Fighting For You Love

Chapter 26. Vivaldi. Part 2

x * x * x

When the storm of applauses ceased at last, Michiru seemed to regain her composure. Vivaldi's "Autumn" began joyfully and swiftly, but the stunned Haruka could not find it in her to follow the cheerful theme.

Michiru was definitely a true actress. A pro. Otherwise it was incomprehensible how she managed to attune herself to the vivacious melody of the "Autumn" so quickly. Even the smile adorning her face at the moment looked natural. But the image of Michiru's tears, glistening in the bright beams of floodlights, still lingered in the blonde's mind. Not a single soul in the hall had realized those were the genuine tears – and not ones of delight or admiration for the masterpiece the violinist performed.

Only Haruka knew…

"Autumn". Adagio molto

The music changed its mood and broke through to the wind senshi's heart, calling her and capturing her attention.

Deliberately, cautiously the autumn slunk, unwilling to disturb the tired, dozing nature. Low deep notes wreathed uneasily and escaped in the darkness, bringing along the image of a quiet cold night with velvety blackness of the sky and distant twinkling fireflies-stars.

Just like that small box… Black-black velvet, softly kissing her fingertips, and mischievous brilliance of the sparks-diamonds.

~ * ~ Flashback ~ * ~

Usagi was consuming her food with enormous delight. Haruka who, lounging on the mat beside the princess and not even touching her own portion, feasted her eyes through half-shut eyelashes upon this embodiment of spontaneity, hid her smile.

The two of them met in the evening at the secluded corner of a picturesque park. The sun was setting, the birds' chirp gradually ceased; the dying down light and warmth came upon the girls' bodies, caressing them softly.

It was time for both the parties to part: Haruka needed to go pick Michiru from the recording studio, and Usagi had to go back home after her studies – but none of them revealed any intention to do that any soon.

The golden blonde sighed, crumpled up her empty container and childishly wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She greedily eyed the deliciously looking contents of Haruka's paper plate and cast a cautious glance at the seemingly dozing sandy blonde. Yet, she overcame her avarice, shook her head resolutely and let out a frustrated sigh.

At that moment Usagi heard a short chuckle, and the desired plate full of delicacies was put in front of her. A teal eye peeked at the girl with mischief.

Displaying a beaming smile and giving a grateful nod, the princess began devouring the second helping.

Haruka sat up, pulling her knees to her chest, put her chin on her crossed arms and stared in the empty space before her musingly.

Her question resounded out of the blue.

"Are you happy with me, Koneko?"

Forgetting about her meal at once, Usagi gave Haruka a surprised look. The usual mischief and playfulness in the eyes of the willful senshi were gone with the wind; the teals stared intently, attentively, searching and noticing the slightest changes in the face of her young lover. A shadow of a smile lingered on Haruka's lips, but her tensed alerted posture and her guarded look gave away the older girl completely – she truly meant that question.

Usagi felt her heart skip a beat and then flutter in sweet enrapture and overwhelming awe. Happiness that Haruka granted her with was so deep and profound that it became painful at times. Physically. Yet, Usagi would never in her life regret this bittersweet agony.

But how could she express the depth of the feelings her heart held for this bewitching extraordinary blonde? What words should she use to describe how her breath hitches when she catches a single look of enchanting emerald eyes; or how passion washes over her when Haruka only touches her skin with her fingertips? Where would she find the words to convey how preciously worth and absolutely complete the strong caring arms of this amazing person make her feel?

Usagi was about to cry, unable to find the expressions that would match – even if only slightly – her ardent feelings.

Useless. No, no words could have ever embraced such emotions.

The golden blonde lowered her gaze for an instant and let out a doomed smile at her powerlessness.

Getting up on her knees she reached out for Haruka, caressed her cheek and kissed her on the lips softly, never minding the thought that they could be seen like this.

Let it be the answer Haruka sought for. She would understand.

"I am, Haruka. Very much so…" A warm breeze of her exhale. The sky-blue eyes shone brighter than the sun, and the shiest of smiles adorned the girl's mild trembling lips.

Endless endearment in her whisper and infinite trust in her look told Haruka everything the words in all languages of the world could have never expressed.

