Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Absence ❯ Letting Go ( Chapter 49 )

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


Chapter forty-nine. I never said I'd only pair Usagi with Rei, I said I'd only pair Rei with Usagi; there's a difference. ^_^ Usagi, on the other hand, I don't mind pairing with almost anybody. And I'm not adverse to threesomes depending on the setting and if there's no guys involved… sometimes I like to imagine Usagi with all four inner senshi, which is a fivesome. ^_^;;; Heh, I've even been bouncing around an idea for a fic where all the inner senshi are chasing after Usagi in their own unique way. It would be a comedy of course. ^_~

To the person who asked if this fic would reach a hundred chapters; I seriously doubt it. But I don't know exactly when it will end. It'll end when it ends I guess. As for giving advice on how to write a fanfic properly; don't look at me. I barely know what I'm doing. ^_^ But here's some tips: use spell check and grammar check for Word (but don't rely on grammar check too much); paragraphs are nice; don't put author notes in the middle of a fic. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. You don't need to convert your fic to HTML if you want to upload it on; word doc is fine. Plus I definitely don't have time to appraise anybody's work right now, and I'd feel a little bad if I have to tell someone their fanfic sucks (yes, really I would). ^_^

And no, the 'moment' hasn't happened yet. You'll know when it does.

Don't try to wrap your mind around time paradoxes.

Why can't Rei find comfort and love in Setsuna? Because she's too hung up on Usagi, basically. Setsuna would always play second fiddle to Usagi in Rei's eyes. I suppose that would be all right for Setsuna since she's so lonely, but Rei wouldn't do that to her, and she just can't be comfortable with anyone besides Usagi. Plus the constant comparing of Setsuna to Usagi on Rei's part would probably end up killing the relationship. Sometimes love is so deep that one has to be with their special person or no one at all.

Now, to the person who's confused with what Setsuna said in relation to a bunch of other things. Firstly, the coin myth. It's a *myth* from another dimension for god's sake; it's supposed to be mysterious. When Lazarus referred to Rei as 'the one' he meant the one who was killing lots of youma with fire. As for the mask, its function has already been explained. With it you have a short-range view of the different possible timelines around you and can decide which path is best. However, considering Setsuna's words, no matter what path you take to say for example, avoid danger, if your fate deems that you were to be slain in a certain battle, then you eventually will be, despite any efforts you take. This is… no, better stay silent. And where is Chibi-Usa during the fights? At her school, doing the usual stuff, what else did you think?

**Re-upped with song added. ~denotes lyric translation~, [denotes katakana]. You wouldn't believe the trouble I had trying to get to stop double spacing the song lines. Geez.


- Kirika


Chapter 49 - Letting Go

Makareus' eyes followed his second in command as the youma paced back and forth in front of his desk, limping slightly and also appearing quite agitated, more than the demon had ever seen the usually unflappable Iason be in a very long time.

"There must be a leak within our ranks," the youma stated with some mild force behind his voice, nodding to himself. "The Sailor Senshi must have penetrated our organization and implanted a mole." He stopped his pacing and turned towards Makareus, the subordinate's black ponytail that was part of his human disguise swinging out in the air behind him. "It is impossible, otherwise. How else could the humans know that I was coming? They were waiting for me, they even laid a trap, as pitiful as it were." Iason shook his head in incomprehension of the situation. "And that's not even addressing the disaster with the Reaver infiltrator shock troops at Juuban High School," he added in distaste. "We should put every youma to the question, no matter how high their position; hot pokers and sharp stakes will drive out the spy. I say let the inquisition section investigate, my Lord. In the meantime, I have cancelled the mission to attack Mizuno's living quarters until further notice; all subsequent operations are under threat until this breach is found."

