Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon. If I did, the senshi would be with each other.
The first time Minako hugged Setsuna, it would be an understatement to say she didn't expect it. The poor senshi of time was thrown so off-guard by Minako squealing her name and tackling her literally out of nowhere that she instinctively started to run, but her legs got tangled up in the process.
When it was all said and done, Setsuna and Minako were a tangled heap of legs and arms on the floor, Minako giggling into Setsuna's neck as the older woman tried to decide if she was shocked, horrified, or amused by the whole thing.
Haruka chose that moment to walk through the door.
The senshi of the wind took one long, slow look at the pair; her lips curved in her trademark smirk even as her eyes gleamed and her hands slid into her pockets. "Am I… interrupting something?" she asked, raising a brow.
That did it.
Blushing furiously, something she'd never done before, Setsuna shoved Minako off her and sat up, brushing her shirt off before standing. "You weren't interrupting anything," the dark-skinned woman said coldly before brushing past Haruka, leaving Minako sitting on the floor, still giggling like a hyena.
Haruka stared after Setsuna for a long, long moment; when she turned to look back at Minako, the senshi of love had managed to get her giggles under control and was surprised to see a contemplative look on the older woman's face. "Haruka-san?"
"You know… I think that's the first time I've ever seen Setsuna blush."
Haruka spent another moment mulling the thought over before looking at Minako, and her face lit up as she grinned.
"Keep hugging her, Minako-chan. Setsuna's pretty when she blushes, and she doesn't do it nearly enough."
And with that, the sandy-haired woman left as quickly as she'd entered.
The second time Minako hugged Setsuna, the older woman was just on her guard enough to keep her balance but still hadn't figured out how to handle the speed of the younger girl; the force of Minako's hug made her stumble back and she bumped into the wall behind her, instinctively freezing. Color flooded her cheeks, but her voice gave nothing away. "Minako-san."
"Yes, Setsuna-san?" Minako snuggled closer, if it was possible.
"Please let go."
"Hug me back?"
Setsuna ground her teeth together. From her seat at the table, Michiru chuckled and set down her tea cup, propping her elbow on the table and resting her chin in her hand. "You know, Setsuna, it's common to hug a person back when they hug you," the aqua-haired violinist teased gently.
The senshi of Pluto glared daggers at her over Minako's head. "Do I look like I want a hug, Michiru?"
"… Actually, yes, you do."
The older woman scowled; Minako grinned in quiet triumph but recognized it was time to back off, releasing Setsuna easily and stepping back with a smile on her face and a gleam in her eyes.
Setsuna couldn't get away fast enough.
Michiru blinked, then laughed. Minako frowned at her in confusion, easily settling on the chair across from the senshi of the sea. "What?" the young blonde asked. "What's so funny?"
"Please don't get the wrong impression, Minako-chan." Michiru swallowed to keep her laughter from rising. "Setsuna does like you. Half the time she just doesn't know what to do about it."
Minako got the message. Her eyes lit up as she grinned. "Thanks, Michiru-san!"
She bolted from the kitchen, and Michiru gave in to her urge and rested her head against the table, laughter still spilling from her lips.
The third time Minako hugged Setsuna, she changed her tactics and got the older woman from behind, knowing that by now Pluto would be completely on her guard for any kind of hug from the front. The outcome was hilariously similar to the first time Venus had hugged the older woman, though protective instinct took over on Setsuna's part and she managed to twist so she was facing Minako, her arms instinctively coming around the younger girl as they fell.
Chibi-Usa and Hotaru watched the whole thing with acute interest.
There was a moment of silence as Setsuna tried to figure out when she had actually started enjoying this whole thing, slowly sitting up and releasing Minako. Bracing her hands on Setsuna's shoulders, Minako giggled. "What's so funny?" Setsuna asked, blowing a loose strand of dark green hair out of her eyes. Minako looked up at her, blue eyes gleaming, and grinned.
