Spider Web: Self-Destruct

Ami Mizuno

Silence. Ami smiled as only the soft padding of people moving across the bookstore carpet whispered in her ears. This place was beyond heaven. It gave the mind a clear atmosphere with people all searching for the same thing. Ami had already gone through over half of the store's contents, and moving on to the end. Some of the books were bad, poorly written, unpopular, and even boring. But the old man who owned the store, giving Ami and her co worker free reign and management, had read the entire collection. He hand selected each book, and kept adding more. The old man kept saying that each book had its own point, be it good or bad. Ami believed him fully, and respected his wisdom. It seemed cheesy yes, but true.

'Perhaps that's just the kind of person I am... cliché of all clichés .' Her mind thought dully as she flipped a page in her book that rested on the counter in front of her. Any book was good enough to tear her mind away from thinking. Most lived under the pretense that Ami liked to think. Wrong. Thinking destroyed her. Books rebuilt her. Gave her a fresh, clear mind. But not even this book could captivate her conscious world today. It had been a week since Greg had called. He had taken a short weekend vacation, claiming that he would call her when he came home. That had been seven days ago.

'He's done with me, I know it! Why the hell wouldn't he call? If he wanted to talk to me he would call. I left a message; he would have gotten it by now. Is he trying to faze me out? Or has he simply forgotten me? It wouldn't be the first time.' Ami thought frantically. She winced, feeling her chest tighten up. Having already been through anger, sadness, longing for him, and blunt irritation, Ami was now simply upset.

"Why don't you just call him again?" Rei said, leaning next to her on the counter, blandly reading next to Ami's shoulder.

Ami tried to keep her face from darkening. "Because I am absolutely not going to be the desperate, needy, clingy, "Oh I can't live with out you, why aren't you calling me?" girlfriend." Ami shrugged. "If he wants to get in touch with me, he'll call me back." Ami's heart pounded against her chest as her lungs tightened.

"Ami, if you want him, get him. You called him once; a second time isn't going to make you... any of that. Yell at him. Be honest with him. Or maybe... trust him." Rei said, now focusing on Ami, her violet eyes tearing into Ami's angelically blue eyes. Ami stared back.

"Trust isn't the issue." Ami said shortly.

"Then what is?"

"Not knowing what's going on in his head." Ami said as she released a tense breath. "No, forget it, I'm done with him." She said. Rei stood up abruptly, obvious surprise in her eyes.

"Ami—"

"No, Rei, I've had it. I will not be brought to my knees for a man! If Greg doesn't want to talk to me, then I'm not going to waste time being sad over him!"

"AMI! Calm down—you need to trust him! He'll call you when he can, I'm sure... Ami, you can't throw the towel in now..." A silence fell over the two. Ami refused to look Rei in the eye. A third of her wanted to believe that Rei was right. Another third knew better than to give herself a false hope. The last third knew that Rei had no clue about relationships. You don't ask relationship-less people about relationships. It seemed rude, but the truth is the truth. Not wanting there to be an awkward silence, Ami decided the best path would to change the subject.

"So, how did you and Mamoru---?" She asked calmly, casually. Rei's eyes lit up with a piercing fire that Ami was rarely ever under. It tore through her. She had been caught. But would Rei let her get away with it? Rei glanced to the side sharply, then back at Ami, only losing a slight edge to her violet eyes.

"We slept together, I won. I don't want him anymore. He was way too easy." Rei said with the exact emotion her voice claimed—boredom. Ami's mind relaxed. The subject was no longer on her.

"I'm glad you're over him." Ami said simply. She honestly didn't know what to say to a thing like that. Rei was strong; she didn't need or want sympathy or pity.

"By the way Ami, last night I couldn't find you to tell you that I was leaving, did you get home safely?" Rei asked, her eyes becoming entirely concerned.

'Huh? Yeah I got home safely! After I realized that you had ditched me I stood in the rain for an hour trying to ward off creepy boozed up assholes while searching for an empty cab. Eventually this really awesome guy offered to share a cab! Only for fifty more minutes of awkward silence! Thanks friend! But I'm glad you finally got your guy!' Ami thought angrily. She refused to let her darkness show though.

"Yeah, I saw a friend and we went home together. It was a pretty bland evening." Ami said with a shrug as she closed her eyes and turned another page in the book. Rei's seemed relieved, which left Ami feeling a smidge angry and yet still happy that Rei at least had a good time.

'She did think enough to ask...' Her mind guiltily chided her. 'You need to learn to be happy for others!'

"Ami, I really did try to find you." Rei said, forcing eye contact. Ami nodded stiffly, causing Rei to sigh, but she dropped it. "So, you want to do something tonight?"

Ami shook her head. "No, thanks, but I have a lot to study for tonight. Been putting it off for a week." Ami lied through her teeth. She hated to lie, but she really needed some alone time. Much more than usual. Rei seemed put out, but a lot less offended than if Ami had bluntly stated 'Yeah, I just don't want to be around you'. A small and meager smile came up on Ami's face.

