Venus Rising

Sailor Mars growled in frustration as she dodged another projectile, struggling to find a target for her own fire arrows as her heels slipped on the soaked, treacherous grass. Whatever creature their enemy was, it was nearly as good an archer as Mars, its arrows slicing through the downpour with ease. Only three of the senshi had been available to respond to the reports of a dark archer in the park, but Neptune was on her way to assist her teammates. Their opponent remained hidden in the darkness of the trees, using the shadows of the failing sunlight and growing storm to cloak its movement as it fired yet another barrage of spike-like arrows at the trio.

To her left, Uranus growled something that sounded like a curse, her sword held before her as she tried to get a bead on their opponent, the rain clouding her vision. Venus used her power to keep the area lit, but even her bright light wasn't enough to reveal their opponent. "This is getting us nowhere," Mars growled, lowering her bow as she pushed her soaked bangs out of her eyes. "I'm freezing, I can't see anything, and my powers don't work very well in this downpour. It would rain while Mercury and Neptune are indisposed!"

"We haven't had an attack in months; who knew it would happen in this kind of storm?"

At Venus's words, Uranus mumbled something apologetic, swinging her sword down in another wasted attack as arrows whizzed past her ear. "How can it see in this weather?"

"I don't think it's seeing us," Venus replied, swinging her chain in a wide arc as she blocked another salvo with its golden links. "I think it's hearing us by tracking the rain falling. It's using echolocation."

"That's absurd."

"No, it makes sense, Mars. It never managed to injure any of the humans before the storm started, but now it's only missing us because of our senshi speed. Is there a way we can confuse its senses so we can get close enough for a decent attack?"

"If the rain stops." Venus lowered her chain for a moment, blue eyes staring into the trees as she tried to anticipate their opponent's next attack. Mars spared her leader a glance, shocked to see that the blonde was visibly shaking, her muscles failing her as the cold sapped what little strength she had after such a strenuous battle. Venus had arrived first, evacuating the civilians and holding the archer's attention until her teammates arrived. She might be their leader, but Venus did not have the endurance for protracted battles that her warrior senshi seemed to have in spades. Uranus and Mars could dance with this enemy for hours more and wait for the rain to stop, but Venus would never make it.

"Well we can't wait for that," Mars replied scathingly, letting her anger at their enemy color her tone. She always used anger to cover her weakness, and right now her concern for Venus was a weakness she could not afford. "What else do you suggest?" The trio leapt away from another volley, Venus slipping in the mud as she landed, just barely able to keep herself from falling. She was tiring faster than Mars thought.

"You two distract it with long-ranged attacks and I'll try to get close enough to use my chain to capture it. From this distance I can't get a good shot."

Mars shrugged and readied her bow, waiting for Uranus to fire off her World Shaking attack before pelting the shadows with her flaming arrows. Venus coiled her chain around her waist and dashed for the trees, blue eyes searching for their opponent. As Venus released her chain, Mars gasped, falling to her knees on the grass in the throes of an urgent premonition. Sailor Venus stands in the shadows of the trees, blue eyes full of denial as she slowly falls to the ground, a single black arrow protruding from her chest. The life leaves her eyes before her body even hits the ground.

"No," the Senshi of Flame gasped, letting her bow fade as she sprinted toward her leader, cursing the fear filling her frame. Uranus, having no idea why Mars had decided to run, followed her regardless, trusting the Flame Senshi's premonition ability as much as she trusted her own Michiru's. Mars watched as Venus turned, confusion in her blue eyes as she lowered her chain. From the trees, a pair of blood-red eyes glowed maniacally as Mars reached Venus, a single black arrow flying from the shadows toward the pair of senshi.

Venus stared up into Mars's amethyst eyes, watching in shock as the raven-haired woman jerked from the impact of an arrow that had been meant for the blonde. Mars's hands, wrapped around Venus's upper arms, clenched uncontrollably, the warrior struggling to keep her pain from showing in her eyes. "Rei," Minako whispered, struggling to catch the other woman as she fell to the ground. Uranus slipped between them an instant later, helping Mars into a kneeling position as she glanced at the arrow embedded in the smaller woman's shoulder blade.

