* Chapter 12 – In Sickness and In Health, No Youmas do us Part, I do

Several weeks had passed and Usagi's and Makoto's bumps were now obvious so Rei had to order a different cut of dress for them for her wedding. Despite the chaos they were in, Usagi had urged Rei to go on with the wedding as first planned. She reasoned that their lives will never-ever be normal, so Rei's concept of 'waiting for a time of peace' will be tantamount to waiting forever. It took them several persuasion talks with Rei, but it was worth it; the ceremony is scheduled the very next day.

Every preparation was done with and Yuichiro had contributed a large part in making it happen. He had flexed for the first time his family's wealth and influence by renting three levels of a hotel for them and their guests, and by shutting off media coverage entirely. It was difficult of course, what with the issue of Rei's identity as Sailor Mars and the basic fact that she's a public figure and the heir of a business empire; but Yuichiro made it happen, he had to, for Rei.

Rei looked on at the images of her two friends with their custom-cut gowns staring at her through the full body mirror.

"So?" Usagi asked eagerly as she modeled the gown in front of her real life model friend.

The bride-to-be smiled. "You both look beautiful." She admired truthfully.

"And more curvaceous than you actually are… That dress really does good illusions." Minako pointed out loudly from the bed behind Rei

Rei nodded agreeing. "I think it's the high waist and print pattern that's doing the trick. It was good I changed designers for your gowns."

"So can we take this off now?" Makoto asked, trepidation for wearing something above the knee was obvious in her voice.

Her four friends looked at her understanding. She had become self conscious with how she looks ever since her bump started showing. Rei nodded once more and Makoto left them instantly to go inside the wash room to change.

Usagi shrugged with Makoto's behavior. She took to the other wash room. When the two left, Rei turned around and plopped down on the bed also that Minako was sitting on.

"Red and white looked good on Makoto, don't you think?" Rei asked the two who were watching the television.

"Yeah… Way better than me, I look like the sun due to my hair…" Minako answered while not taking her eyes off the movie.

"At least you don't look like a flag… I'm blue, red and white…" Ami replied while not looking at the two either.

Rei groaned. "Why didn't anyone voice this out while I was picking the theme colors? You were all there!" she asked exasperated.

Minako turned to look at her. "It's your call, it's your wedding!"

"But you're all unhappy with my choice… You should have told me…" Rei reasoned.

Ami looked at her also. "I never said I was unhappy, and as Minako phrased it, it's YOUR wedding!"

"So?" Rei asked, but nobody answered her for their attention was diverted to Usagi and Makoto who both went out of the bathrooms and carried their respective gowns to the cabinet to hang it.

When the two had finished, they plopped down on their own beds and faced the television also; but Rei bombarded them with questions instantly.

"Do you like your gowns?" She asked first.

"Honestly?" Makoto asked back and Rei nodded. "I'm quite not comfortable with wearing short skirts or dresses right now, but it did look good on me; so it doesn't actually matter." She continued.

"Usagi?" Rei prodded her other friend.

Usagi thought hard, she needs to phrase her answer in a way that won't hurt her friend.

Rei noticed that Usagi took time, so she interrupted even before she can answer. "Oh no, you must not really like it, you're thinking!" she declared panicked; three out of four of her bridesmaids wasn't fond of her choice!

"It's nothing like that! I really like the cut." Usagi said hurriedly to stop the pending alarm on her friend but Rei took it wrongly also.

"But NOT the color also… Minako said she looked like the sun and Ami said she looked like a flag… Why didn't I think of that? We can still order four dresses tomorrow morning…" Rei began her litany to herself but she was cut by Minako's arm landing on her shoulder. When she looked up, everyone was surrounding her and the television was shut off.

"Relax… We don't care…" Ami said to her while taking her hands into her own and kneeling somewhat in front of her.

Usagi wrapped an arm on her waist while taking a seat beside her. "And it is YOUR wedding. What matters is your happiness, it is your day!"