Haruka took Usagi's hand, kissed her palm and, like a magician covering it with her other hand, left a small lovely box on the marked with the kiss spot.

"What is it?" The golden blonde looked now at the box now at the smiling Haruka.

"A present", the racer bowed her head a little and made it clear, just in case, "For you."

"Wow!" Usagi beamed at once and, hugging her lover impulsively, nuzzled Haruka's neck. "Thank you, Haruka-chan! And on what occasion?"

"Occasion…?" Haruka looked slightly dumbfounded. After a short silence she shrugged casually. "You've got the final exams coming, right? Here, congratulations! Be a good girl, study well."

Such an impromptu made Usagi laugh but as soon as she opened the box, her laugh was cut, frozen on her lips, and she gasped in admiration.

"Oh my god, Haruka, this is beautiful…" The sheer rapture sparkled brightly in the blue eyes that the princess could not tear off the beauty resting on a small velvety pad. In the fluffy embrace of the velvet the glistening thin chain was drowning, winding into black depth, and there was… On the smoothly polished surface of a blue gem an exquisite star was shining. The gem itself was mounted in a circle of refined petals with a leaf-like crown on the top, and this magnificence was gleaming unbearably brightly, sending happy iridescent beams around. "Haruka-chan… I can't… It is too… too much, it is too expensive."

The warm palms enclosed her hand as if protecting a tiny spark from the wind.

"I chose this pendant for you only, princess. I will not take it back."

"Only if you say so…" Usagi mumbled still unsure, pulling the splendid gift out of the case and watching the mysterious star in awe. "Thank you… It's incredibly beautiful… I don't even know how to thank you, Haruka."

The racer bit her lip, trying hard to conceal the too happy smile of hers. She thought that it should be she to thank this lovely blue-eyed creature for the light and joy she brings with her mere presence.

"They say, blue gems grant their owner with wisdom." The wind senshi said with a tint of vague embarrassment and carefully fastened the ornament on her lover's neck.

'Although I picked this one for its rare thick blue hue, just like your eyes.'

Usagi's cheeks colored pink. The girl let out a giggle to mask her confusion.

"I could use wisdom, yes. I bet you thought about it when you were picking the pendant." Her cheerful voice gained a barely audible tint of reproach.

The sandy blonde grinned.

"To make the gem work you should wear it constantly." She placed a playful peck on the golden top of the head.

Usagi tightly clenched her fists resting on her lap.

"And I am going to always wear it, all the time."

Surprised by the resoluteness in the princess's voice, the racer looked into her eyes intently.

"I will", Usagi whispered stubbornly, boring the sandy blonde's face with the look from under her brows. "Because it's from you…"

"Such a kid, you are", Haruka teased lovingly and, lifting up the girl's face by her chin, touched her rosy lips with a kiss, quick, quiet and tender. "Alright. Do that. I will be happy if you do."

x * x * x

When Usagi came to the seaside cottage to visit her older friends next time, her new decoration drew great attention.

"What a beautiful work!" Michiru exclaimed in admiration and smiled happily. "Mamoru-san has got an impeccable taste as I may see. It looks refined, Usagi-chan", the girl kindly embraced the princess who was slightly dumbfounded by the flood of compliments, and teased her good-naturedly. "A man never grants his beloved with such generous gifts for nothing. Can it be that this is the beginning of giving the wedding presents?"

Usagi fluttered her sky-blue eyes open wide and smiled in embarrassment, trying her best to hold back, to not give away Haruka with a questioning glance.

She wished she could tell Michiru the truth about this ornament! Could share those ardent grateful and proud feelings she held for Haruka with the one she adored endlessly. She wished that Michiru, her precious, all-understanding, wise Michiru could rejoice with her!

But, looking into the happily sparkling azure eyes of the violinist, Usagi did not dare.

"R-really? Thank you, Michiru-chan", her indocile lips formed a smile after a momentary pause. "I like the pendant too, very much, and…"

"It was I who gave it to Usagi", Haruka cut in all of a sudden. Her voice sounded calm, not a shadow of repentance or guilt in it. "I wanted to cheer up our kid since she's got her final exams soon."

The shine of the azure eyes died out instantly as if someone poured a bucket of water in the campfire. Michiru's smile faltered but stayed on her lips.

