[We see Minako at the airport with her family and friends.]

Usagi: Oh, I'm so jealous you're going skiing! All we're doing for vacation is going to a museum. Yuck.

Ami: Enjoy your vacation, Minako.

Minako: Thanks for coming to the station with us! I'll send you a card from Hokkaido!

Makoto: Hokkaido is very nice.

Minako's father: Come on, Minako-chan. They're boarding our flight.

Usagi: Bring me back some candy!

Minako: [being hustled off] I will!

[Her friends wave as she and her family board the plane.]

* * * * *

SYMPHONY OF THE PLANETS:

VENUS

by John Biles

* * * * *

[We see Minako on the plane with her parents. They are on the two seat side of the aisle, while she is sitting next to a rather cute guy who looks to be an upperclassman.]

Minako: [thinking] Gee, he's cute! But what should I say...

Boy: [in English with a British accent, quietly to himself] It'll be good to see the family again.

Minako: [in slightly accented English] Meeting your family in Hokkaido?

Boy: [in English] Why yes, my...You speak English?

Minako: [in English] I lived in England for a while. I'm Aino Minako.

Boy: [in English] I'm Steven Grant. I'm in an exchange program in Tokyo, but my family is flying out to Hokkaido to meet me for this vacation. They're living in Korea this year.

Minako: [in English] Why did you go to Tokyo if your family was going to be in Korea?

Boy: [in English] I had applied before Father's transfer came through. I'm from England.

Minako: [in English] What part of England are you from?

Boy: [in English] Devon.

Minako: [in English] I've been there. It's beautiful, but rather wet.

[They head into a long conversation, while the plane slowly makes its way to Hokkaido.]

* * * * *

[We see Minako and parents checking into the hotel.]

Clerk: I hope you enjoy your stay. Just keep an eye out for the Yuki Onna.

Minako: What, that old legend?

Clerk: This is the very mountain where she dwells, or so the legends say. Where she stole the life from a young man...and many others too.

Mr. Aino: Well, I'm married, so I won't be letting her kiss me to death.

Mrs. Aino: I'd kill you if she didn't.

* * * * *

[Later, Minako and her family are settling down in their hotel room.] Minako's Father: Ready to hit the slopes tomorrow, Minako-chan?

Minako: Hai! I'm going to be meeting Steven for lunch, too.

Minako's Mother: My, you've already got a boyfriend here?

Minako: [blushes] He's the boy I met on the plane. He's from England.

Minako's Mother: Really? He must have been impressed you spoke English so well.

Minako: Hai! He's here to meet his parents.

Minako's Mother: Well, do you think you could arrange for us to meet them?

Minako: Mother, I'm sure his parents are...

Minako's Mother: I'd just like to meet them, dear. We don't know anyone here, and it's always nice to make new friends.

Minako: Sure. I'll ask him. [smiles] He's soooooo cute.

Minako's Father: [smiling] We'll be sure to tell him you think that.

Minako: Eep! I would just die! Right there, on the spot.

* * * * *

[We see Steven and Minako at the restaurant at their ski resort. Some catchy J-pop is playing in the background.]

Steven: This music sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't quite place it.

Minako: [cocks her head and listens, then laughs a little.] It's the Sailor V theme. From the movie.

Steven: Who?

Minako: [blinks] You've never heard of Sailor V?

Steven: Is she some sort of Sailor Moon imitator?

Minako: She was around BEFORE Sailor Moon.

Steven: Really?

Minako: She was even in England!

Steven: Really?

Minako: [vaguely crushed] You never saw the movie, the tv show, the manga, or the video game?

Steven: Wait, was that the one with people knocking each other's heads off for no apparent reason?

Minako: No!!!! [Everyone turns and stares at her. She blushes.] I, uh, think you're talking about Immoral Kombat.

Steven: No, that's the one that got banned for being too perverted.

[The music changes.]

Minako: Oh, my parents wanted to meet your parents.

