The moment Ami and Makoto stepped out the door an hour later, leaving a much calmer, but also much more thoughtful Haruka behind, the smaller Senshi dug out her cell phone and called Michiru, the aqua haired girl barely able to contain her excitement when she took the call.
"Yes", she did so after just the first ring, making Ami wonder if she had been sitting next to her phone, "how did it go?"
"Quite well, I think", Ami let her know, glad that she could tell her these words, "at one point, Haruka-chan and Makoto nearly got to blows, but I managed to stop them in time before any of them got the chance to actually punch the other one, so… And by the time we left, Haruka-chan at least was thinking about what we'd told her. Don't expect her to wait for you with open arms now though, you know best of us all how she can be…"
"Yes, too stubborn for her own good", Michiru sighed, "but thanks for talking to her, I'm really grateful you agreed to do this…"
"We're friends", Ami simply told her in reply, "so if you ever need someone to talk some sense into her again, call me."
"Thanks", Michiru repeated, then let the other water Senshi know that she'd head back home now; Ami wished her good luck as an answer, then told her once more to call her, should anything come up, making the violinist agree before she ended the call and put the phone back into her pocket, then made her way out of the café she had chosen to spend the time until Ami's call in, glad that she had chosen one which wasn't too close to her home, thus avoiding that Haruka would get suspicious about her quick return right after Makoto and Ami left.
For a moment, she considered taking a cab back to her home, then decided against it – walking back there would increase the time between Ami and Makoto's departure and her arrival even farther, and even though she knew that Haruka by now probably had figured out why she had left for the afternoon, there was no need to make it too obvious.
During the walk back home, she pondered how the talk might have gone, and what Makoto had said to Haruka that it almost had caused them to end up in a physical fight; she grimaced at the mere mental image, not wanting to imagine how coming to blows with the Senshi of thunder and lightning would have increased the pain in the blonde's leg – after all, she couldn't even walk without the damaged limb aching more and more, so fighting was out of the question for her.
"Good thing Ami stopped them", she mumbled to herself, not caring if anyone might notice her talking to herself and think that she had lost her mind, "the last thing Haruka needs now is to get into a fight."
She grimaced again at the thought, then shrugged it off, telling herself that it hadn't happened anyway and that thus, it was useless to ponder it any further; instead of keeping her mind busy with those unpleasant images, she thus focused on something much nicer, enjoying the warm day and the lively city around herself as she walked, feeling strangely light-headed as she imaged how Haruka might react to her now after the talk Ami and Makoto had had with her.
Then, she remembered Ami's warning about how she shouldn't expect too much, and held back a sigh – even if Haruka did feel sorry now, and had changed her mind about how all of this was her fault, Michiru knew very well how hard it was for her partner to apologize, figuring that, even if the blonde was willing to do so now, it would take her quite some time until she'd find the courage, the thought of spending more days with the taller woman so cold and indifferent towards her almost making her shiver despite the warm weather.
You can do this, she then thought to herself, Ami said that the talk went well, so it must have an effect sooner or later…
With that thought settling in her mind, she sped up her steps slightly, and not too long afterwards, the house appeared in the distance; merely seeing the building made her heart beat faster, but she didn't falter, bravely marching on until she had reached her home, taking in a deep breath before she unlocked the door and entered.
Briefly, she felt like calling out for Haruka, then decided against it – after Ami's warning, she didn't want to appear too eager to the blonde, not wanting to risk any improvement which might have been made, thus simply taking off her shoes and jacket instead, then making her way to the living room, not surprised to find it empty.
Standing still, she listened closely, the sound of Haruka's voice reaching her ears moments later, coming from the upstairs office; figuring that the taller woman was on the phone, Michiru quietly made her way upstairs and stopped in front of the closed door, straining her ears to make out what the blonde was saying, suddenly curious whom she was talking to and what the talk was about.
"…if you really think it's necessary", she heard Haruka grumble, the former racer clearly unhappy about something, "fine, I'll do it. … No, I know how to get there. … Yeah… Fine, tomorrow at two then. Tell him lunch's on me."
Now barely able to hold back her curiousness anymore, Michiru knocked the door as soon as she could be sure that lunch had ended, and immediately, her partner's voice called out "Yes?", the aqua haired girl taking in another deep breath before she opened the door and her gaze met Haruka's, the taller woman sitting at her desk, the laptop open and working in front of her, some sort of document on the screen which showed Michiru that she had been busy with yet another contract.
"Hey", the violinist greeted her, giving her best to sound calm and casual, "just thought I'd check in on you, is everything alright?"
"…yeah", Haruka let her know after a few moments of studying her in silence, to the aqua haired girl's delight not sounding as uncaring as she had just the day before, "just fine."
"Glad to hear", Michiru gave back, a bit taken aback by her short answer, "so… I'll be downstairs, in case you need anything…"
This time, Haruka just nodded, but there was something in her eyes Michiru found hard to read; deciding to ignore it, she turned and just was about to step out of the office when the former racer spoke up behind her again, simply saying her name, but that single word still was enough to stop her dead in her tracks.
"…yes?" she asked as she turned back to face the taller woman, her heart hammering up to her throat as she wondered what the blonde might want, the question answered just a few moments later.
"I agreed to meet a possible new client in a café tomorrow", Haruka told her, suddenly finding it hard to look her in the eye, hating herself for having to ask her for a favour after treating her so badly for the last six months, "and, well, I'd drive myself, but… thanks to my little stunt yesterday, I'm not so sure it's a good idea…"
She held back a sigh, dismayed about how the accident even had taken driving away from her – she still could drive, if she took a painkiller an hour before she got into the car and another one right after the drive had ended, with the risk of her leg refusing to work whenever she'd try to step down on the gas or brake pedal, something which usually didn't stop her, but a risk she didn't want to take after her fall in the previous day.
"I'll drive you", Michiru told her at once, absurdly happy about Haruka asking that favour from her – she still hadn't sounded all too kind, but it was a beginning, she told herself, and if she did Haruka that favour, it might influence her behaviour towards her even further to the positive side.
"…thanks", Haruka mumbled, her gaze dropping down to the carpet now after having been fixed on some vague point behind Michiru's shoulder for the last minute, "I need to be there at two…"
"It's no problem", Michiru reassured her immediately, fighting down the urge to move closer to her and grasp her hand, well aware of how much Haruka loved driving and how annoyed she had been the few rare times someone else had been behind the steering wheel, "I'll drive you there and back home again, too, if you want me to. I'll even let you choose the music in the car."
Despite her heart still racing in her chest, she managed to wink at the blonde, at the same second asking herself if she had gone too far now; moments later, Haruka relieved her of this fear though by giving her a smile, tiny and wry, but it was a smile, which was much more than she had gotten from her ever since she had woken up from the coma in the hospital.
"Thanks", Haruka repeated, not sure what else she could say; for half a minute, the two looked at each other, the blonde feeling quite awkward, then she cleared her throat and vaguely gestured at the laptop, letting the smaller woman know that she still had some work to do for the meeting in the next day.
"Oh, of course", Michiru nodded, momentarily relieved since she had felt rather awkward as well, "I'll leave you alone so you can get that done… Just call if you need anything, alright? No matter what."
No matter if it's food or a drink or a kiss and a hug, she added mentally, not saying those words out loud though; instead, she gave the taller woman a kind smile, then turned and left the room, gently closing the door behind herself, feeling like singing out loud as she walked down the stairs and to the kitchen, convinced that Haruka asking her for this favour was the first step on their path back to happiness.