The door swung open with ease, and Ami step inside. She slipped off her shoes before moving further inside to allow Yuki to come inside. Once Yuki walked in, Yuki pushed the door closed and locked it. Ami had wanted to be here earlier, but a fight with a monster changed that plan. Instead of eating here, they went out to eat dinner before making their way here.
"Do you want to take your stuff to your room?" Yuki asked.
Ami glanced towards him. "Go ahead." Ami held out the bag that she was carrying. "Here. Take this one as well."
"Sure." Yuki grabbed hold of the bag. "And you should go get a drink of water. You look parch."
"Good." Yuki walked past Ami.
Once Yuki was walking down the hallway to her room, Ami made her way to the kitchen. She entered the kitchen and started walking to get a glass. Then her eye spotted a whiteboard with a handwritten note from her mom. She plodded over to whiteboard. Then she began to read it. As she read it, her lips curled into a smile. Everything her mom had wrote struck her as thoughtful.
At the end of her mom's message was a not about something helpful being in the fridge. Her mom indicated it was for Yuki had explain to her. Ami's brow furrowed. She tried recalling what Yuki had went over with her mom. Yuki had only gave her the briefest summary, and the passage of time had dulled her memory of it. With the note in mind, Ami went over to the fridge. Then she opened it. Inside was several sports drinks. Not a single one was the same flavor. Now, her mom's note made sense.
Ami grabbed one of the drinks before closing the fridge. She went a cabinet and grabbed a glass. Then she poured some of the drink into the glass. When the glass reached half-full, she stopped pouring. Then she took a sip. The moment that the sports drink touch her tongue was the moment she felt instantly refreshed. Ami sat the glass and finished filling it.
With the glass full, Ami returned the remaining sports drink to the fridge. She picked up her glass again and wandered over to the whiteboard. Her eyes glanced through the message again. The words began to sink in, and Ami began to look forward to talking to her mom.
A few minutes later, Yuki came up to her. He just stood there for a bit but he reached and took her hand. She gave his hand a squeeze. "I belive mom understands now," said Ami.
"I think you're right," said Yuki. "What are you wanting to do?"
"I mght lay down and wait for her." Ami took a long sip from her glas. "Having this sports drink is better than just water."
"I am not surprise. Wasn't the original one created to help a sports team in the U.S.?"
"I think so." Ami took one more sip to finish off the rest in the glass. "Should have thought of having a sports drink sooner."
"I agree, but hindsight is 50-50." Yuki let go of her hand. "Are you okay with me being in your room."
"Yes, and you could look at the postcards from dad." She went over to the sink and rinsed out the empty glas. "They're in a binder on my desk."
"I will look at them. How many do you have?"
Ami looked over to Yuki. "Haven't counted them in awhile." Ami put away her glass. "I'm going to mom's room."
"Okay. Let me know if you need anything."
A light nudge woke her from her nap. When Ami opened her eyes, the room was dimly lit. Next to her was her mom. Her mom was still wearing her scrubs. This was the first time she had seen her mom in over a week. Ami sat up on the bed. "Hi, Mom." Her eyes looked away.
"I saw you had some of the sports drink," her mom said. "Was it helpful?"
"It was." Ami glanced back towards her mom. Can you keep them on hand?"
"I'll try. When Yuki explained your ability to me, it being tied to water stuck with me." Her mom touched Am's hand. "I want to understand it better, Ami."
Ami looked up to her mom. Her mom look so sincerce. "I know Yuki told you about our first life, but did he tell you about the time I stayed with him?"
"He did, but not a lot of detail. What happened?"
Ami looked at the ceiling. She tried imagine the moment from the past in her head. "Well you have to know that my position in our first life demanded certain pleasantries."
"What sort of pleasantries? Yuki only mentioned you protected a princess."
Ami glanced over to her mom. "I didn't just protect a princess. I was also one."
Saeko's mouth opened and then closed. Her hands laid in her lap. "A princess as well?"
"Yes. There are some other details, but those are tied to other things." Ami looked away from her mom. "Other things I don't feel comfortable with you knowing."
"Please continue with you staying with Yuki in the past."
Ami's lips turned up. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, Ami."
