Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Tumultuous Tides ❯ Chapter 2
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Ami lay on her lounge, too wearied to move as another wave of nausea overtook her body.
"I shouldn't have gone," whispered Ami, closing her eyes as she tried to swallow back the vile taste of vomit in her mouth.
"Ergh," she groaned, again tasting the acidic fluid in her throat, jumping slightly as the doorbell rang.
"Come in!" called out Ami, clutching the blanket tight around her partially-naked body.
Ami didn't have the willpower to turn her head and see who had come to visit her, but the sound of the heavy footfalls told her enough.
"What're you doing Shingo?" asked Ami, wincing as another spasm rocked her.
"You're sick Ami, you need someone to look after you," said Shingo determinedly as he took in the shining sheen of sweat that coated majority of Ami's skin that he could see.
"Anyway, I figured nobody else would come," continued Shingo, a burst of anger breaking into his voice.
"I know," whispered Ami back, pulling herself into a tight ball on the lounge.
"I'll go get you a cool cloth," said Shingo as the sweat shined oddly in the fluorescent lighting.
Ami nodded, unable to speak.
Shingo took the knowing steps to Ami's bathroom, picking up one of the washcloths and rinsing it in some cool water. His eyes strayed around the room, taking in the feminity of its features. Turning off the tap, Shingo's hand knocked against Ami's hairbrush, sending into the small gap between the basin and the shower. Picking it up Shingo's eyes fell to the small bin that was beside the basin. It was filled with the usual things; old razors, empty bottles, make-removing wipes; but a soft pink packaging caught his eyes as he picked up the hairbrush.
Shingo unthinkingly reached down to pick it up, the words 'Home Pregnancy Test' easily discernable on the roughly ripped-up box.
Dropping the box as though it had scolded his hands Shingo placed Ami's hairbrush back on the side of the basin, picking up the washcloth and left the bathroom.
"Hey Ami, is everything alright?" asked Shingo, trying to sound nonchalant as he rested the almost-soaked washcloth on Ami's sweltering forehead.
"What do you mean?" asked Ami back, obviously not considering what might have just happened.
"I mean, physically," said Shingo shyly, he never really liked to think about women's periods or the thought of pregnancy and relating the idea to Ami was even more ludicrous than he thought possible.
"Besides being sick right now?" joked Ami, coughing loudly before continuing, "No, not that I know of."
"But you'd tell me if anything did come up, wouldn't you?" queried Shingo as he sat down on the other end of lounge, lifting up Ami's feet and resting them in his lap as he looked shyly down at the floor.
"Oh course," answered Ami, another rough cough escaping her as she shivered at the sudden cold she felt.
"You've got a fever," said Shingo knowingly as Ami's body rocked again with her trembling.
"Yeah, I think so too," replied Ami, restlessly trying to lift up the hem of her dress further so that some cool air could reach her sweaty skin, but also trying to stop the shivers from rocking her body.
"Do you want me to get you an extra blanket?" asked Shingo worriedly as Ami's hands scratched her sweaty, irritated skin.
"No I'll be fine, I just need to ride it out," joked Ami, Shingo instantly recognising the phrase commonly used by Saeko, Ami's mother.
"Do you think I should call her?" questioned Shingo as Ami fought with the cold temperature of her core and the sweltering waves of heat from her skin.
"I don't want to worry her," replied Ami, her teeth chattering together and making Shingo wince at the sound.
"Did you have a good night anyway?" asked Shingo, unintentionally playing with Ami's small, soft feet.
"I'm not sure yet," replied Ami truthfully as she finally gave up with her clothes and just let her arms lay limb beside her on the lounge.
"Did you know Rei and Makoto were together?" queried Shingo as he leant back, is spine arching to the curve of the lounge, his sandy hair flopping backwards as he stared skyward.
"No," whispered back Ami, obviously unsettled by the fact of not knowing such crucial information.
"What did you think of Chibiusa?" asked Shingo, trying to find a comfortable conversation to keep Ami's mind off her illness.
"She's definitely defiant," suggested Ami as she thought back over the night… They had stared at me like I was a stranger… They kept watching me to see if I was following the conversation… Maybe I am a stranger now… Ami's thoughts had no real train or reason attached to them as they left just as quickly as they came.