Makareus said nothing, merely inhaling slowly and then releasing the breath in a silent puff of air. Perhaps it was time to replace his right hand youma. It seemed that the pressure was finally getting to the normally stoic Iason. To the casual observer, the creature dressed in a fresh indigo business suit appeared fairly calm, stating his observations and advice in a clear and concise manner. However, Makareus had known Iason for several Earth-time centuries and he could notice the subtle cracks in the youma's mask of indifference; the tense muscles beneath his crisp human clothing, the slight crease in his brow, the mild tightening around the eyes. Faint signs, yes, but on a youma like Iason, they screamed out to be spotted. Unless the creature was acting. Iason was devious --he had to be to survive in his high-ranking position in Makareus' force-- and the youma had been known to execute diabolically complex plots to bring down potential rivals, most of which involved no small amount of subterfuge from Iason himself in the form of convincing theatrical performances. But of course, the youma couldn't compare to the master of deception himself. And Makareus' finely tuned intuition told him that Iason was genuinely disconcerted.

The demon leaned back in his leather chair and began rapping the fingers of one hand on his hard wooden desk; the rhythmic hollow taps the only noise in the high-rise office as Iason waited somewhat patiently for his Lord's response, the youma aide fidgeting a little. This whole campaign was filled with mess after mess. Though, there were some successes; the deaths of his siblings and the subsequent phasing in of their followers into his own, and the acquirement of the interdimensional portal spell components, coming to Makareus' mind. There had still been no word from his older brother, Thrinakie, thank the multiverse, and it was assumed that the old coot had either been killed in the explosion of his headquarters, or was lost in the ether that existed between dimensions when his pocket plane had collapsed; even an arch-mage of Thrinakie's calibre would have trouble escaping from such a void. But now, here was yet another setback. Even Makareus' second in command had failed in his mission. And then there was the debacle with the Reavers; the demon knew he should have stuck with more delicate methods of dealing with the Sailor Senshi. Reports were still being collated, but so far the casualty list of the butchered humans at Juuban High School did not include any names of the stubborn enemy. Makareus narrowed his eyes to sinister slits and ceased his tapping on the desk. Why in all the planes wouldn't the blasted Sailor Senshi just die already? He had ordered the execution of an entire school building's population to be rid of them, with still no results. You couldn't even dispose of one who had been relatively incapacitated; it was like the group had been gifted with divine luck from the gods themselves. And speaking of which… Makareus tilted his head towards a dark corner of the office as he suddenly felt another presence in the room with him, besides his failure of a youma, Iason.

"There is no need for an investigation," Lazarus the Night Haunter rasped from the corner he had materialised in, shrouded in shadow. "There is no leak."

Iason turned sharply to the masked assassin, the black clad figure only visible in the gloom by his pale blue hair and the similarly coloured sash that hung from his waist. "And how can you be so sure?" the youma questioned, with a hint of contempt behind his words, no doubt irked that his deductions were being challenged, and in front of his Lord no less.

Lazarus lowered his head marginally, the light from the fluorescent tubes on the ceiling above giving his sky blue locks a slight sheen as he moved. "My order is concerned predominantly with the art of murder… but we are just as capable at the art of intrigue," he informed Iason in his scratchy voice.

Makareus' right hand youma looked at the chief assassin dispassionately. "Sneaking behind our backs, are we?" he accused coldly. "Need I remind you who you take your commands from? The Silent Blades fall under Lord Makareus' realm."

The Night Haunter was quiet for a moment, making the silence in the office all the more apparent. "The Silent Blades follow *me*," Lazarus said finally, breaking the tension in the air. "*I* am the representative of the high council in this world; *I* am the Blades' leader on this plane. And *I* am the one who commands the order however I wish."

"And you follow me," Makareus interrupted rather firmly, shifting his gaze to the impudent black clad youma. "Your wishes epitomise my own."

Lazarus turned his head to the demon. "Of course," he whispered gravely, not at all sounding subservient. The assassin's constant insolence was becoming tiresome to Makareus; one day the youma would have to learn his place. A mere youma was nothing compared to a demon spawned from the very essence of nightmares, no matter what the lowly creature's skills and/or powers.

"But that still doesn't answer the question why you believe there isn't a Sailor Senshi spy within our midst," Iason said, narrowing his eyes slightly at the masked figure.

