'Ello… this is an updated version of a fic posted… well, actually, not to long ago. Hope you all enjoy!
"Goddess of Fire"
-A note on timelines- In the first part of this story (chronologically...second in order of when they were written) Ami and Makoto discover romantic feelings for each other. They decide that for the time being, however, that they will keep the relationship a secret.
Next follow the events chronicled in "A wedding story: My Haruka and Michiru fanfic" ...but nothing really happens there.
Then we move on to the third portion of the story. Ami and Makoto have been having a happy little secret affair, but things keep interrupting them. So, in order to keep the intimate part of their relationship in good working order (read between the lines people...the naughty part) they make a ...special tape. Things are working out well, but then through a series of amazing coincidences (he he...I love being the author) everyone manages to see the tape, and the secret is out. Everyone that is...except Minako and Rei, who decide to "borrow" the tape and see what all the fuss is about.
That led into "Goddess of Light". Basically, Minako and Rei are spending all their free time with each other...they kind of have to, as Haruka and Michiru are still adjusting to the married life, and the Makoto/Ami relationship is still in the growth phase. Nobody really thinks anything of it, until Rei's grandfather and Minako's mother both try to set their charges up with 'nice young men'. Neither is really interested.
Again...should be no problem...except that all of their friends seem to be gay...
This kind of tickles the back of Minako's mother's brain and, after talking to Rei's grandfather, she gets it in her head that maybe Minako and Rei are "special friends". That was directly before this fic.
Katori slowly sipped her tea. Though she appeared calm, inside she was rather... troubled. No, perhaps troubled wasn't the right word. Maybe... confused?
Her train of thought was broken as the cause of her emotional turmoil entered the room.
"Hi mom!" Minako said cheerfully. Katori didn't respond for a moment.
"So..." she finally said, in a carefully neutral tone of voice. "Where are you going?"
Minako just shrugged. "Oh, nowhere really. I'm just gonna go hang out with Rei."
"Oh, Rei... I see... well, have fun. And remember... I love you."
Puzzled, Minako just nodded slowly and left.
Grandpa Hino wasn't doing much better. He and his granddaughter were having lunch together... normally a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, but today was a bit different.
He frowned in concentration for a moment.
"You know that I love you, right? And that even if you made some... uh... choices about your life that some people found controversial, I'll still love you."
Before Rei could answer, the doorbell rang.
"Oh! That must be Minako!" Rei said, wiping her moth on her napkin and standing up.
'Of course it is...' Hino thought to himself.
As soon as she got to the door, Rei grabbed Minako and pulled her into her room. Ignoring Minako's protests, she quickly dragged her into the privacy of her bedroom.
"What are you doing, Rei? What's wrong with you, anyway?"
Rei apologized as best as she could.
"Sorry… it's just that grandpa's been acting so… weird lately."
Frowning a bit, Minako nodded.
"My mom's been like that too… its kind of freaking me out."
Shrugging, Minako started pulling open her coat, until the zipper caught.
"Stupid, cheap…" she muttered angrily. Rei stood to help her.
"Here… let me…" she said, as Minako's face was turning crimson from frustration.
Mr. Hino whistled lightly as he walked down the hall toward his granddaughters room, carrying a tray with tea and some small, sweet cakes that he knew the girls liked. Then, as he slowly eased open Rei's door, he got the shock of his life.
Minako was standing in the middle of the room, her head leaning back and her face flushed in pleasure as Rei slowly worked her coat open.
'Oh my god…' he thought, blushing furiously as he backed out of the doorway as quietly as he could.
'I… I suspected, but…' sighing deeply, he walked over to the phone and dialed Katori's number.
When Minako walked in the door later that evening, she found her mother waiting for her.
"So…" the older woman began, "Did you and Rei… have a good time?"
"Minako… is there anything you want to tell me? Anything at all? You know, no matter how you choose to live your life, I'll always love you…"
'Rei was right…' she thought, 'they are getting weird…'
"Trust me mom… if there was something I thought you ought to know, I'd tell you."
