VI. Departure

Rei sat outside of Mamoru's apartment debating if she should see him. After speaking to Usagi, she wasn't sure what to do. She didn't want to ruin the future. The more she thought about it, the more she felt she was wrong. She didn't know where her relationship was going. It was as if she had to make a choice. Either she moved on with Mamoru, or tried to repair his relationship with Usagi. She didn't know if she could choose. Did she really want to force Mamoru to do something he didn't, but if she didn't then Crystal Tokyo wouldn't exist.

She pressed her hands to her face in frustration. Her heart was torn between what was right and what she wanted. She wanted to be with Mamoru, but was it okay? Was it okay for her to just let everything go?

What she had done with Mamoru was unforgiveable but Usagi had said she had forgiven her. She wanted forgiveness but she didn't think it would come so easily. Usagi deserved a better friend because she was a horrible person, but she could stop loving Mamoru no matter how much she tried.

"Is this really okay?" she asked out loud not expecting an answer but surprised when she did.

"It's fine. Rei…you don't have to fight for the future. Please don't fight for something that would tear us apart." Mamoru said taking a seat beside her on the bench. He was tired looking from working late but he seemed to perk up when she was around. It made her happy to see his eyes light up around her. He really did love her.

"It's okay…really?" she asked not sure if she could believe him.

"I want to be with you and no one else can change that, even if I have to sacrifice the future."

"But it's not right." She said as he pulled her into a tight hug.

"I know…I know." He rested his cheek against her head. "But I can't stop myself…I can't stop loving you."

"Mamoru…" she pressed her face into his neck, "I should give up, right? I should let the future become a mystery."


"Okay…okay." She said slowly giving up. She really wanted to be with him and if she kept pressing the subject she would push him away. She has stolen him from her friend there was no way she could return him.

"Let's go inside and have dinner." He said pulling her to her feet.

"Odango, are you listening?" Seiya asked the woman beside him. She held his hand tightly as he walked her back to her apartment.

"Oh, yes!" she said looking up at him looking guilty. "I'm sorry…could you say it again?"

"I said I have to leave town next week. I'll be gone for a couple of days, but I'll call you every day." He could feel her grasp tighten on his hand. He couldn't help but smile to himself. Usagi depended on him and it made him happy, but at the same time it was the result of what her husband did. He was frustrated by his feelings. He wanted her to rely on him and be close with him, but he didn't want her to be so reliant on him that she couldn't function. He wanted her to be strong again but still need him.

"Don't worry. I'll be fine." she said before he could say anything. "Plus, you said you'd call me, so there is nothing to worry about. I'll be fine."

Seiya was a little concerned but he didn't want to push her, let alone doubt her. "Okay, but if you need me call and I promise I'll come to you."

Usagi couldn't help the smile that overtook her lips. He always knew what to say to her. He always made her feel important. "I promise to call you if I need help."

Seiya looked satisfied with her response and continued to walk her to her apartment. He really didn't want to leave her alone but he had responsibilities he had to attend to. It worried him. He knew Usagi was a strong person but sometimes he wondered how much strength she really had. She was always fighting for others and doing her best to be reliable. She was always the last one left still fighting. He didn't want that for her.
He wanted to be strong enough to stand by her side when she needed him.

He sighed inwardly. His mind got away from him sometimes and it bothered him. He didn't want to think about horrible things but he did anyway. The small hand that was holding his should have been first and foremost in his thoughts but he could feel an ominous feeling hanging over Usagi and himself. It should have served as a warning not to leave her alone but he didn't look any farther into it. He was hoping that it was just his mind playing tricks, but deep down he wasn't so sure.

Once they reached Usagi's door she thanked him and unlocked the door. She hadn't expected to be back so late. Her time was spent dancing and eating various ice cream flavors with Seiya and she didn't mind. Spending time with him was always her favorite thing to do lately, yet she would continue to feel she was depended on him. She didn't want to become a burden to him or some kind of duty he felt he needed to perform, but he was going to leave for a couple of days. During those days she could prove to herself she was strong without him. She could prove that she was healing emotionally.

