Left. Right. Left. Right.
Haruka chanted mentally as she jogged. The rhythm and repetition of the action soothing her mind. After hitting the final mile, she could feel her calves start to burn. It is ironic, she thought, that she could only feel satisfied after earning that sensation. Beads of sweat rolled down her back uncomfortably. Keeping her breathing steady, the blond started to slow her pace.
The park was peaceful and damp in the rays of the morning sun. Feeling somewhat like a superhero protecting it's serenity, Haruka strode in confident steps around the sandbox to cool her worked body. She sniggered to herself at the absurdity of her thoughts.
Some superhero I'd be. They would never be able to get me into those tight suits.
Running her fingers through her hair, Haruka strode briskly into her favorite roadside cafe and leaned casually on the counter.
"How's it going?" she grinned at the brunette behind the counter.
"Not bad, for 6 in the morning."
Makoto grinned back.
"Yess." she drawled.
Sliding into an empty chair on the sidewalk, Haruka unrolled the towel from her neck and wiped the sweat from her brow. Watching people this early in the morning is always fascinating. You see some trudging to work with their ties loosely hung around their neck. Some look like they haven't even been home. There are also those who breeze by noisily on their cellphones.
Who on Earth could they be talking to at this time of the day?
Makoto's little place is located on the corner of a busy street in the day time. There were little tables placed outside the shop for smokers. Inside the shop, one can see rows and rows of teapots in various shapes and colors. Makoto's collection gave the cafe a warm and quaint atmosphere. It also servers as an eye catching décor to pull innocent people of the streets to sample her world shaking culinary skills. The place is usually full during lunch and tea and is as busy as a marketplace. Thankfully though, people were still few at this time and the morning calm remains.
A cute waitress ambled over to Haruka's table outside with a serving of her famous home-made muffins and a pot of steaming coffee. The blond winked at the girl.
The cosiness and heavenly scents remind me of home.
Taking a whiff, her mouth started watering. As Haruka lifted a muffin for the first bite, her cell started ringing. Cursing as she fumbled through her pockets, she smiled apologetically to the elderly couple at the next table.
"Hello, Tenou speaking."
"Di mana kamu?"
Speaking of the devil herself, "Hi Mama. I'm having breakfast."
"Kenapa sangat lama tak telefon balik rumah ni? Abang dan Rusty rindu kamu, tau?" she scolded.
Oops. "Sorry Mama, I would've called but I was busy with the new merger. Tell Hanai and Rusty I miss them too. How are they doing?"
"Hanai sama sahajalah. Rusty baru beranak. Bapa suruh balik untuk Tahun Baru ya."
"Yes Mama. I promise to come back for New Years." Haruka answered sheepishly.
"Telefon bila nak sampai ya. Suruh Bapa angkat dari lapangan kapal terbang"
"Aw Mama, you and Dad don't have to go to so much trouble. I'll just hail a cab from the airport. I will give you a call when I arrive, okay?"
"Ya, sayang." Mama answered warmly.
"Love you too. Bye Mama."
Sighing as she snapped the phone shut and placed it on the table, Haruka took a big bite from her muffin. She listened to the gentle whir of the fan and took in the slight bustle of the shop as she ate her breakfast. Silently she contemplated whether taking time off for a holiday is a wise choice.
Well, everyone needs a break now and then.
She rolled a cigarette between her fingers thoughtfully.
Seiya, as much of an annoyance as he is, is still more than capable of keeping the company afloat and out of trouble by his own for a while. Besides, all the important issues needs her approval anyway and she was accessible as always on the cell and by email.
I miss home.
Haruka lit her cigarette and took a deep breath. The cell started ringing again and Haruka dropped her cigarette in her haste to answer the call. Cursing under her breathe, she barked into phone and avoided the glares of the next table.
"Well well, look who's in a good mood this morning," Seiya chirped.
"Ah, just the person I wanted to hear," Haruka replied dryly.
"Oh really? That's a first." he grinned.
"Well, I'm going back home next week so I want you to take care of things while I'm gone. By the way, tell Kaede later when you see her to make flight reservations.. for two."
Haruka stepped on her cigarette to put it out and took a sip of coffee.
"What's the occasion, huh? I mean, I can hardly remember the last time you took a vacation. Why two seats?"
"Don't be a busybody, asshat. I just had a great idea. I'm bringing Michiru back home with me. What better way to get rid of any bad mood than a whole week of relaxation at my home?" Haruka smirked and congratulated herself on her brilliance.
"Well, just don't stick your nose into.."
"Shut up." Haruka snapped. "Just do what I told you and call me if word on the NGO deal gets in and maybe I'll bring you a souvenir."
