Hiya, this is my first foray into fanfiction, a short Ami/Mako oneshot. Hope you all enjoy it. Would appreciate any comments, critiques, or constructive criticism, so please R&R!

Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon

Summary: The inner senshi leave Ami and Mako alone when a sudden storm knocks out power to Mako's apartment, effectively ending a study session. What secrets will Ami share in the candlelit space between them? Ami/Mako oneshot, shoujo-ai. Implied Minako/Rei.

Crash Into You by Sunkissed Sapphire

"Aww, I don't like this sudden rain. It looks like it may turn into a big storm. Maybe we should all just go home and study tomorrow." Usagi slumped back from her math homework after attempting to work on it again for the third time in the last five minutes. This evening they were all sitting around a coffee table at Makoto's, studying for an upcoming test. Or at least, attempting to study. "I can't study when it's raining this hard."

"Oh hush, Odango. You're just upset we aren't at the shrine and you can't steal any of my manga to read while pretending to be studying."

"Rei-chan, you are such a meanie!" But the comment was quickly forgotten as Usagi's mind quickly switched tracks. "Mako-chan, you wouldn't have any fresh-baked cookies, would you?" Her wide eyes looked hopefully toward Makoto's kitchen.

Makoto stifled a laugh at the look of utter frustration on Rei's face and stood up, stretching. "As a matter of fact, I do. But I am sure you already knew that. "They are on a plate on the counter if you would like to grab them."

Meanwhile Ami sat on the couch, barely paying attention to the sudden abandonment of all studying around her. Her eyes gazed unfocused out the rain-streaked window to the blurry and shadow-less world beyond. That is, until a hand waved frantically up and down in front of her face, breaking her concentration.

"Hellooo, Ami-chan." Mako cocked an eyebrow at her. "You still with us?"

"Oh-- hai." Ami smiled as she turned her attention from the window. "I was just thinking that if we calculated the rate and intensity of rainfall as it falls on the back porch, we could assess the probability of a raindrop hitting the banister versus your potted plants, assuming of course we have accounted for any protruding objects that inhibit or alter the path of each rain drop. " Makoto sweat-dropped, her smile momentarily frozen in place while she tried to understand what the genius-girl was saying.

She shook her head, giving it up for lost and sat back down in front of the couch. "Usagi is going to bring us all some cookies if you would like some.

Ami breathed a small sigh of relief. She hadn't been thinking about math at all, of course, but her answer had saved her from any awkward questions. Who would believe it anyway, that the quiet, shy genius could ever be so distracted by thoughts of romance and love? The sham worked for her often in the past, and they were all content with her excuse. Or at least most of them. Ami gave a quick reassuring smile around the circle before returning her gaze out the window and did not miss Makoto's furrowed brow and contemplative frown. Yes, Mako-chan. You certainly know me the best. But you still don't know me half as well as you think you do. If only you knew

The loud crash of thunder jarred the room, the reverberating noise filling into every corner just as the power failed, plunging the five girls into darkness. Usagi's unmistakable scream immediately followed, along with the crash of breaking dishes and the sound of cookies rolling around on the floor.

"Baka Usagi! It isn't that scary, it's just a storm." But even Rei couldn't hide a slight quaver in her voice.

"Wait a minute," Makoto's voice was steady and even, albeit slightly confused. "If Usagi is in the kitchen, who do I have?" Another bright flash of lightning answered her question as she found herself looking into wide blue eyes belonging to the girl who had fallen haphazardly into Makoto's lap. Then blackness again.

"S-sorry Mako-chan," Ami whispered, thankful for the darkness that hid the blush now blazing across her face. She tried to disentangle herself from the other girl, but found she couldn't really move. "Uh, Mako-chan?"

"Oh, sorry." Ami wasn't sure if Makoto had realized she was holding onto her, but her arms loosened and Ami scooted quickly away.