"Some beings have a broader perspective on existence, on life, than others…" Lazarus replied cryptically, giving no real answers whatsoever.

"We lost almost a whole company of Reavers in the Juuban High School assault," Iason said, eyeing Lazarus icily for a second before facing Makareus, deciding to let the topic with the Silent Blades chief drop. "The survivors are insisting that the Sailor Senshi had been ready for them, and reinforcements had arrived to aid the enemy momentarily." The youma paused for an instant, and then spoke in a level tone; "They say that a Sailor Senshi with the power of the element of fire joined the fray and delivered a scorching and swift end to all who confronted her."

Makareus clenched one gloved fist tightly where it rested on his desk, causing a cracking sound to resonate around the room. Her again. Perhaps the rumours circulating around the youma army currently stationed in this dimension had more truth to them than the demon had realised. A Sailor Senshi that exhibited amazing displays of pyrotechnics from her bare hands, a single warrior whom death cannot touch. The demon shook his head; she was becoming a constant thorn in his side. There had always been so-called 'champions' in the other dimensions and on the other planets Makareus had invaded, all possessing a great amount of 'heroism' and astounding prowess in combat, but all had eventually fallen by an assassin's knife or on the battlefield, one way or another. All the champions bled, just like… *almost* everyone else. And this champion, this Sailor Senshi, was no different; she bled, which meant she would die, no matter how long her incredible lucky streak against his forces lasted. Lucky streak… Makareus returned his eyes to the Night Haunter, the assassin meeting his gaze through the dark eye slits gouged into his ghastly mask.

"Lazarus…?" the demon said, his orders implied.

"I know who she is," the black clad youma said without inflection. "I know her better than she knows herself."

"Oh really?" Iason remarked coolly, rounding on the assassin. "And you waited until *now* to inform us? When the damage has already been done?"

"…Yes," Lazarus replied simply in his usual monotone, making Iason noticeably glower at him. "The warrior was the one responsible for destroying the majority of your agents' party," the masked youma continued unperturbed, blatantly ignoring the other of his kind. "Her *alone*. Her strength is formidable, and impressive, but all beings have their weaknesses. The human can fight, but she is flawed; she knows nothing."

"Then take care of her," Makareus commanded sternly, not concerning himself too much with the Night Haunter's riddles; the masked creature had a tendency to spout them sometimes.

"Yes…" the assassin rasped. "Now is the time for action; recent developments have made her vulnerable; the body can be strong, but the mind is stronger, though, no longer."

"'Developments'?" Iason questioned, but was summarily disregarded by Lazarus.

"However…" the Night Haunter went on. "This… execution… must be carried out by *my* methods…" He tilted his head languidly towards Makareus' second in command. "…Alone."

"Very well," Makareus conceded, forestalling Iason's objections while placing his elbows on the desk and leaning forward in his chair. "But make haste. I plan to open the main gate to our world in a matter of days."

Lazarus nodded grimly. "First, I must have words with… *her*," he whispered, and then vanished in a cloud of black mist, melting into the shadows.

"'Words'?" Iason repeated with some disdain once the assassin was gone.

Makareus was silent, pondering what his future actions should be. Perhaps a couple of days wait before he activated the portal. It would be a risk, but if the Night Haunter were successful in ridding the demon of that one annoying Sailor Senshi, and if the master of deception brought all of his now small amount of remaining troops in this world with him, then maybe that would be enough to keep the surviving defenders of Earth at bay while an invasion legion from the gate secured his stranglehold on the planet, and the dimension. Perhaps he wouldn't even need to draw his blade. But in the meantime, the safest and wisest action for Makareus was to wait.


"I think that's everything," Rei said quietly, putting in one of her skirts in her bag, the final item of her clothing to be packed away. She slowly zipped up the bag on Usagi's bed and glanced at her princess who was sitting on the edge demurely, having been watching the miko despondently as the girl collected her belongings from around the bedroom and put them away for the last time.

"Yeah…" Usagi replied in a just as subdued tone, looking at the full bag. "I guess so."

