Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Blind ( Chapter 43 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Absence - By Kirika


Chapter forty-three. The Ikuko and Kenji stuff in the last chapter was just me having a last bit of fun before I got stuck into all the angst. And the Ikuko part was based on a personal experience. ^_^

The Setsuna/Rei thing was originally inspired by a piece of fanart I saw a long while ago. And Setsuna didn't suddenly fall for Rei; I dropped subtle hints long before it was revealed. Of course, no one picked up on them. Oh well.

I'm so busy with university projects right now, which is the reason for the periodic long delay between chapters. Plus I had a computer networks test on Tuesday that I had to study for.

Hmm… you all think you know how it's going to end… how amusing. *grins evilly*


- Kirika


Chapter 43 - Blind

Rei relaxed back against the wall by the entrance of Juuban High School, waiting for a certain blonde odango atama to be released from class. She took a deep breath, and then exhaled gradually, staring off blankly into the distance. So, there was a new enemy the Fire Senshi had to face. And this one had something *very* useful. To be able to see the future outcomes of your actions… with the enemy's mask, Rei would be able to know precisely what to do and say to always have Usagi's heart, and keep her princess safe from danger. The Senshi of Fire couldn't wait for Setsuna's predicted encounter with the youma-- at least, she assumed it was going to be a youma. Rei wondered how she was going to retrieve the mask from the creature though; the youma would be able to foretell her every move and attack. The raven-haired girl let out a small, dismissive sound. She would burn that bridge when she came to it.

Rei heard the school chimes over the PA. system, the series of notes bringing her out of her ponderings. She heard the chatter of many voices from behind the wall creep closer and closer, until the cacophony drowned out all other noise in the area. Students began to pour through the opened gate entryway of Juuban High School, eager to escape the confines of the learning establishment and enjoy the rest of their weekend. Rei waited patiently as the crowd of people walked past her, the miko only interested in one particular student. The Fire Senshi felt a smile tug at her lips as she saw Usagi wander out of the entrance, Umino and Naru nearby the blonde girl.

"Hi there, gorgeous. Want to go out for lunch with me?" Rei said with a roguish grin as Usagi walked past her, her true love unaware that she was leaning against the wall.

"I'm sorry but I'm already taken," Umino replied, adjusting his glasses while he looked at Rei. "And I'm more 'ruggedly handsome' than gorgeous," he added, earning a light slap on the arm from Naru.

"Just ignore him," Naru said in a long-suffering tone, rolling her eyes at her boyfriend's antics. But the girl then swiftly gave a curious look at her blonde companion.

Usagi smiled at Rei when she saw her bodyguard, but then quickly turned around to her pair of friends. "Oh, uh, I'll see you later, guys. I have something to, um… do," she said nervously, smiling at Umino and Naru somewhat tremulously.

"Okay, Usagi!" Umino called, waving to the odango atama as he was dragged away by Naru. "Remember to do the thermal dynamics physics homework!"

Usagi grimaced at the reminder as she gave a wave of her own to her friends. "Don't worry, I will," she called back. "…But I can't guarantee it will be any good," she added in a mumble under her breath.

"Bye, Usagi," Naru farewelled, with a last glance at her friend and Rei.

Usagi watched Naru and Umino walk out of earshot, and then twirled around to grin at her senshi. "If it isn't the school delinquent," she said dryly, but with the pleased grin still plastered on her pretty features.

Rei half-smiled in mock resignation, shrugging her shoulders. "It's just the sacrifices I have to make to save the city from complete destruction," she said with an exaggerated sigh.

"The suffering you have to go through makes my heart bleed," Usagi said sarcastically, putting her hands on her hips.

The Senshi of Fire shrugged again. "Some forms of suffering are easier to endure than others," she said quietly.

Usagi opened her mouth to reply, but didn't seem to know how to respond to her bodyguard's statement. Seeing that she had brought down the mood, Rei promptly stepped forward and slipped her arms around her princess's trim waist, pulling her unresisting lover near.

"Of course, the suffering I went through this morning did *not* fall into that category," the miko said with mock anger, glaring at Usagi sternly.

The odango atama paled slightly in Rei's embrace, and appeared to find it hard to look her senshi in the eyes. "Was it that bad…?" she asked tentatively.

