Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. Sunrise. It's the boss.


Where.

The first thing anyone noticed when entering the school library was that it was cold. Deliciously cold.
The chill felt good.

To venture Outside at the moment was to be mired in a kind of sticky, damp warmth; a Turkish bath that one (unfortunately) had to keep their clothes on for. For Ami, even the scurry from the classrooms had been unpleasant. Water loved her – wanted to be close to her. This was an especially un-ideal state of affairs while Ami was wearing the white school uniform shirt.

The library air conditioning was a joy then – not even its maddening hum could deaden her appreciation of it.

In the distance rumbled thunder, and Ami smiled ruefully. So she wouldn't be the only Senshi today cursing the weather.

Mako.

Her spirits leapt at the direction of her thoughts, and Ami involuntarily smiled again. Naturally she was aware - of course - that her feelings towards her friend were changing – had noticed the prompting of her own eyes and the beating of her own heart. It simmered on the edges of her awareness; the mellow, golden notes of a winding melody.

But none of this is helping me understand bio-chemistry.

Ami turned to her book. With an eager hand (nothing wrong with being interested) she flipped open the section on enzyme kinetics, reverently smoothing the pages flat.

Makoto hadn't noticed yet; that much was obvious. Ami carefully selected a pencil. She was comfortable with that obviousness – satisfied, after a lifetime of uncertainty, at living with a little more. Rei shot her knowing looks every so often, which never failed to amuse, but couldn't provoke. Minako gave her books she'd had to hastily hide from her mother. Usagi kept giving her space.

But she could wait. Hazy memories suggested that she already had, after all. Time clearly wasn't important in this case.

Enough of that! To work!

Head down, tail up. Ami allowed her world to be subsumed by paper – by the thick sunlight slanting through oblong windows, the percussive footfalls of the other patrons, and the light smell of creaky bindings. In her hands lay the comfortable weight of the science workbook, the pages dog-eared and creased, lines of neat pencil-marks marching across working space. Her eye flickered to the next problem – an easy one, a progress curve… the pencil flicked in the familiar symbols…

sparkling columns rose into the air, twisting forms and fantastic shapes. Inside came the reflected light, channelled through the crystals of the ceiling. The familiar was like the taste of déjà vu, lingering like ice on the tip of Mercury's tongue…

… Ami blinked the vision away. Her pencil wrote the 'n-b' defiantly. Another half-memory, timeless,bothering her with what had been- best left alone and forgotten. She was Ami now, and more than Ami; she was herself - two lifetimes echoing down her soul and melding at each step.

Something in her flickered. Ami lowered the pencil and smiled again, waiting.

Makoto-chan is here.

And then she was - rose-earrings, calloused hands, and frazzled hair. Stifling her amusement at the last point, Ami leaned back, taking the opportunity to admire the clean limbs, the feminine curves of her.

When their eyes met, Mako was flushing red. Her eyes reflected utter confusion.

Ami's eyebrows rose in startlement. Well that's new.

Mako's hands clenched into fists, and then relaxed. She swayed slightly, shifting her weight from foot to foot. She opened her mouth as if to speak, and then shut it again.
And Ami listened to the words she didn't say.

Oh, my beloved Mako-chan. It's hard when you don't know what you're doing.
And then Ami felt her lips curved into a smile again – a slightly smug, slightly predatory smile.

Let me help you then.

The book was nudged aside, the pencil rolling away along the table.
I've loved you for two lifetimes

Mako took a small, almost inaudible huff of breath, and swayed away.
And you've loved me too.

The chair was pushed back.
We've died together.

It scraped loudly across the linoleum floor.
We've also lived.

And Ami Mizuno rose to her feet, as unstoppable as the onset of winter

Makoto-chan was as still as stone, her Mako-chan, her brave and strong and noble Mako-chan, now hers in truth. Ami's eyes never left her beloved's face. The taller girl's throat was working as if against a frog, and the expression on her face was just shy of terrified. Makoto's eyes were speaking though, even if her voice wasn't.

Things were normal. Now they aren't.
The world that I knew has changed.

And Ami smiled another smile; a secret one, subtle.

Hands moved to close the textbook with a heavy whump. Dust motes swirled in the air, dancing in and out of sight. The long lance of sunshine fell between them on the reading table. The air conditioner hummed.

"Not here." Ami opined, casually.

Green eyes blinked at her, and on an expressive face puzzlement mixed freely with trepidation. Ami stretched languidly, relaxed and easy. "Not here."

I won't be hidden. No love should be tucked away in some safe place where no one can see. Not from either of us.

I won't make that mistake again.

Then her arms reached out, sought, found. A warm shape was pulled close; it stiffened, it shook, and then it relaxed into acceptance. Time once againdisappeared; a new kind of peace spread out – washing away doubt, and fear; dissolving a sorrow she never knew she had until it was gone. Ami and the echo of Ami both sighed in contentment.

Blue eyes stole a sneaking glance upward. Mako was pointedly studying the buzzing neon bulb that served as the light in this section of the stacks. Broad hands crept further around Ami's back, tentative, soft.

Ami smiled a secret smile. "Not here," she breathed, "but everywhere."

THE END.

...I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all their rest.

-Kipling, The Elephant Child


AN: This is for Taz - a rather remarkable person. I'm not entirely sure if you liked this, Taz, and you've been a dashed good sport about the Beta'ing (what superlative Beta'ing!) - please accept my truly sincere regards nonetheless.

This is also (presumptuously) for a young lady I have never met, and in all probability likely never will. Regardless, this is for Jodi, on behalf of another young lady; might I add that we should all be so lucky. ^^

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING WRITTEN MUCH, MUCH BETTER, REMOVE THE SPACES AND GO HERE:
http : / www . fanfiction. net/s/6832223/1/Two_Bodies

Finally; my own thoughts. Firstly: Arrrrrgh, fluffy, fluffy, it burns!
Secondly: Yes, it was late. Life exploded into insanity, as it does. ^^

Reviews are always loved, replied to, and coveted.