"It was kind of you, Haruka", she praised, her gentle gaze not leaving the princess's face. The golden blonde wished the earth could swallow her up for her unintentional – tiny – lie. "I too, should have prepared something special for our lovely Usagi-chan."

"No, no, by no means, Michiru-chan!" The girl protested eagerly, stuttering nervously. "I… to me… Haruka-chan and you, you two are always so kind to me… It would have been… just too… much…"

Michiru touched the youngster's cheek affectionately and headed towards the kitchen.

"I will bake your most favorite cake, dear. Let it become a small present from me to you for today."

"I will help", the golden blonde rushed after the charming hostess but the latter suddenly turned around on the threshold.

"There is no need."

Usagi stopped dead in her tracks.

Michiru smiled again – brightly, almost teasingly, and the princess decided that ice in the voice of the ocean senshi an instant ago was only a trick of her imagination.

"I want to make the present for you on my own. Needless to say, it is not going to match the pendant even nearly but the cake that I will bake for you, you will never get from Haruka." The blue eyes lingered for a moment on the gleaming gem with a radial star surrounded with a halo of sparkles coming from the crystal-clear diamonds. "Beautiful, indeed." Michiru repeated quietly and disappeared behind the door.

She would never confess… What hurt her the most was not the fact that Haruka gave Usagi that ridiculously expensive and unbelievably gorgeous jewelry. Stellar sapphires were quite rare and precious of themselves, but the gem with such a rich color she had seen for the first time in her life. White gold and large diamonds made it the worthy frame for this amazing nugget. A princely gift.

To cheer up the girl before her exams.

'Who would believe that, Haruka…?'

But it was not that that pierced her heart like the sharpest thorn when in her mind, over and over again, she replayed the scene, which had taken place in the living room. And that her beloved called the princess by her first name – and Michiru knew perfectly well what her willful sandy blonde meant by that – still it was not that that hurt her that much.

Haruka did not look her in the eyes while speaking.

That was it. What hurt her the worst was that the look of the most loved and so needed at that moment eyes slid past her, depriving her of a chance to read her lover's secret thoughts, and thus cutting off their souls' connection she always deemed unbreakable.

Haruka noticed everything. And she understood everything too.

Michiru's flight. Her fake playfulness that disguised her desperate need in isolation – to regain her composure. Her sad gaze lingering somewhere on Usagi's chest. Her quiet fallen voice.

Michiru's self-control and self-respect had always made Haruka hold this girl in high regard, and this time was not an exception.

But she could not tell a lie. It could have been simpler had she let Michiru think it was Mamoru's present. Would have, most likely. But it was against her principles.

"What do you think, Haruka-chan, if I take off the pendant while I am here, in your cottage, will it terribly affect the wisdom it's supposed to grant me with?" Usagi asked musingly out of the blue, distracting Haruka from her burdensome thoughts. "Please, don't be offended."

No matter how upset Haruka was, she could not hold back an involuntary smile. Who on Earth would have asked such a thing except for her Odango Atama…?

She reached out her hand and caressed the golden blonde's cheek softly.

"Thank you, Koneko."

Of course, Usagi understood everything as well.

But the show went on. After the dinner, topped with a sumptuous cake which Michiru, followed by Haruka's applause, handed Usagi ceremoniously, the violinist willed to play for her beloveds, and soon the bow gave birth to the light sad melody.

Usagi had never been a connoisseur of music but even for her it was plainly obvious that the main theme of this, undoubtedly, splendid piece was the heart-wrenching anguish.

Trying her best to hold back her welling up tears, the girl clenched her fists under the table and stared blankly at the sliced cake. It did not help, and soon, through the prism of the thin moist shroud, the culinary masterpiece looked just like a shapeless blurred stain.

In the meanwhile Haruka was boring the distorted with torture face of Michiru with her eyes. She tried to catch a glance of her beautiful lover; she hoped that this extraordinary girl would understand her, just as she always had. But the violinist's eyes were shut – she poured her soul into the music and because of that the message, expressed in crystal high notes, pierced the very heart. Of each one of them.

When the last trill of melody faded, and Michiru opened her eyes, they were dry and radiant. The aqua-haired beauty bowed and with her usual mild smile softly reminded the girls that it was time to go to bed.

