By Hokushin

Disclaimers: SM doesn’t belong to me. Rights reserved to Naoko Takeuchi. And…whatever else I need to put here….



Un Amore


A gentle voice filled with sorrow and despair choked softly on words. A soft animal keening could be heard in the cold night wind, piercing to the skin or hide of any living creature out at night. But the sound that pierced through the heart and soul that night came from a small street devoid of life. A lover’s discordant wail broke the quiet of the dead night. Softly spoken, softly begging, softly crying. 

“Jupiter, wake up. Wake up.” She felt a pulse; slow but strong.

            Jupiter…you are needed. Arise.

            “Come on Jupiter…. Please Makoto…” Breathing was deep and strained.

            Do my bidding. Rise, soldier of protection. Rise!

            Ami continued to beg, as Senshi Mercury, for Senshi Jupiter to wake up from her unconscious state. Their relationship didn’t come this far just to be wasted. No. No. No. Senshi Moon looked down at the comrade on her lap. “Hey Ami, you have to give Mako-chan more credit than that. Just think of it as an extended nap for her. And then I’ll scold her for sleeping on the job.” Usagi smiled in sadness.

            “Usagi,” Senshi Mars said, “we need to get her out of here. We can manage to the shrine between the three of us. We’re not too far from it.”

            Senshi Moon nodded slowly and solemnly in agreement. She sighed. “I agree. Mercury let’s move. You get that end; I’ll get her feet. Mars, you lead the way.” Mars couldn’t help but be proud of the glimpse of her friend’s future great leadership. Mars nodded and they quickly made way to the shrine, choosing the most discreet of paths that would take them there expediently.

            It wasn’t long until they laid Makoto onto a futon in Rei’s room. Rei brought out warm blankets that were in the closet and a first aid kit for Ami to use. Ami finished bandaging Makoto’s head wound and gently caressed the unconscious woman’s face. She glanced around shyly expecting either Rei or Usagi walking in any moment. The night was getting colder and Ami tucked the blanket tighter around Makoto and placed another lighter cover over that one.

            “I don’t think she can breathe, being tucked in so tight and all…” a soft voice came from the doorway, startling Ami senseless before she regained her composure. Ami turned around and saw Usagi leaning against the frame and looking at her earnestly.

            “Uhm hmm… Usagi…”


            “I can’t…stop seeing that youma in my mind. I- it was doing something to Makoto. I don’t know what but something. I get this mental image in my mind and it always zooms in to Makoto, she was in so much pain and…


            The youma had suddenly appeared near a bus stop a few blocks from Rei’s shrine. Fortunately, Rei had been in the area going home. It was hideously grotesque, seemingly more terrifying than the last youma and twice as menacing. What caught Rei’s attention were its claws, which weren’t quite claws but were long, thin and sharp. Yet, they seemed more for grasping than inflicting damage.


            “…It- Makoto was holding her head and she was pounding herself so hard… I don’t have the words to describe what I saw…”


            Jupiter was its first and last victim. It grabbed her outstretched arm just as she released an attack. Her eyes widened in horrifying surprise; its claws elongated and turned malleable. Jupiter felt pain shoot all through her arm as the creature wrenched it behind her back and clung onto her from behind. Jupiter felt something brush against her mind. Suddenly something attached to the area behind her ear and she felt claws raking through her mind, as if searching for something, as if leaving a trail of pain, and as if it were trying to control her mind. Jupiter felt something hit her and soon realized it was herself in an attempt to beat the invader out of her mind. And suddenly it was gone; everything, the presence, the pain, and the intimate touch of something that had raped her mind of which she did not know. Then nothing.


            Usagi knelt down next to Ami. “She’ll be fine. I understand that you care for her as we all do, but you have to have faith in her strength so that she will have faith in yours.” Usagi smiled, her eyes not hiding her knowledge of what she knew from Ami. “Rei says we can stay here if we want. She already brought out the futons. I thought you’d want to stay, so I already called your mother and told her we’re just catching up on old times… I wonder how long it’ll take your mother to figure out we’re a bit old to have sleepovers.”

