This is a sequel to the one-shot "No Regrets". Rather than searching for the story, here's the ID: 2171523... Now, replace the current number in the URL bar with that one. Easy, right?
Title: No Secrets
We were conducting ourselves in a manner that would undeniably force me to blush a magnificent red and stutter upon latter consideration.
At that very moment, however, I was quite content to lose myself in our actions. His hands were resting on my back, spider-like. I could feel the warmth of his spread fingers through my shirt. He sucked in a breath as I kissed his neck and I smiled against his skin.
"I love you, Mizuno Ami."
Burying my face in his shoulder, I snuggled closer. "I love you too, Motou Yami." Six months had passed since Yami and I were officially labeled as a couple, and things were going quite nicely in our relationship. With my new boyfriend, I gained six additional companions. The combination of the two groups was done seamlessly.
We called ourselves the Mismatched Masterminds. The name was born from Minako and Jou's collective brain. I believe that Usagi and Yugi contributed to it as well. I, myself, was very fond of the foursome's love child.
With the formation of said clique came a few hook-ups of sorts. True to Makoto's prediction, Rei-chan and Ryou-kun started going out. While they weren't very public, and Rei would take her gossip to the grave, they seemed superbly happy together.
Jou-kun had also gotten his courage to maximum level and asked Mako-chan to be his girlfriend. Obviously, she accepted. They got along splendidly and if they were older, there would be wedding bells ringing.
Minako-chan took it upon herself to form a connection with Kaiba-san, much to the chagrin of Jou, Honda, Anzu... and every one of the other Domino residents. Having never met the guy, I didn't know what the big deal was. Yami, Yugi, and Jou regaled us all with tales of Kaiba's so-called "evil". Minako, as predicted, was deaf to their warnings.
"Do..." Yami's voice broke into my thoughts. I raised my head and looked down at him, silently asking for a continuation. "Do you think we're moving too fast?" I moved up and back, sitting on my legs and straddling his calves. My outer foot slipped off the couch, and I half-stood awkwardly.
"I don't know..." Of all the females I knew, I always considered myself to have the least amount of experience with boyfriends and the things one would do with a boyfriend. I relocated my stare to my twitching fingers before peeking up at him through my bangs. "Do you?"
He hummed under his breath as he sat up on his elbows. "I'm not sure." I shifted my weight and scooted back on the couch so he could get up comfortably without me squishing his legs. "Thank you." I nodded absently. "Ami?"
I blinked, "yes?"
"Have you ever had a boyfriend before?" Blushing, I chewed on the corner of mouth. "Hey," he took my hand in his, "I thought you stopped biting your lip." Instantly, I ceased in my nervous habit, face flaming twice as red.
"Um, well... There was a boy back in junior high, but Urawa-kun left for America before either of us really made a move." I tapped my chin thoughtfully. "I once received a love letter and I broke out in hives, so that ended before it even began." Yami chuckled, putting his arm around my shoulders and pressing a kiss to my temple.
"Remind me not to do that." I smiled as I sneaked an arm around his waist. "Would you react so horribly if I sent you a love letter, Ami-chan?"
"Probably not," I reasoned. "Seeing as we are involved and I am quite aware of you feelings for me." He hummed again, sliding close to me and forcing the innocent air surrounding us to dissipate.
"Are you? Do you have proof of my so-called feelings for you?" With mock horror, I gasped at his false instigations.
"I should hope so!" Smirking, he wordlessly kissed my neck, causing me to sigh. "So much for moving too fast," I mumbled and I could've sworn I felt him smile.
I once spent my free time studying or contemplating an enemy's strategy. I once spent my afternoons brainstorming over how to become top of the class. I had recently replaced that with a crimson-eyed boy and hanging out with my best friends at a local arcade. We even established a bi-weekly shopping spree for the girls.
I think the guys came maybe once, but a single look at Victoria's Secret sent them fleeing to Radio Shack.
As the clock in the next room over chimed quarter to one, I pulled away from my boyfriend. His curious eyes searched my face. "Is something wrong?" The obvious unsure air of his question reminded me of his insecurities. Even though he hadn't confessed to it, I had a feeling that our's was the first serious relationship that Yami had been in.
"Yami, love, it's almost one. I'm supposed to be meeting Usagi-chan and the others at the mall, remember?" He pouted and my body tingled pleasantly. "Come on, it's only a few hours. You can come if you want, bring Yugi-kun."
He paled considerably from his usual tan, "not if you paid me."
"Suit yourself," I stood up and stretched. Catching the expression on his face, I pulled him up, off the couch and hugged his waist. "You make me feel like I'm abandoning you." He laid his head on my shoulder.
"What am I supposed to do when you're gone?" I gaped at him, taking his face in my hands and bringing it close to mine. My adorable boyfriend took this as an opportunity to steal a quick kiss. Rolling my eyes, I smacked at his hands lightly.
"Seriously, I have to go." I found my purse on the kitchen counter and my shoes in the hallway. Yami watched me gather my belongings with a steady, trained eye. "I'll call you later," I continued, "and maybe we can do something tomorrow after school with the Mismatched Masterminds." He smirked at the name.
"Ami-chan," he called from his relaxed position of leaning against the corridor's wall. He arched an eyebrow, dare I think it?, seductively. "Our six month anniversary is coming up soon. I want to take you out for dinner." Holding back my girly Mina/Usagi-esque squeal, I stepped into his loving arms.
"I don't deserve you," I whispered to his chest.
"On the contrary, my dear. It is I who is the one unworthy of your love." Laughing at his formal syntax, I tightened my hold on his waist. "Don't you have someplace to be?" I squeaked in surprise, pulling away with a start.
"I will call you!" Even through the closed door, I could feel my love's amusement. My phone began buzzing in my purse, and I searched almost frantically as I skipped down the stairs. "Hello?"
"Ami-chan, are you going shopping with us?"
"Ah, sorry Rei." I paused in the stair well, apology bouncing in an echo. "Yeah, I'm coming, I just got caught up at Yami's."
Hearing a gasp on her end, I winced. "You're at Yami's place? Oi..." I caught a Mako-like cackle and blonde shriek. When they get worked up, it is entirely too difficult to tell Minako and Usagi apart.
"Gimmie the phone!"
"Back off, Odango." Rei unknowingly identified the anonymous blonde as she sighed. "Well, try to get to the mall soon, okay? There're some big sales, and I'm wasting my minutes."
"See ya, Ames." That over and done with, I slipped my phone back into its previous home and pushed open the door leading to the game shop storage room. Motou-san looked up at the movement but went back to shuffling through boxes when he recognized me. My presence in his home was both constant and welcomed.
"Hey there, Ami."
"Good afternoon, Motou-san." He waved his hand at my formalities with a snort.
"Why the san? With the way you and Yami look at each other, I bet you'll be my grand daughter soon." I blushed, staring at my shoes. "What was it I told you when we first met?" He snapped his fingers, as he remembered, "no need to be so shy. Anyway," He pulled some small packets of what I assumed were Duel Monster cards from one of the many cardboard boxes. "Call me Grandpa. Yugi's up front, if you wanna talk to him."
I bowed, "thank you... Grandpa." A smile lit the old man's face. "Bye now!" He waved absently, muttering to himself about order forms.
"Hi Ami!" Yugi stood on a stool, stretching to reach the top of a particularly high shelf. "How're you doing?" I watched as he raised himself on the tips of his toes for a slight increase in height.
"I'm fine." Walking over to him, I folded my arms over my chest. A skeptic look crossed my face when the precarious nature of his standing dawned on me. "Don't hurt yourself there." He smiled down at me, retrieving a heavy-looking box.
"Oh don't worry, I'm used to getting things down..." As he said these soothing words, his foot slipped and with it went his balance. The end result was I being flattened by him, and a box jammed into his middle.
Yugi struggled to sit up, pushing the cardboard cube off of him. Numerous papers spilled out, joining the aftermath of Hurricane Yugi. A few more papers drifted softly down to the floor, one of which landed on my face.
The smaller boy shifted, giving me an apologetic smile, "...sorry..."
Grandpa Motou peeked his head around the corner to survey the destruction. He snickered at our disposition, helping his grandson and me up. Yugi rubbed the back of his head while I tried to collect the hundreds of displaced papers. "Are you two alright?"
Before either of us could answer, the door to the upper level apartment burst open. Yami joined his grandfather in speculation. "What happened?"
"Your brother," I gestured to Yugi as I handed Grandpa the stack of loose papers, "fell off his chair and onto. And, I am in serious danger of being late. It was nice seeing you Motou-" Catching the eldest's look, I hastily corrected myself, "Grandpa. Bye Yugi-kun. Yami," I kissed my boyfriend's cheek, "I'll see you later." Yugi waved as he and his grandfather sorted out the chaos. Backing out of Yami's slackened embrace, I relocated my purse and turned to leave.
"Ami, wait." I half turned, raising an eyebrow. "Are you okay?" I smiled at his concern. "I mean, Yugi just fell on you. That kid may be small, but he's still heavy." The boy in question glared at the implications before a ringing phone captured his attention. "On top of that, a box full of order forms was included in the catastrophe."
He nodded, "we're looking into some new merchandise for the shop."
"Oh, that makes sense." I paused to look around the homey store. "This place is so awesome, but it would be smart to bring in some new material for newer generations.
Again, he nodded. "That's what Yugi said. I also think he wants to test out new card games and RPGs. But, this is all besides the point!" Softly, I touched his shoulder.
"Yami, honey, I'm fine. Between Usagi's clumsiness and-" I stopped myself from mentioning senshi work. I planned on telling Yami of my alter ego, but I couldn't work it into the conversation, ever. I also wanted to talk it over with the others, because they would be revealed as well.
"And...?" He prompted me, suspicion rising in his voice.
"...And my occasional klutz moment, I'm used to falling over and being fallen on." I finished lamely. "Seriously," I unzipped and zipped up my bag nervously, "I have to go or Rei-chan will wonder where I am." Avoiding his searching stare, I fled the game shop.