"Hopefully she's not as much of a klutz as Usagi at least," joked Shingo, letting out a short laugh.
"I'm sure she won't be," murmured Ami, unsure if Shingo could hear her.
"I should probably let you sleep," suggested Shingo, as he suddenly looked up at the clock, not realising it was already one in the morning.
"Not just yet," whispered back Ami, sighing as she closed her eyes.
Shingo watched as Ami relaxed further against the lounge, unsure of whether he should stay or leave; unsure of which Ami would prefer.
"Should I leave?" asked Shingo, voicing his concerns.
"Do you want to?" questioned back Ami, her eyes shooting open in worry.
"Not really," said Shingo instantly, then realising how obvious his infatuation was, concluded, "I just want to make sure you're okay."
"Then stay," replied Ami, giving him a small, pained smile as she closed her eyes again.
Continuing to play with Ami's feet Shingo looked back into his past and tried to pinpoint the exact time and place that he had fallen for Ami; fallen in love with her. For a long time he had had a crush on her which was only strengthened by the day on the very same beach where they had met again that afternoon, Ami had saved him but it was years ago now and they had both been only young. We aren't young anymore, thought Shingo as he considered that Ami was 21 and he was recently 18.
It'd never happen, replied Shingo to himself as he sighed, closing his own eyes as he leant back on the lounge, not realising that he was being watched by Ami.
Ami let her eyes slide open as Shingo amused himself by gently massaging her feet. We've been friends for so long, thought Ami as she watched him, his sandy hair falling into his eyes as always. And now I'm scared that we can't be, Ami pushed back the silent tears that came with the thought. Watching as Shingo again leant back, Ami had the urge to sit up.
Fighting internally Ami tried to coax herself into sleep, but it just wouldn't come so she sufficed herself with the closest reality to her dreams; she watched as Shingo slowly fell asleep.
Shingo awoke with a severe crick in his neck. Grimacing, he cracked his neck several times, an angry sound emanating from it as he finally remembered where he was and why he was there.
"Ami," he murmured as he looked down at her dishevelled form, her face unbelievably calm as she slept
Turning his head around the clock he sighed at the time, it was almost ten o'clock and his shift at the Crown Game Centre started at ten-thirty.
Carefully moving Ami's legs so as to not wake her he got up, picking up his coat that he had left on the coffee table the previous night, giving Ami's forehead a small kiss as he left.
Opening the door, he met to the postman who happily handed him Ami's mail. Looking inquisitively down at the mail he recognised the symbol of Juban's top university. She's moving back to Juban? Questioned Shingo in his mind as he considered an Ami that he could easily come and visit anytime.
Shamelessly, Shingo gently pried apart the sealed edges of the letter, letting the heavy paper fall into his hands.
"Congratulations, you have won first prize in the Medical Graduate Competition. As advertised your prize is a weekend stay at the beautiful Hillstop Hotel with a partner of your choosing," read aloud Shingo, his heart dropping at the thought that Ami would still be several hours drive away.
Placing the paper back in the envelope, Shingo sat the rest Ami's mail on a hall stand and left the apartment just as Ami stirred.
Ami knew that she should be taking it easy but the brisk summer air had been suffocating in the apartment. As she stripped off her loose clothes she heard the familiar cat-calls and wolf-whistles that usually accompanied the action. Ami knew her looks had improved somewhat since she had left school but the jeering from the males was not something Ami was altogether used to.
Sighing and flinging her head back Ami let the sun touch on her dirty, sweat-crusted skin before running straight to the edge of the rock and diving into the icy ocean water.
Ami didn't open her eyes as she swam; she was so attune to this area of the beach now that it came easily for her. She manoeuvred around the familiar rocky crops, a smile on her face as the salt water scratched away all the sweat that had dried on her skin during the night.
Ami felt the warmth of the midday sun on her back as she effortlessly glided through the water as though it were almost non-existent.
Ami's head broke the surface, taking in a deep lungful of the salty tasting ocean air that was tainted with the spray of the waves.