As she entered her apartment she turned to see his worried expression. It was as if something was weighing terribly heavy on his shoulders but she wasn't sure how to ask him. He had been secretive about the Starlights return and she didn't think she should ask. It was better to let him tell her on his own. When he noticed she was looking at him he plastered on a smile that made her wonder if he was hiding something from her that was important. Lately she was so worried about her friends, Mamoru, Rei and herself that she hadn't taking the time to see how he was doing.

"Seiya…are you-" she was cut off completely by the kiss he gave her on her forehead.

"I'm fine, but I worry about you." he gave her a half-truth because he was worried about her but he was anything but fine. He didn't know how to explain it but he was worried over something and he couldn't figure out what it was. He was positive it wasn't the comeback tour but no other idea came to him about why he was feeling so much dread. He did his best to convince himself that it was his worry for leaving Usagi by herself. Yet, still it didn't seem like the only thing that was bothering him.

He had kissed her, so she wouldn't ask him questions he wasn't ready to answer and because he really wanted to tease her a little. He finally spoke again. "I'm just a little worried about this comeback tour, even though it's just a small concert I'm nervous. It's been a long time since I've sung for a crowd. Now you should get inside and warm up."

He turned to leave but Usagi grabbed his sleeve. He turned and looked down at the blue eyes that were no longer worried but full of kindness. "You'll be fine, I'll be here rooting for you."

It was all he needed to hear to bring a smile to his face. He wanted to kiss her but that wouldn't end well so he cupped her cheek gently before turning and leaving. Usagi watched after him with a small smile, not even realizing she was already ready to start moving on.

Once she was inside her apartment she took a deep breath she hadn't realized she was holding. She unconsciously rubbed at her heated cheeks and tried her best not to smile, but she couldn't stop the happiness that was consuming her. It made her feel lighter and as if her life was finally moving on.

She touched her forehead lightly then looked at her hands. She hadn't felt that way in a long time. She hadn't felt butterflies since she was a teenager and now she could feel the anxiety and nervousness that was left in their wake. Seiya was doing that to her. He was making her heart soar with hope and dreams. He was granting her a wish she had bitterly made.

"Am I ready?" she asked out loud to herself. Was she ready to give her heart up to another? She wasn't sure if she could. Biting her lip lightly she took a seat at her table and sighed. She was really afraid that she would get her heart broken again. She couldn't take it again.

Usagi pressed her hands to her face to hide. She wanted to let Seiya into her heart, but fear stopped her and
the notion that she was rebounding. She didn't want that to be the start of any relationship. For once in her life she was over thinking something and she couldn't help but laugh at herself.

Seiya awoke in the middle of the night grasping tightly at his sheets. He released his grip and took a deep breath to calm himself. Again, he was getting a little tired of the nightmare he was constantly having. It wouldn't be such a problem if he could at least remember one of them. Whatever he had been dreaming about scared him and he would always wake up grasping his sheets in a death grip.

He turned over on his back and stared up at the ceiling. He hadn't told Usagi a lie earlier but it wasn't the real reason. Talking about what happen after returning to Kinmoku was on the bottom of his topics list, though he knew the subject would eventually have to be broached.

He turned over restless and looked at his alarm clock. It was three in the morning so he couldn't call Usagi and he didn't really want to talk to his friends. It wasn't because they couldn't comfort him or make it feel better. It was because it was always the same conversation and he always knew how things were going to end. He would give in and let logic win. He knew he couldn't have saved their home, but that didn't make the pain or the loss of life any better.

He had given up a lot to save the survivors of their rebuild home but even his sacrifice didn't dull the pain or guilt. He was helpless and could only watch as the beautiful jewel of a planet was completely destroyed again.
He forced himself to sit up and grabbed the phone. He knew he shouldn't call her but if he continued to think about the past he was going to have a breakdown.

He let the phone ring twice and was about to hang up when he heard her answer.

"Hello." she said as if she was still awake.

"Odango, it's me. Are you still awake?" he asked wondering why she didn't sound sleepy.

"Yes, I had a bad dream a couple hours ago and I've been up ever since. What about you?" she sounded worried since he was calling her at three in the morning.

"Same...although I can't remember the dream. You?"

"Mamoru...-When I first found out about him and Rei they know." she didn't finish. He could hear the sadness in her voice.