"but…" Rei retorted but Minako silenced her by placing her pointer finger on her lips.

"We let you choose the colors and the cut because we don't want to dictate anything to you on YOUR day. We would gladly wear anything you'd want us to wear because it'd make you happy!" She told her.

"And you can actually make us wear jute sacks tomorrow and you won't hear anything from us." Makoto added to lighten the mood.

Rei took in a deep breath but still looked uncomfortable.

"Hey, we really don't have a choice do we?" Minako asked jokingly.

"No we don't. I bet we'll be wearing something golden on your wedding and something blue on Ami's." Usagi told her.

"Just like you forcing us to wear pink and me forcing everyone to wear green." Makoto followed.

Rei got their point and took in another huge breath before giving an unwilling smile.

"Wait, weren't Ami and I supposed to be wed on the same day?" Minako suddenly asked, releasing Rei's shoulder on the process.

"According to Chibiusa, yes…" Usagi confirmed.

Minako then took a handful of her own hair then drew it near Ami's head. "Not bad…" she said, commenting on the combination of colors.

Ami giggled. "Hey, you're marrying Yaten, not me."

"What if the ceremony is to take place in Kinmouku? You two might actually be married sparsely clad." Makoto joked.

"Or we could be just wearing our senshi royal clothes… Our wedding might actually be during the time of Crystal Tokyo already…" Ami reasoned.

Minako looked at Ami then pouted. "I would rather get married wearing nothing if it's within this decade than marry with royal clothes on and wait a millennium for it to happen."

Everyone laughed except for Ami, she knew that what she said was the most probable truth; but thought better than destroy her friend's aspiration.

"Knowing Minako, she'll most probably drag Yaten to the altar if he doesn't propose within the next ten years!" Rei joked; relaxed with the change of topic.

"I don't have to! No guy can resist me. He'll propose and beg me to be his wife and ask me to spend eternity with him!" Minako declared dramatically, thus eliciting sweatdrops from her friends.

Usagi poked her with her pointer finger on her shoulder. "Minako, you're forgetting that your ex-boyfriend dumped you on live t. v.! So a guy CAN resist you."

Minako's eye glinted momentarily and Usagi shrank back a little with the look that she gave her. "Well, I wasn't serious with that actor… He really belongs with that big-boobed, scalpeled, bubble-headed, unsophisticated, and vociferous loser!" she almost shouted but was able to produce a winning smile after her litany.

"For someone who isn't serious, you really sounded bitter…" Rei commented.

"And I never thought you could throw that many adjectives towards one person in one go…" Ami added.

Minako glared at both of them but Rei is not one to shrink back to anyone.

"We're just telling the truth. Plus, you were crying on my shoulder for a week after he professed undying love to that porn star…" Rei stated nonchalantly, ignoring the warning looks that Minako was throwing at her.

Minako sighed defeated, knowing that her friends know the whole story anyway. "Fine…" she said.

"What actually made you say 'yes' to that guy anyway?" Usagi asked, knowing full well also that Minako had never forgotten Yaten, even during the Star Lights' long absence and non-communication.

Minako racked her brains. "I know you all would agree he really is good-looking…" she answered.

"That's it? Just because of how he looks?" Makoto asked.

Minako had wanted to nod, but knew better than to lie to her friends. It is for her own good to be truthful after all.

"No… Not Actually…" She started slowly, and they all listened intently to her narrative. "Our love team fueled my screen fame; before him, all I was known for was my music. After all the projects we've starred together and all the lines we've conveyed with full conviction, I began believing in 'us'. And, I sort of fell victim to the fan's demand of who you should love because they think you look so good together. It's all very confusing under a spotlight, you could lose yourself…"

Silence hung in the air after Minako's story. Her friends had all thought that she was very happy working in the limelight because it was her life dream to become an idol… They never knew that it drives her to loneliness and isolation also.