            Ami looked now at Makoto’s face; she was sleeping peacefully now. “Usagi… I don’t know how much longer I can lie to my mother.”

            “Neither can I.” Usagi sighed heavily, the pressures of the present and the future weighing down on her daring Usagi’s shoulder to slump but she held strong. But the weariness of the night showed clearly on her face. “Well, I’m tired. Wake me up if anything changes? But…you should really sleep too.”

            “No…I want to stay up for a while longer… Goodnight, Usagi…and thank you.”

            Usagi nodded and softly slid the door shut with a small click.

            Ami returned to her ministrations on Makoto. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I couldn’t help you. I hate seeing you in so much pain like that. What did it do to you?” Ami rested her head close by Makoto’s and looked at her for an extended period of time. “Love you,” she whispered. “I’ll protect you from now…”

            Ami awoke sometime later in the night. A small lamp had been left on and it provided illumination in the room. Somebody had placed a blanket over her in the course of her nap and she was grateful, the cold night became impossibly colder. A moment later, she realized that penetrating emerald eyes were watching her.

            “Mako-chan,” she whispered, just barely suppressing a tremor that ran involuntarily through her at being caught unaware, even if by Makoto. She regained her composure. “Are you all right? Why are you up?”

            “I’m sorry…did I wake you?”

            Ami started to shake her head but also realized that Makoto might not be able to see, in the dim light. “No… are you all right?”

            “I’m fine. What happened…? Everything is so distorted.”

            “This time it was you who got the nasty blow to the head.” And much more… if you don’t remember then…what really happened? “Do you remember anything?”

            Makoto closed her eyes. She groaned and reached for her head. Her brows creased in pain. “It felt like something was…raking through my head. I’m tired…let me sleep?”

            “Sure…goodnight.” Unasked, Ami fell asleep against Makoto, hoping her presence would calm Makoto’s turbulent mind. Ami was sure the raw emotions were mixed around in Makoto’s eyes and she could sense the confusion that her love desperately tried to sort out. No wishing or hoping can Ami do to improve the situation, considering she had no idea of the source of Makoto’s confused state and that Makoto herself could only provide a sketchy account of what had happened.

            Ami was awakened in the early morning by Makoto’s tossing and turning. Just as Ami was about to rouse her from her dream, Makoto calmed and fell back into a peaceful slumber. Ami frowned, every part of her wondering what plagued her in her rest. She slipped quietly away from Makoto and found a warm jacket. Ami sneaked out of the room and headed out to Rei’s living room. The priestess was awake but meditating. Usagi was situated in the corner of the room, blankets pulled tightly around her sleeping form. Rei looked at Ami when she realized that she wasn’t awake alone anymore.

            “Something wrong?”

            “Rei…No, I hope I didn’t disturb you.”

            “Not at all, I was waiting for one of you to wake up. You must be hungry…would like something to eat?” Rei stood up where she was and went into her kitchen, Ami slowly following her. Rei brought Ami a simple meal and they sat down together to eat. A disturbing silence hung in the air.

            “So…how is school?” It was a dull topic of conversation, true, but Rei wanted to break this weary silence. Besides, it has been a while since they’ve last seen each other.

            “Fine…everything is fine. I’ve started my graduate studies… and maybe in a few more years, I’ll become a resident at a hospital. How about you? And the shrine?”

            “It’s quiet here…not many people visit anymore these days.”

            Ami nodded. A sudden door slam broke through the silence and made the both of them jump. Ami ran out and headed towards the room Makoto had been in. Usagi sat up from where she slept and looked around in a daze until Rei pulled her up and followed Ami.

