Atonement - Rei's Story
Story #2 of the Question Series
by Jason C. Ulloa

Author's Foreword: By a quick comparison, you'll notice that this Prelude is completely
identical to the Interlude after the end of Alone No More - Minako's Story... that is, if
you've read the story. If you've read the Interlude, then you can skip this and just go on
to the first chapter. This Prelude is for those who haven't read Alone No More - Minako's
Story. The Question is a series of short stories that can be read in any order, although
the small side story that makes up the Preludes and Interludes ARE meant to be read in
order.

I hope that made sense to you. It made sense to me when I first thought it, but seeing it
in actual words....

Anyways....

**********************************************


Prelude to Story #2

As the robed figure faded back into being, Venus and Knight woke from their slumber. The
two of them exchanged quiet looks, then glanced toward the robed figure.

"So?" it asked quietly. "How was it? How was your trip into another lifetime?"

"It felt so... strange," Knight said with a thoughtful frown on his face. "There were parts
of me that were no different than I am now, but there were also parts of me that were
completely different. For example, I never got over Keiko's death that quickly. It took me
almost another year after becoming Sailor Knight before I could finally let her go."

"It was the same with me," Venus added. "Also, there were things in that were different
from what I remember. Alan had never housed exchange students in his home. There were other
things as well, like Tempest. She was never a part of the Dark Agency, nor had she ever
changed her name to Gale."

The robed figure nodded sagely. "Of course, there will be things that are different from
what you know of your lives as they are. But you must also remember that the path your
lives take depend on the events that occur within your life. They are what shape that which
is you.

"If certain small things are changed, then you, in turn, are changed, even if minutely. One
insignificant change will not be noticed, but many changes, each affecting the other, will
make all the difference in the world."

"I suppose so," Knight agreed with a slow nod.

"How do you feel now? Do you feel any different now that you have seen what you life could
have been, had circumstances been different."

"To be completely honest, I've had a slight bit of jealousy toward Ami-chan since she had
Ryo-kun," Venus admitted. "In a way, a very small part of me had always wondered whether
that prediction of Kaitou Ace's was true. When I first met Ryo-kun, I had wondered if I
could get him to fall in love with me. But, I also knew that he had a soft spot for
Ami-chan, so I never pursued him.

"After feeling how... wonderful it felt to be loved like that...." She trailed off as her
voice failed her. She shook her head quietly as she turned away from the others. Knight
stood up and started to go to her, but Mercury stopped him. She shook her head as she
stepped past him and went to Venus.

"Minako-chan," she said quietly as she sat down beside her. "I'm so sorry. I never knew...."

"Of course not," she replied. "I never told you. I never told anyone. I had gotten over him
long after you two became as close as Usagi-chan and Mamoru-san." She paused as she sighed
remorsefully. "At least... I thought I had. Now.... Now, I think that volunteering to do
this might not have been the best possible solution." She took a deep, calming breath as
she turned to look at her. "You all saw everything, right? You all saw how I felt when I
thought my hopes for love were completely hopeless. That's sort of how I feel right now."

"Minako-chan, you just can't give up hope like that," Mercury told her.

"That's easy for you to say," she replied in a near whisper as she hung her head. "You
already have the perfect boyfriend." She sighed again as she shook her head and smiled
faintly. "But, I suppose you're right. After all, there may only be one Ryo-kun, but I'm
sure I can find a guy almost as good as he is." Her expression suddenly turned serious. "I
want you to promise me something, Ami-chan."

"What is it?" she asked, her expression curious.

"Take good care of him and love him like I would. For my sake."

Mercury smiled as she took her hands in her own. "I promise, Minako-chan."

"Thank you, Ami-chan," she said gratefully. "Now, let's get back to the others before they
get started with the next volunteer," she added with a playful wink.

"Now, then," the robed figure said as Mercury and Venus joined them, "who will volunteer
next?"

Sailor Mars stepped forward. "I'll go next."

"Fine," it replied with a nod as it gestured for her to take her place beside Sailor
Knight. "Now remember: When you wake up, you'll no longer be who you are, but who you were.
You will not be you, but you will be your counterpart. You will not be able to control
anything. You are there to watch, feel, and to experience. You will think what they think,
know what they know, and feel what they feel. Now... sleep."

Slowly, the world began to grow dark as Sailor Mars and Sailor Knight - Rei and Ryoku -
began to drift into a very deep sleep as they slipped down onto the floor....

**********************************************

On to Rei's story: Atonement

**********************************************

Disclaimer: All original materials belong to their respective owners. Sailor Moon belongs
to Naoko Takeuchi and a bunch of big companies. No copyright infringement is intended. This
story belongs me, so I would appreciate it very much if you would ask for permission before
posting it anywhere else. Thank you.

The Question and all stories included are:
Copyright © July 6, 2001 Jason C. Ulloa.
All Rights Reserved.