Rei had deemed it best if she moved out as soon as possible from the Tsukino house, despite her love's protests to the contrary. Usagi had argued that the youma enemy knew the Fire Senshi's identity, and she was in danger if she returned to the Hikawa Jinja. But Rei was certain that if the youma did in fact know where she lived, they would have taken some sort of action by now, and so far it had been peaceful at the shrine. Besides, the raven-haired girl didn't think she could stand living with Usagi for even a moment longer, youma threat or not. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy her princess's company, far from it, but it simply hurt to be around the girl so often, morning and night. And noon also, now that Juuban High School was closed for the foreseeable future in the aftermath of the youma attack; Usagi had no school to attend until a replacement facility was allocated. Rei had sworn to endure the torture of never being with Usagi again, but the pain was still fresh, and she just couldn't take being so near to her true love and not be able to touch her, to kiss her, to show affection for the beautiful blonde. It was basically too much to bear so soon. While Usagi had chosen Mamoru over her, Rei's love for her princess had not diminished in the slightest, and the Senshi of Fire doubted it ever would, despite the eternity of loneliness that would fill her life in the future. However, the pain in the miko's broken heart would eventually fade away, the raven-haired girl was sure of it… or at least, she hoped it would. But in the back of Rei's mind, she knew the torment of not being together with Usagi would always linger inside her; the pain was permanently ingrained in her heart and soul.

The Fire Senshi sighed deeply and straightened from her bag, taking a step back and being careful not to trip over the futon that lay beside the bed. After parting Setsuna's company, Rei had slept on the floor instead of in the bed beside her princess last night, which had been rather fitting in a way; the first night she had spent at the blonde's house since returning to Tokyo she had slept on the floor, and now the final night in the girl's bedroom she had used the futon also. Usagi had said it was okay for her bodyguard to join her under the covers of her bed, but the Senshi of Fire had opted not to. While Rei was experiencing pain, she hadn't forgotten that her love was just as much hurt by the turnout of events also, and any reminders of what the blonde and the miko had had together threatened to increase Usagi's suffering, which the Fire Senshi wanted to avoid. Rei lowered her gaze to the floor. All the more reason to return to the Hikawa Jinja immediately.

"Well, I better get going," Rei said, giving Usagi a smile for the girl's benefit, even though it was strained. "Grandpa and Yuuichirou will be glad to have me back to help out around the shrine."

"They'll be glad to just have you back," Usagi corrected softly, keeping her eyes averted from her senshi standing in front of her.

Rei's forced smile fell from her features as the rest of her expression followed suit. The Senshi of Fire would never forgive herself for causing her princess all this heartache, but in retrospect, she supposed it had been inevitable for her feelings for Usagi to come out eventually. But the raven-haired girl wished it had all resulted in a less painful decision for her love. Rei started to reach out a hand on reflex to comfort her princess, but then quickly let it drop. No, it was still too early for things like that. Someday the two girls would get back their previous close friendship, but today was not that day.

"They're withering away," Usagi said out of the blue, catching the miko's attention. Rei followed her princess's gaze towards the large bouquet of carnations, which had been a gift from the Fire Senshi. The flowers were arranged in a vase on the low square table in the blonde's bedroom, but the once bright and vibrant pink petals were now marred by brown decay. "I regularly changed their water, but they're still dying," Usagi went on, continuing to look dejectedly at the carnations.

Rei gazed at the pink flowers, the once pretty bouquet bringing back memories mixed with sadness. "No…" she replied quietly, "they're already dead."

Usagi turned away from the carnations and raised her head to look up at her bodyguard, appearing crestfallen and on the verge of tears. The Senshi of Fire merely reached for her bag on the bed and picked it up. It was far past time to leave.

"Do you… do you need help with that?" Usagi asked as Rei's arm trembled slightly under the weight of her full bag, her injured forearm causing her difficulty.

"It's alright; I'm fine," the Fire Senshi assured her princess with a faint but genuine smile this time, ignoring the twinges of pain that shot up her limb as she withheld a wince. Usagi merely nodded in reply, eyeing her bodyguard as if she didn't believe her.

