A/N: I don't own Sailor Moon. It belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, who has no idea what we crazy fanfic authors do to and with her characters... - This is a girlxgirl (aka shoujo-ai) themed fanfic.
Special thanks go to my awesome betas Crosswood and Neverknew!

1-1 "A Heartbreak Situation"

It had been a long wait, but finally school was over and a sunny afternoon was waiting for her as if to make up for all the mind-numbing boredom she had to endure that morning.

With a content sigh, Minako stretched languidly and meandered her way over to Usagi's desk. Her fellow blonde was usually quite quick in gathering her things at the last bell, but every Friday in the last period she got a chance to sit next to her good friend Naru. Usagi was so busy chatting with the red head, that she didn't even notice Minako smiling fondly at the scene.

*That's Usagi for you,* Minako thought, resigning as she bent down and picked up her friend's math book. The other girl had carelessly dropped it, and probably would have forgotten it there on the floor. Mina handed the item back to her friend, who automatically took it and stuffed the book into her bag without even looking up. The Princess' entire concentration was focused on sharing the latest news of a new bakery downtown with her longtime friend.

Releasing another soft sigh, Minako leaned back against the backrest of a now empty chair, looking around the classroom. There were a few other students still lingering around. Some seemed to be waiting for the ones in charge of the clean up, others - like Usagi and Naru – were just catching up. The majority of students, however, were already evacuating the room for a well-deserved weekend, elbowing their way out of the doors for a swift escape.

All except for one figure, which had suddenly appeared in the door-frame.

Minako didn't even need to think. She would have recognized the tall, taut, athletic form anywhere. It was a shape that made Minako almost envy its owner. A shape, that also made her heart flutter - even merely at the thought of it.

Makoto, towering over most of the other students' heads, peered into the emptying classroom. She paused only for a moment – right next to the door, just to make sure she didn't accidentally harm some of the smaller, inattentive girls on her way in. Then, she straightened to her full height and slowly made her way inside.

The pigtailed brunette finally spotted her - and Usagi - and with confident steps, began to approach. An involuntary smile spread across Minako's features.

Emerald eyes met hers, and Minako felt her heart skip one or two beats. It was something that happened more and more often these days. She didn't even know when or how it had started, but for a while now watching Makoto had made her happy and giddy in a way she couldn't even begin to describe. The subliminal strength in every motion, the vague hint of well-trained muscles on her arms and legs, the top of her summer uniform almost a touch too short… offering secret glances at toned abs hiding below... - Minako squeezed her eyes shut and was thankful for the support of the chair behind her. She felt her knees go weak.

This was bad. Very bad. She felt her hands dampening as she readjusted her grip on the chair. Why did she always fall for the wrong ones? No... No, she hadn't fallen for Mako - or had she? No, she couldn't. She shouldn't. Makoto was not like that. Minako herself never had dismissed that option, true - she *was* the goddess of love after all. No judgments, no exceptions. Everything was possible. But… Mako would never ever...

Putting a halt to her thoughts, Minako took a deep breath, releasing a small puff of air, before opening her eyes again. She almost choked; she felt like she was drowning in deep pools of warm, caring green. These were placed literally only an inch away from her own (now wide open) eyes.

"Mina-chan?" the owner of these wonderful eyes asked, a hint of worry in her tone. "Are you okay?"

Minako blinked. The next frantic instant was spent trying to tear herself away from her own thoughts - and those intense eyes. Only partly successful at ignoring the funny tingling in her stomach, she glanced sideways to learn that she now had Usagi's and Naru's full attention as well. She felt her cheeks redden. "Uh... Yes! I am totally fine!" she barely flinched, when she realized her voice had come out a pitch too high.

But it seemed to have been convincing enough. Makoto slowly leaned back, straightening up again. Mina felt both immense relief and horrible disappointment rushing through her veins. How had she gotten so close, anyway? She had her eyes closed for only a second or so... and yet it had been enough for Mako to walk all the way over, lean in so close, and... observe her!? No. No, no, no. Makoto was *not* to see that. Not that there was anything to see, right? Probably just one of the many little crushes young girls occasionally have every now and then. Right? And it was even an understandable one! After all, Makoto was so gorgeous, gentle, brave...