Steven: Okay, I think that can be arranged. I guess you must be a big Sailor V fan, whoever she is?

Minako: [blushes faintly] I, uh...yeah. She was active in Europe when I was in Britain, you see.

Steven: Well, I'm done eating. Ready to hit the slopes?

Minako: [smiles] I was born ready. [thinking] How can he not know who I am? I mean Sailor V is. I guess it has been a while since I used that name...

* * * * *

[We see the slopes of the Moon Hill Ski Resort in the early afternoon. There are many skiiers out on the slopes, from the snow bunny slopes to the "try not to die too messily" slopes. Steven and Minako are on a fairly difficult slope.]

Steven: [zooms around a tree] Wow! You're really good!

Minako: [zooms around the tree, then speeds up a bit and passes Steven] I don't get the best grades in Phys. Ed. for nothing!

Steven: Pass me, will you?

[He speeds up and they zoom down the slope, dodging obstacles and pass several older startled skiiers. While Steven occassionally passes her, Minako usually has the lead.]

Minako: This'll teach you not to know who Sailor V is!

Steven: [laughs] Why, does she have a ski instruction video too?

Minako: [strikes a pose] I, Sailor V, will defeat this slope, in the name of...[she goes airborne from skiing off a rather sharp drop] aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steven: Hey! [He skiis around the drop to where she is buried halfway into a large snowdrift] Looks like Sailor V got defeated this time by the forces of evil snow demons.

Minako: [being pulled out of the drift, spitting out snow] I, Sailor V, do swear vengeance on this slope! It shall...Bleah, this snow tastes awful.

Steven: I think defeating this slope may have to wait.

Minako: I'm fine. [staggers a bit] No more poses while I'm skiing, though. [realizes Steven is still holding her hands from helping her up] Actually, I think Sailor V did fight some snow demons one time.

Steven: [lets go of her hands] You can tell me all about it on the lift.

Minako: [thought] Aww. I hoped he wouldn't let go. Well, I guess it would be hard to ski like that...

* * * * *

[It is dinner time. We see Minako and Steven's families together at the resort restaurant, waiting for their food to come in.]

Mrs. Grant: I understand you've all been to England?

Mrs. Aino: Why yes. Hiroshi works for Toyota, and he was assigned to one of their new English facilities for a year, helping them get started. That was about ten years ago.

Mr. Aino: [in English] We had a jolly good time.

[Everyone laughs.]

Mr. Aino: We all improved our English a lot. Our daughter, Minako, returned to England as an exchange student about two years ago.

Mrs. Aino: I understand you are living in Korea?

Mr. Grant: Yes. I work for Worthington Textiles. We have a new factory in Korea...rather similar situation to what you were doing in England, I expect.

Steven: I had a chance at an exchange program at the same time as the folks would be leaving Britain, so I took it. We lived in Japan about 8 years ago for two years, so I've been studying Japanese for a long time.

Minako: I forgot everything I learned from our trip to England...I had a hard time learning to really speak it well when I got older. I keep in practice now, though. I get the best grades in my English class! [thinking] I won't mention my grades in my other classes.

Mrs. Aino: Our Minako is quite the athlete too. She gets top marks in physical education.

Mrs. Grant: Our Steven is planning to go into psychology. He has real insight into how people think. He gets really good grades in science too.

Mrs. Aino: Minako tries hard, but she's not very good at science. She was really disappointed that she can't find anyone to play cricket with anymore when she came back.

Mrs. Grant: Well, it is very much THE British sport. Do you keep up with the international rankings?

[The parentals all wander off into a discussion of international cricket competition.]

Minako: [whispers to Steven] I wonder if our parents have forgeotten we're here....

[Steven laughs.]

Steven: Your parents rather remind me of my own parents.

Minako: I know. Makes me feel like we must be twins or something...

[Steven laughs.]

Steven: Soul twins, maybe, but you don't look much like my family. We're all dark haired, dark eyes, and you're blonde. How did you end up blonde, anyway? Your parents both have dark hair...I almost look more like them than you.

