A/N: Hey guys. I lost a bet, so, thus, I must write a one shot for this… you know, there is no describing this...may I just say, I fully blame Knoto for this pairing and dare…Joy of joys a song fiction, I know, I know. I picked this one because we used to sing this ALL the time.

Summary: Takes place after Stars. Usagi and Mamoru are feuding, so, they decide to take some time away from each other. As a result, she goes to her friends, the Sailor Senshi to help her decide what she is really looking for in a companion. What was the cause for the fight and what does she really want? Lots of pairings, long one-shot….why, oh why didn't I keep my big yap shut…anyway on with the fiction.

I do not own Sailor Moon.

Song: 21 Things.
By: Alanis Morissette

Lyrics
Story


Usagi sighed as she sat tearfully at the shrine. Around her gathered friends who looked more than saddened by the appearance of the distraught blond. She had just had a fight with Mamoru and now she was questioning herself. Running to Rei may have actually been a bad idea seeing as it had exploded into a fully fledged Senshi meeting at the words 'break up.' Now that tears were starting to dry, and, Luna was chased off from causing another lecture gone wrong, everyone could deal with the root of the problem.

Mamoru...

Usagi just didn't know what she wanted anymore. After the Starlights had left she just couldn't find her solid ground with her prince. She loved him, but then again, she loved everyone. That was just her nature, but now she was just confused. She wanted to be with Mamoru, but she just couldn't shake that lingering worry that perhaps she needed to second guess herself. Everyone had tried to help in their own way, but, the origin of the issue was harder to deal with than just Mamoru. Usagi wasn't sure what she sought in a person. She also came across another worry; she was starting to think she preferred women.

It wasn't that it was an unfounded thought. It was just that all of the other Senshi came to terms with their own sexuality a long time ago. Minako was a free spirit, she didn't have a preferred gender, and likely that's also what Usagi was like. Love was love, you didn't really need to place labels on it, but that was what most of the other Senshi had done to at least some degree.

Haruka and Michiru for example, very blatantly preferred other women. They'd never settle for a man because that just wasn't what they wanted. They weren't man haters, but to fall in love with one was nearly impossible. Others like Setsuna preferred to not engross themselves with the thought of a relationship, however would prefer a woman if it was at all possible. Still fate wasn't helpful when her own happiness came into play and she found her affection very few and far between, finding that she couldn't bring herself to care anymore about romance on an overtly deep level. it was her past pain that remained the root of the problem.

Others like Ami and Hotaru never gave too much thought on that type of subject. It just wasn't something they found themselves needing to worry about. They both had other priorities for the current moments in time. Lastly there was Rei and Makoto, who were more or less stuck in the middle; they didn't really know how to identify and preferred to leave such matters well enough alone.

Hotaru had been quietly musing on the situation while it happened before her eyes. Seeing Usagi upset wasn't a fun ordeal. Especially not like this, when it would endanger Chibiusa coming into the world. Her eyes were calculating in a manner that one would not expect of her age, but she realized something. "Usagi, you don't know what qualities you want in a person. Am I right?"

When Hotaru got a sniffle and a nod she sighed and continued. "Well, that could be your issue. You love people in general Usagi, I would hardly think the gender situation is the real problem. If it was, then Seyia herself would still be a topic of concern because she walked around looking male more often than not. Also, even if you used to have a crush on Papa you never betrayed Mamoru even then. If you really liked girls more than guys, wouldn't you have gone after someone more like the rest of us…you know, someone who doesn't act boyish on purpose?"

"That is true." Minako backed up honestly. "I agree with the needing space thing though. Mamoru may be a king one day, but, he clearly isn't one now. None of us are what we need to be. None of us should be looking for true love just yet; we have so far to go until that ever should happen." Pleased with Hotaru's ability to speak up Minako also added another suggestion. "On top of that, Usagi, we transform around you all of the time. I've never see you looking at us. I would tend to think with a bunch of beautiful naked women around you, even if it is only for a second, you'd cop a look."

"Exactly my point." Hotaru nodded. Even though the others around them gave odd looks, it was at least slightly true.
"Hold on a second." That was, until Michiru spoke up. "I'm a lesbian, and I've never looked at anyone in the middle of transformation."
"With all due respect, I don't think anyone's perverted enough to cop a look in the middle of a crisis." That was Ami.
"Oh how little you know." Usagi waggled an eyebrow, but kept herself quiet otherwise. "Right Makoto?"
"Oi!" The blush and indignant shout gave her away. "It's not my fault skirts, or butts for that matter, stick up in the air at the wrong times!"

The rest of the Senshi looked at her for a moment before going back to the topic of discussion. At the very least Usagi was in a better mood, something they were all thankful for, including Makoto, even if it was at her expense. Banter and reassurance in the matter regarding Usagi and Mamoru went on long into the evening until Usagi excused herself needing to go home. Thankfully, the other Senshi stayed around the shrine. None of them wanted to leave, all of them having worries.

Rei found herself sighing against the door frame as her friends continued to find their normal spots around the room. It was just utterly confusing and the Senshi were absolutely done with it. "I'm going to kill him." Her tone was matter of fact. "He puts her through hell all of the time. I swear to the gods, one of us would be better than him. At least we can defend her." Running a hand through her hair she sulked in annoyance. "You'd think the guy would have a better idea now. He should know that he can't just go off and leave her behind. She needs more than that from even us." Rei spat out. "We don't plan to screw her one day either." The venom in her last remark remained blatantly obvious.