Rei grabbed her long black coat with her free hand and then left Usagi's bedroom, before walking down the stairs to the front door, the blonde following solemnly behind her. It was fairly sunny outside, but the Senshi of Fire had decided to wear her coat anyway. There was a chill in the air.

"Oh, Rei? Are you leaving us?" Ikuko inquired, meeting her daughter and the girl's best friend near the front door.

"Um, yeah," Rei answered. "I really should go back to the Hikawa Jinja and return to my miko duties," she added, trying to inject a bit of life into her tone. She wasn't sure if she succeeded or not.

"Oh, that's too bad," Ikuko replied regretfully. "But you did have to go back home eventually, I suppose. I've just gotten so used to having you around!" she went on, smiling pleasantly at Rei.

"Thank you for your hospitality, Mrs. Tsukino," the Senshi of Fire said politely, bowing to the woman. "Please extend my gratitude to Mr. Tsukino also."

"It was a pleasure, dear," Ikuko said, nodding to the girl. "I only wish your manners had rubbed off on Usagi," she added, glancing discreetly at her daughter for the blonde girl's reaction. However, Usagi's thoughts seemed miles away, preoccupied with other things.

"Thank you," Rei said again, bowing once more.

"You're welcome to stay anytime you want to, Rei," Ikuko offered as the raven-haired girl put down her bag and put on her shoes. The woman put a contemplative finger on her chin and appeared thoughtful. "Kenji might not like the idea too much, but I'm sure that once I talk to him he'll see things my way. You are my daughter's girlfriend after all!"

Usagi noticeably stiffened at her mother's words, but remained silent. Rei took it all in passively on the outside, but she couldn't help the mild stab of hurt that pierced her heart at the reminder of what had been, and could be no longer. The miko finished putting on her shoes and slipped on her long coat, the feeling of the dark clothing on her body a comforting weight, like a protective shield.

"Bye, Mrs. Tsukino," Rei farewelled, choosing not to tell Ikuko that she wasn't her daughter's girlfriend anymore, not wishing to get embroiled in the subject of the why. "Goodbye, Usagi," the Fire Senshi then said, picking up her bag as she did so. Usagi didn't respond. Rei left the house, not sparing a masochistic glance back at her love. That chapter of her life was over, and it was time to try and let go and move on.


Rei lay on her back like a lifeless lump on her futon in her room at the Hikawa Jinja, staring up at the ceiling through flat, dull lavender eyes rimmed with dark circles, her raven locks spread out around her head. She felt tired, and her wounds ached, but her mind registered these facts numbly, barely even concerned. She wanted to cry, to try and let all the sorrowful emotions out of her heart, perhaps giving her some respite from her pain, no matter how brief. But what was the point. Tears served no purpose, and she had already shed a river of them in her life. Rei knew she was just feeling sorry for herself, wallowing in self-pity, and a part of her hated her for it, but try as she might, the senshi just couldn't muster up the will to do anything else. Time, that's all the miko needed. Time and space. Space… a stray idea ran around in Rei's mind that told her to leave Tokyo once more, this time truly for good, but the raven-haired girl snuffed out the thought. That was something she would never do again; abandon her princess. The only time Rei would leave Usagi is when Death claimed her… but the Fire Senshi was cursed with an immortal life. Perhaps all this was a punishment for challenging Fate.

Rei angled her dead gaze downwards, looking at the picture on her desk of her and Usagi, smiling happily. A good memory… but that was all Rei had now, memories of a better time. She sighed resignedly. She really should change out of her clothes and into her Chihaya and Hibakama that made up her traditional miko garb. Preforming her duties around the shrine might take her mind off things.

There was a light knock on Rei's bedroom door, and the raven-haired girl grunted out a wordless acknowledgement to enter. The sliding door opened, revealing her Grandpa, smiling cheerfully as usual.

"Hello, Rei!" he greeted. "Taking a day off from school, I see. Well, I suppose that's reasonable; you look like you've been getting into more scuffles." He frowned slightly in disapproval. "I don't want you taking unnecessary risks, Rei. Tokyo isn't always the safest of places."