"An inch or two lower and it might have hit your heart," Uranus whispered, realizing why her teammate had run off so suddenly. When Minako gasped, the Senshi of Wind turned to her with determination in her emerald gaze. "Venus, you have to catch that creature. Leave me to help her." Mars looked up at Uranus, a request mixed in with the pain filling her amethyst eyes. Don't let her see my weakness.

Minako struggled to pull herself together, worry for the woman she cared about more than she could admit warring with her senshi sense of duty. "Are you sure?"

"It's barely a scratch," Uranus assured the blonde, raising her sword to block another arrow as she pulled the Martian closer with one arm. "Neptune is here; let her help you find the enemy."

Venus nodded, rising to her feet, glancing out into the storm to find that the aqua-haired outer senshi had arrived. Neptune, needing no guidance, raised her Aqua Mirror with one hand as she struggled to control the raging storm with the other. The light from her mirror illuminated something in the trees, and Venus ran off, chain in her hand once more.

Haruka turned her attention to Rei, the younger woman no longer able to hide her pain. "How bad is it?"

Haruka glanced at the shaft protruding from Rei's back, sighing as she estimated the length. "Bad," she admitted. "It's in pretty deep, but it definitely lodged in your shoulder blade. The bone might have cracked from the impact, but you can't heal until we remove the arrow."

"Then pull it out," Rei whispered, grateful for the rain washing away the blood pouring from her wound. Without the rain, Minako might have seen how badly she was injured, and Rei could never afford to worry her leader. She cared for the blonde too much for that, even as she cursed the weakness of those feelings.

"If I just pull it out, the bleeding could be more than you can handle. We should get you to a doctor . . ." Haruka trailed off as Rei raised her free hand, flame dancing across her skin despite the rain still falling from the sky. "You can't."

"I have to," Rei hissed, closing her eyes against the agony pulsing through her body. "We have to help her kill this thing before it kills her."

"You noticed that she was losing strength."

"She's not the warrior that you and I are," Rei murmured. "She can't keep fighting for hours in this weather like we can. Even your wife . . . we can't leave them to battle alone. Pull the arrow out, Uranus."

The blonde senshi nodded and wrapped her gloved fingers around the base of the arrow, watching as Rei reached around her shoulder and held her hand near the wound. Eyes clenched shut in preparation for the pain she would feel, Mars nodded, biting back a scream as Uranus jerked the arrow free from her body in one smooth motion. Without giving herself a moment to reconsider, Mars touched her flaming hand to the open wound, her fire power cauterizing the wound. The smell of burning flesh vied with that of fresh blood, and Mars pulled her hand away, collapsing into Uranus's arms.

"How does it look?" Rei's voice was barely a whisper, but her pride would not let her faint even after causing herself so much pain.

"The bleeding has stopped," Uranus murmured, secretly amazed that the younger woman had neither screamed nor fainted as her skin burned. "Can you stand?"

"I have to," Mars replied curtly, letting Uranus help her to her feet. She glared at her left hand hanging limply at her side, raising her head to stare into the rain that refused to stop. "I can't fire my bow like this."

"Ranged attacks aren't working, anyway." Uranus closed her eyes for a moment, sensing her partner nearby as she wrapped one arm around Mars's waist. Without giving the other woman time to protest, the Senshi of Wind jumped, carrying her injured friend to Neptune's location.

The landed at the base of one of the largest trees in the park, Mars gasping in pain as darkness threatened to cloud her vision. Neptune appeared on her other side, supporting her until she could stand on her own. A flash of gold in the upper branches of the tree caught their attention, and all three looked up as a dark shape fell to the ground in front of them, a golden chain wrapped tightly around its form.

Fury burned away her pain as Mars stepped forward and grabbed the creature by the throat, flames covering her form as she focused her rage into the hand wrapped around their enemy's neck. "You tried to kill her," the senshi growled, watching in satisfaction as her fire enveloped the archer, turning it into a pile of ash.

Venus jumped down from the tree, retrieving her chain as she watched Mars warily. "Are you alright?"

The raven-haired woman nodded, grateful for the rain that hid her pain. "The injury was minor. You should call everyone and tell them that the threat is gone."

"Do you want me to walk you home?"