"Rei!" While most of the room gave off glances or funny looks to the raven haired girl, it was who Minako found her voice first. "You can't mean that. We can't give her Chibiusa. Not to mention the amount of disarray that would cause among us isn't worth it." The head combat leader was Minako, and, being the Senshi of love, she knew how powerful the emotion was. "Mamoru loves Usagi and it will come to a fine future one day. I'm sure of it. Right now though, you can't blame them."

"Hell yes we can!" That came from Haruka. "I told Usagi that Seyia was a wolf that should be left well enough alone. Mamoru is an idiot besides, and as far as love goes Minako, most people don't have that." Her cockiness continued when she further brought up her point. "Michi and I are far different, and destiny may have given us a way to love, but I don't and I won't ever let so called destiny dictate our future together."

"No, perhaps not for you two, but you said it yourself. You're different from us." Minako continued. "It will matter for Usagi, destiny wants her to be with Mamoru. We, as her Sailor Senshi, cannot bed down with her in the future. For now? Yeah sure, go date Usagi if you want Rei, but, the future belongs in the hands of Usagi and Mamoru. We will have our own planets to lead, and Usagi has a big enough job." Her voice softened when she saw a lavender eyed glare. "Rei, I mean it, it would cause a rift among us. Think of it, if I started kissing Usagi in front of you, would you simply not care?"

"She would." Hotaru spoke again, softly and serenely, yet with a deadly accuracy. "We all would. That is why Usagi cannot and will not ever be with any one of us. If we fought amongst ourselves and caused her harm we could destroy our very future. Rei does have a good idea though, one that may help." That earned an eye from Setsuna who jumped in almost immediately.

"Do not speak about what I think you are about to Hotaru." The time guardian wasn't about to play with that admission. "Usagi will not date any of us, not even now." She crossed her arms looking sternly at the others. "If you even amuse the mere idea of love as it stands here and now, what's to stop you from fighting your love for her in the future? You simply cannot make a move on her. That is Mamoru's place in the future and now as well."

"Yes." Hotaru said again. This time with a slight defiance in her voice, although it was hard to tell it was even there. "We are all very different people. She may not love us as she would our future king, but, she does love us. She would do anything for us, including bedding with us if that was our wish. Why? Simple, it is because she wishes our happiness." Then Hotaru looked around at the others. "We know she will one day belong to Mamoru. So, what's the harm?" Her innocence was what made the end of her vantage point the hardest for everyone to hear. "Besides, we all love her in the same manner. We want her happy. Why not give her that for now?"

"Sometimes you scare me and it's not even with your eyes." Rei said as she looked to the smallest Senshi in response. "But, you are a lot younger than all of us; don't tell me you want in on this? You're only what, fifteen?" Her tone was mocking but yet it was clear Rei was trying to lighten the mood and still converse on the task at hand. "I mean, that's just wrong…even if you are a Senshi."

"I'd have to agree Hotaru." This was Michiru again. "I can't say I agree with this at all. You're simply too young to be doing…that."
"Oh, but we'll let everyone else sleep with Usagi as if that was alright?" Setsuna dived back into the discussion. "Real good idea there. I still say no."
"That's not what I meant." Michiru glared back at Setsuna. "Hotaru is too young for anyone, even to date casually."
"Girl's please…we all know that our little firefly wouldn't partake in such things yet..." Haruka trailed off looking at her adoptive daughter. "Right?"

"Don't be idiots." Hotaru sighed. "My aging has slowed, but that doesn't stop my mental capacity. I am around fifteen by looks, but I can still keep up with most of you when it comes to brain mass." Her tone, though soft, had a bite in it when she wanted to have one. "I care about Usagi a lot. I would do anything she asked of me including sex. I won't lie." She aimed glares at her parents for even questioning her loyalties at all when in regards to Usagi. "That doesn't mean I would actually seek it out though." Closing her eyes, she spoke the real truth. "My heart is with Chibiusa in a time and place far from now. I've no interest in trying to court her mother. I'm saying that among everyone, there enough single Senshi that we could help Usagi in matters if she needs someone here for now."

"I agree." Michiru sighed looking to the Inner Senshi and then at Setsuna who just looked annoyed by the glimmer of trouble Hotaru had caused. "It could help dispel her fears about being attracted with only women." Then she addressed Hotaru again. "I don't want you involved though."

"I will be involved." The tone was not defiant. Hotaru was merely stating the maters in facts. "I am a Sailor Senshi, as are you. I can't just sit idly by."
"She's right about that." Rei gave Hotaru a deadpanned look. "She is a Senshi, you can't deny her the duties of what it means to be one."
"Knowing Usagi, we have nothing to worry about anyway." Haruka was being a voice of reason for once.
"I still say this is not a good idea." Setsuna spoke up again, trying to block the idea from happening.

"Is the world going to end?" That came from Hotaru. Setsuna knew she wasn't going to win this with Hotaru vocally backing the idea. When the child spoke again it was almost in a cocky tone. "Face it, I'll be the one cleaning up the mess should this backfire beyond the point of no return. Do you really think I'd agree with them doing this if I had to risk committing suicide?" Her words were followed with a smirk as Setsuna sat there trying to think of a way to protest, finding none. "Rei, I believe you have the floor. What did you have in mind for your date?" Hotaru asked, pleased with having kept Setsuna quiet.

"I'm not really sure." At least it was an honest response. Rei had been annoyed when she gave the dating idea. She never thought it would progress into this.