That evening the ocean senshi did not cry.

But neither when did Haruka and she walk Usagi home the next morning, nor later, when they remained alone at home, Michiru asked anything. So unlike her.

Haruka felt sick at heart.

And then there happened a conversation Usagi held with Mamoru when on her return home she once forgot to take off the pendant. Of course, her boyfriend was not blind to not notice a luxurious adornment on his lover's neck.

"Where did you get this jewelry from?"

"Ah, that. Haruka-san and Michiru-san gave it to me as a lucky charm before my final exams."

She hoped the Heavens would forgive her another small half-truth, half-lie; there were thousands of those on her anyway.

Jealousy burned his insides, but the prince had always commanded himself remarkably well. So he only smiled kindly and traced the thin sparkling chain with his fingertip.

"Well, it looks like this present cost them a fortune. Usako, baby, you will have to do well on your exams, otherwise you'll give them a heart attack."

They laughed joyfully, each of them trying to swallow a lump in their throat.

Mamoru asked Usagi no more about the pendant. He knew the limits of his composure too well.

And only later at night, holding the sleeping Usagi in his arms tighter than usual, the dark-haired prince desperately prayed for his lovely naïve girl to remain clueless of the knowledge that sapphires had long been known for being the talisman for lovers.

And even more desperately – for there was still a chance left for him.

~ * ~ End of flashback ~ * ~

Haruka shook her head as if chasing away her obsession. Today she absolutely could not concentrate on the music played so virtuously by the excellent quartet – all her thoughts kept running in circles around Michiru and Usagi. Her heart throbbed like crazy – now overwhelmed with tenderness, now squeezing anxiously, in tune with music and the images in her head that overlapped one another at the breathtaking speed.

«Winter». Allegro non molto

Faded down the merry "autumn" allegro, and the "Winter" replaced it – quiet at first, calm and cold, it wrapped the soul with a thick fluffy blanket. But only a few beats passed, and violins went crazy; the blizzard stormed and raged – unkind, outcast. Lonesome.

And in front of the wind senshi's mind's eye the recent, even now still painful, reminiscence stood.

~ * ~ Flashback ~ * ~

'Nothing lasts forever…' Haruka thought gloomily, cancelling her call and sliding her phone shut angrily. She had been dialing the same number over and over again but to no avail. The funny blue-eyed avatar, staring back at her from the display, looked to her either compassionate or mocking. Over and over the girl heard nothing but endless long beeps. This time she decided not to wait for the cold and polite automatic voice to tell her that the person she was calling was out of reach.

No, she does not count days. She deems it humiliating and foolish. She would have never done it… Yet, Haruka cannot help but notice that…

One more page of the loose-leaf calendar flips over. Her phone is silent.

The number in the date box of the clock on the wall changes. Not a single message from her.

The digits on the odometer click off one by one – Haruka's anxiety is lately measured in the aimlessly cut laps on the racing track. And the speedometer's scale is barely enough for her to find oblivion in the breathtaking speed.

But while she balances on the edge where the risk dangerous for life begins, she stops noticing that lately such joyless periods of silence get all the longer.

Unanswered messages, hopeless calls and not even a single date – Haruka felt like she heard from Usagi ages ago, and it alarmed her. Irritated her. Enraged her. The dark thoughts flooded her mind, and brushing them away was getting harder and harder.

Nor did she get to catch the princess in the university – her training program became ruthless because of the upcoming exhibition trials, and it was not rare that the famous racer, half-dead of exhaustion, would crawl back home late in the night. And just at such a time too, that girl with her whims…

'Is it really so hard to pick damn up and answer the call, if just once?!'

The weekend passed by like in the haze. Haruka would huff and get mad over trifles. Michiru, silent and saddened, did not hurry to calm down or console her raging lover. Only when the latter – accidentally or on purpose – ignored the violinist's friendly offer to have a ride to the mountains to unbend, Michiru sighed and left for the studio to rehearse. Drowned in her thoughts, Haruka did not even notice that she was left at home all alone.

The sandy blonde clenched her fists. Tomorrow. Tomorrow she would get through, no matter what. Or, if it did not work, she would cut away her training for a short while and sneak out to the university. With her speed it should not be a problem.