Haruka watched Rei stiffen at the suggestion, knowing that the Flame Senshi could never hide her pain for that long from the blonde. "It might be better if I drove her home; even if the injury isn't that bad, walking for such a distance might make it worse."

Michiru picked up on her partner's concern, turning to Minako and smiling gently. "My car isn't far from here; you should ride home with me so we can get started setting up for the party."

"Before Usagi comes over to help and breaks everything?" Minako allowed herself a smile, forcing away her concern for Rei. The storm finally began to slow, the rain fading to a drizzle as Uranus took Mars's arm and led her away. As soon as the pair were out of sight, the rain finally stopped and the remaining two senshi let their transformations fade. Since they had transformed before being caught in the downpour, their civilian forms were dry and warm.

Michiru reached out and touched Minako's arm, surprised to find tears in her friend's blue eyes. "What is it?"

"She knew that arrow was coming," Minako whispered. "She jumped in front of me."

"Are you surprised? Mars has always protected everyone she cares about regardless of her own suffering."

"It's not that," Minako whispered, struggling to put her feelings into words. "When she jumped in front of me, I looked into her eyes. She was afraid."

Michiru narrowed her eyes as she considered the blonde's words, silently leading the younger woman to her car. She waited until they were both seated and ready to leave before she spoke again. "Haruka was afraid once," she whispered, starting her car and pulling away from the park. "It was that day in the Marine Cathedral when Eudial told her that I held a talisman." Everything the aqua-haired woman was unwilling to say hung between the pair, but Minako, self-proclaimed Goddess of Love, understood. That was the day that Haruka realized she loved Michiru and could never live without her. It was the day that Michiru realized the same thing and sacrificed herself for Haruka, despite their mission and their promises to each other.

"Do you think she loves me?"

Haruka let her transformation fade, slipping her jacket off and pausing beside her car. "Drop your transformation for a moment so you dry off," the blonde directed, knowing that Rei needed to stay in her Sailor Mars form as long as possible to speed her healing. The raven-haired woman nodded, leaning on Haruka's car for support as she let her transformation fade. She struggled to control her trembling muscles and transform back, but she was too cold . . .

Haruka rested one hand on Rei's back, far from her injury, and summoned her wind power. "Rei-chan, concentrate on your fire power and let me help you." She felt the other senshi respond, too weak to use her power to warm herself but able to send some of it to Haruka. The blonde pulled the fire power from Rei and mixed it with her wind, blanketing the smaller woman in warm air, raising her body temperature enough to finally transform back into Sailor Mars. Haruka took her jacket and wrapped it around the raven-haired woman, helping her into the car as she walked to the opposite side.

As they pulled away from the park, amethyst eyes examined the tomboy blonde curiously. "What was that? I didn't know we could combine our powers like that when we aren't transformed. Where did you learn that?" Haruka cleared her throat and tightened her fingers on the stick shift. It was the closest she ever came to blushing, and Rei suddenly understood exactly where the blonde had learned that trick. "So that storm?" Haruka nodded, emerald eyes steadfastly focused on the road. "You and Michiru?"

"She's been out of town for a month," the blonde murmured. "We might have gotten carried away." Rei snorted, adjusting the jacket wrapped around her slender form. "What did you see before you ran off?"

The miko froze at the question, the pain from her wound flaring up as she remembered her vision. "An arrow in her heart."

"Your voice was full of fear."

"I saw her death," Rei whispered, struggling to keep her emotions under control. "I couldn't risk losing her."

"Why?" She and the miko had a great deal in common, both unable to express their emotions as easily as their friends could, both regarding emotions as a weakness they could not allow in the heat of battle.

"How much do you remember about your past?" It wasn't even close to an answer, and Haruka wondered why the other senshi had changed the subject.

"A lot. I remember that my mother died when I was born, my father didn't take much interest in me after I started dressing and acting like a man, and I ran away from home to meet the rest of you. Most of the rest is cloudy, more sensations than anything, but I do remember loving Michiru and I remember Beryl and her youma destroying everything in that final battle."

