AN: I posted this yesterday on AO3 for the reverse bang that happened over there.
The pitter-patter of rain reminded her of a certain blond before Crystal Tokyo. When they first met in this second life of theirs, she brushed him away. But he kept pursing her. Eventually, she had relented. However, that did not mean she accepted him. Then, it all changed during the rainy season.
On a cloudy day, Rei and Makoto were alone at the Crown Fruit Parlor. Usagi and Mina were busy with boyfriends. Ami would have joined them, but a short text message suggested otherwise. This left them free to discuss whatever they wanted without disapproving glances. After ordering their drinks, they retreated to a far corner and began to talk. "So, did Ami say anything when you had split?" Rei asked before sipping on her beverage.
"Only about meeting Zoisite," said Makoto.
Rei snorted. "Zoisite? He's no Einstein," she said.
"True, but I recall he had a certain charm back then." Makoto look down at her drink. "She always spoke of it often...at least back then."
"You're right." Rei stirred her drink. "He always seemed to charm her in a way no one else could."
Makoto glanced quickly around before looking at Rei. "It is the same with us," she said as she lowered her voice, "Jadeite for you. Nephrite for me."
Rei frowned. "It certainly is," she said. "How is Nephrite?"
"Oh, Nobuyuki? He's fine when he is not being annoying." Makoto leaned back. "And Jadeite?"
Stalling for time, Rei took a sip of her drink. She really didn't have anything to say since it was not much different from Makoto. He was annoying when he could be. But it was the worst during the first few days of him being back. "The same with Jun."
Makoto shrugged before turning her full attention on her drink. And Rei did the same. Sipping her drink, she thought of Jun. All of his behaviors were nothing like the Jadeite she knew under Beryl. But recalling what he was like back in their first life always led her to more questions. None of them had any answers. At least so far, they didn't.
Then her cell phone and Makoto's cell phone chimed at the same time. She glanced at her cell phone and looked towards Makoto with a raised eyebrow. "It's from Ami," said Makoto as she looked at her own phone. "Telling us to not resist our instinct." Then Makoto looked up. "And what does she mean by 'Your memories will surprise you?'"
Rei shrugged. "I really don't understand what she means by that." Looking down at her phone, she scrolled through the text. "Read her very least text."
"'Spending time with Zoi cleared up some my memories of him'," said Makoto before looking away from her phone. "It sounds similar to what she mentioned to me recently about memories."
"What was it?" Rei asked.
"Her surprise of what she had not remembered until recently."
"Did she not have all of her memories?" Rei took a quick sip of her drink. "Seems unlikely for our group's brain to have some still left to remember."
"The way Ami talked about it suggested otherwise." Makoto glanced towards the doors and frowned. "Looks like we'll need to use our umbrellas."
Glancing to the doors revealed the darkening the skies to Rei. "Looks like it."
Makoto finished her drink. Then she stood and picked up her umbrella. "I will see you later."
"See you later, then," said Rei. "Stay dry."
"I'm planning on that." Makoto glanced around her former seat. "Looks like I have everything. If you want to talk about Ja-Jun, you can call me."
"Same if you need to talk about that Nobuyuki."
"I will." Makoto waved and grinned before walking away and leaving the Crown.
Rei turned back to her drink and decided to ponder Ami's advice. It wasn't terrible advice. But it was hard advice, especially for Rei. To let things happen on their own was completely foreign to Rei. Resisting things was second nature for her. She had done it all of her life. It was a defense mechanism for her. But if Ami gave this advice, Rei would try.
After she finished her drink, she glanced to the doorway and groaned. The rain had started, and it was not a light rain. It was a heavy rain with an occasional gust of wind.
She pulled out her phone and looked up the local weather map. She had to leave now. If she didn't, the rain would get worse, and that would guarantee her being completely soaked by the time she would arrive back at the shrine.