Minako: [thinking] I won't mention it's because I'm the reincarnation of a warrior from a completely different society thousands of years ago...who was also blond. [out loud] Well, it is natural.

Steven: Are you sure you didn't dye it so you could look like your idol, Sailor V?

Minako: [laughs] I'd hardly call her my idol.

Steven: You got so worked up that I'd never heard of her, I assumed you must worship her. [smiles]

Minako: Actually, she dyed her hair to look like me. She's my biggest fan.

[They both laugh.]

* * * * *

[We see Steven and Minako out on the balcony of the resort restaurant. The sky is clear and the stars shine brightly. They stand near each other at the railing of the balcony.]

Minako: The stars are so beautiful at night.

Steven: Astronomy is one of my hobbies. [points off to the left] There's Jupiter. [points off to the right] There's Mars. [points to the horizon] There's Venus. Have you ever studied Roman and Greek mythology?

Minako: [nods] A little, hai. We read some in one of my classes in England.

Steven: You know the significance of Venus, don't you?

Minako: Yeah. She was the goddess of love. [Thinking] Is that a hint? No, he doesn't know I'm Sailor Venus...Does he? How could he? Naaah...I'm just hearing what I want to hear.

Steven: And beauty. [moves closer to Minako. She littlesweats.]

Minako: [thinking] Is he going to kiss me? Please, please, please...oh, I'm going to be so embarrassed if I'm misinterpreting this...[leans closer to Steven]

Steven: It was said that all who saw her loved her on the spot because she was so beautiful. [leans in closer, definitely going for a kiss]

Minako: [leans up and closes her eyes, thinking] I'm so glad I went on this trip!

[Right as their lips are about to touch, a small calico cat with an odd white furry patch of hair on its forehead meows loudly from the railing right next to them. They both start, instinctively turning and looking over at the cat.]

Minako: What a cute little cat. [thinking] Die, evil beast!

Steven: [stage-whispering to the cat] I told you not to follow me here. Now she might find out our secret.

Cat: [to Minako's total surprise] She'll never figure out you're really Tuxedo Kamen...oops, I forgot, no talking in front of other people...

Minako: It...cat..talked...[thinking] Wait...He's not Tuxedo Kamen...Unless this is Mamoru in disguise playing a really weird joke...But...it talked...

Cat: [licking its paws as it talks] Well, too late now. Hopefully, she can keep a secret.

Minako: [turns to Steven] I...I'm good with secrets...I...your cat...

Steven: [looks like he's under some kind of strain] Yes, I do have a secret. Are you sure we can trust her, Selene?

Selene (the cat): I think so.

Minako: [looks at the cat] You wouldn't happen to...Naah.

Selene: What?

Minako: Know a cat named Artemis, by any chance?

Selene: We used to play cricket together.

Minako: You used to what?

Selene: [looks up at Minako] Perhaps we'd better tell her the secret now, Steven.

Minako: [turns to Steven] Yes. You can trust me.

Steven: I also do ventriloquism as a hobby.

Minako: I...What?

[The cat starts to scamper off.]

Selene: Look at me, I'm Sailor V!

Minako: [Angrily] Ohhhhh!!!!! You played a joke on me!

Steven: Guilty as charged. I accept my fate. What is the sentence, Judge Aino?

Minako: Hmmm....You must....Kiss me immediately until I am satisfied. [thinking] I can't believe I said that!

Steven: Sentence to be carried out immediately. [He leans down to kiss her, when the balcony doors open. They both instantly spring about 8 feet apart.]

Mrs. Aino: Aren't you two cold in there? We're all going over to the Grants' room to watch the news and talk. The restaraunt is closing.

Minako: [to Steven] I guess you'll have to carry out your sentence later.

Steven: Hai.

Mrs. Aino: What?

Minako: Uh...nothing, Mom.

* * * * *

[The next morning, we see Minako and Steven out on the slopes again.]

Minako: I feel like I'm forgetting something.