Walking the two-block trip to the bus stop, I fought to get myself under control. "Breathe Ami, just breathe." I stuffed my shaking hands into the pockets of my jeans.
It didn't matter how trust worthy a person was, I always had a panic attack when someone got close to discovering my superhero self. The city transportation gasped at the effort of stopping to pick me up. I thanked the driver, and received a grunt in response. I felt a sinking in my stomach upon realization that the only open seat was next to a shady looking fellow with dirty hair.
"Oi," someone grabbed my hand as I passed them. "You can sit here, you know." I faced a girl a little older than me, wearing a purple miniskirt and matching jacket over a corset top. She looked friendly enough, certainly more appealing than my first choice, so I slid into the empty spot.
"Thank you," I said to her as the bus joined in early afternoon traffic.
"Hey, no problem." She flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder, "Us girls gotta stick together." I laughed, reminded strongly of Minako and Makoto. "I'm Mai, by the way."
"Oh, my name's Ami." She narrowed her eyes slightly.
"You wouldn't happen to be Mizuno Ami, would you?" I nodded hesitantly. "Are you Motou Yami's girlfriend?"
"Yes..." Her guard slipped completely as she cackled.
"Jou said you were cute, I just didn't realize how cute!" My curiosity piqued, I bit her bait.
"You know Jou-kun."
"Uh huh," she flipped her hair again. "We know each other from Duelist Kingdom." She watched my reaction carefully, with a slight gleam in her eye.
"Wait," I blinked, my brain catching up with her words. "You're Kujaku Mai, the top female duelist!"
"One and the same, hon." Since meeting the second half of the Mismatched Masterminds, the senshi and I had picked up on Duel Monsters. Between kisses, Yami taught me the finer points of the card game and familiarized me with his deck. As dorky as it makes me feel, we began referring to our favorite monsters as our children. Yes, I know. You can stop laughing at any time, really.
Anzu-chan had told us about Pegasus's competition and meeting Mai. Come to think of it, the story seemed a little butchered at times. In the middle of a sentence, Yugi would giver her a look and she'd trail off. It was all very bizarre.
"So," Mai continued, "do you play?" From seemingly nowhere, she produced her deck of cards. They looked a little worn, but well loved. "With a boyfriend like Yami, you have to know something about the game!"
Embarrassed to admit my lack of knowledge, I blushed and rubbed my elbow nervously. "We've only been together for a little while, but he's teaching me the basics and some tricks." She nodded knowingly.
"Every duelist has to start somewhere, hon. Stick with it, though. You look like a smart girl and give me a call once you're good enough. We can duel and see how it goes."
"I will!" Smiling, Mai glanced out the window as the bus started to slow down. With a groan, she tucked her cards back into their hidden pocket and stood.
"This is my stop. See you later, Ami-chan!" I nodded.
"It was nice meeting you, Mai-san." She snickered at the suffix, patting my head as she passed into the aisle. I wanted to see where my new friend was going, but she crossed in front of the bus and out of my sight.
A quick glance at the bus schedule above my head told me that my stop was next. Thrilled at not having to sit alone for too long, I amused myself by imagining my friends' reactions to my new acquaintance.
Thanking the driver again (and getting another grunt in response) I looked at the huge cement building that was the mall. I was only a few minutes late, and more than ready to shop. Plus, I needed to buy Yami a gift for our anniversary. Determination took over, and I approached the automatic doors with a smile.
"Ami-chan!" Usagi had me in a hug as soon as I walked in. They'd been hanging out at a café near the entrance, drinking hot chocolate and waiting for me. "Where were you?"
"Remember, Odango?" Makoto winked at me while she spoke. "Our little Ami-chan was at her boyfriends!" Rei rolled her eyes as Mina clapped her hands.
"Right, right!" The Love Goddess sprung up and stole a chair from a neighboring table for me. "How was it?"
"How was what?" Usagi, having recovered from Mako's insult, nudged me in the ribs suggestively.
"I know what couples do alone. I have a boyfriend too!" Makoto had to hide her face to keep customers at surrounding booths from noticing our uproarious conversation. "So, spill Ames!"
"If you know," Rei pointed out smoothly, "what goes on behind closed doors, why are you so desperate for gossip?" Minako sighed, giving the priestess a direct look.
"Pyro, the only other person besides Ami who doesn't share anything about her love life is you. And, if we asked, you'd fry us in no time."
"Yeah," Usagi huffed, crossing her arms angrily. "Like the old days, when your aim sucked." (1) Makoto snickered, enjoying the twitching of Rei's eyebrow.
"What Ryou-chan and I do is none of your concern!"
Hoping to avoid an all out war, I coughed. "Where's Anzu-chan?"
"Huh?" Usagi looked at me, confusion plain on her face. "Anzu-chan? Oh, I dunno..."
"Here I am!" I twisted around to greet her, and saw she brought a younger girl along. There was something familiar in the way she smiled, but I couldn't place it. "This is Shizuka-chan, she's Jou's little sister. I hope it's okay I brought her."
"Oh please!" Usagi, our friendly Usagi, stood up and hugged Shizuka-san. "Any relative of Jou-kun's and friend of Anzu's is always welcome! I'm Usagi, by the way." She pointed to each of us as she introduced our names. "That's Ami, she's the genius of the group."
"Hello, Shizuka-san. It's nice to meet you." Shizuka nodded with a smile.
"And, that's Makoto, she's really tough but makes awesome food."
"Yo," Mako-chan gave a little salute.
"That's Minako, she's sorta the fashion guru."
Minako wiggled her fingers, giggling. "Hi Shizuka-chan!"
"And, finally, that's Rei. Watch out for her, though, she's mean." With that, Usagi concluded the name game and bowed grandly.
Rei-chan hissed. "Can it Odango!" Ever the peaceful one, Makoto raised her hands in the air.
"Come on, let's go shopping before things get violent." Minako linked arms with me, a cheerful smile on her face. Anzu had been picked up in a conversation with Rei, leaving Shizuka looking a little nervous. As I was about to comment to Mina on this, Usagi grabbed her left hand and Makoto took her right.
"It's so cool to finally meet Jou's little sister!" Usa beamed.
"Yeah, now you can tell me all his dark secrets!"
"That's right," Shizuka turned to Mako-chan, "you're my big brother's girlfriend, aren't you?"
"Uh huh! Soon, we'll be sisters-in-law!" They shared a laugh and our newest addition relaxed considerably. Usagi had that affect on pretty much the entire human race. "I'm thinking a summer wedding..."
"Cute, isn't she?"
Blinking, I returned my focus to the girl next to me. "Shizuka-san?"
"Yup. I bet she has a bunch of really hot boys chasing after her." Always the persistent one, the warrior of love hadn't given up on getting Kaiba-kun as her boyfriend. If anything, she had doubled her efforts.
"Is that all you think of, Mina?"
"Duh! Remember who I am!" She rolled her eyes, swinging our arms merrily. "I'm sure I can get Kaiba to be mine." She dissolved into cackles and a random bolt of lightning struck the ground. "Seriously, I'm going to start a relationship with the guy!"
"Even if it kills him?" My sarcasm was wasted as Mina took in a giant gasp of air.
"Sale!" All heads in our group turned simultaneously to where she pointed. "Bath and Body Works!" Usagi clapped her hands and Anzu's eyes turned sparkly. "Charge!" The three took off.
The remaining four of us followed at a more subdued pace. Before entering the yummy smelling shop, Makoto slung an arm around Shizuka's shoulders.
"Welcome to shopping hell." The younger girl gulped.
We all branched off to different sections of the store. Usagi, Anzu, and Minako went from shelf to table almost rabidly, picking up random soaps and lotions as they went. Rei stayed near the lotions, testing and smelling a few bottles. Makoto followed her, looking over the displays with a trained eye, and Shizuka trailed behind her.
As I didn't have much for body spray, I amused myself by unscrewing bottle tops and sniffing the contents. Being a full-time girlfriend, it was my duty to always smell lovely. Chewing on the corner of my lip, I studied the rows and rows of tinted containers. My previous scent was vanilla, but that was quickly running dry.
"Ami-san?" I jumped, heart pounding in my chest cavity. "Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to startle you."
"No," I reassured Shizuka. "It's okay." Mentally, I scolded myself for being so lax. Just because I was "off duty" so to speak didn't mean I could drop my guard completely.
"Um..." Cocking my head to one side, I studied the shy girl fidgeting next to me.
"What's up Shizuka-san?"
"Oh, please call me Shizuka, I am younger than you, after all!"
"So? You still deserve respect." She blushed, staring at the ground. "Okay, I'll make a deal with you; I'll call you my friend, if you do the same."
"Okay! Wow, Jou was right. You are nice!" I rolled my eyes. "Oh, um, you're Motou-kun's girlfriend, right?"
"Uh huh," she returned my smile. "I am." Tapping my chin, I resumed contemplating the perfumes. "Zuka-chan, what do you think I should get?" I held up two choices for her to pick from. "More vanilla or cucumber melon?"
She plucked the bottles from my hands and sprayed the insides of her wrists. After a few nose tests, she returned one to the shelf and gave me the winner.
"This one," it was cucumber melon, "because it smells like watermelon, and Yami-san likes watermelon." We burst into giggles at that. "Plus, vanilla is a very generic smell for girls. Yami-san is interested in you because you're not like most girls."
I gaped. "How do you know that?"
She shrugged. "When I get bored, I listen in on my big brother's phone calls." (2) Shizuka said it like she was talking about the weather. My shock grew at her nonchalant confession. "What?"
"You just never seemed the type."
With an almost sinister giggle, she rolled her eyes. "Looks can be deceiving, Ami-chan!" I smirked, ruffling her hair.
"Oi! You two!" Anzu waved at us from the front of the store, where she, Mina and Usagi stood with at least two bags each. Rei looked like she bought only one thing and Makoto had her empty hands folded behind her head. "We're going to the next store over, kay?"