"The only thing I can remember clearly is sitting in my mother's throne room as the most beautiful woman I had ever seen walked in. She was the princess of Venus, and she had performed some sort of ritual to find her soul mate. She went to my planet because her soul mate was a Martian. I was supposed to introduce her to all of the available noble men on my planet, and she would determine her soul mate. Venusians could sense that through their hands. The last thing I remember is my mother saying 'And above all, don't touch her', and I think I disobeyed."

"Do you think she is your soul mate?"

"I . . . recently my feelings for her have been changing. I'm not sure what they are changing into, but I care for her more than I ever have before. That arrow could have killed me as easily as her, but I didn't care. If one of us was fated to die today, I would prefer that it be me."

It was a sentiment that Haruka understood all too well. "You love her." It wasn't a question, since Haruka knew that Rei would not be able to answer, but the miko's feelings were clear. She didn't answer the statement, not even with a nod, but her question was answer enough.

"Do you think she loves me?"

Minako glanced up from the table she was cleaning as a very familiar bundle of blonde energy exploded into the Outers' mansion. Minako smiled at her overly excited princess, waving away her apologies for not being able to make it to the fight. "We were fine on our own," Minako smiled, letting Usagi hug her. "We knew you were on your way back from Kyoto with your family and couldn't come. Uranus and Mars responded to my signal and Neptune came later to help us mop up."

"What was it?"

Minako shrugged. "Some archer youma. It was using the rain to track us, but we managed to catch it and Mars incinerated it."

"Good!" Usagi ran to the door to greet Ami as the young genius entered the living room, looking calm despite the difficult day she had been through at the hospital. Minako forced herself to push her own exhaustion away and show her normal hyper demeanor to her friends. Haruka, Setsuna, and Michiru joined the three women in the living room and began to set up the house for a party they were planning later in the week. Other than the youma attack earlier in the day, the senshi rarely gathered all together anymore, and Setsuna had suggested the party weeks ago. Mechanically, Minako assisted with the preparations, but her unresolved feelings for Rei were taking their toll on her. She doubted she would be able to keep up appearances for much longer.

Makoto stared at the pattern in front of her, writing measurements along the edge of the paper and glancing at the fabric piled on her sewing table. She had offered to help Setsuna make a few dresses for a party the Outers were planning, and with Ami helping Michiru redecorate their mansion, she had plenty of time to work tonight.

Or so she thought.

The strident call of her doorbell jolted Makoto from her thoughts, and she carefully placed her box of bobbins on the floor before rising to her full height and glaring at the door. Very few of her friends would bother her at her home, and even fewer were free after dark since graduating high school. With everyone busy most of the time, and almost no enemies to fight as Sailor Senshi, parties at the Outers' mansion were the only time they all gathered. Reaching for the handle, Makoto jerked the door open.

She had not expected this.

"Hi, Mako-chan. So nice to see you tonight. Go to a bar with me."

Haruka. The thunder senshi sighed and shook her head, gesturing for her wind counterpart to enter. "Michiru threw you out?"

The tomboy grunted and glanced down at her boots, looking for all the world like a child who had disobeyed her mother. "She didn't like the way I was setting up for the party. She said my . . . image was too masculine. She knew that when she told me I had to help her! Anyway, she told me that I should leave the women to the decorating."

Makoto snorted at that, wondering if she had anything to drink in her fridge. "She let Usagi and Minako stay but kicked you out? You must have been doing a terrible job."

"Interior design and Ten'ou Haruka don't mix so well," the blonde admitted, glancing up at Makoto with hopeful emerald eyes. "Go to a bar with me?" At least this time she had asked a question rather than demanding.

The brunette sighed and waved one hand helplessly at the pile of cloth on her table. "I have to finish Ami's dress tonight so I can make mine and Usagi's tomorrow. I was hoping to make good use of this night since Ami is over at your house."

Haruka kicked at the carpet with one high-heeled boot, hands buried deep inside her jacket pockets. She had actually dressed up a bit, wearing black leather pants with a bit of flare at the bottom and a tight gold vest zipped up just past her breasts over a black undershirt. The sleeveless vest was longer than her usual attire, falling about mid-thigh and much shinier than Makoto would have expected from the other senshi. The outfit made her look almost . . . feminine, and she realized with a start what Haruka wanted.

"No." Her voice was firm, unyielding, and Haruka looked up in shock.

