Chapter 2 (POV change warning!)

Rustle of sheets. I'm alone again. The sun hasn't even risen yet, but awaken I must. I stand, and my body kicks into auto-pilot. Wash my face. Brush my teeth. Make myself presentable for the make-up artist. Dress in my favorite clothes only to change my outfit for the concert tonight. One outfit per song. A different dance routine to memorize for each one.

I miss you.

I want you.

Why can't I just be home with the one I love most?

I know why. Because this is the path I chose. This is my dream. I wanted my song to reach millions of people. I wanted to be an inspiration to them all. I wanted the kids who were hospitalized to be filled with hope... that one day, they will be cured of their ailments like I was...

Except.

I died and was reborn without my illness. Through unworldly means. They are but human children, with one less miracle in their lives than I had. What hope can I give them? What am I doing anymore? I found the princess a long time ago. I no longer have the illness to use as a reason as to why I must sing now, while I can.

So why am I so far away from home?

I can make excuses. I want us to have a decent life together. Full of laughter and joy without worrying about money being tight. Although, that's a paltry excuse. By the end of this tour, I'll have amassed enough funds to retire quietly or live vivaciously for a few solid years.

'I want to hear your voice again.'

Do you think of me as you go about your day? I try not to burden you with my needy cravings. You have your own life to worry about. How can I tell you how much I long to trace the length of your body with these unworthy hands... kiss your soft lips again and again... worship your body as you do your god... until you are left as breathless and fulfilled as your most sacred fire reading. How can I tell you how much I long for you?

"Mi-na-ko! Mi-na-ko!"

The crowd is waiting for me. I put on my game face. Smile, check. Songs, check. Resolve... check.

After the common greeting platitudes that I always came on stage with, I started, "This first song is fresh off the sheets and I wrote it for someone out there watching me tonight. You know who you are. This song's for you."

Only for you. My princess.

"Please welcome, Japan's favorite idol, Aino Minako!"

Minako entered midst the applause and cheers, smiling and waving at her audience before giving the host a brief hug and sitting down. "Thank you for having me on your show."

"Oh no, no, no. Thank you for appearing on my show!" The host laughed and started, "So Minako, how does it feel to finally be back home again?"

"It feels great." Minako smiled, meaning it this time. "There really is no place like home."

"We've been following your tour from day one and by far the favorite from your soon to be released album is 'Only For You'. Can you tell us more about the inspiration for that song? Could it be that Aino Minako has a love waiting for her back home?"

Minako laughed it off. "I spend my free time, however little that is, thinking of the one I'm destined to be with. Whether they're waiting for me or not, I imagine that they are my biggest fan, and they are who I sing for. 'Only for you'."

"So is there a real person that inspires you? Or is it that you have yet to meet them?"

"I have yet to meet them," Minako answered, smiling as she added to herself, 'Since coming home.'

"I see. Well, I think all of us wish you find happiness and secretly hope that your special someone is one of us!" The host laughed again and Minako followed suit.

"Actually... I'm glad you brought that up. I came here today because there was something I wished to announce to my fans and the general public."

"Yes?" Minako could see that the host was on the edge of his seat.

"My album, Only for You, will be released in stores exactly a week from now. This album, which I have put all my singing heart and soul into for my fans and my supporters, will be my last album."

The host's ubiquitous smile seemed to fade at this. "W-what?"

Minako took a deep breath and repeated, "I, Aino Minako, am retiring from this business."

I walk up the steps, one by one, relishing each and every one. Maybe you're home, maybe you're not. You haven't answered my calls all day and I'm not sure what to think.

Do you hate me?

"Minako."

I look up slowly. I'm three steps away from the top. You're there, waiting for me. "Did you see me coming in the fire?"

You smile and extend a hand towards me. A gesture you would never do in the light of day. But that's fine. It's a symbol of how much I mean to you, that you would let me see this side of you. I take your hand and you pull me close. Your lips meet mine without a word.

"Rei... I missed you."

"I know." Our foreheads touch and our lips hover near each other. "I missed you, too. Let's go inside."

"Is anyone else home?"

"No, I sent them away. For tonight."

"You knew I was coming then."

"No."

"Then why?"

You pause at the doorway and turn to me with an enigmatic smile. "I prayed... and hoped that you would."

I smile back and follow her to her room. It's the largest and most spacious by far. "Did you see me on TV today?"

"No, but it was in all the papers and Usagi called me telling me about it."

"Oh. Well, that's just as we-"

"Do you mean it?"

I blink and look at you. Fondly. Curiously. "Do I mean what?"

"You would give up your dream... to be with me?"

"That dream... being an idol... is over now. Realized. I have another dream. I want to sing for my princess."

You frown, confused. "Usagi? But-"

"No. She may be 'the' princess, but no longer is she 'my' princess. You are." I gently urge you to lean back against the sheets, kissing you softly. "I want to sing... only for you. Because you have captured my heart and I want you to never let it go."

You switch positions, pinning me underneath you, although it hardly hurts or feels dominating. We are equals. In the past, in the present, in the future forevermore. You initiate another kiss and I return it gladly. I mean what I say. Your voice is hoarse as you whisper, "Never. I'll never let you go. Not without me. I've lost you too many times."

"You've never lost me. I was only ever yours and only yours."

You say nothing, returning to your reticent self as you lay beside me. "Let's sleep."

I agree silently, giving you one last kiss on the forehead before pulling the blanket over us. There is magic in being there for each other. We need not speak, we need not try.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Rustle of sheets.

Neither of us will be alone when we awaken.

~Owari

A/N: o.o It didn't seem worth prolonging endlessly. And if it had I might have introduced lots and lots of characters and made the Mina/Rei all hidden like. So a short couplet this shall be. :D Still, Reviews are luverly.