Title: Failed Experiment
Author: sea_thoughts aka Starsea
Theme: sm_monthly Lab Rats
"It was an experiment." Rei stared into her wine, which was untouched, despite her words and expression. "This whole thing... it was an experiment, Mamoru-san. You know it, I know it."
Mamoru was leaning against the bar and watching her, his dark blue eyes filled with a worry that only increased her irritation. She glared at him. "Don't look at me like that. We both know it's true." She picked up the glass but she didn't drink it. "She had no idea that it would work... Queen Serenity, I mean. She had no idea if we'd all be reincarnated together. And even if we were... you two hated each other!"
"Hate's a strong word," he said quietly. "I didn't hate her; and I don't think she hated me. Do you think it's possible for her to actually hate anyone?"
"Stop avoiding the question!" she snapped, glad of the loud music from the band.
His expression didn't change. He still looked concerned. She hated that. She hated the pity that she imagined lurking in his eyes. "Maybe if you actually told me what the question was..."
"Oh God, you're so oblivious," she muttered. "You always were... you never realised how I felt about you."
"Maybe I did and I just decided to save you the embarrassment," he said, his voice sharpening slightly. She was glad that she'd irritated him.
"Would it have worked?" she demanded, looking at him. "You and me? Would it have worked if Beryl and those stupid kings hadn't come back and stirred up the past? Would we still be together?"
He sighed and put his drink on the bar. "I can't answer that, Rei-chan. Maybe. Maybe not..." He glanced across the dance floor at Usagi, his eyes softening. Rei felt a bitter pain inside her chest. She took a swallow of wine to dull it.
"And there's my answer," she murmured.