"Now I know the real reason why you started drifting away from us…" Usagi said quietly.

Rei agreed with Usagi. "It's really lucky Yaten came back after that…"

"Hey now, don't make it sound like Yaten's just my rebound!" Minako retorted.

Rei had wanted to tell her friend that that's not what she meant but Makoto cut her in. "Is he not?" She asked sincerely.

Minako looked bewildered. "What makes you say that?"

"A week had not passed since your break-up from whatsisname; and the first time you met Yaten, something immediately happened between the two of you…" She answered in a nice tone, so her friend won't get offended.

"I truly love Yaten… And the depth of emotions that he has for me surprised me so much that day that I just was so drawn, I can't resist his touch." Minako told her friends, not to defend herself, but just to clear their worries for her. "Besides, something happened with Ami and Taiki too! And you're not pounding on her like vultures." She joked, to divert their attention away from her.

Ami opened her mouth but Usagi beat her to it. "Ami and Taiki is a totally different story… We all know that they would have been lovers earlier if the Star Lights had not found out about our identities…"

"Proof of which is when we caught them snuggling in the library on the pretense of reading the same book!" Makoto sniggered.

"Hey now! THAT didn't happen…" Ami snapped.

Ami's angry come back had only made her friends giggle more.

"Yes it did… We just forgot to take a picture; but Makoto, Minako and me saw you! You were leaning your back on him and he has his head on your shoulder and both of his arms were around you while you were pointing at something on the book you were holding." Usagi recounted.

"He was just supporting my elbows so I won't drop that huge book!" Ami defended still.

Makoto now pounded. "Really? And what was he supporting when you were putting back the book on the shelf and he suddenly pulled you in and whispered something in your ear?"

"Nothing, we were in a library so we were talking in hushed tones." Ami answered defiantly.

Minako just now remembered and her eyes sparked with what Usagi and Makoto were talking about. "Now I remember! Ami smiled sweetly at him afterwards right?" Both Usagi and Makoto nodded. "And then Taiki shuffled Ami's hair with his hand and Ami pinched his nose playfully and…"

"And you guys fell flat on the floor when Usagi lost her balance and Makoto instantly sprang up to wave like an idiot to the two of us." Ami finished for them.

A moment of total silence

Followed by a round of raucous laughter

"And you did that to me also! When you all thought that I have a new best friend." Rei said, still clutching her sides.

"Well, accept it; we were all a bit possessive of each other back then." Usagi commented, while wiping her tears due to laughing so hard.

Everyone smiled fondly.

"But no one beats Yuichiro in this 'possessive' business." Makoto shared. "Remember when he challenged Haruka because he thought that you were flirting with her?" she asked Rei.

Rei laughed. "Oh the idiot, he thought Haruka was a he!"

"And when he almost scalded Mamoru in his bath because he heard Ami say that you two used to date?" Minako added. "That was really hilarious!"

"Who was? Usagi or Yuichiro? I can still remember how Usagi looked then, when she was dressed like a stupid ninja." Rei narrated and everyone laughed at the blushing Usagi.

"Hey, hey, hey! I DID have a reason back then to be jealous, Rei was Mamoru's first interest!" Usagi defended.

"Really now? I thought he wasn't serious?" Rei asked.

Usagi sort of became somber. "Yeah… He confessed it to me…"

Everyone's attention was now captured, and they all stared at Usagi to tell them the whole story.

She relented. "Well, it was during our first year of marriage… I asked him directly if other girls could actually still get his interest."

"And?" Minako pushed hurriedly.

Usagi smiled with her friends' intense curiosity towards her love-life. "He answered that I don't have to worry because only four others girls have ever caught his attention other than me and he would never ever cross the line with those girls."

"One of them is Rei?" Makoto asked instantly.

Usagi nodded. "Yes, because Rei is so passionate about everything she does and is so hard working." She paused, adding more suspense.

Makoto whistled while the other two prodded Rei on her sides to tease her.

