24 Hours to Life
by Moon Momma

2:00 am Tokyo time
Jadeite, Kunzite, Zoisite

* * * * * * * *

The second casino treated Jadeite, Kunzite, and Zoisite even better than the first one had. They had snuck in easily on discarded tickets they found. Then, once inside, they had multiplied their original amounts of money by nearly seven times, with very few losses - mostly on purpose to keep the casino staff from getting suspicious of them - to limit their progress. After an hour of play, they met in the bar, which served pretty much the same menu of expensive, exotic drinks as the last place, mixed and poured by an efficient bartender of indeterminate age who was silent until spoken to and then lent a friendly or sympathetic ear as needed.

Zoisite's martini this time was bright orange with curls of lime peel floating on top. Kunzite was sticking to red wine, and Jadeite had allowed himself another shot of the same very expensive scotch. "How are we doing?" Jadeite asked.

"They're starting to give me funny looks again," Zoisite said. "Honestly, I'm not cheating." He shuddered. "Humans are so annoying."

"We're human, or we were, once," Jadeite pointed out.

Zoisite shuddered again, and took a long pull from his martini glass.

"I think it's time to move on," Kunzite said. "Before we get thrown out. I understand if they throw you out because they think you're cheating, they confiscate your winnings first."

"I'm not letting anyone take my money," Zoisite said defiantly.

"Those strange drinks are starting to go to your head, my love," Kunzite said.

Zoisite rolled his eyes and made a face, but he set his drink down on the bar, unfinished. "It isn't very good, anyway. Let me try your wine." Before Kunzite could answer, Zoisite pulled his wineglass over and took a generous sip from it. "That's not bad at all."

"It's quite good, but I think you'd better wait a while before you have any more."

Jadeite was feeling a bit light-headed himself, and his stomach let out a loud growl. "No wonder we're already starting to feel it. We haven't eaten."

"Let's find another casino; according to the travel guide, they all have restaurants," Kunzite said. "We'll have dinner there, establish ourselves as legitimate guests, and then get back to work."

"Sounds like a good plan to me," Jadeite said.

Zoisite nodded. They finished their drinks, Zoisite tossing back the last of his cocktail after all, then paid, cashed in their winnings, and left. As they passed the elegantly-dressed women at the gambling tables and the equally-elegant female staff, Jadeite wondered again where Thetis was, if she was anywhere. Maybe it was the alcohol, but this time he had a harder time dismissing her from his mind.

Outside, they found a concealed spot that still gave them enough light to see the brochure. They paged through it until they found another high-class casino in a time zone a few hours behind where they were now. "Looks good?" Jadeite asked the others.

Kunzite and Zoisite nodded. Jadeite did his best to put Thetis's face out of his mind and focus on the picture of the casino they were looking at. The three of them made sure they had the tickets they had collected, then linked arms and teleported.

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The Nephrite and Naru Treasury