Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Girl Who Writes
Genre: Angst, Drama
SMMFC Theme: Joker
Characters: Michiru, Haruka
Spoilers: All seasons.
Notes: Written for LJ's smmonthly's April challenge - a whole month of the Outer Senshi I haven't decided whether I'll post my entries as one big fic or lots of one shots yet, but I felt this one really needed to be a standalone. I personally believe Michiru would be a bad ass without Haruka around. Damnit, I have so many fics I want to write, I don't know which one to write first ; Anyway, I hope you enjoy this!
Summary: "We all need things, Michiru. Hotaru needs us to make a normal family for her. Setsuna needs Hotaru – and you and I – so she doesn't disappear completely."
Disclaimer: Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi. I'm just a humble fan and make no profit from this fan based venture.
"Do you have to act like that?"
My voice sounds sharper than I intended it; nastier, somehow. I wince, my face turned away from hers, because this is not how I wanted to sound, not how I wanted to start this.
"Act like what?" Her voice is flat, even, tired. Ready for the bickering, the accusations.
When did we get here? I'm not even twenty yet and I'm already tired.
I sigh and turn to face her, reaching for one of her hands. I interlock our fingers and brush her hair from her cheek with my other hand.
"… the way you tease them, joke with them." My voice is soft, repentant and a little sad. "The way you flirt with them and… why is it easier with them than with me?" My voice wobbles and I am not the composed, pretty girl the others image me to be. I am the girl who feels like she has to cling tightly to everything she loves, because if I loosen my grip for just a second, I'm going to lose it all.
She looks at me, almost startled, her green eyes wide in the dark light of the car. "What? Michiru…" She looks utterly floored, and I feel uncertain and almost childish, and pull away, grabbing my bag and getting out of the car, almost stumbling in my shoes. She is climbing out of the car too, faster, not having to worry about high heeled shoes, handbags or skirts getting caught in car doors to hinder the perfect getaway.
But she is there, holding me still by my shoulders, and I am transfixed by that look in her eyes. The not quite serious, entirely Haruka look that she doesn't often get, only when all jokes are put aside.
"Michiru… it's who they want me to be." Her voice is a whisper, the admission making her hunch her shoulders like it's a secret. "When we aren't fighting, they need us not to be us."
I nod, but lower my gaze.
Haruka continues, her grip on my arms tightening. "I do it because it is easy, because we've fought and we'll fight in the future and sometimes it just feels good to be a different part of yourself." She's half pleading me to understand, to agree, to apologize.
"You want them to like you."
I looked up. "But it's not you, Haruka. You aren't this person. Yes, you're a flirt and a tease." Her cheeks flushed pink for a second. "You're also terribly proper, far more traditional than me. You've made this life out of being yourself, and now you're rejecting that? You aren't that person," I repeated. "I've known you for five years and…"
"I've made a career pretending to be a male," Haruka interrupted. "How can you say…"
"No." I stamped my foot, frustrated that she wasn't getting it. "You never once said that you were male – you simply were and you let other people make their own conclusions. Why should you have to be this other person to the girls?"
A tiny smile quirked up at the corners of Haruka's mouth. "You're jealous."
I puffed away, huffing. "I'm not jealous, I'm disappointed," I snapped. A hand grabbed my wrist, an arm snaked around my waist.
"We all need things, Michiru. Hotaru needs us to make a normal family for her. Setsuna needs Hotaru – and you and I – so she doesn't disappear completely."
I relaxed into Haruka's embrace.
"The Inner senshi needs one of us to pretend to be one of them for a little while; to let them know that however they deal is okay, that they're allowed to be kids sometimes," she continued. "That's why; because Hotaru is still a kid, Setsuna's been alone to long and because I know how it feels."
"What about you and me, Haruka?"
"I don't know what you need, Michiru. That's one of the reasons I love you, because maybe you don't need anything; you're here because you want to be."
My breath caught.
"And I need you – I've needed you to be here since that first day I transformed." She pulled away from me and I turned around to face her. "I can't be Haruka without Michiru, Uranus without Neptune. I know it won't work, however it's put."
I smiled and shook my head. "But why do you make it so easy with them?" Why can't it be that easy with us?
"We fight for the stuff that means something – we fought for the Talismans, against the Death Busters for Hotaru; against Galaxia for our star seeds." She looked at the ground. "I can't be you, Michiru. I can't just be and make things all better. That's something that's always been reserved exclusively for you and the Princess."
I froze, gaping at her, at that confession. I had never felt that, always felt like the baby sitter, the one standing on the fringe of the group – Haruka was beloved by Usagi, Minako and Makoto, Setsuna and Hotaru by Chibiusa, and thus accepted by Rei and Ami. Me? I had an almost rivalry with Ami, and I had never hid my slight disdain for Usagi's sheer Usagi-ness very well.
I had never considered my presence counting for much at all.
"I'm sorry." I bowed my head. "I didn't understand."
"I know." She reached for my hand, pressing a kiss to my palm. "That's why we work together, love. Because there is always more mystery."