Usagi spoke again amidst their teasing. "One is Ami, because she can speak with him on the same level and has a very kind heart."

Ami blushed and stuttered. "M-me?"

"Another is Makoto because of the way she takes care of everyone. He said that she would make a very ideal wife." Usagi added.

Makoto scoffed. "It's just because his wife is not a very good cook."

Usagi took no offense. "Lastly, Minako because she really is very beautiful and her light and cheerful spirit uplifts everyone around her…"

Everyone was silent; realizing that the four girls that Usagi was talking about was them.

"Those were his nearly exact words, I didn't make those up." She told them and then joked. "So if I ever will catch my husband having an affair, it would be with one of you!" she then threw at each of them a false glare and then laughed heartily all alone.

Rei rolled her eyes. "You're not joking! You're serious. I can still remember you becoming jealous on any one of us on more than one occasion."

Ami nodded. "Yeah, you even chased me around a swimming pool once because Tuxedo Mask came to rescue me!"

"Who's the 'possessive' one now?" Makoto teased.

Usagi grumbled something incoherent and everyone laughed. The night wore on with them reliving other stories and teasing each other. It was the night before Rei's wedding and they once again ended up sleeping late. They all conceded that that's what happens when they're all together before succumbing to a few hours of sleep.

For once in his life, Yuichiro wore his hair brushed up and pony tailed at the back. He stood at the end of the aisle near the altar while his soon to be wife stood at the other end with her best friends waiting for the music that would signal the start of the procession. Yuichiro looked very handsome in his tuxedo, and no offense meant, he did equal Rei just that one day in appearance. He looked worthy of her; and Rei could not have been any more proud with the praises she's overhearing from the people around them towards him.

Rei herself was overwhelmed with how he looked; the change was drastic and good: he was neat, shaven, formal looking, and his eyes can be seen sparkling from the beauty that he's beholding from afar, her. She smiled when their eyes locked and she gave a small giggle when she saw that his knees almost buckled with her smile. There is a common belief that a girl would always marry someone exactly like her dad; but Rei begged to disagree. Her late father had always left her and her mother for work, unless of course if she's needed for press ops, campaign materials or for proof of 'his father's soft side'. Whereas Yuichiro, he left everything to be with her, if only to have even just a glimpse of her every day.

The heavenly resonance of Michiru's violin sounded, and her friends, partnered with his friends, filed in a line in pairs, and then started walking down the aisle.

She looked at the only guy she ever fully trusted; and can't help but feel the same relief that she felt years ago when she found out that he survived Galaxia's invasion despite her grandfather's demise. Grandpa, she thought, he would have been very ecstatic to witness this: her marrying Yuichiro.

Usagi held her left hand while Mamoru offered his arm to her right. She accepted it with not much ado even though she knows most of their guests are most probably wondering why Usagi and Mamoru keeps being entrusted with giving their friends away. She scanned the whole place as she took steps towards the altar; Unazuki was there although she was abroad during her own brother's wedding, Kotono who thought that she (or rather Sailor Mars) was an alien and other previous school mates, Kaidou who's her right hand now and other people working under her, her manager and other people from show business, Yuichiro's relatives and friends; in short, lots of people are there.

And then Rei spotted her, standing at the far back with her 'cousins' and Hotaru, wiping tears of joy at the union of her parents. Yuri, like everyone else from her time, was trying to be NOT noticed because of the simple irony that she was witnessing the marriage of her own parents; but she can't help her heart leaping with each step that her mother was taking towards her father. They both looked very beautiful, and when Rei had spotted her, she nodded and smiled to show her full support. Why wouldn't she, her existence depended on the success of the bride and groom; but more than that, she could feel the love emanating from the two towards each other. She felt proud of her parents because she knew that they're one of the very few couples who actually fulfilled the vow, 'till death do us part'.