Steven: [zooms around a tree] Maybe a cat will wander by and remind you.

Minako: STEVEN!!!!!!!!

Steven: Hehehe...

[They race down the slopes, with Minako chasing Steven. Finally, they reach the bottom and she starts making snowballs and throwing them at him. He tries, unsuccessfully to flee, but doesn't make much headway trying to run with skis.]

Steven: I yield! Surrender! Give up! Don't hurt me!

Minako: [slowly closing in] Now I remember...you didn't carry out your sentence last night.

Steven: Ahh, yes. I must accept my punishment for my many crimes.

Minako: [now over next to him, smiling] Take it like a man.

Steven: Gladly. [leans down]

[As their lips are about to touch, a small child falls out of a nearby tree on Minako's head. She falls down. Thump!]

Kid: Owwww!!!!

Minako: Now I know what Usagi felt like...[passes out]

* * * * *

[We see Minako with Steven at the resort infirmary, with him holding an icepack on her head.]

Nurse: She should be fine. It really wasn't that bad of an impact. She should be ready to go skiing again by tomorrow.

Minako: Good. Who was that kid?

Steven: I don't know. She ran off looking for some cat...Tough head I guess.

Minako: Must be related to Usagi...

Steven: Who is Usagi?

Minako: A friend of mine. Blonde, funny hair style...She had a kid fall on her like that...same situation almost.

Steven: While skiing?

Minako: While...ah...about to kiss her b...kiss Chiba Mamoru...this guy uh...

Steven: Ahh, yes. We do keep getting interrupted. [leans down]

Minako: [blushes slightly] The nurse...ahh...

Steven: [quietly] She's back in the office. At least here there won't be any cats or falling children.

[Minako instinctively looks up at the ceiling, then smiles. They finally manage to get in an uninterrupted kiss.]

Nurse: [no longer in the office after all] Ahh, I see you're feeling better already.

[Minako blushes and tries not to die of embarrassment.]

* * * * *

[We see Minako in bed that night. She is lying in bed, staring at the ceiling.]

Minako: [thinking] I'm going to miss him so much when I go back to school. I wish he was going to my school! We'll hardly be able to see each other very much...and then he'll be going back to Britain in less than a year...What should I do?

[Her communicator starts beeping. She acks and digs through her pile of clothing, trying to get it out before it wakes up her parents.]

Minako: [whispered] What's going on? My parents are sleeping in the same room with me!

Artemis: [over the communicator] I can't take it any more! I'm going to go mad if I have to stay one more day in this house with Usagi! Not to mention Luna keeps beating me up every day.

Minako: Whaddya call me at 2 am for?

Artemis: I had to talk to someone before I went mad!

Minako: Call me back in the morning.

Artemis: But I...[cut off as Minako shuts off the communicator]

* * * * *

[The next morning, Minako is at breakfast with Steven.]

Steven: You look tired.

Minako: Ar...I was woken up by a bad dream.

Steven: I rarely remember my dreams...

[Minako's communicator starts beeping.]

Steven: [looks around] Do you hear beeping?

Minako: I...uh. That's my alarm. I have to go...take some medication for my head. Be right back.

Steven: Okay. [She runs off] Hmm....She's not wearing a watch.

* * * * *

[In the bathroom]

Minako: [into her communicator] WHAT IS IT?

Artemis: [fur blown back by noise] Well, you said to call back in the morning.

[Minako facefaults.]

Artemis: Well, anyway. As I was saying...

Minako: Go whine to someone else! I'm with Steven! We're in the middle of a restaurant!

Artemis: You're talking to me right in front of...

Minako: I'm not an idiot! I went to the bathroom.

[She hears a flushing noise and realizes someone else is in one of the stalls.]

Minako: Oh great, there's someone in here too.

[ducks back into a stall]

Minako: Anything serious to tell me? I don't have time to listen to you complain.

Artemis: My pain is serious!

Minako: Go tell it to Rei.

