Author’s note: This is loosely based around a series by Chris Davies about Rei’s relationship with Mamoru during the first Sailormoon arc. I took some liberties (obviously) but I think I did a decent job. Don’t hurt me!
She would carry her secret to the grave. At least, that was what Rei continued to tell herself. now and again, one of her friends would ask her about her time with Mamoru, before D-point, and the battle with Beryl. And every time, she would just dismiss the comment, with a offhand comment, or even an outright lie. Now and again, even Mamoru would seem to want to ask, as he didn’t remember the times before the battle. No one did, but the 5 inner senshi.
And Rei wasn’t talking.
But then one day it happened. Usagi came bouncing into the temple EARLY for one of their senshi meetings, and practically flaunted the diamond ring on her hand. Mamoru had proposed to her.
“I can’t believe it! It was soooo romantic! I mean, he got down on one knee and everything, and I just started crying and...” Usagi went on for some time, about just how wonderful the whole occasion had been.
Rei wanted to curl up and die. Outwardly, she was smiling and so happy for her princess and prince. Inside, she was crying. She excused herself to the bathroom and stared at her reflection in the mirror as a tear worked its way down her face. In her mind, again, she replayed the last night she had been with Mamoru. The night they had made love. And again, as before, things still didn’t seem clear.
“Rei-chan?” came a soft voice from behind her. Rei turned and saw Ami standing with a sheepish look on her face. “Usagi and the others wanted me to come tell you that they wanted to go get some dinner, to celebrate. I’m supposed to have you meet them with me later. Right now, Minako and Makoto have cornered her about dresses and stuff.” Rei made a non-commital noise “So... are you coming?”
“Umm.... I don’t think I can, Ami-chan. I have alot of work around here in the temple, and I need to catch up on my schoolwork.”
“Oh” Ami stared at her for a long moment. “You’re jealous”
“You heard me.” This was a side of Ami that Rei had never seen. “You’re jealous of them. And you don’t want to go just because you don’t want to see Usagi happy about a man you still love.”
Rei couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. A very cold, sardonic laugh. “Jealous... of... Usagi....” she wheezed, and laughed again so hard she started to cough.
Ami was alittle taken aback, and rubbed Rei’s back until the coughing subsided.
“I’m surprised, Ami-chan. Of all my friends, I thought you, at least, would figure me out.”
“What are you talking about? You and Mamoru used to be.... intimate... we all know it. They way you dance around the subject makes it obvious.” Rei’s eyes hardened.
“You don’t know how wrong you all are, then, Ami. Yes, Mamoru and I were intimate. Just once. The day before we lost him to the Dark Kingdom. And I thank all the Kamis he doesn’t remember that night.”
“Because... because its something I don’t want him to remember. He threw me out of his apartment that night, and I went home alone. As Endymion, he taunted me with it once, but only the one time. I was alone, none of you around, and he appeared. The pounding I gave him made him remember not to bring that up again.”
“What up again?”
“The reason I don’t want to go today Ami?”
“Here we are again. WHY? Why don’t you want to go?”
“BECAUSE I SCREAMED USAGI’S NAME AND NOT HIS THAT NIGHT!!!” Rei screamed, and collapsed in tears, he secret now out in the open. And like a burst dam, she kept going, “Because the first time I saw her, I fell in love. She was so beautiful, and kind, and just a beacon of light. But I couldn’t help teasing her, and she thought I didn’t like her, and I took you on that cruise to make her jealous, and dated Mamoru to make her jealous, and it never worked. She never noticed me and now she’s getting married and I’m so... lost”
Ami was dumbstruck. She didn’t know what to say, how to respond. She backed away from the crying figure confused. “I... I’m sorry Rei... I... I don’t know what to d... say..”
Rei began crying harder, “And now you know, and you hate me to, and want to run away, just like he did,” she got up, and the tears stopped suddenly. As if a dark mask had fallen on her face, Rei’s expression became callous and stony. “I’m sorry I won’t be joining you and the other’s to celebrate Serenity’s engagment. Please tell our princess that I send my warmest regards. Good day, Mercury.”
“No, Mercury. Hino Rei loves Tsukino Usagi, and can never have her. Mars owes only loyalty to Serenity, and that is what I shall be from now on.”
“You can’t bottle up your feelings like that, Rei.”
“I can, and I have, Mercury. It is a release, of sorts. I am a warrior, with a mission. Hino Rei was adrift in this world. She is dead now, and good riddance.”
Ami’s hand flew almost on its own and landed on Rei’s cheek with a violent slap. “How dare you! How dare you retreat to what you were to escape love! You are blaspheming EVERYTHING Usagi, and we, have fought for for so long. She loves you, Rei-chan. Maybe not as you love her, but she loves you just the same. She doesn’t want a loyal warrior. She wants her best friend. She invited you to the dinner because she wants to make you her maiden of honor. YOU! And you stand there and tell me that Rei is dead.”
“But I don’t want to hurt!”
“I know you don’t. I don’t want you to. But it can’t be helped. Sometimes... those we love don’t realize it, and we have to stare at them and wish. Wish that they would see what is in front of their face. Wish that it had been their name called in a moment of passion.” Ami blanched.
“You.... you’re talking about me, aren’t you?”
Ami bit her lip, and nodded.
“Rei-chan... I’m not Usagi. I’m not an angel, not the most compassionate woman in the world. But maybe... just maybe... I could be a reasonable substitute?”
Rei stared for a minute, her mind awhirl. “Ami-chan.. I don’t want you to be a substitute. You’re right, you’re not Usagi. But Usagi is not a reachable goal.” she sighed, “Ami-chan... I don’t know if I can love you as exclusively as you deserve... but I can try.”
Ami squealed with joy, and hugged Rei as if afraid to let go. Then she stepped back and blushed. “I’m sorry, Rei. you just don’t know how happy you’ve made me.”
A feeling rei wasn’t familiar with began to work its way into her mind. She looked at Ami as a woman, not as a fellow fighter. And she liked what she saw. She saw a beautiful young woman, who was absolutely and totally in love with her. And suddenly, losing Usagi didn’t seem that bad after all. Tentatively, she reached a hand to caress Ami’s face. Ami cooed and melted into the touch. Their lips met, tentativly, each reveling in the sensation. As their confidence grew, so did the passion in their kiss.
They were almost late for dinner that evening. And Ami’s wish came true. It was her name her new girlfriend had yelled in passion, and no one else’s.
And Hino Rei was in love.