But if even that would not help… Haruka was on the verge of showing up in the princess's apartment, despite the dark-haired royal-blooded hindrance residing there as well. She had to see Usagi. Any uncertainty drove her insane but when it came to that girl, the wind senshi was close to losing her peace of mind all the more.

However, it did not take her such grand sacrifice – on Monday, in the very morning the blue-eyed culprit of her heart's disorder was waiting for her at the gates of the stadium.

As the mere acquaintances, the girls walked into the café where the racers and their teams used to hang out during their breaks, and Haruka ordered coffee: with vanilla and whipped cream – for Usagi and dark, twice stronger than usual – for herself. The talk was strained. The wind senshi would cast the morose glances at the golden blonde, and the latter would not even lift up her eyes, pretending her full attention was captured by the flavored drink. On her chest, in time with her excited breathing, the familiar star winked.

Haruka noticed Usagi's hands tremble as the latter was lifting her coffee to her lips, and it softened her a little. She heaved a sigh, leaned back into the armchair and tousled her sandy blonde bangs, thinking that it was time to start the proper conversation, after all. Her lightened teal eyes let a barely noticeable smile in.

Darn it all, it felt incredibly good to finally see this girl!

Haruka put her locked hands on the table and leaned forward a little.

"Is everything alright with you?"

Usagi timidly lifted up her eyes on her recently irritated friend.

"I'm sorry, Haruka-chan."

"Why?" Haruka's fake bewilderment did not come out quite believable; a false note of her resentment laced her voice.

Usagi reached out her hand, wanting to cover the locked hands of Haruka, but caught herself in time, yanked her hand away, and her cheeks grew gently rosy. The wind senshi smiled wryly.

The princess glanced around helplessly and looked at the elder friend with her suspiciously moist eyes.

"Can we talk in the car?"

"What's so bad about here?"

"Well, nothing, just…"

Haruka took pity upon the poor thing and got up from her seat. Leaving money on the table, she nodded Usagi to the exit.

"Let's go. I'll give you a lift."

Only when the car began moving, and nobody could see them, the golden blonde reached out her hand timidly, and her thin fingers touched Haruka's thigh. The wind senshi would never admit it but that simple touch warmed her heart immediately.

"Please, Haruka-chan, don't be mad at me. I know that…"

"Why didn't you answer my calls?" The sandy blonde cut her short demandingly, even though god knows she tried to make her voice sound friendlier. "I've been calling you every day."

"Yes, I… saw that", Usagi faltered. "It's just that…"

"Then why didn't you pick up?"

"I am sorry", came the quiet guilty answer, "I wasn't alone. I couldn't speak with you as freely as I would like to. And there was no opportunity to call you in the daytime; besides I thought that…"

"Wait, so you ignored me simply because you were with him?" Jealousy and anger washed over Haruka with a hot wave; invisible sharp needles pricked her nape. She knew she had no right to be mad at Usagi in this situation but she could not help herself. "All this time, Usagi! And you couldn't even find a minute, for real…?" The racer cut herself off and, after a short pause, continued in a more reserved manner, "I thought things were going well between us, and then you just disappear and don't return my calls. What should I think if my girlfriend refuses to talk to me?"

"Haruka-chan, please…"

"I am not done yet. So, you were with Mamoru and because of that you ignored my calls and my messages?"

"Why are you so angry with me?" Usagi flared up suddenly. "I am sorry, truly sorry that it happened like this, honest. But Mamoru is my boyfriend and I have to spend time with him too and give him my attention, too, don't you think so?"

It was true that Usagi spent these days with Mamoru and enjoyed them to the fullest. Now that she regained her mental equilibrium, the girl felt the taste of life again. But Haruka's words pierced her heart and made her feel guilty again. Maybe that was why she began defending herself so fiercely.

Haruka heaved a sigh, trying to maintain her composure. Her nostrils dilated, her hands gripped the steering wheel so tight that her bones went pale. The sandy blonde shook her head and muttered flatly, "Fine. Do as you please."

The brakes screeched and the car stopped abruptly, leaving a block to go to Usagi's university. The princess usually asked Haruka to not drive her to the very entrance, explaining that she would like to escape the unnecessary tumult that always followed the famous racer's appearance.

