Some notes:
1. This takes place shortly before Rei's 18th birthday.
2. I am an 80's new wave child! Deal with it. The chapter titles
are song titles, and lyrics shall be at the end.
3. Vocabulary for gaijin at the end.

Without further ado,
Sailor Chibi Kamen's Theatre presents:

Destiny Takes A Hand

chapter 1

Woman In Chains

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

It was a quiet day at Jinja Hikawa. A lone figure strode
purposefully up the steps, the midmorning sun highlighting his
greying hair. He made his past the public area to the dwellings
farther in. He rapped lightly on the main door.

"Ohayo? Is anyone here?"

There was a muffled, unintelligible response, then the sound
of quick footsteps. The door slid open from within.

"Ohayo, Usachan! Ara, you're...early...." Rei's voice
trailed off as she stared wide-eyed at the man before her.
"Otosan...?" she managed to gasp out just before doing
something *very* unRei-like: she fainted.

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

"Rei-san?"

At the sound of her name Rei's eyes fluttered open. She
sat up with a start.

"Otosan! Gomen nasai, I just didn't expect you since it
isn't my birthday."

"No, Rei-san," her father said as he laid a hand on her
shoulder. She flinched as though burned. He sighed and
went on. "I should have told you I was coming, but I was...
I mean, I thought you might not want me here. I know
we haven't been close-" he paused for her rebuttal but
none came "-demo this is important.

"Do you remember my friends, the Todas? Their son,
Masazumi, is near your age. You two played together
before...." His voice trailed off to nothing as he saw the
pain in his daughter's eyes.

"Hai, Papa, I remember," she answered, calling him a
name she hadn't used since coming to live at the shrine. Her
dark eyes glittered with tears. "How are they?"

"They're fine. They inquired about you, also, Masazumi
in particular. He was quite taken with your photo. He said
you are quite beautiful." Rei blushed slightly at this. "He's
looking forward to the wedding."

Mataka! Rei's eyes widened, then narrowed to slits.
"I've told you before, Otosan, I won't marry him. You can't
force me," she said in a cool, calculated tone.

"Rei, I'm your father! You will do as I say without
arguement!"

"Well, maybe you should've acted like a father! Instead
you dumped me here when I needed you most, just so you
could further your career and galavant around with
whatever women you chose!" Rei shouted angrily.

He moved so swiftly that Rei couldn't escape the blow
across her face. His heavy ring opened a small cut on her
reddening cheek. Rather than dodging the next blow, she
caught his hand less than an inch from her face and bent his
fingers painfully back.

"Iie, Otosan. You will not hit me again," she said calmly.
He struck with his other fist. This time she grabbed his arm
and flipped him over her shoulder. He landed flat on his
back. She sprang onto his chest and prepared to deliver a
crushing blow to his throat. Her hand stopped just millimeters
short. "Next time I won't pull my strike. You. Will. *Not*. Hit.
Me. Again!" She emphasized each word, her voice hard as
steel. Flames danced in her eyes. A hot wind blew through
the room.

"Ohayo gozaimasu, Reichan! The door was open, so I
came in. Are you readEEEEE!!!" Usagi shrieked as she saw
the apparent intruder. The pair slowly got to their feet.

"Usachan, daijobu. This is my father," Rei explained.
"He was just leaving. Otosan, this is Tsukino Usagi, one of
my friends. We're going out."

"Ohayo, Hinosama," said Usagi, still puzzled. "Nice to
meet you."

"Likewise, Tsukinosan. Rei, we will talk later."

"Iie. We will not. There is nothing to be said. And, as
far as I am concerned, I have no father. Get out!" Rei
turned her back on her father and stalked into her
bedroom.

Usagi glowered at Rep. Hino and followed her friend
out of the room. She tapped lightly on the door.

"Reichan? Daijobu? What happened?"

The only response was a muffled sob. Usagi slid the
door open slowly. She was unprepared for the sight that
greeted her: Rei sat in the corner, knees drawn to her
chest, head resting on her arms. Her raven hair formed
a thick curtain around her as she keened softly to herself.

