A/N: So there is a slight chance you may hate me for this! But I thought it over for quite a bit. And I have decided this will be the final chapter of PoD. However, I would like to do a nice follow up to PoD. Sometime after the holidays (maybe a little sooner, depending if I find some solid time.) There are some ideas I'd like to explore, especially with these two! So please don't give up on me! I swear, there shall be more sometime down the road! Hehehe, anyways...I'd like to thank each and everyone of you guys for the absolutely amazing support you've given this story. Far more support then even I thought there would be for it. So thank you and I hope you enjoy this final chapter.
Disclaimer: 13 times I've done this? And each and every single time, I owned nothing. So guess what? Still owning nothing!
"Minako? Y-You came…I…I mean you're here. I had a…feeling."
The blonde in question nods once. The Hikawa Shrine's courtyard feeling oddly claustrophobic.
Rei frowns, unintentionally revealing her cards a little too early.
"Something like that."
"So it was you. Store bought cookies and all."
"How did you-"
"Makoto uses the larger chocolate chips and she doesn't know how much I hate Shiitake mushrooms. Plus the others have so far, skillfully avoided bringing Usagi into this whole mess. So when a Moon Princess shows up on my doorstep in the early afternoon I have to wonder."
Minako smiles, just slightly. But with Rei standing there, broom in hand. It all feels like déjà vu to Minako. (Too much so.)
"So…Rei why am I here? The world isn't ending again, is it? No crazy witches planning to steal Princes, are there? Or maybe…"
"You're my best friend."
Minako closes her mouth then. Rei is standing there, broom in hand. But it isn't exactly the way she remembers it being. Not like the first time anyways. It's a little different now. Because Rei is standing there, broom in hand. With glassy eyes and a broken little smile.
"You're my best friend, Minako."
There's this sort of conviction in her voice that makes Minako's eyes water.
"…And I'm sorry."
Sorry doesn't erase the heartache though, it doesn't even really change how Minako feels. It's slightly more akin to jamming the final nail into a coffin.
Her voice falters, the words getting stuck somewhere in her throat. But Rei barrels on, like she normally does. When she's worried her courage may fail her.
"I wasn't aware of how you felt and I was being selfish. Caught up in my own heartache and you were there, just grinning and baring through it all. Even when you…you were in pain too."
Rei drops her broom and steps forward. The clatter echo's in Minako's ears.
"I…I want my best friend back though. The kiss can just be…"
"It's not about the kiss, really."
Minako thanks some unknown deity for giving her, her voice back. (She needs this.)
"I'm in love with you."
The itch to run away is strong, but Minako has faced down life ending situations with ease. She can at least try to survive this too. (Even if it ends much, worse.)
"The kiss was just…a dream almost come true. But right now? I just…I can't Rei. I can't just go back to before…o-or even…"
A tear slips away and the summer breeze rustles the trees. Minako Aino is Sailor Venus. A solider of justice and guardian of the Moon Princess. Yet despite all that, as one mysterious Time Senshi told her, some time ago.
It doesn't mean you can't be happy.
Minako knows, she just needs some time. To move on, to go forward, to accept her pre-determined future. But mostly so she can get over the fact she fell in love with the wrong person.
"We'll always be friends Rei, now, in the future. But I…I just need some time. To…get over this. Then maybe we can repair our friendship a-and move on."
Rei swallows the lump in her throat and pulls Minako into a tight hug.
"I…understand. I understand Minako and I'm here if you…need me."
Minako sighs at the contact, resting her head on an open shoulder. Minako cries, eventually. On Rei's shoulder, sad, uncontrollable tears. Her hope wasn't exactly lost, but somehow, Minako still feels a little empty.
It doesn't mean you can't…
Maybe it was just the combination of things, like broken hearts and friendships in need of repair. Minako Aino doesn't know exactly why she cried. She just knows her heart was thumping in that same old way it does.
Thump, thump, thump.
Painful, but probably liveable.
"T-Thank you, Rei."
So maybe, one day. If they ever happen to reach a comfortable place with each other, ever again. Minako Aino (Venus) will probably kick herself in the face. (Somehow.) If only because she cried.
A/N: So I for a story that was originally going to be four chapters in length at most, I gotta admit. I suprised even myself! Anyways I just wanted to give a quick thanks to you guys, once again. Because I was astonished by the support this whole thing received and I am truly thankful (and really, really glad!) I hope the ending doesn't leave you feeling burned. I do care about your input and it does help me develop the story a bit better. Anyways here we go...
Thanks to SR (because you've been reading my crazy stories for years even when you don't know exactly whats going on. Still loving the support though! And hey, thanks for reading this one!) Sailor-Ice (You know some of your input has helped me shift focus, fix small things, so on so forth. It has been helpful. You asked where Ami and Michiru where? Shazam! I had a new idea! Hehehe, so thank you, very much for sticking with this story!) jedicaro (You know, yogurt would be the new one for me. And suprisingly I've been hit with a lot of different food products...hmmm. Anyways ahaha, thanks for reviewing and supporting! Also, quite glad you enjoyed it so.) Honulicious (I'm still a little suprised that this 'short' story did indeed turn out longer then I thought. On the other hand, glad you've been enjoying it and I hope this ending does not leave you disappointed. As for your 'wonderings' well...hehehe I still have some ideas to mess around with. In regards to that theory of yours.) MinaRayeFan (Hope your finals went well! Thanks for reviewing, faving, supporting, all that other good stuff!) Ramada87, James Birdsong, Pious the king, and any others I might have missed. Thanks, seriously.
With that, I shall be back!