoko promise not to touch her archery set until I got home, though, so I can't stay terribly long. Grandpa said he'd keep her busy but I'd rather not take any chances."
"Of course," Makoto grinned. "What about you, Usagi?"
"Mamoru was taking them to the park, I think," she replied absentmindedly. She was trying and failing not to think of the blatant oversight Minako was still making concerning that Wednesday… With effort she refocused her attention on Makoto. "What about you? Making Nephrite work?"
Emerald eyes twinkled. "Yes, for once – I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one foisting the children on an overburdened husband. And we've already heard Minako's story (or most of it)…"
"Ahem!" Minako cleared her throat rather loudly. "May I continue?"
"No," Rei said, but Ami negated that with, "Of course, Mina-chan."
"Thank you!" Minako beamed at Ami. "Now, as I was saying – you all have to watch the movies and then come see Eclipse with me! Please, it's been such a long time since we all had a girl's night out together, and this movie will be REALLY WORTH IT, I PROMISE! Pleeeeease say yes?" Her lip protruded into a gentle pout, and she widened her eyes to their most innocently alluring.
Rei sighed. "Minako, I really don't know, with the children and all…"
"Just hire a babysitter!" the blonde responded glibly. "Come on guys… at least think about it?"
"We'll certainly think about it," Ami provided diplomatically. "I think a girls' night out would be fun."
Satisfied, Minako got off her soapbox and the topics of conversation swung and bounced between the goings ons of their lives, children, husbands, and jobs. Usagi threw herself into the conversation, relegating the tiny ball of hurt into the darkest, dustiest corner of mind so that it wouldn't ruin her time with the girls. If she was upset that no one had seemed to remember that Wednesday was also her birthday, she was determined not to show it.
Until she got home, that was.
"I'm home!" she called as she opened the door. From somewhere in the house Chibiusa yelled, "Hi Mama!" and was echoed a few seconds later by the twins. Usagi walked through the house and into the office, where Mamoru was finishing up bills.
"Usako," he greeted her, and sealed the last envelope. "How was your time out?"
"Good… Where's Dakai?"
"He's in his room reading," he told her, studying her face closely. "Is everything all right?"
"Yeah, fine… is the laundry finished?"
He took off his glasses and stacked the bills into a neat pile. Avoiding the urge to glance at his wife's desk and the tornado aftermath on it, he stood up and gestured for her to follow him. She did so, her face still oddly tense.
They started up the stairs. "Yes, to answer your question," he said. "I folded our things – the sheets are ready if you want to change them."
Usagi nodded, though her feet dragged on the last few steps. Then she realized Mamoru, in front of her, hadn't seen her silent confirmation. "Sure," she said.
They entered their bedroom and Usagi immediately went to the pile of laundry on their bed and began sorting so she could put things away. Mamoru watched for a moment, unsure whether to press or not. Several more moments of tense silence made up his mind.
"Usako? Please, tell me what's wrong… you're not acting like yourself."
Usagi sighed. And told him.
"I mean, really, what's the big deal about this movie!" Usagi ranted, tugging the soft white sheets off the bed and throwing them with unnecessary force into the corner. She pulled the fitted sheet as she continued, "I know I'm being a bit selfish, and I know that it really doesn't matter, but why does it have to happen on my birthday? Why? It's totally unfair! None of the girls even seemed to remember it's also my birthday! None, Mamo-chan! And Minako was the worst, going on and on about how it was so sensational and we just have to see it, and how June 30th was so important because 'Eclipse" is coming out… oh for crying out loud!" She threw the remaining sheet and pillow cases against the wall and plopped down on the mattress, hands under her chin, sulkiness imprinted on her face.
Mamoru sat out of the way on the chaise lounge in the corner, torn between amusement at her tantrum and concern at how much this was obviously upsetting her.
"Sweetheart… are you sure you aren't overreacting?" He got up to sit next to her and tried to take her hand, but she pulled it out of his grasp.
"You just think I'm being ridiculous," she said almost accusingly.
Mamoru took her hand more firmly now, any trace of amusement inside or out gone. "No, I don't. Usako, look at me."
She didn't at first, but he squeezed her hand gently and waited. After a few seconds she acquiesced. When she saw no laughter, only tenderness, she relaxed enough to lean against him. "I know I'm acting juvenile, but still! It's really frustrating being… overlooked… because of some stupid movie." She pronounced the word as if was coated with poison.
"It isn't fair," he agreed, "and it was insensitive of Minako to make such a huge deal about it without acknowledging that your birthday is the same day. You have the right to be miffed, Usako."
Usagi sighed. "I guess… Why are you so good?" she pressed her face against his arm.
Mamoru chuckled. "I'm not good, per say, I just know that having something as important as your birthday eclipsed by some pop-culture phenomenon isn't fun." He raised an eyebrow when Usagi snorted. "What?"
"Your word choice," she said. "It was just funny – the movie is called 'Eclipse.'"
Mamoru had to chuckle. "How appropriate."
After a few minutes: "So what are you going to do? You could always tell Minako you can't make it because I'm taking you out to dinner, or something – that might remind her of what day it is."
Usagi considered this with pursed lips. "I could… you know how she is, though. She won't take no for an answer." She shook her head. "I wonder sometimes how Kunzite deals with her."
"That is something I have never asked him, nor do I ever plan to," Mamoru said delicately. His wife smiled and strained her head upwards to peck him on the cheek, but Mamoru turned his head so that his lips caught hers. Usagi smiled into the kiss but accepted it gratefully.
"I love you," she said when they had broken apart.
"As I love you," he replied, standing up and reaching out a hand to help her up as well. "But I, for one, am starving for dinner and quite tired. Let's finish making this bed so we can use it later, mm?"
End Chapter One.