"What?! Ami got scared?" Minako giggled from across the room. Meanwhile another couple of thumps issued from the kitchen as Usagi tried to find her way back to the room.

"Wait—I wasn't the only one who got scared then. See Rei, it was scary. Don't think I didn't see you clinging onto Minako."

The senshi of love giggled at this as Rei let out a huff of frustration, for indeed it was Minako who was wrapped around Rei. Here ensued one of the famous Rei-Usagi battle of wills, although it was very difficult to actually see them sticking their tongues out at each other in the complete darkness. But the occasional flash of lightening and the two girls' sound effects made it quite obvious.

In any case, Ami was no longer paying attention to her friends' antics. She was instead dwelling on her own surprise of having landed in Makoto's lap and the wonderful feel of her strong arms wrapped around her, holding her. Of course, it was an accident, just an instinct to steady whoever was there. But Ami relished the lingering feel of it all the same, wishing those arms would hold her like that more often, and maybe not so much as an accident. Yes, it was true. She'd given up fighting her feelings toward her friend ages ago. Okay, truth be told, there was never really a fight, just the cool logic for why she should keep it quiet.

Ami was brought out of her thoughts by a small click and the gentle flicker of a candle on the table. "Well," said Makoto as she sat back from the candle. "At least we can see now." While everyone else seemed happier, Ami thought that maybe she preferred the dark as she tried to wipe any trace of her thoughts from her face.

"Well that's it for studying then. No way one candle will give us enough light. Can I borrow your phone Mako-chan? I'll see if Yuuichirou can pick me up. Did you still want to stay the night Minako-chan?" Rei glanced quickly at the other girl for an affirmation.

"Wait, can I have a ride too Rei-chan? And how come you can use the phone if there is no electricity?"

"Usagi, you are hopeless. Only the power is out, not the phones." Rei went to the kitchen to make her call and came back quickly. "Yuuichirou says he doesn't mind dropping you off."

Fifteen minutes later Makoto shut the door behind her friends after saying goodbye. "Well it looks like they'll get home alright. Would you like me to walk you home?"

"Oh no Mako-chan, it's ok. It's just a bit of rain." The storm had died down a bit, and while the rain persisted, the thunder and lightning had moved on further away. But the room was still dark as ever.

"No really, I'll walk you home. Or better yet, what if you just stay here tonight? Won't your mom be at work till the morning anyway?"

Ami considered this for a moment. On the one hand she had already embarrassed herself enough tonight without having to worry about what else could happen. It was getting increasingly difficult for her to hide her feelings, especially when she was in Makoto's presence for long periods of time. On the other hand, she wouldn't have to spend the night alone. She also wouldn't have to feel guilty for dragging Makoto into the rain since she would never let Ami walk home by herself. And she'd get to spend more time with Makoto. By candlelight. Yes, that just might work.

" Mmm. You're right, she will. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea." Ami kept her tone reluctant but logical. After all, she didn't want to sound too eager to be staying the night.

"Better than catching a cold," Makoto said with a smile. "Besides, it could be a dangerous walk without any streetlights. Not that we couldn't handle it, but, you know. Better safe than sorry. I have some pajamas you can borrow."

"Okay then, if you think it is best. I'll just leave my mother a message." She walked over to the phone as Makoto went to scrounge up some pajamas. Ami had considered bringing a pair over to leave, especially given how often this seemed to happen. But borrowing Makoto's pj's was always so nice. They were so soft and smelled like her. She knew it was wrong, but Ami couldn't bring herself to deny herself this small pleasure. It wouldn't last much longer anyway, as Mako-chan was sure to find a nice guy one of these days. Then Ami really would have to give it up.

"Ami, is it okay if I leave you in the dark a moment? I seem to only have one candle and no working flashlights." Ami nodded and Makoto turned down the hallway.

She came back changed into her pajamas, carrying an armful of sheets, blankets, and pillows. "Hope these work okay for you," she said, handing some clothes to Ami. "Since I only have the one candle I thought maybe we could just camp out here."