The golden blonde sat quietly, her hands linked on her knees and her lips nervously bitten. When Haruka was in such a condition there was no point in talking to her – she would not even listen, that stubborn person. But Usagi could not leave her lover in this state simply like that.

"Can we walk a little?" She offered hesitantly. "I don't want to part with you like this."

Haruka did not say anything but she stopped the engine and got out of the car.

They slowly walked in the direction of the university, and Usagi thought about how to start a conversation.

"Jeez, I am such a fool!" Haruka snorted mockingly out of the blue. "I can't believe it; I've racked my brains over why you didn't want to talk to me, thought you were mad at me for something… But the reason was so trivial – you simply enjoyed your boyfriend's company. Gosh, so stupid!" The girl clutched her short sandy blonde locks with her five, and let out a crooked smile. "How come it never even crossed my mind?"

The blue ponds looked at her, pained.

"Please, Haruka… don't be like that. This is unfair."

"Unfair?" The racer repeated, halting abruptly. "This. Is. Unfair?! Are you serious? Talking about fairness now, you? Wow, unbelievable… Huh!" She waved her hand in denial sharply, turned away and strode away from the girl angrily.

Tears welled up in Usagi's eyes. Why, oh god why cannot this stubborn woman understand…?

"Haruka!" She shouted in the unnaturally straight back. The racer did not even slacken her pace. A lone tear traced the wet path on the gentle cheek. The princess stomped her foot on the ground and, in desperation, screamed at the top of her lungs, "HARUKA!"

The raced clenched her jaws so tight her teeth gritted. Her insides were boiling and storming, and she felt the urge to scream and break something.

She turned around and quickly, hastily, fiercely walked back to Usagi.

Grabbing the girl by her shoulders, Haruka leaned above her, boring the tearful sky-blue eyes with her dark teals.

"Don't, and I mean it, don't you ever dare ignore me. Don't make me feel forgotten and left out. I will not condone that."

The bright blue eyes closed tight for an instant and then opened, beaming with blazing affection.

"Forgive me, Haruka", the golden blonde whispered, covering the gripping her shoulders strong hands with her palms. And even quieter, again, "Forgive me, my love. I've been longing for you." Closer, closer. Her shining eyes and barely distinguishable whisper, "Forgive me."

The dark-blonde eyebrows stirred, and something shattered, helpless, vulnerable flickered in the teal depth.

Haruka pulled Usagi towards her in a jerk, squeezed the girl's body in her arms violently, not letting the latter to even breathe. She held the princess so tight as if knowing she would lose her, letting go just for a moment.

'I won't allow it. I won't let go. Won't ever give you up to anyone.'

But then. She came to her senses. Stood straighter. Almost pushed Usagi away from her. Her eyes slid over the girl's bitten lips, tearful eyes and the mockingly sparkling sapphire star on her chest. Timid, fragile, precious – so unbearably beautiful, her princess.

Something broke inside, reminding the wind senshi of something once more.

"I can't…" She said faintly. Wanted to add something but only shook her head and hastily walked away without casting a single glance back.

The wind attacked her, tangled her hair, angry that she did not pay attention to him. Haruka had not even noticed it. She had not said the most important thing.

'I can't…'

'…do without you.'

~ * ~ End of flashback ~ * ~

~ x ~ * o * ~ x ~

A/N: Hello everyone! I am so happy to finally get the second part of the "Four Seasons" finished and translated! Somehow it's getting more natural for me to write in my native Russian language as of lately (blame reading fanfictions in Russian for that :)), so it's getting a bit longer for translating takes time (let alone writing itself). Okay, let's not talk about frustrating things. I hope you liked the update! I enjoyed writing it, have to admit that. My heart was craving for more drama (hence, 'My Shades of Sadness' and 'Say' were born but they didn't quell my 'passion' :)), and I just let it be here. If I believe correctly, I wanted to learn how to write angsty things (wow, it was so long ago, when this story had only begun being written…), and I believe this is what I am doing in this story, give or take a few bright, romantic moments :)

I would like to dedicate this chapter to my dear Seiusa-chan as my thanks for reminding me of the need to go on writing and for doing it so delicately and softly it gave me the inspiration to actually do it :) Thank you, my dear! You make my days brighter with your words!

