Title: On the Edge of a Fifty Percent Chance.
Author: Girl Who Writes
Fandom: Sailor Moon
Word Count: 1,282
Warnings: A writing style I'm experimenting with. That's it. This is very tame.
Prompt: Haruka/Michiru - car - "The road goes ever on and on"
Summary: Where Haruka is confused, Michiru is philosophical and the road doesn't end
Notes: Written for LJ's yurichallenge Summer 2007. Attempted a slightly different writing style. I was going to post this as a chaptered work, but I think it works as a standalone. It depends how many people review, I suppose. I have no idea where the title came from, it just kind of fit. I've got a cold and am feeling very sorry for myself, so reviews would be lovely. And I have a 5k chapter of First and Last to post tomorrow.
It seems odd to return to their apartment after everything that has transpired – Technicolor to monochrome, her inner artist claims. Reality to domesticity.
There are two tea cups, drying on the sink and Haruka's school necktie is crumpled on the coffee table, on top of a history essay (88), a mathematics textbook (Advanced Algebra) and two pages from the paper, with articles referring to Mugen School circled once in green ink.
It's too simple.
Michiru holds her side as she moves into the living room. Haruka's banging around in the bathroom longer than it's necessary to get the first aid kit, but she knows Haruka, and leaves her to whatever banging and crashing she feels the need to do.
Grey-white morning light peaks over the top of Tokyo's high rises and Michiru closes her eyes for a just moment.
"Michiru." Someone gently touches her shoulder, and she opens her eyes. The room is full of that grey light and Haruka is sitting on the coffee table, first aid supplies next to her, watching her carefully.
"Haruka." Her body is stiff and sore as she sits back up. The wounds from the arrows had healed with the appearance of the Grail, but angry bruises twist over and around her torso, with a few pink newly-healed scars.
And there's a knot of pain at the back of her head that reminds her she fell onto a stone floor.
Haruka says nothing, and examines her torso with clinical detachment. There's nothing that can be for dozens of bruises. Maybe if there was blood, she could mop that up, wrap Michiru up in half a dozen bandages.
The morning light turns slightly yellow and Michiru rests her hand atop Haruka's, where it lies on her bruised, raw hip, and no one says anything.
They sit around for awhile, not in the mood to speak or to eat or to really do anything in particular. Neither of them consider the idea of school, and Michiru recognizes that going swimming with her patchwork of impressive bruises is not a good plan.
She's eating ice cream out of a rabbit-patterned bowl in the kitchen, with the radio on low, playing the sort of sugary music that, if Michiru had to pick a colour for, would be fairy floss pink. Garish and stale, but very, very easy.
The ice cream, however, is chocolate.
They're both making her feel sick.
"Michiru?" Haruka's eyes don't quite meet Michiru's; closer to her chin. The car keys in Haruka's hand are enough of an explanation.
Michiru knows Haruka – very well, in fact. She nods, and Haruka goes to wait in the car. Michiru finds a pair of shoes and her purse – after throwing the ice cream, bowl and all, into the garbage.
Getting out of the city, there is an unpleasant silence, and she cannot remember, at all, the last time she shared such an ugly silence with Haruka.
She sits quietly and stares out at the streets – the billboards, the traffic and the constant stream of people. She's surprised to find that she's not looking out for an odango-haired blonde girl, and positively startled to realize she's looking for Haruka's easy smile.
Easy is good. Easy is made for people like her.
Haruka's smile is not present. Haruka is completely focused on the road and, even more concerning, Haruka is driving according to the speed limit.
She sees a group of girls on the street giggling with each other and decides she will know what to say to Haruka when they get out of the claustrophobia of the city.
If there is one place in the whole world that makes everything seem better in Michiru's eyes, it isn't really a place – a paradox, obviously. It's driving along the coast, with the wind tugging at her hair, the ocean calling out to her and a very specific person grinning at her from the driver's seat.
"Why did you do it, Michiru?"
The first words are Haruka's, and they are such obvious first words to be spoken, that Michiru wonders why she doesn't have an answer prepared. More silence, but this time, it's more of a thoughtful silence.
She thinks of the creatures she's battled, of stitching up her own wounds and pulling herself back together, alone. Of the inky feeling of hopelessness, and the sort of bone-deep weariness that comes with fighting and struggling.
Why did she jump in front of the tablet? Why did she walk that bridge, a condemned woman with every dart that hit her body? Knowing that one of the Talismans lay within herself had made her feel like a traitor to her own cause.
"How could I not, Haruka?" Her voice is low, sweet and so very honest. Haruka looks startled and steals a look at her – calm and collected, resting her head on one hand.
Haruka pulls the car over, and stares out at the road that keeps twisting and turning along the coast, her face set in an annoyed, frustrated expression. She slams her fist into the horn of the car.
The sound is an ugly one and the calm quiet feels ruffled as it fades.
"You promised. We both promised," she half spits, refusing to look at Michiru. "We both promise, Michiru! You were meant to go on!" Haruka's voice cracks and she rests her head on the steering wheel.
The wind is scented with the salt of the water, and Michiru wants to go and swim until she can't move her arms and legs anymore. She's tired of feeling like this – like grey morning light, bruises and static on the radio.
Haruka doesn't cry; she wants to shake Michiru for sheer stupidity, for breaking that one promise they made each other – and then she wants to cling to her, to beg and pray for Michiru to never fall like that again. How frighteningly easy it was to wait for Michiru to get up again and have it never happen.
A hand on her leg knocks her from her reverie, and Michiru's eyes are sad. Haruka rests her hand on top of Michiru's.
"You were stronger than me. I knew that you wouldn't falter; that whatever happened, everything would be safe with you." Her voice is soft. "I knew I couldn't be that strong… not without you by my side."
Haruka's voice is equally as low when she speaks. "Do you know what I did when I saw you lying there, with the Talisman floating above you? Thinking that you were dead? You think that you have no strength; I just couldn't…"
"You completed the mission. You found the second Talisman." Michiru laces her fingers through Haruka's. "We did it and we survived."
"Barely is good enough." Michiru settles back in her seat, watching the frothing foam of the waves, the wind carrying the ocean spray.
"Michiru." The blonde girl smiles at her companion, and they both lean in for a kiss – a gentle brush of the lips that is far more binding than any spoken agreements of life and death. Haruka strokes Michiru's cheek and the aqua-haired girl loops her arms around her neck.
They settle back in their seats; Michiru's hand still resting on Haruka's thigh. Haruka starts up the car, pulling back onto the winding road. Anything left unspoken vanishes as the wind rushes through their hair and they drive on.