"What? Mako-chan, she won't let me go alone anymore."

"It's not my fault that your last visit to that bar got you in trouble with your wife! I went with you last time because Ami convinced me, but I am not here to be your chaperone."

"I just want you to go as my friend." Her emerald eyes darkened with disappointment, and Makoto almost felt bad for judging the blonde.

"You want me to go because Ami mentioned to Michiru at some point that I don't tend to drink at lesbian bars and I didn't let you drink too much or hit on random strangers that one time I went with you. Now Michiru seems to think that your flirting is kept in check when I'm around, which both of us know isn't true." Haruka pulled her hands out of her pockets and stood up to her full height, the action pushing her breasts forward slightly, making it obvious that not only had she not tied them back as she often did to hide her gender, but – "are you even wearing a bra?"

She shrugged, something in her emerald eyes glinting mischievously. "Sometimes I find them unnecessary. Unlike you, I don't have to wear one all the time. Besides, Minako lent me this shirt and vest, and she said they work better when I don't wear anything under them."

"Your feminine moods disturb me when they surface," Makoto admitted, feeling her resolve wavering slightly. When Haruka felt "girly", she rarely drank and all of her flirting tended to stay verbal. She was clearly bored and just wanted something to do while her wife and Makoto's girlfriend worked on the mansion, so maybe it would be a good idea to accompany the wind senshi to her favorite bar. "I'm not even going to ask if you're wearing underwear. Fine, I'll go with you, but no groping any strangers!" She glanced at Haruka's long-fingered hands, remembering the last time the blonde had been plastered. "And don't grope me. Give me five minutes to put on something decent."

Makoto emerged from her bedroom a few minutes later, wearing a low-cut green shirt with decorative blue lacing on the side and a mid-length ruffled skirt to match. She slipped into a pair of low-heeled sandals, not in the mood to tempt high-heels, and glared at her guest. "Let's go before I change my mind."

"Thanks, Mako-chan." Haruka poured every bit of her "sexy" into her voice, making the thunder senshi blush despite her best efforts. Laughing, the blonde led the way to her car.

Makoto had to admit that it felt good to get out of her house. She had been laboriously sewing dresses for most of the day, and she wanted to be refreshed before she started on Ami's. Watching a very feminine Haruka charming every woman in the bar was certainly relaxing, and it didn't hurt that most of them were quite attractive. While nowhere near the insatiable flirt that Haruka could become, Makoto was not above appreciating a beautiful woman. Ami understood, and never yelled at her, unlike Michiru who was much more possessive of her wife.

Haruka abandoned her group of fans, smiling at Makoto as she rejoined the thunder senshi at the bar. "You have no idea how happy I was when you came out a few months ago. Now I have someone to hang out with."

Makoto rolled her eyes and sipped her drink. She didn't remember what it was, but there was a lot of fruit and very little alcohol so she was in no danger of getting drunk. "You always hung out with Michiru."

"I love Michiru. It's different. When she's around, I can't see anything except her, so it's hard to relax and practice my flirting."

"You have to practice?"

"It's just like swordplay; the more I use the skill, the better I become. Then I can use it on Michiru when she's angry and not get in as much trouble."

"I see." She glanced at Haruka's drink, something that was also fruity and entirely more girly than the blonde would normally touch, freezing when she noted an odd reflection in the glass. Turning toward the dance floor, she gasped in shock at the sight that met her eyes. Haruka followed her gaze, whistling appreciatively.

In the center of the room, swaying to the music with her eyes closed, attracting the attention of every woman around, Minako danced. Her pale pink shirt barely covered her breasts, revealing her toned abs and a golden belly-button ring that neither of her friends remembered her having. Her skirt sat low on her hips and was almost as short as the one she wore as Sailor Venus, the metallic red color shining in the lights from the club. As a matter of fact, the woman herself was glowing, a subtle orange light that only the two senshi could see. She was using her Venus powers to attract everyone around her, igniting a desire they couldn't resist, calling to someone.

"Who is she calling for?" Makoto wondered, staring at Haruka in shock as the blonde rose to her feet. "What are you doing?"

