*_* MARMALADE MERCURY *_*
EP 5a: CONFRONTATIONS. CAN A MEDALLION HELP?
All was silent outside the Mizuno residence. The street was deserted with the exception of two people.
Ami and Urawa stood and stared at each other in the dimming light as the sun began setting in the background. Urawa suddenly cleared his throat. “I’m sorry…” he said. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said–“
“No…” Ami cut him off, finally finding her voice.
Urawa stared. “No… as in…?”
“N-no… no, it was nice of you to tell me… I just… I don’t know what to do,” Ami admitted, shaking slightly. “I… I only wish you’d said something then.”
Urawa nodded. “I… suppose I should have… I guess I just didn’t want to make you choose. I wasn’t sure… well, what would you have done?”
Ami shook her head. “I… I don’t know. I don’t really want to think about it. I mean… despite what the circumstances were of our… breakup… it happened. And you can’t change the past. And now is now. And… and… and I’ll need time to think about this.”
Urawa took a step closer and took Ami by the shoulders. Their eyes met. “All right,” Urawa agreed. “No problem, I can give you time. Just so long as you sort of know where I’m coming from… and why I may sometimes act in haste and such…” He paused. “I can’t help it, I don’t want to lose you now,” he added, almost unnecessarily.
Ami’s eyes quivered as the two of them continued to stare at each other. If only she could just call up her feelings for Urawa again… then things would be all right.
Urawa… months ago… the ferris wheel… their faces began to move closer together. It would be as it was…
“Hello, should you be doing that in public?” a voice interrupted.
Ami jumped back from Urawa as if she’d been struck. “Greg!” she cried out.
Urawa clenched and unclenched his fists as he turned to face the new arrival who had come up behind them. “YOU have to have the WORST timing of anyone I’ve ever MET,” Urawa pointed out with a frown.
Greg shrugged. “I don’t know, I have the feeling I arrived in time,” he commented.
“And who are YOU to judge?” Urawa returned. He wasn’t usually aggressive by nature, but this was too much… I mean, what gave this guy the right to intrude like this??
Greg probably didn’t even know Ami half as well as he did! He’d known her for months. Not going out all the time, but communicating, talking… Ami, with her amazing intelligence, kind heart and stunning looks. Ami, who he had left because it had seemed like he couldn’t be there for her, and she deserved more than that. Except he had been unable to forget her – and he could be here NOW.
“I don’t just mean TODAY either,” Urawa continued, frustrated. “Somehow I get the feeling you’re keeping one step ahead of me, and I don’t like it. I DON’T trust you! I don’t think I really like you either!”
“And I’m pleased to meet you too,” Greg returned, airily. “Do you want to have lunch sometime or just keep arguing here?”
The two rivals stared at each other.
“Stop it…” Ami abruptly murmured, off to the side. The two males turned to look at her. “Stop it, please!” Ami cried out, lower lip quivering, seemingly on the verge of tears.
Then before either of them could react, Ami ran into the house and slammed the door behind her.
Urawa jabbed a finger at Greg. “NOW look what you did!” he accused.
Greg raised an eyebrow. “I’ve just been standing here talking, you’re the one waking up the neighbourhood,” he pointed out.
Urawa’s frown deepened. “Fine,” he said, lowering his voice. “Then why don’t you just run on home before… before your actions cause real trouble.”
Greg paused, then shrugged and walked up to the front door of the Mizuno residence.
Urawa stared. “Hello? Did you not CATCH that?” he questioned, raising his voice slightly once more. “Where are you going? Don’t act as if you own her house!”
Greg turned back. “This is where I live at the moment,” he revealed. Urawa’s jaw dropped. “And before you disturb everyone within a kilometre radius,” Greg continued hastily, “this was a coincidence and a favour courtesy of her parents. Ami had nothing to do with it, and she doesn’t want people talking. So it might be wise to be discrete.”
Urawa glared. “Right, a coincidence. Like I believe that,” he contested.
Greg shook his head. “I don’t really care what you believe. Goodbye,” he concluded, and he walked inside the house, closing the door behind him.
Urawa continued to stare at the door, hands unknowingly clenching into fists again. “DAMN YOU!” Urawa finally cried out before running off, flustered, frustrated and upset.
Ami turned away from the scene she’d witnessed from behind the curtains of a second story room.
It was all getting out of hand… she’d… she’d have to choose one of them to stop this! But… but who…? She couldn’t choose! Not now! A single tear trickled down her cheek. It was shortly followed by several others.
“Usagi, you really have to study your mathematics!” Luna, Usagi’s guardian cat, insisted. “You have no excuse for not doing it, there hasn’t been a need for Sailor Moon in two months – and you have a test next week.”
“But it’s sooo hard,” Usagi protested. “I mean look at question 15… they don’t even give us any useful numbers to work with!”
Luna sighed. “Maybe you should talk to Ami,” she suggested. “Or better yet, have another study session with the others, it’s been a little over a week since you got together, hasn’t it?”
“All right, all right,” Usagi yielded with a sigh. “But I don’t think that it –” she was suddenly interrupted by the ringing of the phone. Usagi reached absently for the extension in her room, calling out “I got it!” to whoever else was in the house. “Hello?” she said.
There was a sniffle on the other end. “U-Usagi?”
“Ami?” Usagi verified. “What… what’s wrong?”
“I- I didn’t know who to call… I- I don’t know what to do…,” Ami whispered with a small sob. “I c-can’t concentrate anymore… there’s the two of them… too different… hate each other… have to pick… and our b-breakup was a mistake!”
“Wait a minute, calm down Ami… now is this about Urawa? Or Greg? Or something else?” Usagi questioned.