"Sure," I held up my bottle. "I'll buy this and catch up in a minute. Zuka-chan, do you want to go with them?"
"No," the younger girl shook her head. "I'll stick around with you, if that's okay."
"Yeah, that's no problem." In a way, if you ignore the occasional streak of mischief, Shizuka reminded me of my pre-senshi self. Her quiet desire to please and not offend was strikingly similar to a thirteen year old Ami. Hoping she had an Usagi figure to bring her out of her shell, I linked arms with the younger girl. "Are you going to buy anything?"
"I don't have any money on me." She sighed, giving the shower gels a longing look. They were particularly cheap, priced at 75 off.
"What's your favorite kind?"
Pursing her lips, she made her way to the giant pins and began pawing through the multi-colored sea. "I really like this pear stuff, but it's not here..." She picked up a bright red bottle. "I've tried a sample of this apple kind; it was really nice."
"Okay." I took it out of her hands and walked to the cashier's desk.
"Ami-chan, you don't have to buy me anything!"
Smiling, I handed the lady at the register some money and took my bag and change. "This is true, but we're friends. That's what friends do, Zuka-chan. We better find the others before they decide to ditch us." She followed me silently.
For a few seconds, I looked about the crowded mall in near panic. I didn't know which store my dear friends had gone into, and Shizuka seemed just as confused as I was. A banging to my left stole my attention, and I saw Usagi and Minako pressed up against the window of a preppy clothes store.
Usagi-chan was slapping her palms against the glass, pretending to scream. Mina was doing the same, only with her fists and softer as to not make a mark. Rei stood behind them, a hand on her forehead in blatant frustration. Anzu and Makoto were in the background, trying to ignore the scene and look at shirts.
"Something tells me," I muttered to my friend, "that our presence is required."
As we were about to enter the store, she grabbed my hand. "Ami-chan?"
"Can we be best friends?" Grinning brightly, I embraced the younger girl.
"Ne, Zuka-chan! We already are!"
She cracked a smile, pointing to Makoto who was making a face at us through the window. "I think she wants us to hurry up." Snickering, I linked arms with her.
"The let's not keep the adoring public waiting!"
"What took you guys so long?" Were the first words out of Usagi's mouth. Anzu-chan rolled her eyes, walking towards the changing rooms with a shirt and jeans folded in her arms. "I mean, you guys were like, ten minutes after us!"
"Oh yes, Usagi-chan, and ten minutes is so long compared to the hours you leave us waiting for you." Minako pointed out as she flipped through the clearance rack.
"Children, please." Rei complained. "Let's not fight now."
"Yeah," Makoto agreed, "we have more important things to deal with!"
"We do?" Usagi and Minako had identical looks of shock on their faces. "Like what?"
"Like, Ami's hot date coming up." Shizuka commented quietly.
I gave her a knowing look. "The phone again?" She nodded happily. "Kids today..."
Rei hummed, closing her eyes. After a second, she opened them again and directed her stare to me. "Ames, when is your anniversary? It can't be that far away. You and Yami started going out on December... what? 17th?"
"It was the day school let out for break, and that was the 16th. So, he's taking me out to dinner... next Friday..." Minako-chan clapped her hands.
"This is my chance! I have been dying to give you a wardrobe makeover! You must look perfect for your date!" She rushed off to the more upscale section of the store to find me some "evening" wear. Usagi sneaked to the jewelry displays, looking at the many bracelets and silver rings.
Makoto sat me down in a conveniently placed chair, leaning on my head a little. Shizuka folded her hands in front of her, blinking as Mina returned within seconds. The blonde's arms were laden with ruffled shirts, shimmering shirts and then some. Usagi hovered next to her, making comments as they sorted the multitude of outfit possibilities.
"That's to pink for Ami," was her response to a particularly fluffy rose-tinted skirt. Rei nodded wisely from her place behind them. Usagi's next words were replaced by a burst of laughter.
"What's so funny?" Anzu returned from the changing stalls, a pair of folded jeans in her hands. At Makoto's request, she unfolded the garment and held it up to her hips. There was an acid wash touch to the dark material that countered the navy jeans perfectly.
"No shirt?" Anzu shook her head.
"It was too tight, and a little sheer."
"I hate shirts like that." Shizuka said, tugging on her own shirt a little. "Besides, it's not like big brother would let me buy them anyway..." While the three of them were discussing see through tops, Usagi had revealed the source of her mirth.
Minako, in a bout of humorous insanity, had picked out a white denim skirt that was a total of five inches long. I blushed brightly, secretly thinking about Yami's reaction to seeing me in such a thing. Usagi tossed the creation at me.
"What do you think, Ames? I'm sure your boyfriend would like it!" Shizuka, Anzu, and Makoto turned to see what all the fuss was about, and their reactions were something to remember. Shizuka blushed, Anzu's eyes went wide, and Makoto snickered.
"Wow. I didn't know they could make them that small."
Minako rolled her eyes. "You people just don't appreciate fine fashion."
"Well, seeing as Ami doesn't like showing her underwear in public, there's reason for objection." Rei-chan said matter-of-factly. "What else do you have in that pile of tricks, Mina-chan?"
"Well, it depends," she turned her blue gaze to me. "Do you want a dress or a skirt to wear?"
I fiddled with my fingers, nervously. "I don't know... what do you think, Shizuka-chan?"
Her brown eyes widened, as if to say: "you're asking ME?" She fumbled with her words a little. "Um, well... How about a skirt and shirt combination? That way, you can wear them again, um, only mixed and matched..." Her words faded with an "that's all I have to say." quality.
"That's a smart idea!" Anzu congratulated her young friend.
"Which explains why Mina didn't think of it," Makoto teased, prodding the other's shoulder.
"We can't all be geniuses, ne Usagi?" The moon bunny blinked at her sudden inclusion. It was obvious that she hadn't been listening to a word we had been saying.
"Uh... Sure?" Rei laughed. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing, Odango." She pursed her lips at the nickname, but didn't retort. "Alright, V-babe, show us what you have." She produced a black shirt that looked about knee-length. The last few inches were comprised of layered ruffles.
I voiced my uncertainty. "I don't know, Minako..."
"Yeah," Makoto agreed. "I don't think black is Ami's color."
"Fair enough," the fashion guru nodded. "How about this?" The next skirt was longer, at least mid-calf if not ankle. It was dark blue with flower designs stitched in white thread along the hem.
"Wow, that's cute!" Shizuka bobbed her head excitedly.
"Put is aside for later consideration then?" Minako asked for my approval.
"Sure...?" She gave it to Usagi to hold. There were only two more skirts to look at. One was a mini in dark red, with small slits in the side. The material was shimmering and slinky. Definite club wear, as Makoto said, but not something I'd hold in my closet.
The second was knee length, in pale blue, with a gauzy over-slip in a darker shade of the same hue. It gave off the look of being drawstring, with a navy ribbon tied into a small bow at the waist. It was between that one and the other set "aside for later consideration".
Anzu later commented that it wasn't a surprise my outfit was blue.
My choice was the shorter skirt, and with that decision made, it was much easier to find a top. Rei and Anzu actually located it this time. I bought a simple white camisole, and a thin blue sweater to wear over it. Usagi said she had the perfect shoes to go with it.
We excited the store a good hour after entering, and my stomach grumbled. Shizuka's and Makoto's followed suit.
"Wanna pool our cash and buy some food?" Anzu pointed to the food court, which was only slightly crowded with screaming children and teenagers. "We could probably get a good-sized pizza or a lot of Chinese food." Shizuka was the one who put the odds in favor of Chinese, much to the disappointment of Usagi, Mina, and Anzu.
"So," Anzu said to me over rice. "What're you gonna get Yami for a present?" When I had first heard of Anzu's crush on my boyfriend, I was scared that she would be angry with me. Instead, we had a fairly long talk over the matter. I told her that if she wanted me to, I would break it off with Yami. Thankfully, she had given me her blessing.
"I don't know." I swirled a piece of chicken around in the sauce with a chopstick. "I was hoping to ask Yugi-kun or someone else, but I could never find a chance to." Usagi hummed, snatching a morsel of shrimp from Mina's plate.
"Well, we could help you get him something."
"Yeah," Makoto chimed in, "what does he like? Besides Duel Monsters, I mean..."
Shizuka bit the head off some broccoli, and pointed the stalk in my direction. "You could get him some jewelry."
"He is fond of it, isn't he?" Rei added. I nodded.
"Where would I find it, though? I mean, he's more punk then Claire's."
Minako took a sip from her soda, an evil smile on her face. "Look behind you." I hazarded a glance backwards. In all its glory, Hot Topic blared loud music in our direction.
"Are you serious?"
Makoto shrugged. "Might as well check it out."
I tried to ignore the curious looks from the pierced and the dyed shoppers of Hot Topic. My friends and I (all six of them) were huddled around the jewelry counter, hoping not to attract too much attention. I held in my hand a few necklaces that seemed to just scream out my boyfriend's name.
The one I liked the most was a thin chain supporting a weighty sword. Fake rubies adorned the hilt, and the blade shined silver. Shizuka peeked over my shoulder, and Rei peeked over her's.
"That looks like something you'd see in your boyfriend's room."
"Yeah," I sighed, "but it's not enough. I mean, he's taking me out to a nice dinner, I want his gift to be equally meaningful." Usagi placed her hand on my arm.
"I know what you mean; I used to have that problem with Mamoru all the time." She paused, and I could see the gears working in her head. "Come to think of it, I still have that problem with Mamo-chan." She giggled, and I smiled.
"Ami-chan!" I winced at Makoto's war cry. A few girls sent glares in my direction as I went to my friend. I tried to brush off the accusations their eyeliner eyes were sending me. "What do you think about this?" Apparently, the jewelry section was divided over the entire store. I considered sending the management a letter of compliments for this ingenious design.
"What'd you find Mako-chan?"