Also, I am always grateful to those of you who keep reading this story despite the long periods between updates and the not so optimistic turn of things in the story. Thank you very much! I am so happy to see people still read and like it, no matter what :)

So now let me thank personally those who care so much as to leave a review or a comment :-*

petiyaka – How come you understand the story so well? This is something that always leaves me stunned as I read your reviews:) Hello! It's always a sheer delight to hear from you, my dear friend! This is amazing how well you understand everything in the chapters I try to show, and how you guess much more that there's still to come. I truly love it how you describe the way you see the story… so beautifully :) You are right, they have to hide their feelings, and no one will approve of them if they decide to reveal them. Besides, there are still people to care about. To be frank, I've been questioning myself, how come a human's heart can contain such different yet equally ardent feelings for different people… and so far I haven't found the answer to that. It happens to me all the time too, in real life. Ahem, sorry, back to your review :) I also think that the girls should understand somewhere deep inside that their love brings to much pain and troubles… but it is yet too early for, for instance, Haruka to begin question herself. Or not? I think the realization is still ahead. Haruka cannot give up Usagi so easily. Not yet. Not… if ever. I still play with the idea but your words always lead me and help me to see the whole picture better. Thank you so much for that! I think the price for their happiness has gotten very high already. Is it possible to pay such a prince at all, I wonder? And I loved your idea about the bet about the end ;))) My, you are really good at that! *grins* I think the story is clear for you already (your guesses sound so logical, natural and plausible it could really happen!). And… I am not sure if I should congratulate you with meeting such a powerful feeling in your life or should I sympathize with you for it sounds to be hard and heart-wrenching to love that person. Being in love is a wonderful thing of course, and that you will be able to meet your love on Christmas… it's beautiful and romantic, and even though there's still a long time before that… you are lucky to love, and to be loved back (if I understood you correctly). Honestly, I wish you so much happiness! You are a person who's so smart and warm-hearted, so emotional and so deeply feeling… you deserve a miraculous love-story, I swear :) You deserve to be loved so ardently, so passionately and carefully… I hope that you are! Despite the period of waiting, it's worth it. Everything is. And the Christmas is so soon, so close, and it's getting closer with every passing day. May your wish come true! May you be held and loved, and may your longing be sweet and lyrical but never bitter and desperate! I truly wish you much-much happiness, my dear! Take care!

Passerby – Can I say that your lovely review made me grin? 'Stupid Haruka' – this part I enjoyed the most :))) You know, I even re-read a past few chapters to see if Haruka was really that… well, unwise ;)) And… yes, she was! That was a discovery for me. It's always kind of amusing to see how the characters evolve… against the plan you had for them in the beginning. Indeed, I deeply sympathize with Michiru now. She is so strong and wise… and putting up too much at times. Maybe I should make her have a gun, and the story will end way faster :)) But she loves Haruka and Usagi so much, poor girl. I think she will find a way to solve the problem (if it doesn't get solved itself even faster). Thank you for reading and commenting! I liked your review :) Have a nice day.

batcat4eternity – You are so perceptive…Thank you so much for reading my story so closely and so emotionally! I truly appreciate it. And your words, your reviews always make me feel… kind of special, you know :) Thank you! You are right, Haruka isn't dumb and she knows Michiru very well, so of course she can't pretend she doesn't know how much her behavior hurts her partner. It's just that she probably doesn't think much about how to fix it (but I will make her, hahaha ;)). But for now, indeed, poor Michiru, she gets so much suffering and pain because Haruka is just being in love and selfish. Like a kid, honestly! And as you may see, it's not all so good between Haruka and Usagi, so she gets her share of troubles as well. Seems like only Usagi is still happy all-around *grins* Just kidding. Thank you for your kind words about my writing! I cannot say how happy you made me feel with them! Take care :)

