I'm partially hoping that he'll say, 'oh it's okay…' but despite his earlier assurances, he's not moving very well, and stumbles. I offer him an arm to lean on, and he takes it, and points the way. We start to walk slowly towards the edge of the square, and back in the direction of our school. He must live near there.
I feel as though I should say something to him, but I don't know how to put the words together, and shouldn't say them now anyway. He doesn't need confirmation of…or to be told that Mizuno Ami is Sailor Mercury.
Close to the school, he breaks away from me and sits down on a bench, "I need to talk to you…" he says.
I give him what I hope is a good quizzical look, "Me?" I ask, trying to mimic Usagi's tone when she's asking why she has to do a particular piece of homework, "Why?"
"I know…" he says, looking over at me.
I toy with the bottom of the bow on the front of my uniform, and then stop, self-conscious, and look over at him, because he's not speaking. I notice there's blood coming through the side of his shirt, and move instinctively to check on his arm.
"Mizuno-san," he says, quietly, "I know it's you…that's one of the things I was trying to tell you."
I flush red-hot before I can stop myself. Times like this I wish I had a PDA with me or something like that, so I could write things down, "If you knew my civilian identity that would be very dangerous for you…" I try, "Haven't you had enough excitement for one day? Besides, your arm is bleeding!" I tell him, moving by him, to try and roll his sleeve up and investigate, "Are you sure you don't want to be taken to the hospital?"
"Mizuno-san," he says, again.
I shake my head.
He takes my hand and shifts slightly to look at me, "It's alright," he says, "and I'm sorry about before, but I had to tell you. I was so ashamed about what I did. I knew as soon as I saw the answers that it was such a stupid thing to do, but I…well, I was being stupid. I'm truly sorry, but I did…I want to be able to talk to you. There are things I've seen—things I have to—need to tell you."
He looks so sincere. I'm torn. He genuinely appears to want to tell me, whatever it is that he may have seen. I want to trust him. Even Naru hasn't been able to tell who we are, and she's known Usagi for years…I look down at the hem of the fuku skirt.
"Please," he says, "Please let me…"
"I don't know what to tell you," I say, "If your associate is anything like me, she would—she would be very upset that a person was dishonest. She might have been very hurt by people…by people trying to get her to give them answers, do homework for them so they wouldn't have to that she would find it very hard to trust people, and…"
I can feel tears pricking the backs of my eyes, and feel the hold on my power wavering.
"That's why I wish I hadn't done it," he says, "but I can't take it back. All I can do is tell you…" he pauses, and makes a disgruntled noise, "hope that she would be able to forgive me somehow," his voice almost to a whisper,
"I want to be her friend. I want to be able to help her…to make up, to use my gift for something right, for once…to tell her how cute she looks with blue hair…" he adds, and blushes a little.
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. I feel so bad, and more than a little bashful. Also, I never realized exactly how short these skirts are. I've never really sat around in the fuku long enough to pay attention…
I would be lying to myself if I said he wasn't garnering a more favorable impression…
I look over at him, and manage what I hope is a non-alarming smile, "Thank you," I say softly, "but really we should get you home, so that things can go back to normal…"
"I don't think that's possible," he says.
"To get you home?" I ask standing up, and offering him my arm.
He gives a shy laugh, "No, for things to go back to normal."
"Define normal," I reply, blushing again at the forwardness. I chew on my lip. I'm going to make it bleed, but it's true, nothing's been 'normal' in months. If it were normal I wouldn't be sitting here with blue hair, in a short skirt having just helped destroy a youma.
He takes my arm, "Very well, 'Mercury'," he says, giving me a slight nod and quirky grin, "My home is a few streets this way. Hopefully my Dad's still at work."
"If he isn't I'll go civilian," I relent, "Less explaining…I hope…"
He doesn't quip, so I hope that means I'm right, Usagi would say I'm always right, but I'm not. I've been wrong about many things, some of them blissfully, such as her wanting to use me, like so many other people…oh…my…did he see the henshin? What if he wasn't unconscious...
I sharply cut off that line of thinking as Urawa says something again, "When would be a good time for me to talk to you?"
I give up, "What exactly is it?"
"I was trying to tell you before," he says, pointing that now that we're around the rear of the school, we need to go down the next street to the right, "visions, I suppose you would call them. Most of the time they come to me in dreams…but I also see around people…it's how I know you're you. You have the same aura you did when I was talking to you after class. In the dreams though, something really bad," he cringes and looks away, "I keep seeing…happening to you…I really wanted to warn you. I thought maybe I was being crazy, tried to convince myself I was, because you didn't look like you, blue hair…short blue hair, and everything…but then I saw you when you helped me up and it –is- you…"
"What is me?"
"Mercury…and therefore," he sighs, stopping. We've apparently reached the gate to his building, as he stops.
"Maybe I can make this easier?" I suggest, embarrassed I run inside to the bathrooms before dropping my focus enough to turn back to Mizuno Ami, and coming back out. He gives me a shy smile as I join him once more, "So, what is it?"
"I see a man with dark hair, tied back, almost like yours," he says, "but he…he just looks terrible, smirk, all this…exudes arrogance. He has…" he mimes his hand in front of his forehead, "a coronet or something, and a cape, reds and golds, I think, and this vicious sword, and…"
I find myself laughing almost with relief, "Ryu-kun…" I say, before I realize it, "it's okay. That's already happened…"
I nod, "Mmm. He kidnapped U…Sailor Moon."
"I know who she is," he points out.
I blush again, "True…"
"and Kino-san, ne?" he says.
I nod, "Yes, yes it is. He kidnapped Usagi-chan, about two weeks ago. He's very, very strong. It took all of us to even attempt to distract him…in the end Usagi-chan woke up, and that distracted him enough that he sort of…well…gave up and left."
Urawa muses on this. I'm not sure he's too convinced, "Where did this happen?"
"I think he attacked her first at a center, somewhere…" I ponder, "Don't worry…it's fine. He hasn't been around very much lately, and for the most part we work together, the four of us," I look at my phone, hoping Usagi and Makoto are alright, and haven't found anything, "It's late, and you were hurt. You should rest. I shouldn't keep you. Please, try not to worry about it."
"Maybe we can talk some more after school tomorrow?" he says, "If you don't have cram school…I could buy you cake and tea at the café near CROWN?"
I don't have time for a—I don't.
"as friends," he adds.
But I should have some time to relax, some time, shouldn't I? I know Usagi and Makoto would agree. I give him a shy smile, "Alright. Okay. My last class…well, you know where my last class is…"
He beams at me, "Thank you, very much," he says.
"You're more than welcome," I respond, nodding towards him.
He pushes the door open, and then turns back, and kisses me on the cheek before going inside, "I'll see you tomorrow," he says.
I stand for a moment, hand where he kissed me, watching him disappear towards the elevators. For once I'm not blushing, instead I just feel warm and a bit tingly. Makoto's going to be insufferable. She's right.
I do like him.