"All right, well, we should start closing up for the night." Rei said glumly. Ami didn't argue, sounding the bell to round the customers up to the cash register.

As Rei peeled out of the employee parking lot Ami couldn't help but feel jealous. People didn't forget her. Her father, though never around, bought her everything, including that shiny BMW. And Rei wasn't spoiled; she shared or even simply gave Ami what her father sent. Ami's mother wasn't poor, but believed that Ami should gain everything that she wanted through hard work and sacrifice. Her father was a starving artist and had disappeared for the last six years of Ami's life. Honestly, she didn't miss him. He would maybe send one card for all holidays. It no longer bothered her. Ami had learned to become numb. Pulling out in her old clunker, Ami headed home and prayed the car would make it.

"Hello Lisa." Ami muttered to her mother as she entered the pent house flat. Her mother gave her a firm glare, but continued reading the newspapers. The obituaries, to be exact. Lisa Mizuno was anything but normal. She was a top surgeon at Tokyo hospital, but she was trapped forever in the "poor misunderstood teenage artist" mind set. The whole penthouse, sans Ami's room, was dark and grey. Lisa insisted on keeping her jet black hair in front of her eyes, which were heavily lined by mascara. Black was the code for her. Essentially, Lisa was an angsty teen with an adult body and job.

"Any messages?" Ami called out from the kitchen. Her mother was silent then called out with a melancholy 'yes'.

"Some man named Zoycite. Are you running around with boys Ami?"

Ignoring her that mother was stepping over boundaries, Ami fell silent. Zoycite was a familiar, but very odd name. As she padded over the kitchen floor in her slippers it hit her. 'The man who shared his cab!' Her head darted around the corner of the kitchen wall.

"Did he leave a number!" Ami barely got the words out as her heart picked up it's pace. Her mother nodded and held up a slip of paper. Ami snagged it and darted to her room. As she tumbled onto her bed, realizations truck her. She was still technically with Greg. Hear sinking, Ami fell backwards on her bed as her mother appeared in the door frame.

"Oh, a Usagi Tsukino called about your tutoring. She says she's willing to pay nicely. Here's her number, I suggest it." Her other said with a stern voice, meaning Ami did it or she was out of her mother's good graces, also meaning she was probably out of the house too. With out hesitation Ami reached forward and snagged it. Her mother disappeared immediately after.

Ami stared blankly at the number. Her nose twitched slightly. Then heaving a sigh, she twisted around and dialed the number on the pink and black "happy bunny" sticky note her mother had handed her. It rang about nine times before a breathless "hello?" yelled through. Wincing, Ami pulled the receiver away for a second, then responded.

"Hello, this is Ami Mizuno, I'm calling for ---"

"Yes! I didn't think you were going to call! I mean—This is she!" Usagi said bubbly.

"Right, I'm calling to say that I accept your offer. What days are good for you? I am only free on Wednesdays from five until nine-thirty." She said trying to sound business like. Usagi giggled.

"Fun! Sounds like a date! I'll see you at Affagoto's shop Wednesday then!" And Usagi hung up the phone. Ami gave the receiver a weird gaze, but accepted it. Twisting again Ami marked a red slash on her calendar. That was that.

Wednesday

Ami sighed. This girl was kidding right? An hour late? Not even possible. If there wasn't coffee in front of her, a never ended cup, then Ami would have been long gone. Again, like the full passed hour that had gone by, Ami's mind wandered over the coffee shop. The owner, Makoto, wasn't up front at the counter today. Instead was a tall, well built man with sandy blonde hair. Ami had heard his name called out several times. Furuhata Motoki. She had never seen him around the high schools so she assumed he was in college or a prep school for college.

'No... I've seen him once around Juuben High... he was waiting for Makoto... huh, must be friends.' She thought dully. Then suddenly a force with mad inertia crashed into her, spilling the beloved coffee all over Ami. Shocked, Ami's gaze slowly rounded on the force. It was a girl with the oddest hairstyle. Odango's. Weird.

"Hey Ami! Sorry I'm late--- aaaaa! I spilled coffee all over you!" The girl shrilly yelled out. Ami glanced down. Inside she brooded like a tempest over her favorite white blouse, but hey—clothing isn't that important, is it? So instead Ami smiled and dabbed at it with a napkin.

"Forget about it—it's fine" Ami said, cutting off the Usagi's breathless stream of apologies. She stopped, taking her seat.

As Ami tried to help Usagi study, she found it to be futile as Usagi's ADD mind kept wandering to Motoki. Ami inwardly sighed and gave up. It wasn't like she was being paid or anything.

"Do you know who he is?"

Usagi jumped. Blushing lightly, she shook her head. Ami smiled lightly.

"He's worked here for a while, I think he was the person who financially opened this place. I think he gave owner ship to Makoto."

Usagi looked slightly disappointed but still hopeful. "Do you think he's with her?" There was a distinct gleam in her eyes that reminded Ami very much of Rei, but slightly more... innocent. Ami shrugged.

"Maybe. You should talk with Makoto to find that out." Usagi tilted her head slightly, studying Ami.

