A/N: Sorry this is late, pretending that I didn't have a power outage, and that this chapter didn't get deleted twice, and that we are done with snow for at least a little while I think it's safe to type this up (yet again)...Stupid snow... I was the one who had to plow it too. Nothing but a hassle I tell you. It was constant brown outs. Ever typed a fan fiction in you're garage while snow keeps pelting you sideways purely so you could use a generator? It's quite interesting to try actually. (I refused to let a brown out make my laptop loose this chapter again) Anyway, here's the next chapter, even if it is majorly belated. Please read and review.

I don't own Sailor Moon.

Same song as chapter 1, only a different verse. Hopefully, you know the drill.


Chapter 2: Icy Eyes.

Rei walked along the city streets lost in thought. She was meeting Ami at the local park, the normal meeting spot for them on Friday mornings. Rei's classes didn't start until afternoon, and Ami had the day off completely. Looking back, life had once been so simple. They were all each other needed. On the cold nights Ami often stayed at the shrine Rei grew up in. Hand in hand, they'd walk to and from school. In battle they became a stronger duo almost instantly, Rei's protective action forcing her to become a far more aggressive fighter up front. Ami stayed back, giving their princess more cover than she had ever hand before. Makoto was always the equivalent to a human wreaking ball when provoked, but part Rei had also started to learn not to pull her punches.

Rei had become far stronger, but her ruthlessness in battle wasn't only out of serving her princess. Now it also revolved around protecting the woman she loved. Not that she didn't love all of her fellow Senshi, but she needed Ami. Back then that was the only truth Rei knew. They were either going to die in battle together, or come out victorious. It seemed wrong to think of it like that, and even Luna had a few things to say about it, still Usagi supported Rei's choices in battle, even when Ami didn't. Normally, if they ever got into a shouting match, it was Rei's conduct as a warrior, hardly ever as a lover. Rei laughed at that. Ami could be a worse spitfire than anyone really knew.

All that she wants is you

Still the park bench told a different tale. Her nose was always in a book it seemed. Although many seemed to think it was only for studying, Rei had learned that it was also recreational. Ami's mother had raised her not to want for anything, however along with that came a strict sense of measured discipline and respect for the finer things in life. Ami wasn't ever spoiled, however she was already well off. Her mother made more than enough money that any comfort would be within reach. Ami, while not necessarily a prude, hadn't ever had to worry about where she would end up in her life. Even if she didn't aspire to hold down a high paying job, her inheritance alone would offer her stable living. Never spending carelessly, and always understanding that not all would be as fortunate as she, Ami had learned early on to be thankful for the life she had been given.

With a soft gentle smile, one that didn't call attention to herself, she turned the page. Those eyes of crystallized frost sparkled on any given day. When she was contented, those eyes shimmered beautifully. When she was angry, that gaze froze you in place, afraid to move, and often unable to speak. Still, those very same eyes could cloud over in misty lust, and even call the rain in her sadness. She was a smaller girl than most, her thin frame almost breakable...almost, but not quite. She was the epitome of a little woman, one seen as presentable for any man, elegant enough for a showroom. That was what her mother raised her to be. Manners normally came before all else when she was in a social setting, her logic overtaking her emotions.

That's why when Ami did let her hair down, it was a magical thing. "Rei, what are you doing over there?" The question was posed even if her eyes didn't leave her paperback book. Instead her invitation came in the form of her call. Quiet and yet intrigued. "Something catch your eye?" She closed her book without a sound, her features relaxed and calm. She was awaiting Rei's answer. Yeah...she was good looking, Rei could see that simply by looking. The girl had on a pair of khaki pants and light blue shirt. Form fitting, but not tight by any means. She was wearing black tennis shoes with a hot blue stripe. Casual? Yes, but not overly so. Attractive? Yes, purely because of how simple it was. Anyone could look nice in a dress, but to look nice without trying was a gift... but the real question was; Did it catch Rei's eye?

"One could say that." Rei was being careful. "You always look good though Ami, you know that." She didn't want to break Ami's heart. What was she to do? She hadn't clue.
"Do I now?" Her tone was teasing, but part of her still didn't believe all the compliments she would receive from her friends, or from Rei.
"If you have to ask, you'll never know." Rei laughed lightly at the indignant look that earned her.
"There are only stupid people, and stupid ideas, but not stupid questions." Ami chided, only making Rei laugh harder. "Hey!"