'Oh well…' Katori thought as her daughter walked away, 'I guess she just needs more time.'
"Vanilla, please." Minako asked the young woman behind the counter of the snack bar she and Rei were visiting.
"So…" Rei asked, "Your mom's acting as weird as the old man?"
Minako nodded before taking a huge bite of her ice cream cone.
"Yeah… hey… is something the matter?"
Rei nodded, looking over Minako's shoulder.
"There's a guy over there checking you out!"
"No!" Rei said sharply, "Don't look!"
Pretending nonchalance, Minako slowly took another bite of her ice cream.
Across the street at a small café, a completely different sort of discussion was taking place.
"So then I opened the door," Mr. Hino was telling his lunch companion, "And there was Rei, starting to pull Minako's cloths off!"
"What did you do?"
"What could I do!? I just closed the door and backed away… and then I called you."
Sighing deeply, Minako's mother asked, in the most neutral tone of voice she could,
"Well… what do you want to do about it? To be perfectly honest with you, if Minako wants to pursue a relationship with another girl, it really doesn't bother me very much. But Rei is your granddaughter, so what's your opinion of the matter?"
"I'm… surprised, definitely surprised. But I don't know if it really bothers me, now that I've gotten used to the idea. I just wish Rei would come out and say something, instead of sneaking around behind my back."
"Do you think we should confront them? Lay it all on the table, tell them what we know, and finally get something out of them?"
Mr. Hino shook his head.
"That might not be such a good idea… a relationship this young is still fragile. If we tried to force anything, we might hurt something that wouldn't ever mend. For now, we should just let it lie. Just keep reinforcing how to Minako how much you love her, and support her decisions, and I'm sure everything will work out soon enough."
"All right… It sounds like good advice to me. Say… would you mind splitting a cab?"
Still trying her best not to look back over her shoulder, Minako was startled when Rei suddenly spoke to her.
"Hey, isn't that… Oh, Minako…"
Trying not to laugh at her friend, who was currently sporting a spot of ice cream on her cheek, Rei temporarily forgot what she'd been trying to tell the other girl. That she had just seen her grandfather and Minako's mother walking out of a café across the street… together.
Rei looked around for a napkin. Spying one, she wadded it up and whipped the ice cream off her friend's cheek.
"There you go… all better."
Across the street, Mr. Hino and Katori stared in amazement as they saw Rei gently wipe a spot of ice cream from Minako's face. It wasn't the fact that she was touching her friend… it was just how much care Rei showed even in this simplest form of physical affection.
"Hey! Isn't that my mom? And your Grandfather?"
"Yeah…. I guess they had lunch together or something."
"You want to go outside and say hi?"
Shrugging, Rei stood follow the departing Minako. Before she could take more than a half a dozen steps though, a hesitant hand tapped her on the shoulder. It was the young man who had been looking a Minako earlier.
"Umm… do you suppose, I mean, if its ok… would you… " He stammered for a moment before finally holding up a single rose, no doubt taken from one of vases in the café they were in.
"So, you two having lunch or something?"
Katori nodded in response to her daughter's question.
"That's nice… Rei and I were just having some ice cream. Its good that you're getting out more often… but don't you think that grandpa Hino is a bit to old for you?"
Before Katori could stutter out a response, her attention was caught by Rei, walking out of the small ice cream parlor she and Minako had been eating in.
'They sure do seem to have fun together…' Katori thought wistfully, ' I remember my first lov… Hey!'
She was shocked out of her train of thought as Rei silently handed Minako a rose. The blond girl blushed, but accepted it and tucked it behind her right ear. They were being so… open!
Rei and Minako didn't notice as their guardians exchanged knowing looks.
The entire way home, Rei's grandfather kept giving her odd looks, as if he wanted to ask her something, but was… almost afraid to. Finally, later that night, she got her answer.
Rei was heading toward the kitchen phone, planning on calling Ami about a homework question, when the sound of her grandfather's voice halted her. He was speaking in a low tone, but it easily carried to her in the large, silent house.
"Mmhh… mmh… well, that's a good point Katori… "
'Huh…' Rei though, her curiosity tickled, 'Why's grandpa talking to Minako's mom?"
