A/N: Well, here is the next chapter. I hope you like it, it's not anything major, but I hope it will suffice until I get more time...in two weeks from now I have a test on the segment that's giving me trouble, so I've got to revel in the time I have free while I can...
I do not own Sailor Moon. I do not own Inuyasha
Chapter 3: Meetings Galore.
"Anyway, I would really appreciate if I could step back from my duties as a Senshi for a while. If there's a fight, I'll help out, but I can't be going on scouting missions if I've got a kid to worry about. I know I'm asking a lot here, but I don't know what else to do." Rei froze between the many looks she was receiving from the table. Some were of understanding, some of acknowledgment from the request, others were worried. It was such a vast mix it made her uneasy. The entire meeting had been tense, and it hadn't gone smoothly in the least.
"Raising a child isn't easy Rei. I don't know how old she is, and you haven't really told us much about it, but the responsibility you want to take on is rather large." Setsuna spoke with warning, Michiru quickly agreeing while Haruka stayed quiet. "All I can guess, is that this would be a situation that would end up being very long term. It would be dangerous for her, and us, if word got out about who exactly we are."
"That's why I want to step away. As far as she goes, that's dad's fault. If he was half the man he should be none of us would be in this mess, but, I can't turn her away, even by the code we Senshi live by, I can't leave her behind. We all fight for values of love and justice and that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm fighting for that justice someplace because lord knows she didn't ask this upon herself. I'm fighting for the fact the had she had a loving family this wouldn't have happened...I'm doing what I can because I'm the only one who can, so before you start telling me about responsibility, take a look at the man who caused this, and then you can bitch and moan about what I can and cannot do." Rei was angry to be questioned and it showed.
"Still you're responsibilities lay with Usagi. That must come first." Luna added into the already heated banter earning her a glare of annoyance.
"Oh shut up you stupid fur ball." This surprisingly came from Hotaru as her parents admonished her behavior.
"I can't say I agree with this either." Artemis spoke slowly and very carefully. "It's dangerous for everyone involved."
"I've heard enough." Usagi stood, quieting the room to utter petrifaction. Rarely did she look so aggravated. "If we could please stop fighting for just a moment I don't think anyone has a say in this, not even me. Rei has made her choice and this meeting was meant to inform us of her decision. Let it be known that I'm worried about a few things myself, but that's why we will be here to help Rei out." Usagi answered glaring at Luna and Setsuna specificity. They were the last ones able to talk.
Then she paused thinking about the other issue that had been brought up. "As for...what ever this is...between you three, I don't really mind one way or the other, but please be sure to keep in mind the realities behind the arrangement. I don't want any lovers quarrels and I will not pick sides, I'm telling you the same thing I told Setsuna, Haruka, and Michiru. I don't mind you living for love, and willingly seeking it out, but love is hard with a normal couple, let alone making this work. If you can, more power too you, but make sure you remember your actions both on and off the battle field."
One last thing played at her mind, and she nodded her resolve to speak it plainly, and rather bluntly. "In regards to being taken off of the patrol, I don't care if you do or not. I haven't cared, but you know me and my come what may attitude, I just don't see a point to worry about things like that any more." Then she paused speaking carefully. "I will not tolerate you forgetting yourself should something arise though. If we need you there, I need you there without questions or defying things. I hate saying that, I really hate saying that, but it is the truth regardless of how I feel about it as a person. We've had too many close calls due to negligence, and I'm not exempt from that, but...I can't allow it to happen any more than it already does when we don't think clearly."
"I understand that completely Usagi." Rei nodded. "I just don't know what else to do right now. I don't like feeling like I've let us all down, but-"
"No." Usagi sighed pulling Rei into a light hug. "You haven't let anyone down. It is admirable what you are going to try to undertake, I just don't want you to get in over your head." Then Usagi released her long time friend. "I'm making it a direct order that no one is to question the loyalty of another Senshi, we need to stop that. It never works and nine times out of ten the suspicion wasn't warranted in the first place, in the cases that it was, we both solved and came to terms with those issues. I, personally have no qualms about stating it, I want us to be what we used to be, but as we've aged realities have set in and changed us all. I knew it would happen."
She took a deep breath as some of her tears came out. "I want my friends back. I want to get yelled at for being lazy, I want to chase boys, and play around like we used to do. I know I'm asking a lot, but can't we just go back to the way things were? Is that really so hard to ask?" The table assured her they they were the same, however their future Queen was right. All of them were aging emotionally, and some of that aging wasn't exactly a good thing just yet. All of them had forgotten the days when irresponsibility came in vast droves, and yet as a team, their friendships had made that the driving force of their strength.
It was easy to forget that when love, lust, and logic among a vast many other issues came into play.
