"Best Intentions"
A Sailor Moon Fanfic
By Bill K.

Sailor Moon and all related characters are (c)2001 by Naoko Takeuchi/
Kodansha and Toei Animation, and are used without permission, but
with respect. Story is (c) 2001 by Bill Kropfhauser.

As always, for those only familiar with the English dub:
The Diet=Japan's Congress

"Kaa-san" is a term of endearment Rei uses for her dead mother. It
was taken with extreme gratitude from a brilliant fanfiction called
"Kaa-San" by an author who only went by the name of "Mako-chan".
Sadly, I don't remember where it's posted, but if you ever run across
it, read it.

Finally, Haruka and Michiru are NOT cousins.
This story builds upon the ending of my previous work, "Violence And
Corruption". While it is not necessary to read that work to
understand this one, if you intend to read that one, please read it
It was lunchtime at the high school. Minako and Makoto were
eating their lunches and chatting with Usagi, who had finished hers
and was looking longingly at Makoto's. Ami was munching on a
sandwich while she read the paper. At first it seemed rude to the
others to do such a thing, but when Ami proved able to read the paper
and keep track of the conversation and occasionally contribute, the
others shrugged it off.

"And Daddy's birthday is coming up," Usagi continued, "and I
want to do something really, really, really special for him, you

"Hey, why don't you buy him this really hot vest I saw at the
mall," Minako suggested. "It is just too cool! Even a guy as old as
your dad would look good in it."

Usagi bowed her head. "That would require money, Mina-chan."

"Oh, yeah," Minako replied, deflating.

"Besides, I want to DO something for him, not buy something for
him. You know, something that just screams out 'I really, really
love you, Daddy!' in big bold words."

"You could bring home straight 'A's," Ami suggested while she
scanned the text of an article.

"Brother, ask the impossible, Ames," Minako said.

"Yeah, remember who we're talking about," added Makoto.

"Sorry. That was careless of me," Ami grimaced.

"It's all right, Ami-chan. I forgive you," Usagi smiled
sweetly. Then she sobered. "Wait a minute . . ."

"You could paint his portrait," Ami offered.

"That'd be great, but I'm not that good yet. I've only just
started practicing. What I'd really like is to give him this huge
gigantic home cooked meal and then kneel at his feet and just watch
him eat it! Then at the end, when he's finished and he's smiling so
wide that he looks like he'll burst, he'll stroke my hair and thank
me for being his very best daughter!"

"That's nice," Makoto nodded enthusiastically. "Have you been
practicing your cooking? Do you feel confident enough in the kitchen
to pull something like that off?"

"No," Usagi squeaked, then turned her big blue eyes up to
Makoto. "That's why I want you to cook it for me."

"U-Usagi?" gasped Makoto.


"Usagi, how is it going to be a present from you if Makoto
cooks it?" asked Minako.

"I'll give it to him."

"Hey, everyone, look at this," Ami said, laying the paper out
for everyone to look at.

The article she pointed to outlined a bill before the Japanese
Diet that would require the Sailor Senshi to operate under government
supervision. It was in response to the recent battle fought against
Talon Umbra in the lobby of a Tokyo hospital, a battle that left
fourteen people dead and the hospital lobby badly damaged. There was
some criticism of the senshi in the public and the press for
attracting such violence to the city, particularly to a place of
healing. It was the latest of several such incidents and a segment
of the public was ready to blame their protectors.

In response to this, the regulatory legislation had been
spearheaded by a group of ambitious Dietmen, led by one Dietman Hino.
It was his first attempt at shaping domestic policy after several
years of waiting his turn. If successful, it was speculated that
Dietman Hino's star would continue on the ascension.

"Regulation?" grumbled Minako. "They can stick their
regulation . . ."

"But it's the government," Usagi replied. "Wouldn't we have to
do what they say?"

