this was another waiting period, michiru would think. the empty space between the final battle and the creation of crystal tokyo was just like the empty time between her awakening and the battle with pharaoh ninety. of course, there were more people now, hotaru living with them, and setsuna stopping over to have tea and worry. every once and a while the inners stopped by, but they were never close enough to have more than the most superficial relationship. and so it was like the first time, with the waiting and playing duets with ‘ruka purely out of boredom.
haruka remembered the great battles, every little detail of each youma that they had fought, each pure heart crystal that they had examined. when haruka told the story of the past, it was entirely by the events. michiru remembered the same stories, but through the waiting times. she could recall exactly the long stretches in cheap hotel rooms where they would sit after and watch movies off that tiny tv, so poor that they could only afford microwave popcorn and beer, almost had to sell her violin to pay their costs. she remembered the ache of training muscles that had been over-trained every day for the past week; and what it was like to spend a full five minutes underwater in the over-chlorinated pool until her lungs were burning and then screaming all of the air out. back then, she was so tired that she swore she could breathe water, and there was nothing to contradict her.
michiru was waiting now, like how she imagined they all had. there were times when she was young that michiru had known, been swinging in the playground and known that she was destined for something bigger. and now, with crystal tokyo looming on the horizon, like a weight with an aim to crush them all, it was the same. this time, she knew, she would not break. she no longer had the fragility of the inners, who had done nothing but fight since the moment they were called, sweet young girls so scared of what’s ahead. ‘ruka said that they thought that the both of them were machines, that they just didn’t feel the pressure.
someday, if the outers even survived (sailorpluto wouldn’t say, just shook her head and sighed deeply when they asked) someday, she’d tell them. tell about all those days when it was just the two of them, for months alone, sick and scared, eating saltines and sometimes playing her violin. of how they had to crawl up from the back alleys and slums of tokyo to the eventual concert or race, and all the while waiting for sailorpluto to tell them to start. they didn’t know when it would start, then or now, all of this empty space. michiru wanted to tell the inners that after the end, they would be able forget, she would remember. and maybe after all of this was done, they would be able to relate.