*Not now!* Shaking her head one last time, Mina focused back on reality. "So, how was literature for you? Hopefully less dull than algebra was for us?"

The blonde felt a little flash of pride to have come up with a 'safe' topic so quickly, while giving herself a mental shake at the same time. She really - *really* - needed to get a better hold on herself. Getting flustered by the brunette's presence was certainly not an option. They were friends after all. Good friends. Nothing more.

"...'t was... okay."

Minako frowned. She had hoped for a more elaborate reply. Hopefully, she looked over at Usagi and Naru, but they were already back into their usual catching-up. Mina strained her ears. It sounded like talk about their respective boyfriends, judging by the amount of giggling going on.

Great. Not even a topic she wanted to join in, and certainly not with Makoto there. That would only lead to Mako rejoicing about her ex, her dream guy, her plans of marriage and her visions of half a dozen little baby-Makotos running around in her future garden... Although, that last thought was ultimately adorable. - Anyhow, she was saved from that very much dreaded conversation by the cause of her worries herself.

"Seems, those two will be busy for a while," Makoto winked at her, pointing with her thumb at Usagi and Naru. "How about we go ahead and leave? Ami-chan won't be joining us until later. Something about a quick detour to the library. I guess she figured we'd be too noisy when we joined her there, so she went alone." Scratching the back of her head, Makoto grinned toothily in semi-embarrassment at the potential truth in that.

Meantime, Minako felt another blush creeping up her neck. For two reasons. For once, up until Makoto had spoken, she had totally failed to notice Ami's absence, busy as she was with her inner raving about the emerald-eyed girl. The second reason being the idea of walking to the shrine with Makoto. Alone. Just the two of them.

For a moment, Minako searched her mind for any possible excuse to not be alone with Mako - with the way her thoughts had been wandering, this didn't sound like a good idea. But then a strong, gentle hand took her own in a firm hold. "C'mon, Mina. The weather looks great out there. I can't wait to feel the sun on my face after being stuck in here for so long."

At the touch alone, Minako's mind went blank. She watched the taller girl bend down and grab her schoolbag. With the same hand with which she already carried her own, Makoto effortlessly lifted both bags over her shoulder.

"...we're going to the shrine, right?" The part of Minako's brain that was intelligent wanted nothing more than to face-palm. It would have gladly done so as well, except it wasn't the part in charge of her motor functions.

Makoto turned back to Minako wearing a slightly puzzled expression. Then she laughed, giving Minako's hand a gentle pull. "Of course," - there was a brief moment of hesitation, "...or did you have to go someplace else today?"

Following behind Makoto - not minding at all that they were leaving the still chattering Usagi and Naru behind - Minako's brain kicked into high gear. That was her chance, to (lie) escape. To flee and give herself a chance to silence these uninvited thoughts and emotions. But... in reality, she could never miss a chance to spend time with Mako. Would never. How could she possibly reject Makoto, ever? Her friend. Her wonderful - oh, so wonderful - strong and gentle friend?

"Nope," Minako grinned, "I have no other plans, Mako-chan."

Returning the grin, the taller girl lead the blonde out of the building. Minako could feel herself bounce more and more, energized by every step at Mako's side. Their hands were still connected by firmly hooked index fingers. An almost casual contact. But Minako couldn't help but cherish it - as silly as it was, that little touch made her beyond happy.

Maybe she shouldn't feel that way. Maybe it was wrong. Maybe she should be stronger, protecting herself from a potentially terrible situation in the future. Perhaps she should fight this silly little crush of hers. If she fell - and she knew she would fall hard - there would inevitably be pain. She could lose her friend forever if Mako ever found out. Or worse, what if Makoto found her longed-for Prince Charming? It was hopeless! But could she honestly refuse herself the simple joy of that moment, when it felt so, so good? When it felt so damn right?

*How could I? It's Mako. Only Mako.*