"Usagi, what if Sailor Moon's trying to stop some huge
prehistoric monster that woke up from some nuclear blast," Minako
started to say, with that look in her eyes that always scared her
friends, "and is threatening to stomp through Tokyo. Then some
government clerk drives up and tells you it's against government
regulations to stop the monster because you don't have liability
insurance and you haven't gone through chain of command or filled out
requisition forms for your Moon Tier."

"Would they really do that?" Usagi asked.

"Remember when you went to get your temporary driver's
license?" Minako asked pointedly.

Usagi thought back. Then her eyes bulged out. "OH MY!" she

"And there's always the possibility someone in the government
will start picking your targets for you," Makoto warned. "And who
knows why."

"So what do we do? Ami?"

"Well, normally I'd suggest writing to our Dietman and
protest," Ami replied uncertainly. "But Hino-sama is our Dietman."

That deflated the group.

"I'll ask my mother if she can suggest something."

The thought of having to submit to government regulations
lingered in the minds of the four girls all through afternoon

"You know," Makoto said to Minako after school as the four
walked to the soda shop to meet Rei, "I was thinking about that

"Me, too. This could be a major crimp in our activities,"
Minako responded. "And I wonder about this Dietman Hino, too. Is he
on the level, or is he just playing on people's paranoia?"

"Where'd you learn a big word like 'paranoia', blondie?"
chuckled Makoto. Minako patted her bottom in response.

"It's too bad, too," sighed Minako. "Did you see Hino-sama's
picture in the paper? He's kind of cute, for an older guy."

"No, he's EXTREMELY cute for an older guy," Makoto replied,
bringing a grin to Minako's face. "He's the type of guy that can
give a girl the shivers. And the name - - suppose he's related to

"It's be nice," Usagi said, overhearing them. "She could use
her influence to maybe talk him out of it."

"Well, she never talks about her family very much," Ami
observed. "Maybe he is related to her. After all, she goes to a
private school. I'm sure it's much too expensive for her grandfather
to pay for."

"But why would an important guy like Dietman Hino let Rei live
with her grandfather in a temple?" Makoto asked. "I know they're
barely scraping by. Wouldn't he take her in, give her something

"News flash, Makoto," scowled Minako. "Not every adult cares
about kids."

"Besides," smiled Usagi dreamily. "Why would Rei want to leave
the temple? Grandpa loves her dearly and she loves him. What else
does she really need?"

Makoto draped her arm around Usagi's shoulder. "Girl, never
lose that optimism."

"So will you help me cook my Daddy's birthday dinner?"



Spotting Rei waiting for them in a booth, the quartet slid in
around her.

"What's bugging you four?" Rei asked.

"Some hotshot in the Diet wants to regulate the senshi," Minako
said, making a disgusted face.

"Why?" gasped Rei, her dander rising.

"Apparently Usagi didn't ask permission before she kicked Talon
Umbra's butt."

"You're over-simplifying things, Minako," Ami told her. "There
was a great deal of damage done to the hospital when they fought.
And several people lost their lives. It's only natural for the
government to become concerned."

"I did my best," Usagi whimpered. Makoto grasped her hand and

"We know you did," she smiled. "There was nothing you could
have done about those other people. Stop beating yourself up over

"You sound like you're on their side, Ami," Minako said.

"I don't have to be on their side to see their side of it," Ami
bristled. "The government's job is to protect the citizens. They're
just doing their job the way they see fit. I don't agree with their
solution, but that doesn't make them evil."

"So what do we do to stop this?" Rei asked.

"Actually, you might be able to help," Makoto turned to her.
"Do you know this Dietman Hino that's sponsoring the legislation?"

At once Rei took on a look and posture of blazing, naked
hatred. Her eyes widened and her jaw clenched. The others looked
on in astonishment at her reaction. If she had spontaneously
combusted before their eyes, they couldn't have been more surprised.

"That - BASTARD!" she spat out through clenched teeth. Rei
violently shoved herself away from the table and stalked out of the

"I guess she does," goggled Minako.

With uncharacteristic curtness, Usagi shoved her way out of
the booth and ran after Rei. She caught up with the girl halfway
down the block, Rei muttering evil curses to herself.

