Disclaimer: I own nothing. Setsuna and Minako don't belong to me, and sadly are not a canon couple as much as I wish they were.
Author's Notes: Dear God, I haven't written SetsMina in forever! Apologies in advance if either or both are OOC; I haven't written them in awhile, much less together, and I was sort of going along with the flow as the idea came to me. Originally was just supposed to be a bit of a humor piece, but some drama sneaked in while I wasn't looking.
Hide and Seek
"Get your own closet."
Setsuna gives Minako an unimpressed, 'no way in hell' look from her little nest of boxes; it's the best she can manage in such dark, cramped space. From the outside the closet of Rei's shrine looked large and warm and inviting, a perfect place to hide when Usagi suggested a game of hide and seek.
Quite frankly, Minako is impressed Setsuna could even fit at all; in the small space, the blonde is so close to the green-haired woman that their knees would be touching, if Setsuna was sitting down. In fact, that Setsuna can even stand up at all is a testament to how she works around problems, even if her shoulders are hunched a bit and if she moves too suddenly, she'll bang her head on an overhanging plank of wood.
"I'm serious, Sets-chan. I saw it first."
The senshi of time snorts, still unimpressed. "Don't move around too much, then. If I go out now, Small Lady will get me for sure."
Minako feels the urge to ask why they're even having this discussion in the first place, but they both know why; because of hide and seek. One would then probably ask why hide and seek is involved in the first place, and the blonde would put that blame squarely on Usagi's shoulders and the power of her puppy dog eyes.
Damn Usagi's puppy dog eyes.
"Fine, fine." Minako waves a hand in the air, smiling in acceptance. "The Goddess of Love permits you to stay in her closet, then. Only until you're found, of course."
A soft snicker from the mess of boxes is her only response, but it makes Minako relax a little bit and distracts her from the thought that she's currently in a small, dark space with Setsuna. From the thought that she's currently closer to the tall, dark-skinned woman than she has been in months, not since that time—
She stops that train of thought an instant before it forms, banishing the memory into the cloudy corners of her mind. Now isn't the time to remember her private farewell to Yaten, and that when it was all said and done Setsuna was there, just there and so understanding, so sweet-
I thought we were stopping that train of thought.
She growls and slams her head back against the wall, trying to kill her thoughts even as pain sings a heated song through her skull and down the back of her neck. She sneaks a look at Setsuna, wondering if the older woman noticed, but the green-haired senshi is currently involved in counting the tiles of the ceiling and is lost in her own little world.
… She really wishes she could be more like Setsuna, sometimes. She never seems to remember that moment, soft lips and warm hands and—
STOP THAT THIS INSTANT.
Her head can't take more impact with the wall, so Minako blows out a long breath and slumps against the cool concrete, wondering what to do now. She heard Chibi-Usa counting close by before, but it seems for now the little girl has drifted away, and the only ones in the area are her and Setsuna.
The silence is driving her mad.
Garnet eyes flash in the darkness as the older woman looks at her. "Yes?"
"Do you like anyone?"
… Suddenly, the silence seems far more appealing.
"Do you like anyone?"
Setsuna's thoughts come to a sudden, screeching halt. She's been calmly, determinedly avoiding looking at Minako this whole time and was actually congratulating herself on a job well done, and then the girl asks her question and her composure crumbles like a house of cards.
She should lie. That would solve the whole problem, really.
She should lie, but her lips aren't moving and her brain isn't functioning and why is Minako still looking at her?
Think of something, think of anything, just get her to stop looking, dammit.
"Uh," Setsuna repeats, and licks her lips as she wildly scrambles for something to say. Minako is still looking at her, her face unreadable in the dark but her blue eyes gleaming and uncertain, and she really shouldn't be afraid of a sixteen-year-old girl regardless of their past history together.
"… I haven't thought about it," she says at last, and thinks it's a decent response. It's a half truth, at any rate; she hasn't thought about it much lately, what with trying to suppress memories of one night and trying to avoid Minako without getting Michiru and Haruka curious about the whole situation.
"I see," Minako says, in the way of someone who sees everything and nothing at the same time, and for some reason Setsuna winces and shrinks a little further into her boxes. The blue-eyed girl absently taps her fingers against her knee. "I guess you've been pretty busy."
Setsuna latches onto it like a drowning woman, nodding in agreement.
Minako tilts her head back, gazing up at the ceiling, before lowering her gaze and grinning. "You should depend on me, Sets-chan! I could probably hook you up with someone if you really wanted to try."
"There's no need for that," the senshi of time murmurs, and desperately prays Minako will just let the subject die.
It's not that she hasn't liked people before; she's liked plenty of people over the ages, in a romantic sense and otherwise. It's just that she hasn't thought about it much in the last few months, because she's been far too busy trying to bury memories she shouldn't have of Minako's hands, Minako's lips, Minako's body.
That's it. When I get home, I'm banging the Garnet Rod over my head hard enough to give me amnesia.
Minako is standing up now, leaning against the bare wall with her arms crossed loosely over her chest. She's fallen silent, and Setsuna is forever grateful for it.
But now she's curious.
"What about you, Minako?"
"Do you like anyone?"
There's something oddly soothing in the panic that fills Minako's eyes.
In retrospect, she really should have seen that coming.
Setsuna asks one question and her eyes ask a thousand; panic floods through Minako's body like wildfire. She doesn't know how to respond, especially after the older woman's neutral answer, and in their little game of cat and mouse, she really doesn't want to be the mouse.
But she has no answer. She can lie and say no, let the subject die down; but for how long? They're both avoiding the major issue, and quite frankly it's gotten so big that at this rate it'll shove them both out of the closet.