"It was bad," Rei said simply in a monotone voice.

"I'm so sorry for abandoning you like that, but I… I just…" Usagi said haltingly, having trouble finding the words to explain her earlier actions.

"…Had a test," Rei finished for her, raising one raven eyebrow wryly.

"Exactly," Usagi said softly, lowering her head.

The Senshi of Fire sighed. "You're going to have to face your parents when you go home today," she said gently. "If I can survive it, I'm sure you can too."

"I guess…" Usagi said sceptically while appearing thoughtful, the girl most likely trying to find a way to weasel out of the confrontation between her parents and herself.

"Don't worry… your mother and father were both accepting of us being a couple," the miko said comfortingly to her apprehensive lover. "Your mother disturbingly so…" she muttered under her breath, frowning slightly at the memory of Ikuko's 'talk'.

Just as Rei was about to suggest they both go get something to eat, the Fire Senshi heard a voice that turned her stomach.

"Hey, Usa-ko!" Mamoru shouted from somewhere beyond the crowd of departing high school students.

Usagi instantly freed herself from her lover's hold and stepped back, while scanning the milling people for her boyfriend. Rei narrowed her eyes and also observed the throng, searching for the bane of her happiness. Well, the man wouldn't be for much longer, the Fire Senshi thought sadistically.

Mamoru squeezed his way through the masses of school students and walked up to Rei and Usagi, giving the miko a nod in greeting and the blonde a pleasant smile. Apparently he hadn't seen how 'close' Rei had just been to his girlfriend.

"I'm glad I caught you," the prince said to Usagi. "I'm free so I thought we could have lunch."

Usagi grinned happily up at the man, twisting her upper body from left to right excitedly while she held on to her book bag in front of her chest. "I'd love to, I…" the blonde's eager response trailed off as she looked over to a sour-faced Rei.

"You're welcome to come along too, Rei," Mamoru offered graciously to the Senshi of Fire. "My treat."

Rei was silent for an uncomfortable moment as she merely stared coldly at the prince. It was just like him to ruin everything. "No. Thank you," she said finally, her voice devoid of emotion. "I have other plans." And with that, the miko quickly turned on her heel and moved to leave the couple. However, she came to an abrupt halt as a hand on her shoulder held her back.

"Rei…? Is something bothering you? You've been really moody lately. Is there anything I can do…?" Mamoru asked, concerned.

The Senshi of Fire rather forcefully shook off the man's hand, while keeping her back to her rival. "I'm fine. Never better," she assured Mamoru through gritted teeth. Rei then resumed her march away from him and Usagi.

Rei got about five metres until her princess ran up to her, the blonde positioning herself in front of the Fire Senshi and blocking her way. Usagi gazed sadly into her bodyguard's now cold lavender eyes, her expression one of deep regret.

"Sorry, Rei," she said apologetically. "I know we were meant to have lunch together, but… Mamoru…" Usagi's words petered out and she glanced over her lover's shoulder, no doubt at her waiting boyfriend. "I'll make it up to you, I promise," she swore, looking entirely crest-fallen.

"Then tell him about us," Rei demanded in a chill tone.

"I…" Usagi started, appearing as if she were caught between a rock and a hard place. She swallowed hard and nodded uneasily to her senshi. "O-Okay… I'll tell him…" she continued. "…I'll tell him Monday, I swear I'll tell him on Monday!" the blonde then hastily amended, pleading to Rei's frosty visage for acceptance.

Rei gravely nodded. "Fine. I'll… I'll see you later," she said, her cold expression cracking for just an instant, before she hurried away from her only love, disappointed yet again. Monday. That was two days away. Rei wondered if Usagi would find an excuse to put off telling Mamoru to an even later date.

The Senshi of Fire walked glumly down the street, leaving Juuban High School and her princess and the prince far behind her. Rei suddenly had the whole afternoon free. She considered going back to Minato General Hospital to hang out with Makoto, but decided against it. Ami was there right now, and she didn't want to intrude. The Fire Senshi didn't want to be like Mamoru, showing up where she wasn't wanted. Besides, Rei didn't really want any company right now, bar Usagi's. No, she wasn't in the mood. The raven-haired girl sighed. Perhaps her relationship with her princess wasn't as perfect as she thought it was. Damn that Mamoru, Rei wished he would just go away and leave both her and Usagi alone.