"Rei?" Usagi cried.

"I handle it, Usagi," Rei replied gruffly.

"But Rei . . ."

"I'LL - HANDLE IT!" Rei snapped, whirling angrily on her

"OK," Usagi whimpered softly. The sight of those big blue
eyes watering over was like a dagger in Rei's heart, but she didn't
have time to console her friend.

The greatest enemy in her life was back to cause more trouble.
* * * *
"He's her dad?" marveled Makoto.

"That's what Mother told me," Ami replied. Her melancholy
reflected her concern over her friend's state of mind.

"Why wouldn't she say anything? Having a Dietman for a father
isn't something you normally hide."

"Because they're probably not close," Minako told her. "Just
because he's important and he's her biological father doesn't mean
he's a dad to her. I recognize some of the signs."

The four girls walked on silently.

"Man, life sure can be ironic sometimes," Makoto said. "I'd
give anything to have my Dad back, and it sounds like Rei would trade
hers for a stick of gum."

"Sometimes popular fiction can give a false impression of
domestic life, particularly to young people," Ami replied.

"Yeah, and the myth of the big happy family is sometimes just
a myth, too," Minako added.

"I think I just said that, Minako," Ami said shyly.

"Has anybody seen how Rei's doing?" Usagi asked. "She was as
mad as I've ever seen her last night. I don't think I'VE ever made
her that mad."

"So how much of a creep do you figure this guy is?" Minako

"I don't know him well enough to say," Makoto mused. "But it
doesn't make the prospect of reasoning with him sound very possible.
And where does that leave us?"

"Maybe we all need to speak with him," Ami suggested. "You
know how charming Sailor Moon can be."

Usagi blushed.

"Yeah, you bat the baby blues at him and he'll probably make
you emperor," chuckled Minako.

Usagi blushed harder.

"Let's let Rei have a shot at him, first," Makoto recommended.
"Usagi can be our ace in the hole." They walked on a little further.

"I just don't understand how people can do something like that
to their own children," Usagi said.

"Were you always patient and understanding when Chibi-Usa was
living with you?" Minako asked, as if from painful experience. "Were
you even civil all the time?"

"But that's different!"

"Is it?"

Usagi stared at Minako, horrified. Her eyes began to bubble up
with tears.


And everybody on the school grounds turned and stared at them
in shock and amazement. All four girls flushed noticeably.
* * * *
Sitting in the outer office, Rei tried to push down the
butterflies in her stomach. She sat on an expensive leather-covered
chair and smoothed her conservative charcoal skirt over her
hose-covered legs. It had taken a little effort to come up with an
outfit that seemed conservative and business-like from the scraps and
remnants of her wardrobe, but she'd managed to find a charcoal skirt
and heels, and a white blouse that looked respectable. She hoped no
one noticed the gray jacket she wore was her school uniform jacket.
The image was the furthest thing from who she was, but she felt that
if she was going to beard the lion in its den that it was best to
look the part.

Rei glanced at the clock. She'd been sitting there officially
one hour and thirty-six minutes. Normally she'd be spitting mad by
now; instead, she was growing more and more nervous. It was his
presence - - it had to be. Only he could make her feel like a
clumsy, ignorant, worthless little castoff. Rei began to use the
breathing exercises Grandpa had taught her as an attempt to control
her legendary temper. As she breathed, she kept telling herself she
couldn't show any weakness around him. Whenever she had, he'd used
that weakness to crush her spirit until he'd finally tired of the
game and just abandoned her to the temple. That thought alone made
her eyes sting, even after all these years, and she fought to
suppress her emotions.

The clock told her it was three minutes shy of two hours.

"How much longer do I have to wait?" Rei asked the
receptionist with far more annoyance than she intended.

"I don't know," the woman said. She knew Rei was the
Dietman's daughter, knew peripherally of the strained relationship
they had and how he was always short and edgy with the staff after
one of their meetings. She didn't want to endure that again, and at
the same time sympathized with Rei and didn't like putting her off.

