Love the One You're With
Ami stood in front of the mirror, staring at the stunning figure in a long white gown staring back at her with melancholy sapphire eyes.
She was to be wed in an hour. Wed to someone she loved and cherished. To someone she could imagine spending the rest of her life with. To someone that loved her more than she could likely fathom.
Wed to someone that wasn't Zoicite. Granted, her past lover hadn't even appeared in this lifetime. She couldn't help but feel like she was betraying him. She had waited for 26 years before the studious but sharp-tongued Sigmund Sakurako, half Japanese, half European, had swooped into her life and wooed her for three more years before finally proposing.
But Zoicite was the love of her previous life. He was the epic Nicholas Sparks love story that never got a proper ending. He was her first ever hand holder, her first stolen glance, her first tentative male hug, her first inexperienced kiss, her first lover, her soulmate.
She loved him like she could love him like no other. She closed her eyes, remembering their last moments together after she had stabbed him critically in the chest with an icicle and he had punctured a hole through her stomach.
Both assured that death awaited them, and Beryl's contract now effectively broken, Zoicite clutched his chest and clawed at the dirt, trying to bring himself closer to his lover, his soulmate.
Mercury, seeing her lover present through his sorrowful bottle green eyes instead of the heartless stranger she had stabbed, began to do the same thing.
All around them, chaos reigned. Bodies were being torn apart, explosions were sounding like a cascade of fireworks. But they were in their own bubble.
And then he coughed, the ground was stained red. Soon his lungs would give out. Tears filled Mercury's eyes. It was time to say goodbye. She inched closer, trying to reach his outstretched hand.
"I'm sorry..." Zoicite choked out, blood oozing from his bruised mouth, "I love..." he coughed, spitting out more blood.
"I understand..." mercury whispered, her own time running out with each drop of blood from her one critical wound. She continued pushing herself across the battleground, already numb to the pain, "Me too."
By this time, Zoicite was barely lucid, he swallowed back the blood, "Wait for me... In our next life..."
His outstretched hand was so close, but Mercury couldn't hold on for much longer, soon death would overcome her, "I'll wait."
He smiled through his pain, "Soulmate..." he coughed violently then. Mercury could almost touch his hand.
His eyes began drifting to a close, the last time he would close his eyes. His brow furrowed and he swallowed again. His whisper carried across the wind to her,
"I will find you."
Mercury exerted the last of her energy in an effort to reach her dead lover's outstretched hand, not knowing whether she reached him or not, she closed her eyes and her whisper carried over the battlefield,
"Don't make me wait too long."
And now she was leaving him behind, without having ever met him. Should she continue waiting? Could she continue waiting? It wouldn't be fair to her fiancé, the love of this life.
Ami stared at stood in front of the mirror, staring at the petite woman wearing her mother's pearl earrings and staring back at her with unsure sapphire eyes.
Sigmund was, at least in terms of appearance, the polar opposite of her memories of Zoicite. Taller and bigger, Sigmund was unquestionably male. Where Zoicite's bottle-green almond shaped eyes sparkled mischievously, Sigmund's deep set ice blue eyes shone with devotion. Where Zoicite's mouth was curved and thin, defined and bow shaped like a girl's, Sigmund's were full and lush and perpetually chapped - he was constantly licking them, as if to tempt her. Where Zoicite's beloved and unruly strawberry blonde curls would've tumbled past his shoulders, Sigmund's light honey browned hair was kept in a no nonsense cut that didn't even curl over his ears.
Nevertheless, her two loves shared certain things in common. They were both incredibly intelligent and absurdly quick-witted; something Ami suspected was more due to her personal preference than a simple coincidence. They were both typically impeccably dressed, both extremely passionate, both exceedingly stubborn, both suave and both her own personal weakness.
Her love with Zoicite had been perilous, dangerous, fiery, spontaneous, and youthful. It had burned passionately and consumed her. Her love with Sigmund was comforting, peaceful, cozy, and comforting. Rather than burning, he kept her simmering and on edge.
Tears filled her eyes; what was she doing? How could she, on her wedding day, think of another man, a man that she could not have because she didn't even know if he was real in this world?
Sigmund would understand, no doubt, if she explained what she felt to him. He would even forgive her. Probably call off the wedding himself, even if it would kill him – all for her happiness. But it wouldn't stop him from being hurt. And the last thing Ami ever wanted to do was hurt him.
She thought of him; of his smile when she did something clumsy and of his furrowed brows when he concentrated on something and of his graceful fingertips as he typed on the computer and of his long neck when he stretched back from whatever he was doing. She thought of the first time they had met, two years ago, in the bookstore. Of the electricity she felt every time their skin came into contact and of the electricity she felt even if they didn't.
"Go ahead." The gentleman with the Siberian Husky eyes and the delicious Lightness of Being copy in his hands said, stepping back so that Ami could shuffle ahead of him in line as they had reached the checkout at the same time.