"Yeah…" the miko answered absently, returning her eyes to the ceiling, not really paying attention.

Rei heard her grandfather sigh and shuffle into the room, sliding the door closed behind him. "How was your stay with Usagi?" the old man asked carefully after a moment.

"Good… while it lasted," Rei replied sadly, blinking up at the ceiling.

The miko heard her Grandpa sigh again. "Did you and Usagi have a falling out?" he questioned in a kind voice.

"You could say that," the Senshi of Fire said forlornly. "One that lasts an eternity."

"Rei…" the raven-haired girl's Grandpa said patiently. "Don't be so sad. Usagi's a nice, easygoing girl; I'm sure the two of you will make up soon enough."

Rei shook her head from where she lay on the futon. "No… not this time."

Her grandfather was quiet for a brief instant. "Oh…" he then said, as if something had dawned on him. "I see," he went on, the tone of his voice turning compassionate. "Rei… sometimes in life, not everything turns out the way you want. We may not like it, but that's just the way things are. But without these challenges, life would be pointless, meaningless. Without knowing hardship, how can we know and enjoy the wonderful things when they come along?" Rei heard her Grandpa move away from her, and cross the room back to the bedroom door. "What matters is what you *do* after these setbacks," he continued. "Do you let each disappointment hold you back, or do you struggle onwards?" The Fire Senshi's grandfather smiled sadly at his granddaughter as he slid the door open, about to depart. "Remember, Rei," he said. "Even unrequited love is nourishment for the soul."

Rei sat up abruptly as her Grandpa left the room and closed the door, the man's parting words of wisdom responsible for the girl's surprise. Her grandfather's advice was awfully pointed. How did he know about her and Usagi? The miko hadn't told him about the previous change in their relationship, and she hadn't even been around him when she and Usagi had been together. Rei blushed bright red as the implications of her grandfather's apparent knowledge finally hit her. How long had her Grandpa known about her more than friendly feelings for her best friend? All those innocuous little smiles he gave the miko when she told him Usagi were coming over suddenly took on whole new meanings. Well, at least it didn't appear as if he were angry with Rei for keeping her love secret, or for her choices in life.

Rei's inner thoughts were disturbed as the sound of music filtered in through an open window, a guitar to be precise, accompanied by rather strangled, and morose, singing. On an impulse, Rei lethargically got her body to its feet and followed the noise, leaving her bedroom and walking around to the back of the Hikawa Jinja. She spotted Yuuichirou sitting on some steps strumming away on his guitar, while attempting to sing a depressing song. The miko wondered if the man was feeling any better after what had happened between them, or rather, what hadn't happened.

"Hi," Rei said as she approached Yuuichirou, taking a seat on the other side of the steps and leaning up against a wooden support beam.

"Oh, hi, Rei," Yuuichirou greeted a little uneasily, ceasing his singing and slapping his hand over the guitar strings, silencing the instrument. "Do you want me to 'shut up' this 'racket'?"

The Fire Senshi shook her head gently in the negative while gazing out towards the lush forest located behind the shrine. "Sing me a song," she requested instead.

Yuuichirou looked at Rei uncertainly for a few moments, but the girl said nothing more, merely looking out into the surrounding foliage with slightly glazed over eyes, watching a sprinkle of pinkish cherry blossoms float to the ground. The man eventually decided to abide by the miko's wish. After clearing his throat and plucking his guitar strings several times, he started to perform a melody. It was melancholy, something about love and loss and moving on, which had been Yuuichirou's running theme these days.

furikaereba itsudatte
~Sometimes, if I turn and look back~
kawaranu [kimi] no egao ga atta
~to where your unchanging smile was,~
arukitsukare tachidomaru hi mo
~both on the day when I stood still after walking to exhaustion~
chiisa na yorokobi no hi mo
~and on the day of that small delight,~

kono ryoute ni kakaekirenai
~when you taught me a love~
ai wo oshiete kureta
~that filled my two hands… and more…~

