* Chapter 5 – Joining Minds; Uniting Hearts
The hotel room couldn't possibly hold more cameras, lights and media anchors than it presently contains. Minako and Rei were sitting behind a skirted table as they face them, flanked on both sides by their respective talent managers.
A week had passed, and Hotaru in her Saturn form had visited them multiple times until they were healed completely. They had called this press conference to clear the issues with the senshis.
A portly man wearing a vest stood up and approached the mic on the podium. He threw in the first question. "Was it true that a super natural being was responsible for the harm caused to you?"
"Yes, we saw them." Rei replied curtly.
He threw a follow-up, "But they were not intended for you, correct?"
"Yes" Rei answered, but was wondering where these line of questions were heading.
He looked satisfied with her short answers. "Yes, that was what the ambulance crew told the media last week. Both of you apparently used your bodies as shields to protect a certain Usa…"
He wasn't able to finish because Minako cut him before he could drag Usagi's name into the mess.
"A friend… We saw them about to be killed. So yes, we jumped in line for them." Minako butted in before they could further anything about Usagi.
Another reporter stood up when the previous one took his seat. He looked absolutely fashionable, most probably a metro sexual, Minako thought.
"People look up to you, you know." He began, but his facials don't convey the same message. "Don't you value your own lives more than your friend's?" He asked this to both Rei and Minako, who both have a raised eyebrow due to his question.
"You're pitiful…" Minako began, but she received a reproaching look from her manager. She continued anyway, "So what if someone is famous? Does that make them more important than anyone? One never considers oneself more important if one claims to be a friend. Clearly, you don't understand friendship."
The reporter looked insulted but stuck to his questioning, "No regrets about dying then?"
"We'd jump in line for our friends over and over again no matter how much that hurts; or even if that would cost our very lives" Rei answered the follow-up. True to her words, they have done it numerous times before…
Another approached the mic, this time a female.
"Such loyalty…" She praised, but the hint of sarcasm was obvious. "Don't your fiancé deserve something like that also? Or were you willing to leave him for a friend?"
Rei shook her head slowly, disgusted with the industry's double standard on friendship and love: friendship can be faked, but love should be true. They don't know anything, she thought.
"If it was Yuichiro there, I would have done the same thing; but it was a friend who needed me that time… If I did die, he certainly wouldn't blame my friend. He knows me and he'd understand my actions." Rei countered.
"But love is love! True love is once in a lifetime… I'm sure you've got many friends." The woman must have thought she could invoke Rei's emotions with that.
"I have four best friends to be exact and only one man in my life; I'd give up everything for them… You see, your boyfriend should never weight more than a friend; but a friend also should never weight more than your boyfriend. You're right, love is love. You have to give it equally." Rei reasoned, but was met with disbelieving looks by most of their audience.
She sat down. Another woman stood up.
"Do you love your country?" she asked, and it was quite obvious why she did. If they say yes, the next question's evident; if they say no, then everyone would throw stones at them, figuratively speaking…
Minako and Rei rolled their eyes but still answered with a "yes".
"So you'd die also for this cruel world?" the reporter asked mockingly.
"Yes!" Rei and Minako said in unison and in full conviction. Said like a true senshi, they thought when they turned toward each other and smiled.
That shut her up and she took her seat; albeit writing furiously on her notebook.
A man again took to the podium.
"Sooo heroic I see… but isn't that the duty of the senshis? They should have protected your friend and not you." He asked, hoping to put the blame on someone rather than mock these two.
"Why not?" Minako asked back. "Can't we be responsible enough for the people we love? If we would just always wait for someone to defend us, and there's like millions of us, we need at least ten thousand senshis and they still wouldn't suffice."
The reporter looked disappointed. "They were late! You should ask for an apology." He heatedly replied.
Rei didn't flinch with his rising tone. "Why would we need it?" She asked. "We saved our friend out of our own accord. The senshis killed the monsters for us. If they didn't show up, we wouldn't even be speaking to you right now. We owe them; it's not the other way around." She finished, her temper also rising but Minako touched her arm beneath the table to calm her.
The man took his seat, shaking his head. What a pity, he thought, so deluded by senshis… A younger man approached after him, most probably in his twenties.
"If you were Sailor Moon though, wouldn't you feel guilty that you were not able to protect that friend that you were talking about?" he asked courteously.