"Actually, Anzu-chan found it. She said it kinda looks like Yugi's pyramid." She wasn't talking about some necklace, as I thought, but a small statue. A silver triangular prism with a black pearl rounding the point sat proudly in her hand. It was etched to give off the illusion of being made of bricks.
"Oh wow..." I took the weighty creature into my hand. "It's so pretty." The store lights (however dim) were reflected eerily on its surface. "I think he'd love it." I looked around for Anzu. "Hey, where'd Anzu run off to?"
"Her cell rang, so she went outside to answer it." I nodded.
"Try to find the others while I pay for my stuff, okay? Then, we'll go." She gave me a thumbs up with a smile and wandered off to regroup. I counted up my money as I approached the register. I had barely enough money. Soon, I was going to have to find a job. Hopefully, the Kame Shop was hiring.
The dude behind the counter gave me a curious look over as he rung up the necklace and pyramid. He had a tattoo of blue flames winding up his arm and disappearing into his shirt. He noticed my stare, and raised an eyebrow.
"Um, I like your tattoo." He smiled.
"You should consider getting one." He handed me my bag. "It'd look cute."
Blushing, I stammered, "thank you," and bowed my way out of the store. It wasn't until I glanced at the receipt that I realized he'd given me a tiny discount. "Wow," I sighed, "they sure are nice at Hot Topic." (3)
The girls were waiting for me, crowded together on one bench. "Hey," Mina-chan greeted me. "We gotta get home. Anzu's mum needs her."
"Sorry guys," she bowed her head a little.
"Ah," Usagi shook her finger. "It's no problem! We were done anyway."
"Yeah, don't worry about it, Anzu-chan." Rei reassured her. A crash followed by panicked screams echoed from the lowed level. Shizuka and Usagi rushed to look down. We followed, and my heart froze at what we saw.
A figure, hidden by a dark cloak, was standing in the middle of the remains of the fountain. Water soaked the floor, spilling into shops. People fled, shrieking. Their fear brought laughter out of the mysterious attacker.
"Oh, Sailor Senshi! Come out and PLAY!" It punctuated this by sending a hurtling bench into a store. Oddly enough, it didn't even touch the twisted metal. Makoto stiffened, and her henshin pen materialized in her hand.
"No way..." I shared a look of uncertainty with Rei. We backed up, leaving Shizuka and Anzu-chan to observe. "Guys, what're we going to do?"
"Whatever we can..." Mina held her pen as well. "Someone's going to have to lure this sicko out of here. The rest of us will meet up outside, a good distance from people. Then, we can finish him off."
"But," Usagi whispered. "What about Anzu and Shizuka?"
"Well..." I bit my lip. "We could tell them."
Rei took a deep breath. "Are you sure? I mean, I know they're trust worthy, but with this new enemy, they could be used against us."
"They're strong," Minako backed me up. "I think it's a good idea. Usagi-chan?"
"If you think so Usagi," was Makoto's off-handed comment. "You are the leader, after all." The sound of breaking glass wafted up to greet us. "But, whatever we do. It better happen fast."
"Zuka-chan!" The younger girl rushed to my side. "Can you hold my bags for me? I've got something to do..." Anzu joined our group shortly after.
"Yeah," Rei handed her purchases to her. "We have something to take care of."
"Okay," Anzu put her hands on her hips. "What gives?"
Minako dumped her shower gels into Usagi's bag, and gave it to Shizuka. "What we are about to tell you, is top secret. You cannot tell a soul."
"We," I gestured to my friends, "are the Sailor Senshi." It took a few seconds for this to sink in.
"Are you serious?" I nodded.
"Yes," sobbing joined in the chaos below. "We'll answer all your questions later. Right now, we have a job to do." My fellow senshi nodded, holding their transformation devices above them.
"Mercury planet power... MAKE UP!" The voices of my comrades were drowned out in a swirl of color and ice. When the magic faded, I felt the serene calm that came with being Sailor Mercury. Flexing my hands, I realized just how much I had missed it.
"Alright," Usagi quickly asserted the situation. She pointed at Shizuka and Anzu. "You two should try to get out of here." She gestured to the fleeing customers. "Go to the Motou's. We'll be there once this is over with."
"Mercury-san?" Shizuka questioned me quietly. "Does Yami-kun know?" I shook my head. She nodded sadly, then turned and fled after Anzu.
"Mercury, do your stuff." Following Venus's order, I released a foggy chill.
"Shabon Spray!" Our faceless foe laughed at the effect.
He looked up, directly at us. "So, the protectors of humanity have showed their faces. How quaint."
"I'll stay," Mars hissed, cracking her knuckles. "You all go."
"I'm staying too." The others didn't argue at my statement. "Hurry, you can probably get to the roof and then escape from there."
"Good luck," Venus touched both of our shoulders before leaving.
"Mercury," I looked at my lifelong ally. "Ready?"
"If you are." Without hesitation, I flipped my visor over my eyes and accessed my mini computer. Fingers flying over the keys, I muttered to Mars. "There are only two of us, so we need to be very careful." The mall was silent, save for the broken fountain's dripping.
"Do you think it'd work with a divide and conquer strategy?" She rubbed her hands together, taking a deep breath.
"Maybe. I'm not getting much from the readings," I returned the compact to my sub space pocket, but kept the eyepiece down. "Just watch out, we don't know what we're dealing with."
"I think the phrase no news if good news need not apply." I nodded in grim agreement. "Alright, we've got to get it out of here, keep all civilian uninvolved and not get killed."
"A regular day in the senshi business."
"Oh, come now!" Our foe called out in amusement. "That can't be all you little girls can do!" Mars narrowed her eyes.
"Who're you calling a little girl?" I watched as she jumped down and landed gracefully, pointing an accusing finger at the cloaked demon. It shifted, shaking its head.
"My apologies, m'lady. Now, what might my lady's name be?" It spoke with humor and mockery. The fog in the air evaporated with a hiss as she summoned her fire.
It occurred to me then, as I felt the chill replaced with heat, that it was a bad idea for us to work together. Our oppostional powers would cancel each other out, making it a tough fight.
"Burning mandala!" I lost sight of the enemy in a cloud of smoke as the priestess let loose a barrage of fire. She spoke above the crackle, "I am Sailor Mars, you creep, and you better not forget it! I will vanquish you!" While her attacks were effective and beneficial, it took a lot out of my comrade to control her powers of flame.
It was time for me to make my entrance.
I slid down the handrail of a motionless escalator. I scanned the room, looking for a source of life in the wreckage. I stood next to Sailor Mars, and we silently waited for the dust to settle.
"Anything?" She was referring to my readings.
"Not yet, which could be a good thing. Do you think you missed him?" She bit her lip, scrutinizing the ruins of the mall. The pool of water leaking from the fountain grew, lapping at our feet.
"I don't think so. It's possible that he dodged, though I don't know how." Finally, the billowing smoke dissipated enough for us to see the demon's cloak, crumpled and soaking on the ground. "Is that him?"
I focused on the garment, finding nothing more than cloth. "Only his cape, I'm afraid. He isn't there."
"Smart Sailor Mercury..." Something hissed in my ear. I spun, trying to find it. I shrieked when something tugged my skirt. "Pretty Sailor Mercury." I stepped to stand back-to-back with Mars.
"What's up?" She whispered.
"It's still here," I whipped out my hand held, connecting it to my visor and typing like mad. "But, I can't find it. Or even see it, for that matter." She sighed.
"I don't think I'll manage more than a fire soul, Mercury."
"Tired Sailor Mars." It cackled, sinister giggles bouncing in the empty mall. "Weak Sailor Mars!" I tried to calm my friend while still looking for our hidden foe. "If you want to fight, you'll have to flee."
I blurted out, "wait!" in a panic. Mars elbowed me, hard, in the back.
"What're you doing?"
"Hold on," I returned her jab with my own, "I have a plan." Collecting my thoughts, I repeated myself. "Wait, please..." I heard it sigh.
"I'm waiting, Pretty Mercury."
"How will we know where you are when it comes time to fight?" It laughed.
"You will know, Pretty Mercury and Tired Mars." It brushed my cheek almost lovingly. I jerked away, almost banging heads with my friend. "You will know..." Its voice faded and the back doors banged open. Fire alarms started going off, as did the ceiling sprinklers. The only noise was drizzling. Mars grabbed my hand.
"We better go, before the cops get here."
"Alright," I folded my computer, which was water proof, closed. "To the roof?"
"Okay." We both felt defeated as we watched fire trucks fill the parking lot and streets. "Mercury, what can we do?" I folded my arms over my chest, trying to shake the nervous feeling from my heart. "Ami?"
I jumped at my name. "Call the others. Let Sailor Moon know what happened." My comrade did this without complaints. Her conversation with our leader was hushed and not brief. As they talked, I looked over the city. The sunset acted as a blender on the sky, mixing orange and pink with dark blue clouds. A near-night breeze played with my hair and played across my neck, causing me to shiver. Anzu and Shizuka were probably worried sick.
"Come on," Mars regarded me with slumped shoulders. "She wants us to meet up at Motou's. And, she said to stay transformed." I tried to smile.
"Naturally. We don't know how trust worthy our invisible friend is."
"An invisible youma? First of it's kind, but not unexpected." As we headed west, I could've sworn I hear something whisper in my ear,
"Smart Sailor Mercury..."
We regrouped a few rooftops down from Yami's house. Venus was sitting, dangling her feet over the edge. She kicked the bricks with her heels almost like a robot. Jupiter stood next to her, scanning the streets below with a trained eye. Moon hugged Mars and me before questioning us.
"What happened? Mars mentioned something about not seeing it?" I answered, summing up the fight in a few short sentences.
"Mars and the demon bantered but that ended with Mars frying him. We thought it was over, but he survived. The demon was invisible under its cloak. By the sound of its voice, I'd say it's a male. Other than that, we know nothing. He left the mall with a promise to fight. When and where, however, I don't know." I typed up everything I said, keeping it as a file on our new nemesis.
"That's it?" Jupiter asked not unkindly.