The fingers of her left hand curled. This was not the situation she wanted to be in. Taking a shortcut through the park had turned out to not be her best decision. When the rain had started to get worse, she had chosen this shortcut to get her home faster, then a string of bad luck occurred.
She made one wrong turn. She realized it, only once she was lost. Turning around, she tried to backtrack, only that ended up making her more lost. Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine sitting in front of the fire and meditating. But the sound of pelting rain against her umbrella forced her attention on to the present. Her eyes snapped open, and she glared at the falling rain. Then she heard someone call for her.
Staying still, she began to look all around her. The voice was somewhat familiar. Then she heard the voice call out again. Turning towards the direction of the voice, she saw Jun running towards her in a yellow raincoat. She wasn't going to resist. That was what she decided, and she didn't regret this decision, especially when her memories of Jadeite started to come to her.
As he came closer, her lips curled upwards. He was still some distance away, but that gave her time to admire him. Then a gust came up and tugged on her umbrella's fabric, inverting it and leaving her exposed to the rain. As she gripped the umbrella with both of her hands, Jun came up beside her. "Looks like I found you at the right time," he said as he tugged her umbrella back to its protective state.
"Thank you, Jun," she said.
"You're welcome, Rei," he said. "But I think we should get inside before the wind comes up again."
"Where would we go?"
"My place, if you want," he said as he held out his hand. "It is closer than the shrine."
She took his hand. "Just how far are we from the shrine."
"About three times the distance from here to my place." He began to lead her away. "It is about five or six minutes, give or take, to my place."
"Geeze, I really did end up lost."
"Yes, you did, firebird." He glance towards her.
"You called me that back then," she said softly. "How did you know to come here?"
"Let's discuss that when we get to my place," he said. "This weather will be getting worse as the day wears on."
"Then why are you acting like this is a nice Sunday stroll?"
"We can run, if that's what you want."
"Not a full out run, Jun. Just walk at a faster pace."
"That is fine with me," Jun said as he began to walk faster. "Let me know if we are going too fast."
"I will," Rei said. "And you better explain once we get to your place."
"I promise, and if I don't, you can do whatever you want to."
Upon reaching Jun's place, Rei's clothes were completely drenched. He let her inside and told her to stay put before he left to get a towel. She glanced around his place as she waited. It was sparsely decorated. It was very bland in her opinion. "Are you admiring my stuff, firebird?" She glanced towards Jun as he walked towards her.
"Who said I was admiring your bland stuff," she said as she noticed he had shed his raincoat.
"I haven't had much time to get anything else," he said before reaching her. "And you probably should know why."
And she knew what he was alluding to. The Shitennou had returned uprooted from their previous lives before Beryl. None of them had a single thing to their name. They all had to start from scratch, relying on Mamoru for assistance. "I know," she said. "But I would think by now you would have been able to get something nicer."
"I've struggled to get to this point," he said as he began to dry her hair with the towel. "Maybe if I stayed with Mamoru longer, I would have things that reflect me."
She allowed him to continue drying her hair. As they stood in silence, her eyes closed, and she reflected on the day. Being lost had worn her out. If Jun had not found her, she didn't know what she would have done. Eventually, she would have needed someone's help. Opening her eyes, she looked at Jun. "How did you know where to find me?"
"Ami called me. Don't ask me how she knew to call me," he shrugged. "She told me about the park."
"I have to thank Ami the next time I see her," she said.
"For directing me to find you?" He asked as he finished drying her hair.
"That and for the advice that she gave me."
"Good." He smiled. "You can stay here until the rain let's up."
"Thanks," said Rei. "Can I use your bathroom?"
"Sure. Do you need clothes to borrow?"
"It would be helpful."
"Let me get them before showing your to the bathroom."
"Okay," she said.
It was another rainy day, several days after the last one. Unlike the last one, Rei was at the shrine when it started. As she listened to the pitter-patter of the rain, the phone started to ring. She went to answer it and instantly regretted it. It was him, her dad. He was inviting her to some social event. Refusing it took several tries.
