This was originally going to be a one-shot, but I became impatient with myself. So this is most likely going to become a couplet! Or triplet. :)
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon belongs to.. whoever the franchise legally belongs to, I guess.
The weather could not have been more perfect.
The sun shone brilliantly, but did nothing to impose its unbearable heat. In its place was a gentle breeze, rustling leaves and giving the grass-covered hills shine. The sky was unmarred, a stretch of clear and endless blue.
It was at the top of one of these hills that two girls finally reached their destination.
"Ah, this is nice!" Minako exclaimed before plopping herself down on the ground. She reached into her bag and produced two cans of juice, handing one to her dark-haired companion. Rei gave her a curious glance before settling next to her under the firm oak tree.
"So why did you call me out here?" Rei asked, accepting the can.
"Isn't it obvious? I never see you anymore! And I know your school hasn't been having any exams lately..." The last sentence was a shade more bitter. Minako had always been envious of Rei's school and its lack of entrance exams.
"Wait a minute." Minako jolted out of the position she had gradually melted into on the ground and sat up, staring at Rei incredulously. "Are you avoiding me?"
"What? No!" Rei denied, a light blush dusting her cheeks. "I've just been a bit.. distracted."
"I can tell. You look.. tired." Minako had noticed that during the few times she did see Rei, she didn't quite look the picture of health she normally was.
"I haven't been sleeping," the other girl said quietly. She immediately regretted her moment of honesty when Minako's head snapped in her direction.
"Did you have another vision?" Minako asked urgently, boring her eyes into the side of Rei's head.
"I don't think it would be appropriate to call them nightmares, exactly." She picked at a few strands of grass, avoiding Minako's gaze.
A light went off in the blonde's head and she froze.
If not nightmares, then what?
It couldn't be.
"Rei, I want you to be completely honest with me," Minako commanded, grabbing the other girl's hand.
Rei remained silent, but Minako knew to take it as an affirmative.
"Who were you dreaming about?"
A dark blush covered the miko's face but she turned her head to the side. After what seemed like an eternity, she let out a sigh and answered.
A million emotions coursed through Minako, but the one that prevailed was panic. She let go of Rei's hand and stood up.
Rei remembered the past life.
Rei remembered Venus and Mars.
Minako had already known about Venus and Mars' shared connection as lovers. She herself had had the dreams months before Rei, but had learned to hide it better. After all, she herself had had to deal with the memories of The End alone at one point. Besides, she had always wondered if her close friendship with Rei had been influenced by the past life. To learn that she and Mars had once been deeply involved did not surprise her in the least.
However, even though Rei was her closest friend, Minako knew it wasn't within her right to confide in her about what had happened. Instead, she vowed to forget about their past until Rei remembered it herself.
But now Rei did remember, and Minako had no other choice but to deliver her prepared speech. Yes, she had practiced it before, but now that it was the very subject of her dreams she was facing and not her vanity mirror, everything felt a little more difficult.
A lot, actually.
But the feelings were genuine, and Minako knew better than to let them remain unknown to Rei.
"Minako?" Rei asked worriedly. During this time, Minako had turned her back on the other girl, choosing instead to stare up into the sky.
Minako sucked in a breath. It was now or never.
"Rei." She turned this time, and made sure to make eye contact.
"I'd been having the dreams months before you did, to be honest. I know exactly what you're going through. Rei, you have to know this.. They're memories. Yes, we did happen in the Silver Millennium. Our shared future may or may not be destiny, which you may or may not believe.."
The words spilled out of Minako's mouth in a nervous ramble. She was getting closer and closer to what she wanted to tell Rei. She had to be honest, no matter how uncomfortable both of them were going to feel.
"I just needed to let you know, Rei, that.."
Sweat was starting to collect in her palms, but she clenched them into fists and braced herself. At some point, Rei had stood up, and was eyeing her with a look Minako couldn't quite identify.
I have to say it.
It was now or never.
I need to say it.
This was going to make or break their relationship.
Don't be a coward.
"Even if it is destiny.."
Rei was silent, waiting for Minako to continue with baited breath.
"I just don't feel that way about you."
There. She had said it. She had voiced what had needed to be voiced.
"I can't lie, Rei. I love you, but as more than a friend? I don't know about that. If Fate brings us together in the future, I'll gladly comply. But to say I love you? Now?
"I'd be lying."
She slowly turned around, needing to see the other girl's face.
What would Rei think? Would she be devastated? Would she be relieved?
The miko blinked. A long silence stretched out between them, in which the blonde was sweating. What she going to slap her? Run off crying? That feeling of panic returned as Minako fought to not fidget with her skirt. Or run down the hill, which was starting to look like a good idea.
Then Rei smiled.
Despite all that was said or the feelings that may or may not have been crushed, Rei was still using her nickname.
Rei was still being.. Rei.
Forget the hill, Minako wanted to fling herself off of a cliff.
"Thank you for being honest with me."
She flicked her gaze upward and continued.
"You're right. I had been avoiding you because I didn't know what to feel, but after listening to what you had to say, it makes sense. The past is the past for a reason. It's you who's in my life now, Minako, and I've come to love you just as I had come to love Usagi.
"Like you said. If we end up together, it'd be for reasons we'd understand in that moment. But if we don't.. I'd be lying if I said I would mind, even a little bit."
Her smile grew smaller when she turned to Minako.
"There have been people in my past that I have gotten over, and it's right of you to remind me that Venus is no exception. Thank you for that."
The tense atmosphere was shattered when Rei suddenly giggled. Deciding that was all that needed to be said, she then ran down the hill, calling out to the other girl over her shoulder.
"Last one to the shrine gets to cook dinner!"
Rei had reverted to playful, just like that. When the hell did they switch personalities? Instead of giving chase, Minako watched her figure get smaller and smaller, making no effort to move. Dinner was beginning to seem like a small price to pay for what she had just caused.
Minako had cleared a potential misunderstanding and voiced her true feelings. Rei had completely understood and had done exactly the same.
So why did it hurt so much?
Blue eyes blurred for a moment before their owner violently cleared her throat.
What on earth should I cry for?
This, this is a blessing.
A sudden force overcame Minako and she bolted down the hill, intent on overlapping Rei. Feelings started to overlap but she shoved them down.
She didn't love Rei, and Rei didn't love her.
The situation could not have been more perfect.