A/N: I was sorta asked to do more Rei/Usa fics. Thought I'd attempt something a little... more up front (by no means does that mean anything "naughty"!! :-O *gasp!* ) lol anyway, all joking aside, hope you enjoy it.
Oh! And I think I'll leave it as a one-shot. Happy reading! -salute-
The bar was low lit. It was higher end, with fancier tables and plush comfortable seats. Here and there artwork accented the different corners and walls. Counter tops and booths were made of dark rich wood. Thick beams hung low over head, and several wooden pillars were placed around the large room to give the ceiling extra support. Waitresses moved around from table to table dressed in white blouses with black buttons, small black bow ties, and black slacks or skirts. The barmaid stood behind her counter and chatted casually with one of ladies sitting at the bar. The patrons sat around comfortably, dressed in nice slacks or cute and beautiful dresses. There were three couples out on the dance floor slowly swaying to the music the DJ was orchestrating.
There wasn't a lot going on, but it was still lively enough one felt at ease and could mix with the crowd if they so desired. The atmosphere was calm, relaxing, yet tinged with an edge of energy one could pull on at will.
Rei sat in a booth by herself. The circular table was wide and empty but for a lone drink perched on its surface. Her tight strapless dress was so dark a red it was almost black except when she shifted in the light. Long lustrous black hair swept down her back and pooled onto the seat she perched elegantly upon. With a distant gaze, she scanned the room unseeingly.
Several of the patrons took notice of her. Actually, even a few of the waitresses were sneaking peeks at her. She didn't notice, and they were all held at bay by her aura.
Someone new finally walked in, steps light and smile wide and charming. They were wearing a dark pair of slacks and a tight striped button shirt. The top button was low on her bosom and revealed a simple blue pendant on a silver chain. Eyes bright and a brilliant blue, she made her way to the bar and ordered a drink. She turned and placed her elbows on the bar to scan the rest of the bar while she waited for her concoction. Her smile never left her face.
Then she spotted Rei.
She blinked a few times, smile faltering half a breath. Her short dark hair fell into her eyes as she watched the raven haired beauty sip at her drink. The barmaid had to tap her on the shoulder to get her attention. Smiling winningly again, she thanked the barmaid and placed her money on the counter top and strode away.
Rei sighed softly, dark eyes upon the tabletop. Her gaze was as distant as ever, thoughts clearly far from where she sat. Running a finger along the moist glass of her drink, she cocked her head to the side and seemed to silently ask it questions.
"That's a sad smile for someone so beautiful," said a soft voice near her ear.
Rei jerked and snapped her head up to meet a pair of glowing blue eyes. Eyes widening, Rei's heart skipped a beat.
Rei mentally sighed, finally noticing the dark hair and the stranger's height. "It's… been a long week."
The stranger's smile didn't falter as she slipped into the booth across from Rei. "That bad?"
Giving the stranger a half smile, Rei shrugged helplessly. "It's been the roughest so far."
"Work or love related?" asked the stranger, sympathy softening her gaze.
Rei's brow creased as her gaze dropped to the table again. "I… It's been…" Rei sighed and shook her head. "It's just been a hard week. I'll pull through."
The stranger cocked her head to the side to regard the raven haired woman silently. Rei had to force herself not to squirm under the strangers calm gaze.
"You worry your pretty little head about too much," the stranger said gently. She reached out and tucked Rei's hair behind her ear. "Your eyes are dark with storms."
Rei's breath caught in her throat as she once again found herself captured by the stranger's blue eyes. She had to will herself to take in a gulp of air and look away. She pulled back out of the stranger's reach with a small huff.
"There is no harm being concerned about those you care for." Her amethyst eyes flashed and the stranger held up her hands in mock surrender.
"Mark me wrong, for it seems your eyes are filled with fire." Her smile was lopsided, but reassuring.
Rei found herself unable to stay angry, and actually found a blush tinting her cheeks. She began to avoid looking directly at the woman across from her. "Do you harass all the women you meet in bars?"
The woman blinked, face momentarily blank in surprise. After a breath, she began laughing. "Is that what I'm doing? And here I thought I was trying to ask a lady for her number."
Rei's head snapped around and she examined the woman's face carefully.
A waitress walked by, and the woman stopped her. "Another whiskey sour please," she said. As the waitress went to go place the order, the woman placed her elbow on the table and cupped her chin in her palm. Both woman at the table regarded each other silently.
The waitress returned and placed the drink on the table and left in a hurry. One could practically feel the energy crackling around the booth.
"I meant no offense," the stranger finally said. She smiled playfully, eyes never leaving Rei's face. "I only wanted to ask for a simple dance, if not a number."