"She wants to dance; I'm perfectly happy to oblige." Haruka stalked onto the dance floor, her eyes glowing in the light as a stray breeze played with Minako's hair. The Senshi of Love opened her eyes at the sensation, intense baby blue eyes filled with a pain that her friend could understand. Smiling gently, Haruka offered her hand to the younger woman, pulling her close as the song changed to something much slower and more romantic.

"I didn't know you would be here," Minako whispered, letting her head rest on Haruka's chest. "You look good."

"You look sexy," Haruka replied. "I thought you were still at my house helping Michiru tonight. After that battle today, I wouldn't think you would have the energy to go out."

"My exhaustion has faded somewhat. I told the others that I didn't feel well and left. I just need to let out some . . . sexual frustration. This is the only place she won't find me."

"I could see your frustration from across the room. You should be careful using your powers like this." Haruka didn't bother asking Minako who she was hiding from; if the self-proclaimed Goddess of Love was having trouble asking a girl out, she must care for that person a great deal. The song changed to something very fast with a hard beat, and Haruka felt Minako resist the urge to return to her previous level of sexual fervor. Knowing that her friend needed to relax, Haruka spun the smaller woman around and ground into her, leaning down to bite the blonde's neck. "Don't stop on my account," she purred, watching as the orange glow surrounded Minako again.

Haruka loved dancing at clubs. Minako was a bundle of sexual energy, grinding against her partner in ways that would embarrass their friends. The Senshi of Venus kept shooting Haruka glances that she knew were meant for Minako's mystery crush, but the Senshi of Wind couldn't help but respond to the need in those blue eyes. When she danced with Michiru, even at clubs, it tended to be elegant but not particularly passionate. In public she and her wife were reserved, despite their relationship at home, so Haruka was rarely able to let herself relax and just dance. Minako was on fire, giving everything of herself to the moment, and Haruka knew that if she wasn't married she would have tried to take the blonde home. She had never been so turned on by anyone other than Michiru in her life.

Makoto watched the pair dance, fighting with her growing desire as she shifted her position to alleviate some of the pressure she was feeling. She had no idea Minako could affect the people around her in such a way, but she was so turned on she could barely think. Sure, Minako was beautiful, but Makoto had never been physically attracted to her before. Whatever the Senshi of Venus wanted, she clearly hoped to find it in this bar.

Shifting her gaze to one side as she took another sip of her drink, Makoto felt her desire freeze as shock rushed through her system. She would never in a million years have guessed that Hino Rei would visit a lesbian bar, nor that she would be staring at Minako with such naked lust in her amethyst eyes. She wore a simple red dress that hugged her curves and flared out slightly at her waist, stopping just short of her knees, showing off long legs that ended in a pair of red high-heels identical to the ones from her senshi uniform. Makoto watched as every muscle in Rei's body tensed, the senshi of fire clearly fighting some inner battle with herself as Minako danced—well, from the way they were grinding into each other it almost looked like having sex—with the tall blonde. The thunder senshi absently noted that Rei had red flowers woven into the braids she wore on the sides of her head, the majority of her raven hair flowing unencumbered down her back. The miko clenched her fists as she rose from her chair, clearly having decided to act on her desire for Minako, and Makoto turned her attention back to the dance floor.

In her current attire, Haruka was unrecognizable to her raven-haired friend, and the Senshi of War had murder in her eyes. Thankfully, years of fighting every evil imaginable had given Haruka the ability to sense when danger was near, and she froze as Rei stepped onto the dance floor. Spinning around with one hand on Minako's arm and the other extended in a defensive stance, Haruka prepared herself for battle.

Rei froze as recognition filled her amethyst eyes, Minako gasping in shock from beside Haruka. Neither one of them had expected to see the miko for a few days after her injury that morning, especially not dressed like that in a lesbian bar. The Senshi of Wind watched her counterpart of Fire warily, letting Rei reach up and grab her outstretched hand in one of her own.

"Go away," she growled, a threat in her tone despite their friendship. Tonight they were not partners in guarding the Solar System or two friends discussing their past lives and loves in Haruka's car; they were rivals for the affections of Aino Minako. Haruka remembered saying the same words to Seiya so long ago when she found the raven-haired singer in Michiru's dressing room, and she knew that Rei's reason was the same now as hers had been back then. Releasing both Rei's hand and Minako's arm, Haruka backed away, leaving the two women alone in the center of the room.