Finally, he accepted her refusal, but he expressed interest in dropping by and inviting her again. She gave her father a curt goodbye and slammed the handset down. Fuming, she walked to her room and began to gather a few days worth of clothing. She shoved it all into a bag and went to grab her bathroom items. Shoving those items into the bag, she glanced around the room.
In one corner, she saw the clothes Jun had loaned her. She plodded over to them and gently picked them up. She had washed them a few days ago, but she hadn't found any time to return them yet. Smiling, she placed bthe borrowed clothes in her bag. Picking up her cell phone, she sent a short text to the girls. Then she sent a text to Jun. As she waited for his response, her grandfather walked by her room and paused in front of the door. "Where are you going this time?" He asked.
"I am not sure yet," she said as she glanced at her phone. "Can you handle him by yourself, Grandpa?"
"Your father is not a worry to me," he said. "It is you that I worry about."
"I'm fine Grandpa." She looked at her phone before looking back to her grandfather. "This would not be an issue if he wasn't so insistent on me coming with him."
"Have you tried everything?"
"Even being direct with him?"
"I am always direct with him, but he never gets the picture."
"Maybe you should enlist your friends for help," he said. "I will continue on my way, Rei."
"Thank you, Grandpa," she said. Her phone buzzed. Glancing down, she saw the answer she wanted from Jun. "Don't tell him that I am at a guy's place."
The old man chuckled. "I will not."
About thirty minutes of walking through the rain, she could see the building for Jun's apartment. She jogged the rest of the way to the building. Reaching the building, she darted inside and close her umbrella. She took a moment to shook her umbrella before marching to the elevator.
She press the button and waited. The elevator dinged, and she stepped aboard. She pressed the number for Jun's floor. At the selected floor, it stopped and dinged. Rei went down the hallway to the very last door. She knocked and heard a muffled voice. Then Jun opened the door and grinned at her. "It looks your hair is wet," he said before stepping aside to let her in.
"At least, it's not my clothes," she said as she entered.
"Still, I will get you a towel," he said as he closed the door. "You can wait on the couch." He turned to start towards the bathroom, but he paused. "You can drop your bag off by the door."
"Thank you," she said.
"No problem. I'm glad I can help you," he said. "Now, to get that towel before I think of something else."
She smiled as he started off to the bathroom. Once he had left her, she wandered to the couch and took note of all of the changes. There were more trinkets and framed pictures. But they didn't cover every single space. Still, what was there gave the place a more personal feel, something that was missing from the last time. She sat down on the couch, and the picture on the coffee table caught her eye. It was of all of four of them plus a smiling Mamoru.
"That's my favorite." She jumped as she heard Jun's voice from behind her.
"And why is it your favorite?" She asked before he started to dry her hair with a towel.
"Several reasons." He stopped drying her hair. "For one, Mamoru's smiling." Then she felt him sit down. "But most importantly," he lifted up the towel, allowing them to look in each other's eyes, "we are just a bunch of normal guys."
She perfectly understood what he meant. The pictures of her and the girls doing normal everyday things were always among her favorites. "I understand completely." She looked away. "I have a picture that are like that. They are among my favorites." She smiled as she remembered a picture of them playing keep away with one of Ami's books. "But the ones showing our shenanigans that we pull on each other have a special place in my heart."
"I can see how those would," Jun said before he resumed drying her hair. "But is one of these shenanigans that you mention a game of keep away?"
"How did you know?" Rei asked.
"Izou." He finished drying her hair and pulled the towel away from her head.
"That's Zoisite, right?" She asked as she caught sight of his baby blue eyes.
"Yes." Jun leaned back and laid the towel on his lap. "He's been telling me all sorts of things, thinking it would help me."
"That day," Rei licked her lips, "when you found me in the rain, Ami had gave me and Makoto advice."
"Ah, and what kind of advice was that?" Jun crossed his legs.