"I figured you wouldn't have a plan, lucky for us, I know just what we will do." Minako said with a gleam in her eye. All of the other Senshi knew then and there it would be nothing but complete and utter trouble…

A few of the Senshi groaned in annoyance seeing what Minako had done. A few had to bite their tongue from causing a verbal riot at the supposed plan. Three days ago Minako had suggested that they pick a day to spend with Usagi. That in itself was fine; however, she also said everyone was going to participate. It wasn't like it was a bad idea... it was just...unconventional.

"This is the most idiotic thing I've ever seen you come up with!" Rei growled dressed to impress, just like Minako had ordered. "A date is one thing, but like this?" Her hands gestured around her. Roses were the theme as were Senshi colors. Rei's body was fitted with black slacks and a red shirt. She wore a vest that matched the color of the slacks, just as she had been instructed.

"Yes Rei." Minako nodded with her normal clout. "I do have a basis for this idea. After all they don't call me the Senshi of love for nothing." She said as she took a seat in her casual, yet attractive attire. A brightly colored, knee length skirt had been paired with a floral pattern of orange hews. "Now come here, you're missing your theme." Minako smirked.

Many of the girls didn't actually own a floral pattern; thus a few purchases had been made. Minako had already planned well for Rei and the others. This was to help Usagi, that was the mission, but, beyond that Minako also had other goals. As Minako attached a red rose to Rei's vest, Michiru was aiding Hotaru with makeup. She wasn't sure why she was doing it, but, had a feeling it had something to do with why Setsuna kept staring at the sky paranoid.

"I personally don't see the meaning to all of the theme things you're doing." Ami sighed as she sat in the corner slightly embarrassed. She too donned a skirt, although it was much shorter than she would have liked, finding its way only to her mid thigh. The end of the fabric could be grazed by her fingertips when she stood, thus for her, it was far too short. The matching shirt did wonders for her, showing off the contour of her body without looking lewd. At least that was a plus.

"I told you I'd tell you later." Minako smiled over to the girl in blue as she stood to drag the shorter girl into the middle of the room. "First things first, I told Usagi that Rei would be picking her up shortly for a girls night out. We are going to a bar, when we get there I want you all to try something." Minako said with a hint of nervousness as Setsuna visibly stiffed.

"That's it; the world is going to implode." The eldest woman sighed looking at her own ensemble. She was very attractive, but, she was very out of her element. Her clothing was as simplistic as could be. With her long tresses free from their normal bun, a little black, backless, dress fit her body snugly. Unlike Ami, you could see that Setsuna was boldly striking in her appearance. Her beauty demanding attention, even if Setsuna, herself could care less. "I can just imagine it."

"I'm sure everything will be fine." Hotaru smiled back in reassurance. Her clothing was also simple, although, it was also something more for her age. Simple slacks, a shirt, and her hair done neatly pulled back. As she stood to look at the sky she knew why Setsuna was so worried. It was once in a great while that two or three planets aligned, let alone to have all of them within eyesight out one simple window. "You would have known to harm me if it was really the end of everything." Hotaru smiled at the horrified looks, dismissed them, and sighed. "So, what's this floral theme about Anyway?"

"I have a different colored rose for each of you." Minako explained holding out the buds of various colors. "We are going to show our princess a little bit about love our way. Do whatever you think you need too, don't hold back. if you want to kiss her, kiss her, you want to dance with her go ahead, but remember, we aren't trying to get her to fall in love with us, just shed light on the perspective. Whatever happens, in the end we are all her Senshi and that leads me to my next point…"

Gesturing for everyone to finish their final touches, Minako spoke with the severity of a Senshi, with all of the emotion of her planetary background. "I've already told this to Rei, and you all need to understand this too…should one of us, any one of us, end up with Usagi in a romantic relationship after this is all said and done, the rest of us cannot under any circumstance hold a grudge. Furthermore, we will have to take into consideration that if it does happen, we will be given a second queen to look after."

"The time line would become unstable during these changes." Setsuna added in carefully, as Minako gave her the floor for a moment. "As such, it would be wise if we were careful about that Senshi at all costs. Anyone Usagi names as her lover will ascend the throne with her, as a result, we will be down a Senshi, and added a future Queen, that means the rest of us have more people to protect, on all fronts."

"Why is it that this sounds like a bad thing?" Makoto spoke as she added the last of her makeup to perfection.
"Because we simply don't know what would happen, or what will change." Setsuna reminded, giving Hotaru a look of aggravation.
"While it may be true we will see some rough times ahead if she doesn't end up with Mamoru, I don't see destruction as an outcome." The youngest spoke.
"True, but then the question of Chibiusa comes into play." Ami recalled the little princess.
"She will be different, even I know that much, but she will need to exist." Hotaru seemed uncaring of how Chibiusa came to be.

"You seem assured of that little matter." Minako raised an eyebrow and then looked over to Setsuna. "Does she know something that I don't?"
"More like I used basic logic more than you." Hotaru quipped earning another glare from the time mage. "Why don't you tell them?"
"Tell us what Sets?" Leave it to Haruka to jump in at an embarrassing time.
"If you think you're so smart, why not tell them yourself?" Setsuna was angry and slightly embarrassed.