Minako and Rei looked thoughtful; they almost smiled; Sailor Moon protecting Usagi? They didn't prepare an answer for that; it would have never crossed their minds… They glanced at their friends standing along the side lines at the back; they too looked thoughtful, most probably confused also by the same notion.
"If I were Sailor Moon…" Minako started, but saw the others snigger, Usagi especially; most probably remembering also when she indeed had impersonated her on her birthday years ago… The memory made her jovial, and so her effort was poured into trying hard not to laugh. She was unable to complete her answer.
Luckily, the reporter thought that Minako was just considering it impossible for herself to be Sailor Moon; that's why she's acting like she found the question so amusing. He blushed, thinking he must have asked a stupid question.
Rei rolled her eyes with the way Minako was acting… The question was hypothetical, silly! She wanted to yell at Minako but decided to face the blushing man instead. "I'd feel guilty true, but she shouldn't because she had saved all of us numerous times in the past."
The young reporter then took his seat, silently grateful to Rei for answering him seriously. No one stood up after him though, maybe because their stand was made clear already: They're not blaming the senshis for what happened and they certainly would die again for their friend if the need arises.
Ami was walking alongside Umino when she saw a familiar figure in the distance; the man was wearing dark sunglasses and was holding a bouquet of roses. Apparently, he's waiting for them to pass that way. She slowed down while staring at the figure; that height, that slender body, that broad shoulders and that low ponytailed brown hair… It can't be… She thought.
Umino had been a few paces ahead of Ami before he noticed that she had slowed down. He looked back at her and followed the direction of her fixed gaze: a man. He approached the guy to size him up if he was trouble. He wanted to look at him eye to eye, but since he was short and they're too close, it just looked like he was looking up at him.
The figure removed his sunglasses to look down at the person trying to intimidate him.
Those eyes! Ami's mind exclaimed. "Kou Taiki!" she ran, shouted happily and lunged at him; almost toppling him.
He caught himself in time; he was surprised by her enthusiasm but hugged her around the shoulders. "For you…" He whispered as he drew closer the bouquet to her back.
Umino was dumbfounded; he never knew Ami has a boyfriend… Heck! He never knew Ami could display such affection in public…
There was a sudden flash of light, and that tore Taiki and Ami's embrace. They turned, and saw that it was from a digital camera. Their eyes widened and saw the forming bunch of girls around them. Ami must have caught the interests of previous Three Lights fans with her greeting. He suddenly took her hand and pulled her towards what she assumed must be his car. She went along before any more pictures could be taken and went into the passenger seat. Taiki took the driver's seat and sped as soon as they both had closed the doors.
"Sorry… I was just thrilled to see you again…" Ami began.
Taiki grinned widely; and Ami was confused. She looked at him quizzically.
"You didn't change a bit… You always still easily apologize even if it wasn't your fault." He said, still smiling.
Ami turned a bit shy, but instead of looking down, she studied his features. He looked a lot happier than the last time they were here, she observed; this made her smile.
"How'd you know where I was?" she asked him.
"Don't underestimate my network" he replied jokingly.
Ami laughed, "You sounded just like Minako" she remarked and he just gave her a quick smile.
She was now wondering if the Taiki she's with is the real one; no offense meant, but a nearly always smiling Taiki is just real weird… she thought.
"Taiki…" Ami started.
"Hmmm?" He asked while not taking his eyes off the road.
"Why are you here? The real reason…" She asked slowly and watched as his face changed from cheerful to serious.
He inhaled and looked thoughtful. "Now how do I say this?" he began, but he sounded like he was talking to himself more than to Ami. He glanced at her. "Our princess felt that there was a concentration of our powers present on your planet. Meaning me and Yaten, alright? She sent us to investigate because that phenomenon, I know you would understand, is impossible due to the basic fact that Yaten and I have our crystals with us."
"So you are seeking the crystal holders?" Ami wanted to know.
"No… We found them already… Our search led us yesterday to a group of teenagers; one I believe I saw last time as Sailor Saturn, one looked like Usagi with pink hair, and another looked exactly like Rei, and yet still another one looked like Makoto with blond hair." He said and paused, gauging her reaction; he saw that she knows where he was heading. "Yaten's twin crystal holder looked like him except for having wide blue eyes and a blond hair. My twin crystal holder has your hair, my face, my eyes, your nose, my ears and your lips." He finished, amusement with his recent discovery was evident on his tone.
