Self Serve
By Biku

They sat at one of the patio tables, one that had a large white umbrella. Serena Tsukino had insisted on sitting at that particular table, as it had the best view of the sidewalk. Mina Aino and Lita Kino agreed whole-heartedly, and so Amy Anderson and Raye Hino--who would have both preferred an inside table-- moved their food to the patio and the open air.

"This is great!" Serena exclaimed, between spoonfuls of ice cream. "Great food, great shopping, great view...."

"I'll say," Lita agreed, as a rather attractive young man strolled by them.

"I'm just glad we managed to convince Luna and Artemis to remain at home," Mina said, stretching. The plate of fries set before her was half-eaten, and Lita took a few, here and there.

"No kidding," Serena agreed. "Nothing like having them around...`blah blah blah it's the Negaverse'."

"You know," Raye interrupted sourly, "that may be because they're right. We should be out there looking for the Negaverse, instead of wasting the whole afternoon sitting out here."

"Some one should cut back on their caffeine," Lita commented, mouth full of Mina's fries. At once, Mina and Serena cast a doubtful glance towards Raye's cappuccino.

Raye scowled and was about to remark something when the waiter approached. He had a tray, and lifted an ice tea and a sandwich off of it, placing them in front of Amy.

"Thank you," she said genteelly, setting aside the book she had been reading to start on the sandwich.

"What kind did you get, Aims?" Serena inquired, leaning over.

"Chicken salad," Amy replied.

"Watch it, Meat-ball head, you're leaning over my coffee and the last thing I need is blonde hairs in it," Raye snapped, her face a deep red. The other girls were shocked silent.

"Whoa," Lita remarked, the first to find her voice. "What has gotten into you?"

"Nothing," Raye remarked, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms over her chest. "I just don't want blonde hairs in my coffee."

"I see," Lita nodded, and she slid Raye's cup over to her. "I think maybe you need to calm down, Raye. This is your third cup this morning."

"Why don't you keep out of it?" The priestess in training was about ready to pop the tall brunette when Amy put down her book. "You two need to calm down," she said, but her voice was surprisingly deep and she shocked herself. The other girls giggled, even Raye, as Amy turned to see Darien behind her.

"Oh," she exclaimed. "You startled me."

"Sorry, Amy," he apologised. "I couldn't help overhearing the conversation and came to stick my two cents in."

"Do you want to sit down?" All of a sudden, Serena grew especially attentive, and even put her spoon down for a moment.

"Oh no, I can't stay." Darien shrugged in his green jacket and black top, which he wore even though the temperature seemed too uncomfortable for that.

"Actually," Raye burst out, "I have to be going. It's time for me to get back to the Temple."

In response, Mina looked at her watch and nearly fell out of her seat. "Omigod!" she exclaimed. "I really have to get going- -I've got to be at my Aunt's by two or my mom will kill me!" She leapt to her feet, gathering her stuff together like a whirlwind collecting debris, while Raye managed to be the polar opposite, calm and collected and deliberate.

"I guess I should be going as well," Lita said with a shrug. "I've got a bit of homework still to do. Want to come help me with it, Aims?"

Amy looked up. She had been engrossed in her book, and hadn't heard the question. "Pardon?"

"Oh, never mind. I'll catch you guys later," she called. All she had was a purse, and she slung the strap over her shoulder and trotted out.

Raye followed demurely after and Mina flew past them in a tornado of flying legs and hair. Darien watched them leave with a chuckle. "I guess I better be going to. I've still got some errands to run."

"You need to go shopping?" Serena's ears pricked up. Darien went a little red realising the mistake he'd just made. A possibly fatal error.


"I can help you with it! It'll be great!" Serena exclaimed, picking up her shopping bag.

"Okay, I guess," he sighed, resignedly.

"See you, Amy!" Serena called gaily, as she skipped out the gate with Darien, linked arm in arm.