ACK! Sorry about the late posting of author responses. I was super busy when I was posting the story that I completely forgot about it. Ami-chan has been so gracious as to smack my head around only a few hours before letting me get to it. So, here are the responses.
Fall.of.Destiny: Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed the chapter. Glad to see a returning face always.
Rogue Wizz: Yes, you can wait, but wait no more!
WolgalX: Good to see you again. I'm trying to update more often, but I still have a lot of college stuff in the way, and the other fandom has about three stories I'm working on. Sorry! As for the dream sequence, I enjoy doing surreal things like that, and had special fun fitting in subtle hints from the show into it. I may have to do one for Makoto.
BluexSavior: As always with multi-posts like yours, from the first. 1. Thanks for the rating. And yes it is quality, though the 'a' should have been capitalized. 2. Well I suppose I'm glad you're enjoying the chapters. 3. Sorry, that was before I had a beta reader that made me make longer chapters. Well Lesson of Love had to be broken into chapters, but that's another matter. 4. Don't tell me I have broccoli in my teeth! PLEASE! 5. Sorry, I'm trying to write more. 6. Please have some cookies and enjoy the latest chapter.
Soleil-Lune: It's nice to see that you enjoyed it, considering you're my beta reader. I think H/Mi will have fun in the next few chapters: especially after this chapter.
Once again, sorry about the late responses. Enjoy!
Ami let out a heavy sigh as she stared at the empty seat across from her. It seemed that Miss Tsukino was going to miss her entire time slot again. Usagi was a wonderful girl to be friends with, but she couldn't seem to be on time for anything. She seemed to want to just coast through life. She had dreams aplenty, but she never seemed able to pick just one.
Ami envied her though. Usagi had a solid relationship with her boyfriend Mamoru Chiba. It wasn't that she had a crush on Mamoru or anything, but sometimes she just longed for someone to hold her close and make her feel safe and warm. Turning to her own study books, she wondered what it would be like to have someone hold her gently in their arms. Their voice soft and low, as they whisper soothing words while she drifted off to sleep, one hand idly playing with the long brown hair…
She blinked as she felt herself blush when she realized that not only was it someone specific this time, but that it was Makoto that had been holding her. Her situation was getting out of hand and something had to be done. What it was, she couldn't guess right now. She knew however that she had to do something or these dreams and thoughts would continue to haunt her. For the meantime, she focused her attention on the book and willed for the blush to fade.
She had to concentrate on getting her degree, or else she'd never become a doctor like her mother. After all that her mother had done for her, she couldn't remain a financial burden on her for any longer than necessary. That was one of the reasons she took up tutoring, to help pay for some things on her own. The tutoring job paid well, and she had withheld the right of refusing any clients. But it still left her wondering what life would have been like if she had chosen another path. In her mind, she pictured herself, as a timid, mouse of a girl hiding behind mounds of books.
Then when she had met Haruka, and gotten the apartment with her, it had helped lessen how much she spent on miscellaneous expenses. Looking down at the table in front of her, she silently wondered what it would have been like if she was more like Haruka, beautifully androgynous. She'd have more confidence, and would have had more fun probably. However, she'd also be hopeless in the kitchen, and followed by puppy-eyed girls throughout her scholastic career.
She sighed again as she stretched and looked at her watch. It was going on eleven o'clock and Usagi hadn't arrived. After eleven, it was time for lunch, and then came free time before Haruka arrived to pick her up. Originally Ami had thought of doing some studying to make up for last night, but as she tried to reread the page before her again, she realized it wouldn't work; her mind just couldn't focus today. She then decided to walk down the street and go for a swim at the college gym. All she had to do was call Haruka, and let her know. After all, her swimsuit and towel were in her bag, where she had packed them last night.
As she began to pack to leave, she smiled at the thought she would exchanging studying for 'play.' It was a first for her, but then again, there was a first time for everything. Leaving the library, she smiled as she looked up into the clear blue skies, and felt the sun warming her face. It was a nice day to eat outside, and her secret spot wasn't too far away.
Makoto sighed as she stared out the window of the classroom. She really didn't like this class, but had to take it in order to graduate. What made it worse was it was on Saturday mornings, and today was such a beautiful one at that. At least it was almost over, and then she could go eat lunch.
Staring at the park across the street, she sighed heavily as she pictured eating lunch under the shade of those trees, her and a short blue-haired goddess. Both of them talking about nothing in particular, whilst eating the meal Makoto had prepared. She could almost picture Ami walking along with her backpack on her shoulders, sun shining in her hair as she smiled in greeting to everyone.
In fact it would look just like the blue haired woman walking past her window right now. Rubbing her eyes, she looked again to make certain that she wasn't seeing things. As she had hoped, right there in front of her was Ami, walking to the park. Looking at the clock she frowned upon seeing that it was still two minutes until the end of the lecture. She knew this teacher wouldn't let her get out for any reason. She listened carefully, but couldn't hear him lecturing. In fact all she heard was snoring.
Looking around she noticed that everyone but her had fallen asleep, including the teacher. The culprit of this narcoleptic attack was currently rewinding, Makoto hadn't even noticed the movie her Economics professor had put on. However she did not mind that fact as this was her chance to escape. She sneaked away from her seat and walk out the back door quietly.
