Synopsis: Mirai and Ryuu have a day off. They spend the day meeting/bumping into a few other people who have shown up in past Mebius episodes.
(Admittedly not a very good summary, but this will have to do until I can come up with a better one.)
Disclaimer: Mirai & company belong to Tsuburaya Pro. I just borrow them to play with and will return them (mostly) intact. However, Ima-chan is mine (or at least I claimed her first).
Warning?: This story is pretty much safe, unless one is bothered by the thought of Mirai/Ryuu together.
Miscellaneous Author's Notes: This story is by no mean finished and may undergo some significant change. (Although I've been staring at this part I'm posting for almost three weeks and can't really think of anything new to add.) Comments are loved (especially on grammars), but otherwise no worries. I'm happy enough that you take your precious time to read this story at all.
Idyllic Outing - Part 1
It was one fine morning at Phoenix Nest.
"Good morning, Amigos!" George paused and looked around. "Eh? Where are Mirai and Ryuu?"
Teppei looked up from his console. "Mirai-kun has a day off, it seems. Apparently he left the base to do some sight-seeing."
George nodded. "Poor kid. Must be suffocating to be cooped up in here everyday. And Ryuu? Did that hothead go with him?"
"No, George." An uncomfortable look crossed Marina's face. She bit her lip. "Ryuu is with a woman."
"Marina-san and I saw Ryuu-san and a young lady with Misaki-san when we passed the cafeteria just now. I'm guessing so that Misaki-san can help pick her wardrobe for their date like she did with mine."
"That jerk! To do this behind Mirai's back!"
Teppei put a finger to his mouth. "Please, George-san. Not everyone is as open-minded about their relationship as we are."
"I still don't like this. That hotheaded idiot has many faults, but I never thought being unfaithful is one of them."
"I know, George." Marina patted him on the shoulder.
They all fell silent. Only the sound of Teppei typing away at his keyboard could be heard.
"I've got it!" George exclaimed after a few minutes.
Marina glared at him. "You've got what?"
"We'll all go to the cafeteria together. Hopefully we can still catch them."
"Count me out, George-san. I'm behind on my.... agh... please don't pull!" Teppei struggled and got free. He put up his hand. "All right, all right, all right. Let's go take a quick look. But, I repeat, I can't stay long."
At the cafeteria, Misaki smiled up at Ryuu and a young lady with him.
"I'm free this morning, Aihara-kun. We can leave after I finish my breakfast."
"That's great. I'm counting on you, Misaki-san."
"Thank you very much, Misaki-san." Ryuu's companion bowed.
Teppei, Marina, Konomi and George were standing behind a corner and observing the trio in the cafeteria.
Teppei stared at the short-haired young woman with Ryuu, his eyes widened. "I can't believe this."
"You can't believe what, Amigo?" George demanded.
Teppei smiled sheepishly. "Ah. Nothing, George-san. I probably think too much."
Marina shook her head. "If you say so, Teppei-kun."
"Um... that lady. She is so very beautiful she could have been a model. I can see why Ryuu-san would want to date her."
George scowled. "I can only see that she doesn't wear very much clothing!" He stalked off toward Ryuu.
"Amigo! Who is the senorita?" George pointed at her.
"George, stop! How rude." Marina tried to hold him back.
"She's my date. Now go away."
"I won't." George turned to Ryuu's companion. "Do you know, Senorita, that he already has a lover?"
"I--" She blinked back tears.
Ryuu glared at George. "Don't pay any attention to him, Imako. Come." He lightly pulled Ima after him.
George turned to the assistant director. "Misaki-san! You cannot help her!" he pleaded.
"George-kun, I've given Aihara-kun my words, so I'm keeping them."
Teppei gave her an apologetic look and bowed. "Please excuse us, Misaki-san." He tentatively put a hand on George's shoulder. "Come, George-san. Let's us return to direction room."
Without another word, George let the other three walk him back to the control room.
"Just as I thought, keeping secrets is not such a good thing for the team after all."
"Don't let me interrupt your meal, Misaki-san." Sakomizu sat down with his own food tray.
"I suppose Aihara-kun has his reasons, but I'm not at a liberty to pass any judgement."
"I'm afraid Ryuu is still a loner at heart. He does open up a bit more recently, but apart from Mirai, he still doesn't quite trust the rest of the team."
Misaki smiled. "Hmm. I think I will spend even more effort in dressing up his date then."
Sakomizu smiled back. They had the rest of their meal in a companionable silence.
Back at the control room, George was pacing the floor back and forth.
Marina slapped a hand down her workstation. "Will you stop that? I have a headache looking at you!"
"Don't look at me then," George retorted.
"Um... George-san, Marina-san..."
"I've got it!" George exclaimed. He turned and pointed at Konomi. "Konomi, you go with them."
She blinked her eyes. "With whom?"
