The sun was setting on the horizon painting the sea and the clouds into an unearthly orange light as two forms were walking alongside the beach just where the water met the sand.
There was silence between them, nothing could be heard other than the soft sound of the waves washing the shore, making some abandoned seashells pop out of the golden sand, swept out of the endless oceans by the force of nature, just to be buried back again.
Michiru glanced at the young masculine woman by her side and her eyes shone with a little bit of concern as she cast her eyes onto their joined hands, softly squeezing Haruka's as they kept walking.
"What's wrong Michiru?" the low voice that always gave the young violinist goosebumps in the best way possible could be heard, unusually softly and Michiru looked into the deep green orbs trying to figure out what was bothering the other.
Michiru knew Haruka. She was watching her since her first race, even before she knew Haruka was Sailor Uranus. As if gravity was pulling her to the athletic racer, Michiru was fascinated by her since the first glance. How that blond windswept hair was brushing into deep green eyes, her whole self was radiant, shining with a charisma. A person who is always true to her opinions and relying on no one. Haruka might have not realized but there was a certain grace in her movements, not only when she was running on the racetrack, but in general as well. Her whole being was just unearthly or at least for Michiru she was. The wind...that was what the blond wanted to become and what she eventually achieved.
Michiru remembered that fateful day. The tears that wrenched her pillow for so many endless nights. Grief, desperation, a heavy mission she shouldered but it was alright. She chose it...chose it all...by herself. Without any force. But she had to admit it might have not been that way, she might have started to run from her destiny the same way Haruka did if it was not for the one she was shown in a vision. The majestic warrior, holding a sword so gracefully, a bold, brave heart who was fearless, riding a black alicorn. The tall blond woman who she loved with all of her heart...who held her so warmly during those blissful nights they could allow themselves on the queen's ball. Remembering it all, with a clear mind she welcomed the aquamarine light, accepting her destiny in hope she can find her again.
Michiru knew Haruka. More than anyone else and more than Haruka knew herself. Not only because Michiru had almost all of the memories from her past life, but because she was watching Haruka for so long. Even if she couldn't remember the lost life where princess Uranus and princess Neptune despite the vast distance they most of the time had to endure shared a strong, bittersweet love, dedicated to each other as much as for the mission, she would have known Haruka, feeling the same way.
It seemed Haruka didn't remember though but it was alright. Michiru didn't want to hurry the blond's full awakening, they had as much time as drops in the sparkling aquamarine carpet called the sea.
The mission...Michiru did it all for Haruka. Not for some Messiah, not for the people, not for world peace...she couldn't give a damn about those. None of those...She was living for Haruka as Neptune was living for Uranus back then. The love pulsating in every of her vein, bursting her heart hasn't changed with death and if it was a crime for a senshi to think this way then be it, she would never change this.
Michiru knew Haruka. She knew the other loved her in a sense, but as always the blond had a very serious take on the mission and didn't hesitate to make any sacrifices for it. In this case, Michiru knew, Haruka suppressed the love she felt as part of that sacrifice, thinking they were not allowed to have it all.
Haruka sometimes slipped, everything was reflected in her eyes...all the gentleness, the desperation, the need for reassurance Michiru will never leave. Without words...Haruka just couldn't voice them. She must have thought if she remained silent she can suppress it better.
There were those few kisses that burned Michiru's lips, those times Haruka lost to her inner battle and took that extra step she was so afraid to take usually. Michiru knew it. Haruka was not afraid of emotions but the consequences. Of what will happen if they cross that line while being sailor senshi with a mission. She knew the blond was scared once they allow themselves the luxury to fulfill these mutual feelings Sailor Uranus won't be able to sacrifice Neptune anymore.
However, Michiru knew, deep inside Haruka was not ready to sacrifice her either way. If Uranus had to, she rather would die with or after her and Michiru was positive not to let a future like that pass.