Haruka rejoined Makoto at their table, both watching silently as Rei pulled Minako into her arms and kissed her, not bothering to waste words. Minako relaxed into the embrace willingly, joy replacing her earlier need. "So apparently Minako is in love with Rei and came here to release some of her sexual frustration," Haruka began conversationally, lifting her drink again.

Makoto chuckled and watched the couple on the floor begin dancing, their moves in perfect sync and their eyes alight with joy. "I think Rei came here for the same reason. What happened when you fought that youma this morning?"

"Rei jumped in front of an arrow that would have killed Minako. They seem to have had the same kind of epiphany about their feelings that Michiru and I had in the Marine Cathedral so long ago."

"I'm glad for them. But I thought you promised no groping. I definitely saw some suspicious hand motion up there."

"You said I couldn't grope strangers," Haruka argued, freezing as a familiar sensation tingled along the edge of her consciousness. "What . . ."

"So this is where you went." Haruka spun at the soft voice, smiling at her wife as she appeared beside the table. "Michi," she breathed, reaching out to take the aqua-haired woman's hand. Her voice was deeper with her partner present, and Makoto suddenly wondered if the blonde let herself be more masculine in response to Michiru's perfect femininity. It was amazing to watch. "How did you know we would be here?"

Michiru glanced over her shoulder, nodding at a tall woman with dark green hair watching them from near the door, her garnet eyes amused. "Setsuna said I needed to come here. Mako-chan, we finished work for tonight, so Ami is headed over to your place. Setsuna will take you home, if you want." Makoto stood and smiled, pausing as she passed Haruka. Michiru laughed into her hand. "Don't worry, I'll take care of her."

Makoto did not hesitate a second time. After watching Minako dance and being unable to release her sexual tension, all she wanted was to spend time with Ami. The dresses could wait until tomorrow; for now she needed her girlfriend.

Michiru turned the full force of her teal gaze on her wife, one eyebrow raised. "I've never seen you dance like that."

"Minako's powers affected me," Haruka admitted.

"Me, too," Michiru whispered, a blush staining her cheeks. She wasn't used to being unable to control her desire, and seeing Haruka in such feminine clothing certainly wasn't helping. "You look beautiful tonight." It was not a word she usually used to describe Haruka's appearance, but it seemed to fit.

The blonde smiled and kissed the back of Michiru's hand, emerald eyes glowing in the light. "Dance with me, my siren?"

Michiru nodded and followed Haruka onto the dance floor, ready to show her wife that she was perfectly capable of dancing with Haruka the way she liked, even though the blonde had always been afraid to ask her.

Rei and Minako stared into each other's eyes as they twirled across the dance floor, Minako's passion matched by her partner's fire. Everything they had wanted to say to each other for so long was finally clear, even though they had yet to speak. Rei flashed her partner a grin as she pulled her close, burying her face in Minako's silky blonde hair. "You almost died today," she whispered, her breath warm against Minako's throat.

"Is that why you jumped in front of me?"

"It was aiming for you, to kill you. You were tired and your strength was waning; it would have succeeded in piercing your heart."

Minako smiled as she wrapped her arms securely around Rei's waist. "It did pierce my heart," she whispered. "When you jumped in front of me and that arrow hit you, for a moment I saw fear in your eyes and I thought you were going to die."

"I didn't care if it killed me as long as you were safe."

Minako pulled away, her baby blue eyes locking with Rei's brilliant amethyst. For a moment, despite the loud music and the gyrating bodies all around them, the two were alone in the room. "I love you," she whispered, tears threatening to fall from her eyes.

Rei smiled, reaching up with one hand to cup Minako's cheek. "I love you, too."

AN: Well, I was supposed to be working on "The Last Sacrifice", but this image of Rei challenging Haruka for Minako in a club was stuck in my head. Sorry to have missed a week on my other fic, but I needed to write this so I could clear my head. Anyway, enjoy and feel free to review! I plan on this only being a one-shot, but if a second chapter ever pops up don't be surprised. This isn't part of any other timeline, but it shares the same Silver Millennium as "The Last Sacrifice".