"Misaki-san and that senorita, whatever her name is."
"Ryuu-san called her Imako," Teppei said without looking up from his keyboard.
"Yeah, whatever. Go find out more about her, Konomi."
"You want me to spy on that lady, George-san?" she asked, wide-eyed.
"Aren't you curious about her, even a little bit, Senorita?" George wheedled.
Konomi hesitated then nodded. "Okay. I am. I'll do it."
George took her hands. "Gracias, gracias, gracias. You're the best, Senorita. The bravest, the prettiest, the greatest---"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Enough with the butter boat already."
George was singing and paying no attention to Marina's eyes rolling.
Konomi rushed out to the hallway just as the assistant director walked past.
Konomi bowed. "Um... thank you for helping me out last time."
"What brought this on?" Then Misaki smiled. "I see. George-kun sent you."
Konomi blushed. "If it isn't an imposition, I would like to accompany you so I can learn how to choose my own wardrobe better."
"And you were curious about my charge. No, please don't deny it. To tell the truth, I'm glad you would like to come with us. Otherwise, I might be tempted to tell that young lady to stop lying to you guys."
"Lying to us?"
"More like hiding the truth. But come. It is possible she may confide in you. George-kun sure picked the right person to do his spying."
Konomi started to say something, but apparently changed her mind and meekly followed Misaki.
"What are you doing here, Konomi?" Ryuu demanded brusquely.
"I--" Konomi stammered.
"That George! He doesn't know how to stay out of other people's business, does he?"
Imako touched Ryuu's shirt sleeve. "It's all right, Ryuu-san." She turned to Konomi and smiled. "I'm glad to have you with us, Konomi-san."
Konomi blinked her eyes. "Um... Imako-san? Have we met before?"
A worried look crossed Ima's face, but quickly disappeared. She smiled again. "Not that I know of, Konomi-san. My face tends to be similar to a few other people."
Ryuu snickered. Ima shot him a wounded look.
"Sorry, sorry," Ryuu managed to gasp out between laughters.
Ima pouted and turned away from Ryuu. "Let's us leave, Konomi-san, before I think better of going out with him."
Misaki, Konomi and Imako were strolling along in a fashion district.
"That shop over there seems nice." Ima pointed somewhere to their right. "Let's go look." Without waiting for the other two, she ran ahead.
Looking somewhat bemused, Konomi turned to Misaki. "Aren't we supposed to be the ones to help her choose her clothes?"
Still watching Ima, Misaki smiled. "That exuberance is one of her endearing traits."
"You speak as if you know her." Then Konomi's eyes turned wide. "Imako-san, look out!"
The warning came too late. Ima collided headlong into someone just around the corner and fell down.
"I'm sorry. Are you all right, ma'am?" The man leaned down and held out a hand toward her.
"That voice," Konomi murmured. She ran toward them.
Ima looked up at the man. Her face paled and she stood up without aid. "I am very sorry." She bowed toward him.
"No, no. It was I who should apologize for not looking at where I go."
Ima opened her mouth, but closed it after a few moments.
The man turned toward Konomi. "Amagai?"
Misaki caught up with them. "Is he your date from last time, Amagai-san?" she asked.
"Yes. Suzaki-kun is my friend from elementary school. Suzaki-kun? This is Misaki-san, my superior officer in GUYS."
"Nice to meet you," Suzaki said good-naturedly. They both shook hands.
"And this is my friend, Imako-san."
Suzaki held out his hand toward her in greeting. However, Ima eyed his hand and shrank back.
Suzaki frowned. "I hope I'm not being too forward for mentioning this, but you remind me of someone."
Ima's laugh was somewhat brittle. "Well, as I've told Konomi-san, I seem to have a few twins in this world."
Suzaki shook his head. "No. I've never seen you or anyone who looks like you, Imako-san. It's the way you react, as if I've done something to displease you."
Ima put on an innocent, adorable puppy look. "You are mistaken, Suzaki-san. However, any friend of Konomi-san is also my friend. Nice to meet you." She held out her hand and smiled.
Suzaki smiled back and shook her hand. "Nice to meet you."
"But it's a surprise to see Suzaki-kun here," Konomi mused.
"I got a small role in a drama. we have a location shoot a few blocks back that way. I'm on a break right now. And Amagai? You have a day off from GUYS?"
"Not exactly. I only came along to help Imako-san get ready for her date with Ryuu-san."
"Ryuu-san. He's the one who tried to beat me up, right? He's sure lucky to be dating a lady this pretty."
"So I'm ugly?" Konomi pouted at him.
Suzaki put up his hands. "No. No. No. You are also very pretty."
Imako smiled and nudged Misaki. "Please tell Konomi-san that I'm going on ahead." She walked off, a bounce in each of her step.
Misaki smiled and said softly to herself, "Aihara-kun and the rest of us are sure fortunate that you are here with us, Hibino-kun."