If I Had Held You Closer
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.blue.
blue@icedream.f2s.com

Everybody we meet, inexplicably changes who we are. Those who
love us, change us more than anyone else and those that we love makes us
willing to change ourselves. Yet, as the time slips by, everybody
eventually leaves us on this road of time, till there's no one left but
ourselves and the whispered memories of days gone by.

Don't despair when that day arrives, because if you look deeply in
yourself, you will see that they have never truly left, instead they leave
pieces of themselves within you. The helping and loving they gave to us
will heal us, while our forgiveness of those who had hurt us or betrayed
us will make us whole again.

Thus, while you are passing by strangers on the sidewalk or down a
busy street, remember that you might be changing a life with the very
smile you are giving out for free. And know that in doing so, you are
never alone. In this act you are the creator of many and a child of the
world.

In remembrance you shall recall your mother's touch and the kiss
of a forgotten lover. In remembrance you are truly yourself and everyone
that has ever changed you and made you who you are, because those pieces
of them from yesterdays make the you of today.


"And closer to you still I wish
How hard I had kept to your embrace!
Yet still you slip away in wisps,
Like sand that dripped away in grace.
And If I held you closer still,
You'll only slip away until
There's nothing but a whispered touch,
Into the mist of the magick brush."
("Magick Brush")


Blue.

A cloudless sky.

A sparkling lake.

A shimmering sundress.

That was the color of his eyes. Papa's eyes.

She blinked, though unwillingly, because maybe he will go and the
blue will disappear. Blond strands of hair fell into those infinite eyes
and she giggled as he blew at them with a touch of annoyance and a hint of
amusement at her giggles.

He smiled.

A slash of pink.

A sunlit morning.

A brush of sparks.

"Hime-chan," a gentle hand rested onto her head and grinned at the
voice.

A sprinkle of laughter.

A hint of disapproval.

A trial at sterness.

"Hai, Papa!" She pipped up happily.

"Remember what I told you about painting?" He asked amused.

She widened her own eyes at him, her mouth opening in a small 'o'
of surprise. "Hai, Papa." She glanced to her shoes and wiggled her toes
in guilt. Her voice becoming smaller as she tried to avoid the
inevitable.

"And what was that, Ami-chan?" Papa asked her in that stern
voice, between laughter and disapproval.

She sighed and took a deep breath, her eyes focused intensely on
her shoes. She clasped her hands together before her and looked up at the
man she always admired, the one man she will always love. "I promise,
Papa, that I'll never paint on the walls again." She answered.

Papa looked down at her. He had a small quirk in the eye brows
that showed his amusement at her actions, but his resistance broke as he
swept her up in his arms. "Promise, hime-chan?" He asked her with a
smile.

"I promise Papa!" She offered her pinky and he took it.

I promise.

* * *

The voices in the other room woke her from her slumber. Shouting
came from the room, before a slamming door rocked the house. She sat up,
scared but still curious, tip-toeing out of her room. She had seen the
tension between Mama and Papa in the last few weeks, but this was the
first time she had ever woke to hear anything.

She peeped outside the room and looked both ways, checking to see
what had happened after the storm that swept through her home. Following
the light she soon heard the sound of weeping and looked in. "Papa?
Mama?" She whispered to herself, anxious yet still unwilling to be heard.
But it did not take long for her to reach the living room and see the
woman she had always thought a goddess, crumpled on the ground and crying
on the sofa.

Splash.

Droplets of tears falling.

Droplets of salty rain.

Droplets of sorrow.

Droplets that contained all of her questions and all of her
answers.

"Mama?" She whispered questioningly.

Perhaps, Papa was in the other room. Perhaps, Papa was hurt. She
forced the uneasy feeling in her stomach to reside. "Ami-chan?" Her
okaasan started and looked up from her weeping.

Blue.

A midnight sky.

An ocean of tears.

A stormy sea.

That was the color of her eyes. Mama's eyes.

She stepped forth, letting go of her fears. Okaasan was in pain
and she hated to see that, she loved her okaasan after all, and Mama's
pain was her pain. She laid one small hand against okaasan's wet cheek,
not meeting those hurt eyes. She was not ready to face them. Instead,
she focused on her okaasan's mouth.

Her frown.

A dash of sadness.

A cloud unfurling.

A quivering dew drop.

"Mama, don't cry." She spoke softly. As if whispering a secret
wish.