"… yeah… Fuma was a perfect match for her… but if Rei's a lesbian, well, its not like she chose that path… mmhh… its just how she is…'
Rei was shocked, but the best was yet to come.
"But Minako's a wonderful girl… mmhh… say, do you suppose, if she and Rei are going to have a relationship, that she'd be interested in learning more about the shrine? Oh, really?"
Speechless, Rei couldn't even muster the energy to finish walking into the kitchen.
"… but hey, if it doesn't work out with Minako, Fuma will still be around… Oh, that sounds great… say, in an hour? All right, see you then."
Hearing the phone hang up, Rei was shocked back into motion. She quickly retreated to her room.
A moment later, her grandfather knocked at her door.
"Rei? Hurry up and get dressed, will you? We're going over to Katori and Minako's house for dinner."
'Oh hell…' Rei thought, 'How am I supposed to tell Minako about this?'
The whole drive over to her friend's house, Rei's mind was boiling. Her grandfather… Katori… her and Minako… lesbians?!
As soon as she walked in the door, Rei sought Minako's room. Ignoring the looks her grandfather and Katori exchanged, she walked into the other girl's room without even stopping to knock, and locked the door behind her.
"Rei, what…?" Minako asked, somewhat confused.
"We need to talk… now."
Rei laid the whole story out for her… how her grandfather and Minako's mother believed the two to be romantically involved. When she was done, Minako remained silent for a moment.
"Well…" she began slowly, "I suppose the only thing we can do, is go out there and tell them the truth. After all, they're already expecting it, so it won't be to big of a shock when we come out."
Nodding, Rei was in full agreement… until she realized what Minako had just said.
"Yeah… wait! Come out!? What the hell do you mean, 'come out'?"
Minako smiled brightly.
"It's simple. If your grandpa thinks you're gay, he won't try and set you up with Fuma. And if my mom thinks I'm gay, she'll leave me alone. This way, neither of us has that parental pressure anymore. All we have to do is keep the masquerade up for a couple of months, then we can 'break up'."
"That… makes sense. Which is kind of scary, coming from you."
Dinner was rather tense. Her grandfather kept dropping subtle (for him) comments about how much time she and Minako had been spending together and the like, obviously fishing for 'the truth'." Finally, Rei couldn't take it anymore. Standing up, she nodded to Minako, who followed her lead.
"Grandfather… Mrs. Aino… Minako and I have something we need to tell you. You see… for the last couple of weeks, we've…"
Katori gestured for her to stop.
"It's all right dear, we know. We've known for a while now."
Minako pretended confusion.
"Well…" Mr. Hino began, "It all started when I accidentally walked in on Rei seducing you…"
"Well, that went better than I thought it would…" Rei said as Minako walked her toward the car where her grandfather waited.
"Mhm…" Minako said, somewhat distracted.
Rei noticed, and asked her what was wrong.
"My mom, and your grandpa… they look like they're waiting for somethi… Oh, yeah."
"They're probably waiting for us to… you know."
Shaking her head, the answer still alluded Rei.
Deeply sighing, Minako bent forward and lightly kissed Rei on the cheek.
"Good night Rei. Call me later."
"Oh…" Rei said, somewhat shaken. "That." As Minako walked away, Rei stood staring for a moment longer as the soft warmth of her kiss slowly faded away.
As Minako had requested, Rei called her 'girlfriend' later that night. The two talked for the better part of an hour, discussing exactly how they'd go about this charade. Finally, as Rei was about to hand up, a question occurred to her.
"By the way Minako… how DID you come up with this idea?"
"It's pretty simple really… I read it in a romance manga."
Sighing deeply, Rei couldn't help but ask one last question.
"So… how did it end?"
There was no response for a moment as Minako thought back.
"Hmm… Oh, yeah! The two play their little game for a month or so, and then as they're organizing a big, messy public breakup they realize that they really do have feelings for each other. It was a really sweet, romantic ending."
"… uh huh. Um… good night Minako."
"Good night Rei."