Walking out through the doors she smiled as the sunshine greeted her and warmed her body. It was a beautiful day, and she had someone she wanted to share it with. Turning towards the park she started running after the blue-haired woman that had stolen her heart. She watched as Ami ducked between two sets of bushes heading onto the trails behind the park. There was a beautiful spot just a short distance from the city with a wonderful little pond. It was hidden away so that when one sat on the bank it seemed they were the only one on the planet. The best part was that Makoto knew a shortcut.
Taking a few turns she reached the pond first and settled underneath a tree that had grown near the bank. All she had to do now was make it seem like she was just starting to eat, which wasn't a bad idea. Pulling out her bento, she smiled as she opened it up and dug out her favorite chopsticks. Taking a quick bite, she smiled as she heard Ami's feet, crunching the fallen leaves underneath her. She knew she be there in a moment.
When she heard a gasp, she looked up to see Ami staring at her in surprise. Blushing slightly, Makoto waved to the blue-haired girl, and offered Ami a spot next to her.
"I wasn't expected anyone to be here." Ami said softly as she settled in.
"I wasn't planning on being here myself, until a little while ago." Makoto said with a smile.
Ami smiled and looked away towards the water. "It is beautiful here, don't you agree?"
"Yeah... It is..." Makoto replied her eyes never leaving Ami.
Ami pulled out her sandwich while Makoto picked up her lunch box and offered her some of it. Ami hesitated before taking a few small bites from it. She sighed in bliss as she relished the marvelous taste of Makoto's cooking. She could definitely get used to eating food like this, especially if she could get Makoto's company as a bonus.
Makoto smiled nervously at Ami as she started eating as well. She was suddenly very glad that she didn't have any plans for this afternoon, as she hoped to get to know her a whole lot better.
Haruka smirked as she listened to her voice message from Ami. She could detect a lot that went unsaid from Ami's message, which was the wonderful part. Ami had been preoccupied enough to forgo studying, and that had to have meant she was thinking about something... or someone.
Ami also mentioned something about swimming. The blonde knew that when she went any time other than in the morning, it meant that she was going to think about something. The most curious part was that she sounded slightly rushed. This told her that she had been thinking about something important to her.
Hanging up her phone, Haruka went back to eating her lunch while flipping through a race magazine. There wasn't all that much to do at the garage today. Most of the others had gone out to lunch. She, however, decided to stick around with the boss.
Her boss was a kind old man. He had given her the chance to drive the garage's racecar in the local fifty laps. After he had seen her driving, he had convinced her to learn mechanics as well. He even let her keep the prize money to help fund her college education. There was so much that she owed him, but he never asked for more than her best, and her happiness.
Looking around, she saw him eating his sandwiches while reading the racing page in the local newspaper. Coincidentally, it was that which had her picture plastered front and center. It was an old one since the season was over, and she hadn't made any confirmations about racing again next year or not. She would be more than happy to, but the old man always made her wait until the last week to enter before he'd even consider taking her answer.
With a smile she popped another bite into her mouth and smirked. Maybe Ami needed that type of patience with her relationship. A nudge too early would send her hiding from Makoto, and maybe even Haruka herself. This would require delicate handling, and that was Michiru's department first and foremost. It would be best for her to follow Michiru's lead. It wasn't like Makoto would be swimming with Ami, anyhow.
Ami sliced through the water with a happy smile on her face. This was definitely her place, and Makoto was enjoying it as well. Stopping at the pool's edge, Ami looked around to find Makoto helping a woman with several kids, playing games in the shallow end of the pool. Smiling sadly, Ami sighed as she felt her heart clench. It's probable that Makoto wanted to be a mother and that if she was involved with Ami, she'd never get the chance.
Shaking her head Ami dove into the water again, driving the thoughts from her mind. She knew that Makoto probably wouldn't be interested in her. She was a bookworm, and she wasn't all that pretty. Maybe it would be better to keep her mouth shut and just be Makoto's friend. She could do that, even if it hurt, she could be just friends.
Surfacing again, Ami gulped down air and slowed her driving pace. She didn't want to just give up, but she couldn't ruin Makoto's dreams like that. Why couldn't this be like a math problem, in which everything always worked out perfectly? She could understand consistency, but this was something that puzzled her. There was no way to study for it, and there was no right answer. Reaching the other wall, she stood up, breathing heavily as she tried to figure out what to do.
After a moment she noticed a pair of feet in front of her. Following up the long thin legs before her, she found Makoto smiling down at her, holding out a towel.
"Did you enjoy your laps?" Makoto asked as Ami slid out of the water. At Ami's nod she continued, "Mrs. Meioh took her pre-school class back to get ready to go home."
"It was nice of you to help them," Ami said as she dried off her face and hair. "I think you'd be a wonderful mother someday."
Makoto blushed slightly as she looked over the pool's rippling water. "Thank you, but... I think I'd rather be a teacher or something. I think I'd grow tired of having to watch over kids all the time."
Ami smiled at this as she pictured Makoto running after kids in a school setting. The picture slowly formed itself into that of a gym teacher for an elementary school. When she expressed this idea Makoto giggled and nodded. "I suppose I am built for that, but I think I also want to teach cooking."
"I don't think so," Ami said quietly. "You'd enjoy it at first, but then it would grow boring and repetitive, and I think you'd start to avoid making anything at home."
"You're right, I guess teaching it would make it less fun," Makoto said quietly as she sat next to Ami. As they sat, looking out over the water, each one thought about how they would deeply love to have sat on a beach looking out on a sunset in a position similar to this. Neither of them noticed when their hands clasped gently in each other, leaving them lost in their mental images.