"Ami-chan!" Her mother's arms pulled her into a tight embrace.
She was surprised, but did not move in such a desperate grip. Those arms
were trembling too. A broken cage. But she did not struggle to get away
from this storm that she did not understand. Instead, she stood there
before the cloudy sea, tumbling in its own mysterious pain, crashing
against the sand in unmerciful sobs and pulling, grasping, catching the
waverd pebbles, yet, never swallowing the land completely.

Where's Papa?

She didn't have the courage to ask.

She didn't want to pain Mama further, so she kept the question to
herself.

"Arigato, Ami-chan." Mama sniffed.

She started. Not understanding the meaning of those words. Not
understanding those tears that soaked through her clothes. She was unable
to explain why her little arms wrapped awkwardly around her mother's body,
for they were weak and not even long enough to meet in the middle, but
somehow holding to this trembling ocean of sorrow, made her feel better.
"Daijoubu-yo, Mama."

She did not understand why she said it.

She only knew it held all the questions and all the answers to the
tears that fell from her own eyes and trailed down her cheeks.

Daijoubu.

* * *

Mama would bake cookies today.

She closed her eyes and fought back the tears.

Mama will be home waiting for her.

She struggled with her dress, trying to smooth out the wrinkles.

Mama will hold her tight.

And she might be able to forget those cruel laughter ringing in
her ears.

Mama will be there.

She hugged the books to her chest and tentatively knocked on the
door. It was best to have good manners, Mama will like that. The door
opened and a warm smile greeted her. "Welcome home, Ami-chan!"

She felt all her tears evaporate, like dew drops sparkling in the
morning sun, evaporating into puffs of air soon after. "Good day,
Okaasan!" She returned the smile and bowed respectfully.

Her mother's eyes softened as she set a hand on Ami's head. "Bad
day, Ami-chan?" Blue eyes looked to her dirtied dress.

"Not so bad, Okaasan." She lied. But then again, since seeing
her mother's welcoming smile it was okay. Gentle hands ushered her in,
patiently waiting as she neatly discarded her shoes and followed her
mother to the kitchen.

"You set up the kitchen," Okaasan told her. "I need to make a
phone call."

Ami nodded as she quickly went to work. Okaasan was giving up a
lot of things for her and that made Ami feel extra special and made her
pay extra attention to what she was doing to make sure okaasan did not
waste her time on her for nothing.

"What a nice job you did, Ami-chan!" Okaasan beamed behind her.

That voice...

A rustle of leaves in the trees.

A wafting sweetness of cookies baking.

A beam of moonlight dancing on the clouds.

It filled her with pride at its clean beauty and simplicity. It
made her forget her troubles of today to appreciate the things she had.
Okaasan was everything. She wanted to be just like her Mama! She wanted
to be that beautiful!

She turned and smiled up at those sparkling blue eyes of shining
accolade as she reached for the glass. She wanted to make the cookies
extra pretty for her okaasan. The beautiful woman before her ruffled her
hair with fondness. "Arigato, Mama!"

Okaasan started and looked down at her with wide eyes of surprise.

It had been awhile since she called her okaasan that. It did not
matter, she just wanted to express her love, and no respect can convey the
deepness of her love and her admiration.

Arigato.

* * *

The youma was being difficult.

She can feel the other's dependence on her to discover a weakness
because without it they would not last for long. Her eyes searched over
the data as fast as she could, all the while trying to find cover, trying
to be of use in the battle. The data finally compiled itself into
coherent strategy. She nodded in confirmation at the information
presented, mentally regoing over the data once more to confirm what she
has found.

It was correct.

It wasn't a surprise, but better to be safe than sorry.

Battles meant precision, and ever decision must be made with 100%
accuracy or it will not do. Only perfection will save her and her
friends.

Friends.

How long has it been since she had been discovered by them? How
long has it been since she had had the privilege to use that term at last
and mean it with all her heart. She had been long acquintanced with
loneliness, and saying the word "friends" was so sweet, it almost hurt!
The recalculations had been correct.

"Sailormoon, aim for the third eye! That's its weakest point!"
She shouted at her companion.

It was exhilerating!

How long had it been since she dared speak up to others? How long
has it been that they listened to her without envy, hatred, and coldness?
Too long, she thought.

The youma screamed in pain as it disintegrated to ashes.

It was here that she always felt slightly guilty of its death.
After all, it was the only thing she could relate with to the youma. This
fear of death, this fear of insignificance, and most of all, this fear of
failure.

She rested a hand on her chest in relief.

Her friends were safe.

It meant one more day of happiness.

One more day without loneliness or scorn.

One more day of love.

For that, she will fight with her life, because without it she
would not survive. Before her friends, before her Mama, before her Papa,
she did not exist. Breath meant nothing without love, for to her, love
was worth fighting for!