All that she sees is you

"Sorry, sorry." Rei was trying to collect herself. She was honestly happy with Ami. Yet, part of it just didn't feel right. They were great together as Senshi, and the sex was great, but...something was missing. Both of them had agreed to that a long time ago. Rei calmed down her laughter as she thought seriously about that. "Let's go for a walk today. I'd like to talk to you about something." Ami's eyes grew steady, carefully measuring those words. "It isn't anything bad...yet. I just want to talk to you."

"With the way you added the 'yet' in your sentence, I'd highly doubt that it's only a conversation." Ami stood, walking hand in hand with Rei through the park. It was wonderful this time of year. The leaves made a mess on the ground, the sun was still warm, but not hot anymore. The breeze wafted freely, often taking the flora with it. "You and Makoto aren't about to fail another class are you?" That had happened last year after all. "If so, I think you should reduce the amount of classes you guys take in a year. Two easier classes, along with two harder ones would help the load you've taken I think."

"It isn't our classes." Rei again smirked, somewhat thinking ruefully to the poor grade she was currently trying to salvage for her business management class. "Good guess though." Her pace slowed down a little bit, her eyes looking to the ground. So many cracks and crevasses for ants to fall into. So many places a person could trip. Life was a lot like the pathway in the park. Always unclear until that next step. The grass wasn't smooth, it had bumps and bends. Again, so much like any uphill battle or downward high. Momentary at best, at worst not even noticeable. "I wanted to talk to you about us...and the future we are going to achieve one day."

Ami sighed. She knew the weight of those words. For any outsider, those words had a very basic meaning, for them it was a double edged sword. "The future isn't going to happen yet, at least, as far as I know." Ami thought about it a lot too. "Actually, even if we don't exactly have an answer for when it will happen, I'm more worried about how it will happen. The future isn't set in stone, as Setsuna always says, but if that's true, then I'm more afraid of what we may face." She could feel Rei's hand becoming tighter, only slightly. "However, I think you had a different direction you wanted to go with this. What is it?"

"Do you love me?" Rei's question was loaded.
"Yes. I love you, as I hope you love me." Ami nodded without a second thought.
"Is it fate though. Is it love like Usagi has for Mamoru?" Rei's question went deeper than mere love.
"No, at least not yet." Then, as if not thinking, she blurted out more of an answer. "But I thought we would wait and see if it changed."
"What if it doesn't?" Rei had often wondered that.
"Then I don't know what we'll do." Ami had too.

All that you gotta do

"We'll have to move on in the future." Then Rei sighed. "But, what if you're right. We don't know what we may face. Luna said the future would be dependent on Usagi's marriage with Mamoru." Rei sighed, this one thing had been on her mind for a while. There wasn't any good way to say it. "Setsuna says the future will be bright. I was thinking, that if the future is based on fated love, than if we aren't in love like that, than we might not be meant to be together." It hurt Rei to say it, and she knew it hurt Ami to hear it. "There are other Sailor Senshi, and best friends might I add, that we happen to be over looking. Minako and Makoto already decided that they wouldn't ever want to be with each other, so..."

Is to set her free

"We might not be fated after all." Ami finished the thought. "In fact, the probability that we aren't fated rises every year. I've noticed that as we get older we drift apart from the old ways we knew, but then again, we hadn't based this of love. It grew into love, but it hadn't started as that." Ami's logic ran her feelings on the situation, but both of them knew that inside she wanted to deny any claim Rei had. They never believed in fate, not fully. Not like Setsuna who gambled her very breath on that fact alone. "And, if we aren't fated, and assuming that we need to base our future purely upon that possible reality..." Ami trailed off. Even if they had spoken on those facts before, it still wasn't easy.

"You see my point then." Rei sighed as Ami leaned into her side.
"I always have. I've thought about this particular issue many times." Even through the assent, Ami held on tightly.
"What do you think would happen if fate is they key." For Rei it was a statement, yet, Ami found it to be a question.
"You would likely end up with Minako, and I would likely end up with Makoto." Filled with lament, uncertainty clouded Ami's words.