Ami blushed and thanked him, turning in front and waiting patiently for her turn. He stood a respectable distance behind her. Even so, she had never been so aware before. She could feel his body heat emanating behind her – or was that just because her parka was getting to be too warm?
A teenager behind the cashier smiled and waved her over.
"That'll be $34.19, Ma'am." The fresh-faced cashier said cheerfully, and then paused, "Oh shoot! I forgot to ask you, do you have an Apricot card with you to collect points?"
Ami smiled and handed her an orange card and a wad of cash and coins.
The cashier took them from her and handed her the copy of Oxygen, by Nick Lane, leisure read that she had finished in high school and had always wanted to own. She thanked her and gathered her things, parting quickly.
Upon reaching the bus stop, Ami hurriedly opened the book, searching for an explanation from the book that she had once read nearly a decade ago that had been tickling her mind for a week now.
"Miss! Miss!" A deep, manly voice called out. Ami lifted her head from the book to peek at the commotion. A leather gloved hand came out and rested on her shoulder. Through the glove she felt heat.
She jumped slightly, turned and was captured by eyes that looked as if they belonged to a Siberian Husky. The gentleman stared at her, recognition flashing in his eyes. He panted slightly from exertion, his cheeks and ears reddish from the unforgiving winter wind. He towered over her, as most men tended to do. His face broke into a grin, flashing a bright, white, almost childlike smile which was accompanied by a single dimple on the left side of his face.
He held out a familiar looking orange card,
"I found you."
Ami stared at stood in front of the mirror, staring at the bride with the lace veil covering her pixie face and staring back at her with determined sapphire eyes.
Zoicite was her past love. She would always love him. But Sigmund was her present and her future. She was moving on. They all had to move on. She was going to do this. She was going to marry the love of this life.
"Ami?" Her mother called, her own tears welling up at the sight of her only daughter, her only family member, ready to be married off. Ami glanced at her mother, knowing the tears pooled in the wizened corners of her eyes were the equivalent to the full blown waterworks and wails of a more emotional and less collected woman than her mother.
"Oh mother…" She crossed the room to engulf her mother into a hug.
Ami's mother let the tears fall, thankful that she was the prudent type that had invested in waterproof mascara. She sniffled and then drew back and drew herself together, "You're gorgeous. Sigmund's a lucky man… it's time."
Grasping her mother's arm, she took a tentative step towards the doors that led to her future. Her mother, sensing her daughter's hesitance, grasped her daughter's hand.
"Do you love him?" her mother asked slowly.
"Yes." Ami answered in a heartbeat. There was no question in her mind.
"Are you ready?"
Ami thought to herself; was she ready to leave Zoicite behind and move forward with Sigmund?
The doors swept open and there he was, in his formal splendor, looking as at home in a tailored tux as he did in those plaid shirts and jeans he seemed to have endless duplicates of. He looked at her with those Siberian Husky puppy dog eyes, and smiled.
And she smiled back.
"Good bye, Zoicite."
Sigmund covered her small, dainty hand with his own tanned, large one. Ami shivered slightly, the shock of his touch now only mildly stunning. He glanced down and grinned at her.
He squeezed her hand. Ami knew at that instant, be it an hour after this wedding, a day, a year, 10 years, even 40 years later, she would not regret her decision. She loved this man too much.
"Do you Ami Mizuno, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
She glanced into her future's ice blue eyes, glowing with devotion and love and loyalty and promise. She smiled,
He smiled the largest smile she'd ever seen, and she was stunned by his beauty.
"You may now kiss the bride."
She wasn't sure who initiated the kiss. She wasn't sure when the audience started applauding. She wasn't even sure if it was Minako or Usagi, two of her four joint maids and matrons of honor, who had whooped and cat called (probably Usagi for the former and Minako for the latter, she concluded afterwards). She smiled against Sigmund's closed lips, feeling his lips turn up as well.
He pulled back, staring into her glazed over eyes, his Siberian Husky eyes twinkling with mischief, his light brown hair glinting golden under the daylight that filtered through the chapel windows.
"I found you."
I thought I was really clever with Sigmund Sakurako… :P
Zoisite, the mineral, was named after Baron Sigmund Zois von Edelstein. Zoicite's zoisite is actually dark blue, Ami's eyes are dark blue so I wanted to change that a bit. Also, Zoicite is in charge of the Dark Kingdom's European division. And, of course, Zoicite and his sakura attacks also played a part in the creation of Sigmund.
So, Sigmund Sakurako, though physically different from Zoicite, is actually the reincarnation of Zoicite himself. I kind of wanted to write a story about a senshi picking her shitennou because he's the one for her, regardless of whether they're aware of it or not, and not because their past life dictates that they end up happily ever after.
Hopefully it wasn't too confusing or too boring a story to read, even though it was mostly Ami standing in front of a mirror and staring at herself…