Tsubasa watched Rei as the forlorn girl sat on a swing in the park, idly swaying back and forth gently, the tips of her long raven main of hair nearly scraping the ground. At this angle, you could pick up the lovely purple highlights in her luxurious dark locks. Tsubasa found himself starting to grin like an idiot, and quickly schooled his features into an impassive expression. He wasn't here to admire Rei's beauty. The man had a job to do, and he couldn't lose focus. Rei had pulled his fat out of the fryer several times before, and this time Tsubasa wanted to help her for once. Well, he had probably saved her life one time, but that didn't matter. Tsubasa still owed her.

"You sure you wanna do this?" Sanjuro asked doubtfully from the driver's seat of the parked rented car, looking at Rei with unease in his brown eyes, as if the raven-haired girl were going to explode into a fiery killing spree at any moment. "Right now doesn't look like the greatest time to bring all that stuff up…"

"It's the perfect time," Tsubasa said resolutely, his brow creasing in determination, his gaze still directed at the girl on the swing. "You saw what happened at the school."

"Heh, all the more reason to keep your distance. I bet as soon as you even hint that she should re-evaluate her fuzzy feelings for Usagi, she'll set your ass on fire," Sanjuro smirked, folding his arms. "And don't count on me putting it out, either."

"I wasn't," Tsubasa said rather coldly. Of course, Sanjuro wouldn't help him talk to Rei; the callous ex-reporter only looked out for number one. Adding the stupid man to the equation would probably botch the whole talk with Rei anyway, and then both their asses would *definitely* be set on fire.

"And anyway," Sanjuro went on, apparently not having heard his companion's unfriendly response, "so what if she's all stalker-like on her friend? Big deal. Who cares? I don't," he said, throwing up his hands.

"Gee, what a surprise," Tsubasa mumbled under his breath. And then, in a louder voice, "I care. This is only going to end badly, and with a lot of people getting hurt in the process. Maybe some even physically. I like to think I'm Rei's friend, and as her friend it's my duty to prevent her from going through with something she's going to regret. It'll hurt Rei terribly in the future if I do nothing to help her now, when I have the chance to. She's obsessed, and she has to be made to see that." Tsubasa nodded firmly, quite pleased with his little speech.

Sanjuro merely rolled his eyes and let out a short, irritated breath, obviously not impressed by it. "Yeah, right, obsessed. She's not the only one…" he muttered softly, shifting his gaze out the driver's side window.

Tsubasa snapped his head to the man beside him. "What? What the hell is that supposed to mean?" he said sharply.

"Nothing, stalker-boy," the ex-reporter said dryly, returning his gaze to Tsubasa. "Now, didn't you have some whacked-out flame-throwing super chick to talk to? Or was that whole little oral presentation for my benefit? …Or maybe it was for your own…"

Tsubasa glared at Sanjuro for an instant, and then got out of the car, choosing not to reply to the ex-reporter's comments.

"And don't blow our cover!" Sanjuro called as Tsubasa stepped outside the vehicle. The brown-haired man simply slammed the car door shut in response.

Tsubasa walked with unwavering purpose towards Rei, the girl still oblivious to his presence as she swang slowly in the park swing with her head lowered. However, as the man came closer to his quarry, he felt his resolve start to deteriorate. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. It's not like he had planned what to say or anything; Tsubasa had decided previously just to wing the whole thing and hope for the best. Perhaps that hadn't been the wisest strategy. Rei did have a hot temperament; maybe she actually would set him alight, or at the very least punch him in the nose. Tsubasa reached up with one hand and touched his nose gingerly. Yeah, who was he to act all judgemental? Besides, Sanjuro was right about one thing: Rei might find out he and the ex-reporter had been following her around.

"Did you come here just to gawk at me?"

Tsubasa was startled out of his internal debate by Rei's annoyed voice, and to the man's horror he realised his legs had taken him all the way to the park swings. Crap, there was no backing out now. Well, unless he just made up some excuse and got the hell out of there. But no, he should have some backbone and help his friend like he had set out to do from the beginning.

"Rei, fancy meeting you here," Tsubasa lamely squeaked out.

