Hello fans…

This is going to be another one of those 'fics that were never meant to be' fics. Which means, of course, that it'll be fairly short, and probably not so well written. Oh well…

Basically, this fic is meant as a bridge between the Rei/Minako arc of my big romance story, and the … next arc. No spoilers.

Goddess' Warmth

1 By Michael Treiber

Minako sighed contentedly, sinking to the neck in nearly boiling water.

"This was a great idea mom…" She murmured.

As her mother joined her in the hot spring, the older woman smiled brightly at her daughter.

"Well, we haven't really done anything together in awhile. Besides… this gives us a chance to talk."

Her formerly relaxed state of mind boiling away, Minako stiffened up. There was only one thing her mother could want to talk to her about all the way out here…


"So…" Katori began in a cheery voice. "Tell me about Rei."

A deep sigh.

Ignoring the twitchy, not quite nauseous feeling she got more and more often whenever someone mentioned her 'girlfriend' Minako said,

"What do you want to know? And don't say 'everything'… you ask some questions, I'll answer them."

Katori seemed satisfied by this.

"For starters… I know you two have been friends for years now, but when did you… step it up?"

"Um… we really only formalized things recently. To tell you the truth, you telling me about you friend's son you wanted me to meet is what really made me want to… get together with Rei." A quiet little voice chuckled in the back of her head. 'Which is the complete and utter truth, of course…'

"Ok, that was to easy. Here's a tough one… how does she make you feel."

It took a minute for Minako to respond.

"She… well… she makes me feel special. Like before her there was nothing important… but now all I think about when we're apart is her, what she looks like, the sound of her voice, even what she smells like… and when we're together, I have trouble thinking at all. She makes me feel… warm." As Minako told her mother this, something profound occurred to her. It was true, every word of it. Rei really did make her feel special, warm,… affectionate.

"Oh… that's sweet…" her mother smiled. "One last thing… I know you're a big girl, and probably don't want to discuss sex with your mother, but…"

Minako blushed deeply. "Mother! Please! Rei and I… that is, we haven't… uhm…"

"Oh." Was her mother's only reply.

When Minako and her mother returned home, Minako headed straight for her room. She had some things she needed to work out. Alone.

For example… why did she get that funny, fluttery feeling in the pit of her stomach whenever someone mentioned Rei's name? There were two possibilities in her mind.

One: she was getting afraid of what to do about their little charade. After all, if people found out that the two of them had just been playing them along… there would be some tough explinations.

Two: … what if… what if she really was feeling something for Rei? Something beyond a deep friendship?

What if she was falling in love?

The idea weighed on her for days. It finally got to the point that she had to do something to solve the question, either way. But what? She was to afraid to bring it up to Rei… she couldn't tell her mother or any of her friends… there was only herself… and a shoe box full of photos.

'Inspiration is great…'She thought to herself, pulling out a handful of photos. She would go through pictures of her friends, and catalog the feelings each picture inspired in her in a notebook. She worked in silence for the better part of an hour before putting the photos away and looking at her notebook.

"Ok, first up is Ami… nice girl, but kind of intimidates me. Smart, pretty… but all I feel for her is friendly confusion. Sometimes I just don't understand her…"

Minako purposely skipped the next name on the list, working through Usagi (the sister I never had) Makoto (the best cook in the world… almost makes me jealous of Ami…) Hotaru and chibi-Usa (to kawii for their own good), Haruka (oh… if only she was a guy…) Michiru (another lucky girl) Setsuna( um…. I should probably get to know her better. Finally, she had only two names left.

"Ok.. Mamoru. Handsome enough, I suppose… if you like the type. Nice guy, should do right by Usagi. Only one name left… Rei. She's my best friend. I'd rather spend time with her than anyone else."

Grinning to herself, Minako felt elevated.

"See?" She told herself, "Just your best friend…" Then the full meaning of what she had just said sank in. Mamoru was 'handsome enough'? 'If you liked the type'? Since when hadn't Mamoru been her type.

A glance down at the picture she had chosen of Rei –her and Minako, standing shoulder to shoulder with Minako's arm around the raven haired girls waist- answered her question.

"Oh no…"

Yep… it sure was short, but don't worry… its just a bridge into the next arc of the story. Hope you all enjoyed!