Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Note: This is a one-shot. No continuations whatsoever. Besides, with the ending I had in mind, there would be no purpose in writing more chapters. I tried to go in-depth as much as possible with this particular character (I have watched certain episodes with character development in Japanese, and I can recall very few dubbed episodes from about 10 years ago). There will be some references to the (subbed) series itself, and very minor spoilers. The general viewpoint of this is set shortly after Sailor Moon R.

Enjoy!


I never asked to be a Sailor Soldier.

Then one day, a particularly spirited young girl, who I later learned was Tsukino Usagi, came up to me and tried to befriend me. Despite what the others thought of me, she was still nice and optimistic about everything, and we soon became friends.

We couldn't have been more completely opposite. I was shy, she was outgoing. I never raised my voice or did anything to get attention unless it was to answer a question, and she was constantly at the centre of crowd (whenever she could be), attracting people to her out-spoken personality.

For the most part, I was secure in life. I finished my studies, worked hard (or perhaps not-so-hard, as my friends would say) to get my work done, and kept to myself. I had no friends, but on the plus side, no enemies; so life was routinely normal for me. Just the way I wanted it to be, all in black and white. As long as my grades remained high, I could feel stable. I planned to become a doctor, and I could achieve that goal fairly easily if my marks remained high.

Usagi-chan changed all that.

When a monster attacked the cram school, Usagi was there. Luna, her advisory cat, informed me of my ability to become Sailor Mercury. To be honest, I was a bit doubtful at first. Why on earth would I be a Sailor Soldier? Could I really transform into Sailor Mercury? There was nothing special about me, aside from the fact that I was unbelievably smart to the point where teachers would question why I was even here. However, seeing as I was in danger of being choked at the time, I decided to take Luna's advice.

Thus, I became the guardian of Mercury.

By instinct, I called upon the power of my planet, and produced a thick fog called Shabon Spray. It really helped, too, and Usagi-chan was thrilled, absolutely thrilled. However, I found myself wondering if that was actually due to my assistance in aiming the attack or to the fact that since I was a Sailor Soldier, I had officially become her 'friend'. And by Usagi-chan, I meant Sailor Moon. Yes, this cheerful girl who did not care much, if at all about her grades, who freaked out when she got backed into a corner and who only sent an attack of moon dust at the enemy when prompted by Luna at the right time, happened to be Sailor Moon.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. It's quite neat to feel the power surging through you, knowing you can have it to call upon and unleash the element onto your opponent.

I also happen to have a circle of the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. They've always been there when I needed them, and they never failed to encourage me, no matter how badly I miscalculated during a battle or how many times I had to count myself out of the group when they were heading to the arcade or the mall so I could study and maintain my high average.

Again, this is all thanks to Usagi-chan.

I think I speak for Rei-chan, Mako-chan and Minako-chan as well when I say that if it weren't for her, we would not be who we are today, and we would have not become such a powerful group. It's so wonderful to have a group of people that you can always rely on.

But sometimes I find myself wishing that I had not become a Sailor Soldier. I don't hold an immense dislike for my duty as the guardian of Mercury, nor do I ever regret making certain decisions when someone else's life is in danger, whether it be any of my friends or a stranger across the street. I just feel like I am not truly myself, that I am merely defined by the blue sailor uniform that I wear, the glass visor that slides across my eyes and presents any available data, and the mini super-computer that can calculate just about anything, except that it can take a risky amount of time to load.

There is one side of me that everyone sees on a daily basis: genius Mizuno Ami. I have overheard many remarks about my studying, things from, "Wow, she's really smart. How does she do it? How does she always manage to ace every test?", to whispered comments such as, "You know Ami Mizuno? She gets such high marks, but I think she's just self-centred. She probably thinks she's perfect, that she's above the rest of us". It's true, I like having high grades. I'm going to need them if I want to become a doctor; there is no other way to achieve such a position in a medical field.