Michiru knew Haruka...but today...today was different. She couldn't read the blond's expression. Couldn't figure her strange behavior out because all the possibilities she was thinking of were not likely. It started to eat her up inside, she wanted to help, to desperately know what was bothering the other so much that her usual self was gone. Haruka never showed her insecurities to anyone but her. And today, she again hid none of it from Michiru and while the girl felt honored, it was a sign of unconditional trust, it also bothered her. Today...was different from all days before.
"Michiru?" Haruka asked as she didn't get an answer.
"Haruka...you would tell me everything right?" Michiru was calm, as always but her eyes this time reflected a hint of helplessness which made Haruka's eyes widen slightly then her gaze softened.
"Oi...really what's wrong?" the blond asked managing a small smile.
"Whatever is bothering you...when the time comes you are ready to share, I am here." Michiru said with certainty but also with care and the tall blond couldn't restrain from reaching out to caress a bang out of Michiru's face the sea breeze swept there.
Automatically, the smaller woman leaned into the touch, this rare occurrence of solace and couldn't suppress a soft sigh. She loved Haruka. More than her own life, more than the world, more than the mission, more than anything. And she was willing to go all the way to protect her. To create a world where Haruka can be relatively free and happy.
They were just gazing into each other's eyes and there it was, that unreadable something in those deep green orbs but Michiru was willing to wait. She didn't want to push the blond to speak and judging by the fact she got no answer Michiru was sure whatever was bothering Haruka this much, she was not ready to share even with her.
She smiled reassuringly at Haruka, softly and put a hand onto the big, warm one of Haruka's that was still on her cheek.
The blond opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, she was just watching Michiru bathed in the now purple light of the sunset, getting lost in her eyes. The moment was majestic and she could almost break the silence but just almost...
All the unsuppressed emotions came out in the form of this strange feeling of desperation reflected in her eyes and she was sure Michiru noticed. She always did.
Did this woman know how much she meant to Haruka? How much she was grateful to Michiru for appearing in her life...how she could never imagine a future without her...how much she became dependant on her...How much she adored and looked up at her...how much she...
"Michiru..." she whispered with such rich voice the aquamarine-haired girl shivered. Not the slightly chilly evening breeze...but that voice...which made her do so. She was lost in her feelings for Haruka and maybe one day, they will be free enough to make it happen.
"It's okay..." Michiru said softly with a reassuring tone of voice and let the hand slip off her face. Haruka was seemingly suffering, it was evident in all her features as she looked away, letting her hand drop and eyes fixated on the ocean. Michiru was dying to know what was the cause, she wanted to help her so badly.
After a few moments of silence, Haruka looked down onto the sand and even though their eyes didn't meet Michiru saw the defeated look which soon turned into something else. As if Haruka gave in to whatever she was battling with but still not courageous enough to look into Michiru's eyes, she tried again.
"Michiru..." her voice was gentle, almost inaudible as if the wind tried to steal it away "would you...consider to come home with me tonight...with the intention of staying?"
Michiru's eyes widened and her heart stopped for a few seconds then started to beat extremely fast. Warmth flooded her and made her mind all fuzzy as the sweet shock kicked in. She knew Haruka enough to know what that meant. It was her way to say it, her way to welcome Michiru into her world in every sense. It was Haruka's way of asking to spend the night together as lovers.
A loving smile graced Michiru's lips as she took a few steps, eyes fixating on the troubled blond woman who was still looking down at the sand, her hands clenched in fists.
The young violinist took those fists into her hand and with dancing, shining eyes she leaned in, sealing their lips together as a promise. The millions of butterflies under her skin, in her stomach, were flapping their wings mercilessly as she felt her kiss was returned. And when Haruka's arms circled around her waist she knew...the nights of those distant balls will be repeated once again but this time with no fear of separation and melancholy, only happiness and the long-awaited dream of them both to live life by each other's side every day fulfilling the love they felt in perfect harmony.