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The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust


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Denial Is Not A River (Venus; Jupiter PG-13)

Denial Is Not A River

Sequel to Morning Glories

Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected
Ghandi

After eating a quick breakfast, Venus sat down on the bed, closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. She had to control herself. She couldn't let the memory of Nephrite's pain and her own anger get in the way of the conversation, it was too important. After all, Jupiter must be suffering, too. She wished Artemis were here. She could use his advice. But since he was also on holiday, she'd have to fly blind.

The screen rang. Venus opened her eyes, picked up the remote and accepted the feed. The first thing she noticed was that Jupiter's eyes were red, as if she'd been rubbing them. The second thing she noticed was Jupiter looked tired and pale.

"You wanted to speak with me?"

Out of respect, Venus decided to get straight to the point. "I spoke to Nephrite last night. He told me you kissed him back."

Jupiter's eyes widened. They looked even greener against her bloodless skin. "He's - he's in Prague!"

Venus nodded. "So am I. We bumped into each other. Mako-chan, is it true? Did you kiss him?"

The use of the first name disarmed her friend, as Venus had known it would. Jupiter closed her eyes and hung her head. "Yes..."

"Then why have you been acting like it's his fault?" Venus put one hand behind her back and gripped the blanket.

"Because it is!" Jupiter rubbed a hand over her face. "If he hadn't helped... if he hadn't touched me..."

"You've always told him where to go," Venus said. "And he's never pressured you. You're not Rei-chan, you don't blow hot and cold. Which means you've been hot all this time..."

From bone white, Jupiter's cheeks flushed blood red. She bit her lip. Venus felt her heart ahce, not just for her friend, but for Nephrite as well. "Oh, Mako-chan..."

"I have a boyfriend," Jupiter whispered, her voice strained. "And I love him."

"Yeah, but you want Nephrite," Venus pointed out. She tightened her grip on the sheet, suddenly wishing Kunzite were here, not to say anything but just to feel his presence, to know he'd back her up. Of course, if he had been here, she would never have been able to have this conversation. "You want him so much that you were ready to have him right then and there weren't you?" She took her friend's silence as an affirmative. "Maybe it is a good thing you were interrupted. I don't want to imagine how badly you'd treat him if you'd actually managed to have a quickie."

"I'm not angry with him about that!" The screen grew fuzzy for a moment. Venus wondered if Jupiter realised that she'd shocked the system.

"No?"

"No! I'm angry because he stopped!"

Jupiter's voice echoed in the video room. She put her hand over her mouth and closed her eyes. Venus didn't say anything for a moment, her mind blank with shock, then she cleared her throat.

"He only stopped because Itto came in, right?"

"I didn't see him," Jupiter whispered.

"Oh." Venus's mind began to race. "And you should have. You should have been the one to pull away, but you didn't. You didn't even notice. You're angry because Nephrite did the right thing, because that put you in the wrong."

Venus had been thinking out loud and she had to stop herself from jumping when Jupiter shouted back.

"I don't need this! I don't need a lecture, Minako-chan, I feel bad enough about what happened-!"

"I'm sure you do." Venus tried to make her voice as calm as possible. "But that doesn't mean you get to take it out on Nephrite."

"After what he did-!"

"What he did back then is completely different from what happened in the bakery, Mako-chan. You know that. You can't use what happened in the Silver Millennium, or what happened in the 20th century, as an excuse for how you're treating him now. It doesn't work like that."

Jupiter glared at her. Her eyes were shining, but Venus knew she wouldn't cry, she was too angry. She sighed and moved her shoulders around, feeling how tense she'd become in the short time since Kunzite had left.

"You're asking me to be honest with Nephrite?" Jupiter said, her voice trembling. "After how you've been behaving?"

"I've been nothing but honest with Kunzite," Venus said, refusing to take the bait. "I haven't lied about my activities or my feelings." She looked up and held Jupiter's gaze. "And you were the one who encouraged me to take a chance on him in the first place, Jupiter."

Jupiter swallowed. "That's different! Anyone could see that he feels remorse about what happened, that he wants to make amends. And you two are right for each other!"

"But you and Nephrite aren't?"

"No!" Jupiter put her face in her hands. "I can't... I can't do this. It doesn't matter how much I may 'want' Nephrite, Itto has always been there for me!"

"It kind of does matter, given that you practically ravished him the moment you two were alone together."

"He started it!"