If it weren't for the woman's open smile, Rei would have ended the conversation long before it got this far. As it was, she couldn't help but answer. "You're quite charming." Rei mentally laughed at the woman's beaming face. "However," She smirked as the woman's face fell into a small pout. "I have a thing for blonds."
The woman's face danced with indecision before she finally smiled casually and cocked her head to the side. "Have someone already in mind, then?"
Rei smiled softly. "Kind of."
The stranger's smile grew wider and she reached out to clasp Rei's hand and squeezed it softly. "Good luck. I'm sure you'll sweep her off her feet." As Rei blushed, the woman removed her hand and stood. She picked up her drink and downed it swiftly. She placed some money on the table. "Well, now that I've made a fool of myself, I'll let you have your peace. Have a splendid evening."
Before Rei could say anything, the woman was already heading for the door. Rei watched her go, baffled and slightly awed.
A few meters before the door, the woman glanced back at Rei. Their eyes met, and the woman winked. Rei blushed. And…
"Oh no!" squealed a waitress. She and the stranger bumped into each other and the waitress's tray flipped and drenched the stranger with strawberry daiquiris. The woman blinked, speechless, and the waitress was apologizing profusely. A single strawberry had managed to land squarely on top the woman's head and perch precariously there. Rei giggled as the stranger's face flushed and she awkwardly tried to exit the room as swiftly as possible.
"Poor girl," Rei said, smiling as she watched the door close behind the woman as she left. After watching the door a moment, she sighed and went back to gazing emptily at her own drink.
About six blocks down the road, hidden in the shadows of the trees in the park, the stranger's image shimmered. Figure shrinking, the woman's hair began to grow and become lighter. After a small flash of light, Usagi stood shaking her long hair in relief.
"Short hair feels so strange," she said, running her fingers through her long golden hair where it wasn't damp. She frowned down at her wet and sticky blouse and skirt. "So much for drying when I changed back." She shook her head ruefully. She tucked the pen in her hand back into her subspace pocket and stretched. "It's good to be me again!"
She smiled up at the low hanging moon and took a deep breath of cool night air. "A beautiful night."
Taking care to avoid overly shadowed areas, she began making her way through the park. She was internally running through the events that had just occurred.
"Well, at least I know she likes blonds." She winced. "But, she's probably talking about Minako or Haruka. After all, Haruka is charming and Minako is a model." She blushed. "And even in disguise, I made a fool of myself." She giggled at the memory of her collision with the waitress. She looked wistfully up at the sky again. "Can't a girl get a break?" She closed her eyes. "Forever… is a long time to be alone."
A rustle in the trees behind her made her whirl around and drop into a defensive stance.
"Usako?" called a voice. Usagi relaxed.
"Mamo-chan." She smiled as Mamoru stepped out into the moonlight. "What are you doing out here so late?"
"I felt your presence." He hesitated, not coming closer and not sure if he should continue talking. He ran his hand over his hair. "You… seemed uneasy."
Usagi smiled sadly. "I… was just visiting someone."
He winced but held his ground. "It didn't go well?"
Shaking her head sadly, she shrugged. "I was too cowardly to approach her properly. I'm… not sure I got any closer then I was before."
He hesitated again, clearly wanting to step forward and pull her into an embrace. "I'm sure she'll realize. I mean… she has to."
"Like we realized?" she asked gently. He flinched and dropped his shoulders in defeat.
"Ours… was different. You and I, we…"
"We were reborn and changed. You're as much the prince now as you were back then, but I am no longer the graceful and dutiful princess from long ago. I'm a klutzy airhead who spends too much time daydreaming then paying attention to reality." She smiles softly. "Our hearts were set elsewhere from the beginning. Our eternity was already had… and lost."
He looked away in defeat. "I know. I… It just… hurts. I don't want to let it go."
"It was very precious, and I'll treasure it always. But, you and I both know that we are called to another."
He stared at the ground between them in frustration. Sighing, he shook himself and looked up at her openly. "My heart has already been accepted. Yours is still crying out. I don't want to leave you until you find your own happiness."
She smiled sweetly at him. "As charming as always. You truly are a prince. But fear not, prince, my heart will not be forgotten or left out. Go shower your heart's desire with your charm, I have my own maiden to catch."
His eyes still looked worried, but they embraced happily. When they released each other, he held her hands comfortingly. "The universe is not so cruel as to let its savior be alone for eternity." He pecked her on the cheek and walked away into the shadows. She smiled fondly at the place he disappeared.
"Such a prince." She chuckled. "There are times that charm can be smothering."
She continued on her way home.
Still living with her parents, she had to crawl through her window to get out without disturbing her parents. So, standing on the ground and looking up at her window, she smirked thoughtfully as she prepared herself for the leap to get back in. She crouched down, ready to spring into action…
BEEP BEEP BEEP!