            The room Makoto had occupied was empty. Makoto’s jacket and shoes were missing from where they rested the night before. Ami quickly put on her shoes and ran out the door and down the stairs, quickly spotting the flag of brown hair not too far from her. But Makoto was moving quickly and Ami began to feel a distance open between them. Ami pushed harder, breaking out into a sprint after the fleeing figure. Two blocks later, she lost Makoto. Rei had stopped Usagi from pursuing at the door, mentioning that it would be best if Ami went herself.

            Ami lost Makoto two blocks later. The first place she looked after that was Makoto’s apartment. Where else would she go?

            Ami rang the doorbell again. Again. Nobody answered, so she began to knock and call out her name. Ami really doubted Makoto was in there, considering that she would have already answered. Makoto hated having people pound at her door like this.

            Defeated, she climbed down the stairs and hoped that Makoto was all right and that she would just show up back at Rei’s sooner or later. Something caught her eye, however, as she was walking back home: the skating rink. She knew the chances that Makoto being there was slim, but she had to try anyway.

            Ami looked around the lobby and didn’t see her there. Placidly, she took a seat on the one of the benches around the rink. Her eyes raked the ice for Makoto and did not see her there. She looked once more before she stood up to leave. And just then, it felt like the wind turned her eyes to look in the direction of an indiscreet corner that she had failed to look before and lo! – Makoto was there, just sliding out into the ice. Ami sat down again and watched, not wanting to disturb her, but wanting to make sure Makoto would be fine.

            Makoto skated a few times around the rink to warm up, and then she moved to some complicated footwork, spins and jumps. Ami had always known that Makoto was an excellent skater but when Makoto danced upon the ice as she did now with so much emotion and grace, Makoto was like a sprinkle of fresh snow, twirling and winding down to earth in tune with the whispers of the wind and then gracing the earth with a presence as light as nothing and a beauty that glowed like the gentle embodiment of a star in a cold winter’s night…

            She fell. She cursed like a drunken sailor when she did. Makoto didn’t get up but sat there on the ice where she slid to a halt from her fall. Others in the rink looked at her crossly for the foul language. Ami stood up, stuck between continuing to let Makoto sit there or run to Makoto. She was afraid of Makoto’s reaction to the latter though. Would she be angry? Knowing Makoto’s independent nature, she just might be angered.

            Her heart overruled her head as Makoto sat there on the ice still. Ami stepped on the ice, fully expecting the slipperiness of it but slid and fell unceremoniously on her behind anyway. She yelped and Makoto turned her eyes and they widened in surprise. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as Ami made her way uncharacteristically ungraceful towards her. Ami fell into Makoto’s arms the next time she tried to stand. Her face was flushed with embarrassment. “Hi, my stalker. You should try wearing skates when you go on the ice next time. How did you find me here?”

            “A string…” Ami answered, but was confused at Makoto’s suddenly delightful deposition. However, she wasn’t one to spoil a good mood. “Tied…from my heart to yours.”

            “Is that so?” Makoto grinned.

            “Are you all right?”

            “I’m just fine. It’s just that my ego and my butt are bruised. I haven’t taken a fall that hard since…since I don’t even remember.” She stood the both of them up and held Ami’s arms to steady her on the ice. “Mizuno Ami, will you give me the honor of skating with you?”

            “I-I’m not…very good at it…”

            “Oh, quiet. Let’s see if they have any skates your size.” Suddenly, Makoto swooped Ami into her arms and skated to the side, dropping her off gently and then sat down on a bench to cover the blades on her skates. She led Ami to the front and then rented a pair of skates her size. Makoto jumped back onto the ice like a little kid and yelled at Ami impatiently to hurry up. Makoto skated around to where Ami was and helped her onto the ice.

            Makoto started out slow, with Ami holding her hand tightly and they skated slowly around the rink. Every once in a while Makoto would break off and do a camel spin or a scratch spin, and sometimes she would do a jump or two. Ami watched and smiled proudly at the ease and precision her friend performed these maneuvers. Each time, Makoto returned to Ami and they skated together slowly. The moment they shared skating was filled with an intimate joy that only the two of them felt and cherished. Makoto coaxed Ami to do a spiral with her. Without warning, Makoto stopped and pulled Ami to her. Ami gasped, fearing that she would fall…again.