Setsuna felt her heart flip-flop.
"You hugged me back."
They both knew technically that Setsuna's reaction had been less about returning the gesture and more about keeping Minako out of harm's way, but it was nice to pretend a little.
For the third time, certainly creating some kind of record, Setsuna felt her face heat, but she was in no position to make any kind of hasty escape this time. Instead she just sighed and stayed put, closing her eyes and pretending not to enjoy the feeling of being with Minako like this.
Chibi-Usa narrowed her eyes contemplatively for a moment before nodding to herself as though she'd finally come to some kind of conclusion; without any hesitation the pink-haired girl put her arms around Hotaru, causing the older girl to jump. "C-Chibi-Usa-chan?" the dark-haired girl stammered, blushing.
"What?" Chibi-Usa rested her head against Hotaru's shoulder, enjoying the sensation of it. "If Puu can get a hug, you can too."
Hotaru turned a deep shade of red, but her arm timidly snaked its way around Chibi-Usa's shoulders and stayed there when the pink-haired princess didn't complain.
From their place on the floor, Setsuna and Minako quietly exchanged knowing glances that were lost on the younger girls.
The fourth time Minako hugged Setsuna, they were at a meeting at Rei's shrine.
The emergence of a new enemy had made everyone nervous and edgy enough; the fact that said enemy could manipulate and bring back their memories of the Silver Millennium just made it worse. The fact that Setsuna had been his first victim, and that he'd done something, brought back some memory that was so painful that the senshi of time was quiet and unable to meet any of her comrades' eyes during the meeting, made Minako's blood boil. It was the first time she hadn't been able to completely focus on a meeting, and when the others left for a time to gather somewhere more private to discuss the matter she lingered, noticing that Setsuna wasn't following.
The green-haired woman had turned her back on the others at some point, gazing out across the shrine courtyard, her arms crossed loosely over her chest in a gesture that was vaguely protective and vulnerable. At that moment, standing there, she looked very alone.
The arms that encircled her waist in a familiar gesture were hesitant now, the hands that clasped together against her stomach only loosely twined. Gone was the joyful force that Minako had always hugged her with, replaced instead with quiet uncertainty, a need to help but not knowing how to. Minako rested her cheek quietly against Setsuna's back and closed her eyes. "You don't have to hug me back if you don't want to," the young blonde murmured softly.
A moment of contemplative silence passed after Minako said this.
Minako's hug was still loose enough for Setsuna to try and escape, but instead the senshi of time slowly lowered her arms, gently covering Minako's hands with her own. Taking a deep breath, the older woman carefully turned in the blonde's arms, stepping lightly so as not to tip them off balance. For a moment she braced her hands against Minako's shoulders, and the senshi of Venus winced, expecting to be pushed away.
The arms that slid around Minako and held her close were uncertain and perhaps a little timid, as if it had been some time since Setsuna had hugged someone. A gentle squeeze of encouragement from Minako spurred Setsuna on, and her hands gently clasped together against the blonde's back. With a shuddering sigh Setsuna rested her cheek against Minako's hair, closing her eyes.
From where they stood in the doorway, sent to retrieve Setsuna and Minako, Haruka and Michiru exchanged quiet looks; as one they turned and headed back inside, leaving the pair alone. Michiru looked back briefly, and her voice was relieved. "Setsuna really did need a hug."
Haruka said nothing, just slid her hands into her pockets and smiled.
... Why are most of my Sets/Mina plotbunnies full of fluff with no real plot? (sighs)
The end turned out a bit more angsty than I intended it to be, but that's what I get for mingling one plotbunny with another. Feel free to imagine what Setsuna remembers from the Silver Millennium that would put her in such a mood.
Also... I don't know where Minako hugged Setsuna the first three times. I just had the image of her tackling Setsuna out of nowhere, so... don't ask me where they are. Maybe the Outers' house? Bah.
Read and review, please!