"She left out when the jerk molested her," Mars deadpanned.
Venus choked on a gag. "What?" Moon and Jupiter had similar reactions of disgust.
"All he did was try and flip my skirt." I blushed, hoping to let it end there.
"He also called her Pretty Sailor Mercury." Venus stood up, brushing off her uniform.
"I'm so sorry." She hugged me as I let my computer disappear again. "Honestly, I am." On the subject of boys, Mina-chan was my opposite. She knew about love, loss, and rejection. She also knew what it meant to have my skirt tugged. It was no secret that I was shy.
Jupiter stretched her arms, her back popping loudly. "Now what?" Moon hummed, tapping her broach. Ribbons the shade of pink slowly faded to reveal her navy skirt and bunny sweat shirt.
"I think we should get to the game shop. It's time to come clean." I was about to let go of my super hero self and return to normal jean-wearing Ami when an arm wrapped around my waist. An invisible arm, if you want to be correct.
"You coming?" Rei, too, had lost her Mars persona and was wearing plain shorts and shirt. "Ami?"
Trying to keep calm, I whimpered. "He's here..." Venus heard me, a frown crossing her pretty face. I was pulled back, against a very male body. The hand on my hip slid upwards, fingers drumming on my stomach. He made a grab for my chest, but I elbowed him. "Did you hear me?" I backed up, into Jupiter.
A flash of lights out of the corner of my eye alerted me that Sailors Moon and Mars were back. My pig-tailed leader pointed her moon scepter threateningly in front of her.
"You are so toast for molesting my best friend!" We sighed at her battle speech, but got ready nonetheless. On certain occasions, we would question the first demon of every new foe, but this did not seem to be the case.
Venus was first, she kissed her fingers and winked mockingly. "Love and beauty SHOCK!" There was nothing: no hiss of pain, no curse of anger. Our hidden foe had disappeared from our ears. Until, of course, Venus was pushed backwards.
It happened slowly, yet I felt as life was on fast forward. She fell back, over the edge. Her scream was cut short as Venus crashed into the sidewalk. I tried to run to her aid, and hands gripped my shoulders. Mars and Jupiter disappeared as they scaled the building to the street. Moon looked at me.
"I can't move... He's holding me back," she glared fiercely. Angrily, she stomped over to me. Grabbing my hands in her's, Sailor Moon pulled. I was free in a matter of seconds and we jumped quickly to follow the others and check on Venus.
She was still in her senshi uniform, which was good. It meant she was still alive and unharmed enough to maintain control over her powers. Jupiter and Mars picked her up, looking at Moon for instructions. It was I who spoke up, however.
"Take her to Yami's. Shizuka and Anzu will be there. Hopefully, they'll keep her safe until I can look her over." Moon and I led the way. Our leader pushed open the door to the game shop, the bell ringing happily to signify our entrance. It was Yugi's shift and his eyes bugged at the group of girls wearing mini skirts.
"Yugi-kun," Moon spoke hurriedly as Mars and Jupiter brushed past her with Venus. "We need you to watch over our friend, Sailor Venus. She was hurt, we'll be back after the fight and explain everything."
He stuttered a little, "do I know you...?"
"Yo, Yugi!" Jou-kun chose this instant to burst into the main room, Yami not far behind. I turned away, hiding my face from my boyfriend. "Woah, uh... what?"
Mars sighed, adjusting her grip on a limp Venus. "Look, she's hurt. Can we just put her on your couch or something?" I tried to follow them inside, and not look at Yami, but something yanked hard on my skirt. I stumbled back, falling into the arms of our invisible demon.
"Let go!" I tried to fight, but only managed to be on the receiving end of many confused stares. I felt myself being dragged backwards, my legs still spread uselessly in front of me. Jupiter deposited Venus on Mars's shoulders, stalking quickly after the youma and me.
"You heard her, jerk! Let my friend go." He moved a hand, touching the side of my head. With growing fear, I felt the world go black and my body go numb. The last thing I remember hearing was my boyfriend's startled cry.
"Ami is Sailor Mercury?"
"I am so sorry Yami," I whispered to myself. "So sorry..." I closed my eyes in defeat.
"Forget him," the invisible one hissed in my ear. "Forget him, my Pretty Mercury, and be mine." I struggled, but didn't feel my arms respond. "Be mine." It was as if something was keeping me from moving at all. He caressed my cheek. I wanted to jerk away, but couldn't find the strength. While I couldn't move away from him, I could open my eyes. After a few blurry seconds, I adjusted to the lack of light.
The hand on my face wasn't just flesh, but visible flesh. I tired to hide my shock, but couldn't. He sensed my surprise and smiled. "Yes, you can see me. And, what do you think?" The sicko had taken my boyfriend's shape. The hair, eyes, even the mischievous smirk were all perfect.
First thing I did was try and push the creep off of me. My arms moved about an inch before I met a strong resistance. I was chained up at the wrists and ankles, the rough metal leaving bite marks on my skin through my thin gloves.
My hands were spread apart above my head, and my legs were first locked together and then to the wall. I hung my head, trying to think of a way to gain control of the highly unsatisfactory situation. "Where am I?"
He waved his arm, motioning to the inky blue smog drifting around us. "Pretty much, you're locked up in your mind. I basically moved your conscious self from the outside world to the inside. I'm here, because I'm psychic!" I tried not to shiver. Psychics were hard enemies to fight. The Non-Boyfriend puffed out his chest with obvious pride.
"What is it you want?"
"Smart Sailor Mercury is missing the obvious!" He said it with endearment and amusement, the tone of his voice implying how cute he found my confusion.
I wanted to throw up. Instead of doing that highly appealing act, I asked, "what do you want with me?"
"In a nut shell? I want you, my pretty Ami. Just you." It was the first time he said my true name, and I bit back a shudder. I shuddered again, my disgust increasing as he gave my body a praising look. "Now, no need to be scared."
He leaned in very close, and I bit back a curse. "I'll be gentle, if you're a good little girl." He sniffed my hair. "My pretty Ami smells good." I was still Sailor Mercury, but I couldn't get my powers. There was never a time I could remember that I wanted them more.
"I. Am. Not. Your's." The Not-Yami pulled back, an uncharacteristic grimace on his handsome face. I reminded myself that the thing in front of me was not Yami, but a demon stealing his form. "I will never be your's."
I almost bit my tongue when he smacked me hard across the face. My head banged into the stone, leaving a mark to match my other cheek. Even if it wasn't my boyfriend hurting me, the fact that the monster took his form made the pain sting even more. I repeated over and over to myself: Not Yami. Not Yami.
"I will make you mine, Pretty Ami. Trust me."
"Keeping me tied up isn't going to help you conquer my heart! Besides, I love Yami." The irony, however sick, struck me that I was explaining my love for my boyfriend to a demon who had my boyfriend's shape. Said demon snarled, grabbing a hold of my face.
Harshly, he slammed our mouths together. It was violent, and I fought to keep the tears from slipping down my cheeks. His tongue savagely pushed past my lips, and I bit down rather hard. He pulled away angrily. I took that as a chance to spit out the blood and taste of him from my mouth.
"Bitch!" I didn't say anything, just looked at the foggy ground. Even if it was forced, I felt like I had betrayed Yami. I bit my lip, trying to get myself under control. I was Sailor Mercury, calm, cool, collected, and definitely not about to have a break down.
My captor cocked his head to one side, as if listening. He swore, pointing a finger at me. "Your stupid friends are trying to wake you up. But, I'll be back! You can count on it, Idiot Mercury!" The Not-Yami disappeared and I let out my breath in a weakened woosh.
Without a watchful eye, I tried again to break free of my restraints. Warm blood trickled down from my wrists, staining the gloves and shoulders of my uniform. I gritted my teeth, not giving up in my quest for freedom.
"Why is Mommy hurting herself?" I ceased in my struggles, searching blindly for whoever had spoken. My gaze landed on a small girl with blue hair, her bangs jutted out sharply away from her forehead. She was dressed in a loose shirt that went past her skinny knees. She held a worn teddy bear close to her chest, sticking her lower lip out.
"What'd you say?" I spoke softly, hoping to make sense of the curious creature.
"Why is Mommy hurting?" She raised her head from the floor, her bright red eyes shining.
"Did... you just call me Mommy?" The child nodded, bangs bouncing slightly. Her mannerisms reminded me strongly of the old home movies my mother taped of me when I was a baby and toddler. "What's your name, honey?"
She shook her head, "can't tell you." I sighed. Maybe this kid wasn't going to be such a big help after all. "I can only get you out."
"Uh huh!" She dropped the bear, and stood directly in front of me, looking bravely up. "Close your eyes, Mommy." I did as the little girl said, wondering why she kept calling me her mother. I was only fifteen, soon to be sixteen, after all.
Behind my eyelids, I saw a green glow and felt the bonds around my arms and legs loosen considerably. The little girl was sitting on the ground, stifling a yawn and blinking. I rotated my hands, hissing as my wounds were stressed.
"Come on," she stood up slowly, grabbing her bear and giving me a look. "We gotta get out of here," she said with evident fear, "before the not-daddy comes back." I stopped short of following her. "Come on!" She repeated in childish impatience.
"Yami is... your father?"
"My daddy's name is Yami, yup. Now come on!" She tugged at my hand, mindful of my bleeding. "I can show you how to get out of here, and back to out there." She pointed vaguely.
"What if the not-daddy comes back?" She turned her head around, showing a smile and missing tooth.
"Mommy will keep me safe." I smiled softly and sadly.
"What kind of mother would I be if I didn't keep my little girl safe?" She giggled, swinging our arms. "Now, let's go." My child led me to a door way in the shadows. Behind it was a hallway. There were many doors that looked all the same. However, she knew which one was right.
With fog lapping at our heels, she tapped the front of a seemingly random door. After a few seconds, she nodded proudly to herself. Dropping her bear, she lifted her arms. Obligingly, I wrapped my arms around her tiny waist, resting her small self on my hip.