            “I got you…don’t worry,” Makoto chuckled. She then hugged her briefly and thanked her. Makoto left the ice quickly, leaving Ami to catch up stupefied. She saw Makoto stumble at the bench. Ami picked up her pace.

            “Makoto! Wait!” This sudden erratic behavior irked Ami’s medical personality and worried her even more. She reached the bench and sat down next to Makoto, who had her eyes shut and jaw clamped together in obvious pain. Her brow creased into an ugly frown that marred her usually jovial features. “What’s wrong? Mako-chan…”

            “Nothing; just a headache. Must be from all that spinning.”

            Ami frowned. “Let’s get you back home, okay?”

            Smiling, Makoto replied, “as long as you carry me?”

            Ami looked at her crossly and then chuckled. “Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I might as well just leave you here, you big…”

            “-What? What am I?”

            “Nothing. Come on.” Ami took Makoto’s hands, “up you go.” Makoto allowed Ami to pull her up. “Unless you really want a piggy back ride?”

            Makoto laughed humorously and shook her head. “No, I don’t want to burden you with my weight. I’m too heavy for you.”

            “Are you saying I’m weak?”

            “No…just that I’m too heavy for you.”

            “I’ll show you weak!” Ami poked Makoto playfully in the stomach not too gently. Makoto caught Ami’s hand and pulled her close.

            “Ow…” Makoto released her and sat back on the bench to change out of her skates and back into her shoes. Ami did the same and Makoto took the skates from her. “Let’s all go skating again. I enjoyed it…I haven’t skated in such a long time. God…” she sighed wistfully, “not since that time with the youma…”

            “Hn…” Ami nodded. “Let’s not dwell in the past, Mako-chan. There’s the whole future ahead of you and of me. We don’t have much time to stay in the past lest we stop moving forward. Memories are great; remember them but don’t live in them.”

            Makoto smirked. “Wise words from a wise woman.”

            They left the skating rink and returned to Makoto’s apartment where they found Shinosaki squatting in front of Makoto’s door. His disheveled and shrunken look broke Makoto’s heart. She placed a hand under his elbow and brought him to his feet. Without a word, Makoto opened the door to her apartment and led him in, Ami tailing behind. She almost began to pity the broken man Shinosaki had become in the course of the few days after his wife’s passing. It must be hard and trying but Ami hoped that she not have to face the death of a love…it would be unbearable especially since…no!

            Shinosaki slumped deep into Makoto’s couch until he almost blended with it. Makoto set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Makoto peered into his eyes; they looked dull and lifeless, as if everyday functioning drained away his energy. She’s seen that look before in many people but it was most frightening when she found that look in her friends and herself.

            “Where’s…your daughter, Shinosaki?”

            “Daycare center…I left her there this morning.”

            Ami saw Makoto’s eyes flash, an unspoken anger shone there. Makoto sighed heavily, letting the anger vanish as she sat down next to him. Ami quietly volunteered to pick up his daughter and he gratefully gave Ami the address to the daycare center. Makoto eyed Ami and silently thanked her.

            Makoto felt the onset of a headache with a dull pain that started at the bridge of her nose and she predicted that it would soon spread to the rest of her head. She glared at Shinosaki unrelentingly for several moments to gather her thoughts on how best to approach the subject she would discuss with him. “Shinosaki…you can’t just push away your daughter like that you know. Sooner or later, she won’t even recognize you as a father anymore. It’s bad enough that she won’t grow up without a mother, but don’t make it worse by letting her grow up without a father too. I know it hurts Shinosaki-,”

            “Don’t talk to me about pain! You don’t know what this feels like! That barren emptiness that takes root in your heart, that slowly sucks the life and joy out of it…you don’t know of it. She was my life!” He screamed at her with all the pain, frustration and anger he could muster. He buried his head in hands as he felt hot tears course down his cheeks.