The wait officially became two hours.

"Well let's just go to the source, then," Rei snapped, heading
determinedly for the door to the inner office.

"Wait! You can't . . ."

Rei burst through the door and found Dietman Hino, her father,
on the phone at his desk. He hadn't changed that much: still
rakishly handsome, still possessed of that commanding voice and that
drive in his eyes that told you he was going places and you could
either get on, get out of the way or get run over. He looked up to
see who was at the door and irritation flashed through his eyes.

"You know better than to come bursting in like that!" he
snapped and for a moment Rei was five-years-old again. She fought
the urge to run away.

"I have to talk to you," she replied, mustering all of her
courage. "If it makes it easier for you to justify it to yourself,
consider me a concerned constituent instead of your daughter!"

"I've got to go," Hino said into the phone. "Something's come
up. Please accept my sincerest apologies, Secretary General." He
hung up the phone and exhaled out the humiliation he'd just
experienced. "Now what's so important?"

"This legislation you've proposed," she replied with cold,
hard tranquillity, "to regulate the Sailor Senshi. Why?"

"Because they're a potential threat to this society," Hino
replied, speaking down to her. "I'm sure young people see them as
some sort of idols, but . . ."

"Don't trivialize it like that!" Rei snarled, her rage
straining at its leash. "The Senshi have defended this city against
the most horrible menaces it's ever faced!"

"And also left hundreds of millions of yen in collateral damage
to the city," Hino replied crisply. "Who do you think pays for that,
Rei? Not to mention all the lives that are lost or irreparably
damaged in the wake of their battles? You can't even put a price on
that. Do you know how much damage resulted from the time they blew
up Mugen School?"

"When THE ENEMY THEY WERE FIGHTING blew up Mugen School," Rei
corrected him.

"That may be," Hino replied, eyes narrowing. "Each incident
may have been a result of the actions of the enemies they were
fighting. But I see a pattern - - a wake of destruction that seems
to follow them. And let's just assume that their intentions are
noble for the moment. What's to keep them from one day deciding that
the government has become the enemy of the people? That Japan needs
to be led by this Sailor Moon instead. They've certainly got the
power to try to enforce their wishes if they ever decided to
supersede the elected government . . ."

"NOT HER!" stormed Rei. "You wouldn't say - - wouldn't even
think anything that STUPID if you talked to her!"

"The possibility exists, if you look at this rationally," Hino
replied thinly. "My legislation would set up safeguards that would
theoretically prevent that from happening."

"Oh, yes!" Rei marveled sarcastically. "Instead you'd turn
them into government lapdogs, snapping at whatever targets you
choose at the end of your leash! Because we all know just how
trustworthy politicians are, don't we?"

"Rei, we are given a sacred trust . . ."

"SACRED TRUST? You can't even raise a family right! And the
world is supposed to trust you with the Sailor Senshi?"

Too blind with her own rage, Rei was unable to see Dietman Hino
biting back his own anger.

"Ah, but they're worthy of this blind trust? You don't trust
your own government, but you'll trust five girls running around in
miniskirts and sailor tunics? You'll trust this Sailor Moon? Have
you met her?"

"Yes! And you would too, if you met her! She's our hope - -
humanity's hope for the future! She's going to draw the best up out
of us and lead us to a beautiful destiny!" Hino looked at her
doubtfully. "I've seen it!"

"These 'visions' of yours?"

"Sneer at them! You always have! Well, I don't care! I know
they're real! And I know she's real and I know the bright future
she'll bring us is real, too! And she'll bring it to us unless
she's dragged down by a bunch of petty little politicians looking
for personal glory!" She glared at her father. "So just what do
you get out of this?"

Hino sat back in his chair, humoring Rei with flagging
patience. "I could say peace of mind and not be lying to you one
bit. But I won't deny that if this legislation passes and becomes an
effective measure to ensure the public safety, it'll be a big boost
to my career. It'll mean a few less years of spear carrying and
party grunt work. It will give me that much more public profile and
public credibility and allow me to work more of my political agenda
into the docket. That was what you were looking for, wasn't it?"