"So you've met Akoumi already…" she said nonchalantly.
"Akoumi… hmmm… I wonder if I was the one who came up with that name…" He wondered aloud.
She finally blushed with his remark and he felt quite relieved that he still has that effect on her.
He looked at her directly when they reached a stoplight that had recently turned red.
"Do you know why I was so cheerful?" he asked, but didn't wait for an answer. "We came here because a duplicate crystal means trouble. No two stars are alike; so if a crystal is indeed replicated, then it means that the enemy has a much distorted power that could break even the laws of physics of the galaxy. We thought we'd find the enemy and warn this planet's senshis. What we did find however was a tiny glimpse of what a wonderful future we apparently have. Simply stating, we thought we'd find an enemy, but found a part of ourselves lodge on this planet tightly."
The light turned green and he removed his gaze from Ami and drove again. There was silence between them as she was assimilating what he said.
"So you don't mind that you would marry a woman?" Ami asked
Taiki didn't look at her but smiled. "You know very well I could ask you that same question… I was surprised when I met Akoumi, yes. However, it would be a lie if I tell you that I didn't consider it…"
"This is weird…" Ami sighed. "Pluto warned us about knowing too much about the future… Now we both know that we'll be having kids, you'll most probably not even court me anymore…"
"Am I not doing that already? I just fetched you from school and brought you flowers!" he exclaimed.
"You are?" she looked astonished.
He laughed heartily with her reaction. "Only you earth senshis can make me laugh…" he said still chuckling and she blushed furiously.
"Besides, don't we have something already before I left?" He added as an afterthought.
She didn't answer him though, for in all honesty, he left her very confused four years ago.
"Well, here we are…" he said as he slowed down the car to park it.
Ami went out, not even waiting for him to open the car door for her and looked up at the building. "This was your old place…" she remarked.
Taiki offered her his arm and she took it. They entered the elevator and he punched the penthouse.
"Hey, that's not your floor… Where are we going?" she asked.
He grinned at her again. "I almost forgot that you were an idol chaser too until you exclaimed that this was our old place! And that that was not our floor…" He said teasingly and pointed at the lighted floor number on the panel. "Fan number 25 right?" He teased further and Ami shrank with embarrassment.
He looked pleased with himself and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "It's alright you know." He said while squeezing it. "Is this okay by the way?" he asked, indicating his arm around her shoulders.
Ami nodded but blushed further. She looked down at her feet and cannot think of anything to say.
Their elevator dinged indicating they have reached their destination. They went out and he steered her by her shoulders a few steps. Ami, still looking down at her feet, was surprised to see that the floor covering had changed from vinyl floor tiles to grass. She looked up. "Wow…" she said.
They were on the edge of a garden that surrounded a huge swimming pool. A hut was near one of the corners of the pool and music can be heard although softly on the background. They approached it and sat down on the floor of the hut. It seemed like no one else was there.
"Want to go for a swim?" he said, tilting his head towards the water.
Ami's eyes turned momentarily into excitement but slumped afterwards. She looked down at herself. "I couldn't swim in a pencil cut skirt you know…"
"Well, you could remove them all to swim freely." He said jokingly.
She bit her lip and looked at him warily.
"I was kidding!" he reacted defensively with the look she gave him. "Here" he said then reached for a bag that she didn't know was there in the hut. He pulled out from it a one-piece swimsuit. "Don't worry, that's new." He said as he handed it to her.
She thanked him with a big grin and took off to the ladies room to change. When she returned, she saw that he was already wearing his swimming trunks. They walked to the edge of the pool and Ami dove with all the perfectness she could muster; she wanted to impress him. When the momentum of the dive ran out, she looked back at him.
Taiki raised an eyebrow as if saying, 'That's what you got?' He then lifted his hands, pointed them to the air and jumped; he made a flip before landing perfectly also on the water. He stopped beside her.
"Very good…" Ami applauded him. "Now I know who your 'network' is, a friend of mine named Usagi?" she asked.
"No, your friends don't even know I'm here… What made you conclude it was Usagi?" he asked her.
"Because you probably won't approach Michiru for information about me!" she exclaimed.
"You're right, I wouldn't. So why Michiru and Usagi?" he asked again.