"Oneechan, what's wrong?" Usagi asked her dearest
friend, kneeling down and embracing the distraught girl.
At this Rei's sobs turned into a heartwrenching wail, all
her anger and hurt coming out as one. All Usagi could do
was hold and rock her, as she had done for ChibiUsa so
many times.

When Rei had calmed down enough to speak she
turned her tear stained face to her soul-sister. "Arigato,
imoutochan. I would have killed him if you hadn't come
when you did." Usagi's eyes widened slightly,startled by
the certainty of the statement. She knew it had been a
long time since Rei last saw her father, but she was
unaware of Rei's deep hatred for him.

"Oneechan, I understand if you don't want to tell me
about it, but I wish you would," Usagi gently prodded.
She put her hand to the cut on Rei's cheek.

Rei nodded and took a deep breath. "It started when
I was born. There were complications and my mother
was unable to have any more children. Of course, my
father wanted a boy to carry on the family name. Since
that wasn't going to happen he did what he thought was
the next best thing and arranged for me to marry the son
of his college roommate, Toda Masazumi. My father wanted
to make sure I was well taken care of. At least then he gave
a damn.

"Mas-kun and I played together as children, before...
Mama died." She cast her violet eyes downward.
"We've kept in touch over the years at our parents' insistence,
mostly through letters. Every so often, a photo would arrive, or
Otosan would send one of me. He's been living in America
since he was ten. He's nineteen, in his third year of college,
and very handsome. He seems nice enough. Lately he's taken
to sending me flowers." She gestured to an extravagant
bouquet of yellow iris and purple miniature orchids.

"Oh, Usachan! What am I going to do?" she sobbed.

"Rei," Usagi gently smiled. "Have you even met him?"

Rei shook her head. "I don't want to. I'm afraid I might
actually like him."

"Rei no baka!" Usagi stuck out her tongue. Rei did the
same. Both girls broke into fits of laughter. Rei tackled
Usagi and knocked her over, pretending to growl but laughing
too hard. Usagi got Rei into a headlock and gave her a
nuggie. "Give?"

"Hai, I give!" Rei laughed.

"Hey, psych-beast?" Usagi leaned back on her elbows.

"Nani, odango-atama?"

"Give the guy a fair chance. Don't throw away a chance at
happiness to spite your father. You're the one who'll get hurt."
Usagi's crescent moon began to glow.

"So, are you ready to go shopping? There's a new piercing
pagoda in the mall and I wanna check it out."

"Just what you need," Rei groaned, "another hole in your
head."

"Iie, just what *you* need! What do you think your father
will say when he gets the bill for your new navel ring?"

An evil grin spread over Rei's face. "Let's find out, ne?


@}~~`~~~,~~{@ @}~~`~~~,~~{@ @}~~`~~~,~~{@ @}~~`~~~,~~{@


you better love loving and you better behave
woman in chains
calls her man the great white hope
says she's fine she'll always cope
woman in chains
well i feel lying and waiting is a poor man's deal
and i feel hopelessly weighed down by your eyes of steel
it's a world gone crazy keeps woman in chains
trades her soul as skin and bones
sells the only thing she owns
woman in chains
men of stone
well i feel deep in your heart there are wounds time can't heal
and i feel somebody somewhere is trying to breathe
well you know what i mean
it's a world gone crazy keeps woman in chains
it's under my skin but out of my hands
i'll tear it apart but i won't understand
i will not accept the greatness of man
it's a world gone crazy keeps woman in chains
so free her

Tears for Fears
--------------------
Vocabulary for gaijin (of which I am one) :)

ohayo gozaimasu= good morning otosan=father

gomen(nasai)=(very)sorry wakataimas=i know

mataka=not again daijobu=it's alright

oneechan=big sister imouto=little sister

arigato=thanks baka=stupid nani=what

---------------------------------------------------------------------

A red curtain covered with lavender roses comes down,
closing the Theatre. Ja mata, minna. O-daijini.