            Makoto said calmly, “I don’t know what it feels like Shinosaki? I don’t know what it feels like… So I didn’t feel that ripping pain when my parents’ plane went down in a ball of burning flames? I didn’t know the same pain that consumed my heart when my parents were taken away from me? I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye! And you’re saying I don’t understand your pain… I do Shinosaki, I do.” She looked into his eyes, his dark pools of sadness. Her own eyes begged him to understand: he wasn’t alone and he didn’t have to be!

            He gaze drifted away from hers; he could not hold it. Suddenly, he felt the shame grip his heart in a vice. Her steady gaze facilitated a sigh from Shinosaki and he was forced to look at her again. “I’m sorry.” His apology was weak and feeble, his voice drained of the lively soul that usually accompanied his speech. Makoto couldn’t help but feel pity for him. A long moment of silence sliced painfully between them.  A choked sob escaped Shinosaki’s agitated throat.

            “It’s lonely you know…I miss everything about her; her face, her smile, her scent… the way she used to put Makoto to bed. Even in her sickness she was a vibrant woman.”  Makoto nodded and took his hands in hers. She gripped them strongly, hoping to lend him some of her strength. “And…” Makoto released his hands and went into the kitchen to get him a glass of water. He drank it appreciatively and set the glass gently on the table beside him. He sighed heavily and Makoto took his hands again.

            “You can say it you know,” Makoto said.

            “You always know when I want to say something don’t you?”

            Makoto nodded and gripped his hands tighter.

            “It’s hard to see a woman like her just…seemingly waste away like that. I hate it, and I hate myself for not being able to help her. The nights are so lonely now…”

            “Shinosaki. You still have a daughter that needs your love just as much as your wife. Don’t you see that?

Quit wallowing in your guilt and your own sadness and see what you are putting Makoto through! She needs you and you’re pushing her away. I see it in her eyes every time that she sees you. She needs her daddy…”

            By this time, Shinosaki was shaking so horribly that Makoto reached over with one hand and placed it on his shoulders. She had never seen a man so broken. And Shinosaki was such a terrifically passionate person…about everyone. The pain of loss is too much for a man like him to bear.

            “Be a good father now. You have to focus on that and raising Makoto. Suzu would have wanted that. Right? She would have wanted the child hers and your love has created grow up to be healthy and just as great a person as her father right?” Truly for the first time in a while Shinosaki smiled. It was slight but it shone brightly indeed. Makoto hugged him. “A child lives on love, Shinosaki.”

            He gazed deep into her eyes and she could feel him searching for something; searching for an answer in her eyes. “And you?”

            “I get by on what I get…love or hatred.” Makoto smiled grimly. “Life is a magnificent thing. You get both along the same lines. You’d hate to love somebody, but you love them nonetheless. And you’d hate to lose that somebody.”

            “Since when did Kino Makoto get so philosophical? You were always a romantic. I think the girl I grew up with matured into a woman sometime in the past five years.” His eyes softened as he looked at her so close to him. Suddenly and without warning he kissed her. With passion, loneliness and sorrow, his lips touched upon hers. Makoto found herself allowing him to pursue the kiss but when he tried to press closer Makoto was forced to push away. She felt frightened at the magnitude of Shinosaki’s desire…for what? To be loved? To love? Makoto’s chest heaved and Shinosaki was breathing heavily himself. His face was a deep crimson.

“Shinosaki-san. Please…don’t…”

He opened his mouth to apologize when Makoto turned her head towards a noise by the door. It was open; Ami and little Makoto stood in the doorway. 