"Fine." The Senshi of death and rebirth shrugged. "Think back if you will, I don't recall ever having a memory of a king in any past life on the moon… do you?" After receiving a round of agreements that it wasn't remembered Hotaru just laughed. "Don't you think it's funny that Usagi came to be if there was no father of which to speak? Personally, I don't think men are needed. At least not in the ways of procreation, not when the crystal is able to seal life into a rebirth…it leads me to believe that it can create life as well, although that is merely the theory I thought of."

"Well, as much as I would like to speed ball this little idea of yours, we will be late if we spend any more time lallygagging. If you want to be there for your princess, leaving now would be a wise idea." Setsuna coughed as the room turned amused eyes on her. "Not that I mind if we're late. I just thought it would look better if we weren't…you know, so that we at least looked like the dates you wanted us to be…"

"Rrrright…" Minako deadpanned, but lead everyone out just the same.

Do you derive joy when someone else succeeds?
Do you not play dirty when engaged in competition?

"They'll be here any minuet." Rei answered in a calm manner. There was no question she had her eye on the prize. Usagi was a wonderful girl, and despite what Minako told her, Rei wanted Usagi to be happy, and furthermore, she wanted her princess to be safe. That was something Mamoru couldn't do. He never did well with Usagi, and now Rei wanted her chance. "Would you like something while we wait?"

"Not at the moment, thank you for asking though." Usagi's hair was the same as always, however, her dress was stunning. The cream color was light and was casual. It fit properly, not too snugly, and not trashy in the least. The cut wasn't too low, but, offered a teasing glance, a cut on the side barely gracing her thigh. Her heals were small, so she wouldn't trip, but even so, they were very nice. The light makeup on her face only added to her completion. The gloss on her lips not a change in color, but rather added a shimmery finish.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the group file in as planned. They would not crowed Usagi, but keep an eye on her, each having their own little turn. Most, unlike Rei, hand only been dragged along and that was quite clear when one of the shorter women walked past them and over into the corner where the lighting was low, a much taller figure followed pursuit.

All of the Senshi had fanned out and that was something Usagi noticed quickly. "What's going on? I thought this was a girl's night out."
"It is." The look in those lavender eyes were full of something Usagi wasn't used to seeing from Rei. "We just have different views on the outing."
"One could say that." Hotaru stood by the door.
"How did you get in?" Rei hadn't been sure they would let Hotaru go. Rei was almost positive they'd force her to stay behind.

Ignoring Rei, Hotaru continued casually. "Usagi, the girls are here tonight at your call, myself included. We'd like it very much if you would spend your time with us in a manner unfitting for us as your Senshi. If nothing comes of it, we will hold no ill will; however, we have the dearest hope that perhaps you could perchance find happiness with one of us, even if it is only for merely a moment." With that she bowed, taking her leave looking quite smug although Usagi missed the glance.

"Pardon me, but may I steal you away Princess?" Ami sure was out of her element. Rei quickly decided that as the short girl in blue tresses pushed herself to the limit, likely using her ice as a way to keep herself from combustion from the blushing she was doing. Holding her hand out she winked, something that was purely criminal for some like her to be doing and Rei nodded signaling the go ahead. "I'll have her back to you soon." With Usagi's palm securely in hers she led the girl off into the corner.

Do you have a big intellectual capacity?
But know that it alone does not equate wisdom.

She led Usagi to the back, a small table with one candle and only two chairs waited. Ami was the perfect, well, gentleman despite her feminine disposition. "I'm delighted you decided to come back here with me, although I'm sure you know that my intentions are not the same as Rei's. I just didn't want to, umm, speak the things I wanted to with Rei next to me...it's awkward."

"I figured as much." Usagi nodded, taking note of the ice water. "There was something of importance you wanted to speak with me about though. Right?" She noticed Ami's lack of courage and smiled inwardly, this was the Ami she knew. Not the winking, flirty one from a moment ago. "I'm not going to judge."

"I know." Ami nodded. "The thing is, I was thinking about your current predicament, and I was thinking of the other Senshi, it's not that we all don't love you, but I know a few of us have different…goals…if you'll allow the term. I was just wondering if your goal was…well, I want you to be happy and I don't want you to think that Mamoru is out of the question either. I think personally, nothing is guaranteed for us in spite of the future we fight for. I believe it's an ideal, but the ending may not be that way, so…umm, don't base your choices on that, alright? i will support you in what ever you choose, even if it is me, but..."

"I already know that." Usagi answered simply. "You don't have to worry about me being persnickety…that's Luna's department. I'm more worried about you. You think before you act, and I personally think it's hindering you in the ways of your own feelings. Sometimes, you just can't use rationality, I want to be sure you know that…I want you to be happy to….alright? Don't worry, I already know that won't be with me."

"I will be happy one day." Ami smiled softly, the shyness she was well known for still on her features.

Do you see everything as an illusion?
But enjoy it even though you are not of it?

"I see I'm not the only one throwing in the towel." Hotaru came from around the corner. "I'll be frank my princess, it is not you I seek, but you're daughter Chibiusa. I dream well of the day that I can try my chance in the game of love, however, she is the woman of my dreams. It is with this admission that I bow out of this little competition and remain simply you're Sailor Senshi. If you seek anything from me, anything at all, I'll be happy to grant you what you want, but, my heart seeks only Chibiusa."

"That's fine Hotaru." Usagi nodded. It would be a little weird dating someone so much younger than herself, not to mention that Chibiusa also had in interest in Hotaru. "And, for the record, I do approve of you trying to court Chibiusa in the future, so feel no fears in coming to tell me as soon as it happens. Ok? I want to hear all about it."