Ami looked unconvinced. "Only Usagi knows that I prefer swimming over going to the movies, she saw me doing laps once; and Michiru, we used to race each other." She explained. "We only always tied though…" she added as an afterthought.
"Hmmm… I see, but it really was just me thinking. Honest!" he said the last word to convince her. "You see, you use water attacks; that must mean you're attracted with water or have an affinity with water. You mentioned Michiru, and she also uses water attacks right?" he explained.
"That brain of yours never fails to amuse me…" she said, but she turned mischievous. "You say that I am attracted to water because I use water attacks; taking off from that premise…" she paused, sniggering slightly.
"What? What's so funny?" he asked, totally confused at what she was finding amusing.
"You don't remember your own attack? So does that mean you're attracted to…?" she laughed.
He caught on what she was finding so funny. "Why you!" he shouted at her, but she went underwater and swam fast away from him.
He went after her and trapped her, as he's a faster swimmer. He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist so that she won't be able to glide away from him. Ami tried to flail free but to no avail. Their eyes locked, and with not much thought, like she's being drawn by the violet irises, she kissed him. He was surprised but kissed back. Their first real kiss together was happening underwater, they thought.
Although both of them can hold their breaths long, they realized they're running out of air. Taiki kicked the pool floor underneath them when he felt he can't breathe anymore and they shoot to the surface. They broke from the kiss and looked at each other. Both of them looked flushed and Ami was gasping for air more than him. He was still holding her in his arms and she didn't look like she's about to object.
"I am attracted to creation… or to every living thing… That is the significance of my attack…" He said it to clarify their previous, although extremely short, discussion while still puffing. "But I fell in love with only one living being… You…" he followed.
"Me? You love… Me…?" she asked, not that she didn't believe, it's just that she needs his confirmation.
"I do… I love you Ami." He confirmed warmly.
"Why…?" She had to find out; no one had found her that interesting before and voiced it. Yes, they were quite drawn to each other before he found out her senshi identity, but it was never said out loud. It was just shown thru gestures and occasional 'physical' contact.
He looked at her directly, like the answer to her question was obvious. "You always had that effect on me… I had an infatuation with Ami Mizuno way before I knew she was also Sailor Mercury. Your words always seem to linger on my head and I can even see your face reflected on the window although you're not there. I know your voice; I can distinguish it from afar and among groups of people. If you can remember it, Maker was always very willing to save Ami… She was hesitant however with Sailor Mercury because that would complicate things; and then she died for her. YOU died for me. I knew afterwards that if I were given a chance to be with you, I would grab it."
She then turned from looking up to him to resting her head on his chest, not saying anything but just feeling his heart beat. They stayed in that position for a few minutes until Taiki asked, "Hey, want to grab something to eat?"
She let go of him and nodded. They waded towards the edge and got out of the water. He wrapped around her a thick towel, gathered their things and they headed to the elevator to go down to his unit.
Minako was trying her best to finish the essay she was writing while sitting by her table on the van. Her newly released album was playing on the stereo to keep her from dozing off. The director gave them a four hour break, and she grabbed that opportunity to finish her task rather than sleep. A voice spoke from the darkened corner and she almost jumped.
"What is that?" the voice asked.
She knew that voice, she was excited to hear it, but this paper's due for sending the next day; she thought.
"Homework" she said simply
The person behind the voice stepped into the light and out came Kou Yaten. He looked over her shoulders to see what it really was. "You're home schooling?" he asked in a tone like it was the last thing Minako would do.
"I am. Just because I got famous and all doesn't mean I have to be left behind by my friends on knowledge…" she said, and she knew she didn't sound convincing herself. "Look at Rei, she inherited a fortune from her dad, but she's still studying business. I am taking up Political Science majoring in Governance so that I'd have a background when Crystal Tokyo comes."
He was somewhat annoyed that she didn't jump at him upon revealing himself, he half expected her to; after all, she used to always do that before…
"How'd you get in here anyway?" she asked, making him more aggravated.
"I charmed your personal assistant" he answered.
She rolled her eyes, "well remind me to fire her".
Yaten can only take too much but held back. "Kiss the Star Light?" he asked, indicating the lyrics on the music playing.
"Huh?" she asked back, looking up distractedly.
He pointed to the CD player.
"Written by Makoto years ago… Way before we've met you." She responded and went back to her work.