There was a pause as Usagi heard Ami blowing her nose. “B-both,” Ami’s voice came again – sounding slightly stronger. Or was that her imagination? “T-they were both here, Usagi… but… but I wasn’t supposed to break up with Urawa. This shouldn’t be happening!”
Usagi shook her head. “Slow down, Ami!” she implored. “Back up, what exactly happened tonight?”
Usagi lay back on the floor as Ami related the highlights of the evening’s encounters.
When she finally concluded, Usagi let out a low whistle. “I see. Well, that’s certainly a lot to lay on you all at once, I must say… makes me think of the time I found out Mamoru, of all people, was Tuxedo Kamen…” She paused. “But, er, what exactly makes you think this is forcing you into a decision?” Usagi finally mused.
“B-because if I don’t choose they’ll hate each other!” Ami said sadly. “Or hate me! Or what if one of them gets hurt… all because of me…”
Usagi sighed. “Ami… stay calm. You’re dreaming up worst case scenarios that are very unlikely to come true – after all, if both Greg and Urawa really like you, they’ll respect your wishes and your decisions. I’m sure the last thing they want to do is make you feel pressured or uncomfortable, right?”
“I… I suppose…,” came Ami’s uncertain response. “It’s just after this… what with the situation now and the kiss from before I just…”
“Whoa, wait, what kiss??” Usagi interrupted, eyes wide. The scope of this problem suddenly seemed a little larger than what she’d thought. “Who kissed you?”
Usagi could almost hear Ami wince on the other end of the line. “Oh… er… well, Urawa the other day – but… both… both of them actually…” Ami admitted.
“What??” Usagi practically shouted.
How could Ami have kept this a secret? This news was, well… BIG!
“Congratulations! When was this? How was it? Did you enjoy it…?” Usagi blurted out.
There was an awkward silence on Ami’s end of the line for a few seconds.
“Usagi, what ARE you going on about?” Luna spoke up over the conversational lull. “Is Ami having difficulties over something?”
Usagi blinked at Luna, remembering why Ami had called in the first place. Nodding briefly to Luna, she turned to the phone again. She was reminded of Luna’s study suggestion earlier; that might help take Ami’s mind off things.
“Okay, er… look, nevermind that right now. I’m having some trouble in math at the moment myself – hey, maybe the five of us can get together at the temple tomorrow and help each other out…?” she offered.
The silence on the other end of the line continued briefly, then was broken by the sound of Ami’s hesitant voice. “I… I suppose…,” she agreed.
Usagi grinned. “And in the meantime, Ami, don’t worry yourself over the situation. It’s not something to lose sleep over.”
At least, it didn’t seem to be… though if Ami was actually getting KISSED… well, who’d have thought it. Still, at least Ami sounded a little better now than when she’d called, that was the important thing.
They exchanged a few final words, then Usagi hung up the phone. For some reason she was reminded of the time Ami had caught the bouquet at the wedding for that teacher last year…
“Is Ami all right?” Luna asked, cutting into her thoughts.
Usagi blinked. “Er, yes, she’ll be okay,” Usagi assured.
Luna nodded. “Well… in that case, perhaps we should get a little work done on this assignment before tomorrow…?” she hinted. Usagi was unable to hold back a moan.
Of course, it hadn’t been as bad as Ami had thought.
Thursday seemed to pass pretty much just like any other school day. Well, discounting the little glares that seemed to be passing between Urawa and Greg… though that was almost becoming routine, Ami reflected. Urawa had actually been avoiding her for part of the day too – obviously respecting her need for space and for more time.
Usagi had been right for the most part; and while this stalemate couldn’t continue indefinitely, it was nice to think that she wouldn’t need to constantly fret over it. Would she?
“Ami!” Ami turned. Makoto was walking towards her. “Ami, glad I caught you… that study session tonight’s gonna be postponed a while,” Makoto warned. “Usagi has detention for not finishing her homework or something, plus Rei’s grandfather is apparently making ancient sacrificial prayers at the temple for a while. We’re still planning on meeting for a short while later though, and you could come by after your juku…”
Ami nodded. “Sure. Thanks for the news,” she acknowledged.
Makoto nodded back. “In the meantime, you want to stop by the arcade?” she proposed. “I heard they have a new game.”
Ami paused, then nodded again. “Ok,” she acquiesced.
She often spent the time she had between the end of class and juku studying or reading in the library; sometimes she went home for a while, though the only time she’d been home early since Greg had moved in was the time she’d accidentally rummaged through his stuff.
Definitely the sort of thing she wanted to avoid.
So today… maybe going out with one of her friends for a change would be a nice diversion. Heck, she could probably use one before this love triangle stuff drove her around the bend. Just to get away from it for a while…
As if reading her thoughts, Makoto discussed schoolwork and other trivialities on the way to the Crown Game Centre. They arrived and greeted Motoki, who ran the place, before heading to where the newly installed game was.
Ami blinked. Makoto grinned. “Sailor Moon video game?” Ami said, smiling slightly.
Makoto nodded. “Go figure, hm? Sailor V no longer has the monopoly on video merchandise. Apparently you can pick any Senshi!” She looked around the machine. “Doesn’t seem to be working right now though,” she noticed, somewhat disappointed.
“Won’t be hooked in until Monday,” a voice behind them commented.
‘No…’ Ami thought. ‘It couldn’t be…’ The two girls spun around, Ami’s hands grabbing her bookbag a little tighter. Greg smiled back at them. “Fancy meeting you here,” he remarked casually.
<commercial break; Ami, Greg and Urawa skating, they trip over Ami’s computer>