The blonde shut her call with a snap and gingerly picked up the flattened cigarette. Sighing, she flicked it into the ashtray and strode to the cashier.
What happened to my peaceful morning run and breakfast?
Michiru scanned the crowd.
Where is she?
She nodded and smiled politely at a couple, trying not to grimace.
"Kaioh Michiru. What a snobbish face!" a voice behind her rasped.
Whirling around, the aqua haired artist came face to face with a bouquet of fresh lilies held by a grinning blond. Michiru couldn't help but smile as she replied as haughtily as she could,"Well it's not like they really appreciate my art anyway. They're just here for the complimentary wine."
You look absolutely handsome.
Haruka chuckled as she handed Michiru the flowers.
"I'm so proud of you. World renowned violinist Kaioh Michiru is now also recognized as one of the fresh new talents in the arts," Haruka boomed and laughed as she tucked Michiru's arm into her own, secretly delighting in the feel the painter's smooth skin.
Swatting the blonde's arm playfully, Michiru laughed.
"Let's go. I'm in the mood for some Tiramisu and coffee."
"What are you doing next week?"
"Well, next week is the end of January.. nothing much I guess. The exhibition just finished so now I'm left with some free time to start on my new piece," said Michiru thoughtfully as she pushed an errant aqua curl behind her ear. "Why?"
"Er. I'll be going home next week to visit my family so I was wondering.." Haruka flicked her hair back irritably. "If you would like to come along with me. I mean, you have never met my family right? My brother is dying to meet you."
Although I would sooner flatten his sorry ass if he treats you badly.
"Ara, you mean your brother is in Malaysia too?"
"Yeah, he works there to be close to my parents. They settled down there when my dad retired." Haruka twirled the fork into a brown mush that was formerly a Tiramisu cake. I feel more nervous than I should be. After all, I'm sure Michiru has something better to do than to take a whole week off just to fly 8 hours with me.
"I would love to meet your family Ruka but are you sure I won't be a bother?"
Haruka shook her head "Naw, if anything Mama would gladly have you over for New Years."
If only I can get her not to embarrass me too much.
"I would love to meet your family then," Michiru smiled warmly.
"Good. Because I already had Kaede book the tickets," Haruka grinned sheepishly.
The water parts easily at the command of my arms. I have always felt a strong connection with this element. Being able to frolic freely in it's depths for as long as I can remember, I never had the fear of drowning when I was younger. Sometimes I wonder if I were a mermaid in a previous life. Barely stopping myself from giggling out loud at my thoughts, I chuckled inwardly.
Some mermaid I'd be. I would never be able to keep my makeup on if I'm underwater all the time.
Gliding silently, I sigh as I enjoy the small waves lapping at my back. Pushing myself to sit on the ledge of the swimming pool, I wave back at Ami who is sitting at the opposite end. She dives into the pool cleanly and swims towards me.
Her form has improved.
It's still a little too mechanical though. It is as though she hasn't really integrated herself with the waters and stopped fearing it's power.
I start drying myself as she pulls out of the water. She smooths her hair back and smiles her thanks as I pass her a towel.
"Sometimes it's easier to have shorter hair." I mused. "Mine gets in my way even though I tie it up and I don't really like swimming caps." I finger my aqua tresses ruefully.
"I really prefer your hair long Michiru-san. It really suits you and it's very pretty."
Is it my imagination or did a light tinge of pink just pass her cheeks? Ami-chan is quite adorable. My, she even blushes all the way down her neck. I catch the end of a muffled question as Ami wiggled into a shirt.
"Sorry, could you please repeat that?"
"Uhm. Would you like to join me for lunch, Michiru-san?"
Blue eyes blink hopefully at me and I already feel guilty if I were to turn her offer down. Well, I am supposed to join Haruka but I don't she minds if Ami comes along.
"Ami-chan, I'm joining Haruka for lunch so why don't you join us instead?" I smile.
Whistling cheerfully, I make my way down the busy streets. I resist the temptation to grin at the drivers eating my dust as I curve in and out of traffic. Stopping at a red light, I smile to myself and tap my fingers to the hum of the engine.
Ah, I can't wait to see Michi-chan again. I can hardly wait to give her the good news and tell her more about my family. Oh, and warn her too. I thought darkly to myself. I swear, sometimes my family can be worse than the Brady bunch.
I take a quick glance at my watch before speeding off again. I should right on time.
I honk at the car hogging up both lanes and curse under my breath.
Stupid Sunday drivers. I can never understand why people crawl in the middle of the road. If you want to drive slowly, go do it in the other lane, damnit!
Flicking my mussed hair back into place, I couldn't help but sigh as I (finally) made it to the front of Michiru's condo.