She startled and fell flat on her face onto the grass. She huffed irritably and silently cursed any youma that dared attack at this time of night… on this particular night.
She rolled onto her back as her communicator sounded again. She sighed and held up her wrist. She pushed the blinking button and closed her eyes. "Usagi here," she said tiredly.
"Usagi," called a soft voice.
Usagi instantly sat up and opened her eyes. "Rei?"
"Duh, who else would it be?" Rei huffed. Usagi laughed nervously and Rei sighed. "Look, can you meet me in the park?"
Quirking an eyebrow, Usagi cocked her head to the side. "Now?"
"Yes, now!" Rei snapped. She rubbed her eyes tiredly and tried to reign in her temper. "Please?"
Usagi looked at her warily but slowly nodded her head. "O-kay. I'll be right there."
"Thank you." Smile flooded with relief, Rei ended the call.
Usagi blinked down at the black screen in confusion. "What was that all about?" She sighed. "I should have just wandered around the park a bit longer. I wouldn't have to make the trip twice. Ugh."
She crawled to her feet and began walking back towards the park. Her clothes were mostly dry now, so the trip wasn't as bad and she allowed herself to enjoy the familiar scenery as she walked.
As she stepped into the park, she realized that Rei hadn't said where to meet her in the park. Usagi groaned and picked a random path to wander down in hopes she'd run into the fire senshi.
Usagi… walked… for… two hours. She was tired, stressed, and grumpy. She was to the point she was ready to call off the whole idea and go home, rather then walk around for another two hours to find the raven haired woman. After all, Rei would probably berate her for her tardiness and then verbally lash at her for whatever reason it was that she called in the first place.
The mental image wasn't comforting. However, if she blew the raven haired woman off, she'd get twice as much heat.
Usagi blinked, then snickered. "Twice as much heat." She giggled and came around a small grouping of trees and stopped short.
There, sitting on a bench, hair alight in the moonlight, Rei was gazing forlornly up at the sky. Usagi's breath caught in her throat as she stared from the safety of the shadows. Watching wide eyed, she was awed as her friend reached up into the sky, silently calling for something or someone. Rei's entire being was glowing, dark eyes glittering with emotion. She looked… painfully sad, Usagi realized. It made Usagi's heart ache.
Hand dropping back to her lap, Rei's eyes retreated from the sky and hid themselves in the shadows of her hair. In her lap, her hands curled tight until they shook.
Unable to fathom why her friend looked so pained and fearful, Usagi stepped forward unthinkingly.
Gasping, Rei's head snapped up to see Usagi standing not five meters away from her. "Usagi!" She jumped to her feet and anxiously tried to calm herself down and smooth out her long jacket.
Secretly, Usagi was sad to see the jacket, since it hid the beautiful dress underneath.
Realizing they were both quiet and fidgeting nervously, Usagi shook herself back to the present. "You, uh, wanted to see me?"
"Yes!" Rei answered quickly, a spark of fire in her eyes. Just as quickly, it disappeared as she looked away again nervously. "I um… needed to talk to you about something."
Usagi waited expectantly, but Rei seemed to lose all her speaking ability. The raven haired beauty couldn't sit still as she shifted from foot to foot. Still confused, Usagi decided to prod a little. "What did you want to talk about?"
"Well… there… we… How are you and Mamoru doing?!" she blurted, causing the blond to jump slightly.
"Uh, w-we're doing okay. Things were a little weird for a while, but we're getting along alright now." She said it all without realizing that she still hadn't told any of her senshi that the two of them weren't dating anymore and she'd given him his ring back.
"Oh… Um, that's… good." Rei seemed to deflate a little, eyes downcast.
Nose scrunched in confusion, Usagi clasped her hands behind her back and leaned forward towards Rei. "Why did you call me out here? It couldn't be to ask how Mamoru and I are doing."
"It's nothing." Rei waved her hand and turned away.
"Nothing? But, it's really late. And… you sounded kind'a upset when you called…" Usagi cocked her head to the side and stepped closer. "Are you sure-"
"It's nothing! Never mind! It wasn't important!" snapped Rei. She began to walk away, but Usagi stubbornly trailed after her.
"But that isn't like you! You don't call unless something is seriously wrong!"
Rei rounded on her. "I said it was nothing, Meatball Head!"
Stopped short, Usagi leaned away in shock. Stung by the harshness of the fire senshi's voice, Usagi took a few steps back. "I'm… sorry. I thought… you said…" Her eyes already burned with tears, and she blinked them back forcefully. "Sorry… I guess… I'll just… go home. I… Sorry." Usagi quickly started to retreat, shoulders hunched and face cast in shadow.
Rei caught the change in attitude immediately. Just as Usagi spun away to run, Rei's hand shot out and grabbed hold of the blond's arm. "Wait!"