She laid her head on my shoulder, breath tickling my neck. "I love you, Mommy." While I had only known my child for a short time, I knew she was my prefect daughter.
"I love you too, honey." She snuggled close. "Can you come with me?"
"Nuh uh." It was said with sadness and a complaint. "I wanna though. Tell Daddy I love 'im."
Kissing her forehead, I sighed. "I will." She wiggled and I set her down. "You know your daddy loves you." She nodded, tears gathering in her father's eyes. I tapped her chin. "Be brave for mommy. I have to go beat the bad guy."
"My mommy's the best!" She smiled, spinning around with an innocence only children under the age of five possess. Hoping to keep my daughter's happiness locked away forever, I closed my eyes and opened the door. A glow blinded me, and when I opened my eyes, I was lying down on my side on the walk way.
My wrists were still scraped, and it took me a second to sit up. The street was in bad shape: a charred tree was crushing a bench, there were scorch marks on the pavement, and Sailor Moon was screaming. Jupiter and Mars were trying to hit the demon (he was back to invisible) but failing. Yami was nowhere in sight.
Struggling to find my voice, I shouted, "Show yourself, coward of monsters!" Movement ceased, and our opponent cursed very loudly and very explicitly.
"How'd you get out?" Was the basic question, only with more adjectives and adverbs. I huffed, deciding not to honor that with an answer. In my stupidity, I had forgotten that our foe had the upper hand and could attack without our knowing. He did just that.
He grabbed my right arm, hard. He dragged and slammed me into a wall. With a sickening pop, I felt my arm escape from its socket. He grabbed the useless shoulder, using it as leverage to keep me pinned back. My friends watched on, helpless, as they couldn't attack without risking me as well.
"I said," he dug his nails into my arm. "How did you get out?" Glaring, I spat angrily where I thought his face was. "Bitch!"
"That was for the kiss." The remaining senshi gasped. Ignoring their shock, I stomped on the bastard's foot. "That was for trapping me in my own head." He back handed me across the face again. The pain jarred my senses, forcing spots to dance in front of my eyes.
"I've been too kind, Pretty Mercury," he whispered softly into my ear. "Far too kind." Using the heel of his hand, he jammed my lifeless shoulder into the wall. I tried to shut out the nasty things he was saying to me, looking over (through?) him to my comrades. Jupiter took a deep breath, summoning her electricity.
The bastard didn't know what hit him before it was too late.
"Jupiter Oak EVOLUTION!" I knew he hit the ground from the lifeless thud he made. With a flicker, his body began to show. Our enemy was nothing more than a half-starved man wearing thin cotton pants. His hair was dirty and hung far past his shoulders.
Moon and Mars helped me stand, and we all stood around the smoking corpse. There was a brush of wind across our bodies and the dead, and our foe disintegrated into dust and disappeared. It was only after the danger that I let myself fall.
Wrapping my good arm around Moon's shoulders, I cried. Mars patted my back, and Jupiter stroked my hair. Blessed Sailor Moon hugged me loosely.
"It's okay, Ami, he's gone. You're okay. You're safe." Even with the creep dealt with, I still had to face Yami. Come clean, I told myself, let him know everything. Plus, there was Minako to deal with. Grimacing at my selfish ways, I pulled back. "You okay?"
I sniffled, "yeah. Come on, I need to look at Mina-chan."
"And," Jupiter added softly, "we need to fix your shoulder." I winced, limping to the Motou home. I was hoping it wouldn't be the last time I got to be inside it. Once we were inside, Moon gasped.
"Mercury, you've got a huge bruise on your face! And," she touched my wrist, tenderly, "you're bleeding!" I rested my head on her shoulder. The emotions wore me down, and my Sailor Mercury self disappeared. The pain was almost too much and I nearly collapsed into the carpet.
"Ami!" I blinked slowly, meeting the red eyes of my daughter's father. "Ami, what happened?" I looked back to Usagi, who had detransformed as well. Mars and Jupiter were fidgeting, and Usagi gave them a nod. With an exhausted sigh, they returned to civilian form.
"Yami," I said slowly. "I have to talk to you..." I struggled to stand up. My right arm hung limply at my side. "There's a lot I need to tell you, many confessions to have." He gaped at my wounds.
"Ami, you need to get some help," he glossed over my words in his brain, ignoring them.
"No," I touched his face tenderly, "I need to help Minako. Or, Sailor Venus. She's resting on your couch. Then, I can tell you everything." Makoto helped me stand. Yami followed behind us as we shuffled up the stairs and to the living room. Sailor Venus was still unconscious. Jou, Ryou-kun, and Yugi-kun were trying to watch TV and ignore the girl passed out on the couch.
"Woah," Ryou-kun looked up at us. "Where' d you come from?" Yugi turned off the TV, glancing nervously to Venus.
"Um, have you guys seen the Sailor Senshi? They kinda need to come get their friend..." Makoto sighed. Rei and Usagi sat down on the floor, and Ryou moved to hug his girlfriend. Jou stood up, brushing off his pants.
"Mako-chan, you look really tired." She said nothing, just leaned into his embrace. "You okay?" She mumbled against his shirt. I glanced at Rei-chan, and she was fast asleep on her boyfriend's shoulder. I had no idea what the senshi had been doing when I was trapped in myself, but it must've been harsh. Usagi was blinking in and out of wakefulness.
"Hey," she said sleepily, "where did Anzu and Shizuka go?"
Yugi glanced at the clock before replying. "They stopped by a little while ago, but had to leave. They left all your shopping bags though." Usagi nodded absently, her head drooping.
"Mako-chan," I poked her back with my left arm. "I need you to fix my shoulder." She grunted. With her absence, Jou resumed his place on the floor, sitting cross-legged.
"Fine, lie down." I did as I was told. She kneeled over me, straddling my stomach. She took my bad arm in her hands. I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath. "Be careful, don't bite your tongue. Now," she shifted slightly. I heard Jou whisper something to Usagi, but couldn't catch it. "I'm gonna count back from five. When I hit one, I'm pushing it in."
"What's she doing?" Yugi whispered to Yami. The other didn't answer, and I felt his eyes on my face.
"Five..." I took a deep breath, willing myself to relax. "Four. Three-" With a crack, she reconnected the arm. A shock of pain went through my body, followed by a slightly airy feeling. For a few seconds, I rested on the floor, blinking and catching my breath.
Makoto got up. She offered me a hand, but I declined. She went back to Jou, sliding into his lap. "What'd you do?" He asked her quietly.
"Relocated her shoulder." I stood up, working my arms. "How's it feel?"
I shrugged, "it's okay." I found my mini computer with ease, and began working on Sailor Venus. I compared the readings with my regular files on her. "Nothing too out of the normal," I muttered to myself. There was nervous shifting in the room, mainly by the guys. I did a few more advanced scans and monitored her pulse for half a minute. With a tired smile, I faced Usagi.
"She has a concussion, which is good for someone who was tossed off a building. If she wasn't who she is, Minako would be dead. We should probably wake her up though, give her some medicine." I turned to Yugi, who looked up at me with startled purple eyes.
"Mina-chan was thrown off a building."
"It's a long story, Yugi-kun. We'll explain in a minute. Do you have a first aid kit and some smelling salts? I also need a glass of water." He nodded, rushing off to find the requested items. Once his little brother was gone, Yami sat me down.
"Ami..." I shook my head.
"Please, not now." He gave me a look of half worry, half exasperation. I shrunk back a little, moving my focus to somewhere else in the room. Yugi-kun stumbled through the hall, balancing a small bottle and glass of water on top of a white box. Yami's arm slid from my shoulders as I got up to take the supplies from his brother.
Usagi stood next to me when I revived Mina. Her nose twitched and she opened her eyes with a little gasp. Usagi helped her sit up, giving her the water. "Careful, you need to take some pills too." The glass was taken gratefully, and half of it was emptied in one gulp.
"Where am I?" She whispered, holding the back of her head. Usa-chan explained the night as I bent down, shifting through medical supplies to find a bottle of Advil. "Ami-chan?"
I dropped the medicine in her open hand. "Take this, it'll make you feel better." She did just that, resting back on the couch. Ryou glanced at us from the carpet, where Rei slept peacefully on his shoulder.
"Is Mina going to be okay?" He kept his voice low, for his girlfriend and the dazed Minako-chan. I nodded, closing the lid of the plastic box with a snap.
"Now," I lowered myself to the floor, resting with my back against the couch. "I think we have a lot of explaining to do." I took a deep breath, about to explain the entire history of my past life and the entire happenings of my future. That alone was a good couple of hours, not including side stories and questions.
Usagi tried to stay focused too, but her eyes finally closed and she tilted over to one side. Makoto was passed out in Jou's arms, his head resting on top of her's. I yawned, attempting to sort out the facts in my head.
"Ami," Yami touched my hand. "You're exhausted. Your friends are asleep. Just wait until tomorrow morning." I nodded. Yugi stretched, rubbing at his eyes as he yawned.
"I'm off the bed. See you in the morning..." He wandered down the hall, to his bedroom, and closed the door with a click. There was a soft thump as he fell onto his bed and then nothing. Tenderly, my boyfriend ran a thumb over my scabbed wrists.
"We need to clean and wrap this." I hummed, feeling incredibly sore and dirty.
"Can I take a quick shower in your bathroom first?" I ignored the way my boyfriend's eyes glazed over as he nodded. I followed him to the laundry room, where he retrieved clean towels and a pair of red and black checkered sleep pants.
"Here," he handed me the warm cloth and began digging around in a basket. With a grin, he found a loose black tee. "You're gonna need something to sleep in." With a hand on the small of my back, Yami guided me to the bathroom. He kissed my forehead, sweetly and innocently.
"I won't take long, promise." Yami waved his hand before hugging me.
"Take forever, if you want." I smiled shyly before shutting and locking the bathroom door. I had planned on only spending ten minutes, fifteen tops, under the showerhead. But, when I got a hold of the soap bar and began scrubbing away the dirt and grime, the clean feeling felt to good to waste.