"Do you have a guy?"

Ami jerked her head back and sat rigidly straight. She had not expected to have to think about Greg today. She felt her eye twitch and hoped it wasn't visible.

"... Yes."

Usagi was silent for a few second, hoping for elaboration. When she sensed that her sentence was the end, Usagi crunched her nose up. Ami found it cute.

"And? Who? Where? What's he like?" Usagi poke softly, sensing Ami's uneasiness. "C'mon, we all need to get stuff off our chests." Something about Usagi's softness and innocence began melting Ami's metaphorical walls. How could someone like Usagi gossip? Ami understood the femme fetal method of back stabbing and deceit. She knew to watch what she said and to whom, but Usagi immediately seemed different. What you saw is what was there. No hidden knives. It disgusted Ami at how many girls she knew that could belong to the "House of Flying Daggers". But not Usagi. She just didn't seem to have the cunning for that.

"His name is Greg. I met him through my friend Rei, and we've been... "dating" for a month."

Usagi blinked. "A month? Wow, that's really long for the standards today."

"Ha, well it's really only that long because we rarely see each other. He doesn't call much." Ami scoffed.

Usagi analyzed Ami for a second, and then nodded sympathetically. "You're the only one putting any effort into it, aren't you?" Ami sat stunned at the accuracy of Usagi's statement. Ami nodded weakly.

"Yeah... we haven't talk in almost a week. He said he called me when he returned from his weekend trip."

"Have you called him Ames?"

Again Usagi knocked Ami's socks off. A nick name? It sounded so nice, yet at the same time so weird. Rei was usually the only one who gave her nicknames. Rather, Rei was truly her only real friend. It didn't matter how many razor sharp edges Rei had, Rei had stood by her side for as long as Ami could remember.

"No, if he wants to talk with me he'll call me." Ami said firmly. Usagi looked away for a second, then back at Ami with sad eyes.

"I may not have much experience, but I think you should dump him. He's neglecting you..."

Ami laughed slightly. "Yeah... I've been thinking... dump him before he dumps me..."

A silence passed between them until Ami's watch began beeping. She looked down at it quickly, then up to Ami.

"I'm sorry—I have to go visit a friend at the hospital. Hey, would you like to come visit her? You may know her, c'mon!" Usagi said jumping up to her feet. She grabbed Ami's hand, paid with her other, and bolted through the door...

Ami sighed sitting on her bed, just relaxing from the day. Usagi was so nice... ah well. She probably wouldn't talk with her again. Eyeing her cell phone sitting next to her bed, Ami quickly snatched it up as she sat up. Dialing the number automatically, she didn't dare let her mind take control. Soon a familiar voice answered. For one split second Ami felt comforted to hear Greg's voice. That feeling vanished as soon as she heard his tone, which was exasperated and tired.

"Oh, Ami. Hi."

It was enough to make up her mind. "Greg, I'm done with you. Don't call, I'll return you crap when ever I can get around to it. Bye."

Rei had once advised Ami on how to break up. Don't let him see tears in your eyes or hear them in your voice. Be a bitch, he'll get over you faster—that just courtesy. Do this, and you won't ever have to worry about him crawling back to you. Ami winced as she hung up on him. She hated her words, not letting him say anything, it wasn't her nature. Ami thought her nature was too weak to be meant—soft, Rei called it. But it was done. She began inhaling slowly, trying to keep her heart at an even pace. She wasn't going to cry—no tears. Not for him. Then a small scrap of paper with ten digits on it caught her eye.

'Zoycite...' Her mind thought lightly. He had been so nice, so attractive, and seemed to strong and valid. Quickly grabbing the piece of paper and opportunity Ami dialed his number. His deep voice picked up and rushed a warm feeling through Ami...

Ami and Zoycite left the restaurant laughing quietly. It was Saturday night now, and Ami had worn the classiest dress she had. It was a dark rich blue, sleek, halter style with a long slip all the way up to her hip. When Zoycite dropped her off at her doorstep, he gave her a deep, sensual kiss. The night had been exactly what she needed—Greg was gone. Until Ami stepped through the threshold of her home where Greg sat. It looked like he hadn't shaved—or even bathed—for a week. He stood up immediately when she entered, a dark look in his eyes. Ami took a step back, ready to bolt. He grabbed her arm, holding her in place.

"Ami... what the hell! How could you break up with me right after I get back from being lost in the mountains? Instead of being worried that I might DIE out there, you break it off! What the fuck! No—I don't want a girl as fickle as you anyway."

Ami stared. "What? You... were lost in the..." She muttered. He glared right through her.

"Heh, yeah, don't you watch the news?" He glowered at her, then threw her arm down and stalked out. Ami stood in silence as the door slammed behind her. Again, Ami had destroyed something good she had...

AN: Okay guys, I'll put it softly—this story didn't do as well as I thought. Actually, it did terribly. So unless reviews pick up, I'm going to drop this story. The whole point of this story is psychological. It's the way the senshi would be if the were actual real three dimensional people. It's also for some people to be able to relate too.