"I-It's okay," stuttered Usagi. "I-I get it. I-I'll j-just leave you be, o-okay?"
"No, that's not what I-" started Rei.
Usagi shook her head and interrupted her. "I-I'm sorry. I-I didn't want you m-mad at me. I-I'll go home."
"Damnit Usagi! This is why I called you here!"
And before the blond could say or do anything, Rei yanked her close and cupped the blond's face in her hand and kissed her.
Body rigid with shock, Usagi's eyes widened as she stared at the beautiful woman kissing her passionately. She stared long and hard, breathless. Heart racing wildly, she was so awed she didn't have the power to return the kiss.
After seeming eternity, Rei pulled away and looked down at her with emotion dancing in her eyes. "I-I called you out here… because I couldn't resist any longer. I couldn't stand not holding you, just watching you from a distance. I couldn't… stay quiet any longer. I… had to try and make you mine. I… had to tell you… just how much… I truly care about you." Rei stroked Usagi's cheek. "I had to tell you I don't fight out of loyalty. I don't protect you out of duty. I protect you… because there is… just so much more that I… feel for you."
Usagi was speechless, hearing, but not daring to believe it was real.
Rei pressed her cheek to Usagi's forehead. "I hesitated… because of Mamoru… You and Mamoru… you have… eternity. I… knew that… I'd never get a chance. But I… just couldn't keep lying. I… had to say something. I… you are too much… to ignore. I… needed you." Rei closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Strawberries… Usagi smelled like strawberries. How like her… to smell like strawberries… and alcohol?
Eyes snapping open, Rei licked her lips in thought. She went rigid.
Sensing something was wrong, Usagi pushed away to look up at the fire senshi. "Rei?"
Rei looked down at her with a hooded gaze. Confused, and slightly worried, Usagi ducked down a little. "Um… are you… okay?" Usagi kept her arms tucked close in nervousness as she watched the towering fire senshi closely.
"You and Mamoru are doing well?"
Startled by the reopening of that subject, and trying to get her bearings back, Usagi stuttered out an answer automatically. "Y-yes."
"You're sure?" Rei asked calmly, face impassive.
"Y-yes?" repeated Usagi, sounding less then sure.
"Then what were you doing tonight, if you weren't spending time with him?"
"Um… err… you know… uh, doing… stuff." Usagi shrank under Rei's penetrating stare. She didn't even realize she'd been backing up until she found herself pressed up against a tree. Rei hovered over her ominously.
"What kind of stuff?" Placing a hand on the tree behind Usagi, Rei leaned in close and forced Usagi to look her in the eye.
"Reading?" Usagi asked piteously.
"Reading?" echoed Rei, sounding wholly unconvinced.
"Uh, err, games?" Usagi pressed her back into the tree as far as she could, quite trapped by the raven haired beauty.
"Games?" Rei repeated, deadpan.
"Umm… m-maybe?" Usagi stuttered.
Usagi froze, eyes wide. "Uh…"
Ducking her head closer to Usagi's, Rei ran her fingers along Usagi's jaw. "You smell like strawberries."
Usagi's brow scrunched in confusion. Strawberries?
Rei pressed closer. "How are you and Mamoru doing?"
"F-fine," Usagi said a little breathlessly.
"Still dating?" continued Rei.
Blindly, Usagi shook her head. "N-no…"
"So you've lied again," scolded Rei huskily. Usagi trembled, eyes locked with Rei's glowing amethyst orbs.
"Did you go out earlier?" asked Rei. Rei's coat had come unbuttoned, allowing Usagi the wonderful sight of the midnight red dress.
"Out?" echoed Usagi. She was at the point she'd entirely forgotten what else had happened that night.
"Did you have a drink or two?" Rei ran a finger along Usagi's bottom lip.
"Drink?" Usagi couldn't even fathom what the word meant.
"You were flirting." Rei's eyes drew her in. She didn't even realize Rei wasn't asking her that time. "I think I like the taste of whiskey sours," purred Rei. She leaned forward and captured Usagi's lips in another searing kiss.
When they parted, they were both gasping for air. Out of the blue, Usagi started giggling. Rei frowned down at her.
"What? What's so funny?"
Usgai kept giggling, slim figure shaking. Rei huffed, thinking she'd done something wrong. She started to back away. Usagi reached out and grabbed her arms and smiled up at her mischievously. "Searing kiss…" Usagi said between giggles.
"Huh?" Perplexed, Rei waited impatiently for some other explanation. Usagi giggled and cupped Rei's face in her hands.
"Even your kisses are filled with fire." Usagi kissed her on the end of the nose as Rei's cheeks began turning a soft red.
"S-shut up, Meatball Head."