They had reached the front, and Yuichiro took her from Mamoru and led her to the very front of the altar. Ami and her partner placed the veil, followed by Minako and her partner with the cord, and finally Makoto and her partner lighted the candles.

The officiating minister started his sermon about marriage, family and responsibilities. When he finished, the wine was served, followed by the exchange of vows and rings, the kiss, the declaration of being man and wife, and the signing of documents.

As soon as Rei had finished writing the 'O' in her surname for the last time, or until Crystal Tokyo that is, the building shook. She whipped around with fear in her eyes for all the people there; she can feel dark energy drawing near very fast, as if ready to burst through the door any moment. Her suspicion was confirmed when she saw Minako clutching the middle of her chest and Ami holding her head with both of her hands. When they looked up, they reflected the same fear that Rei had in her eyes.

"Neptune Eternal, Make Up!"

"Uranus Eternal, Make Up!"

Everyone in the room turned at the almost simultaneous shouts. If the crowd in general was very stunned with Michiru's and Haruka's public transformation, it was nothing compared to the shock it caused on the other senshis. However, they had no time to wonder for several spans of the drywall exploded at the same time as numerous energy balls were sent to bombard the room.

"Silent Wall!"

No one had heard Hotaru shout her transformation phrase because of the explosion but the senshis were very thankful nevertheless for two youmas soared straight towards Usagi. A 'World Shaking' from Uranus blasted away the youmas immediately afterwards.

It was as if almost all the guests woke up at the same time with the blast when Uranus's attack made contact, and started running altogether for the exits, but they were surrounded, so had no choice but to retreat and cower.

"Mercury Eternal, Make Up!"

"Venus Eternal, Make Up!"

Rei turned as two more of her friends revealed their identities; but she was stunned more to see an arrow of fire shot at the youma that flew straight for her. Yuri and the other future senshis had transformed also and were fighting off their own sets of youmas.

"Mercury, Aqua Rhapsody!"

"Venus, Love and Beauty Shock!"

The attack from Mercury blocked the energy ball flying fast towards Makoto and the attack from Venus blasted the monster behind it.

The thick glass windows all shattered at the same time and several youmas flew inside the room heading straight at senshis, either transformed or not.

Rei ducked the hands that almost grabbed her and quickly pulled out her wand from her handbag. She knew she had no choice now. "Mars Eternal, Make Up!" She shouted.

When the sensation of transformation left her, she instantly saw Mercury and Venus flying through the air and landing in a bloody heap against the concrete wall of the toilet, knocking them both out of consciousness.

Her apprehension then grew for Usagi so she searched for her; the three outers present are surrounding her and Mamoru; this made Rei feel the littlest bit relieved, she knew the couple's the safest people right now.

Sailor Mars shot youma after youma, but they seem to not reduce in number.

"SOMEBODY HELP US!"

The blood curdling yell that shoot a terror at everyone was male and all the senshis turned at the desperate plea.

What they saw next seemed to stop time for them, and nothing or no one else mattered more. Motoki was cradling his unconscious wife among the rubbles on the floor and blood was trickling between her legs.

Sailor Saturn immediately left her king and queen and ran towards the couple on the floor, unmindful that she could be hit herself on the way. There was no one else in the world except Makoto and her child; she couldn't let one of her closest friend land in an alternate universe!

But she wasn't hit, for every still conscious senshi had converged around her path and blocked every directed attack aimed at her. Saturn had never concentrated on healing someone more than now, she could feel her power ebbing away but she held on. Yuko please, hold on! She pleaded, that was her only thought. If the need for her to die arises, so she could go to the world of the dead, she won't hesitate just so she could resurrect her soul and place it in her mother's womb again.

And then, everyone felt a warm, gentle and caressing light. Usagi had called out the Ginzuishou and summoned a shield between them and the youmas. She had turned into Serenity, Mamoru into Endymion, and the other senshis that were inside the protection had changed to their royal senshi outfits also. She was feeding Saturn energy at the same time keeping everyone else safe.