Still, Rei had other things to attend too and after the meeting she had cleaned up the guest room, and had fished out a few of the older furnishings that she had put into storage. It was nothing major, but her sister deserved more than what would normally be given to somebody traveling from shrine to shrine. From there she got in the car and went to meet her half sister for lunch. It would be the first time they saw each other in years. Rei was more than a little worried about it, but she drove to the eatery none the less and found the people she had been planning to meet.
Part of her held an inward breath as she passed a sign that told her to seat herself, and she did so reluctantly. Passing through a few seated tables with families, teens, and mothers with school aged children out for the day, she went to the back of the room and then pointedly hugged the wall while she scanned the sea of faces. She finally found her target in a lone child that looked so very different that what Rei remembered, although, granted it had been many years. The child looked innocent, almost shy as her black hair was cut short and framed around her face. She always had it pulled back, much like Rei had done in her younger years, and although the girl was short and small, she was a smart mouthed girl with very quick wit.
Rei approached the table where the child in question was sulking, but that wasn't out of the norm. She looked to be about ten or twelve, roughly, although Rei paid little mind to that, and more attention that she had her wrists bound much like any fighter would do before a match. Inwardly Rei laughed, the girl had always enjoyed a good fight, and in that small way reminded Rei of Makoto's own skills in such arts.
"Hello Again. It's been awhile hasn't it?" Her words were nervous as she took her seat at the table earning a careful eye from the girl.
"If you want to call it that, go ahead." The scoffing reply didn't go unnoticed, but she could have cared less. "Last time I saw you was when we stayed with your grandfather, but that was a along time ago."
"Yes, it was." Rei had to agree, they rarely saw each other at all, names and simplicities were little more than a convenience that they never seemed to partake it. Still Rei had a job to do, and so, she put the tense situation into full motion. "My name is Rei if you don't remember. I'd have to admit though, last time was so long ago I wouldn't expect you to remember. I thought your mother was supposed to meet with me as well."
"Suzuna." She spoke simply, avoiding trying to sound at all friendly. "As for mom? Yeah, she should have, but you know dad, he wanted her for something and so I got dropped off, I'll need to call his cell phone and he'll come pick me up them. So, can we make this quick or what? Since dad ditched again, I wanna get out of here as soon as humanly possible. " Her eyes remained fixated on either the glass in front of her, filled with juice, or the backpack she carried filled with clothes.
"Dad's never been one to be an active parent and take interest in his kids." Rei sighed, she wasn't going to defend the man but he was their father. "However, I'll say it would be wise to kiss his butt and pretend to do what he says, I know I never did, but I was lucky grandpa covered for me. I never had to worry about dad getting carried away. You do, sadly."
"Who cares anyway." The girl huffed in upset annoyance. "Dad never cared in the first place and mom can't see what a freaking idiot he is. He doesn't really care about anyone but his own money and stupid power. Where does that leave me huh? What am I to a guy like him?" Rei sighed at the barely held back tears in dark eyes made clear the true pain the girl was in.
Rei scratched her arm in contemplation. There were many things she could say, and many she would never even mention to the girl at her age, but still, Rei could see the feelings behind the man were very much mutual, it was clear enough in her eyes this rebellious thing...what ever the thing actually was, wasn't the fault of the child more so the their father neglecting to actually pay attention. Rei had figured it from the start, but had no idea just how hard her half sister would take the feelings of abandonment. Rei couldn't offer much of an answer, nothing would even come close to quelling such feelings, Rei knew that all too well. Had it not been for Usagi and the others then Rei would have likely walked down a path far worse in her life despite the care her grandfather was sure to give her when daddy wasn't around.
She carefully put her hands on the table and closed her eyes, speaking slowly and very softly. She didn't try to mask the pain her own heart held, feeling perhaps the child would find solace within the common bond dealing with their pains. "Well, lets just say I consider him my father only on paper. The one who raised me, was indeed my grandfather, so I know quite well of the inabilities that our dad has. However, I find that questions that you asked will never find any real answer Suzuna. Your best bet is to find people of your own who you can rely on, be it friends, loved ones, or even me...but dad isn't the kind of guy to raise his kids, and I hate to be the one to say this, but expecting him to be there for you will only continue down a road of suffering. I can't speak for your mom, but dad is a hopeless wish."
"She's your stepmother too you know." Suzuna eyed Rei carefully. "Why don't you think of her like that, or am I missing something here?" Rei paused, looking back into the stare built up by confusion. Rei had no problems answering, however she hoped dearly that Suzuna would hold no ill will for the actual reason behind it. It should have all been water under the bridge all of these years later, but still, emotions work differently than logic, unfortunately, this was one of those situations.
"I don't know her well enough. You are a complete and total stranger to me, however I can justify you by the fact that you're my half sister and in that effect, a blood relative. As for your mom? Well, dad married not long after my own mother passed on, so forgive me while I refuse to accept the matter that he didn't even seem to mourn her death. Your mother and I have a sort of agreement. She is the woman my father married, however, she is not a mother to me, never had a hand in raising me, and because of this, I find no reason to allow her the title she has not earned. She understand it, and respects it. Your mother is a decent woman from what I can tell, but I wouldn't call her my mother."