            Makoto could not bear the look of betrayal in little Makoto’s eyes as she witnessed her daddy kiss somebody not her own mother. And Makoto could not bring herself to look at Ami’s reaction; she only knew her love was there and saw the events only a minute prior.  She swallowed hard, unable to face the shame she presented in front of both Ami and little Makoto; Shinosaki began to tremble with guilt as his face deepened impossibly to a dark scarlet color.

            Little Makoto yelled “Liar!” Makoto was not sure if it was directed to her, Shinosaki or to the both of them. And at the same moment, she wondered how the girl knew that word. Shinosaki’s daughter broke away from Ami’s hold and ran off as fast as her short legs could carry her, stumbling once or twice. Ami started after her but stopped suddenly when Makoto’s voice resonated clearly through the room. Makoto commanded Shinosaki to go chase after his child and talk to her. And quickly! While he did that, Makoto prepared to face Ami. Ami’s face was a mask when Makoto turned to face her; she showed no emotion but indifference, a trait that was very much not like Ami.

            “Did you…see that? Ami I… Moushiwake arimasen. Ami, if you won’t forgive me…I understand. Honto ni sumimasen.” Ami moved closer to Makoto, still indifferent. Makoto waited for Ami’s reply, head still bowed. She could not believe she let Shinosaki kiss her like that. Her heart beat wildly against her chest at the fear of having destroy a friendship barely in bloom and as delicate as an ancient water painting.

            Ami sat down next to Makoto; back straight, hands folded at her lap. Makoto waited with a calmness that she herself found unnerving and yet she was thankful for it. Ami did not look at her and Makoto could almost feel the biting rejection that waited to come out of Ami’s lips.

            “Ami…let me explain?”

            “No.” Makoto looked up in surprise when she felt Ami’s head rest on her shoulders right next to her neck. “You don’t have to Mako-chan.” Ami smiled and covered Makoto’s hand with her own reassuring ones. Is the smile false for my comfort?

            “But Ami, I -“

            “Makoto… I thought we were never on such formal terms…’Moushiwake arimasen’”

            “I’m sorry Ami. I get formal when I’m nervous.”

            “Nervous?” Ami chuckled.

            “You’re not mad?”

            “Do you want me to be?” Ami paused for a moment and there was no answer. “I’ll take that as a no. Mako-chan,” Ami smiled softly as she gazed at the woman in front of her, “you have so much love to give. And Shinosaki really needs a person like you to be at his side and to share with him the love he lost…Just hopefully in a different manner next time, I hope. I trust you, Mako-chan. I wholeheartedly trust you.” Makoto blushed and looked away sheepishly.

            “I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

            “And how will that happen?” 

            “Kiss for a kiss?” Makoto leaned closer but Ami flicked her nose with a finger. “Hey! You little savage.” Ami laughed and moved away.

            “Now, we are even.”

            The door to Makoto’s apartment slowly swung open. Shinosaki stood in the doorway; head down with his shoulders sagging. He rubbed his chin grimly and sighed. Makoto stood up to grab his elbow. “Where is she?” Makoto led him to the couch. Her brows furrowed, thinking it shouldn’t have been too hard to catch up with a tiny five-year old.

            “Don’t worry. She’s on the stairwell. She won’t come with me. You’d be surprised how strong her tiny little arms are.”

            “I think she wants an explanation, from both of us. I made a promise to her and it seems like I broke it.” Ami reached out for Makoto’s hand and followed her out the door, Shinosaki following and pondering his own thoughts and studying Ami and Makoto’s linked hands. They reminded him much of Suzu and himself. 




End Part VI


Hmm…I would have expected this chapter to be longer, what with the three months I’ve had to work on this. Well, finals ended last Thursday, giving me the chance to wrap up this chapter. Thanks for your patience guys and I deeply appreciate your support since I’ve started this Ami/Mako fling. =) I’m having a lot of fun and heartbreak writing this. The next chapter might take a lot longer than this one. I am having trouble putting the end together.

*Damn writer’s block* Sorry guys!


Date Completed: 02 February 2003



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