Ami's eyes glanced over to her mom. "It was hard to gently reject my suitors due to the expectations of my position." She took in a deep breath. Then she let it out slowly. "It didn't help that it seemed every single suitor wanted to be with me."
"So because there was so many, you wanted to get away from them?"
"You could say that, but they weren't the only issue. Other pressures and expectations were weighing me down. Spending time with Yuki then helped me forget about that for awhile." Ami shook her head. The memories seemed to become more clearer. "The others realized I was with Yuki and requested I watch the princess when she was visiting Yuki's prince."
"I know that life didn't end in a good way, but would you describe it as Romeo and Juliet ending?"
Ami looked over to her mom. One eye brow was raised. "You could say it was, but why ask about that now?"
"Just curious, but it would explain why the princess was visiting the prince."
"When Yuki talked to you, did he say who was the prince and the princess are in this life?"
"Mamoru said it."
Ami's shoulders dropped. "I forgot he was there."
"You weren't there, so I am not surprise you would forget."
"I've forgotten the summary that Yuki gave me. Now to get back to what we were discussing…." Ami's eyes looked up to the ceiling.
"You were talking about watching the princess with Yuki."
"That is right. When I started to watch the princess with Yuki, that was when the prince and the princess found out why I was with Yuki."
"And what did they do with that information?" Her mom prompted.
Ami glanced over to her mom. "They helped me figure out a solution to the suitors. Then Yuki chimed in with other suggestions."
"They sound like they were as helpful in that life as they are in that life. At least, for Mamoru, it's the case."
Ami's brow furrowed. "How do you know that?"
"Yuki had Mamoru chimed in on things when they were talking to me. Oh, Yuki suggested I should tell you something. It involves Ryo. Do you want to hear it?"
Ami frowned. Her eyes harden. "What is it?" Her fingers curled until her hands became fists.
"Ryo came to tell me before you even told me." Her mom looked away. "I didn't meant to keep that away from you."
Her fingers began to uncurl and her muscles began to relax. "How long did you knew he broke up with me?"
"I think he told me on the day that he did it."
Ami began to shake. "That long...did he tell you anything else?"
"Yes." Saeko scootched over to her and wrapped her arms around Ami. "He told me that a young man with green eyes would be better than him."
Ami leaned into her mom. The words slowly sunk in. "Should I let Ryo tell me why?"
"I think you should." Her mom began to smooth her hair. "You need closure and knowing the complete why would help."
"Mom, thank you. Can you hold me through the night?"
"I can try, but let me get change first."
"Okay. I'll lay down until your done." Ami yawned. "Talking with you helped with remembering that memory."
Saeko let go of Ami. "That's good." Saeko stood up from the bed. "Don't force yourself to stay awake."
"I wont. Yuki said sleep helps with memories." Ami laid down and felt more tired than she had just a moment ago. "Night, Mom."
Normally, Ami didn't mind Yuki's concern, but right now, his concern was getting annoying. They had to fight a monster without the others. They had pushed themselves to their limits. But they were successful. When they de-transformed in an alleyway, Yuki's concerned showed itself. He dragged her home and led her to the couch. His hands rested on her shoulders like weights. They kept her on the couch.
"I'm fine, Yuki," she said. "Please just get me something to drink."
"Are you sure?" His eyes were glancing all over her.
"Yes, Yuki." Ami tried glaring at Yuki, but then the front door opened and then closed.
"Ami? Yuki? Are you two here?" Saeko called out.
"We're in the living room." Ami called out.
"I'll be there. Have to put away some things." Saeko called out.
For a few moments, Ami and Yuki stayed still. Yuki's hands still rested on her shoulders like weights. Then Saeko walked into the room. Ami looked over to her. A smile spread across her face. "Hi, Mom."
"I noticed you while I was out. Have you had anything to drink?" Saeko asked.
Ami shook her head. "Yuki's been too worried to leave me alone and get me something to drink." Then Ami realized what Saeko said. "You noticed me?" Saeko nodded. "Thank you for not drawing attention to noticing me."
"You're welcome." Saeko looked over to Yuki. "Can you please go get her something to drink? I'll stay with her."