The shortest Senshi nodded, but didn't speak, backing away from the table exhibiting the planet of her being to perfection. Setsuna stood off in the corner, her crimson eyes on Usagi and the Senshi around her, mostly glaring daggers into Rei. Then the tall blond with sandy hair came into view being the princely figure of all time, guiding Usagi to the dance floor.

"Remind me to murder Haruka." Setsuna whispered heatedly not at all pleased. "You all just had to destroy the time line." She held her head. The feeling making her ill. "I told you this was a bad idea."

"I feel the effects too remember." Hotaru growled out. "It's all I can do not to go on a rampage with my glaive right now, but this is for the best."
"You'd better be right or we are going to have one major disaster on our hands." Setsuna's voice sounded as bad as she felt.
"It'll work, it has too." Hotaru's determination was keeping her calm above all else.

Are you both masculine and feminine
Politically aware, and don't believe in capital punishment?

"Well, I must say you're getting to be quite the dancer." Haruka led flawlessly in a slow dance, gliding across the floor with practiced grace and ease that had to come from spending all of her time with Michiru. Her flaws were many, but she polished and shined like a new penny, much like Usagi herself. "However, as I'm sure you know, Michiru wouldn't be fond of sharing even if you are our future queen."

"I know that all too well, and I'd never ask her too." Usagi's words were upbeat. She loved Haruka like she would one of her cousins or something to the effect, but never as a lover. That was Michiru's place and it wasn't Usagi's place to break that up. She never would, it just wasn't right. "She's the one who makes you happy, right?"

"Usagi, you have no idea how much I love her, there are no words to describe it." Haruka began. "When your with the one you truly love, you'll give everything. I know I'm not exactly the best catch in the world, Michiru can tell you I have an endless list of faults, but I think that she makes them not so bad. It's like she calms and tames what would be my inner beast. If that makes any sort of sense."

"It does." Usagi nodded as the song ended. "It makes a world of sense."
Haruka held in a smirk as Rei walked slowly over to Usagi before she was dragged away from the Senshi of death and rebirth. "Playing referee I see."
"What was that?" Usagi thought she heard something, but she wasn't sure. "Are you alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine. You should likely see Michiru, just so that I may have her to myself the rest of the night." The tall blond made a good cover.
Sure thing." Usagi nodded as Haruka took her to where the woman in aqua sat.

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer

Unbeknownst to Usagi, there was a small little war zone back near Ami's corner of the room where Setsuna, Hotaru, and Ami were trying to keep Rei at bay.

"You'll have your chance. Relax and stop moving."
"Let go of my hair before I fire soul you in the ass."
"Actually, I don't think it's possible to do such a thing. After all, fire needs air to burn and I don't think that, umm, area could support it."
"Test me and you get to be my first victim."
"Or, you could just sit back here and I won't need to use a silence wall to hold you in place…"
"Damn you…Hotaru…let me go."
"Or what? You'll shove a charm on me? That won't work, sorry, try again."

"At least you know she isn't a threat." Setsuna spoke dryly.
"Yes, let's just be thankful for that." Ami agreed quickly. "Really, Rei, stop trying to tear Hotaru apart or she's not going to let go of you."
"I'm not going to let go anyway. She'll either try to flambe me or go chase down Usagi when now isn't the time for that." The youngest shot back.
"Fair point." Ami had to agree with that logic.
"This is a damned conspiracy." Rei was getting annoyed.
"Yes, to help you out… so shut up." Setsuna spoke too much and immediately clamped a hand over her mouth.
"That was a stupid move." Hotaru sighed, ignoring the crass look her apparent motherly figure gave her.

Meanwhile, the others just stood and watched as their princess went to go speak with Michiru. Rei was spitting nails the entire time.

Do you derive joy from diving in and seeing that
loving someone can actually feel like freedom?

"As you see, I'm taken, but that doesn't mean we can't talk and enjoy the company of others, correct?" Michiru's voice was that of music before she addressed Haruka. "Go terrorize someone else for a while." Michiru answered cryptically even though the real thing she meant was to go help deal with Rei which the blond quickly did. "Now then," She turned back to Usagi. "How about a game of cards?"

"Sounds fine to me." She watched as Michiru shuffled and dealt the hands. "I take it you aren't one to give advice on this matter?"

"Usagi." Michiru's eyes were deep pools of vast knowledge, intimidation and raw beauty, but that was part of who she was. She was Sailor Neptune, known for grace, elegance, and beauty of the sea. Close relation to that of Aphrodite, it was clear why she had the skills so readily available, much like Minako herself. "Surely I could speak about all of that, but last I recall you were the one to save the life of someone I tried to kill. It was you who believed in many things and placed light in places I could not."

She paused and returned to the cards she held in her hand before placing one on the table. "It isn't our place to preach what little we know when it is you who teach us such things. You know the answers to your heart and you also hold the key, the only thing you must decide is who you will give it to."

The card game continued much to Usagi's amusement. It was nice not to feel pressure or to be told things, and within that, Usagi found simple conversation to be much more relaxed. She was so caught up, she didn't notice the power struggle behind her between Rei, Haruka, and Makoto until one of the tables clattered over.

"Damn it Rei!" Makoto held her head in pain as the princess took in the sights not far away.
"I told you to get out of my way! Idiot!" She pulled the tall girl to stand even if she was rather angry.
"Crap." Haruka chuckled. "Remind me not to piss her off." She whispered to Setsuna who had made her way to the scene.

