After the idol's exclusive interview aired several weeks later, some of the excitement surrounding her relationship finally began to die down, much to the relief of both Minako and Rei. It helped that a prominent male movie star was also in the middle of a very public divorce and the couple was no longer on the front page of every magazine in the country. Still, they kept a low profile when they went out together, but they were far less worried about being mobbed by reporters than they had been before. The odd photograph of the couple would occasionally appear, but that was to be expected. Rei wasn't sure she would ever be completely used to it, but she'd told Minako that she could handle anything the universe threw at them as long as they were together.
Sighing happily, Rei changed out of her priestess robes and got ready to head over to the apartment. It was quite busy at Hikawa most days, so she always had plenty to do, especially with her changed responsibilities. A few of the Shrine's younger employees tended to stammer and blush when she spoke to them, something which Minako delighted in teasing her about. Rei didn't mind. It was easy enough to shut Minako up with a kiss.
She grinned, suddenly quite eager to get back, figuring that Minako would also be done work for the day, but Rei decided on a whim to pay a visit to the koi pond first. It had been awhile since she'd had a chance to see the colourful fish, and the Shrine was calm enough that she could probably reach the secluded pond without anyone stopping her.
As she approached, she hesitated suddenly. Someone was already there. She smiled when she heard a familiar giggle.
Rei edged closer, keeping quiet as the pond and its beautiful visitor came into view. She leaned against a nearby tree, simply watching her lover kneeling at the pond's edge and waving her hand over the water. One fish in particular was circling rapidly beneath the movement. Rei chuckled softly, making Minako gasp.
"Looks like someone's happy to see you."
"Rei!" Minako's eyes lit up when she saw her. She got to her feet. "How do you do that?"
Rei strode forward and pulled her close. "I learned from the best." She kissed Minako's cheek, leading her to the nearby bench. One arm still clutched the idol's waist as they sat. "I wasn't expecting to see you here."
"Since when do I do what's expected of me, Reiko?"
Rei snickered. "You make a fair point. How did the autograph session go?"
"The turnout was pretty spectacular. Usagi says hi, by the way. I love that she still comes to all of my events, even though she can just call me up anytime she wants to hang out." Minako leaned into Rei's embrace, taking hold of her free hand and weaving their fingers together. "Any word from the Senator about dinner tomorrow night?"
Rei nodded, smirking at how Minako referred to her father. "He called earlier. I think he's looking forward to meeting you. And getting your signature, finally."
"The other Senators will be so jealous."
They both started laughing. Eventually, Minako released Rei's hand and reached up to stroke her lover's cheek. Rei closed her eyes, basking in the sensation of the gentle touch.
"I want to hear it again."
Rei opened her eyes. Minako's intense gaze was inches away.
"I love you, Minako," Rei whispered.
Minako's hand wrapped around the back of Rei's neck and brought their lips together in a kiss so mind-blowing, Rei was very glad that that she was already sitting down—her knees would surely have given out.
They might have stayed like that for days, completely lost in each other, but for the sudden harsh call of a raven startling them apart.
Rei couldn't help chuckling quietly as their passionate embrace came to an abrupt end.
"What's so funny, Reiko?" The idol cast an annoyed look in the direction the noise had come from.
"Nothing, Mina." Rei kissed Minako softly and pulled her to her feet. "Let's go home."
Author notes: So, we have reached the end of this tale! Thank you all so much for reading it and sharing your kind reviews with me! I hope it pleases you to hear that there will be a new story posted next week! ...Especially given how very short this update was. Gomen.
PS - For those of you who would like to know why Rei is so amused, feel free to read Astronomy Lessons at Hikawa Shrine. That's right. I'm still using my own stories to plug my own stories, even at the very end.