Suddenly, a dragon made of fire soared inside the room and consumed the youmas on its path. It circled them and burned several youmas creating distance between Serenity's shield and the horde of monsters.

"Mom!" The future Sailor Mars shouted and everyone except Saturn turned towards where she was looking.

An Eternal Sailor Mars flew in from the broken windows and landed at the very center of the room. She spread her arms apart and then pulled at the air towards herself then suddenly released them towards a group of youmas. A ball of fire that started small in her hands was thrown and it expanded and expanded until it swallowed the whole group. A flame appeared on her hand, then she stretched it like a rainbow with her other hand, afterwards she threw this in the air like a boomerang. The flame turned and turned until it created a tornado of fire that spread outwards and reduced the youmas considerably.

Her powers though licked one of the sprinklers accidentally and it started raining inside, thus putting out her last attack.

"Dead Scream!"

"Deep Submerge!"

"World Shaking!"

"Jupiter, Oak Evolution!"

"Mars, Flame Sniper!"

"Star, Gentle Uterus!"

"Star, Sensitive Inferno!"

"Moon, Spiral Heart Attack!"

All the still able senshis unleashed their attacks and finished off all the remaining youmas.

The Eternal Sailor Mars then approached Yuichiro and offered him her hand. She pulled him to a standing position, took a moment to look at him, and then kissed him passionately on the lips. The present Sailor Mars looked on stunned at what her future self was doing with her husband but felt no jealousy; for it felt like watching yourself and your husband through a mirror.

"I missed you so much…" She had said almost in tears then went with Pluto towards the edge of the building and flew out.

Sailor Mars turned towards her daughter and saw that she was crying herself. "W-what…?" she asked unsure; first if she would answer her and second if she really wanted to know.

The Sailor Mars who wasn't in eternal form yet looked at the eternal one beside her. "My dad is a mortal." She answered in a factual manner to not reveal anything from the future that might be changed from the present; but the present Sailor Mars understood. There would come a time that she would become a widow because of her choice today. Yuichiro most probably understood too, with the look he was giving her. Would it change anything? She asked herself. No, she concluded after pondering deep, I would rather have him for a few decades than not have him at all because of the fear of being hurt. She reassured him with a smile, and he knew at that very moment that the goddess he had married very recently had no reservations left in marrying him.

A bright light then made everyone turn towards the group of Saturn, Serenity, Motoki and Makoto. The light from the detransforming Saturn had somehow transferred and engulfed Makoto and filled her. Serenity raised the Ginzuishou higher and Makoto seemed to float inches from the ground. The princess looked struggling but kept the crystal shining brightly.

After a while, Serenity herself felt very weak and almost collapsed if not for Endymion. When she had put down her hands and the crystal had entered her again, the floating Makoto landed on her husband carefully.

She slowly opened her eyes and was startled instantly with the water spraying on them. She saw that Motoki was soaking wet but his breathing revealed that he was crying. He pulled her towards himself and hugged her tight. "Thank you… Thank you… Thank you… Thank you…" He was muttering over and over in between sobs that sounded made in relief rather than in anguish.

The future Star Maker stooped down near them and picked up Hotaru. She carried her towards the circle that the senshis of her time had created. The future Sailor Moon touched an arm while the future Star Healer touched the other; then they disappeared, to the surprise of the people watching the standing people.

"Ami! Minako!" Makoto suddenly shouted, when she spotted Sailor Mercury and Sailor Venus unconscious and slumped against the wall opposite her. Motoki helped her stand, he knew that there's no stopping his wife when it concerns her friends.

She approached them hurriedly and kneeled down to feel for a pulse, it was there for both of them. She felt relieved and her guilt lessened somewhat; they had landed on this position because they blocked the youmas that were originally targeting her. Rei approached also, but she already has her mobile on her hand and was telling the one she's talking with where they are. Afterwards, she kneeled beside Makoto to hug her and her friend hugged her back.