Ah, atatakaku, sotto yasashiku
~Ah, still that warmly, so tenderly~
yomigaeru kaze wa
~reawakened breeze~
mada ano hi mama no mabushisa de
~keeps on blowing through~
fukinukete yuku yo
~with the same kind of radiance it had on that day.~

uragiru koto no tsumibukasa wo
~The depth of guilt of that which betrays,~
shinjiaeru koto no tsuyosa wo
~the strength of belief in each other,~
kazoekirenu hiru to yoru wo
~the countless noons and nights-~
mume ni shimatteyukou…
~I take these things into my heart before I go.~

wakare to deai no michi wo
~On the road of meetings and partings,~
[kizu]tsukinagara [boku]ra wa aruiteyuku n' da ne
~while we're being hurt, we keep on walking, don't we?~

Rei let the lyrics wash over her as her mind wandered, thinking back on her Grandpa's words. He was right; what was she going to do? Was she merely going to sit back and let self-pity consume her until the pain gradually left her, letting time attempt to heal her deep wounds? The Senshi of Fire wasn't like that, or at least, she didn't want to be. She was a fighter; it was in her very nature to fight. Rei's spirit had been dealt a crushing blow, but not a lethal one; there was still a flicker of defiance there, along with the hurt. And the miko would nurture that glimmer of will back to its normal blazing ferocity; she wouldn't let the torment in her heart and soul control her life. The pain would always be with her, it was her duty to bear it, but it was nothing she wouldn't be able to handle. Loneliness was her future, her destiny, but it didn't matter; Rei had gotten what she had desired, what she had wanted. Usagi was happy. All that was left for the senshi to do now was to carry out her duty to her princess for the rest of time. She wouldn't be like Setsuna, hoping against hope for a better existence when there wasn't any possibility of one. Besides, this current existence was perfectly fine. Rei would still be able to see Usagi, forever. And her love's smiles wouldn't lose their lustre; her bright blue eyes wouldn't lose that endearing and beautiful sparkle; and Usagi herself wouldn't lose her kind and compassionate spirit. Rei's perspective to her true love may have changed, it may have become more distance, but it didn't really matter. The Fire Senshi pulled the long black coat around her tightly with both hands, having never taken off the garment when she had returned to the Hikawa Jinja. Duty was her life, as it had always been; there would be no wishing for something more with Usagi. It was impossible and useless, only causing the raven-haired girl's already substantial pain to heighten unnecessarily.

Ah, atatakaku, sotto yashashiku
~Ah, now that warmly, so tenderly~
yomigaeru kaze wa
~reawakened breeze~
ima hitori sora wo mitsumeteru
~keeps gazing at the lonely sky~
[boku] ni hohoendeiru
~and smiling down on me~
mada ano hi no mama no mabushisa de
~still with the same radiance it had on that day;~
te wo futteiru
~I keep waving my hand~
[kimi] wa everlasting memory
~you are my everlasting memory.~

Rei took a long, deep breath, and then let it out slowly as Yuuichirou's song began to wind down to its conclusion. The miko smirked; the man wasn't that bad of a singer after all. As Yuuichirou sang out the last few lines and played the last few chords, Rei felt a new feeling take over her. An empty, desolate feeling, but one that also contained a mixture of mild contentment and relief. Rei looked up at the blue sky, watching wisps of clouds steadily cross the heavens above. So this was letting go.


to be continued…

Author's ramblings:

I actually wanted to add a song into this part for Yuuichirou to play, but it was in Japanese and I really didn't want to listen to it over and over again to get the words and then translate them all into English. Too lazy I guess. Maybe once I finished this fic and revise it, I'll add it in.

Last day of semester today thank god. Now only exams to deal with. Fun. So… tired… -_-.z.Z

No idea when the next part will be uploaded. Use this equation as a guide.

(studying for exams + world cup[go England!!]) / irresistible girlfriend = highly distracted Kirika

**Song credits**

Kimi ga iru (You are), sung by Tomokazu Seki.