Artemis: I did. She gave me a blessing and sent me back to Usagi...which was more like giving me a curse.

Minako: Well, I've got to go before Steven thinks I've died or something...

Artemis: Come back as soon as you can! I may not keep my sanity much...[click. Minako cuts him off]

Minako: Yeesh, you'd think Usagi was poisoning him or something.

* * * * *

[Cut to Usagi pouring food into a bowl for Artemis. It froths and bubbles. He takes one look and faints.]

Usagi: Hey! It's not that bad. You like it, don't you Luna?

[She looks and sees Luna fainted too.]

Usagi: It's not so bad.

[She takes a bite and faints.]

* * * * *

[We see Minako back with Steven.]

Steven: That bump didn't turn out to be worse than the nurse thought, did it?

Minako: No, I'll be fine. [pauses] Steven...

Steven: Yes, Mina-chan?

Minako: I...What are we going to do when we...ah...

Steven: When we...ah...what?

Minako: You know...

Steven: [stares intently at Minako, looking fairly clueless] You're worried about bumping your head again?

Minako: [a tad irritated that he can't figure out what she's hinting at] No! When we have to leave here...

Steven: Well, we will be in the same city. It'll be harder to see each other, but weekends and stuff...

Minako: And you're going back to England in a year...

Steven: That's a year. Time enough to worry when that happens.

Minako: [thinking] And all my Senshi duties...Is this really going to work? Or am I just worrying for nothing?

[Her communicator starts beeping again.]

Steven: I think you must have a problem with your alarm thing...

Minako: [sighs] Be right back....

Steven: [thinking] She had to go to the bathroom to shut off the alarm? Hmmm....

* * * * *

[In the bathroom, Minako is perched, standing on a toilet seat inside a stall, hunched down.]

Minako: [sounds irritated] If this is Artemis, I'm going to kill you when I come home.

Usagi: [sounds unhappy] Artemis won't eat the food I give him! He says I'm trying to kill him! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Minako: [thinking] I'm going to have to kill both of them...

* * * * *

[Minako is back with Steve.]

Steve: You okay there? You just took off and...

Minako: Nothing. Don't worry about it. [thinking] Maybe I should tell him...I mean, at this rate, Artemis is gonna find his way up here and walk in while we're kissing or something...

Steve: Something is bothering you. I can tell.

Minako: Just...the stupid alarm going off over and over.

Waitress: Are you Aino Minako, ma'am?

Minako: Why yes.

Waitress: Can you come to the register, Ma'am? Phone call for you.

Minako: [to Steve] I'll be right back.

[Minako walks over and picks up the phone at the bar/cash register.]

Minako: Hello?

Artemis: Help! Usagi is trying to make me eat. [various disgusting noises as if something was being shoved in his mouth]

Minako: If you don't eat, you'll starve! STOP CALLING ME!

[Slams the phone down and stomps back over]

Steve: Prank call?

Minako: My friend Usagi is having trouble with my cat Artemis...she's supposed to be taking care of him, but he keeps...I mean she keeps calling me.

Steve: Not used to handling cats? [thinking] Ahh, her pager was going off.

Minako: ...Usagi has a way with animals. A bad way.

Steve: I hope I get to meet some of your friends you talk about. You all go to the same school?

Minako: Actually...they're all at a different school...I...I'm not too popular at my school.

Steve: [blinks] Really, why?

Minako: I'm really busy...not a lot of time for socializing and stuff...Also, I'm a really good athlete, and some people get jealous. [thinking] Keeping my sailor secret has made it hard to keep my friendships there. I feel so much more comfortable with people who already know.

Steve: That's a shame. How did you meet your friends from these other schools?

Minako: We...ah...have common interests...it was kinda by chance really...Uh...[thinking] Great. Now what do I tell him?

Steve: I've been really lucky. We lived in Japan about 8 years ago, and I met some kids then. Almost all of them go to the same school as I do now, except a few who moved away and stuff.

Minako: Wow! That's really great.