* * *

He stood awkwardly before her, hands loosely hanging down his
sides. Dark eyes avoiding her own curious ones. She knew she was
blushing because she could feel the burn of her cheeks. The swaying trees
around her was calling, lulling away like the ting of the distant
windchimes singing. Those haunting, disjointed notes of each ring,
echoing in the air, lingering in the mind, forever.

"A-no, Ami-chan," he finally said.

She could see he was gathering courage. Sense that he felt
uncertain. She understood those dark feelings of when you doubt your own
strengths, believing that within you is a weakness that you will never be
able to overcome. She understood that, because she had spent her whole
life trying to overcome that same weakness. Sometimes she was defeated,
other times she would triumph, but always, the mark of her battles would
flitter past her eyes and gather as heated evidence of her excursions upon
her cheeks.

"What is it, Urawa?" She tilted her head, trying to hide her
discomfort with this confrontation. She was never good with those. It
was difficult to face the emotions of others when facing your own were
problems. It was not what she was good at, but she acknowledged that it
was something she could not avoid.

Usagi had taught her that love is stronger than this feeling of
doubt rising within her. Rei had taught her to face the storm with
calmness. Makoto showed her that love will see through all things. And
Minako is living proof that strength is not always what lay on the
surface, instead it could languish in the shadows, coming out only to face
the most chaotic of storms.

Her friends taught her that.

Her friends took the roles that once she had thought no one could
fill except for Mama.

Her memories were of loneliness though, they held her back.

"I--" he paused and smiled awkwardly. Brushing his fingers
through the thick brown with a grin of embarrassment. "I just wanted to
say--" he paused again and looked down at his feet.

"Urawa?" he looked up to meet her eyes.

Blue.

A glacier of beauty.

A sea of mysteries.

A brilliant light of a distant star.

It was a beauty that he would never forget.

"Ami-chan," he smiled. All doubt dissipated like fog beneath the
sun. The way was cleared. He could see into the unending brightness of
her light as she let him into her heart. "You're beautiful!"

She gasped, surprised.

Hands rised to her lips, the red in her cheeks deepening.

He glanced to her worriedly, all of a sudden his confidence fled
him and he was left trying to soothe her unease. His hand reached for her
shoulder but she stopped him as she touched his cheek. The fingers she
had laid upon her lips moved and touched his own.

All he saw was her smile.

Glorious.

Unending.

Love.

"Iie." She whispered as she touched her forehead to his own.
Blue met blue. "You're the one who's beautiful."

His eyes shone with gratitude. It held such a gentleness to it
that whenever she thought back to him, she would always remember the
softness of his lips against her fingers, the catch of his breath, and
those velvet midnight eyes looking into her own with a love that he held
for her till his last breaths.

Urawa.

I'll never forget you.

It was a promise she would keep as long as she may live.

* * *

She looked down at the crystalline chess board.

It was so lovely to the eye.

Sparkling, as if a star rested on the back of each piece.

Blue and marble chess pieces.

She ran her fingers along the checkered surface, mesmirized by its
hard, cold touch.

Mama would've loved the set.

She paused and looked away.

Now was not the time to think back and regret. Not when the world
was finally perfect. Not when their dreams were finally obtained.

'So, you would give up everything for your dreams.'

The pebble flew into the blue of the endless sky.

The knight took his first stand.

'Hai. Wouldn't you? After all, are we not here for our dreams?'

It fell with silent precision.

The rook refused to back away from the challenge.

'Iie. I don't believe in dreams anymore.'

The stone held no doubt about its course of descent.

The knight advanced again.

'But isn't dreams and making them into reality, why we're here?
Why we're alive? Isn't that our duty? Isn't it yours? To protect dreams
and dreamers and the reality that would allow all of them to join together
and become beautiful?'

Like a blossoming flower the drops of water lifted.

The king shifted nervously.

'How do you know if the dreams you are protecting are yours alone
and not that of others?'

Splintering into twos, and threes, and fours, allowing passage of
a hard body through its tranquil surface.

The queen looked on pensively from the other side.

'Because, they are smiling and they are happy.'

The stone fell through.

The castle charged.

'It is because they know of nothing else!'

The ripples parted ways.

The knight retreated.

'How can you say that? You are fighting for a dream as well!
They are yours, but yours only make the people cry!'

They choose their own path across the serene lake that had once
been undisturbed.

The queen took one huge leap and knocked away a pawn.

'But their children will know truth! They will be happier and
freer than I! They are who I'm fighting for!'