He picked up the open CD case lying near the stereo. He read the title out loud, "Soldier of Love". He looked at her, "You're not trying to reveal yourself are you?" he asked, wanting to get her attention.
"No… That album actually is a compilation of love songs written by us. Usagi wrote four, Ami two, and Makoto only that one playing. Rei however, sang also the two songs she wrote. There's an ensemble by Michiru too." She explained while still not looking up.
"And the whole world knows that?" he inquired.
"Of course not! The album's shrouded in anonymity that's why people tend to be more curious. You can actually hear the five of us on the chorus of 'Believe in Love'; and yet, Rei was the only listed guest singer. Michiru's listed too. People know them; so it's just nonsense to hide them." She replied, pausing from her work but not looking up still.
He pushed the button on the remote to play 'Believe in Love' after looking it up at the track list. He also upped the volume but she doesn't seem to mind. Finally giving up, he pulled a chair to sit next to her.
"Give me an hour, then you'll have my attention." She said abruptly.
Now I'm the one waiting for you? He thought irritably but kept silent still. He watched her as she furrowed her eyebrows in concentration and scratched and scribbled. There may have been more lines underneath her eyes as a result of working the spotlight, but she sure didn't look like she aged a day; he observed.
"There! That sounds good enough." She shouted happily after 40mins and smiled at him.
He rolled his eyes. "Believe in Love is very obvious; you're lucky that earth people are not very receptive".
"True, but I still enjoyed doing this CD more than 'Route Venus'." She admitted but added, "That got me famous though, that was my first stunt."
"Because you'll have more freedom as to how the CD goes once people like you already" he offered.
She tilted her head in consideration, "That, and because this feels more personal… It feels more like a tribute to us rather than a commercial accessory."
He nodded his understanding of what she had said. "Hey, are you very much needed for the next scenes?" he suddenly asked.
"Not actually, why?" her eyes mirroring confusion
"Want to escape?" he suggested but knew she wouldn't resist
Her eyes widened, "how?"
He threw at her a large shirt with matching baggy pants. "You do have a handy baseball cap right?"
She didn't answer him but grabbed the clothes and hurried behind the divider serving as her dressing room.
When she emerged, he took her hand and pulled her towards the door. He opened it and looked out before they went together. Yaten led her to a car and they both went in.
"Where to?" he asked her.
She looked incredulous, "I thought you had something planned kidnapping me like that!" She answered but added before he could snap back at her, "Anywhere not public".
He then drove off. They sat in silence as they passed billboard after billboard of Minako. The promotional of 'Soldier of Love' has her posed and dressed like a flying angel and Rei was in a small corner aiming an arrow at her. Her movie advertisement, the one that gave her a Best Supporting Actress Nomination, has her wrapped in the arms of the lead actress while the lead man, dressed like a high ranking soldier, was pulling the woman away. Minako was posing like her bubbly self in the poster of the T. V. sit com she's a part of. There was a Minako eating at a fast food, a Minako wearing casual clothes, a Minako making a call through a cellular phone…
Yaten was overwhelmed; Mikouko told him that she's famous, he thought he understood. It turned out, their fame as The Three Lights was nothing compared to her shine now. He felt proud and happy for her.
"Yaten… Why are you back?" she asked, breaking the silence.
"Aren't you happy to see me?" he asked back, not being able to hold it anymore also.
She looked at him seriously. "I am… but if a senshi was sent by her princess across the galaxy, then it means trouble…"
He glanced at her and saw that she was staring straight at him. "We thought it was trouble, that's why our princess sent me and Maker here. And then we found out that it's nothing really."
His answer seemed too vague for her, so she pushed. "So what was the 'thought-trouble-turning-to-be-nothing'?"
He sighed his resignation, he couldn't believe it himself; so he really don't know how to phrase it. "Do you know of a teenage guy that looks exactly like me except for having wide blue eyes and being blond?"
Oww… So this is about Mikouko… She thought. "I do, I've met him more than once."
"Good then, because this guy I was talking about has a twin of my Star Crystal, which would mean trouble if put in the normal sense. But since he's from the future, it's no trouble at all." He tried explaining it the best he could; she however, noticed that he had never even hinted ownership of him.
"You can't believe it? Or you can't accept it?" she voiced her hurt.
"I…" he was stumped; he still has not sorted his own feelings towards the existence of Mikouko. So to be asked directly by Minako, leads him feeling bad about himself.