"Yes, that fits in with my image of the man who never had time
for his family."

Stung, Hino's eyes narrowed.

"If you've no more evidence to offer other than what you've
read in teen fan magazines, please show yourself out," he said in
clipped words. "I've got important work to do."

"You want proof I know what I'm talking about?" Rei glared at
him. She produced a small wand from her pocket and held it aloft.
"Mars Crystal Power Make Up!"

Dietman Hino leaned forward in his chair, shocked and amazed as
his estranged daughter was enveloped by the transformation energies
from the wand. When the energies faded, Sailor Mars stood before

"Rei?" he gasped.

"Now do you believe me?" Mars asked. "Now do you believe I've
seen the future? That I've looked into Sailor Moon's eyes and seen
the glorious future she's capable of giving us? That I know for a
fact that there isn't one selfish, power-hungry bone in her body,
that she only cares about doing what's best for people, or that she
cries for every person that's been harmed during our battles long
after you people in the government have stopped caring? Does this
give me the credibility that just being your daughter never could?
Or does this make me one of them now?"

"It-it was never about that," Hino choked out, scrambling to
regain his senses.

"Just know this," Mars said, pointing a vindictive finger at
her father. "I will fight this every step of the way, with every
ounce of power at my command. And if you manage to push this through
and you end up doing what I'm afraid you'll do, then beware. You
might just push us to doing the thing you fear most!"

Hino stared.

"And don't forget there's always the political damage that
could come if the public found out that one of the Senshi was
actually the daughter of the Dietman seeking to control them."

"Rei," Hino stammered, still struggling to comprehend that his
daughter was Sailor Mars. "How did this happen?"

"What do you care?" Mars asked bitterly. Allowing herself to
change back to Rei Hino, the girl turned and stalked out the door,
leaving the stunned and reeling Dietman in her wake.
* * * *
"You're here early," Unazuki said, sliding up to Rei. The girl
was alone in a booth, absently staring ahead and sucking on a double
scoop chocolate soda that probably made up half of her recommended
calorie intake for the day. Unazuki noticed Rei seemed a little

"I needed a drink," Rei mumbled.

"Kobi says that's your fourth one. How many did you intend to

"As many as it takes until I explode," Rei replied sourly.

"You'll probably puke first," Unazuki grinned sadly. "You want
to talk about it?"

"No," she replied gruffly. Then, as an afterthought, Rei
added, "Thank you."

"OK. If you change your mind, I get off at nine. Oh, and if
you are going to puke, please do it outside. I'd rather not have to
clean it up, you know?"

Rei nodded, then took another draw on her straw and stared at
the pattern on the tabletop. Some time passed - - she didn't know
how long - - but when she looked up, Usagi was sitting across from

"What are you doing here?" Rei asked, knowing that school was
still in session.

"Well, I went to your school," Usagi began meekly, "but you
weren't there. Then I went to the temple and Grandpa said you were
at Dietman Hino's office. So I went there and they said you'd left.
So I checked the market and the arcade and the mall and a bunch of
other places and . . . and this was the last place I could think to

Rei looked at her like she'd grown horns. Finally she looked
down, shaking her head.

"If you wanted to know how it went that badly, you could have
phoned," Rei said.

"Huh? No, I'm not worried about that." She grasped Rei's
hand. "I'm worried about you."

The genuine concern in Usagi's expression left Rei touched.
She quickly flushed and lowered her gaze. "I'm OK."

"No you're not," Usagi insisted. Rei's eyes flared momentarily
with anger. "Go ahead and yell at me if you want, but you're hurt!
I can tell! And you've got every right to be hurt, too. No child
should ever feel unloved by her parent. It's not right."