"But you continued it. And you didn't even notice Itto walking into the room. He saw what happened, Mako-chan. He's not a fool, I'm pretty sure he's figured out at least some of what you've told me. You owe it to him to be honest. Sticking with him just because of your history together, that's not fair. Whatever choice you make, I'll support you, but you have to make a choice, one way or the other."

"I can't trust him," Jupiter whispered.

"If Rei-chan can learn to trust, you can at least try," Venus stated. "And Nephrite doesn't have a deceitful bone in his body, which is more than can be said of Jadeite."

Jupiter's lips tightened. "You're not going to let go of this, are you?"

"I'm not going to stop until you start treating Nephrite and Itto with some respect, no."

Her friend let out a small growl of frustration and sat back. "Fine. I'll speak to him when he gets back from Prague. But I'm not promising anything, Venus!"

"Talking's a start," Venus said, unable to stop herself smiling.

Jupiter glared at her and rang off without even saying goodbye. Venus let out a breath and flopped back onto the bed. That had gone about as well as expected. Now to dress up, find the place where the boys were having a hangover brunch, and make her stunning entrance.

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YES!! FINALLY! THE CONVERSATION.

I swear I've had these before with my friends, except I wasn't as non-judgy and truthful as Minako is here. And poor Makoto. It looks like she's been suffering too. The talk that she and Neph will have is way overdue, and I'm curious: did Itto dump her on the spot or did he forgive her? Or did she not even talk to him yet?

Thanks so much for continuing this!! MOAR PLZ THX

I'm sure we've all had a conversation like this, and it's sooo uncomfortable. But since Minako is the senshi of love and she's feeling more grounded after her night with Kunzite, she's up to the challenge.

Yeah, Makoto's definitely been suffering. She's torn between her heart and her head. Itto would have been too sweet to dump her right then and there. I will be writing their conversation, have no fear. ;)

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Minako is so wonderful at this. Like V said, I've had hard conversations like this before, and as much as I try not to be judgy, I know I say the wrong thing. And Minako isn't perfect either, but she's just so open with everything. And I love that she doesn't pull her punches. Small talk is for pansies.

WHY MAKO-CHAN, I NOTICE THAT YOU KNOW WHERE NEPHRITE IS, HMMM?

I love the observation that Makoto doesn't switch on and off like Rei. That's such a brilliant way to describe her.

And hahaha, Minako has to prepare for her entrance, naturally. xD I also love how she refuses to feel guilty about the open relationship. People keep throwing it in her face without knowing the details, and she's like, "You know what? Not even going there." So mature! Awesome.

MOAR PLS! :D

Minako is so wonderful at this... she's just so open with everything. And I love that she doesn't pull her punches. Small talk is for pansies.

Yeah, if it were Ami (not that I can imagine her being in this situation), she would definitely tread around the subject and be more gentle. With Makoto, she needs to get straight to the point.

WHY MAKO-CHAN, I NOTICE THAT YOU KNOW WHERE NEPHRITE IS, HMMM?

Of course, she needs to know where her favourite punching bag is at all times... 0:)

I love the observation that Makoto doesn't switch on and off like Rei. That's such a brilliant way to describe her.

Thanks! And yes, she can't shut off her emotions in the same way. Healthier but at the same time, messier. And if you're Nephrite, more painful.

hahaha, Minako has to prepare for her entrance, naturally. xD

Duh, she's going out in public! They're probably at the Café Louvre so she needs to make an impression. And part of it is dressing up for Kunzite, of course. ;D

I also love how she refuses to feel guilty about the open relationship. People keep throwing it in her face without knowing the details, and she's like, "You know what? Not even going there."

Wait, does this mean you read Morning Glories and didn't comment?! :( But yeah, she doesn't see why she should discuss her relationships. At least Endymion was acting out of concern, misguided but genuine; Makoto's just lashing out from spite. :/ Sometimes our girlfriends judge us more harshly than our male ones.

Didn't I comment? WELL, I WILL JUST HAVE TO GO REMEDY THAT IMMEDIATELY. Obviously I was too dazed by the awesome to notice.

The screen grew fuzzy for a moment. Venus wondered if Jupiter realised that she'd shocked the system.

haha i love this detail! this conversation is such a great characterization of the both of them. MOAR MOAR MOAR. HOW 'BOUT SOME M/N KISSING AND MAKING UP :D

The kisses come easy but they have to talk to each other and that will be the hard part.

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That's when it's worst, though, isn't it? When someone's telling you something you already know but you don't want to know it. That's why it's Minako who has to do it.

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