His confused look had done it; it had hurt Minako more, so tears were slowly forming although she wanted to blink it away.
"What kind of a man are you? Wait, you're not a man. Even though! He's still yours and you can't even accept him?" she shouted at him.
He fell silent, like he was slapped directly by her. He didn't know how to respond.
"And to think, he even has a sister! I must really be stupid to fall for you." She added angrily.
She wanted to get out of the car but there were lots of people on the street; and she doesn't want to land on the headline again so she stayed put.
He knows he had to calm her. "Please stop crying… It's just…"
"Just?" she asked with her eyebrows raised.
"I was born and raised as a woman… I may have been thoroughly attracted to your shine but I never thought I would have that courage to actually pursue you…" he answered, but was not sure if it would sound good enough. "Apparently I eventually would have that courage, and apparently I would shout it out to the stars because Mikouko told me that your future self has a shining star tattoo… I'm just not used to falling for anyone, let alone a woman!" he added, totally unsure of what to say.
"Why did you then bother to see me when you can't even accept our future unfolded to you?" she asked, thoroughly hurt by his words.
"Because!" He shouted at her and suddenly stepped on the breaks. He went out and he flung open the passenger seat door. He pulled Minako out by the wrist and dragged her to the middle of a darkened alley. He pushed her against the wall but not as roughly as he did to her the last time.
"What the?…" Minako had no idea what he was doing but his palm glowed and he rested it over her heart. She suddenly was filled with a mixture of emotions she can't explain but she knows is not hers. Yaten rested his head on her shoulder, "This is my innate ability as a person of the heart. You have it too", he whispered.
She felt warmth, longing, excitement, joy, confusion, and admiration, desire, hopelessness, tranquility, fondness and finally love…
He felt her body temperature rising so he looked up from her neck and what he saw amazed him. The Venus sign was shining brightly on her forehead and her aura was visibly showing to him. He has touched her and had awakened her ability, he thought.
She enveloped him then into an embrace and he felt like he was drowning with the intenseness of the emotions she was pouring on him.
Their glow died down after a while but their understanding of each other deepened. They walked hand in hand back to the car and he drove off again.
If it were not for Taiki's arm that draped around her waist, Ami may have thought that last night was just a dream. It happened so fast after all and looking back now, she surely acted very much unlike herself. She peeked at her wrist watch, 3:00am it displayed. She then lifted his arm very carefully so as not to wake him and stood up. She went about the room to gather all her things and the clothes she was wearing before they went swimming. She slipped out as quietly as she could and headed towards the common toilet and bath of their unit.
Minako was absorbed in her own thoughts as she quietly walked down the hallway to find the bathroom. She needed to change her clothes and sneak out before daybreak or risk being seen sleeping over at a guy's house; an equally famous guy at that also. She still was wondering what made her give her all to Yaten that soon and that fast that she didn't notice that she was already near her destination; then she saw a figure walking towards her, coming from the other room she knew was Taiki's. The figure was way too short to be Taiki so she squinted to see well.
"Yaten?" the figure asked shakily and tentatively.
Minako was surprised, she knew that voice! She walked a few more steps nearer the light coming from the bathroom and so did the figure.
"Ami? What are you doing here?" she asked, recognizing her friend.
"Mina?" Ami was equally surprised at seeing her.
They stared and their gazes travelled from head to foot of each other. Both were barefoot and carrying their bundle of clothes. Minako was wearing just a t-shirt and Ami was wearing a pajama shirt only; and both garments looked way too big to be theirs.
"It's not like what you think!" they said defensively together and they both felt their blushes forming.
"Well come on, we need to hurry…" Minako urged after a while of their awkward silence.
Ami followed her into the bathroom and soon they were sneaking out. They had no other choice but to walk because even if there was public transportation available, Minako might be recognized; so they decided to head into Ami and Makoto's apartment as it was nearer.
"I'm glad I can share this with a friend…" Minako told Ami as they were walking and she just smiled at her.
Minako wanted to show just how thankful she really is so she let her hand glow and touched Ami on the shoulder. She abruptly stopped walking after the touch and turned towards her. Minako smiled, knowing that her friend was shocked with her new ability; however, Ami looked at her in the eye and her mind suddenly exploded with the thought, 'I'm thankful too'. Minako was stunned and speechless.