"Makoto, you're bleeding!" Usagi responded franticly as she saw red fall from rough, tanned hands.
"I did?" She was used to pain, so a small cut rarely affected her. "Oh, so I am. Whoops."
"Sit down." Usagi ordered. "Ami, get the first aid kit."

"No need." Hotaru's monotone voice answered as purple emitted from her eyes. "Hold still a second Makoto, I'll deal with it." The healing light took care of the scrape that had cut Makoto skin. It had healed well, only a small trace of where it had occurred remained.

Are you funny? A la self-deprecating
Like adventure and have many formed opinions

"That was dangerous." Usagi sighed out as the group dispersed, dragging Rei with them. "What on earth were you doing?"
"Scrapping with Rei." Makoto thought that had been obvious.
"Yes… but why?" Usagi hadn't figured it out.
"Umm. Yeah, no reason." Makoto sent a warning glare over Usagi's shoulder. "So, having a good time?"
"Yes, I am." The blond showed off one of her award winning smile as Makoto nodded gruffly when she saw Rei arm around Ami.
"Well, good, now pardon me, but I have a pyromaniac to kill." Makoto's eyes had been set on Ami from the start and Rei was only trying to cause trouble.

"When will she just tell Ami how she feels?" Usagi spoke quietly.
"What are you talking about?" Michiru was sure that Makoto's apparent phase had been strictly that.
"She's crazy about Ami, has been for a long time. Ami returns the feelings too you know." Usagi spoke as if it was obvious.
Minako came up from behind watching what was going on. "I'm surprised you caught onto that."
"See Usagi… and you wanted advice from us…but how can we do that when you know more than we do?" Michiru smiled self assured in her advice.

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
I figure I can describe it since I have a choice in the matter
These are 21 things I choose to choose in a lover

"You're turn…" Hotaru looked at Setsuna with an expecting eye.
"Oh hell no, you aren't pinning this on me." The mage of time and space shot back. "That's like…just no."
"Just like dating you're daughter?" Hotaru answered for her smugly.
"Will you shut up? That isn't information you should know." How Hotaru had found that out was not something Setsuna wanted to fathom at the current time.
"It's rather easy to know when you use logic. Who gave birth to her?" Hotaru loved to aggravate Setsuna…this was why.
"THE CRYSTAL!" Setsuna shouted, causing those around her stop arguing.

"It's so easy to make her annoyed." Hotaru laughed as she watched Setsuna go speak with Usagi.
"Hotaru? How did you know about that?" This was news to Haruka.

"You know how she sleep warps?"
"yeah… why…"
"She warped into my room once when I was little…funny thing is she talks in her sleep."
"Really now…" Haruka was already planning trouble now that she had that information.

I'm in no hurry, I could wait forever
I'm in no rush 'cause I like being solo
No worries and certainly no pressure in the meantime
I'll live like there's no tomorrow

"My I ask what that outburst was a moment ago…or would you rather not." The look in those innocent blue eyes demanded an explanation, and it was one Setsuna was willing to give even if she was nervous about it.

She took a deep breath and sighed. "I was in a romantic relationship with your mother during the events of the now far away past. You see, the crystal has powers that are mystic even to me, but if the love from the holder is pure, that is to say that if you love someone from the true depth of your heart and the feeling is mutual, the blessing of power among all Senshi make it possible to create a child from the crystal. That was how you, and a few of the others in fact, were born into the kingdom."

"So I assume that makes you…my other parent then." Usagi felt a little strange at first. Setsuna had been around long enough for it to be possible, but still.

"Hardly." Setsuna tried to think of the best way to explain. "I don't think of you as my child…it's just not right to think of you as anything more or less than my princess whom I must protect. The ties I have with fate prevented me from being any sort of real parental figure for you, and the same hold true now. Call it, yet another oddity if you will, but that is also why I cannot court you within this lifetime…it would be…wrong."

"One more thing I've been wondering." Usagi fidgeted slightly. "During Hotaru's rebirth…when I brought her back as a baby…does that mean."

"Yes. She could under all technicalities be considered your child. The reasoning behind the crystal is that once it has been blessed with planetary power the gift of life is given; in this case it was your desire for Hotaru to live that gave her the body of a baby and a new chance. However, the crystal could do that with anything or anyone. It is an embodiment of pure power, nothing more and nothing less. As a result, I'd think of her more like a child gifted life rather than a child of yours."

"That makes sense." Then Usagi inhaled a breath. "And the same could be done again?"

"Yes, any of the Senshi could become the second title, the other queen, and Chibiusa would still exist through the abilities of the crystal, however, that is only if every Senshi of your court willingly accept the circumstances. It is of everyone's power that she would be born of the crystal. Thus, whom ever you choose to love would need to have respect of the other Senshi for that to even occur." She was about to leave, go off and relax a bit and let the rest of them have their fun when one last question stopped her.

"Do you miss my mom?"

"With my every breath Usagi…with my every breath…"

Are you uninhibited in bed more than three times a week
Up for being experimental?
Are you athletic? Are you thriving in a job that helps your brother?
Are you not addicted?

"I guess you see what's going on…don't you." Minako's soft voice pulled Usagi out of her reverie.
"You could say that." Usagi started slowly. "But it seems like you all have someone you're interested in."
"I don't think all of us are." Minako's laughter was nervous, but Usagi had already caught on.