"I'm sorry!" they had said together and they both stopped.

Then they spoke together again.

"That your wedding was ruined…" Makoto said.

"That you almost lost your child…" Rei said.

They both rubbed each other's back to comfort one another. "It was no one's fault…" they had said together again and a small smile lit their face.

Slow and clumsy movements toward them made both of them turn; it was Usagi being supported by Mamoru making way towards them. "I have to detransform them before the ambulance arrives…" she told them indicating Mercury and Venus when she had reached them.

Although everyone knew that Usagi still felt weak with her recent use of the Ginzuishou, they also knew that she had to do this and allowed her to. She called upon her crystal once more and reversed her friends' transformation. The Mercury and Venus transform pens fell in front of them and Makoto pocketed Ami's while Rei pocketed Minako's.

Soon, the medical team arrived and whisked Ami and Minako to a nearby hospital. The guests started leaving one by one with the fading of the sirens but not without taking one more look on Rei, Usagi, Makoto, Michiru, Haruka or Mamoru. They just can't believe it; they have known these people and they actually are the senshis!

They all decided to leave even before the hall was emptied with people. Yuichiro and Rei stayed behind to talk with the hotel's management and pay the damages. Their first act as a married couple was nowhere near a good omen; but they both knew better than to take what happened that day with them for eternity.

Here they are again, with a slight change in who's watching and who's lying down, staring at unconscious friends that are hooked to machines for life support.

What's good though is that the two were transformed when they got injured; so they suffered several broken bones only and the blow to their heads didn't become fatal but was enough to knock them out for hours or days even. Their friends were assured that the two will wake up on their own when their bodies have recovered.

"I was the target; I saw it in their eyes. The primary attack on Usagi was to lure everyone else's attention." Makoto began.

Even Haruka and Michiru were holding a vigil with them. They couldn't risk leaving the inners now. What with their 'warning signals' both knocked out and two others heavy with child; only one is left in full capacity as a soldier.

The two outers nodded, they saw the sense in what Makoto had said; for Ami and Minako did jump at rescuing her rather than Usagi.

"I must agree that their tactics are improving; but somehow, I had assumed that Ami and Minako will never be attacked." Haruka imparted.

Makoto spoke again; she alone had actually witnessed how the two were injured. "Well, they weren't… They just suddenly popped in the way and so received blows meant for me…"

"But a youma still managed to swipe at you… It really scared us when we saw you bleeding and unconscious." Michiru admitted, and it softened their hearts to hear an outer being vocal about feelings for them inners.

Smiles were exchanged after that and silence followed shortly, punctuated only by the humming and occasional beeps of the machines and monitors.

After a while, Haruka decided to break the uneasy silence. "You should all be going home… You've got husbands now, waiting for you." She advised slowly.

Rei answered her without removing her gaze from Minako. "It's okay, you all can go… Yuichiro will be here any minute now…" Then she looked at Makoto. "But you better bring us something to eat tomorrow…"

A knock was heard from the door, and then Mamoru and Motoki let themselves in. Both approached their own wife and greeted them with a kiss on the forehead.

"Do you want to go or do you want us to stay?" Mamoru asked his wife after acknowledging everyone in the room.

"I…" Usagi looked at her two unconscious friends then back at Mamoru. "I don't want to go… but… I have to rest." She then placed both her hands atop her belly and her husband understood.

Mamoru smiled and kissed Usagi on the forehead again. "Okay then." He said then collected Usagi's things that were on the bench. When he returned, his wife stood up to come with him.

Usagi approached Rei before leaving and gave her friend a tight hug. "Despite everything that happened today, congratulations still Mrs. Kumada." She whispered before releasing her.

Rei smiled with what Usagi called her. "Thanks… I guess I have to get used to a new surname now, do I?"

Usagi and Mamoru waved goodbye to everyone. Makoto and Motoki went with them since they decided to go home also; but not before hugging and greeting Rei too.

