Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon, but I wish I did.

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Pieces

Rei is fragile.

It's a surprising revelation, really, considering the fact that she's the princess of Mars, has lived always ready to fight, and over the years she has learned to depend on no one but herself, even when she is among her fellow Inners.

But she is also fragile, very much so—she is delicate like a being carved from glass, with wary eyes that both want companionship yet repel it. There is always a warm tension to her, and sometimes Michiru feels that if she even brushes the younger woman with her fingertips she will shatter into a thousand pieces of glass and cease to exist.

Michiru knows this because twice in her life, she was just as fragile as Rei has always been.

The first time was before she awakened as Sailor Neptune, when she was still young enough to not be sure of her place in the world or where she wanted her life to go. The second time was three years ago, not long after Haruka died… for obvious reasons.

But there is a difference between threatening to fall to pieces twice and threatening to fall to pieces your whole life, because it isn't healthy to be that uncertain about yourself practically since the moment you were old enough to even know what it meant.

Some days Michiru actually tries to blame someone for how fragile Rei is.

Most days, though, she's focused on making sure the senshi of fire doesn't shatter and fall to pieces.

After all, with the Starlights back on Earth, someone has to be there for the girl when Usagi returns to Seiya's arms.

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Rei is warm.

It's not a surprising revelation, considering that fire is her element, but somehow it amazes Michiru that a girl who always seems so fragile can also be so warm, so full of life when she obviously doubts her right to even have that.

Sometimes Michiru wonders if it is Rei's warmth that constantly draws her back to the younger girl, constantly makes her feel protective of her, constantly feels her with contentment the way Haruka always used to.

Maybe it's just her.

Still, though, it's comforting to know that Rei is so warm, so full of life, beneath her fragile exterior. At least that way, Michiru knows she won't shatter easily.

And even if she does, somehow, Michiru knows she'll always be there to pick up the pieces and put her back together.

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"You're sure about this… right?"

Michiru's brain is moving at a sluggish pace, though it usually does when it's early morning. So at first, she doesn't exactly comprehend Rei's words, or at least she doesn't get the meaning of them. Propping up on her elbows, she absently brushes loose strands of black hair out of violet eyes. "Eh?"

But then, who can blame her if she isn't thinking clearly at the moment? Rei's bare body is warm against hers, and it's still early. She was never much of a morning person to begin with, and she's not about to start now.

"About this, I mean," Rei mutters as Michiru begins to absently stroke her cheek with her thumb. She lowers her eyes, blushing slightly, though the older girl doesn't pull away. "I'm not the best person for you, you know that, and I don't want you to have any regrets…"

The soft laugh leaves the sea senshi's throat before she can stop it, and she gently tugs a strand of the fire senshi's hair, making her squeak. As Rei looks up Michiru touches her forehead to hers, assured by how warm she feels, how alive.

Rei is still fragile; Michiru knows this. In fact, right now, she's more fragile than she's ever been.

But Michiru is okay with that.

"No one's ever really the best person for anyone, love." Her voice is soft, but sure, containing a promise she doesn't know how to express without making a fool of herself. "But I'll try to be the best I can be for you, if you want that."

The slow, timid smile spreading over Rei's face is warmer and brighter and far more beautiful than any sunrise Michiru has ever seen in her life, and as her heart overflows with love she knows she'll do anything to keep that smile intact.

"I… want that."

It's soft, but Rei is smiling. And for Michiru, it's enough.

Rei is still fragile. Michiru knows this.

But if the day ever comes when Rei finally shatters like glass, Michiru will be there to pick up the pieces and put her back together again.

The End

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... I... don't know what inspired this... maybe all the Rei/Michiru fanfiction I recently discovered through the Search engine? Meh...

Oh, if anyone wants to know, Rei is nineteen, Michiru is... twenty, I think, because she and Haruka are a year older than the Inners, right? I think they are, it was mentioned in one of the episodes...

Read and review, please!