I washed my hair twice, loving the feel of the suds worked into my scalp. I spent the last ten minutes just standing under the water, letting it tattoo my body with its familiar rhythm. With a refreshed sigh, I switched off the shower and wrapped myself up in a fluffy towel.
Wiping at the condensation on the mirror, I tried not to notice the bruise on my cheek or scratches on my arms. The washing had removed the scabs and let the fresh blood free. I wrapped my wrists in toilet paper and went about dressing myself.
The pants were a little big and hung low on my hips, even with the draw string tied at its tightest. The shirt smelled strongly of Yami and I held it to my face for a good minute. The collar was a little stretched, showing the straps of my bra on one side. I didn't make a habit of sleeping in my bra, but something didn't seem right about wearing my boyfriend's shirt without one.
Folding up my jeans and shirt, I slid out of the bathroom, shutting the door behind me with my foot. I squeaked when I caught sight of Yami leaning against the wall across from me. He had on dark navy pants, and a button down shirt of the same color.
His red eyes flashed as he raised his head. In his hands were a roll of gauze, tape, and a pair of scissors. "Let me see your arms." We sat down in the dark hallway together cross-legged. Yami worked silently and quickly. I had to break the tension.
"Where's your grandfather?"
Not looking up, he explained. "His friend is in the hospital, sick. Grandpa went to visit him. He's coming home late tomorrow."
"Oh, is it anything serious?" He shook his head, tightening the bandage a little before cutting it and taping the edges down. He tenderly examined his handiwork, before standing up and offering a hand down to me. I took it, and he pulled me to his chest.
He buried his face in my wet hair and I curled my fingers into his shirt. "I love you, Ami. I love you, I love you, I love you." I stepped back slightly, shaking and wrapping my arms around my waist in a tight hug.
"You don't know." Memories of the demon taking my love's shape and kissing me flashed in my mind. The creature's touch on my face, caressing my cheek, couldn't be erased from my memory. "I didn't want to..." I dissolved into distressed mutters.
"What happened, Ami?" Yami cupped my face, fingers tangling in my hair, and stared straight into my eyes. "What did that thing do to you?"
Taking a deep, shuddery breath, I began. "He trapped me inside my mind. And, he stole your form. He... He kissed me, and I..." I bit my lower lip, trying to keep the tears away.
"Did he rape," Yami's voice faltered a little, "you?" I shook my head, resting my face against his chest and listening to his heartbeat. "I'm sorry..."
"Why?" I murmured into his shirt.
"Because I couldn't protect you. I let you down, Ami. I'm sorry."
"No," I shook my head tiredly, "it's not your fault." I looked up at him, seeing the argument in his eyes. With a slight glare, I put my hands on either side of his face. "It is not your fault, Yami. It is not mine either. The one who committed the wrongs is dead." Sliding one hand to his neck, I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him.
He hummed, hugging me close. The kiss was cut short by a gigantic yawn. My boyfriend smiled, pressing his lips to my temple. "Come on, let's get some sleep." He tugged softly on my arm, giving me an appreciative glance over his shoulder. "You should wear my clothes more often."
"I'll keep that in mind," I said dryly, rubbing at my face in tired confusion. It didn't make sense why guys liked to see their girlfriends in their shirts. It wasn't like I wanted Yami to wear my school uniform. That would be down right creepy.
He opened his bedroom door, and I entered a place I had only been a few times. There was a poster of some duel monsters on one wall, and a desk covered with papers in a corner. There were some clothes strewn on the floor and chair, many of which were shirts.
I sat on the unmade bed as he tried to tidy up. "Yami," I caught the sleeve of his shirt as he passed. "It's late. I'm tired. Sleep." I scooted over to make room, and he hesitantly joined me. It hit me then how awkward our situation was. A girl and a boy in the boy's bed with no parents home.
When Yami wrapped his arms around my waist and tucked his chin over my head, I knew I was safe. He murmured to me again, "I love you."
"I love you too, always and forever." I fell asleep content and warm, close to the man of my dreams and future father of my daughter.
I woke up a little while later to a knocking on the door. "Yami..." Yugi whined. "Come on, we have school." My boyfriend, ever the eloquent one, grunted.
"Is Grandpa home yet?" He slurred, snuggling face down into the pillows with an arm slung across my stomach.
"Then we're not going."
"But Yami!" His brother was incessant.
"I'm asleep Yugi." There was an irritated sigh as Yugi gave up. I heard footsteps as he went to my friends in the living room. There was an excited squeal as the news of ditching was relayed. Yami moaned, twitching a little and raising his head. "Is it so much to ask for some sleep? What time is it, Ames?"
"Uh," I twisted to look at the clock on the bedside table. "A little past eight." He moaned again. "Come on, we might as well get up." I pushed his arm off of me, and stumbled out of the bed. With a sigh, I stretched my arms above my head, feeling my back pop. I paused, staying in that position, when I caught my boyfriend's stare.
"Have I mentioned how sexy you are like that?"
"Looks who's talking." With half-open eyes and drooping hair, Yami gave me a contently slow grin. "Hey there, sleepy smile." (4) I pulled the covers off of him, taking a hold of his hand. "Seriously, we need to tell you guys something."
"Fine." He stretched out the "i" with annoyance. "There better be food downstairs, though."
"If I know Mako-chan like I do," I said as I laced our fingers, "there'll be a feast." My prediction was only slightly off. The chef had enlisted the help of Ryou-kun and Rei-chan to make pancakes and fruit salad. Someone had left early to buy whipped cream and syrup too.
"Good morning, Ami-chan, Yami-kun." Usagi was holding a stack of plates and silverware. "Did you sleep well?" I nodded.
"Sure, until someone," Yami gave Yugi a pointed look, "woke us up."
"Us?" Minako poked her head out of the kitchen to wink at me.
"Mina!" I deserted my boyfriend to put my hand to her forehead. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm okay," she shrugged. "Took some Advil this morning. So, are you guys skipping too?" I shrugged, glancing at the clock.
"Might as well, Mother is away on some kind of business trip." She smiled. "Where's Jou-kun?"
"I think he's taking a shower or something." I nodded. "So, what's up with you and Yami?" I blushed, covering my face with my hands. "I mean, you two did come downstairs together, and those are his clothes you're wearing."
"I, uh, slept in his room." I muttered, staring at my bare feet. "We didn't do anything!" I added hastily, "we just slept." Mina-chan clapped happily, laughing like a little girl.
"I'm so proud of you, Ames. You're finally growing up!" Makoto walked out of the kitchen at this moment, sporting a large platter of steaming hot cakes. Rei followed with a bowl of sliced melons, bananas, and grapes. Ryou-kun shifted nervously, clutching a spatula.
"Grab a plate, everyone!" Jou wandered into the kitchen, rubbing at his wet hair. "Hey honey," Mako-chan kissed his cheek as she deposited the food on the table.
"Since there isn't much room," Yugi said while he piled his pancakes with whipped cream, "get your food and sit somewhere." I took only one golden medallion, and a few pieces of fruit. Yami's breakfast consisted of: 0 fruit, 40 pancake, and 60 syrup.
"So," Rei swallowed her food in a pause. "Let's get this over with."
"This?" Ryou blinked. "Oh, right. You guys are the Sailor Senshi." He took a rather huge bite of his pancake, dripping sugary syrup down his chin. Rei took this opportunity to kiss him.
"Is it just me..." Minako began.
"Or did we just see Pyro suck her boyfriend's face off?" Usagi finished. Makoto snickered from where she sat in Jou's lap. The couple was sharing a plate, taking turns in feeding each other.
"Stuff it, you guys." Rei replied sourly, smooching her blushing boy once more. "Odango, if you would be so kind as to begin, seeing as it is your story."
"Fine, fine," Usagi sighed. "All of us here," she motioned to the senshi, "are actually princesses from other planets reborn. For example, I am Princess Serenity from the Moon. Makoto is the princess of Jupiter, Rei is from Mars and so on."
"You're a princess?" Jou gave Makoto a disbelieving look.
"You say it like it's hard to comprehend." She deadpanned, raising an eyebrow.
"I mean, you're royalty. And I'm... well, me." Makoto twisted around, kissing Jou soundly on the mouth.
"And that's why I love you."
Usagi and Minako "awww"-ed before I picked up where the moon bunny left off.
"Anyway, there was once a great alliance between all the planets. Only, there was uneasiness between the moon and earth. The moon princess had fallen in love the prince of Earth, Prince Endymion. All of her royal guards, meaning the senshi and I, knew of their relationship."
"Wait a minute," Yugi interrupted me. "You're the princess of Mercury, but you lived on the moon?"
I nodded, "it was a part of the planetary alliances. The moon was the most prosperous of all the planets, so the daughters of all the other royal families were sent there to ensure the planet's protection. If Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion were to wed, they would live on both the moon and the Earth."
"Right," Makoto broke in, "but on the night of their wedding, and evil with from Earth attacked. Queen Beryl was in love with Endymion, and a very jealous, hateful woman. With her, she brought countless demons."
"Youmas," Mina-chan interjected, "like the ones we fight now."
"So," Usagi took off with the story from there, "my senshi fought bravely. Unfortunately, it was not enough and they perished. Beryl took it upon herself to kill Endymion, and with my lover's sword, I killed myself." I was proud of my leader. She usually broke down at that point in the story and even though her eyes were misty, she kept it together.
"Usagi's mom, Queen Serenity, didn't want us all to perish." Rei added. "She used the power of the Silver Imperial Crystal to save all of our souls, including the prince's. We were sent to Earth, and reborn. Now, it is our duty to protect this planet and eventually live again on the moon in Crystal Tokyo."
"Crystal Tokyo?" Yami, who had finished eating, had been silent most of the time until then.
"Yup." Usagi brightened. "It's the kingdom I will rule over with my husband and daughter, Chibi-Usa. We've met her once before, and will probably see the little spore again."
"You've met your daughter?" Ryou-kun cocked his head to one side. "How?"