When Yuichiro finally arrived with Rei's dinner, Haruka and Michiru left too.

"You okay?" Yuichiro asked his wife concerned.

Rei nodded slightly, and then as if changing her mind, shook her head. She gave a sigh. "I honestly don't know… I… I would have preferred… I mean…"

Yuichiro noticed her hesitation and confusion in answering a seemingly very simple question so stepped in. "I understand… This is after all our first night as a legally married couple." He said simply.

"It's just that, for once in my life, I wanted to be a normal person… I know I never ever will be; but I would have preferred having our pictures taken, posing behind tables after the ceremony while our guests are stuffing themselves full with food…" She paused, her tears teasing to spill out.

Her husband looked at her and almost crumbled. He had done everything in his power to give Rei a perfect wedding; but it seems that it's her 'powers' that made a mark that day; not to him though, but to the whole world.

Rei continued, knowing that she had to let it out. "I would have liked it better to see my friends clapping and then later on teasing me for what would have been this night. I would act annoyed and stiff, but deep inside I'd blush because they'd tease me about something I most probably will really do…"

She stopped, and really cried this time against his chest. "I would have loved that happening… even if they really get to annoy me… I'd really love that… rather than… than seeing them almost losing a child… or… or… or seeing them barely breathing…" She said in between sobs.

Yuichiro pulled her in tighter and rubbed her back.

A weak and somewhat muffled voice though made both of them suddenly turn. "I'm… really sorry… Rei…" Minako struggled to say.

Rei let go of Yuichiro, took the chair in between the two beds and reached out a hand to caress Minako's face. "It's no one's fault. You're alive, it's all that matters." Her face that was already damp was moistened again with fresh tears. This time though, her cry was that of relief and happiness because of her best friend finally waking up.

"No… it's… my fault…" Minako then took a sharp breath and her face contorted into a grimace of pain.

Rei could just imagine the pain that her friend was in; she after all broke several bones, has some swelling and a bump is obvious on her head. "Stop it, talking is hurting you…" she pleaded. Although she really felt relieved that Minako woke up, she had somehow wished that Hotaru had healed her already before she woke up.

Minako gave a small smile to her friend; but grimaced again as pain shot through her. She controlled her face, she didn't want Rei to worry and what she has to say had to be said. "I… should… not… have… fallen… for… Yaten… This… would… not… have… happened…" She said very slowly and try as she might, her face contorted with pain once more.

Rei vehemently shook her head with what Minako said. "I would not have married in the first place if you didn't!" she contradicted.

Yuichiro didn't take offense, he knew Rei too much to hurt over little things. He knows that she never could bear being happy if even one of her best friends is miserable. That just added to her charm actually, she was so genuine when it comes to friendship.

"And didn't the five of us agree that no one would question someone's choice? That no one is to blame another? No matter what happens…" Rei furthered and it shut up Minako, not that speaking was on her to do list right now…

Just then, a nurse entered the room to check on the patients.

"Is it possible to give them a painkiller? Mina's in terrible pain when she woke up…" Rei asked.

"I'll see what I can do and ask their attending physician."

After checking the monitors, the nurse exited the room. She returned after a while then injected something on both of the syringes.

"Who would have thought that senshis need doctors too…" she commented after finishing up on Ami before leaving the room.

When she had closed the door, Minako spoke again. "Relax… Breathe in… Breathe out…" Although she was finding it difficult to speak, she can't help but tease Rei in the obvious instant flare of her temper.

Rei wanted to retort but noticed the drooping of Minako's eyelids. "Sleep, I'd still be here the moment you wake up." She said, touching her face again.

Minako's eyes were glazed already but still managed to smile. "I know… I… love you… Rei…" and then, she fell asleep without giving her friend a chance to reply.

Rei took in a deep breath with Minako's sudden stillness then glanced each at her two friends who looked so peaceful it was scary. She shivered. "Please, don't make it sound like goodbye…" she whispered.