So she takes a deep breath, steels herself, and speaks softly, honestly. "Yes. I do."
Setsuna blinks, startled; she wasn't expecting that. "Huh. Well." She shifts once more in her nest of boxes, shutters closing over her eyes.
Several minutes of silence pass; finally, though, the senshi of love bites the bullet. Setsuna clearly won't, and one of them needs to address this matter. "Sets-chan?"
"How long are we going to keep pretending nothing happened?"
The silence this time is deafening; Minako's fingers dig into her arm, nearly piercing through her school uniform, but giving her thoughts a voice has lifted a large weight off her shoulders.
A rustle of movement from the boxes; the sun must be setting outside, since the darkness of the closet is deepening. Setsuna's sigh is soft and weary. "I was following your lead, Minako."
That one hurts. Minako doesn't know why, but it does. She looks up. "Can I ask you one more thing?"
"Did it… was it nothing to you?" Her voice softens, cracks just a little bit. "Because it was something to me. And if it was nothing to you, I'll just forget it happened and we'll both move on."
Trust the senshi of love to ask all of the hard questions.
Setsuna doesn't reply right away. It really shouldn't be this hard. She's had sex before, enough to know when sleeping with one person means something to her and when sleeping with another person doesn't. But Minako is one of the most complex people she's known in a long time, and answers don't come easily.
She inhales, braces herself. "It meant something to me," she says at last, neutrally. "I won't lie and say it didn't, because it did."
Minako's eyes snap up, meet hers. "So why—"
"You were scared. You didn't tell me—" Setsuna bites off the accusation before it leaves her lips, amends it. "I didn't know you were still a virgin, Minako. You were scared, and I thought I'd messed up, so when you started to act like it hadn't happened I went along with it."
"I was scared." Minako's voice is still soft, but now it's nervous, possibly a little angry; at herself or Setsuna, the older woman can't tell. "But it wasn't because of you! I liked it! I just…" She trails off helplessly, then groans. "Love and I don't exactly get along, Sets-chan. I felt something for you and I panicked."
Setsuna is still kind of reeling over how casually Minako drops the word, even if she hasn't exactly implied that she's in love with her—yet. She tries to find her footing on shaky ground, and partially succeeds enough to keep breathing before she speaks again. "So…"
"I wasn't scared of you," the younger senshi repeats quietly. "Never of you. I'm sorry. I should have said something sooner."
"No, it's my fault too. I should have asked."
Minako smiles shakily; tears glimmer in her eyes. "So we're both to blame?"
Setsuna chuckles. "I guess so."
They both laugh at that; not loud or particularly happy, but for the first time in months Setsuna can breathe properly again.
Again, silence. The closet is now pitch black; a part of Minako wonders if they've been completely forgotten, possibly warped into their own little world where no one else can find them.
It's an oddly appealing thought.
The silence this time is calm, and warm, and not at all bothersome; Minako doesn't want to break it. But she has one more question on her mind. "Sets-chan?" she calls.
"Do you think…" She trails off, hesitant, not sure if she should continue. What if Setsuna says no? If there's one thing Minako has learned in life, it's that romance doesn't particularly like her.
You never know until you try.
She takes a deep breath, meets the older senshi's gaze, and speaks.
"Do you think we can try again?"
"Do you think we can try again?"
Setsuna is quiet for a long moment; the question hangs in the air, then slowly fades away.
She should say no. She knows she should. She's older than Minako, more scarred, more broken; she's seen her future and she knows what her life will probably be like, in terms of a rough sketch. A miracle will allow her to live, but her life will never be easy, and she shouldn't subject Minako to that.
She should say no.
She cocks her head to the side. "Do you want to try again, Minako?"
Minako smiles sheepishly; a small smile, a crooked one, but a true one nonetheless. "I want to."
She really should say no. She really, really should.
"One more try won't kill us, I think."
There's stunned silence; Minako stares at her in disbelief. Setsuna smiles.
The next instant Minako is a blur of red and gold movement, slamming into the senshi of time, her arms clamping around her neck and kissing her, hard and hot and wild; Setsuna jerks in surprise, bangs her head against the support beam, and goes crashing into the boxes at her back, completely losing her balance. She tries to brace one hand to break her fall, and gets a small crack in the bones of her wrist for her trouble.
But Minako is still kissing her, and somehow the pain isn't so bad. The senshi of love pulls away after what feels like an eternity and a second and smiles weakly, sheepishly. "Sorry," she whispers. "I forgot where we were."
Setsuna chuckles; a low, husky sound, slightly breathless from the fall and the kiss. "I noticed."
"Are you okay?"
Setsuna shrugs, because somehow the pain doesn't seem so bad when she has one arm around Minako like this, their chests pressed together and their legs tangled. Minako's fingers gently brush her aching wrist, bring it up, and the younger girl kisses it gently to soothe it.
The closet door slams open, spilling light into the deep darkness.
"I FINALLY FOUND YOU, PUU!"
The other senshi never do learn exactly what happened in that closet, only that Minako came out of it glowing and Setsuna looked happier than any of them could ever remember her being, and the next day the two of them were holding hands.
So yeah, there you go. Setsuna and Minako in a closet. Let the jokes commence!
A brief summary of the backstory, because I'm lazy and probably won't ever expand on it: After the events of Stars, Setsuna and Minako grow closer and closer, to the point where they do actually sleep together. Mixed messages are sent, confusion is had by all, and by the end of it both of them have backed off from the situation and don't know how to resolve it in spite of having feelings for each other. Then they get trapped in the same closet during a game of hide and seek.
Read and review, please!