"You like Setsuna, but she's not ready yet." Her eyes went to the floor. "Makoto likes Ami, and they may start something soon. Hotaru has a long time to wait, and Haruka and Michiru have always had a thing going on." Then Usagi paused. "And don't think I can't tell about Rei, I've known for even longer than you have Minako."

"If you know then what's so bad about it?" Honestly, Rei was a great woman, and really protective of Usagi. Minako just couldn't see the reason why her long time friends would waver like this. "I mean, yeah you guys fight a lot and stuff, but do you like her?"

"That's why I don't know Minako." If confusion had a name, it was Usagi. "I don't know if I like her. We fight like a married couple, yes. She's there whenever I need her and ditto on the reverse, yes. But that's not enough for love…I don't want to hurt her."

"Because you don't know?" Minako pursed her lips, her brow furrowing. "Come here…" She ordered dragging her friend not all too pleasantly to the far wall, furthest from where people would see them, pressing Usagi to the wall, blue eyes locked with blue. "You'll know." With that, she pulled Usagi in for a kiss.

It wasn't the best, and both of them didn't feel any romance in it. Lust, yeah if it continued there would be something going on, but it wouldn't be out of love for someone romantically. Best friends, perhaps on occasion bordering sisterly affection, but nothing more than that. They just weren't interested in each other… not like that.

"Did you like it?" Minako questioned carefully as she released Usagi.

"Minako, I care about you...I really do, but lets not do that again. It was like kissing my best friend."

"I figured." Minako laughed, already having realized that before hand.

Usagi stood quietly as she looked past Minako to where Rei stood in the corner looking quite forlorn. Her lavender eyes were on Usagi, almost pleading, as if she had seen what had just gone on. Perhaps it was fate that caused Mamoru to pull away, and the care of the other Senshi that had sparked this plan into action, but it was Minako who had set this up. Of that, Usagi could be sure. She took one look back over to Minako, noticing the hint, even if she hadn't needed it in the first place.

Usagi walked over slowly, carefully. She didn't want to hurt Rei, but love did cause quite a lot of pain. Around the room all eyes were on her. Ami stood along side Makoto. The two of them held hands, the personal space wasn't even there anymore. It never really had been there in the first place. Usagi understood then what Ami had meant. The couple already were just that, although closeted. That was the resolve she needed.

"Rei," She fidgeted carefully. "Ummm..." Her nervous fidgeting was enough to show Usagi hadn't known what to say about all of this. "I don't know how to feel about all of this, and I'd rather not pull you into my confusion anymore than I already have but..." Usagi shook her head. Her talking wasn't going to do a bit of good. Instead she pulled Rei into an embrace and sighed, taking in the scent of cherry blossoms mixed with the smell of fire that so encompassed Rei.

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
I figure I can describe it since I have a choice in the matter
These are 21 things I choose to choose in a lover

The embrace was returned fully once Rei regained her common sense. To her nothing felt better than having Usagi in her arms, though the real fear of rejection was still there, she knew Usagi seemed inwardly at war within herself. "You know, I'm not going to force you to leave Mamoru if he makes you happy." Rei answered softly. "I just wish there was a place in your heart for me too, a place that didn't revolve around just being someone who protected you all of the time."

"You aren't just my Senshi." Usagi pulled back, the real question in those lavender eyes pulled forth an answer Usagi wasn't sure of, but offered none the less. "Mamoru has broken off to go on his own way for now. I know he and I aren't going to be in a relationship again in the future for a long time, but even though I admire, and even love what it is you all did for me tonight, I need time. What I did with Minako, I know you and I couldn't have that unless we were more, but Rei, right now, I don't know what I need." Usagi pulled Rei back into a hug carefully. "and in that, the last thing I would ever want to do, is cause you pain, simply because of my being lost."

"You will never have to be lost." Rei's tone was almost pleading. "I'd rather love you now and be hurt later, than to never have that chance Usagi. I'm not asking you to know anything, but I'm pleading that you'll let me act on my feelings, give me a chance while Mamoru has his freedom. It doesn't have to be now, but please, Give me this chance to show you how I really feel."

Usagi stood still, as if unsure. "Are you positive you want to be with me?" The doubt in the eyes that often held innocence, or some other obvious emotion clouded over and for the first time Rei saw something she couldn't say she understood. "I'm the crybaby that drives you nuts, I'm the person that makes you angry when I smudge your books. I do so many things you dislike that I feel as if I need to ask what you do like about me, what actually brings you to love me? I feel like I don't understand."

"I don't either, and that's my entire problem. I love you so much for all of those stupidly cute qualities that drive me up the wall. I hate how you love Mamoru when he treats you so harshly, even when you do get taxing on the nerves. I don't know why I care about you so much, only that I do. I feel like I should be angry about how much I care, but that's because as long as Mamoru is around I don't know what kind of chance I have, or even if you would accept me, so I kept quiet about it." The contact was too much for Rei and she wanted so much more.

She ran a hand through tresses of blond hair, so wonderful, so silky that they drew her in like velvet. "But I can't keep quiet any more Usagi. I can't not say how I feel and expect you to notice, because even if you do, you'd never act on it, and I need you in my arms, I need a chance at love. Even if I'm not an equal to you, even if I forever remain your Senshi, I just want to be by your side, and have you love me. To show me you care."

