Haruka woke up, and turned to look down at her sleeping lover and smiled

Heyla, all! This is my first H&M fic, so please don't kill me! Send all questions, comments, death threats, and so on to SailorNemesis@SailorOrion.com , but be forewarned that all of your pathetic flames will be used to cook my steak just the way I like it. Raw and barely warm. So read on!

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Haruka woke up, and turned to look down at her sleeping lover and smiled.

'I'd better let her sleep. She hasn't slept enough lately, at all.'

She climbed silently out of their shared bed, and went to take a shower and think about what was happening with Michiru. She stayed up late every night, and was up early almost every morning, in her studio, painting. This had gone on for almost a month now. Haruka briefly considered hiding the keys to the place, but discarded the idea quickly. Michiru would never forgive her for that, with that art competition coming up. And it was in America, at that. As she lathered her short sandy locks, she wondered why Michiru was so psyched about this particular competition. There had been many others, a few in America, so what was the big deal about this one?

She looked up in surprise as Michiru stepped groggily into the shower with her and began cleaning herself lethargically. They stepped out at the same time, so Haruka was able to stop Michiru on her way to the studio by catching the aqua-haired woman as she got dressed.

"Michiru, why don't you come out with me today? I was planning on going shopping."

She wasn't really, but she imagined it would be worth it if she could get Michiru out of that studio and away from her paints. Michiru gave her a ragged look and turned back to her dressing.

"Can't…go…shopping…Have to…work…on my…painting." She spoke brokenly, a sure sign of sleep deprivation.

"Michi, why is this so important? Why is this competition so much more important than any other that you're losing sleep over it?" She wrapped her arms around Michiru's waist, waiting for a reply.

"It just…is. This is very important to me, Haruka. Let me go, I have to work on my painting!" When Haruka wouldn't let her go, she receded into barely intelligible mutters.

"Gotta…. show…I'm good enough…Dammit, Haruka! Let me go! I have to work on it! It's not done, and the competition is in two weeks! Please? If you love me, let me work on it." That last sentence shook Haruka badly, but she wouldn't let Michiru go.

"No, Michi. I'm not letting you go until you explain why this is so important! You have to show you're good enough for what?" Michiru began to struggle wildly, but her lack of sleep made her weak, and she was unable to escape Haruka's strong grasp.

"Please, Haruka! Please! I need to do this! I need to prove to you…." Haruka gasped.

"Prove to me what, Michiru? Prove what?" Michiru shook her head, refused to answer, but Haruka wouldn't let up, and she eventually replied, tears coursing down her cheeks.

"Prove that I'm good enough to be with you…" Haruka felt ready to explode.

"Good enough…to be with me?!?!? Where in the HELL did you get the idea that you weren't good enough to be with me?!" Michiru shook her head.

"I don't know. I just felt…. Inadequate, somehow. You're so famous…" Haruka turned Michiru around to face her and shook her head gently.

"Michiru, if either of us should feel inadequate next to the other, it should be me next to you. You, love, are perfect. You're beautiful, talented…And you have a hell of a lot more fashion sense than I have." Michiru laughed weakly around her sniffling hiccups.

"Fashion sense? What does that have to do with anything?" Haruka pulled her close and laughed softly.

"Nothing at all, love. But I DID make you laugh, so it was a good thing to say." Michiru smiled up at her lover, tears already evaporating.

"You know, we really need to get dressed." Haruka laughed huskily.

"We will, don't worry."

And they did. Eventually.

Thanks to my okaasan, Elidan, for always being around, to my oneechan, Haruka, for giving me all those violent shoves, so that I'd get on with my life, to all my friends at the SEC, just for…well, everything, and to my adorable totochan, Link, you WALKED!! And if she'll have me, to my Michiru, Grace. I'll always love you, ai.