~~AN: This story uses dub names, and shamelessly mixes in Japanese canon when it suits me. If you're the kind of tragic person who writes flames beginning "It's Sailormoon, not Sailor Moon!" then it's unlikely our senses of humour match, anyway.~~

~~For the record, Serena is actually my favourite. :) And Sailor Mars' name is spelled Rei because my beloved insists. ~~

~~Aimless Gossip~~

This particular group of teenage girls were, at certain times, the Sailor Scouts or inner senshi according to preference. They were five of the most powerful living beings of all time. And they were doing what they usually did when they were neither scouting/pretty soldiering or at school.

In other words, four of them were lolling aimlessly around on the temple stairs, while the fifth obsessively-compulsively swept them.

Serena chewed on the end of one long blonde pigtail, desperately hoping for something to happen. Something that didn't, for preference, involve either homework or babysitting her future daughter. Either a wildly romantic encounter with Darien or a random monster would do nicely. No one had tried to take over the world or kill her for simply hours.

She looked around for a cat to bother, but Luna had, as usual, deserted her for Amy, and Artemis was purring around Mina's shoulders in a highly suspicious manner. Serena considered provoking a fight with Rei to relieve the tedium. That incessant sweeping was driving her insane, in any case. Whatever happened to comfortable clutter? Apart from it being a holy place, and everything. And in any case, one day, Rei would have to face the fact that the step was clean.

Just as Serena was opening her pretty mouth to insult the shrine maiden, Lita jumped to her feet with remarkable energy. "Have to run, martial arts practice, you know!" she blurted, with a rapid-fire delivery that caught the others' attention at once. The Amazon's cheekbones were decidedly pink.

"Again?" Serena demanded. "You work out more than Rei plays with her stupid broom!"

Rei flushed darker than Lita, and opened her own mouth, but Amy interceded hurriedly. "I think it's wonderful that Lita works so hard. It has to improve her skills as a Scout," she said, in her usual sweetly serious manner. Luna beamed approvingly at her favourite, and rubbed her head lovingly against her arm.

Mollified, Rei toned down what she had been going to say to, "It wouldn't hurt you to train occasionally either, you know, Serena."

"What do you mean?" shrieked Serena. "Are you saying I'm lazy?"

Before it could develop into a full scale war, Mina tossed her own amazing golden mane. "Besides, Lita, you might meet a boy at martial arts just like your old boyfriend who you used to go out with, right?" She smiled slyly at the Amazon.

"Um, that's right! Gotta go, bye!" Lita raced off.

Mina watched her go, her head still on one side, a knowing smile on her lips. "She is *so* in denial," the senshi of love remarked.

Serena stopped yelling at Rei, and turned to the other blonde. "What do you mean?" she asked, her sapphire eyes wide and clueless – which was fairly normal for the moon princess, actually.

Mina shrugged. "I'm pretty sure she's one of the girls, as you're asking. All that nonsense about her safely past boyfriend, while she is – you know…"

"Not really," Serena admitted, confused. The others ignored her.

"But why wouldn't she tell us? Doesn't she trust us?" Amy asked, looking worried.

"Um, Mina, are you sure we should be discussing this behind Lita's –" began Artemis, but the girls disregarded the cat. They were bored enough to endlessly dissect anything, and Lita's sexuality was as good a subject as anything. Rei dropped her broom at last, and took a seat on the top stair, hugging her knees.

"I don't think she's come to terms with it herself," Mina explained, with the air of omniscience that only a know-it-all teen can achieve. "You see, there are no good queer role models around for her to identify with."

"Um, excuse me? Michelle and Amara?" Rei suggested.

Serena's brow creased. "Aren't they cousins?" She wondered if her friends were trying to hide things from her again. Her eyes filled with anticipatory tears, just in case she needed to bawl over how left out she felt. "I'm sure they said they were cousins…"

"They are just… very close cousins," Mina explained.

"Ewwww…" Serena started. "Wait, you're sure?"

Rei exchanged a look with Mina. "Visually verified," she smirked, and Mina giggled.

Amy's brow creased. "But first cousins… That's a problem, isn't it? Don't you get birth defects and things?"

There was a stunned silence, and then Artemis let out a howl of feline laughter as Luna said, mildly, "I doubt that will be a problem in this case."

"Amy, you're supposed to be the smart one," Rei protested. "Look, even Serena knows it doesn't matter if Michelle skips a pill here and there."