Steve: Yeah, they were really surprised to see me. People change so much in 8 years...

Minako: Yeah. [finishes off her breakfast] Ready to go skiing, now?

Steve: Hai! Let's go!

* * * * *

[The day is rather overcast as Steve and Minako go skiing down one of the most difficult slopes.]

Minako: [thinking] What am I going to do...Oh god, what if those idiots call me here while I'm skiing? But if it is something serious...aaargh!

[While distracted, she nearly crashes into a tree.] Steve: You okay, Mina-chan?

Minako: I'm fine, Steve-kun.

[He moves over closer to her.]

Steve: I can tell something's bothering you...

Minako: It's nothing. I'm fine.

Steve: [thinking] She must be worrying about protecting her secret...I guess she'd explode if she knew I already knew she's Sailor V...but if I tell her, I'd have to tell her how I know...and that always leads to problems.

[Now both of them are pensive as they ski down the hill.]

* * * * *

[That night, they are both over at Steve's family's room watching TV.]

Steve: Please tell me what's bothering you...you've been troubled all day.

Minako: You too...

Steve: You go first. I asked first.

Minako: I really shouldn't talk about it. I made some promises and...[thinking] He's gonna think I'm so vain if I tell him about being Sailor Venus...and Artemis will kill me for blabbing to a guy just cause I like him...a lot.

Steve: I think I may be able to ...guess what the problem is...

Minako: [smiles a little] If you can guess in one guess, I'll...stand on my head until I turn blue.

Steve: You're Sailor V, aren't you? And you're worrying about how that would impact a relationship between us...

Minako: I...you....Uh...no, no...uh...

Steve: You're as bad a liar as I am, Mina-chan. It's obvious to anyone who's seen both of you...

Minako: But you said you've never heard of Sailor V!!!!

Steve: I...lied. I already suspected it by that point...and when you wigged out like that, I was sure....I wanted to find out if you really were...

Minako: [looks angry] You manipulated me!

Steve: Well, I didn't think you'd give me a straight answer if I just asked you...They aren't called secret identities for nothing...

Minako: [stands up] You LIED TO ME!!!!!

Steve: I...I'm sorry. My curiousity runs away with me sometimes...You see, I...

Minako: [slaps him, then runs out the door into the cold night crying] How could you be so cruel...

Steve: [gets up] Mina-chan! [sees she has run off without her hat, sweater, or coat. He grabs them and runs after her] Mina-chan!!!!!!

* * * * *

[It is starting to snow. We see Minako running and running through the gently falling snow. Finally, she collapses under a tree, chilled to the bone.]

Minako: I'm such an idiot...running off without anything warm...Where am I? How long have I been running...I can't believe he lied to me like that...but he admitted it...Has he just been playing with me all along?

[A woman walks up out of the falling snow to Minako. She is tall and pale, with long black hair, dressed in an antique looking kimono.]

Woman: Are you lost?

Minako: Where am I? I'm so cold...

Woman: You're in the forest near the resort. Walk with me.

[Minako numbly gets up and follows her, shivering.]

Woman: I bet you ran off after a fight with your lover...

Minako: I...you can tell?

Woman: Many a woman and man I've saved from freezing to death after a fight. It's my penance...

Minako: Penance? For what?

Woman: Let me tell you a story....

* * * * *

[Scene shift to some time in the late Ashikaga shogunate. A man and his brother are huddling in a cave in the middle of winter.]

Daisuke: It's so cold...

Komatsu: [fiddling with flint and steel and some sticks] I almost have a fire going here...

[A woman appears in the cave enterance. The temperature drops as she approaches.]

Daisuke: The...The Yuki Onna!

Komatsu: No...

[She silently floats up to Daisuke and kisses him. He turns blue and freezes to death.]

Komatsu: BROTHER!!!!!

Yuki Onna: The penalty for invading my realm is death...I have watched you both for days...but I find you...attractive. I will spare you on one condition. You must tell NO ONE ever what you have seen here.