Shaking her head to clear her mind from such traumatic conversion, she waned a soft smile that seemed to only ghost her lips since neither one of them seemed in the brightest of spirits. "You do know why your mother wanted us to meet up in the first place, correct?"
Suzuna sighed softly, nodding she understood. She knew that in a few days Rei would be the one to look after her, and that entire thing wasn't exactly comforting. Rei wasn't that old, and sure, she was an adult, that didn't mean she was ready to be a parent. What really was a parent anyway? That was something Suzuna always wondered. She lived in a family with an older sister who she rarely saw, a mother who wasn't able to see the full view of anything, and a father who clearly couldn't care. Then there was Rei, her half sister, and the only family who actually seemed to give a damn about anything.
"She says I'm problematic. It's not my fault I get into fights and can't pass my classes. If those stupid teachers would teach and not fart around in front of the classroom like idiots preaching about good boys and girls then I might be better off...stupid people I swear...anyway, being the troublemaker I am, mom wants to pawn me off on you I guess." That earned a small chuckle from Rei, she knew well of the problems of a school girl, it hadn't been all that long ago when she had been one herself, most of her friends and Senshi were still in collage, so she wasn't all that far removed from the memories.
"If you want my opinion on things, I'd say I'd agree with you, however that's also why your mom thinks she can't deal with you anymore." Rei was blunt, but honest. "I'm not our dad, so I'm not going to forget my priorities to the shrine, too you, or anyone else I have responsibilities to attend too. In saying that, I can't help but feel like your the one suffering the most through all of this crap dad does, and I'll admit right here and now, I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing in regards to what you need, but, if you want to be away from that, I will take you in. Just don't expect me to know what it is I'm doing, because I'm not your mother, I'm your half sister you haven't seen in years."
"It's not like I have a choice in the matter." Suzuna bit out. "If I don't go with you, dad will sens me some place else, and I'll likely be further from my friends than I'll be staying with you. I don't like this, but it's not you or anyone, I just..." She cut herself off. Already they had met and she was saying too much. It was sickening, and yet it seemed as thought Rei was the only one who actually knew what was going on. "I'm just tired of everything."
"I know you are." Rei answered from her seat to take her leave, it was clear that their conversation was done for the most part. Placing a hand on the girls' shoulder she offered the only thing she could, and it made her feel depressed that it was barely a consolation. "I'll be the first to admit coming to terms with things wasn't easy. I'm still having issues in a few larger areas of my life, however the people I call family aren't like the blood we were raised among. If you come to the shrine, all of them will offer you open arms. You'll get an idea of what real family is. I know you can't erase the past...I know it'll always hurt, but, if you can find a way to dull that resentment and anger, you'll have the first step you need in becoming happy."
That had been the last thing Rei had said before walking out of the eatery and going back to her home. Her mind fluttered with many things, however it wasn't until dinner that night at the table when the full on weight of the anger piled up. Rei was so inwardly stressed at the events of the day. How they had been handled had been horrible, but the rest was in Suzuna's hands. Even if she didn't think it was the truth, she had a very real say in the final outcome, and it was perhaps that one fact that gave Rei strength.
There was only one good thing about they man that they shared a connection with. He wasn't a father, not a real one. As long as his children stayed out of his hair, he stayed out of theirs. Rei had grown to learn this fact, had come to understand that at one point or another the man she considered to be a dad was no more a father than a total stranger miles away. As long as Suzuna stayed on the down low, and moderately behaved herself, once she moved to the shrine, their father would more or less disown her emotionally. Then Suzuna would be free to get to know the Senshi to an extent, and perhaps learn what happiness was for once in her life. It wasn't ideal, but, when one looked at the Hino family, they realized that nothing about their situation ever was.
In case you're wondering Suzuna is from the Inuyasha episode where she and her sister (Serina) are from a village of ninjas. After the death of their father they seek to get stronger because that was the last thing their father told them to do. Suzuna's personality is much like Rei's despite being a little more rough around the edges and verbally aggressive at times. That's why instead of making a custom character to shove into this fiction I chose a character from an Anime that already fit what I needed, Suzuna fits the bill for that so to speak.
That fact she is also a ninja is something to keep note of for later, there will be combat scenes, and instead of making another random Sailor Senshi, I'm trying a new twist, you'll see what that is later though...just keep in mind what I said in the A/N in the first chapter. The character I add will retain both their personalities and abilities. The only thing different will be the situation...Suzuna and her sister will be the only Inuyasha reference, and it is purely so that I don't have to self create more characters than humanly necessary later.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Please read and review.