Should I give her a call to tell her I'm here?
My thoughts came to a halt as I felt a familiar rush at the sight of her. Her teal hair shines naturally under the sun and I watch, mesmerized. Today she is clad in a white sun dress that shows her shapely legs quite nicely.
I guess swimming does wonders. I smirked.
She is smiling and talking animatedly to someone I can't quite see from this angle. As they made their way towards me, I sigh inwardly to myself as I catch sight of the person.
I knew I should have bought the two seater convertible.
I immediately chastise myself for thinking such. Haruka, Mama didn't raise you to act like that. Be nice to Ami-chan. You're gonna have Michiru all holidays anyway.
With that thought in mind I cheered up considerably and grinned in welcome to them both.
"Hi Michiru. Hey hey Ami-chan. Need a ride home?"
"Ami-chan is joining us for lunch today, Ha-chan." She smiles up at me.
I take a sip from my coffee mug and watch as Michiru and Ami-chan talk about.. something. Truth be told, they lost me a couple of minutes ago and I resign myself to watching them instead. Sliding down slightly into the plush chairs, I feel myself unwind while listening to her speak. Her aristocratic voice, neither cold nor snobbish, fill my ears. It is gentle, curling around the R's and tinkling as she laughs. I love it when she says my name, her voice drawing it out so nicely.
"Hmm?" I drawled drowsily.
She looks at me disapprovingly and raises an eyebrow. Oops. I seemed to have subconsciously taken out a cigarette and am preparing to light it. I mentally smacked my subconscious for doing so.
"Well, I can't smoke back home. Mama won't let me." I smile winningly.
What I said seemed to have the desired effect as Michiru promptly forgot the cigarette and questioned me.
"Kaede-san managed to get the tickets?"
"Yup, it seems like first class had some seats left over." I'm not planning on telling her how much I paid to get them last minute. "So I guess you're coming over for the holidays."
Her smile just made my day.
Ha. Take that Ami-chan.
First class has its perks. I smile charmingly at the stewardess for handing me my drink and received a wink in return. I downed the small pill with water and tried to relax.
"What was that Haruka?" She looks at me inquisitively.
"A little friend of mine for the flight. Dramamine." I scratch the back of my head.
I may like the wind and open skies but being inside this small cabin makes me a little.. nauseous. Not that first class is small by any means. No matter, this hardly even scratches the surface of my joy at seeing my family again. I peek at her through my lashes, quickly feeling drowsy from the drug.
Michiru looks at me softly and without a word, she pulls my head down to her shoulder and pulls the standard airline blanket around us.
"Go to sleep." She whispers.
I comply easily as the drowsiness from the drug kicks in. As the plane takes off, I fall into a deep sleep encompassed by her scent of fresh sea mist and French lavender.
I love you, Michiru.
Remembering where I am and reminding myself to be mindful of the precious weight on my shoulder, I extend my left arm slowly to slide the cabin window open. I can't help the fond smile stretching across my face at the sound of muffled mumbling from my love.
I look out the window.
It was as if we were trying to collide with the night. That was how I was feeling as the plane flew further away from Tokyo and closer towards her home. Eventually the night caught us. Inevitable. At the elevation of 40,000 meters and flying at an average speed of 900 km/h, dusk falls upon us and the sky paints itself in a unique blend of purple and ochre.
As my eyes open slowly, the stars choose that moment to reveal themselves to me. I felt as if I could just brush them with my fingers. I never felt closer to Heaven as I did at that moment. A truly special moment.
I turn around and kissed Haruka gently on her forehead.
With a truly special person.
I love you, Haruka.
Lilies represent many things, but what I was going for is regality and celebration.
The language Haruka and Mama were conversing in is Malay. They're actually flying to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It's a beautiful country and ideal for holidays. Go google it :D
Vanessa Riverton - I'm glad you like the new title. I like it too :p
krugern – I spent the most time on the pool scene because I didn't want it to be awkward. I'm glad you like it, there's another pool scene in this one too! No Haruka though. Haha.
Impersonal – Yeah, I was thinking of throwing a pet into the picture and see how they react lol. I hardly see and fics with pets inside, so I thought why not?
Black Caballiere – Haruka in a bikini is win! Plus, I'm happy you like Usagi. I'm putting the cast in little by little. Though Mako-chan didn't really say much
LitaDelacour – I have no idea what pet yet. Though a yellow lab sounds good.
J-belle – Thank you! Procrastinating is my best friend though.. You got me to finish the chapter today, so I dedicate this to you XD
Thanks to the rest who reviewed. Please tell me what you think and I hope to see you again soon! Oh, I also do not own Sailormoon. (Almost forgot)