Yuki lifted his hands off her shoulders and stood up. "Do you need anything else Ami?" Yuki asked.
"A wet washcloth. Please try to get it cold." Ami glanced to Yuki.
"Okay. As for what drink, I assume a sports drink, correct?"
"Yes. Now go."
Yuki gave a curt nod before he walked out of the living room. Once he left, Saeko walked over to the couch and sat down next to her. "Was it tough?"
"The fight?" Saeko nodded. "We had to push ourselves to our limits." Ami leaned against her mom. "We haven't talked much since that night."
"When you get caught up in work, it is easy to forget to make time." Saeko wrapped her arms around Ami. "Does the whiteboard help?"
"It does." Ami closed her eyes. She tried sensing Yuki through their bond. Then she opened her eyes. Her lips pressed together. "I don't understand why Yuki wont use our bond."
Ami looked over to her mom. Saeko's eyebrows were raised. "Oh that's right I never mentioned that to you. Me and Yuki are soul mates. We have a mental bond. Yuki could use it to check on me."
"Do you know why he isn't?"
Ami shook her head. "He hasn't really used it fully since Ryo talked to me."
"Maybe he feel likes he violates your trust when using it. How did it go with Ryo?"
Ami's fingers curled. A week had passed since she had listened to Ryo tell her why he had dumped her. She was angry and still is. Words didn't want to come quickly to her when anyone asked about Ryo. "I'm angry."
"About what he told you or something else?"
"Why did he think to keep all of those things to himself?" Ami balled one hand in a fist. "Why think they were all some big secret?"
"Ami." Saeko laid a hand on her fist. Ami looked up to her. "Would he have come to you all this in the first place? I mean, do you think he would tell you this now if he didn't regret his choice?"
Ami took her time to reflect on her mom's words. Did Ryo regret his choice? Ami wasn't sure if he did or not. "I don't know if he regret his choice."
"Everything in hindsight looks better or worse when looked at with the knowledge of the present." Saeko sighed. "I do regret somethings in the past, but I tell myself that at that time, I thought what I was doing was right."
"We sure do learn from the past." Ami closed her eyes. "What we learned from then can help us now."
"Speaking of the past, do you want to tell me anything else about your first life?"
Ami opened her eyes. "You knowing about it has helped. Stress is more manageable. Yuki assists me with those love letters."
"I am happy to hear that is the case. Did your talk with Ryo increase stress?"
"I couldn't tell, Mom." Ami sighed. "Why is Yuki taking so long?"
"You did ask for a cold washcloth. But to get back to the topic at hand, I think I know why your stress got so bad."
Ami looked up to her mom's smiling face. "What are you thinking?"
"You care so much about the people that you love. You put them first before before yourself. That can be bad, but I think in your situation, it's mostly good. However, it's bad when it causes your stress."
"I think I understand. Should I put myself first in some situations?"
"I would. It does not help any situations when you don't. Allowing the stress get to you does not help either."
"I guess so. This time, the stress came up to me without me realizing. Only the fainting made me realize it was bad."
"But you didn't do anything about it at that time."
"Because I didn't have my memories of the past."
"What are you two talking about?"
Ami turned to look in the direction of Yuki's voice. Yuki was standing with a wet washcloth in one hand and a glass in the other. "Took you long enough. Just some things."
"Getting a cold, wet washcloth seems easy. Except the cold part is the hardest part." Yuki walked over to them. He held out the glass. "Here take this."
Ami took the glass and took a sip. "Thank you, Zoi."
"You're welcome." A hint of a smile came to Yuki's face. "Do you still want this washcloth?"
"It doesn't hurt to have it." Ami took another sip of her drink. "You can place it on my neck."
Yuki leaned over and draped the washcloth around Ami's neck. "Is that okay?"
"Yeah. Can sit in front of me?"
"Sure." Yuki sat down in front of her. He rested his back against her legs. "You miss running your fingers through my hair."
"Zoi, cut it out."
"I'm only teasing, Nymph."
"I know, Zoi."
"The nicknames…." Saeko's eyebrows raised up. "Where did they come from?"
"The past." Yuki pointed to Ami. "She shortened my actual name in the past."
