Disclaimer: I own none of the characters here, solely my interpretations of them.
I've always gotten along better with women; even back in the orphanage all of my best friends were girls, especially after Fiore left. They just seem more real, more open, more in touch with themselves. Sure, you need your buds to go to the arcade with, to watch sports, to grab a brew at the pub, but, for me, I've always been closest to a woman.
I wonder if that is because of who I am and what I am, my duties. Protecting women has always seemed natural, even before I donned the mask and rose. Helping them become something better, helping them realize the strength in themselves, to give back some of the confidence and assurance that our society seems to suck out of them at a young age. I suppose it is my destiny, but if so, it is a fate that sits loosely upon my shoulders. We are well- suited, my fate and I.
Destiny has its rewards, as well. I suppose it possible that I would have met Usagi in the normal course of things, but being so much older than her, so different in the obvious ways, I doubt that we'd have ever gotten past those things to find our hearts in each other. I love her more than anything on this earth. What I love most about her is the things that are so obvious to all of us who love her, but which she just doesn't seem to know: her concern for everyone around her, not just her friends, but her enemies, even perfect strangers; her boundless hope and optimism; her belief that there is always good to be found and that love can heal all wounds, fix all problems, bring joy to everyone. I've seen the magic she's worked in the lives of others, not with tiara or scepter, but with a question, a sympathetic ear, her infectious laugh. Even when I was dating Rei, we'd spend more time talking about her than each other.
Ahhh, Rei. I enjoy the looks I get from the others when she and I chat. They know we dated, they assume there is something there, some tinge of regret at what might have been. We joke about it over coffee some mornings. In some ways, Rei is my best friend, at those times when you need someone who is only a friend and nothing more. We suit each other that way. We both enjoy creating an air of mystery and intrigue around ourselves. My role lets me indulge in that quite often. Her profession suits her. After all, who is more mysterious than a virgin priestess. (Yes, virgin. We did not, never would have. She will when the time is right, I'm sure, but only with someone very special. And if he hurts her, I will hunt him down. If he is lucky, I will get to him before her friends do.)
No, Rei isn't the one I might have chosen if Fate had left me to my own devices. Don't get me wrong! I love Usagi and do not regret in the least that my life has been bound to hers. There is no one who could make me happier or with whom I'd rather spend my life. But, I'm self-aware enough to realize that we aren't always attracted to those who are best for us and, really, Usagi isn't my type at all. No, I know which one would have captured my heart if Destiny had not intervened.
You'll guess that it isn't Minako, since she is so similar to Usagi. I think, of all of them, Minako is the one I know the least. She came along later, after some of the bonds between myself and the others had begun to form. But, that said, she is still one of the closest people to me. They all are, of course. I suppose things might have been different if I had had my protectors, my 'senshi', but they were taken from me long before I was born and I am more comfortable with the friends I have now. Anyway, Minako. Blonde, boy-crazy, not too good in school, heart full of love, achingly beautiful to all who see her (though not really my type, like I said). Still, there are some crucial differences between her and my Usagi. Nothing better or worse, just different. For all of her crying and worry, Usagi is very secure in herself. She knows who she is, what she is capable of, she just needs to be reminded now and then. Minako, though, is more fragile, more precious. There is pain inside of her, pain and fear, which she masks very well under her Sailor V mask. She needs someone to love her, to help her find herself. Perhaps she is what Usagi would have been without me, or what I would have been without Usagi. I think I know who will fill that void in her, but she is young yet and I perhaps not quite ready to come to grips with certain things.
Makoto is one of the sweetest girls, women, you could ever hope to meet. Some who know her, but not well, see a tough girl and assume that that is a shell around a sad, insecure soul longing for something else. They've stopped a few levels too soon. No, Makoto has had her share of pain and loss, but her toughness is not a ruse, not a defense. She is tough, but not hard. She gives of herself to others because she knows better than anyone how much such things can mean to a person who has lost something dear to them. She is secure in who she is, what her strengths and weaknesses are. And she is patient. Sometimes, you need to distance yourself from the one you love, when you are ready for something that they are not. It hurt me deeply when I had to push Usagi away, but she needed time to grow on her own, not in my shadow. We all need to learn to rely on ourselves, before we can be ready to give ourselves completely to others. Makoto knows this, learned it at an early age as I did. She'll wait and watch, confident that what she hopes and dreams of will come to pass. I think her time of waiting is almost done, if I can judge by the glances and confused sighs. Though we don't speak of it much, we both know. Makoto and I are very much alike. I have my Usagi. She will have hers soon.
I indeed have my Usagi, my love, by my side. She kids me sometimes, though, because she knows. She is anything but stupid, especially about matters of the heart, and she loves to tease. She knows exactly who would have caught my eye. She knows who I idly daydream about from time to time, and I don't think it bothers her because she knows she has my heart. No more than it bothers me when I see her go all googly-eyed over my friend Motoki, or even Haruka, sometimes. I've always been drawn to a particular type of girl. Someone intelligent, someone simultaneously confident and ever so insecure, the ones who stand just at the edge of the life around them, observing quietly, waiting for their time to shine. I won't even mention the hair...little bobs like that totally undo me. In another world, I would strike up a friendship with her, study with her, share our interests in science and computers. Slowly, I would draw her out of her shell, confide my deepest longings to her and encourage her to do the same. Love would blossom, slowly, patiently, like a flower shooting through the hard soil of winter into the spring sunshine. And I would take her in my arms and hold her close and bask in the radiance of her smile. Ahhh, sweet Ami, it is fun to ponder what might have been. You are a wonderful friend, but I know inside myself how good it might have been. I am glad that Usagi loves you just as much as I do, or else I'd never hear the end of it about my little crush. I hope you find your prince someday and that he truly deserves you.
Usagi carefully set Mamoru's notebook back exactly as she'd found it. When she'd heard that he was doing introspective writing for a psychology class, she hadn't been able to resist a peek. He really was a sweet thing, so completely right about some things and so completely wrong about others.
"Silly Mamo-chan," she thought, "Minako is no more delicate or fragile than any of us. And Makoto does indeed have a long-hidden love, but not for Mina-chan. I guess your little crush has put some blinders on you."
Usagi knew it wouldn't be long. Indeed, there were shared glances and plaintive sighs. Just the thought of his expression when he found out that it who it really was that Makoto loved...
"Usagi, why are you laughing so hard, and what are you doing at my desk?"
"Nothing, dear, nothing at all. Just thought of something funny, but nothing you'd enjoy." And she continued laughing for quite awhile.
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