"These will work great, Mako-chan. Let me go get changed." Ami smiled and grabbed the candle.

Ami carried the candle back to the living room wearing a tank top and boxers very similar to the ones Makoto already wore. Makoto had moved the coffee table out of the way and spread out the bedding across the living room floor, which is where she was laying now, her eyes watching Ami walk toward her. "You look cute in those."

Ami blushed a little and set the candle on the coffee table by Makoto's feet. Suddenly self-conscious about her pajamas, she quickly got back to the pallet and laid down a few feet from Makoto.

"Quite the storm, huh?"

"Yes. It did sneak up on us, didn't it. I'm sorry about earlier Mako-chan. I wasn't really scared, I was just startled and kind of fell off the couch."

"It's okay, I didn't think you were scared."

Ami smiled thankfully. "I suppose we ought to get some sleep, hmm? We'll have to try and meet tomorrow to study since we couldn't do it tonight.

"Always so practical. I'll blow out the candle in a minute. I like storms like this; I like to listen to the rain and thunder. It's relaxing."

"It is." Ami listened to the rain. It drummed against the roof and beat against the windows and the glass door to the porch. The rhythmic tink tink of water droplets hitting the rims of potted plants fit right in and Ami was easily drawn into the rain's melody. As she listened, she let her attention wander, and of course where should it wander but onto the girl lying just a few feet away.

Light and dark, the candle's glow on her skin. It blurs the edges, softens the hard lines of her toned body. But I can't! Look away, hope she didn't see. The shadows shift on the ceiling, she has moved, rolled over to look at me. I can feel it. The shadows are long, the light grows dim. The candle has been burning a while, probably going to go out soon. This was her only one. Then it will be dark…the rain is softer but the thunder, low and growing, rumbling ceaselessly. Like her. The energy never really goes away, always there. Steady. Her eyes, they are still on me. Steady. Like her arms when I fell in her lap. So strong, so steady. I wish it had lasted longer—But I can't! Why can't I love someone else? I don't know that I could. I can't st—

"What are you thinking about?" Makoto was on her side, her head propped up on one arm. When Ami likewise rolled to her side she found herself looking right into Makoto's eyes. The candlelight had turned them gold and in them Ami could see curiosity and something else—concern.

"Nothing really, Mako-chan. Nothing important anyway." Something was glinting in the low light—Makoto's rose earring. Ami's attention wandered from the earring across the line made by Makoto's profile: her relaxed shoulder, the curve of her beast beneath her shirt, the slope into her waist and over her hips; her legs, long and bare in her boxer shorts, the defined muscle in her thighs, the slightly bent knees, her feet crossed casually over one another. Ami closed her eyes and rolled onto her back, opening them again when they were safely redirected at the ceiling. She didn't see the tiny quirk of a smile in the corner of Makoto's mouth. But then again it was gone so fast it may have only been a trick of the light.

"It doesn't have to be important in order to talk about it. You've been distracted lately. It isn't like you. I just want to make sure you are okay." Ami turned to look at her again. "You can talk to me."

"I know," Ami gave a small smile. "I just don't know if I'm ready to talk about it." But was that true? Something was pushing her to bring it all out, or at least some of it. She hadn't even meant to admit there was something to talk about in the first place. They had shared many thoughts and secrets here, but the rain and thunder, the small soft glow from the candle… it was almost surreal, as though these elements had come together to create this moment in time and space where Ami's barriers could come down, where thoughts and words could flow more freely than ever with no consequence. Here there was no fear, there would be no judgment. She was safe.

Makoto was quiet. Ami knew she hadn't given up but was waiting. But she couldn't just blurt it all out. Even if it was within her personality, she didn't know where to start. Again she rolled to her back. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Makoto open her mouth to say something but she cut in first.

"What is it like to be in love?"