Frida Vaccari – Wow! Thank you sooo much for this great detailed and emotional review! You really made my day with it! :))) And to think that you were so impressed that you decided to write a review right in the middle of reading… it speaks so much to me! I am happy you liked the chapter so much :) I guess that chapter was the longest so far, wasn't it? But I just could not decide where to divide it… each moment seemed to be lovely and important. And when I got your review, I realized that my feelings, how I enjoy Haruka and Usagi's bickering and their sweet moments together, after all got trough to those who read about them… and it was so sweet and so overwhelming I could not stop smiling! *grins* I am happy that I managed to write the scenes so that you felt like living them too, along with the girls. I truly wanted it to be this way. And of course they still hold back and don't say everything they feel for each other. Especially Haruka. I think she's more used to show her love through actions than through words :)) Hopefully I was able to picture it like that. Hmm… I wonder, maybe they would really find the courage and express their true feelings, even if just once. *musing* Indeed, I should think about it. Thank you for the notion! Mamoru… well, yes, he isn't loved by readers but well, the man is trying his best to win back Usagi's heart. I don't know why but sometimes I feel my heart ache for his longing for his beloved girl. After all, he isn't stupid, and he knows the life better due to his age and position. And your growing affection and sympathy for Michiru is so sweet! Thank you for growing to like her that much as to care about her feelings as well ;)) Yes, I understand that it's quite offensive that Usagi kind of left Michiru out of the circle while trying to share her heart… but what can I say, she's so madly in love with Haruka she can't think straight. And Michiru… can't compare to Haruka in her heart. But yes, I feel like Michiru is suffering way to much now, and I think I know what I will do for her… quite soon :)) You read so emotionally… taking Michiru's pain so close to your heart. It's amazing. Thank you for all your emotions and compassion for her! Oh and of course Haruka and Michiru spend much more time together than Haruka spends with Usagi (especially lately, as you may see in this chapter), but the 'quality' of the time… yeah, not the best. Seeing Usagi get jealous of Haruka… this idea made me smile but only because in my mind Usagi IS very jealous… she knows too well how much Michiru means for Haruka, and how close they are for real (even if Haruka herself doesn't pay attention to it at the moment), so of course she can't let this thought go so simply. So rest in peace, Usagi has her own share of doubts and uncertainties ;)) And once more, thank you for such a lovely, lengthy review, I rejoiced over it to the fullest! I hope you liked the next chapter after that one you reviewed, and this one as well. Thank you for reading the story so closely :))) Take care!

seiusa-chan – Dear Seiusa-chan! Thank you, for everything you do :) For remembering me, for appreciating this story so much, for inspiring me to keep writing it! For that, I could not thank you enough. And I hope that you will like this chapter, even if you 'swallow it in one go' ;)) I am still an avid fan of Haruka and Usagi pairing so I can understand your feelings very well! And Michiru… yes, I also feel kind of bad for making her go through so much pain and suffering. But I also believe in her so much! She is very strong, and she loves Haruka so much – that's her best weapon, so to say. However, of course, I plan to give her happiness as well. In time :) So don't be sad for her ;)) They all will be fine. Someday. Somehow :) And I am so glad you pointed it out – that when you're in love, you're being selfish. This is so true! At least, for me :) Hence, for the characters I write about. And yes, I also believe they need to talk. I have an interesting thought about it but we'll see where the story will lead us. Poor Mamoru, you don't seem to have any compassion for him, even though he suffers now just as much :-D Take care, my dear, and stay well! And thank you once more, for everything ;))

agirl002 – Thank you very much for your kind words! I am happy you liked it! :) Best wishes.

debora diskey – Wooow, so nice of you to still read it! I am glad you find it sooo good ;)) Have a nice day.

Pew Pew – Yes, sorry for that :) I find it bad as well, to be frank. When I had only begun writing it I thought I would get it done in a year, at most. But it just grew and grew lengthy because I seem to enjoy writing it too much. But for now, I have to admit, the biggest part of it is already in the past, so it should be easier – for me to write, and for readers to wait. Thank you for your kind words. I am flattered you like reading my story! Best regards.

The JamesS – Wow, your reviews made me smile. For the second time if I am correct ;)) Seeing 7 reviews from the same person in one go… it was something! :) Nice effect. What can I say, you're ready really fast. I hope you enjoyed reading the rest of the written so far chapters. Best wishes.

Andysteve1311 – Why thank you very much! It is very nice of you to say so :) I am so glad the chapter had such an effect on you! I was going for making it intense, that's right. So happy you thought it was! Hopefully you'll like the second part of the "Four Seasons" as well :) Take care!

That's all for now. Stay well, everyone, and I will see you next time :)