That's what

"I don't think I could ever date Minako purely because she is my best friend." Rei sighed. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I've thought about it, just like you used to think about Makoto. I just never wanted to pursue it any further than that night." Rei paused, licking her lips. She could still remember the taste of the booze. That night had been hazy, but even so, she remembered enough of it to last her lifetime. "Minako...she really is a free spirit. I don't think I could cope well with that. Besides, I thought we agreed to not let fate dictate our lives. Still, even if that was what we agreed on, we shouldn't keep this up."

That's what

"Then what do you want to do?" Ami's anger peeked through her soft voice. "Just let go of everything, purely on a whim?" Those eyes that could often hold such an odd warmth filled with something somewhat rare. "We are warriors for the future, servants for Usagi first, I know that. Aside from that, I wouldn't wish a life of pure servitude on anyone. Not even for someone as wonderful as Usagi. We are living breathing creatures Rei. Human beings with thoughts and feelings all our own. Isn't that what we decided to live for? For what we want too? For how we feel as well?"

What you do about me

"That's why." Rei pressed forward. "It's because of my thoughts that I want to break up. It's because of my human feelings that I don't know if we should. I've seen it Ami. I've now gotten the chance to see what you saw. I don't know if it could be fate or not. But...part of me feels like as much as I need you, I want more. I'm a greedy person, I'll admit that. You should admit that too...We deserve better than only a hope, and a randomly placed dream without rhyme or reason. We know it will happen, but anything beyond that remains unanswered. I can't keep lying to myself."

Ami broke away, as if she had been slapped. Her eyes lost in confusion. "So, you really want this to be the end then?" her disbelief clearly written all over her features.

"Right now, I can't say I know." Rei laughed bitterly, wanting to jump off the nearest bridge for her indecisiveness. "But, I can say this. We deserve a chance to be happy. Right now, I'd like to think of things as keeping our minds, and our hearts open for anything. You and I didn't sleep together out of love, I didn't take you in my room that first time out of passion. We we were afraid, we were still hurting. You still blamed yourself for what you knew was suicide back then. It was our lives as the Senshi we were that left deeper wounds than Usagi could heal, so we fixed them ourselves the best way we knew how. It may not have been right Ami, but it was all we knew how to do at the time. I just, I need time to decide if back then was really what should have happened. You...you should do the same."

"Is this because if fate?" Ami felt like it was. Even though she was angry, she could see the fear in Rei. The feeling of loss within those lavender eyes. Part of her would regret this, but an even larger part would have always wondered. Rei was like that a lot, always a mystical being in that way.

"Apart of it is." Allowing her voice to shake, Rei spoke more volumes than words. "But...an even larger part...that's different." Rei pulled out a lighter, flicking it as that small flame burned before the wind blew it out. She tossed it to Ami, watching the shorter girl catch it. "We aren't fate. We won't ever be fate Ami. If I've got to grow up into a woman that's going to kiss the ass of a future queen until the day I die, I think I deserve an opportunity to find out what fate is. I used to think I could write my own life story, but now? Now I think that even if fate doesn't control everything, it has me by the shirt collar."

She turned then, walking away, leaving Ami in stunned shock and awe. The smaller girl hadn't had time to fully register what Rei had said, but even if her ears couldn't completely hear it, her eyes saw the note tapped onto the side of the metal lighter. -finding fate- That was Rei's new mission. Not only as Sailor Mars, but as Hino Rei. Ami shook her head, holding back her tears. There came a time everyone had to choose between different paths, Ami herself had already faced many roads like that. This was merely another one.

As Sailor Mercury she had made choices Ami Mizuno wouldn't ever make. Still, Ami could remember a time, when she had only been fourteen, that she allowed a choice. It may have been fate back then, but it was still the fact she was the one who took that path. She had resented herself later, almost about to commit that same crime, if only so that she wouldn't be forced to continued on her intended destiny. Rei had saved her then, as a human with warmth. Yes, they were Sailor Senshi before all else...

No, it was because they were Senshi, that this time, all else had to come first.

TBC~


Sorry on the long wait. Insanity at it's finest, I know. Hopefully the snow and wind will go aggravate someone else for a while so that I can use my internet in peace.