Komatsu: I...I do swear. [thinking] I could not hope to defeat her...My brother....I'm sorry.

Yuki Onna: You may go. But if you ever betray this secret to anyone, I will find you and you will surely die.

* * * * *

[Time has passed. Komatsu is years older. He met a beautiful girl named Hitomi who came to his village that spring after he returned from the mountains of the Yuki Onna. They soon married, and now have several children. It is the tenth anniversary of his brother's death.]

Komatsu: My brother...

[He stares out the window.]

Komatsu: If I don't tell someone...I'm going to explode...Surely I can tell my wife...She'd never tell anyone...I can't keep this secret any longer.

[He finds his wife, playing with their two daughters and their son.]

Komatsu: Hitomi, I need to talk to you.

[She nods and goes with him to another room.]

Hitomi: I see you are troubled, my husband...

Komatsu: My brother...didn't really freeze to death. The Yuki Onna slew him...with a kiss...

[Hitomi begins to cry. Komatsu does too.]

Komatsu: I'm sorry you didn't get to know him....He died before you came here...We should never have entered her mountains, but we thought she was just a myth...

[Hitomi runs out of the room crying.]

Komatsu: Hitomi!

[He runs after her into the hallway, only to come face to face with the Yuki Onna. Hitomi is nowhere to be seen.]

Komatsu: What have you done with my wife?

Yuki Onna: You broke your promise. Now I must...[starts to cry] kill you.

Komatsu: I...Just don't hurt my wife...I couldn't keep silent any longer. It's not her fault...

Yuki Onna: Your child...My children will be parentless...

Komatsu: I..your...You...my wife...

Yuki Onna: For the sake of my honor, you must die...yet I cannot bear to leave the children without parents...

Komatsu: Can't you...stay with them?

Yuki Onna: If you die, I must leave...I...I will give you one more chance. As long as your...our children want you to live, you shall. If you ever give them cause to hate you, I shall come and slay you ....goodbye, Komatsu.

[She turns and floats away down the hallway.]

Komatsu: Hitomi-chan....I still love you...

Yuki Onna: It is for that love and the love of our children that I will spare your life...But I cannot bear to live with one who does not keep his promises...

* * * * *

[Minako looks nervously at the woman.]

Minako: I've heard that story...Didn't she...eventually have to kill him?

Woman: And I've regretted my actions ever since...

Minako: That was YOU?

Woman: You're hardly one to scoff at tales of magic and ghosts...Sailor Venus.

Minako: What, is it written on my forehead or something?

Woman: All that happened was caused by my foolish pride. I didn't understand how to forgive...and what I did was far out of proportion to the offenses given. No one made my laws but me. I could have forgiven him, but I lacked the wisdom.

Minako: I guess what he did wasn't really that bad...I just got so angry that he'd tricked me and claimed things were true that weren't...

Woman: He's looking for you right now, feeling very bad about that.

Minako: How can I be sure he's not going to just trick me again?

Woman: We have little certainty in this life. If he really loves you, he won't hurt you if he can help it. It's far too easy to try to hold someone to an impossible standard, and much harder to find one you can both live with. No relationship is ever perfect. Haven't you been keeping a big secret from him?

Minako: But he already knew!

Woman: You didn't know that...You didn't plan to tell him either, did you?

Minako: It's so dangerous...And Artemis would get angry. I wasn't even sure if he would believe me. I wasn't really sure how much I like him...or if I could trust him.

Woman: I can hear him calling you...

[Minako listens and faintly hears "Mina-chan!" on the wind.]

Woman: Go to him and let him know how you really feel. Never be afraid to forgive...

Minako: Thank you. [turns and runs towards the calling voice. Within a few seconds, she spots Steve and runs to him. He hugs her and gives her her sweater and coat, which she swiftly puts on.]

Steve: I was so worried about you...I'm really sorry I lied to you like that...It was just one of my pranks...and... Minako: I forgive you. I shouldn't have run off like that...or hit you.