"Hmm. Big fan of the swing set, are you?" the raven-haired girl said sarcastically, continuing to absently sway slightly forwards and backwards on the swing, her head still down.

"Umm, yeah, sure! Ever since I was a kid…heh heh," Tsubasa laughed nervously. He walked over and carefully sat on the swing next to Rei, wincing when an ominous creak came from the two chains supporting the seat.

"Where's your sidekick?" the miko asked while she traced a pattern in the dirt with her foot, appearing to not at all care where Sanjuro actually was.

Tsubasa glanced back at the ugly brown car and saw the man in question wave at him with a cheery grin. Tsubasa ignored him and looked back to Rei. "He's… around," he said with a grimace.

The pair were silent for a while after that, Rei seemingly lost in her own thoughts while Tsubasa repeatedly shifted his weight on the swing, occasionally looking up warily at the blue metal frame as it groaned in protest. Children played in the park surrounding them, free from school until Monday, and birds sang their pleasant melodies from the trees.

"How did you find me?" Rei asked, breaking the silence that only enclosed the swing's area.

"Oh… I was just passing by," Tsubasa lied. "You looked like you needed some company."

"Whatever," the miko said dismissively, obviously not believing the man. "It doesn't really matter."

"So…" Tsubasa drawled out, after taking a few seconds to gather his courage. "How are things progressing between you and Usagi?" he said, attempting to sound casual. Tsubasa hoped he was convincing.

Rei opened her mouth to reply, but then snapped it closed. She turned her head to glower at Tsubasa. "None of your business," she said irritably.

Tsubasa smiled weakly at the girl. "Not well, then?"

Rei said nothing, merely returning her gaze to the dirt-covered ground. Tsubasa sighed and then psyched himself up to do what he had come here for. The miko wouldn't melt him like wax in broad daylight, right? He wasn't too sure about not being simply beaten to a pulp though.

"Rei…" Tsubasa began quietly, "have you ever considered… that maybe Usagi would be happier with her boyfriend?"

The raven-haired girl swiftly turned to face the man, frowning. "What?" she said in aggravation mixed with disbelief.

"Uh, just hear me out!" Tsubasa blurted as he held both his hands up in a pacifying motion, wishing to save himself from bodily harm. "What I mean is, maybe Usagi's happy with that guy. Have you ever thought about that?"

Rei's features twisted into a disgusted rictus. "No! That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" she fiercely exclaimed, causing a few small children and their parents to look at her guardedly. "Mamoru is a deadbeat; he's always treating Usagi like nothing, less than nothing! He keeps breaking her heart all the time and yet *somehow*, she always crawls back to him. Mamoru has never treated her right; always believing he had a cushy little lot in life that could never be altered, the bastard. Well that loser is going to find out that his girlfriend won't be a doormat for him any longer! Usagi would be happier --*is* happier-- with me!" she concluded, stabbing herself furiously in the chest with a pointed finger.

Tsubasa swallowed apprehensively as Rei's angry outburst finished. Crap, his ass *was* going to be set on fire. But nevertheless, he soldiered on. "It's just that you seem a bit… focused, um, single-minded, on making your friend fall in love with you," he said cautiously. "Shouldn't you be more concerned with what makes her happy?"

"I told you, you idiot! Usagi is happy with me!" Rei shouted, bounding off of her swing and making the chain links rattle loudly.

"I have feelings for someone too," Tsubasa went on calmly, ignoring the riled raven-haired girl and dropping his gaze, though his heart was beating a mile a minute. "…I think I do. And I know she'll never feel the same way about me as I do about her, plus there's already someone else who she's involved with right now. But that doesn't matter. Because, if she's happy with he-- that… person, then I'm happy too." Tsubasa sighed deeply, feeling tired all of a sudden, and not at all afraid of the girl standing before him. "That's what love is. It's sacrifice. You seem hell-bent on possessing Usagi, and that isn't right. I'm sorry, but it just… isn't."

Rei said nothing, though from Tsubasa's angle he could see that the miko's fists were balled tightly. The man risked raising his head and met the girl's lavender eyes. His face paled as he saw her enraged expression; perhaps it would have been better if he had just kept his head down and remained quiet.