"Odango..." he sighed inwardly. He wanted her to forget about Mamoru. He wanted her thoughts to be free of that man. "Tell me something that has made you happy."

"Oh okay." she said sounding caught off guard. "Something that made me happy? When you came and save me. No one else came but you were there when it felt like I was going to break. I'll never forget that moment."

Seiya smiled and then sat up on his bed. He wasn't expecting that answer but it made him happy that, that moment was something she treasured. "Odango...nevermind, you should get some rest."

He wanted to talk to her more but he wasn't ready to tell her everything that happened. It wasn't time. Her problems came first. He wanted Usagi to be free of her past relationship before he could pour out his heart.

"Seiya." she said over the phone, her voice slightly shaky.

"Yes?" he said wondering if she was alright.

"Was I not good enough? Did he really dislike me that much...but then why did it feel as if he really did love me at times. What did I do wrong?" her voice broke slightly and Seiya gripped the phone a little too tight.

"Odango don't do this. He didn't deserve you, he is the one who is wrong, not you." he couldn't believe she could still blame herself for something she had no control over. "Odango...I-"

"Seiya?" she wondered why he suddenly stop but then he continued.

"It's nothing..." he almost let it slip. He couldn't tell her yet and he wondered if she would even accept his feelings. She loved Mamoru so much that he felt he couldn't compare. Instead of saying anything else he changed the subject, "Let's have lunch tomorrow."

"Oh. Okay, what do you want to eat?" she asked feeling slightly excited.

"Surprise me." he said smiling gently. He knew she didn't notice but her voice lightened at the subject change. He could always change subjects but he knew one day she would have to confront her fears. He would be with her though he wouldn't leave her broken like Mamoru. He'd find a way to win her heart and help her forget about that man.

"Seiya." he heard her call him and he answered.

"Thank you for being there, thank you so much." her voice was full of unshed tears and he wanted to hug her but that was impossible through the phone.

"Usagi..." he rarely called her by her name but when he did she was much more attentive, "I'll never leave you alone like he did and I'll never break your heart, so for now I'll hold your hand until you're ready."

Usagi put her hand to her mouth to stifle the sound of her crying. She was happy and it was consuming her. His words were consuming her with so much happiness tears flowed freely. Seiya really did care for her and she knew he might be the person to make her wish come true.

At the end of the week Usagi sat with Seiya at the airport. He was laid slightly sprawl in the chair and looked tired from packing among other things. He had done so much before the tour that the day they were leaving his body had crashed. All he wanted to do was sleep which Taiki said he could do on the plane.

Usagi looked worried but she hadn't said a word yet. She just kept stealing glance at him her blue eyes distraught. He sat up straight in the chair and then looked at her. She was biting her lip and trying not to show him the worry in her eyes but it was far too late for that.
"Odango, are you worried about me?" he said with a large smile. She looked at him and then a blush spread across her cheeks before she spoke.

"You look tired." she said fumbling with the strap of her purse. As Seiya watched her closely he noticed that it was more to her worry than just him. She was fearful for herself. It didn't take long for the answer to dawn on him. She was afraid she'd fall apart without him and he knew that it was a possibility. She rarely talked to her friends lately and bottled up a good amount of her feeling so she could stay strong. He kind of missed the old Usagi that rarely kept her feelings to herself. Now that she was older she'd learned some bad habits that he wanted her to break.

He took her hand and held it tightly. Her eyes settled on him and there were no words between them. She wiped away the tears before they flowed free and he took her into a firm hug. "If you don't think you can handle it at any time call me and I'll come back. Don't push yourself, Odango. Promise me you'll call if you need me."

She nodded and pressed her face against his chest. She really didn't want him to leave but he had things he had to do. She took a deep breath and looked up at him. "I promise."

After a four hour wait the Starlights were off to begin their tour and Usagi stood outside watching as the plane disappeared into the distance. She gave a small smile and decided to head home. She had to start her storyboard for her manga.

AN: So sorry it took so long but I'm in college, which is a good thing because I'm much more productive when writing story. Whenever I have time off I am completely lazy. This chapter was just for some Seiya and Usagi time. Seiya might not show up for the next two chapters. Please review and let me know how I can improve or if you liked the chapter. I decided this will be a long story so I'm preparing for some serious angst among other things.