"Yes, I do," Serena said proudly, then frowned. "What do you mean, even Serena?" she demanded.

"Isn't it obvious?" Rei rolled her eyes. "I'm more interested in why Mina thinks they aren't good role models. They're brave, intelligent, strong, devoted – total pains in the you-know-what, but that's a different matter…"

Mina shrugged. "Little Miss Perfect and Little Miss I Think I'm Little Mister? They're right out of trashy 1920s novels."

"Huh?" Serena asked, intelligently.

"I know this one!" Amy volunteered. She assumed her lecturing tone, glad to draw attention away from her own humiliating lapse in common sense. "Sexologists used to think there were two kinds of female inverts, or lesbians. One who was born with a male soul and an abnormally enlarged clitoris, and so sought out female mates. And one who was a feminine or transient invert, and was sought out and corrupted by the male-type invert. Basically, they were imposing familiar heterosexist sex-gender constructions on same sex relationships, to make sense of them and thus counteract their subversive force."

There was a silence as Serena digested these complex ideas, and extracted the most important implication. "Amara has a WHAT?"

There was a cold silence, as Serena turned bright red. Amy began to stammer something about it all being deluded heterosexist nonsense, and that Serena should be ashamed of taking it seriously anyway.

Luna, heroic kitty that she was, tried to save the day. "Zoicite," she said triumphantly.

"Huh?" Serena, effectively distracted, turned her razor intellect to the new problem. "Zoicite was a lesbian too? But I thought she and Malachite…"

"Zoicite was a boy," Artemis pointed out.

Serena frowned at him. "Don't be stupid, furball. She had a long blonde ponytail. Well, not as long as some…" She tossed her pretty head.

Amy, awed by her friend's knowledge of gender signifiers, managed to whisper, "But no… you know…" she gestured at her own rather slightly developed chest.

"Well, we can't all be as talented as Lita…"

"Um, actually, I thought Zoicite was a girl, too," volunteered Rei.

"Boy," Luna said firmly. "And I don't want to tell you how I know…" Her fur stood up slightly on end.

"Whatever." Mina gestured impatiently. "He or she or it was still not what I would call a wonderful role model. I mean, what did – it – do, exactly? Bad nasty Queen Beryl won't let me kill nasty Sailor Moon, it's so unfair, sob sob sob, swirl of cherry blossoms. Pathetic little creep."

"He did far worse than that," Serena muttered tearfully, her mercurial moods being, well, mercurial again. She was thinking of her beloved Molly's heartbreak.

"You see what I mean? Bad role model city. No wonder poor Lita's in denial…"

They all sighed in perfect girl-and-cat unison.

"This so sucks…" Serena's huge blue eyes filled with sympathetic tears. She hated any of her friends to be in trouble. "Maybe I could talk to her…"

"No!" five horrified voices chorused.

Serena opened her mouth to protest, but then she caught sight of a familiar black head. Accompanied by a small, pink-haired figure. Irrational jealousy overtook her, and she sprung to her feet and raced off to separate her future husband from her future daughter.

Amy sighed, watching the now furiously arguing trio. True love and sexuality were… perplexing. She was better off focussing on her books. Thinking of which… "I'm not getting any study done by gossiping," she said. "Bye, guys."

"I'll go with you," Luna offered, predictably.

"Artemis, why don't you go too?" Mina suggested. "I want to talk to Rei."

The two girls thoughtfully watched Amy depart, cats stalking gracefully by her side. Eventually, Rei looked curiously at her friend.

"What's the big secret?"

Mina's cheeks flushed prettily pink. "I just wanted to let you know… Lita's not the only one in the group. Well, I'm thinking bisexual really, not lesbian…"

"There's nothing between Serena and me!" Rei shrieked.

Mina's pale blue eyes widened. "Um, no, I meant… me." She looked away.

Rei stared at her a long moment. Sailor V wasn't exactly Sailor Moon, and Mina wasn't exactly Serena. Actually, with her blonder hair and milder eyes, Mina was almost Diet Serena. Rei had never really noticed her in… that way… with gorgeous, intense, maddening Serena around.

But then, Mina also lacked some of Serna's more… irritating characteristics.

Rei came to a decision. "Let's go get a milkshake," she said, standing and offering her hand. Mina took it, looking up and smiling.

And in that moment, the vexed question of Lita's sexuality was forgotten.