One ripple expanded upon another.

The pawns were sacrificed.

'How do you know? You can't know the future! I only know now! I
only know today and yesterday! I can't count on tomorrow! If I make
today worth living for, then tomorrow will follow and the people will
smile and the beauty will florish within their hearts so that their
children will be happy too!'

The water droplets fell back its origines.

One pawn took step and smashed the rook.

'They have no other choice! How can you fight for something that
wishes to control? That fears sadness and loneliness?'

The lake embraced the stone.

The castle retreated.

'I fear losing you! I love you!'

The stone became apart of the hidden mysteries.

The queen ruled over the board as she approached the noble knight.

'It's too late. You can't lose what you never had.'

It sunk beneath the surface.

The knight attacked a forgotten castle instead.

'No! You're wrong! You're the one afraid of love! You're the
one afraid of happiness and giving, because deep down, you're just as
afraid of sadness and loneliness as the rest of us! Why can't you see
that? Look passed that?'

The ripples dissipated and disappeared.

The queen raged but approached steathily still.

'There is nothing to see.'

The stone changed nothing.

An ambitious pawn crowned itself.

'Love is here, it always will be. No matter what you say, my
love.'

My last goodbye.

The queen despaired.

The lake was serene once more.

The castle advanced again.

The memories fell away like the ripples in the water.

The desperate king was tuppled over.

A stone swallowed by the blue.

Checkmate.

* * *

If I had held you closer, will you have stayed?

Yet, you had so wanted to beat your wings against the love that
you deemed a trap. You have forgotten that if you allow love to wrap its
arms around you, you will be free. Freer than the wings you beat against
my arms, freer than the dreams you tossed away into the wind, freer than
the loneliness you choose in place of me, in place of my love.

I understand your fear.

I had once feared it too, and still I do.

It is the weakness within me, the doubt that'll never leave.

I do not have Usagi's unending faith in love, but I have my
dreams. I have the memories. And most of all, I have the blue of my
mother's eyes staring back at me in the mirror every day. I have my
father's smile. I have the invisible kiss still on my fingertips from the
first time I laid them onto Urawa's startled lips. I have Usagi's love,
Rei's trust, Makoto's faith, and Minako's love.

There is a painting before me that my dad once pained on a day at
a beach. In it is a view obscured by billowing seer, white drapes. The
fluttering windchime in the corner of your eye, and a misty figure of a
woman and a child, playing by the sea. The wind pulls on their hats and
hairs, the sand lay hot and cold against their feet. But the ocean. The
ocean stretches before them with rolling waves, white foam, and sparkling
starlights beneath the sun.

It echoes the disjointed notes of the windchimes.

It lingers on the phantom symphony.

It laps agains the sand, wanting yet unable to keep.

There is icebergs floating in the distance like faint peaks of
mountains, blue and white. Mysterious and yet visible. It is one of the
few things I was able to keep of my dad's before the sleep took away my
old dreams and gave me new ones.

Only now, I stand here, by the shores of a glittering new world
and I reach out my hand and catch the specks of ice one misses out on when

they reach the sea. I comb my fingers through the icy waters to find the
pieces of me within this mysterious mass before me. I linger on the side
and watch the memories unfurl before me, dancing to the echoes of the wind
song behind me.

The waves laps.

And I stand here loving the past and dreaming of the future,
savoring the each breath I take and accomplishing my dreams in every
minute that pass me by.

This is love.

This is me.


The End

.blue.
blue@icedream.f2s.com

And just when I promised Cavis I'd write
a Makoto story ^-^;; Hopefully, I'll be
able to capture her. It's hard, but I'll
try my best!

The cute guy Ami's talking to at the end,
the one she remembers from the chess
pieces. That's Zoisite. If you don't know
who Urawa is... okay, I'll be nice!
Urawa = Greg

This is a VERY uplifting fic. I can never
write anything bad about Ami because, well,
I just don't see her as having much of a
facade on life in the first place and I
always did pity her, though I'm sure it's
one of those feelings that Ami wouldn't
appreciate if she were a real person...
Anyho, Ami's strength is inward, it was a
gentleness she possessed from the beginning.
Of all the senshi, I'd say Ami has the
least problems (unless you want to create
'em). So I'm trying to promote happiness,
'kay? ;p

The poem wedged betweent the introduction
and the beginning of the tale, is mine.
Please, don't tempt me to sue you for
plagerizing ^-^v If you're smart, come
up with your OWN stuff ;p

.blue.
blue@icedream.f2s.com

© 2001 by blue