If Makoto was surprised by the question she didn't show it. "I don't really know if I can answer that. The bigger question is 'what is love?' I know I've chased after guys, but it was never real. Maybe I was in love with my Sempai, but is it love if it isn't returned?"

"I don't know. There are biological models of love involving the output of various chemicals at various stages of a relationship and then of course the function of love in an evolutionary sense. Then there are models in psychology that consider love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. There is usually some division between physical attraction and attachment or companionship." This all spilled out of Ami's mouth before she could help it. In the midst of her angst-filled confusion Ami had resorted to the tried and true method of studying: when in doubt look in a book. But even though her friends knew this about her, Ami didn't like to be so obvious about it, especially when it came to personal matters such as friendship and emotions. Unfortunately these were the areas Ami needed help with the most.

"Do those models work for you?"

"Well, no." Ami blushed a little, embarrassed at having looked to books and science to explain love. "It always seemed that there was something more…like with Usagi and Mamoru." She thought about everything she felt for the girl next to her. "But I don't think the feeling has to be mutual for it to be love. I think when your love is returned then it is perhaps more complete, more powerful. It takes on another dimension I suppose."

"I would agree with you there. Of course, my feelings have never been returned. But I imagine you are right." She paused a moment. "What is it like for you?"

Ami smiled to the ceiling. Makoto was the best at getting her to talk about things and that was because she skipped the obvious questions Ami could duck out of answering and went straight to the heart of the matter, her intuition always spot on.

"Well, it's wonderful. And terrible. It is one of the most powerful emotions I have felt; it leaves me exhilarated but it can also leave me hopeless and empty. Sometimes I switch so fast between the two it makes my head spin. Or maybe that is just how she makes me feel." Ami held her breath, waiting for the storm to unleash. She had said so much more than she meant to, but in this space so far removed from the world, the barriers she held herself in check with were gone. For the first time in her life she felt like she could share the feelings that had plagued her for so long and she would not let her courage fail her.

"Sounds like you have it bad. How long?"

Ami let her breath out slowly, a feeling of gratitude blossoming within her chest. She was lucky to have such friends. "Too long, Mako-chan. Too long. But I am in the same boat I was in when I first started feeling this way. I can't tell her. I'd rather be heartsick and have the relationship I have with her now than to tell her and risk losing it.

"Well I would imagine if she was a true friend, even if she didn't feel the same, she could look past it for the sake of your friendship. Then you would know and could move on. But any girl would be lucky to have your love, Ami-chan. Has she given you any sign that she feels the same?"

The candle at their feet began to sputter, drowning itself in the wax as it reached the end of its wick. I sure hope so, Mako-chan. "Some. Maybe. But maybe I am just reading the signs wrong."

"You should trust your intuition. So tell me about her."

With a final flicker and pop the candle went out, throwing the girls into darkness once more. Granted, it was a much calmer descent into the night than earlier. Ami was glad for cover, because she couldn't see any way for her to describe how she saw Makoto without turning beet red. "Well, she is a very loyal friend. She has a rough exterior, but it hides a kind and gentle soul that you will only get to know if you put in the effort. She is very strong, but not just in a physical sense. Even though she has endured more pain and heartache than anyone should ever have to go through she carries on just the same. She can also be a study in contradiction. She is hard but soft. Compassionate, but deadly to her enemies. She is incredibly selfless, but still a survivor.

"You really care about her." Makoto's voice sounded slightly choked in the dark. "I wonder if I'll get to meet her…"

"You don't have to, Mako-chan," Ami said softly. "She's you."

"Oh thank Kami!" Makoto reached out for Ami in the dark, pulling her close. Their lips met and tasted, parted and met again. Wrapped up once more in her arms, Ami could feel the electricity running through Makoto's taut muscles. She tightened their embrace, entwining her body further still with Makoto's, her lips against her neck, Makoto's breath in her ear. When the power came back on several hours later, it was to find the two girls sleeping face to face, still holding onto one another as though afraid the night might take it away.