The young priestess sniffled back her emotions. "You'd think
I'd be used to it by now. First it was his business career, then it
was his political ambitions - - something was always more important
than Kaa-san and me." Rei bit her lip. "I don't know how he does
it, but he always manages to find a way to hurt me." She took in a
shuddering breath. "Usagi, dying in the battle with Galaxia wasn't
as hard as facing him in his office today and not backing down. And
I'll tell you, it was just as painful."

Usagi squeezed her hand.

"I can't believe there isn't some way you two can't reach a
common ground somehow. I mean, he is your father. Maybe if I talked
to him?"

"I knew you'd feel that way," Rei grinned. "You can try if you
want - - I know if you get your mind set on it, you'll do it no
matter what I say - - but I don't think you can do anything. Too
much has happened - - the wounds are just too deep."

Rei looked down at her shake and suddenly felt the weight of
the previous three.

"You want the rest of this?" Rei asked.

"Are you kidding?" Usagi replied, the light dancing in her
eyes. "I haven't had anything to eat since lunch - - except for that
candy bar - - and a bag of chips . . ."

Rei grinned and pushed it over to her. As she watched Usagi
down it, her melancholy returned. She began scrutinizing her
fingernails again.

"Rei," she heard Usagi say, "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For having a dad that loves me." Rei felt a twinge in her
heart. "I kind of feel guilty about that now, seeing the problems
you're having."

"Don't feel guilty," Rei said softly. "It's not your fault we
drew the fathers we drew. That's fate. Just promise me you'll never
take him for granted, huh?"

Usagi nodded, since the straw was in her mouth. Once the shake
was gone, she spoke up. "At least you've got Grandpa."

"Yeah," Rei smiled. "And that reminds me, I'd better get home.
There are chores to be done and he's too old to be doing most of

"You want the gang to stop by later?"

Rei thought a moment. "Yeah, I think I'd like that. I'll try
not to be too much of a drag."

Usagi caught Rei's hand again as the girl moved to leave and
squeezed it. Rei returned the gesture with a smile.
* * * *
Several days later, a solitary man entered the grounds of
Hikawa Shrine. Walking through Hikawa Shrine wasn't a comfortable
thing for him. He'd never been that religious in his life, and this
particular temple held bad memories - - and promised more bad ones
yet to come. The place seemed deserted, but he knew better. After a
short search, he found the man he was looking for, kneeling to tend
to a lovely floral display in the garden.

"Dietman Hino," Grandpa said formally, keeping his focus on his
flowers. "Our temple is honored by the presence of one as
distinguished as you."

"Save the formalities. I know you don't want to talk to me
any more than I want to talk to you," Hino said impatiently. "I'd
like to speak to Rei."

"You're her father," Grandpa replied. "You can speak to her
anytime you wish without my permission. Unfortunately she's not

"Where is she?"

"She's out with her friends. Did you know she has friends

"I've become aware of it," Hino replied thinly.

"So that just leaves us - - and we don't wish to speak to one
another. At least that's your assumption."

"Am I wrong? I know you don't approve of the way I've raised
Rei or the choices I've made in my life."

"Dietman, I am a man of faith," Grandpa replied humbly. "It is
not up to me to approve or disapprove of the path a man takes. I am
here only to provide guidance when a man's path becomes unclear to
him, and only when he asks."

"That's not what you said before."

Grandpa shrugged. "I'm old and I'm imperfect. My calling
doesn't make me above making mistakes, anymore than any other." The
pudgy little priest climbed to his feet with difficulty. "Dietman, I
have never disapproved of your choice of path. We are all obligated
to make our world a better place. This goal can be accomplished in
many ways. You've chosen to try to shape and direct our government
so that it can better serve its citizens. This is a praiseworthy

Hino looked at him curiously, wondering in what direction the
old man was leading him.

"I also know that to accomplish greater good, sometimes
sacrifices must be made. This has brought much pain to this family
and put you and your daughter on separate paths. This is
unfortunate, but it is sometimes the way of things. I do not
begrudge you this, so long as your work is for the greater good."

"Well, I'm glad you can see the reality of the situation," Hino
replied softly.