"It's Zoisite if you were wondering, Mom." Ami's lips turned up into a smile. "I don't recall why he calls me Nymph, but it's also from the past."
"You reminded me of a Nymph." Yuki looked away. His face was starting to turn red. "I don't why though."
Saeko smiled at the two of them. "Since you told me what Yuki's name is in the past, are you going to tell me what your name was in the past?"
Ami looked down at Yuki. His eyes looked at her. Then she felt a wave of emotions from Yuki through their bond. She raised an eyebrow at him. "Are you going to tell me why you weren't using it earlier?"
"The bond? I didn't want to make you madder than you already was." Yuki shrugged.
"I wouldn't have been mad if you used it to confirm what I was telling you."
"Oh. I guess I should've. Anyways, do you understand?"
"Yes." Ami looked up to her mom. "I really didn't use a personal name back then. I don't remember that other name because of how infrequent I used it."
"Is it the same for Yuki?"
"I don't think so." A smile crossed Ami's face. "You deserve to know that I am Sailor Mercury."
"I realized that today." Saeko looked away. "And that is how others referred to you in the past."
"Basically. Between the guardians, we knew how to shorten it for referring to each other in private."
"And we used the nicknames in private," said Yuki. "I'll let Ami tell you about the time I first used the nickname and she saw autumn leaves for the first time."
Saeko glanced to Yuki and then to Ami."That sounds like a preview of an interesting memory."
"I will tell you once I tell you some other things about the past," said Ami. "There are so many details that are needed to help explain why it all ended."
"Don't push yourself to explain it all at once." Saeko took one of Ami's hands into her hand. "Besides, you should finish your drink and you can spend some time relaxing."
"Thanks, Mom." Ami squeeze her mom's hand.
"Just let me know if you two ever need anything."
Ami leaned over and hugged her mom the best she could. Once she let go, her mom returned the hug before getting up and leaving the two of them alone. Ami took her mom's advice and finished her drink. She handed the empty glass to Yuki who placed it on the coffee table. Then she leaned back into the couch. Her eyelids began to feel heavy. Her eyes closed, and then she ended up falling asleep.
It was a wonderful fall day to spend at a library. Yuki and Ami had went their separate ways when they entered the library. He went to the section with the books for the university entrance exam. She went to find some books for an assignment for school. Once they found several books, they met at a table with a four chairs. Nearby was a nice slate blue couch. They spread out the books on the table before sitting down next to each other. Then they started to read a book from their respective books.
After awhile, Yuki was trying to read a book, but Ami was running her fingers through her hair. His eyes glanced over to Ami. She was still reading her own book, but she didn't looked stressed. Although, Saeko did tell him something that could be bothering her. His eyes narrowed. That could be why she was playing with his hair. "Ami?"
"What?" She didn't look away from her own book.
"Is something bothering you?" He cringed at how he sound.
Ami lowered her book. Her eyes then looked over to him. "Did mom tell you about dad?"
"About you needing to pester him about his club membership? Then yes, she did." He laid his book on the only empty spot on the table.
She slid a piece of paper into the book before closing it. She laid it on her lap and folded her hands over it. "I am not stressing over talking to him." Her eyes looked down to her book. "I have not decided on how to contact him."
"Is there something I can do?"
Ami shook her head. "I'll let you know if I need your help."
"I did help you with the situation with your mom."
"I know. It's been so long since I reached out to him."
"Do you want to talk on that couch over there?" Yuki pointed to the couch that was nearby. "I think it would help if we were more comfortable while talking about this."
"We can." Ami moved her book from her lap to the top of another book on the table.
Yuki stood and offered her his hand. She took his hand, and he helped her stand up. Then they walked over to the couch. When they sat down, Yuki wrapped his arms around Ami. "I know your dad sends you postcards yearly and sometimes more often than that."
"But I have not called him or met him since he left me and mom. I don't know why he left us either." Ami laid her head on Yuki's shoulder. "We've done fine since he left, but he has always kept his club membership active so I can go swimming." A smile crossed Ami's face. "He taught me how to swim. I know chess in this life because of him."
"So you have to talk to him about the membership?"