"What do you know about love?" Rei said scornfully. "'Sacrifice?' I've sacrificed! By the *gods*, have I sacrificed! I would give up *everything* for Usagi if I had to! I would die for her! I *have* died for her!! If that isn't 'sacrifice', I don't know what is!!" she cried contemptuously. The miko then shook her head, smiling derisively. "You're a fool. You know *nothing* about the situation. Staying quiet about your feelings for someone and laughing contentedly and smiling falsely at whoever they're with is the road to eternal loneliness. You have to show your special someone how you feel, and grab onto them with both hands, never letting go. I pity you… because you don't have the courage to strive for what you desire, you don't have the strength of will to make your dreams a reality. And that is why you will always lose out to someone else. That is why you will always be lonely. That is why you will always fail."

Tsubasa watched emotionlessly as Rei spun around and stomped away from him, leaving the park. God, it was worse than he thought. He even found himself being drawn into her passionate speech. For a very brief moment. Rei's thinking was flawed; she believed as if love were a battle to be won. Call him idealistic, but if the person Tsubasa loved were happiest with someone other than him, then he would gladly embrace eternal loneliness. A hopeless romantic notion perhaps, but that was how he felt. But Tsubasa's way of thinking could obviously not be forced into Rei's mind. After all, in the end, her choices were her own to make. Tsubasa prayed that at the very least, he had given the girl something to think about.


Rei walked down the street to Usagi's house, the setting sun's dying rays outlining her figure on the horizon. Tsubasa. What an idiot. The man was going to spend all of his days alone. It was true what they say; nice guys do finish last. The Fire Senshi shook her head slightly, clearing the conversation with Tsubasa from her mind. All in all, today had turned out to be one big disappointment. Mamoru and Tsubasa. Gods, she just wished they would-- she shook her head again, this time more fiercely, banishing the two men from her thoughts. At least she could now see Usagi again.

As Rei arrived at the gate to the Tsukino residence, she noticed Hotaru just stepping out onto the pavement from the entrance. The miko wondered what the Outer Senshi was doing here. No doubt paying Chibi-Usa a visit or something along those lines.

"Hi, Hotaru," Rei said, smiling faintly at the pale girl as she walked up to her. "What brings you here?"

Hotaru blinked at the Senshi of Fire for a moment, and then seemed quite agitated. "Umm… I walked Chibi-Usa home…" she said softly, bowing her head shyly.

Rei nodded, and then manoeuvred herself to move past the Senshi of Rebirth. "Right. Well, I'll see you later, Hotaru," she absently farewelled.

"Oh, um…" Hotaru stammered, causing the miko to turn back to the girl. "C-Can I… I want to ask you something," she said timidly, blushing a little.

Rei raised a quizzical eyebrow, smiling indulgently at the introverted senshi. "Yes?" she prompted gently.

The Senshi of Rebirth squirmed under Rei's gaze for several seconds, and then took a deep breath. "I was wondering… if… you and Usagi are… are…" She trailed off, her blush intensifying. "…Are you a-and her… in love…?" Hotaru finally got out.

Rei grinned at the dark-haired girl and opened her mouth to confirm the Outer Senshi's suspicions, but instead paused in mid-motion. She closed her mouth for a brief instant and then frowned marginally. Hotaru looked on patiently, waiting for an answer.

"No…" Rei lied in almost a croak, giving into an instinct inside of herself. "We're not. She's my best friend, but nothing… nothing more."

The Senshi of Rebirth gave a pleased smile at the miko, and then nodded. "Thank you for telling me. I was just… curious," she explained. "I should go back to Ami's apartment; it's late and Michiru-mama is probably worried. Bye, Rei."

Rei watched Hotaru stroll down the street away from Usagi's house, looking as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. The Fire Senshi felt like one had been added to hers. Why had she lied to Hotaru? Rei wasn't ashamed of her relationship with Usagi, by any means. It had been like an impulse. Rei gritted her teeth in annoyance. Damn Tsubasa, the man's holier-than-thou attitude had probably made her start to doubt herself. And she couldn't afford to let that happen; there was too much at stake.