"I do care." That was the resolve of a Queen. The resolve of one who already faced so much in her life. "I do care about you. I just don't know if it's how you need me to care for you or not. I'm lost because Mamoru really hurt me this time. I understand why he did it, and why things need to be like this for a while, but it hurts, and I don't want to hurt anymore. I just don't want to cause more hurt either." Usagi sighed looking back at Rei. "But I can't deny you a chance, or deny myself a chance to figure out what will make me happy to."

"What do you want to do then Usagi?"

...curious and communicative...

Three months had passed since that night that the Senshi put love and their princess before that of fate. It was funny to think about, nothing really changed. Nobody could really notice a difference, the universe hadn't imploded, and Chibiusa was more or less, still the same according to Setsuna. With that in mind, little things went on that let everyone know just how different the future was going to be.

One of the many given situations, happened to be that Makoto and Ami were very much a couple, not that they hadn't had something before, but finally admitting it not only to each other as well as those around them finally opened the gateway to their happy future. Then you had Rei, who was starting to open her heart for Usagi very deeply. The blond was welcoming the advancement, but it had been clear for quite some time that it hadn't gotten very far.

Slow. Usagi wanted it slow. She needed time, and Rei had exhibited never ending understanding where that little detail remained a concern. Granted, it was because Usagi wanted to move very slowly that she herself had not advanced on Rei, nor had they progressed what Ami liked to call the 'Makoto stage.' having lived in that basic stage of life with Makoto for a few years already had given her insight on the matter of Usagi's hesitance.

"Usagi." Rei sighed at the look she was given. "You need to remain calm." Moving behind the blond Rei grabbed the hand that held the calligraphy brush carefully, marveling for not the first time how good it felt to have someone in such close contact. "The brush, and the ink, are easy to control as long as you don't try to force different directions." The calm look in lavender eyes held a tranquility unmatched.

"I can't see how you make it look so easy." The bad habit of giving up early overruled what Usagi had really wanted to say, and instead, she put the brush down, leaning into someone who she honestly believed would always love her. "Rei, why me?" Usagi never could figure it out. Rei had always given her many reasons, but even so, Usagi didn't always believe them. Mamoru was supposed to love her too, but where was he? As much as Usagi wanted to open up, she feared being hurt again by anyone.

"Why you?" Rei echoed with a soft voice. "Why not you?" Rei answered slightly proud of herself. "You are so many things, both good and bad and despite the faults that drive me nuts I love you Usagi. The reason I think is because to me you are real. When I go to bed at night you're Usagi, not a moon princess, you're you. I know it sounds silly, but as much as I defend you, and protect you, its because I love you...not because of who you were or what your status will be, because honestly, for me, in a small way I feel like its all just a big dream."

She then turned Usagi towards her gently. "But this right here and now? Look at you, you've got ink on your hands and arm, you still screech loud enough to traumatize a youma and in the back of my mind even if I can't justify years from now, when I have you like this, or in the mornings going to school, or studying...to me, that's all real. Every single moment of that is real to me. I don't want a story book, I want reality, and with you, I feel like I can have that."

If it was as if Usagi thought of something, a comical, yet very serous look on her face pulling her deeply into inward thoughts. The soft smile waning on the blonds' lips gave Rei a reason to look confused, but it was then Usagi sighed, embracing Rei and leaning up for what was their first very soft and gentle kiss. Innocent. That's what Usagi described it as, and rightfully so. Rei was gentle and didn't push her. This was their first kiss, and for Usagi, it just felt right. Pulling away she leaned back into the embrace of the one she wanted to call her lover.

"I think that's exactly it." Usagi answered softly. "Mamoru loved me because he was supposed to love me. You love me because you want to love me." Usagi felt the stress lift off her tired body as if years of pain melted off. "I think I finally get it. Why he left, why your here with me now, I think I finally get it. Setsuna didn't have to be so afraid...I don't think."

"And what is it exactly that you 'get', if you don't mind my asking." Rei asked trailing her hands up and down smooth arms slowly knowing that Usagi liked that. "What did you figure you I mean."

"I figured out that the love of my past was something fate told me to do, and so, Mamoru tried to make it work. We may have our past together, but our future doesn't have to be together. He may still father Chibiusa one day, but I don't think it would because he's my lover as much as it is because he's a donor. He loved that little girl, we all did. The crystal isn't as strong as it once was, so I was thinking, even if what Setsuna says is true, it may not actually work to the same strength as before, and in that event..."

"Chibiusa would still need to come to be using older more practical methods." Rei nodded she got the implication. "You think he would? Even if he wasn't the one to raise her?"

"I know he would, but I also know you and everyone else will be active parts in raising her." Usagi sighed then, thinking of her own family. "I don't want her to ever think she's alone, and you saw that possible future too. Everyone was there with her. Even if Mamoru and I aren't together and the future changes, that's one thing I want to be the same no matter what. I want her to have everyone she loves around her, and that would include Mamoru."

Rei nodded, she could see the importance of that. She was going to say something until she was cut off. "I'm alright now." Usagi spoke softly and almost unsure. "I don't know where this will take us, but I'm ready to be serous about this...I mean, really start to love again if that's what you want too Rei. I want you in my life as more than just a friend, or a Senshi title, and I think I'm ready to accept that now."

"I know your ready, because you already have." Rei answered as if she had known from the start. "You already have."

END


Nice long one shot. I've never done a Usagi/Rei pairing before, and so I did and this is what came of it. I don't know how good people will think it is, or how bad it could possibly be, but I had wanted to do it for some time, and due to the song fiction bet, I was able to use this opportunity to do so. Please leave review and let me know.