"Yes. I don't have time to find another place to swim at."
"Understandable." Yuki pulled her closer. "I think you should figure out which way will make you the most comfortable when asking him. If you want to meet him in person, I can be with you."
"Thank you, Yuki."
"It's no problem. If you need to talk it through with me, I am more than happy to help."
"Can we take a break for awhile?"
"Sure, but why?"
"This feels nice." She looked up to him. "Besides I want to think about this issue. You can read your book if you want."
"Nah. I'm good. I think I need a break too. And having you in my arms is so nice." Yuki pulled her closer.
Ami closed her eyes and rested her head against his shoulder. After awhile, Yuki thought she was asleep, but then she would shift. His whole being was content with her being his arms. His eyes became unfocused, and he began to zone out completely. When footsteps started to come near them, neither Yuki or Ami noticed them. Then the footsteps stopped in front of them, and a looming shadow was cast on them.
"So this is where the two of you are at? Did you forget about us meeting at Rei's?"
Yuki's eyes snapped in focus. He looked up and saw Mamoru. Oh crap, they did forget about the meeting with the others. "Uh, we had things to do."
"Sure, things to do." Mamoru glanced to the table nearby. "Looks like those were forgot as well."
"But thanks for reminding us. Give us a moment and we can head over to Rei's."
"It's no problem, but did the two of you really became so forgetful that you forgot where you were at."
Yuki glanced at Ami. Her face had become a bright red as her eyes stared at the couch's arm. "Uh, that's something I prefer not to say."
"We were just talking, Mamoru," said Ami before she pushed away from Yuki. She stood up and walked back to the table. "And we had agreed we needed a break."
"If you want to tell me, you can, but I can't prevent the others from asking." Mamoru looked back Ami. "However, I think you and Yuki are doing well enough together that I don't feel like prying."
Ami smiled. "Thank you, Mamoru. Do you remember when you found me in this library?" She began to gather up her books.
"I do." A smile crossed Mamoru's face. "By the way, how did things go over with Ryo?"
"I don't know what I want to do with him." The smile on her face disappeared. "Even with knowing everything, I am unsure about Ryo."
Yuki stood up and walked over to Ami. He wrapped her in his arms and hugged her. "It's okay for you to feel like that. How he broke up with you did nothing good for you. Yes, he should have told you all of those things when he broke up with you."
"Yuki, you know what to say." Ami's lips cured back to a smile.
"I think Ryo should have worked to help you realize what he was seeing with you."
"I agree with Yuki." Mamoru crossed his arms. "I don't think he thought things through. Ryo knew it was not a forever thing, but he didn't realize that you needed his help to realize that as well."
Ami went up to Mamoru and gave him a hug. He was the big brother that she never had. "I appreciate you saying that."
"It's no problem." Mamoru returned the hug before pulling away. "Should I go tell the others that you are coming?"
"Yes, please, Mamoru."
"I will see you there. If you are not there soon, should I call you?"
"You can call me," said Yuki as he glanced over at the books covering the table. "We need to decided which once we want to checkout before we can leave here."
"I understand, but the others might not. See you both later."
Yuki went over to his books and began to sort them. Next to him, Ami was doing the same. It took them about five minutes before they had them sorted. They took the books they didn't want to one of the carts. Then they took the rest of the books to get them checked out. Once they had checked them out, the two of them walked out of the library into the crisp fall air. Yuki leaned over to Ami. "Do you want to take a detour through the park? I heard the leaves are just perfect right now."
"Yes. The others can wait and hopefully no memories interrupt us."
Yuki chuckled. He could remember that moment. As the two of them began to walk to the park, Yuki felt incredibly happy. Since he returned to Ami, his own worries from over a year ago had disappeared. That day that Ami had rejected him began to fade in his memories as a bad situation. Now he looked back at it as a moment that forced him to take a better path through life.
As for Ami, it had been weeks since her stress had effected her. Ryo dumping her had harmed her just as much as Ami rejecting Yuki had harmed Yuki. Even with the harm, they both came out of it for the better. Yuki was confident that they could weather through any trying time. And if there was stress involved, Yuki was sure they would stop it together.