Grandpa nodded. "Just as it is my hope that you will not
begrudge your daughter's choice of path. She does not do this for
personal glory. The sight is strong in her, stronger than in me or
in my daughter - - stronger than I have ever seen in anyone. And her
other - - abilities - - are just as remarkable. These things are
gifts, Dietman. They are not things to be feared, so long as they
are used for the greater good. They are things to be celebrated."

"Believe it or not, I have considered that," Hino replied. "My
bill may have come from a knee-jerk reaction to what happened at the
hospital. But the public debate it's sparked and the corresponding
scrutiny into the activities of these 'Sailor Senshi' has helped
foster understanding and helped the government become more informed
to the threats within society to the people we were elected to
protect and serve. I haven't come to justify my actions or to
criticize my daughter for the choices she's made. I just wanted to
let Rei know in person what conclusions we've reached, before it's
announced to the public. Given her - - passion for the subject, I
felt it a point of respect."

"Well spoken," Grandpa smiled. "I can see why you've gone far
in government. My daughter always said you had a very charming
tongue." Grandpa produced a cloth from his robe and wiped his brow.
"I think we've reached an understanding, remarkable as that may be.
I should warn you, though, that Rei is young and sometimes cannot see
the larger picture. And she has a long memory for painful things and
perceived slights. I don't seek to influence whatever decision
you've reached. I'm just telling you this so you will be prepared
for whatever reaction she may have to your news."

"So noted," Hino said distantly.

"But you knew this," Grandpa said innocently. "You've always
struck me as a very intelligent man."

"Intelligent enough to recognize when I'm being manipulated,"
he replied.

Grandpa chuckled to himself. "You're welcomed to wait for her,
if you choose. It's much cooler inside the temple."

An hour later, Rei entered the temple. Upon seeing her father
waiting in the temple, she froze at the door. Her features hardened.

"Why are you here?" she asked venomously. "Has the round-up
started already?"

"That was never my intention," Hino told her stiffly, refusing
to back down before her anger.

"Well not everything works out the way we intend!" Rei snapped.

"Rei . . ." Hino bristled.

"Oh, was that ill-mannered? I'm sorry! I never had a father
to teach me manners!"

"I'm sure your mother did and you've just forgotten," he
replied curtly. Rei flinched, stung. "Rei, I didn't come to fight
with you. I just came to tell you I'm withdrawing the bill."

"What changed your mind? Wind blow the other direction? I
hope it wasn't my threat."

"No it wasn't your threat. But it was your visit. You're very
convincing, Rei. You argue for what you believe in with a great deal
of fire and passion - - perhaps a little too much passion. If you
could curb your temper, you might have a bright future in government.
You're quite intelligent and you certainly care enough."

"My mother and my grandfather taught me that," Rei said, as a
challenge. "They taught me that helping others is more important
that serving personal goals."

"And they taught you well," Hino said stiffly. "I've said what
I had to say. I won't trouble your life any longer."

Dietman Hino moved toward the door. Rei moved from his path,
her chest heaving. There was so much more anger and resentment that
she wanted to pour out on him, but she couldn't find her voice. He'd
done it to her again. She was transformed once again into that
helpless little girl watching him walk out the door and abandon her.
She watched him reach for the door, impotently fuming.

"Oh, and Rei," he said, pausing and glancing over his shoulder,
"you've grown up very well. I just hope - - one day you can come to
terms with the choice I made in my life. It was never," and his
voice faltered for a moment, "intended as a slight to you - - or to
your mother. But not everything works out the way we intend."

As the door closed, Rei stood there quaking with rage until the
young girl could contain it no longer. Violently she collapsed to
the floor, folding into a little ball on her knees. She started
sobbing uncontrollably and began pounding her fists on the floor of
the temple in rage and frustration until there was no strength left
in her arms. After a while she found her frandfather kneeling next
to her, holding her by the shoulders. Rei turned to him and buried
her face in his chest. She sat there with her grandfather on the
floor and cried until she had no tears left to shed.