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The girl with the odd hairdo sighs and stares sullenly out the car window at the passing countryside. Tsukino Usagi, age 16, had spent the first few hours of the car trip arguing with her younger brother, Shingo, over the portable game system she claims he had stolen from her room. Shingo felt inclined to insist that he won it in a staring contest with her over a year ago and that she, being an odango atama, had merely forgotten that. Usagi wasn't about to take that and was about to unleash a series of dreadful Sailor V kicks on her brother when her father spoke up for the first time since they had left the city. "You two calm down right now or I'll turn this car around and we can forget the vacation at the beach!"

Usagi, not really caring if the trip is cancelled since that would mean more time for her to be with Mamo-chan, manages to miss her brother on all three attempts and land a good kick to the back of her father's head on the fourth. Once the squall had died down some and it was forcefully decided that next time they're going to put Usagi in the trunk where she can do less damage, Usagi had taken to staring out at the countryside and wondering why she couldn't have just stayed home with her friends.

Usagi's sulky mood lifts, however, as soon as the family car pulls in front of an impressive hotel set almost directly on the beach. The hotel itself is immense, the front done in massive colomns of marbled ivory and seafoam. The door, as the Tsukino family approaches it, rises almost ten feet above father's head and is deeply carved with scenes from the local mythology. Usagi pauses here to study the carvings but is quickly moved along by a swift kick to the rear courtesy of Shingo.

As father checks in, Usagi stands restlessly in the doorway leading down to the beach. She smiles as the light sea breeze pulls at the ends of her pigtails and laughs outright when Shingo runs out onto the packed sand, shedding his green and white tee-shirt. Of course, mother is quick to reprimand this behavior with explinations that one cannot go swimming without trunks. When Shingo replies that mother must be thinking of another series, all he gets in return is a confused stare. Usagi attempts to explain, but is interrupted by father yelling that it's time for them to go to their rooms.....


A passage of ten minutes finds Usagi standing out on the balcony of the hotel room she will be sharing with her younger brother. Of course, this arrangement had brought much heated discussion, but it was ultimately decided that mother and father need some time to be alone and the the two children will just have to work things out like adults. So, Shingo locked Usagi out on the balcony.

At first, Usagi had whined and savagely beat at the thin glass of the sliding door, but it didn't take long for the cool of the sea breeze and the soft sighing of the waves to calm her spirit. When Shingo finally opens the sliding door to allow Usagi back into the room, he finds her leaning lightly against the thin iron railing and gazing serenely at the rolling waves.

"What're you looking at?" He asks quietly as he walks across to her.

Usagi shrugs and shakes her head. "I'm just looking at the water. It seems such a beautiful shade of blue from here. I can't wait to go for a swim."

Now leaning against the railing too, Shingo grins and places his hands behind his head. "Well, it seems you'll have to wait a little longer."

"Hmm? What are you talking about?" Usagi blinks, now turning to look at the boy. It seems Shingo's grin widens then as he closes his left eye in an exaggerated wink. "Stop making that terrible face and just tell me!" Usagi exclaims, making an interesting face of her own.

"Well, mom and dad said they want to tour the area this afternoon so it seems your little swim is going to have to wait."

"Really?" She replies doubtfully, expecting that Shingo's just having fun at her expense again. However, her doubts are answered when her mother's voice issues from the still-open doorway.

"Shingo! Usagi! Come on now! Your father is eager to go before we waste the entire day!"

"Hai! Coming!" Shingo calls as he turns and walks through the hotel room. Usagi is slower to answer as she trudges heavily through the room.

"Hmm? Is something wrong, Usagi?" Mother asks upon noticing the dour expression on her face. Usagi merely shrugs and glances at the deep blue of the ocean just visible through the glass doors.

"Usagi's just pouting, mom." Shingo answers readily, much to the annoyance of his sister. "She wanted to go swimming this afternoon."

"Is that so?"

Usagi nods.

"Hmm, well you are sixteen now and a responsible adult-more or less." Usagi glares when her bother scoffs at this remark. "Besides which, it might be nice to have an afternoon with just you father."

Usagi immidiately brightens at this statement and seems about to bring up the fact that she meant for just her-Usagi-to stay behind when father steps into the doorway. "Hmm? Are we still standing around here? We should have been well on our way to the Springs by now. What's the hold up?"

"Well, it seems Usagi would rather stay here and have a swim than go with us." Mother explains with a smile. "I can see the reason in this; especially if she's willing to have Shingo stay as well. It would mean an afternoon for just mother and father."

Father seems to think this a really wonderful idea and so it is decided that Usagi and Shingo will have the afternoon to themselves.