"Advice about memories and you guys." She turned to face him. "I wonder if those two were working together."
Jun shook his head. "I wouldn't be surprised if they were. Those two seem to figure out the whole memory stuff a lot quicker than the rest of us."
"Yeah, they do."
"Are you going to tell me why you are want to stay over tonight?" He asked. "Izou has hinted that there is something that you have not told me."
"What did he hint at?" She looked away from Jun.
"Something about your father." She felt his gaze look away from her. "But look, if you don't want to talk about that, I'm cool with that."
She turned to look at him. Then her memories of him from their first life started coming back to her. They were slow at first. Then they came all at once, meshing and blurring together, but there were a few that stood out among the torrent. Those few all had one thing in common. They were about him. In each one, he was always patient and caring. It reminded her of how he is now. Waiting for her to spill what was bothering her was what he always did.
His voice pulled her out of memories. "Yes, Jun?"
"Did you remember something?"
"I did," she said. "I always appreciated it back then when you didn't push me to explain what is bothering me."
"I remembered that about you." His lips began to curl upwards. "It was my first memory of you."
Without hesitation, she leaned forward and place her lips against his cheek. She pulled back from and smiled. "Consider that kiss to be your reward, Jade."
"Your reward will always be treasured, my lady." He grinned. "And would she like a bath?"
"I certainty would, my good sir."
With her hair pulled back in a bun, Rei was sitting in a wide tub with Jun sitting on her left. For the first few minutes, they sat in silence. For Rei, this was beneficial. It allowed her fluctuating emotions to settle down somewhat. And they had been fluctuating since she requested Jun to join her. It was a spur of the moment, almost instinctual, thing. But the more she thought about that moment, the more she recalled a memory from her first life. It was also of a time that she had asked Jadeite to join her.
Then Jun pulled her closer to him, making her cheeks turned red as their bare skin touched. However, she stayed still. "Firebird, is there something the matter?" He asked.
"Nothing," she said as she felt his breath on her bare neck.
"Then why are you tensed?" He asked.
"I don't usually join men in their bathtubs."
Jun laughed. "I never thought you would, but you were one that requested it."
"Indeed I did." She glanced away, feeling her cheeks warm again. "Memories are pesky."
"Memories can be." He placed a kiss behind her ears. "But they can be a blessing."
She turned to look at him. "How so?"
"Izou, you know Zoisite, said they are a blessing for getting over the awkward phases."
"Not surprising for him to say that." Rei sighed. "What memories do you have?"
"Most of that day," he said. "The memories not of that day are the most vague, but all it takes is one thing to push them forward."
"I had acted on a memory."
"And why is that important? We all have to potential to act on memories."
Rei shook her head. "That is why I asked you to join me."
"And that memory is similar to this, but I think it was more than a memory."
Rei looked away. He was right. The memory was not the only thing. It was in her mind along with Ami's advice when she asked. Then she felt Jun touch her lightly, and memories jumped to the forefront of her mind. She turned her head to look at him.
His face had a slight frown, but it was not a frown that she would have seen with a quick glance. It was enough of a frown that it tugged at her memories of the past. In those memories, this was the frown he had for when she hurt him. And it made her feel bad for him. "I'm sorry," she said as she started to lift her left hand.
"I know you didn't mean it," said Jun as he wrapped his fingers around her left wrist, stopping her. "And I always will know. We can make this work, Rei." He smiled. "I am honored to have this chance and be with you."
"Just continue being you," said Rei.
"I will, and I will continue to wait," said Jun. "You have to let me know once you are ready."
For a moment, they were silent. Then Rei glanced to her wrist in Jun's hand and then glanced back at him. She took a deep breath in. "Jun?"
"Please kiss me."
Jun raised his eyebrows. "Are you sure?"
"What do you think?" She huffed.