"Ami?" asked a voice.
Ami turned around to see the faces of Minako, Rei, Makoto and Usagi, all clearly having a picnic on the rocks of the beach.
Ami looked at her four friends and it finally hit-home to her that she was no longer part of that group. As her responsibilities as a Sailor Senshi faded, so had her relationship with them. While they had worked to retain the cherished connection Ami had ruthlessly thrown it away, not for the preferred company of anyone else, but to be alone with her studies.
Ami tried to smile but the action seemed to get stuck half-way as her once-friends looked at her warily, as if they were worried she might say something about her obvious exclusion even though all of them had claimed to be busy when Ami had provided to take them out to lunch today, from last night.
Usagi's hand seemed to reach out to Ami as they looked to one another. The motion was a comfort to Ami, to say that she was still welcome if she wanted it but Ami had been alone for majority of the past three years and she wasn't sure she could handle it.
As she considered going to sit with them, Usagi's hand slowly dropped defeatedly as if Ami had rejected her in some way. Had I been meant to take her hand straight away? Had I been meant to go over there as soon as I saw them and reconcile at least some part of my past life here at Juban? Ami couldn't answer the questions and she really didn't want to, instead she thrust herself back under the waves to find the safety of her cove.
If was late in the afternoon and Shingo was swimming into the mouth of the small cove from which Ami liked to swim. She was here more than five hours ago, I bet she's gone, why would she stay? The thoughts were annoying but insistent in Shingo's head as her finally reached the small, flat landing.
Pulling himself up, he instantly recognised the one, solitary figure in the small cove. Her body was sprawled out on the bed of rock as she looked as though she were sleeping, an open book resting on her chest.
Shingo stepped forward hesitantly; suddenly feeling exposed wearing only his swimming trunks. Ami looked up at the sound and smiled widely at Shingo, pushing the book off her chest and sitting up straight.
Shingo pretended not to notice the apparent wetness around Ami's eyes and instead settling for studying her unkempt hair that was standing at odd angles from the salt water.
"Out for a late swim?" teased Ami gently as she stood up and walked over to Shingo.
"Could ask the same of you," teased back Shingo lightly, only then realising as Ami got closer just how much wetness was running from her eyes.
"Ami," whispered Shingo, choking up slightly as the overwhelming tears fell down Ami's cheeks, his hand reaching out and pulling Ami into a bone-breaking hug.
Ami felt all her barriers come down as she let the tears that had consumed majority of her life for the past three years fall. She had wanted to stay friends with them; she had wanted them to always be in each other's lives; she had wanted to always be a Soldier, standing alongside them… But Ami loved wrong, she didn't know how to fix the damage she had caused.
Shingo comforted Ami, pulling back to look at her square in the face, trying to make his expression light and cheerful.
"Maybe a swim will cheer you up?" considered Shingo, pulling Ami gently closer to the water and edging her to sit on the weather-worn edge with him.
Ami obliged and let her legs sink into the now cooling water. Closing her eyes Ami let the last of her tears run before she stopped them, giving Shingo a small, sad smile.
"Come on," said Shingo lightly, as he grabbed her hand and slipped himself into the water, waiting for Ami to follow.
Ami hesitantly bit her bottom lip before slipping in, moving her body in closer to Shingo's for the warmth it gave her.
Unthinkingly Shingo wrapped his arms around Ami in the water as they floated in the gentle swell.
Ami looked up into the face of Shingo, his sandy hair was stuck to his forehead and his eyes were soft to her, but his lips were even softer.
With reckless abandon Ami pushed her lips upwards to his, thinking that they might meet restraint but all Ami found was desire as Shingo instinctively reacted to the kiss with his own enthusiasm.
Holding onto Shingo was all Ami could do from being taken underneath the ocean water as even the ability to breath seemed out of her control. Taking a deep, basking breath Ami sighed in the deep scent of Shingo, her lips instantly contacting his again.
Ami tried not to think as their whole mouths seemed to dance around each other, the tips of their tongues teasing each other's lips before finally finding each other.
Ami quivered and pressed herself tighter up against Shingo, ignoring whatever reason had before held her back.