Steve: I was afraid you'd freeze to death out here...I didn't realize you could run so fast.

Minako: Being a Senshi has a few side benefits...and a woman helped me find my way to you.

Steve: I don't see anyone...

Minako: [turns and looks] She's gone...

* * * * *

[Back at Steve's family's room, Steve and Minako are having some hot chocolate and watching TV again. She is wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on the bed next to him.]

Minako: How could you tell I was Sailor V? Almost no one has ever been able to tell...

Steve: I...have a talent for seeing through disguises...or any kind of deception. I can tell when people lie to me. I can tell if people are trying to hide how they feel or change their appearance. I could probably identify all five of you Senshi if I met you in your civilian identities. I don't know how I do it or why, but I've been able to ever since I can remember.

Minako: I've met a few people with special talents, like Urawa who could see the future. Sometimes I wonder if Usagi's friend Naru has a monster-attracting talent...

Steve: She gets attacked by monsters a lot?

Minako: Yeah. Not so much lately, but back when we fought the Dark Kingdom, she could hardly walk down the street without getting jumped, it seemed like.

Steve: Well, I hope I get to meet all of your friends, eventually when we go back to school.

Minako: I'm not going to tell them you know about me. [winks] I want to surprise them. Usagi will probably have a heart attack if you walk up to her and shake her hand and say "Hi, Sailor Moon!"

Steve: [laughs] I could make everyone around her seem to say that with ventriloquism....

Minako: [laughs] She would just die!

[@Beep!@ Minako's communicator starts beeping.]

Minako: If this is Artemis, I'm going to kill him...Same for Usagi...Why can't they get along...

Steve: Is Artemis her boyfriend or something? I guess he must know about her being Sailor Moon?

Minako: [falls over laughing] I wouldn't call him her boyfriend. [gets out her communicator] This is Venus.

Usagi: Artemis won't let me give him a bath!

Artemis: I don't need a bath! Luna's the flea-ridden...OWWWW!!!! Stop biting me, Luna!

Luna: You're the flea-ridden, garbage-eating, backwall-singing, filth-covered one! [starts clawing Artemis]

Minako: I wouldn't dream of stopping you from taking a bath with your lover boy Artemis, Usagi. Just throw him in and jump in after him.

[Steve tries really hard not to laugh.]

Usagi: WHAT? He's your cat, not my lover boy!

Luna: Cheating on me again, are you? With a human, no less!

Artemis: Minako! What are you...OWWWWWW!!!!! talking about?

[Minako starts laughing hysterically.]

Usagi: Stop laughing at me!

Minako: I'm sorry, Usagi...maybe you should tell him he'd have a better chance with Luna if he took a bath.

Artemis: I don't need a bath! I want to live!

Luna: Two-timing, insensitive, dirty, smelly...

Usagi: You do need a bath, Artemis!

Minako: Venus out. [puts away the communicator] I wish there was some way to screen my calls on this...

Steve: Who are Artemis and Luna?

Minako: My cat and Usagi's cat. They...talk.

Steve: Just like the other cat did?

Minako: What other...oh, that cat...I think you haven't been punished enough for your misdeeds, Mr. Grant.

Steve: Ahh. Time for more punishment, then?

Minako: Hai.

[They kiss, right as Mr. and Mrs. Grant and Mr. and Mrs. Aino walk in.]

Mr. Grant: Attaboy!

Mrs. Grant: How sweet!

Mr. Aino: [shakes his head] Children.

Mrs. Aino: Oh, my daughter is growing up.

Minako: [thinking] There are days when I'd take a youma over my parents...

Steven: [thinking] Just what I need, my own cheering section...

[The parents plop down around the room and start fiddling with the TV.]

Mr. Grant: Don't mind us, kids. Just go on with what you were doing.

Steven: I...uh...DAD!!!!!

Mrs. Grant: Should we step outside so you two can finish?

Steven: [head in his hands] Dad, dad...dad.....

The End.



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Symphony of the Planets: Venus, 5 October 1996