Then there's the Sailor Soldier side. I admit it; at first I rather reluctant to claim my duty and fight, but it was not so bad. I have never been much of a fighter at heart. I have determination, yes, but I know I don't have what it takes should it ever come to me fighting an unusually strong opponent on my own. That makes a difference when you are fighting for your life, or for someone else's life, and you can't help them escape because your attacks are not capable of destroying the enemy quickly enough.

While my powers come from the element of water, they are mainly used as defence rather than offence. But I think having water as my guardian planet suits me.

There have been times when I doubt that I can keep doing this. There was the occasional incident when the attack was not accurate; or when the timing was off by seconds. Things as simple as that are crucial. The slightest chance that an attack might not work, or might miss by an inch or two, can create ample opportunity for an opponent to gain advantage of you, no matter how close you originally were. In the end, there is potential risk for someone to unintentionally get harmed in some way, or even die. We don't mean for any of it to happen - but it does. Everyone makes mistakes. It's how the mistakes are made, like lack of focus or simply allowing ourselves to become distracted at the wrong moment. That is when we cannot forgive ourselves for the accidents that happen. If there is a way I can prevent it, I will. It sometimes scares me how my determination may even mean death, but if that is to be my destiny, I have no choice but to accept it. No one else can be me. Sailor Mercury.

My destiny may be to become Sailor Mercury. I may have the ability to use water as an attack, rather as a defence, but it's not really me. It's not who I am on the inside. I am Ami Mizuno. Sometimes all this 'Soldier business' makes me wonder if my friends forget, if they see me as a Sailor Soldier or as the shy bookworm nerd that I display to the public on a regular basis.

There are good things and bad things to being a Sailor Soldier. The good thing is that I can always rely on my ability to transform when someone else is in danger, which in turn allows me to assistance them when things are getting out of hand. I'm lucky that I happen to work with the kindest people I have ever met, the only people who have ever really looked at me, and that I don't necessarily have to hide who I am. Not just as Mercury, but the shy withdrawn girl beyond the surface.

The bad thing is I feel as though I am trying to live two very different lives. Neither can be exposed to the other at any cost. I've lost hours of sleep, partly due to the amount of time I spend studying until the point where I can barely keep my eyes open until I stumble to bed at around midnight (on a school night), and the late hours when I am unexpectedly called to aid in a fight.

Another thing is that I lack confidence in myself. I'm more vulnerable in that aspect; I have always been that way. Perhaps it was because of how I was brought up. I am very conscious about the limit of my capabilities even when I am a Soldier, and it is that flaw which certain opponents have learned to use as an advantage against me. I try not to make it so obvious, but sometimes I cannot help it. Maybe if I was just a bit faster, or a bit stronger, or more accurate with my attacks, things would not happen the way they did.

I always tell myself that because I firmly believe I can always be better. There is always something I can improve on. Even when people tell me it was not my fault, I automatically assume that there must have been something I could have done to prevent it. That is because of my nature to claim responsibility for my own actions even when the circumstances were purely accidental, and because of my duty as a Sailor Soldier. I am just as responsible as the rest of them.

Is friendship really enough?

When I almost left for Germany at that time, I told everyone not to see me off. I knew it would only make things much more difficult, and I would not be able to board the plane. It would truly mean good-bye. I could not face that. But in the end, when I opened the bag that Chibi-Usa passed to me as a message from the others, I saw the upgraded transformation and my resolve to go to Germany crumbled. That was when I first fully realized my place was with the rest of the soldiers. They were not just comrades; they were my friends. Nothing could replace the bonds of closeness I had gained over the years.

I was someone to them. I could share my hopes, laughter, disappointment and tears with them. They would always accept me. They were people I could truly depend on, even if all looked hopeless in the face of battle. Love and determination to see things through always helped us to triumph, no matter how impossible the odds seemed.

Being Sailor Mercury has helped me to become a better person. So in the end, becoming who I am is the best thing. Accepting me as me, and not who I used to be. Not pretending to be someone I was not.

Not just identifying myself as Ami Mizuno, or declaring my position as Sailor Mercury. Being who I truly am.

Both.


Originally written: April 28th, 2006.

Posted: May 1st, 2006