Jun shook his head. He leaned toward her and placed his lips against hers. Once his lips touched hers, her eyes closed. Then she felt Jun placing a hand behind her head. After he did that, she lost herself in the kiss. Nothing else around her mattered. Then the memories came slowly, but this time they were clearer. Nothing was vague or foggy this time. Every detail was there as if the memory was from the day before, not a day from her first life.
Then it all stopped when Jun stopped kissing her. Opening her eyes, Rei saw Jun looking at her with his brow furrowed. "What?"
"Did you not like it?"
"Why do you think that?"
"You weren't kissing back."
"Is that your excuse?"
"Not an excuse. Memories are distracting." She glanced away.
"Oh? How so?"
"Well, I never thought there were more memories for me to remember."
"We never started with all of them." Jun looked away. "The only ones we started with were of our prince. Then the final day's came next. That was hell to remember." His eye darted toward her before looking away again. "When we were with our prince, we were able to remember all of them."
"We remembered big picture things at first." Rei laid her free hand over Jun's heart. "Then we remembered you as the prince's guard and then as our lovers."
Jun looked back at her. "So it is different than it was for us. The whole remembering business, I mean."
"Must be." She leaned against him. "Can you tell me more about how your remembered?"
"Sure, I can, Rei."
Rei was sitting on Jun's couch as he was making tea. When they wrapped up their bath, the conversation they had started had wandered away from memories to their day to day life. Then once they came close to discussing her father, she began to fidget. She was not sure how to speak of that man, but Jun came to her rescue. He suggested tea.
When she heard the tea kettle whistle, Rei licked her lips and folded her hands in her lap. She waited for a few minutes before a mug of tea was held out to her. Accepting it from Jun, she wrapped her hands around it and blew on it. "So, what's on your mind?" Jun asked. "It must be something pretty heavy since you fidget."
"My father," she said.
"Oh? Is he that terrible?"
"He is why I came to you." She looked toward Jun. "He never accepts my refusals to attend his social gatherings. He never gives me a reason to believe he truly cares about me."
"Have you told him this?"
Rei shook her head. "I've tried, but failed."
"Rei, I will try for you." Jun gave her a grin. "If he doesn't listen to me, then I don't think he should have any sway in your life. You are your own person, not a person he can control."
Rei glanced away. "The sentiment is appreciated, but I don't think it will work."
"Why so negative, Rei?"
"You don't really know my dad. He's a politician."
"So appearances matter to him."
"I think I can find a way to convince him. If not, I will keep trying." He wrapped an arm around her. "Can we drop this subject for now? Let's enjoy our time together."
"Sure." She leaned against him and took a sip of her tea. "The rain is really nice."
"Yeah, it is. Even though I am not on top floor, we can hear it still." His lips curled into a smile. "Rain like this is always soothing."
She nodded and did not speak again. Neither did Jun. The two of them stayed silent as they listened to the rain and drank their tea. As the night wore on, they grew tired and fell asleep on the couch.
The pitter-patter of the rain was soothing, but the creak of a door opening made her bolt straight up and looked around. Her eyes landed on Jun with his wide grin. "Did you forget when we needed to get ready, Rei?"
"I did not." She glanced to a nearby window. "Are they sure they want to continue the festivities tonight?"
"King and Queen are sure, and they are waiting for us," said Jun.
"All right, I will get ready," she said as she got up. "Do you remember when we spent those two rainy days together?"
"Those first ones? Yes, I do," said Jun as he turned around.
"I always think of those days on a day like today," she said before she transformed.
"I can understand the sentiment," he said before transforming into his dress uniform. "Besides those days helped us bond again."
"Yes, they did, Jadeite," she said as they turn and looked at each.
"Now, my lady." He offered her his hand. "Let's go to the celebration of Crystal Tokyo's rise."
She placed her hand into his. "Yes, we should. And hopefully no one causes any issues this time."
"I agree," said Jadeite as he lead her away. "Hopefully the rain this time will be as memorable as those days."