Rei sat upright in Usagi's bed, resting her head against the headboard as she stared glassy eyed up at the ceiling. What Tsubasa had said and her own reaction to Hotaru's inquiry had been bugging her all evening. Thankfully, Kenji must have said something to Ikuko to deter his wife from bothering Rei, because the blue-haired woman hadn't pounced upon the miko as soon as she had entered the Tsukino residence, instead merely giving the girl a thoughtful look and then leaving her be. Usagi hadn't told Rei much about her own talk with her parents, but the Fire Senshi had gotten the impression that while it had went well, it had been highly embarrassing. Rei hadn't seen Chibi-Usa at all. She supposed the young girl had homework to do or something similar.

"Rei…?" Usagi said quietly next to the raven-haired girl. "You've been awfully quiet tonight..." She shifted her bright blue eyes to the bed covers, and then idly prodded the puffy material. "Are you still mad at me for leaving you today? I said I was sorry, I didn't know Mamoru would show up, honest… Rei… are you listening?"

Rei was brought out of her musings by a certain odango atama poking her in the arm. She rolled her head on the wooden headboard towards her princess. "Yes, I'm listening," she said, giving a somewhat strained smile.

Usagi looked at her lover dubiously. "Is something bothering you? I said I would tell Mamoru about us on Monday," she said.

"I know you did. And I trust that you will," Rei said truthfully. She chuckled lightly, rubbing the back of her neck with one hand. "I'm just tired I guess."

The blonde blinked at the miko for a second, and for an instant Rei thought her true love didn't believe her. "Oh. Is that all? Here--" Usagi gestured for the raven-haired girl to turn around, until her senshi's back was to her. She then flipped Rei's long raven locks over the girl's shoulders, and then started massaging her neck with a relaxing yet firm touch, easing her bodyguard's tense muscles into a supple state.

"Mmm… that feels great…" Rei murmured and then closed her eyes, giving in to her princess's soothing attentions.

"Mmm hmm," Usagi hummed knowingly while continuing her ministrations, now using her thumbs to rub her lover's upper back as she moved on to Rei's shoulders. The Fire Senshi could tell the odango atama was smiling contentedly.

"Maybe you should take your t-shirt off," the blonde suggested carefully after many pleasurable minutes. "It'll be… easier, that way…"

Rei smirked and opened her eyes. "Sure," she replied as nonchalant as possible, and then hurriedly pulled her t-shirt over her head, before tossing it onto the floor.

Usagi's tender touch then resumed, now on the Senshi of Fire's bare flesh, kneading her bodyguard's muscles deeply and eliciting a low moan from her. Soon after, Rei felt something soft and moist press against her neck, and then realised Usagi was kissing her. The blonde continued to kiss her lover, peppering the raven-haired girl's neck and shoulders with light pecks.

"Why, you little minx," Rei said with a smile in her voice, bending her head forward to give her true love better access. "Are you trying to seduce me?"

Usagi rested one cheek against her senshi's bare back and absently trailed her fingertips delicately up and down her lover's spine. "I thought that, since Luna isn't here… and that it's Saturday night, and I don't have any school tomorrow…" she explained softly, leaving her intentions silent, yet obvious.

"I said to your dad that I wouldn't touch you, my princess," Rei said, only half serious.

"Oh," Usagi said, the disappointment easily recognisable in her tone.

"But I'm sure we can both be quiet. He did say he didn't want to *hear* a repeat of last night…" the Fire Senshi went on slyly.

Rei felt her princess's lips curve into a smile against her naked back. "I can be quiet. If you don't torture me like last time," the odango atama said with mock irritation.

Rei grinned and then abruptly turned around, before pressing her body against Usagi's and enveloping the girl in her arms, gradually easing the blonde's slender form down to the bed. She eagerly captured her only love's mouth with her own, initiating a deep and loving kiss that Usagi readily returned with equal gusto. The Senshi of Fire dispelled any lingering traces of the encounter with Tsubasa and her reaction to Hotaru's question from her mind, focusing on the present, more enjoyable moment instead. Everything was going to be all right. On Monday, Usagi would tell Mamoru about her romantic relationship with Rei and then tell the prince that she was through with him. On Monday, the Senshi of Fire and her princess could finally start a new life together, without Mamoru or anyone or anything hanging over their heads. On Monday, Rei's most sought after dreams would finally become reality.


To be continued…

Author's ramblings:

Violence should be up next. Lots and lots of violence. It's been a long time coming. ^_^