"It's a long story, but basically, she went back in time from Crystal Tokyo to now. So, any other questions?"
"You make it sound like an after-school special, Usagi-chan." I said as I finished off the last of my food. I stood up, collecting plates. Yami followed me into the kitchen, watching casually as I set them down next to the sink. "Something wrong, Yami?"
"I haven't been entirely truthful with you either."
I blinked, trying to figure out what he was saying. "What do you mean?"
He looked at the tile, "I'm not who you think I am, Ami. You've seen Yugi's puzzle, right?" I nodded. "Well, I'm actually the spirit of a pharaoh from three millennias ago. I was trapped inside of the puzzle, and when Yugi put it together, I was set free."
"You're three thousand years old?" I gasped. He nodded. "Wow."
"Ami, if there's something wrong-" I cut him off with a smile.
"I used to think Usagi was crazy for having a boyfriend four years older than her. Look at me, my boyfriend's 2,985 years above me."
Yami smiled, blushing and rubbing at the back of his neck. "Make me feel like a cradle robber, why don't you?" I hung my arms loosely on his hips.
"I've always liked older men." He cracked a smile, kissing the tip of my nose. "Hey, Yami?"
"If you're a spirit, then how come I can touch you and how're you going to school without anyone getting curious?"
"For a while in the beginning, I shared Yugi's body with him. It wasn't until recently that I got my own form. Grandpa has a trustworthy lawyer friend who managed to get us all the necessary documents: birth certificate, social security, everything. So, at the start of tenth grade, I transferred to Domino as Yugi's twin brother from Egypt."
He shrugged, "Not really. It just took a couple months. So, anyway, come on, we better get back there before they think we ran off to the Philippines." Back in the living room, Jou-kun and Ryou-kun were watching on as Usagi and Rei debated. Yugi was eating the rest of the fruit salad.
"Usagi-chan," Rei tried to reason, "we can handle it. I don't think we need to bother them."
"No, they deserve the right to know about this!" I leaned in between Mina and Makoto.
"What's going on?"
"Well," Mina-chan started off, "Usagi thinks it'd be smart to call the outers."
"But, Rei said it wouldn't. Seeing as things could be a little sore after the Death Busters, she doesn't want them to get involved." Yami sat back with his friends, thinking it wise not to intervene with senshi business. He stole a piece of fruit from Yugi.
"What do you guys think?"
"I dunno," Mina replied first. "I was out for most of the fight, so I can't honestly say."
Makoto rolled her eyes. "Our new enemy is tough, we're gonna need the extra fire power. Rei-chan just doesn't want to admit it." It was my turn to place peacemaker.
"Guys," I touched my friends' shoulders. "Calm down, okay? Rei, this is going to be a hard fight. The others should at least be aware of it, in case we need their assistance."
The priestess huffed, crossing her arms. Usagi turned to the boys, "Yugi-kun, can I use your phone?" He nodded, a bit shocked (I think) at her maturity. After thinking to herself, our leader picked up the receiver and dialed. A minute passed, and someone picked up.
"Hotaru-chan? Hi, how are you?" She paused with a slightly impatient smile. "That's good, sweetie. Is Setsuna around?" For the guys' collective benefit, I clarified.
"The outers are the other senshi. Sailor Pluto is Setsuna, Sailor Saturn is Hotaru, Sailor Neptune is Michiru and Sailor Uranus is Haruka."
"Just how many of there are you?" Makoto took the liberty of answering Jou-kun.
"As far as we know, just the ten of us, including Chibi-Usa. You might get to meet the outers soon." Usagi continued talking on the phone, twisting the chord nervously.
"I know Setsuna-chan. It's just, we thought you guys might want to be aware. That's understandable, of course... Wait, what? Okay, I'll talk to her."
There was a moment of silence before she stammered. "Hello Haruka. I'm fine, everyone's alright." Haruka said something that made her stop. "Well, yeah, we were attacked, but...You're coming now? Okay, that's fine. Meet us at... um, the Kame Game Shop..."
Rei twitched, "WHAT?" Ryou winced, trying to calm his girlfriend down. Usagi shrugged helplessly. She hung up the phone, giving us a defeated look.
"What happened?" Minako jumped up. "What did Setsuna say?"
"She said there was reason to be worried, and that Haruka wanted to talk to me."
I twisted around to look at her, "Haruka? Why?"
"She was worried, I guess."
Yugi spoke around a mouthful of banana. "Why don't you and the others get along?"
Makoto sighed, puffing her bangs out of her face. "It's a really long story. The basic idea is that Neptune and Uranus didn't want Saturn to be awakened. Hotaru is the most dangerous of us all, her powers rival Usagi's. She has the ability to destroy an entire planet!" Silence followed this statement.
"So, now that you have completely scared them off of Hotaru," Rei rolled her eyes, "allow me to actually answer their question! Usagi managed to save Hotaru from an evil spirit, resulting in Hotaru's rebirth. Haruka and Michiru weren't happy with that and challenged Usagi as their leader. She fought them and won. They took baby Hotaru to live with them and Setsuna."
"So," Ryou rubbed at his nose a little, "they just made off with a little kid?"
"Pretty much," Minako said. "Come to think of it, why did we let them go...?"
"Speaking of Hotaru," I asked Usagi, "how old did she sound?"
"Hmm, it was hard to tell. You know how quiet she can be. She sounded to be our age, maybe a year younger."
"Oh." I caught Minako giving an oblivious Yugi a very strange look. "Mina-chan, what're you planning?"
"Wouldn't Yugi and Hotaru be adorable together?"
"Yeah," Makoto, having overheard us, had to comment, "if he's not scared of her."
"And whose fault would it be if he was?" I ignored the bickering duo, trying to find some peace in the confusion. Yami tapped me on the shoulder.
"Come on, let's get out of here." We sneaked past Usagi, who was sitting on the floor quietly, Yugi, who was munching happily on watermelon, and Rei and Ryou, who were content to simply kiss the life out of each other. As we walked out of the room, Jou began trying to reason with his girlfriend and Minako.
We escaped to the roof, watching the streets below and finding comfort in each other's presence. Yami sat spread-eagle, his bare toes barely touching the edge of the building. I was between his legs, dangling my feet over the ledge and relishing in the feel of his hands gripping my hips softly.
We faced the sun and I dropped my head back to rest on his shoulder. The wind tugged playfully on the loose hems of my sleep pants.
A little girl with brown pigtails chased after an older boy riding a push scooter. "Big brother!" She looked near tears. "Gimmie a turn!" He glared angrily, shouting at her.
"No! Only big kids can ride, not little babies!" She didn't give up, still running after him. She slipped, falling forward on the sidewalk. When she sat up, her knees were scraped. Instantly, she let out a distressed wail. Her brother stopped, turning around to assess the damage.
"C'mon," he helped her stand. "You're okay." She sniffed loudly. "I'll teach you how to ride." Her tears disappeared, giving wake to a smile as he held out the metal contraption.
"Thank you!" Her grin showed a missing tooth. My thoughts immediately went to my future daughter, my little girl with her teddy bear.
"What would you say if I were to tell you we have a child in the future?" I whispered in Yami's ear.
"I would inquire as to how you came about this curious information and question as to what sex our child is." I smiled, thankful that my boyfriend didn't think me crazy quite yet.
"When the demon trapped me in my mind-"
"When what?" Shock took over as he protectively moved his arms to hug me around the waist. "Oh, Ami, I wish I could keep you safe." He buried his face in the side of my neck.
"I'm safe now," I murmured tenderly. "Anyway, when that happened, I met a little girl who had scarlet eyes."
"Did she have your blue hair?"
"...Yeah, but her bangs were shaped like your's." I wondered what he was getting at.
"Good. I love your hair." I smiled.
"I love my hair too. Well, the little girl helped me escape. And she called the demon Not-Daddy. Since he took your body, I assumed that meant you were the father. Or, I suppose the correct way of saying that is you will be the father, seeing as she hasn't been born yet."
"And, she won't be for a good while." I shifted, running a hand down Yami's cheek. He kissed my palm softly. "I love you Ami, Princess of Mercury."
"I love you too Yami, Pharaoh of Egypt." It was a little awkward, but we managed to kiss. I smiled against his mouth, laughing. My Yami will always taste of chocolate and promise.
I swear to God, it wasn't supposed to be this long. It's almost THREE TIMES longer than No Regrets. Ah, it hurts... This idiot story has become the love and hate of my life. I love it, because it shows (I'd like to believe) great range (humor, action, romance, angst, drama...) and I hate it, because it sucked up most of my life for nearly a month.
Now for the little numbers!
1 – Anyone else remember the good ol' days when Rei almost lit Usagi on fire nearly every episode? Those were good times.
2 – Sure, Shizuka loves her big brother. But, I refuse to believe that anyone can be so pure as to not pester their older sibling. Besides, it's silly to imagine 'Zuka listening in on phone conversations between Jou and Yami.
3 – The clerk dude is based off this super-sweet guy who works at Hot Topic. The real guy actually has a tattoo on his arm, but it's more of a blue swirl of water around a Chinese symbol, I think. People actually are really nice at that store, and helpful.
4 – "Hey there sleepy smile" is taken directly from an Alkaline Trio song, called Sleepyhead. The part where Ami is stretching, and Yami calls her sexy was based off of a moment in an Inu Yasha fic called The Babysitter.
I don't own Sailor Moon or Yu-Gi-Oh! I still really hope that none of my friends ever see this fic, or No Regrets, because YGO is taboo. It just isn't done. I'm not exactly requesting fan art, but it would be cute to see Ami and Yami in their pjs.
A cute fun fact: while I was writing the Bath and Body Works scene, my mom actually took me shopping there. It was a blast and I bought some cucumber melon spray. Oh, and the scene with the little kids at the end is based off of my child hood with my big brother. Yeah, he was mean but I was meaner.
Thank you, and please, REVIEW!
Talk to me on AIM sometime, yeah? winter X emo